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.

Dad Brog (#097): A brog-worthy bad morning

My current routine is to wake up at 7:10 am, every single day of the week, regardless of if I have to work or not, with the objective of having the kids’ breakfast ready to serve by the time I get them at anywhere from 7:30–7:45.  Preferably with me waking them, because if they wake up on their own, it usually means something is wrong, and by something is wrong I mean that one of them has probably shit themselves.

Believe me, there have been mornings where it has been both, and those are wonderful times.

However the thing is, every single morning is kind of a race against a clock that I can’t see and know how much time is left until zero, where, usually #2, wakes up on their own.  Which is never peaceful, or cute babbling on the baby monitor, resulting me in wistfully looking at my youngest with love and admiration.  No, it’s always with crying, and mornings like today, instantly going all the way to 100 on the rage scale within seconds of waking up.

I try not to compare my kids, but it’s unmistakable that on #2’s character sheet, emotional sensitivity is at a 100 out of 99 and that she is without any question, a massive crybaby.  Everything is worth going nuclear over, everything results in screaming, snot and tears, and the only things that can quell them is if one of her parents drops everything they’re doing and probably need to be doing, and picking her up for some snuggle therapy.

Usually at this time, #1 either gets jealous and starts blowing up herself, or she’s capitalizing on my inability to do anything else and runs off and gets into some mischief that I’m put into a Sophie’s choice of stopping my eldest from some form of damage versus allowing the crying machine to explode again, with ten times out of ten usually resulting in putting #2 down to where she blows back up again to stop #1 from hurting herself or hurting something important.

By the time I get the two of them in their high chairs with food placed in front of them, I’m already burned out because my daily allotment of patience has been reduced to a stump over 30~ straight months of waking up to deal with the first shift of parenting, and I’m typically on the verge of a breakdown and chanting to myself that I don’t have enough help and I don’t know what can be done about it and that for just one fucking day, want to not have to do, this.

Continue reading “Dad Brog (#097): A brog-worthy bad morning”

Dad Brog (#096): Raising children without help is impossible

Now I’m sure any long-time parent who reads such a statement is probably like, duh no shit, and I’m not going to refute it reads as one of the more obvious statements that can probably be said, and most definitely nothing I haven’t already said in my life a hundred-fold by now.

But in my latest moment of despair, where I was trying to wrangle my two kids, where #1 is sick and screaming for attention, while #2 was getting into shit she shouldn’t be getting, all while I was logged into a virtual meeting at work because I’m still on the clock, but completely incapable of paying any attention to it, and the sitter had already gone home for the day because all paid help watches the clock, I just stood there for a few seconds, and the words formulated in my head, at just how shitty things can be sometimes and that I’m living at a very unsustainable pace, way longer than I probably should have, seeing as how my resolve crumbles so frequently sometimes.

All I could really think about was just how impossible it truly is to raise children without help, not just from a metaphorical standpoint, but how it truly is from all other ways, especially in this current state of the world where inflation is murder, greed and white people are endlessly fucking the country and America is still ‘Murica.

Like you hear about couples where one person quits their job to be a full-time parent; yeah, that shit is impossible now, and probably wasn’t really that ideal in any previous points in time, because unless one half of a couple makes a ridiculous, white man amount of money, let’s just say $175-200K plus annually, most American parents probably can’t afford to raise a child on top of surviving in a middle-class or better setting.

Everything is far too expensive for the average parents to reduce to a single income without some tremendous pain, and expect to live life remotely comfortably.  Therefore, they must both work.  At least that’s the case between my wife and I, our combined income isn’t that bad, but it’s completely dependent on both of us working full-time in order to make ends meet, however that results in us requiring child care, which quite literally half of my paycheck goes towards every single month, because child care is fucking expensive and not at all that great, but still a very necessary evil to have to endure.

And let’s not even really bother to analyze single parents, they most certainly need all the help they can get, be it childcare or free care from family.

The point is, as obvious as it is, more so put out in writing, is that it is truly impossible for any family unit to raise a child without any help.  It’s often popularly said that it takes a village to raise a kid, to which truer words can’t really be said, but it just isn’t possible for those to do so without said village.  Logistically, mathematically, financially, there just isn’t a way to do it without some third party hands getting involved somewhere along the way.

Dad Brog (#095): An unsustainable pace

I write because I can’t really talk to anyone anymore.  My wife doesn’t need to hear any of these diatribes, and frankly I really don’t think anyone can relate, as ludicrous as it sounds to single myself out as a special little snowflake in a world of several billion.  And if anyone can, I don’t know them so it might as well not be anyone. 

