Dad Brog (#098): Goodbye office, hello au pair

The blets are all down and in storage, my personal effects are all gone, and the only things left are my giant Jinx wall mural, and the hanging bar full of running medals, because they’re out of the way enough to where I don’t feel bad leaving them up.  But for all intents and purposes my office is no longer my office, and is back to being a bedroom, ready for a new resident to my household who will be arriving in short order. 

Mythical wife and I are long past the point of exasperation when it comes to childcare, and we’ve decided to embark down the route of getting an au pair, which is a fancy way of saying we’re bringing in a person from another country to come live in my home, and be a live-in nanny to my children. 

The hopes are that with a nanny as a resident, it will bring a semblance of stability to my house; reliable, consistent care, and with them living with us, the hope is it will greatly reduce the possibility of fake sick days, COVID exposures, and the litany of other bullshit that seemed to plague my home through the parade of temps and babysitters we’ve relied on throughout the rest of this year.

I genuinely can’t express in words the sheer exasperation I’ve had with all the babysitters I’ve had to endure over the last year.  All the bullshit sick days called in where I’m the one who has to eat the sick day from my own job.  All the regular tardiness from them where they were always 3-10 minutes late every single fucking day, where those small amounts of time are the difference between being prepared for an early meeting, or needing to log into a meeting with a crying baby in tow, praying that I’m not called upon to unmute my mic.  All the clock-watching when it came to the end of the days, to where they’d leave on the dot, and I’m on double duty while on the clock at work until mythical wife gets home.

I’m sick of feeling like a liability at work, and questioning my job security, and really hoping that nobody’s taking notes or building a dossier on my occasional work flakiness on account of putting my kids first.  I’m sick of feeling like I’m wasting money when I have to pay shitty babysitters who grew complacent and fell into routines and lazy habits.  I’m just sick of unreliable help.

Of course, mythical wife and I are more than prepared to welcome our au pair with open arms and hope to embrace them as a legitimate member of our household, and we’re really hoping that by giving a shit about them will make them want to give a shit about us, more importantly the kids, and that we’ll have a mutually beneficial year of reliable childcare while they get to explore a slice of life in America, as polarizing of a place we are these days.

But this also means that I’ve had to forfeit my office, as all the other bedrooms in the house are occupied by the kids, and that was honestly one of the things that gave me pause about heading in this direction in the first place.  I loved my office, I loved my wall of blets, and I loved having a personal space for all of my shit that I geek out and obsess over, even if nobody else gives two shits about wrestling, running or any of the rando pieces of art and figures I had on my walls.

However, I love my kids more, and frankly it goes without saying that a large part of parenting is sacrificing things for the sake of our kids.  So add my office to the list with hobbies, disposable income, freedom to bullshit and just time in general, and I’m hoping the au pair experience will go so well that I’ll have zero chance to have any regrets about it.

It’s funny, because while I was on the fence about going the route of an au pair, when my last full-time nanny’s personal drama bomb went off, and she used it as reason why she couldn’t come in to work, I remember my wife showing me her phone with the wall of text, and two seconds after reading it, I was just like, fuck this, let’s get an au pair.  I don’t need my office so much as I just need some fucking reliable childcare, and it just doesn’t seem like we’re going to find any viable options in our area, much less this country full of lazy and entitled people who have some babysitting experience, looking to cash in on a hard caregiver’s market.

But all the same; vaya con dios to my office, as it’s going to be a long time before you will be mine once again, and I will have my blet wall back, and a place to put my nerdy framed artwork and League figures up on the shelves, and have a place in the house that is solely my own.  But the kids come first, always, and one day I will have my office back definitively.

OFC The Walking Dead is resuming right as soon as I catch up

To think I was just about to write about congratulating myself on how I’ve overcome the insurmountable adversity of never having enough time to actually indulge in watching tv and keeping up with the litany of shows and films that I want to watch, but how I somehow heroically found the time and desire to watch what I thought was all of season 11 of The Walking Dead, I find out that not only have I not completed it, the season resumes, literally this coming weekend, and suddenly I’m in a position of where I now have to wait along with everyone else to finish out the series a week at a time.

