Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Final Mustache Update!

Well, Movember is coming to a close, and this is my final plea for you to donate a couple bucks for research to fight prostate and testicular cancer.  I alienated my loved ones and made strangers uncomfortable all month long with my attempted mustache.  Please make up for their sacrifices by contributing to this excellent (and tax-deductible) cause.

Here's a reminder of what Movember is all about.  From the Movember website:
The Movember Effect: Awareness & Education, Survivorship, Research
The funds raised in the US support prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. The funds raised are directed to programs run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Together, the three channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programs in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.
For more information on the programs we are funding please visit the following:
Prostate Cancer Foundation
LIVESTRONG, The Lance Armstrong Foundation
Awareness & Education
Global Action Plan
The next time I do a mustache-related post will be when I shave this scraggly thing off my face, as part of a "Shave-Off" event, sponsored by Phillips Norelco.  Some of the guys on Team Dad 2.0/Man of the House/NYC Dads Group/DadCentric/DadLabs are participating in this for laughs and to give Phillips Norelco some props and publicity, since they have agreed to match the funds we have raised, up to $15,000!

I have to say that I'm ambivalent about getting rid of my mustache.  It's the first intentional facial hair I've had since an ill-advised goatee in 1991, and it's been refreshing to see a different face in the mirror.  The other day my wife even said, "I don't hate it as much as I thought I would."

Sometimes, it doesn't look too bad:

Dashing

Harmless

Not psycho

But, as I said in the last update, it only looks good from a safe distance.  What my wife and kids see is often something more like this:

Gross
Maybe with a little more time, and a visit to a groomer, it would settle down.  But it'll be gone by tomorrow, so we may never know.

So there's the spiel.  Please go to my Movember space and drop a couple shekels in the can.  Thanks! 


***
Some Other Places I've Written Lately 


At Man of the House, I explored perhaps one of the most important questions you can ever ask yourself: what kind of material should I use to build my deck?

Also at Man of the House, I got all deep and powerful when discussing nail guns.  If you want one for Christmas, you need to read this article.
 
 

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Banality of Adorableness

Adorable
I realized that I've been reluctant to write about the normal things my kids are doing lately that I find amazing and super-cute.  This is because I assume that most readers would find this material tiresome, not being the parents of my kids.

As a result of my omitting these episodes, my wife and I have forgotten a lot of the amazing and super-cute things the girls were doing just a few months ago, and have no record of them.

We've had a number of these conversations:
Wife: Did you hear Cobra say such-and-such tonight?
Me: Yes!  So cute!
Wife: We should write that down somewhere.
Me: Yeah.  One of us should start a blog or something.  Lol.
Wife: You never write about this kind of stuff on your blog though.
Me: Yeah, I guess not.  But it doesn't really matter.  That was so cute, we'll never forget it.
And these:
Wife: What was that thing Butterbean used to say for "zipper"?
Me: Oh man!  That's right!  She was obsessed with zippers for a while.  Was it "fschlawbie"?
Wife: No...that was what she said for "flowers."  It was something like "zhu zhu."
Me: "Vroo hee"?
Wife: No...more like, something like..."vun vun" or "sha sha."
Me: "Roo too"?
Wife: "Fahr fahr"?
Me: "Wah hah"?
[etc.]
So from now on, I'll be documenting in excruciating detail just how brilliant (by which I mean "within the range of normal development") and adorable my kids are, so my wife and I can look back and remember these times once they have reached the age of unbearableness.

Please join me on this amazing journey through the exact same thing most parents have experienced since man started walking upright and using language.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mustache Update

Oddly, I am less humiliated by my mustache efforts than I thought I would be.  I'm probably heavily deluding myself, but I think it doesn't look that bad.  It's with a weird mix of horror and satisfaction that I accept that I might just have a mustache-friendly face.  Also, like countless balding guys before me, I'm convinced that the 'stache draws attention away from my hairline (or more accurately "hairlines," which you would understand if I ever allowed a picture of the top of my head to be published).

Those are my bedroom eyes, by the way
One thing I like about the mustache is its versatility.  I can look sleazy/dangerous:


Or creepy/dangerous:


Or batshit/dangerous:



The only time I get self-conscious about the 'stache is when people are within a couple feet of my face.  From a distance, it looks like regular facial hair, but when you get up close, it's all gnarly and wiry, and the hairs are curling and pointing in different directions.  That part is a little disgusting.  But I'm hoping that with time and the right grooming products, it will fall into line.

Thus concludes the mustache update for Movember 17, 2012.  Now please go to my Movember page (or anybody's really) and donate a couple bucks to help research and fight prostate cancer and other diseases that threaten men's health.

***

Other places I've been this week

On Aiming Low,  I wrote a letter to my daughters about how I had to follow my dreams of rock stardom.

On DadCentric, I interviewed Greg Olear, author of Fathermucker, a new novel written from the POV of a SAHD.

