“I believe in America.” The famous opening line of The Godfather represents my feelings as well. I’m very patriotic. Every year I enthusiastically celebrate the 4th of July and every year I get a little misty eyed thinking about how generations of immigrants have made America their home, hoping to create a better life for
I went back to my home town for a vacation recently. It was nice to hang around the old stomping grounds. While a lot has changed, the places that are still there also seemed different in many ways. As I was driving past my old high school, I noticed an old concrete wall, a wall
Many years ago, I was lying around with my then girlfriend chatting about silly stuff and she innocently asks, “If you could change one thing about me what would it be?” Not being a complete idiot, I demour, “Nothing, I love you just the way you are.” “No, really.” “Really, nothing.” Little did I know
Amy Schumer is one of the hottest comedians going right now. Here’s one of the reason’s why. Get More: Comedy Central,Funny Videos,Funny TV Shows
Lately, my kid has been obsessed with going fishing. But frankly, because he’s only 10, he doesn’t remember the last few times I’ve taken him fishing haven’t exactly been memorable experiences. Of course there’s the time we went to Troutdale, a fish farm with cement ponds stocked with trout. He caught a fish and was
Seventeen years ago,I took the kids to Dominos to pick up a pizza. I was mostly just trying to get them out of my wife’s hair as she prepared for the company that was coming over. As my boys were hyped up, taking them to Dominos was mostly an exercise in herding them and the
My wife forces me to shop at four different stores for groceries: Ralph’s, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Costco. I don’t like shopping in general and hate shopping this way. I’m much more into convenience and efficiency. Get everything I need at one store or do without. Ralph’s is our main grocery store. It’s a
So over the course of marriage and fatherhood, especially when you’re the father of a girl, you sometimes do things that aren’t exactly Male Pattern Madness blog material. As my sons have moved out of the house and it is now just me and the women folk, the estrogen level in the house is staggering.
My wife and I were shopping at Costco over the weekend. It was a typical Costco shopping adventure. We walked in needing “Fruit, bread, and some beverages” and walked out with $487 of assorted stuff we have absolutely no chance of using before it rots. Seriously, how does that happen? I think we would save
Whenever I’m driving my wife’s car and we arrive in a parking lot, I can’t make a move without her say so. Left alone I obviously have plenty of experience choosing a parking spot and going about my day. But through years of arbitrary rules, capricious enforcement of said rules, and the unparalleled potential wrath
I have 3 Hammers. I have: - a Vaughan 27 oz. hickory handled framer, - a Stanley 20 oz. fiberglass long handled hammer, and - a small older finish hammer that lost its markings, probably before I was born. I have 3 perfect hammers. I keep them all in my carpentry tool box and use
Last week, Matt W wrote about how little his daughter follows his good advice, even though he has a track record Nostradamus would be envious of. And since my son reached his know-it-all teens, we’ve been living with a similar credibility gap from our reluctant houseguest. But this weekend was a rare moment of acknowledgement
One of our first blogs was a list of things to do when your wife is away. I came across this the other day. Enjoy.
For no particular reason, I just found this funny. Enjoy.
My mom didn’t like sports. Maybe it was because she was from Japan and didn’t understand the American sports culture. Maybe because she was a woman and didn’t get the competitive thing. Or maybe because she was a mom and just didn’t like seeing her “little boy” get hurt. As I’ve blogged before, I didn’t
Last week I wrote about wedding season and the pressures on newlyweds. This week I saw this in the mall. Enjoy.
Kids are expensive. Crazy expensive. You hear estimates all the time like “$250,000 a kid” but even that staggering number seems low. Diapers and formula, turn into cute little toddler clothes and cheerios, and all the sudden you’re buying your son a beer. Cash has hemorrhaged from my wallet for sports, college, eating out, and
As my son goes into teenage-hood, we as parents give him more and more responsibility, in the often-vain hope that he will act more and more responsible. One of the areas we’re emphasizing is time management. I can’t prove it, but I’m convinced my kid has an actual allergy to time. That or he lives
I got a kick out of this quote a while back and remembered it after reading Joe’s post this week about all the awkward questions people ask, especially at weddings. Enjoy. Have a great MPM weekend!
