You are never too old to play dress up. (SacAnime #2)

Last year, we went to an anime convention in Sacramento…and we fell in love with it. My wife and little one dressed up….I didn’t. We could not wait til the next one. And after this Holiday season, it was back…it was time to play dress up. But what should we dress up as? Wifey got on it.


Tina Belcher and Jimmy Pesto Jr. from one of favorite TV shows…Bob’s Burgers!



Never heard of this show? Netflix baby!


No…I wasn’t trying to dress up as Justin Bieber.



We love this event. Our best friends came with us and brought their kids…and the kiddos loved it.



As you can see, Bug wanted to be Princess Leia.


Too much awesome in this picture.

As you can see Bug wanted to be Princess Leia…


She found a partner in crime…Rey.

We went on the busiest day….and the most expensive day. But, seeing the smiles on the faces of the kiddos…makes it all worth it. Seeing their favorite characters walking around and taking pictures…you can’t put a price on memories. On the drive home, me and wifey talked about the whole experience.


Wifey: We are such dorks.

Me: Not me…just look at my hair…it’s fabulous.

We do it for our little one. We want her to grow up remembering how her dorky parents dressed up for every event and convention….



Losing the ability to cry.

The award for worst boyfriend in 6th grade goes to…(Daily Prompt)

I woke up and looked in my closet. It was the first day of school…a new school. My mom was already awake and making breakfast. She appeared at my door.

Anak…kain na(Child…eat now.) And you’re uniform is on the chair…”

I looked to the chair in my room…there it was…uniform.

“Mom…it’s ugly…it’s brown…and white.”

She gave me the look. That look….that means ‘you better do it.’

It was the first day of 6th grade. I felt I had sacrificed enough…first my hair(I had a tail and students were not allowed to have long hair. And on a side note, I was later notified by ALL of my family that it was not a ‘tail’ but more of a mullet. How embarrassing.) And now my clothes.

I was dropped off and walked to my designated area for my grade. And something happened…I found out it wasn’t so bad at all. I quickly became friends with my classmates and fit in pretty well. Most of my classmates had been together since kindergarten so I was scared that I would never feel a “part” of the group.


A couple of months passed and I received an invitation from a classmate. It was a birthday party. I casually asked some of my new friends:

“Are you guys going? Who else is going? Any of the girls?”

And soon found out everyone was going. I was excited. NOW, people could see what I really dressed like. No more brown and white uniform. When I got home I attacked my closet.

“Uhh…this….and that…no. This one…No.” I was in there forever. This was a big deal to me. The very first time my classmates would see me in regular clothes. It had to be my best outfit.

After I was satisfied with my fashion choices, I had peace. The party was this weekend. I had never been to a party like this before…every other party involved McDonald’s(which is pretty sad). This was a big kid’s party. My mind raced.

“Will there be dancing? I don’t even really know how to do any of that?”

I grabbed the remote and changed the channel to MTV. And Bobby Brown invaded my TV screen.

I practiced in front of a mirror…and looked ridiculous. This? This is how you are supposed to dance? Oh well, I gotta do it. New kid…new school…new dance moves, I guess.

The day came and I was ready. I stood in the mirror for an hour getting my hair ready….emptied a whole bottle of pink Dep hair gel…and finished it off with Aqua Net hair spray.

I kept thinking about dancing…about Bobby Brown.

“Every little step I take….you…will…be…there.” And I would practice the moves. Yup, still look ridiculous.

Maybe there wouldn’t be any dancing? But, I had to prepare.

After all that, my mother dropped me off.

“Be good Anak.”

“I will…mom.”

And walked into the party to hang out with my friends. A couple hours in I sat down on the couch to rest from a frantic video game battle on the Sega Genesis upstairs. I was not alone. There were two girls sitting on the couch across from me. One of them started to talk to me while the other one looked on.

“…i like your shirt.”

Yes! I am so glad you noticed…took me an hour to pick it out. Well, that’s what I said in my head. I really said this:

“Thanks, my mom got it from Miller’s Outpost.”

But, by the time I finished that sentence…one of the girls was walking towards me….I froze.

She stopped in front of me…and kissed me on the cheek.

“You’re cute.” And walked away.

