That one time I ALMOST got my tit in a wringer for ‘drugs’.

I have long been of the opinion that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to the intellect of the children of some parents. This is an old story. Hope you enjoy the insight into the monumental stupidity that I brought upon myself when I was a kid. Thank god I was marginally smarter than this when my first child was conceived. 

Thanks for reading,

Matt

This is the story of how I almost got kicked out of high school for supposedly possessing drugs.

It is also a cautionary tale of:

  1. Me, being a dumbass.
  2. Why you should always research your drug choices.
  3. My extremely good luck in times of crises.

In high school, I was the drummer in a band called Argyle (yes, retrospect has shown me that there are better names that could have been chosen). When junior year rolled around, we (the band & I) were having some communication problems with one of our guitar players. This guitar player also went to the same school as I did (a Catholic, all boys school). This guitar player was also a firm believer in Christianity, so much so, that he would go on the “religious retreats” that the school would offer from time to time.

So, we were having problems with this said religious guitar player and it so happens that one of these retreats was coming up and he was going to be a leader of said retreat. Naturally, I get the bright idea that I should go on this retreat in an effort to find out what’s been bugging this guitar player.

My other band mates supported this marvelous idea of mine.

Any normal person would have went up to Guitar Player and said “What the fuck is your problem?”

Not me.

The first two days were not that bad.

The only thing I truly disliked was that they confiscated all of our time pieces. The exact reason why is completely out of my head. But I was definitely struck by how maddening it was not to know what time it was. The effect was almost suffocating.

After that, we were bombarded with the usual retreat-y type God stuff that you’d expect. Our group leaders (of which Guitar Player was a part of) all had to get up in front of us and talk about what God meant to them and possibly relate it to a tough time in their life that they were able to work through because of his “love”.

This always resulted in, being on the verge of, or drowning in their own tears.

The skeptic in me then (as well as now) has always been of the opinion that the only one who can get you through those tough times is you. No one else, just you.

Just when we were getting ready to turn in towards the end of the second night, I was bouncing-off-the-walls bored. It didn’t look like my original goal (of having a “sit-down” with the guitar player) was going to happen any time soon. Then I remembered something that someone had told me during the 7th grade:

I had heard somewhere that smoking tea could get you high.

As in the stuff that the British have coursing through their veins.

I told this to my roommate. He looked at me like How I’m sure you’re looking at this now, like I’m a moron.

It’s ok. I know I am a moron.

I sneak off to the kitchen area and procure a coffee filter and some Earl Grey. If there was one thing I remember from this whole fiasco it was the look on my roommate’s face while I was “working”. It was a good blend of “God you’re stupid” and “Man, I hope this works because I would like to get high, too.”

The next day, it was more of the same God Shenanigans.

Right before dinner time, my roommate, his brother and myself all duck out for a quick smoke. Stupidly, we all lit up on the main path that connected the chapel to where we were all “living”. Of course I thought that this would have been as good a time as any to see if my little experiment held water. When I lit up, it smelled exactly like weed. It was uncanny. While this may be exciting for a junior in high school who was testing an urban myth to sate his boredom, you can obviously see what kind of goober I really was.

After about five minutes, one of the teachers came trudging down the path.

We were fucked.

They pulled us out of the evening happenings and said they found what “appeared to be” a joint.

I told them that it was all my idea and that the two brothers had nothing to do with it. I went out to tell them that I ran out of cigarettes and I made the “joint” as a substitute (which wasn’t completely bullshit, by the way) and I completely reassured them that it wasn’t drugs.

They told me that was all well and good but what they found still needed to be “analyzed”.

I asked them what was going to happen to us. Without missing a beat, they said that they spoke to the dean and he said that they were to send us home and we were to be suspended.

I was completely fucked. My life, as I knew it, was over. My parents were on their way to get me.

I had never seen my father so angry at me. No band, no nothing. That’s what my parents told me.

Normally I would have taken that without saying a word. However, we had a major show coming up it didn’t make sense to punish people who didn’t have anything to do with me fucking up. I managed to convince my parents to let me play the show and then suspend my band privileges.

Here’s where the story gets better.

The day before I had to go back to school, we had band practice.

Bass Player and his girlfriend at the time were the first to show up.

I explained everything to them, the stupidity of my actions, the fallout from the school and my parents and what was going to happen after our big show.

The girlfriend said something to the effect of:

“I know what would make you feel better”.

“What’s that?”

“Smoking a big bag of weed.”

From her purse she whips out a bowl and a big bag of weed.

Band practice was at the very least, fun. I went to bed that night without a care in the world.

The next day was my first day back since getting suspended. During one of my morning classes, I was pulled out of class to speak with the Dean.

Basically, he wanted to give me a pep talk and to hear what happened from my own mouth. He concluded the whole conversation by telling me that the results of the testing on the “evidence” were inconclusive and that I needed to submit to psychological analysis and drug testing.

Drug. Testing.

I was doomed! I was sure of it! I had smoked up just the other day.

I was freaking out! I couldn’t go back to the Dean and ask him what kind of test it would be. That would be way too suspicious.

