I am a writer who lives in Los Angeles. My sports writing and news reporting have appeared in most of the world's major papers and many of its minor ones.
I am a single father for half the week to a 6-year-old girl. I've got a largely undeserved reputation as Father of the Year, earned mostly because my daughter and I photograph so well together.
I enjoy old-timey country music and thoroughbred racing, and think the horse track is a perfectly acceptable place to take a little girl, thank you very much. (How else can they learn to bet responsibly?)
Manhattan, but in a tumbler please. I tend to spill.
A very special letter to my daughter, age 7, on the occasion of the marriage of William and Kate (perhaps you've heard about it):
I know I told you we could DVR the royal wedding on Friday and watch it after school, after daddy has caught up on all his Real Housewives. I love that you're starting to follow world events, and want to be a part of it. A real girl becoming a real princess! How exciting. But I've changed my mind, and I don't want you to watch. I think you'll understand if you'll let me explain.
No, it's not because I'm poor and I don't want you getting ridiculous ideas in your head about a wedding with 600 guests and a dress that costs more than your college education, though there's that, too.
The real reason is this: Royalty is one of the most backward, messed up ideas humanity has ever had, and it needs to be heaped with hatred and scorn. And nothing else.
The world of romance has its eyes on England this week. But why should the blue-bloods have all the fun? It's as good a week as any for old-fashioned, democratic ugly-bumping. Let Ask Dad be your George Washington, and lead your love revolution:
Dear Ask Dad, is there ever a time when a man really, truly doesn't want to have sex?
You're right to believe it's uncommon -- as rare as non-white people at the royal wedding. Even times when you might expect a man wouldn't want it -- he's exhausted from work, he's got a nasty cold -- he'll totally do it anyway. This gets at a theory I've expressed here before: Men tend to use sex in order to feel good, like drugs, where women tend to use it to celebrate when they're already feeling good, like champagne.
After Jamie Oliver got a highly publicized rejection notice from Los Angeles schools last year, saying he and his Food Revolution cameras weren't welcome in the faces of their increasingly chubby kids, I figured the Naked Chef and LA were over-and-done-with, and he'd go find some consolation prize like Bakersfield for his second season.
But Oliver, a stalker after my own heart, does not easily say no, and the whole show so far has been all about trying, repeatedly, to get into LA's schools' hearts and stomachs. Well, the stalking combined with some new blood at the top of the LA school district just may have worked.
Like Lucy from Peanuts, every week we here at Ask Dad erect our little lemonade-style stand, hang up a sign, and dole out advice to all you sad Charlie Browns out there. Only instead of it running 5 cents, it's free, and you don't have to deal with Lucy's self-centered bitchiness. So shoot, Chuck.
Are there some things men just won't forgive a woman for in a relationship? Is cheating one of them or can men overlook that?
Ah, the age-old question of the unpardonable sin. The gospels tell us it's blaspheming the Holy Ghost. The closest equivalent I can think of in a relationship is talking bad about your man's mama (more on that later). But most men, as I probably don't need to tell you ladies, are not very Christlike. So there are a whole lot more than one.
First and foremost, as you suggested, is cheating. Women are way more likely to forgive it than men (unless it's woman-on-woman cheating, then men are more merciful).
My first-grader is at an awkward TV age. She's too old for kiddie TV, but isn't ready to move into Waverly Place just yet. But I think I've found the perfect solution: Saturday Night Live.
No, I don't mean D**k in a Box or The Ambiguosly Gay Duo. (Though kids would totally love both of them if you were awful enough to let them watch. Sometimes I'm jealous of meth-addicted or neglectful parents who don't care. They've got it so much easier. Also -- fab fact! -- The Ambiguously Gay Duowas voiced by a pre-fame Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert!)
There are loads of skits and short films -- especially the digital shorts made by Andy Samberg and friends -- that are nearly kid-appropriate and provide hilarity for most ages.