Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Monday, January 30, 2006
profiles in parenting!
people often ask me for input, advice, opinions, bold stances on controversial topics, and it is with great care that i choose my answers. one question i often get is this: in your daily parenting, what father do you most attempt to emulate? who is your role model? what guru would a man like you -- a guru unto himself -- turn to in his own hour of darkness?
my friends, i will answer that question as i launch a new, possibly sporadically-recurring-unless-i-am-too-lazy-to-keep-it-up feature that i shall call PROFILES IN PARENTING!
i will die a happy man if i have been half the father to my daughter that Damir Dokic has been to his.
the serbian father of young Jelena Dokic, middling women's tennis pro, "is seeking to kidnap his estranged daughter ... [and] says he wants to drop a nuclear bomb on Australia."
they have a word for this kind of behavior where i come from and that word is awesome.
but wait, there's more! according to another article, the screwy serb has threatened to take "retribution against Croatia and the Pope." he has also declined to attend the last US Open because he was disgusted by how little salmon they put on his plate in the players' cafeteria. oh ... and the reason he will likely decide against kidnapping his daughter (who decamped from her fatherland to play for the aussies)? he couldn't round up enough henchmen, because one of his buddies is waiting to be tried at the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.
i repeat: in a word ... awesome.
i mean now we're talking: dropping nuclear bombs, threatening the pope, hiring your war criminal friends to kidnap your own daughter, crazy fish peeves. seriously y'all, THIS is precisely the kind of activity fatherhood should entail. changing diapers? psh! waking up at 5:30 every morning? tff! i want retribution against croatia, dammit! and a little more salmon.
Dokic (pictured above in full-throttle bonkers mode being "escorted" from wimbeldon in 2000, draped in the cross of st. george) is my idol in fatherhood because he takes very seriously his prerogative -- nay his obligation -- to embarrass his child. he takes the tired zealous tennis-dad cliche to staggering new heights. archetypal stage moms of the world, take note: this man has got you beat. he is a half-baked crazy cake with a loon cherry on top.
let me conclude with this key quote, a riddle for parents the world over to untangle:
they are the crazy ones indeed, Damir Dokic. struggle on, my brave slavic soldier!
"I'm not crazy ... they are the crazy ones who give you hot sausages before the match when it's 40 degrees Celsius outside."
speaking of james frey
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
how to choose a doctor in new york city
basically after 15 years of accumulated injuries, operations and wear 'n' tear, i need THREE surgeries on my left knee all AT ONE TIME:
- i need a slab of torn meniscus repaired on the lateral (outside) side of the knee.
- i need a fresh, new anonymous dead-guy's meniscus implanted on the medial (inside) side, which has been missing its meniscus for 10 years.
- before #2 happens, they need to hack away a chunk of bone to make room for the anonymous dead guy's meniscus. you see: since there has been no meniscus there for ten years, the gap between the bones on that side have closed. so the top of my tibia and the bottom of my femur are now grinding up against each other, doing the forbidden dance (a condition known both as "arthritis" and "HOLY FUCK MY COCKSUCKING KNEE HURTS ALL THE GODDAMN TIME").
it took me many months to find the right doctor. once you're talking to a certain caliber of surgeon, you're almost splitting hairs when it comes to choosing which guy is the best for the job. before long, i had it narrowed down to three. these guys are all top notch. so what's a mr nice guy to do? let's be honest, there was one time-honored criterion i felt most comfortable in using to select the right surgeon for me. i wanted the handsomest son of a bitch i could find.
nurse! let's see the candidates:
this guy has been in the game for years. he's got tons of experience -- been practicing at new york's elite Hospital for Special Surgery since 1982. he's a pioneering knee surgeon. he specializes in and delivers lectures on precisely the kind of surgery i need. but, come on! i mean, look at that beard, the posture, those hunched shoulders! i'm sorry to say, Dr. Trog just wasn't handsome enough.
this guy was by far the nicest doctor of the three. charming, thoughtful, willing to go the extra mile. even his staff was great -- they pulled some strings to get my MRI expedited. more importantly: he's very good looking. the picture really doesn't do him justice. he's boyishly handsome ... perhaps a little too boyish. look at that foppish mop. kind of too pretty, don't you think? definitely not rugged enough, Dr. Fop. next!
