Monday, March 1, 2010

All Along...

I don't even know how to write a blog anymore. I used to do this because I needed to talk, and couldn't. Or I needed to create, and couldn't. It made me feel less alone than I do most times. Now it haunts me.
Do I use this to open up? I'm carrying a lot of hurt right now. If I dump that all here, people will want to fix me. The broken boy. And frankly I can't stomach that.
Do I use this to be funny? It feels strained, painful. It just isn't in me anymore.
Do I share my daughter's growth, and revel for a moment in the one great thing I have done? I think right now I just enjoy her when she's here, and try very hard to stop thinking when she isn't.
The thing is, I'm not the man I was, nor the man I want to be, and the man I am is not good enough. So why chronicle it all?
So I give myself a week. If I'm not compelled to write in a week, the blog goes away.
Thanks for reading, and don't worry about me too much. It's just words.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Unclean Thoughts

I am often slow to adopt trends, fearing the fairweather purchase and fad item accumulation. But one trend in society that I immediately got behind is bacon. Sweet, salty, crispy, hot, bacon. The food, not the Kevin (though he is delicious to some, I'm sure).

Why bacon? Bacon is more than a food. It is a food that you add to other foods to make them better.

Potatoes? Bacon Bits. Chicken livers? Rumaki. Cheeseburgers? Bacon strips. Dog treats? Bacon grease. But what if all of that isn't enough? Well, there is always baconnaise, which can turn any sandwich into a baconwich. Or bacon salt, which can replace Morton's for all purposes in life as far as I am concerned. Chocolate chip pancakes? No thanks, not without bacon. Going to the ballpark? Not without some bacon sunflower seeds. Want a hot dog while you're there? Hmmm... then you need some bacon jam for double the pork action!

There are dozens of ways to cook bacon. Not to go all Gump on you, but it can be fried, baked, microwaved, grilled, sauteed... Why, some folks even cook it in the waffle iron. If you're interested, there is even a book about it.

But is that enough? No. Because sometimes, even when you're not eating bacon, you need bacon. Like ducks need quacks, you need bacon. You want to bath in it, breathe it in, and wear it. Sure, you have issues, but it's bacon.
Have more bacon ideas? Why not send me a letter.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Moms da Bombs

I am a man of many Moms. I'm not sure why, but I have more Moms than I think is normal.
First and foremost, is the one who birthified me, and is my real Mom. I have been a slacker and not called lately. I'm a bit emotionally retarded of late, as life has thrown me several curve balls with a few more hanging over my head. Sorry, Momma. But I am super proud of her because she has plotted a trip to Mexico for herself for her upcoming birthday! Hooray, MOM!!!! I'm a tad bit jealous. I'm invited to join, but unfortunately that isn't in the cards for me. I owe you, Momma.
Then there is my Stepmom, who has a wicked sense of humor and who has done backflips, along with my father, to be supportive of my daughter and I. Thanks, Nana. I'm glad I get to see you and your kids this Christmas.
I have a Mom in San Antonio, too. She was the English Department Chair, though she kept nominating me to take the position. I would start every day I could by going into her room and hugging her. She adopted me early on to make sure the all-girls catholic school didn't eat me alive! Luckily, she has retired and is safe from them, yet she continues to make me want to hug her at the start of every day!
The Boomerang Project has given me many wonderful friends, and a few of them have decided to mother me, as well. Most significantly, my Detroit Mama wraps me in her fleecy wings of love as often as possible, and her cottage has opened its warm doors to me so graciously. Not a euphamism.
And now, I have a department that is 70% women who have all, at times, jumped up to offer me care and love and support, in a motherly way. They have brought me food, lectured me on caring for my back, given me the inside scoop on how the school works, and have come to look in on me when they have seen people blow up emotionally around me.
I don't know if I radiate a desperation that requires women to care for me like a wounded puppy, or if I just have a baby face, but whatever the reason... Thanks to my many Mommas. Sorry I don't write more!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ursa Delicious

One of the recent challenges to parenting began with the movie Madagascar. In this movie, a lion is deprived of his zoo-provided steak, and begins to view his zebra friend as steak. This prompted a conversation with Miss Neverpoop.
  • daughter: Daddy, does steak come from zebras?

  • me: No, steak for us comes from cows.

  • daughter: No, daddy.

