this is a blog for those of you who like to read about the opening of jelly jars, the removal of mold and mildew and a cat I saw "sleeping" in the middle of the road.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Queer as a Stay at Home Dad

Had a nice evening visit with some friends who are a bit older. Big D says when describing a cat
"I had a cat that was queer for shoelaces!"
His meaning was something along the lines that the cat had an unnatural affection or affixation with laces.
He could have said this cat really REALLY liked shoe laces but instead he said queer. I pointed this out to my wife later. We both laughed out loud. I'm not sure why.
Now Big D is a kind man. A liberal guy. His heart is open to all people but he is a guy who grew up 60 years ago in Oklahoma in a place where he was raised as he says by the milkman. He had no parents to speak of. The milkman would come into his house in the am and yell up the stairs. "The toast in down!"
What does all this mean? I don't know exactly, other than big D says offensive things sometimes, and I laugh. Not usually with him in the spirit of his political incorrectness but because of the sheer ridiculousness and archaic nature of his use of the language. That when he slips into unacceptable mode, he becomes a character of a time or a person who for me, he is not at all other times.
The queer remark I believe is harmless, but then again I am neither queer nor a cat, so in the long run I don't get to judge what is offensive and what is not. I just have to figure out when I tell my wife what big D said if I should laugh or not.
The other thing that has been on my mind is stay at home dads. To all of you "sleeping at your mistresses house dads" out there FOR SHAME! Dads should stay in their own homes. It is really the best way for families to live. You "staying on the lawn dads" and "sleeping in the car dads" need to get the F up and back into the home! I thought of posting on this whole thing because I am "a go to work, come home, do the laundry, cook sometime's, mow the lawn, watch tv dad. My wife used to be a "go to work, come home and smoke on the porch, load the dishwasher mom" , now she's a "go to work, work at home, raise our kids (when I'm not doing it,) always checking her e-mail mom." We are thinking of starting an exhaustive online community called "patting ourselves on the back parents." We will require all joiners to be "not leaving your children out in the heat to be eaten by vultures moms and dads." It may be ambitious but we think there are a few people out their really trying to keep their children fed and alive and we want a place they can call home!

I am away to another exotic getaway for 8 days. This one is for the "buy a great deal of new shoes dads" out there. Throw out the dangerous packages of chemicals at the department store before bringing your new shoes home. Those mini sugar packets contain a highly toxic substance that your children may mistake for something else!
Ps:
I apologize for the excessive use of "quotes"

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Here Kitty! Kitty!

Death is not a way to begin your day. There are times I feel death hangs around my neck like a...
like an...
like...
What is that heavy thing they use to put around people's necks to make sure they drown, or had a hump, or just for punishment? Was it a farm implement? A Greek thingy? Like there was some guy called Slouchicus who was in love with a stone doughnut, so he made a necklace from the Golden Fleece of a magical woodchuck and placed it around his neck, only to be forever embarrassed by his bad posture..But I digress.
I found a dead cat today. It was my Dead mother-in law's' cat. It was 21. I won't say it passed quietly into the gentle night. It was deaf. It couldn't hear trouble coming. I can't stop washing my hands.
She would stand in the driveway, and refuse to move. A passenger would have to get out and shoo her away. She was a bag of bones. She had a floppy belly. My wife would ask when is that cat going to die? I would tell her she already had, that she was undead. I was wrong.
In the last few weeks the cat had taken an odd turn for the better. She went from labored breathing and creaky movements, to jumping on the counter, nuzzling up to us, and meowing to come in. She was an outside cat. An outside cat for 21 years! And all of a sudden she wanted to come in! She would sit in between the dogs, climb into our laps, and beg for food.
But I found her today. Stiff and lifeless. She has left the earth. She was a hold over. A living artifact of my wife's turbulent teen years. A ghost of her past. She had nothing to do with me. She wasn't a part of my zeitgeist. She was kind of a stranger. I never made a connection or gave her a second thought.
I am sad she is gone, but mostly I have had enough.
I am growing tiered of death running into me at odd times.
"Oh, do you shop here? Funny that! By the way, I've come for your Auntie. Hold her in her arms will you? They really like that."
Sorry in advance for the language, but death is a fucker. I can't put it any plainer than that.
Yoda says death is a natural part of life. Of course he's a bloody puppet.
You get real close to a person or an animal when you are watching them slip away literally, or when your sliding them into a plastic garbage bag to bury in the backyard. From that point on you have a connection no one else does. You have seen them at a place no one should have to see or be seen. You become a comic book character. All of a sudden someone is penciling in the colors of the sky around you and drawing thick beads of sweat on your brow and shadowing a yellow cloud of disbelief around you. You become the Watcher, or the Consoler, or the Comforter. You are passed a card that says your it. You sleep less. You swallow harder when the phone rings, and you love everyone twice as much.
We are all so fragile. There is nothing like death. The absence, the change in movement to entropy. The sheer unlikeliness of it, the finality, the quietness.
Cinder we miss you. We're sorry your gone. We love you twice as much...

Summer is officially here and I want to remind all of you to keep a bowl of fresh assorted fruit on your counter or table. Studies show kids prefer fruit to salty snacks. The healthy snacks will keep their energy up during the busy days of summer!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

My Vacation: Parking Lot barbecues and Bailey's Irish Cream

Relaxing

I have returned from my trip. I stayed at an elegant resort called the
  • Sea Oats Motel
  • . I will have you know there are no sea oats there. The whole place was constructed in the early 80s and is really beginning to show some wear and tear but it was great.
    It was a place where families have been coming every year for years. The kind of families who work for a living. They save and scrimp all year and come and blow their Circle K checks for a couple days on the beach in a small room with two queen size beds and a kitchenette and a million dollar view. My wife and I aren't people for relaxing or the sun really. but our daughter rolled us out of bed before the Wiggles were on and we would make camp on the beach before the umbrella guy could get the chairs out. We would bask and burn and bob in the emerald waters and build castles of sand.
    My daughter watched tiny fish nibble her Papa's toes and we took outside showers by the pool over and over again. We bought one of those life jacket suits at Walmart. ( The Walmart was a tourist Walmart where you could buy all you nick nacks at everyday low prices. You could get henna tattoos, peircings, beer bongs, vibrating sand dollars "just for her" and have your hair bradded all while getting your oil changed and tires rotated!) She jumped from the ladder and we pulled her from one end of the pool to another.
    I talked with families from Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Ohio and Texas. Everyone was trying like hell just to have a little fun, and for the most part we all were.
    Couples you normally would associate with Farm Aide or an episode of Cops held each other tight and played with their nine kids in the surf and people were generally sweet and friendly. No one minded if you sat in their beach chair or if your kid played with their kid's bucket, or even if your daughter cried all night in the room next to theirs.
    They had these sad little BBQ grills that were just find of outside in the parking lots and people would fill them with charcoal and grill man-size T-Bones and countless weenies and burgers for the kids. They would pull down their lawn chairs and sit round the parking lot fires like cave men and people would feast and then sleep on the sand on on their balconies.
    After faking out our daughter and getting her to sleep we slipped to the balcony to talk like we don't do enough anymore. We drank what we like to call "coffee" coffee which is more Bailey's Irish Cream than Folgers and watch as the condos next door would light fireworks on the beach and in the sky.
    We ate in restaurants and here's a tip: Do not go to the Tourist places in Destin. The places like Fud Puckers and Crab Shack are all selling fish from the Pacific rim and everything is pre-fab frozen and they don't really care if its good because your a tourist and you will eat anything and think its fabulous. Try local places like Callahan's, The Destin Diner, Thai Delight, The Doughnut Hole, Krispy Cream (which is staffed entirely by young Natasha Kinskis! Go Figure?) Graffiti's, and Harbor Docks. Some of these are touristy places but for the most part they are cheaper (Save Harbor Docks) and will have local ingredients.
    We went to Sea Side where they filmed The Truman show and marveled at the wealth and the falseness of such a permanent spot. I asked my wife if it was ok to feel so relaxed on a movie set and we decided not to answer but buy $7 gellatos and marvel at the Ikea baby strollers and Frenchmen who were lousy at this place.
    The morning it was time to go we roused early. We had "special breakfast" which were chocolat doughnuts but I told my girl it was special anyway. We popped down to the beach and dug in the sand with her new shovel we had bought the night before, made our last sandcastles and took our last outside shower while Mom got the room clean and packed our final stuff.
    When I was returning the keys I thought I heard the people who work there discussing the raising of the Sea Oats to build a super condo which have taken over Destin. I am really not sure of this but they were talking about moving their office.
    I pray for all of us that this cheap little spot endures and does not succumb to the pressures of profit. There are so few places left for real joy for those of us in the blue collar set.
    Here's another travel tip: Stock up on pre made deli items and canned soda and beer before taking off on any road trip. You will save tons on not having to buy snacks and will spend more time relaxing and less time shopping in over priced markets!

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    A day in the Sun

    I can't seem to update my Damn links on this page.
    It was 215 degrees today. It was so hot my daughgter could say nothing but my beehinde urrtss. I blame the sun. The sun hates this city. Wants to see it melted into the earth. It is because of GW. The bastards worship him.
    Remember Red Dawn with Patrick Swayzee and Pony Boy Curtis. All the W's are like the Cuban invaders. The sun is trying to melt them into the sidewalk like so many ants, but they just scrry away in their SUVs.
    I am off for three days at the beach. I hope the SPF 100 Umbrella I bought will keep me from incineration. I'll put a Kerry sticker on it.
    For a cool summer treat make ringlets of jello and place them over anything circular on your body. The slightest movement will send them to shimmering and dancing. A fun way to spend a summer afternoon.

    Tips on Driving a Hearse

    Here is a recent letter I recieved from a fan:
    Dear GeekFarm,
    Hi its Randy.
    I am so pleased we have the kind of friendship where I can share anything with you. I feel so safe when we talk. I wanted to ask you somthing in confidence. As you know, along with many difficulties in my life, I am forced by my father to drive the family hearse at funerals. Since childhood I have trembeled at the pressence of my fathers dirty bussiness of death. I did everything I could to get away, but you know all the problems I have with making friends. They always betray my trust or end up hurting me when I most need them.
    Anyway, when I drive the hearse I have panic attacks. Being enclosed with the smell of a freshly prepared corpse makes me go into hysterics and I almost run off the road. The only way I seem to be able to deal is by drinking a few Bartles and James Mountainberry Coolers before a big funeral. The buzz kills the fear, but every time I have to drive I seem to have to have a few more. What should I do?

    Yours Always
    Lazarus

    There are many things a person concerned with domestic issues can write about. They can discuss recipes, storage, clean up tips and what not to do if you drive a hearse. First off, no drinking. Funerals are an awfully sad business but it is not possible to do your job correctly if you are intoxicated. You may feel that there is very little to lose if you drink and drive: after all, the one pasanger you have can't get any worse and you are a hearse driver so there is so little to live for, but remmebr we musn't be selfish!
    Just because we have the worst job created by man dosen't mean there is room for sloppyishness or lazziness. I'm sorry you drive a hearse. I'm sorry your family are all morticians and Dad spends all his alone time in the fridge with the stiffs and I'm sorry you were born with a vestigial tail, but these are not excuses. No one likes a sad drunk Laz and I must say I am ashamed to know you are endangering others. I do happen to know an excellent therapist who could get you the help you need but I am so disgusted by your behavior that I will withhold the info until you clean your act up!
    if there is anyone out there who feels you can help Randy feel free to email him at Randi@yahoo.com. I have grown weary of his problems and think someone out there may be able to help him more.

    Sunday, June 12, 2005

    I am staying in a neighborhood I have deemed Shithole Gardens. It could be called Gardens of Shit, it just depends on how you enter the neighborhood. It is one of those track neighborhoods where our parents moved in and imagined that these pre-fab domiciles were these exotic stylistic homes.
    There is one that literaly looks like a pizza hut, one that is a canary yellow dollar store barbie house, there are queen Anne's, those cedear encruted jobs etc.
    They were once new and brilliant. The neighborhood was prime real estate and young couples pumped their dollars into the area and their children's laughter filled the back yards and cook outs were held and car doors slammed at 5'ocklock when Dad camne home, and atari games opened on christmas morning and school busses, first kisses, and sneaking out the window. Then comes divorce. Then comes graduation. Then comes disfunction, suicide, debt, and before you know it people are either sticking it out by updating and keeping the lawns green or renting or selling out.
    The grass is dying in the backyard where we are and the vines and holly bushes cover the rusted chain link fence. There is a family who live next store of some ethnicity who runs a taxi bussiness from his home. There are six very fine American Cab Company vehicles adorning his property. Two of which you can watch detererorate as my daughter blows bubles on the back patio.
    "I work nights, your dogs bark too loud!"
    You keep broken down taxis in the back yard. You also have a 100 year old man you hold captive and force to rake everyday despite the fact there are no leaves in your yard.
    I don't say any of this.
    We live on the street in ShitHole gardens that is on the losing end of this neighborhood's life. Or that is how I am seeing it.
    The little Jamacan girl across the street who lives in the nice white house with the big driveway and conversion van, she is probably on the garden end, and when she sees me, she must think:" There goes the neighborhood."

    I find that to really clean a tub well, try Bon Amie. I use a toilet brush I bought just for tub scrubbing. If you let it soak in and then clean with small circles you avoid those nasty back aches that come from excessive scrubbing!

    Saturday, June 11, 2005

    you're my waitress,right?

    I go to restaurants to eat regularly. I never know who my server is. I look at them briefly but never long enough to make a connection. As I age, waitresses especialy have less and less time for me unless they are interested in my daughter who is adorable but ruthless to the floors.
    I ask my wife, "Thats our waitress right?"
    " No.."
    I flag her down and it was our waitress. I even knew it was, but I said "You're our waitress,right?"
    "Yes.."
    "My pie, can I get it hot?"
    "Yes, I make it hot."
    I unfortunately missed the bawdy overtones of the pie talk until now.
    Except it was not bawdy, but she did say that she makes her pie hot.
    I should grow up.
    Anyway, if you run warm water over a jelly jar, sometimes it will expand the lid and make it easier to open. This works for other jarred items as well. I have the cutest thing called "a round to it." It is actualy a small flat rubber circle that can open jars.

    Friday, June 10, 2005

    A treasure trove of crumbs

    I was cleaning the counter when i noticed the toaster oven was one of those you could just pull out a tray and clean it. So I pulled it out and scrapped the burnt cheese and little bits of toast and bagel into the disposal. I then applied a liberal amount of soap and let sit. It came clean,mostly.
    I am trying to stop hating the universe. I can keep the voices down by cleaning the toaster and eatinga lot of tiny doughnuts and playing with my kids. I just found out I will be a father for the third time. I will have to go to asia to be a dad but I am ecstatic.
    The thing is I have to learn how to stop being angry and dismmissive. I have to stop resenting the planet for not meeting my expectations, and I have to be nice to those around me.
    For the most part I do this. I'm a swell guy. Likable all the way around, but I'm Walter Middy (sp?) I want evryone to pay for the world's injustie, and oh. I make them pay. Mostly in my car where I plot my Castanzaesque moments of revenge where I point out my bosses flaws so precisely that he melts into a puddle like the wicked witch of the West, but never seem to execute the big plan.
    Anyway. After the toaster I cleaned that hard to reach spot behind the sink. Then I had pasta for lunch and left the house to return a wallpaper sample. Oh how they will pay...

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