Dad Brog (#115): Father’s Day 2023

As many should know about me, when I say I’m going to do something, it’s a safe bet that I’m probably going to stick with it.  I’m not bragging about it, it’s just who I am.  I don’t commit to a lot of things in the first place, so when I do commit to something, it should be expected that I will follow through with it.

That being said, last year was year one of my Father’s Day gift to myself, which is truly the only thing that I genuinely want on a year basis, which is a picture with my daughters with their tag team championship blets, with me with one of my numerous blets from my collection 25 blets deep.  I genuinely could keep this going for 23 moar years even if I didn’t get any more blets, which is a fat chance, because all promotions eventually redesign and there will always be title reigns that inspire me to want them, but the fact of the matter is that it is also genuinely my life’s mission to have this photo, every year, with my girls, for the rest of my life.

So here we have it, year two of dada and his daughters with our respective blets.  I’m not sure what really made me pick the IWGP United States championship as my blet of choice this year, but it seemed to work out, because Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay tore the roof off of the arena in Toronto, and I just love how gaudy and red it is, and I was just feeling it for this year.

But more importantly is just how big my girls have gotten over the last 12 months since the last photo was taken, and #2 is rapidly catching up in height to her big sister.

Full disclosure, this was still a composite photograph, cobbled together from three separate photographs, because it’s nigh impossible to expect to get a perfect picture of both my girls posing with their blets and expect to have me in the photo as well, and I wonder how many years it’s going to take before I’m able to do this in one fell swoop where all three of us are in position at the same time.

Regardless, much like last year, and much like all future iterations will probably do, this photo makes me extremely happy.  No matter how hard life gets, parenting gets, and how much emotional turmoil I go through every now and then, these photos calm me and brings me back, and I think about just how happy I will be in the future when I’ll have enough of them to make collages and scrap book them, and maybe become internet famous for five seconds when the Buzzfeed of 2045 gets wind of my timelapse and wants to use me for clickbait.

And because I’m neurotic, I’m going to make sure to make this post always drop on June 25th of every year, regardless of when Father’s Day actually is, because I started it last year on June 25th, so it’s forever going to be the dada and daughters blet day from here on out.

What an incredible way to New Years

I’ve made it pretty clear that I am no fan of Ohio State, especially when it comes to football.  I won’t call them “The” unless it’s in irony and with the intention to mock and ridicule, and few things make me happier during any given college season is seeing them get lose, be it to Michigan, Oklahoma, or better when it’s against some unheralded school.

However, regardless of my bias against them as a program, there’s no denying that they are talented and are always a threat to win a National Championship.  And the way that the media has been overwhelmingly favoring Georgia over them for the CFB semi-final Peach Bowl, I couldn’t help but have this sinking feeling that it was all tempting fate a little too hard, and it was a ripe scenario where Georgia was going to get their shit pushed in and choke hardcore to a program that should frankly never be overlooked.

I didn’t watch the game at all, but I was casually following the gamecast, because it’s not so much that I’m any bit of a UGA fan as much as I like that they represent my home, as much as I was just hoping to see Ohio State lose.  And as much as I didn’t like seeing it, I wasn’t really at all that surprised to see just how tightly TOSU was playing them, and when they went into half with TOSU up by a hair, I spoke with my one friend who actually liked sports at our chill New Years Eve gathering, about how I just had a bad feeling about this game.

When TOSU was up by two scores in the 4th quarter, I had the split feeling of being disappointed that Georgia was on the verge of choking against another team notorious for choking in TOSU, and how they were no longer buoyed by the baby luck that brought them, the Braves and Virginia Tech successes over her first year of existence, which is why they were crashing back to normalcy.  But at the same time, a degree of satisfaction at being right at the prediction that TOSU would pull the upset, because this is exactly what happened in 2014 when TOSU was so overlooked in favor of Alabama, before they steamrolled them en route to winning the first-ever CFB natty, but when it came down to it, I still would’ve preferred to see Georgia win, because seeing TOSU is always a treat.

But then fates intervened again, and TOSU just had to pull another TOSU and threaten to choke themselves, in a battle of notorious chokers.  Georgia would threaten, but it looked like TOSU got the stop, and forced Georgia to settle for the seemingly fruitless field goal that didn’t change their need for two TDs, but at least put them into a position where the second one would be a game winner and not a game tie-er.

Next thing you know, Georgia gets a stop, scores, and then gets another stop, and suddenly in crunch time, Georgia’s in a position to take the lead, which they do, with less than a minute to go.  In a battle of two programs notorious for choking, it was a war of who was going to fuck up last and go home as a result, and it was looking like it was going to be TOSU. 

But as many football fans know, 0:54 seconds might as well be 54:00 minutes, and before you know it, TOSU has gotten down the field, passed the arbitrary television field goal range marker, and they’re suddenly in a position to possibly win the game with a field goal.

