Category Archives: shopping

The “Sex-for-Chores” Carrot

MYSTERY: Who’s wearing the padded bra?

SEX FOR CHORES: Today’s post balances the usual, nauseatingly cute photos with racy adult humor, and asks: Why do women dangle the sex carrot to get their men to behave? My wife has tried this strategy, and my sister-in-law, Tracy, evidently is training Sanjay, pre-marriage. My advice to the ladies…don’t! Such incentive may work early, but eventually will backfire.

Gia & Cousin Elliot

It’s official, I’m now the Rev. Caleb Powell.

What do I mean? I’m talkin’ “sex-for-chores.” Women! Puhhhh-leeeeeeeez. My wife did the do-yardwork/go-shopping/clean-the gutters and I’ll rock-your-world schtick. Long ago I put a stop to this nonsense. Would a man pull this: “Sweetie, if you cook dinner tonight and vacuum the living room, then I’ll do you.” Most men agree that sex = good & shopping = bad. But what’s the reciprocal message implied by women? “I hate sex, but I like shopping, so we’ll trade.” Can you say, “Turned off!” It should be a win-win, right? Of course, on the other hand, the man (me) should perform chores happily just to please the wife…but as for shopping? Never!

春夏秋冬 Four Seasons & Love 愛

A CLUE TO THE MYSTERY: Who’s wearing the padded bra? Hint: It’s not San-J.

THE REVEREND CALEB POWELL: Tracy & San-J marry in May. I will perform the nuptials, and have become ordained. Ever since I got my official ID card from the Universal Life Church, I’m like a kid with a new toy. And not only am I a minister, I’m writing the vows.

VOWS (Spoken with Southern Baptist fury): (Tra-C/San-J), are you sure? Are you really, really, really, really positive, and I’m talkin’ 100%…that you want to spend the rest of your natural life in blissful…or blister-full…matrimony with (him/her)?  You can reconsider, it’s not too late, everyone will understand, so let’s have a drink, revisit next year or whenever. Once again, I ask…are you sure?

Kaya is “TERRY” safe in her car seat.

THE NEW VOCABU-TERRY: My wife, Terry, inspires vernacular (among the ways she moves me). The following words have entered my everyday vocab: HysTERRYcal: Whether it’s pizza, pasta, or potatoes, when my wife tells me that she’s snuck a dollop of mayonaisse into the mix (it happens weekly), I say, “Gee, that’s hysterrycal.” RheTERRYcal: Typical scenario, I open a beer, take a few drinks, and my wife asks, “Are you having another beer?” I reply, “Are you asking me a rheterrycal question?” HyTERRbolY: Examples of hyterrboly: “There’s nothing worse than too much cream in the coffee.” “I hate it when there’s laundry on my bed. It’s the most disgusting thing in the entire world.” (Clean laundry, no less!) “Tell me you’re not wearing wool socks with loafers and shorts. That’s going to ruin my weekend.”

Happy Second Birthday, Kaya!

A cross between William H. Macy and Ned Flanders? (See the Powell family on the fridge?)

WILLIAM H. MACY ATTENDS KAYA’S BIRTHDAY! In March our little Kaya turned 2; three days separates her birthday with Pops. We combined parties and lo and behold, there was a surprise appearance by Fargo and Boogie Nights star William H. Macy. Seriously, though, Pops, the ‘stache gives you a Macy flavor, or even Ned Flanders of The Simpsons (actually, any guy with a mustache looks like Ned “okey-dokey” Flanders).

Get ready for the The Bigger Dance (click to see my rant against sexist KJR radio)! And finally, the painting of the month by Beatrice Joan Wilson Powell (My Mom!):


Filed under Beer, Marriage, Politically Incorrect, shopping, Tracy

Who’s Funnier? Sanjay or Christopher Hitchens?…or Women?

Is the man in the middle funny?

Are These Women Funny?

“…women don’t need to be funny. Most men, if they can’t make women laugh, they’re out of the evolutionary contest.” – Christopher Hitchens (Video below)

GENDER WARS: Men and women have different funny bones. Women need to laugh, and men need to make women laugh. Do you think I married my wife because she’s a hoot? Let’s observe natural selection at work through the prism of my sis-in-law Tracy and her future groom, Sanjay. In most marriages, the woman laughs at and with the man, and the man makes her laugh. Look at Sanjay, look at Tracy, the eyes don’t lie, who would you put your money on if they both entered Last Comic Standing? (Exceptions that don’t disprove the rule: In my mother-in-law Jan’s marriage, Jan is probably funnier than Pops. Pops, though incredibly cool, wouldn’t go far doing standup. And my father, though I love him dearly, may be the most boring guy on earth. For that matter, most inanimate objects floating in outer space are funnier than my dad.)

TRA-C’s GETTING MARRIED, BUT IS SAN-J REALLY A MAN? This spring my sister-in-law, Tracy, will marry Sanjay. Here’s a little love story.

Who’s making who laugh?

Kaya ain’t funny, but she’s cute!

BLACK FRIDAY: San-J’s a big talker about his B-ball game. When he found out I like to hoop he was all, “Yeah, I love to hoop. Let’s hoop, man, anytime, man.” He invites me to meet and play with his homeys. Somehow, I start playing regularly with them, sans Sanjay. He always has a reason, his knee, or he’s sick, or he has to work…B.S. or not? Turns out he had to see a doctor about his knee. Finally, he’s A-OK, and tells me, “My knee’s good, next time I’m free I’m in!”

Wife & Kaya, notice how they’re not being funny.

Sanjay trying to be “cool”…he just looks funny.

