Fart Big! Dream Big!

Turn your back for two seconds and this is what will appear on your driveway written in bright neon-colored sidewalk chalk:

A regular Picasso

A regular Picasso

Yeah.  Chew on that  for a moment.  Where do you think she picked up this particular brain dropping?  I mean, ‘smel your farts‘ I get, but ‘Fart Big!  Dream Big!‘?

What the hell?

Sure, I already know farts are funny but, geez, do we have to announce it to the world?  Personally – all childhood innocence aside – I sure hope HRH will strive to accomplish greater things in this life and aspire to more than simply letting rip with the perfect fart.  Just sayin’…

God help me.

Bob the Fly

It seems that HRH has now adopted herself a new pet she’s named Bob; ‘Bob the Fly’ to be exact.  Yes, she’s taken to a fly that’s been buzzing around inside my car for the past week.  Every time she jumps in the backseat of the car to go somewhere she hunts him out to ‘make sure he’s okay’.  Seriously, a fly? 

I will  pause here for a moment to mention that I think ‘Bob the Fly’  would, however, be an awesome name for a band in the same vein as ‘Young the Giant’, ‘Cage the Elephant’  or ‘Cuff the Duke.  But I digress…

Personally, while I think this whole pet fly business is a bit cute, it’s also pretty freakin’ strange. On the one hand I appreciate that she has a genuine love and respect for all of God’s creatures (save bees and ticks maybe) but then there’s that, well, rather ‘creepy’ Wednesday Adams vibe to it.  I mean, first it’s naming a fly in the car before it potentially snowballs into her becoming that wacko with flies on a leash and threatening to poison the water supply in ‘Midnight In the Garden of Good & Evil’.  It’s certainly a slippery slope.

And, seriously, if she ever starts crazy-gluing thread to the backs of flies so she can take them for a walk around the neighborhood, my ass is outta there!  Sorry Kelly but I’m not living with crazy ‘Queen of the Flies’  girl.

Pause again quickly to note that ‘Queen of the Flies’  is not as cool a band name as ‘Bob the Fly’.

However, the way it is now is pretty harmless in the grand scheme of things I guess; she’s just being a typical imaginative nine-year-old…weird as it may be.  I keep telling myself that anyway.  So Bob continues to buzz around my back seat refusing to fly out any of the windows and she therefore has a travel companion to amuse her for long car drives into the city leaving me largely to my coffee and tunes.  It’s a classic win-win.

Who am I to judge anyway?

God help me.

“I Forgot…”

I have learned to be afraid of two specific words in HRH’s vocabulary – more so than any others. They’re even worse than the dreaded “What if…”  (click HERE).  These two words would strike fear into the hearts of even the most patient and nurturing of step fathers such as myself. 

Those two words are: “I forgot…” 

It’s doesn’t matter what words follow those two preceding words but, let me assure you, they’re definitely not going to be favorable.  Be afraid my friends, be afraid.

I experienced just these two very words only this morning approximately 20 minutes into our commute into the city; her to the day camp; me to work. Usually, these two words might be preceded by another two words, “Oh no!” – just as she did today – so maybe those might be the two most feared words but, hey, I digress…when strung together they’re the Devil’s Quartet of the nine-year-old vernacular.

And there they were, echoing excitedly from the backseat:

“Oh no! I forgot…”

Wait for it…

…my lunch!”

*facepalm*

Now I could have dealt with just about anything at that point like a forgotten water bottle, her YMCA membership card, a sweater, a pair of shoes perhaps, but a lunch isn’t something you can take lightly; specifically her lunch. Sure, I could just pull over at Subway and grab her half sandwich but then I’d just be that dad: the guy who sent his kid to camp with half a meatball sub. Sorry, can’t do it. 

So I did what I had to do and turned around to make for home.  I will admit to trying to mentally calculate how long she might be expected to go without food but I quickly gave that up as I have no mind for numbers.  So what choice did I have?  Frustrating, right; infuriating even?

But here’s the thing: you can’t even really get mad at her. Shit, when I was nine-years-old, if it didn’t have anything to directly do with either my penis, or maybe my G.I. Joe’s, then the chances were very good that I wasn’t even aware of it, much less remembering it. And with her mind already completely overloaded with ponies, princesses, leftover pancakes, and whathaveyou, well, who could blame her? 

