Monday, August 29, 2005

Stormy Thoughts

Dear New Orleans,

I am so truly sorry for sending the the hurricane in your direction. I know it's selfish and caused millions of dollars worth of damage but after your relatives barreled through last summer, I was under strict instructions by higher powers (the mother of my children) to make sure my son had his birthday party this year without interference. Please know that I wasn't aiming for you specifically it was just more of a general deflection in self defense. I'd send you some leftover cake but I'm thinking you aren't in the mood for remnants of a party about now.

Overall he had a great day birthday and really he would have run circles around you anyway.


Every time there is a hurricane lately I think about how Storm from the X-Men has the most improbable powers. I mean, that's just not fair. If you control the can basically manipulate the physical universe. Of course that arch-villain Magneto can do that too I suppose. I think I just can't relate with mutants who seem more godlike in their abilities as opposed to those with powers limited to use of their bodies. Although, since being a mere human, I'll never be able to bamf, snikt, phoom or blink energy out of my various orifices anyway. But I digress.

I'm just glad I'm not in her shoes, because first of all I don't think I'd make a good looking drag queen in silver white hair but I'd also be under this self-imposed obligation 24/7 to make sure everyone on the planet isn't dying from tsunamis, heat waves or ice storms. Who's got time to be in a movie when you're off making sure people don't get lifted off to Oz with the cows.

Although it would have been nice to have her around about now. Please don't think I'm making light of the situation, the folly of this mere mortal mind simply takes over sometimes.

I could see it now, Ororo vs. Katrina bitch slapping it out in the Gulf of Mexico. I'm not talking about wispy Halle-Berry-Storm here, more like Grace-Jones-mohawk-leather Storm that should be able to just look at you and you understand that "Sure I could pelt your ass with hailstones but I'd rather drive my nine-inch high heels in your rectum if you don't git. Ho."

While I'm on the topic of forces of destruction, I called home tonight to see how Younger Monkey did back at school today after last week's flying train fiasco. All seemed well, his fellow classmates spared his wrath. Which makes me able to sleep at night. And hopefully he as well.

The scene from ace reporter Elder Monkey over at Kindergarten Action News, informs us that a girl at lunch threw up all her chicken nuggets. These are the things he chooses to tell us about. We aren't sure if he still has a substitute teacher but, by god, we know about the vomit. I need a Cerebro-like device so I can sit at my command station here at work and psychically scan his mind, like Professor X.

Except, see I do have mutant abilities, I can make my brain freeze whenever I drink a smoothie too fast. I wonder if frozen brains absorb the flavor of whatever you're drinking. I can see it now, return of the Zombie Ice-Cream Man, Get your icey pop brains on a stick! Now in the new whipped, soft serve variety! I'll have mango-peach, please.

All the mutants I want to be have bad hair (or in this case no hair). Don't even get me started on the flea and mange issues that Beast must have going on. Although I must say I've had Wolverine's hair on more than one occasion, so I feel for the follically challenged Canuck. And retractable claws might come in handy but I'm afraid I'd kill myself while picking my nose. Who am I kidding, I'm pretty sure every gay man wants to be Colossus anyway...

Right, so since this turned into a ridiculous X-Men comparison, whose role would you fill? I've been out of the loop so try not to confuse me with talk about characters past say 1995.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Brotherly Love

In an unprecedented move last night C and I left the kids at home and ventured out to an actual movie theater. It was nice to spend time with her without the kids like old times. Anyways, we saw The Brothers Grimm.

Because I am an awful geek I haven't seen many Terry Gilliam movies in order to give it a satisfactory comparison. But generally I enjoyed it. It took me a little bit to get into it realizing this was a comedy as well as the obvious horror elements. I'd have to say I didn't see much development in the characters which didn't make them all that initially appealing to me. But I have a feeling that given it's roots firmly planted in twisting fairy tales it was the point to play on those established archetypes instead.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Terry's animation sensibilities and whiffs of Monty Python as well. Because I had some training in animation I now can't watch any movie that has significant visual worth without dissecting it a bit. The animation, interestingly enough, was rather stilted but I think it worked magnificently. Like stop-motion style Clash of the Titans meets Roger Rabbit. Forest trees like spiders, a wolf that flies, and there was a smashing scene involving a gingerbread man made of mud stealing someone else's facial features. Among other things. Fantastic.

