If i could go back in time…

I’d go back to lunch this afternoon and order a salad instead of that half fried chicken and giant plate of french fries I scarfed down.

Holy crap, I can’t move!

Hahaha, no, I’m kidding. I had that for lunch on Monday. I had a yogurt and raisins for lunch today, then jogged six miles. I fucking swear it happened! I have Runkeeper proof for the naysayers. Look, I even took some train pictures for G$ while I was running because he likes him some trains.

Trains. for G$ cuz I'm a kickass dad.

Trains. for G$ cuz I’m a kickass dad.

Oh look, deer too!

Running is fun!!

Running is fun!!

Anywho…what to write?

I assume that many of the other FTSF people will write about adventures into the past so they can tell Lincoln not to go to that play, or maybe tackle JFK so he can’t get on a plane to Dallas, but fuck all that noise, I say.

I’m a pretty firm believer that people die when they do because that’s when they’re supposed to die. God or Jesus or Mother Nature or the universe, or death or whoever’s in charge of such matters is gonna get you when your time is up, and there ain’t nothin’ you can do about it.

So I guess it would be pretty darned cool to be able to travel back in time and just sort of hang around to see how things really played out. I don’t know how it would work, logistically, but it’d be cool to see where all these fossils came from. If I went back to dinosaur times, would I be there as myself? I’d think I’d stick out pretty obviously were that the case. Could I fly? Would I be invisible? I’d need more information I think. It could get dangerous to be back in another time looking like one’s current self.

No, that’s all too risky, so I’m going to cop out out on this post by only going back in time a little bit.

Just under three years would be great.

For this:

Awe, little dude on the belly.

Awe, little dude on the belly.

That’s G$ in one of his infrequent calm moods as a tiny one.

It’s sunk in that we’re done having babies here in the DOAT house, and I’m TOTALLY cool with that. I mean, if something showed up in momma’s womb again somehow, we’d raise it, but we’re pretty sure that won’t happen.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t miss it every now and then though. I’ve always liked babies; I’m fucked up like that.

I have to get my baby fix elsewhere now.

We have some pretty young neighbors still and I have some cousins who will have babies at some point, but I don’t get to snuggle with those kids at 2 am like I could with my own.

Awesome as it was, now that I’m thinking about it, I did almost die one time with Ace on my chest.

She was about the same age as G$ above and it was my turn to be up with her. It was obviously going to take more than a pat on her ass and a “go to sleep again dear” to get her to quiet down, so we went into the living room and flipped on the television. I grabbed some beer and my box of Snyder’s Hard Pretzels and settled in with her to watch a movie called Old School. That was almost eleven years ago.

You’ve all seen that movie, right?

There was a scene where somebody was having a kid party and I was several beers in already. I remember at some point that Frank the Tank took a tranquilizer dart to his neck and the other idiot, whose name I don’t remember, was all, “Dude, dude, that was awesome!”

I don’t know if it’s that funny now, but on that night, it was freakin’ hilARious! I started choking on one of my pretzels I was laughing so hard, and I nearly woke Ace from her slumber. Mercifully, I managed to pour enough beer in my gullet to dislodge the salty wedge of deliciousness. It was not my time to die, you see.

So anyway, dear friends, that’s where I would go, if I could go back in time…to a night where I was snuggling one of my babies on my chest or belly. It’s a favorite moment that I don’t see happening again in my life anytime soon.

What would you do, if you could go back in time?

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Today’s sentence is “If I could go back in time… ” and has been brought to you by the hilarious Jennifer Schario Hicks of Real Life Parenting! Blogger pals, you should totally join us! This is a fun group, really.

Your hosts: Janine: Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic
Kate: Can I get another bottle of whine?
Stephanie: Mommy, for Real
Kristi: Finding Ninee

 

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To the woman behind me in Walmart…

Dear woman behind me in Walmart yesterday,

You taught my sons a lesson.

I thought and prayed on our encounter, and felt moved by the spirit to write, in the hopes that you will see this.

It was maybe fate that put us in line together at Walmart that evening.

You had been trying to engage my boys in conversation while we both waited patiently for Josephine, the high school drop out checker to get the 20 items or less line moving as express lines are intended to do.

You didn’t mind that my five year old asked why you smelled funny and pointed and winced at that goiter on your neck. You told him it was nothing, but it was the size of a softball for fuck’s sake, so it was definitely something to him.

You were patient and kind and probably hard of hearing, because G$’s screaming didn’t phase you at all as you stood there smiling stupidly at nothing in particular.

I noticed your “I Voted!” sticker and asked you if you had taken the time to vote. You looked at me funny and said, “No, I don’t have a boat.”

“No, I said DID YOU VOTE?!”

“Oh, no, dear” you said. “I don’t like goats.”

“What the fuck,daddy?” Cool asked.

“Cool!” I said. “That’s not appropriate language! Where do you fucking learn such terrible shit?”

“Sorry, daddy. From mommy,” he answered.

“Did he say fuck?” You asked out of the blue.

“Oh, THAT you heard, lady?” I responded.

The line mercifully moved forward, and when it was finally my time to checkout, I offered to let you go first because you only had two things of yogurt and a box of Depends Diapers, while my cart was pretty full.

You graciously declined and insisted that you were enjoying your line standing time behind my little ones.

