Category: Parenting

the hippy and money (g2)

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The Hippy will be unemployed when her and her pornstar (the boyfriend) move back to their home state to await the arrival of their unexpected son or daughter. This is not making her happy at all. She is very prideful and a lot of her self-worth is tied to how much she brings in. Her boyfriend is more the “bitch, get in the kitchen and fix me a sandwich” variety, but I think most of that is just bluster.

Apparently, the point of contention right now is she is trying to demand that they have all joint accounts since they plan on getting married at some point anyway and wants them to have full disclosure on everything. His stance is more “not no, but HELL NO!”

I’m totally making him look bad, but the guy’s mom blew through the nest egg his parents had been stashing away since his birth and even stole money from her son all of his life while still living with them, and did it often. Her son! Stole from her own damn son!

Of course, this is what I pointed out to her when she was choosing to be offended because he flat out denied her this. Of course he would, he has massive trust issues and a lot of stunted maturity to work through. The attitude in my very first paragraph exemplified that alone.

I told her that as an unemployed single mom, which is what she technically is, she was in a better position to qualify for assistance. They already worked out this was going to be the best way for both of them, so hand over her bills that she will still need dealt with and let him handle it. Her contribution is not going to be measured by a paycheck but it was not to be belittled as any less important. In fact, she would be taking the brunt of the worst of it in a way he would never understand.

Their relationship really wasn’t ready to take on a third party really yet. There’s a lot of conflicts of attitudes going on and ways of thinking that don’t align with the two of them. But that’s part of the process. It’s not ideal, but I don’t think its impossible either.

I told her that different couples had many different ways of dealing with money in a way they both can live with. There’s a reason its one of the top five reasons for divorce so don’t make it such a massive issue she wasn’t allowing any flexibility on it.

Three accounts where only one is mutual and the other two are individual would make for a decent compromise, but don’t entangle herself in his finances in any way until after she was working again and off assistance. Whatever people may think about welfare in the US, the organizations that review cases are truly looking for ANY possible way to disqualify you for assistance. They want you talking so you’ll slip up on something, no matter how mundane it may seem. It’s very much like those interrogation rooms on crimes shows only they wear you down by ignoring you in the waiting room for hours first. The snide indifference is completely free.

In the back of my mind though, their relationship is about to go through the biggest hurdle one can and they weren’t on the best ground to begin with. If this whole situation hits shitstorm status, she can at least make a clean break.

Hopeful, yet ever the cynic, I am…

Personally, my former spouse was of the “as long as we have each other, I don’t need money” and I was more the “bitch, I’m not sleeping in a fucking car with you in -30 degree winters, go fucking get a job already or I will tauntaun your ass for warmth” so my perception is a bit different. We did have all combined accounts and expenses and a 17k credit card balance in their name hit my credit rating along with the house they let foreclose… so I’m a bit bitter on the issue myself.

What struggles have you had navigating relationship and finances and how did you handle them? Do you wish you’d done anything differently?

the hippy moves (g2)

The Hippy and her pornstar have recently decided that moving back to their home state will be much better for them when the baby comes. He will be in a better position to be promoted as his company is based there since she will be unable to work for a while and both of their families are nearby for emotional and possible babysitting support.

The Hippy comes from a “salt of the earth” family that struggled at times to make ends meet. Her dad had a tendency for violence and a bad temper and her mom bent over backwards to appease him. She knows she is a people pleaser directly due to this.

The Pornstar had more a spoiled brat, men are manly men, kind of upbringing with an emotionally abusive mother. This has made him cynical, brooding, bitingly sarcastic, and distant.

I relate to him more since my upbringing more aligned with his, not the wealth, not even two parental figured, but the emotional abuse I completely get. It’s the part that helps me translate him to her.  Just below the surface of those biting remarks lies a person who desperately wants her to stay with him forever and loves her very much. Sadly, its written all over his face only when she isn’t looking.

She was starved for acknowledgement, for doting, for expressions of affection. In trying to obtain these things, she was slinging some pretty biting shit to him too, even going so far as to remind him she could do better. She doted, she catered, she ego-stroked, but when he was less than forthcoming in a manner she desired, she would get desperate and then it just got rude.

um, ouch?

It’s weird when you have to tell an adult “how would you react if he said that shit to you?” She admitted it would kill her and I had to point out that by doing that she was making it all worse, he would just sink his heels in and tell her to go. It’s what I would do.

This guy is a stud in her eyes, she thinks of him as the hottest thing on the planet. It’s adorable to witness the two of them.

But their ability to communicate… dayum.

I told her that first and foremost, never treat the person you value most like shit. I have never understood why Grand spent more time doting on strangers while treating their family like crap.

I then talked to her about the language of love… yeah, try not to gag. I told her that my cousin and his wife would always get pissed at one another because they spoke their affections in ways the other didn’t notice.

My cousin would buy expensive jewelry for his bride, stressing over every single piece while his wife just wanted him to take out the fucking trash without being asked. Her life was too hectic and busy to wear jewelry except on really rare occasiona so she saw the jewelry as yet another jab of something else that was not much use to her.

When I was laughing at one of their arguments and pointed this out, they both seemed kind of stunned. But I think later on they started paying attention to one another’s methods a bit more.

I pointed out the same kinds of things with Hippy. He was showing it in his own way as we got to talking about, just not the bullshit they have on rom-coms, which is more what she was wanting. Let’s face it, that shit just ain’t realistic.

They both were trying their best to show their affections. But again, they weren’t appreciating the ways one another did it. So I told her, “express a few to him on his level, something he gets, and maybe he’ll start reciprocating and noticing yours.”

Did any of you ever have a miscommunication with your love languages?

a bit about the hippy (g2)

I haven’t really gone into this since I got sidetracked with anger.

The Hippy, who I met through Yankee Heather, works in another department from mine. One in which I rely on to get what I need done, but I get ultra busy and they do too so our ability to interact on topics outside of things we both need from one another tends to be minimal, It makes for a lot of misconceptions about one another when you’re not able to have a conversation with someone you work with so you can get a sense of their personality.

It’s not that I don’t have friendships with people in the department, but they’ve been slowly built over the years.

I had to laugh when The Hippy and I were sharing our first impressions of one another. I was hated and found terrifying and she was so glad I was the exact opposite, though she said a lot of that negative impression had to do with one particular member of her team who has a tendency to project a lot of their internal turmoil on others. It didn’t shock me. I probably would have been more impressed if the opposite were true.

Their team is run by a very tiny little woman who takes no shit and is swift and thorough and somewhat terrifying in her own right, and in that team are at least two who see enemies everywhere, one worse than the other.

One gave me the first impression of “elitist bitch” (this was the culprit) but kind of came off her pedestal over the years, while the other was just prone to being defensive. I once told them “I’ve never learned shit by getting it right the first time” when they messed something up and I was showing them how to fix it, and we’ve been vastly better ever since.

I told The Hippy I’d thought she was awesome the first time I’d met her. She’s laid back, but not lazy, expedient, you only had to point out an error once, she’s personable, intelligent, attentive and curious. She has a similar talent as G-uno in that you become fast friends and she can see right through a lot of shit…except when she has her own emotional investment in the view, I guess. That’s a hard one for all of us, I would venture.

Her and her boyfriend have known each other a long time as friends, went their separate ways for a while, she had been married and divorced once already. an abusive situation, and the prospect of doing it again was terrifying to her. They crossed paths again in the aftermath of bad relationships and just sparked intensely.

Seriously, not once when I met these two outside of work could they ever be on time because they couldn’t keep their hands off one another.

Apparently, I’m at that age where, although I still find it mildly revolting, I also find it adorable in its own right. I always expected to be too curmudgeonly for that shit.

