Thursday, December 24, 2015


I haven't posted in a long while. I've got some ideas written down in journals, I just haven't gotten around to them. Yet.

This doesn't count as a real blog post. It's just a quotation that reminds me why I need to #justwrite, and not worry about about content all of the time. Put my thoughts to paper, or, be that as it may, internet blog. This is from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', 2nd season, episode 17, written by Joss Whedon, performed by David Boreanaz.

"Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping... waiting... and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir... open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us... guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love... the clarity of hatred... the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion we'd be truly dead." - Joss Whedon

For me, this applies especially to my wife, son, family, friends, and God. (That's in no particular order, #God.) But it also applies to reading, writing, TV, movies, politics, and sports. (That's also, in no particular order, #WhiteSox.

It reminds me of the great, philosophical and historical quotations at the beginning of every episode of #CriminalMinds. Even more than that, it reminds me of a Star Trek quotation, and a great classic rock song.

"You must learn to control your emotions, or they will control you." Star Trek, Vulcan philosophy (paraphrased)

"If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." - Stephen Stills

Don't read anything into this post, especially family and friends, and my damned dog. I just thought actually posting what popped into my head immediately would motivate me more than notes wallowing away in one of me journals.

Here's hoping my next post(s) will be more original, and possibly interesting.

Happy Hollidays, -J

Sunday, November 1, 2015

World Series

A lot of my friends and family are Cubs fans. They've given me a lot of grief the past few weeks for being a Cubs "Hater". This will be the last time I explain my baseball fandom.

I am a White Sox fan, first and foremost. And so yes, I hate the Cubs. But I was actually born a Mets fan, and I still root for them. My first address was 31-17 21st, Queens, NY. That's about ten minutes from Shea Stadium, where the Mets played before it was Citi Field. We moved to Illinois when I was 7 years old.

I definitely rooted for my Mets against the Cubs in the NLCS. To be honest, I'd have rooted for anyone against the Cubs. But, I don't think that should diminish my fandom of the Mets. I'm in fact, wearing my new Mets visor, watching the Mets in the World series, up 2-0. I have another Mets cap, but I can't find it. In my defense, I have around 30 caps.

I also have to elaborate that I was 5 years old when the Mets won The World Series in 1986. That's one of my earliest baseball memories. By the time I was 7 I'd been to 13 Yankee games, and 3 Mets games. My dad and uncles were all Yankee fans.

It's ironic that my two favorite teams are from NY and Chicago, and my two least favorite teams are from NY and Chicago. I hate the damned Yankees, and the miserable Cubs.

When we moved to IL my pops and I agreed we both had to be White Sox fans. He had to stick with an American League team, I couldn't root for another National League team. Also, the Cubs haven't been good in three lifetimes, and I can't get behind that.

So here I am. A displaced Mets fan, who's favorite team (White Sox) is terrible. At least the Mets made it to the World Series.

The Royals just scored. If the Mets lose, I'm going to track down Terry Collins and choke him to death.

Thanks, as always for reading. I have to go watch the Mets fall apart.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Premeire Week Part IV

This is my last post about 'Premiere Week', I promise. (Probably, Maybe.)

Every year during premiere season, I turn into a blindly optimistic, wildly inaccurate, Cubs fan type of #TVJunkie.

"Oooh, I like this show! Everyone will, you just wait."

Without fail, shows I hate run for only a few seasons or less, and the shows I really like, get cancelled immediately, or right before they have a chance to write a finale episode. I won't make a list of those ,since it goes back to the mid-to-late 90s. Instead, here comes what I've cancelled from my list, what's on the verge of getting dumped, and the shows I haven't rated yet.

Shows I haven't rated yet, are such, because either they haven't started yet, or I haven't yet watched any/enough of the current season.

(AMF is an acronym from my military shows and movies that means 'Adios Mother-Fucker'. I'm done with this these shows.)

The Muppets - I'm a #StayAtHomeDad of a toddler and a 7 month old puppy. When primetime hits, I've had enough of puppets, curious monkeys, and (#ForCryinOutLoud) Elmo. Give me some sex, violence, and rock'n'roll. Plus, I didn't enjoy the pilot episode.

Scream Queens - I've already seen pop-horror-ironic culture. I could barely tolerate it the first time around. I don't need it again, this time with commercials.

Chicago Med - In fairness to Dick Wolf, I didn't even watch the whole pilot. I just wasn't interested. I HATE medical dramas. I didn't even enjoy #ER. My sis did, so I watched some, but no thanks. I'll give it another try if they can manage to drown it in episodes of Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD.

Shark Tank - I actually like #SharkTank. But I like a ton of shows more. I'll continue to watch it, but only inasmuch there's nothing better to watch on primetime, or read in a book.

Questionable Starters
(That's sports talk for "Possibly Could Be a Good But Maybe Not")

Minority Report - It was a brilliant short story by Philip K. Dick. Read it, immediately. I took the movie with a grain of salt, as should you. After all, Tom Cruise was in it. The TV adaptations are getting fewer grains of salt by the minute, but it's worth waiting to form an opinion. You'd know that if you were a precog.

The Last Man on Earth - The premise is interesting and funny. The characters are quirky, and past ridiculous. It can be annoyingly stupid at times, but it's only a half hour show. That alone may mean I keep watching it.

Grandfathered - It's starring John Stamos, but all I see is Uncle Jesse from Full House. I always enjoy it when it's on, I just forget that it's on.

How to Get Away With Murder - It's a tantalizing show. I enjoy it. A show about murdering lawyers is right up my alley. But not when all of the characters are the least likable characters on all of television.

Sports isn't on my viewing list. That doesn't mean I don't watch. It means that anytime the White Sox, The Bulls, The BlackHawks, University of Michigan football, or just about any playoff baseball (even the Cubs) is on, I'm likely switching back and forth between sports, and one of my shows.

Not Yet
This list is comprised of shows that haven't yet begun, or by my #TVJunkie shame haven't watched yet. Sorry, #Oncers and #TeamTardis.

Elementary - Hasn't started yet, but I can't wait for me some Sherlock and Watson.
Person of Interest - I feel like I haven't seen Mr. Reese and Finch in forever.
Once Upon a Time - I haven't watched one minute of the current season, and I'm sorry.
Doctor Who - I've watched the season premiere, and half of the second episode. Don't tell my wife, I at some point bought the third episode on Amazon Instant.
X-Files - The first episode of the new series is tonight, after Gotham. Maybe I'll live tweet it.
Supergirl - With great power comes great responsibility, and the ability to screw up a newly re-vamped #DC. By the way, since 'DC' stands for 'Detective Comics', referring to it as 'DC Comics' is redundant, and stupid.

Como siempre, gracias para leer, y que te vaya bien.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Premiere Week Part III

Week three of the premiere season is an interesting time for a #TVJunkie. Most shows have proven whether or not they are worth viewership, some are just about to start, and some won't start until the January 2016. I keep a comprehensive TV schedule on our fridge. Here's a breakdown, from night to night. Keep in mind, I only have basic cable. I watch everything on Netflix, Hulu, Comcast On Demand, or live.

Brooklyn 99 - So far, so good. As funny as the last season.
The Good Wife - Last night was the premiere. Not enough data to judge it yet, but I liked it.
The Last Man On Earth - Silly and ridiculous, but worth 22 minutes if you have the minutes to spare.
Once Upon a Time - Ashamed to say, as a #Oncer, I haven't watched any of it yet.
Quantico - Really good new show. I'll stick with this one for a bit.

Gotham - Yes. Yes. Yes.
Castle - Good, but not overwhelmingly good. Yet. We'll see in 45 minutes.
NCIS:LA - Awesome. It's becoming one of my favorite shows. That says a lot, considering the volume of TV I watch.
The Big Bang Theory - Not yet back, but I'm thirsty for more of the last season. Except for Penny's hair.
Minority Report - Premise and plot are great. The dialogue makes me want to throw up in my own mouth.
Blindspot - I wasn't interested, but really good. I have a crush on Jaimie Alexander. She's an Avenger.

