Dad Brog (#094): It was bound to happen eventually

This photo here is of the remains of a snow globe that I’ve had for the last 14 years.  It was one of the few mementos I had from my time working for Cartoon Network, which to this day is still one of the feathers in my cap of my career, because I enjoyed my time there greatly, and I got to do a lot of noteworthy projects while working there.

As a freelancer, it was always hit or miss on whether or not I got to take part in any of the company perks.  Sometimes I was allowed to attend company functions, other times I was the guy that was needed to be in the office while the actual Turner employees got to.  Sometimes I was privy to swag, other times there was an air of exclusive gate keeping from the lowly hired guns.

However, this snow globe was one of the few things that I was allowed to have, and it was something that I did treasure to some capacity, long after my time at CN came to a close.  It was something fairly tasteful, branded so I would always know where it came from, and most importantly, it was exclusive.  These were only given out internally, and were not available to the public.  Those who have them, are Cartoon Network people, and it was something that I took pride in having of my own, because for the two years I was there, I was all in, wanting to be a part of the team.

Honestly, I probably should’ve moved it at the very first evidence that #1 was capable of reaching it.  Naturally, as my children grow, stand upright and become increasingly mobile and mischievous, the need to childproof things rises and rises, commensurate to their level of physical access.  And prior to this incident, I knew she was capable of reaching it, as she had done so numerous times already, but in the past, usually I’ve been readily present to be able to prevent her from harming any of the things on this particular piece of furniture, but as is often times the case with toddlers, it only takes a second and a foot apart for destruction to occur.

In some regard, I suppose I’ve been fortunate to have gone as long as this, for my kids to have destroyed something meaningful to me.  29 months since the arrival of the first one before any of them managed to find the moment of weakness in which they could inflict some damage to some personal property that’s relatively extremely difficult and costly to replace, seems like it’s been a fairly decent run.  But as the subject of this post says, it was bound to happen, eventually, probably.  Kids are kids, and sooner or later, they become destructive, whether it’s a phase or just an accident.

More importantly though, nobody was hurt or incurred any physical harm from broken glass and glittery water.  A meaningful trinket breaking is nothing compared to if my kids or mythical wife suffered any slips or cuts from the damage. 

All the same, I am pretty bummed out by this.  I really did love this silly snow globe, and as I stated, replacing it would be costly, from those former Turner folks who are hocking them on eBay for well over $130 as exclusive goods, and I don’t think I’d want a replacement anyway.  The one that broke was mine, my symbol of belonging on a team, and my personal memento of a brief but fun and memorable point in my career, and replacing it with someone else’s for the sake of having an intact variant, doesn’t seem like a justifiable idea.

Oh, Atlanta #577

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these but obviously, it’s the same old song and dance that I just don’t have the time.  Honestly I feel like if I ever wanted to do one of these every day, I’m sure I could find a story absurd enough to warrant a post.  But there are days like today where the story came to me for a change of pace, and upon seeing it, I knew it was inevitable that I had to write about it:

Deadly shooting occurs at a Subway; over too much mayonnaise being put on a sandwich.  I really can’t make this shit up, even if I tried.  But to expound on the unfortunate situation, basically a Subway employee put too much mayo on a customer’s sandwich, they became irate, and then words began being exchanged, and the next thing you know, they’re opening fire into the restaurant and killing the employee.  The manager on duty promptly returns fire because of course they’re packing too, and the whole thing ends with the shooter arrested, an employee dead, with the employee’s sister who also worked there, also shot and in critical condition.

Also, the 5-year old kid of one of the women struck was there and watched their mom get shot.

Typically, these kinds of posts are dripping in sarcasm and are more of a you’ve got to be kidding me in an ironically judgmental funny way, and I’ll be honest that this is how I felt when I started writing about it.  But honestly, it’s nothing really funny about it is as much as it’s just fucked up and sad that there are people out there that genuinely felt that the best course of action to resolve the dissatisfaction at getting too much mayo on their fucking Subway sandwich is to pull out a gun and start shooting like Yosemite Sam.

