Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Problem With Facebook

I find that facebook makes me feel more lonely than connected, at best it gets me to miss old friends that I rarely think of otherwise.

How many friends from your past do you think about on a regular basis without being prompted by a networking website or old pictures?

My aunt and my cousin's tween daughter recently friended me on facebook, now it's like my Mom is watching me online, not that I post much on that site, but now I will have to monitor what I do if I do.

There is also a group from my High School called Dearly Departed that notifies me when someone dies from my school, I thought it would be just from my class, but it's like all years, so at least every week I get a message about someone who died, some of them surprisingly young, not the fun I'm looking for from facebook.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Neurotic Sit-com #3 - I Am Just Not Going To Talk Any More

Episode 2 in the works so I'm skipping to #3.

I seem to keep putting my foot in my mouth in my attempts at small talk with the mom's I encounter taking my boys back and forth to school.
This refers back to the Pre-K Hugs posting from last week.
At my little guys pre-school a mom came up to me to tell me that her daughter and all her little friends love my boy, her daughter talks about marrying him, and I recounted how my son mentioned her daughter "Sally" and stated that sometimes other girls bother him, but she really plays with him, I was expecting a smile or some kind of positive reaction, nothing, so I repeated myself, a faint smile at best, OK, well see you around.
Fast forward a week of my smiling and saying hi to this mom, my boy and I are alone in their cubby room, I hear a mom say, "Sally, blah blah blah ...," I look up, it's not the mom I talked to the other day, not the girl I thought it was, I basically insulted this women after she recounted her nice story to me pointing out one of two shitty things, one, that's nice that your daughter likes my boy but he finds her annoying or I have no fucking idea who you and your daughter are!

Now the truth is I am just not sure of their names, and my son does like her daughter, he had mentioned a few girls that he is friends with, but I was trying to be nice by making it sound like he only mentioned her daughter.
This is one of those times where if I can't have a time machine, I wish I was a cartoon character so I could blow my face off with a cannon and snap back to normal a second later.

Forgetting that my son's little lantern light fell under the car when he got out of it for school I ran it over after telling him we did not have time to get it now and promising him that I would get it after dropping him off at school, but my mind was else where.
Not as bad as the above but again not good, early this year my wife took our boys to her take your children to work day. My 2nd grader said I saw "Sanjay's" older brother at mommy's work.
So the next time I ran into "Sanjay's" mom outside of the grammar school I ask, does you husband work at XYZ Pharma?
her - No, he works at ABC Financials why?
me -oh my son thought he saw your older son on take your child to work day
her - what town is XYZ in?
me - "blah blah town" (a town 30 minutes away)
her - Oh yes, there are a lot of Sikhs in that area he must have seen another boy
me -oh ....

I did not cross my mind that he would have thought this other boy was one of hers because he had the same head wear that all Sikhs boys wear, I might as well said hey my boy saw your towelheaded little one the other day.
It's a case of my lack of prejudice meeting up with my lack of understanding how a little kid's mind works.

So again, I think I am just going to look at the ground and not talk to anyone any more.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Pre-K Hugs

The mother of a girl that my four year-old likes told me this morning that all the girls like him and her daughter talks about marrying him because, "He's nice and gives the best hugs."

That's pretty cute

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Like Chocolate

This recent Tiger Woods incident reminded me of something I explained to my wife a while ago.

Men like women, like women like chocolate.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wallets and Dead Ends

About a month ago I made my 2nd grader a wallet out of duct tape, I gave him a choice of colors and what character would be on the front, white and Darth Vader. A few days ago I asked my 4 year-old if he wanted me to make him a wallet as well, he said yes a black one, so I made him a black one with batman on the front.
I have made a system of color and character delineation that minimises disputes and arguments, the big guy gets anything that is blue and spider-man, the little dude gets dibs on anything red or batman.
So the next morning the preschooler is attacking his big brother and his wallet with his new wallet.
Me - what's going on?
7yrold - he's attacking me, hitting my wallet with his wallet
Me - buddy that's not what wallets are for, you don't hit stuff with them
4yrold - daddy what are wallets for?
Me - oh you don't know, sorry, you keep money in them
4yrold - okay


As I was driving back from dropping off my 2nd grader at school my four year old was looking out the window and said
"Daddy when is the world going to end?"
Me - what? who told you that the world is going to end?
"Where is the end of the world"
Me - what exactly do you mean?
"The yellow signs say 'Dead End'"
Me - Oh, that just means the roads end there
"Why do the end"
Me - because of the park, it would not be so nice if it was all roads and cars so the end the roads on the edge of the park

He did not fully understand why the roads ended, but he was no longer concerned about the world coming to an end, one of the perils of being about to read early before you have much understanding of the world.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Neurotic Sit-com

I got an invitation to open a facebook account from a mother of one of my 2nd grader's classmates a couple of weeks back, and last night I got a reminder. Since I already have an account I ignored it initially, but the message said something about kids pictures, and I know the last couple of times I have run into them I haven't been the most friendly person, so I figured it was a little weird, but she must be making some sort of facebook school parent's group so I would confirm the friend add, however I did not want to create a new account as the email was asking, so I went to my regular account and sent a friend add from it to what I guessed was her account, the name was the same but not picture.

So at my son's Halloween parade I run into her, and trying to be polite since I never directly replied to the add request I told her I got the add request but already had an account so I sent her a add request from my regular account. She looked at me and said I never sent you an add request, I was like oh, now I feel like an asshole, so I say well maybe you responded to a pop-up that was going to send invites to everyone in your address book, she was like I guess but had a what the fuck are you talking about vibe, if the roles were reversed I would have said that's weird, well don't worry about it, but in typical fashion for my life, I was trying to not make someone feel weird and I wound up feeling uncomfortable.
I started to get all Larry David feeling about it, and wondered why, then I remembered I hardly ate anything and have not gotten enough sleep for weeks, speaking of which I am beat from hanging with Dave so I am gone.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yesterday OK / H1N1

After implementing my new system my little guy made it through the whole day with no problems. If we can make through a week we probably will not have to go to the doctor for this issue.

speaking of doctors

I have been researching swine flu vaccines and will be getting my boys vaccinated with the nasal spray version which does not have any preservatives in it, ie no mercury.

I learned that 40% of the shots will not have thimersoal in them, so you may be able to get a mercury free shot as well.

Check the CDC web site and compare it to the conspiracy theories and then find your own truth in the middle I guess. I just know that my boys vaccinations come in individual doses, so no need for the harmful preservatives that are said to cause Autism amongst other things.

gansta lean

I recently realized that a lot of my back problems comes from the way I drive, or more to the point the way I position myself as I drive. I reach my left hand over to the other side of the steering wheel and place it at "2 o'clock," I lean my head over my right shoulder and I always hold the shifter, obviously with the right hand, even though I currently drive a manual car, I drove a stick shift for like my first 15 years of driving.
Now that the weather is getting colder my upper back keeps stiffening up, even later in the day after going to the chiropractor. A few days ago as I was driving my boys to school and fidgeting around in my seat trying to get my upper back comfortable I realized that the position the rest of my body felt comfortable in tilted my spine at the exact point of the problem, like a hinge in the center of my back.
I also wonder if I have looked ridiculous all these years driving like I am rocking some kind of gansta lean behind the wheel of my Camry?
So now I am trying to reposition myself as I drive, which relieves the pressure between my shoulder blades, but now the rest of feels totally out of sorts. I even do this on the computer, sitting slightly to the left of the keyboard and leaning my upper torso to the right to type and hold the mouse.
So this morning I stretched a little, sat on the couch with strategically placed pillows, DVR'ed a Halloween show for the kids and tried to relax the muscles in my back. after about 15 to 20 minutes I was feeling close to normal, close enough to do another round of more serious stretches. That did the trick, 90% back to normal.
About an hour later my wife called from a meeting to whisper to me that the lay-offs they have been fearing are going to happen and definitely will affect her small department.
Wow honey that sounds great, thanks for telling me.
- Well I wanted to talk to someone, you are my support (system or network or something like that)
Well, hang in there.

