Thursday, August 1, 2013

#150: Classic Dads: My Dad

“What’s a goober?” I ask as if Dad will answer the meaning of life.
“THAT’S a goober” Dad emphasizes with a point of the finger at the direction college tour guide.

My Dad is a big inspiration in my life. From his Dad-isms and expansion of vocabulary through words such as goober and old fogey, or his teaching me how to drive defensively (“You’re in a thousand tons of steel driving at above average speeds…have fun!”).

His love for hot dogs and weird condiments always weirded me out. But I was able to raise the bar by introducing him to a Chicago Dog. Dad raised me on strange breads and always beat me in sports. How convenient that a back injury caused him to retire after I almost beat him in basketball. I think he uses that also as a reason as to why he falls asleep in random places (IKEA is his favorite). 

Dad isn’t a golfer but instilled in me a love for baseball. Binoculars, scorecards, and fresh cut grass are the ultimate signs of summer. They’re also the ultimate sign of bonding. I still think that one of the balls I got at the ballpark was planted by him. But I am forever grateful for it. My Dad fulfilled childhood dreams by taking me to World Series games. There isn’t a baseball game I don’t watch, attend, nor read about that I don’t think of him. 

My Dad’s mustache was legendary. My permanent mustache is a result of his genes. At age 20, I saw my Dad for the first time without a mustache. He had to bribe me with a burrito to get in the car with him as I thought he was a stranger. And now while he is balding, he fluctuates his facial hair faster than I can grow mine out.

Although my Dad may be singing “My Girl” to my sisters, I am right behind him performing the slide out. Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and Motown pump through my veins because of him. His dance moves prove to me that Dads will always have more soul and swag than my generation. 

Lastly, Dad is a leader. He provides for my family and for others. His love for our family and other people is contagious. He uses his opportunities to offer opportunities to others. I always strive to help others because of how I’ve seen Dad lift other people around him. His imparted lessons, both directly and indirectly, inspire me to better myself.
I can only hope to be half the man he is when I am a Dad. So thank you Dad, for taking on all the characteristics of Dads, but also making them your own. 

#149 Classic Dads: My Dad

It has been quite a long journey for those of us here at That's So Dad. We started this blog as we neared the end of our college life, ready to take the world on but still not ready to be done with the times where drinking beer with friends on a stoop on a Tuesday after class was socially acceptable. We have had a lot of highs, some lows, and a whole bunch of changes. I am sad that this will be my last post but it is definitely the most appropriate and a long time coming. My Dad has confronted me about how a lot of my posts "Describe him to a T" but I always shrug it off and say it was just sort of inspired from him (or entirely inspired from him). Today is my Dad's day though. I give you the latest addition to the Classic Dads hallowed halls: My Dad.

I will not refer to him by name, but if you know me you may have been lucky enough to meet my Dad. He epitomizes Dadness in the ultimate form. He rocks the White New Balances (one of my favorite posts) whenever going for a walk or doing anything casual. He even points out now, "Hey Son, look what I am wearing" as he models his latest edition (but same model) of WNB. He is still mad at my mom for throwing away his Painting Pants back when I was a toddler. I swear the first 8 years of my life my Dad had a gigantic video camera taped to his eye. He would always say, "You are gonna be happy I filmed this when you get older!" And boy was he right.

My Dad loves golfing and it has become one of my favorites as well. I think he mostly likes it because it's the only sport he can beat me at (for now) and when on TV it provides great background noise for an afternoon nap. The man has coached my baseball team, taught me the intricacies of baseball scorecards, and is always on the lookout for a new Easter egg hiding spot in a house he has lived in for 30 years (the man is an egg hiding legend). Plus I cannot forget that he used to have the most epic mustache before I was born. I could only dream of growing such a sweet burner.

I could sit here and spout all day about all the Dad stuff that describes my Dad, and believe me nearly every post was in some way, shape, or form based on him. But most importantly my Dad has been an inspiration and he is my hero. The man has been knocked down hard in his life and came up swinging ferociously. He has achieved some great things that I hope to do in time. So thank you Dad for giving me the inspiration to be a better man, but more importantly giving me the manual on how to act like a Dad when it is my time. I am already working on my horseshoe play and stretching for piggyback rides.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

#148 Injuries

Dads may be men of other worldly strength and the greatest athletes you’ve ever witnessed in person but even Dad’s get injured.

And yes, everyone gets injured. You’ve broken a bone or cut a hand when handing scissors the wrong way. But when Dads get injured, they are chronic and FOR LIFE. These injuries are minor and most people with a tolerance of pain would ignore them. NOT DAD.

These injuries are to be publicized and displayed. Banged your knee on something? KNEE BRACE. Twisted ankle? WALKING BOOT. Strained shoulder? SHOULDER SLING. Sore back? ICY HOT…because Shaq said so.

Dad uses these injuries to his advantage. They allow him to rest so he can fall asleep anywhere, watch golf all day (even the replay), and avoid giving you piggyback rides. Dad even avoids eating at the table because his back makes it so he can’t get up.

Meanwhile, you have a 102 degree fever and have to go to school…because it’s good for you.


Friday, July 19, 2013

#147: Weird Breads

**Welcome to this special Friday "I went to see Bon Jovi last night and forgot to write my post" Edition of That's So Dad**

As we wind down our long journey here at That's So Dad I find myself thinking of what I can write about that you don't already know. Yes Dads love White New Balances, yes they love embarrassing their kids, yes they love rocking the old college sweatshirt, and we have also really delved into their eating and drinking habits. I feel the Dad lifestyle is epitomized in their diet. It is what fuels the machine and a foundation (just like the outdated Food Pyramid of yesteryear) in grains is necessary. Now Dad can argue that Miller Genuine Draft and Scotch are grains, but actual breads are needed.

