Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Good Kight, Evel Kight (and a Stumper)

I might as well just get this over with:

The very best part is that both of these images were on the same piece of paper; and they are both inexplicable.

I mean, and I only say this in the most loving way I can, who spells 'knight' and forgets the 'n?'  There are so many other incorrect spellings here I would accept, but, "kight?"  Wow...

I believe they are from the same table, brothers in arms, "kights" of the parabolic table.  Their weaponry is similar, as are their uniforms although "good kight" sports some chevron-like snake patches on his arms; an officer.  "Evel kight" probably does all the real fighting, the down-and-dirty stuff.  Hey, somebody has to right.  Perhaps he's a minion, Nick likes minions.

(Also, and I feel obliged to go here for the couple or three people who will get this; their holy grail is an N, because, alas, for now they cannot say Ni.)

Moving on to the stumper, what we have here is obviously twin Siamese pineapples about to,  Madonna's outfit from her, scuba gear, ancient secret society runes lost to ... I got nothing.

What is really odd is that this is all on one piece of paper.  I really don't know what to make of that.  Also, the "kights" are from N and Z drew the, well, uh... other thing.  It is very rare, in fact unprecedented, that both boys draw on the same piece of paper.   It's all rather mysterious wouldn't you say?

I am not oblivious to the fact it is Halloween, my feelings for which I may divulge in a future post, so I leave you with these scary images of some Jack-o-Lanterns.  This is "Chuk-chuk-chak-chuk-chak-chak."  He's French I think (and a bit of a fancy-pants):


This is Fred, he is not French, English perhaps?


From Marci's '...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat...'

"It won't kill you ... it is not the box of doom."

Well, there ya go.  I thought it was...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Evil Avocados

This not a picture of a couple of boys.  Not the boys who cuddled in bed this chilly morning giggling about the cats, squirming in joy at just being a boy.

The one on the left there; that's not the boy standing in the basement, tears on his cheeks, searching for a lost bear and saying emphatically between sobs:  "I need that bear!'

The other one there?  Nope, that is not the boy who led me by the hand to the kitchen this morning and, basically, made the coffee, for me.  He struggled a little and I asked if he needed any help, "No, Dad, I got it."

This is not a picture of chubby faced babies in matching onesies; not a picture of boys in a sunflower patch; this not beautiful toddlers asleep; preschoolers in a play; kindergartners singing in a cafeteria.

No, here you have two young warriors.  Brave boys, confident.  Quiet winners, graceful losers.  Second place champs, first place heroes.

And, we must honor that.

Who helps boys become warriors?  Men, hopefully decent men, honest men, kind men, strong men, honorable men.  Men who remember being a boy and how difficult it can sometimes be, men who honor the boys they help, the boys they teach, the boys they feed, the boys they love, the boys they coach.

Jay (a made up name because I refuse to implicate others here) is such a man.  He coached the boys' soccer team and just about all you need to know is that he let the boys, encouraged the boys from what I heard, choose the team name "Evil Avocados."  How cool is that?

That's all you need to know about him but I'll tell you more.

Whenever he talked talked one-on-one with a boy he knelt down to their level.  A real man kneels to be understood.

He always looked in the boys eyes, he paid attention to them.  A real man listens to be heard.

He ran them hard at times; he let them compete, fall, push and play.  A real man sees play as an opportunity to teach.

He taught them to pass, to work as team, to encourage each other, to consider each other.  A real man uses character to lead.

He watched them carefully, laughed with them honestly, teased them appropriately, disciplined them  kindly, played their skills and overlooked their weaknesses.  A real man cherishes to nurture.

Jay led the  ten boys, now a team, to second place in their division.  They lost a game at the tournament, but he made it the best loss ever by awarding the boys their trophies after the game.

There is a picture of all the boys standing with their trophies.  Jay is behind them and the look on his face says it all. It is a look beyond pride, beyond joy, beyond exhilaration, beyond all the conventional emotions - his look is a look of honor.  His face says;  "I am one of these boys, I am honored to be among them."

Do I need to thank Jay?  I suppose so, but, how shallow that gesture seems.  What he gave of himself has left a permanent mark on my boys.  Not because Z is a better dribbler now or because N understands to turn out from the goal on defense not towards it; not because of the confidence N got because he was given an important assignment or that Z got starting in goal for the tournament game.  No.  All that's great and all, but...