NCIS - Still my favorite, currently running show. Still awesome.
Marvel's Agents of Shield - Meh. Watchable, but so for, not all that engaging.
The Flash - Hasn't started yet. I think tomorrow.
NCIS: New Orleans - Mediocre. But I can't, not watch. Scott Bakula is NCIS + Quantum Leap + Star Trek.
Grandfathered - It's ok. It stars Uncle Jesse from Full House.
The Muppets - Total crap. I even had a dream that Muppets appeared to ruin other shows.
Scream Queens - No. No. No. Comcast tells me people like this show. It makes my brain melt.
Supergirl - Due October 26th.
Limitless - Best show on TV. Even better than my precious NCIS. Seriously.

Black-ish - I'm always worried, white people won't 'get' this show. But, somehow, they do. It's hilarious.
Arrow - Premiere is Wednesday. Can't wait.
Rosewood - One of the best of the new shows, I doubt anyone will watch. I bet cancelled by November.
Empire - Empire's upcoming episodes look better than the premiere. Premiere was pretty good, though.
SVU - Always great, but no greater than previous episodes or seasons.

Chicago PD - Brilliant premiere! Can't wait for the follow up, and the premiere of Chicago Fire.
Criminal Minds - Good episode, but not anything unseen before.

Scandal - Not all that impressive, but it did leave me wanting more.
Bones - Wiskey Tango Foxtrot. I need another episode, like, yesterday.
Heroes Reborn - Meh. Not bad, not good. Just, meh. At least Hiro is in thenext episode.
How to Get Away With Murder - There isn't a single likeable character on the show. I like it, but they're starting to get annoying.
The Blacklist - If you don't yet watch it, you've fucked up. Watch, immediately.

Last Man Standing - I watch a lot of TV. Mostly cop shows, but LMS is at the top of my comedies.
Hawaii 5-O - Jorge Garcia got a sort of badge, so I'm happy.
Blue Bloods - Great ep! I'd like an all-Reagan administration. More tv, please.

Doctor Who - I'm a terrible Whovian for having only seen the first episode. But I enjoyed it.

Thanks for reading this. I find myself so obnoxious, that I can't even proofread my posts, or comprehend why even a friend would read it. But, hopefully, I'll post again soon.

Gracias para toda, que te vaya bien, y hasta luego.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Premiere Week Part II

Premiere week has been crappy so far. I'll continue to watch all of my shows, but only a couple have impressed me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Premiere Week Part 1

I haven't been able to figure out what to blog about in over a month. But it's premiere week. I love writing about my shows. Now that they're back, I have writing material for days and weeks.

Scream Queens
Scream Queens was total rubbish. After a character said,"Michael Bay is the best director of all time." I had to turn it off. It's only redeeming qualities were #JamieLeeCurtis, #NasimPedrad, and #NiecyNash.

Bruce finally found his Bat Cave. I wonder if we'll ever get to meet Batman in this show. I was also disturbed by James Gordon colluding with Penguin. and  committing homicide. Batman was always my favorite hero. So it'll be fun to find out how Riddler, the medical examiner, becomes a super-villain.

Minority Report
I read the 1956 short story by Philip K. Dick, and I saw the Tom Cruise movie adaptation. The new show doesn't do it justice. It's not terrible, and it does a fair job of explaining 'pre-crime', but it's mostly enjoyable.

I'm a TV-Junkie during premiere week. I apologize for my crazy.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Puppy Training...


Rory is the second dog I've ever owned. In fact, she's only the second pet I've ever been personally responsible for. The first was my girl, Pepper Potts, who had to be put to sleep. Kate and I miss her. Isaiah won't remember her, which is depressing in a another way.

But Rory is totally different. We got her at around three months. I'm not exaggerating, she fit in the palm of my hand.

Rory is a baby. coming up on five months. Pepper was almost a year when we got her. Kate and I have had a hard time adjusting. But she's our dog now, or, as Kate calls her 'My' dog.

Side note; Her name is Rory because Kate loved Gilmore Girls, and I love Doctor Who. It's a good gender-neutral name. (I always try to slip some of my fandom into naming procedures, i.e., Pepper Potts, Jedi, and Rory).
Kate warned me that I have no idea what I was getting into, training a puppy. But, being the cocky shit that I am, I didn't listen. Training a puppy is hard. Like, super hard. So far, we've mastered (for the most part) peeing and pooping. Unless she's crazy excited, she waits for us to takep her out back. She also (for the most part) responds to her name. And when I tell her to 'Sit', she sits. I think she understands the command because she knows she'll get a treat if she complies.
The problem is, her puppy behavior. She chews on everything. In the last couple of weeks she chewed through a phone charger cord, the baby monitor cord, and my tablet's cord. She got too aggressive with some small children. She almost tackled a poodle-mix smaller than her. (I'm amazed there's a thing than smaller than her.)
It's partly because of Pepper, and partly because of Rosie, my brother's dog that got run over on my watch. I'm terrified letting Rory out to potty. On walks she wants to jump off the leash. Besides annoying me, I'm afraid she'll brake her back jumping on my lap. And what if she tries to chew the wrong power cord and gets electrocuted? I know I'm being ridiculous. Kate hates that I think of the worst case scenario and describe it in detail.
But, again, I haven't had many pets I love. I don't want to love Rory, and right after I was attached, lose her.
I got great advice from Jenny, an old friend, on puppy training. Thanks, my white sister. PAWS Chicago gave great advice and recommendations.
From now on the dog is going to know this is our house, not hers. She will socialize with other small dogs, so she can play, and remember how tiny she actually is. She will not chew on things in the house because we're going to douse everything important in bitter apple spray or tobacco. (The tobacco part was my flat-mate's suggestion. Thanks, Josh.)
Thanks, as always, for wasting 90 seconds of your life.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


My grandfather was born in 1926. My son was born in 2103. Needless to say, there are many years separating these great Smith men, 87 to be exact. So it was very important to me that my son got to meet his Great-Grandfather before my Papi passed away. Not many people get to meet a great-grand dad. Isaiah is lucky to have done so, even if he never remembers it.

As a result of our trip we also got to stay with my Uncle Ronnie and my Aunt Mikki Smith. They were a total blessing and took fantastic care of us. I can't thank them enough. My cousin, Stacey, also deserves our thanks. She helped organize our entire trip.

Stacey is a flight attendant with American Airlines. Amusingly, while we were in Texas, she got called to Chicago. God must have been messing with us. I drag my wife and son to #DFW, only to have my cousin get stuck in Chicago, Miami, Philly, and San Diego. She visited us last time she was here in Chicago, and she has an open invitation.

I have been, and still am, unsure how to refer to Mikki. She's been my Uncle's wife for most of my  adult life.  She's also one of the sweetest people I have ever met. What do you call her, Stacey?

Kate and I did not sleep well at all. Kate snores like a chainsaw, I talk in my sleep like a maniac. Most nights, Kate can't even tell me what the hell I'm babbling about.

The best part of the trip was my son hanging out with his cousin, David, and his Great-Grand-Nana.

Nana, is one of the best storytellers I have ever known. If you ever have a chance to meet her, she won't let you down.
We also got to visit Globe Life Park, in Arlington, TX. It's an absolutely gorgeous place to watch a game when it's not a hundred degrees out.  Inexplicably, it was the first ballgame my cousin had ever attended. I can't explain it. Her dad, uncles, and grandpa are all hardcore baseball/Yankee fans. How the bloody hell she didn't end up a baseball fan is a total mystery. I, myself, only brought only one hat on the trip. I usually bring 4. And it was a Chicago BlackHawks cap.
I love my Papi, I love my Nana. I love my cousins. My wife thought my oldest cousin was youngest uncle. I love my wife. I love my son. I love my readers, though I have no idea why I have any.
Thanks for reading,


Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Princess Bride

My last blog post being total garbage, I planned on writing this one about our family trip to Texas. But, on our flight, I started reading 'As You Wish', a semi auto-biographical novel by Cary Elwes, about one of my favorite movies of all time. Since starting it, and now, finishing it, I haven't been able to get the movie out of my brain.

Even as I write this, I have the movie on in front of me, and want to quote every line I have memorized to anyone possibly reading this. For the record, I have been able to quote every line in the movie since I was

As You Wish

This is my second attempt at blogging about my favorite movie ever. Last night I tried. Minutes before I posted, my tablet crashed and I lost everything. So it's with major annoyance that I write this.