Some parents will take their kids to see any old thing nowadays but I think the audience was mildly confused. Maybe they were expecting a more straight forward action/adventure romp as there were a lot of really young children present. It's a spin on folk lore but certainly not another Shrek. Thank goodness for that, though. I think only a few people besides myself found the odd humor throughout it, well, humorous. This isn't one for small monkeys unless you don't mind them seeing mutilated bodies falling from the sky. And stuff.

Speaking of which, I really liked the interaction between the brothers because I can see them as older versions of my boys it's not even funny.

And not that I dwell on these things but in this movie...I could so easily crush on Heath Ledger over Matt Damon any day. Some might get annoyed with his character's mumbling antics but I thought he was very cute. Maybe I'm just a sucker for a bumbling hero with a british accent. (Although shouldn't they have been German in this flick?)

Oh and I saw a full trailer for the Corpse Bride which made me smile when I wasn't looking. All of the sudden I'm going to the movies again. Elder Monkey really wants to see this but I think I may need to see it first.

In completely off topic awful movie news, I was listening to Keith and the Girl this week and they were talking about an upcoming movie called Snakes on a Plane. It's about deadly snakes...that get loose...on an airborne plane. And it has Sam Jackson in it. Um, yeah.

Based on this information someone really needs to give me some money to make a movie. It would be intricate, epic, beautiful and way too complicated for it's own good and end up going way over budget. I'd eventually scrap it because I wouldn't want to undergo the massive public scrutiny. Donations are now being accepted.


Friday, August 26, 2005

Crime and Punishment

Gack. My wife just called. Apparently the younger monkey has been sent home from pre-school today for throwing a train at a girl's noggin and causing a major welt.

This is not good. The last few weeks, in fact, he's been increasingly violent all around. He's kicking and hitting and biting when he doesn't get his way. There's been no sudden change in routine that I can ascertain and yet he's listening less and less. I've always been under the impression that he might be a bit, um, challenged and unfortunately it seems he's heading that way.

When she went to go pick him up, he was seemingly sorry for what he did, (he did something similar yesterday) but I've never seen evidence where he's actively learning from it. Right, I know, he's three and a boy. He doesn't get it yet. They can wake up tomorrow and the universe has reset itself. The only change i can think of is that the Elder Monkey is not around at school anymore. I know that they get away with a lot more rough and tumble around each other than when other kids are around. They are testing their limits and I'm sure those limits are strained in public places.

I was raised in two different households, one being rooted in Christian fundamental ideas, the other in a more free thinking environment but not without it's own share of discipline. For my dad, it was par for the course to give spankings. I was far more afraid to do wrong in my mom's house where the punishment wasn't as severe. I would get get a seething stare and much less inclination to repeat that action again. I wasn't a problem child at all but still, you know what I'm talking about.

For me there is big debate over whether spankings work. In this monkey's case, am I supposed to teach violence is wrong by using a violent act to do it with? Does that make any sense? Especially in a mind that doesn't even seem to care what punishment is all about? Wouldn't that just instill a tendency that will become much worse as he ages? But then again, he doesn't want to listen until you without a kind of physical involvement.

I won't give spankings. I'll admit once or twice I have but it was such an emotionally gut wrenching experience it must be a last resort if at all. I'm not a child psychologist or an expert parent by any means but I do know that every child is different and will require attention in different ways. In his case, I don't see this monkey willingly submitting his posterior without a physical fight. I know life is not all peaches and cream but that can't be the way that it is.

I fear that the Time Out chair will be in use far too much. Although Time Out doesn't seem to work with him yet the way it does with the Elder Monkey. I think he LIKES Time Out. He'll sit and babble to himself, play with himself, stand on his head, etc. You can take toys away for a while but that doesn't work either. And then there are the times he just will laugh at you when you get angry. I don't recommend having children to people with anger management issues. It takes an iron will but not an iron fist.

Another thing that is starting to really irk me is how much junk food they seem to get that I have no control over. And even at that, even if they did get all organic, non-processed whatever, it's the sugar that I'm most worried about now. It has to be affecting some mental processes somewhere. And it's daily. I'm assured that they don't get fed it but I think that's a load of crap. The snacks during school, the desserts at home, even at church there is always some kind of super-glazed doughnut to appease. (On a really awful note, I can't think of any other reason I was looking forward to church when I was young than the free food...) Both monkeys have SO MUCH ENERGY already and so it's like feeding coal to the oncoming steam train. Even once a week is too much in my estimation. Friday is always "party night" and I'm sure they'll be getting another dose of grease laden, hydrogenated soy-based, high fructose processed goodies rapidly prepared by minimum wage employees, because hey, they want it.

