Motherhood/Parenting

Father’s Day

baby sitting on man s shoulder

Father’s Day was two days ago and I’ve come to the realization I have an unhealthy relationship with parental holidays. For years, Mother’s Day depressed me. I even wrote about it here. I’ve progressed to pretty much making peace with that holiday. Although, there was a setback this year that I may or may not discuss at a later date.  Father’s Day, though not as bad, is hard as well.  I have no problem celebrating my husband and his parentage.  That’s easy; he’s a good Dad.  However, my relationship with my Father and Step Father, that’s another story.  My biological Father and Mother divorced when I was very young.  He had little to no contact with me until I was nearly 30.  My Step Father, the man who helped raise me, wasn’t a bad Father.  He was a good provider and solid guy until my Mother passed away.  After that, it all went to hell in a handbasket. He ended up getting remarried to a wonderful woman whom my children call Granny and who I always thought was too good for him.

Now, having explained my situation, imagine how hard it is to find a card that’s appropriate.  Hallmark and American Greetings do not make cards that say things like “Thanks for raising me and finding a lady better than my own Mother” or “Thanks for knocking up Mom all those years ago. I’m glad I’m alive”.  No, the cards usually say nice things about how Dad is the person who loved you and guided you and led the family. There are usually phrases about sacrifice and strength.  And, if you go the funny route, there are comments about dealing with the kids during the teen years and potty training or how we’ll all stop asking for money when you die.  But, here’s my problem, I can’t identify with any of these things.  I never asked anyone for money – not even as a teen. I had a job when I was 13.  If I didn’t have money, I wasn’t going to get anything from my parental units.  I was already potty trained when my Step Dad showed up and my Mother forbade him from disciplining me – which sucked because he was fairer than she was.  I can’t send my biological Father these types of cards because he had no part in my upbringing.  I know I could easily suck it up and buy the card but its such a lie and so disingenuous.  How the hell can I say thanks for leading me when he led nothing?  And, yet, since I have established a relationship with him several years ago, I feel like I have to participate in the facade of appreciating him as a Father.

In the years since I reestablished contact, my biological Father has been somewhat present but I see a difference between his role with me and his role with the children he helped raise with his wife of nearly 40 years.  Part of that is geography, as those children live in the same city.  But, part of it is a connection.  He won’t admit it.  I doubt my half siblings will either. Yet, I see it. I don’t truly blame them.  How can you have a connection with someone instantly, regardless of DNA? They have a history I simply don’t and never will have.  Could more of a connection have been established in the past? Absolutely, but that is the past and nothing can be done about the past. One must deal with the now.  I wish I could come to him with my feelings and he would understand my perspective.  Yet, I know him enough to know he’s a simple, straight forward type of guy and it would probably hurt his feelings.  So, instead of mailing a heartfelt card and thoughtful gift, I bought a generic “Hope your Father’s Day was great” card along with a gift certificate and hoped for the best. I’ll probably continue to do this until he passes and it becomes a non-issue, much like my Step Dad.  It’s sad but it’s the path of least resistance and it saves me from an uncomfortable and possibly hurtful conversation.

I do know one thing.  If my husband and I get divorced or I die, he better be the good Dad he’s always been or he’s going to have to deal with a very mad ex-wife or even madder ghost.

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Politics

#’Merica

close up photo of people holding usa flaglets

So, two things on my radar this week that happen to do with our country, the good ole U.S.of A.  The first is a podcast recommendation. (Big surprise, am I right?).   It Could Happen Here is the name of my latest podcast obsession. Here’s a link to their webpage to learn a little more about it and you can find it wherever you get your podcasts. I get mine from Apple podcasts but it’s also on I heart.  Anyway, the basic premise is how the United States could easily have another civil war if we do not take drastic measures.  It’s fascinating and frightening.  This is not something you want to binge.  Listen to an episode and then listen to something funny or lighthearted. Otherwise, you’ll want to go home and slit your wrists.  It’s heavy stuff.  The narrator/author actually addresses this fact and says something to the effect of he didn’t put this information out there to make anyone depressed or hopeless but to make people aware of some hard facts and truths and if we are aware maybe we can change.  Seriously, no matter what your political leanings or even if you aren’t political, it’s worth listening to the preview or the first episode.

The next thing hitting my radar is a special six part special edition documentary on ABC called 1969.  Each of the six episodes addresses a major news making event that happened, are you ready for this, 50 years ago in 1969.  The first episode is about the Moon landing in July 1969. This is the episode that got me hooked. I love anything to do with space.  I was that kid that would set their alarm clock to 4:30 a.m. so I could watch shuttle launches. I’ve always been fascinated by space travel. The other five episodes are good as well and range in topic from Woodstock to the Vietnam War. Watch them all or cherry pick and just watch a few but they are definitely worth a look.

