Monthly Archives: May 2009

Tom Brady: Role Model

I know parents are supposed to be role models. I should be the one leading the way and setting a positive example for Will. And I fully intend to do just that. But if ever I could show my son an example of what he should strive to become, it would be New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

You all know I’m a huge Patriots fan. And yes, I fully understand that makes me biased but hear me out. You see, I got to meet Tom Brady on Saturday at a charity event I covered at Craigville Beach. I had always heard from people who have met Brady — even the sometimes caustic sportswriters — say the guy just has a way about him. A disarming smile, genuine nice guy demeanor and All-American good looks make Brady the guy who all moms hope their daughter brings home as a boyfriend.

Not to mention he’s the best quarterback in the NFL, has three Super Bowl rings and is married to one of the hottest and most successful models on the face of the Earth.

So to sum up: Tom Brady is a phenonmenal athlete, millionaire, nice guy, into charity work, has a smokin’ hot wife, is a good dad (at least by most accounts) and let’s face it — he’s easy on the eyes. I’m straight, but the guy’s good looking. But what was most striking is how people gravitate towards him. And I’m not talking about overzealous autograph seekers. You have to see it in person, but people relate to Brady. I know that sounds crazy that average joes can possibly relate to a superstar athlete and celebrity, but it’s true. When you see him you feel like you can walk up to him and say “Hey Tom, what’s up? Wanna go grab a beer?”

So while I hope I can influence Will with many of my positive personality traits, I would not mind him turning out like Tom Brady. And if you think this is a totally contrived post just so I could brag that I met Tom Brady, Carl Lewis, Verne Troyer (Mini Me), Dan Koppen, Pierre Woods, Nick Kaczur, Stephen Neal and others…you’re absolutely right.

Enjoy the pics:

Tom Brady and “Mini Me” Verne Troyer

Tom Brady and Mini Me Verne Troyer

Tom Brady and Mini Me Verne Troyer

This one’s for you ladies. Drool away.

NE Patriots center Dan Koppen

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FF: A Day in the Life of Will

It’s Fatherhood Friday again and that means it’s time to click on over to Dad Blogs and check out all the amazingly talented mom and dad bloggers they’ve got over there.

About a year ago I wrote a post where I got inside Will’s head and imagined what he was thinking as he went about his day. I figured it was time for an update. So here’s an updated version of what I think Will might be thinking on a typical day spent with mom and dad.

6 a.m.: (Big Yawn) What the???? Dammit, why does that Mom woman have her alarm set so loud? Oh, wonderful. I’m up early AND I’ve managed to soak myself in my own pee. Wow, this diaper weighs more than I do. Time to scream bloody murder until one of them gets off their lazy ass to come get me. $10 says it’s the Big Guy and he’ll be complaining about Mom the entire time.

6:03 a.m.: Ha, I was right. It’s Dad and he’s muttering under his breath. Now change me, I’m so wet I might as well be underwater.

6:05 a.m.: Ah, that’s better. Nice and dry. I do love a clean diaper. Except…

6:07 a.m.: I don’t want to alarm that Dad guy, but I just dropped an atomic bomb in that diaper he just put on me. Change me now!

7:30 a.m.: This Handy Manny fellow is extraordinary. He fixes everything and never makes anyone pay for his services. Why don’t I ever see Dad fix anything like Handy Manny? Mom does a lot but never Dad.

8 a.m.: Breakfast time! Please be pancakes, please be pancakes…DAMMIT! Why is Dad giving me applesauce?!! That lazy bastard. He just doesn’t want to cook. Well, here’s a news flash for him, I’m not eating this. Yeah dad, I understand that you’re doing “eat” in sign language. I’m not stupid, i get it. I just don’t want to eat this baby stuff anymore. I’ll make the “eat” sign if your lazy ass makes me some damn flapjacks.

8:48 a.m.: Oh great, dad’s on the computer again and mommy’s still asleep. I guess I’ll just entertain myself. Now where are those remote controls and cell phones.

