Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Son Has Flavored Underpants

My son has flavored underpants.

I used to get over-irritated when my ex-wife would refer to shampoo or shower gels as having a flavor. She'd never refer to them as having smells. But then I think that's fair enough seeing as they tend to come in the same colors as WKD vodka do. My son though has just had his underwear supply boosted. He's been prancing about in the same knickers we bought him way back when he was just about one year old. And considering he's the far-side of three years old that's quite something. Which does actually back-up a long held point I have that nobody I know can actually get mass-produced clothes to fit their kids. Granted I don't have fat kids - but a three year old shouldn't be expected to wear a belt with EVERY SINGLE pair of jeans he owns.

Nevertheless, he does insist that his underpants are based around food. His hunting-orange ones are Pumpkin Pants. The green ones are Pickle Pants. And the red ones are Ketchup Pants. I for one can imagine Heston Blumenthal being a pretentious, deliberately-obtuse pillock by serving a stew of my son's flavored underwear on his menu. But then seeing as he does have shows on the BBC that's probably a big clue for Operation Yewtree to pay him a visit. Obviously I'm not saying he's a nonce, but this sort of photo would get you locked up 9 times out of 10 unless you are conveniently claiming to be a chef. And that claim is clearly tenuous seeing as I have seen him dribble white-chocolate over asparagus - which apart from clearly being repulsive has way too much suggestive imagery going on.

Anyhoo - after a grim start to the day yesterday my son perked right up. It was pretty easy to determine he was better. After all he was running around in just underpants (Blueberry flavor, incidentally), with his penis sticking out of the flap-thing repeatedly yelling, "how dare you!!!" whilst stabbing things with a plastic sword. Uncanny that his favorite game also happens to be my job. Later in the afternoon he helped me clean out the basement (I did the actual cleaning out, he whacked the stairs with a ball-peen hammer).

Then later in the afternoon he helped me clean all the bedding in the house. Being as thrillingly interesting as I am I felt the need to tell him how odd it was that Americans in this area seem to have an aversion to duvets. And I don't mean the feeble, thin cack you can buy at Bed, Bath and Beyond for an absurdly high price. I mean the kind that brags it has a higher Tog rating than a Sherpa's insulated knickers. My son only knows the joys of a damn, good thick duvet so asked what Americans (how little he knows about himself...) use instead. I tried to claim it was custard at first. He didn't buy that. So I gave in and said sheets. Which revolted him. He begged me to know why. Being a dick I said that possibly it's left over from the Fifties so that simple, white sheets could be quickly converted into a handy Klan uniform. Then I added that it might be a hold over from French influence in the War of Independence because the French always need a way to quickly foist a huge white, surrender-flag at any given opportunity. He blinked a lot. In the end we agreed it was because people around here just like pretending to be ghosts a lot because that creates the illusion of a history that isn't really embedded very well.

Right. I have more basement nonsense to get on with. So here's a photo that looks like I'm making my kids dig their own grave.

And as a bonus - here's me naked in the bath. Oh yes - this blog has definitely just taken on a Baywatch Nights vibe.

And just to be clear - that blue thing is a bath-mat. I'm not leaking anti-freeze from my anus. That's just a vicious rumor....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Weak And Feeble

Me: Okay buddy - I have to drag the garbage around front.
Son: Leave the dog with me Daddy. I want him to sit with me.

Jeez - he is sick. He's never once (in the daytime) asked for companionship when I've had to go do something in the yard for 10 minutes. He woke up (vaguely) this morning, rolled around and went to bathroom, then collapsed back in bed for two more hours. I kept popping up to see how he was and it was clear he'd tried to get up - but just couldn't. So in the end I sat next to him reading for an hour.

It actually reminded me (for no good reason) of an episode of House where a guy discovered that his illness made him not-a-genius (they'd obviously ruled out Lupus quite early on). The doctors could medicate him of all the life-threatening guff - but he'd have to take a certain medication to cure him of some brain issue that made him dumber than he actually was. But his quirk was that when he was super-smart he loathed his girlfriend because she was just too dumb for him. I suddenly was wracked with fear that maybe my own medical issues have the odd side-quirk that I'm besotted with sausage. What if I could actually be cured of all the grim shit - but it would also take away my sausage-love? What if sausage is trying to kill me!!!

He's been up for about 45 minutes now and hasn't even sat upright yet. Boy Flu is infinitely more painful to watch than Man Flu. But I had to go out and move crap to the curb. And it's officially cold now. There's a veneer of frost on everything. Anything still clinging for dear life to trees is dropping off dead. It is officially as cold as...

Right - we're gonna sit around and read. I'll try bashing through a big chunk of The Adjustment Team whilst he's too weak to pay attention to the fact I'm not reading about trains.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tracy Emin's Vagina Candle

Son: I can't eat this yoghurt Daddy. It makes my eyes close.

At which point he demonstrated it by taking a spoonful and then laboriously closing his eyes. I asked him to show me again and he did. I kept asking till his yoghurt was gone too. Because I'm smarter than him. I win.

Actually he's been doing that a lot lately. And by that I mean lying. But in a friendly, jokester kind of way.He makes claims about the most mundane nonsense that can't possibly be true to get out of doing some things. But nicely he also does it just to be ridiculous. A common one for not being able to do much of anything work-wise is to say, "my legs hurt too much." Obviously I had to do that thing where I actually check (and worry, slightly) that his legs do actually have a long-term pain in them. Usually by picking him up after he says it and making an off-hand remark about milkshakes or some such thing. Then as he scampers off at a sprint I'm fully aware he was making it up entirely. But obviously I prefer it when he just completely talks out of his arse and claims that he can't come pick his shoes up right now because, "it makes my nose fall off." Much better than the oddly-threatening response of, "I can't Daddy because then I'll have to hurt you."

