Category Archives: Humor

5 Reasons Why You Should NOT Move to Los Angeles

Photo ©Matt Vasko 2014
Photo ©Matt Vasko 2014

Let’s face it, Los Angeles is amazing.  But here’s the thing – we’ve got a horrible traffic situation, and as more people move here it’s only getting worse.  So, consider this to be me doing my part to help relieve the congestion.  Perhaps you’ve visited LA and thought it could be a nice place to live.  Maybe you’ve seen glorious images of it on TV and in movies.  Mayhaps you have family or friends here and just want to be close to them.  No matter the reason, you should not move here.  And here are five reasons why…

The Weather
Oh my gawd!  The weather here is freaking awesome!  It’s warm, sunny and gorgeous like 99.999% of the time.  And temperate too.  We only have a few weeks a year when it’s either too hot or too cold.  Most of the time it’s in the 70s or 80s.  It’s spectacular.
BUT…
It’s sunny like 99.999% of the time!  Do you realize what a monumental pain in the ass it is to put on sunblock every. single. time. you want to go outside for longer than it takes to walk from your house to your car?  Ack!  You don’t need that crap.  Forget it.

Photo ©Matt Vasko 2014
Photo ©Matt Vasko 2014

The Ocean
Holy Shit!  Have you seen the stunning beaches we have here?!  I mean, it’s so ridiculously amazeballs that you need to slap yourself in the face sometimes just to make sure you’re not dreaming.  They’re wondrous!  They’re enormous!  And there are TONS of them!
BUT…
Those sandy beaches get hot.  Seriously, you’ll burn your feet.  And the sand sticks to e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.  It winds up in your hair, on your beach gear, even your car.  Yuck!  No way!  That’s not for you!

The Mountains
WOW!  Have you seen these mountains?!!  They’re freaking everywhere!  They’re scenic and majestic and awe inspiring.  It’s nuts!  With a short 15 minute cruise you can be up in the mountains and completely forget that you live in probably the best city in the entire world – because it’s totally peaceful and zen and shit.
BUT…
They’re big.  And did I mention that they’re freaking everywhere?  I mean, a mountain range cuts through the middle of the damn city for crap sake?!  Who the hell thought THAT was intelligent city planning?!!  All that up, down, up, down.  Fuck that!  You’re outta here!

Photo ©Matt Vasko 2014
Photo ©Matt Vasko 2014

Hollywood
It’s the goddamn entertainment capital of the world!  Hell yes it is!  You know all those TV shows and movies that make LA look so glorious… yeah, we make those here.  We’ve got celebrities up the yin-yang.  I literally bumped into Steve Carell at the grocery store one day.  Nice guy.  Very gracious.
BUT…
If you think traffic is bad already, then just try getting through downtown LA during rush hour when Bruce Willis is shooting his next blockbuster movie at the corner of Grand and 1st.  Screw that noise.  You don’t need that.  Besides, Steve Carell is too damn chatty.

ALL the Other AWESOME Stuff!
World class museums, theater, music, dining, shopping, amusement parks, site seeing and on and on and on!  You can literally do something different every-single-freaking-day of the year and never get bored.  It’s as if the city is an oyster and it’s yours for the taking.  It truly boggles the mind.  This place rocks.  Hard.
BUT…
Uuuuuuuuuugh… it’s exhausting!  You’d be overwhelmed.  It’s too much.  It’s just too much.

Well, there it is folks.  Los Angeles is absolutely, positively, the best place to live in America and possibly even the world, hands down.

But it’s not for you.

So don’t move here.

McDonalds PlayPlace: A Parent Paradise

Several months before our twins were born I swore off fast food.  I was roughly 50 pounds heavier than I am now and I wanted to lose weight and get in shape.  I knew that once those buns were out of the oven and started running I was going to need to be in much better shape if I was going to keep up with them.

I was also one of those people who – before my kids were born – swore that I would never take them to McDonalds (or any other fast food joint).  Buuuuuuut… then we were on a road trip when the kids were two and we needed a quick bite and a place for the kids to stretch their legs.  We succumbed to stopping at a McDonalds.  No surprise – the kids loved the food, not to mention the fact that the trinkets that came with the Happy Meals absolutely blew their minds.  I mean, there were free toys!!!