Dad doesn't settle for kids stuff, plain white bread with the crust cut off or that riff raff known as Wonder bread. Dad needs something serious. He needs something that is so hearty it makes lumberjacks seem like Tinkerbell and Ron Burgundy scream out "That's too much! I can't handle it!" We are talking Rye, Pumpernickel, Marble Rye, Sourdough, stuff that makes children cry. If it is has seeds or whole grains scattered all over the top and inside the bread, just waiting to get jammed in between teeth, you better believe Dad is eating it. Also bread follows the same principle of weird condiments in that if he uses a stinky, weird bread, no one will try to eat Dad's sandwich.

And his bread choice isn't limited to just sandwiches. It applies to every meal. When the waitress at the greasy spoon asks for Dad's bread choice to go with his Corned Beef Hash (Dad's #1 breakfast) it will always be the weirdest bread, like 7-grained cracked whole wheat toast or their homemade garlic sourdough. Getting a hotdog? You bet it will be on a preztel roll. BBQ? That plate is lined with Texas Toast. It never stops. Dad needs to keep a full belly or else he gets cranky.

So the next time you wake up hungover and drag yourself to the local Diner or Coney and find yourself craving a Rye so dark light cannot escape its surface do not worry. You are just turning into a Dad, even if you don't have kids.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

#146: Washing the Car

"DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH MY BABY!" Dad yells. The sun is shining, summer is here and it's a beautiful day. What could Dad possibly have to yell about? That's when you notice Dad's new toy. No, not a new power tool nor weed wacker for the lawn. Rather, it is Dad's car that is never meant to be driven.

See, when Dad goes through his mid-life crisis (aka when he starts balding), Dad will often buy an impractical car. It can only be used during the summer months. And even then, it is never driven but only displayed and washed in the drive way.

Now you can only hope to borrow this car when you are 16, but Dad treats it better than he treats you so there's a slim chance of that. While you're lucky to get lunch money, Dad spends your allowance on the finest of tire cleaning soap.

Dad cleans his car in very precise ways. Rinse, lather & repeat is taken to a new level when Dad washes his car. Mr. Miyagi's "wax on, wax off" teachings are child's play compared to Dad's sponge, towel, and air dry method. At the end of the wash, Dad's car is cleaner than your mouth after a trip to the Dentist.

And how does Dad celebrate a new clean car? By carefully wheeling it into the garage. "I don't want any birds to poop on it." Some day you'll have something you treasure half as much as Dad treasures his car.


Friday, July 5, 2013

#145: Mulch

**Welcome to this Special Edition of That's So Dad, the I Was on a Boat for 4th of July and Had No Access to a Computer Edition**

"WHAT IS THAT PILE OF CRAP IN THE DRIVEWAY!?!?!?!" mom exclaims. It is an early Saturday morning: the birds are chirping, dew hangs in the air, Dads are finishing their sweaty running routes. "HONEY? DID YOU BUY ANOTHER PILE OF THAT STUFF??" mom yells out again. Oh yes he did. Sitting neatly in the middle of the driveway is a gigantic pile of mulch, situated perfectly so that no cars can get in or out of the garage and stinking up the entire property. Dad has done it again.

Mulch is the foundation of lawns and gardens, it is basically an amalgamation of wood chips, dirt, mud, mushrooms, and high grade cow manure. It is dirty, it stinks to high heaven, it is heavy, and Dad LOVES IT. Dad says it protects the soil and root systems for the garden and reduces weeds. But he really loves it because it is low maintenance, gives him something to discuss with other Dads, and allows him to putter around an entire weekend hauling dirt from one end of the lawn to the other. Of course the kids get lassoed into doing low grade manual labor by shoveling steaming piles (yes, it gets steamy) of mulch into wheelbarrows, spreading the coagulated mixture onto the dirt Ugh,  I am adding dirt to dirt! I just wanna play with my Super Soaker. and moving the pile off the driveway before mom kills someone.

When the job is done (8PM on Sunday night) the whole family is exhausted, wearing tattered/dirty clothes straight out of a picture from the Dust Bowl, and generally upset that they spent a whole weekend basically spreading animal crap all over the place. But not Dad, he is PUMPED. He cannot wait to get back at it next weekend.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

#144: Conserving Things

"Don't throw that away, there's still plenty left!" exclaims Dad as you are throwing away the bones from your ribs. You licked them cleanly, but Dad notices meat and fat on the ends. When Dad isn't eating the leftovers on your plate, he is keeping them for another meal. "I could make a mean stew out of this." I hate Dad's stews...

Dad loves to conserve things. From using the very last bit of ketchup from the bottle to saving every last penny, Dad knows how to make use of every last thing in your life. Some call it being thrifty, Dad calls it common sense.

This thriftiness is also economical and sentimental. His torn t-shirts may scream unfashionable to you, but to Dad they say "look at the money you've saved by not buying new clothes." And why is Dad saving all your old clothes? He really does miss you as a baby. (You'll thank him in college when you have the best themed party outfits).

That's why you can find your batteries in the freezer "because they last longer when stored in there," or get yelled at for touching the thermostat, you understand Dad is just looking for ways to make things more efficient. While mom sees beauty in all things, Dad sees opportunity in all things. Another man's garbage is another man's treasure? Wrong.

Another man's garbage is Dad's treasure.