8:49 a.m.: Buttons, flashing lights, TV going on and off…I LOVE REMOTES AND CELL PHONES. No…wait. Dad, no. C’mon, don’t take them away. Run Will, run fast. Dammit, he’s right on top of me. He took the phones… WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

9 a.m.: Oh, so you think you’re going to stop my crying but trying to get me to take a nap. I think not tough guy. I’ve got some pipes on me and I plan to use them.

9:15 a.m.: Victory! I knew if I screamed loud enough he’d crack. I own this place.

9:30 a.m.: I may have underestimated how tired all that screaming made me. Must. Not. Fall. Asleep. Must stay awa….

11:30 a.m.: Crap, I fell asleep didn’t I? Well I’m up now and I’m ready to go. Now come get me!

12:30 p.m.: Thanks for finally getting me out of my pajamas. It’s only the afternoon now. But why are you dressing me in this yellow onsie thing? And furthermore, why can’t I just be naked. You know how I love to be naked. I won’t always have to wear clothes will I?

1 p.m.: Yay, time to take that furry thing for a walk. That means I get to ride on Dad’s shoulders. It also means I’ll have an audience.

1:10 p.m.: Here they come, all the old people. They can’t get enough of me. Yes, I know I’m cute. Yes, yes, I’m adorable. Hey! No pinching the cheeks. Oh god, here they come again. Tell you what, what if I clap? Will that suffice. Here, I’m clapping. I know, you think that’s the cutest thing in the world. Wonderful, as long as it stops you from getting in my personal space again I’ll do all kinds of cute things. Just back off lady.

2:30 p.m.: Poor dad. He actually thinks I’ll willingly go down for another nap. When is he going to learn.

2:45 p.m.: Sucker! I rule this bitch.

3 p.m.: Too much crying…fading fast…must not sle…

4:30 p.m.: Damn. I need to work on that.

5:30 p.m.: Dinner time. Man I hope Mom cooked and not dad. He always wonders why I don’t eat on the days he cooks. It’s not rocket science. Crap, dad cooked. Oh well, I’ll practice throwing my food instead of eating it. And I’ll feed that furry thing that’s always jumping on me.

6 p.m.: Ahhhhh. Nothing compliments dinner like a nice, cold glass of whole milk. I just wish they wouldn’t make me do all this sign language to get it. I feel like a trained monkey. Oh no, speaking of monkey they’re going to force me to make my monkey sound for the billionth time. Yes, I can make a monkey sound. Get over it. Don’t you people have any other source of entertainment?

6:30 p.m.: Oh boy. Yep, I see dad getting it. It’s Bubble Time!!! I know it’s not very edgy or high brow, but bubbles are the best thing ever. And when the furry thing tries to eat them? So funny. Can’t breathe I’m laughing so hard. Now this is entertainment.

7 p.m.: No. Please no. Don’t do it. Please say it ain’t so…

7:05 p.m.: I HATE BATH TIME!! I used to like it but not anymore. First of all, there’s always a huge hairball in the drain. It’s disgusting. Clean that crap out before you put me in it. Second, I just don’t want water on my face or head. I hate it. That’s it, I’m blowing this joint. Whoa…you don’t have to yell at me to sit down. OK, ok, I’ll sit. Just don’t pour that water…DAMMIT! I told you not to pour that on my head. And easy with the scrubbing. I’m a baby not laundry. I’m not sure what exactly I’m packing down there but I’m pretty sure I’m going to need it later in life, so go easy.

7:30 p.m.: Oh wonderful. Dad’s going to try to force me to watch that silly game on TV with the bats. Why does he get so riled up about this? For all I can tell these men on the TV really don’t affect his life. He never meets them, he just yells at them on the TV. Can they hear him? What if the people on TV can hear me talking? I’m going to yell at Handy Manny to fix some of the crap around this house if that’s the case.

8 p.m.: Now this part I really like. It’s story time with mom. I’m not sure who this Dr. Seuss is but I’m a big fan. Comfortable seat, I’ve got my stuffed monkey, I’m cuddled up with mom and she’s reading me some riveting literature. What could be better?

8:15 p.m.: OK, I’m pretty tired. No screaming this time but I reserve the right to change my mind if you forget to put my sound machine on again. Goodnight parents. You’re a little weird but you’re alright. I’ll see you at 3 a.m. when I pee myself and wake you up, and we’ll do it all again tomorrow.