I hate talking about all this because I sound like such a dictator. I can't win in this modern urban setting though. I totally get why some people homeschool their kids. And then there's that unsettling notion that I've caused this with all the change in my situation in the last year. I don't live with them and I know that divorce has an effect on kids. I'm not sure if this is a manifestation of me not being around as much.

I am at a loss. I work very hard not repeat what I feel were the mistakes of my childhood that I forget they have their own brains that will totally turn into something unique. They look like us but they aren't us. I so wish I could find some evidence somewhere that breaks this down, but the search gives conflicting reports on matters of discipline. I guess all parents run on part instinct, part trial and error. The values we instill are a good base but it's easy to forget that some things are not universal.

We are taking him to some developmental testing to see if there is anything that can help now before he gets into real public school. In the meantime the game of patience has begun. You can send me any scientific studies you want but actually I think I answered my own questions on where I stand by writing all this out. For now.

Let's save the spankings and the sugar highs for the consenting grown-ups, shall we...


Thursday, August 25, 2005

I Should Know Better By Now

Personally, I think it was the monkeys that brought it home. But they don't act sick when they are sick so it's hard to tell. Or it could've been the food I ate a couple days ago that I told myself I wouldn't eat again the last time I had it. It's that curse of being a creature of habit.

So now I'm here at home with some kind of allergy/lack of sleep/bacteria related sinus infection/cold/pity party. But I'm feeling immensely better already after sleeping most of the day away so maybe I just needed some hibernation.

I certainly didn't have much during the night. Someone called at around midnight and didn't leave a message. I could have stumbled around for the phone but it was one of those instances where I couldn't tell if I was imagining the ringing sound in a dream. And then this morning I saw some strange number had called my cell in the middle of the night. So I did have a slight case of sweaty insomnia because of it.

The culprit that triggered this could have been the Demon Bowl I found in the fridge. There had been an odor strengthening with each passing day that penetrated even those things in tightly sealed containers. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I had just cleaned everything out recently, but even the box of baking soda seemed to have reached it's threshold for absorbing this stink.

And then I found it. Hidden away in the depths of the freezer in that one spot you never look, behind the random plastic bag and ice pack that never gets used. I couldn't even tell what it was anymore, it had freezer-burned a lot and strangely the smell wasn't as strong in it's immediate proximity. But once it came out of the freezer..good god almighty. I've seen some wicked food in my day but this had rotted to a state that any troll might be glad to call it's own brew. Even this morning after a day of exorcising the foul being I could sense a tinge of it's former existence in the air.

That said, it could be the water, too. I thought maybe I was reacting to the water the last few months...I have a water purifier that filters all the water in the house and, surprise, it wasn't working properly. Don't know how that happened. I mean, really, what moron would be so foolish to mess with something that cost a whole lot of money and could adversely affect your health if you screw it up. Oh, right, that would be me...

One thing about being home sick during the day is that I remember all those things I was supposed to do months ago. So I finally called the Water People who sent a very nice Water Guy to come fix the Water Machine. I had put it off so long because if it was just a matter of flipping some switch is that really worth a $99 service call? Well, yes, in fact it is. In my lack of talent for anything involving gears and motors, I had actually broken the timer thingy trying to reset it. But now, thanks to Water Guy, in a day or two I'll have happy water again that doesn't seem like I'm swallowing rusty nails. (Not that I was silly enough to actually DRINK the water during all this.) Yay!

Then again it might be the weather. There's a big ol' storm meandering about. Last year we didn't have a birthday party for Younger Monkey as we were in the midst of hurricanes. And whenever we'd reschedule it another one would come. So this Sunday we were going to have his party and guess who's not invited? Her name is Katrina. Poor Monkey. Looks like I may be hibernating again this weekend if we get all that nastiness.

Notice how all of this is a diversionary tactic so I don't mention at all that I could very possibly just be working too much?


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Because all well oiled machines need a good lube.

I'm overwhelmed. Come back on September 1st. I'm sure we have months really just as an excuse to mentally hit the restart switch again every 30 days or so.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now...