I just got back from my niece’s wedding. It was a very nice affair. The same weekend another niece announced that she just got engaged. All the young people getting married reminded me of the questions old people like to ask young couples. If you’ve been dating a while, the old people will start asking
With Father’s Day in the books, I thought I’d repost a blog about parenting. Enjoy. I try not to judge other parents on how they raise their kids. Recently, Amy Chua has gotten a lot of attention as the Tiger Mom. Her book details Chinese parenting techniques like forcing her daughter to practice the piano
Father’s Day is this weekend, and when asked what I want, I always reply, “I want to be left alone.” I’d love to get 24 hours where the only person I worry about or even consider is me. If I’m not hungry till 10 am, then I’m not making breakfast or eating until 10 am.
A friend just posted that his 3 1/2-year old son argued for 30 minutes that the magazine was called “The Wiggly Reader, not the Weekly Reader.” Even after showing his son (who can’t read) the magazine, Dad was still wrong. It reminded me of when my son was about the same age and thought he
We’re heading into summer and that means wedding season is upon us. True to form, my niece is getting married soon. Matt W. is also heading out west for a niece’s wedding. So I thought I’d spend some time going over the things I’ve learned about weddings. When you get married, you have to make
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. Just a few random thoughts about Mother’s Day. I remember being a kid and picking all the pretty yellow flowers in the yard and making a bouquet for my mom. She was gracious and told me how much she loved the dandelion bouquet. As a kid,
We, here at Male Pattern Madness, have documented many disadvantages of getting older: declining physical prowess, declining mental acuity, declining sharpness in more or less everything. There are however a few advantages to being middle aged. The biggest is the ability to throw money at any problem. Typically, by middle-age, men have reached a certain
We have a special treat, not just a guest blogger, but also our first female guest blogger. Today’s blog is by Laura Somers, writer/director of ManDoula, a comedy film about a commitment-phobic slacker who becomes a birth coach for men. Enjoy. Any woman who has given birth will tell you that she was grateful to
I live a comfortable life. Combined, my wife and I (mostly my wife) make enough money to have a nice house, feed our family, occasionally go on vacation. My wife hates spending money. I’m a cheap date. So between the two of us, we’re pretty good with our money. That’s why it’s always trouble when
So Joe A. once wrote about words he had learned from his wife. I thought I should write a blog about words my wife has learned from me. It was a disappointing list as all the words were made up and she rarely uses them. Next. So then I thought, I should just make a
Pretty early on as a parent, I realized that at a certain age, raising a kid is mostly managing their will to be independent. Shockingly, that age was around 18-months old. When my kid was about that age, he loved to put on his shoes by himself. “I do it,” was his trademark phrase. I’d
My wife and I recently went to a Seattle Seahawk’s game in Atlanta. As we sit down, the couple next to my wife starts to make small talk wondering, “If we came all the way from Seattle… how far of a drive is it from Tennessee… blah, blah, blah.” Who cares, we’re at a freakin
We just celebrated Thanksgiving in Las Vegas and took a quick trip to the Grand Canyon before returning to Los Angeles. At some point, my wife says, “We’re making memories.” So, I thought I’d list a couple of memories from the holidays with my family. My Japanese mother learned to cook what she thought was
Seriously people, stop it. Your 10-year old doesn’t need a cell phone. I just listened to a mom questioning whether or not to get her 10-year old child a cell phone. Even though her inclination was not to get one, she wasn’t sure how to handle it. Here’s how you handle a child asking for
I found this which is perfect for our blog. Enjoy.
