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. 

Continue reading “Not feeling that thankful this year”

I’m going to be screwed when/if the pandemic ends

As is often the case, I struggled immensely to come up with things I wanted for gifts for Christmas.  In the end, my general listed pretty much revolved around all sorts of sweats, compression gear and athletic apparel, and I was fortunate enough to be thought of by enough people to have gotten quite a good bit of it.

That being said, since none of this stuff really serves me much purpose outside of the gym, or at home, or while working out at home, when and if the pandemic ever ends and I have to start going back on-site to work, I’m pretty much going to be screwed as far as the usefulness of all this stuff is concerned.

I’ll definitely be better equipped for the gym, outdoor running, or when I feel like feeling like a sausage at home, but in the grand spectrum of time spent in this kind of stuff is going to pale in comparison to the kinds of clothing that I’ll be expected to wear in the workplace, or going out for societal functions again, not that I couldn’t just be that guy who always wears athletic gear everywhere he goes.

It’s just kind of funny though, since this just feeds the narrative that as we get older, the more and more practical our gift choices become, and how ecstatic we are to get things like socks, accessories and mundane clothing.  Because this isn’t in the least bit facetious or resentful for my gift haul, I couldn’t be any happier with all the things that I got, because they’re all things that I’ve wanted, but been too cheap to spend my own money on, and now I don’t have to, but can have all the athletic gear I always wanted in the end.

New Father Brogging, #031

I’d become so accustomed to carving out a little bit of time to write every single night throughout the month that I don’t feel right not doing so, even if there’s no more German beers to review, and even if it is Christmas, and even if I’m tired because I’ve been up since the usual 6:30 am, and spent pretty much all day entertaining guests and trying to keep up with families, be it virtual or in-person.

If anything at all, this is precisely what I should have wanted to have happen after writing about beer for 24 straight days, is that it’s kind of conditioned me to want to do some writing, every single day, because when the day is over that’s really what I always aspire to accomplish with my brog, in writing regularly while hopefully not becoming too inane or uninteresting.

So I’ll simply say that as it has been the first Christmas of my daughter, I am in very good spirits that she had a pretty good day, slept well, had good naps, ate very well, and had a tremendous amount of gifts for her.  I am floored by all the love that my family is fortunate to receive and that so many people want to lavish my daughter with gifts and other thoughtful gestures, and I feel very lucky to have so many positive persons in my stratosphere.

It makes me feel unworthy of all the consideration so many of my friends and family have for my family and I, and that I will probably be anxious and insecure with the idea that I can reciprocate such generosities adequately.  I can only hope to be the friend, family or companion to those who think of me back to them, and I would like to be the best person in return to everyone who even has even just good thoughts towards my family and I.

Regardless, in spite of the general mass bemoaning of the kind of year that 2020 has been, it was still extremely important to me that my daughter have a good first Christmas.  Mythical wife is often critical and gives me hell about my general apathy and reluctance to do stuff like putting up trees, decorating the yard, and other festive things around the house, but it wasn’t so difficult to do as much this year, because of our general want to have the best Christmas we could under the circumstances we were given.

And despite the fact that we couldn’t see much of our family and friends this year, and there’s still a laundry list of people that my daughter has yet to meet in person, we still made the best of the hand we were dealt and be it virtual and the few people who do have a pass to come to my home, I think we succeeded in having a pretty good Christmas not just for our child, but just a good one in general.

I hope all future Christmases can be as positive for my wife and daughter as this one has been, if not better.

Advent Beer #23: Landgang Pils by Landgang Brauerei

What I’ve been doing every single day is that right before I pull the day’s can out of the fridge, I pull the next day’s can out of the box, to prepare it for the next day.  I try my best to not look at the can when I’m doing such, because as has been the routine, I like to be surprised when I pull it out of the fridge.  However, when I pulled this can out of the box yesterday, it was impossible to not notice the lime green color all over the can, and I was wondering if they had just snuck a tallboy of fucking Surge into the box.  Frankly, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but I knew I was getting a lime green-ass can tonight.

Anyway, so when I retrieved the can today, I looked quizzically at the design of the can.  First, I quickly identified that it was a pilsner, mostly because it’s listed on the bottom of the can, but then I couldn’t help but notice that they’ve basically put Shipwreck from GI Joe on the can itself for some reason, and I’m just sitting there with this wtf look on my face.

Typically, when I see something short-called “Pils,” it makes me think of Sam Adams’ Noble Pils, which is one of my more preferred beers in spite of the hoppiness of it.  I normally equate pilsners that identify themselves with lots of hops as IPAs and I think I’ve made clear how I feel about IPAs, but after stuff like Noble Pils and bier #6 Turbo Prop, I’m in this gray area of love and hate with some of them.  But seeing as how I’ve been determined to have at least one quality beer with the days remaining, out of my das boot, I was skeptical that I’d be relying on the final day of the calendar to hope to get something particularly good.

Shipwreck Pils doesn’t have a lot of aroma, pours very light, and looks every bit like a classic pilsner.  The first sip is immediately satisfying, but there’s a little bit of an odd finish at the end that negates a lot of the good will set by the first taste.  Overall, it’s an okay bier, that I think sits firmly in the middle of the pack as far as all of the Deutsch beers are concerned.  There have been many better, but at the same time, there have been several that have been decidedly worse than this one.

It is a bier that I could easily see myself having several of them, but that’s if someone else were paying for them provided I were drinking Shipwreck Pils only.  If it were on my own euro, I’d probably be seeking out something else, like a dunkel or a weizen, but for what it’s worth, this wasn’t bad at all.  If it means anything at all, of the three beers I’ve drinken out of my boot, this has been the best one.

Tomorrow marks the final day of the advent calendar, and I’ve already seen the color of the can, but know nothing else.  I really hope the box saved one of the best for last, but regardless, this has been a fun little exercise, and excuse to write daily.

Current Rankings:

  1. Jubilation Suds (#18)
  2. Bearjew Weisse (#16)
  3. First Coral (#2)
  4. Kirta (#5)
  5. Turbo Prop (#6)
  6. Schwarze Tinte (#13)
  7. Perlenzauber (#9)
  8. Loncium Vienna Style Lager (#12)
  9. Märzenbier (#20)
  10. Jubiläumsbier 333 (#7)
  11. Landgang Pils (#23)
  12. Zwönitzer Steinbier (#4)
  13. Alpen Stoff (#17)
  14. Kurpfalz Bräu Kellerbier (#22)
  15. Erl Hell (#19)
  16. Grandl (#11)
  17. Altbairisch Hell (#15)
  18. Hell (#1)
  19. Tannen Hell (#8)
  20. Perlenzauber IPA (#21)
  21. Tradition (#10)
  22. Hallertauer Hopfen-Cuvee (#14)
  23. Käuzle (#3)