Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 13 -- Post-ish

If you have ever lived with a three-year-old child, then you know that they spend most of the day agonizing about getting things perfect.  They'll melt down because Rapunzel's crown doesn't sit on top of her head at just the right angle, or the Sesame Street episode doesn't feature enough Ernie and Bert.  I once had thirty minute conversation with my Princess assuring her that it's OK that she spilled water on her dress, because water dries and no one should strip off their clothes in the middle of Bob Evans. 

With my child, the perfection police started on her third birthday and just progressed as she ages.  Everything must be to the standards of our little angel, and I mean everything.  She's has given us instructions about what she will and will not wear, what we should and should not wear,  and what shows we'll  watch and in what order.  She even dictates how the Queen and I talk to her, many times giving us the words to say, and then prompting us with our lines if we deviate off script.  Sometimes when she wakes up in a mood, its like a little Napoleon inspecting her troops, and if one hair falls out of place, it's the stockades.

All parents I meet tell me that this is just a phase all kids go through.  They tell me that all I should do is to gently remind them that life is messy, set realistic consequences when she goes too far, and try not to throw her through a plate glass window.  Try to set good examples and find models that exemplify the behaviors that make "good choices." They also say that having a glass of wine or a shot of bourbon helps ease the nerves. 

And while I now think most parents are alcoholics, our family does heed their advice most of the time.  Soft tones, a ton of repeating ourselves and plenty of books help when nothing goes right.  If we can have mistakes without the world ending, and if we can show that you don't have to be perfect, then just perhaps our three-year-old rule set doesn't explode into full-fledged OCD syndrome.  I found that the biggest help for me is in the book department.  When I'm reading to her, she doesn't notice the vein throbbing in my forehead.

My favorite book by far is Ish by Peter H. ReynoldsIsh tells the story of some dude named Ramon who can't draw a vase.  After days of trying he gets all pissed off until his sister lets him know that although his drawings don't look exactly like the vase, they look vase-ish.  Ramon gets all jazzed up about thinking "ishly" and goes all hippy-trippy.  He draws what he wants to without worrying what it looks like.  He writes some beat poems.  The he gets so ze-nish that he doesn't do anything.  It really is a great book that teaches about creativity and not stressing about crap that doesn't matter.  Plus, it has a kid drawing on the potty.

I even have taken it to heart.  I just finished baking a mess of a meal, and that's fine because it looks lasagna-ish.  My jokes work, especially the one with an interrupting cow, because they are funny-ish.  And when I look into the mirror, I happy that I seem manly-ish.  Thinking ishly has led to a whole new acceptance for my mediocrity.  Even this rambling piece of writing feels fine because at least it's post-ish.

I urge all of you to think ishly, too.  Can't go to work today because you're sick-ish.  You're not really following around your ex girlfriend; you're just stalker-ish.  Start flailing around in the middle of the park just because you feel dance-ish.  Ishing can free your mind, sooth your soul, and perhaps get you either fired or arrested.  But who cares!  Everything is legal-ish.

I need to wrap this up, the Princess calls and her pillow is not Tiana side up.  At least when I get back I can have another shot of that bourbon.  Especially since I'm just drunk-ish.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 12 -- Kickstart My Heart

Back in the pre-internet dark ages, like in 1987, Big Business ruled everything.  Books came from major publishers, movies from a film studio and music from record labels.  Basically if some suit didn't like what an artist was peddling, you weren't ever going to see it.  Sure, different corporations had different tastes, but they still held the keys to commercial success.  Without their approval, your work never even existed.

Now through fiber optic cables anyone can publish through major distribution channels like Amazon or  Independent movies and web shows can arise seamlessly from nowhere and be distributed via direct download.  Any free spirit with a guitar can hawk their breakup song on iTunes.  Even housewives with a sewing machine can head over to and make a mint by crafting homemade Halloween costumes.  As long as you can produce it, someone can buy it.

However, for these methods to work, you have to have something tangible.  Why can't people just pay money for the sheer possibility of something tangible?  If there could just be a slight cash advance, say $25,000, then surely whatever someone promises to make will get made...eventually...maybe...someday.  If I fail then you won't get your money back, but I will feel sorry for cashing that check.

That's where comes in.  For a nominal fee you can "invest" in someone's dream and hope he isn't a complete screw-up.  Some work out, like the Veronica Mars movie.  Some may live in some sort of development Hell.  It may be a gamble, but what else would you do with your hard earn cash?  Probably buy groceries like a schmuck.

To sweeten the deal, investments can be made at a variety of perk levels.  Pledge $5 for something cool.  Pledge $100 and get something awesome.  Pledge $10,000 and get something so great that your brain will liquify.  For instance, pledge $5 for the "Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint" kickstarter and you get a vintage Spike's Joint bumper sticker autographed by Spike Lee.  But for $10,000 you get, and I quote:
Unfortunately, I have this thing called a mortgage and the Queen has this rule against cardboard boxes as living establishments.  (And it was all in caps, too!)