Whoa, what just happened? The rest of the party was a blur. My mom picked me up.

“So, anak, how was the party? Did you have fun?”

“…Yes.” (i was still in shock)

“Well…what happened? Tell me about it. Were there any girls from your class there?”

“Nothing mom…ok? nothing…nothing ok? and girls? what about girls? nothing.”(I was frazzled.)

I just wanted to get home and hide in my room. I needed to process what had just happened. What would happen at school on Monday?

Monday came and it seemed like a normal day. I walked in and saw the girl…the girl who kissed my cheek. I was nervous. How am I supposed to react?

“Hi, Daniel.”


“Can I talk to you at recess? Nothing big.”


Great…what am I supposed to do?

The bell rang and I ran outside to receive my fate.

I sat down on a bench and watched my friends pick teams for football.

“Dan…you gonna play? Come…we are picking teams.”

“I can’t man…I hurt myself….uhh…so I have to sit here.”

I turned to the left and saw ….her….she walked up to me and handed me a note.


I grabbed the  note and looked to see if anyone saw me receive this letter. I walked to the bathroom as nonchalant as I could so I could open it up.

“Will you go out with me?”

Now things are different now…but back then it basically meant “will you be my boyfriend/girlfriend?”

I didn’t know what to do. She was going to expect a response. This is happening way too fast. I mean, i just want to play video games and play basketball. I don’t want a…a…a…girlfriend. I don’t know how to treat a girlfriend…am I supposed to take her to the movies? Take her to fancy restaurants like Denny’s? I had no money…I received an allowance. I mentally calculated how much a date would cost.

“3.25 for matinee movies…popcorn….candy…grand slam at denny’s”

It was too much math…and I was not good at math. But, I didn’t want to be mean to her and say no. I was new…and I didn’t want her to hate me.

I walked up to her….

“Yes.” And I walked away.

What did I just do? I have a girlfriend now….I don’t even know how to spell her last name…wait, what is her last name? I imagined the future.

“Mom…Father…this is ____….” And she would turn to me.

“…I’m sorry my last name is ____. Did you forget my last name? Do you even know my last name? You don’t know me at all! You are the worst 6th grade boyfriend EVER.”

And she would run away…stop and turn and say.

“And by the way I lied…I didn’t like your shirt…”

What! That took me an hour to pick out!

Today’s daily prompt talks asks us about our funniest relationship story. We were all clueless when we were young…and I should have received the award for worst 6th grade boyfriend. Why? Well, I had no idea what I was supposed to do as a boyfriend. She gave me her phone number…I never called her. I was too awkward on the phone. And at school, I never hung out with her…because I was awkward and clueless. I did the exact opposite of what a boyfriend is supposed to do. Two weeks later, I received another letter from her…a letter to break up with me. Lesson learned.

Baby, it’s cold outside.

It’s cold.

All those times I complained in the summer…

“It’s too hot…man, I hate it.”

“What, no air-conditioning? I’m staying home.”

“All I do is sweat all day…this is crazy. Where is the ice cream man? I need ice cream…STAT.”

I take it back…you hear me summer? I take it back! Please come back. Where are you sun? It’s cold. I see you, but something is blocking you…something is blocking your precious warming rays from my poor, frostbitten bald head. I think it’s called Winter..or something like that.

I don’t like sweaters…and now I have to wear them every day. And I don’t have many sweaters…so my sweater rotation game is not strong. And I notice you are gone because my PG&E bill is huge. But, i have to make that decision, either we live polar bears in igloos…or continue to pretend we don’t have to walk around the house with layers and layers of clothes covered in blankets.

But, winter isn’t all bad. Because Santa is here. Making appearances all over the world. And one of Santa’s biggest fans couldn’t be more excited.


Bug excited to take pics with the Big Man.

The magic is real and I love it. Santa is definitely a rock star in our house. And her Christmas list for Santa is ready to go.

“Santa,  I want a Science kit…to do experiments.”

Whoa, what? Are you sure you are my kid?  A christmas do work? Are you feeling well? Did we forget to get your flu shots done?

Sadly, this is really what she wanted. I asked her if she wanted any toys…and she said no. But, I guess it’s ok for my little one to grow up to be a scientist…and not a procrastinating video game addict like me.