They met a man who showed them what it's like to be a man.  Boys remember that, trust me.

I need to explain something else.  When I call these boys "young warriors" I refer to their need to learn how to equip themselves for the life they are going to live.  Once that was mostly hunting or fighting, but now it is more complicated.  I know now that poets and artists, teachers and actors, dancers and musicians, all men, are warriors.

I think a man must teach them how to be warriors.  I think men need to show boys now to be men. I think a man needs to pat a boy on his chest and say "this is where your heart is, this is where your soul dwells, this is what it is like to be a man."

Coach Jay was that man.

I know I should stop here, it's a good stopping point.  I am not going to.

I have posted here on ihopeiwinatoaster a lot more on sports than I ever dreamed I would.  I have even talked about my own coaching experience in Baseball Test.  However, I don't want you to think I am one of those sporty-sports-dad dads.  I'm not really.  However, sports are great metaphorically for communicating the journey on which we, the boys, me, Marci, all parents really, are on.  Someday I could switch to music metaphors or movie references, whatever, but for now, I find myself using sports.

Also, this is all in no way sexist.  I have deliberately left women out of this particular discussion not because I think they have nothing to teach boys or because I don't think they are important in the development of boys, they do and are.  Ask anyone I know, I like women.

But this one is between us men and the boys.

Friday, October 26, 2012

DKL Guest Post Post

A very kind blogger, father to Peanut, asked me to do a guest post on his famous blog Daddy Knows Less (DKL).  You can check out that post here.

His reasoning has been unclear; I do not think it is an attempt to get all my traffic over to his place (have you seen my numbers); I don't think it is because he thinks I have something important to say (it's often very silly around here); I don't think it is because he is trying to win my readers to his site (although, when they see how good his posts are, I may never see some of my peeps again); I don't think it is because he wants me to by him a beer (he lives too far away, I think...).

I pretty sure it is because he is a really nice guy.  I have never met him; we've exchanged a few remarks and e-mails; we've read each others very short bios on our respective places and I read his posts and, I think, he reads mine.  Hell, it occurs to me I don't know anything about him, really.  Except that he cherishes, respects, honors and delights in his daughter just as I do my own sons.  In my book that makes us kin.

So, if you are new around here, I often post strange drawings like this exotic Mayan girl N remembered from a dream he had:

Or this carefully rendered drawing in a book of magic Z is working on:

If you are interested in how this all got started, the very first post is Ain't It True and, if you are a true fan of blogs you could read all the posts by hitting the "newer posts" button after you read that one.

If you are interested in learning a little more about me try The Post-Hundredth Post Post, in which I list one-hundred words I like and why, and reveal a little about myself as well.

If you are interested in the awards I have had bestowed upon me (actually from DKL) go to Great Googly-Moogly!!

If you are interested in checking out my most popular posts they are listed there on the right.  If I had to offer just one of my favorites from that list it would be The Future Perfect Post, in which I imagine a older me, two mature oak trees planted once as seedlings and a couple of  great adult kids.

If I had just one post to use as an example of what I do here at ihopeiwinatoaster it might be this one, Rocket Butt Dude no"I'm Varey Icesited To Meat You"  no probably Sidekicks I can't decide, but this is definitely the one with my favorite image:  happy sock-eared, spiral-nosed, rainbow-robot dude just riding on his rocket.

If you are interested in more, cruise the titles, I like titles, and see if any of them catch your eye, if so, read on, read on.

Oh, and one other item of interest is A song for my boys on YouTube.

Many thanks to DKL, his blog is so great, funny and sensitive; I am truly honored that he is willing to share his corner of the blogarena with me.

If you are one my few regulars around here you know this is a recurring feature here:

from Marci's  ... things you don't expect to hear from the backseat ...

"You are polluting my air."

That's never gonna end, I fear...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mighty Mini Oaks

What's that?  Oh, well, thanks for asking.  The trees in the backyard, the oaks we planted last Arbor Day Spring, are doing quite well.  I worry about them so, I made sure their roots were buried and I keep them watered and I'll mulch around them one more time.

Since you were so nice to ask I went out and got a couple snapshots of them.  (How can snapshots seem like such an old-timey word?):

Zack's Tree

Nick's Tree

Z's is getting all glorified in red and gold; his tree is sort of pushy and full of itself, in a nice way, I guess.

