First there was a Man. Then a Woman. Then in quick succession, two cats, a confused dog beast, and two kids. I stay at home with them. I'm the Man

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The F**king Problem With Cats Is . . .

Cats.  The cats are a fucking problem.  More than two cats--we have three--and you might as well resign yourself to being an old cat lady.

Here’s the thing about the cats: 

You know those days when no one seems to care?  When your kids got up even earlier than usual?  When your daughter is repeating, “Daddy, how about this song?  How about this song, daddy?  Daddy how about this song?  Ad infinitum.

And the song in question is the midi version of “This Old Man” and it’s emanating from a one-cent microchip embedded in a 25 dollar toy and no matter how many times you smile and say, “yes honey, that song is great.  What a beautiful song.  That song is sooo totally amazing sweetheart.”  It doesn’t matter because she’s just not sure that you get exactly how amazing this piece of shit midi version of This Old Man is, so how about we play it again?  And again.  And again.  And your son is trying as hard as he can to open up a drawer in the changing table and then close it with just enough violence and force to squash his own fingers to smithereens.  And your wife is not home but if she were she’d have just gotten home from work so she’d be facebooking or something and who can blame her because she deserves some time to unwind after work. 

So you go upstairs to pee, and while you’re up there, you see all three cats wound together in an inviting clump on the bed.  So you slip into the bedroom, just for a minute, so that you can bury your face into their musty, musky, dusty fur.  Because they’re really your best friends in the world.  And you talk to them as such.

“You guys are truly my best friends.  The dog?  Fuck the dog.  The dog tries hard, but lets be honest here, she’s a complete moron.  You guys are really my true friends. My go-to team of loving, understanding . . hey.  What No!  Don’t puke on the fucking comforter!  Goddammit!"

And that is the problem with cats. 

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Not to leave you on a down note, my lovely and talented daughter told me this story today:

"The prince has the babies.  And she flies up in the sky with the babies and then they get in the car and they go to the doctor’s.  And then they get there and the doctor sees them to make sure they are alright.  And the doctor says the are alright so the prince, she takes them into the car and they all go home and watch Elmo."

My favorite part of that story is the lack of recognition of traditional gender roles.  Why?  Because I’m a wee bit of an ivory tower douche’.   

Eh.  Know thyself.  And shit.

Blogging during nap-time,

Homemaker Man

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Independence Day. Two days ago.

They had an Independence Day celebration in my little city this past sunday.  Because we're so independent, July 4th can go fuck itself.

Except for the fire works.  Which started at 8pm tonight.  It's monday.  And they will continue throughout the week.  Fire works and flags and grilled hot dogs is what we've saved for the actual 4th.  Because our forefathers fought for the right for us to eat burnt hot dogs from a hand with three remaining fingers.

But the celebration took place sunday, so sunday is when we celebrated.

We had a little mini-carnival.  No admission fee, and rides were free, which was great.   They had a couple of bouncy castles and a fun house of sorts and a generic spinning teacup thing (the Rotating Scotch Glass.  My fave.) and some kiddie rocket ship and plane rides which the Peanut loved.  None of the rides were really aimed at anyone older than 9 or 10.

There was ice cream and hamburgers and slush and people proudly displaying their summer bodies.  Tattoos and muffin tops were de rigueur for the day.  Tattoos and muffin tops, by the way, also the name of the least popular room in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.

Our Mayor would name his turds if he thought it would get him re-elected, so his name had been stamped all over the city for the week leading up to the big party.  And then again at the carnival.  The Mayor Carlo DeMaria Independence Day Celebration.  The Mayor DeMaria haunted house and voter registration booth.  Fried DeMariough for a snack.  He's a pain in the ass.

The best thing they had though, was the professional wrestling/boxing demonstrations.  You know, for the kids.  My city is a popular stop on the minor league pro-wrestling circuit.  There are usually one or two shows a month in the winter.  So this was a natural.

It was just desperate men who were about my height and level of physical fitness (think donut) going at each other with names like "Mr. Pokey" and "The Owie man" and "Jerry."

Saw a couple of them jogging around the grounds getting warmed up.  Sweating.  Smoking.  Eating. Already in their masks.  Which was necessary because whenever I see a couple fat guys jogging in black sweatpants with no shirt I think "Oh shit, that's semi-pro wrestling phenom The Back Brace!  And his tag team partner, Ace Bandage.  I recognize their boobs."

The kids had a great time.  The Peanut is a ride fanatic, and after I took her through the fun house, which was basically a vertical playground with a long slide at the end, she loosened up and went on all the rides she could all by herself.  The Pumpkin Man is still too little for rides, but he had a great time running as fast as he could toward the exposed gears and compressors in the backs of the rides.