  • me: Really, honey. It is from cows that die for our food.

  • daughter: No, daddy, it is not a time for joking. We don't eat cows.

  • me: I'm not joking honey. That's why we are thankful for our food and we don't waste it. Our steak comes from cows.

  • daughter: Don't talk about cows daddy.

A few days pass, in which life progressed with its usual doll-dressings and poop-encouraging serenades on the toilet. I was working away at my research when my daughter saunters into the room. She has been playing chef with her favorite dolls, each seated around a pretend table set with tiny tea cups and plates. Panda is wearing a tutu.
  • daughter: Daddy, I made you a special dinner.

  • me: Wonderful, Monkey, what did you make?

  • daughter: I made you a bear meat sandwich.

  • me: A bear meat sandwich? What a new and delicious thing! I want to see!

  • daughter: Wait here, I will bring it to you.

Behold... a Bear Meat Sandwich...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lone Burning Ember

So the dream I have been having recently is set at Boy Scout Camp. But before I dive into my dreams, let's take a splash into my past.

The most life-shaping time in my life was spent in the woods of central Missouri. I worked six years (I regret still it wasn't more) as a camp counselor. At the end of the school year, I moved with a trunk full of clothes and supplies to a one room, screen-windowed cabin with three other guys. Scouts would come in waves for 11 days of merit badging, swimming, and learning how to become men.

That last part is significant. Being a man is something so often defined by being the toughest, or the strongest, or the most admired, or the least sensitive. It's easy, without role models, to let that be the extent of it. But those things miss responsibility, kindness, consequence, work, brotherhood, and humility. These things are only really taught though modeling and experience, and camp was a great chance for that for me.

It hit me at the right time in my life. I was deep in the darkness that comes with adolescence. At camp, I was an important person. I learned to lead a group, to speak aloud, to quit worrying about being cool and focus on the needs of those around me. I learned to be a teacher, a brother, and a man.

My oddly vivid dreams are placed in this setting, on trails that I once walked at night without a flashlight because I knew the rocks and roots like friends. Nothing drastic happens in the dream, but it is a series of events where I must make the best of being unprepared. That is a pretty big thing. Be Prepared. The Scouts kind of harp on that one. In these dreams, I am walking unfamiliar trails, with trees I don't recognize reaching across me. In each dream, I have problems arise that I can't solve, obstacles that I didn't foresee, or jobs that I am incapable of accomplishing. In each, the common factor is that I was unprepared to handle each.

I suppose that isn't surprising. I was completely unprepared to be here in my life. Jobless, injured, isolated, and grasping at a future that I can't foresee. They aren't nightmares, really, but reminders of how I don't want to feel. A good scout is always prepared.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

North and Low

I have been a bad blogger again. It is difficult to motivate myself to write sometimes, though it always helps me feel better. The truth is, it's been a low year here in Michigan. I miss the heat of San Antonio, the friends of Texas and Kansas, having a job and feeling like the man of the house. Graduate school has been nice, but I have ruptured two discs in my back and haven't been able to sit or stand for three weeks now. I am only funded to do research through the summer session, and I doubt I will be able to contribute much from my prone and medicated position. My long-planned vacation to Mexico is occurring without me, and I spend my days eating percocet like candy and waiting for the doctors to consider my pain as urgent as I do.

Miss Neverpoop is at least enjoying her Tour de Grandparent: a three week trip to Kansas City and Fort Collins to visit her four sets of grandparents. She will be joined by Dr. Wife for the last 5 days, who will visit her family. I'm sure by the time I see her again she will be thoroughly pampered by doting parents. Dad will be much less entertaining than the boating, camping, puppy-owning, attention-lavishing grandparents. But that is as it should be.

As for my brain, it has been occupied with a retarded amount of facebook ogling, daytime TV drooling, and moping about. I have lost 15 pounds, because I have no appetite and I spent a lot of my time tensed in pain. It has been a long three weeks, though parts of it were a blur of sedative.

I keep looking for bright sides, but there are few to be had right now. I'm not going to fall apart, but I think life has gotten the better of me for the time being. I dislike being this negative, but until the pain stops this may be the best I can do. I should know more in a day, as I am scheduled for an epidural injection in the morning. If that works, I will be back to mobile by the weekend. If it doesn't, I will get on the list for surgery as soon as possible.

Thursday, June 4, 2009