HOLY MOTHER OF ZEUS! now we're talkin'. look at those chiseled features! look at a that chin! the cropped hair! the cocksure smile! now this is one handsome son of a bitch. i mean, check out that jawline. i swear to god when he operates on my knee he's not going to need a scalpel; he'll just cut into me with his razor-sharp jaw. you should have seen his hands: large, powerful, tan, sensitive. as you have probably guessed, those looks -- coupled with his mightily impressive CV -- landed this handsome son of a bitch the job. congratulations, Dr. Hot, i'll be seeing you in scrubs!
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
wherein mr nice guy, no pollyanna, is shocked -- shocked, i tell you! -- by the sing-a-long
anyway, these sing-a-longs are pretty rad, i have to admit. mostly it's nannies, babies and me. there is a stray mom or two hanging out, usually a tad older than the national average, a little crunchy and, a little embarrassingly for yours truly, oozing pheromones in the general direction of the only nurturing-yet-somehow-dangerously-sexy male in the room. sorry ladies, but this fish has already been caught!
then some big goofy guy with a guitar gets in the center of our motley circle and begins singing about the wheels on the bus (they go 'round and 'round ... with apologies to Ratt), the five little monkeys jumping on the bed (one fell off and ruined it for the rest of them) and the fantasy of having all the raindrops be replaced by gumdrops and lollipops (be careful what you wish for kids, sounds like a wrath-of-god scenario to me: gumdrops, lollipops ... and toads).
things took a turn toward the sketchy today though. our minstrel friend was in the middle of a typically raucous set when he announced "Let's sing a barnyard blues!" everyone cheered and i thought to myself, "yes, let's." and then he began to sing ...
"OH I'VE GOT A BIG FAT COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!"
ha-wha-? jaa-who? uhhh. come again?
"OH I'VE GOT A BIG FAT COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!"
he sang it again. i didn't hear the next line because i was too busy shooting boiling hot coffee out my nose. astonishingly, i was the only one caught off guard. all the moms and nannies knew all the words and sung right along earnestly, in heartfelt rapture. man! what a racket this guy has!
(it occurs to me now that it was probably code. he's advertising his services to bored stay-at-home moms whose husbands have not touched them since watching them give birth. i noticed he was handing out fliers afterward.)
anyway. this is just another reason why kids are rad. i personally wouldn't want this guy giving my daughter one-on-one music lessons, if you catch my subtle drift and i know you do, but hell, he gets to sing about his big fat cock-a-doodle-doo to a packed coffee house (granted, packed with kids, which is a little creepy) and get paid to boot. clearly i am in the wrong line of work.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
mr nice guy is sad
hot on the heels of my last endorsement -- which also happened to be my very first endorsement -- i am here with a fresh, silky smoove ALL NEW mr nice guy endorsement. here goes: global warming is awesome.
yes, that's right. it's january and the mercury hit the 60-degree mark this weekend. if memory serves, at this time last year it was hovering around ZERO here in new york. now? it's board shorts, ray-bans, flip-flops (for which my feet are more evolutionarily suited than yours) and patio lounging! in winter! thank you global warming! who cares if my grand-kids will cower from ultra-deadly UV-infused sunlight, have to live in caves and have a life-expectancy of 38 years (provided the polar ice melt-off doesn't drown them first)? it's springtime in january as far as i'm concerned.
so with that in mind, i have been bringing my child to the tot lot! now, for those of you who don't have kids: eight-month-olds are not tots. but my infant, who does not walk under her own power or even crawl, does not know this. as far as she's concerned, she was made for the tot lot. i brought here there for the first time on friday and, when i put her down on the ground -- smack in the middle of the neon yellow bars, reflective metal and hyperactive kids twice her age and size -- she looked up at me and said: "thank you, father, for bringing me to this little people valhalla. i am home now. and you, my friend, are dismissed."
i propped her up so she could stand by herself, hanging onto the bars, with a clear vantage point of the romping bigger kids. she squealed like a weasel in heat. these were her people!
