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.

Keep Breathing

Jax wasn’t the first child we lost. We’ve grieved before. And while it couldn’t prepare us completely for the depth of pain we are experiencing from losing Jax, it reminded us that we each grieve differently. It made us just a little stronger to endure this hell. And it proved that no matter how we are feeling today, we’ve gotta keep breathing, because tomorrow the sun will rise. And who knows what the tide will bring.


“Smile,” the doctor enthusiastically coached. My pants rested around my ankles as my forearms supported me on the examining table. I’m 28-fucking-years-old and I’m already having a lubed-up index finger patrol my rectum for my prostate. I walked into the urologist’s office anticipating an infertility exam and exited wishing he at least bought me dinner first.

My wife and I tried for a year to conceive. Her OB/GYN directed her to a fertility doctor for testing, first. Everything came back normal, which meant it was time for me to be tested. Along with the prostate exam and junk test the urologist conducted, a semenalysis provided raw data for our fertility clinic.

It turns out I was generally healthy. My testosterone, however, tested severely low and my sperm liked to swim about in circles or something. So we began fertility treatments. After several months of me supplying goo – as one of the nurses called it – and the wife’s use of Clomid – the “goodoo” magic worked.

The next 16 weeks were filled with joy, bliss and walking on cotton candy clouds. While it took us over a year and mad science for my wife to get pregnant, she was treating crack babies in Long Beach as a registered nurse for parents living on welfare with four other kids. But for us, it finally happened. We announced the news with friends and family and eagerly awaited the January 1 due date.

Cue the record scratch.

The wife called me at work after a check up with the OB/GYN. The doctor couldn’t find a heart beat. He sent her to the hospital for an ultrasound which confirmed there wasn’t a heart beat. Our baby was dead. A couple of days later the wife underwent a D&E procedure at a Los Angeles clinic. We elected to run tests to determine the sex and cause of death. It was a girl, but no dice on the cause of death. The clinic was kind enough to send us home with footprints of the fetus the doctor extracted while performing the procedure.

We named her Presley Kaelyn. We eventually both had her foot prints tattooed on our arms, and I added “Loved Forever”.

Loved Forever tattoo for Presley Kaelyn.

Loved Forever tattoo for Presley Kaelyn.

We cried a lot over the next few weeks. I mean, a whole lot. Why did this happen? How? We cleared the 12-week danger zone. This isn’t supposed to happen.

It was the summer, and I eventually ramped up my social calendar to get my mind off of things. My wife, however, dealt differently. There were nights I’d find her crying on the floor of the bathroom. Our souls ached. Caring for babies of 14-year-old moms and meth addicts reminded her every night that life isn’t fair.

She told me months later how much it bothered her that I was going out and trying to distract myself while she just wanted to withdraw and hang out with the pain. She didn’t understand that I was just as distraught as she was. I cried. I was mad. But I had to get out of that house so that it didn’t become anything worse than that.

Eventually the fertility doc allowed us to start trying again. It was like ripping open a healing wound, peeing inside of it and then punching it for good measure. Month after month an early period, too many produced eggs at once or cysts cock-blocking our chance for conception dashed our hopes of another pregnancy.

On my birthday, over one year from the time that our lost baby girl was conceived and one last attempt before in vitro would be thrust upon us, the goodoo magic worked again.Throughout the pregnancy our enthusiasm was tempered by fear of losing another child. If it happened again, could we ever recover?

Nine months later, after 26 hours of labor, my wife popped out a healthy, beautiful…

“Holy crap it’s a boy,” I exclaimed a mere 1.2 seconds after the doctor tugged the little sucker out of my wife. We decided to be surprised on the sex of the baby. My wife said that for some reason, infertility leads to a girl more often than a boy. Being an odds guy, I was fully expecting a little chica. But it was a boy. There’s something hypermasculine about having your first-born be a boy. Maybe I’ve watched too many mafia movies.


