Well, it's official. I was an accident. I always had my suspicions, but my dad confirmed them last night on the phone. Apparently he somehow let the news slip while speaking to my younger brother, who was, needless to say, eager to tell me the good news. Fearing that my brother might not break it to me as gently as he would, my dad decided it would be best to tell me before my brother called.

In my opinion this at least isn't as bad as a certain someone else I know, who is ten years younger than her closest sibling, but nevertheless never suspected she was an accident. The very first time she ever told me how old her next oldest sibling was I immediately assumed she was an accident, but she always just assumed...well, I'm not sure what she assumed. The icing on the cake, however, was that I was actually there when she asked her mom, who then told her that she in fact was an accident. A little awkward for me.


Going back to the circumstances of my birth, I have one other note. Apparently when I was born, the doctor brought me out to see my dad, who's first question was "how is he?" The doctor's reply? "Well, he's not going to be president." Both an accident and a presidential non-starter. I was doomed from the start.


no autographs, please

A friend of mine recently sent me a link for a Japanese condom commercial that he's in. Pretty cool, I say. I, unfortunately, am no celebrity. The closest I ever came was when my wife and I were featured in a documentary TV show while we were living in Thailand. One episode, no groupies, and no paycheck. My wife was asked to audition to be a V.J. for MTV Asia, but she didn't go. And that's it, really. I do, however, have brushes with celebrity that I will now seek to exploit as much as possible, like an American Idol contestant who was kicked off in the third round.

Ben Folds
This is my most recent brush with fame, and is in truth only a vicarious brush, since it was my wife who talked with him. Mr. Folds was recently in town for a concert when he walked into the large-corporate-coffee-shop-that-shall-remain-unnamed where my wife works. While ordering his drink, he asked my wife if she was going to the concert that evening, which should have perhaps tipped her off as to who he was. That, and the fact that his poster was in the window. She didn't quite put everything together until she asked what his name was, so she could put it on his cup. Ben. Oh. Gotcha. In all fairness, most of us aren't exactly on the lookout for Ben Folds sightings.

Some Random Thai Actors
My wife and I were were at the main Bangkok train station one day, getting ready to begin a 22-hour train ride to Malaysia. When we arrived, there was a big group of people surrounding a film crew and several Thais sitting in the middle of it all, on a couch, in front of a big screen TV. They were clearly clebrities, as evidenced by their enormous sunglasses and shaggy hair. The whole film crew bit clued me in as well. Long story short, one of the celebrities motioned for me to sit on the ground in front of the couch, so I did, just in time for the filming to begin. Upon returning from Malaysia, several kids at the school where I worked told me they had seen me on TV. I later saw the celebrities on commercials and such, but still have no idea who they actually were.

Jeb Bush
Ol' Jeb and I, we're like this (insert visualization of crossed fingers here). Not really, but I did shake his hand once. He was in town, doing a campaign speech for his brother.

Pauly Shore
I'm was walking with my family out of the airport in Maui, trailing behind a tall buxom blonde when I see a short curly-haired man running toward her. He shouts at her, spreads open his arms, and buries his face in her breasts (which was fairly easy to do, since they were at head level). I was trying to make sense of it all when it hit me -- this guy's Pauly Shore. Walking towards the baggage claim he walked up to my brother, who was carrying the bag with our boogie board, and asked, "hey kid, why's your bag erect?" Hearing only "erect" and seeing only a somewhat strange man following my brother, my mom quickly went into she-bear mode and wedged her way inbetween the two, driving Pauly off. However, he returned later as we were waiting for my dad to come around with the car and struck up another conversation. Extremely friendly. Somewhat weird, but extremely friendly.

Steven Spielberg
Not positive on this one, but pretty sure. I was with my family at a ice cream shop in Lincoln City, Oregon, and someone walked in looking just like him, wearing a hat and sunglasses. It felt like the entire place was trying to figure out if it was him or not, with no one brave enough to ask. I mumbled something about E.T. really sucking as he went by, but there was no reaction.