anyway. she had great fun, thanks to the very greenhouse gases that are slow-roasting us all. she clapped her hands, she exuberantly stomped her stumpy legs. she doesn't really show much interest in kids her own age. but it's truly amazing: whenever big kids are within range, she gets totally wound up. she stares at them as if they were so many jodie fosters to her lone, crazed john hinckley jr. these other kids, she says, they can run! they can jump! i love them. it's a little heartbreaking: she wants their attention. she wants them to notice her too. she wants to play. and they ... well, they totally ignore her.
it's all very cute but it makes me a little sad.
it makes me sad that she is learning that there's a bigger world out there. and it makes me a little sad that she must soon learn one of the hard facts of life. she has realized there are other, bigger kids out there -- and although they are very appealing to her, she will learn that the feeling is not necessarily mutual. it makes me sad that she will someday know the meaning of rejection. it makes me sad that she will have her heart broken.
but it's not what you think. it makes me sad for selfish reasons: mostly it makes me sad because i will have to hunt down the scumbag who hurts her heart. and i will commit odious acts of unspeakable violence upon him (or her). it makes me sad because then i will have to go to jail. this is what makes me sad. i don't want to go to jail. i have a pretty mouth.
i hate fatherhood!
Friday, January 20, 2006
it's just not safe to be a soul man these days
aw, hell. guess who just drove mustang sally down funky broadway off into his very last midnight hour.
so long, mr. pickett.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
getting out more often
ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pride that i announce: yesterday i got out! for the first time ever, mrs nice guy and i hired a babysitter. we have had generous friends offer to watch the baby, we have had family hold down the fort, but never until last night had we paid a stranger to mind our offspring. so it's not like we haven't had a date since the child was born, but this was a big step for us nonetheless. here's how it went down:
yesterday, mrs nice guy's office threw its year-beginning party. lots of bland hotel food, huge open bar, terrible dj, embarrassing drunken office hookups. unbearably painful if you work at the firm, but if you are a spouse, why, it's comedy gold! so when mrs nice guy told me she would like me to be her date, i said "i wouldn't miss it for the world. don't you know how much i love
as luck would have it, one of the moms in mrs nice guy's no-longer-new-moms group has a younger sister in her 20s saving up money for travel. perfect! not a teenager! a sister of a friend! a sister of a friend who has a baby the same age as ours, no less! sweet.
so the babysitter came by promptly at 7, just after i had fed, bathed and bottled the baby into submission. the child was dead to the world and unlikely to stir for at least 12 hours. the babysitter arrived with a burrito and a book, both good signs: she would not eat us out of house and home, and she's literate (jonathan lethem no less!). bonus: she did not appear likely to drink all the whiskey in the house -- i even tested her: when she showed up, i was sipping liquid amber from a highball glass, which clinked seductively with a single ice cube. "hello, babysitter. nice to meet you. would you like some water? juice? or something with a little more topspin, like, say, WHISKEY?" she opted for water. smart move, babysitter, you are a worthy opponent.
the baby was asleep, i explained, and even if she cried out for a few minutes, the babysitter was not to go in there. there was no reason that the baby should need anything until morning. and then it dawned on me: i am paying a grown woman to sit on my couch and not comfort my baby if she cries. a blind autistic ferret could do this job.
she was charging $12 an hour.
to sit on my couch.
and do nothing if the baby cries.
anyway, fine. a small price to pay for an evening of open bar, free dinner, socializing, open bar, dancing to awful house music, open bar and generally getting out of the house a little more often.
the office party was fine, not the strongest one i've been to, but it was a the maritime hotel, which was posh. and the bar was decidedly open. the meal, inexplicably, was pasta and sushi -- like marco polo on a plate, i guess. east meets west or something. it turns out another couple at the firm was paying their babysitter $15 an hour to do the same thing ours was doing. that, in a nutshell, is the difference between brooklyn and manhattan: $3 an hour.