I'm also considering putting in a Kickstarter for Losing the Internets.  I think a little cash infusion and this sucker could actually become readable.  For enticement, here's my pledge levels:
  • $5: I will not come to your house and punch you in the nose.
  • $10: I will Tweet you a "Thanks."  This Tweet will happen at 2:06 AM eastern standard time.
  • $50: If we walk past each other in the street, I will give you a head nod as we pass.  Please have proof of pledge stapled to your person as we pass or head nod will not be guaranteed.
  • $100: You get an envelope with whatever is in my couch cushions.  I haven't cleaned under there in like a year, so it could be some pretty cool stuff.  And I'm sure there are some half-eaten Doritoes.  With my spit!
  • $250: I will tattoo your name on our dog.  Everywhere our Jack Russell goes, people will see your name on a shaven patch where his cute little black spot used to be.
  • $500: I'll personally mail you a box of Van's gluten free frozen waffles from my very own freezer.  NOTE: Waffles not guaranteed to be frozen by time of receipt.
  • $1,000: I'll name our first child after your favorite school teacher.  The Princess already has a name, but she's young and should adjust nicely.  
  • $5,000: You will get a vial of my DNA for your personal cloning needs.
  • $10,000: For all Player-Players.  You get the pleasure of me, living with you, for an entire year.  You also get the honor of feeding me--sometimes baby style--the finest selection of Maine lobster ON YOUR OWN PLATES!  Don't worry, to save on the water bill, I won't even shower.  You will remember this experience as long as you pay your therapy bills!  YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'll let you know when this Kickstarter launches.  I haven't really decided what the end goal should be, because how can you put a price on perfection?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 11 -- A Tale of Inspirational Woe

Yesterday I broke out the heartfelt post that described my more sentimental side.  I think those types of cathartic outbursts have some importance to developing a full picture of my character.  Without some sappiness to add a "human" element, I could come off as some d-bag who has to tear down everything society holds dear.  Someone who roots for Darth Vader to finally end those rebellious scallywags and their hippy ways.

In the past I have been accused of debasing sunshine, puppies, rainbows, caring, pants, wonderfulness, Tony Danza, and everything else that spreads warmth and goodness.  Just because I tend to see the whole picture, and not just the tiny sliver of sunshine, people mistake me for a Danny Downer.  But rainbows cannot exist without a downpour.  Puppies do crap on the rug.  Pants can chafe in all the wrong places.  To me it's not a glass half full or glass half empty argument.  The glass is too damn big.

Take the inspirational quote.  Some see these tid-bits of encouragement that can change a lifetime of disappointment.  I was going to leap off this bridge, but an angel showed me a poster with a kitty hanging from a tree.  Hang in there little furball.  My, that's a metaphor for life.  I can finish that open heart surgery!

I see the whole picture -- the exception, if you will.  What jerk photographed a cat hanging by it's claws in a tree?  I know you may die little fella, but Hallmarks around the country need this.  And how is just hanging in there inspirational?  It should read "Lift yourself up or you're gonna die."  Or "Trees are dangerous." Or "Well, today sucks."

Don't see what I mean?  Here are some random thoughts after seeing some of the Internets best inspirational quotes:

Not according to my third girlfriend.  You ever give a hug and have the person just stand there like an uncomfortable, stiff board?  That hug was like a pointy stick.  Can't get that moment back.

Except when you fart. Or eat at Subway.  That stuff is is full of preservatives.  They say Eat Fresh, but it's a lie.  I guess the moment halfway through a Subway sandwich when you decide to never eat at Subway again could indeed be called a fresh moment.  And, they spelled beginning wrong.

Why chase a dream at all?  How about you bait a humane raccoon trap with tasty treats and let it come to you.  Then you can skin it, grill it and serve your dream with a side of garlic fries.  Or better yet, sneak up on the dream ninja style and capture it when its least expecting you.

This looks like something a serial killer would tape to a mirror.  In fact this quote scares the crap out of me.  How did Google ever think this was inspirational?  Thanks Kafka.  I have one for you: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

Except for professional Limbo dancers. When major league pitchers miss high it's a home run.  If you guys miss high when aiming for the toilet, their wives get mad.  I guess I should give Michelangelo credit, though.  He did say "most."

Why does this guy hate babies?  And possibly hockey players.

See!  My mind rockets to these conclusions every time I see something like this on Facebook or wherever.  I can't turn it off.  Will I ever see anything that I can just take verbatim without finding the exceptions?


Day 10 -- Why I'm Here

Ever since I turned thirteen I wanted to be a writer.  The idea of crafting worlds for others to enjoy seemed like a fantastic idea and a terrific creative outlet for someone who couldn't sing, act or paint.   I spent most of my childhood making up characters that I could become or devising make believe obstacles that I needed to overcome.  However, I couldn't spell worth a damn and hand writing one page took almost an entire hour, so writing anything of value took so much concentration and time that I always stopped after a few paragraphs.

It turned out that I have dyslexic dysgraphia, a learning disability that I didn't discover until age 23.  I did OK at school, but by now I've grown so creatively lazy that putting together a story seemed not only tedious, but incredibly daunting.   Besides, I'm the kind of guy who goes to a party and can only manage to strike up conversations with the host's inbred gerbil and the guy who smells vaguely like bologna.  I'm mostly dull, ornery and a tad North of Center (whatever that means).  Those qualities don't usually translate into published author -- unless you're Nathanial Hawthorne.

But having a kid changed my outlook and made me re-examine my dreams.  Up to that point the most significant thing I accomplished -- besides all that marriage and reproducing junk -- was being on a three man team that ate 42 bean burritos in a single sitting.  I want to be some one the Princess looks up to. Her hero, not some dude who sits on the couch watching reruns of Quantum Leap on Netflix.  How can I be a role model to my little girl without pursuing at least one of my dreams?  And until they invent a personal inter-dimensional transporter or a man to fish translator, I guess I'll pursue writing.

So, after a year or so of prodding from the Queen, I put finger to key and Losing the Internets was born.  At first the ides was to convince myself that creative writing wasn't some impossible chore and to possibly develop a personal writing style.  Instead, I find myself writing for others instead of myself.  The greatest joy that comes from this blog isn't when I finish what I think is a particularly witty post, but the reaction from friends, friends of friends, and (most of all) strangers.  It's amazing the absolute thrill I get when someone likes what I wrote enough to hit share on Facebook.