Either way, I have to say that it’s probably for the best that this is the final season of TWD, because going through the eleventh season of this show, I couldn’t help but feel that the show was basically, at an architectural level, Dragon Ball Z.  The cast runs into bad guys, overcomes hardships and defeats them.  And then they run into badder guys, overcomes hardships and defeats them, and so on and so on.  There’s literally no end to the revolving door of big bads that enter the lives of the main cast; from the Governor, to Negan and the Saviors, to the Whisperers, and now the Reapers, and the white collar bads in the Commonwealth.  It’s simply a formula that can’t expect to chug along and succeed, especially if you’re not actually DBZ.

And the show has been playing this corporate downsizing game over the last few seasons, where, I don’t follow the show politics and cast drama at all, but one by one, key carries to the show have been removed from the show, and it’s like the show is trying to see how many they can write out and expect others to pick up the slack and keep the show compelling.

It was a bold move to write out Rick, considering he was basically the sun and moon of the show since the beginning, but then removing Michonne seemed reckless, especially in the manner in which she departed the plot, but it’s abundantly clear, at least to me, that part of the slog of season 11 is simply the fact that a cast revolving around Daryl, Maggie, and Carol just can’t shoulder the immense load.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the Negan storyline, but Rosita, Gabriel, Aaron and Eugene aren’t at this main event level in which they’re expected to perform at, and the OG cast is just stretched way too thin to keep this ship steady for much longer.

I’m anticipating some sort of payoff in the form of the return(s) of Rick and/or Michonne in the final eight episodes, but I also feel like that there’s this final season of Game of Thrones problem in play, because cards on the table, everyone knows that this is it now.  Eight episodes until oblivion, but there’s a lot of plot, lot of loose ends that are still unresolved, and probably still a lot of deaths of some substantial players that have to occur in order to get those pipe bombs everyone wants from dramatic storytelling.

And much like shows like Dexter, Breaking Bad, and even Rurouni Kenshin, TWD seems inevitable that they’re going to be winding down their television existence on a downhill slope of a weak adversary waiting at the end of production.  Negan and the Saviors were undoubtedly the pinnacle of antagonism in TWD, the equivalent to the Trinity Killer, Gus Fring and Shishio.  And the series has been gradually tilting downward since they peaked.  It’s an interesting strategy on how they’ve been trying to rehabilitate and redeem Negan, but even he can’t change the fact that Lance Hornsby and the Commonwealth aren’t basically the equivalent to the generic white supremacists that Walter White ended Breaking Bad with.

I digress though.  Just when I thought I could heroically remove TWD from my watch queue, it’s two more months of slow releasing episodes, instead of leisurely binging it like I had been doing over the last weeks, but at least for a rare instance, I’m actually caught up and can be on top of watching the crawl to the end along with people I won’t want to know their opinions and analysis with, but at least I’ll be less apt to be spoiled if I’m watching remotely at the same time as others.

But I will enjoy filling out any character death Bingo sheets if any start to emerge in preparation for the end of the series.

WTF is AEW doing #137

After hearing about, and then seeing the visuals of Chris Jericho defeating Cesaro Claudio Castagnoli for the Ring of Honor World championship on AEW Dynamite on TNT TBS, that was the first thing that I said: wtf is AEW doing?

Then I came to the realization that I say this almost on a weekly basis, because the promotion is always doing some weird questionable things on a weekly basis except for the precise single AEW taping that I was physically present for, where absolutely nothing substantial occurred except an amusing squash match between Brody King and Darby Allin. 