N's tree is shyer, a quiet tree, stoic; just showing a bit of red pin-striping for the fall season.

I would hope for a mild winter, but I can't.  The boys want snow and fireplaces and cozy blankets and video games, so, I hope the trees in the backyard will survive the...


Oh, you asked about Marci's backseat thing... awkward.

Uh, nevermind.

From Marci's '...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat...'

N: "I know what I am going to name my baby if I ever have a little girl."

M: "What's that?"

N: "Sacagawea."

She was hot...  That might be unpopular...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On Coffee Grounds and Boys

I secretly want a Keurig.  Actually, I secretly think I want one.  There are many reasons I suspect my thinking is wrong. For instance I thought cassette tapes were the best, easy to use and sensible.  I thought I wanted a Mazda Miata when they came out.  I use a PC instead of a Mac.  I think VHS tapes are fine.

Also, I'd miss the process of making coffee, although I grumble about making it when I am groggy.  It is one of those essential skills every man should have, like cooking an omelet or loosening a stubborn bolt.  I like the sound of the glass coffee jar opening, the measuring just so, the pouring just so.  I don't even really mind the wait - wipe a counter, watch a squirrel, chat with a boy.

But mostly, I like the smell.  The smell of coffee is arguably better than the taste of coffee.  The aroma is different all through the process; deep and rich and leathery as you scoop it into the filter; moist and dank and secretive as the steam gurgles around and away from the pot; perfect and balanced, mellowed with milk and sugar as it comes to your lips.  But that's just me...

There is something I have never told anyone about, nothing serious.  Honestly until right now I never realized it was a secret:  Nick helps me make my coffee in the morning.  When he was littler he just pushed the button, but, these days he does a lot.  He scoops it; he helps dump the old grounds and what's left in the pot; he fills the water sometimes but he doesn't like that so much (it is awkward); he talks to me.

You see, young boys need to know what it is to be a man.  Nick has gotten it into his head that cofeemaking is important.  He takes it very seriously, and, in the quiet of our little kitchen, in the early morning light, it is serious.

He listens, I listen, we listen to the morning and the pot, waiting for the beep together.  He asks about stuff; birds and soaring, happiness and history, soccer and shoes, beer bottles and cake, God and timelessness, hope and longing.  I answer as honestly as I dare, knowing the road to manhood is difficult, inexplicable, heartbreaking and magical.  I answer the best I can.

This morning, as he carefully measured the scoops into the filter, counting in his head, he said, almost as an aside:  "I love the smell of coffee."

"I do too, Nick."

"Yeah, Dad, you're a lot like me."

Yes I am.  I don't think I'll be ordering that Keurig any time soon.

You may remember from some of my past posts that I believe there is always more to every story, and there is a little more to this one.  As I was writing the above I remembered that they had done a little thing at school about 'Home Sweet Home' which I thought might be cute to include in this post.  This is Zack's, which I had saved because I like the house drawing:

It says "Home sweet Home  Home sweet Home.  our House is sweet to everyone It meats (meets).  Our House is so so much fun.  our House.  Our House I (is) so loveing (loving).  Home Sweet  Zachary Roger"

Well, you know what, even I don't save everything, so I had to go trash-fishing to find Nick's:

At the top is the picture of  'Home Sweet Home' and below is his little essay:  "home sweet home  in my home we work together!  are (Our) cats are nice.  are (Our) nana's house is fare (far) away are (our) gramma's house are close to us!  are (Our) bak-yard (backyard) is big but fun.  we are the best kuoonitey (community, worst cutest spelling, ever) together!  By nick."

Oh, and never mind the messiness, the pages got all blotched up when Nick dumped the old coffee grounds on them this morning.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tabula Rasa

Sometimes I get to thinking about something and can't seem to come to a conclusion.  Z made this the other day:

I sincerely do not know what this is.  I know it was deliberate (he took about forty-five minutes doing it, sort of grumbling a bit when it didn't stand up right).  I know I like it.  I know he was proud of it, but, I still don't know what it is.

Could it be a boy warming his back to golden sun rising behind him?

Could it be young man dancing under an orange disco-ball?

Could it bean innocent bystander about to be pummeled by a flying pumpkin in my backyard?

Could it be a basketball game?


Is it a self-portrait of a very happy boy in a world not yet defined, not truly filled in yet, still opening in front of him?  I love his smile; strong and natural.  I love his arms; ready to embrace.  I love his countenance; peaceful and content.