All the while, the clock is ticking down towards midnight, where my friends are all watching Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve, as tourists in Times Square who have been likely standing there since 5 am, with pee jugs all hidden from cameras, are pretending like they’re having the greatest day of their lives, while the most exciting college football game in recent history is happening 15 miles away in Downtown Atlanta where not any one of us wants to be remotely close to.

The countdown to midnight starts taking up the screen, and I’m watching on my phone as Gamecast seems to be frozen forever, presumably where TOSU is setting up for the game winner while Georgia is presumably burning their last timeouts in an attempt to ice the kicker, and as we get to the last ten seconds of 2022, the snap and the kick are happening, and by the time the kick sails wider than I-285, and the refs are signaling NO GOOD, it’s suddenly 2023.

Seriously, it’s bonkers to me just how perfectly timed everything occurred, where Georgia completes a legendary comeback and survives the upset, at the very same time when the ball drops in Times Square, and the Peach drops less than a mile outside of Mercedes Benz Arena, and there are probably 100,000 people going apeshit gonzo in the 30303 zip code with thousands more around the Georgia, Ohio and sports bars across the nation, all while the new year changes, with millions more celebrating that.

I could only imaging the insanity that was occurring in Downtown Atlanta after the new year had lapsed.  Jubilation over survival and being on the winning side of an epic bowl game, all capped off with the celebration and jovial happiness of many others for bringing in the new year in memorable fashion.  With the cherry on top being THE Ohio State getting jobbed in a humiliating manner.  As much as casuals will throw the kicker under the bus, frankly he should never have been in a position where he was relied upon to deliver the win.  Watching the highlights of the game after the fact, TOSU’s defense got absolutely shredded in those last two drives, and they’re the motherfuckers who lost the game, not the kicker.

Whatever though.  TOSU loses, Georgia gets to defend their championship and go for two, and the New Year was brought in with good company and a chill and relaxed evening.  Seems like a fun start to me.

The Thanksgiving post, circa 2022

I am thankful for this photograph coming out pretty decently.  Through Facebook memories, I’ve seen pictures of past Thanksgivings where I remained home with my group of other vagabond friends who didn’t travel or have local family in town and we always got together for evenings of traditional Thanksgiving food, games and eventually Brack Friday shopping.

Then I got married, had kids, and it’s been a minute since we had a traditional Friendsgiving.

I called an audible this year, and made the choice to stay home for Thanksgiving this year.  With three adults and one child that no longer qualifies for lap travel, and no real place for us all to stay whilst up in Virginia, the idea of going up for Thanksgiving seemed like a colossal clusterfuck, so I made the call to forget the plan and just stay in Georgia in the comfort of our own home.  

I just didn’t want to sink a boatload of money on a trip that was going to stress me out when I could’ve gotten the same results staying at home.  Needless to say, the tone of this post is probably going to go downhill really fast now.

Because aside from the obvious things, like the health of my kids and having a better job than my old one, I can’t really think of anything that I’m thankful of this year.  I understand that putting such a sentiment in writing makes me sound like a bitter and miserable person, but at the same time all of the above isn’t really that inaccurate.

My job doesn’t burn me out on a daily basis, but the rigors and daily tribulations of parenthood more than makes up for it these days.  Even with an au pair that is like a gift from god, there’s still way more time than I want where I’m on double duty with both girls, and it’s just so tremendously difficult to manage a toddler and an infant at the same time.  It always makes me feel like a failure, because I can’t really give any one of my kids quality attention because I’ve always got to remain on defense that one doesn’t hurt herself while trying to man the other, and it fills me up with resentment when I logically should not be on double duty but I am anyway.

I am so burned out on a daily basis that people in HR would probably be willing to extend me a little leniency.  I haven’t had a proper or adequate break from being in this stage of dad mode, and I think I might be headed towards a breakdown if I don’t.  I love my kids more than anything in the world, but the day-in and day-out responsibilities that they are, and the fact that I get less than 2-3 hours a day to unwind unless I want to jeopardize sleep and being even a shittier dad the following day never helps.

Even trying to be introspective and analytical, I genuinely don’t feel anything to be thankful of otherwise this year.  I’m just so perpetually full of piss and vinegar that I have no thanks to give.  I am on an island where maybe one or two other people I know probably understands what I’m going through, and my mood swings are becoming more scathing and bitter the longer this continues.

I probably need therapy, a solo vacation wouldn’t hurt, and maybe stopping saying I’m fine when I’m actually filled with anger is a good idea too.   Maybe a Fight Club-like cry session would help.  But none of these seem particularly feasible without clashing objectives and wants, so I’m just left in this bitter mass of existence within myself where I can only hope to find solace in the little things and try to convince myself that they’ll make everything alright.