After school, I immediately started to drink water. I figured that if I drank enough of it, I could even the chances of flushing out my system. I then called Bass Player and explained to him the escalation of the situation. He was remarkably helpful. I learned that it was either going to be a blood test or a urine test.

Regardless of the type of test, I could go to any “head” shop and select from a wide array of products that would mask the presence of cannabis in my system. Thankfully, this all pre-dated hair sampling.

Bass Player also suggested that I drink Pectin, a preservative commonly used in canning foods.

At this point I had all ready been drinking enough water to hydrate a third world country so the pectin wouldn’t hurt. It wasn’t that bad. Had a bit of a sweet taste to it.

As an added measure I called the local NORML office to find out how long pot had stayed in your body. He told me that the length of time varies depending on your level of usage. Thankfully, I wasn’t a habitual smoker so I had about three days to clear out my system.

Relief very adequately describes how I felt after that conversation. I still drank water like a motherfucker, though. 

So the day finally came for me to face the music.

I was so nervous you couldn’t get a needle up my ass with a jack hammer. I was a relatively “good” kid. Getting in this kind of trouble was a new experience for me.

The psychoanalysis was completely unremarkable. No new emotional ground had been broken. No revelations were had. It was just an old, white man asking me questions that people have been asking me since I got suspended.

Peeing in a cup was fun. I really had to pee.

7 days later.

The dean of my school comes up to me wanting to know what was going on. Of course, I had no fucking idea what he was talking about. Apparently the clinic that I had gone to, did not inform the people of the school about my pee pee results.

The Dean told me that I needed to call them to find out what the story was.

So I call the clinic and I was informed that its standard operating procedure to not inform the drug testee if there is an absence of drugs in their urine.

An. Absence.

My pee was clean.

In a matter of three days I had managed to ingest enough water piss out all of the THC that was in my system.

Lessons learned:

  1. If you have a problem with someone, quit fucking around and address the situation.
  2. Smoking Tea will never, ever get you high.
  3. If you’re going to do drugs, make sure that there isn’t a possible drug test looming.
  4. As smart as you think you are, old age will always show you how stupid you really were.

One reason why more men aren’t staying at home with their children.

In my quest to make a blog that would provide a working, and accessible encyclopedia of knowledge that most men should have, I did what I normally do when I am writing about something: I got on my library’s website and I requested every book I could find on any given subject related to men (manhood, staying at home with the kids, fatherhood, etc).

A couple of weeks go by, and the books I had requested started to trickle back in to my house.

One such book had a single sentence in it that, for me, summed up why there hasn’t been a great influx in the amount of men willing to stay at home with their kids. Before I go on, I will not name the author nor will I name the book from whence such quote came. Additionally, I would like to put in print for the record, that I do not enjoy “trolling” someone or generally speaking ill of someone if they aren’t in front of me. Yes, that’s right: I’m that type of asshole.

“Here’s another example illustrating that men have lost the battle of the sexes: a modern hero needs to be able to hold, feed, and change a baby.”

Son of a bitch. This sentence is chock-a-block with things that piss me off!

Please allow me to be the Mr. Peabody to your Sherman as we jump back in the Way Back Machine (aka the Internet/Wikipedia) to find out exactly what the “battle of the sexes” was.

Let us look back 41 years ago. The date was May 13, 1973. The place was Houston, Texas. The “Battle of the Sexes” was in actuality a tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King (Billie being the female, in case you were too lazy to click around…). It was one of a series of three matches that pitted man against woman.

The first match, won by Riggs, made him a household name. As such, the promoters of the next match labeled it a “battle of the sexes” because of all of the dick-wagging that Riggs did prior to the meet between himself and King in Houston.

In Houston, Ms. King took Riggs over her knee and spanked him like the entitled shit he was.

In the years to come, there was rampant speculation that Riggs threw the match on purpose because he was up to his ass in debt to the mob.

Since then the phrase “battle of the sexes” has been misused and abused ad naseum.

Now, lets’ take a look at the last half of that shit-pile of a sentence: “…a modern hero needs to be able to hold, feed, and change a baby”.

Well, yeah, yeah they do. If there smart enough to figure out what to do with their penis when it changes into it’s “active state”, then they ought to be man enough to deal with any of the numerous outcomes that may arise when their ding-a-ling transfers back to it’s passive state.

When men start to think like a “hero” is usually when shit starts to go wrong. Furthermore, heroes don’t acknowledge the fact that they do heroic shit. They live their lives by doing what they think is the right thing.

When a man becomes a father, he should do the right thing and accept the fact that he is responsible for the life that he brought into the world and that he should make it his fucking duty to be the best damn father that he can be.

That includes the basics like holding, feeding, and changing a baby.

Ladies, want your man to stay at home with the kids so you can have “the career”? You better make damn sure he doesn’t believe ignorant things like he’s too good to take care of a child that the two of you brought into the world. 

In which, I get “descaled” by my Keurig.

I like coffee. A lot.

Towards the end of living with my mother I had a small coffee pot in my room just for me. My wife, at the time she was my girlfriend, always found it amusing.

Seriously, who has a coffee pot of their own in their bedroom?

Just me, apparently.