When the cashier rudely announced to everyone within earshot, “Uh, this card don’t work, sir,” you didn’t have to make eye contact with me, but you did.

You smiled at us and I at you. You looked at my cart filled with diapers and cases of Bud Light Lime and Doritos and Lucky Charms and nodded your head yes.

“I have $34 in cash,” I said. “If you could get the rest, that’d be great.”

You suddenly looked up from my sons, seemingly startled, and said, “What?!”

“You’re going to pay for my groceries, right? Haven’t you read those letters to good Samaritans and Facebook posts about people being nice and paying shit forward? Don’t tell me you’re going to make me have to put my kids’ cereal and diapers away so I can cover the bill for my beer and Doritos with what little cash I have?”

You looked down at your shoes and twittled your thumbs as you clutched your purse straps with both hands. I sensed that I was not going to be the recipient of a kind deed that day.

“Ugh! YOU SUCK YOU OLD BAG!!” I yelled into the air.

You walked away, muttering something about having forgotten to get the prunes you wanted and left me there alone

It was just me, my boys, a cart filled with lime flavored beer and snacks as well as Josephine, the judgy looking bitch of a cashier.

She sneered at me as I tossed diapers and cereal boxes into her return to the shelves bin until I had under $34 in beer and nacho cheese Doritos.

As we left, Cool looked up at me and said, “That woman wasn’t very nice to you, daddy. G$ and I are still hungry.”

“You’re right, son.” I had to tell him. “Let that be a lesson to you. Never count on old people, buddy. They fucking suck.”

Regards,

DOAT

 

 

 

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Dealing with the terrible two’s…

Wife and I have been parenting for well over ten years now and, up until very recently, never understood what the big deal was.

We’d hear people talk about how difficult it was and just sort of roll our eyes and mutter, “whatever.” Between our ten year old, Ace, and our five year old, Cool, we never had a lick of trouble as far as tantrums, shouting, hitting, biting, pushing, etc.

I’m almost embarrassed to tell people how well behaved those two are. 

Both of them required nothing more than a one time verbal reprimand and they snapped right back into place. God forbid the words come out too loudly though, because they’d snap back into place and their lower lip would begin to quiver. There was never much yelling in the house, so they just weren’t used to it.

I attributed our good fortune in raising such easy kids to my excellent choice in mates. I’m a fairly laid back guy, and my wife is the same way. Neither of us is Type A or quick to anger or gets overly excited or emotional over every stupid little thing.

Much like breeding with a Chinese man will guarantee you that your kids will have some Chinese man traits, breeding with an idiot will guarantee you that your kids will have at least some idiot traits as well. Shame on people who have kids who are out of control, I always thought. It’s their genes that are part of the reason their kids are so awful, they just got what they had coming to them.

So when G$ surprised us by showing up in his mother’s womb one day, I just figured it’d be more of the same. Another angelic child who would cost us money we really didn’t have, yes, but not cause us anymore mental grief than the other two did.

He comes from the same set of chromosomes, so surely he’ll be more like his older brother and sister than not, right?

WRONG.

He’s a pill alone…

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And with his brother and sister…

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And on Christmas…

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You’ll have to trust me when I say that I can post hundreds of these sorts of pictures, but I’ll spare you.

Our high and mightiness and good fortune with well behaved kids has been recognized and appropriately dealt with.

I am sorry Karma, for my delusions of parenting grandeur.

I promise that I am no longer of the opinion that I am grandeur, whatever that means.

We get it now.

The yelling, screaming, biting, pushing, hitting, and yes, even a public temper tantrum. We were THOSE people, in a Walmart of all places.

We understand all of it now, thanks to the little man.

It all started from in the womb, when he decided that coming out head first was total bullshit, so he made himself comfortable in a breech position.

Wife’s doctor and two other people literally wrestled him into the appropriate direction for egress via some awful procedure I vaguely recall being referred to as an e-version or something. There was a chance he’d be born that day, but it didn’t happen. All that procedure did, I think, was piss him off.

I thought we had another angel when he spared Wife a painful labor by making his way into the world more easily than the other two did. The doctor was about to say push, but wound up saying, “Wait, don’t push and oh, here he is!?”

“What?”

Easiest birth ever! Well, don’t tell wife I said that, but it looked that way to me.

Anyway, that was the last easy thing he did for us, as he’s been a dick handful ever since.

We tried to brush his behavior off using the usual parental excuses.

Yelling at the top of his lungs in public? – Sorry, he missed his nap.

Biting kids at the sitters? – Sorry, he must be teething.

Screaming no at everything and throwing shit all over the place? – Sorry, he must hungry.

Poking the neighbor lady in the eye? – Sorry, he’s just showing you affection.

Now we’re in the latter stages of the “terrible twos” I’d heard about but never had to contend with before.

Every night is a battle with that boy.

There’s so much yelling and screaming and pouting and throwing crap and pounding on things, it’s insanity. And all that is me reacting to him.

It’s gotten so bad that I did something for the first time ever that I swore I wouldn’t do.

I’m ashamed to even admit this, but I Googled how to deal with a toddler’s tantrums!

I know, right? Gasp!

As I suspected, most of the advice was a bunch of Kumbaya singing, tree hugger bullshit, so I lost interest pretty quickly.