Our pastor, Rod, met in our packed living room with our extended family a few days before the memorial service to learn more about Jax. He wanted to accurately articulate who Jax is (not was). And he did a great job of doing so, by the way. I’m sure he left our house that day with his head spinning from information over load, but he extracted the perfect idea:

The most wanted baby in the world.

My wife and I continue to focus on breathing. Honestly, it’s not easy. We agreed that sometimes it seems easier to just stop breathing. And neither of us are afraid of that happening anymore.

But tomorrow the sun will rise. Our 2-year-old twins will awake. And they need us to be here for them. Both of us. Just like we are (not were) for Jax. Because who knows what the tide will bring.

Memo to The Boy: Jacque Cousteau you are NOT

Jax’s memorial service took place in our packed church at Christian Life Fellowship on Saturday June 30, 2012. So many people came that the church had to air a live stream in an adjacent multipurpose room to accommodate the crowd.

Several people spoke, including a friend who asked if it was okay to read a post I wrote about Jax on April 16, 2011. Since the censored version was well received, I figured I’d re-post it here. I want you to know my boy. And this story encapsulates Jax’s personality quite well.

Jax gazes in awe at the Long Beach Aquarium

Jax gazes in awe at the Long Beach Aquarium

The Boy, my 3-year-old, is easily influenced by what he sees on television. If something catches his interest, he commits every atom in his being to that one thing. It started with Toy Story and culminated with us buying him a Jessie hat, which thankfully he’s stopped prancing around the house in.

Then came Cars, and that obsession is still rocking. In fact, he’s sitting on an office chair next to me, watching YouTube on my iPhone. I don’t know what the video is, but I hear an adult male speaking with a slight accent describing a new Cars toy he recently purchased. He’s reading the box, extracting said toy from its container and describing it in detail…and it’s creeping me out.

Sometime after The Babies were born my mother-in-law brought over Finding Nemo to keep The Boy out of our hair while we figured out what to do with two freaking babies at the same time. We popped the DVD into the XBox, tossed a couple of Red Vines at him and hoped he’d be interested. And whether it’s because Pixar has a hypnotizing strangle hold on children across America after its pact with the Devil – or they’re just very talented – The Boy’s latest obsession was born after viewing the tale of a neurotic clown fish father that pushed his son to rebellion only to have an Aussie dentist capture the son, Nemo, to give to his ADD-ridden niece as a gift and the father’s quest across the ocean with his lesbian pal Dory to find Nemo.

So now The Boy is fascinated by anything from the ocean, though he’d prefer they talk and have names like the oxygen-challenged characters from the flick. He also has two interactive point-and-play Finding Nemo books which he reads about 11 times a day that fill his head with oceanic terms and names of the creatures in the world of Nemo.

A week ago I figured it’d be fun for him to see some of these Nemo fish up close. With a plastic blue whale he is borrowing from my dad (and sleeps with every night) clutched in his arm and his shark backpack loaded on his shoulders, we made our way out to the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.

Immediately The Boy found Dory and Gill from Nemo, walked under a giant blue whale hanging from the ceiling of the aquarium and watched seals bark and play.

Then came the shark tank, and out came his fucking marine biologist hat. Now the shark tank isn’t very impressive if you’ve been to Sea World or larger aquariums, but sharks are sharks and young children don’t care. There were about five different species of shark in the tank. The Boy proceeded to identify the sharks in the tank that looked anything like the sharks from his Nemo books, name them, and then educate anyone fortunate enough to stand next to him at the front of the viewing glass.

This went on for at least 20 minutes.

“Mako shark,” The Boy would announce to the three children that just walked up. Except there’s no mako shark in the tank. This aquarium isn’t that cool.

“Bruce! Here comes Bruce!” The Boy shouted every time the largest shark completed its path in front of the viewing glass. Bruce is the great white shark from Nemo. I’m sure the 25-year-old emo dude and cutter girlfriend next to The Boy haven’t the slightest idea who the hell Bruce is. But The Boy doesn’t give a fuck.

