Archive | January, 2013

Dork Dad Digest 2.0

31 Jan

letter with yesterday’s Fresh Pressing came an onslaught of new readers and followers. To all of you (there were so many) who left positive, supportive comments, please know that I am moved beyond words. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I am overwhelmed in the best way possible.

It has been a year since I posted the last Dork Digest which was originally intended to give new readers/followers a quick shapshot into what the blog is all about. It seemed appropriate to revisit the idea today, and give a whole new batch of readers a sampler of the DorkDaddy.com culture. Below you’ll find some of my favorite DorkDaddy.com posts from the past year. Please feel free to explore them at your leisure. As always, the point of a venture like this is to engage with the readers, so please leave your comments and reactions with reckless abandon.

SuperpicturespresentThe Clothes Make The Man:

“Identity Crisis”

Sometimes it’s nice to give your fingers a rest. Call this a video-blog if you like, documenting a little silliness between a father and son on a lazy Sunday afternoon. C’mon, don’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same thing if you had a trunk full of spandex in your closet.

 

20thingsdaughter20 Things:

“20 Things A Father Should Tell His Son” and “20 Things A Father Should Tell His Daughter”

After watching someone else’s blog post “20 Things A Mother Should Tell Her Son” go viral across facebook, DorkDad wanted to make sure that the interwebs knew that fathers had some things worth saying too… not the least of which is “I love you.”

 

The *RIGHT* colored box.

The *RIGHT* colored box.

Blue Box vs. Red Box

“Failure And Redemption”

Sometimes you look forward to a blog you plan on writing, which is going to showcase to the world how you are the greatest husband and father the univers has ever seen. Then, suddenly, in the blink of an eye, things go terribly, terribly wrong. So, so wrong.

 

primeMore Than Meets The Eye

“Project Optimus” and “Netflix and Cardboard Boxes”

The story of how a moment’s indescretion turned into an epic, garage encompasing, hot-glue burn, boxcutter, exacto knife, spray paint, paper cut, cereal box, Halloween costume making adventure that nearly did in my marriage. As awesome as it turned out, I just want to make it clear that this was a one-time thing.

 

Game. Set. Match. FML

Game. Set. Match. FML

Keep It Together, Dad. Keep It Together.

“The Xmas I Nearly S#!t Myself”

Last Xmas my mother-in-law bought a gift that was an instant hit with my daughter — and tested the very metal of a man. It took everything I had not to over-react. As the classic 70′s T.V. show liked to say: “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

 

wallWe’ll Get It Next Time, Buddy

“Sometimes Our Dreams Are Bigger Than Our Bodies”

A letter I wrote to my son after a night of excitement and tear-filled disapointment. It’s not easy when we have to admit to ourselves that we aren’t superheros, and it’s not easy for dads to step aside and let our kids learn the hard lessons that they can only learn by themselves.

 

Happy holidays. From Ep. IV-VI

Happy holidays. From Ep. IV-VI

Time-Lapse

“Santa Through The Years”

Watch DorkDad’s family grow through the years in a series of pictures taken in the same spot every year, with a familiar celebrity in each picture. DorkDad muses about how fast it goes, and how much some of the cheezy, dorky little things mean to him.

 

Be informed. Know your danger zones.

Be informed. Know your danger zones.

War Zone

“High Chair Danger Zones”

Some silliness about one of the countless absurdities about raising an infant. There are so many mysteries that, no matter how many kids you have, still go unanswered. If someone could tell me exactly how a baby can defy the laws of physics and get pear/mango babyfood there, there and there, I would be impressed.

DorkDad Endorses A Candidate

29 Jan

letter At long last, here on the 29th day of January 2013, DorkDad has settled on a candidate to endorse for the Presidential election of 2012. This is a particularly coveted endorsement, as the 2012 election was the first election where DorkDaddy.com was even in existence. Nevermind the fact that the election has already passed and the winner has already been inaugurated. We here at DorkDaddy.com take the business of political endorsements very seriously, and as such we prefer to take our time.