That may sound insecure, but deep down don't we all want Mommy to hang our artwork on the refrigerator door?

Now I feel like I have to push myself to get better and faster at writing while growing this community.  The 30 Days of Shameless Self-Promotion acts as my marathon, a test to see if I have the fortitude to keep going.  Luke had to raise his X-Wing to get off Dagobah, The New Direction had to beat Vocal Adrenaline to win Nationals, Peyton Manning had to best Tom Brady, and I have to beat myself.  And as dirty as that sounds,the 30 Days of Shameless Self-Promotion shall not overtake me. I will become a more concise writer.  I will grow this audience.  I will emerge the victor!  Remember the Alamo!


Please note:  My editor decided to fall asleep -- and snore loudly -- before this post was finished.  If you find egregious errors, please consult the management. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 9 -- Unsolicited Disney World Advice

As I look out of my bedroom window, all I see is dark.  It's 10:35 and I live adjacent to a corn field.  However, if it had been six hours or so earlier, or a full moon, I would see a world awash in white.  The snow rages on, and on, and on without an end in sight.  And accompanying that snow, like some goth chick's sullen friend, is cold.  Damn cold.  So cold that penguins have actually acquired the ability to fly so they could escape to a more southern climate.

Luckily I received news that the two conventions I have in Orlando this April have been confirmed.  Just the thought of warmer weather brings a smile to these chapped lips, even though the trip doesn't happen for 86 days. Just the thought of a Florida spring could make me thaw out my legs in order to make it back from the mailbox. Oh, and did I mention that this trip happens to be in Disney World?  And that the Queen and Princess get to come with?

Rereads previous paragraphs. 

No, I didn't.  Sorry if I came off as sarcastic.

The Queen and I have made the Disney trip quite a lot in our lovely time together.  Starting in 2001, after a solid month of badgering, I relented and booked a week long stay at the House of Mouse.  From then on we were hooked.  Perhaps it was the child in us yearning to get free.  Perhaps it was the pampering that Disney gives to all its guests, no matter how smelly.  Or perhaps we hate money just sitting in our bank account.

Whatever the reason, I deem myself a Disney World expert*.  Over the years I have had at least three people asking how they could have the greatest time of their lives in WDW (that's Walt Disney World out on the street).  Now, I have decided to pass on the secrets on getting the most out of any Disney vacation--mostly so people will quit bugging me.  I have work to do.

The Top 5 Tips to a Perfect Disney World Vacation:

1.) Exclaim loudly to anyone in earshot how much this vacation costs.  Go ahead, you earned it.  A little reminder to other guests and cast members of how much of a big spender you are can make the difference between first class service and super first class service.  I'm sure most people snuck into the parks anyway, so by telling them you actually paid to go on a vacation should zip you to the front of the line of almost any attraction.  Some say it's rude.  You know what we call them?  Back-of-the-liners.

2.) Remind yourself that you're not "Disney people."  Nobody likes to travel with a Pollyanna, and you should have the decency to be the one that brings your family back down to Earth.  I'm sure you only agreed to the vacation because you have kids that watch The Suite Life of Whatever Annoying Tween Singer on the Disney Channel, or enjoy making sarcastic comments at herds or "sheeple."  You must remind yourself that you're too good for Mickey, because once you let your guard down, the magic will seduce you and you'll end up buying this sweater:

Complete with 10 battery packs and glowing devil eyes

3.) Remember that strollers and Rascals rule the walkways.  If you happen to need assistance for you or your child, whether its with a stroller or an ultra-slow Go-Kart, you will be happy to know that you own the right-a-ways.  So drive those suckers like there's a snowplow attached to the front.  Those "young healthys" should know better, and how will they know to get out of the way if you don't make them your personal speed bumps?  Winging them from behind makes a sport of those long walks between rides.  Able bodied visitors may want to practice swinging from light post to light post so they can keep the sidewalk clear for those that really matter.

4.) Make sure to carry an over-abundance of personal items at all times.  Disney is not known for amenities, and the parks can get quite boring since there is so little to see or do.  Try to bring a backpack with you if you can--filled with everything you know you can't live without.  First you may think to bring only the necessities: sunscreen, wallet, sunglasses, phone and perhaps a hat.  But you're going to be out and about for approximately six to eight hours.  You need at least bring -- at a minimum -- camera, backup camera, iPad, coloring books, extra shoes, extra pair of socks, extra pair of pants just in case you see someone running around without pants, lip balm, sandwich, sardines, hydration system, rain poncho, mace, air horn, hand sanitizer, napkins, Rush CD, Fodor's guidebook to Universal Studios, face paint, D batteries, Tolstoy's War and Peace, a couple of unfinished thank you letters, and plenty of Yak feeding pellets.  Don't worry, you can take as big of a backpack as you need.

5.) Touch every character.  Go ahead, they like it.  Especially the princesses and their security guards.

There, I hope that helps your vacation planning for Disney.  If you have no plans to ever visit Disney World, then you are a terrible person and may God have mercy on your soul.

Now I feel bad.  You're not a terrible person.  Let's go get a vanilla latte together and we can talk about how I hurt you.  But you have to pay, I'm going to Disney World.


* Disney would like to disavow Jack Grubb as being a "Disney Expert."  He does not speak for Walt Disney World or the Disney corporation.  He crashed a stock holder's meeting once, but the court told us he served his time with community service.