Now, The Boy is generally shy and reserved in public. But not this day. This day he was like Regis Philbin after an all night coke binge. He was loud, he was excited, and he wanted everyone else to share in his experience. Everyone.

I talked The Boy into checking out some other sections of the aquarium as I figured he had made enough face prints on the viewing glass. We came up on a tall cylinder of a tank that had orange and white striped fish. They weren’t clown fish, yet I let him call them Nemo since I wasn’t sure if they had any real clown fish at this aquarium. A girl, about 7, noticed the charm of The Boy and ventured off from her family to watch the fish with him.

“Nemo,” he said. Of course, it wasn’t.

Finding Nemo,” she replied with a dash of bitch. Apparently she thought he was missing the beginning of the title of the movie, rather than just pointing out, incorrectly, that Nemo was in the tank.

“Nemo,” he answered and pointed at the tank.

Findingggggg Nemo,” she repeated as she ratched up the bitch meter.

This went on for another couple of minutes. Now the girl had her back to the exhibit, facing The Boy, and shifted her feet left and right to keep him from having a clear view to the tank. Her mom finally noticed and scolded her for being a brat.

We made our way around the rest of the aquarium, spotted jelly fish, eels and starfish – all of which he identified thanks to his interactive books. We came across a large tank with a couple of hammer head sharks, which he made sure everyone knew, darting around reefs and coral with other fish, and large sting rays.

“Manta rays!” The Boy cursed at me. Like, how DARE I call those things sting rays.

Another dad stood next to The Boy with his two tween sons and pointed out the sting rays.

“Manta rays!” he yelled at them. Now I’m standing behind him to allow other children to get close to the glass. I’m hoping that they can’t hear this little troll yelling at them.

I had to explain to The Boy that he shouldn’t sweat it if people called them sting rays. He didn’t care; he was fired up and there was no excuse for ignorance among the patrons of this fine aquarium.

A few days later I looked up the difference between the two, and you know what? He was fucking right.

Opening Day Shines Through My Darkness


Via Sports Memes.

On March 28 last year I sat in the office of a marriage and family therapist’s office and explained how everything in my life seemed gray. Beyond stressed by work, the usual rainbows for me were buried behind ominous, dark clouds of depression.

Just over a year later, one of those rainbows is about to pop through the darkness. Today is Opening Day in Major League Baseball. Sure, there was a game last night, but watching the Texas Rangers take on the Houston Community College Astros is just one last Spring Training tune up, right?

I fell in love with baseball when I was 8. I was in third grade at a new school and all of the boys I wanted to be friends with were California Angel fans. It was 1986. Wally Joyner took Orange County by storm and Wally World officially opened for business. He quickly became my favorite player. Lanky Mike Witt with his breath-taking curve balls was my favorite pitcher. My iPhone and iPad are named after them, respectively.

I signed up for Little League the next season and played through high school. I’ve run a fantasy simulation baseball league since 1998, I have season tickets to Angel games and my wife just renewed our subscription for another year. I’m a huge baseball nerd. And I love it.

For many baseball fans, today is earmarked with hope for their favorite teams. Everyone is tied for first. Maybe that big trade in the offseason will push your team into contending for the division. Or maybe that flashy prospect you’ve been drooling about in your farm system will be 2013’s Mike Trout or Bryce Harper.

I make myself dig for hope now. My therapist told me that the loss of a chid is the worst loss one could ever experience. Our kids aren’t supposed to die before us. Looking forward to small things like Opening Day, Gray and Ellie’s t-ball classes or a night out with the boys gives me hope. I need something to look forward to in order to keep from hyper focusing on loss. Without hope I’d lay in bed all day clutching a bottle and smelling of death.

The Angels open up today at Cincinnati against the Reds. Local hero Jered Weaver takes the mound with phenom Trout, the legend Albert Pujols and the big free agent Josh Hamilton behind him. Their hope is a World Series. My hope is to bask in the beauty of baseball for a day before the dark returns.