Running Man

The Running Man in all his glory.

The Running Man in all his glory.

I’m running in a marathon on Sunday. Well, I’m running the second half of a marathon, to be exact. And the coolest part about running a half-marathon is telling everyone that you’re running in a half-marathon.

Me: “Yeah, I’d love to hang out, but I’ve gotta train for this half-marathon I’m running. No biggie.”

Usual response: “I didn’t ask you to hang out.”

I ran the marathon last year too, but that time I only ran the relay part, meaning I ran the final quarter of the race. I took the last leg because it was the flattest and shortest part. It also meant I crossed the finish line, and I’m a bit of a glory hound. Okay, I’m a lot of a glory hound. I even covered my bib number as I finished—that way I could fool people into thinking I had run the whole race. And, oddly enough, I sort of looked like I had. It was supposed to rain and like a genius I decided to run in a raincoat – a hot, steamy, dehydrating and totally unnecessary on this rain-free morning rain coat. I was haggard as hell come the finish line.

And then I got a medal, which was really cool … for all of five seconds. Then I remembered I had really only accomplished one-fourth of an amazing feat. It kind of deflated my victory. Yay me.

But this year, I’m going for the whole half! That’s 13.1 miles of jogging (okay, shuffling) through the flats of Oakland. Honestly, it’s been a grind. I’m not the svelte athlete of my childhood. I have a new ACL, the occasional bout of gout and a rather permanent case of stomach fat. I have excuses. But I’m not going to need them, because I am going to finish—NAY I am going to dominate the field! It’s a race, and I plan on winning. (I also plan to redefine “winning,” thereby enabling me to “win.”)

I’ve put in my training. I stretched a few times. I ate Ibuprofen and iced my limbs. I don’t want it to be too easy, so beer and pizza consumption has remained consistent. I think my wife wants to have sex tonight. I’m going to turn her down for the first time ever. I hear professional boxers don’t do it before fights—and running is basically the exact same thing—so I’m not gonna do it. I’m that committed.

Now that my body is right, it’s time to finalize my mental approach. I’m visualizing success. I will sprint the final 50 feet, and hopefully pass at least one person during that grueling stretch. In my mind, it will be a lean, rugged, cheetah-like human. I will extend my arms behind my body and lean into the finish, energizing and elating the adoring masses gathered in anticipation of my triumph. Chances are better that I’ll crossing the finish line in a heated battle with a geriatric pushing a stroller as the cleanup crew follows closely behind. Nevertheless, I will talk respectful shit to this elderly person, get my medal and promptly begin my post-race vomiting. It’s going to be pretty amazing one way or another. Be there, or miss something truly remarkable.

Thanks in advance for the support.

The Big Prefontaine-Acado

photo (2)

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Man of Leisure


My father is a sage old man. He has provided my countless lessons to live by:

• Always send a thank-you letter.

• Never start eating till everyone is served.

• If you get a tattoo, it better come with a new house to live in. Same goes for piercings (especially the tongue).

• If you think a girl is about to dump you, you’ve got to dump her first.

• Never, and I mean NEVER, quit a job unless you have a new one lined up.

I’ve followed most of these, but failed to take heed of the last, which is possibly most important. After 10 years of dedication to Sports4Kids/Playworks, I decided to take my talents to the home front, where I work super hard, and get paid super nothing. It’s been two (possibly three) weeks since I left my job, and while I haven’t really jumped into the job search yet, I’ve been thinking about my strengths, my skills and what I can bring to my next position.

The following is the short list.

1. Sense of humor- superb. I can laugh at anything—me, you, my kids, you some more. See? I’m fun!

2. I excel at lunch. I’m absolutely brilliant at eating. My ballooning weight is evidence. As are my daughter’s observations:

Me: Lucy, did you have fun on the slide?

Lucy: Yes, but you can’t go on it, because you’re too fat.

Me: What did you just say to me?

Lucy: Well, Dad, the slide is skinny.

Me: Oh, you mean I’m too wide, or too big to go on the slide?

Lucy: Yes. And fat.

3. Well-rested, full of energy and ready to take on the world! In preparation for new work I’ve tried to recharge by taking a nap every day since leaving my job. I’ve been hugely successful … at napping.

4. I am fluent in English. I even have a degree in it. Unfortunately, I’m unaware of any position that values such a useful and well-rounded degree.

5. I’m very organized. I can organize a happy hour group at, say, 3:30 or
4 p.m. on almost any day of the week. Every office needs one of those guys, right? I can also organize a fantasy football league and/or NCAA pool.

6. I’m a super conversationalist. People are always like, “Is that the Big Avocado at the water cooler? I want to talk to him.” They ask with earnest enthusiasm. I’m that great at conversation.

7. I’m uber creative (which you can tell because I use words like “uber”). I think I’m one of just a few people in the world with their own blog. People even read it, sometimes.

