Posted in Uncle Nutsy! on October 25, 2010 by butthorn

I fell asleep for a distressingly long stretch of time while driving to work today.  Like I opened my eyes and suddenly I was in a different town.  These are not exclusively straight roads I drive on.  Why am I not dead?  Why haven’t other motorists been harmed?  Why hasn’t somebody offered to pay me to stay home and make uproarious blogs, so I don’t have to risk countless lives each morning on my way to work?  Questions aplenty!

So if you see the above scene while on your way to work tomorrow, stop by and say hello!  We could have been carpooling this whole time and didn’t even know it!  Could have saved some money.  In this economy, every penny counts.

Seriously, though, this isn’t a good habit.  My body and brain could not be picking a worse time in my day to shut down.  That’s the one part of my day where falling asleep could result in some sort of death.  Very little of my day – depressingly little, really – requires even a modicum of concentration.  There are many points during my day at which sleep would be fine – nay, welcome!  But not while operating a 3500-lb rusted-out monstrosity down a winding, mildly trafficky, none-too-well-maintained road dotted with domiciles and the odd hopeless hitchhiker.

Being in a car is relaxing!  I fall asleep in them all the time.  Why, just look how cozy Remington Steele and Stephanie Zimbalist are in their automotive slumber.

If Stephanie Zimbalist can’t remain awake within the confines of an automobile, I ask you, what chance have I got?  WHAT CHANCE?!?!?!

Sometimes loudly interviewing myself helps, because I love talking about myself so it’s compelling enough that I don’t nod off, which is more than I can say for local radio, where eight out of ten songs are by the Steve Miller Band and the other two are Bob Seger.  I actually enjoy both of those artists, but I’ve heard so much of them that they’re impossible not to disregard at this point.  They cannot hope to keep me awake.  No, not even “Kathmandu”.

It just occurred to me that I don’t know what Steve Miller looks like so I Googled him.  He is every bit as hip and happenin’-lookin’ as I imagined.

That is the uncoolest man I have ever seen in my life.  He looks like he is singing the most boring song ever recorded by man, perhaps entitled “I’m On the Market for a Used Ford Taurus”, or “The Finest Bean Supper I Have Ever Attended”, or “Baby, Let’s Go to the Dump”.  He doesn’t even look comfortable; did he know he was playing at a rock and roll concert that day?  Long sleeved black dress shirt and heavy, groin-enhancing dungarees – possibly Rustlers – that’s more of a Wednesday night prayer meeting kind of outfit, where you can dress down a little since it’s not Sunday, but you still want to wear a half decent shirt.  Good thing there was a Rite-Aid on the way to the show; ya can’t rock their socks off without a slammin’ pair of shades!  I think I’ll get that photo tattooed on my chest to show people how much I love rock and roll.

Is it any wonder I fall asleep in the car all the time when that’s the guy in charge of keeping me awake?  I’m doomed!  I need to go buy a Scorpions CD or something.  Or hire them to live in my car.

What a silly blog!  I just need to go to bed and get some sleep, that’s my prob!  Maligning The Steve Miller Band won’t rejuvenate my immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems!  Good night!


Posted in Bad Craziness on October 24, 2010 by butthorn

There are things in my brain that make themselves known to me on a daily basis, and in some cases have been doing so for as long as I can remember. They are dumb things. Dumb, dumb things. They are not humorous in any traditional sense, and can be downright repellent, often basely sexual in nature. They may have initially amused me, however feebly, when they were first presented to me by my brain, but whatever faint charm these abstract concepts may have once possessed has long, long since been sapped bone dry by brutal, groundless, unrelenting repetition. They are something like brief, recurring, completely uninspirational waking dreams, and they strike when I least suspect or want them. More still are based on extremely unmonumentous real-life occurrences that inanely refuse to vacate my malfunctioning memory. I think about a lot of these things every day, and it’s high time I got a few of them out of my system.


When I was about five or six, I was riding my bike down the hill that led to our family home, an activity I engaged in quite often at the time, and I happened to look up at the phone wires that slopingly connected the poles, and for no reason I will ever be able to point to, I imagined myself seated, pantsless, atop the phone wires in a cheerleader split position, being slickly propelled by some unseen force across the wires. My facial expression belies unashamed pleasure and profound inner peace. I also, again for not any good reasons that I can provide, imagined that my aunt and mother were driving down the hill alongside me, monitoring my “progress” with pride and waving at me with supportive excitement. This all struck me as only slightly weird then; having only been alive for five years at the time, I had no reason to believe that such things were either impossible or disturbing. Now whenever I take any notice of telephone wires, which is pretty easy to do given the fact that they’re everywhere, I have to imagine my five-year-old self scooting nudely and serenely across them, all thank to my gross, weird brain.


I was sitting around the living room one lazy afternoon (again I believe I was about five years old at the time), and out of nowhere the thought of a forlorn, hairy creature of indeterminate species going trick-or-treating and receiving nothing for his troubles but a single candy corn occurred to me, and it made me so sad that I cried. The sorry scene even had a suitably despondent song playing in the background that hollowly intoned “No-thing Hall-o-wee-een but a can-dee coo-ooorn.”, sung in a plaintive alto that brought to mind the kind of intense, hopeless, grainy grief that normally only PG-rated animated dramas of the late seventies and early eighties can conjure. Something about the fact that no article connected “nothing” to “Halloween” made the soundtrack all the more crushing. I can hear that song clear as a bell, every day. I don’t even really think it was Halloween when I thought of this. That guy was so excited to go trick or treating, running out into the neighborhood with a big ol’ sack and an eager, carefree grin, but no one would give him any candy, even though he wanted it so badly, and asked politely at every door for just a little something, a Dum-Dum maybe, or a tiny individually wrapped Tootsie Roll. But when the night was over, all he got was a tiny, hard, stick-in-your-teeth candy corn, which probably fell on the floor and rolled under the stove. God, it STILL gets to me.

I remember the day after I first thought of it, it was still bothering me, and I tried to force my brain to envision a sequel wherein the poor mistreated creature had a really great birthday that more than made up for the soul-destroying All Hallows Eve that preceded it, but I knew deep down that I was only fooling myself.

I really feel like I could take my own life right now. It really feels that that would be a seamless and beneficial process.


In an earlier blog entry, I told you about a tape my uncle rented once called “Dirty Dirty Jokes” that he wouldn’t let me watch due to excessive dirtiness, and how my own imagination strove mightily to fill in the blanks via a sadly uninformed frame of reference. Well, back in 1982 or so the whole CB lingo craze was still enjoying the indian summer of its popularity, and a slightly older neighborhood friend bragged to me that he had recently been allowed to see the movie “Convoy”, loosely based on the hit novelty tune by the underrated C.W. McCall. According to my friend, the movie had a lot of swears and fighting in it, so he was (correctly) quite certain that my parents would not let me watch it. He even confided that they changed some of the words to the “Convoy” song to make them dirtier. Being that I owned a walkie-talkie and held swears and fighting in as much regard as the next kid, it followed that my desire to see “Convoy” – a movie I’d previously never even heard of and knew virtually nothing about – became an unquenchable fire, an unruly specter I had no means of satisfying. So I was once again forced to rely on my imagination, particularly in regards to the newly salty title track lyrics. Hence, 7-12 times a day even still, apropos of nothing, my brain will see fit to blast a spirited chorus of “We got a great big convoy!/Poop shit fuck fart piss!”. Truly, what better rally cry for the protest-minded transportation technician?

I really do think C.W. McCall is underrated. I get the song in this video stuck in my head at least half as often as “poop shit fuck fart piss”.


Like most in my age bracket, Jim Henson’s Muppets had an impact on my upbringing that is impossible to overstate. They explained everything. They made sure everything made sense to me. They told me this was okay and that was not, but only when they weren’t making me laugh or singing me a song. The Muppets, moreso than anything I was being told in Kindergarten or on network sitcoms, were my key to the world, and I honestly think I would be a much stupider and angrier person without their having intervened on my, and countless others, behalf. Henson’s legacy does not want for praise, but I will happily heap more onto the pile any chance I get. So it’s all the more disappointing, then, that I have to think about Kermit the Frog being gang raped every few days.

Over the past decade, it’s become fashionable to convert the most tragic circumstances possible into callous, throwaway jokes, with the expectation that your lucky audience will break into hysterics over the fact that you had the audacity to “go there”, and the act of rape, be it of the anal prison variety or regular old Lifetime movie rape, has seen its fair share of funsters mining it for yuks. Had an 80’s-era comic tried to fashion even a mildly suggestive bit involving rape in even a roundabout way, the majority of audiences probably would have gasped them off the stage, but now people trade rape japes at the drop of a hat. Hell, some time ago I heard a rape joke on “My Name is Earl”, for Pete’s sake.

I would submit that simply mentioning rape is not funny, no more than would be discussing the act of murder. It’s a miserable, life-ruining crime, and if it happened to you or someone you cared about, I daresay you’d be none too eager to make or hear a joke about it. But nor can I state that rape cannot be rendered amusing with a little wit and effort. Humor is at least 75% context. If I went outside for a walk and got raped, that wouldn’t be funny, except perhaps to a few close friends. But if I went outside in a French maid costume for Halloween because I lost some kind of silly bet, and then got raped, I would be forced to admit, even while lying in the dirt being penetrated by a filthy stranger, that the whole thing was at least passingly funny. Bottom line: rape jokes are more offensive for their cavalier ubiquitousness than for their subject matter. If you’re gonna co-opt a horrific, dehumanizing atrocity to entertain your little pals, at the very least be original about it.

