Late yesterday, during an impromptu picnic at Local Park, I was unsuspectingly slipped what I believed was food, but in fact was the face assaulting goo best known to the layman as “peanut butter.”
Most sammiches can be taken at face value as having bread and nummy sustaining innards. Frighteningly, the innards of the peanut butter sammich have less value to the face than any other place.
I did as I’m sure everyone does upon receiving food, I tore it apart. Sammiches are easily deconstructed by tearing the port and starboard Wonder slabs asunder. Within lies the vegan meat of the tasty matter, a veneer of sweet preserved fruit on one side and a slathering of peanut butter on the other.
No more can you eat a disassembled sammich than you can take a car apart and use it. Trust me, I wasn’t going to believe it until I learned it myself. My failure was punctuated with crumbs scattered like leftover lug nuts across the highway of my face. It wasn’t a pretty site.
While peanut butter may still have several viable commercial uses it is a product that this consumer still cannot endorse. It’s more of a safety issue than one of taste. Sammiches in general, while often quite tasty, should be avoided for their laundry list of potentially disastrous ingredients. And don’t even get me started on the perils of a well (Miracle-)whipped discus of bologna.
You know the age-old deal, don’t you? As the elders profess it, you simply must finish your Happy Meal before you can get your toy, right? Fair enough, thanks to my nearby car window, you can consider my french fries “done.”
The “parents” said I had to get all “el finito” on my chicken nuggets before I could “el play” with my Happy Meal toy. The problem I had on this particular day was that I’d had a late breakfast and wasn’t particularly hungry. I had to get all kinds of clever in a hot old hurry or face prolonged toy withholdery, so I did that first part in fine form. The part about getting “done” with my food.
You see, the Happy Meal is an odd conundrum of tastitcular delight as it’s forced to balance with engiddisome enjoyment of toys. When you’re hungry the nuggets of chicken most pureed is straight up glee, but barring that hunger it’s a hurdle to toy enjoyment most insurmountable. I got clever as my circumstance demanded.
Seriously, I was ready to play. I didn’t know what this week’s toy was going to be but I didn’t care. I had to make a foolproof plan and execute it, and that’s just what I did.
But you know what they say, if you build something foolproof they’ll just build better fools… and that’s where my dad came in.
I was sitting in the van in my usual place when I made my series of moves. One fry, two fry, good fry window bye… but I was spied from the corner of Daddy-O’s most unsharp eyes… I don’t profess to know how he caught me but he claims to have done so, and the photographic evidence backs him up.
As it turns out they had a batch of plain-sight hidden cameras watching my (each and) every move. As slick as I thought I was sneaking fries out the window, the shudder was a thousandth of a second ahead of me.
They’re pretty pictures though, huh? Captures our van from it’s good side, that is to say the side that doesn’t appear to have met the worst of an unruly dumpster or perhaps a wall of brick.
I must go now. Seems I have some time to spend in solitary confinement, a gulag or at the very least my own bedroom with no movie playing. Either way you can see it’s a hell most unjust. What can I say, I wasn’t in the mood for greasiest potato and I wanted to get my play on.
Whatever, man. Will Smith said it best before he was a billionaire, parents just don’t understand.
Last week I had the rare chance to pass through a birth canal. I have to say, if I could change one thing it would be how wide it is and how easy it is to go through.
The whole deal was a bit traumatic and embarrasing, but just the same, I feel I need to share my experience. Brendan keeps saying I’m a journalist or something, that it’s my job to write about what I know. Here’s what I know: Birth canals are way too narrow.
If you’ve ever tried to pull a ping pong ball out your nose or swallow a Cabbage Patch Kid you understand what I’m talking about. It’s like driving a tractor-trailer down a 1-lane dirt road. You can do it, but it’s not comfy.
This’s kinda what I think I looked like going through the canal. It was too snug so my head was like “mmrrrgghhwwaaaah, gotta get Free!”
An intense once-over skim of Consumer Reports revealed there was, as yet, no published reviews of birth canals. Maybe it’s because the rights of those using them aren’t considered, maybe they’re all the same, or maybe it’s because you don’t get to choose which canal you pass through.