8. I has atention two detale. Nothings get bye this guy.

9. My wife is pretty. I’ll bring her to any work outing. She’s frequently been referred to as “my greatest asset.”

10. Let me think about it. There’s gotta be a 10th asset. No one makes nine-point lists. Oh yeah—that’s it! I’m good at lists.

I don’t want to brag too much on this forum, but keep your eyes peeled and ears to the street. If not for me, do it for my dad. I talked to him today:

Dad: Why is it that one of my kids always has to be unemployed? Billy gets a job and you QUIT yours? Why do you kids do this to me?

Me: I didn’t quit. I retired.

Dad: Good God. Before I die I’d love to know that all my kids are either wonderful homemakers or are gainfully employed.

Me: You’re in luck—I’m currently the former!

Dad: … Shit.

–The Bum-Ass Avocado.

DISCLAIMER: If you are a prospective employer and this is your first look at my actual skill set, please give me a second chance. I’m good at a few other things too. I just have to think of what they are—wink, wink.

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Future CEO

Don't let the smile fool you. this negotiation ended with Pop Pop handing over the last 2 M&M's

Don’t let the smile fool you. This negotiation ended with Pop Pop handing over the last 2 M&M’s

Lucy owns me. And one day she’ll own you. She’s been engineered to take over the world. (Or at least a company near you.) And while her attributes will very likely mean she will completely and utterly dominate the professional realm, well … they can be challenging to parent.

Example 1: She is a mean negotiator.

A few nights ago, I was roughly two hours into a deep and satisfying slumber when Lucy tiptoed into my room, got up in my grill and tapped me on my nose. I woke with a surge of adrenaline and confusion, thinking my home was being invaded or I was witness to some type of paranormal activity. Nope, it was just her first negotiating tactic: Catch your opponent off guard.

Lucy: I’m bored.

Me: It’s the middle of the night. You’re supposed to be bored.

Lucy: I’m going to sleep in your bed tonight.

Me: You’re getting back in your bed, right now.

Her second negotiating tactic: Let your actions do the talking.


Me: SHHHH!! SHHHHH!!! Lucy, LUCY—please stop. Please stop screaming. You need to sleep in your own bed.

Lucy: Why?

Me: Because if you don’t, I’m taking away your dresses for the next week.

Lucy: Ok. I’m going to wear my long fancy shirt. That’s kind of a like a dress. I love you daddy.

And before I knew it, she was asleep in my bed. I think I even apologized to her. She’s smarter than I am.

Example 2: She knows how to cut through the bullshit.

We were about to leave for school. I suggested a trip to the potty.

Lucy: I don’t have to go.

Me: Lucy, get on the potty.

Lucy (in a tempered voice that sounded like Kermit the Frog speaking through a kazoo under his breath): Stop bossing me.

Me: What was that?

Lucy (in same voice but louder and marginally more audible): You’re bossing me, dad.

Me: That’s because I’m the boss.

I dragged her into the potty and broke into a diatribe.

Me: Lucy, this is for your benefit. You need to listen to your body and make good decisions, and you need to stop fighting me. Why are we even having this conversation?

She looked at me with puppy dog eyes, and raised both palms to the sky with a shoulder shrug and said, “Well Dad, you know. Blah blah blah.”

She “blah blah blahed” me! I fought off the smile and hysterical laughter, determined to maintain a stern upper hand. But in this moment of pause, I was hit with the realization that she was actually right. My logical argument was really just a bunch of blah.

We did not go to the potty.

Example 3: She likes to win.

My wife recently taught her how to play Go Fish. She picked it up quickly—you have to be cunning if you’re going to run a company someday—and by the third game, she legitimately won, though not very gracefully.

Lucy: Mom, did you want to win the game?

Marie: I wanted to have fun.

Lucy: Did you try to match all of your cards?

Marie: Why are you asking me?

Lucy: I matched all of my cards. You should have matched your cards too.

Marie: I’m glad you enjoyed the game.

Lucy: You were supposed to match your cards. I did.

Marie: I’m not sure I want to play with you if you are going to make me feel bad about losing.

Lucy: Do you feel bad because I matched all of my cards? Did you think you were going to win the game?

Marie: Do you want to play again?

Lucy: I bet you want to match your cards this time.

Marie (to me): Your turn, Dad.

So to all future employers – take note. She’s the total package, but hire with caution. Because if she wants your job, she’ll eventually get it. She has her ways.

–The Big Papa Avocado, Executive Assistant.

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It’s been a year since my last Thanksgiving with my mom. Life goes on, and I thought I might reflect. I was in Milwaukee a year ago – setting a table and decorating the house, waiting for my mom to die. Not in a “I can’t stand her” kind of way, but more in an inevitability sense. She was relegated to a wheel chair, steroids fueling her energy and desire for sliders. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find sliders? I made them one night, and my mom had a little critical feedback:

Mom: These burgers are over-cooked, cold, and dry. It is the tri-fecta of crap.