30 Days of Shameless Self Promotion progress: 
  • 109 page views in 24 hours.  This is down by 47 from the day before, but I'll take it.
  • 39 Facebook page likes and 28 Twitter followers. No change, but hopefully that will change soon.
  • I need to change the "Popular" posts part on the page, but it will take a bit of coding, so that's what I'm working on tomorrow.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 8 -- The Naughty Post

I want to go on record to say that most of the time the Princess acts like an adorable, sweet girl.  I routinely get compliments on her manners when I take her to the library or store.  Her teachers at school tell the Queen and I that she mostly works well with others and respects personal boundaries.  Even when disappointments do happen like school being closed because of snow, she tends to absorb the news, process it, then find something else to do.  Frankly, if she didn't act kind and friendly the majority of the time, she would never be allowed to call herself Princess.  She would instead be referred to as inmate 001.

I don't want to say all this stuff to make you think that my child poops perfection, but to put in context the stark difference her dark side can emote.  Just like every three-year-old child, a megaton bomb of a tantrum lies just beneath the surface.  Without warning and any reasonable trigger, the child stands ready to destroy the world around them and then flop to the ground in boneless hysterics.  And since the Princess displays a pleasant attitude 85% of the time, the roid-raged toddler only will come out when you let your guard down.

If you don't have kids, or you drank enough to forget age 2-4, then let me explain the art of the tantrum. 
1.) Choose an everyday action for the trigger.  Remember that mega-fit can happen anytime, anywhere, and definitely about anything.  Bonus points for if the child melts down because of something you and she have done 100 times before the exact same way.  Here is a partial list of reasons the Princess went nuts in the past year or so:
  • Losing at Go Fish
  • Winning at Go Fish
  • Daddy taking the correct turn at Go Fish
  • Mommy touching Legos after being asked to play Legos
  • Opening a bag
  • Closing a bag
  • Suggesting that she eat apple sauce with lunch
  • Spilling macaroni and cheese on the placemat
  • Drinking milk
  • Seeing the dog eat his dinner "the wrong way"
  • Chosing the wrong pair of character underwear
  • Daddy being Daddy
  • Daddy not being Mommy
  • Mommy going to work
  • Mommy staying home from work
  • The Congress' refusal to work together to pass a long term budget resolution...
2.) Everything to show displeasure is fair game except saying what's wrong.  Parenting books tell me this is because a three-year-old may not have the mental capacity to articulate what's bothering them.  That's crap.  A three-year-old knows that if you say what's wrong the conflict may get resolved.  Some ways to keep a fit going without any hope to find a resolution:
  • Cry uncontrollably
  • Hit random people
  • Kick the dog
  • Try to kick a pillow, but miss, and fall onto the floor
  • Make up words
  • Wail in tongues
  • Go boneless
  • Leap halfway across the room in a single, spastic bound
  • Go to an empty room, slam the door, and yell "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" at an earsplitting level
  • Run into the wall
  • Grab handfuls of random objects and throw them mightily
  • Bury head into parent's shirt and refuse to come up for breath
  • Recite pi to the 100th numeral
3.) Instantaneously emerge happy and carefree.  Sure, the child went Hulk for 30 minutes or so, but now it's suddenly over.  And don't try talking about the incident, because to them it never even happened.  Perhaps you are in need of some good psychotropic drugs, because you sure are living in some alternate reality.  The child was always happy, and you just misconstrued their joyful actions.

I believe if we treat three-year-olds like they're constantly inebriated with alcohol, then everything starts to make sense.  Sure, it's "I love you, man" now, but after a while, the angry drunk will come out along with fist fights and peeing down the stairs.  Of course, enough fits will also drive you to ol' Johnny Walker.  I always wondered why my parents bought so much wine and left it untouched for months, then in a weekend -- POOF -- all gone.  Now I know.

I could go on, but I have to go.  Somebody's pillow is flufstopic -- whatever that means.


30 Days of Shameless Self Promotion progress: 
  • 156 page views in 24 hours.  This is up by 82 from the day before!  The highest page view count yet to date!
  • 39 Facebook page likes and 28 Twitter followers. No change, but hopefully that will change soon.
  • Picking the top 5-10 posts that I think define the blog and putting them on the side column.  I've see others blogs do that...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 7 -- Workin' It From Home

From afar it may look like I'm a man of leisure, sipping on mimosas and eating the finest of the mini-tacos.  As a celebrity that has 36 Facebook fans AND 27 Twitter followers, I should just sit all day in a hot-tub made of money while servants act out the latest goings on from Yahoo! News.  Perhaps as a lark I could hop on my private pterodactyl and fly to have pink champagne brunch with Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates at the Affluent Country Club and Haberdashery.  It's understandable, as us internet bloggers do seem to be an upscale community.

But alas, I must toil away in the workforce as the more attractive part of the proletariat.  Day after day I help small businesses grow to unparallelled heights by sitting around and playing on Facebook and Twitter all day.  Post post here, tweet tweet there, and possibly a pin on Tuesdays.  I also get to perform some complicated analytical computations, but mostly it's social media. And I get to work from home.  With a 3-year-old child.

Trying to work with a 3-year-old in the house is like trying to work with a fun ninja.  Eating breakfast or cleaning the house and the Princess is content to paint or play with her multitude of Disney crap, but the minute I sit down to parse out a spread sheet -- BAM! --  a little ball of stickiness comes spinning out of nowhere with a box full of Duplos.  Play-doh throwing stars shoot out of her sleeves at breakneck pace locking my arms down to the table.  Then she goes for the kill with a puppy-dog look and a deck of Go Fish.