Ordinarily, I’m typically in favor of most things that benefit Chris Jericho.  Notwithstanding his unfortunate political alignment that has increasingly come to light over the last few years, I can still (mostly) separate the wrestler from the guy, and it’s safe to say that I’ll be able to say that I was a fan of the performer, his impressive body of work and his timelessly impressive ability to be creative, inventive and stay relevant no matter the decade.

And with an official ROH title reign now in his pocket, Jericho joins an extremely exclusive club of guys that have held gold in WWE, WCW, ECW, NJPW and ROH, with the only other guy being to my knowledge, Bubba Ray Dudley.  Jericho may never have held TNA/Impact gold before, but Bubba has also never held an AEW title before, so it’s kind of a push for being the most decorated champions of all time.

But maybe it’s because it’s AEW and it never seems like there’s ever an endgame in sight for their seemingly random booking, but I’m more left with the feeling of wtf is AEW doing, over trying to analyze the rationale for having Chris Jericho defeating Claudio for the ROH World title.

Traditionally, logic would say that Claudio is getting a push by dropping the ROH World title, as ROH is unfortunately seen as a tier below AEW, so alleviating him of a second-tier championship frees him up to pursue AEW’s bigger and grander prizes.  But AEW doesn’t seem to know what to do with their World championship, since CM Punk can’t stop being a diva or trying to sabotage the company, so it just keeps ending up on Jon Moxley’s shoulder and is barely worth its weight right now, so it begs the question on whether or not it’s even worth pursuing.

Giving it to Jericho makes a little more sense, because it gives him one more notch on his mantle, of being the most decorated guy in the business, but at this current juncture of his career, where Jericho is seemingly content to be a star-maker, the hope is that the ROH brand will get a young technician to grow and rise to challenge Jericho for the ROH World title, to where Jericho can do good business with. 

However considering ROH still has no television and is completely reliant on AEW programming to advance their stories, it’s probably not going to be nearly as good as the potential of it is on paper.  My guess is that ultimately it’ll be Daniel Garcia vs. Chris Jericho, but it’ll come at the expense of imploding yet another Chris Jericho stable, and the likely alienation and scattering of a bunch of decent workers in the process.

Such a narrative is one that requires logic, something that AEW doesn’t seem to have.  With its World championship in the shitter because their long-term investment went berserk and got into a physical altercation with three executives who were also three of the boys, which was never a good idea in the first place, who also happened to immediately tank the six-man championship that the entire promotion was building up for since day one, the company’s entire main event picture was decimated in a single night.

And for a company with like 15 titles in active circulation, you’d think some of these guys would actually get some television time with them right?  Take PAC for example, the guy is hands down one of the top-3 workers in the entire promotion, is holding the brand new, All-Atlantic Championship, is also co-holding one of the brand-new Trios blets, you’d think he’d get some screen time right?  No way!  After winning the title in June, he doesn’t make his first televised appearance with it until August, and that’s on Dark, and literally this past Wednesday was his first-ever Dynamite defense of the title.  The belt has literally been seen more at non-AEW shows than it has been at AEW shows.

So I suppose with such a tumultuous roster, something’s gotta happen somewhere, so why not start with this, but damn if it just doesn’t seem like something interesting as much as it’s wtf is AEW doing, again?

Hands-free dog leashes annoy me

Of course, as the world turns, I age, and new things come into existence, I often ponder and judge what of these new things are actually cool and/or useful, and what new things are stupid and inherently obnoxious.

Like e-bikes, my knee-jerk reaction to bicycles that have small motors in them that allow the riders to have some assistance when it comes to dealing with hills and fatigue, my first thought was that people needed to stop being pussies and learn how to pedal and overcome their own physical limitations.  But then I thought about the potential about how it would be pretty awesome to bicycle the entire length of the Silver Comet Trail and back and that an e-bike would probably make that way more likely possible than not, and my attitude changed.  I concluded that e-bikes are inherently cool, but it’s a case-by-case basis in which it is determined on whether the rider is being a lazy pussy, or is someone who is in harmony with their physical capabilities along with a little bit of motorized assistance.