Ooouuuuuwuch, I can hear the muscles between my shoulder blades tightening up and the little crackle of my spine in one of the only spots I can not crack on my own without the help of one of those seat connected to the desk school desks they have in high school.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Accidents Happen, just usually not this frequently

My 4 year-old has had like 12 accidents in the last 10 days, most of them very small and on the way to the toilet, but after not having any for a really long time and then having like one a week for a month things have gotten really out of hand.
I have tried to use the tactic that I helped my older son get potty trained that I learned from a child psychiatrist, telling him that I read the manual to the PS2 and it said that only big boys can play it. And big boys listen to their parents, go to the bathroom on the potty/toilet, go to school, etc.
"... and you do all of those things except (in this current case) you have not been making it to the toilet on time and peeing a little in you undies before you get to the toilet."

I know many children have a period of adjustment once they get pretty good at controlling their bladders, they try to hold it in until they are finished playing a game or watching a show and wait way too long a bam, or pssssss to be more correct, accident time.

I know I get too mad sometimes when I ask him if he needs to go and he says no, then a minute later he's screaming he has to go and running around in circles rather than heading straight to the toilet. I am starting to be afraid that it is something physically wrong. I am going to try to be way more supportive, back-tracking and acting as if he was not fully potty trained and helping him out a lot more, running up or down stairs with him, helping unbutton his pants, keeping the potty seat on the toilet so he does not have to waste time looking around for it, making sure he goes to the bathroom before and after everything we do and everywhere we go, and rewarding him with praise and maybe a jelly bean all the things that worked to get him potty trained a year a head of his older brother, while sticking to the no PS2 / big boy's always go on the potty stance.

I will probably take him to the doctor too, even though my gut tells me it is not a physical issue and I do not want to loose the 90 minutes of my life that I will spend waiting around to be seen by the doctor that comes with making a last minute appointment. I do not want to risk continuing or exacerbating the problem because of laziness or selfishness, so if he can not make it through another day without an accident I will have to make an appointment.

My son is usually brimming with confidence and over confidence so it sucks hearing him say, "I'll never be a big boy / I hate myself / No one likes me," after having an accident. I am sure I have fucked this up a bit, it his hard to convey disappointment and compassion at the same time, that I am disappointed that he did not do what he needed to do to make it to the toilet like he has been doing for a year now, not that I am disappoint in him as person or a son. I try to let him know that I still love him and like him even if I am upset.

Getting tired, I will proofread this tomorrow.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I have attained the highest level of suburban parenthood, little kid soccer coach

Coached my first kids' soccer game today, my side won 5-0 and my 7 yr-old had a hat trick, so it went pretty well. They need me to fill-in coach the next two weeks, I wonder if the fact that the games are 9 & 10 AM plays any part in that?

The kids were all well behaved except for one, who tripped my son at the last practice and then was all happy about it. He grabbed the shirt of the female head coach and pulled it up, she was like, "yes" assuming that he wanted her attention, and boy did he, "You were naked," "WHAT," he does it again, "I want to see you naked, I want to see you naked!" "That is inappropriate behavior."
This kid also doesn't pay attention at all to the game and kept kicking the ball in the wrong direction.
WOW, I guess I am doing a decent job with my boys, seeing how they have yet to try to rip the clothes off of a woman. I am going to advise her to have a talk with his parents.

In a much nicer realm of not paying attention, it was windy and a bunch of leaves started to fall down on the field, one of our defenders was just looking up at the sky gleefully strolling away from the action watching the leaves fall, "HEY 'Alex' watch the ball not the leaves!"

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Never Assume

This morning getting ready for school my 7 yr-old was brushing his teeth and my 4 yr-old was on the toilet, exciting right. Anyway usually this leads to a fight, because the kid using the toilet will finish and want to wash his hands, and the one brushing his teeth will not step aside for a second, or god forbid share the sink, so they then argue and jostle with each other for space at the sink, then the little one will fall of the step stool and yell Daddy he's not letting me blah blah blah.
So today we were not running late, shocking I know, I was busy doing something related to getting them off to school and the little guy was siting on the toilet I assumed he was just patiently waiting for his brother to finish at the sink and I thought great, no noise no drama.
As his brother finishes he is still sitting there, I am like,
Go ahead and wash your hands little dude.
him-I can't
Why not? Wait did you poop?
Did you wipe?
Why not?
him - shoulder shrug
Ah man you just didn't feel like wiping, scoot up so I can wipe you so we aren't late!

No more assuming, I will continue with the constant checking, "Did you do this, no, do this then do that ... it's been ten minutes and you didn't do that, did you do this, okay now do that, and go down stairs and do the other, from earlier, come on you have forgotten the other for three days straight ... what do you mean you forgot how to do that?"
In 30 years without spanking, are Swedish children better behaved?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Discovering the Origins of Prejudice / Mid-life "Crisisies" / Predestination

I have been thinking a lot about prejudice and how it seems usually based in fear, and fear which is usually based in not knowing or understanding another entity. Gardening has brought this line of thought to the forefront, that and a summer of killing bugs that fly into my house.

If the intruder is not a mosquito, spider, waterbug, ant or biting fly, then I usually try to catch them and release them outside.

I realized this past year with all the worry about kids and swine flu, and all the other potential pandemics that seemed to dominate the world for a number of news cycles that I was more worried about mosquitoes, and killing anything that slightly resembled one, if flew in that kind of hovering helicopter style that they do, with a similar body type and wings that was close enough.

Then I eventually thought I am surely killing some insects that are completely harmless because of my fear of another species. I began to think about how my lack of knowledge was the impetus for me going against my normal moral code of not killing anything but plants.
God and the plants I rip up as weeds everyday gardening, I have little idea what is a "weed" and what is not, if it looks like something "bad" then it gets rooted out.
And then there is taking care of our lawn which is like a fucking genocide on the micro level, I am ripping up large clumps of ground and chopping bugs and worms in half and seeing all kinds of living creatures fleeing in terror because the roof of their world has just been ripped off, exposing them to a harsh sun and a weapon wielding approximately 136 story building* sized behemoth. Not to mention what must be going through the little minds of my yard denizens when I lumber over with my gas lawnmower ...

Not that I feel any differently about the need to eradicate racism, sexism and class-ism and prejudice to the extent that it can legitimately be done, but I know have a better understanding from where those wrongful beliefs emanate, and can see how they seem logical to those who have little understanding of those different than themselves, little understanding of the Tao and the oneness of life and little understanding of logical thinking.

*approximation based on the assumed average height of a bug.