I think I have been a pretty good father to my sons. But fathers can only do so much. When my sons were Joe A.’s son’s age, they were pretty much the same as his man-child. On one hand able to intelligently converse on a variety of topics, well read, and able to do various
My son recently became an official teenager. He and his buddies are very excited to be 13-years old. Me, not so much. While not subjected to the comedy/tragedy mood swings of teenage girls, there is the wide-ranging maturity swings between large toddler to small contributing member of society. There are moments when my son is
Years ago, there was a forward for the Seattle Super Sonics named Shawn Kemp. He was amazing. In the first game I saw him play, he jumped and pulled down a rebound that he literally grabbed from above the backboard. All the other players looked like mere mortals playing next to superman. He was an
I’ve been married for over 25 years. While I definitely got the better end of the deal, there have been many times when my wife literally lost her mind. Like when she was pregnant and yelled at me to clean up the dishes I left on the counter, which she had actually left on the
Hormones are a powerful thing. I can fully attest to a woman’s changes during and after pregnancy. In fact, I sort of consider it my life’s work to warn fathers-to-be of what lies ahead. Whenever we run into an expectant couple, my wife will go into her spiel extolling the virtues of breastfeeding. While she
Summer’s coming to an end and the temperatures are cooling a bit. Which in general is a good thing, but causes problems in my house because my wife and I are on different pages about how to control the thermostat. When the weather outside is hot, there’s no question the air conditioning needs to be
During an emotional exchange between my wife and my just-teenage son, among other proclamations of how much she loves him, my wife declares, “I’d die for you.” Well, of course that put an end to his argument and he begrudgingly did what she’d been asking him to do. (A pretty low blow if you ask
Overall, I imagine my children think I’m a pretty good father. But if you asked them to tell you one thing about me, they would probably say that I drove away with a pizza on the roof of my car, or that I cheat at cards. Years ago, I think I was in 9th grade,
So I clicked on some survey written by a young couple about the questions they would have liked to ask their fiancé knowing what they now know regarding the secrets to a long marriage. As they had been married all of two years and asked stupid questions I thought a marriage “veteran” should probably take
My kid loves to read. Most parents are envious of that trait. They often marvel over his voracious reading. He’ll go through novels like a regular kid goes through a bag of chips. If left to his own devices, he’d just read, eat, play video games, then read some more. But what the other parents
My wife hates to be late. She gets very tense if we’re leaving the house later than she wanted. She’ll usually insist on driving because I don’t share her sense of urgency and therefore am less willing to break every traffic law on the way to the scheduled event. It doesn’t matter what the event
Sometimes I think women are speaking a different language than men. While the words make sense grammatically, the combination of words is indeed foreign and confusing to me. Here are some examples. “Why don’t you try a veggie dog instead of a brat?” or “I threw away your favorite Seahawks sweatshirt because it had a
I resisted having a housekeeper for a long time. In California, labor is cheap. Hand car washes, yard service, and housekeeping are all very reasonably priced. I grew up working-class and feel funny about not cleaning my own house or tending my own landscape. It all feels very bourgeois. My attitude changed when I and
One of my proudest moments as a parent came when my son was in preschool. It was December and I came to pick up my kid at the end of the day. I noticed that the walls were covered with newly painted Santa Clause pictures. As a kid, I loved to draw and paint. So,
The other night I was cleaning up the dinner dishes with my daughter and we heard a blood curdling scream from upstairs. As my wife was the only other person in the house, we were pretty sure it was her. Neither of us stopped what we were doing. My wife screams like that for two
Years ago, when my middle son first started to drive, I asked my wife, “When do you think our kids will realize that getting a free ride everywhere is a way better deal than driving in a car you have to pay for?” So far none of my children have figured it out. I don’t
My daughter just picked up her drivers permit a few weeks ago. Scary. Young kids out on the road freak me out. Between their incessant texting and their general lack of awareness, it’s a miracle there aren’t more accidents. My daughter knows that if I ever catch her texting and driving, she won’t drive again
Rachael H.D. She’s perfect. Now, before all you guys type in Rachael HD into your web browser to see my new friend in all her High Definition glory, HD stands for Home Depot. I did home improvement projects this weekend. I put in a new bathroom in the basement and a variety of other projects
I co-worker of mine made this rap video about being a dad. Enjoy.
One of the best parts about writing a blog is I get to talk to Joe A. on a fairly regular basis. While we try to separate our conversations from the rest of our lives, many times our wives or children walk through the background of our conversations. Usually, I can make out his wife’s
In honor of Labor Day, we’ve decided to not work this week. But we found this picture about how to get your kids to work. Enjoy.
Well, recently my daughter’s teammates were lightheartedly making fun of her and another girl for wearing granny panties. Seriously? I was at the Victoria Secret with my wife when she bought my daughter’s underwear, and let’s just say you could make 15 pair of her panties out of one pair of my boxers. When I
To finish off the week of Father’s Day, here’s a little something I found for all the dads (including stepdads) who read our blog. Hope you had a good week.