The weird thing is, after watching this six part series, I was truly astounded by how little things have changed. I’m sure the writers of 1969 spun the series that way.  I was born but not yesterday. I have no delusions that that’s not exactly what the writers had in mind. But, it is startling. Your initial gut reaction says, of course, a lot has changed – we’ve gone to the moon, there are real tangible equal rights laws on the books, the list goes on and on. All of that is true but then again there has been a rash of murders of black transgender women, many Southern states are trying to overturn Roe v. Wade and there’s some wackadoodle DA that says he won’t enforce domestic violence laws for gay couples because he does not personally recognize gay marriage. In 1969, we had an unpopular war that many believe we didn’t have any business fighting.  In 2019, we are still in the Middle East fighting God knows who but by God we’re fighting.  In 1969, various minority groups (Blacks, Women, Gays) were fighting for equality.  In 2019, most of those groups are still fighting to be heard in some form or fashion only now we can add Latinos to the list.  Immigration is a huge deal.  It was in 1969 too.  Only back then it was refugees from Vietnam, many of whom were treated poorly just because of their country of origin. In 1969, we had a space race and Woodstock kept losing its permits to put on an epic show.  In 2019, we have Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk taking over space innovation and Woodstock 50 just lost its permit and its future looks bleak.  In 1969, we had a President that had the nickname, Tricky Dick and eventually got impeached. In 2019, well, I’m not going to go there.

When you take all these similarities into account, it looks like we haven’t evolved at all.  And, that’s the kick in the ass.  Fifty years and what do we have to show for it?  What the hell happened? Did we get so jaded and disenfranchised back then that everyone just threw up their hands and we’ve been phoning it in for the past 50 years? I don’t mind telling anyone who will stand still long enough it makes me sad and worried when I see how things are shaking out. I worry for our country as a whole and for my kids future and their generation’s future. My only hope is if the shit hits the fan I’ll be young enough to march in the streets or I’ll be too old and die quick.

Photo credit: I love free photos on the internet. 

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Politics

Tiananmen

190603-tiananmen-square-1989-ac-810p_204a4448820b49bdc1efc222e49e28fd.focal-758x379When I imagine 30 years ago, I think 1970-something. I do not think 1989; yet, that is exactly 30 years ago.  Imagine my surprise when I come across a New York Times article (read it here) about the protest and Tankman.  After reading the headline it occurred to me I am the exact same age as my oldest is now when that happened.  My oldest has never sat down and watch the news or read a news article of his accord ever in his life.  I distinctly remember the local and the national news being on the tv every night.  Our family may not have been actively watching every minute with bated breath but it was on and something was being absorbed.

I will never forget watching that young man standing in front of those tanks.  It is permanently etched into my memory.  I remember all the questions: what will happen to this guy, what kind of government would mow down their own citizens, how bad does the government have to be that a person is willing to stand in front of a giant tank? It boggles the mind. Nothing is known about what happened to the guy.  There is a lot of speculation. I can’t imagine the Chinese government allowed him to live. Still, it’s kind to crazy to think that was 30 years ago. It seems like the blink of an eye.

I pulled my oldest aside and showed him the story.  I told him I remember being angry. I mean what teenager isn’t angry? But, I distinctly remember being very angry at that situation. What is the world coming to that you have to stand in front of a tank?  I get it now.  I’m older and I understand a few more things but at that time I couldn’t wrap my head around it all.  A couple years later (1991) we’d see the First Gulf War. And, again I felt scared and angry.  My kids have never known a time when we didn’t have a military presence somewhere in the middle east.  In some ways, we’ve been fighting a war since 2001. They have no idea about current events.  They know who the President is and that’s it. Maybe it’s time to bring back the nightly news.  Is it even still on?  The last time I watched the evening news Tom Brokaw was an anchor.  Wow, it really has been 30 years hasn’t it?

Photo Credit: I lifted this off the internet. It probably belongs to someone but I’m using it as fair use since this image is 30 years old and I’m not making any money off of it.  No copyright infringement intended. Don’t sue me, I’m broke. Just ask me to take it down if it belongs to you.

