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 (#092): Fuck parents who send sick kids to school

#1 has gone to but just three days of camp, and she’s already picked up some sort of sickness.  Croup or RSV, most likely, although it would probably be in my best interests to run a COVID test to make sure, but the point remains is that all it took was three (half) days being exposed to other kids before my kid has picked up some sickness.

And because we’re active parents who aren’t content to let our children suffer in isolation, we do what we can to care for them when they’re waking up because they can’t breathe, and I woke up this morning with a slight fever after going to bed with massive chills, and it’s evident that such a bug has afflicted me as well.  I’m mostly fine, but my digestive system is telling me that I’m most definitely not 100%.

The point is, I’m livid and frustrated because the impression I get is that some parent(s) somewhere of kids that go to my kid’s school, knowingly let their sick kid go to school, where they have exposed everyone else to their plague, and in the case of my daughter, she’s brought it into my home where now I’m also affected by it too.

Basically, the overarching feeling I feel is what the subject of this post says: fuck parents who send sick kids to school.  I wish grave misfortune onto those of you who knowingly do it, like some gnarly and violent diarrhea that ruins your day, and maybe some clothes along the way.

I get it, it’s frustrating as hell raising kids sometimes, and when they’re sick and whiny and inconsolable, I’d want to jettison them out of the house for a few hours too.  But that’s a dick move and irresponsible and reckless, and I wish terrible things onto parents who knowingly do it.  Today, we kept #1 home from school, because it’s the right thing to do, and this is how responsible people conduct themselves, and look out for others.

Ironically, my own mother sent me to school with very obvious evidence that I had chicken pox.  But this was when I was in kindergarten, and I didn’t know the severity of the situation, until my teacher took one look at me and shipped my ass off to the office where I had to wait for my mom to come get me.  I still give my mom shit about that story to this day, even more so now that I’m a parent as well.

And I understand that sometimes it’s hard to tell if a kid is sick or not.  In those instances, there’s a little more leniency from my judgment, but if your kid is showing obvious signs of hoarse coughing, snotty noses or any sort of physical addling, then fucking keep your kids home for god’s sake.

I have no idea if the parents of whatever plague rats that have spread their disease onto my kid’s school knew or not that they were harboring a patient zero.  But in my cynical view of society, I assume they did, and so fuck them.  I hope they get a case of the shits while stuck in traffic, because knowingly sending sick kids to school is exactly why coronavirus will never, ever end, and I’ll go homicidal if some shithead passes it onto my kids.  Sure, I know this whole rant sets me up for some future hypocrisy if I’m ever in a position where it’s borderline, and I send my kids to school, but we’ll cross that bridge if and when it ever happens.  But for now, crazy shits for those who do.

Liv Morgan and what I still enjoy about wrestling

For the first time in my life, I went to an Impact! Wrestling show, as they had dates in Atlanta, and were also taping out of Center Stage, which is a fantastic venue to watch wrestling, and has a lot of history within the industry.  The tickets were cheap, and I was able to get seats basically three rows behind the ring, so it was a no-brainer to go see what is basically the #3 promotion in America.

And it was a pretty decent show, all things considered.  I got to see a lot of guys I’d mostly just heard of or seen just clips of, like Josh Alexander, Mike “Speedball” Bailey, Chris Bey and Ace Austin, and there was no shortage of names that I already knew from their days in old TNA or former WWE talents, like the Motor City Machine Guns, Mike Bennett, Eric Young, the Good Brothers and Mickie James.  Despite the general lack of respect Impact! gets, the promotion has a degree of polish that is missing from a lot of the lesser-known indy shows I’d been getting into over the last few years, and when the night was over, I was very pleased with my evening and money well spent.

I came home that evening and remembered that the WWE had a, well, pay-per-view event the same night, and considering the ease of being able to watch a replay on Peacock, I figured I’d try and watch at least the Money in the Bank ladder matches, while I still had no idea who won them yet, and before the internet would spoil the fuck out of them if I went on any social media channel.