According to my Mom, the first movie I ever saw in a theatre was #ET Apparently, I cried the entire time. I was only two years old. You can bet your ass, I'm not taking Isaiah to a movie any time soon. But, my first memory of going to the movies is seeing 'The Princess Bride', in 1986.

It was guy's night out with my father and I, Uncle Paul, and cousin Nathan. They aren't actual blood relatives, but Uncle Paul went to college with my dad, and I grew up with Nathan.  To me, that means family. I have no problem referring to close friends as brother, sister, uncle or aunt.

The reason I have "The Princess Bride" on my brain is because I just finished "As You Wish", by Cary Elwes, 'The Man in Black'. Brilliantly written, my only complaint is that it was not a video documentary. I absolutely loved the stories and anecdotes by Cary and cast.

So what do I say about this movie? It's also one of my favorite books, second possibly only to 'The Catcher In The Rye' and 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". I am forever in love with Robin Wright. I have eternal man crushes on Cary Elwes, Rob Reiner, Mandy Patinkin, and Wallace Shawn. If no other movie was ever made again, I'd happily put 'The Princess Bride' on a loop. I know ever single word, from every scene.

I have, in fact, watched the movie three times in the last 24 hours. No regrets.

If you've never seen it, you're cray. I recommend you drop everything and watch it this weekend. Cancel everything. If you don't fall in love, I'll buy you a copy, then force you to watch it until you do.

Good luck, and thanks for reading,

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Story Idea

Go ahead and steal my idea, if you must. But remember, I posted it on my personal blog. If you make it into a billion dollar movie starring Jason Bateman, this interweb thing will show I thought of it first, and I'll use it in court.

1. A young(ish) wannabe writer takes his dog for a walk in a major metropolitan area.
2. As a writer, he's broke and has only his journal stolen. He has great writing stored in said journal.
3. Instead of protecting him his dog hides and cries.
4. The mugger is also a starving artist.
5. The mugger sells the young(ish) wannabe writer's material as a book/movie and makes a ton of movie.
6. Young(ish) wannabe writer fights to get his material/royalties from back from starving artist/mugger.
7. Hijinks ensue.

Even as I write this, I realize it's totally cliché. It's probably derived from a movie I've seen that was so forgettable that I forgot it.

So, nevermind. Go ahead and steal it. Leave my name out of it.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Friend's Top Ten

I got into making lists probably because of "High Fidelity" and Nick Hornby, the author of the original book. As a result of me talking about my top five or ten of random entertainment, my friend, Kel made her own list of Top 10 Best Tv Shows of All Time.

She's got good taste, but I'm a self-centered prick. Since I know better than everyone else, I'm going to write about it. #JustWrite

This is in no particular order.

I didn't even get through the first season, I was so bored. It's on Netflix, but so are a lot of shows I'd rather watch.

The X-Files
It was one of my sister's favorite shows. I liked it, as well. The movies were nonsensical.

Doctor Who
I have nothing to say. It's been on-air for over 50 years. And it's awesome.

I'm re-watching it with my wife and it cracks me up. But 'Friends' was better,

Seriously? It's on my queue. I just always have something better to watch.

Once Upon a Time
I liked it. I fell behind,on the current season. Even though it's on Hulu, I still haven't bothered to catch up.

Star Trek
Every series was awesome, including Enterprise. I watch Star Trek almost every day. Enterprise and DS9 were on at 5pm on Saturdays Who watches tv then?

How I Met Your Mother
Your brother is totally cray. The ending was shit. I didn't watch watch all that for 'Mother' to die in the end. I'll challenge the 'The Big Bang Theory' is a better show.

Yes. Yes. A million times yes.(That's what she said.)

Law & Order: SVU
I love SVU. But, I'd take NCIS anytime. NCIS is my current favorite show. I'm biased.

Finally, Ke's back ups.

The Office
Chicago Hope
Will & Grace

My backups.

The Walking Dead
30 Rock

Ranking Kel's shows, I give her an 8 out of 10.
I get 10 out of 10.

My blog, my rules. Jason always wins.

Thank you for reading this. Remember the first rule, "The Doctor lies."

Friday, July 10, 2015

Top Ten Artists I Wish I had Seen Live

This is a follow up blog post to my last one about the worst movies of all time. As before, they are listed in no particular order. Some of them have explanations attached, some might not.

Led Zeppelin
Easily, one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

Jimi Hendrix
The Star Spangled Banner. Woodstock. The end.

Bob Dylan
Possibly the greatest song writer of all time.

The eighth wonder of the world.

In my opinion, the best rapper alive.

Beastie Boys
Kate and I tried to sneak into Lollapalooza to see them because we couldn't find tickets. We also couldn't find a way in.

Tom Petty
I'd like to see Tom Petty, but probably not as much he'd like to meet Sam Smith.

Because he's Tupac.

Eric Clapton
Layla, acoustic. Layla, electric. Goodfellas. Enough said.

The Notorious B.I.G.
If it isn't Eminem, 2Pac, or Jay-Z, Biggie is the next best rapper ever.

The Foo Fighters get honorable mention. I was never a Nirvana fan. But Dave Grohl is a musical giant. I frequently piss off my wife because I tell her The Foo Fighters are more influential than Radiohead in music history. I might wrong, but I really enjoy antagonizing her. Sorry, Kate. I'm a dick.

Kate asked me if I was repeating blog topics. I wanted to give her a quick no, but I'd rather repeat a blog topic, than have to go back and re-read my own ramblings. So thank you. Email me if I already posted this list.


Top Ten Worst Movies of all Time

I have to preface this list.

I'm sure there are worst movies than these ten. Hopefully, I haven't seen them. But this is a list of the worst ever that I have seen. If I forgot a crappy movie, feel free to shoot me a message so that I can amend the list. Also, these horrible movies are listed in no particular order.

Halle Berry is one of the most gorgeous women on Earth. Even she couldn't save this horrific farce of a movie.

Ghosts of Mars
John Carpenter may end up in cinema hell for this. I saw this one in the theatre, and I spent most of those two hours laughing. And, it's supposedly a horror movie.

Battlefield Earth
Cavemen somehow figured out how to fly harrier jets. Explain that one.

Wing Commander
I actually own this DVD. Freddie Prinze Sr. probably rolled over in his grave after watching this enormous piece of crap.

Never Been Kissed
Wow. Just, wow.

If I were to rate my list, this could very well be the worst movie of all time. Everyone involved in this movie should be ashamed.

I love movies based on comic book characters. But, no. This movie, just no.

Batman & Robin
Joel Schumacher. Giant plastic nipples. Arnold Schwarzenegger. A recipe for total disaster.

Superman IV
I don't even know what to say about this movie, except that it was slightly shittier than Superman III.

From Justin to Kelly
I don't know why I saw this movie. It's even worse than you would imagine from an American Idol based movie.

If you haven't seen these movies, I don't have the words to describe how bad they are. Some of them are such garbage you may want to see them just to have a frame of reference. If you do, I recommend Gigli or Battlefield Earth. Those are probably the worst. If you do manage to get through any of these rubbish movies, I'd love to hear your opinion on how terrible they are.

Oh, and I don't want to hear from anyone about how 'Never Been Kissed' wasn't that bad. Because it was God-Awful.

Thanks for reading. Hasta luego.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The 4th of July

"God Bless America!" "USA! USA! U-S-A!!!" "Shock and Awe" "America, FUCK YEA"

By birth, I am Black, Puerto Rican, and a New Yorker. Please don't hold my New York birth against me. I grew up as a Chicagoan. I am 1000% American. 4th of July celebrations are extremely annoying.

A couple of years ago, some punk kids across the street were shooting off fireworks. A roman candle damn near hit pregnant Katie as we decided to go inside. It missed us, but we decided after that to just avoid our street during the 4th. This year and last year weren't bad. Most of the fireworks were sent from other streets.

Also, in the noise, you can't always tell a gunshot from all the surrounding noise. Too many people, many of them children, get shot in major metropolitan areas. I don't understand violence as a means of celebration, but it happens.