because we are losers, we were home at 11. the babysitter was sitting on the couch, reading. the baby, she said, had not made a single peep the whole time we were gone. i noticed that SOMEONE (who i shall not identify, but whose name rhymes with "zabyjitter") ate a couple of our delicious vermont chocolate nut caramel clusters. grrr. and then came this awkward dance: we called the car service. the three of us stood in the kitchen awkwardly making post-open-bar small talk. we paid her FIFTY FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS (for, in case i forgot to mention, sitting on the couch) and when the car came it dawned on my wife and i that the babysitter was expecting us to pay for her ride home as well. screw that! we studiously ignored this unspoken epiphany and ushered her along her merry babysitter way. after the door closed behind her, mrs nice guy said "i think we were supposed to buy her dinner too."
well, we didn't. which is fine. because here's the final tally:
- babysitter: $55 + 2 delicious vermont chocolates
- ride to the party: $30 (mrs nice guy's firm paid for the ride home, allah be praised)
- tips at the open bar (because if you do not tip the bartender working an open bar, you are scum): $10
- dull, throbbing pain in my needs-surgery left knee from dancing to execrable german techno: priceless
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
a mr nice guy endorsement
you know, it's simply amazing.
what they say about prunes, it's true. they clear a body right out. i always thought it was an old wives' tale or something. you know, right up there with "holding your breath cures hiccups" and "sex makes babies." why should prunes be endowed with magical powers that, say, raisins lack? (i will say this, dried apricots do posses a magical power as well, but nothing quite as, uh, substantial as prunes).
i think my once-19-pound daughter weighs something more like 6 pounds now. yesterday was marked by some prodigious output -- if i were a huggies executive, i would team up with prune-packagers and sell the two products in tandem at a discount. think of the spike in sales! this is some serious weapons-grade dried fruit, man. fast-actin' too. the bush administration should ship crates of this stuff out to the mountains of pakistan's border region. the evildoers would be immobilized for days.
anyway, that's all i have to say. mr. nice guy endorses prunes. but nota bene: administer yours with care -- just a little dab'll do you. and try to time it so someone else is on diaper duty for the remainder of the day.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
oh! you pretty things
i have here before me irrefutable proof that i -- and more importantly my daughter -- have taken one giant step forward in evolution. we are the first of a new, superior breed of humans.
don't believe me? OBSERVE MY FOOT!
look at the grace, the quiet power, the obvious intellectual gravitas of that foot! note how there is a space between the powerful hallux and the demure second toe -- none of that fithly long second toe claustrophobically pressed up against its stubby big toe neighbor business (warning: DO NOT do a google image search of the word "hallux." and if you do, don't blame me when your retinas start bleeding). no! my hairless foot is aerodynamic, svelte, efficient. it is the apotheosis of human evolution. it is, if you will pardon the pun, a step ahead.
but don't take my word for it! here is what no lesser authority than the Encyclopaedia Brittanica has to say about my flippers:
Essential to the locomotor adaptation of the Hominidae is the plantigrade foot--one in which both sole and heel touch the ground--that was produced by structural modifications of the ancestral prehensile primate foot. The foot of erect bipedal man must completely support the body and be strong enough to lift the load by its lever action.
allow me to translate: my foot is more plantigrade than yours. it is longer, leaner, flatter and meaner. not only is the space between my big toe and second toe aesthetically appealing, it is functionally devastating. my hoof is capable of even greater lever action, it is exponentially more adept at being a foot in the new millennium. you should see me dance! yes, this is Foot 2.0.
now, behold the foot of my spawn. see how she, uh, kicks it up a notch. witness how the genes of the father have been improved upon in the daughter. behold the next generation of superhuman. yea, verily i say, behold your new MASTER:
tell me that's not a gorgeous foot! tell me the intelligent design theory has not just been utterly demolished in one fell kick by a certain 8-month-old hominidae. she has her daddy's toe-gap! oh, i am so proud. together, in giant strides, we shall rule the world! benevolently, of course. we are a benevolent master race. all we ask is that you admire our evolutionarily advanced feet, concede their superiority and maybe send us boatloads of cash.
oh, and they're surprisingly odorless. so there's that too.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
i am a filthy fat slatternly whoreman
so it's recently been pointed out to me that -- like the pandering monkey that i am -- i have more vote-mooching to do. it was not enough to beg like a hyena for the scraps of your "bloggie" nomination ... it seems i am now a finalist for something entirely different called Best of Blogs. slow down, interets, you move too fast! this is all very touching, of course, but what i want to know is when do i start making millions of dollars for this?