Me: They’re pink, warm and smothered in mayo and ketchup.

Mom: Crap.

Me: Oh mom – I’m so glad cancer spared your sense of humor.

She’d built a life-time of good will and some brain damaged hating wasn’t going to ruin anything. Besides – those sliders were the bomb. Ask anyone. They’ll remember my mom talking shit (but if their taste buds could talk, they’d give me props.)

We all held hands and said something like Grace. And then we all ate our last Thanksgiving meal with my mom, sort of falling asleep, springing to consciousness only to tell me I’d had enough to drink, and no one cared how long I could hold two dictionaries on my extended palms face up.

Me: Mom – feats of strength! Aren’t you rooting for me? Go- Stephen! Go -Stephen!

Mom: Go – to bed. You’re drunk.

Well, the joke was on her. I wheeled her to bed and there wasn’t much more she could say about it.

I always miss her, but holidays are certainly the hardest. Fortunately I have a really fantastic network of support, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank a few of them.

You the man pops!

Let me start with Dad. A lot of things changed after mom died. My dad had to figure out what type of store sold toothpaste, how the washing machine worked and where to buy a new belt. He lost a lot of weight around that time, and I actually witnessed him try to pierce an extra hole in his now oversized belt…while wearing it…with a cork screw. He’s actually one of the smartest people I know despite that last little story.

We’d avoided the “ball-your-eyes-out” moment for a day or two when my dad asked me if I wanted to talk. I told him that I’d become accustomed to a certain amount of flattery, misguided trust, admiration and an unmeasurable amount of love from my mother over the years. He would need to pick up the slack in her absebnce. And he has. So thank you dad.

The usual suspects

Children (Lucy and Kaya): You are the cycle of life. Your grandma KK lives on in both of you. Thank you for that daily reminder.

The cycle of life is a little confusing. Explaining birth is hard enough. Not sure who actually explained Heaven to her, but all she knows is that’s where KK now lives. In fact – she explained it to me.

Lucy: Dad. KK is in heaven.

Me: Oh yeah? Great. I hear it’s really nice there.

Lucy: Dead things go to heaven.

Me: That is what they say.

Lucy: Dogs die. And they go to heaven.

Me: Well – sure, why not?

Lucy: Car keys that don’t work go to heaven.

Me: Hmmm. I don’t know if I agree.

Lucy: If they don’t work, than they are dead. And then they go to heaven.

3 Year olds are seldom wrong, so I didn’t pick this one up.

Thank you for bringing the distraction and joy of child rearing.

Bro Man – I love you too

My brother. My brother is one of those dudes that dodges a high-5 and goes straight for the hug. He non-discrimantly ends conversations with “I love you.”

Cable Guy: So, you’ve got HBO, Showtime and Cinemax.

Michael: Thanks. I love you.

Cable Guy: It’s gonna cost you an extra $75 a month.

Michael: Alright, fine. That sucks. I love you.

He means it. He is a real loving, and hugging dude. I think the best reason to have 2 kids is because you really need a sibling when a parent dies. He was the “Student Dr.” during the whole ordeal – something we will never be able to adequately thank him enough for. We also share a dark humor – which is remarkably helpful in the most trying of times.

Michael: I think I’m going to take mom’s car when she’s gone.

Me: You sure? It’s got cancer all over it.

Michael – I hadn’t thought about that. <pause> Yeah, I’m going to take it. Thanks for the thought. I love you.

Michael and family (wife and awesome wife’s family) – Thank you.

I wonder where Lucy gets it from.

Wife: You win. You are basically the only thing that held this clan together. I barely raised KK during her first 3 months of life – and she’s turned out amazingly. Lucy – I’m sorry I ever meddled in your development.

For real – my wife is the best. She’s that pretty girl I walk around with and other people think “He must have accidentally got her pregnant,” or, “How is this shrimp with a hot chick? Life is so unfair.” Or, most likely of all, “I’m sure that’s her brother – kind of creepy how they hold hands and steal kisses.” It’s true – I hit the jackpot of caring, supportive and good looking women. Thanks for everything (especially being hot (just kidding (not.)))

Everyone else. I really am grateful for all my friends and family. I’ve got the best of both. Thank you for being a part of my life – past, present and future.

Happy Thanksgiving.

–The Big Avocado

Yeah. That’s me – bad haircut and all.

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The Other Kid

Happiness is…

I’ve got two kids. I usually write about Lucy because she’s good material. The other one, not so much.

Her name is Kaya Kohler Fox (aka “KK”), named in loving memory of my mother’s “grandma name”—odd tribute, I know.

