Category Archives: Family

Bhagavad Gita, Unfortunately

It’s out there, you know, the alternative to happiness and hope – reality.  Waiting silently like a shadow- calm and patient.  All the while knowing that you will be coming to it- sooner or later.  Reality does not chase you.  The illusion of safety leads to the sloth of complacency.  There is no guarantee that anything is permanent or has any truth behind it.  Lies kill hope, inaction kills potential, and regret fuels the memory.  That’s when reality wraps its cold and often unyielding arms around you- reassuring you that now is when you have to deal with what is been just over the horizon – waiting on you to forget it exists.  Beauty and happiness only stay your eventual embrace of the reality of what being alive is truly about.  Pain.

life_is_pain_by_shifty

I suppose the alternative to sucking it up and trudging along in your miserable state is to simply give up. On the surface it is an attractive option.  For instance, sell what you have and say, “Fuck it.”  Buy a used Winnebago and head to Montana.*  Is that really an option with two kids, 2 jobs, and a mortgage you cant afford anymore?  Nope.

So what do you do?  More specifically, what do I do?  Reality is really kicking my ass – and its winning.  Life is painful now.  I feel it.  I feel tired, angry, unlucky, alone, sad, and powerless.  I can not fix what is wrong.  I can only adjust to what other people, other people’s decisions, and other people’s whims allow for me.  I work all the time at a job I hate.  I supplement that income with a job that takes a lot of time away from my kids- I wrestle with the question, “Is the income worth the absence from my kids?”  Now, without that income my kids lose (They will lose more that what they are about to be losing very soon.)  So, that answers that.

I would imagine by now, dear reader, that you are waiting on the, “…but I will keep putting one foot in front of the other.” part of this post.  I am sorry I can not give you that.  I can not lie and say that I will find some self worth or inner strength from what is happening now- and will continue to happen for quite a while.  I am crumbling.  I feel it.

I will give you one last thought that echos in my head every night before I willingly close my eyes – “I just want everything to be O.K.”

I am trying to make it O.K.  I just don’t know if I am making any progress.  It does not feel like it.  I am scared.

If I were to tell a Hindu about how my life is right now  a response would be close this, “Your current situation is the exactly correct situation for you to be in, given you soul’s previous action. Experiencing current suffering also satisfies the debt incurred for past behavior.”   I don’t know if that is true, I don’t believe it is, but just in case it is “As It Is””**  I would like to apologize to my wife and kids for putting them here.  I am sorry we are where we are and wish I could better our situation.

* The winnebeago would break down in Iowa and ole reality would be there waiting on you- not good

** sorry, couldn’t resist

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Is this thing on?

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Hello, It has been 2 years, 2 months, and 4 days since my last confession.  I wonder if some of you are still there.  In my mind your RSS alert systems just came to life after years of inactivity- not unlike those tape reels in the bottom of a bunker somewhere in an ’80s movie.  Silence…a red light begins to blink…a whirring sound…the tape reels spin…a Kenny Loggins song starts…

I think you get it.

So, where have I been for approximately 794 days?  Nation building!  As some of you know/knew I had a child.  What you don’t know is that Sab and I had another child shortly after Macy was born.  Her name is Rebecca.  She arrived 13 months after Macy.

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I have been busy trying to create the next American Women’s Tennis Champion or Greatest Tea Party Hostess (they are interchangeable at this point) and making Rebecca giggle.  Its a full time job.  The best job.  So that’s where I have been.  Moving on…

Whats changed over the last 19,056 hours since we last spoke?  A few things actually…I will supply a short list.  You are welcome.

  • Rebecca Was Born
  • SOPA Protest – Largest in History of the Internet
  • A silent film won 5 Academy awards (Really?)
  • “Gangnam Style” becomes the first video to reach one billion views on YouTube
  • Lance Armstrong “apologizes,” loses a ba-jillion dollars, and still comes off like a douche bag
  •  Anonymous hacked Westboro Baptist Church (Yea!)
  • Macy decided that she is a “princess”
  • Rebecca likes yogurt

I am sure there were more events than those…however, I can not remember them right now.