To determine an endorsement we have a staff of a dozen judges working feverishly behind the scenes, using complex algorithms inputting hundreds of variables. At the end of the labor intensive process we arrive at a scientifically valid, mathimatically infallible conclusion. Although our methodology is extremely complicated and propriatary, we can give you a window into some of the variables that contribute to the decision we make.

A candidate must have proper lightsaber-wielding technique. Bonus points for showcasing his/her ability on the White House lawn.

IMG_4167

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A candidate must have a firm understanding of the subtle differences between the Marvel Universe…

obama-spiderman

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…and the DC Universe.

superbama

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A candidate must have a healthy respect and proper understanding/interpretation of the 2nd Ammendment.

tdy-120410-obama-twitter_photoblog600

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And above all, a candidate must know when, where and how to humiliate his teenage daughters.

IMG_4165

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Taking all these things into consideration, it is our position here at DorkDaddy.com that anyone capable of all those things deserves our vote. Ultimately those are the only characteristics we here at DorkDaddy.com care about in a candidate. Everything else is just semantics.

Congratulations to Barack Obama — not for winning the 2012 election, but for winning the coveted, first ever DorkDaddy.com Presidential Candidate Endorsement.

-DorkDad

(P.S.  This was intended to be *FUNNY* Anyone who makes a big stink, takes it seriously, or tries to make an issue where there is none will be banished to the ranks of people with no sense of humor who don’t know how to properly conduct themselves on the internet)

It’s Just Sex, Dammit!

28 Jan

letter This weekend we lost some friends.

The news came in the form of a phone call from one of the parties involved. It was a sad goodbye, letting us know that our couples/family friendship, which we both enjoyed, was no longer. Their marriage was over. The culprit, of course, was sex.

I won’t pretend to empathize with either party. The pain they both must be going through is beyond my frame of reference. I won’t belittle it by offering platitudes. All I could do was offer condolences, reaffirm the “you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do”, and re-emphasize that although the nature of our friendship will never be the same, my love will still be there, unchanged.

The totality of the news, taken in all its context, left me feeling ugly and defeated. Couple friends where the moms, dads and kids all get along simultaneously are hard to come by, and that loss was enough to put a damper on the day. But it was also a blow against faithful, committed relationships in a way that makes you feel sad and dirty at the same time.

superman-lois-lane-kiss

What is this grip that sex has over us? Yes, I’m a scientist. I understand the evolutionary importance and the irresistible limbic-system drive to procreate. I understand the biological rationale for sprinkling sexual implications into every aspect of our lives. I understand the neurochemical rewards we receive for having sex — how it feels so damn good it incentivizes more of the same behavior later. I appreciate that it is such a primitive, bare-bones, evolutionary drive that it sits right at the center of the collective psyche of our species, and for that reason it’s a really easy place for all the broken bits of our lives to manifest themselves and express themselves in our sexual behavior. It drives Kings to lose their kingdoms. It drives Presidents to impeachment. Countless families are torn apart by it. It makes actors cheat on Elizabeth Hurley.

For crying out loud, it’s just sex.

How much time in our lives do we spend actually performing sex, compared with everything else? Even a pr0n-actor (deliberate type-o to ward off unwanted google searches) who goes to work and has sex from 9-5, that’s only 40 hours a week (assuming no overtime) which boils down to less than 25% of all the hours in a week. To spend even 1% of all the hours in your life having sex you’d have to spend roughly 90 minutes a week in the act of lovemaking. Though it’s certainly within the realm of possibility, married couples with kids will tell you (with a wink and a smile) that 90 minutes a week is a good week.

TO SPEND EVEN 1% OF ALL THE HOURS IN YOUR LIFE HAVING SEX YOU’D HAVE TO SPEND ROUGHLY 90 MINUTES A WEEK IN THE ACT OF LOVEMAKING.

For something that takes up such a small fraction of the totality of what we do with our lives, how do we let it have such a grip over the rest? Entire industries revolve around sex. Those that don’t are infected by it whether they admit it or not. It’s everywhere. It’s inescapable; and yet, the success of my day has more to do with what the traffic on the freeway is like, rather than whether or not I had sex the night before. The emotional implications, the domestic implications and the health implications of our sexual practices seem ridiculously out of balance given everything else our lives require of us.