But hands-free dog leashes?  Yeah no, there’s little positive rationalization for these things needing to exist.  I think they’re the epitome of laziness, and act as a disservice to dogs themselves, allowing their shithead owners to be lazy and inattentive while they are getting the walks that they typically need in order to be healthy.

Because make no mistake, there’s not a single part of me that doesn’t believe that these weren’t created so that people walking their dogs could dick around on their phones with both of their hands and not be so encumbered by the responsibility of controlling their dog with one hand.

As if walking a dog with a traditional, hand-in leash is at all that hard in the first place, a bunch of lazy fucks have to go creating leashes that are worn around the waist or slung over the shoulder, so that your hands are free to surf the internet on your phone instead of paying attention to your dog?  Get the fuck out of here, that is lazy, that is negligent, and increases the chances that you’ll allow your dog to drop a deuce in someone else’s yard and “forget” to clean it because you didn’t see it because you were too fucking busy scrolling Instagram or some other inane internet bullshit.

There’s someone in my neighborhood who walks their dog with one of these leashes, which is how I came to know of their existence in the first place.  And although she herself is a fairly pleasant neighbor, I’ve noticed that when she’s walking her dog with this leash, she’s completely spatially unaware, and doesn’t get the fuck out of the way or give any courtesy space to cars on the road.  All I want to do is judge her, and other people who walk their poor dogs without giving them the sparsest amount of attention that they really need in order to feel like they’re actually in a relationship with their owners.

Either way, these types of leashes are bullshit, and I judge the fuck out of anyone who walks their dogs with them.  The only instances where I could find these remotely acceptable are with paraplegics with no arms in the first place; sure, it begs the question on how they’d even leash a dog and equip the belt, but the point is that only someone with no arms at all seems like the only logical type of person who would warrant needing a hands-free leash in the first place.

Anyone else feel this way too?

I was inside a Target recently, mostly to admire #2’s prevalent presence in their baby section, and over the PA system, among the music that usually is tantamount to white noise, I was able to pick out the lyrics to Ricky Martin’s She Bangs.

The strangest thing to me, was the fact that it was actually Ricky Martin’s version of the song, and just how foreign and alien it sounded, hearing it for the first time in like, maybe 18 years.

Because in my head, when I think of She Bangs, the only version of the song I ever hear in my head is William Hung’s terrible rendition that he tried to audition on American Idol with.  In fact, while at Target, I was kind of awestruck at the simple fact that the lyrics actually continued past “looks like a flower but stings like a bee” because I practically expected there to be an interruption by Simon, Randy and Paula, except there wasn’t one, but instead a whole lot of unfamiliar lyrics.

It’s no secret that FOX and the internet gobbled all of William Hung up for making an ass out of himself on one of television’s most viewed programs, but in hindsight, Hung took it like a champion, and parlayed his abysmal appearance on Idol into all sorts of appearances and gigs afterward.  Given the crash and burn nature of so many Idol alum, I think it’s safe to say that in spite of everything, Hung still came out smelling a lot better than many who were probably a little bit more successful in the show than he was.

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, She Bangs belongs to William Hung.  Anyone else feel this way too?

Except it very much is

The other day, I was passing this gas station, and I saw this bigfoot truck waiting to pull out.  It looked like a classic orange guy supporter truck, except for the fact that it was a Toyota, but import vehicles haven’t really stopped idiots from being racists all the same.  In my rear view mirror I saw it make its turn, and naturally they were headed in the same direction I was.  The upcoming light had two left turn lanes, and I took the right, and I looked forward to when they’d pass me on the left, so I could anticipate just how ironically hilarious of an array of stickers they were going to have on their back window.

Much to my surprise, there weren’t any really inflammatory stickers on their vehicle, but they did have this one (not the actual vehicle): Street racing is not illegal

And then I immediately was amused, because just the very phrase “street racing” has implications of at least like 2-3 illegal actions.  Public endangerment, reckless driving, aggressive driving, speeding come to mind immediately, and I’m sure those more versed in the law could probably rattle off some more.