I think my version of a mid-life crisis is that I can not stop thinking about making art and music, I have kind of pushed that part of me deep down and tried to pile tons of shit on top of it, with internet dj'ing and making mix tapes being my only safety valve for this drive. Well seemingly soon after my wife let me know it was time to move on to the next phase in life, going to grad school or getting a job, I kind of freaked out a bit not being able to comprehend how we were going to take care of the kids when I often feel bad about the parenting job we are doing now, even with me being at home with them.

Eventually I realized that two large factors behind my discomfort had to do with my fear of our children being abused, because I have seen that virtually destroy many people's lives around me, and if I am at home and on top of things the likelihood of that happening is drastically cut down.
Secondly not having a relationship with my biological father has resulted in me only having about four or five memories of him, some of which I am sure are triggered by photos from when I was probably too young to actually remember the events. That is a pretty shitty state of affairs, and I think am afraid of not being a major part of the boys lives, also it is real easy to not get into trouble being at home raising kids. I will leave the various ways of getting into trouble to your imagination, being at home makes it impossible, for me at least, to ignore the needs of my children and to develop back into a more selfish person like I was and most people are before they have kids.


I have also been thinking about how it is impossible to change who you are, unless you are willing to tirelessly work at it. Even after you believe you have successfully left certain undesirable parts of yourself behind, they often return if you do not stay vigilant.

Somethings we change about ourselves are really just repression and some are positive advancements along a never ending road growth.

One worry I have is that we are predestined in who we truly are, most likely from a combination of our genetics and environment, I can not seriously image a god of any sort mapping out our lives for us, unless our world is some kind of narrative that they are writing.

This would explain how tough it is for people who pull themselves out dire situations like drug addiction or poverty often seem to lose it all after they have worked so hard to make it. Is it self-loathing, not feeling worthy of success, or just reverting back to who one truly is, like no matter how much money Mike Tyson earned he is still that fucked up kid with no family to rely on, and Kurt Cobain was going to be miserable no matter how much fame, heroin and money he acquired.

I fear that being successful at anything but solving whatever is at the core of our psychological, emotional and physical problems leaves us only to return to our "true/predetermined" nature.

I fear that even though I have been successful at being a husband and father in a middle to upper middle class environment that my true nature is to be a failed artist, and to strive at rectifying that failure. When I think about myself I do not think about my financial security, career or lack there of, I just am sickened at my lack of production and follow-through with artistic projects, be it music, writing, collage, graphic design, painting, the only arena where I have an internal drive besides taking care of children and being a better person is in art. I am kind of old and saddled with responsibilities to start down that path without being a completely selfish and possibly delusional ass, "I plan to leave my loving family and comfortable home on the small chance that I have missed out on some sort of untapped artistic potential and with no training and very little experience I want embark on a life of creating art. Oh what kind of art, not sure yet."

Are we what we do or what we picture ourselves as?

I will try to get back to cute stories about my boys, they still crank out the cuteness on a daily basis, I am just not online blogging as much lately so I have not been recounting their exploits as much.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Peanutbutter is sticky bitch!


My seven year-old was singing something as I walked past him in the hallway ...
"blah blah (pause) bitch! (humming a tune, pause) bitch!"
"(humming a tune, pause) bitch!"
the beastie boys, you know that song, the music stops and they say bitch
looking scared and tearing up:
I didn't know, it's in the song ...

On a lighter note, it is super cute when my four year-old acts like a four year-old and not a four year-old trying to copy his seven year-old brother, in moment of little kidness he stated today, "Dad, peanut butter is sticky,"
"Yeah sticky in your mouth."

He knew it was sticky on your hands, but surprised that it unlike most sticky foods it stayed sticky inside his mouth.
I know this is not that funny, but hearing him state the obvious, experiencing the moment when a universal if trivial truth manifested itself to him was super cute at the time.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Dying VCR Tapes and the Psychological Weight of Our Possessions

My seven-year-old just pulled out some old home made SpongeBob videos and they are dying. I'm really bummed, not just because we'll be loosing about 30 episodes of that great cartoon but it's making me wonder about how I am storing my old VHS tapes. I thought I had chosen a safe spot for them in the basement, but I wonder if our dehumidifier is drying them out. I have tons of old videos like the Live Aid concert and other music videos from Mtv's heyday, plus lots of movies and other things from the last 25 years that I want to hold on to, without spending half my life converting them all into a digital format.

I am more worried about my audio cassettes, all of the mixes I have made, punk and rap radio shows I taped in High School, plus the 4 track recordings of my own music, it is like I need a giant frickin' walk in freezer to preserve all of my archives. Everyday it seems as if life adds another small worry to my consciousness, thanks life, it all just reaffirms that we are better off not being tied to any of our possessions.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Another Emotional Morning / I don't want a mustache / grown-ups have babies

My 7 year-old told me he had dirt on his face and pointed to the corner of his mouth. I told him that's not dirt, that's your mustache. Well that was a big mistake, I had not realized until after speaking to my wife a few minutes ago that my son was upset this morning, he had asked her not to go to work and was crying when she left. This puts some of his actions and comments into perspective, like why he told me he never wants me to work, to which I responded that I will have to work someday.

Anyway, he starts freaking out about the hair on his lip, I don't want to have a mustache, I don't want to grow up, etc.
I was like come on guy, your growing up into a little Italian man and made some jokes about making pizzas with me, but sophomoric humor just made things worse. I then had to go into the god put hair there to protect you from the sun so you don't get sun burnt (we'll get to talking about evolution later, I'm just trying to get my kid to school on time so don't start accusing me of being a proponent of intelligent design or any crap like that).
That did not make him feel any better, I told him not to worry that he will not truly have a mustache until he's at least 16 or 17, "But I don't want one then either I don't ever want one."
Well then you'll just have to shave like everybody else.

I had him feel my two day razor stubble, I was like look, this is real facial hair, it's black and scratchy, now feel yours, "I can't feel it," exactly and you can barely see it either, what you have is called peach fuzz, you have it on your arms and legs and face, and it is barely visible, it is there to protect your skin, you have very pale skin and so you need it, and you are half Italian so you will have plenty of it.

He liked the idea of peach fuzz and started to chill out, then his brother starts calling the sun block I am putting on my big guy's face a mustache like Adam Ant, I said no it is war paint like Adam Ant, but he kept trying to talk about mustaches, so I had to forbid that word from being spoken for the rest of the morning.

Oh so of course we were a few minutes late getting of to camp, and as I have mentioned before I lack the ability to split my self into two separate but fully functioning versions of myself, so getting two kids to two camps that start at the same time is rather difficult, though not in walking distance as they were from our last house, at least the camps are in the same neighborhood.
Anyway there has been a bunch of work on our local roads, great things are getting done, good, stimulus package money is getting spread out into the local economy, good, every fucking day there is a detour in a different place than the day before, bad. Can not they work at night? Probably costs more with graveyard shift or overtime pay, okay I get it. But at least there could be proper signage, I get to the top of my block, the road looks like hell, but there is not a sign or cones, I get ready to turn, and a police officer yells no, not in a dicky way or anything, then I see cones on the side of the road in some bushes, it is 8:58 a.m., I know they start working much earlier than that, just put up some kind of indicator that lets me know that the road is closed so I do not have to waste my time, it would be easiest to drive out into the closed road to turn around but the cop is staring at me, there are cars parked on the side of the road so I have to pull off a tight K-turn while late with the boys asking me what's going on and the cop watching, as in I can't just do it quick and not worry about playing bumper cars, so I am trying to keep my profanity under my breath and then my 7 year-old says sorry that it is his fault, to which I replied, you do not work for the town, it is not your job to put up traffic signs, it is not your fault, and we are late most of the time anyway, so please do not worry about it.