I did decide that screaming back profanities at a two year old who’s pissed off for God know’s what reason is probably counter-productive, and slightly embarrassing, so I’ve promised to “remain calm” as a nod to the parenting websites.

Last night, I remained calm by stopping for gas and grabbing a twelve pack on the way home with the boys.

I drank some beer.

Then we ran to neighbor’s house to let their dog out while they were away, which for whatever reason, is fun for them.

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I drank another beer.

The boy child “smelled” the neighbor’s candles and declared, “they smell like green!”

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I drank another beer.

In spite of the shitty weather, and in honor of the Cardinal’s home opener, we played some ball together. G$ hasn’t taken an interest in sports like the other two had by his age, but he was on board last night.

They put on their game faces…

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I drank another beer.

We had a lot of fun playing ball.

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I had another beer, watched some basketball and didn’t yell as promised.

In spite of what G$ had to say, I declared the night a win.

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I mean really, how seriously can you take a boy in skull pleated, women’s shoes?

 

 

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Famous people opinions are also just like assholes…

I never understood what the big deal was about famous people’s opinions.

There’s been a lot of chatter today about comments made by former NFL quarterback turned sports talk radio host, Boomer Esiason, about his thoughts on paternity leave taken by a NY Mets baseball player, Dan Murphy.

The gist of the situation is that MLB players are entitled to three days of paternity leave or three games worth maybe, and this player, Murphy, took all three of his to see his wife give birth and be there for her while she was at the hospital. Murphy is 29 years old and this was his first child, so I’m guessing he was pretty pumped to become a dad.

Unimpressed with Murphy missing any time on the field, Esiason, who has played exactly zero MLB games, criticized Murphy for missing even a single game. Esiason went so far as to say that he’d have had his wife schedule a C-section before the season started so as to not miss any time.

Wait, what did you say, Don?

I said that he, Esiason, said on the air, that he would have made his wife schedule a C-section before the season started! You got that?

What a fucking idiotic thing to say.

Boomer Esiason seems to be an okay guy, so I won’t judge him entirely for saying something stupid on the air. Lord knows if I was judged for everything I’ve ever said, I’d have been crucified a long time ago.

Boomer has a family himself, including a son with Cystic Fibrosis. Boomer’s foundation has raised a whole lot of money and done a whole lot of good for other families who are going through life caring for a loved one with CF, so let’s not dismiss the good this man has done just because he said something stupid.

Boomer’s own website quotes him as saying the following:

One of the first lessons I learned in youth football was that winning requires all of the individual athletes on a team to come together, to cooperate and to support each other. It’s a lesson I think also applies to cystic fibrosis.

You know where else that applies, Boomer?

To your most important teammates, your family.

To Murphy’s family.

Winning at parenting requires the individuals on the family team to come together, to cooperate and to support each other. Murphy supported his wife by being there for her and THEIR baby.

It was their first baby, Boomer.

Do you remember your first baby being born?

I know I remember when my first one was born.

I was a wreck. Even as we were leaving the hospital three days later, I remember looking at my wife in the new SUV I’d traded my pickup truck in to buy and asking her, “now what the fuck do we do?”

The baby was in the backseat and we were supposed to take her home and figure out how the fuck to raise her. All of a sudden, we were responsible for another person!

Murphy’s wife will have plenty of time alone with her baby while her husband is on the road playing ball.

Yes, he makes almost $6 million dollars a year and can hire a nurse or nanny, but that’s not the same as having dad there.

That he gave the three days that he could to her and his new baby should be applauded, not ridiculed.

While Murphy is a major league ballplayer, at the end of the day, he’s just a dude, like me. He’s a dude with more money than me, yes, but he’s a new dad just like millions of other men have been before him. He has the same concerns and issues that we all do as new dads.

Boomer Esiason is also just a dude like me. Yes, he’s also a dude with more money than me, but still just a dude. He talks out his ass for a living now. His words don’t mean squat more than if some homeless man on the street had said the same thing. They shouldn’t anyway. He’s no expert on anything parenting related, so take what he said for what it is, an opinion based on nothing more than his own limited experiences. His conjecture about the C-section his wife would have agreed to is nothing more than bullshit machismo for the sake of the NY area numbnuts who listen to sports radio.

He knows as much about what’s best for new parents as Oprah Winfrey does about what’s best for newlyweds. Oprah is always giving advice about marriage and, you know what? SHE’S NEVER FUCKING BEEN MARRIED!!!

You shouldn’t get to talk about shit like that unless you’ve experienced it for at least five minutes.

She hasn’t, but people are still enamored with her opinions because she’s rich and famous.

Rich, famous people are just people, people. Don’t give them more credit than they deserve.

They aren’t the big deal that so many people seem to think they are, people other than me, of course.

——————————————————————————————

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Today’s sentence, I never understood what the big deal was about… is brought to you by the lovely Katia, of I am The Milk Show her some love on her site.

Your hosts: Janine: Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic
Kate: Can I get another bottle of whine?
Stephanie: Mommy, for Real
Kristi: Finding Ninee

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FTSF, your favorite decade was… plus a brief conversation with the 90′s

My favorite decade was…

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Even though I do feel like Homer quite a bit, my kids are still young enough that it’s hard for me to imagine any period of my life that doesn’t include them being my favorite.