And apropos of nothing I wanted to show you this monstrosity.

It was a rather beautiful, three-pronged, massive candle that my friend lovingly cared for. It was fantastic. It's obviously seen better days. Actually now it looks like some God-awful monstrosity that Tracy Emin might have made to look like a wax model of an Oompa Loompa's vagina. Which, for some reason, someone has poached an egg in.

Anyhoo quickly moving on. I keep forgetting to mention that my son is constantly exhausted in the afternoons now. Going to daycare has really opened him up. He would have moods prior to going of being excessively shy or boisterous. Now he's just boisterous. Talks to anyone. But having a thing to go and do means that around 5.30 everyday he just crashes entirely. Which is poor timing for him because that's what time dinner is. He's been demanding to be put to bed around 5.45/6pm every day. And he'll drop off to sleep instantly too. Makes a big change from 8pm, I can assure you. Still would happily get up at Twat O'Clock every day too if his mother hadn't so diligently managed that side of things by telling both kids they can't go do anything fun until at least 6 - so don't bother getting up. The excitement dissipated quite quickly there and they often have to be woken up to get ready for school now.

I did take a bunch of photos at the Halloween party the kids went to, but they're all uniformly blurry. Especially sad as I had one where a kid was strewn upside down hanging off a fire engine, and underneath someone had spilled juice. But out of context it looked as if a midget dressed as Fred Flinstone had smashed their skull open and was dying. Which I thought was funny, anyway. Instead all that came out was this one of my son in blue dinosaur/dragon (depending on his mood) with his mother. She dressed uptoo without my knowledge. So I ended up going to a party as the only member of a family not dressed up - ergo looked like a joyless twonk. So I just told people in a very Hugh Laurie/Christopher Biggins English accent that I was dressed as an American man. I'd litter my speech with references to school killings and breakfast pizza to seem more authentic as well.

I like though how - if you just quickly glance at the photo - that it looks a bit like my son is urinating a delightful golden stream. He has the look of concentration and everything.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Sunday Roast


My son and I popped over to the library yesterday to get a DVD. It was only 35-40 degrees outside and intermittently raining. 45 minutes north of us it is cacking it down with wet snow. So - basically a day wherein you can go out but you get inexplicably wet now and again and ridiculously cold due to that. Whilst at the library we were told excitedly that R2D2 was downstairs. I quickly racked my brain to remember whether I'd somehow missed my meds for a fortnight. Nope - bang up to date. So the librarian must have just said that. My son doesn't have a clue who that is. So I told him there was a robot and down we went. At which point we witnessed this sacrilegious nonsense.It's such an appalling mental-rape of what I know from the original Star Wars films that it must have been sanctioned by George Lucas himself. No-one else on this planet would gleefully destroy dreams like that.I mean seriously - look at the bemused look of indifference on the kids faces as a naff looking garbage can twerks about playing shit techno-pop.

The below video isn't particularly interesting. Add it makes me look demented because while I KNOW I was pointing at squirrel nests (they little buggers are everywhere and seemingly rabid at the minute) it looks like I'm randomly pointing into the trees and honking, "look! Millions of them! Don't fire until you see the white's in their eyes!!" But the reason I uploaded it is because my son spent the entire day running around as if he was drunk. Not a straight line for hours. I think it's because an online expat friend of mine is visiting the UK and has posted photos of himself gorging pickled onions and knocking back cans of Special Brew. It's upset the cosmic balance and made my son permanently loopy.

And this is quality. Stuck in a Fire Hall with an arse-load of demented kids, past their bed-times and  fueled by synthetic sugars and expected to behave like monsters? Yeah I'll have some of that please. Especially as one is killed with a sword.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Binge and Purge

Don't have the kids tonight. So the plan currently is...

Followed by...

It's gonna be a mad one.

The Boy With No Arms

Daughter: Ok - so you have to buy plain M&Ms for my Halloween party at school Daddy. But get ones without food coloring because the teacher says that the one boy in my class is already crazy, and if he eats food coloring he'll go cuckoo.

I did two things yesterday that seriously question my credentials as a good parent.

1 - I bought my kids two plastic swords at a thrift store. And obviously they then spent hours battering the utter shit out of each other.
2 - I also bought a pink, sparkly velour tracksuit for my daughter. While it is part of a Halloween costume I can't help but believe that if she grows up to be a bona fide hussy that this purchase has gone a long way to pushing her in that direction.

For Halloween my daughter wants to be Pinkie Pie. So her mother agreed to cobble together the bits and pieces to make that outfit and I agreed to go purchase all the bits. So after bopping around looking for a pink wig and ears that look like a horses I made the bigger mistake of stopping at Subway to get the kids a sandwich. The only reason I stopped there is because it was the place in the mall we were stood closest to when I'd had enough of my son whining about how he wanted to eat Halloween candy immediately. And the fact I hadn't let him proved somehow that when his mother and I had signed the divorce papers I had confessed to being intrinsically evil. It really does serve me right for showing him all the Halloween candy I'd purchased in the mistaken belief that doing so would buy his mother and I another whole week of not giving him any because that would ruin the big day itself.

