My shirt is too girly

My wife's relatives are in town, and she's planned to have family pictures. Her plans involve having all of the family members wearing matching shirts.

For my wife, children, and myself - that means wearing black shirts. When she presented me with the shirt I was suppose to wear, I balked.

"That's a v-neck," I groused.

"It's something different. Put it on," she told me in our bathroom. I tried it on. It fit, so she was happy.

Until this morning, when I came downstears wearing the black shirt. "Looks like a girl's shirt," my brother-in-law announced.

I ignored that one. I've never based my fashion sense on what others wanted me to wear.

When I walked into the kitchen, my sister-in-law giggled. "What?" I asked.

She put a hand over her lips. "You just look so GQ," she explained.

Well, GQ. Now I was feeling pretty all right with this shirt. I moved into my office to work on some things before the pictures.

"You need to change your shirt," my wife said as she came into my office. "Everyone thinks it makes you look gay."

"What?" I was now growing attached to the shirt. All right, it had a v-neck which I hate and made people laugh. But now it was personal. Like now I had to keep the shirt just because other people thought it funny. "When has me looking 'gay' ever stopped me from wearing anything?"

"It looks like a girl's shirt," she said. "I didn't realize it until I saw you in it. Go change into your button black shirt."

Which is really a charcoal gray shirt. Story of my life, always looking different from everyone else, even in my own family. I sighed, went upstairs to change my shirt. "I'm going to have to take it back," my wife said behind me.

"But I love this shirt!" I called back down.

"You do not! You only like it now because everyone else hates it!" She called back up to me.

"Do not," I muttered. Even though she was right.

I Choose the Wimpy Beer

After 36 years of sobriety, and four months of trying around 11 different drinks, the only one that I've liked is Framboise, a beer made with raspberries. It has a slightly tart, slightly sweet, slight bitter taste. It's like drinking a cranberry Martinellis.

I picked up a bottle for myself and the in-laws. This is a big step, the first time I've drank alcohol inside the house with My Lovely Wife around (my previous attempt to try a Guinness was not successful, as it was gross). Naturally I'd only do so if My Lovely Wife (MLW) hadn't given me like 30 statement of "you know, I really don't mind."

For my first at-home with family drink, it hasn't been the greatest success. First, I didn't know I'd need a corkscrew. Had to go borrow one from the neighbors. Then I poured myself and my brother-in-law a glass. I enjoyed the flavor, the nice fizziness.

Then my brother-in-law did a little looking, and realized that that Framboise doesn't list the alcohol content. Because it hardly has any at all.

So it turns out the only beer that I liked - has almost no alcohol.

UPDATE: Turns out that it has 4% alcohol content. So, um, it's at least man enough beer to be illegal in Utah.

Looking at cars. Not sure if I'm excited or not

Today, I looked at cars. Yeah, I said that in the title. But I was reading about the AMAZING OMG deals that GM is handing out.

Wait - stop running, yes, I know I said GM. I wouldn't touch Chrysler with a 10 foot pole - my mechanic says he sees more Chrysler in his shop having to be fixed over and over again than anything else. My Lovely Wife (MLW) originally wanted a Town and Country, then she shifted her mine to the Honda Odyssey.

I should mention that MLW only cares about one feature. She doesn't give a crap about power, about DVD players, about navigation. The only thing she wants in her car is - fold down seats. That's why she wanted the Odyssey.

Anyway, so GM's got their big sale, but I don't want the crappy cars, so I figure if MLW is already lusting after a $25,000 - $30,000 cars, I might as well look at one in that range. The original plan was to wait another 12-24 months, saving our money, and by then we'd have almost enough to practically pay off 50% of the value of the car at once, then get a really low month payment.

But, at 0% interest for 60 months? It's pretty much the savings rate for the car anyway, and with all of the cash back offers, it can be lower. of course, the sales end tonight, but I'd be surprised if they didn't extend it by another month or so - they've had this 0% interest deal for several months now.

I went and checked out the Enclave, the car the out of all of the GM offers every review seems to say is super reliable, seats 7 (which, in a family of 5 and the need to carry other crud/people about, is important) . The MSRP is suppose to be $35k, but the cars sold on the lot had been marked down to $29 - so already $6k cheaper.

I have to say - I really liked it. Very comfortable, and usually I don't care about that - but this was a very smooth ride. Brakes were smooth, acceleration was smooth onto the freeway, and there's enough safety features to stop a tank.

MLW still has to try it out, but if they announce tomorrow they're extending the 0% interest/60 months for another month with all of the extras, we might be getting a new car this weekend.

I'm not holding my breath, though. We'll see.

I Am the Pokemon Master

I dragged myself upstairs. My Lovely Wife was still reading in bed, smirking at me as she saw me. "Did you win?"

I stepped onto the bed, standing over her, hands on my hips. "You are looking at the newest Pokemon Master, after defeating my greatest rival - Butthole!"

Butthole, off and on for the last several months, has been the greatest nemesis of my life. When I fired fired up the game Pokemon Leaf Green for the Gameboy Advance (a remake of the original Pokemon game for the original black and white (or black and green, depending on how far back you go) Gameboy ), I was asked what my name was, and the name of my rival.

If you've never played the game, your rival is some "childhood friend" - if by "childhood friend" you mean "complete and utter jerk." When you get your first Pokemon - in my case, a turtle looking creature that spits water called a "Squirtle", my rival picked a little monster called a Bulbasaur - which, being a "grass" Pokemon (no, that doesn't mean you can smoke it) can absorb my turtles water attacks.

In other words, this "childhood friend" picked their Pokemon purely based on its ability to kick *my* Pokemon's ass.