It’s no exaggeration for me to say that my favorite time in life is right now.

I’m happy. I’m healthy. I’m blessed with a great family, both nuclear and extended. I think nuclear family is a real thing, but you might want to Google it and call me a dumbshit, if it doesn’t mean the people who are living under my roof.

The prompt, however, asks to know what my favorite decade was, so I’m going to work under the assertion that I have to go back in time to pick one out.

I went in to this assuming that it was a no-brainer that I would choose the 80′s. The 80′s meant little league baseball, Big League Chew, Fruit Stripe Gum, Gator Gum (yeah, I love gum!), Michael Jackson, Weird Al, The Golden Girls, Manimal, The Greatest American Hero, high school, first dates, first kisses, first loves, first heart breaks, first everythings! It was decade of discovering who I was and laying the foundation for the type of man I’d grow to be.

While I was thinking about all these cool 80′s things and others, like Camaro hair, mullets, Coca-Cola rugby shirts, Swatch watches and Heather Thomas posters, the pesky 90′s kept asking, “Hey, what about me?”

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This Heather Thomas poster was my first love.

“What about you, 90′s?” I answered back.

“The 80′s wasn’t that great, Don. You wrecked your Mustang in the 80′s. What about junior high? You broke your collar bone. Also, what about Manimal? Manimal happened in the 80′s. Don’t even get me started on your gay boy crush on Ricky Schroder.”

“WE DON’T SPEAK OF THAT!!” I responded defensively.

“He had a fucking train in his house for god’s sake! A train you could ride on, and I already spoke about Manimal! I liked that show.”

“What’s so great about you anyway, 90′s?”

90′s didn’t answer me back, but I started to ponder (I like pondering) the 90′s and I was able to convince myself that the 90′s could make a solid argument for being my favorite decade.

I started the 90′s a young man or maybe I was more of an old boy? I was a junior in high school when the 90′s rolled around. That’s a pretty exciting time in a young man’s life, and mine was no exception.

The 90′s saw my high school soccer team beat our biggest rival in the state championship game after we started off the season pretty shitty for such a talented team. I think we may have been 8-7 at one point in the season, before things finally clicked.

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Just got my medal and the beginnings of a pretty sweet mullet.

Getting out of high school was pretty sweet for sure, not to mention the 4.5 years of college debauchery.

I began the 90′s in the best shape of my life, and I had soccer to thank for that, but then there was college.

College meant parties and red cups of beer and 39 cent tacos from Taco Bell. I started growing what would become a fairly impressive beer gut in the 90′s.

The nineties is also when I met a pretty young lady who’d become my wife, so that’s pretty okay.

I moved to Texas for a few years and got to live in Pasadena for six months as well in the 90′s.  Even though those events were both work related (work sucks, generally), I still enjoyed my time in both places.

Alas, I came back to St. Louis in ’98 to try out this police work for just a couple of years.

A couple of years has turned into 15 years and the 90′s seems like a distant memory now.

While the 90′s were pretty cool, that Heather poster keeps drawing me back to the 80′s, as does reading the back of cereal boxes and jumping ramps on my Team Murray bicycle.

Gah, I’m torn, but I think, to finally finish the sentence and this ridonculous post, that the 80′s is my choice.

 

 

 

 

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I remember an old classmate, who knows why…

The brain is a funny organ.

When it gets injured or otherwise goes haywire for whatever reason, people can seem trapped inside otherwise healthy bodies that aren’t responding because their brain won’t fire correctly.

So many people suffering from some sort of dementia can’t remember the names of their loved ones, but could tell you the rules to a card game, or remember the address to their childhood home they haven’t visited in over 65 years. It’s craziness.

The brain is even a mystery when it’s working normally. For me, I don’t have the slightest clue why I’m able to remember some things from long ago in fairly intricate detail, but I oftentimes can’t remember what I did just weeks or even days before (alcohol jokes not appreciated, thank you).

Sometimes, I’ll just see something and it’ll trigger a memory about a person or place instantly, such as during my jog this afternoon when I saw a banner in front of a Mexican restaurant flaunting a not so great margarita special (in my opinion) every Thursday starting March 12th.

I guess something in my brain associated March 12th and Mexican with Mark Martinez because I spent the next two miles thinking about Mark even though I hadn’t for years and years.

Who is Mark Martinez?

On August 13, 1991, I was 18 years old and living in a college dorm because soccer practices started before most people had to report for classes. It was mostly the soccer players and other fall sport athletes on campus, so it’s possible that I had practice twice that day and spent the rest of the time screwing off or getting drunk. I’m sure I was doing something stupid for sure. It was my freshman year and I was just stepping into an exciting new chapter of my life.

On that same date, 45 or so miles to the west, Mark Martinez was in a section of St. Louis City that I’d be patrolling only eight or so years after this day. In 1991 though, Mark had been partying with a friend and wasn’t ready for the night to be over, even though it was after 4 am.

Mark was also 18 years old, and by this time, I hadn’t seen him in several years. I didn’t know the Mark who was trying to buy drugs from a group of people in a dangerous neighborhood at the same time I was probably sleeping off a night of drinking myself, safe and sound in my dormitory bedroom.

