The Time I Applied For The Jim Rome Show


Throughout high school and college I often listened to The Jim Rome Show. Jim Rome is a popular sports talk radio show host known for controversy, pleading for callers to “have a take a don’t suck” and his legions of followers called clones.

A year out of college I worked as an account coordinator at an Orange County public relations firm. I applied for a writing position on The Jim Rome Show for shits and giggles. I believe at the time Rome broadcasted out of Burbank or Woodland Hills. Or Sherman Oaks. It’s all the same to me. At the time I lived in Orange. The commute would’ve been hell.

But it was a writing gig. About sports. I knew Rome’s style. I knew his gloss (vocabulary Rome developed over years). It’d be a dream job.

I applied and received an email from Travis Rodgers, Rome’s producer at the time and now sports talk radio show host himself. We spoke on the phone for a few minutes and he asked me to submit a writing sample.

I never heard from Rodgers again.

A Smiling Through Tearz EXCLUSIVE, here is the failed writing sample that didn’t get me a call back for The Jim Rome Show.

But first, a Wiki snippet of background about the piece’s star, former outfielder Carl Everett.

Everett is quite outspoken with his beliefs, and his remarks have proven controversial on several occasions. Perhaps the best-known of these was his denial of the existence of dinosaurs. He was quoted as saying, “God created the sun, the stars, the heavens and the earth, and then made Adam and Eve. The Bible never says anything about dinosaurs. You can’t say there were dinosaurs when you never saw them. Somebody actually saw Adam and Eve. No one ever saw a Tyrannosaurus rex.” He also derided fossils of dinosaur bones as man-made fakes.[3] In reference to these comments, Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy dubbed Everett “Jurassic Carl.” Everett, in turn, referred to Shaughnessy as the “curly-haired boyfriend” of Globe beat writer Gordon Edes.[4]

Everett in an interview with Shaughnessy, questioned the validity of the Apollo Moon Landing.[5]

Each season in the MLB, Everett tended to get into altercations with umpires. Some of these tirades have resulted in suspensions and fines. Everett’s longest suspension came during the 2000 season after an incident in which he bumped heads with umpire Ron Kulpa while arguing Kulpa’s ruling that Everett’s batting stance was illegal. Everett was suspended for 10 games and fined $5,000. Everett has stated that he thrives on being hated, and that it keeps him on top of his game. Opposing players, umpires, and even his own teammates are not immune, as evidenced by his postgame shouting match with Seattle manager Mike Hargrove after a 14-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on July 5, 2006.[6]

Everett has also made controversial remarks about homosexuality. He once said that if he had an openly gay teammate that he would consider retiring, or, at the very least, “set him straight.” In the 2005 season, he told Maxim that he has had gay teammates and accepted them, but, “Gays being gay is wrong. Two women can’t produce a baby, two men can’t produce a baby, so it’s not how it’s supposed to be. … I don’t believe in gay marriages. I don’t believe in being gay.”[7]

In 2011, Everett was arrested at his home in Tampa on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with a witness. Everett reportedly held a handgun to the head of his wife of 18 years.[8]


March 6, 2003

Travis –

Here’s my writing sample.  I’m trying to sneak it in before the show starts, in case you guys refer to it today.  If you need anything else from me, by all means, let me know.  Thanks again for the opportunity.

Seth Tearz

Thump is in midseason form.  And no, I’m not referring to Texas Rangers outfielder Carl Everett’s timing of his swing or the strength of his legs. 

The all-around bad guy went OFF on John Gonzalez of the Dallas Observer in the Rangers clubhouse as Gonzalez interviewed Thump for this week’s cover story on the Texas Rangers. According to Gonzalez, Everett dropped a tirade of F-bombs and got into a screaming match with Gonzalez after the reporter asked some tough questions.

