WTF is AEW doing #177

It’s not that I don’t want to watch AEW when it airs, it’s just that I’d rather be doing one of the fifty other things that I could be doing with what spare time that I actually have when I have it.

Typically, highlight packages on YouTube are how I best keep touch with the pulse of wrestling, and when things seem compelling enough, I’ll look for video on demand or make a conceited effort to watch. 

Needless to say, that very rarely happens, and it’s not just with AEW, but with WWE as well.

And then I see things like this populate on YouTube, and I’m left scrunching my eyebrow and thinking [title of post]?

I kind of feel bad for both the guys in this very unfortunate pairing of thumbnail and subject line, regardless of it were deliberate or not by the digital media team of AEW.  Billy Gunn probably watched with a tear in his eye and piss and vinegar in his mouth as D-Generation X celebrated some 25 year anniversary on a very recent edition of RAW, and Swerve is probably just another of many former WWE guys who is feeling increasing regret over being quick to jump to AEW after their releases from WWE before Hunter came back.

And now one of them is kayfabe abducting the other in a strange storyline where four black guys are clumped together, fighting each other, seemingly over an over-the-hill white man who once made a name for himself as Mr. Ass, but because he’s at the elder statesman point of his career, he’s now “Daddy Ass.”

I’ve said it once, and I’ll undoubtedly say it thousands more times, if there are ever reasons why I’ll always have a hard time taking AEW seriously, this is definitely one of them.

Dad Brog (#101): I am not above shitting on other toddlers

Over the last week, my daughter has been written up twice for biting.  She went to school twice last week, which means both days she went, she bit another kid.

Color me pleased to be a parent.

The thing is that it is it’s the same kid that she bit both times, and if I’m a betting dad, this is the kid that she learned the behavior from in the first place.  Seriously, prior to pre-K she wasn’t a biter at all.  Now she’s biting other kids, my wife and I, and worse, her little sister who can’t defend herself.  

The first incident, we were told that the other kid first took a toy away from my daughter, and she retaliated with her teeth.  Not any less acceptable, but she was provoked.

The second time, I was told that there was no provocation and that my kid bit the other kid without any good reason.  This was more disappointing under this context, I don’t want to be raising any bullies or troublemakers.

Whenever these incidents occur, there’s literally a bite report, specific to biting incidents that parents have to sign.  I imagine that these infractions are recorded and that if too frequent and too problematic, children will be subject to whatever phrasing they want to call expulsion these days. 

Either way, I don’t want my child(ren) to ever be on any sort of hot seat, especially for shit behavior they learned from someone else.

Anyway, as I’m driving my kid home after incident number 2, she’s complaining of a bug bite she has.  Bug bite?  The kids haven’t been playing outside because it’s starting to cool down, and we’re past the time of year in which mosquitos are still out.

I ask if she has a bug bite or a people bite.  People bite.  I then ask if she has a people bite or a bug bite, since she sometimes automatically responds to the second option of every question. People bite.  I ask both questions again just to make sure.  People bite.  People bite.

Yeah, I know all our own kids are angels and never at fault and all that bullshit, but I’m actually beginning to believe that perhaps my child didn’t bite completely unprovoked, contrary to what I was told.

When we get home, I put my kid on the counter and tell me where she was bitten. She points to her leg. I raise her pant leg, and sure enough, there’s something there.  Most definitely not a bug bite.  A flat line of a mark that looks more like a toddler-sized incisor.

I ask one more time.  People bite.  I ask who bit you?  She spits out a name.  The name of the kid I figured it was going to be.

I am not above shitting on another toddler.  Especially one that isn’t just teaching my child undesirable behavior, but is griefing my child in school. 

From the first time I saw this kid on the classroom’s Facebook page, and my daughter pointed him out by name, I knew this was either her favorite friend or a kid that has given her grief.  Frankly I said to mythical wife that he looked like he was probably an asshole, judging a book by his cover.  Seems like the cover seemed to match the story.

I didn’t want this to go ignored, so I snapped the above pic and sent it to my kid’s teachers.  I explained that her behavior is not something we condoned, but based on the evidence of some biting on mine, I wanted to document that my daughter may not have acted completely unprovoked.