anyway, fine, maybe not. but i have it on good authority that nubile young co-eds of questionable mores are supposed to dig ugly older dudes who write daddy blogs. right?
if you're not one of them, just click on this here link and fulfill your duty as a devoted (or even not-so-devoted) reader. don't do it for my sake, though. think of the children: some guy called "Dad Gone Mad" is currently beating the pants off me and we just can't let that happen:
and so it appears that soon we embark upon a treacherous journey into a vast wakeful sahara, devoid of rest yet replete with screaming - at 4:45 am.
mr nice guy: great. i don't understand it.
mrs nice guy: what don't you understand?
mr nice guy: yesterday she slept for two hours in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. today she slept for an hour-and-a-half in the morning and just over two hours in the afternoon!
mrs nice guy: so? that's great.
mr. nice guy: yeah, but just last week she was waking up at 4:45 in the morning and taking shitty naps. i don't understand.
mrs nice guy: she's storing it up. she's a sleep camel.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
NEW! from the country that brought you Oliver Cromwell, the Young Ones, the Sex Pistols, Monty Python, football hooligans, modern Iraq, Richard Branson, AbFab, Scary Spice, jingoism and Ali G ... the next logical offering: a "respect agenda!"
the cornerstone of this respect agenda? why, of course, it's tony blair's proposal to help parents keep the young'uns in line: a NATIONAL PARENTING ACADEMY!
why do the brits get all the awesomest stuff? can't we have one of these? sure it smells a little Big Brotherlicious, but just think of the possibilities. here are some classes i'd like to take if the US of A ever got its own National Parenting Academy (a girl can dream, right?):
- Biology: "Don't Touch That, You'll Go Blind"
- Logic: Remedial "Because I Said So"
- Psych: Having a Healthy Fear of Your Own Children
- Music: Advanced Atonal Shrieking
- Phys Ed: Non-stop Cardio For 13 Solid Hours Starting at 5:30 am
- Home Ec: "If You Want to Put Ketchup on Your Cereal, Put Ketchup on Your Cereal. See if I Care."
- Sex Ed: Do You Really Think You're Ever Having Sex Again? (Pass/Fail)
- Economics: Your Retirement or Your Child's Education: You Can Afford One But Not Both
- Chemistry: "Please Don't Drink the Drano, Please"
- Art History: Your Six-Month Old Might Have Been Able to Paint That, But Jackson Pollock Thought of it First so That's Why He Got Rich and Famous and You Won't
- Religion: "Jesus Christ! What the Hell Were You Thinking?!"
- Sociology: The Childless Hate You
on second thought, i was always a lousy student. with my grades, i'd probably never get into the National Parenting Academy. i'd have to go to City College Parenting Annex, take extension courses or something. i'd fail the finals and never get my master's of parenting. they'd probably take my daughter away from me! oh no! this whole thing is a terrible idea!
damn you, tony blair!
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
... why are you still here? there is nothing for you. move along, girls. seriously. i am just going to stop writing. doo dee doo. no post today! ...
ok, for real. it's time for you ladies to surf on over to Knittin-and-Kittens.com or whatever girlie websites you read when you're not imagining me with my shirt off. okeedoke?)
alright, gentlemen. to quote Tiffany (which we only do when there are no ladies in the room, right?): i think we're alone now ... ok, fine, i know it's a Tommy James & the Shondells song originally, but i prefer Tiffany's version. don't you agree? ah, beautiful, virginal Tiffany; you have been so maligned. your voice is an aural balm to all that ails -- wait. i'm talking to Tiffany again, aren't i? dammit!
ok. focus, mr. nice guy! focus!
MEN OF THE WORLD. A LITTLE HARD-WON ADVICE, FOR YOUR EARS ONLY:
no matter how much you think your wife loves you and no matter how close you think you two are, when she asks you "when was the last time you showered" do not answer: "i have absolutely no idea, but yesterday -- while the baby was napping -- i washed my pits out in the sink."
trust me on this.
