Friday, September 27, 2013


It is a happy coincidence that my weekend with the boys coincides with payday. This means that the Friday evening when I pick them up, I am at my wealthiest. This also means that the few days leading up to this day I've been subsisting on peanut butter crackers and raw spinach, so PIZZA FRIDAY it is!!

Pizza is of course a bachelor's staple, but don't get all opinionated and start thinking I'm some kind of loser father that only orders out pizza for my kids because that simply is NOT the case. Sometimes I'll heat up a frozen one from Trader Joe's.

Last Friday was payday, kids day, the first day of autumn, and the first rainy day of the season. Any one of those would be enough to justify a pizza night; all three at once requires it. So we phoned in our order to Mountain Mike's and were informed of the usual "20 minute" wait time. We arrived 25 minutes later just to give them a little lead time and to allow a few minutes for the pizza to cool to a safe temperature (it is a fact that waiting for a pizza in hand to cool before eating it, is impossible.)  We were unceremoniously told it would be a few minutes. I instinctively looked up at the ceiling fan and noted that it was shit free. This was quickly remedied.

Finn was content to do a few laps around the dining room, but Liam had been told there would be pizza.


"Yes, pizza, it's coming buddy. It's just not ready yet."


"It'll be just a few minutes. Do you want to go outside?"


If you're ever frustrated by poor customer service and want to exact a little revenge, nothing beats the screams of a disappointed preschooler. I thought the best thing to help Liam cope with his pain was to allow him to just let it all out. At one point the girl working the counter was so overwhelmed she disappeared into the kitchen which prompted Liam to stretch his little arms across the counter, hands grasping desperately for his promised pizza, while he triple the anguish in his cries for "PIIIIIZZZZAAAAAAAA!!! PIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIZZZZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!"

Eventually the owner came out. "There was some confusion and it's going to be a few more minutes. Can I get you a soda or something?"  Liam was perched on my hip looking like a baby koala bear who lost his mother, while Finn was tucked under my right arm like a piglet having a tantrum. "No thanks, I'm good" I told him. It quickly became clear that they hadn't even started our pizza until after we had arrived. I'm a low-maintenance customer but a heads-up to this fact would have benefited everyone involved, especially the other customers whose pizzas came out before ours. Liam was sure to let them know that they were cruel, heartless bastards for denying a starving child their pizza.

We left 20 minutes after we had arrived with pizza in hand and pride destroyed. Liam's recovery was swift.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Seth Rogen Sighting!!

Seth Rogen
On Friday night Paulie and I had just checked into our hotel around the corner from the Eureka Theater, where I was due to perform at the San Francisco Improv Festival with some other Mortified folks. I know...I're getting tired of hearing about how famous I am! I totally get it, you guys. Moving on.

The show didn't start until 11pm, so we had some time to kill and as we walked toward the elevators we chatted about the usual - what to eat and drink before the show - until I glanced toward the hotel entrance and there I saw...someone famous.

I kept my cool and looked away. Then looked again, caught his eye, looked away again. I wasn't going to have a geek-out episode with this guy like I'd had with every other celebrity I've ever met in my life - no way! This time I was going to keep it together. I glanced over my shoulder one more time and saw that he was heading toward the back of the lobby - I assumed toward the bar (celebrities and their booze, amiright?!). I wondered if he was in town for the Improv Festival? Of course he was! I was pretty sure he was a comedian! I wondered if he would be at the Mortified show? Oh my god! What if he came to the show! What if he saw my schtick and thought it was funny and decided he wanted to bring me into the fold of comedic actors in Hollywood and this was the night I was finally going to MAKE IT?!

When we stepped into the elevator I interrupted whatever Paul had been talking about that I, needless to say, hadn't heard a single word of because I'd been busy obsessing, and said "hey, that guy...who was walking into the hotel, did you see him? He's, like, he's...a comedian. He' actor or something. I can't think of his name! Who is that?"

"Yeah...yeah I saw him too. I know who you're talking about, who is that? I feel like I just saw him in something...."

"It was really hard for me not to geek out back there."

"Was it? You did good, baby." We bounced around ideas on who it could be, agreeing that we'd seen him recently in something. Paulie said "it's not Seth it? No, it's not him, but it's someone like him."

"Right! Yes, like was he in that movie we just saw about the apocalypse where there were a ton of little cameos? The one with Seth Rogen in it? Was he one of those guys?"

"Maybe...maybe...I don't think its him, though. I don't know."