Though I think at some point on the ride to camp I made a snide comment about not getting upset about things that are natural, I really need to check myself and stay on point when I comes to my children's self perception and esteem, if I was cognisant that he was feeling bad I should not have brought the issue up in an insensitive joking or blaming manner. My bad. Though I did give him a Stuart Smalley pep talk before he stepped into his first class today. Hopefully it counteracted any missteps I made this morning.

Having very little to do with the above information, when ever you talk about children growing up, or a grown up couple who do not have kids my four year-old starts talking about when you grow up and live with another grown up you can have kids, he told my wife's cousin who lives on our block and is married but without children and beyond average child bearing years, that she is going to be having a baby inside her soon because she and her husband are grown-ups and they live together.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In love? It's not enough to keep a marriage, study finds

Really ?!? What not a surprise to anyone who has ever been married.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ouch, the day after

So I was woken up around 6 am by my four year-old jumping around my bed looking for cuddles and entertainment from my wife and I. Besides having to pee, man I hate that, waking up early having to pee, because you know you have to get out of bed and you are not going to get back to sleep.
More importantly after spending yesterday doped up and a little giddy that the source of my anguish had been rooted out of my face I forgot what it's like to wake up in pain. Even these past couple of months with my sinus and tooth issues they would usually get worse as the day went on, peaking in the mid-afternoon, this morning however it was like the pain had been storing itself up for the six hours I was asleep just waiting to kick my ass as soon I awoke.
To me pain always feels worse after you've been using painkillers, of course constant pain is in reality worse than intermittent pain, with constant pain one kind of resigns themselves to the situation, the pain that comes after the painkillers wear off seems almost impetuous, like god didn't I deal with you already, then you have to figure out what painkiller to take, I haven't eaten yet, and I have to drive the kids, get the house ready for company, damn no hydrocodone until bedtime.
Also the term painkiller had to be created by a marketing department, they are really pain blockers, right? What happens to the pain while it's being blocked, where along the line is it blocked, is everything happening the same but I just don't feel it? I'm getting into old school Seinfeld territory here so I'll stop and try to remember to ask some of the Pharma Industry people that are in my family what the whole deal is with how painkillers work.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Source of the Problem

So this is what has been going on, about a month of face pain, was not sure if it was my teeth or sinuses, it wound up being a tooth that is adjacent to a sinus cavity, hence pain emanating from the upper left quadrant of my mouth would shoot through the sinus networks and through the root canal spiderwebbing pain all throughout my face.

I already had an appointment for a cleaning with my periodontist today, so a few weeks I tried to hold out until my appointment, but the pain got so bad that only hydrocodone could alleviate the pain. I also was not sure if the pain was a sinus infection, my family has bad allergies and my mother has had growths removed from her sinuses so that seemed like a possible cause, so I went to an allergist, he had me rinsing my sinuses and using a mediated spray, which helped a little, my guess is that the cleared sinuses caused less pressure in the area.

My wife had a week off of work and we did a lot of running around, going to the beach, which I spent laying down on a beach towel writhing in pain with a baseball cap over my face for two to three hours because I did not have any pain killers with me. We've been eating out a lot lately and that just made things worse, I could barely chew anything. Besides trying to zone out at the beach I had a few other black outs from the pain, I lost a little over a half an hour one day while watching the kids, it got to the point that the boys being loud would set off a serious head/tooth ache, you can image with a four and seven year-old that is a precarious state to be in. So the kids get loud, I'm on my knees I just put my head in my hands and plop face down in pain on the couch at 4pm, I pick my head up and it's 4:35. At first I was like wow I blacked out from pain, that's kind of cool in a weird way I've never done that before, then, oh shit where are my kids? They were fine but that was nerve racking.

I couldn't hold out any longer and saw my regular dentist, who said it looked like I might need a root canal, even though the tooth looked healthy, which would be only the third time in the 20 years of his career that he would have seen such an occurrence, golly gee, my uniqueness knows no bounds and just expresses it self in so many fascinating ways.

Saw my periodontist today and he pulled that huge tooth out, it's amazing how big they are underneath your gums. Still swallowing what tastes like a salty blood broth but hopefully this issue has passed it's crisis stage.

I handed my tooth to my four year-old thinking he would dig it's grossness, but he got freaked out by the blood, my seven year-old thought it was gross but liked it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Why doesn't God tell you?"

It's always a great way to start the day 15 minutes late for dropping your seven year-old off at school with him yelling, "There is no God!"

Basically we were running late as usual, I had told my first grader to get his socks on, he can usually find a pair of socks on his own without any problems so I thought this was a safe task for him to embark on while I was accomplishing some other morning task. When I walk into his room he is still sockless in his bed sliding under the covers and tells his brother, "Hide!" It is pretty normal for my boys to hide when my wife or I come into an area that we have not been in a while, like when my wife gets home from work, or we have been on separate floors for a few minutes.
Anyway when I see that he has not put on socks or done anything to get himself any more ready to leave for school I start to yell that we do not have time to play we are suppose to leave in six minutes. He says I am not playing, I answer you told your brother to hide and you were starting to hide under the covers that is playing.
He starts to yell
7- I didn't tell my brother to hide!
40-Well it sounded like it, what did you say then something that rhymes with it?
7- I said "hi"
40-No you didn't now you're just lying
7- I'm not lying
40-Let's ask your brother, what did you big brother say?
4- He told me to hide, then ... (some other things that did not actually happen)
7 - He's lying, he lies
40- yeah he does lie a lot, but apparently so do you we both heard you tell him to hide
7- God knows the truth!
40- Yeah he does so you better not lie (If you are familiar with me at all you know my beliefs lay somewhere between Buddhism, Taoism, Jung's Collective Unconscious and Agnosticism but we are raising our boys to be Episcopalian which seems to be the most balanced way for them to come up understanding our culture and social mores and yet be open minded to other world views. Where they take things from there is their own decision.)

Then my son gets hysterical

7 - God knows the truth I didn't say that, why won't he tell you, why doesn't he come down and tell you?
40- That's not how it works
7-Why don't you help me, I don't know if you are even there
40 - That's not what this is about
7- I don't think you're even there, I don't think there is a God, why won't he help me, why won't he tell you, there is no God ...

FUCK, we are more late, my son still isn't dressed, he's hysterical and crying and using pretty sound logic to debunk the accepted Christian concept of God, I heard him say "hide" and so did his brother so I can't just give in. At points like this a parent needs to find a safe out for their kids.
1. Yeah there is no God now put your socks and let's go, quick and to the point but that doesn't work in this context and I don't fully believe that,
2. Okay I'm sorry I miss heard you, no that's not true and teaches him if he freaks out he can get away with anything. What's the middle path here?
3. This is a brief version of how I tried to smooth this out over the course of 15 minutes while getting him dressed for school.
I hugged him, his little brother tries to hug him and he says he's mad at his brother, I told him to not be because he heard the same thing that I did. I told him that the main point of this whole situation is that he was not getting ready for school and did not follow through on a direct order to put his socks on, the whole HIDE issue is secondary, and God does not do everything for us, he gave us free will which means we make our own choices and that means we make mistakes and have miscommunications, if he made us only do what's right and fixed everything for us we'd be like his action figures, all of our actions and interactions would be managed for us and we would not determine our own lives, so even though it is often tough would you want to be like one of your action figures or have free will like you do now? Would you want to be like your action figures?
7- No
40- Well there you go, see this has nothing to do with if there is a God or not, we either miss heard you or you are lying or maybe you do not even know what you said, nothing to do with God. Also sometimes in life people are not going to believe you or it seems like everyone disagrees with you, that does not mean that you are wrong, it is not something to be upset about don't let what other people think control what you think.