So we decided to spare our toddler and puppy, and get the hell out of dodge.

My parents live in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It's about 3 hours from us. I feel bad, because all I wanted to do was lay around and watch tv on my tablet. Thank you, to my parents and wife for putting up with me being a total sloth. Luckily, my mother was beyond eager to spend time with her grandson. She pretty much kicked us out of the house.
"You two should go to the movies or something. I'll take care of Isaiah. Go have fun."

I got Katie to go see 'Terminator Genisys' in the theatre. The rest of the visit we also watched 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier', with me exclusively in my pajamas. Thanks, again to Mom and Kate for letting your boys do what they want. Sorry I didn't care about the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra.

We made quick time home. We pretty much relaxed for an hour, and then headed straight to the suburbs, to hang out with my brother, his wife and the complete madness that they had invited over for a bbq.

Kids everywhere. Terribly filled water balloons being thrown around. My brother completely stoned on too many allergy meds. Some dude that wouldn't ever stop talking his nonsense. One of the most obnoxious kid ever, threatening us grown-ups. My dog sick and tired of attention from the children.

My son was out of gas. and so were me, my wife, and dog. We left as they got ready to leave for the fireworks.

(BTW, my 30-year-old little brother was smoking a pipe. Kate hated the smell, and Rory, our dog, kept trying to eat the bag of tobacco.)

We got home and 'pretty much' all went to bed.

Today we had a birthday party for a 3-year old girl that started at 10:30. I had crazy dreams for the third time in four nights. I had no desire to wake up. According to Kate, I was talking in my sleep. But she also thinks I may have been responding to her, talking in her sleep. In my sleep, I woke her up asking for a lemonade, or something. She remembers offering me drinks in a dream, so at least I might not be completely crazy.

The toddler birthday party was different from my brother's. My friend, though mentally exhausted, was far more organized. My head would explode if I were to have that many toddlers in one place, at one time. But he has more space. And, I assume more money, but I don't ask people about how much they spend or earn. It's rude.

We finally got home, with nothing else we HAD to do. But, today in Chicago was absolutely perfect weather. 80 degrees, with a perfect sky. We hadn't had a chance to bust out the new baby pool, so we did it today. He was very cute, but wasn't happy that the dog wouldn't bounce around with him in the water.

It was a great weekend, but we're all exhausted. I'll share more pictures later. Here's one in the meantime.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


It's been almost a month since my last post. It's not that I haven't had anything to say. I just haven't  known what I wanted to say or how to say it.

We really miss our little pain-in-the-ass, Pepper Potts. Sometimes Kate and I both accidentally curse, "DAMMIT PEPPER!' We miss her, but that doesn't mean that we don't love Rory.
I should have listened to the warnings about owning and training a puppy. But, I did not. Kate was most specific. "You don't know what you're getting us into." She was right, I didn't.

This little girl bites us. She barks or whines when we leave the room. She runs away when we let her pee off of the leash. She messes with Isaiah. She shits and pisses on the carpet. But, we love her. I love her (Katie is still on the fence).

1. She's an absolutely gorgeous dog. I have to say, she's cuter than Pepper.
2. She loves me.
3. She loves Isaiah.
4. She loves Katie.
5. She annoys my upstairs neighbor.
6. She cries when she knows Isaiah is upset.
7. She knows Katie is home even before Kate gets to the gate.
8. She cleans up Isaiah's food mess. (That's not that special, but at least I don't have to do it.)

I'd have made it a top ten, but I couldn't think of nine or ten.

We didn't plan on getting a new dog this soon. But the house didn't feel complete without a dog companion. I insisted that Rory join our family. I hope she's with us for the next decade. Sometimes she annoys Kate, but I think she agrees. We have the second best dog ever, and probably the most beautiful dog ever.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Rory and Heidi

I must confess. Salty, liquid, discharges just came from my eyes. Before writing about new pets, I had to go back and read my older posts, to make sure I wasn't being repetitious. I hate being such a sissy, but I do miss Pepper Potts, and I always will.

Katie, Isaiah, and I are blessed to have a new member join our family. "Rory" is a cockapoo, just over seven weeks old. She's amazingly cute. She gets along great with Isaiah. She loves to play. She can be a bit aggressive with her teeth, but she's still just a baby.

Isaiah looks pissed off in this picture, so I guess I should say, she "mostly" gets along with Isaiah. 

We had a tough time picking out a name for this little girl. Kate wanted cute names and I wanted names that had some kind of fun pop culture reference. The only reason we settled on "Rory" was because Kate suggested it, knowing I would think of "Doctor Who" and she would think of "Gilmore Girls". She knew it was a winner when she saw my face light up at the mention of it. Also, we've abbreviated as a nickname to "Ro". "Ro Laren" was a character in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', so we got a triple cross-over, without meaning to.

I don't know what the bloody hell we/I were thinking getting a seven-week old puppy, to go along with our 17 month old toddler, and me, as a stay-at-home-dad. But I wouldn't trade either of my little shitheads for anything. Except maybe a six-pack and a bottle of whiskey. Even then, I'd take Isaiah and Rory. They're just too damned cute. 

If you read my blog regularly, (I'm not sure why you would), you'd know that my brother's family also lost their dog the same weekend. We're gonna miss Rosie. But on a positive side, we're happy to welcome 'Heidi' into the family. My niece, Graciana, was promised she could get a new dog when school was over. School is done tomorrow, so my brother has to go get this little girl.

She looks a little green to me, but I can't wait to meet her.

It's been a rough couple of weeks. But finally everyone has a place, and able to make a routine. I'll let you know when I get into a routine with a toddler and a puppy. I hope it's soon.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

My 5th Prom

Last night I went to Prom for the fifth time. Before you assume I'm a creep, understand that my wife is a teacher ends up as a chaperone. Also, this year a bunch or seniors that she's taught for a few years are graduating. It was important to her to give them a proper sendoff, and so, I got dragged along again.

Before I talk about prom, I have to mention that my son is being a huge dick today. He got to spend time with his Aunt Rachel, Grandma Carole, and Aunt Bekah and Uncle Jonboy. It was a long day for everyone, and so now he's wearing his 'Cranky Pants', as I refer to them.

My first prom was my senior year of high school. I wasn't dating anyone at the time so I went with a good friend. She was a year younger than I. Amusingly, when I went back to HS to see a play the next year, I'd dated almost the entire female cast.

Side note, my prom date's grandmother was a huge racist. She almost disowned my date for going to prom with a black guy. So that was fun.

My second prom was also at my high school, Willowbrook High School. I was dating a girl three years younger than I, and I was 21. Apparently, I like younger women. I wish you could see the look on our waiter's face at dinner. Having spent many years serving and bartending, it's not usual for someone to order alcohol at a prom dinner. I think he spent a whole five minutes examining my ID. I also had to get interviewed by a dean at my old school for permission to go to prom at my current age. That was weird because the dean was the same one that suspended me my sophomore year.

Third prom was with a friend from church. We went on a few dates but it was never serious. She was, and still is gorgeous. She's married to a good guy, made babies, and we and both of our families are still good friends 15 years later.

Actually, now that I think about it, third prom wasn't a prom. I think it was a homecoming. I'll have to message Laura or go through old pictures to be sure.

Fourth and fifth proms were both with my wife. The fourth was pretty fun. We sat at a table of all teachers and their significant others. We danced a little bit. We had fun. And we looked absolutely smashing. As we always do.

Prom number five was interesting, and that's not me saying I didn't have a decent time last night.

It was at the Marriott by Midway airport. In my mind, that meant if I needed a quick escape there would be a hotel bar to go hide.

Some punk tried to sneak gin in a cheap, plastic champagne glass.

One dude tried to hide from his teachers because he was so stoned. When he gave up and walked in, he reeked of weed so badly we all had to take a step back.

Another kid tried to smoke pot in the parking lot. As we were leaving one of Kate's teacher friends said, "I'm gonna go bust these kids." That's a paraphrase, but it was hilarious.

I thought I saw a couple of teenage lesbians walk in. They were actually twin sisters.

When I got bored of the lady teachers talking I left. I went to the hotel bar, had the bartender put on the White Sox game, and drank a couple of Sam Adams.

