Hopping The State Line

For some reason, society has decided that living life with anything other than two kids and two pets is crazy. Absolutely and certifiably, insane. If you just got married then you get a pass but it is only temporary. Time is tapping a toe and looking at a pocket watch. Get this show on the road.

If you are a little confused over what is expected of you have no fear, Hollywood and magazines have you covered. Or you could ask the internet indirectly by posting a picture and a phrase like “guess who is expecting!!”. If you have one child or less then you will get hundreds of likes. Maybe a few shares. Try it if you already have three kids or more and crickets…

So what is ideal? In an effort to save time I have looked into the matter. The ideal family has the following ingredients; a hard working father in a semi-physical trade that he can provide a good living but is definitely tired at the end of the day, a mother who makes a fuss over the family and is dramatic but she has a heart of gold and manages to cook all meals including school lunches; a son who is the oldest, good at sports, and is protective over his younger sister; a daughter who is the youngest and free spirited, highly pursued by boys but she is too busy with her studies for tomfoolery; a dog who is either a beagle mix or a golden retriever and was originally purchased as the companion to the son but is now best friends with dad; a cat who is fiercely independent but loves rubbing against legs when people are carrying large objects, she belongs to the daughter but you would never know it.

Throw in a white picket fence in a neighborhood with sidewalks and you have yourself a slice of America. Right out the oven.

If you don’t follow the recipe above then expect some of the following questions.

“Are you trying for a boy/girl?”

“When is the next one?”

“Are you ever planning on having kids?”

“Aren’t you going to give them a little brother or sister?”

or in my case…

“Four kids! Jesus. That’s one way to live your life.”

Old ladies in the supermarket are the most brutally honest. I have heard more than one person mention suicide if they had “that many” kids. Suicide! In front of my kids no less. It sounded more like, “Oh my. I’d don’t know what I’d do with that many. Probably jump off a bridge.” But honestly Gladiss, that is suicide.

Why wait lady? If life is that tough already. And thanks for letting my kids think that they are an unbearable burden.

It is just weird.

I have good kids too. They are polite and kind hearted. Definitely not “jump off a bridge” material.

People are no different with animals. The first dog or cat and people are all, “That is so sweet. Animals are such a blessing! Your kids will love it!”

Then hit them up with news about a rabbit or another dog or feeding an abandoned baby squirrel that lost its mother to a freak cat accident.

“Oh my.”

“Are you crazy?”

“What do you feed them?”

So what if I know what shows up when you type “squirrel nipples” into the Google search bar. It was a legit search. Go judge someone else.

I know people who spend more on booze than I do on animals. Or cars. Or fancy dinners. Hell, I spend more on fancy dinners than I do on pets. Which proves you can’t justify one bad habit by comparing it to a worse one but still… There are worse things than being an animal person or a having a large family.

All of the stuff above here was just a setup to say, “Hey we bought another wallaby. Her name is Bindi Lou Who.”


Now maybe you will feel guilty about giving me grief over it.

Maybe not. Either way.

If you like wallabies and secretly knew that we were crazy enough to get another one, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Tough Love Legacy

I was reading a book a while back and one of the exercises that it wanted you to complete was writing your own eulogy. Kind of weird. The purpose was to focus on the fact that time is limited and to motivate you towards creating a legacy. Try and imagine all the things that you hope people have to say. I’ve tried several times to complete that exercise and I haven’t had much success. I started writing things down that I hope my children will learn or that I would like to tell them at some point. It ended up something like this:

You cannot be anything you want to be.

Society wants to say you can. But that isn’t true.

You cannot be anything you want to be.

However, you can do the things that you want to do.

You are free to pursue your interests and learn about anything you want. You have more tools than any generation, ever. Don’t waste it on cat videos. (Not all of it anyway.)

You can do the things that you want to do. You can work hard at those things and get better every day. If you are successful and diligent you can find ways to keep doing the things you love.

You will become the things that you DO most often.

So, if there is something you want to be… don’t hope to be it.

Go and DO it.

If you want to be a writer. Go write. Start a blog. Write a story. Send op-ed articles to your local newspaper. Volunteer to write things that need to be written and learn your craft. Get a degree in it or don’t… but write.

