Musing

Hero’s thoughts and witty banter.

Having Pride

I watched TV tonight and feel like I needed to write this blog as a letter to my daughters.

 

Dear Children,

Don’t ever go on a reality show. Do not ever participate in a show that claims to capture reality for the amusement of others. Especially if that show is about love, dating, or partying. I am not aware of a single-one of these shows that benefits mankind. In fact, there are fewer sure signs that humanity is screwed than The Bachelor. (Not to mention, solid evidence of which side will win the gender wars.)

Women are battling for equality in the workplace. For respect on the dating scene. The women of history fought and protested for basic rights and considerations. They are our mothers and wives and leaders and doctors. They dominate the field of nursing because of a compassion for people and compulsion to nurture. Their patience helps mold young minds through teaching in primary education in much greater numbers than men. They have guided advances in science and mathematics. If they knew their true power and influence the world would be a different place.

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But here… on television… they are sold as little more than feral cats circling the leg of a lion. Purring and rubbing him trying to win the prize. They are crying over this random man. They are hanging their life happiness on being chosen. They are snipping and stabbing each other in the back. I’m 100% positive that if nine of the ten women were choking on a pretzel the last one would be straightening her dress and working on her sad face to convince Mr. Bachelor that she was deeply affected by the sudden tragic death of her new friends.

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Spoiler alert. He picks all of them. 

The producers are telling a story. Take note of the message but only to remember how shitty it is. Watch this show once and keep count of some things.

In a two day span he made out with each and every one of the women. They were fully aware of what was going on. The only thought was winning and how they could go farther, faster to gain the edge. I’m also certain that they would voluntarily carry his child to win. If any of them picked up the flu or stomach virus, production of the show would have to shut down while the wave passed. I hope they pre-screen for STD’s.

Maybe it is a lofty goal to hope for anything better. Biology is strong medicine. Attraction and hormones are nearly unstoppable. Fight the good fight. Do what you do and if you mess up don’t carry around any guilt you accumulate. Let it go. But for the love of all that is good and holy… don’t whore yourself out on Season 37 of The Bachelor.

There. That is my advice for the day.

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Take it with a grain of salt because I am taking your mother to see the premier of the third Fifty Shades of Grey movie. It is basically a porn with a little better story line. Not much better but somewhat. And it is a best seller. A large percentage of people who are smart enough to read words chose, of their own free will, to read three of these novels.  A novel series that is based around a woman being dominated by a physically fit, young billionaire with good intentions and a desire to shower her with riches. A fucking best seller.

**Sighs**

You have your work cut out for you. Good luck.

Love,

Underdaddy

Candle Hug

Some people are unspoken leaders. Unrecognized.

They lead through actions, often from the back of the pack.

They are gentle and kind. Giving example and reference.

Their influence comes when other people decide to “act more like so-and-so”.

Seeds are sown that grow and blossom at odd times. Usually in the winter of discontent.

Love grows when and wherever it needs to. Maybe the seed is more like a flame.

I’ve read that love is like a candle’s flame. It can light a thousand other candles and the heat and flame the first candle carries will not be diminished.

Each love that burns has unlimited potential. Each flame extinguished is immeasurable loss.

No wonder that new love excites us and a loss is bitterly mourned.

When people are sad about the death of a loved one they are offered the words, “Sorry for your loss.” It feels misplaced. Don’t feel sorry for me. My friend carried the flame of love and it often warmed my heart. I’ll carry it always. Grieve for your own loss; one candle that you didn’t get to see in action.

Tend your flames. Don’t grow cold.

Hug someone long enough to realize they are warm. Enjoy it. Its why we hug. To verify love is alive and to keep it that way.

 

If you sometimes meander in your thoughts, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Dry Humbug

One week until Christmas; my fifth favorite holiday of the year. This will be my annual Bah-Humbug post so if you are feeling warm and fuzzy with a cup of hot chocolate in front of a fire while Burl Ives sings something in the background, maybe you want to set a reminder on your iPhone and just read this tomorrow after the cold sting of Monday has punched you in the face. Not that I want it to, that’s just how Monday rolls.

We have just completed Christmas shopping within a 48 hour window. I am quite certain that we have overspent and under-delivered on the holiday. They are good gifts. They are evenly distributed and a fair balance of fluffy nothingness mixed with useful clothes. I just feel like I am under-delivering when none of the children really defined what they wanted. In fact, they said a few times that they didn’t want anything. While this is indeed a selfless attitude and very apropos for a Jesus-based celebration, it is not helpful for the corporate American rewards based Christmas. I need a feverish obsession for some obscure toy that I have to work tirelessly to find. I need something I can check off my list and say to myself, “I may not be the best dad but, by God, I found a tickle me Elmo.” Then on Christmas morning I would bask in the joy of my giggling child as she tickled that fuzzy red fucker within an inch of his cotton-stuffed life. These are the Christmas memories I need to justify the crowds and the bank account balance. Not a gamble based on the fact that they like ponies so I guess I’ll buy another horse themed toothbrush set.