AmazingSpider-ManAnnual21

There are a thousand things necessary for a successful day and a successful life. Balancing the checkbook. Reading to the kids. Visiting your parents. Maintenance on the house. Laughing. Resting. Playing. Growing. Learning. These are the things of life. These are the things that determine whether we are fulfilled, whether we are successful in life. None of them require intercourse. And yet still we venerate sex as the ultimate goal in life, as if everything else is just a way of occupying time between sexual interludes. We high-five our friends when they “got lucky” or “got some” or “got some action” as if to say “Well done. You got that taken care of. Now you can move on to all the other stuff.”

Granted, there is no better way to foster intimacy with your partner than sex. It connects you and makes you vulnerable and draws you together with another person like no other way can. But when considering intimacy, it isn’t even necessary for that (blasphemy, I know). Imagine the potency of your partner gently running her fingers through your hair, or down your back. Picture those moments when you’re lost, looking into your partner’s eyes, and neither of you has to say anything. Think for a moment on the lasting rewards of gently holding hands, or on the way you can totally lose yourself in a deep, committed kiss. These too are the things of intimacy. Because of them, even if you never knew sex, surely you could still know intimacy.

tumblr_l5sd32wrTX1qbujox

To be cold and clinical, the only thing sex is absolutely *REQUIRED* for is baby making… and even in that case there are exceptions.

THE ONLY THING SEX IS ABSOLUTELY *REQUIRED* FOR IS BABY MAKING… AND EVEN IN THAT CASE THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS.

Last night lying in bed, after more than 10 years of marriage, I asked my wife “Do you trust me? I mean do you *REALLY* trust me?”

“Of course I do” she replied. “I wouldn’t have had three kids with you if I didn’t.”

She’s no dummy. The idea of me stepping out on her is laughable. First of all, even if I wanted to, there is no opportunity. I work from 7am – 6pm and I’m home within minutes for dinner. There are no real “nights out with the guys” or “business trips” which could be a cover for a clandestine meet-up with someone else. She’s all up in my life in a way that doesn’t allow for secrets. That’s just the way it is. Add to that the fact that in real life, guys like me just don’t get girls like her. She’s WAY above my station. She’s smarter than me. She’s more thoughtful than me. She’s a better parent than me. She’s more likeable than me. She’s infinitely better looking than me. She would have no problem finding a replacement for me. I, on the other hand, could never recover from losing her. Finally there’s also the fact that I am totally in love with her. She fills my cup completely. I look across the table at her and I can not imagine a better life.

And then she went and had my babies, and with each one I fell in love with her even more.

To lose all that for the fleeting, momentary, primitive, physical gratification of an extramarital tryst would be the height of insanity – even if I had the desire.

Which I don’t.

2060535-superman_wedding_super

It serves no purpose to play the pious blogger, and I’m conscientious about coming across that way. I don’t think I’m any better than anyone else. I am a relativist at heart and I can appreciate that it takes two people to be in a relationship. You can never know what’s going on behind the curtain in a relationship you aren’t part of, or what’s going on under the hood in a life you haven’t lived. But I will say this:

If somehow the act of sex was cleanly extracted from my life leaving everything else intact, although it would be incredibly disappointing (and as laughable as it may sound) my life in its entirety would be relatively unaffected. Everything that I need to get through my day would still be there. The love, the intimacy, the laughter, the living of life…

I’d just have to find some other way to fill that 1% of my time.

-Dork Dad

Guest Dorkdad: Jake Faust “In Defense Of Gamers”

22 Jan

Kortney, from Stay At Home Trauma has a DorkDad for a husband. He’s currently in a public speaking class, and she’s all proud of him. Here’s his latest class project:

—–

This is my husband’s introduction speech for his public speaking class.  I thought it would be a good opportunity for you all to meet him, and I’m also sending it over to Dork Daddy to further introduce his wonderful geekiness to the blogging community.  I will likely post little bits he writes on here occasionally as he is much funnier than I am, and it might help keep you better entertained. Enjoy.