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Love, Honor, Cherish? Not Today!

There are many days — more often than not — that I look at my wife and think “My God I am the luckiest man on the planet.” I see how beautiful she is, I lay a passionate kiss on her and I thank her for being the best wife ever. In those moments I am filled with an endless reservoir of love for her and I get down on my knees and thank my lucky stars that I found so much happiness in another person. However…

Today is not one of those days.

Many married couples don’t talk about their fights. Instead, they put on a happy face for the outside world and they pretend their shit doesn’t stink. “We’re so happy, we have the perfect life, no drama or bickering to see here. Just two perfectly contented people in love.”

Bullshit!

All married couples fight occasionally. And if they don’t, they’re either lying or they live in separate parts of the house. And while I can understand why some people wouldn’t want to let the Internet in on their marital strife, I have always chosen to chronicle both the good and bad times on this blog. And this morning is definitely one of the bad times.

Now that MJ works an hour away, she gets up earlier than I do. Every morning now, she sets the alarm on her cell phone to wake her up at 6 a.m. The only problem is she’s one of those obnoxious people who hits the snooze button 5 million times before she actually wakes up 45 minutes later. And that works for her because she sleeps like a log. But as for me, I’m a very light sleeper and I don’t need to be up until 7 a.m. But as soon as her alarm goes off, I’m up. And even if I do manage to fall back asleep, it goes off again 10 minutes later. And then 10 minutes after that.

It’s annoying, but I could even manage to live with that. What I can’t live with, however, is the fact that her damn alarm wakes Will up in the next room.

Now here’s where our fight really begins. You see, guys have very simple rules for etiquette. For instance, if a bunch of guys are sitting around watching TV and eating chips and the bowl suddenly goes empty, the last guy who touched the chips should go and refill the bowl. It’s simple and it makes sense. You took the last one, you fill it back up. It’s similar to the “you smelt it you dealt it” corollary.

I think that line of thinking should be applied to this situation. MJ’s stupid alarm woke him up, so who should go pick him up and deal with him at 6 a.m.? MJ, that’s who! But amazingly, I watched with my jaw on the floor as she casually rolled over and started snoring again. I wanted to deck her. So even though she woke him up, I had to get up and change him, get him dressed, get him a bottle and take care of him.

Now here’s where it starts spiraling quickly down the drain.

I have a unique talent. If I know I have to wake up at a certain time, I automatically wake up at the right time. I haven’t needed an alarm clock since college. Hey, some people are artists but my talent is waking up without an alarm clock. I’ll take what I can get. Yet MJ doesn’t trust me so that’s why she keeps setting her damn alarm.

Now, I’m up and taking care of Will this morning while she’s slumbering away. I hear her get into the shower. When the shower turns off, I take Will into the bathroom because it’s my turn for a shower. This is normally when MJ takes off work, leaving Will with me in the bathroom. Well she came back in the bathroom while I was still in the shower and asked me where her keys were. Will is prone to carrying keys off to the farthest reaching of the house nowadays, so I told her they could be anywhere.

When I came out to the livingroom in my towel, MJ was frantic. The couches were moved clear across the room. All the couch pillows were on the floor. The remote controls were strewn about the place and the batteries were laying all around. Such is life when MJ gets really stressed.

I took one look at the shelf next to the TV and located her keys, offering them to her with a “Was that so hard? You didn’t need to tear apart the house like a maniac.”

Then things went sour.

She accused me of putting her keys in a place where she never puts them (untrue). Then (and this is classic) she blamed me for her waking up late, because I didn’t come back in the bedroom and wake her up in time.

I lost my mind.

She had her alarm set. I know that because it went off and woke me and Will up! So why on God’s green Earth would I come back in to wake her up when I knew for a fact she had her alarm set?!?! Yet there she was, blaming me and actually keeping a straight face while doing it.

At that moment, I felt no love for her. I know that’s a horrible thing to say about your wife, but in the course of a marriage it’s inevitable and i don’t mind putting it out there. There will be moments where you hate the sight of your significant other so much that their mere appearance makes you physically ill. This was one of those moments for both of us, although I maintain I did nothing wrong.