I don’t really think it’s that funny to rape Kermit the Frog. I love Kermit the Frog. But one day while watching “Sesame Street” in college, I started envisioning a musical sequence in which thieves began breaking into Kermit’s home and making off with his various belongings, and in response Kermit would furiously sing, for example, “Ba ba ba ba ba ba, BEE BEE BEEE! Give my toaster back to ME-ME-MEEEEE!” and as they stole more things, he would sing the same line over and over but would insert “TV” or “slippers” depending on what he observed the thieves absconding with. Finally, as if looting his home wasn’t enough, the dastardly villains pile onto poor Kermie and defile him en masse, leading their victim to sing, in a choked tenor, “Ba ba ba ba ba ba, BEE BEE BEEEEE! Give my virginity back to ME-ME-MEEEEE!” followed by several long seconds of muffled cries of pain and humiliation, grunts of pleasure, and needlessly exaggerated sounds of wet entering.

The first time that little “sketch” came to mind, it predated the funny rape boom of the aughts, and it bothered me, made me doubt my own self-worth (though, curiously, my diet at the time, which consisted of nothing but soft tacos with sour cream, Doritos, Jolt cola, and Hostess fruit pies, did not. Mmm, that just made me hungry!). By the 37th time my brain replayed the stupid thing for me, I felt nothing but irritation, and maybe some confusion, in that if I did not enjoy this thought one way or the other, why did I think about it all the time. It is a gross hangnail of a thought, and an endless cycle. It’s the thing I think about when I don’t want to think about something that I don’t want to think about. Like when you’re sitting around minding your own business and trying to read a nice book, and all of a sudden your brain shows you footage of what it thinks your grandparents having sex looks like.

Sorry, Kermit old buddy. Ba ba ba ba ba ba BEE BEE BEEEEE, I hope you accept my a-pol-o-GEEEEEE.


I haven’t the foggiest where this comes from, but at least once a day I hear the voice of an overjoyed, childlike redneck man declare, in between guffaws and victorious hooting, “Maynard in your will!”. I have been hearing this in my head since middle school, thousands upon thousands of times for sure. I don’t know if it’s from a show or an overheard real life conversation or what. If anyone recognizes this phrase from anything, please please please please please please please please please please please please please PLEASE let me know what it’s from. PLEASE. When I Google it, I only get pictures of the guy from Tool and this drawing of two canoeing young men.

This doesn’t help me.


This is one of my least favorites. Shortly after I graduated from college, I got a none-too-lucrative but fairly enjoyable job at Borders, which mostly consisted of wandering around the store making a mental list of things I wanted to buy with my employee discount. One day I thought about how awful it would be if I went to the middle of the store, started clapping my hands to a beat heard only by me, and began rapping “Here’s a number that’s really fine!/We call this special number ‘dine’!” Not nine, but “dine”. In my head everyone thought the rap was awesome except for this one fellow employee with dreadlocks named Corey, who, keenly observing the Emperor’s nudity, muttered “That’s not even a number”. Now loudly rapping about the number nine in a crowded bookstore is fairly embarrassing in and of itself, but dine? The worst part about the whole sad affair is that whenever I think of this nonsense, which is often, I feel a shame that I don’t think would differ markedly from what I would feel if I actually HAD rapped about the fucking number “dine” at Border’s. So I didn’t even do it, but for no reason I’ve spent a considerable amount of time over the years making myself feel like I did. Feeling shame about rapping about a nonexistent number in a meaningless daydream is really not a very good use of my time.  Dine!

Ugh, that’s all I can handle for one session. We’ll pick this up later, unless it just makes things worse, which remains to be seen. Good night!


Posted in Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 by butthorn

Even just logging onto this thing is hard sometimes.  Because I don’t know why I do it.  I don’t know why I do most things (or at least if I do know, I’m not very good at expressing it), but this blog does need to exist for me and I for the life of me couldn’t tell you why.  It’s important to me to write some stuff on a thing that anyone in the world could look at if they wanted to.  Blogs are nothing but a drop in the ocean, yet there’s always that feeling, that juvenile hope that, hey, maybe Quentin Tarantino will happen upon my blog and be like, “Hey, this guy sure has some insightful and amusing things to say about pooping!  I better call him on my cellphone!’  Beep boop beep, beep beep boop, boop beep boop beep.  Errrrrrrrrrnt.  Errrrrrrrrrrrrrnt.  “Oh man, I hope I don’t get his voicemail.  That’d be lame.  Oh heeeeey, is this…uh…Butthorn?  Ha ha ha!  That’s not your real name!  What’s your real name?  I wanna know whose name to write on all these fat checks I gotta sign over to you pretty soon when you help me make the greatest film known to mankind!”  And then he drives to your house and picks you up in his Lamborghini, and you stop at a McDonald’s (McDonald’s!  With Quentin Tarantino, can you even IMAGINE it?!) and he starts asking you things like “So where do you get all your ideas?” and “Who are some of your influences?” and “How many hot girls do you want when we get to my mansion?  I own hundreds.”

Then you look around the McDonald’s and notice that all of your old high school teachers, a motorcycle gang, a table full of tough but cool-looking black dudes, and a cheerleading squad are all watching you eat a McDonald’s lunch with Quentin Tarantino.  The cheerleaders giggle self-consciously.  One of the black dudes says “Right on” and gives you a meaningful nod you can take to your grave.  Quentin Tarantino stands up and says “What the fuck are you all staring at?  Don’t look at me.  Look at this guy right here.  I’m gonna be nothin’ in five years, but this guy’s gonna be wiping his ass with a diamond necklace the next time you seen him!” except he says something much cooler than that, and also something that makes sense, because what about hard-won wealth would make one want to injure oneself in such a horrific fashion, and to what end?  Who, rich or poor, would be impressed by it?  Who would wish they could be that guy?  Who would bemoan the quality of their own existence in comparison to that of the man raking a sharp and notoriously hard, if undeniably extravagant and appealing to behold, object over the hypersensitive exterior wall of his rectum?  Certainly not Quentin Tarantino.  He’d take one look at such a thing and declare “Hey, man, why you wipin’ your ass with that necklace?”  He would never say “Wow, you must be successful!” or “My life is horrible!” after witnessing such an act, of that you can be assured.  Point being, in the above scenario at McDonald’s Quentin Tarantino would say something complimentary about you in public, and he would do so in a cockily clever fashion that people would quote later in bars.  It would make you feel really special and you would believe that you can now tell people that you’re friends with him and it won’t just be showing off.  You’d just be saying something that was true, and no one thinks you’re showing off if you tell them the sky’s blue, right?

You leave McDonald’s without taking your trays and burger wrappers to the trash can and jump back into QT’s Lamborghini, which can go up to 700 mph and says a variety of different, brashly vulgar phrases, such as “English, motherfucker, do you speak it?!” and “I bet you’re a big Lee Marvin fan, aren’t ya?”  You clap your hands and laugh whenever the car says one of these things, and QT looks over at you and smiles with pride and excitement.  The wind whips through your hair, and you realize that it was all just leading up to this.  All the boring nonsense you just sleptwalked through and all the self-fulfilling disappointments you let slide off your back because you weren’t really trying anyway are culminating in this one car ride, and you’ve finally found the point at which it’s all worth it.  That point is real.  You just found it.  Or it just found you, and it is driving you to Hollywood, where you are going to be a star.

You get to QT’s mansion and a robot butler takes your duffel bag.  QT jumps on the robot butler piggyback style and rides it into the kitchen.  The robot butler struggles but bears QTs weight, wobbly but working, and you laugh at the antics.  The kitchen is full of candy, and the living room is full of video games, and the basement is full of comics, and the bathroom is full of cocaine, and the bedroom is full of ladies.  You roll in a big pile of all these things.  You hear someone laughing and it sounds like you.  You and Quentin Tarantino listen to a lot of the same music, and he excitedly voices thoughts about Pearl Jam that you’ve once had yourself, to the letter almost.  The ladies get bored because you guys are talking about shows that were cancelled before they were born.  You catch a fleeting glimpse of your reflection in the hot tub water and it is hideous but blurry and easy to put out of your mind.

Being outside in a hot tub is amazing.

The guest house is a scale model of the Millennium Falcon, but with a strip club in it, and your bed is composed of a gelatinous but not adherent substance that conforms to the contours of your prone body with otherworldly precision and comfort.  You lie down and feel it cling to you.  It dawns on you that, before now, home had been a foreign concept.  You thought you knew what it was before, but you didn’t.  Now you do, and you don’t wonder that people seem to love it so much.  You close your eyes and see nothing but breasts and fluttering green bills.

The next day Quentin Tarantino’s robot butler wakes you by gliding into your room, emitting a muted beep, and intoning MR. TARANTINO HAS PREPARED BREAKFAST FOR YOU IN THE KITCHEN AND REQUESTS THAT YOU JOIN HIM.  THERE ARE SLIPPERS IN THE CLOSET.  You thank the robot butler and try to shake some life into your head.  Something clatters to the floor as you fling the gelatin blankets aside.  You scan the floor.  Colorful dots…Skittles!