My Grandmother made the mistake of letting a few family members know that she thought frogs were cute. As she grew older and enjoyed a more settled existence she became harder to shop for at Christmas time. No problem right? Grandma likes frogs… we’ll get her some frog stuff. She has five children who have children who have children. Not everyone got to spend quality time with Grandma and know her deeper interests but you can bet your ass everyone knows that she likes frogs. Over time she has amassed a healthy collection of amphibians. I’m not sure how many exactly but the last person to see a wave of frogs like that would later free the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. I’m not saying that it is a bad thing. I’m just as guilty as the next relative for going to the frog default but my point in all this rambling is that we have this cultural requirement to show a certain level of appreciation through gifting and when you are hard to shop for you better be all-in when you default to a personal theme. Else, frogs. (I encourage you to share any themes that you have been saddled with in the comments section. Talking it out is good therapy.)

The other holiday point I struggle with year-to-year is the constant cycle of disposability. The kids don’t care about new toys or types of toys just that they get to open presents. I have witnessed them make dolls out of bits of paper and place the bits of paper on top of actual dolls whom they were using as furniture. (Did I use whom right? It sounds stupid.) We fight the endless battle of shoveling toys out of the living room and wading through piles of dirty clothes. Usually we beat the stuff back just far enough to have room for opening Christmas presents and BOOM more stuff.

Our stuff is out of control. We have a storage unit with things we want to give away. What in the actual hell are we doing? Paying to keep things that we want to donate but haven’t yet. We have a box in the garage at this very moment labeled CHRISTMAS STUFF WE DON’T USE, DON’T THROW AWAY! On what planet is that rational? We need an intervention but who has the time?

To add insult to injury, our dryer broke this week. I fancy myself a logical problem solver who can work through trouble shooting a dryer. After all, a dryer is a tumbler with a blow dryer attached. How complicated can it be?

(Insert Jeopardy theme song.)

Three hours later. Instead of surgery, I have performed an autopsy. The problem was with the smallest piece buried behind ALL of the other pieces. It is thirty dollars and will take a week to ship.  Our house of six cannot dry clothes for a week. The week prior to Christmas. Fantastic. In a moment of joy and overflowing with something that can only be described as the embodiment of the Holy Spirit, I stacked the dismantled carcass of our dryer around our Christmas tree and laughed until even the dog was uncomfortable.

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We paid to have our dryer duct cleaned last year and the technicians removed a small dog worth of lint. That same amount of lint filled the interior of our dryer and looks like it caught on fire a couple of times. Clean your dryer folks. Real talk.

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Bottom left. All lint.

Also, in a totally unrelated subject. I saw a really interesting storm water drainage structure. It is a progressive design that takes into account a distant future where global warming creates a 435’ rise in sea-level. Strong work Nostradamus. Shout-out to the City for stringent technical review as well. Nice job all around.

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A masterpiece.

If you are experiencing Pre-Merryment Syndrome (PMS) this post is for you. You’re welcome. I’ll be better. I just needed a little vent.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Bday Movie Night

Another birthday in the books. Thirty six feels like… something much older than my twenties. It came with drinks, dinner, and a movie. I had a hard time deciding on the movie.

I love what Marvel has going with the Avengers and the whole Marvel Universe. Guardians is my favorite. They are incorporating Spiderman and if Venom turns out half as awesome as it could be then I might not be able to handle it. Last night we saw Thor: Ragnarok. It was a natural selection for the evening. It was awesome. Classic Marvel. During the credits they left a good preview of the next step in the saga. There was also a preview for Black Panther and I have high hopes for that one too.

But I was still curious about Justice League. DC has always had the darker side of comics and I have wanted to be a fan of what they were putting out but nothing really seemed connected. Batman vs Superman seemed flawed from the beginning. How is that even a contest? Don’t say Kryptonite because that is a cheap trick. The writers of Superman knew he needed a flaw so the only one they gave him was a glowing green rock. And Batman is wealthy and used to be a character who was driven by his darkness but evolved into a guy without much direction who just buys expensive tech and gets roped into weird plot lines. The Dark Knight series weren’t built for spinoffs which was short sighted. I was starting to lose faith that the universe would make sense. Then Wonder Woman came out and started to turn things around. There were connections to build off of. Maybe it was an island full of powerful women who were scantily clad. Maybe it was her purity of heart. Either way, her movie was good and as soon as it was over I wondered when I would get to see her again. DC has a poor history of follow-up.