But really, who can blame Thump?  This isn’t Watergate, it’s spring training.  These tough questions just don’t belong.  You know, tough questions such as:

“Are you ready for center field duties?”
And…”What’s it like playing for Buck Showalter?”
Or, worst of all…”Do you think you can contend this year?”

Obviously irritated by these OUTRAGEOUSLY inappropriate questions, Thump responded like any normal person would.

“If you’re gonna ask some f-ing ridiculous questions, then I’m gonna give you some f-ing ridiculous answers…I mean, that’s just f-ing ridiculous.”

“Asking me, how do I like Buck? Asking me, can we contend? That’s some stupid f-ing s**t. That’s some s**t your editor told you to come down here and ask.”

– Carl Everett

Classic Thump right there. Carl, check yourself.  We know you hate the media. But what else do you expect them to ask you!?  It’s spring training for crying out loud. Asking about a previous injury, a new manager and the team’s expectations for the year are pretty common right now.

What would you prefer to talk about? How dinosaurs never roamed the Earth? How man never landed on the moon?

“Carl, tell us how those large bones found by scientists that fit together like a puzzle aren’t from dinosaurs.”

“Hey, Carl. Give me your insight on how the government used Hollywood magic to create astronauts planting a US flag in the moon.”

Thump, you play baseball. That’s your job. You get paid millions to play it, and part of your responsibility is to spend a few minutes a day answering innocent questions. Stop threatening the media. They’re just doing their jobs. Listen to the questions and fire back with an answer. It’s that simple.

Note to Fatty – If the ancient bones that scientists dug up look like a giant bird, then it probably is a Pterodactyl. Unless you think that blue jays were six feet tall a thousand years ago.

And last thing. You’re not Oliver Stone, so stop selling your conspiracy theories and start tracking down fly balls and digging for doubles. Your teammates might actually start respecting you.

Finding Happy Happy Joy Joy


Often times I feel like Ren Hoek, the grimacing Chihuahua above on the right, from Ren and Stimpy. But I’d rather feel like Stimpy, the barrel-chested feline on the left with the catchphrase “Oh, Joy!” I’m tired of anger. I’m tired of being grumpy. BRING TO ME UNADULTERATED JOY!

Or, at the least, bring me some peace.

The website Elite Daily recently posted The 20 Things You Need To Let Go To Be Happy. Ashley Fern, who you may know from other posts such as Why You Should Chill the F Out With your PDA and The Reasons Why Nice Guys Always Finish Last, states the following:

The biggest factor holding us back from achieving our dreams is, simply and sadly, our own selves. We put limitations on ourselves everyday, whether intentionally or unintentionally. There are so many ways we can alleviate these restraints.

Remember, life can either be something you embrace or something you hide from. Stop making things complicated and just live your life. It would be so much simpler and more enjoyable if we learned to just release certain limitations.

As a fairly pessimistic person, especially recently, I tend to fall into many Fern’s listed “things.” These are the top five that I struggle with.

1. The Approval of Others

Fern: Who gives a sh*t what other people think? If you are happy with the decisions you have made, then whose business is that but your own? Think of how much you could achieve if you stopped letting other people’s opinions dictate the way you live your life. Do you, and engage in whatever actions you think might better your life.

Um, I GIVE A SHIT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK! I have since I was 5-years-old, maybe longer. I care if you think I’m smart, handsome, funny, nice. I care if you think my clothes are lame, or if my hair looks stupid, or if you think I’m wrong. Now, I might care a tad less than I did 13 months ago, but I still care. And I hate that about me. I hate allowing others define my self worth. I don’t know how to do me (Well…I mean I do, but not in this….just nevermind). As long as I could remember this is what’s driven my actions, my decisions. What will my parents think? What will my wife think? What will my friends think? What will that stranger I just met who seems kind of nice think? IT’S EXHAUSTING!

7. The Idea That Good Fortune Will Arrive At Your Doorstep

Fern: You need to go out into the world and actively look for fulfillment. You cannot take a backseat in life and expect things to happen for you. Appreciate the life you live, and be grateful for what you have. Value each minute of every day. Live like there’s no tomorrow, and make the most out of any situation.