But, along with the man in red comes other happy things. Like food. And this is a holiday tradition for me:


Don’t worry that’s a “diet coke” in the background.

I eat one of these bad boys once a year…and it’s that time of the year. After driving around for hours looking for parking…and standing in lines…and watching adults melt down and get angry for nothing…I eat one of these to calm my nerves…and my stomach.

I know what you are thinking.

“Whoa..that looks really good. But, only once a year? Why? Why deny yourself this happiness? Aren’t we meant to be happy, Dan? Don’t you want to be happy?”

And I would say:

“Yes, once a year. And yes, I always want to be happy…but have you had one of these things before? After you eat one of them, they literally sit in your stomach for a year. I think my body is still digesting last year’s Cinnabon.”

But, seriously, I love this time of year. The Christmas songs…the smell of chimneys…the walking around at the malls to look at stuff that I will probably never buy. Have you ever been in a Brookstone store? I go in there all the time…and have never ever left with a Brookstone product in my hand. Besides, I have other things to spend money on, like more food.

I spend as much time at the mall as I can during this time of the year. Why? Yes, it can be annoying…and crowded. But, I think under all that stress…and outward anger that people may feel during this time…is a little kid, excited about christmas. Memories are made during this time of the year…like the one I had after I bought the Cinnabon I showed earlier.

I sat down to enjoy this miracle of Christmas and received a beep on my phone. My wife was calling me.

“Where are you? We are at McDonald’s….Bug wanted a Happy Meal.”

“On my way.”

I packed up my treasure and thought that McDonald’s fries would go great with this meal. I found my family and sat next to them. I finished my Cinnabon and started to clean up our area. I looked in my daughter’s McDonald’s bag and started to put my trash in it…but noticed something hiding in there…something near the bottom of the bag…one lone french fry. A poor french fry that somehow was left out of this meal. A french fry that was meant to be enjoyed by someone. To fulfill its destiny…who am I to deny this french fry its destiny? So, I grabbed it…and rejoiced outloud.

“WINNER WINNER…woohooo last fry! All mine!”

And ate it…I chewed it happily…but the happiness was short lived as I watched my wife laughing in front of me.


I was confused.


“When we first sat down, Bug took her apple slices and fries out of the bag…and that particular fry fell down on the ground along with a couple of apple slices. That thing has been on the ground for a good half hour. I picked it up before you got here to clean up the floor. And you just ate it.”

I felt horror….and my mind started to wander.

I imagined how many people have walked into McDonald’s and sat in this very spot…who stepped on that very spot that that lone french fry laid on…where have those peoples’ shoes been? What if some worker had mopped that specific area…right after they mopped up a mess in the bathroom…and all the germs that stampeded onto that poor french fry. And now all those germs are all dancing in my stomach.

Yay, me.


Happy Holidays!

You mad, bro?

Anger is a funny emotion. Sometimes it can appear in seconds…and disappear as fast. But, it some cases, it can last years….or even a lifetime. We are all guilty of having grudges…helping anger fester in our hearts for a ridiculous amount of time. And we can hold on to that anger so long that we forget why we were even mad in the first place. But, fate gives us chances. Chances to fix that. Chances to finally let go of the long-lasting anger. And when we decide to give up on that anger, questions may float in our hearts depending on the situation.

“Should I stay mad? Why am I mad in the first place? Is that person mad at me too?”

Now, if someone wronged you…it’s easy to fix. Not because your feelings are not important, but because the person who wronged you is waiting on you….waiting for forgiveness and acceptance. It starts and ends with you. But, if you are the person who wronged someone it is more difficult. You may sit there and become angry because that person is angry with you. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?

“What? So-and-so is mad at me? Well, I don’t care…I’m mad at them for that one time they did that one thing.”

But, we are all guilty of that.

Now, if you wronged someone and they are angry with you, that is much more difficult. You have no reason to be mad at them…and they have all the anger. That’s where time comes into play. Are they ready to talk? Has their anger consumed them so much that they are blinded? If the anger is fresh, the person may say things they don’t really mean. But, if the anger is tossed aside for too long, if can just become a “norm” in that particular relationship…and will take much more work to fix…or in extreme cases, end the friendship/relationship.