So it was fun. I would have liked to have slow danced with my girl. We had another place to be, and we were both missing our baby boy. We left after just over an hour.

We picked up Isaiah from my bro and sister-in-law's house around eleven. My brother was drunk as shit, and from the pictures we saw on Facebook, fell asleep on in the front yard, sitting by the fire. Thank God my sister-in-law is more responsible.

So those are my stories about prom. My wife promises it won't be my last one. That'll be my blog post this same time 2016.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pepper Potts and Rosie

I gotta make this a shorter than usual post. To do otherwise would just depress me. It was a crappy weekend, and The Smith Family has had a tough time of it.

This past weekend Kat and I agreed to dog-sit for my nieces' and nephew's "New" dog, Rosie. "New" is in quotation marks because she was new to our family, but she was actually 3 years old. Rosie and my dog, Pepper Potts weren't from the same litter, but they were the same age, from the same breeder, and I thought and referred to them as cousins. My parents also have a dog from the same litter that we know was Pepper Potts brother, Buddy. So this isn't a post about dogs, it's about family.

Rosie grew up on a farm and was used to being around other dogs and children. The sounds of the city of Chicago were totally unfamiliar to her, staying with us. Someone on the block set off a firecracker just as I was going out for a smoke. I feel guilty. Had I just nudged her away from the back door she'd still be with us. But I didn't, and she took off through the yard, into the back alley, down the street, and down a bunch of more streets.

Katie and I were out until after two o'clock in the morning searching for to no avail. I had Pepper Potts off of her leash because I thought she might she might be able to smell her way to her cousin. That didn't work. Rosie got hit by a car almost two miles, and some major Chicago streets away. We only found her body because some nice lady saw that her tags were still on and called the owner, my brother.

Needless to say, we spent most of Saturday in tears. Katie lost her childhood dog in the same way when she was young, and I can only assume it was probably worse for her.

We miss you, Rosie. We barely got to know you, but we loved you.

Saturday night we ran into some more bullshit.

I gave Pepper Potts a bath, and dried her off. After I put her down I saw that she wouldn't put any weight on her left  hind paw. With Rosie's death still on our brains, Kate agreed to go straight to UIC's animal hospital. They gave us a prescription for doggie morphine and other drugs. But it didn't help. By Sunday morning she couldn't move both hind paws. She couldn't wag her tail. She wasn't eating or drinking, and she couldn't even go potty.

Sunday we were able to take her to our regular vet, Banfield Pet Hospital via Petsmart. We upgraded our pet plan to include x-rays and MRIs. The results were No Bueno. Pepper Potts slipped a disc and had a bone spur that crippled her. Apparently, that's not unusual for long, skinny, hotdog-shaped dogs. Especially for the Cockapoo, variety.

According to the doc, (almost an hour late), our only option was surgery. Surgery prices started at 6k. After the initial care we'd still have had to pay for aftercare, physical therapy, pain meds, and who knows what else. That is way out of our price range. Kat and I want to buy a house. We want another kid. We wanted to get another dog. None of that could happen if we were to drop that much money on surgery.

So we had to have her put to sleep. One of the hardest things I've ever done in life, was giving her hugs and kisses, knowing that she was getting a lethal injection an hour away.

Fucking hard. She was my best friend.

I've been trying to figure out my favorite moment with #PepperPotts. I can't do it. She was too much apart of my daily routine. Every moment, of every day she was by my side. Every walk that we took. Every ball that my son hands me. Every piece of food that my boy throws on the floor. Every time the child points at a picture, or a dog on tv. It's fucking hard.

I guess if I had to pick, it'd be the mornings. Pepper always slept on the couch, or in bed with Katie while I watched The Tonight Show. Kate leaves for work around 7am. I get up around 930am when I hear the child screaming through the baby monitor. When Isaiah starts screaming, Pepper Potts would run straight to his bedroom door. After I open the door, she ran straight to the crib. Then these two goofballs would make out, lick paws and hands, smell each other butts, and pretty much act the fool. Isaiah Jedi still tries to find the dog when he wakes up.

We can't get another dog until August. We're going to Dallas, and it wouldn't be fair to make a pup fly, or stay with friends or family. No matter what kind of dog we get, Pepper Potts will be my favorite.

Isaiah is my blood, my love, namesake, and my heart. But I can't wait to get a new dog. I want a beagle.

Alright, that was much longer of a post than I planned. I guess I got emotional thinking about my dog. Thanks as always for reading. I'll see you next week.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day

I have a bunch of notes in my journals about my next couple of blogs. TV shows that I watch, dreams I've had lately, and some of the ridiculous conversations I've had with friends or family. But, it's Mother's Day, and I'd rather run off a few stories/experiences about the best Moms I have ever known. If you'd rather read about tv or movies, go ahead and read an old blog post.

My Abuela (That's Spanish for Grandma), is old, and I don't think she quite knows what's going on anymore. When I was little, her couch was always covered in plastic, and I hated being there. When we stayed over our (me, my sister, and brother) asses stuck to the couch. When she stayed with us, I remember her walking around the house saying, "Que frio, que frio, que frio." [How cold!] I also remember, around eight years old, how cool it was that Abuela and Abuelo (Grandpa) married each other when their names where so similar. I thought that was their actual names.

My Papi and Nana live and in Texas, and we're going to visit this summer so they can see their great-grand-son.

I played varsity tennis in high school, and it's probably because of my Nana. I was around ten years old, and we lived close to a park. We had rackets around and she wanted to go play with her grandson. My arrogant ass had no idea how badly she would beat me. She killed me, but it made me want to play more. I can beat her now, but she's almost 90, so that says nothing about my skills.

I am an extremely lucky person to have 3 living grandparents. I'm even luckier to have such awesome grandparents. My grandparents are better than yours.

My mother-in-law is an amazing person. Don't tell my father-in-law, but she runs our family, and keeps us all sane. I think we'd all kill each other if nature ruled. Don't get me wrong, Kate's father is a great man, too, but he's more of an enforcer type of personality. Shortly after we married, I asked Carole, "Do you mind if I call you Mom?" She responded with, "None of my kids' spouses call me 'Mom', and I would love if you did." That's a paraphrase, but it was perfect. It made me immediately feel part of the family.

What can I say about my mother. I have so many stories, I'd have to write a book to get them all in. In seventh grade I was pretty sure I was a grown-ass-man. My Dad was out of town, so I figured I was the MAN. I had a late library book that was acquiring fines. My mother told me to return it right after I had showered, and done my homework. My smart-ass didn't agree.

At one point, every boy/child reaches a point in their life when spankings or smacked mouths don't have any effect. "You can't push me around anymore, I'm grown." I wasn't about to back down, since Dad was out of town. The next day I showed up for basketball practice to find out I was benched. "You were defiant to your mother, and now you can't play." Having to explain to your classmates why you're sitting on the bench in a suit was far more humiliating, and educating than any slap in the face would have accomplished. Thanks, Mom. I get it now, as a parent.

I'm struggling with how to describe the best Mom/mother. Her baby knows that she is the problem solver. Her family knows that the house would come crashing down like the worst earthquake without her. Even as I write this, her son is whining in his sleep, and she is probably tossing and turning in bed. Had I a crown, she'd get it. My wife, Katie Ruth Smith, is the best Mother I have ever known.

It's funny, because she feels bad about going to work. She feels like she misses all of the good stuff like, first steps, first words, blah blah blah. But all of the best of Isaiah comes from her. He's smart, like his Mama. He's fierce, like his Mama. He's loving like his Mama.

When Mom comes home everything changes. Toddler and dog run to the door as though I hadn't been sitting with them all day. Feeding schedules are out the window. EVERYTHING changes, because "The Momma" is home.

As a stay-at-home-dad I still rely on Mom. What did he do this morning at 5am? Do I need to take him for more walks? Is that too much greasy food? What books did you read him to bed? What creams should I put on his shitty butt? He feels warm to me, should I call 911?

She worries, but she doesn't need to. Katherine is the best mother I have ever known. I can only stay at home with our kid, because I know that she'll come home. Without Kat, I'd have to teach him guitar so we could play Eric Clapton duets on the red line to make change (though to be honest, we'd be GOOD).