Despite the feeling that I had a prediction that she would win, like my old Wrestling Oracle™ days, I was still very pleased to see that Liv Morgan won the women’s ladder match.  Admittedly, I bought into the Liv Morgan story of the diminutive underdog who has persevered throughout the years, and in spite of the support of the fans, just couldn’t quite reach the top of the mountain.  And by virtue of winning the Money in the Bank briefcase, Morgan was basically a shoo-in to eventually become a women’s champion, as the women’s short history of the briefcase has yet to have a single failure.

A little surprising to me, was the fact that WWE Creative didn’t wait long with Liv, and had her cashing in immediately, the same night.  I say I was surprised, because just the way Morgan had been established, I didn’t think there would be any real hope for her to have any chance of beating either Bianca Belair or Ronda Rousey, seeing as how she’s undersized and overwhelmingly out-powered by both of them.  But I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, seeing as how women’s MITB winners have held the contract collectively maybe a total of like, three days over the last four winners.  And despite my skepticism of how Liv Morgan would topple either champion, I was still very pleased and happy to see her pin Ronda Rousey and become the new Smackdown Women’s champion.

And thinking about this moment, and some other isolated moments within the last year, made me come to the realization of why I still enjoy watching wrestling, even though it probably seems like I have an endless amount of criticism and complaining to do about the business: I really enjoy seeing when wrestlers I respect, and have admiration for their work ethic, actually succeed and get the hard-earned spotlight.

Continue reading “Liv Morgan and what I still enjoy about wrestling”

Why I’m the only guy in the office still wearing a mask

Both my kids are sick now.  Still possible that I caused it, but also some reason to believe it might not have been me.  Either way, strep was brought to them somehow, and obviously through basic transmission of germs.

But this is why I still mask up, even if in doing so, it’s still not foolproof at protecting my famiry.  I went all of 2020 with not even a common cold and it was glorious.  But as time progressed, people selfishly got sick of masks and arrogantly believed a vaccine made them invincible, sure as the sun rises, the common sicknesses that nobody got in 2020 were waiting around and it’s been a fucking war zone since.

Literally, a night nurse at the hospital #2 was born at got my wife and newborn baby sick, who immediately passed it onto #1 as soon as we got home.  That was real fun, dealing with a house full of sick people, among them a literal newborn.

2022 literally started with coronavirus infiltrating my house, where mythical wife got it, and although untested, myself and #1 probably had it too.  Amazingly, #2 seemed to escape unscathed.

And since then, I think it’s accurate to say that one or both of my kids have been sick every single month of this year.  Coincidentally, mask mandates are relaxing all over the country, and Georgia was full of yeah cmon hicks who already began ditching them, and shocker, fucking sicknesses are goddamn everywhere.

And when my kids get sick, I’m the one who has to eat the load and work from home and compromise my work responsibilities and often times run double duty on the girls.  I’m the only one who’s work suffers and the backlog usually ends up with me working into the evenings and/or having to rush and be at higher risk of shoddy work.

I’m just sick of my kids getting sick.  It’s by no fault of their own, they’re just kids.  I blame the fucking world around us full of arrogant and selfish assholes who can’t be bothered to wear masks in public, happily content with spreading two years worth of backlogged colds and other niggling ailments that everyone is spreading and getting all the fucking time.

I refuse to feel like the outcast in public because I choose to wear a mask still.  It may not be fool proof at preventing sicknesses but I’m doing the best I can to try to protect all my girls, even if it makes me seem like the outlier that was just barely months ago, the norm.

Sammy Guevara’s talent is getting overshadowed by his bullshit

I remember watching the first episode of AEW Dynamite.  I wasn’t the least bit surprised that Cody Rhodes put himself into the first-ever match.  But the guy he was up against, Sammy Guevara, I knew jack shit about.  Why was he coming out in a panda hat?  How did all the fans in attendance seem to already know who he was?  Was I really that out of touch with the business and too insulated in the WWE Universe®?

Obviously, everyone and their mother knew that Cody was winning, but in spite of it, I remember being very impressed with Guevara.  It was clear to why he was given the distinct honor of getting to be on the very first televised AEW match in history, he was talented as fuck in the ring.  A cursory search afterward showed that he was trained by Booker T, and the five time five time five time five time five time WCW champion seems to have been as good of a trainer as there could’ve been.

