Try It Again

Living with four women, my wife and three daughters, means they dominate the attitude, personality, and culture of the house, inside and out. I’m always out-numbered, and usually wrong; according to them. Since we’re a blended family (I met my wife about five years ago, and my middle daughter, age 9, is my only biological child), the rules or lack there of and style of our lives is a lot different from most. We work, as a family, but if you followed our blueprint, you’d probably fail miserably. We’re like the New York Dolls or Guns N’ Roses. We don’t rehearse, we’re always disorganized, we seem like we’re high all the time, but once we hit the stage we’re magic.

I have so many females in my life, family and friends, that I hear a lot of complaining about bad husbands or lazy husbands or inattentive husbands. “They don’t pick up their clothes”, “they don’t pay attention to me”, “if I were a football/hockey puck/basketball/racecar then he’d listen to me”. Since I am a dude and thus a husband, I know the complaining can always go both ways.

This post was inspired by a very funny, quite randy exchange by two of my favorite writer friends, Debbie aka @SanDiegoMomma and the Empress herself, Alexandra of as they were talking about songs that “put people in the mood with their spouses”

Alexandra Rosas I know! I know! Have a man singing “I’ll bring home the groceries, fry them all up in a pan. THen I’ll take this laundry here and fold it over there. Cuz I’m your maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan…”
 Debbie Anderson Ooooo Alexandra Rosas! I just took my clothes off!
Alex and Debbie were joking. They’re happily married and were simply having fun at their husbands’ expense. But this is a common refrain. Dudes forsake the duties of the house and resentment sometimes builds and the next thing you know Diane Lane is cheating on Richard Gere with the French guy and someone has to get killed.
I swore to myself, when I was given a second chance at happiness with my wife, that she would never have an excuse to get it on with a Frenchy because I was ignoring household chores, not carpooling at the elementary school or turning my back while the teenager ran wild. In our situation, I do more laundry than anyone, I pick up kids, I even have taken on the role of “cheer dad” for my 17-year-old’s cheer teams at her high school. Using Alex and Deb’s model for sexiness, if getting stuff around the house accomplished is hot then I’m Brad Pitt or Ryan Gosling or whomever you women are into at the moment. So, my wife has it made, right? She’s got a dude who does dishes, gossips with the cheer moms, and irons.

Uh, have you read this blog? I’m nuts, like clinically crazy. Without anxiety pills and a whole lots of smoke and mirrors, living with me is a damn freak show. If I didn’t do the chores, pick up the girls, and listen to my wife’s day, I’d be a 42-year-old Taylor Swift – totally undateable and forget putting a ring on my finger.

My wife has to deal with me yelling at Harlem Shake videos for not actually being the Harlem Shake. My lovely Bobina has to watch me pace around the room searching for the perfect sentences to post or wondering if anyone’s read my book. I’m going to see The Gaslight Anthem in concert, my first rock show in 3 years, on Thursday of this week. I had to shut myself in the bathroom for a half-hour worrying about their set list.
Every marriage has their “thing”. Even if the husband doesn’t OCD-clean the place like I do, that doesn’t mean he isn’t repairing something or saving money for rainy days or just being a badass dude. I’m sort of half-chick in terms of emotions and style. I’m sure my wife wishes I’d stick my hand on my pants and burp more but I am what I am.
I don’t give advice and Lord knows I stay in trouble under this roof on a daily basis. I’m one episode of Vampire Diaries not being recorded properly from living in a van down by the river. But if you’re a wife or husband reading this and things at home aren’t what you want it to be, I say follow the words of the best band ever from Sweden, The Hives, and the contributors of today’s song, and Try It Again.

Buy my first book, The Ballad of Helene Troy on Amazon/Kindle also available on Lulu in paperback.


It may seem ridiculous for me to type hundreds of words about a liar talking to a narcissist but I think I can make a salient points that we can discuss and learn. A sociopath, Lance Armstrong, sat down with the narcissist, Oprah Winfrey, somewhere in Hawaii this week and picked his teeth with some kind of apology. Depending on which leak you believe, the other Lance, not this Lance, acknowledges he used performance enhancing drugs and lied about it for over a decade. At some point Oprah asks him how spiritual he was, if he ate hamburgers from Amarillo, Texas, and if he liked Dirty Dancing. There was some speculation in that last paragraph, toward the end.