I won’t go into detail about the events that followed immediately thereafter, except to say it was ugly. Nasty names were thrown out there, insults about body weight, mental instability and divorce lawyers were tossed out like hand grenades from both sides. Like I said…ugly.

I have a guy’s night out planned for tomorrow and quite frankly, it’s not a moment too soon. Marriage isn’t easy. In fact, marriage sucks the big one sometimes. Marriage is a full time job and when you throw a kid in the mix it gets very difficult to give it the attention it needs to thrive. And sometimes things boil over and this is the result. I love my wife. It’s just that right now, I want to light her on fire. And I’m strangely OK with that.

And on that note, I’d like to wish my parents a happy 32nd wedding anniversary!

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The Key to Economic Recovery Is In My Pants

QUICK SITE UPDATE: I know this is a pain, but if you have Daddy Files saved as a Bookmark, RSS feed or Google Reader you’re going to have to tweak things slightly. It’s now http://daddyfiles.com which will lead you straight to the site. We’ve eliminated that first page you used to see when you originally put in that address, and now it takes you straight to the blog. I know it’s a pain but if you don’t update this you’re going to get a dead link when you try to go to the old address.  For RSS Feeds, use http://daddyfiles.com/feed   Thanks guys!

Good news everyone, the economy is officially on the rebound.

No, I’m not an economist. Hell, I’m not even sure what an economist actually does. Nor am I basing this on my extensive studies of the stock market. I think I own a few shares of A.T. Cross pens that my great-grandfather bought me 30 years ago, so my portfolio isn’t too extensive. So I know what you’re thinking: how does someone who knows nothing about economic trends or the stock market know for sure that the economy is on the upswing?

The answer is in my pants.

When I was living on my own and dating MJ, I had lots of extra cash. Every weekend I’d take out a few hundred dollars and I’d party with my friends in Boston. We’d go barhopping, hit up a Red Sox game, order some pizza, etc. When Sunday rolled around, I’d head back to MJ’s place to beg her to do my laundry spend some time with her.

At that point I’d be very hungover and forgetful. You know how it is after a night of drinking when you swear you had a few extra bucks left over from the night before, yet the cash is mysteriously gone. It’s like the Beer Elves robbed you. This seemed to happen to me all the time. I was positive I didn’t spend all my money, yet by the time MJ did my laundry I couldn’t find any of it.

Little did I know MJ was playing a sick game of Finders Keepers.

Turns out, MJ wasn’t doing my laundry just out of the kindness of her heart. Instead, she’d put my clothes in the wash and then keep all the laundered money. She was hauling in $10s and $20s and banking the money for future expenses without telling me, because she knew I’d just spend it like a moron if she gave it back to me.

She finally admitted this to me when the economy soured. I asked her one day about a year ago how she always managed to make ends meet with these hidden reservoirs of money that always seemed to turn up. That’s when she came clean and lamented the fact that I never had any more money hanging around in my pockets. And she was right. For the past couple of years my pockets have been downright barren. There just haven’t been an extra dollars to spare. If there was a dollar sitting around it was spent. And since I couldn’t just take out hundreds of dollars at a time “just in case,” there was never any change.

But yesterday there was a bright spot on the horizon. MJ was doing laundry and she let out a surprised little chirp. There, in my pants pocket, was two dollars! I know it’s not much, but with loose money making a comeback in my pants pocket I’m ready to declare an official economic rebound.

So fear not good readers, your financial hardships are over. My pants would never lie!

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What a Piece of Shit!

While I was recovering from my hangover looking through the morning paper, I saw an ad from a Cape car dealership that promised great deals. I showed it to MJ and she agreed that it might just be worth going down there and seeing what they have to offer. There’s nothing wrong with my SUV. It runs great and it’s been the best car I’ve ever owned. But it’s an SUV and it’s got more than 100,000 miles on it and I’m not even halfway through the payments. And with the auto industry in the toilet, we figured they might be ready to wheel and deal. And if we could pay the same amount per month for a new/used car with way less miles, then it’d be worth it.