I know this particular Subway, and where it is, and it is very much not in a particularly good part of town.  It’s riding a line where everything east of it is touched by the magic gentrification fairy, and are in a period of where there are people hoping to cash in on rising property values and get paid, but on the west side of the thoroughfare is basically still the Jurassic Park of ghettos.  So it’s not really any surprise that this kind of incident happened at this part of town, but it’s still tragic and fucked up that there’s literally a person dead over mayonnaise on a sandwich.

Guess all that’s really left for me to say is that I’m sure glad I don’t work or really have any business being in the city proper anymore, because I’d sure hate to get in the crossfire of any sort of altercation over shitty fast food.

Sorry if this metaphor is extreme

But honestly?  The overturning of Roe v. Wade and the general aftermath, kind of felt like September 11th.  Yes, that September 11th, of 2001.  No, thousands of American lives haven’t been lost (yet), but from the standpoint that it was a fairly ordinary morning until a massive metaphorical bomb went off with the breaking news that Roe v. Wade had been overturned, and all across the country there was mass shock, a panic at trying to figure out what happened, and then just, outrage.

Naturally, a lot of this is exacerbated by the existence of the internet and the rabid amplification at how fast news and opinions can travel.  Frankly, I’m (thankfully) not on Twitter or Reddit, so I can’t really see just how much rejoicing of this there is because I’m pretty sure it would drive me into a disgruntled frenzy, so all I really can see is a fairly curated ocean of anger, outrage and disappointment in the country from the outlets that I’m typically exposed to on the regular, when I actually have the time to look.  I just assume that the vast majority of those who are for this bullshit are probably just old white people, and mostly men that look like Mitch McConnell or various mutations of him.

I know comparing it to 9/11 seems like a pretty extreme metaphor, but that’s really kind of how this day as felt.  Lots of shock, confusion, anger, but mostly this feeling of defeat and disgust, disappointment and just sheer lack of faith in our country, from what feels like the first time in eons, we’re witnessing the actual removal of a human right for its population.

Obviously as a male, there’s a definitive limit to how much I can understand and be able to empathize for female America, but all I have to do is look at my wife, and see the sheer detachment from the entire day upon hearing of this news, to know that this is a really, really fucking massive major big deal.  All I have to do is look at my two daughters, my two female children offspring, and see two people who somehow will grow up with less rights than the generation before them, and I feel disheartened and disappointed and disgusted with the country in which they had the misfortune of being born into.

I’m not a political person.  I’m not very educated in the political arena or lots of historical events, but even I knew what Roe v. Wade is.  I know it’s something that’s been under fire for longer than I’ve been alive, but silly me for thinking that America had just enough common sense to keep alive, regardless of the fact that it’s been attacked endlessly for the better part of the last 50 years.

While lamenting our collective disgust, some of my friends said that this was the victory of a very long game by the Republican party, but I had to vehemently disagree.  A long game implies strategy, cunning and most importantly patience, all which most definitely this didn’t feel like.  It just felt like 50 years worth of mindless zombies gathering at the entrance to a castle gate, and finally, finally, they’ve gathered enough of their kind to where they could finally overwhelm the wall and breach their way in.  No strategy needed so much as it was just a tireless, endless constant war of attrition, where most likely tons of people in support of it have no idea what they’re even fighting for.

Unfortunately, when it comes to American politics, there is no undo function, no 7-day money back guarantee, no 55-hour annulment.  The overturning of Roe v. Wade is going to happen, has happened, and countless Americans will suffer as the result of it.  For reasons why, nobody knows why a bunch of overprivileged white men asshole motherfuckers in Washington DC needs to control what women do with their bodies beyond a primal, caveman-like need to control what they think is their property.