Apparently, people have these things called vacations wherein rest is paramount and work somehow flickers off into the distance. Hypothetically, if I was to take one of these mythical endeavors, say sometime around the last week of September... where would I go?

a. Austin (The ACL Music Festival looks like a hell of a thing...)
b. Washington DC (SPX sounds like fun, plus there's dinosaur bones nearby...)
c. San Francisco (Because it's a land far, far away, plus it seems that Duncan is playing there that week...)
d. Boston (My mom grew up there and I hear that leaves actually CHANGE COLOR in the fall...)
e. Atlanta (Keep it close to home and visit my sistah...)
f. Las Vegas (Because it's the place that's furthest away from anywhere I would intentionally go...)
g. Insert other place here that is not Florida. (I'm so open to suggestions that it hurts...)
h. Just stay home and save the cash for something more worthwhile.

Is it sad that I'm not kidding about the last one?

I'd put Tokyo on the list but alas, it seems it requires more money than god to get there and back again. I'm not interested in going to New York by myself. I don't like the cold, I've never seen snow but I think I can get by with pictures. And camping. That's just right out.

So, I dunno. This is all of contingent upon if I still have a brain left after August is through. I'm also taking applications for any kind souls *wink wink* who'd like to put up (with) a wandering blogger for a few days or so. I'm good at being invisible... :P


Monday, August 15, 2005

But I'm Not Dead Yet....

I can't think.

Indeed, I admit, I am at work at this very moment wasting precious time in my own little world instead of working. I also admit that the work I was/am/will be doing today is churning out incredible pieces of crap because I can't concentrate. Let's call this a break to regain my focus.

Upon writing that last paragraph I just realized that incredible if you dissect it, doesn't seem like it should ever be used as a compliment, even if it applies to things that are. It would mean to denounce credit, without believability, without a purpose. Even the best works of fiction maintain some level of credibility to them. I never thought about that before. So I don't think I want to be incredible. (UPDATE: Perhaps in my ill thinking I meant incredulous instead of incredible?)

Don't get me wrong, I've still been attempting to write or talk or draw everyday. But I've turned into a rambling fool as of late. It's been more like a daily tsunami of thoughts, all it leaves is a mess to be cleaned up in it's wake and I'd rather sit up on the high ground for now. It's all random sentences and unfinished, unrelated thoughts. I start it, I look at it. I could post it but then I reread it and...what's the point again?

I've had the monkeys a lot these past few weeks. (I just looked at "monkies" and couldn't figure out why it was spelled wrong. I seem to be distracted by spelling today.) So, I guess, let me recap:

After the week at work with the monkies (damn it, I did it again) wherein not much was accomplished work-wise, I spent the next week waking up at 4am staying until the late hours, intending to get weeks worth of future work accomplished, trying to keep awake without the aid of caffeine, cigarettes OR chocolate milk although I think the chocolate milk might tend to make one sleepier instead and anyway I don't have any of those vices and don't intend to start now. I also intended to document my sons first week at Kindergarten but it's like pulling teeth trying to get anything out of what he DOES all day. So far it seems that he gets to defend himself from a rowdy band of bullies but I can't tell if he's making it up. I thought that wasn't supposed to come until later... I also intended to still make it to the gym more than once a week as it's my saving grace.

Hm. It seems intentions have run amok.

So now, it's August 15 and here we are today. The halfway point for the month. The day when things happen for some. And ok, I'll just say it, the day I add another digit to that all-too-progressive-thinking number that began when some molecules and atoms decided they needed to form the thing that has now become my physical manifestation. Get it? See, hopefully you've read through that and just don't really care because the sentence was so long. Because that's what I do. I take the ridiculous distracting routes, the ones that explore the unnecessary details and things that take no time at all turn into years.

And in the good or bad, I don't like recognition that is beyond my control. What was I saying again?

As for the rest of this month, its running hot all around: work, home, weather, emotions, etc. etc. etc. But no hot men in sight as far as I'm aware of. But...that's ok for now. We finally straightened out the money technicalities and therefore should be filing a divorce soon which means, lo and behold, I should be a single fella again shortly. There are two more immediate birthdays I'll be expected to recognize, including my wife's and that of a monkey who will be 4 and has still yet to show interest in not crapping his shorts and I'm hoping beyond hope that I don't absent-mindedly just work right through them. We'll be moving my place of work to a mortifyingly smaller space and get to cram a warehouse thrice it's size into it's confines. And I'll be working more than humanly possible to finish some newly self-imposed deadlines. And I think there are hurricanes a brewin'.