Once again, we end on an unfortunately apt metaphor for growing up.

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Homemaker Man

Friday, June 25, 2010

Class Work

I was in class last night and the guy who sits next to me came in, glanced around, and switched out his desk for a left-handed one

"Lefty, huh?"  I said cleverly.  I had noticed before, but I was keeping that under wraps.  In case of a murder mystery or a really random extra credit question on a test.

"Yeah."  He said.

"My daughter's a lefty," I said.  I was pretty sure this news would knock him on his ass.  I mean, dude, you're of the same handedness as my daughter.  It doesn't get more awesome.

"What?"  He replied.

"My daughter's a lefty,"  I repeated, forcing a little more brightness into my voice.  I'm about to make your day here, motherfucker, my tone said.

"Oh wow, cool."  Was his tepid reply.  Obviously he suffers from depression and probably (likely) brain damage.  Sever brain damage

I was pretty amused with myself  in the end.  Getting that excited about which hand my kid prefers when picking her nose.  Something I had to learn--am still learning--as a dad, is that nobody really gives a fuck about my kids.  I mean, I knew that, intellectually, and I try not to be a bore on the subject of my children (that's what blogging is for)  but sometimes that parental love and pride just wells up, and I forget myself, and I expect everyone to appreciate just how lucky; how truly fortunate they are; to share something in common with my kids.

"My daughter has a dress like that!"

"Hey, my son eats food!"

"oh my God, my daughter loves to go pee pee!"

It's often the mundane shit like that too.  I rarely talk about how exceptional my kids are outside family and close friends.  The world will know soon enough, and tremble at their terrible beauty.

Or not.  You never can tell with these things.  Which is why it's best to try to keep your mouth shut about it.  But every once in while, you gotta let go a little too.

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I've had a new button up on the side of the blog for a week now, give or take.  It's the Cure JM button.  It stands for Juvenile Myositis, a rare childhood disease for which while there is treatment, there is no cure.  Please give it a click if you have a sec, it's a very good cause.

The person from whom I procured the button, now that's a different story.  The cause is good, but that guy, whose internet handle is Always Home and Uncool, he's just terrible.  I mean, really an awful, awful person.  Possibly the worst one ever.  You're talking the kind of guy Pol Pot'd snub at a party for being too mean.

 If Hitler and the Grinch had a baby, this'd be the dude that baby would think of when he was worried about monsters.

Sure, he's an accomplished writer.  Yes, he gave me my first guess-posting spot.  And yes he helped me get a second one as well.  And yes he has a beautiful family who love him, and sure he never has a bad word to say about anyone, and indeed everyone in the blogosphere seems fond of him, and most definitely if you've ever seen a picture of him he looks very friendly and huggable in a  vaguely Grover-esque sort of way, and of course there is a legion of blogs out there who have the above mentioned button on their pages.

Smokescreen.  Big, fat, smokescreen.  Let me put it this way: what number of human badness is equal to prick squared?  Double it.

I'm sure this'll be the last post I ever write, once he lays his jaundiced, bloodshot, malicious gaze upon it.

Visit his blog if you don't believe me.  I dare you.  Read between the lines.

Better yet, click on that Cure JM button.  Trust me, that'll tell you everything you need to know.


If you don't hear from me in 4 days time, call the authorities.

Homemaker Man


This post brought to you by Fatherhood Friday at dad-blogs.com.


P.S.  anyone who was wondering, I got a 90 on the mid-term.  Not quite as good as I hoped, but better than I was expecting.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Left My Head and my Heart on the Dance Floor

So says Lady Gaga in the Telephone song.  My three year-old daughter's second favorite musical artist--and--song.  After Michael Jackson and Don't Stop Til You Get Enough.

"I want the Don't Stop song daddy, play the don't stop song."

With Lady Gaga, it's worse.  She can actually sing the entire refrain.  Complete with the dramatic placement of her hand on her head and then over her heart as she sings the lyrics.

I don't know what to say.

I guess I should expect as much from a person who is currently walking around the house in her underwear, her skin self-adorned with bold slashes from four different markers, while wearing a pink-fleece winter hat, complete with pompoms, and a terry-cloth yellow bib emblazoned with a typically, wild-eyed, ravenous Cookie Monster.  She looks like a Knight of the Schizophrenic Round Table.  So why not some Lady Gaga?

I'n not bashing the good Lady.  I find her songs are pretty catchy and her theatrics amusing.  Not the prettiest pop star in the green room, but I think that speaks in her favor as a performer.


My daughter's third favorite artist?  Raffi.



