Don’t shoot – I’m not THAT horny


"Greg, why did you jump off the roof with an umbrella?"

"Um…I wanted to see what it'd be like."

"Dude, you put a pound of hamburger in with a full box of mac & cheese and then ate the whole thing? Why?"

"Um…I wanted to see what it'd be like."

It snowed this weekend. But mountain biking over lunch still sounded like a good idea.

And it was…for the most part.

The trail was wet and muddy, but clear of snow. In fact, that part was really fun because roots and logs were still frozen and really slick. It made for some nice little east/west detours along my north/south adventure.

I certainly didn't get cold. I had on two layers top and bottom and I was wearing the hat I still haven't returned to Eric. Plenty warm. So everything was great. I was alone with my thoughts. And they went a l'il sumthin' like dis:

Ha! No other tire tracks on the trail today. Nobody else is hardcore enough to be out here on the trail in the middle of November. They're all hunkered down inside, where it's warm.

They'll probably call me crazy when they see me, but secretly they'll be hating themselves for the weak, cowardly lowerdowns that they are. I really shouldn't feel so superior. I should just carry about my business in quiet humility. I think my superiority will just be self evident.

Nope. No tracks on the trail at all today.

Except those deer tracks.

Deer tracks.

Deer tracks? Something about that should be registering in my brain.

Where did Corinne and Josh go yesterday?…

Photo Photo[1]











Hey, it's deer hunting season!

Hmm… That's potentially troublesome.

But I'm in town. This is in city limits, isn't it? Can't discharge (tee hee) a firearm within city limits, right? Or is this in city limits? Actually I don't think it is.

Damn. But I'm right next to the city compost site. There's a whole bunch of city workers right over there…in flourescent yellow reflective vests.

Damn. But nobody would really be hunting in here. There are no deer out here.

Deer 1a

Damn. Damn. Damn! Okay. Time to get out of here. Gotta look as undeerlike as possible…

Damn you, God! Why did you bless me with such preternatural style and grace?!

Damn you, Italy! I'm wearing my House of Pizza jersey. Why are the colors of your flag green, white and red instead of green, white and blaze orange?!

Damn you, Brandon Testa! Why the hell do you own a (truly fantastic) pizza restaurant instead of an Irish pub? Those Irishmen have the green, white and blaze orange thing going just fine! Or, better yet, why don't you own some kind of Dutch restaurant? (Oh man, I love me some Dutch food.)

You know, every hunting season you hear about SO MANY idiotic accidental shootings. If you're shooting at something that turns out not to be a deer, you obviously don't have that great a sight line and hitting it must take a really great shot. So why is it that all utter morons are excellent marksmen?

Don't shoot, morons! No rack on this guy.

[Worth noting: At no point in this ride did the idea of cutting out, getting off the trail and leaving without finishing the whole loop ever even register in my mind.]


Are you sure you wouldn’t rather get a tattoo?

WARNING: I'm probably going to be dropping some borderline sacrilegious stuff here before this post is finished. But I want to make it clear from the start that I have great big giant slabs of respect for the Mormon Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God, and all faithful practitioners thereof.


Adolescence is all about discovering yourself. And part of discovering yourself is trying on things that you’re pretty sure are going to freak your parents out. For me it was boxers that hung down below the end of my soccer shorts. For Corinne it was thermal long johns under her cheerleading uniform. And for Josie, evidently, it’s magic underwear.

No, I’m kidding. (They’re nowhere close to letting her wear temple garments yet.) Josie was baptized this past weekend into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Okay, that was flippant and rude. I mean, like I said, I really do have respect for the LDS Church. I grew up with (and still hold) a reverent fear of the Catholic Church. And aside from the no booze thing, I think I'm getting along pretty well so far with the Assemblies of God.


I do have trouble with some of the doctrines, principles and practices of each. But each is an honest, passionate, faith-based route toward God. And, in the end, I think that’s the important thing. You gotta believe in something. As the brilliant Walter Sobchak put it, “Nihilists?! F*ck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.”

I know that makes me sound kind of theologically wishy-washy. I guess my views on structured religion are influenced by my own fallible humanity. See, I’m an idiot. And I know I’m not alone in that. To one degree or another, we’re all idiots.

Soooo, while I do believe that the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God*…I also believe that it was transcribed by humans. Passionate, reverent, faithful humans – but humans nonetheless.

I’m confident that God has spoken to quite a few humans (and probably a few dinosaurs too). And some of those humans probably got their parts right. Others probably garbled the translations a bit. Humans mess things up.

Problem is, we don’t know which parts are which. So the safest course is to assume it’s all divinely inspired and accurate but that some parts are just a little wacky. And where there’s wacky, you’ll get “smart” people who’ll insist on explaining things. And that’s where competing theologies begin to develop.