I should have also told him if everyone thinks he is wrong he should take another look at the issue because we all are wrong or mistaken sometimes but again do not let what other people think determine what you believe.

This seemed to put his head straight, but we were still super late.


My first grader recently told me that he sometimes misses me so much at school that he goes to the bathroom and cries.
I said you did not do this in kindergarten did you?
Then why this year, what's different.
The day seems so long without nap time.
I can see that

I'm glad he misses me but I do not want him to be sad at school, it makes me wonder if the school environment is nurturing enough, in many cases it seems like they forget that these kids are six and seven years old and that they are just grooming them for the state testing in third grade.
I also wonder about kids who do not have an open dialog with their parents, does that help them to learn to deal with things own their own, make them more mature, or just makes them fucked up trying to understand a world that is complex and often harsh.
I believe I could have talked to my parents about anything when I was little but I for some reason chose not to, not sure if it was that I took the bus home and often did not see them for a few hours after school, so my mind had moved on to other things or if I did not want to bother them.

I have more to say but I am out of steam and do not have the ability to keep things coherent so I will do us both a favor and end here.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Drug-laced brownies send prom-goers to hospital

Five students who attended the ... High School Junior Prom last week became ill after consuming marijuana-laced brownies on the way to the dance, and four of them needed to be hospitalized, police said.
The students ate the tainted brownies in their rented limousine en route to the dance, held last Wednesday, May 20, according to a letter Assistant Principal ... sent home to the students’ parents on the day after the incident.
Two of the students, who were 16-year-old females, showed "obvious signs of distress," said Montclair Police Lt. James. Both of them vomited and "one girl was completely incoherent and unable to communicate," while the other teen complained of a headache and stomachache, ... said.
Three other students, two boys and a girl who were around the same age, also were sickened by the brownies. The latter female called someone for a ride, while the other four students were all taken to the ... Hospital Emergency Room.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Little Comedian

My four year-old made me laugh a couple of time last week.

He asked what I was doing I said emailing your Great Aunt Coco and he replied, "She's called hot coco so you can drink her."

His older brother is really into Godzilla now and was commenting on how lucky the people in Tokyo are because they have access to more Godzilla toys than we do in the USA, and he said they must really love Godzilla, the four year-old replied:


And then bust out laughing. I know parents are unduly impressed with their kids, but I thought that was very quick witted.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Various music notes

A few things I have just not gotten around to posting about music.

After hearing the first riff of the Who's "I Can't Explain" my four year-old asks,
"Is this the Clash?"
No son, but the Clash totally did Who style riffs like that, they definitely were influenced by them.

I was playing a mix of my favorite tracks from 2008 and my 6 year-old correctly asked asked, "Dad is this Tricky?"
Yes son, good ear.

It's funny I do not know how many people in the world under 20 could recognize as song as being made by Tricky. Probably not that many over 20 as well, but that is besides the point.

1st grader, "Dad am I goth?"
Dad, "A little bit, son a little bit."
His favorite TV show, Phineas and Ferb has a goth character on it, who is actually shown in a positive and non-stereotypical manner. He also likes some Bauhaus songs and always asks what kind of music a song is when he recognizes that it as a new style to him.

Hamster Update

The hamster is doing much better, the wound which once covered a space larger than a nickel, is now about 1/10 that size, so all the trouble and money have been worth it, even if she does not live out a full two years, having her die after one having her for a month would have been traumatic to our 1st grader, so we are very glad that her meds are working and her life has been extended.
Side note from the twice daily steroids she's on our hamster looks like she's ready for lucrative contract with the Yankees, she's all bulked up and muscular now.

Dreams imitating art

My first grader was very upset this morning and cried a bit, mostly about not wanting to go to school because as I've mentioned here before he does not understand why "he spends more time at school than at home."

He also said he has had dreams about his hand being cut off and bleeding to death.
So as I was brushing his hair and trying to sooth his nerves I tried to put on my dream interpretation hat and figure out what that dream might mean.

After dropping him off at school, late as usual, I remembered that we have been watching the whole Star Wars saga in the story's chronological order (as opposed to the movies release date order), and both Luke and Anakin Skywalker have their hands cut off at different points so there probably is no deep psychological meaning to the dream, more of a being freaked out factor, which made me rethink what we are letting him watch and listen to for that matter. He is still six, for a few more weeks at least, and I fear I've allowed him to become use to entertainment that is not age appropriate.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

self recognition

I went guitar shopping today and it reminded me that there are a few activities while participating in, I feel like myself.
Before I had kids and I usually felt like myself it was usually work that put my sense of self well being out of alignment, sometimes a nice vacation would snap me back into place, it might take two or three days but be it lounging in wine country, record shopping in Paris, or getting loaded with friends in NYC, the thought crosses my mind, this is me, this is who I really am.
Now with kids, even though I don't work out side of the home, I rarely feel that sense of self recognition, I guess because I need time to shed off whatever daily stress is on my plate, and then in a relaxed unhurried manner, without any person vying for my attention, enter into some activity that I enjoy which touches on those things which I perceive are the foundation of who I am.
I love record shopping, but having a quickly bored and often hungry family in toe is a kin to the kids repeatedly trying the master bedroom door knob while you are trying to have sex, you can work through it, but it is not what you were hoping for.

One way I can reach this state is in my monthly massage if I meditate rather than chatting with my massage therapist, the hour seems like it is endless until it ends and then it seems like only 15 minutes have passed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

75% Chance of Hamster Cancer

Poor Miss Fuzzy, so I did wind up taking her to the specialist, bumping up our total vet costs to around $400 for our $12 pet. When I went to the exotic pet specialist last week they found that our hamster most likely has skin cancer, about a 50% chance, which is basically untreatable, 25% chance of lymphoma, which can be treated, 25% of some other type of infection which would be curable.
We've been giving her two medicines twice a day and her wound hasn't been openly bleeding anymore, but it is not looking much better either.

Monday, April 06, 2009

99 Problems and a Hamster is one!

We've had a new hamster for about a month, a couple of weeks ago she chewed her tail off, why we don't know, maybe neurotic, maybe a tumor or something at the base of her spine, anyway after taking her to the vet and getting some antibiotics and a bill well north of a hundred bucks, the problem seemed to get better, though we never took her back for her follow up visit.

Of course that was not the end of it, her butt is all bloody again and I, who I only agreed to get if I had nothing to do with it's up keep, am taking her back and forth to vets across the northern part of the state.

My email to my wife on the topic, who of course is in meetings all day so she's not answering her phone:

"Just came back from the Vet, made an appointment with the specialist, they wanted to make one for today at 11:30 but that was cutting it too close since I don't know where they are it's thunderstorming, it would be a little hard to pick up lunch on the road with miss fuzzy in toe and honestly their fee of $160 to see her is quite outrageous and I honestly would rather cancel the appointment than pay that much for visit for a $12 pet, when my gut tells me with an animal this small they aren't going to be able to do much. Also I doubt that visit will include the cost of the X-ray they are going to do to look at her tail bone area.
Dr. Roberto didn't see anything that look like a tumor but did say at the last visit Fuzzy had a little tail stub which is now gone. She links that maybe there is a crack in her spine maybe that is giving her trouble, or perhaps that she needed to be on her medicine longer.