The Hippy recently found out she was pregnant. For all the years she declared to never want kids, when faced with the very real possibility of having one upon her, even with all the fear, she realized was excited about the idea. Especially considering she’d been told she’d never have any.

While she toyed with the idea of an abortion and if they were ready to be parents, when asking for his honest opinion, her boyfriend stuck to his “no kids” sentiment, while at the same time increasing his retirement investment, pouring over his budget, laid out when they should move into a bigger place,  and planned out how to fast track himself into a promotion.

It took a while for him to finally admit he really did want this child, but didn’t want to put any pressure on her to have it if she didn’t want it. So she was afraid to tell him she wanted to keep it because of how she felt before finding out she was pregnant, and he didn’t want to tell her he wanted the child because of…. shit….

aw fuck, it all make me want to beat the hell out of both of them from the nausea.

 

dinner with the little ones (g2)

As much as my antisocial tendencies govern most of my actions, I thoroughly immersed in enjoying the company of my two littles cousins. I even started remembering a me that actually enjoyed going out and spending time with others regularly.

I look at these two grown lovely ladies and their free flowing banter and sharp wit, and with a certain expression or just how they would say something, they would transform to two toddlers fresh and crisp in their Easter Sunday best, spinning in the foyer to make their dresses fly up. Golden ringlets, chubby elbows and a laugh that can never, ever be duplicated by anyone past the age of four, completely full of nothing but sheer joy.

It makes me ache in a nostalgic way. It reminds me how little I see them, how much I missed, moving around and completely focusing on my own shit. It makes me wonder if their half-sister ever has these regrets as well, ever looks at them and feels a pang for the time gone forever.

I ponder the days when their half-sister and I were nothing more than gangly, awkward kids ourselves, then young adults completely convinced of our intellectual superiority and ready to take on the world, bent on making it our bitch or just making it better and being nothing like our parents or any other adult we met while doing it.

It reminds me of a time when the little cousins first met Spawn, fresh from the hospital. They rigged up a laundry basket as a makeshift crib and just cooed over them like the most awesome thing they’d ever seen.

Now Spawn stands between the two in height, and is still growing.

I finally get the need to want to watch films of the past over and over. It’s not that you wish you could go and relive it all, but maybe just visit. Get a little more connected. Slow down and give a few more hugs, listen a little more attentively, be more in the moment. It’s a shame you have to get to a certain age before you fully understand that and so much is already lost.

the little ones and their dad (g2)

The older of my little cousins, Knievel‘s half-sisters, texted me while here visiting from New York and asked what we were up to.

I managed to see this text one bright early Monday morning when I had to work (about 18-36 hours after it’d been sent, probably a speed record for me) but Spawn was out of school that day. So I pawned Spawn off as the sacrificial lamb of socializing with the promise I would meet them for dinner.

I know lunch and a movie happened but no clue what the rest involved, as is key with most of my family, we are scatterbrained, disorganized and chronically late. Even the more levelheaded and steadfast older sister is prone to this and lost their keys until about two hours after they were originally destined to arrive.

My aunt, their mom, even jokes that I’m the only one whoever shows up on time, but I’m still usually ten to fifteen minutes behind my goal. My other aunt, my mom’s oldest sister (Grand Jr.) is the worst. My uncle, their dad, used to tell his sister to be somewhere six hours of ahead of schedule just so she’d only be an hour or two late. Dinner is at six, Grand Jr. is told noon, and will probably arrive about 8 or 9 and be offended we started without her.

Spawn said they had fun but then immediately flopped in bed upon arriving home that night and was out in short order. I have no idea what wore them out so much, other than talking. Of course, the stoic and mostly silent Spawn would find that rather tiring, I suppose.

Spawn likes going out almost as much as I do.

I met up with both of my little cousins and my kid after work, at a place I’d never been before but the youngest worked currently, so I forced her to make recommendations. Every time I run into them, the youngest is working a different variety of jobs. But mom is still her financial source. I’m not sure how that works.

I know that the youngest has had to endure a couple intervention programs and some “get tough” camps of some sort while in their teens. I don’t really know why, my aunt is rather private about the details but only lightly covered some of it.  The older sister was more forthcoming, but I’m sure a little embellishment might have played a factor, or it seemed to, considering her overall frustration with her sister.

I also know she is on medications. I’m sure ADHD is probably one, we seem to have a mix of that as well in that family. Another cousin was diagnosed with ADD well into his 40’s to which I just responded, “ha! you got caught.”

I’m well aware there is a reason I used to blast my music as loud as I could so I could concentrate on studying and I have trouble staying with a conversation at times and I’m chronically distracted. I just came up with my own methods of coping with it.

What I interpreted from the struggles the youngest has had was their father’s lack of impulse control has affected at least two of his daughters. However, unlike their older half-sister, their mom has been a pretty powerful force in redirecting it to something more constructive.

Their dad died when they were still pretty young. The older one was just old enough to start understanding enough to be pissed at him, while the younger keeps their dad firmly on a pedestal. I often regret, for their own sake, they couldn’t both have him on a pedestal. Even if its more than he deserves, they both deserve it very much.

See, my uncle was a drunk. A very functional, but at times, vile-mouthed drunk. When the older sister was an infant, he could slam down six beers in the fifteen minute drive it took to pick her up from daycare. He’d keep an 18-pack between the seats. It was so much a part of him, that it honestly never dawned on me that normal people don’t do this, so why was he? The amount of alcohol it would take for him to show he was even a little sluggish would have probably put most people in the hospital as a human pickle on a stomach pump.

He died of an accidental overdose. Apparently, over the years he’d started adding pills to the mix. He was too selfish and self-centered to have honestly had any notions of offing himself. It just wasn’t part of his character. But authorities, and insurance, were desperate to record it as such. I’m glad for their own sake, his family got it marked correctly.

Although he was a better man than he’d ever been, he was still the selfish being he’d always been. He loved his family, he did. This I saw in the little ways and he took great care of his girls when he could be bothered, but his own motivations would take precedence over all others often. My aunt wanted her corporate world, and he was to take over the domestic portion, that was their agreement. However, there was still a daycare, several au pairs, housekeepers and a slew of other people who had to cover the domestic portion over the years.

He still floated from one enterprise or another. Often one phased out in the weeks it took to see him again and he was onto something new, the only consistency was now his address. He had great ideas, but no execution and follow-through. When he died, he’d convinced Grand to put another mortgage against their house for about 25 thousand. Ironically, he was Grand’s favorite. Grand often accused their eldest son of owing them money, but it was mostly the youngest son doing the actually borrowing. We only found out a lot of that when Grand died and we had to go through the mountain of paperwork.

When I moved back to my home state, they were in the process of getting a divorce and he was sleeping in a houseboat out back, so he could still take care of the girls. This time, with no help. My aunt was a lot… darker… than she’d ever been. If my aunt had a slogan before then, it would have been “That’s Great!” She seem to have been poisoned with the bitter gloom of the clan. Without a word, I knew it was entirely his fault. All of that above, the pills and such, I found out much later.

Again, I felt guilty for having been related to him and not able to fix it. You’d think we were a Catholic bunch with the amount of times a day I can feel guilty over shit that has nothing to do with me, but that was a feature Grand tried to flourish in all of her brood… guilt. My uncle was immune, even when he should have been. At least, I’d never once seen any sign he’d ever felt bad about anything and even busted him once during this time, browsing personals on Yahoo of all things, while Grand and I were visiting them. I guess he felt guilty enough to shut it down when I came up behind him, but who wants to peruse a potential new partner while their parent is there and their marriage is falling apart? Was he wanting his wife to find it or did he just not care?

The last words I ever heard from this uncle were enough that I was done with him for good. I felt almost nothing when he died, felt guilty because of that too, just a happiness that the divorce hadn’t gone through so anything he might have had was unquestionably his family’s. My aunt wouldn’t deny her stepdaughter anything  but it would have been a probate nightmare otherwise. I also worried that he might have left behind a financial disaster as well. But if anyone was skilled at eliminating that, it would also be my aunt.