My daughter was quite excited by the idea of eating a meatball sub-sandwich - being as she is convinced that meatballs make any meal better (I know for a fact that she'd gleefully eat meatballs and ice cream at the same time) - but my son seemed to catch the betrayal in my eyes as I stopped to buy food made of various ingredients that all smell and taste exactly the same. Having just paraded around a grocery store that smelled entirely of fresh bread it really emphasized the bewildering odor that Subway seem to spray all over the place to lure customers in. Actually I'm of two minds here. Either that smell is formaldehyde - used to preserve all the ingredients indefinitely. And as I don't know what formaldehyde smells like I could be convinced it is that. Or (and more likely in my view) it's the only smell that corporate boffins have so far found that can entirely mask the putrid, evil stench of all those weird vacuum-sealed packets of meat and vegetables that Subway employees openly flaunt when people ask for a sandwich. Frankly here I'm assuming that identical discs of meat that come in small, plastic packets that some sort of odd yellowy-urine liquid in there with them smell quite atrocious. Therefore a large proportion of Subway's profits have been pumped back into R&D to come up with some scent that can hide the piss-ham odor. I've even gone so far as to crowbar in the belief that years back whichever Del Boy was sent out to buy massive quantities of reformed, reconstituted meat parts turned up back at headquarters with the story that he's landed an enormous stash of it for 1/50th of the price - but that the only downside is that is covered in piss.

Anyhoo my daughter ate that quite happily. My son had fixated his brain so laser-like on candy that he didn't even unwrap his half. Ironically in a cruel twist ten hours later he would happily go up to bed after eating an apple for a bedtime snack whilst his sister went demented-mental because she fucking-well wants candy. Still - I did get most of the things we were after. One being a pink, velour tracksuit. To be fair it's a pretty standard outfit for girls of my daughter's age. My own perception of them is tainted by the fact that when I went to college for my Masters it was the de facto outfit for certain young women hoping to emphasize that, as modern feminists, they could accentuate their independence and intellectual worth by having their tits leaking out the top and their arse look as if the material has been sprayed on. It was quite popular then to have one-word slogans written across the back of the pants too (Juicy probably being the most notorious) - but mostly that was avoided because it deterred from the fact that then you couldn't see every crevice and bump snugly displayed across each cheek. It always reminds me of Johhny Vegas' point on TV Heaven, Telly Hell (one of the finest moments on television that also includes Vegas' legendary turn on Room 101 where he describes life online better than anyone else ever will) where he derides Sex And The City's central point that you can find female emancipation and empowerment by taking it up the arse. Add that I personally hate all kinds of tracksuits and sweat pants. Not in the, "sweatpants equals giving up on life" sense - but because I think they look fucking awful and feel uncomfortable. All that loose, saggy material feels vile. Add it automatically makes my sense of logic disappear as I imagine that somehow wearing sweat pants means that if I had to run somewhere my tallywhacker would flail about like a loose limb. It's almost as if I've transposed the clear lack of comfy knickers worn by the velour-ladies at college across gender lines and assume that if I was wearing sweat pants I'd have to go without as well.

I'm straying off the point anyway. That being my daughter wants to (and shall be) and horse for Halloween. Her brother told me yesterday he wanted to be a rock. Or a boy with no arms. Quite esoteric but here's the costume he made himself.

Luckily we went to a proper Halloween store and it piqued his interest to be something more exciting. Add also his sister put this scary-as-shit thing on. It's little touches like that over-sized mask that would make a horror movie way more chilling. None of this kids facing the corner or screaming - just put the wrong sized head on them. Nightmare fuel at it's best.

 They liked this hting a lot though. I like how my daughter instantly lay under it and pretended to be eaten, while my son grabbed it's gob and my son bellowed "I'm going to eat your bum cheeks" so that most of the store could hear him.

Now if you'll excuse me - I hear my son wombling about upstairs so I only have a few seconds to find those bloody plastic swords and hide them.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fast Friday Fluffing

Son: (in the bath) Are you peeing Evelyn?
Evelyn: Only out of my mouth.

Kids have a day off school. And they have been up since 6am. So I'm a touch busy. But thankfully my son is still photogenic.

And as the first Halloween party is tomorrow...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Innocence Of Wonder

When I was twelve I woke up in the middle of the night and knew what the meaning of life was. By the time I woke up again in the morning I'd forgotten what it was. Still can't remember. You have no idea how incredibly frustrating that is.

I've used almost exactly the same intro as that to this blog before. Not just because I think it's a good one (although I think it is - I even have an unseen short story that starts much the same way). But because every now and again I realize that I while I think I'm relatively clever I don't actually know much at all. And I really did wake up back then and was convinced I had it. Mainly I'm reminded of what I don't know when I listen to a Christopher Hitchens debate or to a Stephen Fry lecture and it's clear that their genuine intellectual curiosity translated into genuine learning (I mention them over academics because they learn/ed out of love rather than it being tied to a salary). Or to John Lloyd explaining what it is we all don't know and realizing that he got to a point in his life where he genuinely decided to stop procrastinating and to actually learn about the things he had put off his whole life because he figured he'd do it later. Or when I realize that I've started but not finished all sorts of guff about Greek philosophy, about and the historicity of christian theology ( how Pope Damasus had the Bible rewritten to make it more Roman so that  you can all the clumsy editing all through both Testaments), at attempts at learning a language or biographies about Alan Watts or whatever - but given them up to go buy chocolate or watch videos of dildos in space on Youtube. To my credit though I have climbed back into the saddle and have been religiously reading novels I always thought I wanted to (on a huge Arthur Conan Doyle and Philip K. Dick trip at the minute) and have adored almost every one of them.

But over the last few days my daughter has been plowing her way through the Digestion and Reproduction book that she randomly got out of the library and it's reminded me of the fact that in my late 30s I keep putting off actually learning things I'd really like to learn. And yet she's six and is genuinely interested in this book both because of it's content about the body, but also because it's riddled with words that she hasn't learned yet. She reads the one page, then her mother or I read the other page. By the way I've made a colossal mistake there because I decided to stop last night on the page before the massive picture of a penis. Grinning to myself I confidently put the book down knowing that her mother would have to go through that the next day, and have just realized that it's me and the kids tonight - so muggins will be reading it. But the point here is that she is genuinely curious about everything to such degree that to not learn about them seems ridiculous.