If expecting things to happen for you is taking the backseat in life, then my butt’s stuck in the last row of the Rose Bowl.

8. Excuses

Fern: Make no time for excuses. You want to work out, but you don’t have the time? Wake up early and get your gym on. Excuses are only rationalizations that make you feel better about yourself for not doing something you want/need to be doing. You desire results? Stop bitching, and start doing.

I can rationalize just about anything in my head. Not exercising is a big one. How come I’m eating that double double with animal style fries today? Oh, because I’m sad. I deserve this. Two days later. How come I’m eating that double double with animal style fries again today? Because it’s Friday, bitches! Let’s celebrate!

11. Procrastination

Fern: Stop thinking you will finally get to whatever task is at hand tomorrow. Live in the present, and get your sh*t done when it needs to be done. Maximize your time to the best of your ability. Complete each task you need to as soon as you can. This allows you to feel free from worry and stress by getting things out of the way as soon as possible. You also allow yourself more free time to enjoy the things you love.

I do my best when I’m up against time. A lot of us think that, don’t we? I know I do. Or at least I like to think I do. Just because you haul ass pumped up on adrenaline to complete a deadline doesn’t mean it’s your best effort. And the anxiety I feel about dreaded tasks or a giant to-do list eats at my sanity. Seems easier to get my stuff done early, wipe away the worry and have time to correct any mistakes, right? Rigggghhhhht.

13. Negativity

Fern: What you put out into the universe will come back to you, so change the way you think, immediately. Stop thinking of life as a glass half empty, but rather, half full. You have so much to be grateful for, if only you took a moment to appreciate it. Anything is possible in the mind of a positive thinker.

And this is where I swing and miss completely, like Mark Trumbo chasing a slider low and away. When I was 9 I signed up for baseball for the first time. For some reason I was drafted to the Majors (10-12-year-olds) although I couldn’t hit a lick. As the first half of the season came to a close I was hitless. I’d go home and tell my parents I’d never get a hit. Eventually it all clicked, I ripped the first hit of my career to the left-field gap for a double and eventually moved from a three-inning platoon player to the starting third baseman who slammed a home run in a city championship game at the end of that season.

That same line of negative thinking feels like it’s stuck with me. Unless things are going well, my instinctive reaction is pessimism. I have a job (a soul-sucking one). I have a house (that we overpaid for and are stuck in). I have my health (I’m overweight, on anti-depressants, blood pressure medication and pop a thyroid pill). Those parenthetic notes highlight the pessimistic thoughts that over take things I should be grateful for.

So how do we just let go of things we’ve used to define our thinking and behavior for most of our lives? I don’t know. But I’m tired of letting these “things” determine who I am and what I do.

Unlike Fern’s assertion, my goal isn’t to achieve true happiness. Rather, I just want to be a big, dumb, happy-go-lucky cat. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

Shattered Faith, Part II

This is going to be weird. I’m going to open up about some stuff that will make you judge my faith, my strength, my mental/emotional stability and question whether you will keep reading this site, or even talk to me without looking at me differently. I just ask that you read with an open mind, without judgement and with love.


“Who here lost a young boy that drowned?” Theresa asked as she stood at the front of the stage with her platinum blone hair and flashy disco ball-like high heels, which now function for me similarly to the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock for Gatsby.

No one answered, so she inquired again. My heart pounded. My face felt sort of numb.

“In this section, right here. Someone lost a young boy that drowned.” With her arms extended straight and parallel, she pointed at our section.

Holy shit, this is happening. Everything I wished for is happening. My wife and I raised our hands in unison. But we were five levels up from the stage, sitting in the second to last row of the theater.