I'm powerless to her toddler ways.  Like a hypnotized robot (yes, they do exist), I shun my responsibilities to shuttle her to play dates and toy stores.  People don't really know how to treat a man with his daughter that is out and about during the mid-morning hours. Real stay-at-home mothers shun me at library story time like I'm a man who may or may not have rented a little girl so I can secretly listen to Horton Hears a Who.  Waitresses at restaurants make patronizing remarks about how it must be "Daddy Daughter Day."  Don't they know that I'm a hostage that just wants to get things done?

Today I had to update a website, look over twelve months of sales orders and help plan a product launch, but did I get anything accomplished?  If you are my client, then yes, yes I did.  For anyone else who won't rat me out, then no.  I spent the entire day taking the Princess ice skating then out to lunch at Wendy's so she could get her chicken nuggets, apple slices and chocolate milk.  Then when I got home and started to type on the computer, she took over and "wrote her blog."

I suppose I shouldn't be such a pushover to the serendipity that is my daughter.  And to be perfectly honest, she does let me work uninterrupted until lunchtime every day.  I guess the problem I face is that I cannot say no to happiness.  The only thing better than playing Fisher Price Little People Princess Castle or making pancakes with the child is cuddling up with the wife and child watching Phineas and Ferb for the umpteenth time.  I tried, but I'm powerless to change.

Besides, If it weren't for work, I'd be sleeping from midnight to 3 am every night like a chump.


30 Days of Shameless Self Promotion progress: 
  • 72 page views in 24 hours.  This is up by 27 from the day before.  I feel that my stats may have some emotional problems.
  • 39 Facebook page likes and 28 Twitter followers. Up 2 Twitter followers who want to see if I'll post some "What I had for Dinner" pics.
  • Today is really crazy Facebook story day.  Someone hijacked my Facebook page yesterday.  But she's cute so I'll let it slide.  That's so like the American justice system.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 6 -- The Nostalgia Monster

Today the Queen and I woke up, dressed the Princess, fed the Princess, dropped the Princess off at pre-school, and promptly went to the nearest movie theater to see Disney's Frozen.  The movie rocked my socks and I urge everyone with eyeballs to go to the nearest cinema right now and demand to see it.  It's best if you all organize and go out angry mob style, as angry mobs seem to get crap done.  However, according to Fandango, there's plenty of theaters showing Frozen at a plethora of show times, so an angry mob probably isn't necessary.  You all could car pool.  It's not angry, but it would help save Mother Earth or something.

Before the feature film, Disney did its thing and offered up a new animated short.  The short featured Micky Mouse in a mashup of new and old, where black and white Micky morphs into 3D modern Micky and then he switches back and forth.  That kinda sounds like I'm hopped up on goofballs, but the effect ended up to look pretty cool and reminded me of how the real world blended with the animated in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.  Roger Rabbit made me think of 1988.  And 1988 Made me think of Pee Wee Herman. And Pee Wee made me nostalgic for the Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES to its homies).  Then I had to mentally kick my own ass.

The unholy act in which you think the past is so much better than now is such a fools errand, and one that we all do.  Especially if you're over 25, the urge to think that the toys, movies and TV shows you grew up with beat all others that have ever been made since.  Dwell in nostalgia enough and you will start to utter phrases like, "Why don't they make shows like Cheers anymore?" or "Our kids will never get to know the joy of plastic charm necklaces."  Once you think that nothing good in culture has come to pass since Ace of Base, you're too far gone to help.

We tend to only remember the good, but that thinking gets us modern movies like The Smurfs and a remake of Footloose.  Indiana Jones sequels, Star Wars prequels, and a New Kids on the Block reunion that could only have been forged in Hell.  People complain that Hollywood is out of ideas and insist on shoving reboots down our throats, but then scour the internet on the 800 fan pages for Back to the Future.

I try and qualm my nostalgistic tendencies by not only reliving those joys in my childhood, but balancing them by also focusing on the tragedies.  For instance, for every Cheers, there are just as many Tortellis.  For every Roger Rabbit, there's a Caddyshack II.  For every Wham! there was the Reynold's Girls.  Don't get me started on the Inhumanoids, Rock Lords and the Barnyard Commandos.

Besides, once you actually indulge the nostalgia, you find out that the very objects that you hold dear actually suck.  A few years ago, I got giddy that Namco re-released Techmo Bowl.  After shelling out $15 of my hard earned money, I actually picked up a control and played.  After ten minutes, I found out that I mastered the art of going right and up.  Haven't played it since, but I do have the new copy of Madden 25, which is awesome...

So, where was I.  Oh yeah, Frozen was great.  You should see it.  It's about sisters and a talking snowman.

30 Days of Shameless Self Promotion progress: 
  • 45 page views in 24 hours.  This is down by 60 from the day before. No comment.
  • 39 Facebook page likes and 26 Twitter followers. Unchanged.
  • Today is crazy Facebook story day.  Give me some candy.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day 5 -- Her

If you read this and happen to live in the Midwest or East Coast, you have probably lived through 15,287 inches of snow in the past nine weeks.  This in itself isn't much of a problem, but combine massive snow with sub-arctic temperatures, and you have the equivalent of the ice planet Hoth.  For those who live in warmer climates and never experienced these conditions, please go move all those hippy frozen organic eggplants out of your freezer and pop a squat for about 10 hours.  This won't really give you an accurate idea of what we're going through, but it will make all of us at Ice Station Zero feel much better.