In honor of Father’s Day, I’m going to give you a little peek inside my kid’s head. Here are a few of the questions he’s asked and some of my follow-ups. If you could have any animal as a pet what would you get? An emu. What? Wrong, you should have said dragon. Would you
At brunch with friends, my wife declares, “Mating for life is hard.” She expounded on her hypothesis with this gem, “In the old days, people only lived to be 50, so by the time you got sick of them at 40, you figured ‘What the hell, I only have 10 more years.” I know exactly
In honor of Eugene Polley, the inventor of the remote control, I’ve reposted this blog (from Oct. 2011). Women like to make fun of men for being so attached to the television remote. Our wives and girlfriends taunt us as they wave the remote out of our reach. Well, here is the truth. There’s a
Eugene Polley died of natural causes last Sunday at the age of 96. Most of the hundreds of millions of men he impacted over the years, didn’t even know who he was, but his many inventions make him a true icon in the lives of middle-aged men. But there is one invention that makes him
10. Kal-El Cage: At least Nicholas Cage really is a big comic book fan. And I’ll give him that Kal-El is Superman’s Krypton name. So, naming his son Kal-El is not a bad association, but come on. 9. Diva Thin Muffin Zappa: Next to Ahmet, Diva is the most normal name Frank Zappa has for
I walked by the TV while my wife was watching American Idol and one of the contestants was named Phil Phillips. Phillip Phillips. What horrible and/or lazy parents. One of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made was what to name my son. I had no idea how hard it would be. Our name is something
Boys are different than girls. That’s the end of it. There was a time a few decades ago when they tried to prove that the differences between boys and girls was just the way we were brought up, but now there’s pretty clear evidence that a lot of the difference is hardwired into our brains.
Here’s a little cartoon from Chris Slane’s book “Blokes, Jokes & Sheds.” Enjoy.
This blog was suggested by a female reader of Male Pattern Madness who noticed a similarity between her late husband, her current husband and her nephew, Bill. None of them wanted or want any help on handyman projects while she’s around. In fact, both her husbands would drop their hands to their sides and instantly
I made a bonfire the other day. There had been a series of storms that had made it through our neighborhood over the past year and I had my boys pile up all the fallen branches into a huge pile. My oldest made a nice starter tower and my other son made another pile right
Each summer, my son and I have a general theme. Nothing big, just something to give our time a little educational direction. For example, one summer was Warrior Summer. We picked Friday night movies based on knights in shining armor or kung fu masters or samurais. Books from the library had some sort of warrior
My kid has a lot of friends in the Boy Scouts. (For some reason, he hasn’t been interested in joining.) One thing the scouts are doing right now is getting pocket-knives. They are doing their whittling chit, merit badge thing. And it seems like I got my first pocket-knife around the same age. So, it’s
I’ve never scene this show but somehow it knows what we’re thinking. Enjoy the clip.
My wife, my son, and I were in the kitchen and my wife makes a general comment about something. I correct her, and she reiterates that what she said was correct. I change the subject. Well now, my son is standing on the other side of the room chuckling. My wife asks what’s up and
There are lots of things fathers teach their sons. Some bad things, but mostly things that boys need to know to be successful among other boys or in the world. It can be something simple like how to skip a stone across water or something socially important like which urinal to pick in a public
Well, so comes to an end “Women are Crazy and Men are Stupid” week at Male Pattern Madness. As many of you know Joe A and I have known each other for a long time and I happen to remember where his mantra started. Many years ago, a group of us kids from high school
I always tell my children “Buy a good individual tool instead of a cheap set that happens to have the tool you need in it.” I speak from experience. When you’re starting out you always want to fill up your tool box, and those poorly chromed sets of tools look so inviting. Also, why would
Growing up, my father was pretty handy around the house. He could fix all types of things, plumbing, electrical, carpentry. My mother would always force me to go hang out with him and “learn something.” Despite my best efforts, I actually did learn some things. In fact enough things, that I’m supremely confident at taking
Spoiler Alert: This blog discusses Santa Claus. My kid is 11 years old. That’s old enough right? He can’t still believe in Santa Claus can he? I was 6 when a neighbor boy told me Santa wasn’t real. But I’m not sure if my kid doesn’t believe anymore. I can’t really ask him. My wife
There is only one thing better than holiday meals, holiday leftovers. I love leftovers. They are way better than the actual meal. My son is off at college and my wife asked what he wanted for the Thanksgiving meal, and he said “I want a big enough turkey that I can have a huge turkey
Since caveman days there have been honey-do lists. “Honey, I would like you to kill the Saber-tooth Tiger outside the cave, its terrorizing the kids; roll that large wheel looking boulder out of the cave; and while you’re at it throw out the Mammoth bones that are in the corner. It kills my back when
“Hey dad, I need your help. Name five different ways that courage was used in the first half of my book, and at least one of them has to be about Scout.” There was nothing in middle school I couldn’t handle, so my daughter’s experience with me has been that I know everything. High school
Years ago, a man would be roasted on a stick if he suggested a woman’s mood was related to her menstrual cycle. So, even though every man knew something was up, we kept those heretical thoughts to ourselves. Then a scientific study came that described PMS and overnight women reveled in the notion that there
I saw this and laughed a lot. Even though it’s by a woman (Cathy Thorne), she clearly understands men.