At any rate, I like coffee. All of the vices of my youth are now extinct. No more drugs. Drinking has dried up to a trickle. Cigarettes have been gone for nearly a decade. My faberge egg addiction has been kicked.

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I am rather tame and boring by my own estimation. So you see, if it wasn’t for coffee I wouldn’t have any personality at all. 

Last year, my wife landed employment for a very prestigious institution. As a reward for herself, she wanted a Keurig. Given that she had to crawl through shit to get this job, I didn’t fight her too much. Truth be told, I didn’t want the fucking thing at all. They’re existence in the universe has never made logical sense to me: You have to make a fresh cup of coffee, every time you want coffee? And, the little k-cups cost an arm and a leg? NONSENSE. I DON’T LIKE CHANGE.

So we go to the store and she enlightens me to the features of the Keurig.

You don’t have to buy the cups, you can get a little filter to spoon your coffee grounds into. Also, the machine is basically a big hot water dispenser so you can make tea. In sum, I saw the use it could have in our home. I still didn’t like it, though. 

We buy it. Take the thing home. Run it through with just water to get smell of plastic out of the fucking thing and the rest is history.

The Keurig has been a part of our family for the past year. 

One day, I make my customary cup of coffee to get my brain working in the morning. I lift and depress the play-doh factory lever that tells the machine that it’s time to get to work and on the readout I see the word “de-scale”.

Frowning in response I say, “I don’t speak your language, but you better give me my cup of coffee, you little shit-stain” as I push the button that fills my cup up with the steaming, oily truth.

It fills my cup 1/3 of the way and sputters.

Apparently when your Keurig displays the word “descale” it roughly translates into “The person who is trying to make their cup of coffee is about to drown in a frothing rage”.

I immediately consult the junk drawer.  You all know what I am talking about: no kitchen is complete without the one drawer that holds all of the shit that doesn’t have a proper place in your house PLUS all of the instruction manuals for all of the things that you have bought.

The instructions weren’t there. Off to Google I go!

The only thing that I could find was this over at Coffee Detective.

Yes that’s right, I ditched the water tank, unplugged the son of a bitch, turned it upside down and proceeded to beat it like it owed me money. 

‘Descale’ went away but it still didn’t work. Keurig only gave me a fraction of the caffeine I needed. I make another cup and ‘descale’ comes back again.

At this point, all of the veins in my face and forehead are bulging. I am sweating with fury.

I then proceed to run vinegar through the system because I know that works. I have had to do it before with older coffee pots.

I load the tank up with straight vinegar and proceed to “make coffee”. After I run through the vinegar, I run a tank full of water through the system for good measure. No one likes tangy coffee. 

After I run through a tank of water, ‘descale’ goes away. Everything in me unclenches and I proceed to make a legitimate cup of coffee.

Yet another cup with four drops of coffee in it. As the Keurig sputtered it’s signs of completion, tears welled up in my eyes as ‘Descale’ returned, mockingly victorious. 

Defeated, I ran the coffee again in an attempt to get at least half a cup. 

Later on, I had an idea. I checked the filter that we had been using for loose coffee grounds.

Yep, dirtier than a motherfucker. We replace the son of a bitch with a new filter and it’s been kicking out the coffee ever since.

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Lesson learned: the simplest solution is usually the best. 

How to un-funk a toilet.

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Behold! The one appliance in your home that you absolutely cannot do without. Well, you can, you just don’t want to. ‘Outhouses’ are downright unsanitary. You could use the ‘shovel and hole’ method but that’s not really practical if you live in colder climes. There’s the new fad of composting toilets but if you’re like me, you’re not at all that interested in finding out what your own poo smells like when it’s lit on fire.

So, how much do you know about this modern marvel?

  • Did you know that Thomas Crapper did not in fact invent the toilet? He invented the ballcock. Stop giggling: It’s the floaty bit underneath the lid of the tank.
  • Did you know that the bend, underneath the tank and behind the part where you make your deposit, typically in an S, U, J, or P shape, is so shaped because it acts as a seal against sewer gases?
  • Did you know that toilet is commonly believed to be invented by Sir John Harington, a courtier of Elizabeth I?

With the exception of our first home, my wife and I have been strangely fortunate to live in other places with at least two toilets. As our family grew, the need for two toilets became paramount.

People need to poop. Kids, they need to twice as much. 

It should be common knowledge by now that my family and I are now Florida residents.

The home we are living in is rather modern. That is to say, there are no ‘old school’ toilets (the kind that have a more round bowl where the water line stops an inch or three away from the lip of the bowl). That’s right, we have the water-saver Jobbies that are more stretched out as far as the bowl goes and it only gives you enough water to wisk your poo poo away.

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Here’s the science: soap is capable of breaking down fats. That’s why it’s so good at cleaning food off of pans and plates. Your poo? Chocked full of fats. You put liquid soap on poo and the poo will break down given enough time.

As it can be imagined, the shape of this newer potty is a bit of a problem for my youngest child. She is currently the smallest of the family and because of that, her little booty isn’t big enough to sit comfortably where your booty-hole needs to be positioned in order to ensure the maximum wisking of poo.