If wrongs were done on both sides…it gets more complicated. You make a mental scoreboard in your head.

“So-and-so did this…so i had to do this….I know what I did was wrong. But, that person also said this and did this.”

And then there is anger by association:


“So-and-so is mad at this person. I am mad at that person now too. Because so-and-so is my friend. I have no part in their situation, but I feel I should be angry too. This has nothing to do with me, but I don’t care…I’m mad.”

Stupid…but it happens.

I know what you are thinking.

“Dan, I know all this stuff. I probably experienced this stuff also. Why are writing all this? Did something happen? Is someone mad at you, bro?”

And I would say…

“I know…I’m venting. But, yes someone is mad at me. And you are very kind to notice…you know me so well.

Last week, I was given an opportunity to try an fix anger. Anger that had festered for years, 15 years to be exact. And it was a complicated type of anger. All that stuff about the different kinds of anger I wrote about earlier? Yeah, that was involved in this complicated situation. Them wronging me…I wronging them…and anger by association.(I have no idea if “wronging” is a real word, but it just made sense to me.)

I know what you are thinking.

“Whoa…you said ‘them.’ There’s more than one person? What did you do to make a gaggle of people…a plethora of people…a heap of people…mad at you, bro?”

And I would say…

“Look it’s a long story…and it takes 15 years to explain. And we really don’t have time to go over that…isn’t Christmas like 11 days away? Shouldn’t we be more worried about that? And all the people who you still have to buy presents for?”

And you would say.

“Fine…don’t tell me. And thanks for reminding me that I am not ready for Christmas…thanks a lot Dan.

And I would say.

“ you are mad at me too. I’m sorry.”

Like I said, I was given an opportunity. I was nervous because I didn’t know how “them” would react to me. But, I had to do something. If they were not going to give me peace…at least, I would know I tried..and that would give me peace.

The day came and I saw “them.” And I could see the anger was still in their hearts. But, I wasn’t going to give up. I never knew when I would ever see “them” again, so I had to approach them. Just to show a sign of peace. I didn’t know what to expect, but at least they would know that I was thinking of them.

And “them” did not make it easy. We caught eye contact…and the anger was there. They stood there…and I couldn’t approach them all at the same time. I had to come up with a gameplan, to try to get them one by one. They were united in their anger…and that would definitely overwhelm me. Time passed, and “them” separated.

I saw one by himself. I made my move…I walked towards him…and tried to make it un-obvious(is that even a word?) He saw me walking towards his direction…and slowly turned his back away from me to block me. It was deliberate. But, I simply walked around him…and extended my hand.

“Hey ___, it’s good to see you man.”

He extended his hand…and didn’t say much in return…he shook my hand but his face remained the same.

I walked away. And saw another opportunity with another of “them.”

And the same exact thing happened. This person turned their back away from me…I walked around them…and extended my hand. And they reacted the same.

Two down, one more to go. I knew this one would be tough. Because this person was glaring at me. As if to warn me…”don’t do it…don’t even try.”

And i didn’t. Fate didn’t give me that opportunity. I just felt, it wasn’t time.

You’re probably thinking:

“What? You gave up? What if you never get another opportunity like that?”

And I would say:

“He looked crazy mad still. And two out of three isn’t bad? That’s like 66% right? That’s a good solid ‘D’ on a report card. Ok, having a good solid ‘D’ is still not good. But, before this, it was a 0%”

But, I don’t think it’s over. Fate will happen again…and maybe it will be time then. Maybe one day, he will wake up and get ready for his day. He will pick out an outfit for the day and go through his sock drawer and say this:

“Man, I gotta do laundry…running out of clean socks. All I have left are all the socks with holes in it. Come to think about it, most of my socks are starting to have holes in it…how is this happening?”

He’ll go to work…and sit at his computer. He’ll check his regular social media sites…send some random text messages to his friends…and notice his shoes are untied. He will reach down and tie his shoes..and notice the socks he had to wear today…the ones with holes in them…and he will think:

“Socks…why are my socks starting to have holes in them? I’ll just google it…’holes…in…my…socks…why?'”