Now that is a creepy dude.

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In other news, I took my first mid-term in 15+ years on tuesday. I'll get the results today.  I was pretty stressed out about it, I can tell you now.  I could't tell you about it before because I was busy studying and freaking out and yelling at people and recreating the mirror scene from Apocalypse Now.


In my youth, I would've just let go and done poorly on the test and smoked some weed (or vice versa) and gone to a movie.  Can't do that now.  Now I have to like, try and shit.  Unfortunately, I'm kind of an all or nothing sort person.  At least until I get my feet under me (Repeat after me:  Idon'thatemathIdon'thatemathIdon'thatemathIdon't . . .).

If I score well on the mid-term, the rest of the class will go pretty smoothly.  If not, then it's a journey into the Heart of Darkness; Fundamentals of Algebra edition.

I wish Marlon Brando were my professor.  That'd be awesome.

I'm sure I'll be posting the score, good or bad, tomorrow, for anyone who is curious.  Oooh, math test scores.  Compelling.


Yours in Kurtz.

Homemaker Man





You want to go about 4:30 in for the mirror scene, I think.






Friday, June 18, 2010

Fatherhood Friday

Today is Fatherhood Friday over at dad-blogs.com.  I feel this weekend's Fatherhood Friday is particularly important due to it's proximity to another special day.  Sunday, June 20th.  A day important to all Fathers.

For that is the day that Bob Vila was born.  That asshole. It's not enough that merely due to my gender, I'm supposed to be "handy"  and be able to "fix things" or "know what a hammer looks like."

Bob "I'm a house-buildin' douche-bag"* Vila  comes along a few decades ago and becomes the father of home improvement television.

Now, every time I turn on the tv, I'm reminded of the fact that when it comes to home repair, I have the same motor functions as my 18 month old son.  You should see the two of us competing over who can jam the square into the toy shape box first.  He cheats.  And initially, I thought it was the star.

This relates to Father's day for me thusly:  Most men who are competent with tools get that knowledge from their dads.  My dad is a musician.  So it's not that he's not handy necessarily, it's just that he needed his hands for more important things.  Like passing around a joint.  Zing!  Take that, musicians.  With your "improving of the human condition through art."  Whatever.  Most of you get it into it for the chicks.

Father's day between my father and I was always a little weird.  He's one of those "Father's day is just a hallmark holiday" type guys,  Which is fine, but it is a little tough to hear when you're nine.

"Oh really dad?  I had to save my allowance for weeks to buy you that gift, so how about you take a big drink out of that industrial-sized Brut* and go fuck yourself."  Was kind of how I felt about it as I hit my late teens.

To his credit however, the guy actually wore the crap.  Then again, it is possible that he was just that cheap.  

I don't want this to be whine-fest about my father.  As it so happens, he has turned out to be a very loving and reasonable grandfather.  For which I am very grateful.  Highly annoyed and flabbergasted, but still, very grateful.  Every time he visits the kids, it causes three days of me shaking my head and mumbling, "who the fuck was that?  That is not . . . I mean, the kids love him!  He loves them?!  Who the fuck was that?"

Which, all things considered, is a pretty good feeling.  So, Father's Day gift to my father this year:  Thanks dad.  Thanks for coming through for your grandkids.  It is the best thing you've ever done for me and I can't tell you how relieved I am.  Confused and annoyed, but relieved.  And thankful.

Other order of dad's day business:  My brother-in-law, a cop who I love to little "tough-guy exterior with a heart of marshmallow" pieces,  has a 4 1/2 month old daughter.  We talked about Father's Day and he pushed out that "Hallmark Holiday" line too.  He's probably right.  Lord knows, I've felt that way in the past.

I just don't see it that way anymore.  To me, Mother's and Father's days are days where you have a chance to remember and celebrate the importance of your family.  And it's a chance for your kids to remember to honor their parents.  Which is important.  As long as the parents in question aren't a pair of genital warts on the balls of society.  It happens.

I realize as well, if I were at odds with my family, or I didn't have one, it'd just be another day of the year where a vodka tonic before noon was considered a light brunch.

But I'm lucky.  Crazy lucky.*  So we celebrate.  Not with expensive gifts.  An Iphone for Father's day seems ridiculous and power tools are obviously out of the question.

"Hey, a new drill.  Now I can put all those extra holes in the dog.  She really needs them."

This year, my family planted me an herb garden in our back yard.  It's awesome.  They planted it a while ago so it'd be ready for use by now.  I've already cooked with the fresh herbs.

Other than that, I'm going to get to sleep-in and go out for breakfast on Sunday.