I get teaching, especially toddlers is excruciatingly difficult and I’m never going to discount how hard their jobs are.  But I think they might have missed some of the context in this situation, and I don’t think my kid is the only one who needed to be written up. 

Either way, this is where we are.  I now have to deal with a biter of a child now, to which most other parents explain to me is fairly common and developmentally appropriate.  It just annoys me that she probably learned it by it happening to her, and now she’s exerting the behavior onto others.

Lord only knows what undesirable behavior she’s going to learn in the future, but as far as I’m concerned, any kid that teaches it is a little shitbag, and I’m not above calling out such, regardless if they’re a toddler, teenager or a senior citizen.  Kids are sponges and don’t need to be taught shit things. 

Dad Brog (#100): One Hundred Dad Brogs

Because I’m a neurotic baseball nerd who has a hard-on for nice round numbers, I was always keenly aware of the fact that I was creeping closer to a nice round milestone number of 100 dad brogs, most of which are bitchy, ragey, or coming from a place of frustration.  In my head, I’ve written this post several different times now, but as is the norm for the life of a parent of kids as young as mine, there was never the opportunity to write this until a lot of the feelings in which I’m mentally writing, have already long passed.

This isn’t to say that I don’t love my children, quite the contrary, I love my children and my famiry and would do anything in the world for them, but it’s more of the unyielding truth of just how difficult raising kids is, especially in the circumstances I’ve been under, with two born during a pandemic and being on a path that has never really been explored except by those in similar boats currently charting them as we go.

There’s no sugar-coating it: parenting is hard.  Parenting two that are just 16 months apart is even harder.  I’ve completely lost the ability to feel any shred of empathy for anyone who proclaims their lives are difficult and they have no kids, because I frankly can’t imagine anyone’s life being as hard without kids as someone with them.  In fact, I’ve even turned my nose up at those with just one child, because at this point, I think one kid is a walk in the park, and that I could raise a single child with my eyes closed with the experience I’ve accumulated.

At no point during my journey as a dad, have things ever been easy.  When it was just #1, we had several months of having to deal with an apnea monitor, on top of not knowing what we were doing as new parents.  But once we began to feel that we were getting into a groove and that her sleep schedule was affording us time to begin feeling like human beings again, our world was rocked by the discovery that mythical wife was pregnant and #2 was on the way.

And then #2 arrived, and in spite of all the preparation and thinking we got this, based on all the experience we accumulated from our first go-around, #2 was all sorts of different than her sister, in terms of temperament, sleeping habits, and the presence of colic.  And with their being two kids now, the inevitability of double duty came into play, and let me tell you that there have been fewer points in my life that I have felt so helplessly inadequate as a father, parent, human being, than when I’m constantly falling on my face as a single person watching two kids.

Since then, my daughters have been living up to the tag team dynamic that I’ve given them championship blets for, because since the staffing up of my famiry, they’ve been systematically taking turns, tagging in and out, at which one of them is the difficult kid at any given time; naturally not ignoring any opportunities to get some double-team, tandem offense of both of them being difficult at the same time.  #2’s colic was a devastating time where nothing I did felt like it was right.  #1’s increasing curiosity and the development of defiance and the ability to say the word NO bubbled up as #2’s newborn vices began cooling down.  They’d take turn at being picky eaters, and seldom would eat well at the same time.  #1 started getting sick every single month since the start of 2022 due to our shitty nannies or sending her to daycare, and without missing a beat, when she gets sick, #2 gets sick 3-4 days later and it’s even worse on her because she’s younger and has a lesser developed immune system.  Everyone loves to say that it’s just them growing their immune systems, but I’d rather other parents just stop being selfish fucks and sending sick kids to school all the god damn time.

Continue reading “Dad Brog (#100): One Hundred Dad Brogs”

Dad Brog (#099): The Worst Parenting Product Ever

Throughout the last two-plus years, mythical wife and I have come across plenty of products that weren’t that useful, and/or drawn frustration from mostly me.  Things like wipe warmers, butt paste applicators, the 78 different types of sippy cups that mythical wife purchases despite my protests that we don’t need any more god damn cups, can fall into the category of being useless.