Towards the end of last summer, with encouragement from a friend and a thirst for something, anything that would help me believe in heaven again, I watched an episode of Long Island Medium on the cable channel TLC. For those that don’t know, the show follows a medium from Long Island, Theresa Caputo, as she helps the living communicate with loved ones that have crossed over (died).

I recorded any episode I could find on my DVR and watched alone. Whereas I was okay sobbing while soaking up some gut-wrenching episodes, my wife wasn’t ready to watch. My skepticism reminded me that this was a TV show. It’s cool to believe Caputo could really communicate with the dead and bring comfort and closure to the living, but what if it’s just all for show?

I continued to watch with an open mind, and Caputo continued to blow me away with her episodes. Her ability to bring up specific details she could never know with love and positivity while at the same time giving honor to God hooked me. A practicing Catholic, Caputo walks a curved line of traditional Christian beliefs and alternative spiritual theorem. She mixes in a typical Italian New Yorker stereotype and a charming naivety that warms the soul.

What if is this is true? Then I will see Jax again. He is walking with me. He knows my sorrow, my guilt and how much I miss him.

This show brought me peace. It gave me hope at a time when I had nothing.

The Show

About six weeks ago our friend, who is a big fan of the show and wrote in to TLC to get us on the show for a reading, text me that Theresa Caputo was coming to the west coast. She found available tickets at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. I asked my reluctant wife if she wanted to go on June 6, our tenth wedding anniversary. Romantic, huh? A few hours later I bought tickets at the back of the theater, the only ones left.

My seat at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. AKA BFE.

My seat at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. AKA BFE.

The theater seats 1,700 people spread across five floors with box seating that flanks the main stage. Our seats were on that fifth level, to the right of the stage if facing it and in the second to last row. Binoculars would’ve been appropriate.

The night before I spoke to Jax for about 10 minutes. Typically I cry when I talk to him, but that night I felt calm. I matter-of-factly explained what we were doing and that this woman Theresa could speak with him. I advised that there were going to be a lot of people there that wanted to speak with their passed loved ones, and that he needed to push his way to the front to reach Theresa. I asked him to be strong, because his mom and I ache to hear from him.

Last night my wife and I picked up our friend and met my mother-in-law in Cerritos for the show. The venue, a beautiful site which I highly recommend checking out an event,  was packed with middle age women, which shot my blood pressure up and required soothing deep breaths to keep from elbowing the ones that couldn’t seem to figure out that I was standing against a wall so that they wouldn’t walk in to me.

Caputo started the show praising God for her gift, explaining how she operates and curbing our expectations for the night. She told us Spirit was ready to work earlier than she expected so she got right to it.

My Experience

“Who here lost a young boy that drowned?” That’s how she opened the whole freaking thing. There’s 1,697 other people in here, I’m sure she’s not just speaking to us, I thought. Then she asked that second time. What the shit? I’m stuck up here in the boonies. Short of jumping off the balcony she wasn’t going to see us waving our hands.

Caputo moved on to other spirits communicating to her. About 45 minutes later, after moving around the lower level of the theater followed by a camera man and microphones, Spirit led her to ask who had a necklace with a thumb print. I didn’t think much of it until no one raised their hand, that I saw at least. I looked to my left and saw my mother-in-law tugging the chain around her neck. At the end was a flat charm with Jax’s thumb print. I totally forgot she had that keepsake.

What the hell is happening? Is my little boy, the first loved one to step forward, trying for a second time? Is he fighting for us? I felt helpless.

“Does anyone have an anniversary of some kind today?” Caputo inquired. Oh c’mon! My wife raised her hands, both of them. Just before the show I snacked on a sandwich in the parking lot and our friend snapped a photo of my wife and I sharing our “anniversary dinner” and posted it on Facebook. Again, no one else said it was their anniversary.

This can’t be coincidence, can it? I mean, it can, I guess. We’re showing up despearately hoping to hear from Jax. I could turn around a lot of things Caputo said that night to relate to us so that I felt better. But these three things were too specific. And NO ONE ELSE affirmed her messages.