Dad Brog (#089): Father’s Day, for the rest of my life

#1 of until the end of my time

A while ago, mythical wife asked what I wanted for Father’s Day.  Usually whenever anyone asks me what I want for my birthday, Christmas, or now that I’m eligible, Father’s Day, I have no idea.  I don’t have a want for things except wrestling blets, and understandably nobody(ies) want to drop $300+ on effectively useless straps of fake leather and metal plates.

However, this year, I had an answer pretty quickly, because I have been thinking of it for a while.  And the best part is that it doesn’t cost a thing, but will still have unlimited value and meaning for me for the rest of my life.

What I wanted for Father’s Day this year, and every single year for the rest of my life, is a photo with my daughters, holding their tag team championship blets.  That’s it.  There’s nothing else I’ll ever need or want more than this every Father’s Day, than this request.

I figure there would be no better opportunity for me to pull this card than Father’s Day, as the my girls grow and get older and intelligent, and inevitably think my blet collection is lame and stupid.  But being Father’s Day, they’ll have to acquiesce to this small and simple request, and I’ll have them right where I want them, next to dad for a yearly photo.

I love time-lapse photography, and what I’m hoping is to one day have an impressively long photo album, built a year at a time, of myself with my daughters as they grow, blossom into the beauties their mom’s genes have set them on the course for, and watch the changing of expressions as they may be excited and exuberant as kids, begrudging and embarrassed as teenagers, but then come around and be happy and accepting of tradition as young adults and maybe one day mature women and maybe mothers in their own right.

Either way, this photo makes me happy, and I’m hoping that this will be the first of many, many years of similar photos, of forcing my children to participate in their lame dad’s hobby.

2 Under 2: Days like today I’m over parenting (#075)

I should be happy and excited right now.  I have received some very good personal news.  But I’m not.  I can’t be, because parenting two under two is soul sucking draining and there’s no room in my life for anything me, because I’m dealing with two crying kids all fucking day every fucking day and I have no idea when it will ever get any easier. 

#2 sucks at sleeping and doesn’t nap or stay asleep which already drains me daily, but has now devolved to where it encroaches into my one-on-one time with #1, because she’s insisting on waking up earlier than ever, despite not getting any more nap time or night sleep, so I am literally handcuffed to her from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed.  And to think she had one really perfect day earlier in the week where she slept until 8, had two perfect naps, and didn’t fight me Mortal Kombat when it came time to sleep.  

To make life any easier, #1 has apparently begun entering the terrible two phase where everything warrants crying and tantrums, and we’re talking real tears and snot and screaming and shunning.  And there will be moments in the day where both kids are crying, fussing, screaming, or all of the above to where I just have to stop, stand there still, and contemplate that this is where my life is at, and wondering, what. the. fuck. 

Obviously I’m not the only dad or any parent who’s ever been in this situation, but I would really like to know how other dads have fared or handled this specific scenario of simultaneously raising two under two, in similar aged kids to my own.  I need to know I’m not alone here, because I’m constantly overwhelmed, constantly overworked, often miserable, and at times completely over being a parent and just wanting a fucking break that will never happen because two under two is too much to ask of anyone to alleviate me of and I can’t rely on anyone and I don’t know any two people or don’t trust anyone to do a fraction of shit I do on a daily basis to get me one. 

I know that I’m not alone under these circumstances. I just want to hear it. 

But the disheartening thing is that I don’t know anyone in these circumstances. My friends and our generation itself are all so anti-kids or they have just one kid, or they’re fortunate enough to have family and other free care to lend hands, that it really does feel sometimes that I am alone.  

All I want for Christmas is a single day where I can turn off dad mode and live like a regular human being for a day.  Sleep without an alarm. Past 7 am. Eat when I want to eat and not when #1 eats so she doesn’t get pissed that I’m eating without her. To have a moment where I realize that I can run, write, or workout or watch tv for an hour without getting interrupted. Not be on double duty with two kids by myself for 3-5 hours a day.  Not to have to deal with pets.  To have an evening where I don’t have to sprint upstairs at a moments notice 3-5 times to pacify a kid because they can’t stay asleep.

Just one fucking day.  Happy Kwanzaa 

Oh, and my nanny just called in sick. Today’s going to be awesome.  Happy Hanukkah 

I don’t really want to shop this year

In years past, I enjoyed holiday time shopping.  I would scour the interwebs in advance and come up with plans of shit to purchase for myself, for famiry, for friends and whomever might actually warrant getting a gift for.  And by the time Thanksgiving rolled up, I would go start going gangbusters on purchasing things from all the retailers that might or might not have had early, Thanksgiving day, or Brack Friday deals.  By the time December rolled around, I was mostly done with my holiday shopping, save for those closest to me that I’d want to keep getting things for maybe.