Obviously this results in toilets clogs. Not full blown ‘that water ain’t goin’ nowhere and I’m afraid that if I depress the handle one more time I will be covered in shit that isn’t mine’ clogs. But lazy, almost petulant clogs. The kind that still takes the water away but the toilet definitely isn’t doing so for your benefit.

Since toilet maintenance live underneath the umbrella of my responsibilities, I have discovered the ‘soap trick’.

  1. Get the liquid soap. If you don’t have any on site, go to the store and get some. Nothing fancy. Whatever is the cheapest will work
  2. Empty the contents of the soap into the offending toilet. Try and do so with the intent of covering the contraband.
  3. Wait. This is the hard part. The longer you wait, the more likely this will work. if you do not wait long enough, you will skip to step four and see the error of your ways. Your left hand will start moving of it’s own accord. It will go to your formerly luxurious mane of hair, now balding and greying, in an attempt to remove what little hair has managed to hang on by it’s fingernails. After your hand realizes how futile that was, it will then curl itself into a fist and start shaking at the Heavens. When it realizes that it’s owner, you, don’t really believe in that type of thing, it will rotate so that the back of the hand is facing the toilet, and the following configuration will emerge.
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This is what happens if you don’t wait long enough.

The following day you will engage step 4.

You WILL NOT do it a minute sooner.

It’s rather simple: get the biggest pot you have at your disposal, fill it full of water, and boil the fuck out of that water.

As the water is being boiled, assess your path to the toilet. Is there shit in the way? How far away is it? Do you need to put running shoes on?  After you have completed that, the water should be ready.

Put on your oven mitts, turn off the stove, grab the pot with both hands (because ‘safety first’) and haul ass to the water closet with the funked up toilet. When you arrive at your destination, empty the contents of said pot into the other pot.

You will not be disappointed. 

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How I grocery shop. Part 2.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that the grocery shopping shouldn’t stop at the actual acquisition of groceries.

Sure, ya gotta get your goodies home and then put them away. Most probably stop there.

I don’t.

A slight digression.

Once upon a time, the family and I rented a house on the East Side of Cleveland. What we didn’t know at the time was the fact that the rental company that we rented from was run by a bunch of clowns who really didn’t give a fuck about the property as long as we were paying the rent on time.

As such, things like telling us that the basement was a wet basement wasn’t a priority. What was even less of a priority was the fact that when they replaced the roof (which they did without prompting) they didn’t think to check the integrity of the roof from the attic point of view. If they did that, they would have seen that the roofers that they had hired split one of the roof planks (thereby leaving a six inch gap the length of the entire roof that was only covered by the roofing paper and shingles that they used). In case you didn’t do the math, wetness from the basement + wetness from the attic = a mold sandwich that was waiting to happen.

What that sandwich had was a heaping side of really shitty windows. These were the turn of the century types that required you to put the storm windows on from the outside and had the accordion screens that stayed in place from the weight of the window.

As such, this house was the absolute fucking worst when it came to maintaining the integrity of our fruits and vegetables.

What also didn’t help was the fact that once the weather turned warm, it was game-fucking-on for the fruit flies. Seriously: check it out.

Greatest. Invention. Ever.

Greatest. Invention. Ever.

One day, my wife turned me on to vinegar. I don’t know if she knew this from previous experience or if it was something that she had found on Pinterest. Once I started soaking our produce, it has lasted twice as long.

As an added aside, you can do essentially anything with the stuff. Cleaning. Food. Cooking. Plus, it’s going to smell like Easter up in your house.

Giving your produce a vinegar bath certainly seems like one of those things thats easy to blow off. But you have to look at it this way: you know nothing about the life of the food that you want to eat. Wouldn’t it make sense to take the initiative to kill whatever bacteria is lurking (either through natural means or as the result of someone who is underpaid and under appreciated) on the food that you want to put in your belly?

So here’s what I have been doing to get our money’s worth out of our produce. 

 IMG_3325 IMG_3321In general, there seems to be a bit of a dispute as to how much vinegar that you are supposed to use and how long you should let your shit soak for.

Personally, I slosh enough across the top to make sure that more than half of the produce has gotten some vinegar.

Then, I fill the sink up with water and I go do something else. Typically, that something else is putting the rest of the fucking groceries away.

In general, I don’t let them soak for more than 15 minutes or so.

Make yourself useful and take care of those snacks you bought! Don’t look at me like that, I know you’re a mindless eater!

It’s the same routine as the produce: get all of the shit together. Then, put it in the tupperware that you and you’re wife bought. For me, it’s not so much about seeing exactly how much everyone is eating. It’s about keeping the tupperware cabinet empty because every time someone goes into that cabinet it looks like there was a fucking Earth quake.

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TA!

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FUCKING DA!

So, now that you have gotten the snacks and what not squared away (and probably had a little handful of everything because you feel entitled) turn back to the produce that you left swimming.

Time to rinse that shit!

There’s no real trick to it: drain the sink, transport the veg to the bin that you left open and pretend like you’re one of the jailor’s at the county lock up who likes delousing people.

Like, so.

Like, so.

You could go the extra mile and dry all of that shit by hand, but I like to work smart, not hard. I let everything air dry.