I believe it was Jax. I have to. That’s what faith is, right? Belief that isn’t based on proof.

As far as Caputo goes, I utterly believe everything she did that night is true, real and a gift from God. It’s impossible to know much of the stuff she asked the audience as their loved ones communicated with her. She nailed the dead’s personality to a tee, knew about tattoos hidden behind clothing and detailed some horrific ways that loved ones died.

A Real Account

In late summer or early fall I told my mom about the comfort I found with the Long Island Medium. In November she emailed me a story she found posted by a woman on a message board at the MISS Foundation. The woman explained how she attended a Caputo show and her daugther came through and communicated to her.

My mom emailed the woman and formed a common bond. Her daughter also drowned.

“I questioned heaven every day, wanting to believe but also thinking why, why why?” wrote Jill Ritts to my mom. “Now I can honestly say that I have ZERO doubt that my daughter is really really with me, everyday. It is such a sense of relief.”

With Jill’s permission I’ve included her story, which she wrote three days after her Caputo experience. Because of her post, and my mom emailing to let me know about it, my faith took its first step towards restoration.


The showroom at the Tropicana showroom’s 2000 seats was sold out. We were seated on the mezzanine level closer to the back. We luckily had the first four seats in our aisle and the Duffy’s let me have the aisle seat. The stage had a table and chair and large screen projector. I was so nervous and kept telling myself that Madison didn’t stand a chance of coming through when there were so many other people here. I convinced myself that I didn’t care; I would be just as happy to watch other people get read.

When Theresa came on stage she explained that she didn’t like sitting on the stage and would be walking around and listening for messages, and would go to the person whose spirit on the other side was taking to her. No calling out or standing up, she would come to you. She told us that she could not possibly read everyone in the audience.

She started in the front row and proceeded to read about 3 people, one of which was a very distraught mother who had lost her daughter and now her daughter would have been 5. I knew at that moment that I was supposed to be comforted by that reading and that my Madison couldn’t get through!

Theresa then walked up to the middle aisle, about 20 rows down from where I was sitting and said “there is someone here with a very specific tattoo of their child, like a portrait of their face”

Liz hit me and told me to raise my hand and I did so tentatively but a man down close to where Theresa was standing actually stop up and said he had his son’s face tattooed on him, I dropped my arm and Theresa proceeded to read him but then got interrupted and looked up into my direction, Still 20 rows away and said:

“No, there is a little girl here and she is showing me a very specific tattoo.” Theresa was holding her left wrist and looking toward me.

I raised my hand and said “I have a tattoo on my wrist but it is not a portrait.” She said “But it is something specific to your child.” I said “It is her name on my wrist.” She said “Well you can’t get more specific than that! And what’s up with the butterfly? Do you communicate with her through butterflies?” I had long sleeves on and she could not see my tattoo of Madison’s name and a butterfly on my left wrist.

I was handed a microphone from an unseen woman but was shaking so bad, I could not stand up. Theresa walked a little closer and said to anyone, “who is Madeline?” Me and another woman both raised our hands. She asked “And she is showing me the number 3?” I said “That’s me; my daughter was 3 when she died.” Theresa walked right up to me, camera man trailing and said “and the necklace you wear, she is showing me something on the necklace.”
It was under my shirt and I pulled it out and said it is a butterfly also.” Theresa said there is something more specific on the necklace” I said “Yes her initials are engraved on the back.”

Then Theresa said “what about her hair? She is showing me her hair”
I said “It was dark?”
She said “No she is showing me a locket of her hair. Do you have a locket of her hair?” Yes in a shadow box on my mantle.

Next, Theresa was rubbing her stomach, chest area and said “She’s showing me an infection, in her stomach? Lungs?” I said lungs.

Theresa said “She is showing me that she is swinging on a swing set, playing. She was unable to move for some time and now she wants you to know she is playing.” I said she was in a coma for 11 days.