If you want to be a speaker. Go speak. Join Toastmasters or a local club. Volunteer to be a spokesman. Go speak at public meetings. Make a YouTube channel and rant about the diminishing cuteness of puppies. Get a degree in public speaking or don’t… but speak.

If you want to be a farmer. Grow something. Start a greenhouse in your backyard. Buy land and livestock. Go work for a commercial farm. Get a degree in agri-business or don’t… but grow something.

Go and do. If you do long enough then you will BE.

It isn’t exactly that simple but then again it is. There are roadmaps and requirements for everything you can do. Go and find the recipe for your life.

Set goals. In six months I will do this. In three years I will do that. In ten years I want to be here. Dreams are fantastic in the moment but they fade in the morning light. We all know that if dreams aren’t written down and recited then they are forgotten. Make a list. Make a schedule. Work towards a goal. If you miss a deadline, don’t give up. Re-write the schedule. Reset the goal. Tomorrow is another day.

Get rid of the notion that people are born “good” at something. Know that people are born into this world with the ability to do two things; cry about their situation and mess their pants. EVERYTHING ELSE is learned. You’ll be ahead of the game if you forget the first two instincts somewhere along the way.

Ask questions. Lots of questions. Dumb questions. Smart questions. Ask them all and remember the answers. Look for connections. The world is a mystery but there are answers. An expert is someone who has failed in every imaginable way. Impossible is a roadblock for some people and a to-do list for others. Everything new seems impossible until someone does it. You live in a world of things that were impossible to the generation before.

Remember that people can be mean. They usually attack for one reason; fear. People fear things they don’t understand and things that threaten their beliefs. It is an animal instinct. Part of the reptile brain. That is why true debate about religion, politics, and if someone’s child is less than awesome – is not a good idea. When you feel attacked try to consider why your opponent feels the way they do and says the things they say. Most strong opinions are built around good intentions.

Don’t put up with bullies. Bullies usually feel powerless and need to pick on someone smaller to feel powerful. This is an explanation not an excuse. Don’t take their crap. If they attack you physically then by any means possible, defend yourself. A well-placed elbow can enhance diplomatic relations. All is fair in love and war. Just be sure that you had no other option. Be fast to forgive and seek friendship.

This one is touchy and I hesitate to say it but… College isn’t for everyone. I prefer you take your education as far as you can. That doesn’t necessarily mean college. If you want to work in a trade then getting a degree in Philosophy doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you want to work in manufacturing or sanitation then you might not need to rack up school loans for four years at a private college on a partial scholarship for badminton. On the other hand, a business degree can be handy if you want to own your own business one day. Just think it through and have a plan.

You are not bad at math. No one is. That is a lie that is easier to repeat than it is to cure. I challenge you to find a single employee who wouldn’t raise a ruckus over a paycheck being off. Or set three kids at a table, in front of a plate with only two cookies on it and tell me people aren’t naturally good at math. Algebra will have all three of those kids nervous because 2 cookies/3 people is less than 1 cookie per person. Life is a series of word problems. Most math struggles are a vocabulary issue.

Get involved. It doesn’t take long to realize that there is no THEY out there controlling things. Only a group of WE’s that made it into management. If you don’t like what an organization is doing, join that organization and DO things differently. Or offer an alternative. Pointing out problems is easy. Implementing solutions is the real magic.

And finally… remember that life is a competition but not against each other. Not for the things that really matter. Most of the time the competition is between humanity and mortality. We need resources and medicine and social fabric. You could be the hero who cures all disease or you might be the guy who delivers his mail. Every improvement is an improvement. Share ideas. Help each other. Get excited about any and all success. Be charitable. Be loving. Be kind. It does come back to you.

I have to tell myself this stuff every day. Part of the list of good advice that I try to collect. I’m always open to more suggestions and you should be too.

I Love You,


p.s.- Shut the door when you are in the bathroom. You are not barbarians.

Hitchcock Fortune and Fame

Scare Tactics

The kids are at it again. I hope. Any other explanation is unsettling.

You might recall the incident a week ago when I had the bejezus scared from within my body. The American girl dolls were standing on the stairs looking at me as I walked through the living room. Well, tonight they struck again. I left the house to get Supermom a Sonic Blast for Valentines Day because I am super thoughtful and good at Valentines. The best. You wouldn’t believe how good. I know several Valentines experts and they ask me, “How do you do it so well?” Incredible.