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This is usually where I fuck off and do something else for 30 minutes or so. After the appropriate amount of time has gone by, then I put all of that shit away.

The house is safe for another week.

The house is safe for another week.

Thus concludes “How I Grocery Shop”. Got a routine of your own? Share it in the comments section at the top of this post!

How I grocery shop. Part 1.

I don’t remember the first time that I went grocery shopping as a stay at home parent. What I do remember is what led up to this being my responsibility: my wife and I would constantly quibble about who’s responsibility it was. She wanted it to still be her’s (even though she was working full time) and I wanted it to be mine (because I had the time to get it done).

Seems kind of stupid, but she had good reason not to trust me: I was raised on junk food.

My parents, although well meaning, didn’t know shit when it came to food and how it logically impacts your health. Things like “what to eat vs. what not to eat” and “how much is enough?” were ideals that were never really impressed upon me. I suppose that if I were to put myself in their shoes, they naively saw that I derived some sort of fucked up happiness through gorging myself. However, through this naivety I became the token fat kid in the neighborhood. I thinned out as I got older but my need to eat garbage has never really gone away. As a result, my weight has gone up and down like a bride’s nightie.

All of that aside, throughout the years, I have refined my grocery shopping approach. When I first started out, I was able to feed a family of 5 for $120 a week. I accomplished this by being the king of boxed food at the time. Pretty easy to be cost effective and time effective when that’s the case.

As I have progressed in my knowledge of food and have come to terms with the fact that fruits and vegetables have to be a priority, our grocery bill has inflated slightly to somewhere between $150 to $190 a week.

FYI: I don’t do coupons. Too much of a pain in the ass. Also, 65% of my cart is normally produce. Sadly, I have yet to shop somewhere that actually has coupons for their fruits and veggies.

That’s still pretty good if I do say so myself.

“But what about meals and planning meals and shouldn’t I make shit to eat that everyone will like?” I’m sure you’re thinking that if you haven’t all ready.

Yes, you have to plan meals (It’s a part of your job). No, they don’t have to be things everyone will like. And no, you don’t have to plan meals every night of the week (that shit gets exhausting real quick). In short:

FUCK THAT NOISE.

You are in charge of all aspects of the food that comes into your home. Not your wife. Not your kids. You. While you may want to please everyone, it’s fucking impossible. There’s always going to be someone around the table who doesn’t like the dish you put in front of them, or they don’t like something that is a part of the meal. They’ll get over it.

Personally, I aim for three planned meals a week. I could do more, but two out of my three kids have places to be in the evenings. As such, I have “throw away” meals built into dinner time for the week.

“Throw away meals”? These are things that I can make in under 40 minutes that generally don’t come out of a box and can be considered health conscious.

In sum, grocery shopping is a snap if you have a system in place.

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See how useful this motherfucker is? Holds recipes for the week like a fucking champ!

Envelopes are your friend.

Envelopes are your friend.

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Seriously, they are. Hell of a lot harder to lose a grocery list if it’s written all over an envelope.

 Behold the might of the Envelope in all of it’s splendor!

One glorious day, I turned around and saw them: the envelopes that I have had since I have moved in with my wife. They were just sitting there, taking up space and collecting dust on a shelf. Then I had a thought. I thought:

I’m gonna use the fuck out of them. 

For real: The best thing that I have ever done in terms of my system for grocery shopping was switching over to envelopes.

I have tried scraps of paper. Lost every single one of them.

I have tried a “food notebook”. Way too cumbersome.

I have tried creating lists in my “smart phone”. Also way too cumbersome because you have to turn the fucking thing on and off. While it seems like your trying to get your monies worth out of something that you have invested in, you’re really not: it’s just another reason to be tethered to something that has the potential to brainwash you.

Shopping has been a breeze since then. I don’t have to worry about remembering if I brought my list. I don’t have to fuck around with something that is unwieldy, and I certainly have gained some distance from my fucking phone.

Got a shopping system that works for you? Share in the comments section at the top of this post!

A “word” on house guests.

 As I have made mention here previously, I’m not a native Southerner.

With that being said, my family and I had our first group of official houseguests this year. Sadly, one set right after the other.

The first set was my brother and his significant other. He came down first and palled around with me for a few days and then she came down on the following weekend. It was a good time.

The biggest takeaway from that first visit was that my family, as well as our home, isn’t set up to receive houseguests. Initially, my brother slept on an air mattress in the living room. Eventually, the fact that his schedule didn’t jive with that of my families’ necessitated in him getting a room. No biggie as I’m sure that he and his girl wanted to knock boots without the added pressure of perhaps traumatizing one of my children. Still a good time was had by all. 

The following week, my wife’s mother finally made good on her threat of driving down to visit us. 

It would have been fine if it weren’t for the fact that she waited until getting to Tenne-fucking-see to tell us that she brought her mother (that is, my wife’s grandmother, of whom she never, ever got along with) with her and that the two of them would be kicking my two girls out of their beds regardless of the fact that their visit coincided with the kids school days. 

Total dick move on the mother-in-law’s part. 