You follow the scent of bacon and eggs and find QT in an apron emblazoned with a photorealistic nude female body, replete with pubic hair, and an oversized chef’s hat, which flops about amusingly as he places what look to be well-prepared breakfasts – pancakes, too, it turns out – around the table.  Three plates of breakfast.  One of the ladies must be joining you.

But no – it’s a breakfast for Brad Pitt!

“So this is the famous Butthorn,” drawls Brad, sliding into his seat and wryly tearing the fatty end from a dripping slice of fine-quality bacon.  “Nice to meet ya, I’m Brad.”

You wonder if you should try to be funny or interesting, or perhaps even polite and “just folks”.  Nothing seems right, including remaining silent.  Too much time elapses, and you laugh and apologize.

“That’s all right, Butthorn,” says Brad, looking around the table for something.  “You puttin’ out some OJ or are we drinking Mrs. Butterworth’s today?”

“Keep your fuckin’ dick on, I got toast burnin’ over here!” snaps QT from the kitchen.

“He can singlehandedly rejuvenate modern day cinema, but put him in front of a toaster, and suddenly the walls are closing in,” says Brad.  “Good bacon, though.  Pull up a chair, eat some of this.”

You obey, eager to eat but wary of looking slovenly or sounding foolish.  You want ketchup on your eggs but wonder how this will be interpreted by Brad Pitt.  You decide to start with bacon.  It’s very good.

“People talk a lot about bacon these days,” says Brad.  “Why do you think that is, Butthorn?”

You look at the bacon in your hand and it suddenly looks like a horror prop.  You say that you don’t know.

“Oh come on, Butthorn,” says Brad.  “You’re the Internet guy, right?  Isn’t bacon a big Internet thing, or was that awhile ago?  I’m a little behind on these sorts of things.”

“I’m not really the Internet guy,” you say.  “I like to use it, but…”

“Hey Quentin, I thought you said this guy was all about the Internet!”

“That’s…where my blog is, but…”

“Oh, that’s what it is!” says Brad, nodding steadily with an implacable squint while fashioning a tiny gordita of sort from a pancake fragment, bacon, hash brown, and syrup.  “I’ve been thinking of making me one of those.  Get on there, talk about my feelings.  Opinions on various topics.  That what you do?”

“A little,” you say.

“You should come over and help me do mine,” says Brad, trying to balance his creation on his fork.  “You can meet Angelina and the kids.  Angelina loves the Internet.  You guys could probably talk all day about it.”

You drop your knife and make it so much worse by trying to stop it from happening.  Your hand, no control a thing you can control, bats it into the living room, where it lands on the rug, sticky with syrup.

“HEY, ROBOT!” calls Brad, and you jump.  “Don’t worry, that robot’ll take care of it.  His left arm is a Shop-Vac.”

“Oh wow,” you say, mentally slitting your own throat.

“Angelina’s been wanting to make a movie about the Internet,” says Brad, chewing with his mouth open.  “It’s about she’s get shrunk down real small and gets sucked into a laptop, and then as a result she’s running around all these websites, so when people are trying to use the Internet, they see my wife jumping around on all the words and interacting with all the pictures, and getting caught in YouTube movies and all that stuff.”

“Oh wow,” you say again, imprisoned in a foul and stupid carcass.

“It’s just in the idea stage right now, though,” says Brad, mopping up the remaining syrup in his plate with his last pancake and folding the entire affair into his mouth.  “Maybe when you’re done making your little movie with Ugly over there, you can sit down with Angelina and help her come up with stuff for it.  You know all the websites and e-mail jokes and everything, and she could take care of all the technical stuff.”

“Oh my God, that would be…I’d be…”

You wait because you don’t want to say honored but you end up saying it anyway and it both feels and sounds even worse than you’d imagined, but Brad is choking on something anyway so the inexplicable shame is yours to keep.  QT finally shows up with some burnt toast and joins you both at the table.

“Where’s the OJ?” asks Brad between sputters.

“Can I fucking eat this shit I busted my fucking hump to fucking cook for you assholes, please, before waiting on your prima donna ass fucking hand and fucking foot?”

“I’m choking!” Brad says, now also laughing and inventing an entirely new type of audible spasm for a human throat to make.  “I gotta wash this down!”

“Really?  You’re choking?  Awww, well that is a shame,” says QT, pouting with mock sympathy and concern.  He then turns to you and says, “See, now this is exciting.  Not only are you gonna be a world-renowned multimillionaire when this is all said and done, but you can tell people that you were there when Brad Pitt choked to death on a pancake.”

Brad laughs harder and tries to hit himself in the back, which looks insane.

“It’ll be bigger than JFK, the Space Shuttle, and 9/11 combined in terms of ‘where were you when’ moments, and when people ask you where you were when Brad Pitt choked on that pancake, you can say you were passing him the fucking butter.”

Brad walks into the living room, sticks his finger down his throat, and pukes breakfast all over the carpet.

“OH, YOU FUCKING COCKSUCKING PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT!” QT barks, watching with incredulous rage as Brad Pitt crumples to the floor in a laughing, bile-flecked heap.  “MUFFIT THREE!  MUFFITT THREE, CAN YOU COME CLEAN UP THE RUG, PLEASE?”

You hear the robot butler gliding its way in from the next room.

“His left arm’s a Shop-Vac,” explains QT.  “But still, that’s just fucking ridiculous.  Are the eggs okay?  You haven’t touched them.  Do you need ketchup?”

You nod and restrain yourself from kissing him on the mouth.  Muffit III sucks regurgitated carbs up into a compartment in its chest while Brad stomps towards the nearest bathroom and QT rummages through the fridge for some ketchup for your eggs.

Jeez, I didn’t come here to write this!  To be continued, maybe???  It’s out of my hands at this point.


Posted in Marvy Movies, Mundane Events on October 5, 2010 by butthorn

I am doing some laundry, making a very small dent in a self-replicating pile of regurgitated-formula-encrusted tee-shirts, pungent undies (“Ladies and Gentlemen, The Pungent Undies!”), socks that have given up all hope, jeans that no longer conform to the lower halves of anyone currently residing here, and a shirt advertising some type of annual event that takes place in Millinocket and involves softball and Jagermeister.  I don’t mind doing the laundry too much once I get going, nor washing the dishes, nor removing objects from surfaces where they look bad and relocating them to surfaces where they look bad out of eyeshot.  Cleaning doesn’t use up a lot of brain space, leaving one free to go to ones happy place, and no matter how half-assed a job you do, there is always a result.  It’s a little better when things are clean.

We have never been clean people.  Over to the right there if you click on “Thursday Night Squalor” under Categories, you’ll see that I once devoted each Thursday night to taking photographs of designated areas of the house, for the purposes of monitoring how the detritus changed from week to week, and for making funnies about how we’re pigs.  I had to stop after awhile because it was getting depressing, and rather than impelling me to maybe pick up once in awhile given that I was essentially showing everyone in the world I was gross on a weekly basis, it just made me sad, which made me tired, and thus more messy.  It really worked out excellently.

I guarantee you that crock pot to the left was positively caked with moldy corn chowder, and likely remained in that condition for upwards of a fortnight, if not considerably longer.  I remember one time taking the crock pot out of the fridge after it had been in there for at least a month and a half, then smelled the contents, I guess to be “funny”, then began involuntarily shouting “WAH!  OH NO!  OH WAAAAAAH!  WAAAAAAAAAAH!”.  I then put it back in the fridge.  It has since been cleansed, and is used sparingly.

Adding a child to an environment of pre-established disarray and filth is a terribly counterproductive plan.  It’s like wiping your butt with a poop.  As much garbage and clutter and smelliness that my wife and I are capable of creating simply by going through the motions of an average day, Freddy can triple our combined output without even possessing the capability to walk, or to prepare food, or to purchase six books at Border’s because they were on sale and then leave them on the kitchen table in an unruly pile atop a coffee-stained cardigan, four pay stubs, a Devil Dog wrapper, and a mysterious remote that doesn’t seem to control anything we own.  So when we’re not funneling pablum or decimated legumes down his little throat, pulling down his pants to verify the presence of urine and/or feces, or pleading with him to stop squalling like a banshee with a bladder infection for no discernible reason, we’re frantically tidying up, racing to combat the encroaching landmass of sticky bottles, foul bibs, piss-plumped Pampers, socks so tiny they look like sight gags, clunky and barely acknowledged playthings, cloudy “suck-sucks”, cloth “wipeys” in varying stages of damp stinkiness…all manner of once-foreign-now-commonplace paraphernalia.  And this on top of our own mainstay contributions of unwatched bargain bin $5 Walmart DVDs, well-worn PJ pants, thrift store paperback adaptations of dumb 80’s movies, self-burned but unlabeled CDs, grocery store receipts, controllers to outmoded video game systems, bills both paid and less so, sticky bottles of our own, take-out menus, etc.  Where we once lied around and let crap accumulate, we now clean constantly to maintain roughly the same level of perceived accumulated crap.  It’s a constant process and the place never looks anywhere near as good as I want it to or envision it will.

My dream is to take a weekend during which I will evaluate every single object in our home, giving everything fair and equal consideration, from the tiniest screw to the most dependable appliance, and make a decision as to whether or not to keep or discard it.  It’s something I’ve only done while in the act of moving to another location (something we unfortunately do fairly often and will need to do yet again in about another year, unless David Blaine stops by and magically pulls a house out of my ass before then), but it would certainly help us to better appreciate and utilize our limited space.  Why, just think of how many useful objects I could cram in the space once reserved for a VHS copy of “Freebie and the Bean”!