I remember seeing the gloom fade, and she returned much to her usual self, perhaps a little worn out emotionally, but returned to the person that I’d always known and loved. She was the first adult I’d ever met that asked my opinion not sarcastically and sincerely wanted to know the answer. And listened. She took any obscure off-the-wall things I would throw at her and make me work through them, support them, making me alone solidify or alter my conclusions, without judgement.

I looked at these girls and I see a lot of her in them. I see the elements of my own family. The amusing but charming parts: the chronic distractedness, the sharp wit, the quick humor. I see their mom’s fierce determination, kind spirit, strength, and joy with life as well.

the dad who never was…for her (g2)

One day after New Year’s, one of my little cousins contacted me out of the blue and asked what we were doing. I say “little,” but she’s in her twenties and quite tall. Her ADHD sister is just into drinking age and as their mom says, “works a million jobs.”

I also say “little” since most of my first cousins are around my age, middle age… the sag-starting era when then there’s almost nothing left that’s perky or buoyant and its all downhill from here. These were the last of the first cousins and they are closer in age to our children than to us.

I babysat the older one when I was still a teenager during the summer while their mom ran around and did her high profile corporate thing. Their dad is the one who is my blood relation and I probably would have traded him for their mom in a second if that were possible. He died a few years after my mom did.

He was a phenomenal cook and really a genius. We have a lot of high IQ’s (his was in the mid-160’s) in our genetic line, but the ability to apply this to something substantial or fulfilling seems to elude most of us. I include myself in that. He especially was mostly a financial drifter. Before he met their mom, I don’t remember him ever having a consistent address, job or phone number.

I do remember the “work camp” gran took us to every Saturday afternoon for a few months to bring him a picnic basket and have lunch with him. He wore a jumpsuit like everyone else, their “uniform,” but wasn’t allowed to leave the premises. I might have been about ten at the time but I do remember the razor-wire fence. I asked a lot of questions and didn’t get a lot of answers. It was the most permanent address I’d ever known him to have and I’m not sure when it finally dawned on me, years later, it was a prison.

He also lacked a lot of impulse control. He was never motivated by greed so much as curiosity. The type who would break into a school and steal shit, just to see if they could, or steal a car and go on a joy ride only to get bored and move on to something else, never remembering where he left it behind. He had a lot of run-ins with the law in his youth, and it ended up haunting him into adulthood.

His eldest kid, half-sister to the two little ones, is three months younger than I am and looks more like my mother than I ever have (I unfortunately got the Grand genes).

Her young mom was about seventeen when she was born, did the best she could, but smoking pot and teaching your kid how as a bonding experience isn’t exactly what I’d call an ideal environment for a child. Combine that with the impulse control of your father, and it was a recipe for disaster.

It’s weird, but I always felt like if I’d not been around, she might have had a better chance because maybe Grand could have taken her in instead. But then, I’m not exactly sure my childhood was better, so much as just different. I was raised by a crazy person, her mom was young and broke. It’s kind of a toss up. Personally, I would have given anything to have had my mom instead. So maybe I have this all wrong.

Her dad, my uncle, wasn’t much a part of the picture. Even when his eldest would come to visit, she stayed with gran and me. She might have lunch or dinner with him once or twice, or have an afternoon, maybe once overnight, but for the most part, he was a ghost.

When my cousin, who I will dub Knievel, was around, I knew we were both going to get in a lot of trouble. I just hoped to the keep out of the law side of trouble, though we brushed against that one too.

For some reason, I could never deny her wishes, I remember arguing logic with her many times, but I also remembering doing whatever it was I didn’t want to do anyway. I have never been prone to any kind of peer pressure, in school or otherwise, but my cousin could make me cave like a souffle during a stampede.

I smoked pot the first time at fourteen from the pressure of said cousin. I remember how terrifying some of the shit we pulled was and sometimes, the rush of it. I could never, ever be like that my entire life, I would have caused myself a heart attack before college, but it broke my safety shell in a ton of other more beneficial ways in my interactions with other people.

Maybe her and her dad were seeking the high of it. Maybe life is just too dull and muffled for some and they don’t know a better way to seek out any kind of sensation. I can’t imagine feeling like life on its own just wasn’t enough or I just wasn’t able to make contact with it as everyone else seemed to. She grew out of it eventually, well mostly, but not before paying a price that will stay with her forever.

I hate to put it this way as well, but she was a terrific liar. She could talk herself out of a speeding ticket in no time, and probably convince them to give her a siren led escort to her destination. She could wile her way into any place with a simple hair toss and a few words. She is the kind of person who could spin and weave a tale that would put you in the midst of an epic adventure. If she was the one recanting the Lord of the Rings, she’d make you believe it all happened in downtown New York ten years prior. Or yesterday.

To this day, I tell her she should write, and keep writing. She laughs, perhaps from lack of self-confidence or she really just finds the idea amusing, but I cannot imagine not being one of her biggest fans if she’d just try.

Her dad… Her dad met what would become the mom of my little cousins and became the dad Knievel always wanted, deserved and never, ever had. He was doting, carted them around, was proud and attending, showed up, bucked up, and grew the fuck up…but by then his eldest was long grown up. He wasn’t picture perfect, but he was a lot more than he had ever been before.

Ever have times when you feel guilty for something that has nothing to do with you?

I felt guilty for being his blood family.

I felt guilty for being born.

I felt guilty even though I had a mom just like him. Absent.

I felt guilty because she didn’t have what she should have had from either of her parents.

My aunt was the exact opposite of what fairy tales lead you to believe. She wanted her new stepdaughter around, often. She tried her best to glue back all the broken bits of what gran had destroyed. If there was a center of gravity by which my familial remnants orbited, my aunt would have been it.

I watched as Knievel tried so hard to both rail against this new element, and simultaneously try to embrace it. She was getting real face time with her dad for the first time in her life, but only by the influence of someone that wasn’t her. My aunt was just impossible to hate, my cousin was truly loved and for the first time in her life, spoiled by her. This didn’t change when my little cousins came along, perhaps the demands for her presence were even more. It’s got to be a turmoil of mixed emotions. That feeling of being an outsider, of feeling like you’re intruding, even if you’re being emphatically welcomed.

You weren’t wanted by the ones you wanted before, why is it different now? Why wasn’t she enough to at least be around some?

Now that he has passed, my aunt has still not changed, still tries so hard to stay connected to her stepdaughter, sometimes she’s successful, sometimes not.

I wonder how much things might have been different had my uncle said he was sorry about anything, even once.

ode to my p.i.t.a. kid… (g2)

OK, so today wasn’t the epicness it usually is. I love my kid, my Spawn, I thoroughly do.

They are a 60/40 split of the other contributor’s and my genetic makeup (not in my favor) in all the visual ways and they got all the good bits. 99.999999% of all the shit that comes out of my kid’s mouth is riddled with me.

I know this.

Spawn hit their teen years at age two. I’m hoping any day now is the day they start evolving out of it because since that time, I’m basically a complete moron who will never measure up to the vast amount of knowledge they have about… everything.

I saw a sign recently that said “I’m not young enough to be an expert on everything.”

It’s true, as we get older, we learn what we thought is mostly wrong and it seems to become less as we get older. So wisdom is essentially the acceptance you don’t know shit so you’re more receptive to taking in new information.

Kids deny this, but I bet any of you with kids are nodding your heads sagely and know exactly what I’m talking about.

Spawn and I have all the same problems at any other family really. I get accused of being a broken record, because I’ve gotten three inches from their face to tell them to do the same fucking thing they haven’t done the first seven times I said it.