We all suffered it well, myself especially. My wife got off easy because she “had to work” 3 out of the 4 days that they were down here to visit.

(While it would be easy to say that my wife should have handled it, I would like to point out that I have absolved her from any wrong doings with respect to her involvement with her mother. My wife and I have had similar upbringings and I understand how hard it is to suffer a parent’s bullshit like that).

Suffice it to say, should her mother threaten us with a repeat visit like that, I will undoubtedly unleash a salvo of “OH FUCK NAW!” and blog about it here, subsequently. 

What dawned on me during my mother-in-law’s bullshit visit was the fact that I let the skinny little shit steal my joy at first.

Throughout the course of any given person’s life, they are only allowed a daily amount of joy. Said joy is taken, extinguished, pissed and/or shat on, and ultimately ruined. What’s often disregarded is the fact that to let someone do that to you, is a choice.

You choose to let the person ruin your day, or you choose to give them the proverbial finger. 

Go ahead: argue all you want. You know that I’m right.

After the aforementioned epiphany, I proceeded to fuck with my guests on a rather artistic level.

I never go in for being an obvious dick. I work up to it. Make them more than aware that I’m not serving them food, offhanded comments about how the girls didn’t sleep that well, the occasionally incendiary comment thrown at them letting them know that their welcome was worn out before they breached the state line, that type of stuff.

On their final full day, I had the wonderful idea to clean the entire garage. At this point it was completely fucked and I knew that it would eat up my entire day while the kids and the wife were away.

Not to be stingy with my joy, I pulled my wife into my web of fun. What follows is a text conversation I had with her throughout the course of that day.

************

Thought you’d like to know, CURRENTLY, “the guests” are on the back patio. The “skinny one” is doing a Leslie Sansome Walking Workout on a portable digital video disc player. The “fat one” is watching Leslie with rapt attention.

THE HORROR!

As I have been keeping my distance and maintaining minimal contact, I have noticed that the “skinny one” has migrated to the trampoline area. She’s not using the trampoline, merely using the edge of it to keep her digital video disc player off of the ground. I can only presume that there was a disagreement with the “large one”.

As I pretend not to watch, I can’t help but wonder if Security Forces will pick her up for vagrancy.
The “skinny one” has finished her “walk” and has made contact. I didn’t hear what she said as I had ear buds in.

I did however reply in Spanish. She seemed pleased.

wife:
I would check to see what she said unless you like surprises.

me:
This is true with the “fat one”, the “skinny one” seems quite benign.

wife:
You are awful!

me:
This is the highlight of your day: DONT DENY IT!

wife:
Yes it is.

me:
😎 glad I can be “too kewl fer skool” for ya!

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The “skinny one” seems confused as to the operation of the trampoline. Prior to her mounting it, she tried the “lick/sniff test” common to her people.

At this point, urination became a serious matter to my overall well being. Knowing full well where “the skinny one” was as she had now gone on to the tactile portion of her learning about something new (eg touching the previously mentioned foreign object and grunting her findings) common to her culture, I decided to throw caution to the wind and use one of the toilets inside.

Damn my cursed luck! The “fat one” was emerging from the toilet in the “commoners bathroom”. While it was rather thrilling for her to try and engage me in conversation (not breaking my stride for fear of pissing myself, she commented on the fact that I was lucky that I didn’t have to curl my hair. Out of fear I replied “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? MAH HUR IS NATURALLY STRAIGHT!) it is not something that I would like to repeat for the rest of my days.

**********

They left the following day. See?

THERE THEY GO!

THERE THEY GO!

Have a horrible house guest story you feel like sharing? Hit it in the comments at the top of this post!!!

What to do when a rogue pen commits Hara-kiri in your fucking laundry.

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It was as if the Devil snuck in my house during the night and rubbed one out in my dryer.

 This happens to everyone at least once in their life.

For me, this wasn’t the first time. The first time happened when we were still living back in Ohio. My son was too young to start doing his laundry on his own so I was doing it for him. It was late and I wanted to throw a load of laundry in the dryer before I hit the sack. When I got up the next morning, I went into the basement to bring the load of laundry up so I wouldn’t forget about it as the day bore on.

As I was unloading the dryer, I started to see little blue splotches here and there on his clothes. “Godfuckingdamnit” I say (because that’s what I always say when shit goes wrong: true fact) as I start to check pockets. Lo! And Behold! In a pocket of his dungarees, I find the culprit: One of my pens that the little shit pocketed while I wasn’t looking. He was 5 or 6 at the time so not checking his pockets for pens was perfectly reasonable. I finish surveying the damage and the only thing that happened on the inside of the dryer was a big, blue Van Gogh-like smear, high on the rear wall of the dryer. The washer and dryer we bought used so one smear was inconsequential: the boy’s clothes took on most of the contents of the pen. I managed to save most of them except for one or two items.

Advance the tape to this past September.

This time, I’m doing my own laundry and it’s the same scenario: I wanted to throw my stuff in the dryer before I went to bed because the next day, the entire family was going to the eldest child’s gymnastic performance.

The next day rolls around and I need to get some fresh clothes on. Naturally all of my shit was in the dryer and when I went to get it, that’s when I saw the horror scene above.