Monday, January 09, 2006
some awesome baby stuff i have seen
here are four of the awesomer items of baby swag i have noticed in the past month alone. i have immortalized them in digital images for all time ... or until i erase my photo card, whichever comes first. let's get started:
wtf?! "colonia infantil?" baby cologne?? allow me to break down the insidious state of mind that is parenthood: i saw this on the shelf at my local pharmacy. first i laughed, of course. then something began gnawing at me. maybe my baby needs cologne. is she the stinky kid at the mom's group? would she be getting more baby action if she splashed a drop or two of "para mi bebe" behind her wee little ears? but then i worried. perhaps this is a gateway scent. first this, then spanish fly! oh no! are male babies wearing this? should i be concerned that some odoriferous junior Lothario is going to seduce my unscented and unsuspecting infant?
let's ignore, for now, the "Gigglastic" waistband. i think if you looked deep down inside yourself, you would admit that your own life would be less of a hopeless morass of nauseating despair and unceasing ennui if only you had a Gigglastic waistband. i know i sure could use one. so, that's not what grabbed my eye. no. it was the "baby-shaped fit." explain something to me, Huggies executives of the world: why? why is this printed on your product? was there some concern that parents would see the Huggies box in the store and not buy it because they suspected your diapers might be "donkey-shaped fit?"
first of all, harnesses are funny. they just are. second, i think that we can all agree that elmo is the incarnation of evil. he is a satan-red pied piper, luring our children away from us with his mangled syntax. his voice is set at a frequency that simultaneously brainwashes babies and renders parents paralyzed and insane. but the kids, they love him! so imagine your child's raw horror when you strap on a short-leash harness "for peace of mind in busy places" (oh, if only it were that easy). she looks up at you with big wet bambi eyes. why, she implores, are you putting a leash on me like a scurrilous dog?! and then the coup de grace ... she sees the demonic grin of her beloved muppet etched into the very instrument of her torture. right before she blacks out, she mutters just under her breath: et tu, elmo?
now what kind of message is this supposed to send anyway? i mean, honestly.
Friday, January 06, 2006
remember, i (may) know where you live
a natural man
Thursday, January 05, 2006
proud parent of a drunk-stumbling, pant-soiling, nipple-gnawing, face-clawing, ululating, condor-shrieking, explosive-farting, cat-abusing, mirror-loving, parent-manipulating, no-crawling, finicky-eating, mildly constipated, biblical-flood-style drooling, reachy-grabby, squirming, ADHD, pudgy, nudist, midget maniac.
you got a problem with that?
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
my daughter, my torturer
for two glorious weeks, i have had the company of my bride. we have been a complete family. we bonded for two glorious weeks.
for two glorious weeks i was not left alone with the baby once.
for two glorious weeks -- thanks to my wife, our friends and extended family -- i have only had to be an alert father for a sum total of 8 minutes. it takes a village indeed!
for two glorious weeks i watched in horror as my child became increasingly more alert. she gets EXTREMELY FRUSTRATED extremely quickly because she wants to MOVE. she wants to walk and she is NOT HAPPY sitting still, which means the only way to keep her satisfied is to hold her little hands and hunch over her as she drunk-stumbles around the room. when you decide you need a break because it feels as though someone has slid eleven molten daggers into your spine, she will immediately and painfully let you know that she has not condoned this break. thankfully, for two glorious weeks i had that aforementioned village to help out.
mrs nice guy has returned to work. i am home alone with my nemesis -- She Who Refuses to Sit Still Even Though She Cannot Move Unassisted. crawling does not interest her. she wants you to be her giant walking hunchback escort gimp. i know i may live to regret saying this, but: i cannot wait until she is independently mobile. i am cool with vigilance as long as i don't have to help this tiny lunatic walk any more. i mean, i have lost all feeling in my left leg. lucky for her she's so damn cute.
it's cold and rainy outside, so we are trapped in our tiny apartment. as i type this, the baby naps. but i live in dread should she awake. because the exersaucer has lost its charm ... the bouncy chair is not an option. she will look at me and say "MUSH, DOGMAN!"
she will want to walk around. and around. and around. and i have no one left here to help me.
i am so very afraid.