We’re on over two weeks of this shit and with what I’m already contending with at work, my fuse is short. Most of it I’ve let go because I was too tired to even acknowledge it. Then I tried the question:

“Why is it I’ve asked you to do something, just one thing, four days in a row now and its not touched?”

Response was a series of mumbles and grumbles probably only understood by those 20 and under. I think children should be put under the same study program they have for the pops and whistles whales and dolphins make. Maybe there is some vast wisdom we’re not hearing as parents. Or maybe dolphins and whales are just going “god, my mom is such a dictator and my dad is such a dork, you’ll never believe what they made me to before I got any fish at the fin hop….(because in my world, dolphins listen to 50’s music and watch Flipper)”

Last night was the moment I flipped my shit when I’d said “put it in the microwave for 20 seconds” one time too many and Spawn continued bitching about whatever it was like I hadn’t said anything and continued complaining about the thing I was telling them how to fix and that’s when it exploded to:

“ARE YOU FUCKING DEAF OR DO YOU JUST THINK I’M STUPID!?!? PUT IT IN THE FUCKING MICROWAVE FOR 20 FUCKING SECONDS ALREADY SO YOU CAN STOP BITCHING ABOUT IT.”

And once a parent has hit the point they engage language only preserved for the high seas, it becomes a general flood of every indiscretion AT LEAST since the last time you bitched.

Kids, the reason we sound like a broken record is because you continue to pull the same shit. Find something new to fuck up and stop doing the old one and the tune will change. Thank you.

Everything from not getting one chore done in the last three weeks to the bread being left open was all addressed in very loud detail.

Of course, the child response to this… the classic eyeroll.

Then the “you just hate me,” another classic.

“I just can’t do anything right!” (To which I respond, “leave off the last word and change ‘can’t’ for ‘won’t’ and you are right”)

It’s annoying, and I wish I knew the magic bullet that would finally break through that barrier between kid and parent, but essentially it boils down to:

  • Don’t ever think the mere blink of life that you have been on this world will ever compare the length of mine in wisdom. The things I have experienced and have surpassed give me a perspective and a knowledge base that you, if I get it right, will never have to know.
  • I’m still learning and I fuck up, I know that. Throwing mine in my face without acknowledging my progresses makes yours fair game. Don’t fight dirty.
  • You may have an unusual parent, but you in no way have a stupid one.
  • Kids are meant to rebel, that’s a given, but do it effectively. If my open-mindedness isn’t evolving with the times, that is a good time to open a dialogue that “rebels” with my thought processes.
  • Otherwise, until you are contributing in a productive way instead of just a smart mouth, you can shut the fuck up or write a congressman, join a protest, or sign a petition instead.
  • Roll your eyes again and I will carve them out with a grapefruit spoon.
  • What you’re not getting is I carry the weight of our small world on my shoulders. The bills, the chores, the errands, all the little things that keep us going. I don’t ask for help to be mean, I ask because its just too heavy for me to carry all the time and you’re capable of carrying some of it too.
  • I love you more than you will ever know.

so schnookums is toast… (g2)

Spawn sits me down like they have grave news. I’m preparing to be told they flunked a class, they’re being held back, someone died.

Nope, apparently Spawn has broken up with Schnookums and they are no longer an item.

Recently, their mom is remarrying and moving back in with man 3, father of child 3 and it puts them in a different district, which means Schnookums had to switch schools.

Spawn wouldn’t get into details so much but things got kind of strange after that. They made it through Christmas ok. Schnookums is a My Chemical Romance fan, and when we had the conversation that the lead singer was also a comic book artist, I figured a couple comics from the lead singer’s series might be a good Christmas gift.

Schnookums was in awe.

After that, everything went along as normal. so I thought….

All I’ve been able to ascertain since is that apparently Schnookums expressed some desires to be transgender. As far as I know this is a new development and makes me wonder if switching schools and unable to handle it and having distance from Spawn has more to do with it.

However, I have NO personal experience with this, so what I know is only through what I have read and what my one friend has been able to tell me and the minimalistic verbiage of my kid.

If Schnookums didn’t mean it, then its a dickish thing to pull.

But it they did, my heart goes out to them quite a lot, since I know that has got to be an impossibly hard thing to discuss. I’ve thought of texting them a couple times just to say that we’re still cool no matter what and they are an awesome person and should trust in that. But is that interfering too much?

From what I can gather, most transgender are what they are in their hearts from day one. Then it branches between those supported to be who they are, or those who are not. Many of the latter learn to “assimilate” in the worst possible way, until they can get the support, the funds, the encouragement to make the meat suit match the heart, if that is their ultimate goal, and finally learn to not pretend anymore. Just be.

I won’t get into the ones who fall through all cracks in the support department because that would warrant a much longer post and will hopefully never have to apply Schnookum’s case.

Their new stepdad is a military guy, and from what I gather, not an open-minded one. He seems to have a good heart, but his attempts to bond with his new stepkids is limited to only his own interests.

Of course, I sat Spawn down and asked if they really understood why they had such a problem. I was told the  constant apologizing was annoying. that’s it, nothing more. I asked if after some time, they might able to have a friendship from it, and was told they didn’t know but it wasn’t currently likely.

I told my kid I had never been in this situation so it was hard to put myself in it and see but when we like someone we’re asking them to like us, flaws, pimples and all, as we are. But being told your beloved has been an assimilation of sorts, something we didn’t see, couldn’t see, it makes the person we like feel like a lie. Sexuality aside, it just means to me the person I knew never actually existed.

Spawn nodded a bit, but didn’t say much. For a kid who is supportive of the trans community, its never touched them quite this way before and I’m sure they’re trying to sort out their own feelings. I’ve never seen anyone handle it so damn maturely though. Not even one damn bowl of ice cream to wallow in.

So hit me. Did I handle this at all correctly? What would you have done? Why?

i don’t want to go in the cart…(g2)

I believe in an earlier post I described  socializing with the Yankee, and getting to know the Hippy. the Hippy and I especially have been bonding a great deal. Hippy was rather distracted and irritable during our stellar Excel class, more so than the exemplary education we were receiving could be causing, so we teased her quite a bit about the possibility of her being pregnant, no less due to the extremely picky and insatiable appetite she had going on the entire day. Hippy even mentioned at one point she’d name it after me with a “McDickface” in there somewhere if that happened to be the case.

Hippy lives with her boyfriend of a couple years. I met him, we bonded in the younger brother from another mother kind of way. He was a great guy and I liked him a lot, saw a lot of myself in him and by extension, I saw a lot of immaturity as well. He’s gruff, brusque, tough fronted, but when Hippy turns her head, his expression changes to something very tender. She has often started using me as her boyfriend interpreter.

They’ve known one another since high school, when he was dating a friend of hers. Of course, he tries very hard to minimize the importance of that relationship whenever it comes up with the Hippy, but she knows better and doesn’t let it bug her as it once did. the friend cheated, time went on, and now the friend gets to watch their facebook posts as their life together progresses. Things turn out odd in life.

Spawn’s other parent was an attendee at my wedding. Life has a twisted sense of humor.

So Hippy is pregnant.

They’re not married, had no current plans on even discussing it any time soon as they’ve had a pretty shaky but stabilizing beginning and have now been suddenly thrown into parenthood.

This is pretty much how Spawn came to pass, only when their presence was discovered, I was long over the relationship and had tossed the other contributor out.

I, of course, was a model of decorum when she gave us the news and almost fell on the floor from laughing. I also demanded she agree to keep the name she’d threatened to bless it with in my honor.

so then schnookums got back in town (g2)

Schnookums got back in town from their dad’s. Apparently, only for the weekend though and then its off to grandma’s. I used to feel bad that Spawn didn’t have all this extended family to visit and become close to, but then I hear of shit like this and realize I’m glad I don’t have to share because fuck that noise. Had one or both of Spawn’s grandmothers been alive, I would probably barely see the child.