Our ridiculously expensive double stroller has been a tremendous source of frustration for me throughout the journey of parenthood, because it was ridiculously expensive, but it’s also absurdly cumbersome, heavy, doesn’t fit into my car at the same time as an extra human being, and taking the thing down to Disney is a sure-fire trip-ruiner based on how often I have to break it down to fold because it’s either fold it to ride a shuttle or a Skyliner or fold it to put into the car to drive somewhere with.  But at least in spite of it all, it provides massive utility as the sturdy, smooth-rolling stroller to both my kids, when we need to roll them around.

But this past weekend, I discovered the absolute worst parenting product we’ve ever had the misfortune of being duped into spending our money on: the SlumberPod.

It’s basically a supposedly portable blackout tent that you put over the sleeping peripheral of a child, so that they can sleep in simulated darkness.  It has vents and even a clear plastic compartment to tuck a camera into so that you can monitor your child still.  The sales pitch of this product is that it’s perfect for you to use in hotels or anywhere where you have to shack up with your children in the same room, and you want to be able to sleep in the dark but not have to give up the convenience of lights outside of it.

But for my kids?  Colossal failure.  The SlumberPod seems like a great way to inflict trauma or cultivate claustrophobia to my kids.  We got it for #2 originally, because she typically needs a nice dark, isolated setting to sleep optimally, and sharing a hotel room with her seemed like a daunting task.  When we finally got it set up and put over her pack and play, it lasted all of two seconds before she was screaming bloody murder, and it didn’t even make it ten minutes before we realize that this wasn’t going to work.

Alternatively, we tried it on #1, to see if it would prove useful with her, but not only did she hate it as much as #2 did, she had the capability to fuck around with the camera compartment, reach outside of her crib to monkey around with the sound machine, and was just overall physically capable enough to jostle the entire thing to where we I threw up my hands and declared this the worst parenting product we’ve ever had.

Sure, there is no one-size-fits-all parenting product that is guaranteed to work on every single kid out there.  That’s not entirely why I’m so disenchanted with the SlumberPod.  My primary point of frustration with the SlumberPod, aside from its bullshit $170+ price tag, is the fact that it’s pitched like it’s this easy-to-assemble jesus tent that will help put your kids to sleep, but the reality is that you basically need the surface area of Lambeau Field in order to have adequate space to put it together.  Works kind of counter to the idea of assembling and using these in hotel rooms with limited space.

It’s a Christmas miracle that I didn’t, or my kids didn’t get hurt by one of the bullshit tension rods that requires an unnerving amount of bend in order to assemble, and I was afraid that one wrong move would result in a violent whiplash of a metal rod whipping the shit out of either myself or one of my kids.  It would’ve probably been violent enough to slash out an eye on a human being, and probably rip a massive scar into drywall.

It’s definitely not easy to assemble, and once it is, it’s this giant fucking blob of useless that you don’t want to break down on a daily basis and have to wrestle with it all over again the following day, so you leave it assembled and let it take up a giant chunk of space in your limited hotel room’s real estate.

And when it doesn’t work on top of the aggravation of having to assemble it, it’s a really easy call to make that this is basically the most useless and regrettable parenting product ever purchased.  Basically, my prevailing thought after having to put up with this failure, is that if you don’t want to have to deal with the stress and struggle of having to share space with a child that requires adequate darkness in order to sleep, don’t fucking travel with them.  At least it wouldn’t cost $175 and an entire weekend of sleepless nights because the kids are struggling to sleep in a shared space far from home.  But fuck the SlumberPod, I hope I’ll be able to recoup anything for it, because I sure as shit don’t want to keep this in my house full of kids stuff any longer.

Damn it, I have to side with the conservative chick

It’s obvious that my brog has kind of devolved into this cesspool of parenting, wrestling and occasional sports posts, and that I don’t really write so much about the variety of topics that I tried to spread out throughout my ability to write.  Parenting has really shrunken my general world into a very small space that I obviously need to focus on more than anything else these days, but every now and then a slice of the world outside my own manages to sneak in through social media, grasp my attention, and trigger an avalanche of thoughts, and ultimately words that I can put down onto a word doc and call it a brog post.