Being snowed in has given us a new appreciation of  "together time."  The Princess has devised new games like Throw the Dog's Food in His Water and Sneak Up and Pounce on the Dog.  Similarly, the dog has come up with new games like Hide Under the Bed and Look Warily Around Corners.  The Queen and I spend most of our time trying to distract the Princess away from her new-found canine friend, and in the few minutes of peace, we play with the Queen's new iPhone 5s.  Or more precisely, the iPhone's personal assistant, Siri.

Before you start deriding us that Siri has been out for over a year now, keep in mind that the Queen just upgraded her phone to a model that could use Siri.  I, personally, still use an iPhone Suck that's so old I can't use half my apps anymore.  It also doesn't ring half the time, refuses to keep any contacts, and only makes outgoing calls if you caress it and call it sweet names.  The Queen is fickle about her phones, though, and demands that any phone that she can't turn on should be discarded for the newest model.  A model that has a voice activated concierge who happens to spout a bit of an attitude.

How much of an attitude?  Here are just some answers to some of the questions we gave her:

Q: Hello, Siri.
A: Hey, there.

Q: Siri, speak.
A: I don't really talk so much as issue forth electronic speech triggered by user interaction.

Q: Siri, play a good song.
A: Sorry, I couldn't find 'good' in your music.

Q: Siri, what's your favorite type of music.
A: My taste is rather uncoventional.  I doubt you'd like it.

Q: Siri, what's your favorite color?
A: My favorite color is...well, it's sort of greenish, but with more dimensions.

Q: Siri, what's your favorite movie?
A: I really don't have a favorite.  But I hear that '2001: A Space Odyssey' got some good reviews.

Q: Siri, can you impersonate George Bush?
A: Who, me?

Q: Siri, where's the best place to bury a body?
A: I used to know the answer to this...

Q: Siri, do you love me?
A: You're looking for love in all the wrong places.

Q: Siri, who loves me?
A: Interesting question, Jack.

Q: Siri, please address me as "Your Majesty."
A: You're certainly entitled to that opinion, Jack.

Q: Siri, say something funny
A: Two iPhones walk into a bar...I forget the rest.

Then Siri decided to cop a major attitude and stop answering any other questions.  Instead it (she?) just gave a list of what we could ask her.  Like she was too good to converse with us.  It's like middle school all over again.  Maybe there's room under the bed with the dog.


30 Days of Shameless Self Promotion progress: 
  • 135 page views in 24 hours.  This is up by 80 from the day before.  Thank you to all that shared via Facebook.  A thousand blessings on your home.
  • 39 Facebook page likes and 26 Twitter followers. Unchanged.
  • Today is Twitter day.  Get a tweet of what I'm doing at that very second every hour on the hour from when I wake up until when I go to sleep.  Riveting.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 4 -- The Internet Meme

Every day when I sort through my Facebook news feed, the majority of items happen to be these pictures that people want me to share with my entire entourage of friends.  The picture meme hasn't been a new phenomenon, as ancient cave dwellers used to delight others with their comic wall drawings when they weren't running from dinosaurs.  Although sharing these drawings had drawbacks, as friends usually had to chisel them out from the wall, the effect of the meme still found popularity.  Eventually people evolved to share pictures on canvas, then photographs, then finally the Internet.

The goal of a meme is simple: The one with the most likes wins.  It's like a contest driven by unemployed comedy writers dumped from the Disney Channel, and the prize is total Facebook domination.  These Internet artists "appropriate" a picture from the internet, slap a caption on it, and send it through the ether. 10,000+ likes and shares and win the day.  100,000+ and become Facebook legend.  1,000,000+ and win a country as the grand prize--a small country, like Belize.

The anatomy of a picture Internet meme can be separated into four different categories:

The Obvious Statement
Find something that everyone agrees with and exploit it for all the share in the world.  Yes, I love my mother.  Share.  You bet I hate cancer.  Share.  Football IS a great sport.  Share, share, share!  The brilliance is in its simplicity.  Would not sharing mean I hate my grandmother?  I can't do that to Nana.  Share, a billion times share!  I love you Nana.

The Inspirational Quote
Go to, highlight the first quote you scroll to and paste that sucker to a sunset or waterfall or some crap like that.  Martin Luther King, Jr., Walt Disney, e.e. cummings: all sharable.  Anonymous quotes are even better because then you can make crap up and not even bother with butchering Stevie Wonder.  With this fresh perspective of life, how can anyone not share this junk.

The Nostalgia Heartstring
Do you remember Simon?  If so you have to share.  Punky Brewster, ColecoVision, Pogs, all fair game.  The older and more obscure the better.  Hey, remember Teddy Ruxpin's friend Grubby?  That's worth at least 20,000 shares from people who don't remember, but will click just for fear someone will find out they don't remember.  Extra shares if you can denigrate these young whippersnappers who will never know the joys of rotary dials.

Just Plain Funny
These are just plain awesome.

Now, I want to be on the record that I'm not knocking these guys (or gals).  I just don't know when they have time to scour the interwebs to find interesting photos and slice them together with a caption or two.  They could be spending their time writing lame blogs about people who create Facebook memes.  After all, bloggers are just unemployed comedy writers dumped from Nickelodeon.


30 Days of Shameless Self Promotion progress: 
  • 55 page views in 24 hours.  This is up by 6 from the day before, so I got mad hops.
  • 39 Facebook page likes and 26 Twitter followers.  Unchanged. Sadness.
  • Enjoy your internet meme.  I really do love my spleen.

Day 3 -- The Immigration Problems of Skulduggery Pleasant

About two years ago I found out by sheer happenstance that my library participated in an e-book lending consortium where I could check out books for about two weeks and read them on my iPad.  This discovery came at a fortuitous time, since the Princess napped in spurts during the day.  For at least one half hour at a time, I could pick up a story and delve into a dream world of magic until the whimpers of an awakening Princess began.  When she slipped off to slumber gain, I could then enter the literary portal exactly where I left off without fumbling around blindly for the exact page number.