My wife is the best mother I've ever known. Isaiah and I are lucky to have her.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers I didn't mention, but especially to the ones I mentioned. Especially Kate. I love you.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Broken back

I haven't told this story on my silly blog, but it's actually an interesting story, and possibly worth reading. It was a significant event in my formative years. It also says quite a bit about me.

In junior high school I broke my back.

Back at Jefferson Jr. High I ran cross country, track, and played basketball. I'm not sure how I injured myself. I used to high jump with the opposite foot of a normal right-hander. As a result, rolled off the mat after a jump and gave myself a concussion. I ran 100 meter hurdles. And playing basketball was never good for my knees or back.

I'm pretty sure, I didn't break my back running cross country. And as a side note, I hated cross country.

But I did break my back. I fractured the L5 vertebrae, which is located on the lower right back, and I can assure you from experience, it is not a pleasant experience.

The first doctor I saw was my usual pediatrician. He was a moron. His horseshit diagnosis, was that I hurt my back, and I'd have to learn to live with the pain. This was completely unacceptable to my mother. If you don't know my mother, know this about her. She teaches grade school, she loves her family unconditionally, she's Puerto Rican with a Latin temper, and she will not but up with any bullshit. To this day, I'm amazed she didn't smack the taste out of that doctor's mouth.

So we got a second opinion. A family friend from church was also a pediatrician, and she referred us to a specialist. He told us that I had three options. I could learn to live with the pain of a stress fracture, I could undergo surgery to repair it, or I could wear a back brace, do physical therapy, and wait to see if it healed on its own. We opted for therapy and the brace, and saved surgery for a last resort.

Being fourteen years old is hard enough. Having to wear a back brace is the proverbial icing on the cake. I couldn't participate in gym class. I had to medically take leave from the basketball team. When I got to high school, I missed football tryouts. It was hell. I vividly remembering throwing a tantrum on the basketball court, taking the brace off, and literally saying "Fuck it. I'll play through the pain." I was not the most pleasant person to be around.

I remember praying to God that I would heal and be able to go back to being a regular kid. And guess what, for once God said yes. Without having to go to surgery, I healed and got back to normal. I was healthy for the start of basketball tryouts. I ended up playing varsity basketball and tennis. I still have my letter jacket.

I grew a lot from the experience, and it made me who I am today. I guess I wouldn't change a thing, otherwise I wouldn't have my gorgeous wife, the most beautiful baby on earth, or an idiot dog. So I guess it all worked out, but sometimes my back and knees still ache.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Venting and Star Wars IV

Venting has to be first, because it was a long, pain-in-the-ass week, and it was a pain-in-the-ass Saturday. As a #StayAtHomeDad, Saturdays are supposed to be my easy day. The day that I get to relax while my wife takes the kid away, and I watch cartoons, or Star Trek or whatever, on Netflix.

It's my own fault. I forgot that today was the day that we were getting a new fridge, oven, and dishwasher installed. Earlier in the week, I also invited a friend over to hang out. She lived out of town, and hadn't met my son, a Padawan. (A Padawan is a very young Jedi in training.)

They were scheduled between three and five. Kudos, to my landlord for having his nephew here at five minutes to three, and being here at five minutes after three. #Sears didn't deliver until almost six! A single man doesn't care. I'm not a single man. I have a wife, a toddler, and a cockapoo that thinks she's bigger than she is.

Luckily, we were planning on grilling, and Chicago weather didn't screw us over. If it had rained or snowed, someone would have gotten a verbal ass-kicking. My landlord, his nephew, and the plumber were also not happy.

Now, I have a new matching fridge/dishwasher/oven set. If they had re-attached the door frame afterwards, everything would be perfect. If my son hurts himself being curious, there will be hell to pay.

Rant done.

I'm a Star Wars fan based on a lie.

I was five or six years old at the time. My parents left me with a babysitter. I  don't know how old she was but I'd guess 16 or 17. I casually suggested we watch a movie, Star Wars.

"Are you allowed to see that?"

"Yea, I've seen it lots of times."

"Ok, than what's it about?"

(Luckily, apparently, she hadn't seen it yet. How a person hadn't seen Star Wars when they were over the age of 15 is beyond me.)

"The invaders come, and the Star Wars guys have to fight them off."

Seriously, that's what I said, the girl bought it, and I got to watch it for the first time. And I was so brilliant about my lie, and so excited about the movie, I went batshit crazy when my parents got home. I don't remember exactly what I said. But, it probably sounded like this.

"Mami, Daddy, I saw Star Wars and Luke got a lightsaber and then Obi Wan and Luke had to fight and then Han Solo Chewbacca had a ship and these aren't the droids we're looking for and R2D2 and C3PO and Luke and lightsabers and the force!"

How could anyone get angry at a child for that? It's cute as hell, and I fully expect my boy to do the same thing to me. (I fully expect my mother hopes my son does the same thing to me.)

I can't wait for Star Wars Episode VII, and as always thanks for wasting your time, reading.


Sunday, April 12, 2015


If I were a rockstar, I'd have an entire library of music for you to check out on Amazon, Pandora, Spotify, or whatever random music service might be most popular now. I'm clearly not a rockstar. I'm just a guy that stays at home, takes care of his son daily, and infrequently enough cleans the house and has dinner made when his working wife comes home.

I'm comfortable with that role, even if sometimes I can be kind of lazy.  (Some days I just make sure my son stays alive, drink beer, watch my shows, and fuck around with my guitar or piano.) That's life.

But I do love music. I love to play it. I love listen to and critique it. I especially love to watch my son go batshit crazy dancing when I pull out my guitar or piano and play together. My wife had a hell of a time bathing, changing, and dressing him before bed tonight because he heard me on the piano. I will never be a proper rockstar, but I bet one day my son is.

All of that was preamble to another post of a song I wrote. It's one of my favorite songs that I wrote. This is more of a pop/acoustic/rock song than the bluesy songs I last posted. Think OAR/DaveMatthews/SisterHazel, but less generically annoying. (Or just as generic and annoying.) It's called "Anyways".

I see you sitting at the end of the bar.
Twenty feet never seemed so far.
I'm way too nervous to come say hello.
But I'm not willing to just let this go.

I've already spent one night with you.
But something tells me, one night won't do.

Stay tonight. Forget about tomorrow.
Kiss me quick, and I'll never let you go.
Hold me close, and this night will never end.
And in the morning we'll go back to just being friends.

I'm in the shower singing love songs.
I can't concentrate, and I'm getting the words wrong.
My roommate says you'd be good for me.
Gotta find a way to make you see.

And I've already spent one night with you.
Something tells me that one night won't do.

So, stay tonight. Forget about tomorrow.
Kiss me quick, and I'll never let you go.
Hold me close, and this night will never end.
And in the morning we'll go back to just being friends.

A couple of notes about the pop rubbish I wrote a decade ago.

1. To my wife, sorry it's not about you. I didn't even know you then.
2. It's called "Anyways" because that is the name of the bar I was at when I conceived it. I went home and wrote it that night.
3.I'd never change anything about my past or, past relationships because then I wouldn't have my badass wife or the cutest son on Earth.
4. I haven't yet figured out how to post video, otherwise I'd post video of one or more of my songs.
5. If you are that curious to hear the songs, scour the internet. My previous bands are called #TheMakeshiftBand (lots of blues and Rolling Stones), #SecondHandBicycle (lots of Christian/pop/punk/oldies), and #PennyDomestics (original pop/punk/emo). Second Hand Bicycle and Penny Domestics had websites, The Makeshift Band only had cassette tapes and garage recording.
6. From now on, I think it's just gonna be me and my son recording. Maybe my brother. I'd include my wife, but her musical talent could break the internet. And not in the good way.

Thank you, as always spending two minutes of your life reading.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I Wanna Be Bad

I think I might be making up for not having posted a blog entry for a few weeks. Or maybe it's because I've neglected my keyboard and guitar for a while. But I think this should catch me up, and keep me honest.