Obviously, the big variable in those years past was the availability of time, and having the time to do research, think about other people, and to come up with plans, and seeing as how this year can mostly be summed up that as far as time goes, I just never fucking have any, and as a result, I look at holiday shopping and gift giving as something more a nuisance and an obligation, as much as it’s something that I’m feeling enthusiastic and eager to partake in.

Yes I understand how curmudgeon and shitty that sounds, but that’s where I’m at right now.  Overwhelmed, overworked, exhausted and perpetually pushed past my limits, that I’m finding it incapable to enjoy things I’ve enjoyed in the past, much less any and most of the little things that might’ve lifted my spirits in the past.

Additionally, I’m not working now, as I opted to, and it turned out to be extremely essential, in taking my extended leave of absence from work beyond my normal paid paternity time, but that also means it’s 1.5 months of not getting paid, as my job is secure, but the paychecks stop.  So I have financial concerns on top of everything else, and I’m wondering what wells in which I should be pulling the necessary funds to make sure my famiry and loved ones can actually have some gifts from me, because we’re all capitalists and all feel obligated to buy shit for one another.

As the Thanksgiving week rolled around, my email box was bombarded by e-blasts and messages from retailers that I ordinarily would want to browse through.  Brack Friday prices now, extended, Cyber Monday, etc., etc., for an entire week.  Of course I wanted to look through and peruse and hope to find some shit for myself or my loved ones, but with what fucking time?  I don’t have any.  By the time I have any time to do anything of the sort, that time is spent cleaning shit and resetting shit for another day of parenting, before I’m too gassed and tired to do anything else.

As the week progressed, and in what fleeting moments I might’ve had that I could have done something so frivolous, I was basically at the point where every commercial website I’d go to had countdowns at the tops of their page ticking down the amount of time left that such deals would be in place.  And I hate working against clocks, much less visible ones, and then I’d remind myself, with what fucking money? And then ultimately just start closing browser tabs, and sink back into my general hole of angst.

Believe me, I don’t like admitting all this stuff as much as I am putting it in writing for it to be immortalized, but that’s where I’m at.  It’s like, I only want to shop for my immediate household, and would like to be alleviated from the feeling of obligation to shop for anyone outside of it.  Because that’s all my world really is these days, the people within my own walls, and I have no idea what anyone outside of it might want, or needing to exert thoughtfulness, because it’s just adding unnecessary stress and anxiety to me, and I really don’t need it.

Ultimately, I’m going to just start kicking down doors and demanding ideas for what to get people, because we’re still in a pandemic, I don’t speak or interact with people enough to have ideas of thoughtful observational gifts, and I kind of just want to be done with needing to feel like I have to shop for others.

Maybe, hopefully, in the future years, this’ll go back to being typical slaves to capitalism, where we’ll all be happy to throw our money around at shit nobody really needs, but at least we’ll be in better spirits.

Happy holidays!

Not feeling that thankful this year

Oversleeping was my fault. A lot of the day’s issues don’t happen if we don’t oversleep, but it’s simply something that can happens when living a life as exhausting and draining as ours of raising two under two can be.  But it’s how the rest of the day transpired that has left me feeling few emotions aside from disappointment, regret, and the polar opposite of what Thanksgiving is supposed to be all about. 

The irony is that even if we don’t oversleep, there’s no guarantee that we would’ve made it to the airport on time.  Airlines appear to have tightened up two hours in advance rules to where they don’t even check people in for flights once within 105 minutes.  Long appears to be gone the days of when I could roll in with 75 minutes to go, no checked bag, TSA precheck and be ready to board group 1.  But with kids, all the kids’ stuff, and checked bags, that creates a tremendous amount more room for complications.

Ironically, regardless of if we left at our originally intended time, there’s little chance we would’ve made it on time anyway, because Atlanta airport’s parking is basically the worst lot in the galaxy, and it took us probably 30 minutes to find a place to park, and we would’ve missed the check in window anyway.

At this point, I’m kind of ready to punt; our original plan was to get us there as efficiently as possible, and pivoting with kids and checked bags never seems like a good idea to me, but mythical wife seemed more determined to see my family than I was, so after a 47 minute phone call with the airline, $465 basically paying for a full fare, we’re rebooked for a later flight to a different airport that gets us in four hours later, which slashes my already short trip and I’m wondering if it’s even worth it. 

Calling my mom to give an update is met with more disappointment and aggravation at the change of plans instead of any modicum of empathy or understanding. After my mom asks if we can uber to dinner after the money and effort to make sure the girls had car seats waiting for them, I’m already having regrets for not punting and heading into this trip with more dread than any sort of anticipation or excitement, that my family is finally getting to meet my kids for the very first time. 

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