Like I said, I'm insanely, ridiculously lucky.

Thank you guys, I love you.

And Happy Father's day to all you other dad-types out there.  I hope it brings you some joy. Or at least the chance to sleep-in.  Which really, is the best gift of all.


Homemaker Man


This post brought to you by Fatherhood Friday at dad-blogs.com


* Actual christian name

*By Faberge

*Actually "got lucky" last night.

Yeaarrrrrgghhhh!

Oh Celtics :(

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In Which I Am Clueless About The Animal Kingdom/Bragging Alert

The Peanut was running around this morning--to and fro, even--jumping and hanging off furniture and screeching, "I'm a monkey, daddy.  Look!  I'm a monkey!  Daddy look!"

I'm still trying to perfect that believable parent tone of voice where you say you're looking but you really don't but your kids believe you are anyway.  So, I actually have to look every time.

"Wow, honey.  You're a monkey.  I'm tickled pink."

Her:  "Yeah, daddy."

Cut to 2.75 minutes later:

Her, hanging from a chair:  "Hi turtle daddy.  Hi!  Hi daddy turtle!"

Trying not to consider too deeply the implications of why she's chosen a turtle as my spirit animal, (probably it has something to do with the fact that once a year I lay dozens of eggs in a bed of sand) I answer her:

"Hi, monkey Peanut!"

Her:  (annoyed)  "Hi, turtle daddy."

Me:  "Hi, Peanut Monkey!"

Her: (getting pissed now)  No, daddy.  No.  Hi.  Turtle. Daddy.

Me:  "Hi . . . Turtle Peanut?"

Her:  (tears of frustration in her eyes now.  How could she have been burdened with this obtuse, slow moving reptile for a father?)  No, daddy no!  (whining) I'm not a turtle!

Me: "Hi monk-

Her:  (Beside herself now)  "NO!  I'm NOT a monkey."

Me:  (flummoxed) "Well what are you then ?"

Her (with passion she spits) " I'm a SPIDER!"

I should've known that, I guess.  This omniscience stuff is hard.  Maybe the way she used her fangs to inject venom into the cat so she could then wrap it up in gossamer thin but steel-cable strong webbing was my clue.  I'm changing her name to Shelob.

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In other news, the nice and talented people over at DadCentric.com have seen fit to allow me to write a guest post for their 30 Days of Dads feature.  The regular writers on that site ( not to mention the guest posters) are much better'n me, so it's kind of an honor.  If I had any honor.  If you have any extra time, swing by and check them (and my post) out.  They are worth your while.




This is the best vid I could get. Most of them featuring Shelob have the embedding disabled. I blame Peter Jackson.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hi Everybody. I've been distracted.

Sorry I've had that last post up so long.  This one's going up now because my wife told me she was sick of looking at it.  Which is the same way she got rid of my beard.

We've been busy here in the heart of South Central (New England).  I started my first class.  Math.  I'm already stuck and frustrated.  On a homework question.  Half way through chapter three.  Of The Fundamentals of Algebra.  Impressive, I know.

I blame the teacher.  He refused to let me do my homework by giving it to him to do.  Very old school type.  Also, it's a morality thing.  Any equation where you can just pick any number and plug it in has to be bullshit.  Remind anyone of our financial system?  Only completely.  I won't be a party to criminal behavior like that.  Other types, I'm open to suggestions.

Add to that the alarming fact that the Pumpkin Man spiked a 103.5 fever over the weekend, and you get . . .well,  I don't know what you get because I'm stuck on a question in chapter 3 of the Fundafuckingmentals of Algebra.  I get frustrated and then obsessed and then I don't vacuum for 3 days and The Peanut has had that chocolate milk mustache for almost as long.  No, I bathe them.  Society is very judgmental and so is my wife.  Not really about my wife, too.

Where was I?  Sick kid.  The Pman woke up at 5:15 am saturday morning with the fever, we called the doctor, kept an eye on him for a while, gave him ibuprofen.  The doc called back a second time (our pediatrician is the shit) and advised we bring him in for a look.

Much to the Pumpkin Man's chagrin, that look at the doc's office turned into a catheterization.  That'll teach him.  Get sick on the weekend, you get a tube in the pee hole.

His fever was down on sunday and by today, he was back to his old, loud, rambling, hilarious self.  So anyone out there struggling with a sick toddler, I highly recommend the ol' tube in the pee hole cure.  Works every time.


