Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I just keep staring at this cover over and over again, not so much out of vanity but because I'm so impressed by the design. This is more than a home run, it's out of the park and into orbit. Just beautiful. Just what I needed to trick people into buying my wacky little book.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Signed my book contract today. My agent gave me word that he'd made the deal in early February, but it's taken until now to nail all the details down. It's a humorous guide about how to save money in ridiculous ways, and will be published by November 2010. I'm hoping they rush it into production to make sure it hits shelves while the recession is still raging. Because how depressing would it be if we're in November 2010 and things are as bad as they are right now or worse?

A bad economy equals a better chance for my book to do well. (As for the title, it's tentatively Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel but I'm pulling for the more succinct Cheap Bastard). Of course, if things get too bad that means people will start to save money by not buying books that help them save money. I need the economy to be ugly but not downright awful.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Judging on how incapacitated I was this weekend because of my cold, I don't think I could function if I ever suffered an illness more significant than a flu. I'd need to move to Oregon to take advantage of their Youth in Asia laws fo sho.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Law school is the new real estate license

It used to be that when people were bored with their career they'd go off and get a real estate license. These days that's not a viable alternative so now the fantasy bailout target is law school.

Once the recession finally drags down law offices I imagine people will start joining the circus again. Ah, circus, we'll always have you around to beckon us with your warm big-top embrace.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Teaching Emma

Will you teach Emma to talk?

Luke: No.

Will you teach Emma to walk?

Luke: No.

How will Emma learn to walk and talk?

Luke: Tummy time.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Arizona is going to win the NCAA title

Just sayin.' The team has that unbeatable feel to it.

That or the Wildcats got lucky and played two crappy teams in Utah and Cleveland State. Whatever, as long as Jim Click buys us Rick Pitino and the tournament streak continues to 26 in 2010.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Is Superman strong?

Luke: Superman's not strong. Hulk's strong.

Is the Thing strong?

Luke: The Thing is not strong. Hulk's strong.

Is the Hulk fast?

Luke: The Hulk is not fast. Dash (from The Incredibles) is fast.

Is Dash strong?

Luke: Dash is not strong. Luke is strong.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tourney Time

The only reason I'm glad I'm not in Vegas this year is that I won't be tempted to lose tons of money betting on UCLA and Arizona to cover their point spreads. My savings will keep my kids in diapers for months.

But next year and every year thereafter I'm going so the youngsters had better learn to use the toilet by then.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Go Tucson Citizen!

Glad to see the rival paper has been granted a stay of execution for the time being. Here's hoping a buyer comes through, saves a bunch of jobs and maintains the competitive journalism balance in town.

It's also great to see that closed papers in Seattle and Denver are still fighting the good fight online. There may be hope for the industry yet.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The right way to eat salad

When you're at a restaurant or in the company of people you need to impress, by all means use the fork. Work methodically, stab individual leafs of lettuce individually, nudge chopped carrots into the base of the fork.

But when it's just you eating with the people you see every day, drop all pretenses and just grab it with your hands. You'll get through it faster and enjoy it a heck of a lot more because the effort-to-taste ratio will be equalized.

This I learned from Luke after I took his fork away because he kept banging it on the table.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I was thrilled and amazed to see that Arizona's excuse for a basketball team somehow qualified for the NCAA tournament. As the last team accepted into the 65-team field, they edged out Penn State, St. Mary's, Creighton, San Diego State and UNLV, the latter of which murdered the Wildcats earlier this year.

It's freaking awesome that I'll get to enjoy one last tournament run before the requisite years of abysmality to which Lute Olson's botched departure has damned the program.

Utah is so dead Friday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I hate doctors

It's great how every single doctor on the planet deems it appropriate to send me a separate bill in the weeks after the birth of my daughter. I also appreciate how the bills are spread out so I receive one per day. Doctors of the United States, I'd like to trade you all for the friendly, jovial, free healthcare-giving Cuban docs I saw on "Sicko." (I realize the scenes were probably staged, but seriously, how fake could they have really been? I'd rather wait in lines than fork over months of paychecks to corrupt, overcharging physicians).

Hey, Fidel and Raul, would you mind lending our poverty-stricken nation some pointers on how to conduct reasonable healthcare?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I hate ASU

ASU, if you beat Arizona for the third time this year and the fifth consecutive time overall, I won't be able to take it. So please lose. You have a history of throwing games and pointshaving and whatnot, as well as outright sucking. So just do it, OK?

Monday, March 09, 2009

My new nickname for Emma

Is Million Dollar Baby, based on the fact that not a day passes that we don't receive another $500 dollar invoice in the mail from the astoundingly vast variety of good-natured medical professionals who helped usher her into the world.

So far she's actually a $2,500 baby but I'm rounding up for dramatic purposes.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Changing my position on strollers. If you only have one kid they're pretty worthless, but in a two-kid family in which the offspring are separated by two years or fewer, a double stroller is an absolute necessity for grocery shopping. The firstborn tolerates a ride in the stroller a hell of a lot better than he would a ride in the cart. (For non-parents who fashion themselves in such a situation one day, letting a 2-year-oold walk by himself at a grocery store is about as intelligent as lowering taxes to cut a budget deficit).

Double strollers are wide and unwieldly but they work marvels at preserving sanity. I'd like to use this theoretically public forum to apologize for my previous anti-stroller remarks. I was wrong. So, so wrong.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

It fills my heart with joy

To hear Luke, 2, sing "sticks and stones and weed and bones" again and again, echoing a chorus from my 2008 song of the year, M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes." One of those things that makes fatherhood worthwhile.

Another such thing is Luke constructing an unwieldly tower out of giant Lego blocks and calling it "Howl's Moving Castle," then connecting two yellow blocks, making them hop up and down and referring to it as the jumping scarecrow from the film.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Babies cost $2,000

Just in case anyone was wondering. I wish we'd pretended we were illegal immigrants. Damn.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Five of the coolest people in the world

Are those who plunked down the exorbitant amount of cash it costs to take home a copy of "Stormin' Mormon" in the past six months, running my year one sales figures to... 36!

If the book can keep up this blistering sales pace, it will hit triple digits by the end of 2010. Of course if sales activity keeps dropping at its current rate I'll only sell one copy between now and February '10.

Personally I think things are looking up for "Stormin' Mormon" because as the economy gets worse people will decide not to pay mortgages anymore because foreclosures will be imminent, rendering payments obsolete. Which will free up more cash to buy the book.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

I am not good at video games

You'd think after 22 years of practice of continuing video game playing I'd be somewhat competent by now, but no. I suck at first-person shooters because I get lost and I have poor reflexes. I'm awful at sports games because I don't take time to read the instruction manuals or online strategy guys to discover the nuances it would take to win. I'm OK at retro games that were made to be simple enough to be aced by 8 year olds but they don't make them anymore so I'm out of luck.

Yet despite realizing my situation I'm sure I'll spend the next 22 years playing them rather than redirecting my energy toward something more useful.