Anyway, Kaya spoke her first word today, and it made me realize I hadn’t written a single embarrassing blog about her since her birth. This is probably because she is sort of perfect—which makes for bad material on a humor blog—so I’m going to write a nice one instead.

Kaya had one hell of a time getting born. We almost lost her a number of times. My wife had what is called a subchorionic hematoma which basically amounted to some scary horror flick stuff (think blood) of which I’ll spare you any further details. We blubbered in bed, lamenting how badly we had wanted this kid to work out, and wept at the realization that we would need to try again.

We went to the doctor and explained what had happened. And with an all-too-knowing face, our doctor said, “Well, let’s see what’s going on.”

Enter giant wand with condom attached, and what would you know—a heartbeat. A normal-sized baby. What the fudge?

Doctor: Well, I don’t know what to say. The baby looks fine. Here’s the  <doctor jargon diagnosis blah blah blah> and it looks like everything is going to be ok.

We went and bought lotto tickets.

We had just settled into the thought that everything just might work out. And then another “what the shit” fright fest occured. “Fuck you world!” I thought to myself. Next day, we went to the doctor again. And again, with the embarrassingly large dick-shaped vagina-wand we saw the heartbeat.

Fast forward 7 months, which amounts to 41 weeks (1 week overdue) and my mom, rest her soul, was in the about-to-die part of the hospital, and our little survivor refused to join the world. We still intended to do the home-birth thing—but that’s hard to do without labor. My wife actually drank castor oil to get it going. Remember the scene in “Stand by Me” when “Lard-Ass” gets his revenge by eating raw eggs, castor oil and a bunch of blueberry pies and barfs all over everyone? Well, that was the same tactic we deployed, except my wife was trying to barf a child out of her vagina. It didn’t work. So we wound up at a hospital a week later, and a doctor with incredibly large fingers and ever-so-soft hands delivered our baby—Kaya.

And here we are 10 months later, in Hawaii with a little kiddo that is so fucking cute I’m in danger of actually seasoning her with some Lawry’s and eating her. She looks exactly like her sister did, which is funny, because everyone said Lucy looked just like me (or at least a beautiful girl version of me), and everyone says Kaya looks exactly like Lucy, but no one says Kaya looks like me. Don’t quite know what to make of that.

I do know she is happy. Really happy. She smiles full-time. She passes my lone litmus test for friendship—in order for me to like you, you have to like me. She rarely cries, and—I swear to God—when she does, all I need to do is ask her to stop, and she stops. She sleeps a lot. She crawls like a toy doll, which is fucking cute, too. She’s got some jack-o’-lantern teeth popping out, and her favorite food is avocado. (I shit you not. And when she’s done eating, she rubs the remaining avocado in her hair for later.) Basically, she’s got the attitude of, “I’m just happy to be here.” which makes sense.

The cycle of life – one goes out, one comes in.

My mom got to meet her, kind of. She had some serious brain damage from the cancer by the time she passed, but she held Kaya—and smiled. She got to show her off a little bit too. We had lots of visitors in those final days, and my mom reserved a little piece of her functioning brain to tell people about what a cute little granddaughter she had, named … “Lucy”

Me: Mom, it’s Kaya.

Mom: Whatever.

I like to think that my mom keeps an eye on us. Not when I’m acting a fool, or masturbating, but lots of other times. My daughter’s smile reminds me of her humor and happiness. My kid’s early wakeup call after a night of drinking assures me that my mom is present in spirit—obnoxious, persistent spirit.

My mom died on New Year’s Eve. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I think it’s probably because of my amazing family—my wife and kids, my dad (who certainly deserves a blog or two), my siblings, cousins, friends and even this dog I got that smells like butthole but makes me happy. All of these people remind me of what makes life so wonderful. This wonder reminds me of my mom, and because of it, she never feels too far away.

Oh yeah—and Kaya spoke her first word. We were looking at this Koi pond, and she pointed at the fish and said “Jork.” It was very intentional—not babble. “Jork” was her first word. (As great as she is, she’s still kind of dumb.)

Feed me.

Give her time. After all, she is half mine.


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Pop Quiz

I recently told a friend contemplating fatherhood, “You know what? Having kids is totally amazing. It’s awesome. It’s why the word awesome exists. Also, not having kids is totally awesome too.”

I like to warn inform my friends of what it’s like to be a parent. Every day is like a pop quiz. They test your knowledge, strength, patience, restraint and your capacity to love unconditionally (which, fortunately, you find you do no matter what cause they’re your kids).

You don’t always pass these tests. Even my wife occasionally stumbles. We’re into that new age stuff where you tell the truth to your kids when they ask you questions. I’m inclined to lie when it comes to the tough ones, but apparently lying to your kids is no longer in vogue. So sometimes you’re forced to deal with questions armed only with the truth. Lucy asked my wife with the following yesterday:

“How do babies get in stomachs? And after they get there, how do they get out?”