Anyway, the children were in bed and the dog was fast asleep on the couch. The creepy dolls were nowhere in sight.

Twenty minutes later I returned with the prized treat for m’lady and who is ready to greet me? The same two dolls. Standing in the doorway to the kitchen. This time was even better because they had a handwritten note.



My first instinct was ransom note or death threat but, apparently, I had them all wrong. They just want to know what’s up and if we could Netflix it up sometime. Sorry ladies. I’m married and you are possessed by the devil, it just wouldn’t work. XOXO to my BFF American Girl dolls Kitt and Julie.

Jane later admitted to writing this with her left hand to confuse me. Nice.

Crappy Situation

It has been a while since I posted a rough picture. Luckily, my children are getting less gross as they grow older. No one has crapped their pants in at least a year. That phase should be passed. But as I learned last week, that doesn’t mean I wont be exposed to general grossness out in the world.

While eating Chinese buffet food I realized that I needed to use the restroom. Upon walking into the restroom I realized that someone else had used it before me. Recently. There was an odor in the air that was more intense than the usual Kung Pao backfire. As my eyes began to water and my nose to burn I looked for the source of the problem. I found it quickly.


Someone had missed the toilet completely and attempted to clean things up with a handful of recycled brown hand towels. They smeared it around nice and thin to completely stain the grout and volatilize all the odor carrying compounds. It was overwhelming. I left. No one has to pee that bad.

My fortune cookie put it all back into perspective.


If you want to go to the bathroom, you have to tolerate the feces smeared on the neighboring stall. See how that makes it all better? Such wisdom.


Three Shades of Grey?

Fifty shades freed. A good title for the movie because that is how I feel after the third and final installment of this series. No matter what happens I know that next year won’t involve a trip to a premier for Christian and Anastasia. Out of all three movie, this was the weakest premier. No lady popping pills behind us or telling us all the things the story made her feel. There were about twenty people in the theatre for the seven o’clock release party. I’m not saying the movie was a total let down but I will tell you that when we got home Supermom cleaned the drain in the girls’ bathroom sink.


What is this black garbage?

When a soft-core porn trilogy goes bad enough that you clean house afterwards it is probably time to stop making the movies.

While the movies and storyline are completely ridiculous I did find a nugget of truth. The three phases of a relationship get represented well. The excited phase where life = sex + activities. The settling down phase that has some soul searching and struggle with commitment. And the nesting phase where you are consumed by house hunting, friends getting married, and finding out your wife is pregnant and reacting badly to it. All that was pretty well on par. The thing I struggled with for the movie was the steady disappointment of meeting a good character and having a strong introduction only to waste it on the back end of the story. Don’t get me emotionally involved in a character who will only play a minor role for the rest of the entire movie. Like the real estate lady who helped Elliot buy an engagement ring. That story still doesn’t make sense. Anna should have called him on that BS but married couple phase doesn’t allow for rocking the boat and breaking bro-code.

I guess that is enough updating for now. Next time I want to include some info on Mr. Jasper and what he has been up to.

If you like creepy dolls and B-level sexy movies. This post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Brains and Bravery

The human brain is a magical thing. The way it filters a constant stream of input from our senses helps us thrive at the top of our food chain. Apex predators who can see and understand the world.

Think about the amount of information processed from your eyes alone. Megapixels of colors and shapes and shades. Your brain, a neural network supercomputer, looks at each image frame-by-frame and decides if objects are moving. Where are they moving? How fast? If you move along a fence fast enough your brain will piece together images through the gaps and let you see what is on the other side. Your brain has a buffer and temporary storage. That is about the coolest thing ever.


Sometimes the brain makes assumptions and jumps to conclusions. Loud noises. Bright flashes. Features hidden in the shadows that look like faces. Our brains are hardwired to jump to emergency mode. Fight or flight.

Or freeze in pants shitting terror.

Mine does that last one sometimes. On special occasions I make weird sounds and swear.