Normally, when I hear that an alleged victim is of a conservative variety, I expect to get ready to roll my eyes and imagine at what nonsense a white person is going to be bitching about next.  But in this particular story that someone found its way to me, about a girl who is enraged with American Airlines, because she was on a flight where she was the unfortunate middle seat in between two, morbidly obese siblings, for a three hour flight, I kind of get it.

I think it’s a safe bet to say that I’ve flown more than the average traveler.  And in my travels, I have sat in more than my fair share of middle seats, especially considering all the standby traveling I did where middle seats were really my only option versus not making it out at all.  And let me tell you, in the age of seats getting smaller and smaller so that more seats can be crammed onto aircrafts, I have definitely been this girl more times than I can count, where I’ve been victimized by people whose girth far exceeds the confines of a standard airline seat.

Of course, I am no small individual by any means.  I’m probably like 20-30 lbs. away from an ideal mass ratio, but for the most part, I fit adequately into the boundaries of an airline seat.  Sometimes my shoulders exceed the boundaries, not necessarily because I’m swole or anything, but because everyone’s shoulders usually exceed the boundaries of a seat, and most of the time it’s a domino effect of everyone in a row gradually leaning to one side in order to try and get some physical reprieve.

Except in the case of this poor girl, there was no reprieve, because she was literally sandwiched in between two mammoth masses of humanity.  The fact that they were spread out with a gap seat in the middle indicates that they knew they were both blobs and needed the space of a seat in between them, but the fact that they didn’t just outright purchase that seat meant that there was always the chance of some poor unfortunate soul getting booked in it, which is exactly what happened in this case.

And normally I tend to not feel much empathy for those who proudly identify as conservatives, but as a fellow human being who has traveled on his share of airplanes, I completely feel for this girl.  It is absolutely the worst feeling in the world being stuck next to a blob of a person who is oozing into your personal space, and you’re stuck touching these usually less than hygienic My 600 Lb. Life patients for more than two hours otherwise you might’ve driven in the first place.

I have loathed every time this has happened to me, and in my case it’s usually been from one side, but it has happened where I’ve been the schmuck stuck between the Natural Disasters and it is the absolute worst.

The ironically funniest thing about this story is that after the initial, fairly nonchalant response from American Airlines to this girl, is the secondary follow-up response where AA basically sided with her, low-key admit our bad, and gave her a voucher for the horrendous atrocity of having to endure a flight being a literal Jill sandwich.  It’s like after the initial shot was fired, some case worker actually analyzed the scenario and realized how miserable she was and had the empathy to reach back out and offer a peace offering.

It reminded me of my own experience, where the above photo was a picture that I took on an AirTran flight coming back from Las Vegas.  We were surrounded by a family or three where everyone was massive, and fortunately they weren’t in my row, but they definitely were all around me, and because of their girth, they were obviously uncomfortable in their seats, resulting in them constantly getting up and meandering all around me, to where at one point, they just gathered in the back, right next to me, just so that they wouldn’t have to be seated in tight quarters on account of their blobbiness.

I contacted AirTran about the incident, and they actually sided with me with no resistance, and gave me a credit.  It’s like they too know how much of a pain in the ass huge motherfuckers are to the airline travel experience as much as everyone else does, but because so many Americans are so fucking fat, it’s just something that happens on the regular, and they just hope people don’t reach out to complain about it.

Anyway, this chick obviously got blasted by the internet for being so callous as to fat shame, but the funny thing is that there was also a notable amount of sympathy for her situation, because at the root of it, just about everyone who’s ever had to deal with it themselves knows just how much it sucks flying next to a bunch of fat fucks who ooze all over the place.

Feels like old times

But this is one of those situations where I feel like the narrative of the Braves charging from behind to basically (almost) steal the division in the last week of the season, by also vanquishing the Mets in the process is something that’s happened before, but a little bit of fact-checking myself shows that even during the streak of 14-straight division titles, the only times the Braves have pulled the magic act of winning the division at the end of the regular season has only happened twice; and only once during my lifetime, barely, in 1982.