I didn't see my kids for ten days until last Thursday. When I picked my son up from daycare it was as if his movement had completely changed. The way he addressed me was entirely different. When I picked up my daughter from school she seemed taller in the way that grandparents often say. Her reading comprehension - which was always good - had escalated to such a degree that she can read absolutely everything. And not only that she was behaving as if she needed to read absolutely everything she could as quickly as possible lest she go back six months and not be able to do it anymore. Hearing her joyfully singing to her self before bed about Bowmans Capsule is incredibly surreal. For goodness sake she even said she now had a boyfriend.

The point here is that while I regret that because their mother and I have divorced that we now can miss certain things about our kids development, the great thing about it is that it has reminded me of how bloody amazing being a parent is for me, and being a kid is for them. The element of wonder, the craving for knowledge and actually learning massive things like reading and then understanding things is an amazing thing. It has really underlines a Dylan Moran quote I heard once where he points out that you have children and think you have all these things to teach them, and then you realize that they are the ones who are really teaching you.

And on top of that there's pure, unadulterated imagination. I think I'm pretty imaginative (life would be infinitely boring otherwise). But my kids can entertain themselves for hours with just a coat, a stick and a butterfly net.

It's pure fucking joy being a parent.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Am A Hideous Woman

My son keeps calling me Mommy.

In the past twenty four hours I made a big pot of Madras curry and a chuffing great big pot of lamb cawl (a Welsh stew, basically). Couldn't smell them at all in the kitchen. The smells must have intertwined and cancelled each other out. But when I popped out back to watch the dog (walnuts and wet, fox shit everywhere - don't trust him by himself) the entire back of the house reeked of both of them. It wasn't too bad a smell actually so I conducted an experiment. I grabbed a small bowl, plopped in a spoon of curry and a spoon of cawl. It briefly crossed my mind that I may be about to reveal a fusion-food so ridiculously tasty that I might pass out. A Welsh lamb curry - it seemed so obvious an idea. Sadly though it tasted horrifying. Even this would probably have tasted better.

Now, I'm not an ugly man. I'm not saying I'm especially handsome either. Not in the weird uber-masculine way that's quite popular in this part of the US, anyway. And by that I mean the kind that marries absurd layers of shirts (always two at a time it seems) with acres of hair gel, chugging massive quantities of gash like Bud Light at a bar whilst loudly singing/burping along to whatever God-awful country song is popular at the minute (that fucking appalling Party song is a particularly hated on of mine at the moment - and a song that I swear has a bit about an "afterbirth party" in it), only driving a man-truck and having a bash at chewing tobacco "to get a buzz on". Actually as far as the shirts thing goes I just can't get my head around the propensity of people wearing shiny, golf shirts. Any job I've held I've felt over-dressed because I'd wear a collared, buttoned shirt - whereas most of the other blokes would either wear a golf shirt that looks like your Gran's couch, or one of those hideous long-sleeved No Boundaries shirts with what seem like Norwegian Death Metal emblems all over them.

Basically what I'm saying is I do alright. And as a single man in decent shape, with an English accent wandering about central New York I could be up to my ears in Grade D muff. Oddly now I'm divorced I've started noticing people either brazenly hitting on me (mostly in bars) or kindly flirting out of habit (quite an odd encounter at Lowes when a lady asked me to say, "leaf blower" three times). I'm assuming it's mostly the accent. But there's the possibility with this being a small close-knit community that people are just being nice to the most recently divorced man in the village. Still, I'm not the kind of peculiar wherein not only do strangers frequently mistake me for a woman, but that my own kids think I look just like their mother. Just to be clear (and very thankfully for her) I don't. The lack of boobs and the fact I have a penis is the main tell-tale sign. But other than that there's the obvious fact that she looks like a woman and I look like a man (albeit a foreign one).

Still, my son has been habitually calling me Mommy and then quickly correcting himself. I don't think he's doing it to be funny either. The daycare lady that takes care of him has been jokingly calling him Fred the last few days - which I've also taken on board and have started doing every now and again. I also remember at university that a housemate decided on a whim to deliberately call another housemate Dave, even though that wasn't his name. I did very briefly consider that my brief absences from his life had forced him into a habit of his own wherein the parent who was mostly around was his mother. Therefore it could just be force of habit.

But no - I think it's just a verbal tick. At dinner last night (at which my daughter guffed Ranch dressing onto a chicken madras curry, by the way) he called me Mommy when asking for a drink. So I leaned over and deliberately whispered too loudly to his sister, "...he thinks I'm pretty!" Which he found so hysterical that it actually hurt my self-esteem. Which took a further whack when he quickly retorted that, "You aren't pretty. You're a Daddy." I don't have an especially fragile ego, but I must admit that for a second I did feel a small amount of pain that my son doesn't think I'm a pretty lady. To be fair while I'm an alright look bloke I would make a hideous transvestite. And I say that after working somewhere with an unusual number of them - one of whom looked exactly like the Amish bloke from Kingpin. Thankfully my son came back to me right away and said that, "boys can't be pretty." But then added, "but they can be pretty stinky" and gave me a look that lasted just a bit too long.

Serves me right for putting sprouts in the curry.

The Whirligig

Quite busy so have some visual stimuli. Even if this wasn't a video you'd have your eyes delighted by that winning fashion combination my daughter is modelling.

And my son felt like digging up his mother's back yard (not a euphemism of any kind, thank you). So I let him.

And just to prove that no pile of leaves is safe...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Everything Is Drenched In Piss

Son: Look Daddy I'm peeing milk!!

I took that photo of the Moon the other night poking through some clouds. Pretty fantastic, I'd say. And I'm putting it here because the only other pictures I have are of my kids jumping in piles of leaves. Which - after three straight days of showing you - is probably not very exciting anymore. So have that.