She’s got a lot going on in there already.

God help me.

Midnight Soul

From time to time, HRH  gets stuck in these, well, let’s call them ‘trends’, where she will gravitate to something specific as a means of amusing herself. There have been endless pictures of me as a princess (well, this it seems is an ongoing fascination), then it was elastic bracelets, that stupid Fox song (and before that, Baby Shark) and, lately, it’s been Shark Week. But, now, there’s also something even more interesting and confusing:

Midnight Soul.

No, this is not some 70’s style funk band, nor is it the name of a fancy late night restaurant somewhere and I sure as shit hope it has nothing to do with this:

…because that would be just downright weird!

But, no, apparently it’s just two random words that keep appearing over and over again in our house in little girl handwriting. It’s written in big, bold yellow chalk letters on our driveway; it’s scribbled on little notes she leaves at my desk; and it’s scrawled across her blackboard downstairs. Beats me what it means, it’s just there.

So I inquired with her yesterday as to where these words, term, phrase (or whatever it is) might have originated, fully expecting it to be in some way related to Katie Perry, or something equally stupid and kid-centric. But I was wrong on both accounts.  In fact, she told me she didn’t “get it from anywhere”, but rather she simply thought it while looking at the clouds in the sky.

It just came to me”, she said.

Clearly she’s back on the ‘No More Tears’, right? 

I decided to press a little further.  “But what’s it mean?”, I asked.

“I dunno. It just sounds cool”, she answered.

Okay then.  Fair enough. 

Midnight Soul‘ it is. 

I think it’s high time I get this a child a journal of her own; Lord knows what other completely random and odd thoughts are firing through that brain pan of hers.

God help me.

Megalodon, Where Have You Been All My Life?

I can only take so much kids programming.  Sure, HRH  loves it (as any 9-year-old would I expect) and it should be all about her enjoyment really but, still, I need to be able to retain some sanity during our TV cuddle time too.  There has to be some happy medium.  Otherwise, I’m at risk to pulling a ‘Here’s Johnny!’  through the bathroom door one morning after being subjected to too much ‘Jesse’  the night before.

Thankfully, I have found a suitable alternative: Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives.

Shark Week to the rescue!

This particular program is the latest in a series of ‘docufictions’  (or ‘mockumentary‘ if you prefer) that are being aired on the Discovery Channel.  The story, with only short disclaimers at the beginning and ending indicating that it is fictional, revolves around the loss of a pleasure boat and crew off the coast of South Africa and an ensuing investigation that points to an attack by a member of the species Megalodon, a gi-normous prehistoric shark thought to be long extinct.  Its format is that of a documentary that includes accounts of “professionals” in various fields related to Megalodon – but she doesn’t know that.  For all she knows, Megalodon is alive and well and simply laying in wait for her the next time she decides to go swimming.  It’s brilliant.

Sure Wil Wheaton wasn’t too happy about it (click HERE) but, last I heard, poor Wesley Crusher doesn’t also have to entertain a rambunctious 9-year-old day after day.  Besides, who gives a shit what Wil Wheaton thinks anyway?

But, hey, it doesn’t stop with monster sharks either, there are whole series of new docufictions currently being aired too, like ‘Titanoboa: Monster Snake’ (which may, or may not have actually existed), and ‘Mermaids: The Body Found.  What kid wouldn’t be interested in humungous sharks, snakes and shit?  And Mermaids?  Well, that’s just the icing on the cake.

From my perspective, it’s cute to see her so tuned in on pins and needles, totally transfixed on the events unfolding on the television peeking out from the safety of her security blanket.  Of course, truth is always stranger than fiction, so when she goes to Google these things afterwards there are entire websites dedicated to these beasts which then lend themselves to perpetrating the myth.  Sooner or later she’ll eventually realize that what she’s seen on TV isn’t actually true but, in the meantime, it sure beats ‘The Wizards of Waverly Place’.  Isn’t learning fun?

God help me.

The King

This picture was waiting for me on the drivers seat this morning:

The King

By Jove, I think she’s finally beginning to get it.

I’m not sure where she got the tuxedo idea from but the rest is pretty accurate.

God help me.

The Mouth Runneth Over

We just recently got HRH  back from a ten day absence while she traveled to P.E.I. with her father to, I dunno, eat lobster and shop I guess.  Whatever, she had a very nice time.  Now you’d think here that I might have initially been somewhat ecstatic to be released for a 10 day child free sabbatical from “Dad Duty”, and I was,  let’s make no bones about it. Christmas definitely came early this year.

The first few days were pretty nice I won’t lie.   Life was footloose and fancy free again.  The sun shone warmer; the stars twinkled brighter; I slept better; worked out  better; shit, even the food tasted a little better, you get the jist.  Actually, now that I think about it, the last days after those first few days without her were pretty nice too.  What was I talking about again?  Oh yeah, anyway, when she finally  got home it was nice to have her back.  That means, of course, that for the past 3 days or so we’ve literally been making up for lost time conversation-wise because, you know, 10 days is a lot of lost jibber-jabber time.  Seriously, I think this child’s mouth runs off a generator.  Here are just a few of my favorite conversational highlights from the past 48 hours:

HRH“What do stickers do?

Me: (after a long blank stare) “They stick to stuff.”

 

HRH “What do you think this sub tastes like?”

Me: “A bun with stuff on it.”

 

HRH“Why does it say here that this guy plays a fish?” (while looking at one of the CD bootlegs in my car)

Me:  “That’s b-a-s-s.  It’s an instrument.  Not a fish.”

 

Heavy, heavy stuff.  I know.  And it never stops.  She’s a machine gun of questions and it’s often exhausting.  Believe me.

So in an attempt to keep her focused on a single discussion point, I’ve been asking her about what it is that she wants to be when she grows up.  She has all the same dreams and aspirations as any other nine-year-old girl, I’m sure, but then there emerges this whole ‘why‘  thing.  I’ve since learned that it’s more the knowing  where her over-driving rationalities come from that intrigues me.  I wanted to be a fireman or a train engineer.  Other people want to be Hollywood reality stars or a celebrity veterinarian, or something.  Point is, it’s the actual why   a person wants to be any particular occupation that really sheds serious insight into that person as a real person.  Dig?  And, well, let’s just say I learned a little something about her today.

Here are the top five so far:

1.  A Princess.  Well, duh.  Who wouldn’t?

2.  A dental hygienist“Because handing things to the dentist wouldn’t be hard.  That’s easy!”  What else needs to be said?  It does sound easy enough.

3.  A pilot “Because they just sit there and don’t do a lot”.   I’m definitely beginning to catch a theme here.

4. The spinning advertisement board guy on the corner“Because dancing for eight hours would be fun!  Do you think I could listen to my own music?”  Why, yes, yes you can.  “If somebody tried to rob me would I be allowed to stab him with my sign?”   Oh I’m sure.  Totally.  “That’s awesome!” 

5.  The tax man.  Why you ask?  Because George Harrison makes it sound so damn cool, that’s why!  Or perhaps I might have made it sound a little too overly appealing by telling her that it was a guy ‘who gets his money from other people’.   “Cool!  I wanna do that!

Oh perfect.

God help me.

Letting ‘em Rip

I’m said it once before:  farts are funny.

Especially when your nine years old, farts are one of the two things (poop being the other) that the known universe practically revolves around.  But now, thanks to science, there is another suggested benefit that goes far beyond their obvious humorous implications.

Ready?  Here it is:  farts might actually help stave off cancer.  Didn’t see that coming did you?  Other physical health ailments that researchers are also suggesting might be prevented from the whiffing of a good ‘ol rotten egg fart include strokes, heart disease, arthritis, dementia and even aging.  Shit, at the rate this kid lets ‘em rip I might just live forever.

Yes, a new study at the University of Exeter recently published in the ‘Medicinal Chemistry Communications’  journal suggests that exposure to hydrogen sulfide (a.k.a. what your body produces as bacteria breaks down food in your gut, causing gas) could prevent mitochondria damage. The implication being exactly what you’re thinking: smelling someone’s toxic air eclairs could prevent disease by preventing (and even reverse) mitochondrial damage in cells.  Now, given the average person farts approximately 14 times a day (more I’m sure in our house), if this ‘farts are good for you’ thing is truly the case then we just might be the healthiest family on the planet.

Furthermore, researchers have also developed a compound called ‘AP39′ designed to deliver just the right dose of the stinky stuff directly to affected cells. Studies on actual humans come next, but in the meantime, it might pay to thank that guy in the elevator for saving your life.  At the very least, I figure this now gives me free reign to layeth down with the sphincter biscuits going forward.  So it’s time to load up on the beans and sausage…hey, what’s best for the family after all, right?

I’m just doing my part.

God help me.

 

Peachbud 1k 2014

Nearly two weeks ago, the kid and I took to the mean streets (and sidewalks) of Grimsby for the annual kid’s 1k event.   I have to be truthful, I didn’t like our chances.  We haven’t trained the way we had in previous years but, she seemed eager to go and cruisin’ for a bruisin’ which, in fact, we did.  She killed it, shaving almost 2 minutes off her previous years effort with a finishing time of 7:34.2  (not that any of this matters, like, at all).  Most importantly, she embraced the whole good natured happy runner philosophy we talked about just prior to the start.  So what was this profound philosophy you ask?  Well, besides the obvious ‘if you don’t win don’t come home’  thing, she opted to go with something a bit more, well, unconventional: “Eat Hot Death”.

*Sigh* 

“From the mouths of babes…”  they say.  Anyway, it’s a long story.  ‘Eat Hot Death’ it was.

Afterwards, I attempted to run out 10k worth of pent-up anxiety and frustration during the 10k event and ended up totally shitting the bed, err, not doing so well.  But that’s also a long story.  So without further adieu, I present you this latest video diary from this years epic Peachbud 1k Fun Run.

 

Word.

Big thanks to my buddy at ‘Waving Cat Media':  http://wavingcatmedia.com/

Checking In

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog with, well, anything.  I could offer you any number of excuses here but let’s just leave it at life becoming “busy” for lack of a better word. To point, I lost my mother to leukemia just a few short months ago (and now my father has begun his own backward slide down this mortal coil), crashed my truck into a ditch (with the girls in it) during a freak ice storm in March, and made a transition from working at home to working at an office; not to mention all the personal challenges these incidents have brought to an otherwise active and time consuming personal schedule.  Oh, and did I mention that Kelly has also started a new job at the hospital further shaking up our routine?  So, yeah…”busy” is definitely a good word.  ‘Busy’ is good I guess, or so I have been led to believe anyway, but it’s not without its own unique challenges.

The good news is that the family continues to be well and good – apart from being a bit shaken up after ending up in a country ditch during the middle of March’s ‘Ice-aggeddon’ that is.  HRH is her usual rambunctious and inquisitive self and Kelly is loving the new job (Me? Not so much).  On the surface, it all seems to be status quo.

However, I sometimes feel that I’m just coping. I won’t deny that I have been experiencing this sense of foreboding and stress for a while. Stress over new car payments; stress over new work expectations; stress over my fathers’ health; stress over not living up to my own expectations. More than these, I’m stressed that I’m letting my family down.  There is a tightness in my chest that I can’t seem to shake some days and so I simply put on the ‘brave face’ for the family’s sake and carry on carrying on; some days are definitely more challenging than others.  I guess I figure that’s the manly, or ‘fatherly’ thing to do as I believe maintaining a stoic sense of ‘normalcy’ in the home is important and so I do my best to maintain that precious status quo but, often, my heart just isn’t into it. But I still do my best.  What else can I do?

Throughout it all I am still trying to keep up with my personal training regimen of developing my over all mental toughness through a series of planned events and challenges so at the very least I have a somewhat regular outlet to burn off the mounting stress through swimming, biking or running should it ever begin to mount to critical mass which, luckily, it hasn’t.  Plus, I want to continue setting a good example for HRH  to persevere through her own challenges in the future when life finally decides to toss her her own lemons and to continue putting that symbolic foot forward.  Maybe that’s the lesson in all this for me as well.

Anyway, I’m confident I’ll get back to being my normal sarcastic, bitchy and good humored self soon enough and when I do, I’m equally confident the posts on this site will begin again in earnest. Until then, there is really nothing more that I’m trying to convey through this blog post other than the fact that I am still alive and – all things considered – well.

God help me.

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