This I will construct a more lucid post about something asap.  In the mean time, I am taking requests for topics.  In the comments, suggest a topic…or demand a topic.  I will write about it in my usual, hard to follow, grammatically incorrect manner.

Welcome back, me!

topic-suggestions

A message to the present and future

As my newest daughter is born, I speak for my generation. The “nameless.” The generation whose label is not only a mysterious symbol, but a sign of illiteracy as well. Generation X. I speak to the up and comers, the students of today, and those who are the target of 7 out of 10 commercials and 8 out of 10 television channels- Gen Y and the subsequent letter based generations that MAY follow. May my daughters heed these words of a member of the “Lost Boy” generation and have these word’s intent tattooed across their brains and serve as a reminder of their parents who lived it, who were it, and still manage to make the mortgage payments on time.

So, How can I say this with some adult like tact…Generation X is sick of your bullshit.
The first generation to do worse than its parents? Please. Been there. Generation X was told that so many times that it can’t even read those words without hearing Winona Ryder’s voice in its heads. Or maybe it’s Ethan Hawke’s. Possibly Bridget Fonda’s. Or maybe it’s John Cusack’s. Generation X is getting older, and can’t remember those movies so well anymore. In retrospect, maybe they weren’t very good to begin with.

But Generation X is tired of your sense of entitlement. Generation X also graduated during a recession. It had even shittier jobs, and actually had to pay for its own music. (At least, when music mattered most to it.) Generation X is used to being fucked over. It lost its meager, introduction to adulthood 401-K savings in the dot-com bust. Then came George Bush, and 9/11, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Generation X bore the brunt of all that. And then came the housing crisis that we helped fuel because of the boomers propaganda about “How it is.”

Generation X really wasn’t surprised. Generation X kind of expected it.

Generation X is a journeyman. It didn’t invent hip hop, or punk rock, or even electronica (it’s pretty sure those dudes in Kraftwerk are boomers) but it perfected all of them, and made them its own. It didn’t invent the Web, but it largely built the damn thing. Generation X gave you Google and Twitter and blogging; Run DMC and Radiohead and Nirvana and Jay Z. Not that it gets any credit.

But that’s okay. Generation X is used to being ignored, stuffed between two much larger, much more vocal, demographics. But whatever! Generation X is self-sufficient. It was a latchkey child. Its parents were too busy fulfilling their own personal ambitions to notice any of its trophies-which were admittedly few and far between because they were only awarded for victories, not participation.

In fairness, Generation X could use a better spokesperson. Barack Obama is just a little too senior to count among its own, and it has debts older than Mark Zuckerberg. Generation X hasn’t had a real voice since Kurt Cobain blew his brains out, Tupac was murdered, Jeff Mangum went crazy, David Foster Wallace hung himself, Jeff Buckley drowned, River Phoenix overdosed, Elliott Smith stabbed himself (twice) in the heart, or Axl got fat.

Generation X is beyond all that bullshit now. It quit smoking and doing coke a long time ago. It has blood pressure issues and is heavier than it would like to be. It might still smoke some hydro designer dope, if it knew where to get some. But probably not. Generation X has to be up really early tomorrow morning.

Generation X is tired.

It’s a parent now, and there’s always so damn much to do. Generation X wishes it had better health insurance and a deeper savings account. It wonders where its 20s and most of its 30s went. It wonders if it still has time to catch up.

Right now, Generation X just wants a beer and to be left alone. It just wants to sit here quietly and think for a minute. Can you just do that, okay? It knows that you are so very special and so very numerous, but can you just leave it alone? Just for a little bit? Just long enough to sneak one last fucking cigarette? No?

Whatever. It’s cool.

Generation X is used to disappointments. Generation X knows you didn’t even read this whole post.

Again, it’s cool.