The political system is beyond broken, and frankly nothing short of a catastrophe that wipes out a large chunk of Congress and/or the Supreme Court, nothing is ever going to change.  Old, toxic cogs that retire or die one by one are strategically replaced by similarly toxic cogs that are slightly younger, but ensure the maintenance of the same broken status quo that will never change as long as a system like this is in place.

The bottom line is that I may not be a woman and fully understand the full spectrum of how devastatingly this day sucks, but my heart still breaks for them, and all women who will be impacted the most by it.  My wife has been on another planet since the news broke and my daughters will grow up in a society whose government sees them as second class.

I don’t feel that it really needs to be said, but I want to put it in writing all the same, because it’s important to me that my stance be very clearly known to the zero people who read my bullshit anyway.  As a male, I will not fully understand, but I still vow to be an ally and support and not judge the feelings or disappointment or any other emotion that any woman is going through on account of this fucked up development.

America fucking sucks right now, and it would be easy to say that I’d want to pluck my family out and go somewhere else, but it’s hard as shit to accomplish and frankly no other country in the world is without their own bullshit and insufferable political issues that stampede on common sense human rights.

My boy isn’t well

Today, I found out that my dog basically has cancer.  I kind of knew this was going to be the case, because when things like a hard lump that kind of grew out of nowhere are in play, the conclusion seems kind of forgone, but it doesn’t make it suck any less when the vet tells you it’s a tumor, and the real question really being just how bad of a cancer we’re dealing with here.

It’s funny, because I had the new vet at my clinic, the one with the least tenure there, which explains why she has the Saturday afternoon shift, but I was just glad that I was able to take my dog in at all today to get checked out in the first place.  But she’s pretty young, I imagine she doesn’t have the experience as some of the other doctors at the clinic do, so when she’s explaining things to me, she’s using a lot of technical and medical terminology, and seemingly avoiding use of the dreaded C-word.

It isn’t until I explain to her that a lot of the terminology is going over my head, and I couldn’t help but notice the seemingly deliberate avoidance of using the word “cancer,” and that I would really appreciate a little more dumbed down explanation of what’s going on.  The tech leaves the room at this point for some reason, and the doc is a little more clearer with the explanation, and I feel like I have a little more understanding of the situation to where I can at least brog about it.

The lump is definitely a tumor, but the clinic doesn’t have the on-site resources to do anything beyond a cursory examination, and sending out slides is really the only way we’re all going to get some more accurate clarity to what we’re dealing with.  Given the circumstances of how it appeared to have appeared and grown fairly rapidly over the span of the last two months, things don’t appear to be very optimistic, but again, never going to know until we get some more concrete evidence.

It doesn’t help the fact that my boy is anywhere from 15-17 years old, which is well at or past life expectancy for his general breed, and the fact that he also has a grade-4 heart murmur.  Adding cancer on top of it is like a fucked up cherry on top, but him being the goodest boy on the face of the planet, is still acting fairly normal, his behavior and temperament are still his usual cheerful self, and he’s eating, drinking, pooping and peeing as a normal dog would.  Even the girl doing clean-up in the lobby was astounded to hear that he’s (estimated) 16 years old.

But that’s where we’re at right now.  My good boy is not doing well, in spite of the pep he continues to exhibit.  Regardless of what the full diagnosis is going to be, the options are not many, nor are they even likely to work, if they’re even possible at all.  At his age, it’s not lost on me that we’re definitely in the final act of his expected lifespan, but it never doesn’t suck for pet owners to come to grips with the mortality of their companions, and all I can really think about are all the things I feel guilty to him about not being a better owner; like an asshole, thinking about myself, when he’s the one dealing with fucking cancer, and no-selling it like Hercules vs. Sid because he’s the best dog there is and he’s showing way more strength than I am, and doesn’t even realize it.