As we were discussing this we'd arrived in our room, changed, and were heading back out for food. I, of course, wanted to go to the hotel bar so that we could 'casually' bump into Maybe-Seth-Rogen and therefore take a shortcut to my celebrity status, but when we arrived he was nowhere to be found and the place smelled like bleachy cajun-seasoned french fries, so we bailed. We settled on a pub across the street (maybe he's in there! said the fame-hungry voice in my head. Nope, he wasn't.)

Once at the theater, I started to say hello to the other performers. Mortified SF is super lucky because there's a highly talented and hilarious improv hip hop band called The Freeze that plays after every reader, making up a song on the spot about whatever was just read. It's a huge highlight of the show and they're a friendly, funny group of folks. 

And one of them was Not-Seth-Rogen.
Not Seth Rogen

As soon as I saw him I said "oh, jeez, it's just you!" Then to his puzzled look I started laughing and said "gaaah I thought you were famous!"

"Well, I--" he tried to say, but I interrupted him to relay the story about mistaking him for Maybe-Seth-Rogen. I felt pretty dumb because I'd just done Mortified with this guy (Opey, as it turns out) two short months ago. So to our credit yes, Paulie and I had seen him 'in something' recently - in the same exact goddam show as me!

I asked if he was staying at the hotel where we'd seen him. He grabbed his stomach and chuckled "no, no...I was just having a little problem, if you know what I mean."

"Oooooh, yeah, I--"

"--I mean I had to find a bathroom before I shit my pants!" He laughed a surprisingly quiet, modest laugh. "So no, I just went in there so I could find a place to poop." One of the other singers in the band, Lauren, added, "and cry," as if the two went hand in hand with this guy. Which I guess is pretty normal, right? It is in my bathroom, anyway.

"Yes," confirmed Opey while rubbing his stomach. "And I cried."

I don't know about you guys, but that disclosure made my whole freaking night and was waaaaay better than meeting some random, potentially career-making celebrity (shut up! A 'one-trick pony' girl can dream, can't she?!).

Speaking of dreaming...wouldn't it be fun if Opey and Seth Rogen had a Seth Rogen-off on the Mortified Stage during the Best of 2013 show in December? Yeah...I'm just sayin'. That would be rad.

Hey Seth Rogen! Since you were apparently too busy to show up to the one gig I was in for approximately 6 minutes really really late on a Friday night in San Francisco and therefore, somehow just by being there, make me...famous...(work with me here) I will allow you to make it up to me (and Opey, of course...poor guy had to stand there watching me laugh and laugh and laugh about him not being you) by coming to the Best of 2013 Mortified show, December 13th in San Francisco, December 14th in Oakland. BE THERE! And then I'll be happy, even if it doesn't propel me to fame.

I promise.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Special Ed

Some highlights from Liam's IEP meeting (Individualized Education Program):

Liam is a curious guy who adores animals. He is currently fascinated by sea creatures and is quite fond of dolphins and whales (Liam is a modern day Jacques Cousteau)

He enjoys movies, playing with balloons, doing puzzles, going to the park, water play, eating popcorn, and looking at books in the quiet corner (Liam would make a kick-ass roommate)

Liam uses sounds, gestures, and 1-3 word utterances to communicate. He often echoes 1 word utterances to have his wants and needs met (a teacher asks "do you want bubbles Liam?" and he responds "bubbles") With verbal cues and prompting, he is still working on using 3 word sentences to make requests "I want pizza" (Liam is enlightened. Not only is he aware of what truly matters in life (i.e. "bubbles" and "pizza") he also understands the virtue of verbal austerity)

Honestly, what's so desirable about a chatty preschooler? The other day was my day at the nursery school and one of the kids Liam's age ran up to me all excited and said, "Last time....the last time I rode my bike...I was riding my bike home..and my brother...there was...I saw A WORM!"

I said "Really? Wow!" but I was thinking my god that is the lamest anecdote I've ever heard.

Liam has been going to two schools for the past year. One is his mainstream nursery school where I hear harrowing tales of worms, detailed accounts of breakfasts, and lots and lots of tattling. The other is Liam's special education class where he THRIVES.

It was about a year and a half ago when the experts were furrowing their brows in my direction with regard to Liam's development. At first it was just that he needed speech therapy and that I shouldn't worry (I worried anyway). Then it was that he wouldn't interact with the other kids but there was no need for panic (I totally panicked). Now they're saying they want him assessed by a psychologist to see if he's on the "spectrum".