I was at the cusp of beginning the best years of my life, and while I was probably dreaming of a bright future, Mark died in the driver’s seat of his 1987 Dodge Charger. Drug deals can be very hairy, especially late at night and into the morning when everyone involved has been boozing all night. Shit can happen real fast, and it did to Mark. A bullet tore through his chest and did what bullets can do.

It occurred to me, during my run, that Mark’s birthday is today, March 12th. 

I remember this because my birthday is a few days before his and we shared parties at school. Every year, I’ve remembered Mark on March 12th.

I went to a Catholic school for four years of my life, and Mark was a classmate and a friend. He was an excellent athlete and could always give me a run for my money when we competed.

The Mark I remember invited me to his house for a birthday party the likes of which a young DOAT had never seen. He was very Mexican and his family was large and liked to have fun. That’s all I’ll say about that party.

He also had a bike that I coveted. It was a Mongoose Bike, and it had mag wheels. I always wanted a bike with mag wheels instead of spoked wheels, but never did get one. Once, at a fish fry at the school, I fell down on the playground and Mark accidentally rode his mag wheeled bike over my head. Literally, he rode it over my head like a speed bump. It’s no exaggeration to say that the knot on my forehead was the size of a baseball.

I was 10 years old and remember walking the mile or so it took to get to my baby sitter’s house crying the whole way. One of the sitter’s older daughters finally found me and comforted me until my mom picked me up. It’s a silly thing to remember, but I can remember the exact place on the parking lot where it happened.

My brain has also just reminded me that I get to do happy hour tonight to celebrate the birthday/going away to Afghanistan of a friend of mine, so now I’m super happy! I’m going to my favorite law school bar! I haven’t been there to drink in geez, months and months for sure.

So that you too will be happy when you leave this ridiculous post, please watch the video below.

My friend Stephanie from Mommy For Real is one of those people who has musical talent. She started a thing she called Parentz Bop and asked her blogger type friends to send her a song parody about parenting, so I wrote a quickie that I hope you’ll like! It’s worth it just to hear Steph sing and play the piano!

Enjoy!

Click here to listen to my lyrics parodying the popular song Brave!

 

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Happy Birthday Me – a FTSF

I’m writing this on my phone because, screw you workplace computer!!

It’s turning out to be a pretty glorious Friday, my friends.

It started out as most any other Friday does, with me rolling groggily out of bed while cursing myself for those last ten beers I probably could have done without. One day I’ll learn that five or six is plenty, but the Blues were playing on TV, dammit!

I peed, showered and then completely forgot to shave my stubble away. “Fuck it,” I thought to myself. “It’s Friday and it’s your birthday, so do what you want, Don.”

What I wanted to do is crawl back into bed with my wife, but I remained strong and dressed myself for work in spite of my body’s protestations.

I made myself a delicious protein shake in my shaker cup, checked Jojo’s pulse (she woke to see another day, so I let her out to pee) and caught the honkey bus to work with plenty of time to spare.

​At some point on the ride in it dawned on me that I completely forgot the tie that I’d draped over the back of the couch to wear today. Remember that delicious protein shake I made myself? Guess what? Yep, I forgot that mother fucker too!! It’s resting in my car’s cup holder as I type this, mocking me.

It’s going to be 60 degrees today, so I’m hoping the milk doesn’t get too funky by the time I get back to my car this afternoon.

​Is 41 the age where I lose my mind completely? I don’t feel older today. I mean I feel hung over a little bit and sore from running five miles yesterday, but I think I’m still fairly capable, physically. While it’s not totally unusual that I’d forget one thing, three things is not cool. I guess I should just be happy I remembered to put pants on.

​I was all ready to have an angry pity party and scream out loud about how this day can go fuck itself, but then I looked at my phone and saw that I had a lovely text message and then phone call from my mom, because she insists on singing happy birthday to me even now, at this advanced age.

​I got a couple more text messages from family and friends and then a whole shit load of happy birthdays from a lot of great friends on Facebook. I know it only takes a few seconds to type “Happy Birthday you old fuck!” or “Happy Birthday, you’re old as shit now” or “I wish you were dead!” but still, so many people did take those few seconds out of their lives to acknowledge me, before I even had a cup of coffee, that I was touched! Thanks to those of you who sent me good wishes.

​When I got settled into my office, I remembered that I needed to razz an acquaintance of mine who is due to have a baby soon. I found out a little while back that her husband and her were going to name their son to be Louis and call him Louie. While she thought it was the cutest thing ever, I assured her that it was stupid and that the first thing that came to my mind when she said Louis was, well Louis!

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She seethed in her charming little way (she’s way too nice to seethe properly) and I found it so amusing that I decided to send her Louis pictures from time to time to bother her.

Louie Anderson
Louis Armstrong
Louis Vuitton
Louis Farrakhan
Louis XIV!

There were so many on my list that I never got to send because when I sent her my Louis picture of the day this morning, her response was this:

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Little Louis is going to share a birthday with DOAT!!!

This little nugget of information made me so so happy!! His mother would no doubt clench her mom parts like never before to avoid this, if she only could, so that makes it extra special for me. It’s like a Schadenfreude sort of thing perhaps.

Well, I was ready to wrap up this FTSF post on a high note by saying that “What I really want to scream out loud is that life is pretty great, when you’re surrounded by so many great people…” but alas, life threw me a curve ball literally as I was going to type how great this day has been already.