As the Inner Circle formed, it was pretty clear that Guevara was the designated workhorse of the faction, as Chris Jericho was the leader, Santana and Ortiz were the designated tag team, and Jack Swagger Jake Hager was the heavy.  But even mired in one of the 52 factions in AEW, it really didn’t take long for Guevara to stand out among the promotion’s bloated roster, because he was an above average worker, had a massive skillset, could sell, could speak and had the general looks of an upper-tier guy.

However, it also didn’t take long for Guevara to end up in hot water, with him being documented as having once said he “would rape that shit” when referring to the WWE’s Sasha Banks.  But being a guy that the company had high hopes for, he was taken off tv for a second, and eventually the whole thing blew over.  He would have some outstanding feuds with Darby Allin and Matt Hardy to help make fans forget.

Not long after pandemic restrictions began lifting, AEW hit the road, and one of their first stops was in Houston.  A packed house was witness to Sammy cutting a supposedly heart-felt promo about his girlfriend Pam, which culminated with a marriage proposal that she accepted, much to the happy pop of a crowd that didn’t concern themselves with if Sammy was a heel or a face at that time.  This was in August 2021.

It wasn’t really long afterward that there were lots of rumors that swirled about Sammy Guevara and his “just friends” relationship with Tay Conti.  They were always seen together, photographed together, and it really didn’t take long for fans all over to connect the dots that there was something likely more between the two of them.

Eventually, Sammy and Pam broke it off and broke up, and Sammy and Tay came out publicly about the most obvious relationship since like Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.   Yes, it sucked that the implications were that there was an affair involved, but the sentiment of the internet seemed satisfied at having called it the whole time, regardless of the fact that Pam’s personal life was mostly humiliated and wrecked from how it all transpired.

What I think the problem really ended up being, was that kayfabe or not, both Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti have been obnoxiously now flaunting their relationship, which seems kind of insensitive and dickish, considering Sammy pledged engagement not even a full year prior.  But I’m not even seeking this shit out, but nary does a week go by where I don’t somehow see that the two of them are making out in public, or are on vacation together, or some photograph of Sammy’s shredded abs and/or Tay’s Brazilian ass that she’s very proud of.

And to make matters worse, they’ve taken their relationship to work, and it’s currently being used in a horrifically cringeworthy feud between Sammy and Tay with Dan Lambert’s stable.  However now that it’s being worked into the product, the fans, specifically AEW’s mark-y, tribalistic, basement dwellers out in public, have been able to publicly express their opinions about the players involved, and it’s apparent that I’m not the only one who seems to have soured towards Sammy and Tay.

I’m entertained that fans are turning on them, and it doesn’t really feel like it’s manufactured, deliberate heat, so much as it’s kind of a facet of X-Pac heat, as in fuck you, we’re booing you because you’ve done something shitty and we want you to know that.  I think fans have seen the narrative of their generally deplorable behavior, especially towards Pam, and are reacting accordingly.  Sure, as a performer, the goal is always to elicit a response from the crowd, whether it is good or bad, but given the circumstances they’re in, they probably shouldn’t be wanting any X-Pac heat.

When the day is over, Sammy will likely always have a job in AEW, because he’s far too talented in spite of the fact that he’s kind of an asshole douchebag.  I want to stay high on him, because he really is a tremendous talent, but on a personal level, I think he’s a douchebag.

Tay on the other hand, has shown a lot of improvement from her horrible NXT days, but is widely replaceable on the roster.  But both of them, their ceilings are going to be hampered by their bullshit, because as much as professional wrestling is a scripted, premeditated soap opera, the fans are still human, and exercise their right to voice their displeasure when they think they’re witnessing bullshit behavior.

Dad Brog (#081): Now we enter true hard mode

Seeing as how my eldest has now crossed over the two-year mark, I can’t really call this series 2 Under 2 anymore.  So for the sake of simplification and finality, because these are what these posts really are, I’m just going to go ahead and just start titling these what they truly are.