That particular Mickey D’s didn’t have a PlayPlace, but it did have an enclosed patio.  There was no one else on it, so we let the kids roam while they ate.  This experience seemed to leave an indelible mark on their psyches, because every time that we passed a big yellow “M” after that we would hear a chorus of “McDonalds!!!” cheered from the back seat.

In time, we decided that McDonalds would be an okay once-in-a-while treat.  And when they did experience a McDonalds with a PlayPlace for the first time, forget about it – they were McDonalds junkies.  Whenever we would treat them to it, they would absolutely lose. their. minds.  Each visit was like Christmas morning on a sugar rush.

Cut to me becoming a stay-at-home dad.  They had recently turned three.  I get monthly allergy shots and decided that their treat for not tearing apart the doctor’s waiting room each month would be lunch at McDonalds.  Little did I know that I would become a McDonalds junkie, too.

Here’s why… McDonalds PlayPlace is Parentopia.  It is Mecca meets Nirvana meets Starbucks.  There is absolutely nothing for a parent to do at a McDonalds PlayPlace… and it’s marvelous!  The play area is safe and typically enormous.  The kids actually want to eat their lunch.  All you have to do is lean back, keep one eye on the kids, and dine on any one of too many menu items – most of which are guilty pleasures.  I could be getting a full-body massage by a babbling brook and not be as relaxed.  My kids could be at a $12-for-two-hours indoor gym and not be as happy.  Literally, you look around at the other parents and all you see are smiling faces partially obscured by smart phones.

Sure, they always forget the barbeque sauce for my son’s four-piece Chicken McNuggets, at least one of the toys is missing or wrong, and there are never enough napkins, but it’s air conditioned and offers free drink refills.

If you know of a more idyllic spot for parent/child bliss, I’m open to suggestions.  If you want to give me a hard time about treating my kids to junk food once a month, have at it.  But if you want to try to prove to me that I am wrong about McDonalds PlayPlace being Parentopia then you’re going to have a fight on your hands.

Namaste

12 Things You Say to Your Preschooler and What Your Preschooler Hears

Preschoolers have inquisitive minds, joyous spirits and they’re generally one heck of a lot of fun to have around, but what you say and what they hear are never the same thing.  Here are a dozen things you say and the preschooler translations.

1.  You Say:  “This is a new food. Try it.”
Preschooler Hears:  “This is disgusting. Eat it.”

2.  You Say:  “Listen to me.”
Preschooler Hears:  “The next thing to come out of my mouth is going to bore you to death. Hey look, a butterfly!”

3.  You Say:  “Mommy/Daddy has to go to work.  Enjoy your first day of preschool!”
Preschooler Hears:  “Farewell, my friend. I’m leaving and I don’t know when or if I will be back again. We had some good times though, didn’t we?”

4.  You Say:  “I need to make an important phone call, so please be quiet and play by yourself for just a few minutes.”
Preschooler Hears:  “You and I just don’t talk enough anymore. How’ve you been? Say, is there anything I can do for you? Are you hungry? Perhaps I could fix you a light snack.”

5.  You Say:  “Quiet down.”
Preschooler Hears:  “I’m really old and don’t hear so well. Please scream into my good ear.”

6.  You Say:  “Don’t you dare do that.”
Preschooler Hears:  “This might be your last chance to do that. Hurry!”

7.  You Say:  “Why did you do that?”
Preschooler Hears:  “Look innocent and slightly confused, and keep your mouth shut.”

8.  You Say:  “This won’t hurt.”
Preschooler Hears:  “This is going to hurt. A lot.”

9.  You Say:  “This might hurt a little.”
Preschooler Hears:  “You are about to experience pain like you have never known. Run!”

10.  You Say:  “Daddy/Mommy is in the bathroom.”
Preschooler Hears:  “You need to go potty. Right now. Don’t you feel that pressure on your bladder wall? Please ask me to move. If I ask you to wait, just go anywhere.”
(Alternate Translation: See #4, above.)

11.  You Say:  “Bath time!”
Preschooler Hears:  “I want to be soaked from head to toe.”

12.  You Say:  “Bedtime!”
Preschooler Hears:  “Let the games begin!”