Tag Archives: underwear

A Midsummer Night’s Underwear

A Midsummer Night's Underwear

The first day of summer is one of my favorite holidays I never really celebrate. My win-the-lottery dream is to buy a huge acreage and install on it an outdoor theater on which I can stage an annual production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” once the sun goes down on the longest day of the year.

I still like to mark the day, even if I don’t have any particular revelry planned.

This year, my wife gave me underwear covered with bugs to recognize the importance of June 21. She gets me.

And now I have something to wear when I’m feeling a bit Puckish.

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Proofreading Under There

MLP unders

I found a typo on my underwear this morning.

It was a new pair of underwear, as yet unwashed and unworn—a just-because present from my wife, who found the last pair of My Little Pony men’s boxer briefs at our local Target yesterday. I suppose that some people might call me Brony, a designation I’ve been able to fend off for quite some time thanks to the fact that I have two young daughters.

Every parent knows that children make for the best excuses when it comes to open consumption of entertainment directed at 4- to 8-year-olds. I mean, the only reason I can name the residents of Pixie Hollow, sing most of Phineas and Ferb’s catalog, discuss the Fire Nation’s tactics, and explore the mythology of Ninjago is because I have young daughters. Right?

Sorry, I couldn’t hear your response. I was humming “Everything is Awesome.”

I watch these shows and movies with my girls because I want to see and hear what they’re seeing and hearing. I watch for “teachable moments” to use as springboards for bedtime talks about ethics and morals. (“What would you do if an enemy came to you, asking to become your friend?”) And I watch, admittedly, because I get a bit invested in the characters and plot lines.

Let me put it this way: I’m not regularly agreeing to “just one more” episode of Caillou.

Pegging my own developing fandom on my children only goes so far, however. I mean, my local comic-book store owner might believe me when I say that I’m picking up the latest serialized issue of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for my girls, but there’s no spinning a pair of men’s boxer briefs. That’s all on me.

I will be wearing these with a bit of irony. Rainbow Dash isn’t even my favorite pony. Plus, there’s the aforementioned typo:

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Dear underwear label writers: The word “it’s” is a contraction, smashing together “it” and “is.” An apostrophe does not make it possessive. But you already knew that, since you used the correct spelling earlier in the same sentence.

I obsess about grammar and word use way more than I obsess about pretty much anything else. But aside from Word Girl, there aren’t many shows for kids about the subject. I’ve yet to see a cartoon that addresses the Oxford comma and saying “champing at the bit,” not “chomping at the bit.”

I haven’t seen much in the way of grammar-based underwear, either, come to think of it.

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A Quick Note

I spaced this weekend. I totally spaced.

Near the end of the day on Friday, I realized I hadn’t yet posted for Freaky Friday. The next time I looked up, it was after midnight. Oops.

On Saturday, I spent the day building forts and going on imaginary treasure hunts with my kids and cleaning up around the house. I assembled a shoe rack. At one point, I had the baby strapped to me in a carrier while I did the dishes. Also, I was in my boxers. Maybe I was trying to turn my wife on.

That evening, after the kids went to bed, we decided to rest, so we started a show we’d heard good things about: Scandal. We binged on that. Then, well, I had done the dishes earlier …

The next time I looked up, it was after midnight. Oops.

I decided to make Sunday a day of rest, and by that I mean a day of working on freelance projects. Plus more Scandal.

And now, here we are.

I’ll get back to the regularly scheduled posting today, but it was nice having a few days off, even if they weren’t planned.

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Imagination Week: Hitting the Pavement

Zombies, Run!

I recently got a new phone—a phone that can actually do stuff, and one that prompted my wife to say, “Welcome to the 20th Century.”

I countered: “But we’re in the—”

“I know,” she said.

This is my first-ever personal phone, and I sort of didn’t know what to do with it at first. An office Secret Santa, however, had given me an iTunes gift card, so I bought a couple of songs and then remembered an app I’d read about last year.