So for the past month and change, has been The Best Month Ever, part 2 – a substantial chunk of time in which my mom has been staying with me, to help take care of my children, as well as the opportunity to bond with #2, much as she did with #1 back two years ago.  Her being here is a massive security blanket, as she is someone I trust unconditionally with my kids, and I always know my children are in good hands when I’m not physically present.  Which has been very critical seeing as how I have now returned to the office partially in my new hybrid work format.

Honestly, I think this visit has gone better than the last one, since aside from being the point person on #2, my mom has gotten to witness the growth and development of my first child, and it will never not make me happy to see just how much #1 loves her halmoni, and the rapid development of where it started with “halmi” at the start of the month, but has already corrected to a very well pronounced “halmoni” now.

We didn’t butt heads as often as we did the last time she was here, and probably by virtue of being in a job that isn’t sucking the soul out of me, my mental state was in a far better place now than it was back then, and I didn’t have my own head stuffed up my ass for the first few weeks of her visit this time.

In spite of how glad I’ve been to have my mom here over the last five weeks, it still has been somewhat of a roller coaster.  As mentioned, I returned to the office, which has embarked a whole new world of awkwardness of getting back to commuting and being in a place of business again.  I’ve started working out and running again which is a positive thing.  Unfortunately, as posted about not long ago, I had to put my dog down while she was here, which sucked massively in spite of knowing it was always looming.  And in the middle of this month, I took #1 to Disney World for her birthday, while my mom took a break from kid duty to visit a local friend in Georgia for the weekend, which was pretty good for all of us.

However, what wasn’t good was the fact that my daughter picked up a bug while in Florida, and I can remember the little shitfuck who was coughing all over the shuttle, and being concerned that my daughter wasn’t far enough away perhaps, and now I’ve got two sick kids because it’s impossible to separate #1 from #2 because they love each other.  It makes me really reconsider doing anything that puts either of my kids at risk, because Americans still can’t get their shit together, and frankly it’s not worth my kids getting sick for an egregiously expensive excursion in the first place.

Regardless, the point of the post is that the best month ever part 2 is coming to a close this week, and I have to take my mom back to Virginia very soon.  I’m eternally grateful for her help, and treasure the bonds she made with my daughters, but at the same time I’m absolutely scared and petrified at what lies ahead in the immediate future, with daily life without any sort of safety net anymore.

With me going back to the office a couple days each week, these are a couple of days in which it’s going to be just my nanny, in charge of both girls by herself.  This isn’t say I don’t trust my nanny, it’s just that I feel like I’m the only person in my world who really, really, really tries to avoid any and all scenarios in which my kids outnumber the present adults.  I know how hard double duty is, I’m on it way more than I wish I were, but shit happens.  My kids are handfuls, where one of them is now a two-nager who has some very strong opinions and wants to get her hands on anything and everything, and the other one is an infant that sucks at sleeping and requires the DaVinci code in order to get to nap for seven minutes.

Prior to this, I’ve always had the luxury of being able to work from home, so that I was always available if things went tits up, but that’s not going to be the case for several days each week.  Mythical wife and I agreed that we really only need to hang in there until the end of the school year, but that’s still nearly two and a half months to be going without any sort of safety netting.

As if two kids under-ish two weren’t already hard enough, going back to the office and sending my mom home, is truly going to be putting life into hard mode, and it’ll be a daily touch and feel test to see how things are going, but I have concerns that I may need to put some stress on a job that I’m really beginning to like, due to the realities of parenthood borne during pandemic.

No Ian, we won’t

Long story short: Major League Baseball is still in lockout; Cubs’ outfielder Ian Happ “hopes the fans understand what they’re fighting for”

Here’s the actual quote:

The players are so heavily committed to getting this thing back on track and we hope that the fans understand what we’re fighting for.

As the subject of this post says, no Ian, we won’t.  We will never understand what baseball players are fighting for, because we all know it’s just money.  It’s always money, it’s never anything other than money, and anything else that is ever mentioned is just another roundabout way of saying money.

