Two Dads One Mic

Two dads one mic

A month ago, I was fortunate enough to spend an hour with two really interesting guys, Jake and Joey.  These dudes do a weekly podcast:  Two Dads One Mic, and they look at parenting from a father’s eyes.  It’s actually pretty interesting.

Their site describes their perspective as follows:  Two dads talk parenting, beer, babies, news, sports, food, and more, and they bring unsuspecting guests along for the ride. 

I was fortunate enough to be one of their “unsuspecting guests” and the ride was interesting.

Catch our conversation when you have a few minutes to listen  Two Dads One Mic, Episode 15  (click on Podcast Episodes, choose Episode 15, and be prepared for a 60 second intro).  Oh, they use my real name, Bruce, not my Real Full House name, Danny.

Wanted to give a little shout out to Jake and Joey for inviting me to tell my story.  Oh, and thanks to Uncle Jesse (Hayes) who helped line up this interview.

Finally – in the interview they talk about my upcoming book, Laughter, Tears and Braids.  I got the formatted proof this week – should be out soon!

The Dreaded Church Pictorial Directory

Olan2

We just had our family picture made for the church’s new pictorial directory.  A number of older churches make these.  My parents still have the one with all of the family pictures from 1970!  I’m a cute little booger, and believe it or not, I’m wearing a bow tie.

I wanted to participate and have our family’s pic sandwiched between the Tabors and the Taylors, just like the last two times we’ve done this.   In 2006, Lisa was square in the middle.  Just not the same this time around.

olan1As much as I enjoy thumbing through the old one and seeing how goofy everybody looked eight or 16 years ago, I would rather have toenail fungus than to go through the process.

I warned the girls, “I AM NOT buying any of the pictures tonight.  We do not need a six shot montage of our family with a fake wagon wheel in the background.”

I do, however, always feel guilty not to purchase something.  I know that’s how the photographers make their living.

This time was painful.  The slick salesman in the hot pink shirt met us in the lobby after running 35 minutes behind schedule.  His thick gold bracelet let me know he meant business.  He was planning to make some money tonight.

olan4He started warming us up from the moment we caught eyes.

“I like your bow tie.  You always worn those?”

He then asked each of the girls their age and birthday month.  Seems like everybody in his family has the same birthday as everyone in our family.  It was truly ironic.

He escorted us back to the portable studio which had been set up in our church Gathering Hall.  He quickly began with the cheesy nicknames.

“We’re gonna get the Big Man (that was me: the guy in charge, the decision maker, one with a lot of money to spend) to sit in the middle.  Come on over here Dad, sit on this stool.”

He proceeded to have me straddle another shorter stool and tossed Michelle uncomfortably close between my legs.

olan5“Now darlin’ you get up on this block,” he instructed Stephanie as he set down a piece of wood that made her six inches taller than she really is.

He slid DJ in behind Michelle.

“Big Man, tilt your head a little bit to the center.  Now chin up a tad.  Hold your shoulders up – that’s too much, bring them down a hair.  Drop your nose a half-inch and look toward the door with your right eye only.”

“You’re looking a little posed there.  Juuuuust relax.”

How in the hell can I relax when my children are breathing all in my space and my head is contorted like I’m starring in Cirque du Soleil?

At one point he got the idea that he was going to take three consecutive pictures.  Later I found out he thought they’d look great in a triple matted frame.  He had all three girls lay their heads on my shoulders, one peeking out from behind.  He took a shot.  He then had them move closer to my face for the second picture.  By this time, DJ was digging her fingernail into my back as if to say “get us out of here or I’m going to hurt you.”  When it was time for the third picture, he had them all turn toward me and then he said, “strangle him!”

The kids looked at him to gain clarity on this rather odd instruction.

“Seriously, strangle your dad!  It’ll be fun!”

For everybody but Big Man.

Olan3He then took us to the table where he loaded our photos onto a computer from the camera.

He got very, very serious and looked behind himself to see if anyone else was near.  One of my friends was at a table across the room going through the same pain I was.  My new buddy leaned in and motioned me to do the same.

As our heads got closer, he quietly gave me the news, “Big Man, I can’t do this for everyone, but in addition to the church discount, I’m going to give you an additional 25% off anything you buy today.  Got it.”

It was like being the millionth customer at the Food Lion or something.  I had won the jackpot!  Why me?  Why was I so special?  Why did I get that incredible deal and all of my fellow church members not?  Something smelled a little fishy to me.

“You know, we went to Hawaii last year.  My mother-in-law had a photographer come to our house and take some great family pictures while we were there.  I just don’t see me buying anymore right now.”

“The disk of all of these pictures is normally $200, I can get it to you – let’s see,” he did some math, “for 82.99!  Then you can print the pictures and frame them as you like.”

“Nah.  I’m not buying anything.”

I could see the desperation in his eyes.

“How about the proofs.  You’d get the one with the girls choking you.”

You could fulfill that dream for me?  “How much?”

“$20.  Plus taxes, shipping and handling.”

“How much is that?”

“Let’s see,” more math, “All in, $36.35.”

“Damn.  Is Olan Mills gonna bring them to my house himself?”

This time I leaned in and whispered, “Does that include BM’s special 25% off that no one else gets?”

“Yep.”

“You got a deal!”  Now you can go buy more jewelry.

