Cryptic Facebook Status Explained

So I was trying to light the barbeque the other day, but without a lighter or matches. No problem, I thought to myself. I'm an Eagle Scout I should have no problem summoning fire using the skills I learned from the scouting program.

20 minutes later I realized that cooking chili in the can and getting into a fight playing basketball wouldn't help me here.

Thinking further back in my childhood, I remembered a time that I did an “experiment” in my parents kitchen by sticky construction paper into the toaster.
I don't know what seven-year-old me was trying to learn, but I remember what I got. Yelled at. And fire.

So I knew that my toaster made, besides delicious toast, fire. But I needed a way to get the fire to the grill.

I did manage to find some birthday candles. I don't know why we had birthday candle, I don't think I've ever gotten a birthday cake since I've been married. But this was not the time for bitterness, now was the time for clever solutions.

I figured a birthday candle would be the perfect way to transfer fire from something hot, like the toaster, to the grill. So I

About half way into this, a thought entered my head. Maybe this isn't such a great idea, I mean this is totally how an episode of Rescue 911 would start.

But then I remembered they don't make that show anymore, so I kept going.

In the end I failed to start a fire of any kind. I don't know if modern technology is made to made the potential everyday occurrence of jamming a birthday candle in the toaster less dangerous, or if I'm just really bad at everything I do but the end result was the same, my wife won't let me cook when I'm home alone anymore.

I'm not racist, I'm a sports fan.

Being sports fan means that you can honestly and truly hate someone that you have never met before just because of what they believe and how they look.

It's as close to being a racist as you can get these days and still be considered a good person.

You see, I was born a Yankees fan. My father was a Yankees fan. My siblings are all Yankees fans. My mother observes Yankees fan holidays. I had more choice in my hair color than I did my preference in baseball teams.

Being a Yankees fan is not as easy as some people make it out to be. People generally assume that you're just a band wagoner. You have to root for a team on the other side of the country that you have no real connection to. And there are Red Sox fans.

For those of you who don't follow sports, I may need to explain a few things here. You'll have to understand that the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry is about more than a mere game. It is the physical manifestation of literally centuries of competition between two of America's first cities. It has been around since baseball started being played on a field without cows. It's part of the game that is part of the soul of this great nation.

And seriously, they started it.

It all began when the devil himself went to Boston to start a baseball team.

I know my average reader doesn't care too much about sports, so I won't go into details of the long and sordid history between these two titans of the diamond. I'll just say that the Yankees have never used babies as bases, and leave it at that.

I mention this because I recently had what will probably be a once in a life time opportunity to travel deep into the heart of enemy territory, the very belly of the beast, and attend a Yankees/Red Sox game in Fenway Park in Boston.

Not wanted to draw attention to the fact that all 30,000 plus people there wanted to spit on me and dump nachos down my pants, I decided not to wear or do anything that would give any hints as to my true allegiance. With this in mind, I dressed like a jedi, because we all know that jedis are at one with the force as well as the entire American League Eastern Division.

I got to the game early to just soak in the ambiance that is Fenway Park on game day, which was a good decision and very enjoyable except for the fact that the were constantly pumping baseball stadium pipe organ music over the load speakers. The pipe organ is an excellent instrument uniquely qualified to play songs like “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” “Tequilla” or the timeless battle hymn about the dancing baby elephants.

It's not nearly so good at playing “Where the Streets Have No Names.”

I tried to blend in the best I could without feeling dirty. I would clap when the Red Sox made big plays, but I when it can time to yell and scream I stick to non-discriminatory remarks like “Yay baseball,” or “hooray for sports” or most often “I didn't go to work today!”

I don't think anyone noticed.

I was planning on doing something equally sneak whenever the Yankees did good, but that turned out to be a non-issue. The good guys don't always win, even when you travel the breadth of the nation to watch them play.

Still, the atmosphere in the stadium was electric. The entire place rocked with each long ball hit. Even though my team was losing that everyone around me was a Red Sox fan and a jerk, I still had a great time and would recommend going to anyone who likes baseball in any degree or fashion.

Unless of course you're a Braves fan.

Then screw you.

Steve Shinney actually played a lot of baseball when he was a kid. He was really good at “taking one for the team” which may be why he still can't pronounce extracurricular. Comments go below.

What is a father to be to do?

So life as a father of a fetus is a lot more stressful and time consuming than I expected it to be. Just like marriage and black people, I've gotten all of my information about pregnancy and the associated male experience from sit-coms. I've always assume all I'd have to do is get up in the middle of the night to run to the store for the ingredients for a barbeque flavored potato chips milkshake and to totally freak out in hilarious fashion when the big moment finally comes.

And so I practiced. I got pretty good I think. I had forgetting my wife in the car at the hospital down to a science.

But then I realized I didn't have to do any of that.

Actually so far, I haven't really had to do much. And I think that's the hardest part of the whole thing.

The one thing I've had to do is serve as a back rest for my wife while she lays on her side because her stomach crushes her intestines and makes her fart if she lays on her back. So she's taken to sleeping on her side. But our mattress sucks and kind of folds in on itself, which causes my wife to flop back on to her back during the night like a over-turned turtle on the side of the road: tragically helpless, in a slightly comical way.

This is where I come in. If I sleep crammed right up against my wife, I can keep her propped up in the correct position. This is awesome for me because I get to contribute to making a better gestation environment for my child and sleep at the same time.

Beyond that and trying really hard to learn the Chinese words for contraction and placenta so I can translate for her parents when the big day comes.

Unfortunately, I don't have much else I can do. I just sit there, muttering reassuring words while my wife does whatever it is women do that lets a baby grow inside of them.

Which apparently is a very complicated, time-consuming and painful process. It breaks my heart to see my wife as uncomfortable as she is. It hurts even more when I realize that we're not even to the “fun” part yet.

This does mean we're also too far away for me to be doing anything. No nursery to put together, stairs to baby proof or anything yet. So I just spend a lot of time wandering my house, looking for something broken to fix or something bug-like to kill. Anything productive but manly.

Mostly though, I just tell my wife that she's awesome and that I love her. It's not much, but it's all I have.

I suppose this is all part of the experience. I think having to sit back and watch my wife suffer through a hardship that I am completely powerless to help her with is a challenge that I'd suppose to face. Something to help me become a better father.

My kids will have problems that I will be unable to fix or endure for them. When my son breaks his a arm, all my understand of circuitry and electronics will be worthless. My daughter's broken heart can not be put back together with duct tape. If I'm to be a father – more than a father, a dad – I need to learn that some times all you can do for the person you love is listen and then say you're there for them.

That, and truly mean it.

I think this is why men can't get pregnant, we have more important lessons to learn before we can have kids.

This is why I can't imagine being one of those lesbian couples who want to have baby so one of the women carries the child while the other just offers support. I cannot imagine what my wife would do to me if she was in this state and I wasn't just because I'd called “heads.”

Geek on.

Steve Shinney is learning all kinds of neat things, like the fact that five-alarm chili is not good for babies. Comments and more info can be given below.