A List of 20 Things I Have Learned

1) No matter how much you plan, someone named Murphy will screw it up

2) If your haircut, doctor’s appointment, or dentist appointment is at 2:00 p.m. feel free to arrive at 4:00 p.m. – You will not be seen on time.

3) I like Space Invaders, however I do not like personal space invaders (See Awesome Illustration)

4) All people want 3 things:  Respect, Understanding, and whatever you have in your left back pocket

5) A good pen is worth its weight in gold and will be stolen,lost, or destroyed within 5 minutes of you discovering its true worth

6) People are thinking about you right now- the IRS, Donald Trump, and Dionne Warwick to name a few

7) You do not have enough money.

8 ) Neither do I

9) I love food and food loves me – that is why it hangs around so long.

10) I do not like “customized stickers” on crappy cars…maybe buy a hubcap instead of a sticker that reads “Juicy” for your back windshield

11) If you make fun of a poor, homeless, or disadvantaged person around me expect to be humiliated- I have no patience for that

12) My wife saved my life and she doesn’t know it

13) I have great parents

14) My daughter is perfect

See?

 

 

 

 

 

 

15) I am too fat

16) I need to be more active, eat less, and pay more attention to “adult things” in order to prolong my life- or so I am told

17) I wish there was a rule that you must have a working driver side window to use a fast food drive through

18) I should not ever go through a fast food drive through

19) There are things in my house that have not moved since we moved in

20) I have owned every model of iPhone through no fault of my own*

* they all still work, how sad is that?

An open letter to Abbott Labs

Dear Abbott Labs,

I would like to start by saying “Thank You” for making Similac Sensitive.  It is a cornerstone of my child’s meals.  She loves it and is a healthy baby girl.  Sadly, this is not the point of this letter.  The reason I am moved to write to you is there is a horrible flaw in what would be a wonderful product.  The foil liner inside the sealed lid is absolutely a pain in the tail to remove.  It appears to be glued secured welded attached under a lip that protects it’s edges.

the tab in question

I don’t know if you put that pull tab on there as a joke or if it is just poorly designed, but it is absolutely useless!  Of the many, many containers just like the one above I have opened- I have yet to pull that tab and remove the foil liner.  I understand that the foil is to protect the product and I appreciate that.  However, I have to remove it in order to use the product my child so loves and that is no easy task.  When you pull on that tab it simply rips off.  I have tried every manner of removal- from slow and steady to quick and furious.  All with the same outcome- a hole in upper left corner of the container.

After the tab is removed, I can then attempt to remove the rest of the foil that is in a semi-permanently attached state.  I am a pretty handy man.  I can use tools, navigate my way through crib assemble instructions, and unwrap the smallest of nic naks.  However, This ordeal involves razor sharp  foil that has to be manually removed piece by pains taking piece.  The removal of said razor foil is akin to -I don’t know- removing razor wire from a top of a fence while on stilts.  Needles to say this practice is not that easy when you are holding a 5 month old child that wants his bottle something fierce.

Not only is it annoying and difficult- it is dangerous.  I mentioned the razor sharp foil that you have to manually remove…well, I will just show you.

This looks like a well made pull tab...

...crap!

 

ouch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, it cut me as I was trying to remove the foil, after the handy dandy pull tab had ripped free.  I never thought that could happen but, it did.

In conclusion, I would like to request that the design of that foil pull tab be re-looked at, redesigned, or done away with.  Maybe my friends at Babycenter.com can use some baby muscle about this.  It is truly a pain in the…finger.

Sincerely,

-Matt

Some Good Advice

Apparently, everyone who has ever had a child, changed a diaper, or can spell “child” is an expert on the care of, not only their children, but YOUR CHILD as well – AND- they have permission to touch your child WHENEVER they want!!!

FYI:  This drives the wife and I insane.

Here are some scenarios that have actually happened! Read the rest of this entry

… and the results are in!

Congrats!