I wrote this tasteless thing about the repeal of DADT on Insert Eyeroll

Finally, Cobra was featured as a guest napper on the amazing and hilarious blog, Naps Happen

Friday, November 11, 2011

How to Say "Thank You" in Father-In-Law-ese

My across-the-street neighbor--a sixty-something single retiree--is the busybody on our block.  But she has never directed any of her meddling toward us, despite our dirty cars and disreputable-looking lawn.  Our next-door-neighbors on either side have referred to her as "Gladys Kravitz" in separate conversations I've had with them.  She has a reputation.

But we've always gotten along just fine with her.  Somehow, we've developed a symbiotic relationship.  I occasionally fix things at her house or just pick up stuff that's too heavy for her; and she hangs bags of fruit from her backyard trees on our doorknob.  When we're out of town, she picks up our mail and sometimes waters our plants.

One day, maybe two years ago, I went over to ask her a favor of some sort--taking care of something while we were on vacation.  "Sure," she said, "but you have to promise to thank me."

I chuckled and said that of course I would thank her.  I didn't really get it.  She says weird stuff sometimes.

"No, really," she went on.  "All those times that I got your mail, or watered your plants, or that time I gave you a ride when you lost your car keys...you've never thanked me once.  Neither you or your wife." She was shaking.

I was stunned and embarrassed.  And maybe a little indignant.  Surely I had thanked her.  My wife and I are both very conscious of basic manners.  We frequently bitch about people who don't say "thanks" when we open doors for them.  So I must have thanked her.  Of course I did.  I'm pretty sure.  She's just a little batty.  And demanding.  Some people need you to grovel in exchange for every little favor.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Don't Let My Mustache Be in Vain

We just got back from a trip to Virginia for my wife's youngest brother's wedding, so there's all kinds of stuff to report.  Later.  After all my talented relatives send me beautiful pictures I can post, and I get a little sleep.

This post is all about the current swath of humiliation just barely covering my upper lip.

That's right, I'm attempting a mustache again.  I have essentially the same misgivings that I did last year, but I'm determined to stick it out this time.  It should be easier this go 'round, because I'm part of a big team/support network (I think we even have a hotline to call in case we find ourselves in the bathroom with a razor at 3:00 a.m.). There are about 60 of us at last count, mostly dadbloggers, and we have the catchy team name "Dad 2.0 / Man of the House / NYC Dads Group / DadCentric / DadLabs." 

It's only Day 8 of "Movember" and we've already raised over $5,000 to help fight prostate and testicular cancer.  I say "we," but as of this writing, I have not raised a nickel.  I've been a terrible fundraiser.

Okay, so what the hell am I talking about anyway?

Movember is this month-long event during which thousands of men grow mustaches to become "walking billboards" for prevention of prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.  Read more at the Movember "about" page

It's a brilliant idea.  Because, unless you're a cop, if you grow a mustache, people you associate with regularly are going to ask you about it.  And I've even found myself explaining its presence to people I just met, although--or perhaps because--they might think I'm the kind of guy who would normally wear a mustache.  Which I might become, depending on the feedback I get.  But the point is, it's hard not to talk about it, so it kind of forces you to spread the word.  Ingenious.  

I suspect that I'll be writing about my mustache experience quite a bit in the next three weeks, because it's the most interesting new weirdness in my life right now.  For instance, during my twelve hours of being in planes and airports today, I realized that I was noticing all the other mustachioed dudes around and kind of giving them knowing looks, like we were in the same club.  Thinking about that sent my mind spiraling in quadruple helices regarding the implications therein.

But for now, just the important info.

Please donate whatever you can to my Movember page (it's under my other name, "Andy Hinds"--you'll recognize the picture). All the proceeds go to either programs directed by Movember, or their partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG.

***


I was really relieved that my kids weren't freaked out by the 'stache.  In fact, they find it funny.








Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Leaving Home

Last Friday, we did the usual nighttime routine with the feeding of the kids and the cleaning up of what they had left in their wake during the day; and then we stayed up until 3:00 a.m., doing laundry, more cleaning, getting rid of perishable food, and generally battening down the hatches.

Two and a half hours later, we got up, dragged our asses and the asses of our children out of bed, rousted my teenage nephew who has been staying with us for a while and who rarely gets out of bed before noon (but is nonetheless really a great kid and not actually lazy), and made him drive us to the airport so we could go to DC for my wife's little brother's wedding.


As San Diegans do, I had forgotten that other parts of the country sometimes have weather at this time of year; so I checked a forecast while packing.  Snow and rain in DC at the time we were to arrive.  Nice.  I envisioned delayed flights, twin meltdowns, parental meltdowns, and a white-knuckle slither down the Beltway in one of my father-in-law's sketchy vehicles with mismatched second-hand tires once we finally arrived.


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