“I’ll be praying for you buddy.”

All the way to the bank I’m sure.

I’ve got the Snapdog Blues

My two oldest kids now participate in Snapchat.  It is the new Twitter.  For weeks I called it Snapdog.  I don’t know why.  Just got it stuck in my head that Snapdog was the name.  My kids found that irritating so that’s still what I call it.

With Snapdog (chat), you send a photo of yourself to a friend, or an enemy I suppose, via your cell phone.  When they click to open it, they can only view the pic for three seconds and then it disappears.

Presumably, I could take a picture of my privates and “sext” them to some unsuspecting Snapdogger.  I figure it would take at least 3 seconds for them to figure out what a close up of that was – not something you see on a daily basis – and then swala – poof – the “proof” is gone.  My privates are private once more.

The problem is, for those who are technically savvy, the pics and/or videos, can be found from that vanishing Snapdog spot by simply plugging in the iPhone to a computer and pressing a couple of buttons.

I had 15 girls spend the night last week.  If you’re having one or two, why not bring them all?

When one of the 12-year-olds arrived, her mother standing at the door, three other 12-year-olds were standing in the front hall.  None looked up.  All were holding their phones Snapdogging those who were not in attendance.  Perhaps we should have invited them rather than the ones who were there since they didn’t seem to want to talk to each other.  Not one welcomed the newcomer – no screams or silly hugs.  Not one spoke to her mother.  I could have shoved a banana up my nose and danced the Rumba, and not one would have noticed.

Throughout the night, the photos were flying.  And every girl who was not invited, although to me it felt like every girl was invited, got to peek in on the fun – that they weren’t having.  As an adult with no spouse, I sometimes feel like I’m the only one not spending a weekend evening hanging out with my wife.   What a delight it would be to be able to see pictures of everyone else enjoying themselves with their spouses while I sat home alone sending selfies through Snapdog.

I think my girls are smart enough not to send inappropriate photos of themselves through social media.  But who knows?  Michelle made a bucket list last week – it looked like this:

Michelle’s Bucket List

1.  Skinny Dip

Yea – that was numero uno.

I’m gonna take her to a pool this summer and throw her in naked – wanna get that one checked off the list ASAP.

As much as technology has enhanced my life, sometimes I just get the Snapdog Blues.  What happened to Hide-n-go-seek?  Spin the Bottle?  Truth or Dare?  Ahh – now those were the days.

Sunday Post 103: Happy Times

Being in the play A Christmas Carol does a lot of good for me in many ways.  When you spend 75 days listening to the lines of a grumpy old man whose only life’s focus is money, it begins to sink in.

Toward the end of the play Scrooge says, “I was just remembering my happy times.  They seem so very far away.”

I wonder how many people there are in the world who share that same sentiment.

There have certainly been times over the past couple of years when I felt like life just didn’t seem to be worth living without Lisa.  But life is big.

Perhaps I won’t ever find love like I had with her, maybe that is behind me.

But as I look at those around me, I’m beginning to realize that few of us live with every aspect of our existence exactly where we want it to be.  Fortunately for me, I’ve been able to find other areas of my life that are really very good, even without my wife.

I can’t say: I lost my wife therefore all of my happy times seem far away.  No, I lost out big time, and it stinks!  Now I must create new happy times.

I can wallow in lost dreams or I can rearrange them – I can make new ones.  I’m going to try to do the latter.

The Daddy Errand

On my way out the door last night to help a friend clean his father’s house out, I got a call from upstairs, “Dad, I need some femine products.  Can you pick some up at the store on your way home?”

Geeeze.  I hate that.  Why do I have to be the Tampon Taxi?  We were all at Target last weekend, right near that department, and no one mentioned a shortage.  Why weren’t we proactive?  Someone should have mentioned the shortage!

It’s one thing to buy that stuff with a cart full of other items.  But going in just for that?  Man.

That night, I discovered that there are six hundred options on the female aisle.  One of them can even make you fly!  Seriously, it has wings.  I started to buy a pack of those for myself, thought I’d tape them to my back and jump off the porch. I bet that’s what Peter Pan used.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough cash.

There were the “all night longers”, the “breezy while you workers” and I think I saw a “start your day at schooler”.  They came in the shape of a U, an L, a T and a B.  I challenged the woman next to me to a game of Scrabble.  She didn’t take me up on it.  She could probably sense my affinity for words.

There were liners and pads and full on insulation.  I think it’s the same stuff that’s lining the walls of my attic – they call it Tyvek.

A couple had aloe and one had vitamin E.  Who needs a multi-vitamin with those in the house?

I could have started a band:  one clicked, another snapped – there was one with a toot and a pad-da-pat-pat.

Some came in “bold colorful styles” …

Why?

The reason I’m so educated on this subject is because I read each of the names and several of the labels when I phoned home for product clarification. It took three conversations to complete this daddy errand.

At least I’ve passed the point of embarrassment at purchasing these items.  I just tossed them on the counter, asked if they happen to be on sale, and smiled at the lady like all four boxes were for me.

Indeed they were buy one box get the second half price.  Now you’re speaking my language.

(P.S. – I specifically asked my daughters if I could write about this adventure.  The general sentiment seemed to be: We don’t care.  You were the dork walking through the drug store, not us.)

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