Dethroning”Don’t put the babies in the Microwave” spoke by “person overheard in WalMart”, This year’s BABY TIP OF THE YEAR AWARD goes to…

Babycenter.com Read the rest of this entry

Macy’s Message- Survivor: Nicaragua

Why didn’t they tell me at babycenter.com that my child would have such clearly defined opinions at such an early age?

Gender Based Discrimination

Consider this hypothetical scenario:

You take an outing to the grocery store to buy food for your family.  Upon your arrival you see an empty parking spot RIGHT BY THE ENTRANCE.  Your mind screams, “SCORE!”  Your giddiness is smashed when you approach the parking spot and a sign reading “Reserved for customers who happen to be buying milk,”  staring you right in the face.  Your lactose intolerant body has betrayed you by its inability to digest a cow’s milk.  You curse your un-evolved stomach as you drive to the other side of the known world in search of a parking spot so you can feed your family.

HORRIFIC ISN’T IT.

As a new father, I am the victim of discrimination.  I, like all men, are discriminated against due to something that we can not control – our gender.  We men are not catered to when it comes to all things pregnancy.  When you have a spare 4 hours, enter your local book store and count all the books about being a good parent  that are written for women.  The next day when you have a spare 23 seconds, go back and count the books written for men who want to be a good parent.  It is a staggering difference.  You will find that many of the books written for women stress emotional bonding with your child coupled with research from years of child rearing.  The books written for men usually involve illustrations involving stick figures making less than happy faces while changing a diaper and some type of list.  The intellectual bias is staggering.  WAIT WAIT WAIT … men have earned this, haven’t they?  Raising a newborn is a woman’s job. Right?  Was that last sentence offensive to you?  It should be.  That feeling of “I KNOW YOU DIDN’T” that you are experiencing right now is what I felt when I saw this as I was pulling into a CHOICE parking spot yesterday.

I just needed milk, milk officer!

As I drove away to another spot, my mind would not leave this alone.  I mean why not change it to read “Stork Parking for New Parents and Mothers to Be”  Why choose to omit the father who is bringing his infant with him.  As I approached the doors, I decided to ask about that sign and what would happen if I, as a man, brought my infant to this store and dared to park my Jeep in that coveted spot.

Being a small town, I knew the woman who happened to be working when I came in.  With a smile, I asked about the sign and what would happen if I parked there with my new infant.  Flatly, she said, “nothing.”  Taken aback and shocked about the lack of penalty, I repeated the facts.  “So, I can park there as long as I have my kid with me.”  The reply was a firm, “Yep.”  I also asked the manager on duty, his comment was something similar to,” We at ___, want to provide the most comfort for our new mothers who shop with us…”  When he said the word “mothers” my eyebrow raised.  He saw the question coming, and said, “…and fathers.”  I thanked him and paid for my goods and went to my Jeep.

I looked at the sign as I drove away, and I felt worse.  Apparently, men who are fathers do not factor in the decision on what to have printed on signs that will be placed in front of stores nationwide?  They do not care if you, a man, park there but they will not nor even consider using a gender neutral word on the sign?  Are men such horrible parents to newborns that we aren’t even in the equation of consideration when it comes to preferred parking at stores?  Other places get it…

...again gender neutral

Gender Neutral...

…again gender neutral…

Why can’t men get the same billing in the parenting department?  Why do men get such a bad rap?  Has the world not evolved to the point that the man’s role in the parenting and care of a newborn is equal to that of women?

For instance, Canada

Some places get it.  Some fathers have ascended.  When will American men earn  respect of shop owners and corporate conglomerates and actually have a  DAD WITH CHILD PARKING sign considered?  I honestly think that those days are still far into the future.  Infants and newborns have a stigma attached to them.  Mothers care for the babies.  Men don’t. That very stigma is the cause of the discrimination I now face.

I don’t know what to do to combat the lack of respect that people of my gender face.  However, I do have an idea about what to do about those signs.

Vive la égalité!

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