My name is Jake, and as a student I’m majoring in Sociology, but I also happen to be a 27 year old gamer. Now, before you make any assumptions, no I do not live in my mother’s basement – I live in her attic. All kidding aside, for the next few minutes I’m going to try and undo decades of stereotypes and labels that non-gamers have pigeonholed me and my gaming brethren into.

I play vigeo games several hours a week, which, if you ask you ask me isn’t nearly enough. But I still have to make room for full-time school and a full-time job, and still be the dorkiest father and husband that any family could hope to have. Sure, I can be a little unmotivated at times, but even with all of these responsibilities, just last night I was able to find time to save the entire galaxy from a race of sentient alien robots bent on destoying life as we know it. Hold the applause, you can thank me later.

Teaching my son the important life lesson of the fundamental differences between Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man.

 

In 1985, a bombshell rocked the world. No, I’m not talking about me being born, as fantastic as that was. What I’m talking about is the Nintendo Entertainment System starting to hit shelves worldwide.  Some of my first memories are of my two and a half year old little brain being enthralled by pushing Mario across my TV screen while dodging Goombas. Thus began my addiction, and an earlier rendition of our current controllers became an extension of my grubby little hands.

I was like any other kid, running around in the mud and breaking stuff, but all of my childish bewilderment and imagination was augmented by video games. Soon, every birthday and Christmas list was filled with the newest games and the best machines. My appetite for gaming, to this day, is ravenous.

I will shamelessly use whatever opportunities I can to get in some game time.

 

With video games having been such a major part of my life since childhood, that must mean that I am a sociopathic time bomb waiting to explode into fits of violent rage, right? If that sounds unreasonable to you, then apparently you are not aware of the laundry list of atrocities that many people have accredited to video games. The truth is that I am emotionally and mentally stable, and, yes, I can easily discern fantasy from reality – that’s exactly why I have an emergency evacuation plan in place for my family in the event of a zombie outbreak. And if you don’t, that makes you crazy, not me.

So, if I’m not a sociopathic time bomb waiting to explode into fits of violent rage, then I must just be a socially inept hermit with no friends. Guys, let me tell you – I have TONS of friends. My XBOX Live friends list is just brimming with friends who are waiting to jump into a team deathmatch with me right now. And before meeting my wife, I can promise you that I never made up any stories of having a level 49 elf mage hot French girlfriend. OK, maybe I said that once, but I’m pretty sure that my D&D buddies knew I was joking.

The coaster set my wife made. She really knows how to woo me!

 

I won’t lie, guys. What I have is a true, unadulterated addiction. But does that mean that I must be a lazy slob stuffing my face with junk food? I am plenty motivated by real responsibilities. Heck, I think I even showered this week. And really, I think Ramen only makes up like, I don’t know, 30% of my diet at most.

Sure, I make geeky game references in adult conversations, but I’m not an idiot. If video games make you all of these things, then America is in for a world of hurt, because gaming has become the fastest growing entertainment media in the country. So, before you go around making remarks about video games being only for children or adult gamers being mindless drones, maybe you should figure out the company you keep.

I’ve been doing my part to raise the next generation of gamers since he was born.

 

And if any of you ladies out there happen to be princesses, please try to not get kidnapped by a large lizard until Saturday – I’ve got homework to do. And, for my sanity, try to be in the first castle I go to this time.

 

20 Things A Father Should Tell His Daughter

7 Jan

20thingsdaughter
1) Pay attention to the way a man loves his mother. That is the way he will love you.

2) You can do anything a man can do, including organic chemistry, unclogging toilets and assembling IKEA furniture.

3) Older women wear makeup so THEY can look like YOU. Less is more. A lot less is a lot more.

4) People will judge you by the way you look. It isn’t fair, but it’s the way the world works. Keep that in mind as you pick your outfit in the morning.

5) Never let anyone do your thinking for you. There are far too many people with far too much invested in you believing what they believe.