I wrote another song today, I'm sorry you don't get to actually hear it. I like this one even better than the last one I wrote and posted. I know my wife doesn't care for it, (probably because of the subject content). That's ok, because I know she's happy when I'm writing, playing music, or anything besides drinking PBRs and watching Star Trek and Stargate.

I tried to attach a picture of my keyboard and guitar on top of my son's Curious George, Pooh Bear, and Tigger, but I haven't quite figured out my new laptop. It might have been easier if I didn't have to hide my guitar, keyboard, phone, and laptop from my toddler. Regardless, here are the lyrics.

It's a blues riff, you can play it in any key. It's called,

"I Wanna Be Bad"

I wanna be bad, (baby)
  because I'm just so damn good at it.
I wanna be bad,
  Cuz I know deep down that you like it.
So I'm gonna be bad,
  I'm probably rotten to the core.

So, I'm gonna be bad. (Insert bluesy guitar solo)

I wanna bad, baby
  Cuz I'd rather drink and smoke some weed.
I gotta be bad, girl.
  It's the only way I can see.
So I'm gonna be bad,
  and everyone else can kneel at my feet.

So I'm gonna be bad. (Insert another bluesy guitar solo.

At this point, I'd probably have more to say/blog about. But I just almost lost this entire post, and I'd rather not tempt fate.

So thank you for reading. I will now take 6 weeks off.


Monday, April 6, 2015

The Family That Lived in My Head

I'm afraid this post may make people that I should be institutionalized. But Kat Dennings on The Tonight Show reminded me of a childhood memory that I can't not share.

I was born in Queens, NY. One of my oldest and most vivid memories was being sent to bed earlier than I wanted to. I'll never forget laying in bed, pissed off, listening to my parents watch M*A*S*H. To this day I can't watch the show because the theme song still makes me angry.

One night I was sent to bed. My mom was still up cleaning the kitchen. As I was fighting against falling asleep, I heard her washing dishes. This seems like a typical toddler complaint. But, I was never typical. I liked to cover my ears as tightly as possible, so that I could listen to my heart beat as I fell asleep. Well on this occasion, I wasn't covering my ears as tightly as I could.

Almost asleep, I was covering my ears, listening to my heart beat, and my Mom washing the dishes leaked through. In my mostly asleep state, I somehow convinced myself that there was a normal family of very tiny people that lived in my head. I really thought there was a Mom, Dad, and kids that only I could hear, and only right after I went to bed.

I know it's crazy. And needless to say, I don't still believe that. But there are still nights when I'm half asleep (or drinking), when I cover my ears as tightly as I can, and listen to my heart beat, or whatever the people that live in my head might be doing.

Please, don't have me committed. It's just a story from a person obsessed with stories. A person who is not a danger to his wife, son, or dog. Seriously, I'm harmless.

As always, thank for reading. See you later.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Long Time Coming

I haven't written any music in a long time. I've been listening to a lot of Eric Clapton, and watched a documentary of Jimi Hendrix this past week, and I was inspired. The greatest thing about writing a blues song is vocally you have a ton of freedom to do whatever you want. If the lyrics don't fit the music, you can just change the way you sing them.

So this is the song I wrote. If you couldn't guess by this blog post title, it's called, "Long Time Coming". This is a blues riff in 'A', watch me for the changes and try to keep up.

It's been a long time coming, but at least I know who I am.
It's been a long time coming, and I finally know where I am.
Call me Papa, husband, brother or son, I promise to never let you down.

It's been a long time fixing me, and I know I'm not quite there yet.
It's taken a long time killing me, but I ain't quite dead just yet.
You can try to fix me, kill me, or rob me blind, but it'll be a long time coming.

Song dedicated to my wife and son.

I actually don't think this one is crap, so that's saying something. If any of my readers want to actually hear me play it, come on over.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rat Poison

It's been a while since I last posted. But if anything could motivate me to write, a new laptop/tablet will do the job. I swear, one of the days my wife is gonna come home from work, and find me watching a tv show on our Wii, watching a movie on the laptop, and playing games on my phone. #TechnologyOverload

This post is kind of a cop out, but something is better than nothing. I wrote this short story several years ago, and found it today on an old zip drive. It's not very good, but it's at least good for a quick laugh. Just an FYI, Jason Vaughan is one of the pen names I use.


By Jason Vaughan


            The box sat there, from across the garage, taunting me. I tried to ignore it, tried to forget about it, but in my mind’s eye I knew those two words would be forever etched in my brain. RAT POISON.

            How could I have been living in this house for six months and never realized what a hostile environment I had walked into?  Taking another drag from my half burned cigarette, my eyes quickly scanned the room. Cigarette butts. Leaves. Oil stains. But no sign of rats. Had the situation already been resolved?  Or was the war still raging?

            Silently I thought of the many nights I had spent slumbering in the bedroom downstairs. All those nights I had heard the house talking to me. Countless times I had rolled over in my bed hearing the walls creak and the foundation shift. Was that merely the normal sounds of a house in winter or were the rats infiltrating the walls, taking stock of all our positions, waiting for their chance to attack?

            I should make a quick sweep of the house. Check the bathroom cabinets and the kitchen. Every nook and cranny should be evaluated for weaknesses before I could rest in the knowledge that me and my housemates were safe. What about the other bedrooms? There are a million places for rodentia to hide in the stacks of clothing the resided my housemates floor. How could they sleep knowing that in every abandoned pair of pants a filthy, beadied-eyed little monster could be hiding in a pocket?

            Quickly I worked out a game plan. Obviously, my first step should be in arming myself. My eyes swept over the garage looking for a weapon. A hammer.  No, a hammer would be too short. The little devils would be on my before I could defend myself. A shovel. Perhaps, but could I wield a shovel with speed and and precision? A broom. It would have to do.

            I thought about what I would do if they were to attack. Just like a golf club, I would smack the disgusting creatures into the next time zone as they scurried across the floor. Maybe they’d be slowed by the leaves and oil slicks in the garage, but that was not a bet I was willing to make. If they got inside range of my trusty broom I would have to switch to hand-to-hand combat. Foot-to-hand combat. Foot-to-paw combat? How do you refer to rodent appendages? No matter. I could boot them just as easily as I could sweep them. Their small, mushy bodies compressing on the toe of my slipper…

            Slipper??!! What was I thinking. I quickly mashed out my cigarette and stepped inside to put on more appropriate shoes for combat. Taking one last look at the garage I knew that my cigarette breaks were at an end. At least until I could be sure that the rat situation had been completely eliminated.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Leonard Nimoy

Normally, I don't give a rat's ass about any celebrity passing away. It seems like every other day a 'celebrity' dies, and most of the time I've never even heard of them. I guess my age is showing. But, the death of Leonard Nimoy is different. 

I'm a tv junkie. I watch everything, and then I rewatch everything. Even when I was little I was addicted to television. But my first two fandoms were Star Wars, and Star Trek. In high school I remember coming home from basketball practice, late for dinner, and watching Star Trek The Next Generation, every single day. It was our family routine. 

Once, my dad even ditched school with me so we could go see the Friday afternoon matinee of the most recent Star Trek movie. 

So, believe me when I say, if you've never known a Trekkie, you know one now. Ask my wife. When she's annoyed with me she typically says go watch Star Trek, just to get me out of her hair.

He had a full career, covering every genre of television and film. I haven't seen all of it. To me, he will always be Spock. If I knew how to make a video montage I'd post it right here. But I don't. So check out  this article by Entertainment Weekly. They know how to do that stuff. 

We as millennials lost a truly gifted entertainer. I already miss him. But he's really only gone if we forget about him. So queue up your Netflix and Hulu accounts and watch him. Who knows? Maybe we can send him to the Genesis planet and he'll be reborn, or we can warp around the sun, go back in time, and bring him back. 

Doubtfully, but hopefully, 


Sunday, February 22, 2015


This one goes out to all of us in the 'Millenial' generation. (I think it's a stupid term.) Specifically, those that have a toddler, have a child that will soon be a toddler, and those that are preparing or want to have a child. (Good luck with that. And I mean that, in the kindest, most supportive manner.)