It’s called Zombies, Run!, and it basically plays a story for you to listen to while you run in real life. It’s sort of a game in that you “pick up” items as you go along—including medical supplies, water, and, honestly, underwear—some of which you can then use to improve a virtual outpost full of post-zombie-apocalypse survivors, but the main draw is this: While you’re running, earbuds firmly in place, a voice gives you directions and reports on nearby groups of “zoms” with a hankering for your hamstrings.

I initially thought that the game was a bit more interactive, but the missions seem to be set audio tracks. Which is fine by me. My typical physical activity consists of walking up the stairs to go to bed, and this download actually motivated me to get out of the house and do several laps around our condo complex.

I was prepared to be a bit freaked out, but the initial mission was fairly tame. At first. I chose to run at night, thinking the darkness might heighten the suspense. Also, that’s the only free time I can generally carve out of my day.

Once I got into the groove—both in running and in the game—it was easier to slip into the story. I tuned out my neighbors, waving from their garages as I jogged past, and focused on the narrative. Smoke coming from one condo’s chimney became the sight and smell of a downed helicopter. I didn’t know how to incorporate the one set of Christmas lights still mounted and lit, though.

Everything was going smoothly until a large pack of zombies caught wind of me and gave chase. One zombie in particular broke from the pack and zeroed in on me.

The voices in my ears grew urgent. “Don’t look behind you!” they shouted, “Just run! RUN!”

That worked. I resisted the urge to glance backward, even when I passed a streetlamp with dual lights on top, giving me a double shadow. Suddenly, as my eyes slid sideways, I could see silhouetted on the road another figure immediately behind me.

Imagination is a powerful thing, especially when it has audio help.

Since this is the first time I’ve run in, well, my 30s, I will admit that I paused the track to walk a bit before carrying on the run for my life. I imagine that the zombie took a breather, too, maybe put her decaying arms up over her head and shuffled along a little more slowly before picking up the pace again.

I’m a bit sore now from the rush, but I will be going out again soon.

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Waiting Week: Advent

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I collect a lot of things, including thimbles, Pez dispensers, loteria decks, first-edition books, dragons, and worries. I also collect nativity scenes, and each Dec. 1 marks the beginning of my push to get all of them out of the holiday shelf in my girls’ closet and set up on the mantel and around the house.

I get one new set a year, at least, and I have a loose aim of collecting creches—as they’re called when they’re feeling fancy—from around the world. I’ll post more about them later this week, but this morning I wanted to highlight my newest set, chosen by my 4-year-old daughter as a present for me for Dec. 1. She found it at a thrift store, and my wife OK’ed the purchase.

I left the lens flare in the photo not as an homage to J.J. Abrams, but because it’s sort of Star of David-ish. I’m not sure who the two non-obvious people are: shepherds or angels or two of the three wise men. But I love it. I also love the Advent season, with its focus on anticipation and waiting for what’s to come. I’m generally not good with patience, so Advent is a good exercise for me.

If my wife looks upset, and I ask her what’s wrong, and she says “Let’s talk about it later,” I’m antsy until then. I’ll often push her to talk now, which rarely goes over well. If my boss says he’d like to meet with me that afternoon, I ask if there’s anything we can discuss immediately. I definitely need to work on waiting.

And it’s waiting, not procrastinating. I already have procrastinating down.

As another Dec. 1 present, my wife got me a pair of Star Wars-themed ugly-Christmas-sweater inspired boxers, with AT-AT walkers instead of reindeer. She’s amazing. Too bad I can’t show them off. Much.

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Thanks Week: The Night

I’m thankful for a lot of things, but I thought I’d share some of the stuff I’m sort of back-handedly thankful for this week. Maybe there will be some genuine sentiment the closer we get to Thanksgiving. For now, however, I’m thankful that I function during the day despite having a night of sleep that looks like this:

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I radiate warmth, so I think my kids are drawn to me as a sort of hairy space heater. My wife sucks heat out of living beings to compensate for her constant chill (her feet never get warm!), plus she doesn’t tolerate children in her immediate sleeping space—apart from the baby. Usually. She’ll kick them out, so they’ve learned to come straight to me.