As for mine, I’ve learned that “birth” and “Panama” are totally opposite things, even to a pro like Mom with a team of handy experts to help her along the way.
I’ve always known binkies are at risk of being misplaced. We’ve done it a bunch of times and they always turn up. What I didn’t know about was their high rate of theft.
We went for an evening on the town as guests of near-honor to my brother’s dance recital. There were lots of adults there so I felt pretty safe, but it was that false sense of security that made it seem perfect for the heist to go down.
I saw this guy across the room casing my place for his big score. He was a tall man, about my height, and very old, maybe a couple weeks older than me even. Luckily for me I was very aware of him and all his would-be criminal intentions even before he made his move.
He walked right over to me like he’s an old friend of mine and it was then that he lunged to rip my binky from my mouth… I wasn’t about to give up like that.
So what can we do to keep the binkies safe? Here’s a few suggestions as probably offered by top experts in the field.
The Club – Sure, your face may look a little silly for it, but think how good you’ll feel stretched to a convincing grin with your binky kept safe.
Heavy chain – They actually have these but we couldn’t get ours through the metal detectors at the school where the dance recital was.
Alarm system – Oh sure, I promise I’ll let out a sirenesque wail should I catch the bandit mid-caper, but what should happen if I fall asleep? I need real security monitoring here people.
Private guard service – Yeah, that’s why I keep my old man around.
Etching serial numbers – It’s a good way to recover stolen goods, but if you’ve ever tried etching serial numbers into pliable plastic you know it can be really tricky.
For me, tragedy was avoided. Both his mom and my dad/guard saw the whole thing stewing too and quickly intervened. Lucky for both of us, another ten seconds and he’d have taken my binky and I’d have had to open up a can of my very own band of “whupus,” whatever that is.
Around the time we got sick of San Francisco’s hills, we took it upon ourselves to hop a trolley for a quick spree up the hill, but it got me to thinking about history. Well, okay, not really, but the question was forced on me like the question of which hand is my dominant one, but the reward in this matter is even greater than that, so we went to the Cable Car Museum to get all our answers.
One thing that’s obvious is that, whether in days of the now or years of the yester, nobody in their right mind wants to walk up and down the hills all day just to get where they’re going. That’s why there’s the whole cable car business in the first place.
So thanks for pointing out the obvious, that people don’t want to walk up and down hills. Now let’s go on to the meat of these potatoes… Mmmm, meat and potatoes, that sounds pretty good right now. Got any gravy? Wait, no, never mind, I’m off track here.
Here’s just a few of the things I already knew about trolleys before going to San Francisco, and all of this is as true as it feels in the truthiness of my heart. Cable cars, aka trolley cars, of San Francisco have been around since 820 BC, and are not only the first known use of cabled actuation, but also the first known use of the wheel in the western hemisphere. Cable cars are also credited with the invention of lightning, milk and the writing of the constitution.
Of course, having been to the cable car museum, I learned a few new things about them, not the least of which is that everything I said about them in the previous paragraph is completely untrue. It’s odd how these urban legends spread. I was just sure Elvis was born on a San Fran cable car, but I guess I was wrong.
What I learned at the museum is that San Francisco has the world’s only remaining cable car system, that the trolleys have no independent motors, and that they’re all powered centrally by an undisclosed number of, presumably, miles of steel cables that run beneath the city streets.
I also learned that passengers are allowed to hang off the sides of them, even whilst in transit, so long as they pay their fare.
But the biggest thing that’s kept these trolleys running all this time, and feel free to say it with me, is — no, not steam, not coal, nor Rice-a-Roni or the most prevalent myth, love — rather, it’s a shared distaste for walking up steep hills.
One could easily argue that this town has everything, but what’s more interesting than that, is that it has the one thing. No where else in the world will you find a labyrinth of steel cables forever slithering beneath city streets to pull trains along. For that alone you should take a visit, take a gander, take a stroll, and take a rolling ride on one or more of the city’s many, steep and winding cable cars.
We did, though with all the difficulty you can imagine from having all us ‘fraidy kitty catty’s in tow, and it was an experience I’ll never forgot… well, at least not until tomorrow. Good thing I always carry photojournalists with me, huh?