Please get back to me ASAP about whether or not you want to pay $160 for this specialist, since the sooner we cancel the appointment the more likely it is they won't try to get us to pay some k
ind of fee."

Great ... Just what a parent loves to hear

April 1, 2009

Dear Parent/ Caregiver/ Guardian:

We have been informed through the Police Department (and through parent notifications of reports filed with the police department), of three separate incidents of attempted luring over the weekend, and as late as yesterday afternoon.

There were three different incidents and descriptions of suspect(s) and vehicles:

· Sunday, March 29th: Identified as a white male in his early 40’s wearing a plaid shirt and possibly driving a green Chevy Suburban. Girls were asked for local directions and offered money to go with the stranger.

· Sunday, March 29th: Identified as a white male with brown hair and blue eyes, driving a black car, possibly a Mercedes Benz, with a “fake” license plate # K13-5E9. Two young girls were followed from the Public Library – main branch, towards Willow Street.

· Tuesday, March 31st: Identified as a white male with a white mustache and a lot of white and grey hair, driving a “beat up” red convertible. He spoke with a slur, and asked the students (speaking only to the girls) to give him directions to “the salon”, and then further asked the girls to give him directions to “the church”. This occurred at the corner of North Fullerton and Garden Street in front of the house across from the playground (by ______ School). The parent of one of the middle school students was in close proximity, at the time of the incident.



We will keep the community informed of any occurrences as they are reported and confirmed by the Police Department.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Party Attire

What to dress the kids in when going to a party, of course you usually want them to wear their finest gear too accentuate how damn cute they are and to express to the world what a good job you are doing in manufacturing presentable future world leaders, HOWEVER there are three things at parties that run counter to risking your children's best outfits;
1) FOOD: self serve buffets, bowls of snacks and dips, cheap disposable adult size plastic cups, colorful cakes and other messy desserts. Kids have access to all of these things without full parental supervision and the persistent cajoling party hosts and relatives long in years to try this or that.
2) PARENTAL DISTRACTION: depending on the gathering the parent will either be super busy hosting or helping the host, or doing the yak-yak dance with long lost friends and relatives, leaving your child free to double dip their cuff sleeves into the oozing fudge fountain.
3) HYPER-ACTIONS: Mix the free flowing sugar products, Mom's focus on recounting a family vacation from 1979 and we have Hyper-Actions, kids playing out door sports in their finest indoor clothes, well intentioned horse-play evolving into a back alley brawl resulting punch to the head and a retaliatory kick in the gut, and the party's crowning moment a rainbow of vomit being spewed from the little guest of honor's digestive system recapping the afternoon in wide palette of food dyes. This last example actually happened, my boy was the kicker not the vomiter, not sure which would have been worse?

2nd Son, 3rd Person

I guess my pre-schooler is destine to become a professional athlete because as of a few months ago he started referring to himself in the third person, "'Othello' doesn't like asparagus, 'Othello' likes soft broccoli."
(I just asked him to name a food he doesn't like and he named asparagus which I'm sure will thrill his mother who has been trying to get it into our regular vegetable rotation. He then started to name foods he does like and hasn't stopped talking since and is trying to sit on my lap and is doing everything possible to separate me from the computer, unless of course I let him play Papa Louie, Batman the Brave and the Bold or some other free online video game, then the computer is great!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Organized Soccer

My first grader played his first organized soccer match today, his team lost 0-3. I am incredibly proud of how hard he played, he was one of 3 new kids on the team and he fit right in and was aggressive, played great defense, took on some bigger kids on the other team with no fear, I just hope he can appreciate that you can play well even if your team loses.

Monday, March 23, 2009

FUUUUUAAAAAAACK part 2, read original FUUUUUAAAAAAACK posting below first

After a bad night's sleep and coming to terms with the fact that I have a pathological fear of disappointing my kids and I have a major internal conflict when problems like this come up I think my fight or flight instinct kicks in and I get a mad rush of adrenaline and want to explode on who or whatever I have perceived to cause the problem, but I hate being rude or aggressive and double plus hate when people are disrespectful to clerks, admins, operators, servers, basically anyone who gets your order wrong, so I have all this negative energy swirling around being fenced in by my moral gatekeeper, leading me to want to take a nap or get loaded in lue of having an anxiety attack. Basically a typical ID verses Superego battle, which is not a groundbreaking concept, except that I had assumed that my ID was much more in check than it actually is.

So midway through Sunday after emailing every contact I can find for the place where the party is scheduled I finally call them, expecting to leave a message. Quelle surprise someone answers the phone and puts me in contact with someone who knows what's going on, who says they are aware of the issue and it was their error and everything is fine for the date that I thought the party was suppose to be.

Another issue I've noticed is that I dread hosting these family/kid parties because I spend the week or so leading up to them worrying about every possible thing that can go wrong, I think I have a fear of being found out as a fraud, if that makes any sense, I think that's why I have a hard time taking compliments, also working like six years as an editor with no editorial or collegiate English background I'm sure added this addition neurosis to my portfolio. Okay that's enough, Neurotic Dad has been issued a cease and desist order and his take over of Dissonant Dad's blog has been ended.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I'm checking my family email for RSVP's to my 4 year-old's belated birthday party and notice one from this past Thursday:

Description Dates/Times Qty Rate Price
Birthday Party:
Field 1 {Deluxe BP (half field 24 kids): $375.00/Per Hour} Sat 3/21/2009 12:00 PM-1:00 PM
1 $375.00

My reply:

Just saw this email.

I have our party as being on Sunday March 29th @ 3pm to 4:30pm?
My wife had contacted you about a party Christmas week and was told that March 21st was the next available, but we needed to call you back with a credit card deposit to hold the date. Later I called to see if March 21st was still available and spoke with a woman who told me that the 21st was no longer available and the only opening in March was Sunday the 29th at 3pm, so this was the date and time I signed up for.

Please get back to me ASAP to let me know if we still have the Sunday March 29th at 3pm time slot, as we already have 20 confirmed guests for that time slot.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,
Dissonant Dad
MOTHERFUCKER, I remember this whole fucking situation, I was mad at my wife for not salting this away, and she thought that I had done it, and I called my wife while she was at work and told her I thought that Sunday at 3pm was a weird time for the party, but figured it might work out well because only 24 kids are allowed per party and our son has over 30 kids in his class so the off timing of the party would hopefully result in a decent number of regret RSVP's, so I know what I did and that I'm right, but it doesn't help that I once in the past had a problem with the people at this venue and it wound up that I was wrong, and more importantly I think dating back to my childhood where my mother would seeming change the truth from argument to argument, she was never wrong when she was angry and what she said last time was unsubmittable evidence this time, so I have this built in self-doubt about my memory, so this situation pushes a number of uncomfortable buttons, plus my son may be out of his first "friends" birthday party, fuck.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dissonant Dad has some "splanin' to do"

These are some postings from one of my other blogs that deal with parenting issues, I have made note of the blogger's gender because to point of this entry is how one group, dad's in this case, but it could be any group whites, bourgeoisie, etc. can say things and in turn belie beliefs held, that are never questioned unless they are exposed to people outside of their group, gender, race, etc. Basically you need all kinds of friends, not just people who share all of your beliefs and characteristics, to keep your ass in check:

... Come on my niece just derailed her career in Pharmaceutical Development to go on welfare and have some ghetto jail-bird's illegitimate kid, (Names of two expats on my other blog) we need your tax dollars yo! Sadly the previous sentence is true, I'm glad I had boys, I worry enough as it is I can't imagine how much the dad's of girls stress. I guess Mom's stress about boys playing contact sports and getting in fights and getting shot and shit, so it probably goes both ways and has to do with familiarity with what you did as a boy/young man and girl/young women.

