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.

Wrestlemania: suck it, Cody

I was chatting with some of my bros over the two-night extravaganza, and I explained that no matter how much my level of involvement to professional wrestling ebbs and flows and wavers throughout the passage of time, there’s always a conceited effort to watch Wrestlemania.  It always comes back during Wrestlemania, and Mania and the Royal Rumble are the two shows a year that I feel very strongly about watching live.

This year’s Wrestlemania had a pretty stacked card on paper, and I felt that the WWE had done a pretty decent job of building up a respectable card from top to bottom, and wasn’t going to be anchored solely by Roman Reigns and then everyone else.  The Rey and Dominic Mysterio feud caught fire real late, and went from a cliché match to one that had some heat behind it, and as much as I hated the relegation of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens because of the existence of Cody Rhodes, there was still a large amount of interest with their match against the Usos, because the Usos can have great matches against anyone, much less the level of talents that are Sami and Owens.

On paper, I was actually looking forward to night 1 more than the second night, because I thought that the card was better quality than then night 2’s card.  But after both shows, I actually thought night 2 was the stronger show, and it really wasn’t even close.

I thought almost all of the matches on night 1 were underperformed by all those involved, which was a little head-scratching considering the level of talent that was on the card.  John Cena had a pretty uninspired match with Austin Theory, and was disappointing, Rey and Dominic had too many people get involved with their match which watered things down, Charlotte and Rhea had an uncharacteristically below-par match, and despite it being the best match of the night, I genuinely felt that the Sami/KO vs. Usos match could’ve been better.  They were the best by default, because most of the matches prior weren’t as good as they could’ve been.

Night 2 was heavily weighted by the Intercontinental championship match, with Gunther continuing his torrid 2023 defeating both Drew McIntyre and Sheamus in a brutal shit-kicking smack-fest everyone knew it was going to be, and despite my tendency to think that the main event matches are typically predictable and academic, the Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes match served up the drama of genuinely not knowing who was going to win, which made it that much more exciting as it played out.

But speaking of Cody Rhodes, one of the things holding back the anticipation of the show was the almost seemingly inevitably that he was going to be the guy that was going to dethrone Roman Reigns, which as a fan irked the shit out of me, because of all the speculation that he has a world title reign baked into his contract, which is what was a big draw in being able to bring him back from AEW.

So seeing him take the L was kind of surprising to me, because I thought for sure it was going to be the night where the Roman Empire came to an end.  Not just because of Cody’s ludicrous contractual obligation to be WWE champion at some point, but Roman had been carrying the company for over 900 days at that point, and Joe Anoa’I probably was due for a long-needed vacation.

No matter though, because unlike a lot of wrestling fans out there, I was over the moon that Roman retained and the greatest championship run since Bruno Sammartino continues on.  I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m just not a fan of Cody Rhodes, and I’m quite pleased to see him finally lose a match since he returned to the WWE.

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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 (#093): Year One of Forever, part 2

As is often the case with life with two kids as young as my own, things seldom go according to plan. And as much as I loathe tardiness and inability to be on time, things happening behind their intended time has become more and more of a routine occurrence that I hope one day rectifies itself as/if life ever calms down to a less frantic pace.

That being said, with no disrespect for my second child, #2’s birthday has come and gone now, for a few weeks now, but finally I’m taking the time to really reflect on the monumental  occasion.

To be fair, some of this delay had to do with the fact that unlike with #1, #2 got to have a traditional big Korean first birthday party, as the travels I described in prior posts was so that my side of the family could celebrate the first birthday, as is a big tradition in Korean culture.  And that particular weekend was the best chance at getting as much of my family members present, even if it meant celebrating a little bit past the actual date.

But my little #2 is officially one year old, and it most certainly has been an eventful twelve months since her arrival into the world.  I’d be full of shit if I didn’t talk about just how difficult it had been at times, especially considering her challenges she’s had with sleep in general, that still rears up every now and then even to this day.  And when she gives us hell about going to sleep, I fantasize about when she’ll one day be a groggy teenage girl who wants nothing more than to sleep, and I’ll be the obnoxiously awake dad who will gleefully remind her of her infant days when she fought like war to not sleep on a daily basis.

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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.

This is what wheels coming off a vehicle looks and sounds like

Well, at least the Braves aren’t going to go down having gotten swept.  Instead, they’ll have gone down flubbing a 3-1 series lead, which in baseball isn’t that terribly uncommon, but it’s still poor optics, since the statistics of teams coming back from 3-1 deficits are still minuscule in comparison to how long Major League Baseball has been played.