Given that, do I worry that Josie has chosen a church other than the one her mom and I attend? Honestly, no. (At least she’s choosing a church! I would love to see Erin come to the same conclusion.)

I do worry a little about her reasoning and her timing. Is she joining the church now in a star-crossed effort to hold onto her boyfriend as he packs for his mission trip? Seems likely to me.

But so what if she is? If it doesn’t work out with her boyfriend, she’s “wasted” many hours in church developing her own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Beats the heck out of squandering that same number of hours in front of the PS3 like her brothers would.

So congratulations, Josie! Your mom and I are both proud of you for expressing an interest in exploring faith. Just a word of advice though: don’t let this youthful rebellion thing off the hook quite so simply. As youthful rebellions go, I know you can (and you should) do better.

Being 19 should mean doing some stupid, fun stuff. I’m not requesting that you start dabbling in chemicals and prancing about promiscuously. I’d love it if your stupid fun stuff happened to also be safe and legal.

Dye your hair purple. Try Jeep skiing this winter. Cut classes and road trip to Chicago with friends for a long weekend. Find something so fun that you know you’re going to get yelled at for it…but it’s still worth doing.

As Gardner Barnes so eloquently put it, “Here’s to [you], and the privileges of youth!”


*I have respect for faithful followers of religions outside Christianity as well. I believe what I believe – but I can’t bring myself to believe that a good person who honestly lives by another creed will be damned to eternal misery for picking wrong.

The night has a thousand eyes

People in Los Angeles really like to look at themselves, right? A lot. Does that sound terrible? That’s just a stereotype, isn’t it? Or is it?

The cameras I knew about. Between the tourists, the reality shows, TMZ, and the news choppers hovering over high-speed chases, I think every movement within a 100-mile circle of that Hollywood sign is caught on camera from some angle.

It’s the mirrors I didn’t expect. They’re everywhere. Which I suppose makes sense if you concede my point from the previous paragraph. If you figure you’re on camera all the time, you probably want to be checking your look frequently.

Now don’t get me wrong, a mirror’s a handy thing. You can use it to signal a search plane if you’re lost in the wilderness and in danger of being mauled by ravenous wolverines. You can use it to find that popcorn husk caught in your teeth that’s been driving you crazy for an hour. In college I took a J-Term class called Geometric Patterns and spent an entire January playing with mirrors to discover planes of symmetry and to attempt to see up skirts.

I’m not mirror bashing here. I’m a fan. But when they’re everywhere, they’re going to result in some unanticipated reflections.

[Hold that thought. I’ll get back to it. I need to veer off in another direction for a bit.]

Corinne, who’s your favorite Little Rascal? Is it Alfalfa? Or Spanky?

If you’re working under the assumption that someone (a camera) is always watching, and you’re a woman, you’re more likely to spend more time sucking in your gut. Spanx, Inc. is making a fortune based on this little truism.

Every woman is wearing these fantastically restrictive undergarments. Ridiculously thin women are wearing them. If you were to undress an Olsen Twin, I’ll betcha she’d be wearing Spanx. (Somebody back me up on this? Statistically speaking, approximately 3.6 of my readers should have undressed an Olsen Twin.)

Given that, I don’t feel like I should get in trouble for revealing that when my super-hot wife wore this beautiful-yet-reasonably-priced dress (thank you Herberger’s; obviously such a great deal it put an overly-enthusiastic-but-still-beautiful smile on her face) in Los Angeles, she started with a Spanky little foundation layer.

Screen shot 2010-11-01 at 9.50.10 PM

As the saying goes, “Everybody’s doin’ it.”

Evidently, however, one area of concern with Spanx is that they ride up.

Speaking as a guy, I’d say big deal. As a boxer guy, I’ve been shamelessly adjusting stuff ever since I switched out of tidy whities in 10th grade. But women are more concerned with decorum and appearances.

So as Corinne was working behind the swag table at that Hollywood book launch party (for Nancy O’Dell’s new book, Full of Love, available now through your Creative Memories Consultant or, when she felt the fabric start to shifting, she skillfully executed what I would categorize as a brilliant maneuver.

She gracefully bent down (at the knees) “to reach for something under the table.” And, in the process, she reached back and gave a good, swift, solid tug on her underwear. Mission accomplished. Relief achieved.

[This is me getting back to my original point. Remember the mirrors?]

When Corinne elegantly and innocently arose from behind the table she was locked eye-to-eye across the patio with Karen the Hollywood make-up stylist.

"You are totally busted!" she shouted, for many to hear. "You were just yankin' your Spanx, weren't you?!"

Corinne was, indeed, busted. And, when she turned around and noticed the 6- by 10-foot mirror positioned behind the table with her, she knew just how.