The Cable Car Museum is located at 1201 Mason Street and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 361 days out of the year. Admission is always free, so bring as much film for your camera as you do attention span.
Today, without any prior provocation, brother Patrick decided he was a cowboy of the highest sort and promptly paraded his horse throughout our home. His trek was violent and comical but his cowboy status remains in question.
The only figures respected throughout the entirety of cowboy history are the Lone Ranger, the Rhinestone Cowboy, and of course, Rodeo Clowns. Patrick is more clown than Rodeo Clown and more Lone Deranger than Ranger, which leaves only the Rhinestone Cowboy, but I’m still not convinced.
First of all, where are his rhinestones? He’s got no diamond rings, fancy watch, nor Bedazzler (TM) encrusted suade jacket. I’m not exactly hip to the ins and outs of calf wranglin’ but I think you need to sparkle to be a Rhinestone anything.
Secondly, he lacks any cows. Unless you count Mama (who admittedly has been pretty beefy since smuggling that new baby guy) or myself (who may be “fatted” but clearly ain’t a “calf”) he’s coming up with a goose egg for his steer driving head count. Show me a cowless cowboy and I’ll show you my odd brother.
Even though he loubly crashed through our home like a Tasmanian devil, his horse was largely innocent. Even lean horses (“skin and bones”) are made up of more than a smiling head on a broomstick-gaunt pole. Patrick insists he’s a cowboy and, pending independant audit, we’ll let that claim stand.
This whole vacation business is pretty acceptable to me all around. I get tons of time with the parents, to see all kinds of things I’d never even known existed, and to wear myself out to absolutely nothing at every turn and opportunity, making the waning days of my naps that much more rewarding. I don’t have the foggiest what San Francisco is really about, but at least climatically, the city does.
No seriously, the city has it going on when it comes to fog. The watch I wear is only right twice a day, since it doesn’t have any mechanism inside of it to keep it running. So when it comes to me setting my watch, I do it by the San Francisco fog, which rolls in without fail every evening at 3:46pm.
If you haven’t the foggiest what time it is, wait for the unmistakable weather change and you will. No fog is 3:30, rolling in is 3:46. Foggy is 4:00pm and clear but nighttime is 5:12pm. It’s just that easy.
So as sure as you can count on the rains in Spain remaining mainly in the plains, you can count on the foggy fogs of San Francisco to steal your vista views at least once a day. It’s a great town with great views, or so I’m told. My object permanence is nearly non-existent, so I can’t be expected to remember the beautiful sights I saw some twenty-odd minutes ago, so maybe they never existed at all.
Maybe it’s just a figment of my imagination, but so too may only be my imagination a figment of itself, I’m just not up to that point developmentally just yet, sorry.
So if you control the weather, control it so that there’s no fog when you want to see. If you don’t, control your time instead and schedule around it as best you’re able. Sorry I don’t have better advice, but I don’t remember what this article is about already and I’m surely not going to go back and read it from the top. Who has that kind of time to burn?
As an up-and-coming businessman known to the whole world (except myself), I like to stay abreast and double-abreasted of everything business related, once even, though now especially the power nap.
I get up every morning (afternoon and evening), put on my suit and go to work. I take writing assignments, eat them, and do my work as best I can. It’s noble, I know, and I’m not here to win any awards or a massive paycheck. I’m a people-baby and a journalist for the people. No big deal.
Without meaning to, I discovered the power nap, and oh baby, it’s golden.
Seriously, I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t mean to take a nap of any kind at all. We were going over the daily stats and talking about new article assignments and I nodded off. You’ve wanted to fall asleep during work meetings I’m sure, haven’t you? It’s not just me, right?
Take it a step further. Think how great you could feel if, during Dave from marketing’s rant on regional demographics, you just slipped into blissfull slumberland. That’s what I did and it made my day.
My team of experts called it a “power nap” and it really refreshed and revigorated me. Sure, it was over two-hours long, but it felt great! Better than a warm blanket and a suppley-nippled bottle, both of which I also apparently had handy, and both of which nudged the nap on, I’m told.
