Monthly Archives: September 2014

The off switch

The brain is weird. For quick clarification, I am talking about the organ and not the cartoon mouse with the Orson Welles complex. We all have one. The brain is something we depend on and still struggle to understand. Even people who aren’t what you’d call “thinkers” use their brain on the most basic levels.

I love/hate my brain. Sometimes I wish it had an off switch.

My brain helped me get through college and grad school. It lets me enjoy reading and music and movies and so many other things. It has helped me write stories, poems, plays, regardless of whether they ended up being any good. It lets me play with my kids. It lets me communicate with people, especially the ones I love.

My brain also likes to bitch slap me. It will smother me in doubt and insecurities. It will trigger anger that I will struggle to control. It will take an attempt to me cool and interesting and turn it into, well,  me seeming like a guy who consumed a box of crayons. It stops me from communicating with people.

My brain almost never shuts up. I have had one or two people accuse me of having a stutter. I have known people who actually have that condition, so I know what that really sounds like. But there are times when I have so many thoughts trying to get out of my head and once I just stop talking for a moment. I guess that’s close enough to stuttering for some people. They are probably the same people for whom Velveeta is close enough to cheese.

I would love to have an off switch for my brain. Keep the basic, life-giving functions going but just have the option to shut everything else down. If nothing else, having the option of doing that at night when I’m trying to sleep would be awesome.
It would be great to have a restful night’s sleep on a regular basis.

Although, I suppose this off switch concept may be too much like turning into a zombie for some. I can’t say the whole human flesh-eating and rotting appendages is appealing. Though it does put an interesting spin on the whole “brraaaiiinsss” idea.

Damn it. Just my luck to have an idea that could actually cause the zombie apocalypse.

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Pants of life

Today my one-year-old crawled out of her pants.

I should mention that they are a bit too big for her. I also didn’t actually watch her do it. All I know is that one minute, Zoe was on one side of the playroom wearing her pants. The next thing I know, she had crawled to the other side and her pants didn’t go with her.

Should I take this as some kind of sign? Are the pants of life I’m trying to wear too large? I feel like I make a pretty strong effort everyday. I try to be a good husband and a good daddy. I make an effort to be a good friend. I go to my job and I work like I’m supposed to. Is that enough?

I do all these things while trying to be true to myself. Like everyone, I have bad days and there is nothing I can do about them. It’s just reality. As I’ve said before, I also deal with depression and that can make the bad days a lot worse. But I acknowledge those feelings for what they are, I take my medication, and I do the best I can. Really, it’s all just another stitch in the pants I’m wearing. But is that enough?

Has my baby become some kind of infant Nostradamus? Will she and her sister be doomed to watch their father trip and fall because he couldn’t keep his pants of life up?  And will I end up crawling towards failure, leaving behind pants I never should have put on in the first place? Is there no existential belt that can save me?

Of course it’s entirely possible, as well as much more likely, that Zoe is just too little right now for the pants she has on. Big pants on a little baby will ultimately not stay up.

Maybe I just need to get out more. Maybe I’m just using this moment as an excuse to talk about pants for no real reason.  Yeah, that’s probably it.

Before the coffee kicks in….

This is an experiment of sorts. Haven’t been awake for quite an hour yet and my wife is out hiking. The girls have had breakfast (or at least only played with some of it) and are watching the Disney Channel. My brain is still muddy. So let’s see what comes out of it before I start to think too clearly. The ravings of the not-yet-fully-caffeinated.

The cat looks like a loaf of bread right now.

When is the next D & D game and will we actually have all the players?

Am I actually any good at being a dad or are these kids screwed?

Where did quality XBox time go?

I work with a lot of bitchy people. Or, you know, people.

How much pooping will I do today?

I wish my insurance would let me go back to therapy.

I wonder if my girls will ever be actual friends? Not just sisters.

I think I’m in trouble if I can’t make myself eat better.

They need to have pumpkin donuts year-round, which wouldn’t help with the previous statement.

What’s it like to be cool?

Okay. Experiment over. I’m starting to think too much and Phoebe is demanding my attention. Rambling is done.

Words to read by

I will never pretend to really understand people in general. I can relate to some more than others, as we all can, but we are just too damn confusing as a whole. Everyday stuff shoots out of the mouths of my fellow Homo sapiens that just makes my head hurt. For the moment, though, I will focus on one in particular that just bugs me.

“I don’t really read books.”

What? We have people out there who don’t read books?

In case you haven’t figured it out, I love to read. I love stories and novels. I prefer fantasy, sci-fi, satire, humor, and things of that ilk. I also enjoy non-fiction and biographies when it’s a topic I want to learn more about. I get a frustrated when I don’t have something to read. I will reread books all the time.

It blows my mind when someone says they don’t read. Not that they can’t read. They DON’T. I imagine my face must look like a dog that’s trying to understand English when someone tells me this. I get that someone may not like the kind of books I do, but to not read at all just seems wrong to me.

First off, I’m not ranting against people watching TV and movies instead of reading.  I do all those things. Sometimes I do choose TV over books. And there are plenty of crap books out there to go with the crap TV. But that is no excuse for never reading at all. Read whatever you want. I love that my wife reads and that I can talk about books with her. I love that my toddler like books. I even love that my baby likes to chew on books. At least that’s a start.

The fact that you had to read things in school that you didn’t like is no excuse. So did I. We all did. I also struggled in math class, but I still use numbers. If you don’t want to fill up your house with books (which again, confuses me) then get a Kindle or a library card. And on a side note, if you do read but it’s limited try to branch out a bit. Only reading non-fiction? Look for a novel that appeals to your interests. Stories are important. Do you ONLY read novels? There must be a subject you want to know more about. Get a book on that and read it. Make your brain happy.

This should go without saying, but if you are a parent I really hope you read to your kids. It’s one of my favorite things to do. If you don’t, then you are cheating them as well as yourself. Sorry, but that’s how I see it.

Okay, I will close this particular rant. I like books. I like to read. The end.