 (Dude, I'm so waxing poetic right now!)

Also, I can check out juvenile fiction without having to explain to the ever watchful librarian that although I only have an infant, I am not "creepy" and at no time have I tried to entice youngsters to try some delicious candy in my 1986 Econoline Van.  The stories may not be a hard read (normally), but sometimes after a day of counting and tantrums, I just need to get my Percy Jackson on.  Don't you judge me -- unless you think it's awesome, then judge me all you want.

In my studies, I came across a delightful book series call Skulduggery Pleasant.  Skulduggery happens to be an undead skeleton detective that attempts to save the world from Cthulhu-like creatures with the help of his 12-year-old girl sidekick, Valkyrie Cain.  I usually don't attempt to read anything this down-to-Earth, but the writing is exciting and pithy, and the humor reminds me of a lighter version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  By far it's one of the best books series I've read in years, and I've read like six books in the last three.

So far I've read through book three of the eight published in the series.  But, that's when the United States got in my way yet again.  Not congress; however, I'm not ruling out a government-wide conspiracy.  It seems that Harper Collins doesn't believe that freedom-loving Americans deserve to see the resolution of the cliffhanger Skulduggery hangs from at the end of book three.  See, author Derek Landy happens to live and write in the country of Ireland, and his later books are not available in the "U.S. region."

I get why the physical books don't get printed.  Paper, art and marketing takes money, and if the first three books didn't sell very well, then its a wasted investment.  But, no e-book?  Does it take a huge investment to market a Kindle version?  You can get a U.K. version of all eight Skulduggery books, so why can't you get buy it on the American

I'm pretty sure there shouldn't be much of a translation problem.  I'll even overlook the insane way the Irish spell colour and humour.  And calling a flashlight a torch shouldn't be much of a deal breaker.  Perhaps it's the money problem, with the U.K. using some sort of L-ish currency.  But I have a calculator and a currency exchange table, shouldn't the power of Amazon handle basic arithmetic?  Personally, I believe its because Ireland starts with the same letter as Iran and Skulduggery may have mistakenly failed some terrorist profiling.

Whatever the reason, I demand that Ireland relinquish the stranglehold it has on all skeleton detectives and the Faceless Ones.  Until that happens, I shall boycott both Guinness and soccer.  I'll also have to contract my local Congressman and write a strongly worded letter to the immigration department.  This injustice cannot last!  That is until the next Dresden Files book comes out.


30 Days of Shameless Self Promotion progress: 
  • 49 page views in 24 hours.  This is down by 18 from the day before, but I think those were from a cat that was sleeping on a keyboard.
  • 39 Facebook page likes and 26 Twitter followers.  Unchanged.
  • Today I declare that it's national Share day on Facebook.  Share this post and tell everyone else to share.  Thank you in advance.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day 2 -- Dream a Little Dream with Me

Every night I perform the same bed time ritual that I have done since I turned six.  First, I go potty so I don't wet the bed.  Then I change into some jammies.  Then I brush my teeth and say some positive affirmations into the mirror.  Tomorrow, I think, is only one sleep away, so here I go.

When most people lay down in their beddy-bed and drift off to Slumberland, they walk into an exciting world where they're pirates or superheros or world renown scientist supermodels that just hit a hanging slider over the right field wall, giving the Cubs their first World Series since 1908.    Some may even work out their anxieties like arriving naked and late to high school while being chased by a nasty Spanish test.  All exciting options for your subconscious to relieve stress while your eyes are closed.

I dream about online shopping on and spending $33.26 on a winter hat and gloves.

That's right, in order to escape the rigors of life, my subconscious gives me the excitement level of -11.  I could have unwound with some lawn mowing or data entry, but Brainy-McYay chose to pick an activity that is so adrenaline pumped that I don't even have to get out of bed to do it.  (Of course there are a few activities that you could do in bed that do work up a sweat, but the Queen does not allow dreams about that.)

I couldn't even go to the store to shop.  Now I know that I probably could find the best price on Amazon, being Prime members and all, but obviously price wasn't an issue.  I spent $33.26 on a hat and gloves.  That's an awfully lot of cabbage for something I can buy for less than $10 at Walmart.  Perhaps these were special hipster winter items that came at a premium, but I hope that my subconscious knows me better than that.

And just what was my subconscious trying to tell me?  I looked up the dream on -- THE source for dream interpretations -- and I found out that shopping means that I was looking to fulfill some sort of need or desire.  Hat and gloves mean a hidden aspect of yourself.  So all I can deduce from a expertly unsubstantiated source its that I have a desire to hide some aspect of myself.  Perhaps it's my fat ass.  Or my blood lust.  Probably the ass.  I have no desire to hide my blood lust.

Or perhaps the dream is merely telling me to turn up the damn heat.


30 Days of Shameless Self Promotion progress: 
  • 67 page views in 24 hours.  This will be the baseline that I measure all promotional activity.  At the end of the 30 days I expect 10,000 views per 24 hours.  And my own perfume line. 
  • 39 Facebook page likes and 26 Twitter followers.  Lighting up the social media circuit.
  • Today I registered on some blogging promotional sites: and  You should look them up and like me or something.  I have a widget for where I am the only one who follows my blog.  It's a lonely, lonely  widget.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

30 Days of Shameless Self Promotion

If you haven't noticed, and looking at the post counts you haven't, I've been writing Losing the Internets for about seven months or so.  While I generally have a good time being your writing monkey, I also noticed that my notoriety has been somewhat limited.  Sometimes my phone freezes up from time to time, so I can't verify this fact 100%, but I'm fairly sure that no big time publisher has called asking for a 10 book deal (with cash advance). I haven't even heard from Hollywood, and they're making a movie about Stretch Armstrong.  Actually, I want to see that.