Yesterday - with about two minutes to go before throwing he kids in the car and taking them off to O-Skool - my daughter remembered something. "Oh Daddy - I forgot. On Friday I had an accident and left the underwear in my school bag." Quite honestly I hadn't been in there so I had no idea. I opened up the front pocket of her bag and the rancid, incubated smell of three-day-old, dried piss came guffing out. I couldn't have made a smell that stale and brakish even I had wanted to. They had been wrapped in a grocery store bag thankfully. Still, I must have emptied a quart-bottle of Febreeze in there - including a few squirts of the Febreeze Scents thing we have in the house.

I should have know though. I'd already encountered two other moments that morning involving urine. Firstly I'd stumbled around at 4am only to find that the dog had kindly peed on something. But not in a shameful puddle on the floor somewhere. Instead he'd taken the time and effort (and it would seem had drafted a plan designed to be the biggest twunt he possibly could) to saunter over to the huge cricket-bag I had all my shirts in and peed into that. Still living out of a suitcase in that regards - but now instead of hiding very creased shirts under a sweater to avoid the ironing, I had to wash the smell of dog piss off them. Mind you when you waltz about reeking of dog piss barely anyone notices that your cuffs and collars aren't properly starched.

The other incident was my son telling me very early on that he needed clean pants. He barely has accidents. Probably as frequently as his sister - which is once in a blue moon. So I gave him a curosy glance over to the usual spot and instead of the tell-tale signs there was a pool of milk on his lap. "Look Daddy!! I'm peeing milk!" I have to admit that for a tiny second I wished that he was. Because if all else failed in life he'd be quite an attraction at the Barnum and Bailey Circus as The Boy Who Pisses Milk. I can picture him now wowing paying customers with fountains of the stuff. Posters lining the streets of the town the circus had rolled into.

$2 ONLY!!!
$5 FOR 2% MILK!!!

Yesterday though was really marked by two things. The first being the incredibly middle-aged way I celebrated some good news. I got a call on Sunday about a job offer. Yes - Sunday. Anyway it's a bank job and means that my time as a stay-at-home-dad is well and truly underlined and over. It doesn't actually get going until the first week of December though, so I have a month of debauchery in which to do something colossally stupid first. I think I'm adult and capable enough to avoid breaking fingers or getting a DUI in that time. Anyhoo - to celebrate I didn't pop out for a drink or buy some shiny man-toy. Instead I actually used the phrase, "fandabbydosey" whilst at the grocery store - wherein I'd gone truly nuts with celebration by spending an extra $30 on a few curry sauces, egg nog ice cream (bloody horrible - completely perplexed why I thought it would be otherwise seeing as I don't like egg nog) and some fancy cheese. There's something peculiarly English in the way that instead of celebrating some good news by getting lathered on Makers Mark and stuffing duck confit down my gullet on The Glass Boat, that instead I bought some cheese (did get rather tipsy later on though - although no Makers Mark was involved). Rock and Fucking Roll, me. 

But really yesterday was marked out by something far more grotesque. That being after grabbing a pile of ground beef to start dinner with and a FUCKING BUG CRAWLS OUT FROM INSIDE IT. Welcome back to the Vernon grocery store. I really do despair. I know I'd made a mistake by deciding to move 18 miles away from the village my kids live in - but this is hardly a welcoming return. I would have taken a photo but my hands were covered in wet, pink/red beef bits - so I wasn't about to grab my phone. Instead I instinctively started twatting whatever the bug was with the underside of a tub of Parmesan cheese. 

I did consider that in years passed - and not all that long ago - that the person who cooked the meals would have just cooked the whole thing for five minutes more if that had happened. 75 years back a funny color on beef would be green - which you'd just eat around. And as a friend helpfully pointed out - having a bug in your beef is, "just like tequila, but meat." Still I wasn't going to eat it - let alone feed it to my kids. I'm not John Gummer (seriously - with UK beef riddled with BSE, foot and mouth and god knows what else in the early 90s, it really took some deluded balls to prove how confident you are with beef by making your daughter eat a burger on live TV). So I wrapped it up - bug and all - and took it back to the store. Showed the manager (the butcher section was closed by then) and she grimaced and clearly tried to hold back the vomit. I'm glad the butcher wasn't there. Last time I took some chicken back (because it smelled like it had been dead for a fortnight and wallowed in it's own shit since) and he cheerfully told me that I could pick out any similar cut of chicken. In other words - some more rotten chicken that he'd packed at exactly the same time as the putrid guff I'd just taken back. Instead this time I got my money back.

Actually now come to think about it I should thought ahead. I should have rounded off this whole blog entry by having the dog or one of my kids piss all over it. Would have confused the grocery store manager, but it would have been literary perfection.

"Yes madam, this beef is so rancid that it has bugs living in it."
"Why does it smell of piss?"
"We all chipped in there dear, Even the dog."

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Irresistable Pile

He couldn't help himself.

It's also the kind of cold where if you move around you stay warm, but your ears freeze off.

And just to point out how irresistable it was.

My Son Is Daniel Day Lewis

Daughter (overheard her firmly telling her brother in the bath): Look Owen, if you don't get a pedicure then you're fired as my brother.

You know it's been awhile since I've taken my kids to their local library. Yesterday we zoomed over there to grab some books and a DVD to watch in case it rained. Being out of practice I forgot to check the books they were picking up. I normally let them get whatever, but check them to see ifthere's anything awkwardly demented in there. But I was busy chatting with the librarian and didn't see my son pop this into the bag until we were checking out.

Missed this beauty my daughter picked up until we got home too. It's hardly the usual reading matter of a six year old, is it?