And as he scrolls down the possible topics…this might appear.


“Oh, hmm…a whole blog dedicated to this mystery…I should check it out…this guy might be going through this holes in my socks calamity also.”

And then, he finds out that it’s not about socks. And something on this site catches his eyes. A blog entry about anger.

Hey, it could happen.



The meaning of “Best.”



“I had so much fun, Dad…playing with my best friend.”

“I’m happy babe…its so nice to see you make a new friend.”

This tidbit happened last night on our drive home from a game. But, then I remembered this last week.

“So how was your day baby? Have fun at school?”

“Yeah…played fun games at recess with my best friend.”

And this one about a month ago.

“Daddy, I haven’t seen Jonah in a long time…I miss him. He’s my best friend.”

“Soon baby…we have a few get-togethers coming up..and he will be there.”

When I think of a best friend, I think of a person I can always turn to about anything…a person who won’t judge me for who I am now…and who I was in the past…someone who understands what makes me tick…someone who is there to laugh with you…cry with you…and listen to your randomness.

I’m not a mathematician(took me 4 times to spell this correctly, in fact, the first time I tried to spell it, it auto-corrected to “math magician” which sounds way more cool) but doesn’t that make 3 best friends? One little girl she met two weeks ago…one girl she has been going to school with for three years…and a boy she has known since she was tiny.

And when someone says something or someone is the “best,” that means top of the heap…number one…numero uno…head honcho.

It made me look at how I judge my friendships. Who did I consider my best friend? An imaginary circle popped up in my head. That circle then broke into different circles….bigger ones….small ones…medium sized ones. And there were categories…and sub-categories. The internal discussion in my head was mad crazy.

“…definitely so-and-so. But…well, I have definitely known this other person longer…so it has to be so-and-so…no no…we didn’t talk for a long time…so I have to consider that gap…the gap is important…the other person was consistent with their friendship…but wait, what about so-and-so…they know EVERYTHING about me…but I have not known them as long as the others…the deepness of the conversation is important…so i have to judge it by length of friendship….how much they know the real me…and keep into account, any gaps of friendship or awkward fights.”

This was going to take forever. I literally thought about putting all of these friendships on an excel spreadsheet to figure this out…color-coordinate it by categories. But, that is a lot of work…and my life is pretty much based on doing the least amount of work possible. It made me realize, it is normal to have lots of best friends. But, what makes this possible…is the situation.

For example:

Work best friend:

The person you talk to the most at work. You gripe about the job together…complain together…laugh at people together.

Significant other/wife/husband:

This person deals with you every day. You wake up next to this person…they hear you when you snore….hear other embarrassing sounds…and know what you really look like in the morning…and know how you act before that first cup of coffee.

In and out friend:

Your lives are too busy for each other. But, when you do get to talk to or meet up with this friend, it is seamless. It’s like you spend every day together.

That friend who has that one thing in common with you:

We all have hobbies. And sometimes, no one in our circle of friends, likes that “one thing” you like. It could be a TV show that no one watches…a band that no one else likes…or your weird hobby that is embarrassing. But, for some weird reason, you find a friend who likes that thing too. And you turn to them to talk about it…and it lasts forever. But, you only have that one thing in common. Anything else you try to talk about becomes awkward silence.

That one friend who knows all your “dirt” and you have to be friends with them because you are scared they might tell people about your past:

We all have skeletons in our closets. And someone out there knows about them. You might not be close with them, but for some reason, you are scared that they might start talking about them so you remain civil just to make sure you are more friend…than enemy.

The “advice” friend:

This person says all the right things. Whenever you needed help, this person was there. And you value their outlook on situations. And this person gives it to you straight, even if it might hurt your feelings.


This could vary. Some of us don’t talk to our immediate family much. But, some of us have very close relationships with our family.

And there are more categories I am sure….but I looked back at my little one’s version of “best friend” and how it differs from mine.

My best friends are situational…and many. So I have several I could consider as “best” friends. Some fit in more than one category…some only fit in one of those before-mentioned categories.

My little one’s best friend status is based on the present. She treats whoever is with her as a “best friend.” She devotes all her time…her laughter…and kindness to that one person…gives her all to that person during her time with that person.