Ah yes, the good old ubiquitous autism. Nobody knew it existed until Rain Man came out and now every kid's got it. Last year it was caused by vaccines, this year it's fluoride in the water, and next year it'll be Honey-Nut Cheerios or something. I don't want to editorialize about the subject too much but it's hard not to. I will say this, the experts seem to have no clue what "it" is and I certainly don't either. I don't know if his issues will be something he struggles with for a lifetime or if he'll be "mainstreamed" in a year or two. Ultimately it doesn't really matter to me anymore. Liam is who he is; happy, healthy, and hilarious. Fundamentally, I wouldn't change a thing about him.

It's not that I don't still worry, every parent does I think. In the beginning there was more panic and denial, but now I just really want to learn as much as I can about his difficulties and what's the best that can be done for him. The teachers and Erin and I decided during his IEP meeting that, for now anyway, the best thing is to pull him out of the regular nursery school and have him attend only his special ed class five days a week.

So Liam is riding the short bus full time. In the next few weeks the "specialists" will evaluate him and most likely assign him a fancy acronym that nobody understands and won't really change his education. With Kindergarten looming around the corner it's an exciting time to watch him progress and see his potential blossom. Sure there's still that nagging worry that all of this could one day impact his happiness, but kids are great at teaching parents how to live in the now, and right now I couldn't be more proud of him.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Number Two Fan

There's a secret happy side to co-parenting: When you're with your kids you're really with them. You can focus on them and just them, and leave all other concerns for another time. When you're not with them...well, GOOD GOD you get to do whatever the hell you want!

I experienced the latter this weekend and had an old high school friend up from San Francisco with an entourage of adorable queers. We went wine tasting (of course) and ended our day at the very north end of the Dry Creek Valley at Bella Winery where, not by coincidence, the greatest duet in the world was performing: The Paper Dolls.

Amanda and I discovered these girls two years ago (almost to the day!) and ever since then I've been kind of following them like the Grateful Dead (dollhead?) I'm their number one fan in the greater Sonoma County area...or so I thought.

While my group was getting hammered tasting wine, I was hanging out close to the band giving them my "I totally love you guys but not in a way that should make you uneasy" vibe. They said "hi" to me in between sets because they take my attention in stride even though there's something inherently creepy about a man my age liking them so much. I joked about being their #1 fan and they revealed that I had competition.

Excuse me??!!

Yeah! Some little two-year-old red-headed sweetheart was stealing my thunder! Her face was painted like a kitten and she was in a little white dress (after Labor Day...please).

This was tough competition. She was cuter and more age-appropriate than me by a long shot and she was bringing the "When I grow up I want to be just like you" vibe. I didn't stand a chance.

I tried bringing my A-game. I thought some hula-hooping might score me some points with the whole "I'm nostalgic for pin-up posters and The Anderson Sisters" vibe.

I think it did more harm than good. My ginger nemesis pitied me.

One would think being destroyed in a public "fan-off" by a toddler would destroy a man's pride, but I bowed out gracefully. I think that I'm at a point in my life where I no longer underestimate the power of toddlers.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Call for Genius

For reasons too boring to detail here, I decided to take a class at ye olde Santa Rosa Junior College on Wednesday evenings because, let's face it, I don't have enough going on as it is.

Okay, of the reasons is that I'd really like to find a way to make some supplemental income, so I thought if I could learn how to do things I already do everyday anyway, only better, maybe I could turn that into some cold, hard cash. Three weeks into the class and I can see that isn't going to happen. Darn.

On the upside, I'll finally learn how to manage my other blog. What's that? You didn't know that I had another blog?? Yes I know that! I figured that out when I noticed that no one ever reads it. Well, to be fair, two people read it. And there are about three other people who read it once in a while, so I guess that counts for two and a half readers. I'll take it. It's just a bunch of jibber-jabber over there, anyway. = jibber jabber
One of the assignments for this class is to create and post weekly on a BLOG. But not this blog. And not that other blog. A whole new blog. I have to turn in some proposals for blog ideas next week and, well, I'm at a bit of a loss. I mean, I kind of use up a lot of my creative energy trying to wow you guys on a regular basis, plus occasionally tell stories about things I remember at random over on the other one.

Hey employees: Do as I say, not as I do (don't blog at work)

Look! Look how pensively I'm staring at that computer screen! I have no idea what kind of blog to create! Yeah, of course I've got a few ideas up my sleeve. But, I'd love some input from you, our readers and fans, on what you'd like me, one-half of this dynamic duo, to write about 13 times for this class. No swearing or raunchiness allowed. (Boooorrrrrrrrrring!!)

Are you ready?! 3...2...1...GO! Ideas! Alright! Yes!

p.s. Taking selfies is really difficult for me, especially when they also involve computer screens, so I'd at least like to get some props for that.