Last night was a special occasion. I was walking into the darkened living room. On a quest to get a drink of water from the kitchen. On my right are the stairs that ascend into the bonus room over the garage. The light in the stairwell had been left on and was casting a glow down the stairs and into the living room. In that shadow was an outline. A very human outline that my supercomputer brain immediately identified and flagged as a curiosity. I turned my head to find the source of the shadow and examine it myself. Who was making this shadow? Why were they in my house? Should I confront them or go find a weapon first?

In a split-second I had my answers. The neurons fired and told me a series of instructions.

  • Holy mother of Jesus. That is a fucking demon.
  • Oh shit. There are two of them.
  • You are going to die.
  • Shut down your internal organs and stop breathing.
  • Try to scream and warn the others. Oh wait. You just shut down your internal organs which includes your diaphragm and lungs. Oh well. Utter something unintelligent like “Meerr fuck nubly.”  They don’t stand a chance against demons anyway.
  • Wait… Those demons look familiar. Like American Girl dolls.
  • American Girls dolls have metal stands that hold them upright so they can be posed and more interactive. This helps to foster reality and make the play experience more vivid and real.
  • Those are just dolls. Take a deep breath.
  • Sorry about your pants. Restart all normal organ function.
  • Sit down for a second you silly chicken-shit. Some protector of the family you are… Disgraceful. What would you have done if that was a demon? You are useless.

Here is what I actually saw.


This is what my brain told me I saw.

It serves me right.

One of my joys in life is hiding at odd times and scaring the absolute Bea-je-zuz out of my children. I even scared the dog the other night and she screamed like a human child. It was awesome. I didn’t know dogs could scream like that. Supermom thought I stepped on her and my children thought the closet monster was eating her. It was fantastic.

So turn-about is fair play. If you have ever had a less-than-manly moment, this post is for you. It happens. Kids do some creepy stuff. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Having Pride

I watched TV tonight and feel like I needed to write this blog as a letter to my daughters.


Dear Children,

Don’t ever go on a reality show. Do not ever participate in a show that claims to capture reality for the amusement of others. Especially if that show is about love, dating, or partying. I am not aware of a single-one of these shows that benefits mankind. In fact, there are fewer sure signs that humanity is screwed than The Bachelor. (Not to mention, solid evidence of which side will win the gender wars.)

Women are battling for equality in the workplace. For respect on the dating scene. The women of history fought and protested for basic rights and considerations. They are our mothers and wives and leaders and doctors. They dominate the field of nursing because of a compassion for people and compulsion to nurture. Their patience helps mold young minds through teaching in primary education in much greater numbers than men. They have guided advances in science and mathematics. If they knew their true power and influence the world would be a different place.


But here… on television… they are sold as little more than feral cats circling the leg of a lion. Purring and rubbing him trying to win the prize. They are crying over this random man. They are hanging their life happiness on being chosen. They are snipping and stabbing each other in the back. I’m 100% positive that if nine of the ten women were choking on a pretzel the last one would be straightening her dress and working on her sad face to convince Mr. Bachelor that she was deeply affected by the sudden tragic death of her new friends.


Spoiler alert. He picks all of them. 

The producers are telling a story. Take note of the message but only to remember how shitty it is. Watch this show once and keep count of some things.

In a two day span he made out with each and every one of the women. They were fully aware of what was going on. The only thought was winning and how they could go farther, faster to gain the edge. I’m also certain that they would voluntarily carry his child to win. If any of them picked up the flu or stomach virus, production of the show would have to shut down while the wave passed. I hope they pre-screen for STD’s.

Maybe it is a lofty goal to hope for anything better. Biology is strong medicine. Attraction and hormones are nearly unstoppable. Fight the good fight. Do what you do and if you mess up don’t carry around any guilt you accumulate. Let it go. But for the love of all that is good and holy… don’t whore yourself out on Season 37 of The Bachelor.

There. That is my advice for the day.


Take it with a grain of salt because I am taking your mother to see the premier of the third Fifty Shades of Grey movie. It is basically a porn with a little better story line. Not much better but somewhat. And it is a best seller. A large percentage of people who are smart enough to read words chose, of their own free will, to read three of these novels.  A novel series that is based around a woman being dominated by a physically fit, young billionaire with good intentions and a desire to shower her with riches. A fucking best seller.


You have your work cut out for you. Good luck.