Female Philly Friend:
... as a responsible father, do you not worry about your sons getting some girl pregnant? I always feel like a lot of people make the statement that they are happy they have boys because they don't have to worry about pregnancy issues and that it perpetuates the mindset that girls are trouble because of their reproductive capabilities. Meanwhile boys get a big pass since they don't have to wear their "sins" like a big old scarlet letter basketball stuffed under their shirts for nine months. I really think this type of thinking has to change so that more men take more responsibility for their reproductive capabilities.

... to be honest I probably won't worry about my boys irresponsibly knocking any one up until I am conscious of them being sexually active, which is hopefully 10 to 15 years away, whereas having a daughter I think I would irrationally worry about it happening in the future, part of that is because they get left with the baby, part is it's hard for the opposite sex parent to deal with the idea of their child having sex, and part my assuming that I'll do a good job teaching my boys to respect women and themselves and to be responsible.
I know what assuming leads to, so I'll have to remember to closely follow the birds and bees talk with the condoms, pregnancy and disease talk. I was a late bloomer so far as girls and was pretty shy and idealistic about falling in love and not sleeping around*, so I'll have to keep in mind that my boys won't necessarily develop at the same slow rate and in the same way and I did. (*Until I fell in love and got dumped and quickly changed my views.)
I think I and maybe most parents dangerously assume that your kids will automatically do better than you did as if they can build off of your experiences and learn from your mistakes.

Part 2 of my response to Philly Friend,
A very high percentage of important people in my life have been raped or molested, including males, so I'm highly sensitive to that being a parent, with boys if you get them to 18 and keep them out of jail, the likelihood of them being sexually assaulted is extremely slim, but with women it's a life long concern, so my statement about being glad I had boys also has to do with my perception that the constant concern and worry of being a parent lessens faster with boys than girls, now I could be totally wrong, and I know Jules worries about the boys playing contact sports and getting into fights and hanging around the wrong crowd, all things that I had done and was able to see myself through unscathed but those are areas that she's unfamiliar with, where I'm unfamiliar with this cool person I recently met attempting to rape me the first time we are alone together, or my mate being the person that is most likely to kill me, so I guess it's fear of the unknown.
I'll be more mindful of using phrases that are often used to express sexist thought and think on what it says about my thinking.
I have to admit I'm very biased when it comes to kids entertainment, things have gotten better than when we were kids with Barbie and Strawberry Shortcake, but I'll take superheroes over Bratz any day.

... thanks for your thoughtful response to my post. I know you to be a conscientious person and was wondering what your thought process would be as a father who is responsible for his kids' daily needs. My parents divorced when I was really little and I grew up with my dad taking care of me so I know a lot about the fears that fathers have when it comes to their daughters. Also, my father had pretty much just gotten back from Vietnam so he was constantly living with fear and post-traumatic stress. So, yeah, I'm extremely guarded and I don't get fucked with, ever. I just wish it didn't have to be that way and that society would commit as much time to educating males about responsible behavior, as well as taking responsibility for their misbehavior (i.e. "You, son, are going to get stuck with the baby too or go to jail for hurting a woman."), as it does to instilling fear in general, and women in particular, about misbehavior in men and its repercussions. As it stands now the overall societal message is that guys are a threat to women therefore women are troublesome, so it's better not to have to care about too many women; I know that biology dictates that men are stronger than women and women gestate but that message is detrimental to society as a whole and commensurate with an extremely cro-magnon thought process.
I forgot to say that I don't know anything about Bratz but I know that Barbie is the devil's spawn, superheroes rule, and Yoda is the undisputed shit .

NYC Male Friend:
LOL, Bratz are definitely freaky. They're pretty unwholesome and unrealistic representations of women. They have big heads and lips and obscenely skinny long bodies and are dressed in a way that most wouldn't want their daughter under 13 yrs. old to dress like. My God daughter was into them when she was about 7 or 8 and I remember thinking how horrible they were and how scary it was that she was drawn to and influenced by them.

LONDON Male Friend:
ok, since the blog has moved on to kids - i've got one of each ... not really worrying (yet), a summary of both:

my son (5yr old) is into flowers, formula1, soccer, bmx, tennis, some rugby and piano - typical daredevil
my daughter (8yr old) is into animals (especially horses), books, elvis, violin, guitar (she's begging for an electric) and some classical/opera (recently took her to the magic flute)
...and they both complain whenever i suggest an afternoon walk on the hills

i try to ignore the fads (we've had barbie in the house - personally like Bratz even less - all that can be summed up by one word ... 'tat' and steer the kids' attention to stuff which can be more productive/creative/rewarding - fads come into the house every now and then ... but, lucky to say, don't really stick around for long ...

Eastern Daylight Suckings Time

Daylight is all well and fine but that first Monday after springing forward is near impossible for your body to have adjusted in time. My 1st grader got up 40 minutes late, which gave us 20 minutes to get ready and get out to school, which is three miles away, not far, but not the neighborhood school around the corner either.

First I drop my 1st grader off at his grammar school which is technically in another town, then come back home and quickly get my preschooler ready to drop him off at his school which is in completely other part of town, pretty much "Downtown,"anyway my contribution to the morning lateness was a gem of daylight savings induced idiocy, I'm rushing around getting my preschooler ready, and searching for my keys, after about five minutes of cursing I remember I came in through our "mudroom" rather than the regular back door, maybe it's in there, or maybe I left my keys outside hanging from our side door knob, an area where someone could easily walk off the street and take the keys without anyone inside the house noticing, pure genius, who's that walking down our driveway, pulling out keys, and driving away with my car?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

If you HAVE to eat fast food, these are the places

America's Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants
Jamba Juice
Au Bon Pain
Boston Market
Cici’s Pizza Buffet
Taco Bell

I guess I have to stop telling my kids that McDonald's is the worst and most unhealthy place in the world to eat. Damn the brainwashing was finally starting to take too!

The Complete, EAT THIS, NOT THAT REPORT CARD, rating every kind of fast food resturant!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Spicy Face

4 year-old son: "Daddy your face is spicy."
Me: (Is he commenting on my swarthy good looks, oh, I get it) "I'll shave tomorrow buddy."
A letter to my 6 year-old's teacher from 1/15/09 that I forgot to post.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sick vs. Snow & the Bowels of Disney

Damn, week after week its sick kids or snow, with tomorrow being no exception, like 10 to 14 inches being predicted for the next two days. Last week my 1st grader was sick most of the week, and the week before his little brother was mildly sick at the end of the week, it's like I can never frickin' get any free time to catch up with chores and loose ends. I actually jogged a couple of times last week and was looking forward to doing so again on Monday and now tons of snow is coming.