My family that are all parents and have multiple kids, the age gap between us all is practically an entire generation.  Of all my parenting friends, almost none of them have more than one kid.  The ones that do, their kids are spaced out in age way greater than mine.  And there’s nobody else I know with two kids born during coronavirus-era as close apart as mine.  I’m not trying to say that my problems are greater than anyone else’s like some sadistic internet pissing contest, but COVID really is this difficulty multiplier that stands at the end of every factoid, ready to make everything worse than it might have been for anyone else who didn’t have to deal with things during a pandemic.

But I have been living my life at a fairly unsustainable pace for a while now, as far as keeping my shit together goes.  I try really, really hard on a daily basis to do such, and I have good days, but I definitely am the first to admit that I have some bad ones too, where it just feels like a lot of shit just piles up all at once, and I’m left standing there while my kids are screaming, clocks are ticking, I’m late for school drop off which makes me later for work, and there’s no end in sight.

I’m 99% sure my eldest is sick again.  There’s a small chance that she just never recovered from the cold she had a week ago, but the frequency in which she’s sneezing and her nose is runny again leads me to believe that she’s just plain fucking sick again, which means some more fuckface parents of the kids in my daughter’s school are continually sending their kids to school with plagues.

The problem with that, aside from their selfish and inconsiderate behavior that I can only hope for some divine retribution for, is that when #1 gets sick, it’s basically a death sentence for #2 that she is going to get sick 2-3 days later.  And then my sitter will nope out because they don’t want to get sick which means I’ll have to call in sick because mythical wife’s career is rigid and can’t call in at the drop of a hat, which makes me look even flakier and unreliable, and I have to deal with days of dad double duty, and working after hours.  And then it’s back into the toilet bowl of despair of how much life can suck because of the actions of other people.

Days like today, I’m just burnt out.  I’ve been on baby duty for what feels like an endless length of time, due to the fact that we had two kids in such rapid succession.  #2 is always wanting to be near big sis, and moving them apart is like trying to keep magnets apart, based on how she will rubber band back to wherever #1 is, accelerating the inevitability of transmission.  #1 is frustrated and fussy because she’s sneezing like crazy and her nose is running like a faucet and doesn’t understand why I have to try and isolate her on the other side of the room but can’t trust her with markers or Play-Doh, and I just want to jump off a bridge.

I haven’t had a break in a long time.  A day in which I can wake up on my own without any alarms or dog or kids, no long-ass car rides to retrieve kids, or anything that’s remotely time sensitive.  A single day where I can wake up as not a dad, have a day where I can leisurely do the shit I want to do without any clocks looming over my head, and have the ability to sit and stare at a wall if I wanted to.  There have been some mini-breaks, some afternoons or evenings without the kids, but I’m still having to do one of the above tasks on them regardless.

I just can’t recharge or unwind, and haven’t been able to for well over a year now, and I don’t know if that’s really unhealthy or uncommon, or if I’m just being a melodramatic parent who needs to be made aware that there are millions of dads in similar boats that I just don’t know personally.  But today is definitely one of those days where just enough bullshit has been added to my bags to drag me under and leave me feeling drowning again.

The Clock King is most definitely the worst villain ever

A long time ago, I posed the question if The Clock King really was a villain, in the grand spectrum of things.  That he really was just a punctual and time-considerate individual in a world full of shitheads that don’t have such qualities, and he’s the one that gets painted to look like the bad guy, and eventually a member of Batman’s rogues gallery.  Back then, it didn’t really seem fair to me that he was considered a villain and I wanted to open that discussion to my then-six readers.

But after a weekend like this past one, and 2+ years of parenting, all I can really think of now is that not only is The Clock King most definitely a villain, he’s without a shadow of a doubt the greatest evil in all of comics.  Worse than Darkseid, worse than Doomsday, worse than the Joker.  Worse than Thanos, worse than Kang, worse than Onslaught.  Shit, it transcends comic books, and The Clock King is the greatest evil in the history of, history.  Worse than Hitler, worse than bin Laden, worse than Trump.

Obviously this goes into the obvious notion that there is no greater force in existence than the passage of time, and how it’s unfeeling, unbiased, impervious by nobody, and never ending.  Which means those who wields it to greatest effect, like The Clock King, are basically the worst people ever.