Frank Sinatra
Another vicarious brush with celebrity, but I had to tell the story because it's funny. My grandma, when she was much younger, saw Frank Sinatra and, wanting to meet him, pretended to be a reporter. She asked if she could have an interview, which he agreed to. I know she asked if he sang in the shower, but I can't for the life of me remember what his answer was.

There you go. Feel free to submit your own.

P.S. Just kidding with the whole E.T. bit.


bulimic puppies

So we have this puppy who is exceptionally cute (or at least we happen to think so). Problem is, he's a pug, and pugs tend to get really fat really easily because there is never a moment where they are not hungry. When we set our pug's foodbowl in front of him, he dives into it, sticking his two front paws into the bowl; he is the most enthusiastic eater I have ever seen. He has stood in his water bowl while eating out of his food bowl just to cut off the extra nanosecond it would have taken to walk around the water bowl to get to his food bowl. One time he leaped at his food bowl so forcefully that his rear legs came up and he was doing a momentary handstand. I kid you not.

To make things worse, a fat pug is one of the ugliest creatures on earth. An obese pug looks like an uncircumcised torpedo (if torpedoes were circumciseable), all wrinkly and conical. My wife and I were discussing this last night when we recited to our pug, who happened to be standing there, precisely what we would do to him if he got fat. We said that if he were lucky enough to not be given away to some yelling child with sticky hands, he would remain in our home but would consider it to be a living hell. There would be no food. We would leave the house for days at a time and not pay attention to him even when we were home. He would not longer be allowed on our bed.

What was his reaction? The little guy went into the kitchen and immediately puked his guts out. True story. We've produced a bulimic puppy. I'm glad he's taking us seriously, but I wonder if perhaps we went a bit far.


what up, holmes?

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. The Great Dissenter. The Yankee from Olympus. Son of American author Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Many people know that Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was a justice on the US Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court junkies among you may even recognize his picture (see below).

But here's the kicker: how many of you knew that while he was Justice Holmes during the week, he went by Street Justice Holmes on the weekend. It's true, and I have the picture to prove it.

Now that's news you can use.


i was here first

About six years ago, I was able to live out a life-long dream - namely, taking a phallic leaning tower of pisa photo. As proof of such, I submit exhibit A:

You will also notice that at the precise moment the photo was taken, a tourist was pointing something out to his wife that, I admit, was probably not my incredible endowment, but nevertheless gives the distinct impression that it was. For additional viewing pleasure, notice the look of amazement/covetousness on her face. While all others were taking photos of themselves with their hand up against the tower to make it look as though they were propping the tower up, I was taking this beauty. My pride knew no bounds. Until one dark day sometime last year. That's when I saw this:

No you didn't, Rob Schneider, no you didn't. You claim-jumping SOB. If this were the wild west, I'd take you down at high noon.

Now, I will begrudgingly admit that in the more than 800 years since the tower first started to lean, a couple other people may have had the same idea as I did. But it hadn't been mass-produced until Mr. Schneider decided to pull a fast one on me. Now whenever people see my phallic tower of pisa, their first reaction will be, "Hey - did you get that from that one Rob Schneider movie?" I have nothing left to live for. Thanks a lot, Rob.



So I was reading this article about how the powers that be are retiring the names of certain hurricanes that have been particularly destructive (Katrina, for example). That's right, there will never be another Hurricane Katrina. Or Dennis. Or Rita. But the odd thing is that we name hurricanes at all. Don't we normally just name things that we like, such as puppies or children? I've had several family members die from cancer, and not a single one of them, as far as I know, ever named their tumor. ("Ol' Lumpy, he's gonna be the death of me.")

As far as I can think of, the only time we actually name something we don't like is if we're giving it a particularly derogatory name. But that hasn't been the case with hurricanes - unless, of course, "Katrina" is the hurricane equivalent of naming your kid I.P. Freely. So I'm taking a stand. No longer will I refer to hurricanes with positive, or even neutral, names. From here on out, it's all Hurricane White Trash or Tropical Storm Dry Heave.


when a law professor gets sappy...

Random quote of the day:

“I like you guys even more than I like the Constitution.”

The cynical among you will be pleased to note that these words were spoken by a torts professor / former civil litigator.