I think that is why I keep thinking about this paper-sculpture-pop-up-thingee:  I want to know that kind of joy, that type of happiness, that depth of peace.  My future seems all filled in, mostly with my past and present, my feet and hands are well defined, I know where I am.  I forget sometimes that they are not defined yet, they are still developing on that Polaroid-like blank page they started with, their lives are still filling in.

I sometimes wish mine still was.  I should work on that.

Watch out for the pumpkins...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Double Pegleg

Do NOT mess with this dude:

Carry on.

(Yes, that is a gun in his pocket and he is glad to see you.)

From Marci's  '...things you don't expect to hear from, uh, the dad...'

"No, I'm not drinking the gravy. It is cream of turkey soup."
" ... and it is delicious."

It was gravy...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Intent Meanders

Intent meanders (yeah, I said it twice now), far beyond it's well-intentioned beginning, but it often ends up where it started.

 Like this guy, how did he go from happy clown guy... a clown doing an "opstikl corsh" (obstacle  course)?  The goal seems to be tainted "piy" (pie), "posn (poison) is corn."  Dude meandered.

This guy wears a hat by day and... night dreams of being a ninja, or a warrior... or a cross-dresser, uh, at the same time.  He's pretty nonplussed about the whole thing, though.

(You see what I did there, just meandered around some and then, here I am.)

I started writing here about ten months ago.  Honestly, I started out with one intention and that was to showcase this essential nonsense.  I wanted to make it funny, cutesy, maybe lightly poignant, innocuous frankly.  I starting thinking more about it and I became aware of what you might call my hidden intention.

When the boys were like ten or twelve months old, feeding them was brutal chaos; exasperating beyond description and, oh, so cute.   I kept asking people what they fed their kids at this age and, well, none of them could really remember.  I thought at the time: "What's wrong with you people, how could you forget this important thing?"

I vowed that I would always remember those firsts steps and tumbles; the look on the face tasting pumpkin for the first time; blue and red rompers stained and tattered and perfect.

I promised to savor every kiss and smile; immortalize every tooth, lost and gained; to remember the story of that scar on your lip, or the one on your forehead.

I knew I would never forget that moment when Nick crouched behind the plate and Zack stood at first, both proud and confident, under the impossible blue of a June Ohio day.  I would never forget finding that old picnic table, half buried in a creek, an endless wonder of crazy juxtaposition.  I would remember every teacher's kindness and love, every friends name, every book read, every favorite food and Lego guy, every blooming dream, every open gesture of the soul.

I'd remember every bike ride, growing longer right along with their lanky legs and confidence.  I'd remember all the stuffed animal names, however incongruous; the favorite Hotwheel; every cocked eyebrow and wiggled ear; every dimple, every freckle. 

Right now I can't remember what I made for dinner last night.  Parenting is a frenzy of both emotion and activity.  I understand now that I can't be expected to remember everything my child does.  That's too damn bad, in my opinion.

Which brings me back to meandering intent.  So often, I will see something important; a pumpkin in the mulch pile, a few drawings of dragons about to be thrown away, toddlers swaying and singing "Simple Gifts" in a Thanksgiving kitchen, a paper computer or a drawing of happiness and hope, I will see these things, and so many more, and think to myself:   I must remember this.

So, I guess in a very purposeful way, I blog to remember.  That's better than the dream of making it as a big time writer with a book deal and a famous, money-producing, thought provoking website.  Yeah, my dreams have indeed meandered that way as well.  And sometimes I think about quitting this thing, leaving my little streak of verisimilitude here in the blogarena, and moving on.

Neither will happen, probably.  I think, honestly, my intent is practical, noble, decent and kind; it is to celebrate childhood, two particular, personal childhoods in this case, but all childhood, to celebrate innocence, to celebrate a kind of love I cannot afford to not remember.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Redemption Fall (or Man Dates)

The other day the boys got an invitation to a birthday party:

"Zake \ Nike"  Those names are way better than the ones we gave them.  How cool is that?

(I did not prepare a proper segue...)

I've never heard the word for what I have.  It's the feeling that Fall, the season, is truly the time of renewal.  Forget all that Easter iconography and the heart-breaking Passion.  Forget Christmas, a time of birth and gifts.  Forget New Year's Eve promises and hopes.  Forget Birthdays. 