Adults don’t do that. We create friendships…and rank them…and those friendships change over time. We can’t help that. We make a friend and say to ourselves:

“This person is funny. That’s awesome. But, he/she hates Taylor Swift. Ain’t nobody got time for that…”

“This person loves sports. But when I e-mailed them that funny cat video, they replied ‘Eww…i hate cats. Cats can burn in a fire…and I would laugh. Now, that WOULD be a funny cat video.’ Yeah, this person is cruel…not best friend material.”

And we keep those internal discussions forever in a little pocket in our heads. And forever judge them. Imagine if we changed that way of thinking? If we looked at someone….spent time with them…and treated them like a best friend every single time. If we treated them as “best friends” in the present(just like kids do)…and not situational. You gave that person your ear to listen to….your shoulder to cry on…a joke to make them smile…and a little bit of “real” self to them. How fulfilling would our friendships be?

Yes, I know…my little one’s relationships/friendships will change…it’s inevitable. She will become older and her friend “categories” will begin. But, watching her and seeing how she sees friends now…affects me now. And what I do with that will change me and how I treat my friends.



Sorry, I’m busy…busy eating. (Daily prompt)

I apologize….I haven’t been posting as much as I used to. But, I have been busy….busy eating.


The holiday season is upon us. The only real time of the year we can say things like:


“…Tis the season.”

“Season’s Greetings….and a holiday filled with merryment for you and yours.”


“I can’t buckle my belt anymore because I ate too many of those Christmas cookies that were shaped like ugly sweaters.”

I love this season.

(Sarcasm starts here)

The long lines at the shopping malls…and oh the parking lots are fan-tastical(fantastic and magical at the same time) during this time of the year. It’s like playing the worst game of musical chairs…ever.

(Sarcasm ends here)

No, seriously, I do love this season. I love stepping outside and smelling the scent of burning chimneys. I love driving around neighborhoods and seeing all the elaborate christmas light displays on houses. I love all the time I get to spend with my family during the holidays. I love the christmas specials on tv…and cuddling with wifey under the blanket as we watch the Food Network on TV.

And I got right down to business once Halloween ended. After numerous pieces of candy that I had to sneak out of my little one’s candy sack, we had already planned feasts to share with our loved ones. We had a seafood feast with our BFFS.


Don’t worry…there were vegetables in there.

And don’t forget Thanksgiving.


And see that green leafy thing on the top left of the picture…that’s a vegetable of some sort too.

And don’t forget the dessert…and as usual, wifey killed it.


A German Chocolate Cake bar…enlarged to make your mouth water.

No, vegetables on that plate…but those chocolate chips are MILK chocolate chips, because I sure do need calcium. The more milk chocolate chips..the more calcium…the stronger my bones are so I can get up from my couch and grab another plate of food.

And check this place out.

Is it a night club? Is it an all you can eat Korean BBQ place? It was both! Well, more like the second option but the place had black lights and techno trance music on full blast the whole time you ate. Cause who doesn’t want to see what food stuck in someone’s teeth looks like in black light?

I know what you are thinking.

“Dan…I am looking at all these plates…and I see they all have one thing in common…you sure did eat a lot of sea critters this season. Poor sea critters, you are single-handedly forcing them into extinction. Stop Dan. Stop it now. Isn’t that crab in the first picture? Have you no compassion for crab? Did you NOT see ‘The Little Mermaid’?”

And I would say.

“Yes, I notice that now. But, seafood is like the only thing I can really eat. I don’t eat meat. And yes, I did see ‘The Little Mermaid.’ I love that movie…and still tear up when Ariel sings ‘Part of Your World.’ So please, get off my Snarflat Dinglehopper. Ok, that went too far. I shouldn’t have said that. Friends again? So I apologize for the plethora of sea things on these plates. But, thank you for noticing…and thank you for the opportunity to use the word ‘plethora’ in a sentence…cause I never really get to use that word in any sentence.”

Today’s daily prompt asks us to talk about a time when we said “Sorry, I’m busy”…and couldn’t help someone. And I haven’t been able to do that…because I’ve been busy…helping myself to another plate. But, I won’t do it anymore…I promise. Pinky promise.