Friday, June 12, 2015

Suppressing Blood Terror for the Love of The Freak


The piercing scream came from outside my bedroom door. A terrified yell, mix with sobs. I woke up with a start and shot out of bed, throwing on my ample robe, crossing to the door, and flinging it open.

There stood The Freak (5). She was holding her hands to her nose. Blood was coming around her fingers. She's terrified of bloody noses and worse, has been getting them once a day or so, since allergy season started.

My bride, the blood queen, wasn't at home, gallivanting around somewhere else for the night. My specialty is barf. I'm scared of blood, broken bones, bumped teeth, loose teeth, bruises, forks stabbed in an eye, gashes to the bone, cancerous tumors that come and go over 24 hours, and anything else that happens to kids. But barf? Bring it on. I got that shit.

I had no choice. It was 2:30 in the morning and she had yelled for me.

I grabbed her hand, blood and all, and gently led her to the bathroom, grabbed a few Kleenex, and a baby wipe or two, put the Kleenex to her nose, scrubbed her hands with the wipes, and laid her carefully on her back, on Mommy's pillow.

She whimpered a little and added a little pressure. I went downstairs to the freezer, wrapped a few ice cubes in a wash cloth, and then applied that to her nose as well. 

In just a few minutes, it had stopped, commencing the next phase in bloody nose marathons - sniffle and ask Daddy 100 times if it's really done.

She stayed the night in my bed. 

I may have this down. But really, I can't wait until my wife is home. I'm going back to barf.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

When Your 13-Year-Old Daughter Knows Your Heart

If you've read my blog long enough, you know two things about me. The first is well-known, the second lesser, yet regardless, well-known to me. 

1. I want my house clean at all times. No equivocations. I cannot handle a dirty house.
2. I have no desire to learn what the hype about Minecraft is, nor do I want to play it at all - ever.

And, if you've followed me, you know that #1 is a constant problem. My kids know me as the dad that always makes them clean. Sure, we have fun together, as a family, and individually, but if you stopped them on the street and asked, "Tell me the one thing you would tell the world about your dad," they would reply, "He never lets us do anything but clean."

Welcome to my life. 

I disagree though. That isn't true. They actually spend the majority of the day creating the mess that they will be required to clean later, or the mess that I will need to clean all by myself.

And they love Minecraft. All of them do. I hate it. But I see value in it for them. I don't know what the value is quite yet, but I'm learning. It seems to create a sense of community amongst them, as well as with their friends from school and the neighborhood. They build things together, destroy things together, fight over The Freak (5) destroying all of their things, together. On and on it goes.

Last night, I walked into the house and saw that the two kitchens' sinks were piled high, overflowing with dishes. The kids were headed to bed, but I intervened, rustling them all to the kitchens. There, we split into teams and finished the job in about 20 minutes. Even The Freak grabbed a dish towel and learned how to wipe well, with Laura's (11) instruction.

Then, this morning, Renaya (13), brought me her phone and showed me something on Minecraft.
Daddy. See these carpets I made? All the kids picked their color. Each of them has 10 carpets. As they complete a task, clean a room, weed the property well, etc, I will destroy one of their carpets. Whoever gets to zero carpets first, gets to play on my phone for an hour.
As I walked out the door to go to work, this morning, Frederic (10) and Jack (6), the little guy who never cleans, burst out the door after me.
Daddy! We cleaned our room. Now we're going to weed the swing set area!
Um....what just happened?

There are some days I really feel warm fuzzies for my squirts.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Duggars Are Rape Apologists

During the Fox News interview on June 3rd, JimBob and Michelle Duggar came up with the following conclusions, which I shall paraphrase for them:
  • Josh mostly touched the girls over their clothes
  • When he did touch the girls under their clothes, it was only for a few seconds
  • The girls were asleep at the time of the touchings and were unaware of the goings on
  • Josh personally and un-prodded-ly confessed to his parents
  • He had tears
  • Jesus forgives
Let's leave off the 'Jesus forgives' conclusion in my assessment of this treatment of sexual abuse. I've already spoken at length about the theology of "ignore my crimes, God forgave me" that the Duggars espouse so well. Instead, let's imagine something:

It's a cold and rainy evening on the long slog back to my college dorm. I have a very beautiful girl on my arm, who turns on every light bulb in me, including my non-existent soul. As we walk, I can smell the shampoo she used a few days prior, to wash her hair, mixed with the deliciously pungent scent of sebum oil.
I breathe deeply, wrapping my arm around her a little tighter. She sighs and we continue to awkwardly stumble home.
We pass her dorm. She makes no motion to turn and walk up the steps, but instead, gives me a knowing glance, the moon lighting up the features of her stunning face, revealing her lips, slightly parted, her breath panting through them.
As my heart begins to race, I try not to quicken my pace, knowing full well what she seems to be desiring and wanting to finally experience this woman, in her full naked glory, expressing our love together for an entire night.
After what seems like an eternity, we arrive at my dorm room, open the door, and immediately fall onto my bed, kissing deeply and passionately, grasping aimlessly at each other's clothed bodies.
As I make a move to slowly slide my fingers beneath the front hem of her panties, while at the same moment, allowing my lips to brush the nape of her neck, she murmurs ever so softly, "Let's sleep, wrapped in each other's arms."
I kiss her on her forehead and whisper back, "As you wish," and move down to her feet to lovingly remove her shoes and socks. Then, pulling the blankets over us, we do as she desires, which, funny enough, as do I.
According to the Duggars' rules, there is nothing wrong with me hopping out of that bed, handing her a drink with a rape drug in it, then having my way with her - only for a few seconds - and tearfully admitting to it in the morning.

After all, Jesus will have forgiven me.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

No. God did NOT Save My Family From Asphyxiation

This morning, I wrote a post about my eldest daughter who woke up to the smell of our furnace burning and came to wake us up, potentially saving our lives.

Mama, who my dear readers know quite well from my writings, decided to anonymously comment on the post with a three-word sermon.
Thank you, Lord.
Now, let's look into that poppycock a bit. First, let's go over the facts.

  • The furnace started on fire
  • My daughter woke up
  • My daughter got out of bed
  • My daughter told me that there was a smell of fire
  • I got out of bed.
  • I got my robe on
  • I stepped on a damn Lego, waking me up even more
  • I cursed the Lego out in front of my daughter, waking up the rest of the house
  • The Lego answered didn't happen
  • I walked down the basement to find the furnace on fire
  • I turned the furnace off, completing the saving of my family's lives
  • I went back to bed
  • I slept
Read those facts. Where in there is God? Any god? I don't see one. Unless, maybe, the Lego is God. Then that god did a damn fine job of waking me up and was summarily praised, in the form of curse-ory worship, for it.

But no. No god had anything to do with this whatsoever. Check the observable and empirical facts again.

Why do I care so much about that? It's very simple.

Earlier this winter, a dear friend of mine came into work, shaken up. A family he knew quite well had just lost their father and two of their kids to carbon-monoxide poisoning. They were living in a trailer on their northern Minnesota property and heating it using power from a generator. Somehow, the exhaust backed up into the house and killed most of them before the oldest son woke up to discover the horrible truth.

If God spared me and my family, why then did he decide that that family needed to die? 

I have no interest in that god, real or not. And if he so desires to get my praise for saving my family that night, he has some serious explaining to do. And if, in fact, he is all powerful, as his followers pretend he is, through all his impotent manifestations, he has a family to bring back to life.

When Your 13-Year-Old Daughter Saves Your Life

As I have mentioned in the past, we bought a foreclosed Victorian "mansion" in the heart of the downtown of a small Minnesota village. This mansion had two heating zones, for which each had its own furnace. The furnaces were about 30-years-old and were being limped along by repairs every year.

This winter, one of them started pumping out some serious carbon monoxide out the exterior air vent. It was red-tagged and we had it replaced with a brand spanking new 96% forced-air furnace. (We had one of the water heaters go out then too, but that's another story).

So, after replacing that old dinosaur, we had one more furnace that needed to be fixed every few months or so. Until a few nights ago.

Minnesota decided to get a bit cold overnight. So, reluctantly, we turned on the furnace and went to bed. The air coming out of the vents smelled a bit like burning dust, but had a sort of smoky smell to it, as well. I shrugged my shoulders and nodded off.

At 1:34AM in the morning, our 13-year-old daughter stumbled into our room.

"Mommy. Daddy. Something is on fire."

I woke up with a start and rushed down into the basement, the smell of the fire pouring from the upstairs vents. Once in the furnace room, I found the remaining old dinosaur furnace's interior engulfed in flames. I quickly hit the emergency switch, shutting the furnace off, and watched until the flames died down and went out.

We then called the service guy.

When he showed up today, he flipped the furnace on and it started on fire again. He looked at my wife and said, "This is 100% pure carbon monoxide pumping into your ducts. Cracked air intake, etc."

Thank goodness our daughter woke up.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Duggars Will Be On Fox News June 3rd At 9PM EST

According to NoLongerQuivering, the Duggars will be on Fox News' 'The Kelly File' to bare their collective souls about the Josh Duggar saga.

I've written two posts about the way the family (as well as many Christians) view the victims of Josh's sexual abuse.

Fuck You, Faceless Victims. God Forgave Us: The Josh Duggar Saga


Fuck You, Faceless Victims. God Forgave Us: The Josh Duggar Saga, Part Deux

I also wrote a poignant expose into the theology that allows the Duggars, et al, to walk away from these horrible acts and claim that they are okay by God's standards:

The Duggars' Moral Superiority: A Religious Right Stronghold, Exposed

If you know anything about the theology of Bill Gothard, including the book 'Reclaiming Surrendered Ground' by Jim Logan, Gothard's wonder boy, you'll get a kick out of the use of the term 'Stronghold'. Then again, it's almost too much of an inside jab.

Anyway, I look forward to rolling my eyes with the faux piety on the faces of the Duggars, the overuse of the word "just," the pretend clicking of the tongue to purport sadness, the monotonous drawl of Michelle's voice, the puke inducing way she gazes at her husband, adoringly, as he speaks, the troweled on make-up, the fashionable clothes they are allowed to wear, whereas the rest of the Dominionist, Patriarchal, Fundamentalist crowd must wear crappy, threadbare, jean skirts with white tennis shoes, and homely tops, etc, etc.

Nothing will change. They will not care about the victims one bit. Jesus has already handled it and we are evil libruls to even suggest that they have more work to do, or even empathy or psychology to learn. God knows best. 

Mark my words.

What??? I Can't Be a Martyr!?

I posted this idea to the Facebook, this morning, but wanted to flesh it out a bit more.

Recently, I was mishandled by one or more individuals. It wasn't me, directly, but it affected those that I love. And, when people I love are affected in a negative way, I usually tattle on the perpetrator, to my bride, then hide behind her while she does all the dirty work.

But not this time. Every so often, I get so incensed, I have to do something about the naughtiness.

I put it like this:

    My blood pressure rises. Adrenaline pumps through my veins. My normally ambient self is now a weapon of heated anger, ready to defend my beliefs, rights, and even loved ones. By gosh, I'm ready to martyr myself against my adversary!! 
    Adversary: "Incongruous Circumspection. I agree with you." 
    Dammit. All that hullaballoo for nothing.

I have a sneaking suspicion that my body doesn't much appreciate that infrequent endeavor. Then again, maybe it needs the action and adds years to my life.

Next time, I'll just hide behind my wife again.

Carry on.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fingernails Are a Lot Like Avocados

Avocados. The worst food known to humankind. Worst food for planning, that is.

You know the drill. Go out to Costco, buy a bag of six avocados. They're green and hard. Arrive home, set them on the counter beside the stove, then wait. Every few hours, you go back and squeeze one of two of them.

Still hard.

You go to bed. Wake up. Go directly to the bag of little green footballs, and squeeze a few of them.

Still hard.

Go to work. Arrive home. Squeeze. Still hard.

Get ready for bed. Go to counter. Squeeze. A little softer. But still hard.

Go brush your teeth and then, for good measure, walk back to the bag on the counter to check onece more before bed.


There is literally a three-minute window where one can make guacamole or a sandwich with perfectly ripened avocados.

I've discovered the same thing with fingernails.

I cut mine a few weeks ago. My fingers looked amazing. Then I watched them grow. Very slowly. A week later, it was as if I had cut them the day before. Two weeks later, they were looking rounded and smooth, at that perfect length where, if I wanted to, I could go get a manicure, and the manicurists would mew and crow at how lovely my nails were.

Then, I go to sleep. Wake up. I feel a little itch on my cheek and I reach my hand up to scratch it, coming away with blood on my three-inch nails, four deep gashes right down to my cheekbones, left on my face.

I'm 35 and have yet to calibrate this curse of humankind correctly.