6) Liberal arts grow your mind. Science and business keep you fed. You will need both.

7) Nothing is more attractive than intelligence.

8) Learn to drive a stick-shift.

9) Get comfortable with power tools.

10) You don’t have to enjoy them, but have a working knowledge of the rules for football and baseball.

11) Know the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek, and they key players in both.

12) You don’t have to *DO* anything for someone to love you. The right person will cross a desert just for the chance to sit next to you at lunch.

13) Peer pressure is all about insecurity. Be confident in who you are and you’ll never have to “fit in”. People will come to you.

14) The fastest way to strain a relationship with a man is to bring up old drama. We can’t remember to hang up the bath towel. What makes you think we remember that stupid thing we did 6 months ago?

15) If a man genuinely loves you, he will let you set the boundaries. Don’t let anyone take something from you they can’t give back. You set the tone for the sexual relationship.

16) Feminie hygiene products — Where our daughters are concerned, we would be very happy sticking our fingers in our ears and saying “lalalalalalalala”. Please respect our need to pretend they, and the reason for them, do not exist. The same goes for lacy underthings.

17) You were flawless the day you were born. If you must go get that first tattoo, please consider inviting your daddy to come and get his first tattoo with you.

18) You are perfect the way you roll out of bed. Let’s be clear: all that crap you do to “get out the door” is for everyone else’s benefit.

19) Though he may be smiling on the outside, when you leave for college your father is falling apart on the inside. Don’t forget to call him that first night to tell him you love him.

20) Compare every single boy you ever meet to your daddy. Nobody will love you like he does.

-DD

20 Things A Father Should Tell His Son

7 Jan

20things

1) Learn to dance with a partner. Nothing is classier than a man who can walk his partner onto the dance floor with confidence.

2) The only time it is appropriate to use your fists is to defend yourself from someone else using theirs on you.

3) Liberal arts grow your mind. Science and business keep you fed. You will need both.

4) That woman in that picture, or in that movie, or on that stage is someone’s sister/daughter. Treat her the way you would hope someone else would treat your sister/daughter if she was unfortunate enough to find herself in the same position.

5) Learn to filter. Before you say anything, think about how the words you plan to use will sound in the ears of the person you are speaking to.

6) Learn to disagree with someone without taking personal offense – if for no reason other than the fact that you can’t expect something from someone that you aren’t able to deliver yourself.

7) Never let anyone do your thinking for you. There are far too many people with far too much invested in you believing what they believe.

8) Peer pressure is all about insecurity. Be confident in who you are and you won’t have to “fit in”. People will come to you.

9) Never relax when your wife is doing chores. Though she may say it’s “OK”, you never want to be “that guy”.

10) Hold open the door, pull out the chair and give her your coat. Chivalry is not sexism.

11) Respect the woman you are with. No matter how badly you want to, don’t make your move untill she tells you that it’s OK. Let her set the tone for the sexual relationship.

12) A real man knows crying is OK, but doesn’t over-do it.

13) There is no football game more important than a Sunday date with your wife.

14) Never lose sight of the fact that no matter how much you believe, no matter how convinced you may be that you are right — you might just be completely wrong.

15) Learn early to tie a tie.

16) Know your way around power tools.

17) You don’t have to like their music, but be able to identify Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin when you hear them. Again, classy.

18) People will judge you by how you look. It isn’t fair, but that’s the way the world works. Keep that in mind when you’re picking out your clothes in the morning.

19) Learn empathy. In all situations be able to put yourself in the position of the person you’re interacting with.

20) When picking a wife, you can never do better than your mother.

-DD

Costco On A Sunday

7 Jan

OMGmoveyour$@#%&cartoutofthemiddleofthe

#@&*%aislebeforeyoustopinthemiddleof

everythingtogeta%$&*@#samplebecauseIneedto

fillmywife’sshoppinglistwhichmagicallychanged

fromthreeitemstotwelveinatextmessageandgetthe

helloutofheresoIcangethometowatchthekidsin

timeformywifetomeetagirlfriendforaglassof

winein40minuteswheredotheykeepthe$#%&@

breadandwhatthehellisanIrishcheddarlog!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMGCOSTCORAGE!!