Nope, Fall does it for me.  I'm a fallcentricist.  Everything is new in the Fall; new books, new clothes, new ideas, new dreams, new heartbreak and new friends.

Friendship is a very difficult subject for me.  I can't really say why.  I guess because I never have been very good at it.  Now, don't go thinking I don't have friends, I do, it's just that they are my old friends, in every way, and they are scattered and they are living lives different than mine.  I keep up with them, sort of... FB counts doesn't it?

Yeah, I don't hang out with friends very often.  I don't know why women are so damned good at it.  And, why men, well, aren't.  The truth is, I really don't mind.  I have known friendship, I have honored friendship, I have respected friendship.  Perhaps that's why I have trouble making friends, I don't think it's a casual thing; I think it is a pretty serious thing.

So, I'm good, right?

Here's where things get sort of tricky.  I am very reluctant to say this... I am not modeling any healthy, strong friendships to my sons.  That is probably not good.  Sure friends come over now and again, but not regularly.  I have always thought an important component to friendship was time in, you know, shared time spent together.

What guys need is (I generalize and am probably adding to sexism that surrounds us) a pick-up truck to lean on, a sports team to focus on, a couple of guitars to play on, a time to get to know one another in the silences between the words.  It's tough to explain.  Basically, and I know this sounds like psychobabble, men need to "hangout" with each other.  We need to stand around fires and grunt, eat meat in silent appreciation; we need time to size each other up, feel what another man is worth, whether he merits our friendship.

So, basically, I am failing the boys here on two fronts.  I am not modeling a good friendship nor am I affording them the opportunity to form their own.  I sometimes think that with the teams and the school and the church and the play-dates, we are doing enough towards our kids socialization, and we are.  I just wish I could figure a way for them to just hangout with their friends; not for an hour soccer practice, or a two hour frenzy of a playdate, or a half-hour at recess or in the lunch-room.  No, I wish for them an all-day baseball game in the heat of an Ohio August, an afternoon on sleds with freezing feet in an air of danger and fear, a crisp Autumn morning picking apples and...

Yeah, sorry... not gonna happen, is it?

But, I can find more ways for them to spend time with the friends they are making these days, try a little harder to reach out to the other kids parents, try to stop structuring everything for them.

There ya go, problem solved.

Waddya mean, what am I gonna do about that showing them friendship part, remember, blah, blah, blabbity-blah?

Oh, that.  Right.  Well.

I have to go on man-dates.  I have to ask a guy out, basically.  I am not comfortable with that.  I don't even know how to do it.  I rarely asked a girl out if I didn't absolutely know she would go out with me.  I'm good at acquaintances, and I often think I'd like to spend more time with some of mine.  But... a man-date.

It is very strange the things you begin to consider when you have kids, like insurance and vaccinations, which you'd never considered before.  Your values change, your interests change, your heart changes; you see that you are now the big-guy, the mentor, the teacher, the shower-of-stuff... the Dad.

So, who do you think I should ask out?  The interesting younger guitar player I met, the coach I like, that stiff, nervous guy with steel-blue eyes and the countenance of a saint, or the fellow SAHD who seems sad?  Oh, bother.

I have to try, and it is the season of new beginnings, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sparky the bdragon and Friends

This is Sparky:

He lives in this exclusive, gems only gated community castle:

He is friends with this dragon, whose name, as I recall, is Blast:

And this double headed nameless gorgon:

This is their cousin, Vinny:

There was a lot of discussion about this imaginary land where aerodynamically-challenged dragons fly happily, spewing gems and spiking enemies.  They made up a whole kingdom; incanted magical spells; invented back-stories and decided fates for a couple of hours.  It was intense, creative, argumentative and really, really cute.

Today, I found these all abandoned in the "maybe-want-again- (but probably won't) - bin," which I dump out frequently.

(I always wonder if I should go out of my way to mention which future nutcase, N or Z, created the nonsense I show around here.  I usually do.  But, you know, Blast looks like a rotting carp; the gorgon is, well, frankly inexplicable and not just a little grotesque; and Sparky?  He's puking gems and is hauling a pagoda on his back.  He is clearly being exploited.  And what's with this "gems kind only" crap?  We don't teach that around here.  I'm actually cool with Vinny...  So, in the interest of any future political, military or teaching careers I am going to let these go uncredited.)