Why is this important? On the surface some dude who rode a bike to many Tour De France titles, got cancer, beat cancer, really well, while doped up and then having his blood doped to avoid prosecution seems, well, whatever. In my opinion, this is important because for well over a decade he founded, ran, and used his charity pulpit, Livestrong, to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research. He did it on a lie of “I came back from the brink of death out of sheer will, determination and never give up spirit to be a champion”. Have you seen how many yellow bracelets people wear? Most of the people at your gym, kid’s soccer game, or church social have never pedaled anything more than a Big Wheel.

Okay writer Lance, not cheating athlete Lance, the money went to a good cause, he made a lot of people aware and happy, and at the end of the days he’s been stripped of every title he won and disgraced. Why do you care? I care because Lance Armstrong did more than lie. He hurt other people who tried to do the right thing by being truthful. Yellow jersey Lance abused people as much as he abused the drugs.

I’m going to watch the Queen Of Green billionaire Oprah interview the Pinocchio of Pedaling. Because I want to see if he answers some questions other than, “dude, you did you use drugs then dope your blood to evade positive tests? It should go sot of like this:

“Why are you letting me, Oprah Winfrey, interview you? I know nothing about cycling and my cable channel is watched by about 4,000 housewives and no one knows what channel it’s on their cable package unless I show a movie where Jo from the Facts Of Life gets beat up by her boyfriend. Did you agree to this because I was on one Hawaiian Island while you on another? I just told my bff, Gayle King, that you made me stay 2 extra days in Maui. This is hard work. So, you ask me a hard question, Lance, okay don’t.

Two of your perjury cases have had their statute of limitations pass. My producer, the one I didn’t fire for bringing my latte too hot, told me that. Is this why you’re coming clean?

I don’t like testicles, Gayle can tell you that, but you only have one. Is that due to all the drugs you took? I mean some steroids can cause cancer. Or is that cows? I’ll ask Dr. Phil.

Several of your old teammates like Greg Lemond and Tyler Hamilton questioned your drug testing results and your statements, now you say were lies. You basically ruined their careers through intimidation and scaring away sponsors. You’re worth millions, by the way, my gardener makes what you make, but I digress, and Hamilton and LeMond are having hard times making money through cycling. Are you sorry for them?

Oh the way you treat women, and trust me brother, I don’t like them either, otherwise I would treat my staff better and speak out more on women’s issues, is horrible. You dumped Sheryl Crow after she got cancer? I like her. She played on my show. What’s up with that?


More on the girlfriends, boyfriend! Emma O’Reilly, oh God, that sounds fake, that was her name? Anyway, Emma was an Irish girl who gave you and your team massages. In the early 2000s, she told stories of rampant doping and how she was used to transport the drugs across international borders. She testified that you tried to make her life hell. Her story was true, Lance, wasn’t it? And you knew it was true. Yet despite knowing it was true, you, a famous multimillionaire superstar, used high-priced lawyers to sue this simple woman for more money than she was worth in England, where slander laws favor the famous. She had no chance to fight it.  She testified that you tried to ruin her by spreading word that she was a drunken prostitute. That’s messed up, Lance. Oh and you sent one of your boys to threaten the wife of one of your teammates, Betsy Andreu when she and her husband, former teammate named Frankie, testified you admitted to using several drugs and doping agents. Now, you are going to call these girls and apologize too, right?”

The point is, the other Lance will unlikely answer these questions. It will be about feelings and redemption. Those are awesome things, if you weren’t a raging sociopathic gangster for over a decade while posing as the picture of perspiring perseverance and collecting checks.

Nine-hundred words about two people I’m convinced will be, as Bruno Mars sings, locked out of Heaven. Because they’re evil. I’ll be glued.

Here’s Interpol.


I don’t remember being sane, but I do recall when I completely went off the deep end. It was when I became a father. I’m not telling you that my children made me certifiable, but I’m verifying that they made it official.

More than Helene Troy becoming the book you read on your vacation or your next plane flight and more than I want the New York Jets to win the Super Bowl, I wish for my three daughters to be healthy and happy in spite of their dad. Sometimes this means I need to get the hell out of their way and sell my crazy, elsewhere.