“She is showing me a manmade body of water.” At this point Theresa got very flustered and on the verge of tears. She was pacing back and forth and kept repeating “It was crazy, there was no current. It was almost like drowning in a bucket, something as senseless as that?”

I said “It was a pool and they don’t have currents either”

Theresa slapped her head, like duh.

Next she blurted out “What’s with the book? There is a book memorializing her life?” I almost died at this point and said “Yes. I am writing a book about her!” Theresa said well she is acknowledging your work.

Next she said “You called her Maddie didn’t you?” and I said yes and Theresa looked right at me and said well she just climbed up on your lap and gave you a hug and said “I’m my Mommy’s Maddie!” Again I almost died as I had a chill run from my toes to my head.

Then Theresa said “and she just jumped up and gave me a hug to thank me for talking to you. She is showing me on that swing set again. She really wants to let you know she is playing and having a ball.”

“She is showing me some drawings or writings now. Did you find something she drew after she passed and put it in a box?” I told her yes I found some papers that Shannon made Madison write her scribble; Shannon was trying to teach Madison how to write. When I found the papers I couldn’t look at them and put them in a box. I still don’t know where the box is.

“Now she is showing me a pretty dress and turning around so I see dirt on the back of the dress. Like she was a girlie, girl and a tomboy. She would put on pretty dresses and then go outside and play in the dirt.” Yes this is her.

“She is showing me a park. Like you have a tribute to her in a park, and her name is somewhere in park??” I said yes. We have a Miles for Madison walk in Tyler park each year, and just, just, just received information to have her name engraved on a bench there. The info is on my fridge at home.

Next she said “She is showing me a princess bathing suit.” I said “That is what she died in.” Theresa said no she is showing me that couldn’t find it. After Madison died I wanted to see the Ariel bathing suit and my mom admitted to throwing it out and I was a little upset.
Theresa said, “She wants to acknowledge that you were upset about the bathing suit, but it doesn’t matter. There she is on those swings again.”

Theresa stood quietly for a minute and said “Who is Lila? Libby? Liddy?”
I said “Linny”
She said “Who is she?”
I said “the babysitter”

Everyone in the audience, including Theresa got very flustered and loud and Theresa kept pacing back and forth. So I said “No. No they loved each other.” Theresa stayed quiet a minute and then came over to me and gave me a hug before moving on to someone else.

I’d say the whole night she read about 20 people and Madison’s was by far the longest. It felt like it went on for 15 minutes but I’m not sure.

Jill prayed for my wife and I last night. A lot of you did. I asked God yesterday that if this was of Him, that is will be done.

I believe it was Jax last night. I believe he made it through all of those other loved ones passed on and up to Caputo first. He knows what it means for my wife and I to hear from him. He knows how much we need it.

I have to believe. Without belief there’s no hope, and that green light at the end of Daisy’s dock fades to darkness. I lived in darkness enough over the past year. I need that light.


Shattered Faith, Part I

This is going to be weird. I’m going to open up about some stuff that will make you judge my faith, my strength, my mental/emotional stability and question whether you will keep reading this site, or even talk to me without looking at me differently. I just ask that you read with an open mind, without judgement and with love.

Faith, shattered.

Faith, shattered.

When Jax died everything changed. I used to pray every morning in the shower. Almost every single day I’d end by asking for God’s protection for my wife and kids. I prayed the same thing on June 24 when Jax died. On June 25 I stopped praying.

What’s the point? I was just wasting my breath. You know when your spouse gets so mad at you that they ignore you for a couple of days? That was me towards God. Except it lasted months. He was around, but I didn’t want to talk to him. I know, we live in a broken world, yadda yadda yadda. Shit happens. I didn’t care. I was beyond pissed. Now, I know there’s human element involved with life and death, and consequences occur, and it’s not all on God. I’m not discounting any of that. But if He can’t protect my kid, then what’s the point of any of this?