I’ll try, half-heartedly, to keep them out of our bed. If I’m awake enough, I’ll get up to shepherd one or the other girl back into their room as soon as I hear the telltale squeak of their door handle turning. I’ve thought about WD-40’ing it, but I’ve decided I like the warning it gives.

Sometimes my interception works and I can 180 the kid back into the room with the nightlight and the other nightlight and the white noise machine set to “ocean,” but more often than not, my daughter—whichever one is awake and wanting to be with me—will start getting upset. This can lead to a startled-awake baby and tears all around, so I relent pretty easily. Plus, I’m frequently more than half asleep, stumbling around, making sure I’ve got at least boxers on, so I’m not totally sure what I’m doing or agreeing to anyway.

Still …

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Fight Week: Freaky Friday: Waaaay Too Close

Health Week: Freaky Friday: Waaaay Too Close

Well, my post about Man Cards went up on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed page this morning, and there are now a lot of new people wading around in the Shallows.

A note to new visitors: Please keep your hands where we can’t see them.

I forewent the usual creepy quote from my kids (OK, the scary stuff all comes from my firstborn) today because the freakiest thing about this Friday is that there’s a whole mess of people reading about and commenting on an opinion of mine regarding the nature of masculinity.

And then, in theory, these same people are perhaps browsing around and learning my daily underwear selection process.

One of the weirdest things about writing is that it’s such a personal, solitary pursuit, but it’s frequently—not always—intended for a wider audience of readers. The idea is to make a connection and maybe spur someone to action, whether that’s prompting them to reconsider gender-based stereotypes, help fight prostate and testicular cancer (I know you’ve seen my moustache, but have you seen my Movember page?), or choose Batman-themed boxer-briefs over plain, white jockey shorts.

Words, to me, are about connections, and my hope is that this blog would be a conversation, not a monologue. To all who’ve been reading since I started and to the folks who’ve just dropped in for a quick look, thanks for sharing this freaky Friday—and your words—with me.

P.S.—I’m also taking weekly theme suggestions.

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Fright Week: Freaky Friday: A Close Shave

Fright Week: Freaky Friday: A Close Shave

I don’t like to be clean shaven.

I also don’t like to walk around with just one style of facial hair for too long.

So I’ll cycle through a full beard, then a goatee, then a moustache, then all-over stubble, then whatever. My facial hair grows pretty quickly, so I don’t have to wait long for a new look.

But even a short wait with a bare face makes me uncomfortable—and not just because I need something there to define my jawline. Fluctuating facial hair is a big part of who I am. I deliberate over what to do with my razor almost as much as I do in choosing my underwear.

I’m rarely ever without sideburns or a soul patch at the very least. (I’m rarely ever without underwear, either. Rarely.)

So to be clean shaven on Nov. 1 is no small deal. I’ve watched other guys participate in Movember before, and I’ve always wanted to join in, mostly for the unspoken camaraderie, the connection built by a commonality: in this case, moustaches.

If you don’t know, Movember is a means of raising awareness of—and money for—men’s health, primarily when it comes to prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental issues. The organized effort encourages men to grow a moustache (there are rules for the parts of the face to which it can and can’t spread) throughout November, making for an increasingly obvious facial statement that will hopefully prompt questions of the “Why would you ever willfully decide to wear a moustache?” variety. Then we can answer, “Well, I’m glad you asked.” And then we can talk about prostates, and why they’re awesome, and why everybody who wants a functioning and healthy one should have a functioning and healthy one.

Participants can also garner pledges, like my kids recently did (in theory) for a jog-a-thon at their school. Oops.

Despite the fact that I recently sold a car of ours that we no longer needed, I am not a salesperson. Money makes me uncomfortable, mostly because I don’t understand it. So I’m not going to do a huge pitch to get you to put up cash in exchange for me doing something I frequently do anyway. If you want to, though, that’s great. You can check out my Movember page, where you’ll find plenty of details.

Since I’m new to this dad blogging thing—though I don’t really feel like a dad blogger, per se—I also recently joined a dad bloggers group called “Dad Bloggers.” They’ve got a Movember team going (called “Dads/Bloggers”), and I just sort of invited myself to join. Actually, they put out a call for participants, but I still fell like I sort of snuck in.

My surreptitious decision hasn’t been great for my face, however, since I just shaved everything off less than a week ago for the sake of my Halloween costume: the magic mirror from Disney’s Snow White. I’ve got a healthy layer of stubble going now as I write this at 11:15 on Halloween night, but I’m anticipating pain tomorrow morning (this morning, as this post goes live—like time-travel magic!) when I scrape it all off my face again, just six days later.

There will be blood, I’m sure, which is the tangential reference to today’s Freaky Friday doodle. My 6-year-old likes blood. If I remember correctly, she said this while drawing someone bleeding, and apparently needed to focus intently as she eroded her red crayon down to nothing.

I’ll be posting about my moustache progress throughout the month, and next week’s theme will likely be devoted to Movember and/or facial hair and/or men’s health on the whole, but to get an early jump-start on that, allow me to ask: What do you think of facial hair? How about moustaches in particular?

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Fright Week: Bonus Monster

Fright Week: Bonus Monster

For those of you celebrating a late (9:50 by my clock—ha! How my life has changed!) Halloween, here’s a Creature from the Black Lagoon in a Speedo from my 2002 Monster collection. I tried to give him a swimmer’s build.

Note that most of my drawings depict figures sticking out of water, and yet this aquatic character is as dry as toast. Maybe that’s why he’s unhappy looking.

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Identity Week: Just a Brief Interruption

Idenity Week: Just a Brief Interruption

I’m going to tell you something, and this something is absolutely true. My wife will confirm it.

Each morning as I get ready for work, I assess how I’m feeling, how the day is expected to play out, how tired I am, how stressful the next eight or nine hours will likely be, and then I choose my underwear.

I have a lot of underwear. I like variety, so some are boxers, some are briefs, and some are in-between (between those categories, that is, not between anything else) (except for one pair).

Some are stylishly plain black, and some have Wolverine on them. Some are cotton, some are polyester, a few are modal—that’s beech—and one’s bamboo. It’s actually bamboo fibers, not a whole plant. I don’t walk around with a stick up my butt.

I have a whole set I only wear in December because they’re holiday themed. I have St. Patrick’s Day boxers, but I wear them at other times, too, because they say “I [Shamrock] Guinness,” and I [shamrock] Guinness throughout the year. (Picture an actual silhouette of a shamrock where I put the word in brackets. But don’t picture anything else, please.)

When I’m feeling exhausted, I put on my boxers patterned with steaming coffee cups. But I don’t actually drink coffee—an admission I made recently to the owner of one of the last movie-rental stores on California’s Central Coast, prompting her puzzled reply: “No coffee? So how do you get your caffeine?”

If I’m feeling particularly blah, I go for the Batman boxer-briefs. They don’t have the Caped Crusader on them or anything—just the logo right across the front. The Bat-Signal. I feel heroic all day in those. Same for the Wolverine boxers, though those actually have the character on them. His claws extend over an area I would prefer to keep away from even the suggestion of sharp objects, but I like to think that keeps me alert and on my toes.

I have dragons for when I need to be fierce, Pirates of the Caribbean for when I feel like a rogue, robots for when I need to keep my emotions in check, fancier pairs for fancier occasions, and—since I’m on the subject and you’re obviously comfortable enough with this to have read this far—sometimes I decide to mentally skip the day altogether, and I get dressed with coming home to my wife in mind.

While writing this post, I realized that I don’t own any Star Trek underwear, though I have put some on a wishlist. I was going to do the same with Star Wars, but for $42 for a single pair, I don’t need Boba Fett down there. There’s a sarlacc pit joke here somewhere, but I don’t feel like hunting for it.

Also while writing this post, I realized that it has little to nothing to do with my kids, but frankly, my underwear is way better than theirs.

It’s probably better than yours, too.

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