Once again, mom and her brood of three flew in, chatted for a little while and deposited Schnookums into our care. I asked up front if it was ok if they ran a few errands with us. I was told that was fine, but to please limit them to only one soft drink as they felt the caffeine might worsen the seizures. I was conned into two the last time, so when we both looked over at Schnookums they just silently nodded in agreement like a villain who got off scot free.

It started off as a silent breakfast, apparently the hyper-interactive side had not been able to present itself in Schnookums for a while, so they were adjusting to be around us again. My mind and ears started wandering over to the geritol table beside us where they were discussing some trip with a friend by the name of Richard apparently.

Then I leaned over to Spawn where Schnookums could hear and whispered, “they’re talking about Dick.”

Both kids erupt into snorts.

Then we all kind of tuned into the geritol squad where they went on about having several good pictures of “Dick” and how they had copies made of those and passed them around.

Needless to say, we were in tears for a good twenty minutes or so.

Schnookums:”This is the best breakfast ever.”

And the floodgates of chatter opened once more.

Spawn and I played rock, paper, scissors to see if we would be going to the music store (I had needs) or the art store first (Spawn has been commissioned to paint a picture for a co-worker with a new house). I won and Schnookums got a lesson in local music stores and how awesome they could be. They picked a couple of cd’s themselves even, one of which was My Chemical Romance. I’m not a fan, mostly because I’ve only heard blurbs of a couple songs and it really didn’t pique my interest too much, but when Schnookums found it and got excited, I leaned over to see what it was and said “you know the lead singer writes comics, right?”

Schnookums:”Whoa, no way! Really?”

Schnookums and Spawn are currently writing a comic. In fact, Spawn is currently storyboarding Schnookums’ story. So this was like finding out your idol is your idol twice-over.

We went all over the store, Spawn almost physically dragging me out when they saw the stack of cd’s I’d accumulated. It has been too long since I’ve been and I have time to make up for. I even placed an order for items they didn’t have, something I tend to do more than I like to admit. Schnookums was having a great time, and I told them they need to show their mom this place when they got a chance.

I decided on a classic as the first song when we got in the car, a truly enriching cd to play. One both educational as well as entertaining, one that epitomized the youth of my era.

The first track? Smack My Bitch Up by the Prodigy, of course.

(BTW, probably NSFW, I’ve not seen the video, so be warned)

 

The art store always sucks me into an infinite vortex of possibilities. Schnookums asked if they could run to the bathroom. I gave a vague direction of where they were usually located and they were off. Spawn went to scout out canvases. I wandered a little, but found the two checking canvases in the back of the store. I asked Schnookums if they found the bathroom, only to be told they didn’t need to go anymore. I’m worried that a backed up bladder is going to somehow bring on a seizure or something only to be told:

Schnookums:”Actually, I just wanted to look around.”

me:”Why didn’t you just say so?”

Schnookums:”oh…ok!”

Apparently, this is how Schnookums gets away from mom and brood when they want some solo time.

Schnookums found out quick that in our dynamic, I’m the one who usually wanders off to who knows where, at one point Spawn demanding that I stay nearby.

me:”But I found furry skull pillows! I need these!”

Spawn:”No you don’t!”

me:”Then you can pay for your own crap.”

Spawn:”I would but I forgot my wallet”

me:”ugh!”

I was told to turn the Prodigy cd down on the way home and the kids once again played video games when we arrived. Schnookums created a character that was based loosely on our fatass cat named Munchkinsquishytush or similar. They ran it around at first and asked other players “tell me I’m cute.”

Before we were due to meet Schnookums, I had already tried to install a few games on my computer, ones they could play together, mostly online. Of course as soon as I went to run them, most wanted to do a five hour update or some bullshit, so that idea was blown out of the water before it had a chance. Those two never minded though.

Oh yeah, my belated birthday gift to myself was a gaming computer. It’s red and glows. Spawn is jealous. They can suck it.

Somewhere during their reverie, the heat and over exertion of the puny a/c’s in our shitty little house kept tripping the breaker. I don’t know what fucking electrical idiot decided to put over half the house on one circuit, but if I ever meet him, I’ll rip his dick off and make him eat it.

I’m only a little angry, I promise.

So of course, our computers are on that circuit, which means we can’t even get more than one AC to run and stay running, as soon as we flipped the 2nd, the breaker trips again… and again… and again. It’s a very muggy 102 outside at the time. We’re hating life.

Spawn and I did a little testing and find out there are about two or three outlets NOT on the one damn circuit but nowhere near our desk. So, another trip out to Lowe’s where I grossly overestimate the length needed and get the 100 yd one, “just in case.” But, it solved our problem and kept us cool and going.

While we were out, I asked if they were hungry (it’s been hours since breakfast by this time) to which I got a resounding “yes!”. Again, I introduce Schnookums to yet another local favorite, a burger joint that looks like a warehouse from the outside and only has one small sign in the back parking lot, behind a tree. You find it by word of mouth only.

And for the folks who have been following my diet quest, yes this was a high calorie day for me. The next was protein shakes and a bag of salad mix to even it out. By high, meaning I had a bacon spinach omelet and a piece of rye for breakfast, a cheese burger with no bread, with a side salad for dinner. No shakes, unsweetened tea and water. I was kind of pained from the amount actually, but so good.

Schnookums opted for a ghost chili burger. They lived to regret it. They ended up having to eat their burger with a knife and fork like i was doing once we scraped as much as the cheese off as we could.

I was glad this time Spawn was a bit past the brooding silent observation they had the first time I met Schnookums. I wasn’t sure if it was irritation we were getting along or just that initial hesitation that Spawn can get when a new element is in their territory. Spawn adores their BFF a lot for example, but only likes to be around them in limited doses. I can tell when they have had enough of even me as they will don earphones and find a corner to have quiet time.

Schnookums asked me to tell them when we got sick of them, but I never responded. They melded into our world pretty well so I really didn’t have my usual amount of exhausted overstimulation either. Maybe I’m getting a thick skin to it. Like last time, it was their mom who finally decided they were coming to get them.

Schnookums has a chromebook that has been inoperable for a while, so I had a rescue thumbdrive ready this time. I also put a bug in mom’s ear that a gaming machine could be had for less than a laptop from the right spot. Then showed them the right spot. Apparently, mom was just as aggravated with the uncle who didn’t follow through as much as Schnookums was. Schnookums was promised usage of the laptop mom didn’t use, and Schnookums and Spawn arranged to try to play together later.

damned if i didn’t get to meet schnookums (g2)

I got up on Saturday, like I do, and when I was finally too hungry to deal with it, sat on Spawn on they finally agreed to get the hell out of bed. I find out Spawn has decided to invite Schnookums to breakfast.

They have been going strong since February, truly a record even among adults really. I had also still yet to meet them. I was honestly surprised when Spawn told me Schnookums was coming.

me:”Aw shit, does this mean I have to put on a clean shirt without holes?”

Spawn:”um, yes?”

me:”FUCK…”

Spawn:”stop cussing…”

Spawn then informs that they think their mom might be just dropping off Schnookums, possibly with their two younger siblings.

me: “You mean a woman I’ve never met is entrusting me with not one but possibly three of her children? Do you not understand there are people who KNOW me that would never do that?!”

Spawn:”…”

Apparently, Spawn had misinterpreted things, but I was indeed being entrusted with one of her kids. Mom and her brood of three flew in, we shook hands, chitchatted a bit and she flew back out leaving Schnookums behind.

Schnookums was a quiet little soul with an adorable face, very intelligent looking glasses (much like my own, ahem) and probably more wisdom on some things than a person their age should have to be, and insanely gullible in others. I could see the shyness, but it was more based in a fear of saying something that might get a weird response than an actual fear of interaction. In fact, Schnookums seemed very eager to interact. After about half an hour, I’m wondering what the hell Spawn was talking about when I was told this person took a month to work up the courage to share a table with them at lunch.