But he’s not gone yet, and hopefully my life can get its shit together enough to make the even more likely limited time I have with him somewhat better and rewarding.  Two years ago, I had concerns on whether or not he’d last long enough to get a picture with my first daughter with a shirt that had a dog that looked a lot like him on it.  Not only did we get a good picture, there’s now second daughter in the equation, and here’s hoping that we can repeat that history with her.

Tirty-Nine

Among the few things that I afford myself to indulge in on my birthdays is that I often feel like writing something, if for anything at all, the fact that it is my birthday.  Otherwise, I make little deal about it, I rarely talk about it, and almost nobody at work knows it’s my birthday, nor do I have any real intention to bring it up.

Usually, around this time of year, I have this ironic sense of dread of something bad somewhere in the world occurring, like a bombing, a fire, or some sort of massive loss of human life, that has so often times taken place around my birthday every single year.  But over the last few years, and especially this one, there seems to be a massive shooting that occurs somewhere in the United States on a weekly basis, to where all the shooting incidents that have happened within the past week alone seems to overshadow the notion that anything turrible happening is limited to just the radius of days surrounding my birthday.

Needless to say, expecting something turrible to happen around my birthday has kind of lost its meaning over the last few years, because turrible shit seems to happen all the time throughout this god-forsaken country.

Narrowing down the world to just my own little concentrated space, things are certainly brighter and more positive, in spite of the fact that I loathe my job, and feel a little bit trapped and held hostage by the fact that no matter how much I want out, they still hold the ultimate trump card solely because of the paternity time that I am entitled to, and plan on utilizing when my second child is born later in the summer.

But speaking of children, I can’t really complain.  My first daughter is still basically everything I could have ever wanted in my offspring, and it’s a daily joy to spend time with her and watch her grow, develop, learn and become increasingly mobile and intelligent on a regular basis.

Life as a father and a husband is about everything I could have imagined it to be, and sometimes I still bring myself to a point of disbelief when I’m spending time with mythical wife and my child to know that this is where I am in life, and as much as my sister gives me grief about it, having taken so long, I am here at least now, and I take a little bit of comfort in knowing that I’ll have both of my kids before the age of 40, and knowing that my life will be mostly complete in that regard, is a pleasant thought.

Pour one out for my dead treadmill

My treadmill died this weekend.  I feel like I’ve lost a limb.

Ever since the start of the coronavirus pandemic really began, one of the first things to obviously go, was, the gym.  Something that I’d been consistently doing for literally ten straight years, and if I were factoring in the sporadic working out I did intermittently while I was freelance, butted up against the time before that when I was working and had a gym membership, then probably 15 straight years.

It was not an easy pill to swallow, but it was made easier by the fact that it also coincided with the birth of my daughter, so frankly I was too busy to even consider working out in the first place anyway.  But once things starting settling down (for the time being), I began to notice that my shirts were starting to feel a little loose in the arms, and tight in the stomach.  Obviously my body was beginning to revert back to a lesser state because I wasn’t exercising at all, and most definitely not aided by the sleep schedule of a new father.

Eventually, I reached a point where I couldn’t take it anymore, so I dusted off the treadmill that my mother-in-law bequeathed to us, and began running on it.  I remember the first time I really did a lengthy jog on it, I did probably about 40 minutes at a light pace, and I felt absolutely incredible afterward.  I was soaking in sweat but my body felt alive again, and I most definitely felt elation at the endorphins that were popping anew in my system for the first time in a long time.

Needless to say, running, and running on the treadmill has been the only real substantial exercise I’ve been doing since like, April of last year, and it’s been the only real saving grace to my rapidly shrinking and deteriorating physical state, since I haven’t lifted weights in quite literally, almost an entire year.

My angst and rage at the legions of ignorant fucks who couldn’t be bothered to wear masks and eradicate all this bullshit in just a month and that ‘Murica is still in this fucking predicament to where I still can’t work out, knows no end.