So no Ian, we the fans will never understand why baseball players whose league minimum salary for the even shittiest player on the 25-man roster is practically $500,000, are trying to get even more money.  Especially considering every team’s MLB Players Association rep is usually a veteran player who probably makes anywhere from $4-32 million dollars a year, and is somehow trying to bilk even richer assholes who run the league and the teams out of more money, while prices for parking, food, apparel and tickets continue to rise and rise for the fans that actually fund all this entire racket in the first place.

Up to this point, I didn’t really care that baseball was still in a strike.  Over the last few years, it seems like every major sports league seems to go into some sort of strike, be it players or referees, leading to all sorts of shitshow bullshit, and then the conflicts are settled, and things go back to normal, to the point where it’s no real surprises anymore when some other sport league goes into a strike anymore.

I figured that eventually this MLB strike would end, players strong arm the league and the owners out of more money, who will then turn their losses onto the fans; millionaire players and billionaire owners end up making more money than ever, while the fan experience gets more expensive and the sun rises in the morning. 

We then have a chaotic season where there ambitious players who workout privately and/or go apeshit on performance enhancing drugs while testing is off the table are ready for the work stoppage to end and put up ridiculous numbers and highlights through the season, while on the other side of the coin there are lots of lazy players who take their job for granted get out of shape, and get shelled through a season but manage to keep their jobs because baseball teams are suckers for sunk cost fallacy. 

And there are lots of injuries because people are out of shape, or their bodies are in turmoil from going apeshit on performance enhancing drugs while testing is off the table.

But I didn’t really care that the strike was going on.  I’ve got enough on my plate to where baseball is unfortunately an afterthought, as much as I do love the game, in spite of how critical I can get towards it, but it’s because I care, damn it.

But then seeing Ian Happ’s remarks about hoping fans understand why they’re going on strike just set me off, because it’s just a perfect example of how tone deaf baseball players themselves can be when they stop realizing how privileged they are to be making money at all for playing a kid’s game at an incredible level.

Take Happ himself for example.  The guy is set to make $8 million dollars in 2022 that will undoubtedly be less than that because the stoppage.  The guy has already made about $8 million dollars in baseball salary alone at this point, and if he has any bit of IQ outside of baseball, could probably very easily live out the rest of his life very comfortably at the age of 27.

And he wants more money.  All of his MLBPA compatriots want more money.  And the funny thing is that Ian Happ is a pleeb, in comparison to some of the other guys on the MLBPA that is “fighting for,” more money. 

Like Max Scherzer – this guy is legitimately contractually obligated to be paid $43 fucking million dollars in 2022 alone, for throwing a baseball over and over again.  His current career earnings from baseball alone have already exceeded $139 million dollars.  If he stopped playing at the end of his current contract, he will clear $300 million dollars.  And because baseball is full of laughably stupid, idiotic contracts, even if he were to retire in 2024, he would still make $60 million dollars over the following four years because of deferred payment from the Nationals and Dodgers.

This guy wants more money too.

Make no mistake, the end goal of this strike benefits nobody but these greedy fucks who think baseball is absolutely indispensable in the grand spectrum of the world’s needs.  I love the game, and I’ll always love the game at this point, but I’d love to see the owners and commissioner’s office hold their ground, and the season grinds to a full halt. Laughably it would only apply to the MLB season, and as 2020 showed, when ‘Murica needed baseball to watch, they simply outsourced that need to Korea, and ESPN started broadcasting KBO in the states.

Furthermore, Minor League Baseball wouldn’t be affected by this, and if you don’t think television rights to broadcast the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, the Rocket City Trash Pandas, Montgomery Biscuits, Toledo Mud Hens, Modesto Nuts and all the other gaudy but still competitive minor league baseball wouldn’t suddenly be hot tickets, the Major Leagues would become a fast afterthought.  Casual fans and lovers of the game will find their salvation in the minor leagues, and MLB can go choke on a bag of dicks.

It wouldn’t happen, because at some point, one party is going to blink, but it’s fun to imagine the global baseball power shift if MLB comes off the table at their own greedy volition.