Thanksgiving weekend rolls around, Friday he’s not working…and he tells me he’ll go play with my morning crew at the club (as long as he’s not hungover from the Thanksgiving bash). Thanksgiving at our house that evening, Tra-C & San-J crash, next morning at 7 a.m. my wife wakes me to inform that they’re going shopping…it’s Black Friday, the post-Thanksgiving “Shopper’s Holiday.” Go girls go! Cool…but, to my astonishment, Sanjay is also going! Obviously, he’s not hungover. I jolt upright, confront him in the hall, and say, “What the f**k! You’re going shopping with the ladies? What about ball?” He says, “(Mumble mumble mumble)” I say, “Shopping?” He says, “Yeah, I’m doing if for love.” Now, I know what you’re thinking, that I’m exaggerating, that a “man” really didn’t choose shopping over ball, but this is no fiction. What did I say? – “Sanjay, you are a hermaphrodite.” Sanjay’s humor, evidently, his only masculine trait. And love’s great, yeah yeah yeah, but we’ll see who’s shopping on Black Friday after five years of marriage.

My wife and daughters know how to laugh, they have to, I guess!

SANJAY “GUPTA DEEPAK” CHOPRA: Sanjay was at Safeway, he paid with credit, the checker looked at the ID, and said, “Hey, Sanjay Chopra, I’ve heard that name…that famous surgeon?” Sanjay said, “Nope, that’s Sanjay Gupta.” The checker said, “Then I must be thinking of that Buddha yoga writer.” Sanjay said, “Deepak Chopra.” Sanjay says, “Sh*t like this happens all the time.”

“SHOPPING IS HELL” – JUST A MAN’s OPINION? My wife, Tracy, and Jan went shopping for Tracy’s wedding dress. San-J and I stayed home, looked after the kids, and watched football (San-J’s one of those hermaphrodites that likes football). Hours later my wife called. “Aaaaaarghhhhh!” She cried, “We’ve been here for hours! Tracy keeps saying, ‘I have to try on one more dress!'” I thought, Ah ah!…It’s sort of nice, for once, that my wife sees what I have to endure.

HOT DUDE FUNNY WOMAN: So, one last salvo to the theme of this month’s blog, forgive the redundancy….when was the last time you saw a hunk hooked up with an ordinary woman because of her rip-snorting sense of humor? Men…we may be shallow, but we’re funny.

HITCHENS FAILS TO ADDRESS MONEY & PERSONALITY: A man’s wallet size can compensate for lack of humor. Also, to women’s credit, many are attracted to personality and intelligence. Personality + Intelligence = Funny man. Women may not be funnier, but they’re not as shallow. Check out the Hitchens video below, despite what my sister, Sarah, thinks…it’s funny!

Video of the month: Ava on the Sled!


Filed under Appearance, Beer, Christopher Hitchens, Corny Jokes, Feminist Issues, Marriage, Sexism, Sexist Stay-at-home Father, shopping

The Coupeville Festival, Broccoli & Sulfate-free Shampoo

BROTHERS-IN-LAW: Som-J, Me, Stig-J, San-J & Edison-J

BROTHERS-in-LAW ‘J’: This summer both sisters arrived to Washington State with their families, and not only that, one bro-in-law brought his parents and brother, and over the weekend Aunt Tracy & Sanjay arrived. That puts three generations, seven grandchildren, nine parents/aunts & uncles, and four grandparents all at the Powell house on Whidbey Island. Twenty people total. We spent a weekend there during the Coupeville Festival. Fun joy fun joy fun joy…


Kaya holding broccoli. (Dad had to disinfect her immediately)

Gia, Ava & Kaya making crafts.

CRUCIFEROUS:  I hate broccoli. Not just dislike. If broccoli had feelings, then I would ridicule that plant mercilessly. There are health attributes to the “vile weed” (as Newman called it in Seinfeld, see video here), but I say that even afficionados do not eat it for pleasure. If broccoli were harmful to the body, like bacon, no one would eat it. Thus, in the spirit, I wrote a poem, published this August, with uninhibited punctuation and all:

Cruciferous. What a word. Can anything be done?…
Read poem here.

Little Pirates: Gia, Damien, Orion & Ava

NORWEGIAN: Nephew Nikolai asked his father if he spoke English as well as he spoke Norwegian. Stig said, “Of course.” Then Nikolai said, “Oh, so you mispronounce words in Norwegian, too?” (It should be noted that Stig’s English is excellent, he’s fluent, although his Scrabble game suffers by not being a native speaker)

Face Painting at the Coupeville Festival

ERRANT PARENT: Also out in August, my essay about the mother who thought it’d be okay if her kids peed in the pool:

Since having children, my wife and I have fallen in love with the all-inclusive vacation. We sit by a pool, waiters and waitresses bring us drinks, and when we want a break from the piglets, we put them in daycare. However, our last vacation in Mexico (and first exclusively at an inclusive) set the stage for a little poolside confrontation…”

Read essay here.


THE HAIR CHRONICLES – NEXT CHAPTER:  True story, no exaggeration. I’m hanging out in the kitchen when Aunt Tracy, of Northwest Hair Academy fame,  in our living room reading some girlie magazine, calls out, “Wow! I don’t believe it!” I mean, she just screams, multiple exclamation marks will not capture the glee. So I run over there and ask, “What is it?” She says, “Paul Mitchell just made a sulfate-free shampoo!”  Really.

我爱中文酷!Also out, my Chinese puzzle book based on Sudoku. Sarah, my sister, publishes music books for children, and she put out Chinoku at Yellow Cat Publishing. The artwork is done by my mother, see her painting here, at The Copenhagen Review, and here. 我愛中文酷!
Chinoku: The Original Chinese Sudoku Game (Volume 1)