Pulling things back together,

Homemaker Man

Monday, June 7, 2010

Home

Phew.  We went on a little weekend vacation in Maine.  Sebago Lake.  Incredible time.  The area is still fairly quiet this early in the summer.  Got in the very cold water a little.  Relaxed.  Played games.  Madly love the people we stayed with.  Again got to see a 50 year old mom whip her 23 year old daughter's ass in 2 wrestling matches.  Funniest thing ever.  The mom is about 5'3.  The daughter is about 5'10 and 16 pounds.  All limbs.  When she got pinned, it looked like a small turtle squashing a big spider.  Great weekend.

Coming home.

The drive up took us about 3 hours.  The drive back:  almost 7.  It was my wife's birthday today.

Happy Birthday honey.

"Hey," we said, "it's your birthday today.  Let's do something special.  Lets take the scenic route along the southern coast.  We'll stop someplace nice, near the ocean, and eat and look at the waves.  How long could it take?"

7 hours, 1 car, 2 toddlers.  Bad math.

It started out great.  Like we often do when we tour breath-taking seaside towns, we picked out about a dozen places to which we are definitely moving when we sell. Some were beautiful houses with large decks and perfect gardens.  Some were simply near the beach.

Then, we hit a less scenic point in the trip.  And everyone got hungry.  And everyone had to pee.  All at once.  And were not close to anything promising. So we pushed it.  We ended up on the boardwalk at Old Orchard Beach.  Pizza, Pier Fries, Seafood, arcades, rides, and one small family having a complete meltdown in the middle of it all.

Then we peed and had pizza and clams and delicious Pier fries and piled back into the car.  5 minutes passed.  Daughter: "Daddy, I have to poopoo."  Stop.  Poopoo in our tiny porta potty.  Go.

Boy cries.  Stop, change diaper.  Drive.  And so it goes.

Obviously we made a mistake.  Not the kids.  I'm pretty sure.  The jury is still out on that.

I mean thinking we could take kids that young on that kind of car trip.  By the time we finally got home, it sounded like we had kidnapped two very angry chimps from their natural habitat.  Thank god they were strapped in and couldn't get to their feces.

Sorry about that guys.  Daddy made a bad call.

The important thing.  It's my wife's birthday today.  She was gracious as could be about how the day went.  She is also more beautiful today then the day we met.  She's already called bullshit on that.  Maybe it's me.  I'm definitely more beautiful today than the day we met.

What I mean is, maybe it's that she's just more beautiful to me now than before.  Maybe it's just that I see her better.  Appreciate her more.  I don't know.  My perspective is the truth to me.

I love you my darling.  Happy Birthday.  Thanks for sharing it with me.  Next year, let's drive to the Grand Canyon.  We can make it!

Happy to be home,

Homemaker Man

Gratuitous pic of Sebago Lake because it's just so damn pretty.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hoarders For the Last Time I Promise

I know I’ve mentioned Hoarders before, but my wife made me watch it again last night:

Her:  Oh honey, Hoarders.

Me:  Sure why not, I need to clean out the pantry anyway.

So as I watch and engage with the show (“Why won’t they leave that woman be?  We've all had a couple rat carcasses lying around under a ton and ½ of used everything from time to time.  Judge-y judge-y.”) I have a moment of clarity.  I realize who I really feel for in these situations.  Dragons.

Put yourself in a dragon’s shoes for a moment.  Colorful scales, giant wings, razor sharp claws, atrocious breath.  That’s you (and yo’ mama, zing!  I apologize.).

There you are lying in an indentation you’ve managed dig out of your impossibly huge mound –-or hoard—of treasure when some dumb, insensitive, knight comes along and starts threatening to paw through your stuff.  You have an anxiety attack, as any hoarder would, and you lash out.  Oh and by the way, why does a dragon even need treasure?  They don’t.  Classic hoarder behavior. 

So now, you’ve lashed out over nothing, burned a knight to a crisp, eviscerated him with your claws, etc.  The whole village is pissed, they ban together or hire a champion, and bam, your whole species is extinct. 

Maybe if someone had just tried finding you a licensed therapist who specialized in hoarding/ocd disorders, an organization expert, and the phone number for 1-800-GOT-JUNK, your species would be alive today.  Vital members of society, holding jobs (Smaug's Home and Auto Insurance)  and raising families. 

Hoarding killed the dragons.  I’m almost positive.  Look for my scholarly paper in the next issue of The Journal of Paleontology. 


Obviously watching too much tv,

Homemaker Man






P.S.  My bloggy friend Suburban Correspondent wrote a very beautiful and very sad piece about MamaPundit and her oldest son.  I'd never read her before today but she could use all the thoughts or prayers she can get right now as she navigates the unthinkable.  It's a very difficult story to read, so for those of you who aren't in a place for something like that today, I don't blame you.  Just needed to put it out there.


HM

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