One pen. One fucking pen slipped through my net. That’s what caused all of that shit.

Time was of the essence, so I found clothing items that weren’t sullied by my own ignorance and I hot-footed it to the google machine. After five minutes of link clicking, I found something that sounded like a feasible work-around.

My fixing of this grievous error was paramount. As we have relocated to a different state, we saw fit to purchase a washer and dryer that were brand new. New “house things”, like appliances, matter to my wife a great deal. The reasons as to why this is, are our own.

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YAY! SCIENCE!

After mixing an appropriate amount of Comet Cleanser and Resolve liquid stain remover, I got what you see on the right, here. Depending on how badly you fucked up your dryer, you need to play with the ratios of the product and the resulting consistencies: it’s got to be pasty but not so pasty that you need to get a putty knife to put the shit on.

So, after getting the right consistency it was time to go to the gymnastic performance. The kid did awesome and it wasn’t a horrible experience in the least bit. (I’ll probably be posting pictures and saying something about the merits of extracurriculars for children at a later date).

After family time was over and we did some additional messing about and getting lunch to celebrate said performance, it was time for me to come home and receive my comeuppance.

In all, I spent more time than I should have but I wanted to be sure that I got every little bit of ink out of there. I felt like a damn fool.

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This was mid-way through the cleaning process.

Basically it’s “wax on, wax off”. Rub your mixture on with an old rag and then rub it off with an additional, damp rag until you get the result that you are going for.

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This was the end result of going above and beyond: probably spent about 90 minutes total spit-shining this bitch.

Lessons Learned: 

  1. Stop doing shit right before bed.
  2. ALWAYS check your pockets. Even when you’re not up for laundry duty.
  3. GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND.
  4. If you fuck up, fix it. And then, go a little bit beyond. It’ll help you out later on in life. 

My adventures in discipling my childrens. Part 2.

I think that at this point, I should note that I do not enjoy discipling my children.

It would be nice if we all lived in a world where everyone respected everyone else and we were all aware of how our actions affected the lives of those in our immediate environment.

Sadly, that is not the case at all. 

From the moment we escape our mother’s womb, like the trapped miner’s that we all are, our curiosity is what guides us. For good reason, too: it’s the only tool we have at our disposal that helps us learn.

FACT: babies drop things because they want to know if the thing in their immediate reach makes a sound. 

Ever have that happen to you? A baby is in the high chair and the little fucker knocks all of it’s toys on the floor. Then, like a good Samaritan, you pick the stuff up for it because you think it’s an accident. Then it turns it into a game that you get sucked into every 5 minutes? Good times. 

Eventually the kid(s) get older but that curiosity is still there. It’s just evolved into a version boundary extension and seeing what they can get away with. This is the time of their life when their identity really starts to take shape.

More often than not, the kid will show an interest in things that you, as a parent, can completely get behind (e.g sports, music, being romantically interested in stuff, etc.). Sometimes, they’ll do a lot of stupid shit that makes you, as a parent, really wonder if they do share your genetics. And on occasion, they’ll do something so astoundingly dumb, that you, as a parent, will feel like a failure.

If you are reading this and you don’t have kids, or maybe you are on the fencepost, please know that it’s not as scary as it sounds. It’s just part of the ride that you bought the ticket for. 

Last week, I posted a document that I drew up for my eldest because she got her ass grounded this past summer. I made a point of spelling everything out for her because she had gotten grounded before and the groundings never really went anywhere: no conclusion was reached, she didn’t really seem to care about the effect of what she did, did to those around her, closure was nowhere to be found. It was just a waste of time for everyone.

Also, I welcomed the opportunity because I wanted to write up something where I got to use the word “redacted” and have footnotes. 

In sum, the grounding worked to an extent. There’s been hiccups since the actual grounding, but nothing monumental.

She understands how her behavior affects everyone else. She understands that when things build up like they did, she needs to do something positive about it. That’s why the grounding was as structured as it was and why it included all of the holistic things and educational things that it did. In the grand scheme of things, I was trying to arm her with weapons that she could use when she felt life start to close in around her.

Grounding your child is a tightrope all parents have to walk. If there is one thing that I would like to impart it’s this: keeping your balance is easy. Just make sure you leave as much of your own opinions out of the grounding as possible. The grounding is about your child and what’s been informing their behavior. Not why the kid won’t fit into the box that you made for them inside of your head. 

My adventures in disciplining my childrens. Part 1.

It’s bound to happen eventually: your kid(s) is going to do something stupid and you, as the responsible adult, are going to have to deal with it. 

We, as a society, are past the days of beatings. That’s right: the only tool left at your disposal is ‘the grounding’. 

One day, I had had enough of my eldest child’s shit. (She’s 11, a cheerleader, and self-identifies as a pre-teen. I can’t help but pucker at the thought of that previous sentence).  

What follows is the result of said shit. 

In the following days, I will post what the results from this particular grounding as well as what I have concluded from grounding my child.