Great friend. No wonder I called him "Butthole".

From then on, Butthole was always one step ahead of me. Just when I thought I had a moment to breath, Butthole showed up with a new cadre of Pokemon to try and defeat me. If I wanted to talk to a captain of a ship, Butthole emerged from nowhere. No way to escape, no way to stop him. Even when I was going through the criminal underbelly of the dreaded Team Rocket who sought to use Pokemon to take over the world - sure enough, blocking my path was Butthole.

There is no real "end" to Pokemon, through the closest thing might be defeating the Elite Four - the four strongest Pokemon Trainers in the game - and being declared the Pokemon Master. For hours I battled against each one, thinking outside the box to counter their strategies. Finally, I emerged from defeating the last of the Elite Four, battered, bruised, my Pokemon hanging on by their fingerstips, barely any healing tonics left - but triumphant.

Until -

Butthole. That little bastard had beaten the Elite Four just "minutes before me". Now, in order to *really* become a Master, I had to beat Butthole.

I could have just put it down. Just put it away and left it. But there was no way I was going to let someone named Butthole send me to bed without my victory.

Of course, by now, I knew how he thought. I knew his Pokemon. I knew he'd start out with a giant bird, which could be countered by my rock. His oh-so-powerful Alakazam - a Psychic pokemon that wielded Uri Geller like spoons as proof of its power - would be no match for biting attacks.

And of course, that flowery Bulbasaur he was so proud of so it could defeat my Squirtle - well, turns out, plants burn really well, especially when you're using a Pokemon that breathes fire.

Goodnight, Butthole.

I almost had to kill me a Best Buy employee

I heard the Anime World Order review of Baccano this past week, and it sounded pretty cool - an anime about 1930's gangsters, a disjointed story telling style that made your think about the story, plenty of unique and interesting characters, a HUUUUGE mystery, and the OH MY GOD NO WAY huge surprise.

I watched the first episode for free on the Funimation web site. And - OH MY GOD NO WAY (OMGNW)! It was cool, it was smart, the English voice acting was pretty good, I loved the style, the animation, the script - it was just all very cool stuff.

So I told My Lovely Wife (MLW) that I was going to buy this series and she would have to watch at least the first episode, because while she's not a big gangster fan, she is a fan of the OH MY GOD NO WAY surprise that should get her hooked into the rest of the show.

But there's a caveat: Evidently, the back of the DVD packaging reveals the OMGNW surprise - which means that the whole setup is ruined for you. Whatever you do, do *not* look at the back of the DVD box. Don't even read it.

I looked online, and found that the local Best Buy actually had a decent price on it. I go there, pick it up, stand in line, hand my purchase to the checker, who scans it in.

Then he turns it over, and starts reading the back. "Don't do that," I tell him. "Evidently, reading the back reveals the OMGNW surprise, and can ruin the show for you."

He looked up at me. "So - you haven't read this?"

"Nope. I saw the first episode online, liked it, and came down here to buy it. But the word on the Internet is, don't read the back until after you've read it so as not to ruin the OMGNW surprise moment."

He looks at the back again. "So what are these guys suppose to be - [SPOILER WORD]?"

My hand froze over the credit card reader. "What the hell are you doing, man? I just said, don't read the back!"

He pointed to the words. "But it says that -"


"But -"


"I just - "

"Just ring me up! What are you trying to do, dude!"

I finished, and left before his words could poison me.

So I'm not sure who I'm more mad at - Funimation, for putting the spoiler on the back (which I still haven't looked at), the cashier, who wanted to share said spoiler, or Anime World Order, who may be playing the biggest prank on anime viewers of all. Maybe the back is just a recipe for strawberry shortcake - and now I have no way of knowing?

Coraline is good, but drop the 3D

My family and I had the chance to see a movie the first time in Forever. It was either Coraline, which I wanted to see after reading the book ages ago, or Hotel for Dogs.

Coraline won.

Only problem was, it wasn't Coraline - but Coraline *3D*. No other choices, it was either pay extra for the glasses, or don't see it at all. Eh - what the heck, right? It had been years since I saw a movie in 3D. Perhaps the technology was finally there.

No. I'm sorry, but no. Yes, I know - it seems like a cool idea to have a giant dog nose peeking our at you from the TV, or try to "dodge" the bullet whizzing at you from the screen.

But for me, it was just more annoying than anything else. Things that are suppose to make you go "ooo - look, you can almost touch the bees" were just "get out of my face!" moments. If anything, they looks just blurry enough to bother my eyes.

Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed the movie Caroline. Like an old fashioned fairy tale - a place where mystical things can simply happen (both in the real world and the not-so-real), where pluck and courage are the most important virtues - and just enough scary creepy stuff to keep the kids glued to their seats.

It's not scary enough that kids will have nightmares - my 4 year old thought it was "scary", but directly after the movie he was fine. My older two children - 6 and 9 - really liked it.

If I have a complaint, it's that the ending felt too fast and rushed. There had been a certain pace set, and then within the last 15 minutes, its like the director went "OK - time to wrap it up now!" Almost a video-game style ending - "find X, beat the boss, have a nice life."

I need to find my copy of the book and give it to my kids. I think they'll like it.

Great Moments in Parenting

Me: And here's your sandwiches. Now I'm going to make myself one. Maybe a banana sandwich.

Kids: Ewwww!

Me: What? It's peanut butter and bananas.

Emily: I don't know bananas.

Me: Maybe a peanut butter and cheddar cheese.

Kids: Ewwww!

Griffen: How about a bread sandwich?

Me: No, because then I'd have to go to McDonald's and order a Big Mac.