Honestly, I’m more surprised that the series is going to seven games now, which is the ultimate agony for sports fans to endure, watching the slow bleed of defeat, watching their teams bring them to the brink of hope and jubilation, only for them to crash into agonizing finality.  But when the Braves got blown out and allowed 15 runs in game three, I figured that it was a foregone conclusion that the Dodgers were beginning their mighty comeback and were going to win four straight, like the way the Braves blew the 1996 World Series against the Yankees after winning the first two games.

Instead, the Braves gave false hope to all Braves fans by winning game 4 in commanding fashion and sitting on a pretty 3-1 series lead.  Naturally, since they have no starting pitching, they lost game 5, which was probably to be expected, but fans would find solace in the fact that Max Fried, arguably the best pitcher on the team would get the ball for game 6, but that brings us to now, where Fried pitched well, it’s just that the Braves offense appeared to have cashed in all of its available runs in the previous five games, and could barely scrap together a single run, losing to the Dodgers and sending the NLCS to game 7, where they will undoubtedly lose in embarrassing fashion, by like a score of like 11-1, bringing closure to a season that really shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and back to another cold offseason of pessimism and increasing nihilism in professional sports.

Much like Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, I can’t bring myself to watch games of teams that I actually care about, because it gives me anxiety and stress that I really don’t need, and I superstitiously believe that I am a master of the universe that undoubtedly jinxes whatever team I care about when I watch them, and if I do want the Braves to win, I most absolutely should not be watching them.

Seriously though, check out this Mookie Betts catch.  This is the kind of highlight that preserves no-hitters or turns the tides of playoff series.  If he doesn’t make that catch then Ozuna doubles for sure, and Freddie Freeman probably scores.  A single run doesn’t change the 3-0 deficit that the Braves were in, but at the same time, it could very well have been the start of a rally.  The thing is, a catch like Betts’ is what keeps the mythical momentum on the side of the Dodgers while sucking the life out of the hope of the Braves.  The jubilation of Mookie Betts after making the catch is precisely the opposite of a metaphor of what the Braves’ chances of winning the series sounds like.  Although his lips appear to be mouthing something probably like let’s fucking goooo it could very well be emanating the sound of a flushing toilet, because that’s precisely what happened when he makes that.

Welp, Baby Magic and partial-year champions theories were cute while they lasted.  I would undoubtedly put legitimate money on the Dodgers to win game 7, because it’s a foregone conclusion that the only thing well that the Braves are going to do, is what they’ve historically been known to do: fall short.

The real question is will they get blown out in the first inning like they did in game 3 a few nights ago and in game 5 against the Cardinals last year, or will they be competitive and hard-fought the entire way and then lose in agonizing and soul-wrenching manner late in the game like they did against the Dodgers back in like 2012?  Who knows, but as long as it ends up with the Braves going home yet again, does it really matter?

Profit ≠ Championships

I feel like I’ve been in a little bit of a writing rut lately, but at the same time I never like to go too long without having written something at all.  When times like this, I tend to fall back onto topics that are easy for me to ramble about like wrestling, or in this case, baseball.

No, it’s not about the Astros and their cheating scandal, although it seems very foreboding for the franchise, due to the overwhelming amount of evidence that backs it up, not to mention the fact that former pitcher Mike Fiers literally tattled on them to the press.

I was reading this article about how a current president, CEO and investor stooge-slave of the Atlanta Braves, Mike Plant, is all optimistic about the future of the Braves and their future success, and as is often the case whenever I read bullshit like this, it makes my eyes roll, but at the same time, it occasionally inspires words to formulate in my head, and then through my fingers and then into a word doc.

Of course Plant is going to say a bunch of optimistic shit to quell investors.  Why would he say stuff like “ehh, the Braves are going to be a perfectly adequate .500+ team, but realistically speaking we don’t have the pitching to compete in the playoffs, nor the talent to carry us beyond the NLDS?”

Instead, he extols the positive bean counts of how well the attendance and television ratings were, and the sponsorship revenue, and the overall profits that the organization is raking in, but not turning around and spending on the team itself.

Somewhere along the lines, the Braves appear to have forgotten that success isn’t really measured in spreadsheets and profit, but in championship banners and Commissioner’s Trophies; and that succeeding with the latter typically results in massive successes with the former.  I would wager money that the Cubs blowing open the bank in 2016, the Astros ponying up in 2017, the Red Sox spending like they always do in 2018, and the Nationals paying their pitchers what the Braves spent on their whole team in 2019, result in way more ROI than the Braves have done, playing it safe and by their completely unnecessary corporate spending limits.

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