On top of all that, I'm aching beyond belief to start a new creative endeavor that does not require any integral significance to anyone but myself. Something that doesn't involve marketing. If you know me, you know that I don't hate anything. No really, I don't. But I loathe marketing. Selling anything really. I don't mind the barter system. I'll just trade ya, how about that? My services gladly rendered for food and shelter. You give me what you think it's worth, but I can't stand producing "product" that sits on a retail store shelf to be fondled, passed over or consumed like junk food. I don't want the greenbacks, the simoleons, the beans, the moolah, whatever you call them, it's all a green eyed monster to me. OK, maybe I only despise the voice that's saying "The fate of this thing depends on your ability to sell it," then springing to life and smashing my skull with a sledgehammer.

Oh, if you want to know, I'm 28 now.

If anyone is looking for me I'll be passed out on the couch during lunch absorbing my food through a feeding tube.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

To My Knowledge I Have Never Taken Steroids

OK so, I turn around to check on Monkey No. 2, who is so intently watching his movie that at any moment I'm afraid he may pull a Mike TeeVee on me, and somehow he has twisted half of his shirt and reinserted his arm so that he resembles a wandering warrior urchin ready to kick butt and steal the blueberries out of your muffin. Or else. Rubber lizard sidekick sold separately.

I am so very tired.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Monkey Wrenches, Part Duh

It's 4am and I'm awake.

Monkeys are sleepin' over again. But it's not their fault I can't sleep.

I'd do a sketch but I forgot my tablet at work. I think. I hope its there. I do this all the time. I'll find it sitting next to my brain.

I think I'm allergic to the air conditioner. Yes, I've cleaned out the filters. Can one be allergic to water? Sometimes I think I'm allergic to the water here, as well. I take a shower but that just makes me sneeze more. The fits of burning in my eyes and rubbing my throat raw trying to clear it seem to be random though. Perhaps dust or mold or maybe the humidity or maybe some crickets working overtime. Most nights I am perfectly fine. But, I'd say when most of the natural elements (air, water, earth) are in cahoots with each other it doesn't bode well for a night of slumber.

It also costs a lot to run the air conditioner. I don't really run it when I'm alone but I can't very well have roasted kidlets in the morning. A good nights rest is one of the best things to make sure children turn out healthy and happy. Right. And here I am at the buttcrack of morning up and awake....

Guess I left yesterday's post rather abruptly, but just take what's there and set it on repeat and you get the picture. However, I can add, when you think it's too quiet:

a) Monkey has shed all his clothing save diaper and sneakers.
b) Monkey has climbed on your desk and is about to tatoo himself with a sharpie.
c) Monkey has made his way to the door and is about to attempt escape plan No. 135.

This week is basically non-existant already. Preschool is out this week in preparation for a new school year. Everybody works, so that leaves the boys with me since I can get away with bringing them to my place of employment if need be.

I may as well have taken the week off, since as you can see I was entirely too productive yesterday, but there's stuff at work I gotta be around for even if only for a few minutes. I could easily work from home, but I feel strange doing that. It's like I need the place-that's-not-home-but-don't-want-to-call-my-job to validate my paycheck. It's hard to explain.

Responsibility is not something I ever planned on. I may run into some road rage with it pretty soon.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Monkey Wrenches

Last night the boys stayed over for the first time since they moved out. I think I got about...hmmm, did I sleep? I'm not exactly sure. We all had to sure my bed since they don't have one. And thus the day begins.

5:50 Kick all monkeys out of the bed.

6:17 All monkeys strapped in their seats and packed up for a fun day with dad.

7:00 Arrive at work.

7:30 Make some quick munchies and sit monkeys down for a showing of Treasure Planet. Should be good to go for at least an hour or so right?

7:40 Hear GB tromping upstairs as fast as he can. Which means he's climbed the stairs. Threats of time-out ensue.

7:41 Tromping ensues once again. GB gets to stay with me now in my office.

7:47 Turn on hypnotic iTunes visualizer with music. Yay iTunes!

8:00 Well that lasted about ten minutes... GB don't play with the phone.

8:02 GB stop headbutting my arm and now oh crap what did you make me press to make my screen go dark.

8:06 There was Play-doh in the bucket of toys. Hurray for Play-Doh!

8:14 Hooray for rubber bands! Kinda.

8:27 Put the phone down. Now. Put the phone down. Now.

8:34 GB, give me the scissors!

8:38 Out of the ether a tower of 7-Eleven Double Gulp tumbler cups..go tumbling.

10:12 Boingy boingy boingy...Meemo? Meemo? Daddy daddy, meemo? Finding Nemo goes in, bouncing monkey is tamed for the moment.