Schnookums told me about having had a few seizures in the past couple years, but they thought it might be from lack of sleep, so they had a strict bedtime.

They told me about all the places they are getting bounced around to this summer, dad and stepmom soon, then back home for a bit, then to grandma’s. They told me how their stepmom was really strict. I asked them why they thought that was, and they said “because she hates me.”

I asked if they realized the wrath of hell that might descend on their stepmom if so much as a hair on their head were injured under their care. Schnookums got quiet for a minute and said “I never thought about it like that.”

They talked about their irritations with their siblings and various unfairnesses. They told me about the uncle that had promised to one day build them a computer (after finding out I’d done this with Spawn’s) only to never deliver. Schnookums had a lot of pent up frustration with the adults in their life, and I guess I was non-adult enough to be a sounding board for their frustration.

They also talked about how they really didn’t get religion and I’m condensing it in adult language, but they felt it sounded hollow and pretentious to them… and essentially bullshit. I kind of went on to describe how I realized when I was their age, I had no faith. None at all. Up until that point, I’d sat in the front row, took notes and pelted the pastor with dozens of questions they could never really answer and I realized all this in a shitty little bible belt town with no one to talk to about it and no name to really give it.

I went on to say that Spawn however was a believer and I’d always felt that faith and belief systems were all a personal journey, even if it sometimes had to be a quiet one considering where we lived and limitations we had to be in discussing it. I never wanted my beliefs to corrupt Spawn’s own thoughts on it and in just my limited time, I had a vast assortment of many religions in friends and former family close to me. Our only commonality is we didn’t judge.

It’s sad but I live in a state that when surveyed, felt that they would rather hire a gay believer than an atheist. I’m not sure whether to consider the openness for this racist, bigoted little state on one hand somewhat progressive, but its rather insulting on the other too. Kind of a double-handed insult on both ends since why does it matter about either?

Schnookums went on to tell me how their mom was the superhero fan, but they’d never heard of Free Comic Book Day or May the Fourth be with you. Their stepdad was this outdoorsy type, which is why so many weekends they had to spend it hiking. They went on declare to how much they hated it.

Some of the general comments made by this kid while talking, the dry humor especially, at one point, I said “you’d make a really good Lex Luthor type… the evil businessperson plotting global takeover.” To which, they responded “yeah, that’d be cool.”

I immediately like this kid. We ended up chatting until Kim had to close the cafe and I had Schnookums text their mom to make sure it was ok to hang out at our house. Since their mom had dropped off Spawn once, I knew they knew where we lived.

Spawn and Schnookums played on the PS4 on a game I refused to play (I suck at side-scrollers). Schnookums used as many opportunities as possible to touch Spawn’s arm or shoulder or back, while I casually peeked over Spawn’s monitor under the guise of playing Skyrim.

After awhile, the game lost it’s allure and I was once again pelted with questions and observations by Schnookums. They seemed to heave a sigh of relief when I mentioned something about how girls start growing faster than boys and its about the first year of high school when the boys not only catch up but usually fly past. Spawn is not bothered by their general size disparagement but I can tell it bothers Schnookums.

I have never understood this about myself or my home or maybe the environment I create. Spawn’s BFF and their sibling were the same when they came to stay with us one weekend. I was needled to death and pelted with one question after another. It was exhausting. I asked Spawn why in hell kids were drawn to interrogating me, did they smell some weakness I didn’t notice. Spawn just said “because you answer them?”

Damn, that’s just fucking sad.

Little Man’s Birthday Surprise (G-uno)

He marched into the living room where I sat playing with “The Baby” beaming with this smile that could have stopped the world. He had one arm behind his little back, and a shopping bag from Trader Joe’s in the other. He walks directly up to me saying with great pride “Ms G-uno I have something for you!”

I can see by his face this is going to be big, so “I say for me? Why for me?” The smile that you thought couldn’t possibly be any larger was now even larger. Making it impossible for his mother, and I to not beam ourselves. He proudly announces “Because Ms. G-uno it’s your birthday!

Then he presents me with a bouquet of unopened Iris’s that were behind his back, and proudly sets the gift bag in front of me. “I picked all of your presents out myself.” His mother interjects with a sheepish look on her face, and a slightly apologetic tone. “Little Man’s special power is Autism, so he views the world in a very different sort of way then the rest of us. I am always enthralled by his thought process so I am examining his choice in flowers because you can only see a slight tip of color coming out of the top of the long graceful stems.

Now he can no longer contain himself so he says “Don’t you want to open your card, and your bag?” So my attention drifts from my curious bouquet, and I see a canister of coffee. He knows that I love coffee, so I praise his awesome choice, as he pulls the card out of the bag. I open my card, and on the front there is a colorful Mexican pinata.

Little Man can hardly contain himself as he tells me “Mom wanted me to give you roses, and a boring girl card with flowers on it. So I told her no, you needed blue flowers because blue is your favorite color (blue is his favorite color), and that you love Mexican pinatas (He loves pinatas) right Ms. G-uno!?”

I pull him over to me for a huge hug, and say “Oh yes, you know me so well. Ms. G-uno loves blue flowers, and Mexican Pinatas!” He glances over at his mother with a see I told you so look. Mom just laughs. She is an amazing mother. She let “Little Man” choose my gifts even though she felt that I would have liked other things more. She shows him that his point of view is important. He has thrived because he knows that he is valued.

So I woke up this morning, and made my way to the kitchen for my coffee. On my way I looked over at the vase that held my curious bouquet. Every bud had fully opened. Each Iris was extremely beautiful, exquisitely formed, exploding in blues, purples with a slight bit of yellow. I took a picture of them with my phone, and messaged it to “Little Man’s” mother.

I thought about his gifts to me, his beautiful smiling face, and the sincere joy he felt in presenting me with them. I couldn’t help but notice that the delicate flowers weren’t the only thing that had exquisitely bloomed. 😉

 

 

kicking diabetes ass: week 2, nothing like a moment of smugness on occasion (g2)

Diet buddy gave me a fitbit for my birthday. A device I really care little about, but the fact it tracks sleeping was kind of interesting. They also got me a blood sugar testing kit. I understand when I tell my diet buddy “I’m feeling fine though” it sounds like the same cop out grand used to give me. However, I know what the lows feel like very well, and I’ve been recently introduced to the highs, so I get that too.

I’d not taken my evening dose of my blood sugar medication when they gave it to me. I’d also had ice cream and cake about a half hour before. So I took my sugar for my friend to see. It was 135. Perfectly normal. Theirs was 238.

Their words: “I hate you.”

I made sure to text them the next morning with: “Fasting sugar was 98, yours?”

Them:”shut up”

My friend and I have been essentially doing the same thing, but emulating it in different ways, I held off on meat at the beginning and avoid it when cooking at home, they have some meat every day. They are also more active in their work than I am so they have eaten more calories a day than I have. Unfortunately, they tend to use lateness and rushing as a reason to hit the value menu at McDonald’s a few times too often, like 2-3 times a week lately. I’ve started given them lists of things that are ok to eat, other than the big mac I keep seeing hit their log.

I get that diet buddy feels the need to provide at least one meal for their kids (they do their own in the AM and school provides lunch), but my perspective is that since one is even in high school, they can start providing the evening meal since their parental works long hours, like Spawn does now. There’s no excuse for calling McD’s a “meal.” There’s also no time like the present to teach your genetically tied offspring how to eat so they don’t get diabetes.

Wow, I sound like an elitist.

However, I don’t think my buddy realizes that garbage accumulates. So their numbers are never going to get in control if they keep using excuses to keep the garbage flowing in. You can get something fairly healthy at McDonald’s, but you have to look it up and of course, its ALWAYS going to be better to cook.

I try to research any place I’m going to find something I can have before I go, Spawn is even starting to get good at it and will look it up on my phone while we head to wherever. My breaded chicken salad debacle was due to no research and a drugged kid to contend with, so I attempted instinct and it bit me in the ass. Lesson learned, read the fine print.

Another friend’s husband was recently told that he was banned from processed meats, his kidneys are failing and he too has diabetes. He’s not even overweight. I asked diet buddy if they eat this stuff, and if so, stop and see if this helps their sugar. I was told “yes, but very little.” My response is “go for none, if it kills your kidneys, why risk it?”

I’m starting to figure out why diet buddy’s doctor assume they’re lying when their A1C is telling a different story, but I’m starting to get the sense that diet buddy has about a 60% grasp on what healthy really means. Calories matter, sure, but how you’re getting those calories make the lifelong benefits.

This is also the person who has medical access to studies on products that claim they benefit health. I can ask for a recipe for a tincture that would clear an infection of any nature and they could give a list of shit I’ve never heard of. They are trained to know health and improvement of health. So why is the food so hard?

I guess I’m mostly irritated that yes, they are under an incredible amount of stress and I’m sure that exacerbates the problem. But this will kill them if they don’t fix it, and they have two kids to still worry about. I guess the underlying self-soothing part of yourself tries to tell yourself you deserve the big mac for all the effort you put forth, but don’t you deserve a 93% lean beef homemade burger with a thin slice of aged sharp cheddar and a pumpernickel bun a little more? If you’re going to be “bad” be the best bad you can, you know?

My final tally on my birthday when I added everything up ironically was about 1300. It’s lower than it estimates I burn no matter what calc I use, so win there. Also, my carb total was still in 50’s range. Another win. So in more than one way, I enjoyed my day of rebelliousness. It let me know I will be fine when I’m no longer constraining.

what makes free comic book day epic? kamikaze kittens (g2)

I hijacked my diet buddy’s kids for Free Comic Book day since my friend works Saturdays. I’ve done this the fast few years actually, sometimes including the random other friend of Spawn’s. I hate the idea they have nothing to do all the time, especially on the one day a good bulk of cool stuff happens.

The kids usually expect to use their own spending money to get what they want, but I usually give them a set amount and anything over they have to cover. They’ve rarely if ever met their cap in the years I’ve been taking them.

They are not exposed as much to comic books, manga, and anime as Spawn has been. This is changing rapidly. This has all been my fault, as I’ve been so pointedly reminded of by their parental from time to time when time-limited bans are set due to overindulgence.

I’ve yet to feel any remorse.

In fact, I generally tend to give them a list to check out when the ban is lifted.

I’m an enabling asshole like that.


I was the kid who wasn’t allowed comics, so I have an immense amount to catch up with on this subject. Grand thought of comic books as brain-rotting evil and the only ones I was ever allowed were Archie. I still find comic shops a bit overwhelming on where to start and I tend to chicken out to the online options if on my own. I’m getting better since I’m the one who ends up having to get the kids going.

As a kid, I got my fix only through the MAD magazine they kept at kid-level since the manager at the grocery store we frequented thought anything with a cartoon character was obviously for children. I got educated on a lot of things prematurely because of this too.

My uncle’s collection of Hustler kind of helped fill in many blanks as well, along with setting a weird set of expectations (missionary looks rather tame after that), but I digress.


I was a little disappointed in the comic store this year. We like this one since its range it more expanded and not so focused on the jock squad with the pseudo-porn sporting huge spandex tits and ass up front and center.

In fact, I was kind shocked/elated to find out we had about a dozen or more comic stores to choose from in our area, but the one closest to us is very focused on the older male set alone. As excited as they were to see kids in their store the one year we went, we really didn’t feel that welcome by their set up and stock.

I don’t think they understand the message their arrangement and limited variety portrays. I truly believe that’s just all they think of when they hear “comics.”

This one we favored, last year at least, had comic book artists handing out sketches and talking with the public about their work. Of course, the artists had copies of their projects out for sale. There were door prizes, costume contests, hell even snacks. It was a blast. We were there for hours and spent a crapload.

This year there was none of that. There was one guy wearing an impressive comic book business suit and one little girl sporting a space/hero suit.

That was it.

I had one little runt of no more than seven decide he was going to pick a fight with me.

He slapped me on the ass and stuck his tongue out when I turned to check out who was getting fresh. Of course, like any mature adult, I responded by pulling a face that nearly turned my nostrils inside out.

He ran off.

Spawn:”well, at least you get some playtime with those your own age…”

We had a five comic per person limit, so Spawn checked my choices before running off to find their own, to which I responded, “Who said I was sharing?”

I got the kids started on finding their sections of choice to get the plundering started, then realized I hadn’t picked anything out for myself. I meandered around, I just didn’t see a whole lot jump out at me. Some “would likes,” not a lot of “gotta haves.”

I had several of the Sandman series I still hadn’t finished yet, so I felt a bit guilty adding to my queue.

Then I saw it. The one indulgence most only children don’t think of because imaginary friends are cheating assholes.

A game! A card game!

The only card games I know are Poker (I suck) and Spite & Malice (or as my mom would say, Spit & Shit).

I guess this tells you more about my childhood than I have.

But it had the learning curve I like and matched my attention span… two minutes to learn, no more than 30 minutes of play….

It was Exploding Kittens! Yes, kamikaze felines out to kill you aside from the real ones you might already have at home!

The whole goal is to avoid being virtual exploded by feline bitchiness while trolling the other players to they can be exploded, what more could you ask for?

Dicks, that’s what you could ask for.

Now to get my hands on the NSFW version so I can have the dicks too.

kicking diabetic ass: day three, coffee without goop sucks butt (g2)

So from my prior posts, I read the study of about 800 calories a day for 8 weeks. My personal goal was actually 500. I found a couple shakes to try, figured I’d mix and match since I really couldn’t find one that I would call perfect, that had the right calories/carb ratio I was looking for while still being nutritionally sound.

One was pretty good taste-wise, but the other sucked. Of course the sucky one was the one who got the nutritional grade of A on my little tracker app. I also got a third powder that is extremely low calorie but gives a veggie boost to other shakes. It does not go in the sucky one, even if it was meant to…. no. Mix some vanilla extract with grass from your lawnmower if you want that sensation.

The surprise in all this was the hostility I got from my kid. Spawn seemed to be under the impression I was suddenly going to morph into one of those people who talks protein, carb load, cyclic somethingorother, synergetic flibbertygibbet and bumfiddle twiddlesticks.

Example: when I took Spawn to a running shoe store to get them properly sized and outfitted with good shoes, Spawn picked up one of those energy gels packets and asked “what’s this?”

Me:”Boob milk from a cyborg.” (The Oatmeal)

The poor guy who helped us about choked and just said “W…What?!?!” in fits of laughter. At least his skinniness didn’t kill his sense of humor.

That is me getting down with the fitness lingo, folks.

Spawn got annoying enough I lashed out with “No, I’d just like to keep my legs attached, along with my eyes and my kidneys, ok?” I upset them, but I got sick of the incessant nitpicking and rude remarks. Apparently, they were convinced I was going to make them do this as well.

The only problem we have come across is that when I don’t “eat,” Spawn doesn’t want to eat either and then ends up starving in the middle of night. I tried to make some more creative things, but still on the OK list for Spawn’s pallette. They didn’t eat much though. This turned into another argument, but I think Spawn is finally started getting it.

I slept a lot that first day, but I wasn’t hungry and I felt ok.

The next day I ended up with a headache, today too. I realized I was consuming even less calories than the 500 I’d allotted for myself, another thing to fix.