Yesterday was an extremely long day for my 14-month-old son. We left the house around 10:30am. He and I went to my brother's house, with his five kids, while my wife went to a wedding shower. (Men, if you haven't ever been to a wedding shower, don't. They're awful.) The only way to describe being at my brother's house, with their revolving door of cousins and friends, is to say, "You're in the eye of the tornado." Even if you can keep your sanity, children swirl around you as the hand of an angry god. When you leave, you're exhausted. And, you can't even explain why you're exhausted. You just know something wasn't right.

I can't say anything about the bridal shower because I wasn't there, but I'm sure it was awful. For men, they're always awful.

Next we headed to one of my best friend's place for a baby shower for his incoming son. This easily could have been awful, but it wasn't. He planned a poker game in his 'mancave'. So while my wife and other friends chased babies and played girlie games, we just played cards.

Next, we went to dinner at my old place of employment. I swear, I didn't ask or expect a damn thing. But our bill was 5 bucks, for steaks, Ahi tuna, and a few drinks. Score!

Over the course of the day, all of this happened. The only naps my one-year-old took were in the car, for about 15 minutes apiece. It was great. You pay for it the next day.

An over-tired child does not like you, does not care if you are also tired, and especially, doesn't want to take naps. The following is a list of things that absolutely DO NOT WORK, when trying to put an over-tired child down for a nap.

-"Shhhh" You may as well be saying, "Scream at me".
-"It's ok." It's not ok. Shut the hell up, parent.
-"I'll see you when you wake up." I don't want to see you, I hate you.
-"What's wrong, baby?" You're wrong, I'm wrong, the whole fucking world is wrong.
-"Do you want your Mama/other parental figure?" No. I hate them like I hate you.

It's a completely unique lose/lose/lose situation. Your choices are to stand there like an idiot, to no avail. You can let the kid run amok screaming and crying all over the place. You can hide in a different room until the neighbors call DCFS. No matter what you do, you're screwed. I'm considering a shot of bourbon, but my wife isn't a fan.

All of that said, I have to quote my father, "Children are a gift from God." Also, I love my son. I would never actually give him alcohol, and no matter how much he angers me or his mother, we will always proudly, angrily, coax him to sleep, and put his well-being over our own. So don't call the cops on us.

So, go ahead, rookies. Kids are awesome, and you have no idea how much joy they will bring to your life But they will also make you a crazy person.

Forget about his controversy for a minute. This Cosby clip is just funny, accurate, and relevant.

Monday, February 16, 2015

How I Met My Baby's Mama

Truth be told, I tricked her.

This is a tough one to write. There are so many random details to consider. And, honestly, I didn't really know what the hell was going on. I knew that I liked this girl, and she liked me. Her name is Katie.That's it.

We first met when a mutual friend came to see me while I was bartending at Outback. We'll call her Sarah.Oddly, I met her because she was a mutual friend with my ex. We'll call the ex Lisa.

Katie and Sarah came to visit me at work shortly before Sarah's birthday and right during a great Chicago blizzard. Despite not being a gambler, or a card player, Sarah chose the casino for her birthday party. I got Katie's number.

So I called her. We were both going to the same place, so why not? And here's the trick. She was driving and had a car. I was not driving, and did not have a car. I'm not sure if she offered, or I asked, but I definitely said, "If you pick me up, does that mean it's our first date?" I think she just said, "Whatever."

That night was awesome. It was supposed to be about Sarah, but all I remember was Katie holding my hand, and wandering around the casino with me.I definitely never thought I was gonna meet the woman of my dreams that night. But, I did.

The next day, I asked her out for real, she said yes, and we went out for lunch. (I hate Olive Garden), but that's where we went.Our server was shocked that we weren't going to sit for hours and eat soup and salad. That evening she came back to Outback to see me and "Have a drink". You can ask my old co-workers to this day. They remember me pointing at Kate, and saying, "That's the girl." I knew immediately 'Katherine Ruth' was the woman for me.

I never truly had reservations about her, except for once. I called Sarah to tell her that Kate was too perfect for me. I was worried we might kill each other. Just this week, I learned, that Kate also called Sarah, saying the same thing.

The two best things in my life came from this. Katherine Ruth Smith, and Isaiah Jedi Smith. I can't imagine my life without them, and I prefer not to.

I can't wait for the next fifty years, so I have SO many more stories to tell.


Monday, February 9, 2015

The Grammy's, and My 5 favorite Heroes and Villains

I wasn't planning on watching the Grammy's. Because, mostly I don't care. But, for lack of anything better to do I put it on, and couldn't turn it off.

I've also been working on my list of favorite heroes and villains for a while. I can't say that my list won't change, but for now, this is all I got.

This may be a long, rambling blog post, but that's kind of how I roll. On the short side, you can read my random thoughts on the Grammys. The long side is going to be my favorite heroes and villains, each with two substitutes. For that one, I'll try and keep pictures, videos, and links to a minimum.

The Grammys
-Don't tell my wife, but if Taylor Swift wanted to date me, I'd say yes in a hot minute.
-Sam Smith won Record of the Year after settling with Tom Petty Petty for 12.5 percent of the royalties from 'Stay With Me'. What is 12.5 percent of a Grammy?
-LLCoolJ hosted, Pauly Perette presented, and I'd much rather watch them both on NCIS/NCISLA.
-I didn't really care for her flashy red dress, but Gwyneth Paltrow always looks amazing.
-There needs to be an industry-wide moratorium on artists performing with Sir Paul McCartney. I like Kanye and Rihanna, but they have no business on stage with a Beatle. He's a knight.
-Common and John Legend was awesome. Thanks for representing The Windy City.
-When I die at the age of 127, I'd like John Legend to sing at my funeral, if he's still alive.

My favorite heroes and villains was tough. Keeping my list to only five and two alternates was hard enough. Ranking them was never going to happen. So here are my lists of favorite heroes and villains, in no particular order, from movies, television, history, and general mythology.

5 Favorite Heroes

-William Wallace - "If he were here, he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightening from his arse."

-James T. Kirk - Not only was he a handsome devil, he was an amazing captain, and a bad-ass.

-Batman - The consummate detective that never learned the defintion of 'boundaries'. "Tell your friends about me."

-The Last Centurion (Rory Pond) - "I have a message and a question..." Rory wasn't fucking around.

-Luke Skywalker - The baddest bounty hunter in the galaxy has absolutely no chance against the Return of the Jedi.

My honorable mentions (alternates) are Bruce Lee, and IronMan. If you don't know who Bruce Lee is, you can Google any video, and he's kicking like 20 people's asses. If you don't know who IronMan is, stop reading my blog right now, and never contact me again.

5 Favorite Villains

This list was harder. All of  these villains overlapped a bunch of different shows, movies, and fandoms. Just to mix it up, I'll give you my alternates (honorable mentions) first.

Emperor Palpatine is one of the most evil sons of bitches ever. Along with him, is Lord Voldemort. I can't put them in my top five, only because they are too basic. No redeeming qualities, whatsoever. Everyone (mostly) else on my list is more of a complex kind of bad guy.

-Keyser Soze- From The Usual Suspects, he's the kind of bad guy that you don't know is a bad guy until you're already screwed. No one catches this kind of prick.

-The Joker - Depending on what you're watching, or reading he doesn't even have a back story. He's just bad/evil. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

-Khan Noonien Singh - The definition of evil genius. Genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier, he came back to bite humanity in the ass

-Professor James Moriarty - Thanks, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. You created one of the best detectives, and villains of all time in 1893. He's still a pain in the ass in modern pop culture.

-Lex Luthor - Lex is an obvious top villain. He's rich, powerful, smart, and ruthless. Thankfully, he's up against Superman. It'll be interesting to see how Jesse Eisenberg ranks among so many great depictions of Lex in the upcoming film.

Now, typically, I try to ramble out a blog post in about 30-45 minutes. This one took longer because I had to find the links and images I wanted to use. After 2 hours of "work", right before I was going to post, the internet went out. Thanks, AT&T. It was the middle of the night, and I wasn't going to wait. So, I went to bed, planning to send it in the morning. Wouldn't you know it, my computer froze. Wisely, I saved it as a draft, so all wasn't lost. What I'm trying to say is, this post cost a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. So read it twice. Click on every link. Tell your friends to read it. Twice. Thank you, in advance.