All the same, there’s something magical feeling about how the Braves’ season has been, because it feels like something that shouldn’t have happened at all.  The Braves were in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons at the start of the year, most notably with the Freddie Freeman drama which I still feel some salt over, but like in all things sport, winning tends to make people forget about bad things pretty quickly, and winning 100 games definitely eases the sting of losing a franchise guy because the ownership is too, Braves-ey, which is to say stick up the butt cheap as fuck.

Matt Olson, the replacement to Freeman, has basically shrugged off all the expectations and the act he had to follow and delivered everything he was hoped to contribute with a 30HR/100RBI season.  Impending free-agent Dansby Swanson has gone bonkers this year is playing very much like he knows he’s about to get paid this winter, more so, the better his statistics look at year’s end.  Austin Riley has rewarded the Braves’ faith in him by delivering another monster season, and much like some of the Braves of old, the kids have come to play, with rookies Michael Harris, Spencer Strider and Vaughn Grissom playing like they hated the minor leagues and absolutely refuse to get sent back down.

There was a point in the year where the Braves were literally 10.5 games out of first, and I’m thinking, welp, we’ll always have 2021, baby luck, etc, etc, and feeling kind of liberated that the Braves sucked, and that I didn’t have to give any care to them.  But then everything started clicking, the Braves won 14 games in a row at one point, and have been playing over .650 ball after the all-star break and suddenly every day now warrants casual glances at the standings to see where the Braves stood, as they closed the gap on the Mets, who honestly never seemed like they were ever losing in their own right.

It became apparent that this final weekend series was going to be the season for both teams, and if the Braves wanted any chance at all to win the division, they were going to have to take care of the Mets themselves.  Leading up to the weekend, it didn’t seem like either team was willing to blink, and most every day was like Braves win, Mets win, no change in the standings, except when the Braves flubbed some games against like the Mariners and Giants.

And even though the records were tight, with only six games remaining, it was pretty clear that the Braves had to win the series in order to have any chance at winning the division, because the Mets’ roster is good enough to where the paper their lineups were written on were more than competent at beating the rebuilding Nationals to end their season.  Frankly, like all Braves fans, I was hoping for 2/3 games, but mathematically that was still dicey and would require a little bit of help on the back end.

But a sweep?  No fucking way.  The Braves have become a good team again, but the Mets have been the torch bearer of the division all year long.  It’s actually kind of flabbergasting that the Mets would have shit the bed at such a critical point like this, because with Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer pitching the series alone, those two should have been automatic wins in their own right.

Like, the Mets getting swept and basically losing the division in the final week of the season, almost makes me feel bad for the Mets and their fans, and I actually kind of feel bad for wanting to go into my metaphorical storage bin of past fandoms, opening it up, opening the folder for baseball, and pulling out a sheet of paper with LOL Mets on it, because usually the meme in the past was when the Mets sucked, and they did stupid shit, not when a dominating Mets squad did stupid shit and shot themselves in the foot.

But whatever.  Dramatic comeback aside, this is still the Braves we’re talking about.  This might have felt like something that might have happened in old times, but technically the season still is not over.  The Braves have to beat the Marlins once, or the Mets have to lose a game to the Nationals for the race to be officially over, and anyone who’s watched as much baseball as I have has seen it all before, and nothing is over until it is truly over.

And with the Braves in the playoffs, there’s no telling that something that has happened in old times, could very well happen again, with the Braves getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs, and it looks like the Braves will be paired up against the Cardinals, whom usually always has their number in the playoffs, especially with Albert Pujols having a magic final season in his own right.  Or, the Braves make it to the NLCS, where they’ll meet up with Freddie Freeman and the Dodgers, and we’ll have a storyline for the ages, to where Freeman gets the sweetest revenge on the organization who scorned him, and he sends the Braves packing en route to the World Series.

Regardless of what happens in the near future, seeing the Braves have a pretty magical run to (basically) steal the division right out from under the Mets, by sweeping the Mets is something that was pretty noteworthy.  After all, it’s made it into the brog, and I definitely cherish my time and could have been watching the final episodes of The Walking Dead instead of writing, but fucking baseball is time sensitive material, since there’s games every god damn day.

Nobody hates baseball more than baseball fans.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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