Since I last posted we went on a family trip to Disney World, and when I say family I mean 16 people from my wife's side of the family. It actually was going pretty well until eight of the 16 came down with a stomach virus or it could have been some kind of intestinal bacteria I'm not sure all I know is that it was going around the park, and all four members of my family came down with it, lots of late night vomiting followed by the same consistency out the other end, not getting out of the room for days on end, a strictly limited diet, no fried food no dairy (not easy at an amusement park, no matter how large), feeling slightly better and over doing it and getting sick again, my kids not understanding why family members were fleeing when they tried to huge them, two doctor's visits, me not getting to do the one thing I remembered liking from going their 25 years ago, the Lands at Epcot, and my wife not getting to do he favorite amusement park activity, roller coasters, which I refuse to go on because they are either the stupidest way to attain momentary excitement or I'm a little bitch or somewhere in between, I just know I never want to be the guy you read about who died on some faulty ride it seems like weak assed way to go out, I like the feel of being on a little run away train so I died in pursuit thereof in shorts, sandals and a novelty t-shirt with a ketchup stain, I'd rather OD at the Chelsea Hotel if I'm going to die stupidly but that's for another blog and another day.

For the most part those Disney workers were really really nice and not in a weird found our savior via some charismatic cult leader sort of way either just nice for sake of it being the way you should treat people sort of way.

Also, when you travel if you are not staying with family or friends get travel insurance, we got it being worried about a snow storm ruining our trip by canceling our departure flight or whatever, but since we had travel insurance we were able to have doctors make house calls to our hotel room, which was amazing, they came, checked us out and gave us drugs and we didn't have to give them an additional red cent, which if we had to go through our regular insurance we would have has to take a taxi 30 minutes away to go to an emergency room, that would have been real fun with one parent barely able to walk, the other shooting fire out his arse and two slowly recovering kids, spending the day in the emergency room with our reward being to have to track down a cab in Central Florida and take a 30 minute ride back to our stale hotel room would have been just too awesome for words. Travel insurance, unlike extended warranties, well worth it.

If you are a vegetarian or just like to eat like one, the end all be all of Disney World dining is the Tusker House Restaurant @ Animal Kingdom, it's a buffet, has seemingly endless vegetarian choices, the food had mostly a middle eastern vibe with a great selection of breads and nice small portioned desert options, I seriously could have eaten there twice a day, though I don't mind eating the same food for a few days straight and when I clothes shop I tend to buy things in multiples like, I'll take those pants in blue, khaki, grey and two in black, but that aside they still had enough options that I wouldn't have to repeat my food selections if I didn't want to.

Though I pretty much experienced Disney with a huge dose of Hater-Aid the first time I went their at 15, much like the three Star Wars prequels, Disney isn't so bad when experienced with your kids. God I hated those prequels and Jar-jar fucking caricature of a Jamaican Binks, but they aren't half bad when you view them as child's movie and not as a jaded 30 year-old bitter urban hipster type, I don't know how the fabulously successful urban hipster types felt about it, but us get through life with bitter irony types weren't popping up two digits for it except perhaps the middle ones, man that Anakin guy could not fucking act at all, where did they find him? We need someone extremely wooden with the ability to pull his decent female counterpart down to his level of crapola.

Though now tolerable I actually like the new animated Clone Wars better than the recent live action films. My kids are totally into the whole Star Wars franchise now and we are watching them in chronological "according their prequel and episode 2.5 cartoon revised world" order.

We're getting a hamster in couple of days and bought all of the accoutrements for it today. That's enough for now, I've been holding off posting because I didn't feel like going over our ruined vacation but didn't feel right posting anything else until I got that episode down on wax.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Please no more snow

Since before Christmas it seems like every other day it either snows and the kids have off of school or a delayed opening or one of them is sick. With the holidays and my three year-old's fourth birthday occurring in this time frame there is always some pressing chore or duty to clean something I don't normally clean because company is coming over or toy to get stuck in traffic for (though I live in the suburbs my town is pretty self contained and has no highways, so I really only have to deal with highways, malls and strip malls during the holidays, so I have an extremely low tolerance for them).
So since I can't really clean much or toy shop for the kids while they are with me I depend on the three days a week where they are both in school do accomplish these things, so if the kids are home on snow days it means that my time frame for doing these things shrinks and I wind up having to do them last minute which stresses me out.
It does not help that no matter what company my wife works for there is always some kind of deadline, deliverable or crisis before Christmas so I get very little help gift shopping and setting up the Christmas magic.
Also the constant snow shovelling is getting 0ld fast, as is the whole bundling up the kids routine as they try to run around house and wrestle with each other every time before we leave the house.
My stay at home dad duties are starting to wear down my resolve, I wonder how much longer I can do this.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A letter to my 6 year-old's teacher:

Dear Mrs. "Kaft",
"My 1st Grader" was very distraught today after school, so much so that I had a hard time deciphering exactly what the causes were. What I was able to glean from his comments is that he kind of “freaked out” during his math quiz, he said he was having a hard time counting by seven’s, and then thought he had to do some hard math problems which he did not understand, but later learned that he was not required to do them.
I am not sure if that makes sense or not, anyway he said he had to struggle to keep from crying in class during the quiz. I vaguely remember a flier being sent home that talked about 90 second quizzes and I am assuming that this is what he was talking about. The fact that they are timed is apparently very stressful to him.
He is also nervous about an assignment that he apparently did not finish in which he has to draw and label body parts. He is afraid that if he does this assignment that he will not be complete some other assignment on time.
In reference to the not knowing which questions on the quiz he needed to do, I asked him if he was paying close attention when the teacher explained what needed to be done, and in reference to the quizzes I told him to do his best and to not get upset by the idea of not doing well, everyone understands he is six years old and does not already know everything and that he is in school to learn and tests just let the teachers know what he does and does not understand.
He then was upset by the idea that I was going to write you because he thought you might yell at him for “not knowing the answers,” and he also did not want to be pulled aside to be talked to. I told him that teachers want their students to learn so they would not yell at them for having questions, and that talking to a teacher one on one would just help him to solve his problems/answer his questions and was nothing to be afraid of.
Please take a moment and try to learn what exactly is confusing him, be it that some of today’s work built upon what was taught on Tuesday when he was out so he did not understand it, or if he’s not paying close enough attention when assignments are being explained, or if needs to ask more questions when he does not understand what is expected of him, or his time management needs development, whatever the problems are it is hard for me put my finger on them since I do not know exactly what is going in his classes and when I ask him about them he gets upset.

Thank you for your help in this matter,

Dissonant Dad

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Abstinence, Shmabstinance

Looks like lots of unprotected premarital sex is going on in the bible belt, it just doesn't make any sense, you would think teaching kids about abstinence would work as opposed to teaching that evil sex-ed with all of it's condom talk, it's basically condoning premarital sex, one would think one of those evil Satan worshiping, homo marrying liberal states like New Jersey, Massachusetts or California would have higher rates of teen pregnancies.

Okay tongue out of my cheek: Abstinence-only sex education has totally failed the nation's teens
Programs mandated to teach only "the social, psychological and health gains (of) abstaining from sexual activity" have been awarded failing grades for truth and effectiveness. The programs that work best combine honest information about sexuality, including contraception.
Ellen Goodman

Sunday, January 04, 2009


3 year-old: Let's play video games.
Mommy: Not now, video games aren't good for you brain.
3 year-old: Video games aren't good for other people's brains but they ARE good for my brain