Wife: Well, Lucy, I, uh, that’s an interesting question. You see, people have genes which are a map of your body. And boys have sperm, and girls have eggs and they get together, and then they become a baby. Get it?

Lucy: So, boys have jeans?

Wife: No. Boys have sperm.

Lucy, nodding her head in understanding, whispers: Sperm.

I’d have gone with “Sex…” and then quickly left the house. I’m 99% sure the word sperm will be spoken at pre-school in the next several days, and I will let my wife field the school’s questions as well. Regardless, I applaud her efforts. It wasn’t the greatest answer but it sufficed, and it was complicated enough that Lucy forgot about there “how does it get out” part which might be a little confusing for a 3.5 year old. I’ve seen it “get out” twice – and it’s kind of confusing for me too.

My wife is a really good and thoughtful parent. I tend to struggle a little bit more. As much as I love that little devil angel, sometimes a girl needs to know that if she gets out of bed again, her dad is going to set all of her dresses on fire.

I know. I’m a psycho. Further proof… The other day she talked me into a bike ride, which I knew would turn into a bike walk, quickly followed by a bike carry-on-my-back. I knew it was coming, so I shouldn’t have been too mad when it happened. But I was.

Five minutes into the bike ride, Lucy tugs on my pants.

Lucy: Dad, will you carry my bike? I’m too tiiiired.

Me: I am zero percent surprised.

Lucy: Me too.

Me: You don’t even know what that means.

Lucy: You are zero!

Me: I don’t want to carry your bike.

Lucy begins to spasm.

“But I nee-ee-ee-eed you to carry it!” (Each “ee” was separated by a convulsing body warning of total meltdown, like aftershocks on an earthquake, except in reverse. Or maybe the tremble of a volcano before an eruption. Yeah, that makes more sense. She was like that.)

And so I said: FINE! I’ll carry it, but this is why I didn’t want to bring it along.

Lucy (meekly): Can you take off my helmet?

Me: HA! And carry that too? Wrong. WRONG!

We start walking up a hill. She’s dragging ass like she hasn’t had water in days and is stuck in the middle of the Sahara.

Lucy: Daaaaaddyyyy! Go slower. Carry my helllmet.

Me: You expect me to carry your sister, your bike, walk the dog AND carry your helmet?

Lucy: Yes.

Me: No.

I mistakenly took her silence for acceptance, so when she snuck her helmet on to the handlebars of the bike I was carrying over my shoulder, I went a little psycho killer, qu’est-que c’est, on her.

Me: Guess what? I’m going to put your bike in the garbage.


Me: Fine-fine-fine-FINE-FINE!! I won’t throw your bike away. Carry your helmet though.


“Fuck it” I tried to mumble. It sounded like a muffled sneeze. A profane muffled sneeze.

We got home right when mom did.

Wife: Hey gang! You guys been having fun?

Me: You betcha. Went on a bike ride, then a walk, and then I carried all of her shhhhhtuff home.

Lucy: Yeah, and Daddy said he was going to put my bike in the garbage.

Wife: [Glares at me with “who-did-I-marry?” eyes.]

Like I said—a daily pop quiz. Sometimes you fail.

-The Big Avocado.

<Coming soon: Little Avocado Part Deux: A year in review >

Spoiler: It’s awesome.

PS – Thanks to everyone who actually asked me to write another blog. I know it’s not my best – but I’ll get there. Shout out to: Winky John, Friedo (sp?), Jamal Tang, the artist formerly known as MCKC, Smash, Trotsky, Linder, T-Bear, Tronic and everyone else who thought it even if you never said it. And double props if you’re actually reading this. Big ups!

Also, here’s what we look like:

The Foxes in low-def. Truth be told – we like each other – bike helmets and all.

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The White Horse

The White Horse, AKA - The Ho - for those in the know.

I am a man. Maybe not a man’s man, but a man nonetheless; a man who shares far too much about himself.

I am a friend. I have friends of all shapes and sizes, beliefs and colors; including the gay color which is a rainbow.

I am a husband. I am married to a woman. I enjoy having sexual relations with her, and despite my uncanny ability to arrange flowers, pick out the cutest postcards and critique the hell out of Project Runway—I am not gay.

I am a father to a couple kids, one of whom is in preschool. That means she has teachers. As fate would have it, I am also the father that went to the gay bar and ran into his daughter’s teacher.

My buddy was in town, and we wanted to go out with our mutual friends. They’re all gay, and I’m just a free bird, so we went to the White Horse—Oakland’s gayest. It was gay, and I mean that in a yabba-dabba kinda way. We were having a blast.