My son has an incapacitated hand. He got a very slight cut on his finger and thumb after grabbing something under a slide. He didn't even notice till hours later until he saw a tiny amount of dried blood on his hand. Weirdly he's the complete opposite of his sister. Give her a band-aid and she behaves as if it has imbued her with super-powers. But I put two on him and he behaved as if the entire limb was dead. The way he was compensating had him one step away from emulating Christy Brown from My Left Foot. To pick up a cup he'd use his good hand and his other elbow. And at one point to pick up a toy train he went well overboard and used both his wrists and mushed it up against his face to get a good purchase. When I pointed out that not only could he use his bad hand, but there was absolutely no plausible reason he couldn't use his other hand, he did a double-take and recollected, "oh yeah..." Still wouldn't use his other hand though. Here he is before bed sitting around with his gimpy-hand in the air to ensure it doesn't accidentally get used for anything.

It had been almost two weeks since I'd spent any quality time with my kids. Hence part of the reason I woke up and realized I was living way too far away. In that time I'd missed quite a lot apparently. For example my daughter came to me in confidence to tell me that he bus driver, "has a big butt." Not only have I never heard her use the word, "butt" (massively favoring to describe all-things-bottom as, "bum cheeks") but I had no idea this had caused her such grief. Amusingly she told me that some of the kids on the bus would make mention of the bus drivers rotund posterior. But her being six she'd missed the playful rudeness of it and assumed that they were all concerned in some way. Me being her Daddy she'd come to me - the fixer of all - to see if I could help. I pointed out that it was fine - and topped it off with the merry message that we all come in different shapes and sizes. Still she stared into my face with eminent concern as if to say, "You don't get it Dad. The guy has a problem. He looks like the sort of man who lactates EGG NOG. What are you going to do?!"

I'd also missed my son going through that age phase where he self-assigned gender to random stuff. For example he announced yesterday that all spiders are boys. This after pointing out in the back yard that all squirrels are boys too. When I asked him why he thought all spiders were boys he seemed to realize that he'd come to this conclusion without any real, hard facts (I'm fairly confident he hasn't spent his days at daycare examining spider penises). So he helpfully came back with, "Oh - but some of them - like you - look like girls." Yeah cheers for that Owen. He managed to top that though when I cockily showed him a duvet cover of the Milky Way galaxy. I thought he'd gush all over it (mentally, not with actual piss) and then I'd not mention it again until he unwrapped it for Christmas. But instead he held his gimpy hand to fob me off and said, "no it's too busy Daddy." 

Well there we are then.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Moment Of Clarity

Daughter: The elephants are bumming you Daddy!!

Recently I made a stupid mistake. Granted I've made a fucking, big pile of them over time. But usually the ones I get involved with are either quite novel and unique, or at least have such a quality to them that I'm almost happy they happened. I'm not referring to being bummed by elephants here - that just happened to be the interesting way that my daughter described how she was shoving her two teddy-bear-elephant-things into me this morning. But on Thursday morning I realized that I was making a mistake so stereotypical that it was almost boringly predictable. To put it bluntly I was in a rebound-relationship.

I'll spare you the little details. But it suddenly dawned on me that I was not at all ready for a relationship, let alone to live with someone. Everything I do is what I think is best for my kids. Jesus - my ex-wife and I got divorced because we thought it'd be best for them. We worked fucking hard to get to a point where our divorce was unlike any I know. No animosity. No drama. Just two adults being civil and kind to the point where everything we did was done in almost a dreamlike way. So much so that we got on with other so well that it confused other people who expected us to be screaming at each other. And it was all to avoid doing anything too weird and life-changing for our kids. But there I was rocketing too quickly into a pretty serious relationship well before I should have. All the excitement of a new relationship had clouded the fact that I'm just not ready for one at all.  Add I suddenly noticed that it would have a massive effect on my children. New people, new places (and almost twenty miles away at that) and another adult with legitimate opinions and concerns. Add that new person had to try and wrap their head around the uniquely pleasant way the ex-wife and I worked together. Which is unbelievably hard because assumptions arise in which you'd expect us to either be screaming and fighting, or desperately trying not to fuck one another out of rage. Which just simply isn't the case. After spending over six months with the ex figuring out ways to make a divorce work smoothly I'd jumped two feet into a new thing. Quite how I'd done something that selfish isn't clear. Well - the boobs and tequila had quite a bit to do with it obviously. But I shouldn't have.

Anyhoo - it was a slap to the face and I quickly realized that I wasn't even remotely ready for that and more importantly I'd be a shit dad if I carried on with it. The kids had only been over to that house for one evening so it hadn't really struck a solid chord with them as "what Daddy does now." So I moved out and ended it before anybody got seriously hurt by it. A bit shitty I know but there we are. In life you get into things that you think are going to be amazing but end up going in a completely different direction that you aren't comfortable with. For example a lot of men are besotted with the idea of threesomes. But I can confirm that they are indeed shit. They're not like porn in any way. I fumbled into one once with an ex-girlfriend and it was awful. In fact I distinctly remember saying to her, "I know this should be amazing but I'm really not happy that your dad joined in." 

Anyway enough of that. I'll get back to the proper writing later. In the meantime the kids and I had a fantastic day yesterday at their house jumping in leaves. Ten Internets to anyone who can find the boy in this.

And this tells you all you need to know about what simple pleasure is.

And just for a laugh - my daughter teaching me to swim in leaves.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Triptych

Son: Blaaargh.
Me: Yes, blaaargh.

Just to make getting back into the swing of things (as far as writing this goes) more interesting it would appear me and the kids have a stomach bug. It's really just happenstance that their mother has gone out of town at the same point. My son had a pretty naff day yesterday. I still haven't decided if his body squeezing itself so that gunk comes out every 30 minutes means that it's more efficient or just more primitive. It still amazes me the complete and utter lack of forewarning his body gives him before it decides that whatever is inside him MUST COME OUT AT ONCE. I know a good ten seconds beforehand. And my daughter is just old enough that she has about a five second window. His sister - thankfully - has so far avoided the pukey side of things. And as most parents know being this close to this much gut-rot means you absolutely can't avoid it yourself. So by the evening yesterday I had started to endure that awful sense of nausea that meant having to calculate what distance I was from a toilet at all times. Whilst at the same time simultaneously making sure that I wasn't hogging one of the bathrooms that the two kids might need to very quickly visit themselves. I haven't cleaned toilets this often in some time.