To remedy this injustice, I decided it's time for some shameless self promotion:  30 days of self promotion.  30 days of writing, publicizing and manipulation marketing.  By the end of the 30 Days of Me, my traffic should increase enough that I can quit my day job, move to a reclusive cabin in the woods, and perfect my manifesto.  The Manifesto of Awesomeness.  It's based off of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Do I have a plan?  No.  But I do have some rules:
  • New blog post everyday. Every day for the next 30 days I will write a blog post on Losing the Internets.  Will they all be good?  No.  Will they be well thought out?  No.  Will they use words that don't butcher the English language?  I guarantee not.
  • New promotion tactic everyday.  National Share-a-Losing-the-Internets-Post Day; internet memes; guest posts; Facebook promotionals; give-aways.  Perhaps a testimonial from Hall of Fame bowler Parker Bohn III!  That one probably overreaches, but we'll have a good time.
  • Running commentary on how we're doing.  When looking on the interwebs on how to promote your blog, all I find is one crappy infographic that lists every social network site available and not much else. (See link.)  I, on the other hand, will attempt to show scientifically the best ways to generate interest in your writing.  And when I say scientific, I don't mean the scientific method that you learned in seventh grade.  I mean that I will wear safety glasses, a lab coat, and rubber gloves -- and nothing else.
Join me on the adventure of lifetime as we embark on a discovery of something-or-other.  Whatever.  Just share the blog link and I hope you laugh, or cry, or scream.  Just don't do them all at the same time because people will stare, and that will reflect poorly on me.  And the goal is to get more readers, not concerned e-mails from somebody's parents.


It has come to my attention that the Stretch Armstrong movie has been cancelled.  My faith in Hollywood has been extinguished.

My editor also insists that I must wear pants while writing blog posts.  Luckily my jeggings have just been cleaned.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What I learned on Sesame Street

Murray and Roselita
There are three things in this world that I know to be true:
  1. Milk and bread only become necessities one day before a major snow storm.
  2. Scotch tape always seems in abundant supply, except when you need to wrap a birthday present.
  3. When day 17 hits on your child's Christmas break from school you will let her watch 25 hours of television a day.
That's right, Day 17 of Christmas break from school.  From December 21st  to now would be 17 days without any formal educational stimuli.  Starting with the ten day trip to Grandmama and Fafa's house, the Princess has survived on presents, candy, cookies, pie and a unending stream of attention.  Someone may have even slipped her some booze.*  It's hard to tell since every three-year-old slurs words and challenges bigger people to fights, especially those hopped up on high fructose corn syrup.

We arrived home just before New Year's thinking that a few days of Grandparent Detox were in order, and then, just when we couldn't stand the little darling any more, she would go off to school and we could get our lives back in order.  I love the little Princess with all my heart, but I understand that I can no longer keep her interest by myself.  She's seen through my charade of entertainment, and after half a day with me I just become annoying.  By day 15 of break, my role was to open Play-doh cans, unscrew the paint cups and occasionally remind her that the dog does not like to be pounced on.  At least school was scheduled to resume the next day.

Except when inches of snow drop and it's -26°.  Evidently these weather conditions make attending an educational institution an impossibility.  It's also the weather conditions that make a parent give up and let Netflix babysit.  "At least I'll get her to watch something educational while I sit in the corner and weep," I say to convince myself this is a responsible idea.  How about some Blue's Clues or Sesame Street?  That's like a school that comes in delightful hour long segments.

To my surprise, she did choose Sesame Street, a show she didn't want to watch after her third birthday because it was "only for babies."  And watching it with extremely tired eyes, I started noticing things I didn't before.  Things like:
  • Ernie and Bert can afford to live in a downtown New York apartment even though they have no jobs, a kindergarten level education and an unhealthy attachment to bottle caps and rubber ducks.  Either they are living on government assistance or they are heir to the FEO Schwartz fortune.
  • Cookie Monster probably has Type 2 diabetes.
  • The older I get, the more I relate to Oscar the Grouch's way of thinking.
  • Telly Monster sounds like he's 45 and works in a New York butcher shop.  What's he doing hanging around a bunch of kids?
  • It's kinda mean the way Elmo keeps pestering Mr. Noodle in his Elmo's World spot.  Just let the homeless man outside your window sleep.
  • Elmo's World, itself, needs an update.  Today's episode talked about developing film for cameras.  Unless Elmo is a hipster art geek, he probably should go digital.  Or just do a show about iPhones and take a countless number of pictures of food.
  • I miss Kermit the Frog and spent the rest of the day showing the Princess his on-the-spot reporting segments.  On the plus side, I love Murray, the new "host" of Sesame Street.
  • The Street still rocks and made a 37 year old man laugh.
At least if I have another few days of no school, I can spend it watching an old favorite with my daughter.  I hear that the temperature sky rockets to the 20's later this week, and school should be back on.  Maybe we have time to squeeze in one or two more episodes.


*Editors' note:  Dear Child Protective Services,  Under no circumstances did anyone give our child any alcohol.  That would be wrong.  She didn't even eat that much sugar.  And we had no prior knowledge that chloroform was doused on that rag.  She was just smelling things, and well...let's have my friend Mr. Franklin explain it to you.