And Now For Something Completely F***ed

My Dad is not my biological father.

Yup.  News to me too.  And hot news; as of this writing, I haven’t even talked to my Mom about it yet, and it hasn’t been 24 hours since I found out.  I found out over a few beers with my cousin on my last night in San Francisco, my life literally re-defined by fermented oats served cold by a waitress with nose jewelry named Miranda.

For someone who’s always struggled to identify himself, this news is both completely pedestrian and entirely shattering.  OF COURSE I wasn’t actually the offspring of that asshole who, even outside of this particular fabrication, lied to me for 27 years and then refused to swallow his pride and apologize for it (which was my requirement in order to ever speak to him again-which I haven’t done for 2 years).  It makes so much sense.  I don’t look like him.  I’m not shaped like him.  My skin doesn’t burn like his.  My hair curls when it’s long.  My palate wasn’t cleft.  Clearly I’m not a fiber in his fabric.  Duh.

But wait a tick.  If I’m not actually of his ilk, then there’s SO MUCH SHIT I don’t have to worry about any more.  I’m not genetically programmed to be as unhappy and angry as he was.  I’m not at hereditary risk for nerve damage, lung cancer, breast cancer, or becoming a pathological liar.  I won’t get addicted to pain & then drown myself in 30 years of narcotics and Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi.  His only (yet significant) impact on my existence was mere Nurture.

Nurture!  What a word.  I’d prefer inculcation or indoctrination for his particular brand of Terrible.  He’s a Ph. D. in Bullshit & Up-Fuckery.  And those are all things that, with time & some introspection, I can overcome.

I can be whoever the hell I want.  He has ZERO hold over me.

Do you get how significant & freeing that is?  I’m completely pardoned from my worries about repeating his mistakes, about feeling unable to control the risk of turning into someone that can literally turn the atmosphere of a birthday party into that of a funeral home without saying a word, about being obligated in any way to feel some sort of emotion for his plight.  Not my f***ing problems.

Not.  My.  F***ing.  Problems.

I don’t know anything about who my real father is, but according to my cousin, my sister & I are products of in-vitro fertilization by the same sperm donor from the same sperm bank.  My mom is actually my mom, as she did actually carry both of us.  It’s entirely possible that this guy-let’s call him Spanky to be glib-is also a ginormously horrible human being.  It’s also possible that he’s a sultan somewhere in one of those –istan countries.  In fact, as the product of his genetic material, the only thing I’m pretty certain he ISN’T is an underwear model.

Of course my world didn’t just immediately turn into sunshine sex & apple pie.  I still have to deal with the fact that at least four other people in the world have known this for quite some time & made continuous, repetitive choices not to share it with me.  I still have to deal with getting an explanation out of my mother – how this came about, her reasoning for not letting us know, how she sacrificed all of us for so long by staying with a husband with such a poisonous worldview – and figure out how to do it so that she understands that I’m actually just fine & just want to know the god**mn truth for the first time in 29 years.

And of course I have to decide whether or not I want to know Spanky’s actual identity.  If this were medieval times (or a sci-fi/fantasy genre story), I could be rightful heir to his legacy, potentially a primogenitor beneficiary of some oil field or rare book collection or ketchup recipe or Terabithia’s only unicorn stud farm.  But it’s 2010 and the likelihood of even being able to find out anything about the guy is miniscule, and I’m sure the last thing he would welcome (if I could find him) is to be confronted by the output of probably an unremarkable and all-too-brief masturbatory experience.  It would probably ruin his weekend.

I’ve told my wife, my sister, my boss, and my therapist.  I’ve also told you and the four other people who will read my blog before this posting moves farther down into the archives & no longer shows up on the first page, relegated to the thousands of “second layer” pages, like headstones with epitaphs of 1s and 0s.

As I work through this and there are further developments, I’ll come back & record it all here, of course.

They say comedy can be a sweet-smelling excrement of pain.  I may now be the funniest asshole in the world.

Except for Daniel Tosh.  That guy’s hilarious.

The Universe is Expanding & All I Got Was This Lousy Haircut

Okay okay, catch your breath – I know it’s a shock that I’m FINALLY writing. It really shouldn’t be – I always wait months in between posts on a blog that I claim is updated “regularly.” It’s a simple formula really – surprised you haven’t figured that out yet. Hmph. I thought you were supposed to be a nerd.

I am currently undergoing many changes. So many changes in fact that it’s like puberty at 28, with less hair & more schadenfreude. Lest you stop recognizing me amongst all the other oh-so-recognizable Bay Area actor-comedian-blogger types, here’s the run-down of all the things that are in flux or that have just recently come out of flux, or that are about to change so rapidly that I’m just gonna call them “what the flux?!?”

But rest assured that none of these change the fundamentals of me. I’m still the only Bay Area actor-comedian-blogger type that can directly reference Freud & then a split sentence later obliquely reference Spielberg, whose name is of course German for “storied jew”, and bring that circle to a close.


Flux Element #1: I’m about to be a father. May 3rd is the official ETA, but any daughter of mine would totally wait 48 hours to join us on Cinco de Mayo & let the world enjoy all the pinata jokes. So let’s call Cinco de Mayo de Diez the day my life changes. FOREVER. And more than in the way everyone’s life changes everyday blah blah existential hooey blah. A FRIKKIN’ FATHER. Buckle up.