So we traveled to the car dealership (which I won’t name specifically, sorry Caper Codders) and I was a little stunned to see that it was a ghost town. Usually these long weekends are the backbone of a car dealership’s sales season, so I expected a packed house. So we started kicking some tires, looking for a sedan with good gas mileage. Like clockwork, out comes the salesman and we begin to talk.

Now here’s where you need some background:

I know nothing about cars. Nothing. I’m an auto idiot. MJ, on the other hand, is extremely intelligent when it comes to cars. Also, I’m not good with money related matters. Interest rates, APR, amortization…it’s all Greek to me. Goes right over my head. But you all know that MJ is a bank manager and she’s a wiz with all that crap. I get all excited at the prospect of a new car, and basically if you hand me a pen I will sign ANYTHING. MJ was born to haggle. We’re just polar opposites, you get the idea.

But we’ve developed a nice little system when buying a car and we ambush the salesmen. The salesman comes out and immediately begins talking to me, because he mistakenly assumes I’m a man’s man who knows cars and I must handle all of the family’s business. I play along at first, as this is all part of the plan. Gradually, MJ sneaks into more and more of the conversation. After we let him talk himself into a corner, MJ starts throwing 1-2 combinations to put him on his heels. And then after the test drive and after he tries to assure us an 8% interest rate is the best we can do on a used car loan, the plan really kicks into gear.

That’s when I say something like “Hey babe, can your bank do better than that? Or what about any of the credit unions you work with?” Unfailingly, the salesman gets a confused and slightly scared look on his face and says “Oh…so…you work at a bank? Are you a teller?”

And God love her, that’s when MJ pounces like a tiger who has her prey trapped!

She dramatically whips out her calculator and says “Well I know I can get 4.49% at Rockland Federal Credit Union and if we get x amount for our trade-in that leaves x amount that we’re financing so roll in taxes, title and registration and we’ll finance that over 60 months and we’d have x amount for a monthly payment. And that’s too high, what else can you do for us?”

At this point he’s completely bamboozled. Sometimes they even laugh and need 30 seconds or so to gather themselves. It’s quite fun.

But today, the guy just wasn’t hearing us. We told him what we wanted and we told him our price range several times. So he pointed us to a really nice car that was everything we wanted and he said it was in our price range. So we test drove it and MJ loved it. But no sooner did we park the car after our test drive, than the salesman comes out and says “Oh gee, sorry about this but I had the price of that car wrong. It’s actually $3,000 more than I originally said.”

Are you serious pal? You don’t know how much your cars cost and you’re just arbitrarily throwing out a low number in the hope that you can get us hooked on the car and we’ll end up paying whatever you want? No no no.

At this point, it looked like another employee had finally showed up. At least I assume he was an employee. He walked in the showroom and started walking in the back room like he owned the place. Except as we’re talking to the other salesman, the guy jumps on his cell phone and starts SCREAMING obscenities at the person on the other end of the line. Not the best strategy for customer satisfaction.

At this point, MJ and I are done with this place. We’ve repeated ourselves an inordinate amount of times and now there’s a psychopath employee screaming in plain sight of us. But that wasn’t the worst part. Not at all. Nothing could have prepared us for the worst part.

As we were putting Will in the carseat and preparing to leave, I looked out among the rows of cars and that’s when I saw it. A rolled up pair of boxer shorts just resting on the pavement in between the cars. And next to the boxer shorts? Shit. That’s right. Shit. Human shit. There was human feces strewn about the parking lot next to all these new and used cars. There were flies buzzing around the shit, next to the soiled boxers. Lovely.

I calmly pointed it out to the salesman, assuming that he’d be horribly embarrassed and rush to clean it up. But guess what he said?

“Oh yeah. I noticed that.”

And that was it. No “Oh my God, I’ll clean that up immediately!” or “Geez I don’t know how that got there. I’m so sorry.” Instead, he just acknowledged it like it was commonplace. Like ALL car buying experiences end with spotting human body waste. I mean c’mon, I know the auto industry is in the toilet but now there’s actual human shit right on the lot? Not a good sign.

The process of buying a car is admittedly craptastic, but that was ridiculous.

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