From Marci's "...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."  FB page.

Today's lunchtime debate brought to you from our resident theologian and resident engineer ...

N: "We weren't created until God created us, so everything has to be created."

Z: "No, anyone can create anything at anytime."

*and repeat*

Moral Law -vs- Divine Law, the classic philosophical debate first addressed by the early Greeks... wait, They're SEVEN...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Post-Season Reds Post

I have been accused, by myself mostly, of posting too much about baseball.  Two of my most popular posts (determined by Blogger, and you, the readers) are baseball posts.  In "...about baseball, poetry and dreams..." I wax philosophic on the power of the dream of baseball and in Yet Another Baseball Post I tell some stories about how much baseball can teach kids, and, as always, by association, adults me.

Extending the Threadbare Metaphor is the story of a Columbus Clippers game, a Harley dude, a couple of prize baseballs and the universality of the human spirit.  Not Another Baseball Post is a couple pictures from their rookie year and "Baseball Catastrophe" is a comic strip set on the playing field.  In Baseball Test I questioned my abilities as a Little League coach and did a little soul-searching

So, I am reticent wary hesitant to do yet anoth going to do another baseball post, what the hell.

I found this in a take-home folder last week and wanted to share it with you:

I had to get an advanced spelling app for my kid-to-adult decoder ring, this is what we get:

"Nick's red's hat  I got a red's hat wen (when) i was obawt (about) three.  the reds one (won) that day.  do you think that it's magikol (magical)?  well I do. twotawzinandtwelve (2012), the reds one (won) the duvishun (division) champeon (champion)!  thay (they) are the best team ever, wahoo!   I think the day I got it I sate (sat) in the sekent (second) to last row.  It was an iksiding (exciting) {arrow leading to next page} game.  I don't know what the skor (score) was and I don't know hoo (who) thay (they) verst (versed, is that a word? as in past tense of versus) I think it was the kardinols (Cardinals).  howe (how) do you think it was out of all the hints I gave you?  you dont know?  I gave you so much hints! the reds hat is old.  It just has a red se (C) on it.

I am not really sure obawt about that last part.  I may have missed the hints, but...

Anyway, clearly a magical hat, a winning hat, a talisman, a lucky charm.  Nick also made this little Reds guy which I salvaged from the bottom of his bookbag:

I believe that a prayer from a child is most powerful; I believe the dreams of a child are the most real; I believe the hopes of a child are the most honest; and, with these on my TV set...

I believe the Reds will win the World Series because "thay (they) are the best team ever, wahoo!"

Especially now that the evil kardinols are out of it...

Go Reds, go Hopes, go Dreams, go Prayers... go innocence and childhood.

(Reds-vs-Padres 9:37 EST on TBS)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Squiggle Fun

As it arrived in the take home folder:

"The Polise (police) Is comeing (coming) Because the red car is driving Bakwards (backwards) and speding (speeding) at the same time.  But there is a giant Butterfly in the way."

Backwards and speeding?  No way!  Thank goodness for the divine giant butterfly intervention.

I am pretty sure that 'Wow!' is second-grade teacher-speak for 'WTF.'

From Marci's "...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."

Nick: "I have to say it, I am with Zack on this one."

(thought they were 7 not 17!)

I have to say I'm with Nick, who's with Zack, on this one...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gender Blends

I have been trying too hard around here, I recognize that, and, in response, I am going to try even harder in a gallant attempt to fail better.

You may remember that last week I did a post called Handburgers.  I thought I'd be cool and not mention the fact that it was in response to a writer prompt from the Blogger Idol competition I did not get into.  As a consolation prize, they offer a way for the wannabes those not competing to write a post and link that post so others can read it.

Here is the prompt for this week:

"Write about a day in the life of you. But it wouldn't be Blogger Idol without a twist. You have to write about your day, as if you were the opposite sex! There is no word limit, but make sure to include at least one image."

It would be easy, too easy, in my opinion, to get all snarcastic and pithy and cloyingly clever.  I also think the assignment reeks of the inherent sexism and stereotypes that still hang in the air of society.  I know the persist because I am a stay-at-home-dad.

So...  what to do?

If I were the opposite sex... there would be less meat for breakfast.  (That seems safe enough.)

If I were the opposite sex... my boys would wear clean, neatly folded clothes because I work for a living and, trusting that my capable and loving at-home-husband will do a great job, I can not focus on my job.  (Well, alright, I guess, seems a little preachy.)

If I were the opposite sex... I wouldn't have a big grey beard and mustache; I wouldn't be thick; I wouldn't look rough and questionable; I wouldn't get long looks down the noses of the mothers of the other children and the employees at he school where I go to volunteer in the libraries and classrooms of my children.  I wouldn't be so disarmingly different, so threatening, so dangerous, so unacceptable.  I'd just be another Mom, I'd like that.  (Okay, now that's just a sad cry for attention.)

If I were the opposite sex... I wouldn't have been shunned so many times on the playground, questioned and untrusted.  I wouldn't have been watched with distrust over smartphones and cameras at the pool, eyes watching me as though I was some sort of lecherous creeper.  I wouldn't have wanted to scream:  "I have every right to do this; these are my children and I take care of them!" when asked how I was doing by some old woman at Costco who thought I just had them for an hour, mentioning how nice it was giving Mommy a little free time on the weekend.  (Wait, is this a soapbox on which I am standing, sweet.)

If I were the opposite sex... I would cherish and respect every man I saw in the schools; volunteer, lunchworker, teacher, principal, or UPS dude; because there are so very few visible.  I would thank (and I think hug) the male coaches in the boys' sports who manned-up and took on the daunting prospect of managing another little league team, another dozen soccer 'passers.'

I would accept and embrace that Dad on the playground, the one who just organized a giant pirate improv, complete with princesses (for the girls) and no sticks (for the boys), for every child on the playset, including yours.  I would not dislike a guy just because you think the SAHD is a better Mom than you, he's not, or, and this happens a lot, because you know I am a more involved parent than the father of your children.  I would open the doors of the "Mommy and Me" playgroups to the Dad with twin toddlers; I'd open the Infant Zumba ("mommies only') to all the chubby dads as well; I'd make sure there were changing tables at all restaurants and that I was advertised to with respect and...

Uh, oh.  I got Popoed.  It's a widget  installed on my blog that warns me when I am starting to get ranty.  (I wondered what I'd use as an image in this, how serendipitous.)

Alright, I'll stop that train of thought.

If I were the opposite sex...  I wouldn't sit alone in my basement watching the Reds, drinking beer, by myself.  I'd have friends who are nearby and available, new friends, changing friends, lots of friends.  I'd make a new friend in CVS and meet my BFF out of the blue.  I would be able to make myself more vulnerable to others, less afraid at new things, and, more than likely, I'd be a better multitasker and... person.

If I were the opposite sex... I'd take time to consider my womanhood...

Oh, I see where you thought I was going on that.  No, I was thinking about how love feels for the opposite sex.  It must be so inward and deep, reflective, intrinsic.  It is so rough and raw for men, me at least, love, that is.  So difficult, so confusing, especially raising boys.  And, it so rewardingly deep, soul deep.  Women know when they are doing it right, men are never quite sure.

 If I were the opposite sex...

If I were the opposite sex... my day wouldn't be that different than anyone's really, you see, I play all the positions around here, and so does my wife.  All of us, you, me, Mr. President, The First Lady, the ironworker, the dancer, the waiter, the doctor, all of us, play all the positions and, hear me, no one is better at any one position than anyone else.

From Marci's '...things you don't expect to hear find on the floor from of the backseat...'

"Mom works so we can git (get) anuf (enough) for a roof rapar (repair).

That pretty much nails that......

Monday, October 1, 2012

Great Googly-Moogly!!

The lucky father of Peanut over at Daddy Knows Less (whose name I know, but he never mentions it, so I'll respect his annonimity annoninimnity annonomuousness privacy) awarded me the Liebster Award.  I don't know what it is or whether it's legit or if I am just the dupe in some evil blogyard reindeer games, but I decided to play along.

I couldn't actually copy and paste the rules, dude uses some sort of cloak of disability rendering simple tasks impossible on his blog, so I may not have copied them exactly right.  Here is a link to his post, (honest to God, I just tried to copy/paste the title of his post here "function disabled," how stupid am I?), #PayItForward:  It's a Major Award, in which he bestowed upon me the honor of this award.  You can also check out his bullpen of incredibly talented bloggers.  Go on, I'll wait...

So, here goes.

The Rules:

          1.  Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
          2.  Answer the 11questions the awarder has given you, the awardee.
          3.  You, now the awarder, create 11 questions for your nominees, who are now the awardees.
          4.  Choose 11 awardees, link to their website, and notify them.
          5.  No award-backs.

11 things about me:

          I am older than everyone I meet.  I like meat for dessert.  I am dedicated to the ones I love.  I played football all my young  life and have come to loathe it.  Making sandwiches is irritating to me.  A Prayer for Owen Meany is the best novel ever written but John Irving's most recent novel sucks, in my opinion.  I had no idea what a rewarding and challenging and mind-expanding experience blogging would be.  I could go the rest of my life without chocolate.  I think parenting seems like a trip, literally, as in  an LSD inspired, mushroom-induced, opiated trip.  I am truly glad you are spending the time to read my words.  I love the fall and long walks on the beach.  I once spent a week watching past episodes of Downton Abby.

DKLs questions for Awardees:

          1.  The best gift you ever received?

from a post called On Asparagus

          2.  Best gift you ever gave?  I wrote this song for my boys when they were babies:

          3.  What do you think are your chances of surviving the zombie apocalypse?
               The Zombies have no chance against our advanced weaponry and trained guards:

from MacGyver it

          4.  What's on your DVR right now?  Wipeout, a whole folder of it.  It's like a siren song to boys, I can't figure out why:

from The Earth Day Post

          5.  The five most played songs on your iPod are?  What exactly is an iPod; is this one?  The boys called them "Chompers" but maybe they play songs (we have one-hundred-and-twelve of them):

from The Paper Arts

          6.  One movie you absolutely have to watch when it's on?

from the post Simple Gifts

          7.  In ten words or less, why do you blog/write?  For the love of my boys.  (Parenthetical words don't count; I distilled my philosophy to just four words for my business/artist card thingee, you know, the card that I give people and they laugh inwardly at my naivete and general flakiness and then promptly throw it away):

          8.  What's your catchphrase?

from "fansy what"

          9.  The most clever Halloween costume you've ever had?  I once traded uniforms with the chef in a well known restaurant on Halloween, I acted like him; he fired me then hired me back the next day, true story.  However this is the scariest costume I ever wore:

It's a little prop-heavy I guess...

         10.  One thing you are really bad at?  The "New Math":

from The Quirky Little Math Piece (or Move Over Einstein)

         11.  Your favorite board game?  I like this game (I think it's a computer game, though) called 'Git to':

My questions for the Awardees, the new awardees, I had to answer mine earlier and in so answering I leveled-up to be the awarder... sweet.

          1.  Were you pleasantly surprised or slightly irritated when I tagged you with this?
          2.  Do you think I am sorry for that?
          3.  If you were to smack me upside the head for passing this on to you with your favorite book, what book would that be?
          4.  If you had back the (enter minutes spent on this exercise here), what would you do with them?
          5.  Do you think perfect strangers should stalk around the Internet and bestow odd awards and ask random questions?  Why or why not?
          6.  How can words be so beautiful to read and so frightening to write?
          7.  Do you like my hat?
          8.  How many hotdogs do you consume on a weekly basis?
          9.  You seem like a decent person, how did you become so?
         10.  Pop-up toaster or toaster over?
         11.  Where do you physically blog, as in, where are you right now and, did you ever suspect blogging would be this damned complicated?

 Choose 11 awardees, link to their website, and notify them.

The hardest part of this whole damn thing has been decided who to pass this award on to.  A lot of people I already follow are really great, but I am sure they are bigger and have already received enough accolades.  And, to be honest, this was a little time-consuming and I hate to do that to others.  On the other hand, I had a good time doing it and, sometimes, I need a good writing prompt and this was that.  So, in absolutely random order, and with some anxiety (what if they hate me for doing this?), I give you these eleven awardees, I think they are awardees...

           1.   Busy-Dad-E: Fatherhood Uncensored
           2.  Raised by my daughter
           3.  SooperDad Blog of Awesomeness
           5.  Chicken Fried Vogue
           6.  Suburbia Interrupted
           7.  I was gonna do this guy EduDad, But he leagued up to DADS Round Table, great site.
           8.  Mama Drama
           9.  The Rowdy Baker
         10.  The Cheeky Diva
         11.  and I'm the dad.

Well, I've done it.   I forewarned them, sort of, now all I have to do is hit publish...