A few days after he died, or after the memorial service – I don’t remember which – I started to question heaven’s existence. What if there is no heaven? Will I ever see my boy again? I grew up in a Christian family and attended a non-demotional Christian church all of my life. I was raised to believe that you died and went to heaven if you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. What if the Bible is just a book of mythological stories, and when we die, nothing happens? I felt alone. Everything I believed in before 6/24 shattered like a glass bowl on the kitchen tile. Tiny shards shot every which way and I’m walking barefoot trying to pick up the pieces. But it hurts. I keep stepping on the shards. I’m bleeding. And I’m overwhelmed.

Thirst for Knowledge

I started to read Heaven Is for Real in which an evangelical pastor writes about his 4-year-old son’s encounter with heaven while undergoing emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix. It didn’t help. Call me skeptical, but it’s written by a pastor. As much as I wanted to believe it’s all true, he has too much to gain from a great story that sells.

My therapist recommended 90 Minutes in Heaven, a book written by a man who displayed no signs of life to EMTs for 90 minutes following a brutal car wreck. Some of his accounts of heaven were completely different from the kid’s in Heaven Is for Real. But I guess a grown man won’t see a rainbow-colored horse in heaven or a pink-jeweled crown on Jesus’ head.

I bought a third book, To Heaven and Back, which chronicles an orthopaedic surgeon who nearly drowned following a kayak accident and her experience in heaven. I don’t even know where it is.

Found Peace

And then I found comfort in an unexpected place. I felt peace for the first time in months. Peace that I would see Jax soon and that he was still with me. Peace that he is okay and in God’s hands. I’ll explain more about that unexpected place soon.

The “Christiany” thing is to seek God’s comfort and know that Jax is with Him, he’s safe and the Bible tells us I’ll see him again. But remember, I’m still picking up those sharp pieces of faith on my kitchen floor. I’m pissed at God that this happened. Or perhaps my faith was never strong enough to begin with?

Rebuilding Faith

I’m back to speaking with God. Not as often as I used to, but those lines of communication, at least on my end, are open again. The line on his end was always free. I’m sure of it. This morning I prayed that if this unexpected source of comfort is of His will, that I may have peace with it. I still doubt whether it is, because really, it’s weird to me, too.

Tomorrow (hopefully) I’ll explain WTF I’m talking about. In the meantime, if you pray, pray for my wife and I tonight, even though you don’t know what you’re praying for. Things will get weirder tomorrow. I promise.



Coke Might As Well Be Black Tar Heroin

The best way to drink it.

The best way to drink it.

When I am thirsty, one of my favorite treats is a Diet Coke from McDonald’s. I swear they lace that brown liquid heaven with heroin. And now, those pushers at Mickey D’s only charge one dollar for any size drink. For me, driving around southern California is like Lindsay Lohan on a pub crawl. A few sips of nirvana before we stumble around town in a broken heel and fall in a ditch with our dresses hiked up and flash our g-strings.

My wife knows this about me. She’s not an innocent party. But we do enable one another. Sometimes we’ll share to keep the guilt down.

The other day she tried to get all straight on me. She linked me to this article with the following lede:

With high levels of sugar, acids, preservatives and other harmful ingredients, soda causes more damage to the body than just expanding the waistline. From stroke to kidney stones to dementia, here’s a look at what can happen to the body long-term for those who regularly drink soda.

Well thank you, Mrs. Killjoy. Like my occasional tingling cheeks and foggy thoughts aren’t freaking me out enough.

The author of the article breaks down soda’s alleged damage to the brain (can’t remember/learn anything), teeth (you might as well drink battery acid), heart (increased risk of cardiovascular disease), lungs (asthma), bones (bone density loss), kidneys (stones), digestive system (bloating) and weight (obesity).