OMGCOSTCORAGE!!

-DD

I Needed That

4 Jan

letter Sometimes being a DorkDad isn’t about action figures, or video games, or T-shirts. DorkDads have jobs, bills, and various weight-gain/hair-loss issues associated with approaching their 40th birthday just like everyone else. We don’t have super powers (much as we’d like to). To quote Shylock:

“If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.”

(Shakespeare. That’s a new one for this blog)

Last night I got home from work a little frayed around the edges. The first week of January is pure insanity in a dental office. Everyone’s insurance has rolled over at the new year, and all the work people have been putting off suddenly becomes so urgent it can’t wait another moment. That, combined with the fact that we took less time off over the holiday than we should have, and I was pretty haggard as my car pulled into the driveway late for dinner.

Even the Man of Steel needs down-time.

Even the Man of Steel needs down-time.

I stumbled into the house, aware of the fact that I hadn’t warned UnDorkMommy that I was going to be late, and wary of what that was going to do to her affect. At the moment we’ve got that Norman Rockwell, Ozzie and Harriet thing going on where Daddy comes in the door from work and the two older kids come sprinting through the house yelling “DADDY!!” and jump into my arms. It’s really sweet and those moments are exactly what I dreamed about when I imagined being a father. But lately it’s become more of a competition between the kids to see who can yell the loudest, knock over the most furniture, scatter the most toys, and get to Daddy first. This is the way it’s been for the past 6 or 7 months. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything, but the obnoxious-factor definitely takes a little luster off of the experience.

Now as far as the baby goes, at 10 months old he’s still at the point where he’s inextricably connected to his Mommy, and the Daddy-relationship is slowly building over time, brick by brick. We have our special moments, to be sure. I usually handle the bath and getting him into his pajamas after dinner. That’s our time and we’ve developed our own special routines and games, but thus far his relationship with me is nothing compared to his relationship with his mother. That’s OK. This is kid #3. I’ve been down this road before. It’ll come. Last night, however, something special happened.

Last night Episodes IV and V tackled me in the driveway just as I was closing the car door. I could hear the “DADDY!!” coming from inside the house, through the garage, and out to the driveway where I was. The tackle happened – the struggle to accommodate both their requests/demands to be picked up at the same time – the awkward struggle to lumber into the house with each of them sitting on one of my feet, arms wrapped around my knees, like a pair of 30-50lb snow boots – all before I’d even had the chance to exhale from the day’s work.

We made it to the threshold where I insisted they dismount and return to the table where the family started dinner without me. Midway through the shenanigans it takes to return their attention to their food, I became aware of another commotion out of the corner of my eye. Episode VI was in his high chair, having a conniption fit because his daddy was home and he wanted his attention. There he sat, partially covered in mashed raspberries, shredded cheddar cheese stuck all over his face, cheerios strewn across his “plate”, big brother and sister putting on the big-brother-and-sister show across the table, and none of that mattered. His Daddy was home. He was stoked. In that moment, the only thing that existed for him in the entire world was me, and he wanted his Daddy. First came the arm-waving squeal of excitement, then hands reaching up to be picked up, then the desperate struggle of a 10 month old to get out of his high chair and into Daddy’s arms. He would not be satisfied until he had his chance to smear mashed up raspberries into my work clothes.

Oh boy!! Daddy's home!!

Oh boy!! Daddy’s home!!

When a baby is born, their connection to their mother is instant. Dads have to take a longer view. We build our relationships with our kids moment by moment, and watch it materialize slowly over months and years. In the early months it can be a bit of a bummer, being 2nd string all the time in your baby’s eyes (or even 3rd or 4th string after the siblings and the cat). But the relationship does grow. It does happen. And as with anything, if you take the long view and steadily invest here and there over time, the payout can turn an otherwise downer of an evening into the best day of the week.

To my 10 month old Episode VI:

Thank you.

You have no idea how much I needed that.

 

-Dork Dad

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