Monday, September 13, 2010

RTT: Emasculation by mini-van, a new era of win, swimming babies


I'm trying to be the first one to play Keely's Random Tuesday thing as part of my new strategy of winning everything in life, which you will read about below, before clicking the graphic above.

A while ago, I was bragging about not needing no stinking mini-van.  My parents, their parents before them, and millions of people in Southeast Asia, have shunned them for less elaborate--albeit less safe and commodious--modes of transportation.

So guess what we went to look at yesterday.  Yeah--one of these.  As usual, I have proven myself a hypocrite.  I really don't have any qualms about owning one of these rigs.  At least maybe not the kinds of qualms a lot of dudes do--mostly I feel a little weird about driving something brand new, which neither I nor my wife have done in a decade.  I'm sure that, once we have purchased (or more likely leased) this convenience-pod, I'll write at length about my intensely conflicted feelings toward it.

But for now, I just wanted to explain the new era of win.  This will probably jinx my run of good luck, but whatever.

The reason we feel like we can afford to lease a shiny new motorized adultery-prevention device is that after getting very creative about financing the massive addition I built on the house over the last year and a half, it looks like the sweat equity is going to pay off.  Having convinced the authorities to sign off on my final inspection despite a pretty clear violation of a ridiculous municipal code, we got the house appraised, and it looks like we will be able to refinance it in such a way that it will free up the money we need for the emasculation-mobile.  I feel a little like a dick, bragging that our house has ended up being a good investment while so many people have been sinking under the weight of theirs.  But on the other hand, it's not very often that I get to feel like I have contributed to my family's financial well-being, so I'm relishing it while it lasts.

I'm hoping that my winning streak will continue as I wait to hear the results of the essay contest I just entered, in which the "best" (i.e., most maudlin) essay is awarded a bunch of credits in the weird time-share scam program we use.  Holy shit.  I just realized that we have a time-share AND we may soon have a mini-van.  I really need to get myself some giant nostril-jewelry or a neck tattoo.  Anyway, the essay I submitted (97% fictional) made my wife throw up in her mouth a little bit, so I've got a lot of faith in its effectiveness.

And if you needed more proof that I'm on a roll, I won--WON--a making-up-the-caption contest at the wicked awesome and wildly popular blog, Wait in the Van.  Now, for my prize/humiliation, a link to my blog featuring a cheesy headshot of yours truly disgraces the upper right corner of its otherwise tasteful homepage.  Thanks for the kickass prize, Kristine; and if you are visiting from Wait In the Van, welcome.  Set a spell.  Take your shoes off.  Etc.

Swimming Babies

Here's the cute stuff, which I know is the only reason anyone visits here anyway.  We've been lucky enough to get invited to pool parties for the last three weekends in a row.  The girls are getting to be regular little mermaids (not "Little Mermaid"s, because branded princess-ish characters are banned from this family).  One of the parties was an Asian Mommies event that we showed up to, home-made spring rolls in hand, just as everyone else was leaving.  This was due to our kids still being on a two-nap schedule, and our refusal to violate the sanctity of naptime.  We hung around the posh swim and tennis club for a few hours anyway.

Cobra lurves to splash

Butterbean wading


Cobra over the falls


  1. Perhaps and awesome tatt would proclaim your sexual availability to all and sundry fecund females despite your conveyance by Capon-mobile?
    And if you're afraid to commit, JC Whitney has something for you:

  2. Also,as the father of twins (+1 more), I have to say power sliding doors are a Nobel-level invention.

  3. Yeah I don't blame you for wanting a mini-van....makes life with kids mucho easier. My mom tried to give me her minivan last week....buuut I would rather drive one of them motor bikes, personally.

  4. I fucking love my minivan more than penises and chocolate. More than penises dipped in chocolate. More than a lot of things.
    I thought we'd be fine with our three-door Saturn. Three months later, we got a minivan.
    I never thought I'd like a minivan. Turns out? It's a kick-ass living room on wheels.

  5. I'm only willing to go as far as an SUV. I can't fathom driving anything you can hide entire CHAIRS in.

    Also: Keener!

  6. Here from Wait In The Van.
    Congrats on winning the caption contest, and good luck with your essay.

    Love your blog. Your kids are gorgeous.

  7. Man, it's so hard not to make fun of anyone who drives a mini-van. But I will do it behind your back so you won't notice.


  8. Mini van ownership is like a secret society - once you're in we can reveal the truth about owning one and teach you the handshake.

  9. We don't have a minivan but in London, they're kind of excessive. Though supermum actually wants a camper van which seems one step further towards perdition ("emasculation-mobile" Classic!).

    I do think a little bit of boasting is order. lord knows we naturally modest types don't get the chance that often. I'm still feeling tragically smug about the switch to a tracker mortgage just before the rates plummeted.

  10. I would make fun of your mini-van future, but for the ridiculous Volvo station wagon parked in front of my house right now.

  11. Yeah, it looks like I'll be dragged kicking and screaming into minivan-ville myself. I've resisted for 8 years, but after a particularly nightmare-ish camping trip where we were this close to strapping stuff onto the SIDES of our wee little '91 Tercel, I've accepted that our next vehicle will be the "you just couldn't keep it in your pants -- now look at the consequences, DAD" monstrosity. I'm going to miss my little 5-speed...

  12. @JJ--Capon-mobile. Awesome. The sliding doors are one of the main reasons we're thinking mini-van. Currently, we have a pickup and an old Golf w/o keyless entry. In fact, you can only unlock it from the driver's side door (and that lock is getting pretty hinky), so I have to carry the kids out into traffic in order to load them in the car.