​I just got a message that a dear friend is in bad shape in the ICU of a local hospital. Rats to you for not letting me have a perfect day, life!!

​Still, thanks to all of you who’ve made me feel special today, and that includes anybody who is reading this. If you’re taking the time to do so, it means a lot to me.

Posted in Finish the sentence Friday, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 43 Comments

Coming out and photographic proof that i’m winning at parenting…

It’s no secret, that a person unfamiliar with this here blog would notice, pretty immediately, that 94% of the people who read and comment on this garbage are women.

Women be bloggin’!!

While I enjoy the online company of the awesome ladies I’ve met, as well as the four men who comment on my blog semi-regularly, I wanted to expand my reach beyond the cat lovers, KSU alum (gross) and circus kin I love so dearly. You know who you are.

So, even though I’ve sort of fought it for the year and three months this blog has been around, I’ve finally decided to be honest and come out of the closet with a facet of my life that I’m ashamed of.

Why the fuck not, right? I mean God made me what I am and there’s nothing I can do about it now. Once I penetrated the opening with my man love wand, I was labeled and there was no turning back.

I’m a dad.

I sometimes blog.

I am at least a part time dad blogger!

I don’t know why, but I’ve sort of resisted the whole dad blogger label even though I don’t have any other label to go with. You know, it’s the whole “ofalltrades” thing that I sort of like about myself. I guess I didn’t want to get pigeon holed into always writing about my dadventures with the children. See what I did there? There’s a lot of potential in dad blogging, right?

Dadding is pretty fun, I’m not horrible at it, and the blog content practically writes itself.

Is that a word, dadding? Fathering I guess is the correct word, but that’s dumb. Who says father anymore? Fuck, I don’t know. Who cares either? The point is that I’m back in the saddle here and finally embracing my dadness.

I found a pretty cool dad bloggers group on Facebook. I’m not allowed to share what’s discussed in that group, because what happens in the dad’s bloggers group stays in the dad bloggers group. I may have said too much already, in fact.

It’s mostly dads supporting dads and all that good stuff. I will admit that it took me a while to embrace those men, however.

Did you know that there are men out there who stay at home with their kids all day while their wives work? Not just in the way that Micheal Keaton did in that movie because he was laid off, but on purpose!

I know, right? Mind.Fucking.Blown!!!

There are straight dads and gay dads and tall dads too. Some dads are fighting for the right to change their baby’s diaper on a changing station in public areas by demanding that companies end the stereotyping of the woman being the only one who can or will change a diaper by putting some damn changing tables in their men’s rooms too. And to think that I would do a happy dance to myself whenever there wasn’t a changing table in the men’s room!

Honestly, joining this group made me wonder for a little while if I suck as a dad.

I certainly don’t volunteer to change a diaper, especially one that I know has shit in it. I mean, I guess if I knew my wife would jump my bones for changing a shitty diaper, I’d volunteer, but not for much else. We’re on the third kid now; I’ve changed my share of diapers. Is it as many as my wife? No, not even close.

I’m not a stay at home dad either. I can barely tolerate staying home with the kids alone for a single day, let alone multiple days or five days a week for 18 fucking years! It’s just not my thing. The kids, even though they’re really well behaved, are exhausting. They always have to eat and poop and when that happens, somebody has to have a diaper changed or their butt needs to be wiped and then the dogs want to go outside, even though it’s raining, and it’s on and on and on, all fucking day!

Going back to work is a relief!!

Does that make me a bad dad or any less of a dad than these other dudes who really enjoy and embrace their stay at home dad roles?

I say no.

Dads are people and all people are different. Our differences needn’t make any of us better than others who are doing their best. We show our love in different ways, and as long as our loved ones know we love them and our kids wake up to live another day, then we’re doing just fine.

Not enough for you? Okay then, how’s about I show you then.

Here are 14 random ways I know I’m winning at parenting:

1. EVERYONE enjoys bathtime.Beanbag chair in the bathroom helps daddy at #winning bathtime

Beanbag chair in the bathroom helps daddy at #winning bathtime

2. Pfffft, this kid didn’t get to be this fucking cool because hid dad is a lame ass, that’s for sure.

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Coolest kid ever.

3. Boy has a lady stalker on day ONE of preschool. Day ONE!

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Yes son, this one digs you.

4. This dad’s girl don’t eat no salad. Meat and ketchup and taters and bacon and eggs, oh my!

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Eats like her dad…#winning

5. They paid their respects to my dead dog, Natty with prayers and yes, Natty Light.

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Please bring Natty home to you, Jesus, and thanks for beer.

6. They know how to do the beach right.

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Cutest passed out pose ever?

7. Perfectly happy with an 89 cent balloon.

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OMG, what’s an iPad!!??

8. The Cowboys. ‘Nuff said.

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PS: We’re still bitter about the Tom Landry ouster in the DOAT household.

9. Come on, this just reeks of winning and you know it.

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Pee like a man, shrinkage be damned!

10. Daddy leans more crips, but whatever, yo. Still winning.

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Suburban gangster…

11. They’re even happy during time out for fuck’s sake.

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Derrrrr!!

12. Hooters = winning, always.

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We love the wings!