So pay no mind of your attire nor location when the moment hits you. If you really need a nap, just take one. The moment hits you, you don’t hit the moment, right? It’s not your fault. My boss forgave it, indeed he even understood it. I’m sure your boss will do the same for you. Gotta take potty breaks, gotta take lunch, gotta take naps too, right?
Whether you seek power naps, power lunches or just wish to issue power memos, what little I know encourages me to encourage you to go ahead with it. What’s the worst that could happen?
In San Francisco, we hit up the local park and took in as many of the visible sights available as humanly possible, but I’ve got a beef on my plate, a thorn in my side, a bone to pick and a chip on my shoulder I need to divest. I expected a golden gate, both for prettiness and truth in advertising, but I was let down. Smack it up, flip it, paint it with latex if you like, but this thing is made out of steel.
I can admit that I’m ignorant, a newbie completely childish in my reports, assessments and reviews. It’s no discredit to me, I’m a child and I know it. I embrace it, really. It’s a great thing for me. I don’t worry about bills, bobs or hairies, I just do my thing and everything works out. But come on, a wrought iron gate beside a sign that says “Golden Gate”? Even I know better than that.
No discredit to the park. We’ve seen just about everything worth seeing in San Francisco (sorry if we missed your personal favorite) and this place stacks up like a tippy tall tower of blocks. You could spend two or three days in Golden Gate Park and still not see all that it has to offer, but if you want my fullest and most whole-hearted endorsement (bearing in mind that my heart is still smaller than an average, full-grown man’s) you’ll need to step up your honesty factor a smidgeon or more.
Now I know that the average city suffers at the hands of vandals and hooligans alike made up of the sorts of older, silly kids who degrade and devalue anything they can’t steal, but that doesn’t settle the matter for me. I can understand that you don’t want to build your gates out of solid gold, you might rightly suspect that local kids are going to swoop in and steal it. Whatever, I guess; I mean I would have stolen chunks of your gate too, but that’s not the point.
Consider this the beginning of my petition campaign to change the name of the place to Steel Gated Park. I know it doesn’t have the same ring, but the only rings adults wear are gold, so think about that if you will.
Golden Gate Park is open HOURS, with information available online at URL. It is conveniently located if you have a car adjacent to downtown San Francisco — just ask anybody, they’ll tell you how to get there — and mass transit can bring you here as well. Enjoy your time in the park, but don’t plan on stealing pieces of the gate, because if that thing is golden, I’m made out of quicksilver and asbestos all wrapped up in fiberglass insulation, which I’m not.
After many trips to the hospital Dominic Benjamin finally decided he was ready and at 7:51 on the morning of the 19th he arrived.
I wasn’t there for the big arrival but witnesses on hand reported screaming, crying and an unspeakable mess. Me and brother didn’t even get to meet the odd little guy until he’d born and waited around for a half hour. It wasn’t until I met him that his gravity really hit me.
I was bopping about taking in all the hospital room had to beg my tamper when I looked over and saw Miss Mama holding him in her arms. As all present will attest, the smile ran from my face and my jaw dropped for the first time in my life. What was happening?
I looked around the room and saw that for the first time in all my year (and a half, almost) I was not the center of attention. Who does this guy think he is stealing my Mama and my thunder? I’d been practicing humming that classical ballad He Ain’t Heavy all week anticipating it would be our theme song. Ain’t heavy? Oh no, this song just won’t fit.
Despite being a third of my size and me only a seventh of most people, this guy is very, very heavy. I’m still going to extend all kinds of professional courtesy and guidance and I suppose that loving kinship blah, blah, blah, but how did he get to be so special on his very first day?
No matter, since all eyes were off me I used it to my advantage and ransacked the hospital room. Hey man, it’s what I do!
For those curious he only has ten fingers on his hands, ten toes on his feet and the correct number of all the other things he should have, though sadly no lucky fin. Doctors say he’s in perfect health and his strength and level alertness concur. Oh, and I’m not the only one who thinks he’s heavy, Miss Mama also complained that he was too big to allow a comfortable arrival, something I can only assume means both too big and too heavy.
Big, heavy and he looks like a celebrity already. I’ll let him tell that story himself though, maybe later this week, but outside all these preceding paragraphs, just not much to tell.