What the fuck am I thinking?  I can’t get rid of “Freebie and the Bean”!  That’s top shelf buddy cop!  Did you watch the whole thing?  You didn’t, obviously, it’s over six minutes long.  Go back and finish it!  They run over a marching band at one point!  Such gleeful racism (in the title of the film, no less)!  Such unforced banter!  Stuntmen and extras all in clear peril!  James Caan back when he had that funny high-pitched voice (“Dirty bastard!  Dirty bastard!”)!  Alan Arkin doing anything at all!  I love “Freebie and the Bean”.  You can get it on a weird bootleggish DVD from the Warner Archive (along with tons of other old hard-to-find stuff, including a lot of great grimy 70’s TV movies like “Bad Ronald” and “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” , both of which I want you to buy me for Christmas, please), but in the end I much prefer to have the hefty old videocassette in the shiny, smooth, outsized Warner Brothers snapcase.  Because the poorer the quality, the cozier I feel.

Speaking of “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”, it stars Kim Darby, whom you very well may not recognize by name.  I knew her as the spunky little girl in “True Grit”…

…but I was unaccountably thrilled to discover that she also, much later, played the delightful weirdo mom in “Better Off Dead”!

File that under Exciting Exclusively to Me, if you like, but I thought I’d share my newfound wealth of Kim Darby knowledge.

So to sum up, cleaning is hard, “Freebie and the Bean” is good, and Kim Darby plays the mother in “Better Off Dead”.  I think I touched on everything here, and the clothes have just finished drying besides!  Another successful evening for winner me!  Mail me a fiver!


Posted in The Ostensible Importance of Health on September 14, 2010 by butthorn

I took too long to provide the conclusion to the weekend trip we made to Joel and Kate’s rented camp, and as a result I have since forgotten everything that happened.  The end!

On to other matters: health!  Annie and I are trying to make better mealtime choices, because we are fatasses who eat shit.  I myself have gained over twenty pounds in the past four months.  This is impressive from a “boy, that’s gross” standpoint, but not from many others.  I could pin my chunkiness on my infant son, given that he is four months old, and caring for him requires a great deal of remaining indoors and eating whatever happens to be at hand, but that isn’t terribly fair.  He has nothing to gain from a fat dad.  In the end, the finger of blame must be directed at Mr. Ronald McDonald, for offering such delicious foods at such affordable prices.

Jesus, just look at him.  Jumping around like a cockamamie jackanapes.  Peddling circular, ineptly prepared cross-sections of mistreated bovine carcass, limp salads laden with greying bird dermis, fried beaks dipped in dank jam, tubs of sugar water at 2000% markup, Filet O’ Fish…he truly is a terrible man, and a clown besides.  We forget that he’s a clown, I think.

I like McDonald’s food.  I like that I can get in my car, drive to McDonald’s, hand a couple of bucks to a loser, and get a cheeseburger out of the deal.  I didn’t have to make it, expenditure as regards both money and effort were minimal, and the entire affair can be wadded up into a giant, fleshwater-sopped garbage ball and wedged into the trashcan when all is said and done.  Everything about it is easy and even somewhat enjoyable.  The trip there is exciting because you’re thinking about food that you will get to eat soon.  The selection process is suspenseful because what if your brain suddenly tells your mouth to order a snack wrap when you thought you were about to order chicken nuggets?  Receiving the food is very gratifying and fulfilling; the hot, overstuffed bag sending warm steam to your hand and nice smells to your nose.  You receive a nice ego boost in the act of demanding that the geek at the window go get you another sweet and sour sauce, because you’re gonna need one for your fries.  You can start drinking your Powerade on the way back home, and the two or three fries you sneak out of the bag are for some reason as good as food can possibly taste, especially if they’re hot, which they usually seem to be.  Maybe the traffic is bad, but you barely notice because you have a hot bag of McDonald’s in your car, desperate to be torn open and plundered.

You get home, make yourself comfortable on the couch, find a good background show on TV that provides pleasing images, and carefully unload each component of the meal.  Cartons, wrappers, little pouches and sleeves, all of it smelling exactly like McDonald’s, which is encouraging because it tastes exactly like it smells.  You have a bite of cheeseburger, a couple fries, a nugget, more burger, drink, fries, nugget, burger, fries, drink, nugget, another nugget, fries, drink, rest of burger, drink, fries, nugget, nugget, fries, drink, nugget, fries.  You slow down, sit back with your drink.  You watch some of the show.  Cool down with the nice drink.  Feeling full.  Nugget.  You consider more fries, but it doesn’t sound good enough to bother.  You dump the remaining fries back into the McDonald’s bag.  Can’t throw out nuggets, though.  Drink.  Try to focus on show to take mind off rock in guts.  Experience gas expulsion anomaly wherein no relief is attained.  Nugget nugget in rapid succession.  Close eyes and chew, seeing stars and feeling dizzy.  Collapse on couch.  Finish drink.

A not altogether unpleasant lazy stupor informs the rest of your evening.  Your basic needs have been met in a matter of minutes, and while there may come a point during your next bowel movement when you seriously begin to regret never having made out a will, at least you didn’t have to cook.  That’s the important thing.

It all has to stop, whether we want it to or not.  We feel and look like crap, and won’t be any good to anyone if we don’t step our game up a little.  McDonald’s can go take a hike!  In fact, that is good advice for McDonald’s.  Hiking is healthy.

There you go, friends!  You can print out that picture of a hiking man and color it whatever color you want!  Credit my newfound health for this spontaneous display of generosity!  I’m going to go make a millet sandwich now and eat it while thinking about death.  Further health-attempt bulletins will follow!


Posted in Mundane Events on August 22, 2010 by butthorn

Okay, so we stick him in the car seat cause it’s time to go.  The night before he puked on one of the seat straps but I’ve wiped it with one of his wipes and examined and smelled it and it seems fine.  Fred does well in his car seat and he sleeps much better in it than he does in either his bassinet or crib.  At home if he’s not on one of us, he’s probably in his car seat sleeping.  I’m always scared I’m somehow going to click his penis off when buckling him into the seat.  Most likely impossible but bad odds never calm me down as much as they should.

This is his car seat:

Lugging him out to the car is a viable bicep workout.  He is getting heavy.  I open the door to our new Hyundai, a car we like very much due to the fact that the engine starts when you stick a key in the ignition and turn it.   I lower his seat into the base until I hear and feel it lock into place, then take a seat beside him.  I’ve become accustomed to sitting in the back seat with him.  It’s both comfortable and comforting.  I was never in any hurry to call “shotgun” in high school and college because the backseat is roomier and you can relax with your thoughts.  I like being crammed back there with him.  Realistically he probably doesn’t require a great deal of supervision in the car at this point.  He’s either going to fall asleep or look out the back window with an expression of intense concentration on his face.  Or he might look at a crinkly frog toy attached to the handle of his car seat that he seems to have mixed feelings about.  I don’t need to be back there but it’s become part of the routine.  I fear many things, but tight, enclosed spaces are not among them.

The drive to Lincolnville is a pleasant one, through towns like Searsport and Belfast that have a lot of colorful buildings full of overpriced non-essentials.

A lot of antique places and flea markets, establishments I have a weakness for, but with a baby the phenomenon known as the side trip becomes a thing of the past, or at any rate gets put on hold indefinitely.  This does cut down on my shopping/browsing satisfaction but it also aids immeasurably in preserving our household budget, so in my case having a baby is probably saving us money, preventing me from purchasing more things like this:

That was five measly dollars at Target.  I’m not made of stone.  I haven’t watched any of them yet, though I did see “Black Belt Jones” in high school at some point but I don’t remember a frame of it.  “Black Samson” looks to be about a cool black man who owns a lion, “Three the Hard Way” is Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, and Jim Kelly kicking and shooting anyone unwise enough to approach them, and as for “Hot Potato”, well, God only knows, but the mind positively reels with wonder and excitement.  The following short collection of clips of Jim Kelly rapidly pretending to harm people is culled from “Hot Potato”.

So Joel and Kate and their family rent a camp in Lincolnville every year, and we go hang out with them at it every summer, a fledgling annual tradition that we look forward to and one that previously did not include offspring of ours.  This being a Maine camp, to reach it you have to drive directly into the woods on a narrow, single-lane dirt road on which head-on collisions seems all but unavoidable, yet somehow never occur.  The camp is nice without being too nice.  It still feels like a camp.  There’s a very agreeable beach and the lake is somehow always the perfect temperature to swim or wade around in.  I can’t really swim at all, but I love wading.  Walking around in shallow water picking up weird rocks and sticks and trying to find gross plants to threaten to touch people with is a favored and all-too-rare summertime activity of mine.

Dammit, I did it again!  And I wasn’t even talking about Erin Gray!  I’m still not done and nowhere near the  heart-pounding, edge-of-your seat conclusion!  I need to attend a blogging seminar.  Well, more to come!


Posted in It's Alive!, Mundane Events on August 22, 2010 by butthorn

Man, that feels great!  My very own piece of the Internet!  No blogging site name tagged onto the end of the address making me look all bush league!  No third-rate imposters or spam sites co-opting my blog name!  I still can’t think of a fucking thing to write about!  YEAH!

Boy, this is horrible!  I feel like I really have to come through now that typing “vaguelyunpleasant” with a .com after it brings up something I type into for everybody to potentially see and evaluate.  Brad Pitt could be looking at this right now.  How embarrassing is that?!  He’d be like, “What’s this garbage?” and then go back to monitoring his stocks or maybe working on his Farmville.  God, that would kill me!  My big chance to get in good with Brad Pitt, and I blow it by forgetting how to be interesting thanks to one little spontaneous late-night domain registration.

All right, well, let me tell you about my day.  Our friends Joel and Kate have four children, and all six of these people had yet to meet our child, so we all figured that was something that should change.  I got up at 5:15 because Freddy had urinated in his undergarment and was bleating monosyllabically about it.  It usually takes a minute or so upon awakening in this fashion for me to remember that A) I have a child and B) He doesn’t know how to use the toilet or make breakfast.  Given that I’ve only recently “mastered” these procedures myself, it can often prove something of a challenge to perform them in a satisfactory matter for another human being, particularly one as loud and uncooperative as my son.  But I get up and I do the things I gotta do, though not before resting my nose atop his groin (a handy olfactory test that probably won’t fly once he’s in school; I suppose I’ll just have to take him at his word at that point) and inhaling deeply to verify the presence of urine and/or feces.  Cause if it doesn’t smell like anything, it’s snooze button city.  But it always smells like something.  My child has a smelly groin, Mr. Pitt; what can I tell you?

I hoist Freddy out of bed, and he responds per usual by throwing his head back and jutting his bottom out in a small and weird but mighty and effective-seeming stretch.  He usually stops crying when you pick him up, which is nice because his crying is ear-splitting and mood-dampening, complexly so.  It surprises you (well, I guess “startles” would really be a more accurate term…), then angers you, then makes you feel bad for getting angry, then makes you sad because you remember he can’t do anything and really needs your help, and you’re a dick, what the hell is the matter with you anyway, he’s just a baby, though I suppose in a way you’re not much more than a baby yourself, other than being able to take care of basic needs you’re every bit as helpless as he is, and why are you still sitting here giving yourself a complete psychiatric evaluation when your child needs food, what kind of selfish asshole puts their own mental wellness ahead of their baby’s hunger, you must really have a problem, maybe you should actually go to a doctor, oh yay my wife is taking care of the baby, back to Xbox!  So in summation, yes, picking up the baby will stop the crying most of the time.

I take my soiled, ravenous son into “his” room, which is basically the room where we keep his changing table, my collection of RCA Selectavision videodiscs, and the printer/scanner that I don’t remember how to hook back up to the computer.  I plop him down on the changing table, where he begins to make cute, spitty/grunty noises while kicking my arms and the wipes container.  My son has enjoyed kicking me and things for as long as I can remember, which is to say last Thursday.  He does not, however, enjoy having his clothing changed, although in the past couple weeks he’s gotten better about it, or maybe I’m just being more conscientious about not wrenching his head and limbs into the surprisingly unforgiving onesie holes.  He doesn’t cry every time we change him now, and that’s good, because lately he’s been throwing up on himself with alarming frequency, so we’re spending more than our fair share of time at the changing table these days.  But we’ve tried to make it comfy for him with blankets and a welcoming array of small stuffed animals, of which a frog is his clear favorite.  Unfortunately said frog also makes a tinny “boy-oy-oy-yoing” noise that is no more pleasing to the ear than crying, but you have to punch it pretty hard in the ass to activate this sound effect, so it’s not really a prob.

The changing of the diaper is not a very difficult affair.  Once the load in question has been sufficiently grimaced at and commented upon, you can typically wipe everything up as slick as you please and then go about your merry, newly shitless way.  Certainly when you’re dealing with a male infant you’re constantly aware of the very real possibility of taking a searing shot of stinging, stinking liquid waste directly in the eye or mouth, but this heightened awareness mainly serves to speed the entire process up, so you’re done before you know it.  Baby is clean and happy, and you look like a good daddy even though you’re an incompetent idiot who shouldn’t be entrusted with the well-being of a hamster.  As it happens, I find that Frederick and myself enjoy each other’s company more during the diaper/clothing changing process than at most any other part of the day.  He’s fresh and frisky, and I have a captive and reasonably receptive audience for my amateur beatboxing side-career.  It’s symbiosis, and it’s all right in my book.

Then I grab a bottle, which my wife has been kind enough to prepare and place on the kitchen table before face-planting back into bed, and manage to make my way to the couch without dropping anything or anyone.  I then negotiate a Boppy around my ever-increasing girth, nestle Freddy into the cushion, and present him with the nipple of his bottle, which he wastes no time in muckling onto.  Suckling ensues.  I try to remain awake during the feeding, but unfortunately a baby sucking a bottle is both uninteresting and lulling, not ideal qualities for events that take place before six AM.  I fall asleep and he finishes his bottle, letting it drop into my lap or onto the floor before falling back asleep himself, where we remain until his mother wakes us up by crossly taking me to task for falling asleep mid-feed, an action I defend valiantly by immediately falling asleep again.

Mama showers.  This would ordinarily be my cue to fire up the Netflix instant viewing on the aforementioned Xbox and queue up an episode of “Buck Rogers”, but due to a problem involving wires and God hating me the modem and the Xbox are not communicating.  Prior to bathing, Mama has saved us by sticking a Futurama DVD into the player at my groggy behest, so we have something colorful and fun to keep us awake while I await my turn to have my morning toilet.  Though like so many things it suffers from a lack of Erin Gray, “Futurama” is an excellent substitute for “Buck Rogers” as it essentially shares the same plot, the difference being that one laughs with “Futurama” and at “Buck Rogers”.  But I don’t come here to malign Buck and his crew.  Theirs is a very comforting hour of entertainment and I will be very sad when I have finished watching the few episodes that exist, even the ones with the retarded bird guy.

All right, here’s another picture of Erin Gray without Mr. Bird.  Let’s cleanse our palettes.

Jeez, that picture is huge.  I am going to have to wrap up this post for tonight, and I never even got past 6 AM in describing our day today!  In the space taken up by that massive picture of Erin Gray, I could have easily fit three detailed paragraphs dedicated to Freddy’s car seat.  Man, I gotta learn how to get to the point.  This is just sad.

I promise to do a better job tomorrow!  To be continued!


Posted in Mr. Bitch Goes to Bitchtown on August 4, 2010 by butthorn

Let’s talk about some things I don’t care about:

FOOTBALL: I don’t understand it and it looks like it hurts.

ANDY SAMBERG: He reminds of the kid on the bus that everyone laughs at but talks about how annoying he is whenever he stays home sick from school.  Except Andy Samberg never stays home sick.  He is infuriatingly healthy.

GPS: Look, I can’t read an atlas either, but come on.  Drive your car.

SUPERHERO MOVIES: They’re all the same.  Guy puts on a fruity suit and flies around enjoying himself, then a bad guy comes and makes things bad, then Fruit Suit beats the bad guy and everything’s okay again, with occasional interludes for chemistry-free scenes with women who wouldn’t give the film’s core audience the time of day.  Boring and depressing, but at least they’re not…

REMAKES OF 80’S MOVIES AND (ESPECIALLY) MOVIES BASED ON OLD 80’S SHOWS: Complaining about these is like complaining about hardship, or illness.  Everyone knows they’re bad.  Sure, people’ll go see “The A-Team” movie.  Theaters are air-conditioned, and their seats are usually fairly comfortable.  The perfect environment for texting, or for loudly expressing your negative opinion of the film currently playing for the benefit of all in attendance.  Just because ticket sales are healthy doesn’t mean anybody’s actually enjoying the film.  They just don’t like being outside.  But I guess if all we’re doing is using movie theaters as roomy areas in which to fondly examine our neat little phoney-woneys, we deserve such films as “The Karate Kid Again Except Sucky This Time” and “Clash of the Things People Made on Computers” and “Transformers 3: Farty Fart Poop Crap Piss”.  I know that, historically, pop culture is largely based upon whatever decade the people currently in their thirties grew up in, but for the love of Mackenzie Astin, give the 1980’s some time to recover from our endless mining of its natural resources.  Because where does it end?  “Sister Kate: The Movie”?  “She’s the Sheriff: 3D Imax”?  “I Now Pronounce You Benson and Alf”?

AMERICAN IDOL: Hey, let’s make cruel sport of people who don’t sound like everything else on the radio has sounded for the past decade and a half for a couple of weeks, then pick twelve of the least offensive wannabes and watch them sing selections from the station they make you listen to at work for weeks on end, subjecting them to the random critical whims of three megalomaniacs before finally leaving the decision up to middle schoolers who will base their vote on who has the best hair.  This is one of those cases where “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it” simply doesn’t apply, because everybody’s co-workers and everybody’s parents will fill you in on every last detail, even if you tell them you hate the show and don’t care in the slightest what’s happening on it, while tearing your face skin in frustration and aiming a gun at them and urinating on a photograph of Randy Jackson.  Some have postulated that the show will end once Simon takes off, but I’m pretty sure they’ll just replace him with that chef who yells at everybody.  The worst part about “American Idol” is that it’s no longer timely to make fun of it, so I can’t even derive any joy out of this paragraph.