    @Jay--Yeah, you clearly care more about your image than I do. But just think of all the surfboards you could fit in there!

    @Keely--I just can't justify an SUV. One big enough to carry our stuff would get about 8 mpg.

    @Scarlet--thanks for stopping by! I hope you will stick around.

    @Michelle--As usual, I appreciate your sensitivity.

    @Billie--I can't wait! I've never been in a secret society before. I hope there will be hazing.

    @dadwhowrites--Yeah, as much as I pretend not to care about my inability to make money, when I somehow do something profitable, I feel totally validated.

    @DiPi--I would much rather have a wagon, but it just can't do all the things we need it to do.

    @Nenette--We thought we could get everything we needed in our Golf with the cargo carrier on the roof. And we could. But we can't squeeze anymore passengers or dogs into the damn thing.

  13. Welcome (soon, anyway) to the darkside. Just be sure to do what I did and get it in writing that you are guaranteed whatever you want in the driveway in exchange for having to drive a minivan.

  14. Dude. That graphic on Wait In the Van is stupendous. I think you've found your future tattoo. Get on that. (That's what she said.)

  15. i will never drive a minivan...haha i have a huge SUV tho but i love it.

    followed your blog and headed over to vote for you for hottest daddy blogger :)

  16. I just finally got rid of my minivan two years children are 22 and 19 LOL. Welcome to my world. I like your blog. You are funny and self-deprecating, which is a combination that's hard to pull off well. But you seem to have achieved it. :)

  17. I don't blame you. . . I'm still on the side of the fence that I don't want a mini van, but I'm a single mom of one. . . so I see no reason for it. . . yet. However, I still think that taking out chairs, auto sliding doors, dvd players, and all the other extras that mini vans have that "regular" cars do not are pretty cool. lol!

    P.S. Congrats on winning the caption contest! :)

  18. I laughed so hard at that video. It's priceless. Then I had to share the link with everyone in the office. :)

    Congrats on your win and fingers crossed for the other contest.

  19. When you speak of your essay as "maudlin", which of the two following meanings are you referring to:

    1) tearfully or weakly emotional; foolishly sentimental


    2) foolishly or mawkishly sentimental because of drunkenness

    (No joke - I got this stuff from

  20. Heh. "motorized adultery-prevention device"... beautiful. When the first of my friends took the plunge into minivan land 7ish years ago, I honored the moment by writing "Sexy Sexy Minivan" into the dirt on his rear window.

    He was kinda ticked off, but the fact that he had no valid response just made it funnier.

  21. @PJ--"whatever you want in the driveway"? Sounds intriguing. I wish we had a driveway.

    @Elly Lou--That would be really bold, no? A portrait of myself inset in an explosion on my bicep? I like it!

    @NDN--Thanks! Tell all your friends to vote too please.

    @Melissa--I am the KING of self-deprecation! And humor! I'm totally serious! (I'm such an ass)

    @Ayami--I know, right? We went to the dealership again last night for a test drive, and I looked at some SUVs. They cost twice as much as the mini-van and had none of the Transformer-like gadgetry.

    @OTO--thanks for the link-love and the well-wishes!

    @Sassy--Hahahaha...I would say definition #1 is slightly more accurate. Not that I was necessarily sober while writing the essay; but I don't think the drunkenness was the direct cause of the mawkish sentimentality.

  22. I think you need to start worrying when you begin driving the mini van wearing socks and dusty pink crocs. I think I need to meet with a hypnotist to erase the image of Didactic Pirates photo... I am still traumatized.

  23. I'm with nubian on that croc comment.

  24. You might be the only person I know who can pull off a mini-van and not automatically be a douche-canoe. Just don't become a horrible driver like all the mini-van owners I come into contact with daily.

    Era of win, fuck yeah!

  25. @Nubian and PtotheB--Hahaha...I'm having lunch with DiPi on Friday. I hope he wears the Crocs!

    @Hippie--I have totally noticed all kinds of bad driving from mini-van pilots. I don't know if they're distracted, or angry, or what. I'll try not to be like that. I'm not sure where your confidence in my non-douchiness comes from, but I sure appreciate it!

  26. Paint some mean fire stripes on the m-van or maybe put some spinners on it. Step up the bling, "he man" factor of it! Your children are adorable and I cant stop loling at the picture in your banner.

  27. We recently got a Mazda5, a mini-minivan so to speak. I couldn't justify a minivan because it would be my daily commuting car to work and the Mazda5 gives me most, not all, of the same conveniences as a minivan with better gas mileage (I had to give up the power sliding doors in exchange for the better gas mileage, something I'm still convincing myself was the right decision because it is as someone said, a nobel level invention). I have a 3 y.o. and a newborn and the walking into traffic to put them in, wrenching your back to squeeze the kid/car seat into the car because some jackass parked really close to you all had me running to the minivan adn its sliding doors. Oh, and the DVD player. I had a SUV and it really didn't add any value to family life. It's just a car that sits higher up with bigger trunk space, but atrocious gas mileage. So, go on with your bad self in the swagger wagon. Just don't get a maroon colored one.


  28. @Pam--we thought about the Mazda 5, but it's just not quite big enough. We decided to go all the way. Sliding doors are key. We're not going to drive it much, just for family outings really. Dr. Mom is going to keep her little beater econobox to commute (5 miles per day) in.

    I totally agree with your assessment of SUVS. I've had a Blazer and two Suburbans (work trucks), and they really weren't any better than station wagons for hauling people.

    No maroon. Noted.


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