Flux Element #2: I’m way more productive these days… and my focus is somehow able to spread over multiple areas without stretching thin. Working, husbanding (not the animal kind), running, acting, prepping for Baby Girl Hansen, and let’s see what else OH YEAH being awesome. I’m like Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, without the accent, abs, orange skin, or pathetically under-developed vocabulary. Wait… so… the only thing left is the fact that he nicknamed himself “The Situation”. So I should mention that heretofore I shall be known as Brian “The Current-Set-Of-Circumstances” Hansen.

Flux Element #3: My nickname is Brian “The Current-Set-Of-Circumstances” Hansen.

Flux Element #4: There may be a marked shift in my creative efforts underway; I’ve been considering the ‘writing’ part of drama/comedy a lot more often. Aside from my ill-fated attempts at using the word schadenfreude in the world of blogs, I’m usually WAY more capable of being funny in writing than I am in person. As proof, here’s a recent email survey that a beloved friend & sometimes-mentor asked me to fill out about my thoughts on bilingual education, which is to be used for one of her MBA projects. Note my oh-so-effortless use of racial profiling, stereotypes, and things that could be offensive but aren’t because I’m Brian “The Current-Set-Of-Circumstances” Hansen. (Hmm… that’s getting annoying to type. Can I abbreviate that CSOC, pronounced “sea sock” or potentially “seize hawk”? Is that legal? Wait, what am I asking you for? I’m frikkin’ CSOC.)


(1) How old are your kids? Negative 2 months… she’s still baking.
(2) What language(s) do you speak at home with them? The only two I speak – English and Bad English.
(3) Do you have family members / an au pair / nanny who speak in a foreign language with them? @#$* no. Those people are @$&*ing expensive.
(4) Are you interested in your children being bilingual? Yes!
(5) If so, why? (And, if not, why not?) Because a) I truly believe learning two languages expands the mind’s ability to think critically and recognize patterns in analysis mode; and b) this world ain’t gettin’ any smaller, and it’s unrealistic to think that US hegemony will continue much longer – meaning English may soon pass out of the “major” tongues of business & political discourse; c) I want her to be able to order off the Five Dollar Menu when McDonald’s sells out to China and becomes McKimCheeWongHsuTsong.
(6) What products (if any) do you use for your children to learn another language? (Example – teaching materials used at home like workbooks and DVDs up to immersion school or special classes). None yet, other than my spotty understanding of Dora the Explorer’s teachings of Spanish culture (“Always abra la puerta when you go to the potty!”) and what I’ve learned from my disco lessons – disco’s totally a different vibe, sheila.
(7) How did you select which language to teach your child? I declared my Aladdin puppet the “Arabic & Middle Eastern tongue” representative, I threw Miss Piggy in the ring to represent Hebrew (I heart irony), and drew some slanty-eyes on a stress ball to represent China (the irony there is that the stress ball was made in Taiwan… HAH!); I threw all three into a death match together – Aladdin strapped dynamite to his own chest, ululated a little, and then threw himself on the the porcine princess with only a three-second fuse. The stress ball survived the explosion because it was bouncy.


See? Funny. And I came up with that in ten minutes (all except the ‘English & Bad English’, which is a credit to my man-crush Bruce Willis in ‘The Fifth Element’), much like I used to write my Movie Quote of the Week (MQotW) emails. More often than not, I can sit and make up funny stuff. I haven’t learned how to tell a funny story with plot points and characters to save my g-d life, but after talking to my screen-writing sister & her acting boyfriend, I’m convinced that’s a skill I can learn. So learning & honing that skill may soon come into laser focus for CSOC.

Flux Element #5: I’m back on the roads, running regularly & loving it. Several contributing factors, but I’d say the biggest one is that I finally bought into the idea that setting goals will create the motivation to accomplish them. In November, I set a goal to run 50 miles before Thanksgiving. I had 8 days. I did it. Then I kinda stopped – I recently realized it was because I had no goal. I also believe that actually publishing those goals outside of the whiteboard in my brain doubles down on that bet, so: last Monday I laid out an albeit ambitious but still realistic goal of running 200 miles before Tax Day. Two months to run two century bike races. It’s been a week and I’ve already logged 24.5 miles. Almost entirely on pace – would be AHEAD of the game if the weather had cooperated yesterday. That’s right. That’s how we do it… CSOC style.

Flux Element #6: I’m doing less. That’s right. LESS. I recently read & highly recommend the book “The Power of Less” by Dr. Leo Babauta. I’ll let you ferret it out for yourself, but my biggest take-away was the power of purposeful planning. So I now set up each work day with THREE (and only three) Most Important Tasks. I get those three things done at work, and everything else for the day is 100% gravy. I’ve also used it on the personal side of life, but with less success – because I always make extremely grand plans for all my free time, and can’t seem to limit my lists to only three things – but that’s mainly due to the fact that I haven’t really applied my ‘Set A Goal’ philosophy to most of my activities other than running. I’m not worried about claiming to do less at work – because my productivity has actually soared in the last month or so. I’m no longer overwhelmed, my sense of direction & motivation at work is no longer changing every day, and I get far more frequent doses of a sense of accomplishment – when none of those things were true, it frequently meant a frustrating & unrewarding day at the office. Yes, I still think there are other jobs that would be better for me out there, but at least my approach to THIS job is no longer a liability. That makes this job, ANY job, way more tolerable, because I’m no longer relying on other people to give me that sense of direction or that sense of accomplishment. Seriously. “The Power of Less.” Check that sh*t out. CSOC style.

… That’s six fluxes. That’ll do.