We have started watching the Flash on the CW and caught up on the last few seasons via binge watching. We watch Teen Titans GO! On cartoon network and got to know the lighter side of Cyborg. I noticed lots of familiar faces in the Justice League trailer so I almost picked it. But Flash won’t be Barry Allen that I remember and Cyborg won’t make silly dude jokes with Beast Boy. Batman will still be Ben Affleck.  I realized that the only character that I knew I liked and wanted to see was Wonder Woman. Maybe we will get back to the theater soon. The critics aren’t being kind but some people have seemed to enjoy the movie. Let me know what you think if you have seen it. Is Gal worth the effort? Should I have chosen Bad Moms instead?

Aside from birthday fun, I have another update that is a little overdue. We have added a new member to the family.

Jasper “JTP” Waggingham Sr.

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He is an older Maltese who needed a home and seemed reasonably well behaved. He came to live with us about two months ago. JTP had the breath of a dead swamp rat which turned out to be a tooth abscess and he had to have the top two teeth removed. Now his tongue hangs out a little bit and gives him a goofy blank stare. He is a good dog who spends the majority of his time curled up in bed. Sometimes he is too curled up and a few times I have even thought he was dead. He hasn’t been here long but finding him dead would still be traumatic. His only other flaw is that he eats the cat’s food and it makes him vomit. The girls love him and he adds to the family character. I’m certain we will have some fun stories to share about JTP.

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If you are into comics, sagas, and new pets; this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Tidbits and Errata

I have an accumulation of randomness that I always think, “Hey this would make for a good blog.” But then I realize that I would have to type out one every day and I’m not at the point in my life where I have time for that. So here is a smattering of photos and the thoughts attached to them. Enjoy.

Of all the fun word games that are available to modern adults, my favorites are “That’s What She Said” and “That Was My Nickname in High School”.  The other day I was shopping in Walmart and while perusing the French Fries I had an excellent “That Was My Nickname in High School” opportunity. I was totally and utterly alone. So, I took a picture.

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We have been waiting for weeks for school photos to come back. We sent the kids to school somewhat unpolished on Picture Day because we didn’t remember it was Picture Day. I secretly prefer awkward pictures because that makes them worth looking at fifteen years down the road. Donna Threeto did not disappoint. Prima did a good job too.

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Like she had no idea what was going on or who these people with strange objects are. 

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Another epic photo that I came across in my newsfeed came from a language barrier. It is a thought provoking piece that should serve as a warning to all the young men and women who get inspirational quotes tattooed on their body in strange foreign languages. Just know that what you think says, “Love, Life, Laughs” might actually be the Chinese characters that say something like “Sperm Dumpster”. It would only be fair repayment of the untruths we release on the world. Somewhere in Africa there are entire villages clothed in T-shirts that claim the Atlanta Falcons won the last Super Bowl. Now imagine that you have a cute pinchy-cheeked child and he gets a free hat from America! What a generous and benevolent country! Happy Day! I think this kid lives in Vietnam.

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If you laughed at this photo you have an ethical and moral obligation to visit fredcolton.wordpress.com 

I have had to say goodbye to something that was part of my life for as long as I can remember. It functioned in the background. A supporting role. I dare say I took it for granted. Then my mother sent me a picture of it on the day it died. Standing next to it was the replacement. Staring her down. Mocking her death and degrading her service to our family. How could you?

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I grew up thinking everyone used old plastic jugs as sugar storage.

The free market system does a great job of reflecting society. I live in the south. While at lunch at a Mexican restaurant last week I had a chance encounter that perfectly captured southern priorities. There was a claw machine in the front lobby. A variation of the claw machine where prizes hang by a string and the claw is a dull scissor device. It is such a scam that there is actually a note on the machine explaining that the scissor might not cut the string on the first try. The prizes include a DeWalt Drill.

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How is this not gambling?

Have you ever said a common word slowly or repeatedly and realized that it starts to lose its identity. Like margarine. Mar-ga-rine. MAR-JAR-RINN. Butter’s replacement. Margarine. Look at the word. Is it even spelled right? Who the hell knows. When you get too close to something that you should breeze by and only view peripherally, it overloads your brain and life unravels. The world ceases to make sense. I felt like that recently when examining my smashed pinkie toe. It started to look like an Orc finger and I had an out of body experience.

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Holy shit. Look at that thing. 

I have also been delving into a little family history. I learned that my Grandfather was a gansta-ass-boss-playa from day one of busting outta the mutha-fuckin womb. Rolling hard on his foes and never hesitating to bust a cap in multiple asses. All the while never staining his socks or letting a single strand of his luxurious hair become mussed.

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Seen here riding a “Try Me” cycle. 

If you like a good dose of random musing, this post is for you. You’re welcome. I didn’t even mention the new dog. Then again, that subject is deserving of its own dedicated post. Until next time.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.