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Random

Sugar Rush

img_0027We are a Disney Family.  Well, most of us.  The kids and I bleed in Mickey Mouse shaped droplets.  My husband, on the other hand; let’s just say he’s not as on board with “The Mouse” as the rest of us.  He’s your casual fan.  He enjoys the movies.  He endures our ridiculous daily references, music and various tchotchkes around the house.  He’s dutifully gone to the parks with us and once he’s there he has a great time.  But, in general, he is not a theme park person.  He does not like standing in the hot sun in long ass lines with other sweaty bodies to ride a 2 minute ride all while walking 10 miles a day and spending a few thousand for the pleasure of it all. So, when I told him we were kicking off the summer by making the kitchen sink he just shrugged and rolled his eyes.  Truth be told, I think he’s just happy I wasn’t begging to go to a Disney Park again.

What is the Kitchen Sink you ask?  Honestly, it should be called something like the Fat American or pancreas killer but because this is a dish served at Disney World it’s given a nicey- nice name.  Basically, it’s the most colossal ice cream sundae you’ve ever seen.  One can find this monstrosity at the Beaches and Cream Ice Cream Shop located on the Boardwalk of the Walt Disney World Beach Club Resort. This sundae contains has every single topping at the shop heaped on a metric ton of ice cream.  Here’s a link to ingredients.  If you prefer to watch one being made, here’s a link for that.

A few days ago, we went off to the nicest Walmart in America in search of ingredients for this thing.  I’ve talked about our Walmart before. It’s super bougie; it has brick cart wranglers.  Anyway, we cheated a little bit. The recipe calls for an absurd amount of baked goods and candy we don’t eat so we cheated a bit but still, we had about $20 bucks worth of crap in the cart.  Y’all, it was like making Thanksgiving dinner the amount of prep work and clean up for this thing. And, the biggest surprise of all was we couldn’t finish it.  Like we barely ate half.  My husband ate four bites, proclaimed it too much and tapped out.  My oldest ate a few more bites then started leaning over the real kitchen sink yelling, “I feel like I’m gonna puke.” He had to go lay down for about 30 minutes. My youngest and I ate about 8 to 10 bites and threw in the towel.  We covered the whole business in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer.  Later that afternoon my youngest did throw up.  It was just too much sugar.  We did manage to thaw the leftovers out the next day and eat some of it. My youngest did not participate.  In fact, I think she’s sworn off ice cream for a year.  I honestly don’t know how anyone finishes this thing unless you have about 10 people with you.  If any of my readers have ever ordered one of these things I’ve got to know if you finished it and if so how many people were with you.

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Random

May Got Me Like

img_0024Y’all, May got me like whoa and I know I’m not the only one. I was doing so good. Keeping up with everything. May the 4th hit.  I was laughing and joking and talking about how Texas is finally going to get out of school before Memorial Day is over and then it hit, Mother’s Day, and it all went down from there.  We had Mother’s Day, my Mother in Law’s birthday, state mandatory testing, finals, awards ceremonies, end of year parent meetings, dance recital dress rehearsal, a full day of dance recitals and a visit from my Mother in Law.  I am done. Fried. Burnt to a crisp. I forgot this weekend is Memorial Day weekend. I mean just plain forgot. This afternoon before I left, my boss had to remind me not to come into work on Monday. It’s been that kind of crazy.

It’s been so crazy that I cracked open the beer pictured above thinking it was a Diet Coke.  It was an honest mistake. I mean I buy the minis for both so they both come in small silver cans.  Or, was it really a mistake? Maybe my brain was secretly trying to tell me ‘slow down girl and do a little early afternoon daytime drinking. ‘  I know I’m not alone in this.  I know many families that are worse off than me.  My cousin has kids graduating from 5th, 8th and 12th grades this year. All I can think of is she must be super woman.

Internet sensations, The Holderness Family, recently did a parody song about May is just as busy as December but with no presents.  They aren’t wrong.  The hell of it is I really thought I had it under control but then it all went sideways. I even had a couple of searing political blog posts almost finished and ready to rock but then things got crazy and I couldn’t finish them and now it’s two weeks after the fact. (Facepalm)

So, what are y’all doing for the holiday, since apparently, this is a holiday weekend? I have zero plans but laundry but I think I see another beer, not a Diet Coke, in my future.

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Rants

Late to the Party

kids are alrightIt’s no secret I’m a late adopter.  Anyone that has known me more than 5 minutes knows this about me.  And, I’ve written about it several times in various blog posts.  This late adopter thing spans the gamut of technology, to fads, to television shows.  It’s not that I’m incapable of jumping on the bandwagon early.  It’s just that I usually have other priorities and better things to do with my time.

