Your Loud Barking Dog

Dear Diary …

I am a dog person. I have had dogs my entire life. I love ‘em. I think they make great pets. As for cats? Nope! Not for me. Fine if it’s for you, but not for me.

But here’s the thing … dogs aren’t for everybody, and I understand why. It’s not the dogs that make you dislike dogs. It’s the dog owners. Too many of them are lousy. They don’t treat the dogs right, and more importantly, they don’t respect their surroundings.

And yes, I’m speaking directly to you … dog owner with a loud, barkin’ ass dog. The one that sits outside all day, all night [[WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOFF]]. Horrible! And here’s what I don’t understand … how do you not hear them? Because everybody else in your neighborhood hears them, and it’s driving them crazy. Why does it not drive you crazy?

And on what planet would this be acceptable … “Hey it’s two o’clock in the morning and my dog is outside barking. Yeah … I’m OK with that!”

Are your ears broken? “Oh I don’t hear it.” Well you know what … If that’s actually true … HOW? Do you have a REALLY loud air conditioner, or soundproof windows, or do you just drink a bottle of vodka and crash into a semi-coma? Whatever it is, please let the rest of us know so we can do the same thing so we don’t have to listen to your yippy little devil machine.

And full disclosure … I have a beagle. And she’s awful. BOWWWWWWWWW!!!! It’s the worst sound on Earth, but you know what? I hear it. And I don’t like it either. So I bring her inside and make her be quiet. And at night, she goes to bed. That’s how you’re supposed to do it.

OK … moving on Diary … This is for all the people out there that are in charge of making dinner in the house. Like me.

Now … We don’t mind doing it. Most of us enjoy cooking. But there is one part of meal preparation that is far and away the most annoying … picking out the meal. Oh it just hangs over your head constantly … what am I gonna make tonight? Ahhh I got no ideas, I’m not excited about anything, I don’t wanna have to go to the store. It’s agony! And the ultimate kick in the stomach is that once you pick out a meal … well you just gotta start planning for tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. And the next day. It never ends!

So here’s some advice to you non-meal preparers … on those rare occasions that you step in and make dinner … which we love … what we don’t wanna hear … “I don’t know what to make? what should I make? Just tell me what to make and I’ll make it.”

Oh no you don’t … you’re on dinner … you figure it out! This happens to me every time I’m not making the meal. My mother was in town just last week … and says she’ll make dinner. Great! “I don’t know what to make. Whadda ya have in the house? What are you in the mood for? Whaddya want me to make?”

What I want is for you to stop asking. Stop it! If I’m gonna come up with the whole menu … I might as well be the one makin’ it.

So remember this … when you’re on dinner … YOU’RE on dinner. Don’t talk to us. Don’t consult us. We’re already dreading the 647 pots and pans you’re gonna leave for us to wash, so at least let me sit in peace for 10 minutes and not have to come up with the meal. I don’t even care if the meal stinks. I just don’t wanna pick it.

Till next time Diary, I say … Goodbye.

This State Is Broken

Dear Diary …

Let me start by saying … I like it here. I’ve lived in a bunch of different places, and Virginia is actually my favorite. Funny irony of that, is that when I was in college, I had a roommate with Virginia plates on his car. And I very distinctly remember thinking, “Virginia? Who the heck lives in Virginia? I’ve never met anybody in my whole life from that place. What a weirdo” And poof … here I am … Virginia! (And happy to be on.e)

That said … this state is messed. Oh wait, I’m sorry. This COMMONWEALTH is messed up.

I mean, all last week, everywhere I went, I say police officers just sittin’ there waitin’ … for YOU to speed and for them to write you a ticket. Heck, not even speeding, my wife got stopped one day for a “license check,” which is something I didn’t even know they did. But Meanwhile, you know what was going on around here at the same time? Crime! Have you seen the numbers for the city of Roanoke? Let’s just say … we’re number one, and this is not an award that we want to be winning.

Now I don’t fault the po-po … they’re just doing what their told. But why are they being told to babysit the general public when they should be spending their time stopping actual crime?