Anyway, I eventually settled into a pretty good every-other-day running routine, and I always feel pretty good after running, because as I’ve always stated as one of my personal exercise mantras, is that time is never wasted when exercising.

But a few days ago, I noticed that my treadmill was starting to make a really loud sound.  Typically I wear my AirPods and am often times watching shit on the WWE Network, so I can’t really hear the ambient noise of the treadmill, but when I was winding down, it was noticeably loud.  I chalked it up as an anomaly, and hoped it would be gone the next time I ran.

It wasn’t.  I popped open the mechanical panel, to see if there was anything obvious about why it was making such noise.  Nothing seemed amiss, and I ran it on a low setting, with the panel open to see if there was any loose parts.  If anything at all, it sounded like body noise that was causing things, which I guess with the aging, vibrating, and the fact that I probably run with an elephant’s stride, shit had jarred around throughout its age.

I closed up the panel and decided to just run anyway, and brace occasionally on the console, to see if I could settle the noise down.  It seemed to be okay at first; but then three minutes into my run, everything just kind of clunked to a stop, and I’m surprised I didn’t hurt myself in the process being brought down from 6.5 mph to 0.

I got off the treadmill and watched it abruptly reset and made a noise, reset and make a noise.  Obviously, something was wrong with it, so I pulled the plug.

As far as I can tell, the treadmill was dead.  I haven’t ran since.

Obviously, I’m at a crossroads where I definitely want a new treadmill to replace the dead one, but I’m not sure if I want a fairly inexpensive direct replacement of what just died, which would probably run me around 300-400, but mythical wife is really suggesting that we spring for something way nicer.  But at the same time, I want to believe that maybe 2021 will be a year in which with vaccinations, I might be able to return to a gym, to which in those instances, my running at home will definitely reduce dramatically as I would be working out at gyms again, to which why would I want to have an expensive treadmill collecting dust?

I don’t know, really.  For the time being, I’m going to have to resort to running outdoors again, but I’m at the mercy of the elements, and the fact that there are still occasionally fucks without masks out there, and I definitely don’t want to catch their coronaHIV while I’m just trying to exercise.

But I’m super sad that my treadmill died. 😢

Things that have happened since the brog’s been down

Shortly after my brog went down in April 2016, I started a document, bulleting things that want to potentially write about, in the event that the site would be back up within like a month or two.  Obviously that never happened, but it didn’t really stop me from adding to the list on a regular basis, even if it continued for nearly four years.

At first, it was a pretty nitty-gritty list, straight to the point and pretty succinct at what I wanted to remember.  But by the time 2018 rolled around, I noticed some patterns and categories in which things caught my attention and warranted notation, and so some categories started to take place.

I’m not entirely sure why I feel compelled to share all of this, but for whatever reason I’m following through with it, and basically this is going to be little more than a massive bulleted list of things that happened between mid-2016 through mid-2020, with probably not a lot of context, but likely some snark and veiled commentary peppered throughout.

2016

  • Pokemon Go came, lit the world on fire for 15 minutes, and then flamed out harder than the FOX Fantastic Four films
  • I became The Burrito King of Atlanta, winning Willy’s Road Trip promotion by visiting 27 Willy’s locations in four days
  • Kobe Bryant retired from professional basketball, but not before dropping 60 in his final game
  • The Golden State Warriors won 73 games and passed the ’96 Bulls’ unbreakable record, but then lost in the NBA finals like chumps
  • The Atlanta Braves retired Turner Field for whiter pastures, by sucking hardcore and losing 93 games
  • Hulk Hogan killed Gawker
  • Went on a European cruise vacation with mythical then-gf, visiting Italy, Turkey, Croatia and Greece
  • Went to Korea for the first time in my life, with my mom
  • The Chicago Cubs won the World Series, breaking a 108-year long drought and endless memes
  • An orange baked potato reality television personality inexplicably won the presidency of the United States of America
  • A fuckton of people died from senseless gun violence

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