It took me years to jump on the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead bandwagons. I have gotten super invested in tv shows only to have them canceled after two seasons.  In fact, it bit me in the ass recently with the ABC show, The Kids Are Alright.  I found out this week via Twitter that it would not be renewed for a second season.  I was so mad.  If you haven’t watched it go back and watch this season. It’s a great show about a very large, very Catholic family set in the early 1970s southern California. It feels a lot like Wonder Years only really funny and irreverent.  It reminded me a lot of my very early childhood. I think that’s why I like it so much.  Plus, my kids liked it. It was a show we could sit down and watch together. My kids would ask me did y’all really dress like that and was that really how it was. What I can’t understand is networks keep shows like American Housewife and The Good Place around but don’t keep this show? I don’t know a soul that watches either of those shows. What the hell?  I don’t understand.

And, don’t get me started on technology.  I hate having to learn something new especially when it comes to phones. It took me three years to figure out what everything did on my old phone. Why do I have to learn a new phone?  It’s a pain in my ass and I have bigger fish to fry like folding laundry or getting a root canal.  I have not once in all my years of cell phones ownership given people different ring tones or changed my background picture and other cutesy things others do with their phones.  This may make me sound like a luddite but I prefer to think of it as time management.

You know, I should have known better when I got hooked on that show.  I should have waited a year or two to make sure it would stick. I should have known it was doomed to fail.  Ughh, that’s what I get for jumping on a bandwagon. The next time I see a bandwagon I think I’m just gonna let it roll on by.

Photo Credit: This picture probably belongs to ABC. I’m using it under fair use for the purpose of showing people what this show looks like even those the suits at ABC have decided to cancel the show.  No copyright infringement intended.  I found it while googling. Don’t sue me. I don’t make money on this blog and I’m broke.   

 

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Musing, Uncategorized

Them vs Us

generation x red grunge stampThe other day my hubs and I were talking about how the Us vs Them fight between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials and how our generation, Generation X, is still the forgotten and ignored generation.  My hubs said something along the lines of only a few more years and the Boomers will finally all be retired and the world will finally have to pay attention to us. I can’t remember if I said it out loud or only to myself but I do remember thinking, ‘no way, we’ll always be ignored’.  Much like the often ignored middle child, we (Generation X) have always just sucked it up and quietly did our thing knowing the only way any of us would get any attention is if something bad happened – think Kurt Cobain’s suicide or more recently Luke Perry’s stroke.

I’ve often wondered how it is that these two generations got pitted against one another. The lions share of the Boomers, those born right after WWII, are not the parents of millennials so why the animosity?  I think I’ve finally figured it out.  They are too much alike. They had the American dream handed to them since birth.  They’ve been told time after time how wonderful and special they are and they’ve bought their own hype.  Additionally, any time they are asked to pay the piper or got called out for their bad behavior they throw a temper tantrum.

Born into a thriving economy when our country was at it’s most prosperous, Boomers were the first generation who got to truly enjoy childhood without being expected to get a job to help the family.  Boomers were encouraged to follow their hearts and live their dreams. The opportunities this generation received for doing nothing but being born at the right time is astounding not to mention they bore witness to things like a national interstate system and the space program.  And, I haven’t even brought up the pop culture contributions of their age. I’m not ashamed to say I’m jealous as hell. Sure, there were some tough times, the Vietnam War was awful and shouldn’t have happened. The civil rights movement and the women’s movement were hard but in the end, doors were opened and minds were changed.  By the time the Boomers were considered adults, they were doing better than any other generation before them. These cats got to enjoy the excess of the late 1970s and 1980s with full gusto.  Between free love, widespread venereal disease, and loads of drugs and alcohol, it’s honestly a wonder any of them are still alive. Now that they are all hitting their golden years, they are changing the face of elder care.  Millennials have enjoyed many of the same advantages – beloved by their parents, given immense opportunities, told they could do anything and be anything, born into a time with huge technological and cultural advances.  The similarities between the two groups are astounding. The size of their generation is also something of note as they are almost equal.

But, what about Generation X?  Where do we stand?  What are we doing? We’re doing what we’ve always done.  We’re making do with the crumbs.  Just like in our latch key days, we’re plodding along, working steady and grumbling about how no one notices we’re here.  Our needs are being met on a basic level but no one is bending over backward to appeal to us.  We’re raising kids and taking care of older parents.  We’re still sullen and angsty even if we don’t wear our skater grunge punk clothes and a million black jelly bracelets on our arms.  Most of all, we wonder how either of the Us vs Them groups is going to screw us over next.  Although I have to admit if I had to pick a side I would most like to emulate, I’d pick the Boomers in a hot minute. They had the best music.

P.S. For the record, Generation X is classified as people born between 1965 and 1979.  

Photo Credit: I did a search for Gen X images and I saw this like 8 times. I have no idea who it belongs to but thanks.  No copyright infringement indented. I’m broke and I do this for free so don’t sue me. 

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