13. Winning at baseball in Walmart because dad is winning at parenting.

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Sent that baby all the way to Electronics

14. Our passion for love and diversity.

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Why did that white man hand me this lil baby??

Are you buying that I’m winning at being a dad, or are you thinking about calling child protective services on me?

Posted in Family, Parenting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 125 Comments

We could use to hear more about everyday heroes, even tragic ones…

I’m sort of loathe to hit publish on this.

I’ve been feeling sort of blah this week, and I don’t really know why. I’m not down or anything, just indifferent I guess, especially towards blogging. Maybe it’s all the snow and cold, who knows?

This post is a total buzzkill, so if you’re looking for a laugh, please turn away as there are none to be had here today. There’s not really a point to it, other than writing makes me feel a little better, like I’m accomplishing something, so there’s that.

Almost all of the information below, along with both pictures, came from the St. Louis Post Dispatch articles written about the same thing.

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On an otherwise typical May afternoon in 2010 , two St. Louis area men were driving in separate cars along a road that parallels a river that basically separates the City from the County here in St. Louis. This particular river, the River Des Peres, varies in water depth almost daily. It could be bone dry in the morning, only to have its banks swelled with running water later in the day, after a good rain storm.

On this particular day, the river was fairly deep.

The two men, one just returning to work from his lunch break, and the other unemployed, both noticed what they recognized as a car protruding from the river. It was obvious to them that the car had just left the road and gone into the water.

The water is murky and cold, but both men react by pulling over and jumping into the river to free the driver, if they can. A police officer arrives and the three of them are able to pull the driver from the river, still alive, to waiting paramedics.

The men are understandably excited from adrenalin rushing through their bodies while talking to officers about what they saw and what they did.

Divers from the fire department arrive at the scene to do what they do.

About a half hour later, as the men are still talking on the banks of the river, they are suddenly deflated to see fire fighters and paramedics  emerge from the river with one more casualty.

Photo source: St. Louis Post Dispatch

Photo source: St. Louis Post Dispatch

A sheet over anything at a crime scene almost always means death. The bulging shape under the sheet is immediately recognizable to people who see it as being a car seat.

All the adrenalin that had folks amped up just seconds before is sucked right from their insides and is discarded as gasps of disbelief out of their mouths.

The baby in the car seat was seven months old.

Rest in peace little man.

Rest in peace little man. Photo source: St. Louis Post Dispatch

The car seat was strapped into the back seat of the car and was impossible to see under the murky water. Even so, the men can’t help but question themselves about what more they could have done.

The driver of the car was the boy’s young father. He would die two weeks later as a result of this accident.

Months later, while receiving one of several awards from the community for their heroic efforts in trying to help a total stranger whose life was in danger, the two men are still clearly affected by this incident.

One man has generally avoided the media on purpose, while the other granted interviews and admitted that he still has nightmares about the drowning and has panic attacks or otherwise simply becomes overwhelmed by his feelings.

In some respects, police officers and firefighters are lucky that there are always other calls like this that will need to be handled. Whereas the two civilian men may never find themselves in another situation where they could save a life, emergency workers will, and have the luxury of forgetting past “failures” and putting forth our best efforts to “win” the next time. There isn’t time to worry about what could have been.

I very rarely think back to any incident I handled and worry about what I could have done differently. I would generally just swallow my feelings about an emotional incident, have a few beers after work maybe, and then move on with life. Occasionally, I’d talk about it with my wife or another cop, if they were there too, but not very often.

For whatever reason, the scene described above has been on my mind, off and on, for three years. I got choked up a little bit even revisiting the incident today. I wasn’t at this scene and had nothing to do with any of it. I know the officer who jumped in to try to save the driver, but I’ve never asked him about it once. I meant to send him a message to tell him I was proud of his efforts, but I don’t even think I did that. Maybe I kept thinking about it because when this happened, G$ was just a few months older than the baby who died and I was reminded of it every time I saw G$ strapped in his car seat. Maybe it was because that location was so close to where I lived and I’ve driven past it thousands of times in my life. Maybe it’s because not long after this boy died, another child was found dead across the street in the same area. He was allegedly killed by his own mother, who faked an abduction to try to cover the crime. It’s normally such a quiet area, so these events were strange occurrences.

The world can seem like such a cold and shitty place. Turn on the news and it’s one story after another about things like this or about people hurting other people.

That stuff sells, and I get that, but it can be overwhelmingly negative and deflating after a while.

Maybe my mind keeps reminding me of this terrible incident because on one otherwise typical May afternoon, in my little part of the world, two strangers risked their lives to try to save another stranger from dying. That sort of thing happens a lot, really. A lot of people do like to help other people.

That doesn’t sell as well as death and hate; I get that.

Actually, no, I don’t get that. I can read about good Samaritan stories all day long.

Surely, I’m not the only one, am I?

Posted in Police Stories, The not meant to be funny stuff, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 82 Comments

All mature and stuff…someday.

Hey all, it’s another Finish the Sentence Friday! Join in on the fun, if you haven’t yet.

This week the sentence starter is: A funny thing happened on my way to…

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I used to wonder if I’d ever get there.

Would I make it?

Was I smart enough?

Tall enough?

Was I mature enough?

It turns out I don’t care.

You see….