At this current juncture of my life, there’s seldom any time in which I am not up against a clock on a fairly regular basis, and there are times in which it becomes absolutely maddening and fills me with despair and levels of stress that I have a hard time coping with.  By individual nature, I am a punctual person who believes in punctuality and adequate lead time; I hate to rush, I like getting to my destinations early, and as a worker I believe that 15 minutes early is on time and on time is late.

But since I’ve gotten older and had kids, my agenda is always packed full of things for other people, I’m routinely stretched past capacity, and I’m way more prone to being late to things, and I concern myself that I’m developing a reputation of being flaky and unreliable.  Or just a typical parent maybe.  Regardless, it goes against everything that I’ve always put a lot of conscionable effort into maintaining, and I have a hard time dealing with the seemingly endless stress that comes with being up against the clock.

Continue reading “The Clock King is most definitely the worst villain ever”

Kind of one of the worst days ever in a long time

[transcribed on my phone while I was laying awake in a sweltering house at 3 in the morning]

  • Couldn’t really work due to all sorts of conflicting appointments to do
  • Work team building function sucked up even more time in which I would have preferred to have gotten some actual work done than swing golf clubs when I don’t golf
  • Had to rush pack and head to the airport to which of course there was hellacious traffic because Atlanta
  • Atlanta’s airport logistics are never the same each time you visit and my risk of missing my flights due to being unable to check bags increase with every passing minute
  • Successfully getting our baggage checked was probably the only good part of the day
  • The plane ride from hell where #1 pissed herself during the taxi time in which nobody can access restrooms and then 30 minutes later, shit herself, requiring me to change her out of soiled clothes and into a spare outfit in the confines of a tiny airplane lavatory
  • Also #2 was a squirmy handful the entire flight because she was bored, hungry and past her bedtime and I’m pondering how much I hate air traveling with an infant and a toddler and never want to do it again
  • My dad’s house turned out to have turned into a house of horrors with no working refrigerator, no hot water from certain outlets and worse off, no working air conditioning. It was literally 84F upstairs, resulting in numerous people to sleep in the dungeon of my old basement to have any chance at staying sane

I went to bed after a cold shower feeling dejected, embarrassed and miserable at the circumstances of my surroundings and that I had to subject other people to them, much less my wife, kids and mother-in-law.  Need to figure out how to salvage the rest of this trip’s lodging situation even if it means relocating to a hotel or my mom’s place.

The most bittersweet bobblehead

When I saw this bobblehead on preorder, it was during a time when it was all but assumed that Freddie Freeman was going to re-sign with the Braves.  After all, he helped deliver a World Series, he loved Atlanta, Atlanta loved him, and there was no logical reason why he shouldn’t stay with the team.

The thing is though, I’m really bad at spending money, and I often times don’t pull the trigger on things that I want, despite the fact that I’ll have a tab open for something for eons and refresh it daily, hoping for god knows what, maybe a fucking free button or something.  But more often than not, I wait too long, something goes unavailable, and I’m left wondering why I didn’t just purchase it from the onset.

Such, was the case with this one, and after weeks of looking at it and telling myself that I needed to get it, I didn’t, and then the preorder window closed, and I was left wondering why the fuck I didn’t pull the trigger on something again.

But then a strange thing happened, the Braves traded for Matt Olson, signed him to a massive extension and then Freddie Freeman signed with the Dodgers, shattering hearts all across the state of Georgia.  For some reason, I still hadn’t closed the tab to the Freeman bobblehead, and on one day after the Freeman departure, I refreshed and it looked like preorders were suddenly available again.  Despite the fact that I was sad as hell that Freeman was gone, I still felt that I needed this bobblehead, to cap and commemorate an occasion I had waited my entire Georgia-residing life for.  I might more or less be out of the bobblehead collecting game, but this was still something that I felt I needed for the small collection that I’ve actually kept on display.

And it finally arrived this week, rekindling all of the emotions and thoughts of the whole Braves-Freeman separation.  The Braves are playing pretty well, and the Dodgers are leading their division, with Freeman playing well himself.  It is a distinct reality that the two could end up meeting up in the playoffs again this year, which would be all sorts of a drama bomb if it happened, but I’m in a position in my life where it doesn’t really matter anymore.

But still, as happy as this bobblehead makes me feel, to remember the instance where I finally bore witness to one of my teams winning a championship, it’s still also a reminder of the sad events that occurred afterward that closed the window on what should’ve been a memorable and maybe successful title defense and an open window of Braves success.