If one can of soda is 12 fluid ounces, I guess my intake is roughly 36 – 48 ounces a day. Rarely do I go without at least one can of Diet Coke or Pepsi. If I don’t order a beer at a restaurant, then I’ll chug down three or four glasses of the bubbling brown beverage. If we eat in, I’ll offer to split a soda with my wife. If she’s feeling extra strong that day and refuses, I’ll down it myself.

I’ve gone a day or two without the pop before, but like Michael Corleone in The Godfather: Part III, just when I thought I was out they pull me back in. That first hit after a few days is like fireworks in my brain. And not just Disneyland fireworks. I’m talking 20 simultaneous shows over the Hudson River on an unnaturally warm New Year’s Eve night viewed from my Manhattan apartment where windows replace walls and Ivanka Trump wraps her arms around my abdomen wearing nothing but The Apprentice t-shirt. It’s that fantastic.

The writer includes preparation to quit the legalized crack. She went cold turkey. I think she must be Superwoman.

I need to stop. I get it. But even after reading that nearly half of soda fountains contain fecal matter, I just chalk up the results to the assumption that folks in Virginia, where the study occurred, ran out of toilet paper. It’s not like that where I live. Plus, doesn’t all that carbonation kill the poo poo anyway?

Self-Conscious Much?

Unknown artist

Unknown artist

I’ve struggled writing a post to go with this illustration. I have a poor self-image. I’m very self-conscious. It’s pretty bad. It’s why I like booze. My anxiety and social fears wash away with the beer or whiskey. When I drink I feel more charming and confident than George Clooney trapped on an island of only women.

But I identify like hell with this cartoon and wanted to share it.

So, a couple of things for ya…

1. Feel free to leave lots of comments. If something I wrote made you smile, let me know. Tell me if a post touched you. Share your own experiences with all seven of my readers. If you’re feeling shy, fire off an email.

2. Stop sniffing my butt when you’re behind me on the stairs.

UPDATE: My wife just emailed me her response to this post:

…read your post, seems very depressing and the whole first point seems like you want people to like your site as a validation that they like you…maybe on sad days we should skip blogging…

To clarify, I’m not looking for ball washing. I just know it’s easier to read and take away then to leave a comment. My point is that comments really do matter, so if you’re impacted in any way by something, let me know. It makes a huge difference.

Secondly, I am sad. I ran out of Welbutrin and took a few days off of my anti-depressant cocktail as a result. Holy crap that didn’t work out so hot. I’ve spent the last 48 hours on the verge of rage, tears and social withdraw. I EVEN BLEW OFF HAPPY HOUR LAST NIGHT. That’s a dark place, people.

But I feel like things are starting to turn around. Maybe tomorrow I actually won’t feel like using a brick to re-arrange anyone’s face.

The Simple Difference Between Men and Women

All men are pigs. Let that sink in there for ya. All of them. Even your darling, perfect little husband. He’s a pig. I mean, some men are just assholes and can’t or choose not to filter their inner pig. It’s just that your innocent, great man isn’t a dick. But he’s still a pig.

If I only teach my two-year-old daughter one thing in her life, it’ll be that men are pigs. But it’s not our fault. We’re wired that way. It’s not a cop-out or us not taking responsiblity, it’s just science.

This sums it up very simply.

Illustrated by Sam Cobean

Illustrated by Sam Cobean

Cartoonist Sam Cobean worked for The New Yorker in the 1940s and 1950s and published The Naked Eye, a book of cartoons, in 1952. Cobean sketched this cartoon assumingly around that time. I think it supports my point. We’re wired completely different from women. It’s not that society has changed or we’re inundated with sex in the media (although those things are definitely true). Our brains will always go right to the boobs. Or the butt. Or the pretty face. Your grandpa was pulling the same shit. And so was his grandpa.

Next time you mixed-sex couples have a fight or can’t agree on things just remember: she’s thinking about clothes while he’s thinking about boobs. It’s just that simple.