Anyhoo - the night sucked and two of us are annoyingly tired. At least my son can conk right back out and sleep floppily between bouts. My daughter made a few trips of her own to the bathroom but seemingly with a lot less disruption than the boy and I. Which I would gladly have taken yesterday if offered to us. But we've essentially been flopped in a pile of three - with me in the middle acting as a support beam - since yesterday afternoon. I'm hoping it was just the notorious 24 Hour Bug and today will be the actual unwinding recovery day. But frankly I'm not feeling all that different and the force of violent arse-wretching for my son is every bit as vile, even if the frequency of it has slowed down somewhat. Sadly the poor bastard is in that stage where he's still gagging but with sod all else to come out. So yeah - fingers crossed tomorrow we're all fine and dandy.

And you can only hope their mother doesn't have it and it rears it's ugly head right in the middle of a cross-country flight. That sounds revolting.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Seven Quarters and the Zombie Apocalypse

My neighborhood is exactly the sort of place you can imagine a zombie-plague doing some serious damage.

The other day I had this irritating daydream where I stood up in an interview, casually took off my pants and showed the interviewer that my greatest skill was the fact that I could hold seven quarters in my foreskin. Annoyingly that daydream occurred whilst in an interview after that question was asked. If you're curious I did actually volunteer an entirely different answer. Admittedly in part (a very tiny sliver of a part though) because I didn't have any coins on me. And that sort of boast is a hollow one unless you can demonstrate it visually. And just for the record I haven't actually ever tried stuffing money down my anteater. I just thought it would be hilarious if that actually happened. "See look - and when they are spat back out they're sparkling clean!! I polish all my silverware this way too!!" It'd be a real mood-killer though if it were a committee-interview and the other guy in the room stood up and said, "Yeah well - I can only smuggle six quarters. But [thunk] I can make change..." as he squirts back out five quarters, two dimes and a nickel.

Last time I was at my old house I split up all the 'erbs and 'pices in two so I could bring my share with me. As I spooned each half that I was taking into little bottles my daughter decided to make a list of what was on the counter. Each time I opened something she'd have a sniff and ask what sort of meal her mother and I use that particular thing in. She decided to make it even more fun by making a list. I love making lists. Not even necessarily To-Do lists. Sometimes in an old job I'd be brain-dead from doing the same thing so I'd have an Excel or Word file open and I'd just make lists of all the players I can recall for a football team. Or all the consecutive tracks from an entire bands record releases. Or name all the capitals of countries. Just to actually work my brain in a different way. My daughter hasn't quite worked out the linear structure yet, so instead her lists look a serial killer has made a word-salad thing. Weirdly she put some of her "G" letters backwards which she normally doesn't do.

I was stood outside on the front lawn while the dog churned out another shame-stick the other morning when it hit me that I now live on the sort of street that Hollywood movie-makers use to show how pitiful they think the suburbs are. Usually by showing how everything seems all orderly and friendly. But that actually suburban life itself has warped the inhabitants so badly that nearly all of them engage in deeply perverse, backward shenanigans behind closed doors. Not at all cool and awesome like the cities or beach-condos they live in.

I did however make a mental note that if the inevitable zombie-apocalypse strikes central NY that I definitely live in the sort of place that would be prime for brain-munching. Not in the sense of thinking, "oh if I get zombified at least there's plenty to eat around here." More in the thinking that it'd spread like a bitch with all the houses so close together, and no doubt I'd be holed up inside my house like Robert Neville in I Am Legend (the excellent Richard Matheson book, not the shit Will Smith adaptation). Which made me automatically think that if this German Shepherd I was holding got zombified then I would seriously have a problem.

Being the forward-thinking person I am I started making loose-plans for how I would fend him off. Could I lock him the garage? At one point I made a mental note to buy myself a cricket bat, a pointed-shovel and perhaps vinyl-versions of the Batman soundtrack. Admittedly I did get quite giddy at the idea that I might get to hang around Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Dylan Moran for a bit while we looked for a pub to hang around in until it all went pear shaped.

In the end I spent the day slightly content that if me and the girlfriend somehow didn't get zombified that the dog would most likely spend quite a lot of his energy trying to eat her. He likes her that much that I can picture him doing that out of affection. Then just before I fed the dog his dinner it hit me that I am royally fucked. You see the dog has a special diet because it is gluten-intolerant. Just like me. Which makes me the perfect, safe option for a Celiac-suffering, zombie-dog to nosh on without fear of having stomach cramps and the shits for hours afterwards.

Really put a dampener on my evening, I can tell you.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Frank Sinatra and The Decapitated Bear

Two quick things.

Firstly I think the dog is evil. Apart from the nut-crushing and wearing my anus like a feedbag, there's this -:

Seriously, he's like the demonic dog in Ghostbusters.Still not buying it? Look what he did to this teddy bear.