My girls, their amazing mother, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, and my oldest daughter’s friend are riding roller coasters at Hollywood Studios. I’m in a hotel room worried about blog, a few paragraphs of Helene that I think need sprucing, and taking anxiety medication because I’m having a bad day with my crazy.

Its Father’s Day and for weeks I debated whether I should hang out with them or stay here, poolside, writing. I went to Animal Kingdom and when I felt myself drifting into jerk city, I doubled back. It was one of my finest moments as a father. Instead of ruining their fun, I got the hell out.

We’ll be apart for three hours. When they return they’ll make me dinner and do something terrific that I’m clueless about. They always come through. But for now, this is about recognizing me being awesome.

This is a great Father’s Day. I didn’t screw this one up by being crazy.

To those who get it and do it right, Happy Father’s Day.

100 word song return Tuesday with Tara handling the honors since I’m vacationing. Helene’s after that on Wednesday.

Here’s Gnarls Barkley.

Let’s Go Crazy

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to get through this thing we call life….

electric word LIFE, it means forever and that’s a mighty long time….”

It wasn’t much after 1984, the year Prince’s Purple Rain album was released, that I realized my real talent may be harnessing my neurosis into something palatable for normal people to handle. It took a while, over twenty five years, to reach my goal.

This morning, I walked into a convenience store, anxious for a diet dr. pepper, and freaked out when the cooler showed an empty shelf. So I fired off this tweet:

T Lance B

TLanceBT Lance B

If ur a convenience store out of diet dr pepper then change ur name 2 Satan’s Inconvenience Hellhole That Hates Babies & Puppies
The response was what I expected.

Bree Myers

Bree_MyersBree Myers

@TLanceB well your first issue is the diet dr pepper….. A fridge case full of it seems like the entrance to hell for me :)
Tom Ferda

TomFerdaTom Ferda

@TLanceB Last Tweet sure symptom of a DP addict….just saying….
It was retweeted 9 times…I appreciate those people greatly.
Kurt Cobain had heroin, Ernest Hemingway had whiskey; so I have my diet DP…..but they’re dead and I’m trying to get published. Maybe there’s a message there.
Writing every day while suffering through a social anxiety disorder and trying to be a good husband and father is teaching me how to be myself. I’m embracing my ticks and quirks such as needing bad soda, watching football and listening to five or six CDs a day. I don’t think I have addictions as much as I have neurotic tendencies that can be focused into positive ways.
What I’ve learned over the past few years since I went through therapy, rid myself of toxic people, and found some fellow writers that “get” neurosis and mental illness, is, being crazy is a celebration.
I only have one of these things we call life, to live. I’m not going quietly into that good night nor am I changing who I am to be more “normal”.
I don’t have a special place where I write and blog. I kind of do it where ever there’s a space to lay a laptop, some CDs and a diet Dr. Pepper. Today, it happens to me on the couch next to my wife and kids while they watch some teen movie called “Frenemies”. Considering my history with the internets, the movie is more ironic that you all or Alanis Morisette can imagine. 

Consider this post more of a neurotic fist bump as opposed to a weekend ramble.


So “come on baby, let’s get nuts!” Today’s about celebrating who I am and who your are….Let’s Go Crazy…together…thanks for being there for me, fellow crazies… 

Poison Pen

“Hold on daddy, my friend wants to trade pokemon cards.”

I fidget. The car’s 50 feet away. Do I have time to run out, get it down on paper then come and get her?

“Let’s go daddy, he doesn’t have good cards.”

She hugs me. I feel a second of calm. She’s a happy 8 year old who talks about her day in third grade. I stare at the yellow composition pad. I can’t wait.

“Daddy, what are you doing?”

I smile, embarrassingly.

“Writing the story about the girl who plays guitar. Something bad is happening to her.”

My daughter rolls her eyes.

*****blogger’s note****

This is my response to my friend Velvet’s 100 word challenge at The one word prompt is WRITING.

Today’s song is from one of my favorite 1980s bands, Hoo Doo Gurus. Lyrically the song isn’t compatible, but I often refer to my pencils and pens as drugs or poison because I can;t stop looking at them and/or writing. Here’s Hood Doo Gurus’ Poison Pen…good song