A few drinks in, I approached the bar and locked eyes with a young lady. We were deep in one of those, “I know you, don’t I?” kind of stares, when suddenly I realized I was in a stare-down with my daughter’s preschool teacher. I should have gone to the bathroom, or gone home, but instead, I went and said—”Hey Lucy’s teacher, what brings you here?”

The obvious answer was, “I’m here to be gay and drink alcohol.” What I didn’t realize when I opened my mouth (I might have been drunk, but you can’t prove it) is that when you ask someone, “what brings you here?”—well, the other person could ask you the very same thing.

It got weird.

Teacher: Hey Lucy’s dad. Funny seeing you here.

Me: Yeah—funny. I was just laughing, ’cause this situation is funny.

Teacher: Boundaries are kind of weird. I didn’t expect to run into you—not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Suddenly I was in a bind. She assumed I was gay. And because I assumed she was gay, it wasn’t like I could set the record straight by saying, “Just so you know, I’m not gay.” At least, not without coming across as homophobic. So I just went with it.

Me: I’m having a fabulous time.

Teacher: Oh yeah?

Me: Yeah, I’m here with these four guys, having a good time. Just drinking, you know—doing adult stuff.

I don’t think that cleared anything up.

She went into a talk about boundaries and frequently used words like “normal” and “surprised” and made comments like, “I had no idea”—to which I made no clarifying remarks. I was in the thick of a sexually confusing situation. Part of me felt like explaining myself, and the other part of me felt no need. I wasn’t embarrassed or ashamed. To the contrary—I’m quite comfortable in the gay bar setting (with the lone exception of the bathroom at Moby Dicks’ where a penis-high mirror hangs above the urinal).

So I just told her to pretend like I wasn’t there, and to go have fun, and maybe I would see her on the dance floor. And that if I broke out the worm or the white-guy robot, I hoped she would cheer for me. She cracked a smile, which eased the tension. But that didn’t last long.

I returned to me buddies and explained the situation, which they obviously thought was awesome. Moments later, the teacher returned with ANOTHER teacher from her school, as if I was an exhibit at the zoo. I tried to steer the conversation toward my daughter:

Me: So, how’s Lucy doing at school? Still peeing her pants?

Teacher 2: No. She’s great. But I don’t really like to talk about students at the bar. Are you having (pause and scanning look to the 4 gay men at my table) a good time?

Me: Best time of my life.


Teacher 2: Well, good to see you.

Me: Yup.

At this point, I had a decision to make—overtly display my heterosexuality and make comments like:

I sure love having sex with women; I mean my wife—who’s a woman. ’Cause that’s what straight guys do. Love, absolutely love BJs from women.


Can I get you anything? I’m gonna get a chardonnay.

Or, even more fun:

Me: So, teachers—don’t tell my wife about this—let’s just keep this between us.

Instead I came with the ambiguous—”See you on the dance floor. And if Prince comes on, forgive my shirtless ‘Hammer dance.’ It’s just how I do.”

The next time my wife was at the school, she made a point of approaching the teacher to say, “Heard you saw my husband at the bar?” I’m most comfortable in uncomfortable situations, so I encouraged her to say something like, “I love him no matter what he masturbates to.” But instead she simply said, “He told me he had fun. Then we had straight-people sex.”

She didn’t say that, but it would have been great if she did. Oh well, I love her anyway. You know. Because I’m not gay.


The Hetero-cado

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Thoughts on Valentine’s Day

WARNING: This post contains explicit material.

St. Valentine's Day. Don't hate.

So, hating on Valentine’s Day feels a little played out—and frankly, I don’t get it. I hear the standard, “It’s a made-up holiday,” or “Happy Hallmark Day,” or my favorite, “I love you every day so I don’t need a holiday to show it.”

To me, Valentine’s Day means something completely different. It’s an opportunity to get some sex. Yeah, I’m married, and yeah, I’ve got two kids, so science would reason that I’ve had sex at least twice. And this isn’t to say that we don’t have a healthy amount of sex, but a holiday designed to give me a freebie? Sign me up.

Think about it—a romantic holiday. Romance is synonymous with sex. Ergo, a sex holiday. And to think people have the nerve to bitch about it.

“Woe is me, I have to trade some flowers and chocolate for a BJ.”

“Corporate America is capitalizing on my relationship.”

Uh, what? Granted, it’s not quite as straightforward as Steak and a BJ Day (March 14, coming up!)—but it’s not too far off either.

Now, to be fair—I am being a little hypocritical here. In years past I was Mr. Poo-Poo when it came to the festivities.

Me: You didn’t get me anything for Valentine’s Day, right?

Wife: No. I’d ask the same of you, but I’m sure I don’t need to.

Me: Isn’t it sweet how well we know each other?

Well, this year I flipped it on her. I arranged all the necessary festivities required to get me a blow job romantic evening.