SKYPE: I use the Internet to avoid having to talk to people.  Even though we’ve had the ability to video chat for several years now, it’s still a bit more futuristic than I’m capable of dealing with.  I like the idea of flying cars as much as the next guy, but if someone pulled up in one tomorrow and offered me the keys, I’d be way too scared to drive it.  Rather than a normal conversation, video chatting just feels like my laptop is taking on the form of my friend and is emulating their thought and speech patterns.  I don’t want to chat with the evil terminator from “Terminator 2”.  I want to refresh my Amazon recommendations in blissful solitude.

GLEE – I haven’t seen a single, solitary second of it and I hate it with a passion I usually reserve for activities such as “getting out of bed” and “helping”.  Why does everyone have to like things so hard?  And then talk at length about why they like them, with enthusiasm?  Don’t they know how hard that makes my life?

In the end, I really only enjoy money and creme-filled pastries.  And romantic comedies starring Matthew Perry.

I know this is thin on content and quality but I have to allow myself smaller posts from time to time, else I will abandon this thing altogether, and where will that leave us?  I guess I’d better slap a picture of some sort on here too…here ya go!


Posted in Helpful Advice For Numbnutses, It's Alive! on June 28, 2010 by butthorn

Boy, it’s hard to do a blog when you have a baby in the house.  Babies really require a lot of assistance, and are not shy about requesting it, in this case via a crude but 100% effective shriek system that I’m considering adopting myself: “WAAAAAAAH!!!   AUUUUUUUUUGGGGH!!  BLAAAAAAAAARN!”  “Fine, you can have a raise!  Just take it down a notch!”

So for those who may not know, baby Frederick is alive and well.  He’s recently turned seven weeks old.  Likes include eating, Mama, small stuffed frogs, and Bob Dylan remixes.  Dislikes include having his clothing removed, extreme temperatures, Dada vigorously manipulating his limbs in an attempt to make it look like he’s doing a silly if spirited dance, and cycling.  He is very little and cute, although it feels like he weighs 800 pounds all of a sudden and he has been screaming a lot lately, sometimes for no apparent reason, although usually he either wants food or has converted previously consumed food into waste which he has deposited into his pants and would like removed.  He also sometimes wants someone to pick him up and say asinine things to him, an activity we are all too willing to oblige him.  He passes wind with a report and odor worthy of a grown man.  He is not big on having his bath or water in general although once he’s been in it a while he does seem to find the liquid at least passingly interesting and of some apparent comfort, if only for a short period of time.

My workplace was kind and legally obligated enough to grant me some paternity leave, so I took the entire month of June off to spend with Freddy and Annie, and despite a fatigue and general unrest that seems unlikely to abate with any particular haste, the break has been a success and I’m glad I took it, and not only because I don’t like working.  I would happily post a picture of the baby, but frankly I don’t trust those of my readership who happen to be pederasts to be able to control themselves.  I know you’re out there.  I see your search engine terms, and you should all be locked up, or at the very least ashamed of yourselves.  And our baby is super cute, there’s no getting around it.  He has the rakish sex appeal of a baby George Clooney combined with the goofy self-effacing vulnerability of a baby Hugh Grant.  Why, if I had to compare his particular blend of good looks and good humor to just one celebrity, I’d go with a young Val Kilmer, back in his “Real Genius” and “Top Secret” days, and I don’t think I need to tell you that you can’t get much cuter or more charming than young Val Kilmer.  So to sum up, pederasts, I can’t in good conscience let you have access to his image.  Go buy a copy of “Babytalk” or something.  Or, you know, maybe go get some psychiatric help?  I mean, honestly!

Anyway, the baby’s fine, and cute, and all that jazz.  I’ve learned to become fairly comfortable with feeding and changing him, although as he (rapidly) increases in size, he finds it more difficult to get comfortable on me, and I find it nearly impossible to accommodate his wriggling bulk, Boppy or no Boppy.  Patience, or rather the fact that neither of us possess that particular trait, more than likely is a factor in this development.  Other than that, though, I think I’m coming along pretty well as far as baby maintenance goes, and as a companion piece to the lists I did before that went over what little baby knowledge I held prior to my being blessed with a living, breathing child, I figured I’d share the precious nuggets of wisdom I’ve gleaned over the past month, most of which will be obvious to people who’ve already had kids, and maybe even to people who haven’t, but it’s all I’ve got for material right now.  It’s either this or never blog again, and we all know how tragic that would be right?  Right?

PACK LIGHT FOR THE HOSPITAL: You’ve probably read books that present you with big long lists of “essential” items to bring to the hospital to have on hand during the delivery process and subsequent inpatient stay, but you’ll thank yourself later if you keep it limited to a small, unobtrusive bag of undies, a couple of shirts, a few onesies for baby, and a camera.  Any hospital worth its NPI number will be able to provide you with an entire Rite Aid’s worth of toothbrushes, razors, combs, and whatever else you may need toiletry-wise, as well as a cafeteria full of snacks and drinks and a gift shop with magazines to flip through, so leave all that crap at home.  And for Pete’s sake don’t bring any diapers or bottles or anything of that nature.  The hospital is going to load you up with all that stuff.  In fact, you should loot the joint for all it’s worth.  Grab anything that isn’t nailed down.  Here’s where packing light becomes doubly helpful – more room in the duffel bag to stash that fancy electric breast pump.  If you’ve got a book that you’re really into, you might wanna take it along, but the fact of the matter is that you’re not going to need to fill as much idle time as you might think.  This is going to be spent keeping your wife sane and comforted, entertaining visitors, and staring slack-jawed at your new baby.  If you even find yourself in the presence of mind to take a shower or change your clothes at any point during your stay, consider yourself fortunate.

YOUR BABY IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE A TOM SAVINI CREATION WHEN HE COMES OUT OF YOUR SPOUSE.  This is something you’ve been told already, no doubt, or maybe actually read in one of those books you keep telling your poor wife you’ll get around to looking at eventually (the only one of which you really need, incidentally, is this one right here), but nothing can prepare you for just how gross Junior or Princess is going to look as they’re being yanked out of your grunting life partner’s massacred genitalia.  Suffice it to say that bodily fluids come in a rainbow of unexpected colors, and your newborn will be splattered liberally with each and every one of them.  Their heads will also be oblong and frankly testicular in shape.  “Ridden hard and put away wet” doesn’t even begin to describe it.  More like “brutally murdered and dumped in a sewer then fished out after several years and drenched with a variety of condiments for one reason or another”.  But suppress your vomit, fellas, because the nurses will clean him up real fast and real good, and the doctor will stitch up wifey’s eviscerated snooch faster than you can say Betsy Ross.  It is not recommended that you observe this process.  Go meet your baby, ya weirdo.


PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LIKE YOU A LOT BETTER NOW THAT YOU HAVE A BABY: …or at any rate they will smile more when they talk to you and will look less put out about having to endure your end of the conversation.  Obviously your female relatives and friends will be thrilled to hold your baby and to hear any new information you have to share regarding said baby (and the men will come around eventually), but you’ll find that complete strangers (again, mostly the ladies) will approach you with questions and good wishes, and these encounters will leave you feeling pleased and satisfied as opposed to put-off and victimized like past encounters with strangers invariably have.  My obligatory conversations with cashiers at grocery stores have become way less uncomfortable.  Slap a pack of diapers or a can of formula on the conveyor belt, and suddenly you’ve made a friend.  These interactions are always very genuine and often result in helpful if unrequested tricks of the trade (child rearing, that is, not ringing up groceries).  By and large, babies bring out the best in people, or at least the people who aren’t required to listen to them scream all night.  Your family and friends are all going to show up at the hospital, and they will follow you to your apartment from there, so you might want to tidy up a little and hide or snort all the coke before going to the hospital.  Introducing the baby to each family member and friend is an indescribably wonderful experience.  In some ways (ways that I can’t adequately relate in words) it’s almost like you’re meeting all of these people again for the first time.  It’s a whole new thing.

DON’T GO BUYING HIM/HER A BUNCH OF TOYS: Part of the child-having experience that I’ve always looked forward to, even back in my teens and twenties when the idea of making a baby sounded about as appealing as gargling with staples or obtaining employment, is purchasing toys for and playing with the kid.  It turns out this is not a viable notion until a few months into the child’s existence.  In the course of your baby shower(s), you will unquestionably receive a number of vibrantly colored geegaws intended for your child’s amusement, and no doubt these will be appreciated in the relatively near future, but rest assured that for now your infant will give neither a fig, farthing, nor fiddler’s fart about any of them.  You’ll be lucky if he/she even looks at any of them in passing.  All that baby wants is some form of milk every couple of hours, a fresh diaper when necessary, and a nice comfy place to sack out (preferably your lap, if available).  Postpone that trip to Toys R Us and enjoy what time you have left of a house uncluttered by plastic objects that emit piercing approximations of children’s songs and trip you up/puncture the soles of your feet at every turn.

ALSO DON’T SPEND A LOT ON NEWBORN ONESIES: Chances are you won’t have to anyway, because people love to pick out cute baby outfits, and these will likely comprise the brunt of your baby shower intake.  Be thankful, as such things are not always cheap, and Junior/Princess will think nothing of sullying 3-4 onesies in a given day.  However, you will be alarmed at how quickly the “0-3 months” onesies become obsolete when it comes to your rapidly developing offspring.  Freddy hasn’t been alive two months, and most of the 0-3 month onesies look like Spandex on him.  The exception is Circo onesies, which you can get for pretty cheap at Target.  They’re cute and forgiving sizewise.  Otherwise, you can get a 3-pack of Gerber onesies for a pittance and not feel too bad when the baby immediately outgrows them, wasting no time in wasting your money.


  • Diapers, durrrrrrrrr.  Cloth vs. disposable depends on how much time you have and how much looking like a better person means to you.
  • Little washcloths to wipe drooly faces.  You really can’t have too many of these.
  • Bottles, bottles, bottles, if Junior ain’t going for the boob or you’d just as soon not be a human beverage dispenser (breastfeeding being another hot topic issue that people may endeavor to make you feel like a hybrid of Hitler and Satan if you elect not to or physically cannot do it…)  Too many bottles is never too many bottles.
  • Pacifiers, because you’ll routinely misplace them.  Opinions vary on pacifiers, but the Internet seems to think that pediatricians are fine with them, and often when a well-fed, recently changed baby is still crying about some damn thing, he probably wants to suck mindlessly and feverishly on a pacifier.  Any break you can get from incessant, deafening squalling is something you’ll want to pounce on whenever possible.

YOUR BABY IS GOING TO WANT YOU TO HOLD HIM/HER.  A LOT: I don’t know how single parents do it.  Hell, I don’t know how married parents do it.  There will be occasional respites if the baby deigns to be placed in a bassinet or crib, or is resting in the capable hands of Grammy or Grampy, but otherwise, they need a whole lot of human contact.  Freddy is on my wife all the time, and sometimes me when I’m not busy composing uncannily observant blogs about his behavior and upkeep.  He’s really warm, and heavy.  It makes us sleepy.  You can’t get a lot done with a baby lying on you, which is why it’s amazing that single parenthood is even possible, let alone a married couple with twins or triplets.  How do they keep from drowning in a landfill of dirty dishes, clothing, diapers?  My hat is off to these superheroes.  Dan Quayle should have a budworm-riddled spruce trunk broken off in his ass for saying those terrible things about Murphy Brown.

TAKE ALL ADVICE WITH A GRAIN OF SALT: I’ve always had a tough time dealing with people offering advice, and that’s not a helpful quality for someone who’s just had a baby, because you’ll find that everyone’s Dr. Spock or Supernanny all of a sudden.  The trick is to not interpret all offered advice as a personal attack, like I usually do, but to be polite and make an attempt to suss out useful tidbits from well-meaning souls and windbags alike.  While I’m reasonably certain that the main reason that people give advice is to let people know they know things for the purposes of stroking their own ego (which is also similar reasoning behind the act of insulting people, so you can perhaps understand my wariness; why, as proof of all this, I myself am only offering advice within this blog in the hopes that prospective readers will marvel at how funny and insightful I am – frankly, you can set your own baby on fire and cram him up your ass for all I care!), these people presumably have had children and it’s very possible you might benefit from their experience.  In the end, though, the only way to truly learn something is to jump right in and repeatedly fuck up until somehow you magically stop fucking up.  Just try to make sure “fucking up” doesn’t entail “feeding the baby mashed cigarettes” or “styling the baby’s hair with an antique meat cleaver”.  The other day I was watching “Pokemon”, because that’s the kind of cool customer I am, and I garnered some truly unforgettable words of wisdom from the main character, Ash, who had just finished fighting Pikachu against some other kid with huge eyes and an abrasive voice.  The other kid mentions that Ash must be a genius at Pokemon fighting, considering his impressive performance, and Ash simply laughs it off and says, “Nah, I’ve just made all the right mistakes”.  That, my friend, is how you become a master Pokemon trainer, and those same principles can be well applied to parenting.  In essence, ignore your loved ones and start watching “Pokemon”.  You’ll be glad you did.

STOP TAKING THINGS PERSONALLY: You don’t have the time nor mental wherewithal to get your feelings hurt right now.  Your family and friends are going to be routinely pissing you off with even the most innocent-seeming of comments, whether they realize it or not.  The fatigue-addled mind can read an insult into the most innocuous of statements or even simple vocal tones or facial expressions, and that’s probably all that’s happening.  That being said, anybody thoughtless or even malevolent enough to purposefully give you additional, 100% needless stress during this difficult time could either use some ignoring or productive conversation to straighten them out.  Otherwise, they’re either flagrant assholes or have no self-awareness, and either way overall you probably don’t need their bullshit in your life. Just like moving to a new house is a good chance to get rid of junk you don’t need, having a baby handily reprioritizes your relationships.  It’s a convenient time of life in which to grow a pair.  You won’t have much time to hang out with people who aren’t your baby, so why not populate it with people you enjoy who enjoy you right back?  Time spent stressing out about your hateful Aunt Clara is time that could be better spent making goo-goo noises at your little one.  But beyond dealing with others, it’s important not to take your baby’s actions to heart, which, believe me, is entirely possible to do, especially when you’re being roused from a deep, hard-won slumber by a membrane-rupturing shriek, which isn’t going to end until you get out of bed and take action, and as you carry your caterwauling spawn to the changing table, you’d swear that’s something between deception and mockery behind those ordinarily adorable little eyes, and it’s all you can do to avoid drowning out the cries with profanity of the cruelest sort, or by “accidentally” nailing his precious little noggin on the door frame.  All you have to remember is you’re tired, and he’s hungry, and both of these conditions are temporary (the latter moreso than the former, but still).  He won’t be legitmately undermining or despising you for a few more years yet.

TIME IS NOW MEANINGLESS: Remember when an hour seemed like a reasonably lengthy period of time?  Remember when a day did?  A week?  Among the many annoying things people who have kids tell people who don’t have kids is how time flies when you have a kid.  You wake up one day, and they’ve left for college.  Well, so far it seems like those annoying people are absolutely right, I’m sorry to report.  I no longer believe in hours or minutes, or in fact remember what they’re like.  Sometimes it’s dark out, sometimes it’s light out.  Sometimes he’s awake, sometimes he’s asleep.  Then all of a sudden he’s built like a linebacker and asking for my car keys.  And this is all just within a month and a half that I’ve noticed this.  He and I will both be old men before we know it.  Maybe tomorrow!  It’s all become one long (though rapidly progressing), busy (though often listless) day, but a damn good one after all is said and done.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for the moment.  I’m sure the information here ranges from “immediately obvious, even to the infants it purports to describe” to “poorly informed, at best; potentially harmful, at worst”, but what can one do, it’s a funny life and we’re all just a bunch of doofuses.  Go have a baby; it makes things different.


Posted in It's Alive! on April 18, 2010 by butthorn

All times approximate.

11:45 AM

Arrive.  First ones here.  Happy to see that the dolls have been changed up + we get to have one w/eyes this time.  Wonder where…hold on, Annie is making me go buy her a peach iced tea.  Pregnant people are so selfish!

11:50 AM

All right, I got another chai out of that little detour so no harm no foul. Anyway, our doll has eyes and seems happier.  Onesie fuzzy + pink + is wearing an undershirt w/baby animals on it.  Score!  The lid on my chai cup is different from yesterday’s.  Sippy flap won’t snap into place.  Officially not having baby at this hospital based on this inconvenience – it’s settled.  Yesterday’s piano music has been replaced w/strings music.  Now feels like we’re in “Masterpiece Theatre” instead of “thirtysomething”.  Suppose most would see that as an improvement but most don’t love Timothy Busfield as much as I do.

11:55 AM

Rest of class all shows up at once.  Discover our new doll is extending its index finger as though politely venturing an opinion.  Making doll poke Annie’s belly as a weird joke goes over reasonably well with teenage couple to our left.  Everyone sits where they did yesterday.

11:59 AM

Briefly bond w/teen couple in that their fetus also ceases kicking whenever the dad tries to feel said kicks.

12:00 PM

Class begins.  Cervix stretchiness question immediately asked by woman.  10 cm is pretty big within the realm of genital circumferences.  Wouldn’t want a 10 cm urethra myself.

12:02 PM

Discover that today will be all about everything that can go wrong, as compared to yesterday which apparently was supposed to be about everything that can go right.  Like our old chum perineal tearing, for example.  There will also be a tour of the labor unit at some point.

12:05 PM

Begin “Comfort Techniques” film.  More mollifyingly presented labor info.

12:08 PM

Not sure eyes-owning doll any better than eyeless.  Thing keeps staring at me.

12:10 PM

Junior has been kicking the crap out of Annie since we sat down.  I get to feel a couple big kicks.  Kid is brutal.  Feels like a cat trying to get out of a kickball.

12:12 PM

Playing w/nasal aspirator again, or bulb syringe as a handout calls it.  Teen Dad also again doing this.  Maybe we could become friends on the basis of our mutual bulb syringe enjoyment.  Kind of want to drink chai out of it.  This movie is boring.

12:25 PM

Movie over.  Starting to hit birth info intake limit already but maybe chai will help.  Teacher informs us labor unit is packed so tour currently impossible.  We’ve already had a tour of that unit during the breastfeeding class we went to last week so no tour won’t kill us.

12:30 PM

Go over powders/lotions, pass some around.  Learn that diaper rash is due to ammonia in urine, acts on skin just like it does on floors.  Man, life sucks.

12:40 PM

Discuss cutting nails.  Freaks me out.  Would rather change all his diapers than attempt to cut his nails.  Don’t even like cutting my own nails.  Just learned baby nails are “extremely flexible”.  Doesn’t help.

12:42 PM

Breastfeeding plug begins.  To Teacher’s credit, she blatantly identifies it as a plug.  Choice to breastfeed compared tenuously to whether or not one likes ice cream (?).  Don’t like anyone near my nipples so again thankful not a woman.

12:45 PM

Dad trying to call me in middle of class to help him with his blog.  Will call him back during bathroom break, as no poop currently in butt.  However, important to note that have yet to pass the undoubtedly massive amount of unusable matter from yesterday’s Double Down.  Should be a real barnburner.  Barn=colon.

12:55 PM

Do some pretend burping on doll, then reswaddle.  My swaddling has noticeably improved.  Might be different story w/baby w/working arms though.  Discuss S.I.D.S.  I seriously thought S.I.D.S. was an actual disease, like baby A.I.D.S.  Turns out it’s just baby dying in crib from preventable reasons, like too many blankets or sleeping on stomach.  My lack of knowledge is a constant source of alarm.

1:00 PM

Bathroom break #1.  Call Dad to let him know we’re in class which turns out he just found out himself via reading yesterday’s blog.  Discuss a golf lesson he took at Dick’s Sporting Goods the other day, during which he had to shit the entire time, whereupon he went home and defecated three times.  He attributes this to excitement about the golf lesson.  Wonder if he’ll go into this in his blog.

1:15 PM

Return to class.  Lots of people bought things to eat that look/smell good.  Regret not also doing that.  Take free Lorna Doone cookie + 8 oz can of Schweppe’s from today’s snack array.  In process of disposing of chai cup, notice small “Diabetes Today” mag on top of trash can.  C + W singer Steve Wariner is on the cover.  “Who’s the Boss?” theme, which he sings,  now in head as a result.  Thought answer to that question was “Tony Danza” but turns out its “diabetes”.  Don’t think I’ve ever had Lorna Doones.  Kinda bland.  Love ginger ale though, but I usually get Canada Dry.  Definitely taste a difference.  Canada Dry tastes better.

1:25 PM

Film about induction, or forcing labor along via various methods, all of which are at least moderately upsetting.  There was something important from this movie that Annie wanted me to write down but sadly I was too busy writing about my ginger ale preferences at the time.

1:35 PM

Epidural info in film.  “So do ya wanna feel the worst pain known to humankind, or do ya not wanna feel the worst pain known to humankind?”:  seems like a pretty easy question to answer to me.  Who are we trying to impress?

1:37 PM

Amniotomy evidently painless but animated example of the procedure makes it look awful.  Nothing beats bodily sacs being plucked open by a crochet needle.

1:40 PM

Ptosin, a drug whose name Annie occasionally intones w/fear and dread, discussed in film.  This is the “Come on, I wanna get home in time to watch ‘Lost’ ” drug.  Also some info about forceps and vacuuming out baby.  Forceps bruise baby face and tears Mommy’s perineum, vagina, and anus.  What’s not to like?

1:47 PM

Film over.  Discuss babies being born “inside the sac”, or coming right out of the vag w/amniotic sac intact.  Supposedly a good omen.  You know, one of those good omens that results in a baby spending its first moments on earth inhaling its own waste.

1:50 PM

Scalp electrode application sounds pretty harrowing.  Screws into infant scalp.  Welcome to the party, pal.

1:55 PM

Room smells like ketchup.  Killing me.  Want to eat something hot and crisp-skinned that I can drench in ketchup.  Internal monitoring equipment being passed around and frowned uncertainly at.  Teen Dad pretends vacuum-assisted delivery device is an antique telephone.  Try out one of the vacuum things on my arm and give myself a big round hickey.  Can’t imagine what that feels like suctioned onto one’s tiny barely-formed head.

2:03 PM

Learn from teacher that 75% of first-time moms request an epidural.  “Sold!” whisper-yells Teen Dad.

2:10 PM

Teacher introduces unfamiliar-to-me synonym for “trashed” in course of pain medication discussion: “snowed”.  I like that.

2:12 PM

Hickey slowly fading.  Discussing hardcore anesthesia now.  Wonder if I can get spinal anesthesia if we pay a little extra.  Teacher: “I could hit your feet with a hammer and you wouldn’t feel it.”  Teen Dad: “Awesome.”  (said while idly sketching a jet fighter of some sort).

2:25 PM

Learn that some women who get epidurals have a “window”, an area of their body that doesn’t get very numb.  Not sure if really concentrated pain tons better than pain all over.  Either way, pain.  I hate pain.  Glad I will experiencing very little of it throughout this process.  Sad and scared that Annie has to.  Seems like at the very least a nurse should have to kick the dad in the nuts.

2:35 PM

Bathroom break #2.  We both go to bathroom (only pee).  Both of us then go to cafeteria.  I make myself a nice unassuming roast beef sandwich.  Annie gets a thing of grapes and a baggie of cubed cheese.  We each get a molasses cookie.  A nice comforting plain jane repast.  I have another free tiny Schweppe’s and a few more Lorna Doones even though I don’t like either that much.  The L.D.s are a little more appealing this time.

2:35 PM

Remember that we will be watching a C-section movie in a few minutes.  Decide probably best to finish roast beef sandwich before that particular motion picture commences.  Perfect amount of mustard on sandwich.  Go me!

2:40 PM

C-section film starts.  Animated part reminiscent of late 80’s-era Don Bluth.  Not really.  Very by-the-numbers computer animation.  Still a bit alarming.  Stretchy.  Piercey.  Yucky.

2:42 PM

Without warning there is brief footage of a real c-section patient being stitched back up.  Guy to my right groans a little and looks down at the table.  He’s not ready for this jelly.

3:05 PM

Tour of labor unit now available.  Pile into elevator.  2nd time this week I’ve had the privilege of riding an elevator jam-packed w/pregnant women.


Check out a delivery room.  Aquamarine in hue w/blue floral trim.  Nothing fancy.  Hot in room, crowded, hard to see/pay attention.  Someone out in the hall yells “Oh no!  I’m going home!”  A depressing room despite and maybe because of decorative attempts to home it up.

3:20 PM

All go to the viewing window where a young man outfitted in hip-hop-seeming attire and askance baseball cap is gazing at his new baby girl w/fond uncertainty.  Within seconds Annie is co-opting my shoulder to stifle sniffles of emotion.  Expecting my wife and child to be in constant tears for their first month together.  Will make it difficult to hear Xbox.  Suppose I’ll manage somehow.

3:25 PM

Check out postpartum room.  Not much to say about it.  Chair for support partner is much comfier-looking than the one in the delivery room.

3:30 PM

Pack back into elevator, but not before letting a profoundly crusty-looking janitor exit with a giant wheeled container of some sort in tow, looking mightily put-out to have to plow through a barricade of knocked-up broads.  Labor unit is on 7th floor.  Elevator stops at 5th and 4th floors.  Entertaining/exciting to behold reaction of the people who’d intended to board the elevator.  Both immediately decline upon glimpsing the elevator’s contents.  Somewhere in the elevator I hear a kiss happen.

3:35 PM

Get back to class.  Discuss post-partum depression, including anecdote wherein a woman requested that her spouse take the microwave out of the house because she was afraid she might cook the baby in it.  Brooke Shields also discussed.  Did anyone ever see that supposedly awful “Brenda Starr” movie she was in?  Haven’t thought of that in forever.

3:45 PM

The ladies are asked to get up and do some exercises, and the men are asked to stand up and look confused/concerned.  A long few minutes.  People can’t sit back down fast enough when it’s over.

3:53 PM

Learn about the Gate Theory, in which you lessen pain by tricking your brain to focus on something else, like rubbing your forearm vigorously after burning your hand.  Brains are dummies.

3:55 PM

Teacher hasn’t repeated any weird sentences today that I’ve noticed, nor said or pantomimed anything particularly off-putting, although now that I’ve written that she’s just said, “You will never hear me say C-section.  You are not a grapefruit.”  But that’s still pretty tame (not to mention outright sensible) compared to yesterday.  Come on, lady!  I got a blog to do here!

4:05 PM

Now just an open Q&A time.  1 out of 4 births are C-sections @ this hospital (mostly due to fact that few other hospitals around here can take high-risk patients).  Questions predominantly concerned with statistics.  How normal is this, how common is that.  The big picture is a big deal.  I ask a question about pacifiers and are they good or what.  Teacher says she used to not like them until her baby wouldn’t shut up and then she liked them a lot.

4:15 PM

Class will end early, out of things to talk about.  Relaxation CD this time is narrated by a woman who sounds like she’s recently experienced an undisclosed traumatic event.  Relaxing!  Somehow though this CD works on me.  I fall asleep for a couple minutes then wake up and feel refreshed/weird.

4:22 PM

Another impromptu narration of labor day by Teacher and we’re done.  Fill out evaluation form, say nice things about class and Teacher.  “Better snacks, less pretend vagina-wiping” considered/rejected for helpful comment.  Feel like we should go up to Teacher and thank her but of course don’t.

4:30 PM

Drive home, mentally drained but a bit more confident overall.  Will rub Annie’s ballooning ankles later while watching old “Soap” reruns.  Day off tomorrow.  Should probably go buy a car seat.