Spawn actually had my shake made for me this morning, even asking questions about why potatoes were a no no and what calories really were. It was cool. I explained protein, carbs and fats, and why runners ate carbs right before a run, but why a diabetic should never do this. Why peas, corn and even bananas were more akin to cake to the diabetic body than other vegetables.

I also told Spawn I already had a cheat day lined up on my birthday in a couple weeks, as I didn’t want to use it as an excuse to wait until later to start what I was doing now, so I’d already picked out what kind of cake I wanted and that I wanted to eat at my favorite sandwich and salad spot.

Oddly, I got excited when I found out I could eat an entire bag of brussel sprouts. I miss chewing mostly. Sure, when smelling good food, its tempting to try it, but just being able to chew something is oddly calming when you do nothing but drink all day (shut up, you lushes!). You’d think gum would be more my thing.

I’m waiting for the ravenous, frothing beast to show up though.

I haven’t spoken about any of this to my co-workers and it looks like the owners are forcing my department into a “working lunch” sometime soon. I’m not terribly sure how to handle that one. Cross that bridge when I come to it, I suppose.

I usually have coffee in the morning at work and not having it would start a conversation I’d rather not have. You’d think most people would ignore others, but I have coworkers who are oddly honed into the subtle changes in the habits of those around them.

Coffee in an office is not the greatest, nor is the crap you put into it to make it tolerable, but still, its more tolerable because the crap is in it. I have no room in this diet for any coffee crap. This makes me sad. It also makes for a large cup of coffee that is rather skanky.

*sigh*

i’m really not feeling this summer camp shit this year (g2)

I’ve usually spent a great amount of time trying to sign up Spawn for an epic series of adventures every summer.  The afterschool place they used to go to years back would promise a lot, and deliver little to nothing. It wasn’t even the ones running it that were the problem, oddly enough it was the owner. He felt it “cost too much,” even though that cost was passed onto the parents and a lot of the activities they tried to schedule were free.

You don’t know frugal until to you see caregivers who quit over a .13/hour raise… yeah, 13 cents. You also don’t see “dickhead” quite like a guy who drives a Mercedes and talks about things that cost too much to people who work for a .13/hour raise.

That was my breaking point.

Spawn and I had to suffer the place during the school year, but I would be damned if we would to do it during the summer. Of course, now Spawn is of an age they can actually stay home, but I don’t like the idea of them just sitting at home without stimulation that doesn’t involve a screen. I had to ban YouTube for a month because of their addiction to play-throughs. They even stopped drawing and usually that is akin to breathing.

Spawn knows that staying home also involves a honey-do list a mile long with a tight schedule as to when it should be completed. So they are not exactly thrilled by the idea either.

I have to schedule their chore list, you want to know what my kid is like doing chores? Watch this:

 

There it is! Yep, I spend a lot of time wanting to pull my hair out.

This year, Spawn also got really into cello as well and wishes to pursue it. This is really interfering with the school’s rules on PE requirements, since Spawn wants to go to a weird school in the future with the weird kids who like to do other creative shit, art being their focus. I support this completely, so I figure to nip the school’s gripes in the bud, I need to make sure some physical stuff is on the menu this summer.

The choices are sucking major ass though. Either the camps are beginners with the bulk being vastly younger than Spawn. Considering Spawn is giant for their age, this is a concern. Or they are the perfect age range, but for experienced kids. Or its 50 miles away, and they are only running from 9:47 – 3:26 and you have to pick them up within 10 minutes after or its a bagillion dollars extra.

Those of you parents ever notice this? For a bulk of us, we work 8a-9am to about 5-6pm… who the fuck came up with the hours of these summer camps? It’s couldn’t possible be anyone who actually procreated, right? Because if they are parents… they are either fucktards or their reproducing genitalia is so past used and fossilised, it caused their brain to rot to dust with it.

What are some of the more creative things you did with your kids during the summer (stories involving duct tape especially welcome)?

For those who may not be able to answer on the parent end, what kind of things did you do during the summer that you liked/hated/make you blow chunks? I’m game for anything.

what happens when Spawn is gone and my game isn’t working? (g2)

Apparently, I get fucking productive.

I don’t mean like catch up on the mail and pay some bills either.. I mean, sleep 7 hours in two days, bleach the fuck out of everything so intensely I had to stand outside for an hour so my eyes would stop burning, productive.

Spawn of course texted intermittently throughout the entire weekend. I got a few pictures from time to time so I could get a sense of inclusion. They even won first prize in their school competition. They had an epic weekend. I also shared my own weekend…

me:”my game isn’t working…”

Spawn:”LOL”

me:”shut up! you realize when I get bored, I go through all your shit, right?”

Spawn:”NOOOOOO!”

Spawn does not like their bed. I’d offered it to a coworker of mine who’d lost everything when we had some flooding a while back. I started dismantling this bed. It took two grown men to put this thing together inside the room, I have it about 1/3 broken down and realized I didn’t have the right tool to go any further.

I cleaned and reorganized the pantry, the bathroom is spotless, the spices have been polished and refilled or tossed out if expired. the fridge has no weird smelling containers from unknown dates anymore (I ate them because I was too lazy to cook for one), I can see my kitchen table… I didn’t know it was that color.

I filled a streetside garbage bin in a day and I could have filled three more just based on how much crap I wanted to purge. Soon….

The dirty clothes have been gathered to run to the laundromat, the donation box is in the car. Clothes have been bagged for the friend of Spawn’s we hand down to. Clean clothes are folded or hung up.

I didn’t go so domestic I fluffed a fucking pillow or anything, but it was damn close. I had been relying an awful lot on Spawn to get remedial sweeping and mopping done after school and I’ve come to realize just how bad they suck at it. Do kids just not realize rooms have fucking corners? Or that large things need to be moved because the floor still exists under it?

I picked up a basket from a part of the floor it didn’t belong in, it had just been left there, there was a basket-shaped line around where it sat that had a different shade than the rest of the floor.

One of Spawn’s bigger projects was to take all the pots and dishes out of the cabinets, bleach and wipe down the shelves and put everything back. More suckage… its like it had never been done. The kind of stuff I got out of there belonged on Ripley’s.

I went back to washing the dishes solo some time ago simply because in the time it took me to wash 2 sinkfuls, Spawn might have 4 glasses finished. I’m started to get the feeling I’m getting played. I welcome any tips on this point, by the way.


Spawn was due back about dinner time on Sunday, so I arranged for a few of their friends to be at the house for pizza and cookie cake when they got back. Spawn doesn’t do parties, but three friends and a console game were enough to keep them pretty entertained.

When I picked up Spawn, I kind of got them in headlock and just sniffed them for a bit. When Spawn got uncomfortable because I wasn’t letting go, I finally begrudgingly drove home.

Spawn:”What’s that van doing here?”

me:”dunno.”

Spawn:”………. right……”

Spawn ran to the door and peeked in their own front door like they were scared of what was inside. We sang Happy Birthday as badly and loudly as we could muster, the kids had a blast playing games and doing their thing, I got to catch up a little with the parentals. Spawn got a ton of art stuff, so I could see the excitement and ideas just clicking like a freight train while they looked these over.

I was a little disappointed with the lack of inspiration on the birthday cookie. I’d chosen none of the presets, as usual, and just put “they like to draw comics and play cello; like foxes, penguins and the color blue. whatever inspiration that gives you, run with it.”….

They did a damn palette. A tiny one.

Where has the sense of originality gone in this country anyway? If it had been a fox mauling a penguin in a cookie desert while a cartoon Spawn played in the background, that would have been epic, but no! One tiny brush, a tiny palette and blue writing.

Spawn being home, my bleach rampage finally wore itself out. My exhaustion came on quite suddenly too. I was at the point where I wanted to just tell everyone to get out and pass out on the couch. I don’t even think I waited for the kids to leave before I was in my pajamas. Thank goodness for school nights.

Man, I need a weekend…