Unless this person’s definition of street racing is racing another person to see who can get to the posted speed limit the fastest, while being of no risk to anyone else around them, I’m confident that every other form of street racing is probably illegal as shit.

The funny thing is that when I was looking for a reference photo to use with this post there are no less than seven other “creators” who have made similar stickers, but with taglines at the end that are all like “okay it is but we don’t give a fuck” or something along those lines.  But this one, without the acknowledgment of law breaking seems to stand alone, which leads to believe that the people who actually run around with this sticker, might actually believe that doing impressions of The Fast and The Furious in their Hyundai Sonatas and Chrysler 300s is totally legal.

Hard to tell who would be dumber between these clowns and orange guy supporters . . . unless they just so happen to be overlapping, to which the query answers itself.

Don’t even want to consider the meanings behind these dreams

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been having some weird dreams.  And when I say weird, I really mean more like fucked up, in the sense that in these dreams, there’s killing going on.  Someone is out to kill me.  So I feel the need to kill them first.  People getting killed.  Animals getting killed.  Guns.  Strangulation. 

And with each time that a dream like these occur, I wake up feeling relieved that they were just dreams, and I don’t even try to rationalize the notion that dreams are our brains trying to tell us things, because in no world do I want dreams about killing things to have any modicum of involvement in how I operate my life.

But the last dream I had, was also the most vivid one, the one that stood out the most, and the one that prompted actual writing to occur.

I’m in a zombie game.  Basically I’m in Left 4 Dead’s interface, but in this particular zombie universe, the rules are slightly different.  Mainly, those who become infected, do not immediately have a fairly uniform amount of time before they inevitably turn into zombies themselves.  Not all of them.

In this dream, for those who become infected, there is no uniform amount of time left before someone becomes a zombie themselves.  For some people, it might be fairly instantaneous, but for some, it could be a few hours, the following morning, even a week, or even a month.  Maybe longer. 

Regardless, I imagine anyone could see the complications in such a mechanism there, because in all other forms of zombie literature and media, infection usually has a pretty predictable mortality clock on it, ranging from a few hours to several days, depending on the number of bites they’ve incurred.  So corresponding characters typically know that their time with the condemned is limited, and to start making peace with them while they’re still with the living, before having to make the most difficult act ever.

But what if that predictable timeline didn’t exist?  What if when someone was infected, nobody had any idea of when they were going to turn?  Could those bitten, simply continue to live their lives among the living until they would spontaneously expire?  Could those around the bitten cope with living among bitten people, knowing that they could spontaneously drop and return as zombies and threaten their lives?

And that’s where this dream had me placed.  In a zombie-infested world, among the living, several of whom were bitten, and were, at least in this particular shelter, being allowed to live out.  Me wrestling with my own thoughts and concerns over personal safety and the safety of others.  Struggling to accept the fact that there were people who were on death’s door, among us, still lucid, still alive, and still helping as best as they could.

I don’t recall in the dream having to murder a living person, which I suppose is something to be relieved about, but it also didn’t end without me having to pull the trigger a few times either.  Someone had dropped and was convulsing, and in a zombie world, decisions need to be made quick, so I brought up my shotgun, and it was the hardest decision in the world I’d ever made.  The game itself seemed to have a last second are you sure function that effectively stopped my first trigger pull, forcing me to put something over the person’s head before making a kill shot.

But because of the way things were, I’m left wondering if I made the right choice.  What if they were an epileptic and were just having a seizure or something?  What if they weren’t actually turning right then and there?  Why the fuck am I having so many dreams lately of killings going on?

My alarm goes off, and it’s time to let the dog out.  Unlike most mornings, I’m not happy to be woken up, but I am relieved to get out of yet another fucking weird killing dream, and hope this doesn’t mean anything in the grand spectrum of things.