First, I bought a gift (cue the  Big Pun “I’m Not a Player” music)—sunglasses to shield her pretty eyes from the shine of my game. Next, I made a chalkboard-sized Valentine card:

Do art. Get sex. Easy-peasy.


Upon receiving her gifts she started to cry.

Me: Baby, it’s just some shades.

Wife: I know. It’s just that you’ve never gotten me anything for Valentine’s Day before. You’re the greatest Valentine ever!

(Obviously, in the 15 years we’ve been together, I’ve set the bar really low.)

But who cares! Check and mate! I totally got some! In your face everyone who didn’t!

If you take anything at all from this post (aside from the fact that I’m a mack-daddy and you’re a buster, and bragging about sex never gets old, even if you’re married), take this: never, nevernevernever look a gift horse in the mouth. I don’t know what a gift horse looks like, but if you ever meet one keep your eyes averted. And if someone makes up a holiday to help you get some sex, quit your bitching. Don’t pay for sex. Pay for overpriced roses and chocolates and trade it for sex.

You’re welcome for the wisdom.

The Big Romanti-cado.

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How to Talk to a Guy Whose Mom Just Died

Way back when

This is a blog intended to bring the funny. I’m at a weird point in my literary career in that my mom just died, and that really isn’t too funny. She was an amazing woman whose life should be honored and appreciated. She was my number one fan, and the real reason anyone actually reads this stuff. In her honor- I will attempt to make lemonade.

When dealing with a person whose just had a monumental loss in their life (my mom’s passing), interactions can become increasingly complicated and difficult. In the this post, I will attempt to educate you on how best to deal with me. I’m a big fan of the top 10 variety of informational teaching tools, so without further ado – the 10 best ways to deal with me.

10. Do your best to avoid “yo mama” jokes.
This is a tough one, because, as we all know – “yo mama” is an invincible comeback. For example:
“Your breath smells.” Retort: “Your mama’s breath smells.”
“Your face is ugly.” Retort: “Your mama’s face is ugly.”
“I disagree with your opinion.” Retort: “Your mama’s an astronaut.”
It kinda feels like cheating for you to hit me with a “your mama” diss and have me respond with, “my mom is dead.” So, let’s just avoid the whole topic for the time being.

9. Think and pray about other stuff.
I have been blessed with a wonderful support group of family and friends. To a person everyone has told me that their thoughts and prayers are with me and my family during this difficult time. In response – thank you. In further response – when thinking about me think thoughts like – damn you’re handsome; or, man despite the dead mom thing, I wish I was you cause you’re so awesome.

8. Fuck flowers.
Flowers die, and then I need to throw them out. Also – I should thank you for sending them, but I probably won’t. Instead, send a donation to Playworks/eastbay. I don’t think I’ve worked for about 3 months. I can’t believe I still have a job. The only reason they keep me around is because people give money to the organization I work for. Sooooo, help me keep a job – and make a donation. Besides, you’re an adult – and adults make donations. Act your age.

7. Don’t be awkward.
There is nothing more awkward then trying to find the right words for “shit – your mom is dead and I feel bad for you.” Actually – those words are pretty solid. Say it early, and let’s move on . No need to wait for an appropriate moment – a quiet corner of a room, an intimate setting. I know you’re waiting to say it. I know you know I’m waiting to hear it. Get on with it. It’s not that I’ve moved on, but we might as well move on. I suggest we do it over a beer/whiskey/your drink of choice. And don’t forget to pay for it.

6. Laugh a little.
Dark humor was the cornerstone of my mom’s battle with cancer. As soon as news broke 3 years ago – the family asset liquidation began. Dibs on jewelry, furniture and accessories immediately ensued. It’s how I deal with things. (See this blog for reference.)

5. A little nostalgia works for me.
I like stories about my mom. I like to tell stories about my mom. You got a good one – hit me with it.  Memories are what remains. I won’t experience new ones, so lend me some old ones. Shit – that one was depressing. My bad.

4. Teach my dad stuff.
My dad, a world class guy, doesn’t know doo-doo about surviving on his own. He recently made a list of devices he would need to learn how to operate. These items included the stove, the answering machine, the washing machine, his cell phone, “the interweb” and other technological marvels many of us take for granted. I spent the greater part of last night remotely explaining how to print an email. Old dogs can learn new tricks, but he’s kind of really old – so be patient, and give him a good scratch behind the ear when he succeeds.

3. Be selective with your empathy.
It’s not that I don’t care about your problems, it’s just that I don’t care right now. And I definitely don’t care if you had a family member survive cancer. If you’re going to start a sentence with something like, “my mom had cancer,” the next line should end with – “she’s dead.” Lot’s of people survive breast cancer. Save the stories for someone else, cause I sure-as-shit am not down to hear about it right now.