**********

Grounding of [REDACTED]: July 28, 2014

 

[REDACTED], on this day, you have been grounded, not for a specific reason, but for scores of reasons, including but not limited to: arguing over petty things, talking back, bullying, being bossy, being selfish, showboating[1], not listening, being rude, fishing for compliments[2], not acting your age[3], being ungrateful, etc.

SECTION 1.

 

In the days of the dinosaur, children were grounded for one specific reason. Example: a child did something wrong and was punished for it (generally speaking, things were taken away, privileges revoked… Basically, the parent decided the punishment that fit the crime). As your grounding is a little more complex in nature, you will be un-grounded when you have eliminated all traces of the items mentioned in the previous paragraph. If it takes forever, then that is on you.

SECTION 2. 

 

On a daily basis, you will be expected to:

  1. Write in a journal. Daily. YOU WILL NOT: draw in this journal, color in this journal, or do something stupid with it[4]. In the beginning, you will address each point in paragraph one as your journal entries (ex. One daily journal entry will address being rude. You will write down everything that comes to your mind about that; why you are rude, why people are rude, what the end result of someone being rude is, so on and so forth).  After you have addressed all points, you will still be expected to free write in your journal. Daily. Failure to follow this guideline will result in a deepening of the trouble that you are all ready in. 
  2. Meditate. Daily. For no less than 15 mintues a day. You will sit comfortably in your room, with your eyes closed, door open and you will breathe deeply. You will listen to the sound of your breath and you will focus on your breathing. If your mind wanders, that’s ok: just bring your focus back to your breathing. Failure to follow this guideline will result in a deepening of the trouble that you are all ready in. 
  3. Keep your room, and your person[5] clean and organized. You will no longer spend hours upon hours cleaning your room because “you didn’t feel like” putting things away nor will you skip on personal hygiene because you “were in a rush”.  Failure to follow this guideline will result in a deepening of the trouble that you are all ready in. 
  4. Practice the things that you need to practice for cheer tech. This includes, but is not limited to: warming up properly, and working on your cheer tech moves. Upon completion of said warm up and cheer tech moves, you will then complete two rounds of “7 minutes fitter” and one round of “Simply Yoga” (all ready downloaded!).  A word about “Simply Yoga”, for the first week, it will be allowed that you only complete the 20 minutes segment. After the first week, you will be expected to vary your yoga routine (ex. A day of 40 minutes, a day of 20, a day of 60 minutes, etc). If you cannot perform a specific pose modify it in a way that will allow you to until you can complete said pose. Failure to follow this guideline will result in a deepening of the trouble that you are all ready in. 

YOU WILL NOT ALLOW THE COMPLETION OF THESE FOUR TASKS TO INTERFERE WITH THE DAILY OPERATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD. THIS CAN BE DEFINED AS A PARENT ASKING YOU TO DO SOMETHING AROUND THE HOUSE AND YOU SAYING THAT YOU HAVEN’T COMPLETED ANY OF THE PREVIOUS FOUR POINTS AS A MEANS TO GET OUT OF WHATEVER THE PARENT ASKED YOU TO DO. Failure to follow this guideline will result in a deepening of the trouble that you are all ready in.

SECTION 3. 

 

Upon daily completion of the previous four points, you will be allowed to:

  1. Create art.
  2. Read for pleasure.
  3. Use your tablet for informative measures[6]
  4. Fraternize with [REDACTED] and [REDACTED].
  5. Listen to music that you wouldn’t normally listen to. [7]
  6. Sit outside.
  7. Watch documentaries (not reality television. Ex: River Monsters) on Netflix. YOU WILL NOT DOCUMENTARY HOP (ex: start one documentary and then get bored with it, moving on to another one, etc).
  8. Read before bedtime.
  9. (Twice a week) Skype with the [REDACTED] for 30 minutes.  YOUR GROUNDING IS ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. The limit of twice a week is set in hopes that you will actually converse with the members of said family and not resort to “WAH. PANCAKES”.
  10. Play your DS.

YOU DO HAVE TO ASK TO DO THESE THINGS.

IN SUMMARY.

While you may feel that you have the weight of the world on your shoulders now, rest assured, there are plenty of children in the world who have it a whole lot worse than you ever did, or ever will, for that matter.

The time has been taken to put this grounding in writing to eliminate any doubt of what can and cannot be done as well as to fully address the problem(s) at hand.

This grounding will not be reversed overnight. Nor will it be reversed in a week.  The daily completion of points 1 through 4 (in SECTION 2) will aid you in your journey.  As stated in SECTION1, it’s on you now. You have to do the work.

 


[1] Defined as: “HEY LOOK AT ME! AREN’T I GREAT ISN’T THIS THING THAT I CAN DO WONDERFUL??!??”

[2] Defined as: “I did (this thing): WASN’T THAT NICE OF ME?”

[3] Defined as: “WAH! PANCAKES!”

[4] Defined as: damaging the journal in any way, or writing in larger than normal handwriting in an attempt to go finish the journal quickly.

[5] Defined as: not trying to grow a beard in your armpits, nor having “Michael Jackson” legs.

[6] Defined as: looking stuff up for the expansion of your mind, listening to podcasts (provided that they are appropriate in nature), etc.

[7] Defined as: everything that you wouldn’t hear on 96.5