“Dad, do you want to know what’s really expensive? Milk.” These wise words were uttered by my son who recently went off to college. As a father, it is always nice when your kids learn valuable life lessons, but any pertaining to your own wallet are especially nice. “And juice is really expensive too, it’s
Recently, my wife and I were spending time with another couple and the other wife starts talking about “Goddess Empowerment.” Turns out, a few months ago, she attended a retreat for women using the history of goddesses throughout different cultures to help model a powerful behavior for themselves while dealing with life’s issues. Strength, bravery,
As a child, I would much rather sit inside and color, read comics or play board-games than be dragged outside for a game of baseball or basketball. I didn’t really grow into my body until middle school or high school and found my sports interest at around the same time. But by then it was
My Inner Child badly needs more play dates. Whether it’s the terrible economy, or aggravating do-nothing Congress or the depressing state of my career, the little boy in me lately wants to drop all adult concerns and come out to play. And play. And play. In fact, my Inner Child wants to completely take over
I know my kid can hear me. We’ve had him tested. I know every parent goes through this. I’ve talked to them. But it is still annoying to give instructions and realize he hasn’t heard a single word beyond, “Listen, I want you to…”. Now to be fair, he isn’t just “not hearing” our calls
While wasting time online, I found this Dad’s Life video. There is no affiliation other than I like it, so I thought I’d share.
The other day my son was going through his treasure drawer, a drawer were he keeps all the interesting things he finds. Peeking into my kid’s drawer was like peeking into my childhood. I remember having a cigar box full of my worldly treasures, all of which are gone. But some I remember fondly like
The other day, I overheard one of my 10-year-old’s friends using the F-word. This particular boy has older brothers and is also advanced in the use of words relating to sexual anatomy. I calmly stand in the doorway and explain how, “In this house, we try not to use those words.” I knew I couldn’t
My kid was playing a computer game and I heard frustrated moaning and groaning. “This computer is too slow.” I ignore his general complaint. “Dad, I can’t play this game. The computer doesn’t go fast enough.” I give my best dad shrug, “Yep.” “We need a new computer.” This comment sets me off into the
While on a long car trip with another couple, the wives end up in a conversation discussing which movie stars they find attractive. I think their actual word was “yummy.” The usual suspects appear-—Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington, George Clooney, etc. Inevitably, the wives turn to the husbands and ask, “Who do you think is hot?”
Every time my wife goes out of town for business she is stressed. First, she always tries to clean off her to do list completely, including all the items that haven’t really mattered for the last 4 weeks. Because of all her last minute tasks, she always leaves packing to the very last minute, typically
I have the greatest wife ever! Bar none! Last year, we were debating replacing our old Standard Def tube TV with a bigger flat panel HD TV. But our different price expectations had put my wife and I in a state of inertia. Then just as I was tired of seeing only half a face
We all know the moment our wife says those magic words, “I’ll be gone for a few days,” our minds reel with ideas of things to do the moment she walks out that door. 10. Head to the grocery store for foods your wife won’t let you eat: chocolate covered donuts, regular calorie beer, fully
I wish humans were as evolved as lizards. I was surfing through the channels the other night, and as is generally the case, a cool nature show caught my eye. There was this lizard that could change the color of its skin, but instead of matching to its surroundings like other chameleons, this lizard changed
This humor blog is dedicated to the fellow Y-chromosomes out there who are stuck in the middle of life. Between our athletic peak and our aching back. Between our corporate overlords and the ungrateful employees we manage. Between, our demon offspring, our crotchety parents, and our wives/ex-wives/girlfriends/2nd wives/partners. For women who stumble upon this site: