Archive for the ‘Opinion and things I hate’ Category

We have become hikers. We haven’t become the hikers who have the shoes, knitted socks, and professional style walking sticks. We haven’t become the hikers who forage off of the land as we hike through it. As hikers, we are somewhat novice, but the cool thing about hiking is that you kind of practice for it every time you walk, because hiking is just a walk. Except, hikes are a walk where you constantly worry about snakes, your hydration, dying from the elements, an accidental wrong turn and subsequent three day search for your hypothermic and near lifeless body, and in my case, you have to worry about your wife trying to murder you.

If one was to get overly technical, the murder was probably warranted, but nonetheless, it added a new and somewhat unsuspected dimension to hiking. Like I said, we have become hikers. It wasn’t the result of a process of thought and in-depth research, it was a spur of the moment decision that hiking is what all the cool kids do, the realization, that we are also cool, and therefore should be hikers. So last weekend, we hiked, and what I want to relay to you in this edition of LifeasIKnowit is what hiking is all about. Maybe after reading this, you will all feel so inclined as to start off on a more active lifestyle. This entry would go down in the category of self-help, and it will be well worth your time to continue, trust me, I wrote it, I know how it ends. Plus, I went hiking with Whitney, the reoccurring character who plays my wife in previous blogs.

Hiking starts off with a bunch of happy hippies on a trail eating granola to carboload for the impending trek into nature’s bowels. Hiking probably actually starts off a day or two previous to the hike in question. I picture people preparing by packing their little hiking packs with water, snacks, compasses, random survivally things. Hiking probably starts with the hikers drinking water to prepare for said hike. All of these things are important for those interested in hiking, and as is to be expected, none of these were things we decided to do. I am being less than truthful, we drank a lot of beer and wine in preparation for the hike, which may have covered the carboloading portion of preparation, but defeated the hydration portion of prepping. (Although, Whitney believes that drinking is a great hydrator as it leaves your pee clear).

Everybody is happy at the beginning of a hike. There is much to be excited about. The trail is pretty, and you feel so productive that you can’t stand it! You walk about three hundred feet and you happen upon your first group of hikers who are finishing up the same hike. You try not to notice that they look like undead versions of the same group of hippies starting at the time you did. They walk, dragging their left legs along beside them. They do not talk; instead, they mumble and grunt loud guttural booms of sound from their respective diaphragms. You try not to notice the dog that probably started out walking with them, but whose lifeless body is now being dragged just behind their left legs. You are blind to this, and you quest on.

You are given one more seemingly innocent, yet foreboding warning of things to come when Whitney, who is walking like a professional walker–hands up and dangling, while breathing in a perfect rhythm who-who-hee-hee, says, “Do you think we should have brought sandwiches?” All you can do at this point is continue to fall in love with your own plan, or lack thereof. “We will be fine with what we have brought (which consists of a Nalgene bottle and, well that’s pretty much it.)”

You walk another half mile and the trail starts something alarming. The trail begins to go from a nice, flat and enjoyable walk, to an alarming incline and group of switchbacks. To give you a point of reference, the incline is the same incline Sisyphus was forced to push the boulder up in mythology, or more simply stated, the incline is the same walk you would have to walk, perpetually in hell (you can keep going, but it generally sucks). There was no gradual increase in incline, nature just reached out and smacked you in the face with itself. Softly and sweetly, in the back of your head you can still hear Whitney’s question echoing, “Do you think we should have brought sandwiches?”

You are now halfway up the mountain. You have stopped to rest and the pleasant blush resulting from the increase blood flow has turned into relentless panting and random words in between. Where once there was loving conversation between two happily married people, there is pretty much only the sound of contempt ridden scowls. People walk by you and for just a split second, you make it look like nothing is breaking you, like this is easy.

Another hiker on her way down passes and does it. She plants the time bomb. “Be careful,” she says. “I just about stepped on a snake. They disguise themselves so well.” So now, what was a quick moving pace has slowed to the exact same pace that those poor soldiers who search for land mines must walk. Our eyes never leaving the ground, dismally marking every square centimeter of the trail–this would be a part of my hell. “Do you think we should have brought sandwiches?” Still echoing.

What seems like four hours later you reach the top. Some experienced hikers are looking out at the view–it is beautiful. You smell marijuana. Some kids are smoking it while philosophizing over life’s meaning. You pan around the area and realize the problem with a hike. When you hike, once you get to the top, you still have to go back. You look to your left and see a group of jerks doing something just to rub their planning in your face. They are eating sandwiches. You turn Whitney around quickly and we start back down. You think you can hear something about sandwiches coming from Whitney, but you just press onward. If you ever thought down can’t be as hard as up, you are dead wrong. Down becomes a torturous near free fall that shoves your entire foot into the front one third of your shoes. You are like a Chinese woman with bound feet. Down sucks.

You find that you are about thirty feet ahead of Whitney. You stop and wait for her to catch up. She nears, and you notice that she is wearing kind of an empty look, like no one is home. You start to talk and before you can get out three words she says, “Unless you have a sandwich, I don’t think you should say a god damned word to me!”

As you near the end of the trail, you are both dragging our left foot behind us and grunting nightmarish sounds from our diaphragms. The group just starting, shoving sandwiches into their packs, still joyful and excited asks, “How was it?” You grunt at them and continue your zombie walk. There, just ahead of you is your truck. You have accomplished what you set out to do. Your marriage is stronger because of your lack of planning, right? Whitney looks at you and says, “I am godawful miserable right now.” Yes, you answer yourself. Not planning for the hike was a great decision for your marriage. But we are hikers now. Tested in the flames of hell.


I was going to do this long blog about how the conservative side of politics, of which I somewhat prescribe to, at least fiscally, will never win an election in America if they don’t rid themselves of their shackles to a platform that will only ever be attractive to 48 percent of the people in America. But, who wants to hear me talk about something that is so obvious; instead, I want to talk about something so much more awesome that has a broader appeal to the masses.

The United States Marine Corps.

Born in a bar, in 1775, the Marine Corps has become as much myth and legend as it is history. They wear their history everywhere they go and it is written in blood; in training, they learn about the Marines who built the institution with their lives and heroism. The battles the Corps has fought live in the colors on their uniforms–the blood stripe on the trousers, the swords in the scabbards at their sides. Marines are linked to one another throughout history, transcending time; the Marines of yesterday never die or fade away because their blood flows in the veins of today’s war hardened new breed. I like Marines because they respect a sacred institution with an equally hallowed tradition of excellence.

One could argue that America doesn’t need Marines, but I think it would be difficult to prove America doesn’t want Marines. Marines are a rare bunch of men and women that represent all that is good about this nation. Currently, they are young men and women who joined a fighting force knowing they would be in harm’s way, down range in a foreign nation, fighting an often unpopular war, but still they chose this profession. Historically, they have been anywhere there was a fight regardless of the odds and regardless of what these young warriors had to leave behind to do so. Marines do not understand the concept of an unbeatable foe. Marines cling to an image of a few Marines and a Sailor raising a flag on Iwo Jima, because it illustrates how they think, who they are, and that no matter the mountain, or the conditions, they will scale it and win. I like Marines, because they are winners. They are your sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, neighbors, and friends, and they are willing to give themselves to something bigger than themselves. This is a trait we should want for all of our citizens, and Marines embody it phenomenally.

Marines are the best kind of people. They work relentlessly and all they care about is accomplishing the mission. They hear a song, their hymn, and they pop to attention and do it because some Marine, somewhere, is fighting for them. Some Marine, somewhere, is waiving goodbye and leaving, again. Some Marine, somewhere, is hunkered down waiting for relief. Some Marine, somewhere, is celebrating the Marine Corps Birthday in a fighting position, but they are celebrating it all the same. That person is their brother or sister, and they celebrate with a happy heart. I like Marines, because they celebrate their service’s birthday more festively and reverently than their own. I like Marines because they are selfless to the core.

Marines will continue to exemplify what General Mattis described as, “Marines, no better friend, no worse enemy.” They knock on the doors of nations in desperate need of rescue, providing assistance to get them on their feet again; and in a moments notice, we they will kick down the doors and meticulously fight this nation’s battles in the air, on land, and sea. They are professional warriors. It is said that Marines are the most ready, when the nation is not-your 911 service when all other options have run out. Marines live in a reality where their life is only partly theirs. I like Marines, because they walk a line, and they do with honor.

A Marine’s family is steeled in the flames of the conflicting lives a Marine must live. A Marine’s life is only partly his or hers, and the victim is the innocent. The family of a Marine waits, sometimes for a call, sometimes for a letter, sometimes the family just waits. Sometimes what the family waits for and what arrives is a tragic example of sacrifice. A Marine’s family is as strong, if not stronger, than the Marine themselves. I do not wish “waiting” upon the worst of people. I like the Marine’s family, because they give their soul, on loan, to the country, and they do it with a happy heart.

Today, Marines across the globe celebrate their birthday. They will drink and toast to fallen brothers and sisters, and they will tell stories about yesterday’s heroes. Marines will listen to a chaplain say an intercessory prayer on the behalf of those forward. Marines will watch the oldest Marine pass a piece of cake to the youngest. Marines, today, will celebrate their birthday the same way yesterday’s Marines did in Korea, Europe, the Pacific, and numerous other climbs and places.

Happy Birthday, Marines. Semper Fidelis.

I saw the teenagers out tonight, and I noticed one thing.  Besides the fact that none of them wore respectable clothing and most decided skinny jeans were a great idea, all teenagers now are kind of weird and unruly.  I don’t think I was ever this bad as a teenager, myself.  I don’t want to get you all hyped up first thing on a Sunday morning, but these teens were… maybe, you should sit down before you read this…these teens were, well, they were being loud in the mall.  I had to usher my pregnant wife away from the craziness of these teens and their reckless bantering back and forth.   I made eye contact with everyone of them, and my eyes said in a stern and unwavering manner, “STOP BEING LOUD IN THE MALL!”  It would have worked except these teens were looking through their bangs at me.  They were Bieber-Blinded and therefore did not get the full on effect of my enraged stare. 

There was this specific band of teenagers that kept converging on my wife and my journey through the mall.  Once, the teens had hijacked a shopping cart from some poor store owner and decided it would be a good idea to put the fattest member of their group in the cart and push him or her around (could have been a girl, but the boys dress like girls, and I don’t want to offend this teen and make him or her want to shoot up a school or something).  They all laughed and carried on like they were the first to think of this—like, as if teenagers of yesteryear were so inept that we were never put together enough to grab a shopping cart and push a fat kid around. 

I love being hypocritical in my views of teenagers.  I think as 30 plus year olds, we earned our hypocrisy.  Furthermore, I think that teenagers today are so awkward and goofy that their trouble is just annoying.  I know that I am different.  I know that I am a man now, because I look at teens in groups of three or more, and I cast judgment upon them, and they are all GUILTY.  My looks are no longer based in a nostalgic longing to feel young and unbound by the chains and shackles of life that we attach ourselves to in our adult years.  Maybe, I look at these teenagers being loud in the mall and think, “this is the best idea you could come up with, huh?” 

I also worry about how my daughter is going to want to dress.  I have to believe that every father and mother of the girls I saw in the mall yesterday started out with a hard-line stance against phrases written across the asses of their daughters.  In the very least, and maybe more importantly,  these parents were dead set on the idea that the asses of their daughters were going to be covered completely…

The teenagers all walk around the mall like they own the place.  They looked at the pregnant lady to my right as if she was too slow and needed to get out of the way.  And, while I agree that the pregnant lady to my right is very slow, she has a right to waddle down the same path these kids do.  Who is more likely to spend money?  Probably me, and I proved it.  The teenagers all have conversations.  I hate when teenagers have conversations, because their conversations are superficial, I can just tell.  I wanted to walk into the crowd of loud teenagers conversating* superficially and get all of their parents’ names and numbers and call them.  I would say, over the phone, in a very rhythmic and well enunciated tirade, “Do you have any idea what your kids are doing right now?  Well, I will tell you.  Your kids are being loud in the mall.  If that isn’t bad enough, they are doing it dressed like court jesters and whores.”  That would show them.

Teens in groups are all slowly marching to trouble or some lawless behavior.  Townships and cities need to make rules addressing this and they need to act quickly.  Even if your teen is a calm and collected responsible nerd, when he or she is in a group of three or more like-minded fools, trouble is a second away.  Sometimes nerd trouble is worse than pushing a fat kid in a shopping cart.  Just saying.

The teenagers are a powerful force because they have no fear.  Fear is important in a society.  I know they have no fear, because they wear stupid clothes.  Fear starts in the home.  I recommend instilling fear into your children today.  We need to rise against this barbaric movement of teenagers and their loudness.  We need to take the power back.  We need to stop fooling ourselves that our kids are trustworthy and are all on the sacred and pure walk to heaven.  They are not.  They are at the mall right now and they are loud and obnoxious. 

Step it up parents.  Get up, Stand up!  It starts by taking away their skinny jeans and making these kids dress like real people, like we did in the nineties.  Make them wear corduroys, and make them put on a pair of Doc Martins and dress like decent people preparing to be men and women.  If they want a different hair style make them shave the sides of their heads and let the top grow long, that was okay, because it was cool.  Remind them that the music they listen to is nothing when compared to bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Sound Garden, Alice in Chains, and bands that actually had lead singers that used their man voices.   Do your best and may God have mercy on your souls…

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years.


*Conversating should be a word.  Conversing is cool, but conversating is more cool.

Weekends are where life really happens in the Phillips household.  Weekdays are like a pause in what we really want to do around here.  As fall sets in, the mood in our home always brightens.  Everything about the season is happy to me.  I think the fall reminds me to slow down and relax, to look out the window and see the show that nature is putting on, and to look at my wife and remember who it is I married.  She is a fun, fun lady, and during this time of year, we do a lot of “us” stuff.  We work together around the house, we set it up to look like a harvest scene, and most importantly we enjoy ourselves.  Don’t get all weird with me, I am not going to spend the rest of this blog writing about how incredible my relationship is, because those of you who have been reading my blog, already know that.  I am going to tell you about the training I have put my wife through.   She has passed a rigorous program that would have broken a lesser woman.  I started thinking about this earlier this week and felt like you needed to hear what it is like to be married to me.  I think you all would love it (being married to me), and therefore you need to catch a glimpse.

Being married to me is awesome.  I am not a braggart; I am an honest man who tells stories.  Being married to me is awesome (This is my thesis).  Besides being generally easy to deal with, I am an inciter of chaos.  I induce into an otherwise relaxing lifestyle—turmoil.

I like spending time with my wife.  I like sitting around with her while she reads smutty novels, and on occasion, I like to pick the book up, and read the passages in a very dramatic manner.  Dramatic renditions of raunchiness are awesome, and they make Whitney very happy.  She loves it when I do this and shows me by giving me the “stink eye.”   I am going to teach my daughter to do this as well.  Once a husband or child grabs the book and begins an overly dramatic monologue entitled “Saddle up and Ride (an actual book title I found on our kindle),” it probably gets a little difficult for the reader to re-engross themselves in their fantastic voyage through word porn.   If there are any men reading this, I challenge you to do the same; it will either lead to a bonding moment between you and your wife, or your wife will never feel comfortable to read around you again.  Either way, you have succeeded in the one thing all husbands love to do….terrorize their wives momentarily.  Don’t mistake what I say for wanting to hurt our wives.  We don’t want to hurt them; we want to drive them crazy.  Only crazy to a point, and then we want our wives to chill out and prepare themselves for the next battle.  (This may actually be my thesis).

We do it in little criminal actions.  A great example:  In our home, Whitney is a Nazi-like organizer of the refrigerator.  She has a very systematic method for how she sees things fit together inside, and she hold briefings on them every time she opens up the door.  On shopping days, she will actually address the press in the middle of our house where she will outline the proper shelf for beverages, dairy products, where snacks will reside, and where random products that don’t fall in line with other things will go.  It’s simple.  Whitney would have done well in Napoleon’s Army as she has a knack for ensuring her orders are always understood at the lowest level of the chain of command.  They sound  something like, “Heath, in your brain, I know you think ground turkey is a dairy product, but here in the real world it is not and, therefore, should find itself in the lowest drawer of the refrigerator.”  Sometimes when I go to the fridge, I put things back in there in the wrong spot on purpose, and I get an amazing sense of rebelliousness swelling from my soul to the tip of my head.  Then I go and hide, and I wait, and I wait, and then it happens.  Whitney goes to the fridge and notices that her yogurt has been moved to the “random fridge item” shelf.  I come out from hiding, I walk past and say this, “Whitney, you know yogurt is a dairy item, right?” I continue, “Why would you put it in the ‘random fridge item’ area?”  Because Whitney is pregnant, she can only remember 17 minutes before the current moment.  I have used this to convince her she is slowly losing it.  As I walk away, she is mumbling to herself the same way the people in the movies act like when they are in the crazy house.  This is a victory for me—a yogurt induced victory.

Adding to her frustration, I like to pretend that every time she explains to me where items should go in the fridge is the first time she has explained it.  Furthermore, I like to patronize her by saying things like, “Dude, this is weird, I was thinking the other day how disorganized the fridge is, and that we needed to get on the same page in this house.”  If there is one thing my wife loves, it is being patronized—this is just another thing I recommend all husbands start doing in their homes…good times.  This is all out of love.  I love messing with my wife, because she is the only person in the world who could deal with it.

As Whitney has progressed through this pregnancy, things have become funnier and funnier to watch.   One of the things that has quickly become a great past time for me is watching her walk, stand up, sit down.  It is similar to when a turtle is put on their shell and just kind of flailing their arms about hoping they can develop the momentum to propel themselves into the standing position.  Before you all think I am calloused, I help out.  From wherever I am sitting, I cheer her on and time the evolution to see if she is getting better at it.  Awesomeness.

A final thing that I have liked to do is slowly reveal ways I got in trouble when I was a kid.  I explain to her about the time I stole people’s mail around the neighborhood.  I remind her I am a convicted shoplifter, I remind her that I joined a gang in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  We were the “gang that wore denim jackets.”  I wore headgear and in a gang fight, which subsequently got shoved through my cheek.  How many gangsters were ginger kids with headgear?  I was.  I remind her that I one time took a knife to our neighbors tree and shaved off all of the bark.  Apparently, the neighbors weren’t happy with the makeover.  I remind her that my high school friends and I were drunkards who would have sold our siblings if it meant we could get a twelve pack of Milwaukee’s Best (higher alcohol content).  I tell her that I used to torture my sister about her hair and how she had the exact same hairstyle George Washington had.  What kind of ginger kid with headgear would have the audacity to make fun of other kids?  This guy.  I tell Whitney, of the time I was taking another friend to baseball practice and wanted to change the cd out in the car and wrecked it into a jeep.  Right as the car hit the jeep, Tres Delinquentes’ “Step into the Madness” blared over the car stereo and it could not have been more appropriate.  I tell her all of these stories and then remind Whitney that our child will pay us back the hell we caused our parents; get ready.

Tomorrow I will tell you the story of how I convinced another blogger to give me a blogging award.

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years.

Two and three quarter days into my three day trek from Pensacola, Florida to Fredericksburg, Virginia, the phone rings in my truck.  Directly to my front, I can see my future.  Dark storm clouds are billowing towards my caravan pushing their way around the buildings of downtown Richmond.  My caravan, a motley crew, made up of a truck whose occupants include a handsome driver named, me, and two heavily sedated dogs, as their travel anxiety causes driver anxiety.  Following the truck, is a car whose occupants include a seven month pregnant woman, her swollen feet, which the pregnant woman contests are their own entity in themselves now, and behind her, in the rear passenger side seat, a three-legged Chihuahua sits shaking, because that’s what three-legged Chihuahuas do.  I am going to get to the phone call trust me.  Just not yet.  I want you to sit there and wonder why I would start this blog off by alluding to a phone call near the end of the journey and not the beginning of the three day drive that tested every facet of my being, from the fibers of my marriage to my ability to handle stress while manipulating a trailer through horrifying situations.

Trucks.  Huge trucks.  Huge trucks everywhere.  They growl like monsters.  They roar when they pass me, and the inhalation leading up to said roar sucks the trailer I am desperately trying to keep behind me towards them.  For split seconds every time I am passed by these beasts of the roadway I lose control of my train.  I feel it; my stomach feels it, and behind me, my pregnant wife has decided at these moments she should text me, the following, “Honey, are you okay, just checking cuz you’re swerving into the trucks…” 

I don’t know why but I have always felt like truck drivers are intimidating.  I feel the same way I would when I drive around them that I would if I was playing a pickup game of basketball with Michael Jordan—that being, completely out of my league.  I do this thing when they pass me to let them know I think they are cool.  One quick off and on of my brights to say to them, “you are past me, please feel free to come back over into this lane.”  They love me for this.  Sometimes they blink their taillights at me in an expression of gratitude.  I act like the kid who is trying as hard as he can to be part of the “in-crowd.”  At gas stations, I go out of my way to say hello them while standing in front of my trailer, my “beast of the roadway” leaning in the coolest pose I can muster.  I see them in the restrooms of the truck stops we frequent along our route and I probably spend too much time watching their mannerisms.  Once, Pregnant Whitney and I pulled into a gas station and walked in front of about five big rigs filling up their tanks.  I proudly escorted my pregnoid wife from their right to left and for just one awesome instance, I thought, “yeah, this is my lot lizard—I knocked her up.”  I was so proud at that moment.  Seconds later, Whitney did this weird pregnant leap, which actually means she stepped an inch farther than comfort would normally allow.  She lets out an odd whimper and then immediately stops, looks down and pulls the dog away from something that is unbelievably tantalizing.  Moments earlier, I had pulled a chicken bone from the dog that she had found on the side of the lot, so I assumed it was something similar.  Wrong.  There laying in all its awesomeness was a freshly used condom….My trucker brothers had been busy on this very piece of land…..I wanted to take a picture for my scrap booking….

As the trip begins, I can tell that my truck is in an uphill battle against the trailer.  My first acceleration to 65 mph took five minutes and I could watch as the gas gauge fell.  I looked up to the monitor that lets me know the fuel economy: 7 MPG.  Excellent, this was a good decision.  As the trip would wind up, I filled up my tank every 150 miles…..this is not bragging.  My wife filled her car up twice.  Excellent, this was a good decision.  I keep noting that the trailer is riding awfully.  Lurching forward, and pulling the truck downward in such a sharp motion, I thought that it was bad.  At the first stop, my wife, who is pregnant and has extensive knowledge of pulling a trailer or at least in her head she does, points out that the trailer is probably connected incorrectly; I ignore her opinion…remember the phone call…

Day two, my wife pulls out from behind me on the road and snaps a picture of my truck pulling the trailer.  She posts it to FB with a statement worshipping her ruggedly handsome husband pulling the trailer like a professional.  Comments pour in rooting us on as we struggle down Interstate 95.  My father was noticeably absent in my travels.  Not a word, a comment about how proud he is of his manly son who, like him, now pulls a trailer down the highway.  This could have been a connecting moment in our lives.  Maybe it could have been that moment in the father-son relationship where he thinks, “My boy has become a man.”   Nope, nothing, silence.  Our convoy continues northbound.

At some point on the evening of the second travel day, Fred Flintstone had entered my wife’s car and exchanged his feet with hers.  Initially, I was in such a hurry to fill up my tank and get back on the road that I didn’t notice what had progressed from knee down to my pregnant companion on this hellish journey.  Something happened.  It looked as if a balloon artist that worked at amusement parks constructed her legs out of those condom shaped balloons in such a manner that no distinguishable difference existed in the circumference of her legs from knee down.  At the bottom of her leg, where normal people have feet, were five round little balloons extending outward as if the balloon artist had adapted toes by twisting the balloons.  Couple this with her new walking style, and I now had a pregnant wife who looked like she was walking on wooden clubs with nubs for toes.  Cute as can be, but nevertheless, she was walking on wooden clubs.  Somewhere, Fred Flintstone was gallivanting around with Dino on a pair of normal human sexy feet, while my wife was a prisoner to wooden club legs adorned with Fred Flintstone feet. 

The storm clouds continued pummeling the scenery and at any moment, I knew I would be pulling my trailer through unknown roadways in a torrential downpour.  My phone rings and I look to see who would call me at this moment.  Had someone sensed my stress?  Had God shined down upon me with some voice that could calm my nerves?  It was my father.  I hastily answered waiting for the words from his mouth of recognition of my trailer pulling prowess.  My dad started talking, at first bantering about being on the road, but quickly, cutting to the chase.  The following exchange occurred two and three quarter days into my three day journey from Pensacola, Florida to Fredericksburg, Virginia:

Dad:  Son, I saw the picture Whitney posted of you pulling the trailer on Facebook.

Heath:  Yeah? (Said in a manner that knew the following words would be a moment I could not forget).

Dad:  Whitney got a good picture of the moment.

Heath: Yeah?  (Said in a manner that knew the following words would be a moment I could not forget).

Dad:  Two things.

Heath:  Yeah?  (Said in a manner that knew the following words would be a moment I could not forget).

Dad:  Your truck is too small, and the trailer is hooked up wrong…..

I immediately flashed back to when Whitney first pointed it out…I can’t stand it when she is right about things I ignored the first time she said it…..whatever.  So, I sit here in Fredericksburg, Virginia proof that you don’t have to do things right to get them done…  I sit here in the freezing catacombs of my trailer with my three dogs who all want dog mittens to keep their dog paws from freezing.  My wife sits across from me wearing summer gear wiping the sweat from her pregnant brow.  Excellent, this was a great idea….  

More to come…..

I remember watching a show on TV when I was kid called, “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”  Bill Cosby was the host and his job was to illustrate one great truth; when kids are asked questions, they will be brutally honest because it is what kids do.  They haven’t been trained through years of socialization that sometimes lying is the lesser of two evils.  Children don’t understand that what they are saying could be misconstrued as inappropriate or hurtful.  And when kids do this, they usually make for some very funny moments, thusly; Bill Cosby would host a show documenting this. 

In my house, I have something similar.  I have a wife with an inability to hold back.  She does not lie, at least to me, and she is really a breath of fresh air.  I have multiple examples that make her look really and sometimes brutally honest.  I am writing this and airing it out not so that people can make broad sweeping assumptions that she is in any way a difficult or an overbearing woman, because she is not.  I actually believe that because Whitney is certified “gifted” that some of the odd things she does are actually because she is operating at a level that I don’t understand.  She is like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.  Everything she does makes perfect sense to her, but can appear funny to others…..

Here are some examples of my wife’s ability to speak candidly….even when most would just omit or lie.

  1. 1.        Today I called home and was chatting with Whitmaster 5000, aka Whitney.  She was initially very involved in the conversation, but over time she was drifting away.  I thought I might have offended her or something was going wrong at home.  Here is a terrific example of her being overly honest simply for the sake of being honest.

Heath:  Whitney are you okay?  Is something wrong?

Whitney:  Oh, no, I am fine…..I just had a booger in my nose……

                  You can agree that this is a common problem for all of mankind.  I often have things in my nose that I wish weren’t there.  And yes, the object is distracting and inconvenient—especially if the object in your nose is a crayon, which coincidentally is scarier than you think, and I would advise against putting a crayon in your nose.  I am speaking from experience.  Moreover, I have to believe that masses reading this have also dealt with the difficulties involved with boogers.  Yet, in my three decades of existence, never has, in the exact same type of situation, somebody responded to me with, “Oh, no, I am fine…..I just had a booger in my nose…..”  People, I have asked thousands of men and women if they are okay, and if something was wrong—today, June 29, 2012 is the first time someone responded with the truth.  Very refreshing.

  1. 2.        Recently, before going to the mall where I like to spend all of my time, I got dressed into my favorite pair of shorts.  The shorts are “walking awesomeness.”  I have the calves of a four year old girl, but somehow these shorts make up for it.  I walked into the living room, very confident with myself, and Whitney knew it because when I am confident, I swagger, and then I start spontaneously flexing.  I shot the question out, “How does this outfit look?”  Then, I started flexing like I was in the pre-judging for the Mr. Olympia contest.  Here is a terrific example of Whitney being overly honest simply for the sake of being honest.

Heath:   How does this outfit look?

Whitney:  Good, except the shorts and the shirt. 

                Seems harmless, except that all I was wearing was the shorts and the shirt…..Very  refreshing

  1. 3.        Situation:  At the movies preparing to buy some popcorn from the emo dressed teenager working the cash register.  Emo Cash Register Girl has a name tape on that says “manager.”  Emo Manager Cash Register Girl, sounding as if we were the biggest inconvenience ever, says “What do you need?”  Here is a terrific example of Whitney being overly honest simply for the sake of being honest.

Emo Manager Cash Register Girl:  What do you need?

Heath:  (silently thinks to himself, “does this girl have any idea who she just sounded annoyed to?  Firstly, Whitmaster 6k doesn’t take this from anyone at the movies; she used to manage a place like this.  Secondly, Whitmaster 6k is pregnant and honest”).

Whitney:  Have you lost your damn mind, child.  Am I an inconvenience to you?  I don’t even want to know how you earned your way to manager, where is your boss?

Heath:  (at this moment, in an effort to reassert control, I said the following statement)  hmmmh hmmmmh.

                I thought I was going to formulate actual words, but instead I made two long horn sounds…..Emo Manager had no skills dealing with customers and deserved Whitmaster 7k’s honesty.  I have seen Whitney choke down horrible food because she loved the wait staff so much, so this Emo girl had it coming.  Very refreshing.

  1. 4.        A few years ago, my wife The Whitness, met my commanding officer.  He was a pretty high ranking gentleman and I respected him quite a bit.  Whitness had seen him working out before, and I guess she was impressed with what she saw—I’m talking Magic Mike impressed.  Well, as the party progressed, I had the opportunity to introduce Whit to the CO.   Here is a terrific example of her being overly honest simply for the sake of being honest.

Heath:  Sir, this is my wife Whitney; Whitney, this is my Commanding Officer (said in a manner as to indicate that this man can ruin my career).

Commanding Officer:  Whitney, it is a pleasure to meet you.  Wow, Heath must have a good personality because he sure isn’t handsome enough to keep a pretty girl like you around.

Whitney:  It is so nice to meet you too.  I have to tell you, I have seen you running and you have unbelievable calves……

Commanding Officer:  (lifting the bottoms of his pant legs up and flexing).  Phillips, this is a really good woman you have here….

I didn’t know how to take this.  I initially was worried my boss would be weirded out, but I quickly realized that had I not been married, Whitney would have chosen his calves over me—and worse still, I am certain that the calf remark had placed Whitney on his list of all time favorite women.  If there is one thing I do not bring to the table in my marriage, it is a surplus of calf muscle.  Naturally, this moment has left a scar on my soul, but I drudge forward, walking on my tip-toes in hopes that I am just a late bloomer when it comes to calves.  On many occasions since, Whitnasty has tried to get me to wear her high heels around the house in an attempt to help me with my self-concept issues.  It is the cross I bear.  I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years.   

1. Anything that reminds me I may be lazy. For example, looking down at my odometer and realizing that I am still very delinquent in getting an oil change for my car. I always rationalize my procrastination by blaming the Jiffy Lube for recommending oil changes more often than required so that customers come back and not because your car actually needs oil. How important is lubrication for an engine anyway? The sticker that Jiffy Lube puts on the corner of my windshield is a constant reminder of my pathetic inability to complete required man-tasks. Of note, I utilize the procrastination method on all of the following things:

a. water filters for purifications systems,

b. air filters replacements for anything requiring air filters,

c. tire rotations,

d. contact lenses and their recommended life spans,

e. going to the doctor for anything, dentist visits,

f. Anything with a due date, besides bills, but Whitney is too smart to test me on this and runs all of my finances.

2. Losing my wallet and keys every morning. Like clockwork, I come home from work, and put my keys somewhere. I don’t know where I put them, but I know I try to put them somewhere I won’t forget. Needless to say, they elude me every day. I actually start stressing out about their location in the wee early hours of the morning and wake up terrified I will not be able to find them. My father initially, and subsequently my wife have attempted to fix the problem by setting up a habitual place for the keys to go, but I didn’t want any more habits, so I choose not to participate in their feeble attempt at an intervention. Now when Whitney sees that I have placed my keys in a weird area, she says the following, “I know a place where your keys are that you’ll never be able to find them in.”

3. Abused Animal commercials. If it were solely up to me, I would own seventy dogs. I cannot even go to the Humane Society; I am not allowed there because I will adopt a pet or two. I love pets more than humans.

4. Drinking excessive beer and forgetting an entire night’s events. I recommend reading yesterday’s blog.

5. The little ball things inside of Okra.

6. People who write checks still.

7. People who don’t return their cart to the cart receptacle. I think we should be allowed to shoot them. I want vigilante justice on laziness, except when the laziness I mentioned in the aforementioned list on my laziness.

8. People who talk on their phones in public, but worse yet, people who use the ear thing to talk on their phones in public. I am sorry if you do this. You need to fix yourself at the earliest opportunity. When you do this, it makes me think of how vulnerable to attack you are. You need to practice making yourself into a harder target. In the military we call this Anti-terrorism Force Protection (ATFP). Start thinking like I do. Like every day, someone is trying to sneak up on you and bludgeon you to death. I will admit that this makes you react weird when someone runs by you or approaches you in any manner, friendly or unfriendly, but you are safer, trust me. I haven’t been bludgeoned to death yet, so I am a great example of my plan’s effectiveness.

9. Long Eye Closers. People who say something to you, but condescendingly close their eyes while they say it. I am not talking blinking; I am talking a prolonged closure of the eyelids. Their statements usually start with, “Well, when I do…..” and the statements are usually covering the “long eye closer’s” ability to do anything you do, but do it better.

10. People who go to the gym during peak hours and take up more than one machine. I would like to shoot these people. It should be acceptable and hold up in a court of law. On the same subject: I don’t like people doing any workout that could be done outside, inside. I don’t trust people who actually stop to gauge their heart rate during gym activity. People who don’t re-rack their weights are also shootable.

11. People who are naturally good swimmers. These are the worst type of people. But we all agree on this, so I won’t elaborate.

12. The feeling of chafing and it is only 0800 in the morning. You know this is going to be a long day.

13. The fact that Katy Perry is making a movie documenting her hardships…..

I just wanted you to know because I have been holding it in for years.

1. I am a loud clapper. I can clap louder than any person on earth, but not loud enough to produce a sound wave of destruction.  According to my wife, my clap is only loud enough to be really damn annoying. Last night, outside, at a baseball game amongst thousands of screaming fans, I clapped.  In doing so, I solicited the Whitney Phillips Look of Death, which does happen to produce a wave of destruction…Of note, Whitney’s Death Eyes Power trumps my Loud Clapping Power.

2. I have a high palette, in other words, the inside of my mouth extends higher up into my dome than the average Joe—probably because I sucked my thumb until August of last year.  Sound from my closed-mouth chewing reverberates through the empty catacombs of my head.  I don’t think it is loud enough to produce a devastating sound wave of destruction, but I lose myself in eating sometimes and go internal, just chomping away at whatever it is I am shoving into my mouth.  I use this power to annoy my wife. It is one hundred percent effective.  Of note, Whitney’s Death Eyes trump High Palette Power.

3. I accidentally ruin things a lot. My intentions are good, but this power only works for evil.  Let it be written that I have borrowed my wife’s expensive IPOD to help motivate me through yard work.  I write the following in the short legal statement I made to my wife after her IPOD seemed to have been broken by someone.  Said Named Husband (SNH) was working hard out in the sun laboring out of love.  SNH became distracted.  SNH took off the IPOD.  SNH put it on his truck’s tailgate. It stayed there for two days through two rain storms.  Due to no fault of anyone, the IPOD failed to work properly.  SNH wishes to make no further statement at this time.   Accidentally Ruining Things Power almost always causes Whitney Death Eyes.

4. If water is deeper than I am tall, and you force me to be in it, given only a few seconds, I will start my version of swimming, which I call fighting drowning. To onlookers, this looks like a full on panic attack.  I think what really sells it is the water-filled whimpers and muffled screams.  This power has led to one real life rescue. A man actually had to jump off of his boat and swim to me.  When he got to me, he threw swimming noodles at me and yelled, “Here’s some noodles, stop acting like a bitch….” I was 30 years old at the time….noodles never felt so good.  Aversion to Water Power caused Whitney’s Eyes of Embarrassment, which in turn caused Heath’s Power of Personal Inadequacy.  I am still not allowed in our pool when no one else is home.

5. I am a Whistle Talker. More often than I want to admit, I say my “s’s” with a whistle sound, no doubt due to my High Palette Power.  Whistle Talking causes my wife to immediately stop paying attention to me regardless of the gravity of the conversation. Another instance which breaks my wife’s attention span is if I accidently group two “do’s” in a row. For instance. One thing that we do, do around here is speak correctly.” Two Do Power causes my wife to act like a third grader who just heard someone fart…

If you have learned anything from my list of super powers, it should be that my wife’s super powers trump all of mine. She is like what DC comics did by creating Superman. Superman is so perfect that they had to introduce all of these outlandish characters to compete with him. Her powers are so great that I cannot win, and because of this I use my powers only to annoy. I just wanted you to know this, because I have been holding it in for years…

Lisa’s Rant saved me at the exact time I needed it most. I was just getting ready to write a blog that everyone would have hated, but now I get to do this one instead. What Lisa did in recommending me was probably not what she intended. I sit here writing with two things I have never received for or from writing. 1). A tremendously inflated ego, which I have taken out unabashedly on every person with whom I work and will continue to do so for the next forever. And 2). An Award.
I have been somewhat dishonest in my intentions as a blogger, but since it already happened, I can come out and just let all of you know. So, here goes:
I have only been writing to attain fame, fortune, and everything that goes with it. Does it feel different to be famous? I would say beyond a general feeling of being way more important than just an average citizen, no. I am the same man I was two hours ago before I got the email from Lisa telling me of my new found importance, except I have already fallen into a world of addiction and terrible excess. However, all is not chaos; there are rules to being a famous blogger, at least at the beginning. The rules are as follows:

  • § Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
    § Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award.
    § Copy and paste the award onto your blog.
    § Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
    § Let them know they have been chosen by leaving them a comment

I started reading Lisa’s Rant and writing blogs the same day. I wanted to follow people who were funny so I could steal their material, and Lisa is the first person I followed.  I have read every blog she has written and wait anxiously for her next. I guess what I am saying is all of you should read it and follow it, but most importantly, I am saying “Thank you Lisa, you are a stellar individual.” I am telling you that she could easily make it in the stand-up world just talking about vaginas / men / and child raising. Reading her blog has often times left me feeling inadequate, because she is that good. I have shared her words with my wife and we have both come to agree that Lisa is pretty much a badass. So, click here to get there and get ready for big changes coming your way.
The five people you need to know:

Love & Lunchmeat:  I just started following her and her site is for real.  Love it!  Anybody who is cool reads Love & Lunchmeat, plus you can read about her thoughts on procrastination and her real life near having a baby while she is walking in her blog Minivans weren’t built for that kind of speed.   This is a must read, I cannot say it enough!

Robotic Rhetoric:  I am certain this guy probably has more followers than allowed, but I am famous now and I can break the rules a little.

Miles Deacon’s Ramblings:  Again, I just found this guy, and he is really worth reading.  I don’t know how many followers this gentleman has, but it is not enough.  His poetry has this sneaky way of tugging on my heartstrings and he should be paid lots of money for it!!  One that will get you started laughing is his poem titled, “Another deeply sincere love poem.”

Scott Phillips is not on wordpress, but he should be followed if you’re into comics, vampires, the undead, KISS or other cult awesomeness. Check him out at

Ooamerica:  OOA’s USA Road Trip.  I like this one because I am jealous of what it is all about.  Freedom while travelling across the country and meeting people and just living. I honestly think this is the way my wife would like to live except include the world in the process.

So, there it is, I think this is awesome.  Before I sign off, I better thank my muse, my wife.  She has been victimized by me on multiple occasions and she has done it with grace and dignity!!!!  Whitney, keep saying goofy things and acting like you do, because I love you for it!!!!

I have been putting this one together for years, I just didn’t know it.  After watching too many episodes of Grimm, I have been thinking about the types of people that I see on a daily basis.  For those of you who don’t get what I am saying, allow me to get you caught up.  Grimm is a detective that has an ability to look at people and see what they really are.  Sometimes people he sees are actually evil fairytale characters parading around disguised as humans in order to attain their maniacal goals.  I cannot actually see anything other than what you see, but I have an uncanny ability to lump people together into groups.  What I have also noticed is that people with certain traits behave in similar ways.  Sometimes it is not a simple trait, but actions that people undertake i.e. Judgmental Runners all tend to act the same while judgmentally running, which I describe in detail in an earlier edition entitled, Judgmental Runners.  I encourage you to read it because it is a freaking very real phenomenon.  I have also used my wife, who I call Whitney for the sake of anonymity, to illustrate another sect of the human population, Pregnant Zombies.

Sometimes it does break down to a simple trait.  To be fair, and to avoid people calling me overly judgmental myself, I am a Tube Head.  Tube Heads are everywhere and they are pretty much a benign sect of the human population.  Famous Tube Heads include the actor who plays Dr. House, Abe Lincoln ( you might remember him as a Vampire Slayer, or the guy who kept the union together), and probably the most remarkable tube head, Beaker from The Muppet Show.

 Beaker, and oddly, this is very similar to a couple pictures of me

 Abe Lincoln

  Dr House, who looks oddly like my Uncle Scott

  Okay, here I am.  I have painted my face to accentuate the tube like nature of my head.  There is a little Beaker in there.

The tell tale sign you are dealing with a Tube Head is if there is no differential between the largest part of his or her head and the largest part of his or her neck.  Tube Heads are often referred to as Hotdog Heads.  The Hotdog Head’s only known enemies are Hamburger Heads, the worst type of people.   (The Hamburglar)

For the sake of full disclosure, all Phillips men are Tube Heads; this is a fact, and it is undisputable.

Getting to the meat of the story….the people I want to discuss today are a serious issue to all humans.  The Wide-Eyed Girl.  This perpetually surprised looking specimen is a threat to any they come in contact with.  Wide-Eyed girls may or may not exhibit bat-shit crazy tendencies until later in life, but rest assured, their true colors are lurking below the surface and they are unforgiving with their wrath.  Wide-Eyed Girls should not be cornered, they will act out or commit to random and irrational behavior.  Take for example the Wide-Eyed Girl, better known as, The Runaway Bride:

(Wide-Eyed and bushy tailed)

The Runaway Bride was so belligerent in her actions that at one point her fiancé, who she pretty much left at the altar, was actually suspected of foul play.  She showed back up out of nowhere as wide-eyed as ever.   Don’t mistake this Wide-Eyed danger to everyone around her for the beautiful and charming Julia Roberts on a quest to find out how she likes her eggs at Richard Gere’s expense (I asked my wife what the movie, Runaway Bride was about and this is what she said).  This woman actually called the police during her cross country jaunt and claimed she was abducted by another couple and sexually abused……all lies.  Nobody in their right mind would abduct a Wide-Eyed woman, even criminals avoid this species.  Be on the lookout, this woman is a menace to society, and worst of all, she is still out there.  Of note, her jilted fiancé was a Hamburger Head, what a dumbass.

I am not a politically charged person, but I know a Wide-Eyed Girl when I see her:

Just sayin……Cuckoo, Cuckoo.  There has also been limited occurrences of Wide-Eyed problems entering the male sex:

The scariest thing about Busey is that you can see a startling similarity between him and Pelosi….

My favorite specimen knew she was a Wide-Eyed Girl, and tried to hide it by distracting us with whimsical hair, squinted eyes, and a dirty appearance:

This woman wore a diaper to run across country in order to more expediently get to Florida to kill an estranged lover.  No big deal.  I am all about making things streamlined, even murder.  The apparent common ground for the wide-eyed is a propensity to run.  Even Nancy has been known to randomly travel the United States speaking gibberish to anyone willing to listen.

If you are a Wide-Eyed Girl, and you are concerned that you may be on the verge of a turn towards crazy, relax, everything is going to be okay.  You can beat this thing.  The key is recognizing the symptoms and knowing what to avoid.  I think it best for you to avoid weddings or engaging in adulterous affairs with married men.  Maybe more specifically, you should avoid all things related or pertaining to marriage, weddings, or murder.  If you are married to a Wide-Eyed Girl, you have an uphill road to climb, but it is doable.  If my wife was a Wide-Eyed Girl, I would sleep with one eye open as wide as possible.  The only way to beat a Wide-Eyed Girl is to keep yours open wider.

I just wanted you to know because I have been holding it in for years.