A funny thing happened on my way to… growing up.

Just a couple of days ago, while sitting at the table enjoying my bowl of Lucky Charms, I realized that I was alone. There were no children running and screaming or dogs panting in my face or click clacking on the tile to drive me insane. It was just my cereal and me.

To pass the unexpected and unusual alone time, I turned the Lucky Charms box around to see what sort of puzzles or games or interesting reading material cereal boxes had nowadays, and was irked to find that the back of the box was the same as the front. Another Lucky the Leprechaun! Two fronts? That’s stupid.

Reading the cereal box while eating a bowl of cereal used to be classic kid behavior. I’ve never seen any of my kids do it. I don’t know if all the cereal boxes are like this or not, but let’s hope not. I was annoyed, but when I flipped the television on, Scooby-Doo was on. Not one of the new episodes where Velma has the hots for Shaggy and apparently Daphne and Fred are fucking because Fred hasn’t come out of the closet yet. Whatever! Those suck.

The old school Scooby-Doo was on and I was happy, so I dribbled cereal milk down my chin while I became immersed in mystery tv of the best kind.

It turns out that the kid who used to like to sit at the kitchen table watching cartoons or the Lone Ranger or that goddamned Romper Room woman who never did see me in her little mirror, while eating bowl after bowl of sugary cereal, is now an adult who still likes to watch cartoons and eat sugary cereals. A six-pack, a bowl of  Count Chocula and a few hours of Family Guy is a good night! If there’s a Blues or Cards game to flip between as well, then bonus!

I mostly went to public grade school and fully expected to attend the local public high school with all my junior high chums. The glitch was that my very best friend at the time was a Catholic school lad. He convinced my mom that I should at least apply to the same private high school that his brother attended and that he was going to attend. In order to persuade me that I’d enjoy it, he and his brother brought me to a high school soccer playoff game that the school was playing in.

It was pretty kick ass.

There were hundreds, if not thousands of people at the Soccer Park that night. The kids were screaming and cheering and had some really funny chants that they’d yell out from time to time. I’m pretty sure our school won, and I’ll never forget the coach, Ebbie Dunn, being interviewed by a local sportscaster. Media? I was hooked.

Somehow or other, I got accepted to that high school and I’m a better person for it. I’d have gotten a fine education at the public high school, but SLUH really crammed writing down our throats. Plus, we won the state championship in soccer my senior year for Coach Dunn, so that was pretty cool. He hadn’t won it since 1973 before that, so it was special. Ironically, we had to beat the public school I would have attended had I not been accepted into SLUH in the quarter finals. That was bitter sweet. Sorry guys.

Surely this semi-hoity toity school would make me grow up, right?

Wrong.

I did some pretty stupid things in high school that needn’t be rehashed here since, even though I’m pretty sure the statute of limitations has run on most of them, they’re somewhat embarrassing. Suffice to say, I knew, my senior year, as I was running naked in the backyard at my pal’s house with my Natural Light 12 pack box on my head calling myself Sir Drinksalot the Knight, that I was not quite there mentally. Close, but not grown up yet.

College? That’ll do it, right?

Wrong.

I was getting there at one point, I was sure of it.

The soccer coach had whipped me into shape pretty good and I was doing fine in school.

You know you might party a bit too much when more than ten people approach to ask you in a surprised voice, “Did I see that YOU made the Dean’s List?”

Yeah fuckers, I did!!!

Geez, I liked to have fun, yes, but I was no idiot. Insulting questions aside, I do get how they could be surprised. I mean, I NEVER missed a party.

Graduating and throwing myself into the work force hasn’t done the trick either.

I moved to Texas after college and worked for Budweiser. If I thought I drank a lot in college and was going to finally get a chance to dry up, I was sorely mistaken. Beer people drink like fish!

The jackassery continued as I was paid to hang out in bars and convince people to drink Budweiser products for several years.

Nobody can grow up into an adult in such an environment, so I went back to St. Louis to become a police officer. That sounds like a very adult thing to do, right?

It sort of is, I guess. I mean there is a lot of responsibility involved, but somehow, it hasn’t done the trick either.

I’ve tried everything.

I got married. I went to law school and passed the bar exam. I bought a house. I traded my pickup truck in for an SUV. I had kids and then bought a bigger house.

None of it worked.

Flip Flops? This is probably not how adults behave.

Flip Flops? This is probably not how adults behave.

If anything, the kids have kept me youthful and will probably keep me from ever “growing up,” whatever that really entails.

I still giggle when I hear words like anus or titty or when Cool farts. I say giggity and that’s what she said without even realizing it anymore. I’m okay with that.

Tonight, as I pound my beer and kick Cool and Ace’s ass in Mario Kart while G$ pokes me in my eyeball, I’ll be totally cool with not being a grown up.

As long as funny things keep happening along the way, that is.

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This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Today’s sentence is “I once saw something funny on the way to…” and was provided by the lovely Kenya from Here’s the Thing who will be co-hosting with us this evening, so show her some love.

Haha, I realize just now that I fucked the sentence up but it’s too late to change now!

Hosts:
Janine: Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic
Kate: Can I get another bottle of whine?
Stephanie: Mommy, for Real
Kristi: Finding Ninee!

Posted in Finish the sentence Friday, Humor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments