2 Under 2: Hold please (#063)

I’ve resigned myself to the notion that until #2 gets onto some modicum of a sleep schedule, then my personal life is more or less on hold.  0-120 minutes a night to not be on either double baby duty, baby duty of one plus work, or work plus two kids?  That’s life as it is right now.  And the sooner I try to expect to have some free time in which I can actually sit down, relax, and not have to be on high baby alert, the better things might be.

Because that’s probably what’s been the greatest source of my angst and frustration over the last few weeks, is that I want to do things, but in almost all of the time, I just simply don’t have the time to do such.  But if I can mentally accept that there will be no time for me for a little bit longer, then it’s slightly an easier pill to swallow.

Sure, I still feel overwhelmed and miserable when I’m in the way-too-frequent scenario of where my wife is unavailable, I’m on both kids at the same time, and I’m getting blown up by my work email.  That happens way more than I wish it would, but tis the season in my particular line of work.

Salvation is, however, the fact that I am less than two weeks from starting my paternity leave, eliminating one of the biggest roadblocks to parenting for a substantial chunk of time, and I will get the opportunity to be nothing but a dad, instead of dad + corporate bitch, which I believe will take a tremendous load of anxiety off of my docket.

I have a few major objectives I’d like to approach while I’m on leave this time around, but one of the things that I plan on getting on sooner rather than later will begin some sort of sleep training with #2, as I had done with #1, which I like to credit as laying down the groundwork for her outstanding sleep habits to this very day.

And once #2 starts to get on some semblance of a nap schedule and a formalized bed time, things can really only go up from there.  Because this current operation of basically surviving infanthood has been pretty brutal due to the compounding of responsibilities, but as most people describe parenthood, things tend to get easier for a little while before the cycle of difficulty begins spinning as the years progress.

But until those supposed things begins getting easier, I just have to accept that I won’t really have the time to do so many me things, be it running, watching wrestling or other television, and even writing, as much as that one hurts me so.  I still jot down notes and reminders of the things I’d like to touch on, and I’ve gotten to where I don’t discount the Notes function in my phone if I’m feeling so driven.

This is parenthood, in a nutshell, where sacrifice isn’t merely a choice, but often times a necessity, in order to keep things moving with some degree of harmony.

Raymond Lee ≠ Randall Park

Kevin Can Go F*** Himself – pretty good show.  Very creative execution, surprisingly deep plot.  Annie Murphy is still a snack, even as New England white trash.  Kind of feels like a show that should be on FX and not AMC, but whatever.  Probably because it has a very Wilfred-like feel and pace, and that basically no matter what the main characters do, it ends up blowing up in their face.

But anyway, I’m not writing this to analyze the show, I wanted to talk about something that has popped up a surprisingly high number of times to people I’ve spoken with about the show.  Whenever the character Sam comes up, an alarming (to me) amount of people seem to all think that he’s played by Randall Park.  No, it’s an actor named Raymond Lee.

Yes, they’re both of Korean heritage, and there are some broad physical similarities, but the fact of the matter is that there’s like a 12-13 year age difference and all you motherfuckers who make this error are 100% arr rook same-ing them.

The world and America might think they’re progressing and making some strides when it comes to tolerance, acceptance and more respect for Asians in general, but people still can’t seem to keep their mouths shut when it comes to using better judgment and not trying to compare Asians even when they’re not 100% certain.

Maybe in the near future, Raymond Lee can basically start filling in all the roles that would’ve been meant for a younger Randall Park, kind of how like Mahershala Ali is basically picking up all of Wesley Snipes’ old roles, but until then none of these motherfuckers are the same guy and white people need to stop making assumptions about minorities rooking the same.

Blet Money, a year later

I will always maintain that one of the better things I’ve ever incorporated to my brog, would be the On This Day plug-in that lets me narcissistically look back at the posts I made on the day in all prior years where I’ve posted.  Presumably, fewer things are going to inspire words to write other than myself, and every now and then I’ll see an old post that will inspire me to write pretty immediately.

That being said, a year ago on this day, I wrote about how I’d earned a not-insignificant amount of money from noting but doing internet surveys, earning anywhere from 29¢ to $1.58 a survey, sometimes taking a minute, sometimes 20, but covering a vast gamut of topics, whether I had any business opining about them or not.

Sometimes I had idea of what the surveys were collating information about, but there were tons of times where I had absolutely no reason to be taking these surveys, but it was supposedly $1.58 for 8 minutes of survey, so sure I’m now an IT manager for a large enterprise company sharping opinions about cloud deployment and SaaS whatever.  I treated it like LAIRE from Role Models, where I was role playing as things that I didn’t really have any substantial knowledge of.

Anyway, it’s been a year where I was humblebragging over $401.  I’ve been continuing on doing what I was doing then, and since then, the above is what I’ve currently got in the PayPal account designated for this little endeavor: literally one thousand more dollars than I did a year ago, for doing rando internet surveys for pocket change at a time.

I should also point out that this was originally done to earn money to buy wrestling blets with, and this amount seen above is after I’ve purchased two blets for myself (NXT UK, NWA Television), as well as a pair of WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships for my two daughters.  In all, I’ve made a fair amount more than what’s in this PayPal account, and I don’t see much reason to stop, as long as I’ve got the ability to earn something, when I’m doing nothing, which isn’t always, but I can make some here and there at least once a day.

Recently, I was spying on eBay one of my unicorn blets that happened to pop up: an original Figures Toy Co. Ring of Honor world championship blet, which is something that I’ve wanted for a little while now, but I didn’t want to spend $600 to meet the buy it now price the seller was asking.  I floated a few low-ball offers to test the water, which were predictably auto-declined, but I was hoping to wait until the end of the selling window and maybe float in $500. 

Unfortunately for me, there was someone who was willing to walk in the door and just pony up $600, and just like that the blet I wanted was gone.  Who knows when the next time this specific blet shows up again.

The thing is though, I was mentally prepared to unload this $500, but thanks to anonymous money bags, I didn’t.  But as far as I’m concerned, this $500 is truly disposable, and it’s almost like I want to do something reckless with it.  Sure, I could be the bigger person and donate it or give it to someone who could really use it, but I never claimed to be a saint, and I kind of do feel like gambling it in some degree.

And since I’m not about to go to any casinos any time soon, my mind has been very curious about dabbling my toes into the marketplace, and seeing what investing is like, because I know dick from butt when it comes to it.  I just know that I’ve always been fascinated with films like Boiler Room, the Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short, and I see a very realistic chance to take a little bit of risk with some truly expendable money.

I asked around, and didn’t get much excitement or real fun-sounding options, but $500 isn’t necessarily too small to take a chance on.  All the same, if I don’t find something intriguing enough soon, the feeling will fade, and I’ll just sit on it until the day my unicorn blet shows up again.

Anyway, what started out as blet money has grown into something a little more substantial, and with the potential to take the plunge with something a little more high stakes than internet surveys.  All I know is that the time I’ve spent writing all this bullshit, I could’ve been making a $1.80 on what I like to call, over-max surveys, when for a short period, there’s suddenly a number of surveys that exceeds the usual maximum $1.58 threshold, and my eyes get big and excited at the thought of making a whole thirty more fucking cents.

2 Under 2: My wife left me (#062)

Oof.  Even out of context, writing those words stings, and I hope that I’ll never have to write those specific words again.

But yes, mythical wife took #2 and went to go spend a few days with her parents, and I am at home with #1.  No, this did not stem from a fight and we’re already on the rocks after two years of marriage.  It was a call that she made on account of observing the fact that I’ve been operating at a stress level of 170 out of 100 and it’s only been getting worse over the last few weeks as the job that I’ve already lost my favor for tends to get seasonal this time of year, adding to the fuel of anxiety, frustration and negative short fuse, and that I could use a little bit of a break in from the constant screaming and very hands-on requirement of #2.

She’s not wrong at all, but the days leading up to this, I had a hard time digesting the whole plan, no matter how much I actually did need some quiet time.  No matter what anyone tells me, I can’t help feel a sense of failure or shortcoming at being a partner and father to my children, because I have been becoming increasingly short and miserable dealing with two under two, and the sheer lack of time I’ve had since the arrival of #2 to occasionally catch my breath, decompress and feel like a normal human being again.

But I really did need a break.  Pretty much since #2’s arrival, I haven’t had 30 minutes to myself where I haven’t been working, sleeping or being actively hands on as a dad, and the sheer lack of time to come back to earth has been grating at me and grating at me, every single night where I go to bed thinking about all the things I wanted to do but couldn’t do, and then it compounds each and every night.

As gross as it sounds, I’ve basically been showering once a week because I just frankly can’t find the time to do it more regularly.  Even though I know I’m getting grosser and grosser in between them, the time it takes to clean myself up seems more like a chore and a nuisance, and that I’d rather spend that 20 minutes doing absolutely anything else more self-serving than personal hygiene.

A similar sentiment exists for sleep itself, where in the past, I’d probably embark on the whole notion of revenge staying up late, where I’d sacrifice sleep for personal time because I’m so resentful that I didn’t have any time to myself that I’m going to take some in spite of the need for sleep.  Fortunately, cooler heads prevail most of the time, and I remind myself that the only ones getting hurt by me being gassed from not getting enough sleep are my wife and kids, and I opt to get sleep more often than making poor choices.

And as the days turned into weeks, my general state of being was not in a good place.  My patience deteriorated into nothingness, and just about every little thing would set me off.  #2’s frequent crying would grate at me, and I’d begun making more tasteless jokes about killing myself as a result.  All I was feeling was that every single day was wake up, work, and then clean, clean, clean baby stuff until it was time to go to sleep again, with nothing but feeding, diapers and thanklessly trying to calm a screaming baby in between everything.   And it basically began breaking me.

However, the notion that my wife has to take my fussy child away from me in order for me to not feel the like I’m burdened by responsibilities makes me feel sad, makes me feel defeated, and makes me feel overall lousy, even if it I am getting the opportunity to write in silence and stare at the wall in between the typing.  This is one of those instances where I do not feel like I have done well as a father, and it’ll probably stay with me for a while, but hopefully it will change my perspective a little bit, teach me a little more patience, and help me grow as a dad.

What’s AEW going to do with all this talent?

In spite of all the criticizing and clowning I do on AEW, I don’t hate them at all.  Quite the contrary, I support their existence, as an alternative to the WWE that I do more than my fair share of criticizing and clowning on as well.  It’s just that I don’t always understand what AEW is doing, or can’t really seem to grasp the ideas that they may or may not have in mind for the near to distant future.

Sure, CM Punk basically broke the internet on the night he emerged as All Elite, and as big of a fan of the wrestler he was during his time in WWE, he hasn’t wrestled in seven years.  Plus, the world kind of got to know him a little bit better during his time away, and I’m not going to say I full-on soured on the guy, but I am a little more skeptical about his general attitude and outlook on things, seeing as how Twitter was kind of the only thing he utilized to not completely disappear from the public eye, and few things really go well with Twitter.

And then they pair him up with Darby Allin, who is clearly on the hydra of protected AEW originals, along with MJF and Jungle Boy.  Maybe I was just raised on too much Vince-WWF, but his scrawny stature and 1998 persona don’t really do it for me, so the idea of a CM Punk and Darby Allin scrap was about as appealing to me as finding out a friend is a little more right-wing than you might have thought.

But obviously, the main topic of this post is that when the All Out revealed both the debuts of Adam Cole and Daniel Bryan Danielson, in non-wrestling capacities, no less, the first thought that popped in my head was, what the heck is AEW going to do with all this massive influx of talent? 

Going back a little further, they were all too willing to pick up Aleister Black when the WWE let him go, and this was after they had plucked Christian out of retirement, not long after bringing Rusev into the fold and renaming him Miro.  Suffice to say, AEW has been more than willing to fill their roster full of a lot of the talent liberated by the WWE, but again, my thoughts wander to wondering what they can do with all this talent, because a promotion can have all the talented creative in the world, but they’re still at the mercy of the clocks of available television time.

Continue reading “What’s AEW going to do with all this talent?”

RE: A pandemic Dragon*Con

Over the weekend, I observed over social media as people converged on Atlanta over Labor Day weekend for Dragon*Con.  Obviously, my complicated relationship with the con and cons in general notwithstanding, I’m happy for the people who still get tremendous amounts of enjoyment them, and I’m a little envious that they’re able to get to a place where they can, because I sure as shit couldn’t seem to anymore.

Regardless, I couldn’t help but observe with, for lack of a better term, fascination at the fact that it was still going on.  Last time I checked, the world is still very much in a pandemic, coronavirus is never going to go away, and even in spite of people getting vaccinated, there are still hundreds of thousands of people in the world, hidden in plain sight, that are among us, unvaccinated, uninterested in getting vaccinated, and content with being vulnerable and spreading sickness.  And contrary to the belief that all Dragon*Con-going geeks are all liberal vaxxers, there are obviously going to many among the throngs of people attending the con, who aren’t, whom might be carrying, and whom could be the ones to turn the whole thing into a giant tragic superspreader event.

Anyway, throughout the weekend, I’d see various people doing the usual spiel of posting their photos, be it of themselves in costume, drunk selfies, the usual humblebragging of I’m here you’re not, and all sorts of glimpses of what’s going on downtown.  And depending on the source would determine just how many masks were seen, or not seen, and I have a hard time wondering what I found more sad: all the people running around the convention without masks, or all the people with them, having to add them to their costumes, preferring to look a little out of place, but considerate to the health of others.

Like I’d see pictures of Starlight from The Boys wearing a mask, or Batman wearing a mask over the cowl, obscuring 100% of skin at that point, and I’m thinking, kind of weird, but at least they’re taking health rules as serious as voluntarily going to an event that draws well into the tens of thousands.

But then I’m seeing photos of people in room parties where nobody’s wearing a mask, or the usual mish-mash of humanity that all conglomerates at the Marriott or the Hilton, and my skin is crawling at the idea of so much regurgitated air being cycled among people, potentially spreading disease.

But that’s just the shit going on through my head.  Obviously, I wouldn’t have gone to the convention even if there were no pandemic, but there’s absolutely no way in hell that I would have gone, even if I were still gung-ho about conventions.  All the same, I still hope all of the friends of mine who went still had good times, and are hopefully healthy and symptom free in the weeks after the con.  If conventions drove me away without a pandemic, who knows if and when I’ll ever get back into them in the future again.

For one night only, we are kings of college football

Earlier in the day, my wife and I were on a walk with the kids. We talked about how neither of us knew who our respective teams were even playing for their first games of the season, we’ve just been that busy and absorbed by parenting to have any time to concern ourselves over college football, much less a variety of other things.

She mentioned how tomorrow was the start of the season, but then I pulled the whole well actually thing about how the season had already started for some FCS and D-II scrub schools and how there were a handful of games on tonight-but nobody usually gives a shit about Friday night college football games, and they’re usually just scrubs playing.

An hour later I’m get a text message from my step mother-in-law, saying Go Hokies! and I’m confused so I pull my phone out and check the internet and sure enough, scrub Virginia Tech is opening their season on Friday night, hosting the surprisingly highly ranked #10 North Carolina.  Fuckin’ figures 

Anyway, to cut to the chase, Tech takes down #10 UNC, and on day zero of the college football season, it’s the de facto upset of the week, and I would wager that no higher ranked team will probably go down, short of the loser of the #3 vs #5 game between Clemson and Georgia.

For one night only, Virginia Tech stands atop the world of college football, pulling the biggest upset of the season so far. Which will be something fondly to look back on when Tech will inevitably fuck up their season when they lose to like Pitt, or worse off, FCS school Richmond. 

But until the annual crash back to earth happens, it feels great to start the season off with a big W against a top-10 ranked opponent, as much of a fraud ranking it may have been, and division rival.