Secondly here's one of the last videos I took of my son at my old place. The last one actually is him explaining the rules of Conkers (really incorrectly). But this - this is Sinatra-quality.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Babies Got Rabies


Yesterday I spoke with my daughter on the phone for almost 90 minutes in total. It was spread over a couple of calls, but most of the satanic/death metal grunting occurred during the first two calls. She'd gone completely mental without seeming cause, so her mother tried the tactic of a change of angle by calling me so that I could talk her down. It's a tried and tested parenting trick wherein whichever parent is present when the child goes nuclear absorbs most of the impact before suddenly handing over the lunatic to be spoken to be the other one in a strangely cheery way. The initial call/engagement is usually a failure. But we know that. So I breezily asked her how her day was and then talked about inane, goofy nonsense before ending that call. That's quickly followed by jumping back into because the lunatic does actually want to talk, but is unable to stop shrieking to articulate that, or to control their limbs properly to avoid causing bodily harm. After that conversation she calmed down nicely as I described ridiculous things that I had planned for the weekend while she sat quietly in her bedroom with the phone. So that I was planning on making a no-bake cookie slab and using that as the new mattress on her bed. That way she could nibble her way through it in her sleep and by the time she'd made it through and fallen onto her brother on the bunk below it'd be time to wake him up anyway.

All through this neither I nor her mother had the remotest idea what prompted the whole thing. Then a few minutes after she'd calmed down I got this photo.

Basically she'd accidentally snapped a plant in half when poking it about and thought she was in serious trouble. But instead of just feeling guilt and remorse she channeled that into a really convincing impersonation of the zombies in 28 Days Later. Hilariously she had run off upstairs at some point and in mid-rage stripped all the sheets off her mother's bed. She's never done any random shit like that before. Still - calmed down in the end, I got to be the 2nd Parent this time (which is always nice when it works) and I didn't have to make a bed I wasn't expecting to. Bonus.

So this morning I made my girlfriend some unusual egg, onion and mushroom smashed-omelette-splodge thing this morning. Then made some fried bread for her as well. Then I over-egged the pudding a touch by being a bit too braggadocios and presenting it to her with the words, "time to eat your eggs, bitch." But what with being not only white, but English-white (which is about 10 stages whiter than American-white) I rapidly followed that up with the point that there is no way on earth I could pull that level of arseholery off. But in a nice, continuing theme she took the eggs and being called a bitch with gravitas. And then happily kept calling me a bitch for the rest of breakfast. And what with being American-white it was far more convincing. Which I was mildly fine with as I don't really have any words that I can't tolerate others saying. That is other than pronouncing the word, "herbs" without the obvious H sound. If that happens I usually spend far too long talking about, "erbs and pices" to ram the point home that you shouldn't go dropping letters just for the sake of it. .

Consequently I must have taken the dog outside about four times this morning. I'm not being especially nice. There are two primary reasons for it. The first is so I can release my, "private emissions" in the open air without nasally offending my girlfriend. She would have never expected a thing accept the dog has an absurdly acute sense of smell. so the moment I release a cloud into the wild the dog looks at me with a, "seriously dude, you need to lay off the eggs" expression. Also he has so little subtlety and is so big that he confidently jams his nose right up my arse whilst I'm stood at the end of the driveway. Any pretense that I'm just being an amazing boyfriend and taking the dog out frequently has been destroyed by him aggressively snout-raping my anus. I haven't really introduced myself to the neighbors yet so I'm not exactly overjoyed by the fact that I likely have an audience of people stood in dressing gowns in their living rooms watching me being olfactorily penetrated by a massive black, German Shepherd on a frequent basis on my front lawn. Quite an impression there.

Also quite honestly the second reason is to allow the missus a little room to sneak into the bathroom squeeze out some monkey fudge of her own. It's a well-worn cliche that you know you're in love when shitting around each other is a common, boring fact of life. And just to be clear when I say, "around each other" I mean when you're both in the bathroom. I don't want you to think that I mean that there is some sort of turd-based musical chairs going on in this house - as each on of us tries to complete some vile connect-the-dots monstrosity around one another before the other one does. Neither of us will be yelling, "Yay I win! I completed my turd-pentagram first!!" But I digress slightly. Rather I mean that we're still in that relationship phase where each of us still has that sliver of doubt that everything could come crashing down if we discover that the other person has, "dropped the bomb." Doubly difficult for me obviously as I am still trying to mesh together the hard-rule that I only poo in my own home, and am still adjusting to the fact that this is my place. So I've been deliberately lingering outside (with dog's nose drilling me up my whoopsie, obviously) a little bit longer than necessary to allow my girlfriend time to make any, "emergency landings" that she may need. And time to whip out the can of air-freshener and allow that to settle lest I wander in there and recoil with, "dear God woman - you said that was exclusively an exit only and yet clearly some sort of Gremlin has crawled up there, shit itself and died."

The dog is quite the jealous type too. Any physical contact between my girlfriend and I and he starts barking like Lucifer. He even deliberately grabs at your sleeve or exposed fingers (that sounds much more graphically unpleasant than I intended...) and tries to physically drag you off into a corner.Any hugging is quickly met with the kind of surprise attack that Kato would try to unleash on Inspector Clouseau. Obviously as the dog is eighteen months old I'm very much the visitor in his mind. So trying to convince him to move over in bed is nigh on impossible. In fact his sense of competitive alpha-maleness turns entirely him just lying square on top of one of us until you pass out defenseless. Which is hilarious to the missus when he isn't - for once - doing it to her. I'm not entirely comfortable with that of course. Especially when he chooses to do so with his disturbingly-awake, pink, light saber sticking out from underneath him. And even more so because he seems incredibly adept at plonking said sausage-sword right down on my crotch - with me unable to move him without the aid of a zoo-crane. I'm not naive enough to ignore the obvious smirk on his face as he "clashes swords" with the other male in the house. My old,tiny dog never did that. True he did often become trapped mid-hump for half an hour. But at no point did I see a look in his eyes that said, "Parry! Parry! Thrust!"

Anyhoo I haven't seen my kids this weekend and miss them like crazy. So I had a quicklook at some of the demented dancing videos we made last week. Here's the last one I made early last week when I went over while their mother was out of town.

See - the magic is still there.