Or how about this compromise … you wanna have the police sit in random parking lots waiting for speeders? Then have them do it in bank parking lots, since we seem to love to rob those around here. Ta-DA! Two birds with one stone. You’re welcome.

And it doesn’t stop there … they tried to propose a law last week to legally limit the amount of people you can have at your house for a cookout. Your house … your burgers and dogs … but they’re in charge of the guest list. Oh yeah, that makes total sense. So that graduation party you throw at your house this month for your kid? Probably illegal.

And while we’re talkin’ grads … the state … I mean the COMMONWEALTH … Is actually spending money on a campaign to remind you that “it’s illegal to give scratch tickets to somebody under the age of 18, so we’re gonna bust you if you give one to a kid at a graduation party.” This is what we’re wasting our time on? And again … while we’re doing this, what else is happening? Crime!

It’s a Nanny State … Nanny COMMONWEALTH … whatever. Point is, I don’t want a nanny. At least not this kind of nanny. You wanna be a nanny state? Fine. Then you do what actual nannies do and you show up at my house tonight at seven o’clock and handle bath time with my two little rugrats while Mommy and Daddy can enjoy a cocktail together. That’s your job as a nanny. You ain’t even doin’ the nanny part right.

OK … moving on Diary … I just need to ask … because pretty much everybody is familiar with a camera, right? I think it’s safe to say we’ve all used one. Heck … most of us now carry one 24-7 on our phones, so I would say we all have a pretty good idea of the concept of the camera and how it works. And yet, when you’re out with a group of people, and you decide you want a picture of the whole group, why is it that the person you ask to take the picture … no matter what they are … young, old, man, woman … that person acts like this is the first picture they’ve ever taken in their entire lives?

Wait … what do I do? Point it over here? And then I push a button? Did I get it? Did I take the picture?

My son knows how to use a camera. He’s two. What is your deal?

And the picture quality? Forget it. Fuzzy … too far away … nine miles of headroom above everybody in the picture. Terrible!

Now I know you people can take pictures. You flood my social media feeds with all the pictures of your little booger eaters and every single thing they do in their lives. So why can’t you take one picture for somebody else when called upon?

Till next time Diary … I say, goodbye.


Where’s My Stinkin’ Dot?

Dear Diary …

OK … now I know I’ve harped on this before, but this time I feel like we have a month until Father’s Day, which is plenty of time to get it right. And here’s the issue …

So Sunday was Mother’s Day. Now … I got my wife, got my mother, and they’re just being showered in all things Momma. We got cards, we got gifts, my neighbor and I planned this whole elaborate dinner get together where the Moms could all just sit and enjoy while we did all the work.

And on top of that, even though all of those other things were happening, the day before Mother’s Day my women are all … “Well aren’t we going to have Mother’s Day breakfast?” <sigh> OK … So I’m making pancakes, and eggs, and bacon … and of course … can’t ask Mom to do dishes on her day, so I’m doing those too.

And let me be clear … I’m not complaining. I don’t mind doing all of it. I’m just setting the scene of the elaborate display that was going down on Mother’s Day for what happens next.

At dinner time, I’m talking with my neighbor … another Dad … and we’re just talking about Father’s Day and how it’ll be right around the corner, and what we might wanna do. But … off the top of our heads, we didn’t know the exact date for Father’s Day this year. So I pull out my phone … open the calendar … and this is what happens …

You know how when you look on a calendar, they’ll be little dots on certain days? And these dots, that’s the calendar’s way of saying “Hey heads up, this is a special day!” You click on that dot and it tells you what the day is. Christmas, of course, has a dot. Thanksgiving has a dot. Mother’s Day has a dot.

So I go to June … no dot! No mention of Father’s Day anywhere! Oh and I take it back … June does have a dot … Flag Day. Father’s Day ain’t got no dot, but Flag Day … oh yeah … that has a stinkin’ dot on it. What do you even do on Flag Day? What the heck is this?

It got me all furious at my phone … how dare you not put a dot on Father’s Day? And you wonder why we leave!