2. Tell me how great I am.
I  was raised by the type of mom who loved and adored every single thing I did – even the stuff I sucked at. Bad art – displayed around the house; posted on the fridge. Dumb jokes  – laughed at. Insignificant accomplishments – embellished and retold. Mistakes – apologized for. Bad haircuts – well – she usually gave them to me, so I guess that was more for her sake then mine, but in general – compliment my overall appearance. Shortcomings – ignore them. Especially the extra pounds I’ve put on. Although, the more I reminisce – she didn’t ignore that one too much. That’s not to say that you can’t though…

1. Have some fucking fun. And don’t curse.
If there was one thing my mom loved, it was having fun. It was central to everything she/we did. She’d hate the thought of a bunch of people sitting around sad-faced grieving over her passing. She loved champagne. Go drink some. She loved riding her bike. Go ride one. She loved her family and friends. Continue that trend. Go to a dog park. Take a vacation. Re-post this blog (honest to god – she thought I was the funniest thing since the whoopee cushion.)

In closing, when dealing with me, let’s just have some fun. She loved living more than most, and that spirit will live on with me.

Love always,

Karen Percy Fox’s son – Stephen (with a “ph” – don’t fuck that up. That always pissed her off.)

AKA The Big Avocado

p.s. If we’ve already spent time together, and you haven’t followed these rules – no worries. And thanks for the flowers. They were beautiful.

p.p.s – here’s the obit:

Baby mama, or rather, mama as baby

Growing up: The Debutant


Happy Family

Loving wife

Rest in Peace. We love you.

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The Turtle Neck

The baby watch continues. Mama Avocado is 5 days overdue. The list of things to worry about in my life is growing, rapidly and dramatically, but nothing worries me more than the following decision–should we circumcise the baby?

Turtle necks: Sexier than turtle heads.

We didn’t find out the sex of the baby, so we don’t know if it’s going to be a boy or a girl … but I remain convinced it’s a boy. It’s not that I’m rooting for a boy–I just think it is, and I’m almost always right about everything, always.

So what do we do? Some people feel very passionate about this decision. I am not one of them. I don’t like the idea of my child enduring what I have to assume is obviously a traumatic, incredibly painful experience so early on in his life (have you heard the way they scream?!). Then again, I don’t like the idea of my little guy getting clowned in the locker room for sporting the old “dick-sleeve.”

We have turned to our midwife for advice. She has shared the following facts with us.

1. There is no medical reason to curcimcise your child.

2. Over 50% of boys across the country are uncircumcised.

3. In the Bay Area, 75% of boys are not.

4. Barring religion, the number one reason most parents choose to circumcise their child is because dad wants his kid’s “thingy” to resemble his own.

So my midwife says to me, “Are you going to have a hard time relating to your child when he says, “dad, why does your wiener look different than mine?””

Me: Well, I’ll tell him that mine is bigger cause I’m a full grown man.

Midwife: I doubt that’s why he’ll ask.

Me: Hold up–you’ve never even seen mine. I’m pretty sure it will be bigger than his.

Midwife: No–I mean he’ll ask why yours looks different because his is uncircumcised and yours isn’t. Will you have a problem relating to him?

Me: Oh yeah. No. I won’t have a problem with that. My real concern is that it won’t look as good.

Midwife: Because it’s different than yours?

Me: Yeah, but also because I prefer my penises to be circumcised.

Midwife: Your own?

Me: No, the ones I look at.


Me: You know–in porno.

Midwife: Ok. Ummm, I can’t say that I’ve heard that reasoning before, but I’m not here to judge.

This medical decision had quickly taken an awkwardly sexual turn. It’s not that I wanted to clip my boy’s dick-skin based on my pornographic prefrences, I just didn’t want him to be the butt of  the type of ridicule that I myself would have laid upon him when I was young and immature (whereas now I’m just old and immature). I had a hockey coach without the “tip trim,” and his nicknames included turtle neck, the ant-eater, funny dick, the fore-father, etc. etc. etc. (etc. etc. etc.). I just want my young man to feel comfortable with his nether regions.

I’ve heard it said that men with foreskin experience 20% more pleasure than men without. I masturbate at least 20% more than the average man, so I’m pretty sure I’ve accounted for the discrepancy–but I don’t want my son to have to follow the same hairy-palmed approach as his old man.

Then again, I’ve also heard that sneezing is also the equivalent of 1/5 of an orgasm– so maybe I’ll just keep lots of pepper in the house.

Ultimately, I think I’m going to let the skin stay. At the end of the day, women think dicks are kind of ugly no matter what. So to my unborn kiddo–you’re welcome for the 20%,  and I apologize for the jokes I’ll other kids might make. You’re perfect the way you are, and we’ll leave you as such. Plus, if you just wear a condom, girls probably won’t even know.


The Big Avocado

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