OK … maybe that’s a LITTLE extreme, but it is kinda the reality that we men are just sloughed off as way less important members of the household. Nobody wants to feel less important, especially borderline wild animals like us dudes.

And I know … you carried the baby for nine months. You went thru 937 hours of labor. Blah blah blah. I’m not discounting any of those things. But … when you went thru all of those things, who was there for you? Us dudes! And let’s be honest with each other here for a second … you were kinda hard to get along with during those times, and we were still there for you.

And now … when you want mulch … who puts down the mulch? Dad. Who has to go plunge the toilet when it’s clogged? Dad! (True, we may have been the source of said clog, but not the point! We unclog your clogs too).

Point is … we may not be as glorious as the all-powerful magnificent piles of estrogen that you are, but we’re not lousy either. So here you go … Father’s Day is June 15th. There’s no dot on that day, but that’s when it is. You have one month … start planning … cuz if for nothing other than just this one year … we want all the same over the top barf that you get on Mother’s Day for Father’s Day. Since you ladies are so freakin’ awesome, I’m confident that you can make this happen. Thank you in advance.
Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

Overcooked Meat and Canned Tuna

Dear Diary …

Today … I wanna talk about food. Because really, it’s the one thing all humans have in common … we all eat food. Maybe we like different food, but we all eat it. Even your no fun fitness friends who hate delicious food … they’re at least still passionate about their twigs and protein powder … that’s their food.

And “passion” is a great word for this … because I love food. Especially great ingredients that are nurtured and treated beautifully in an effort to make them as fantastic as possible. Food deserves our respect and love, which is why we need to fight back against you people that overcook your red meat.

That animal died for you … and now you’re ruining it’s memory by turning them into a grey piece of meat leather.

Let me present you with a fact … the best way to eat red meat is rare or medium rare. End of discussion. There is no dispute here. Because if you disagree, you’re also the one with the broken taste buds. It’s medical. I pity you, but you still can’t argue with facts.

For optimum beefy deliciousness and flavor … any food expert will tell ya it’s medium rare. So you know what? Medium … I’ll let ya slide. You’re tryin’ your best.

But medium well and well done … you’re doin’ it wrong. Especially medium well. At least a “well done person” knows what they want … to destroy a piece of steak and cook it till it’s dry and terrible. Medium wellers … you people don’t know what you want. Because you are ALWAYS the one at the table mad about your food … pokin’ it with your fork … eww it’s too pink … or ahhhh it’s not pink enough. Ehhhhh!

This is because there’s no such thing as medium well. Either get it cooked right or get it burned to a crisp. You can’t order food as “kinda terrible” and then expect anything other than disappointment.

And here’s my additional advice … if you go to a restaurant and order medium rare and they say, “Well here at blah blah blah restaurant we cook it to at least medium because he wanna be safe.” LEAVE. Clearly they don’t care about flavor … and why would you wanna eat at a restaurant that hates flavor?

Tell me how to eat my food? I’m a grown ass man … If I wanna eat raw meat tin the parking lot like a bear … well then I can. I pay my taxes, that should be good for something, right?

OK … moving on Diary … while we’re talking about food … tuna fish has got to go. Now tuna … the actual fish … when in a nice big steak and cooked to perfection (rare BTW) … that’s awesome. But when it’s been boiled beyond belief and then scooped out of a can and slathered with huge hunks of mayonnaise. How is this not a crime against your food? (Oh … and just so you know … I really wanted to say “crimes against foodmanity” here, but I didn’t . So you’re welcome.)

Anyway … canned tuna … uhhh … why do we do this to ourselves? And I don’t know which came first … tuna fish or cat food, but the point is … they both smell and look the same. So do YOU think a sane person eats cat food sandwiches? Oh you know what …. that smells good. I’ll have what the cat’s having please.

That is a gross, crazy person.

And tuna melt … hot fish, melted cheese, and bubbling mayonnaise? Yeah there … you’ve just ruined everyone’s appetite … I hope you’re happy.
Till next time Diary … I say goodbye.