Road Trip to NYC

January 25, 2017

Day 5 and another pizza has been delivered to the hewillnotdivideus livestream. How many deliveries does that make now? Too many to count. I have spent the last several days home fighting a plague that is trying it’s very best to beat me. Trying its very best to bring me down. It doesn’t realize that I have strangers in New York live streaming to the world to keep me entertained.

I first started watching because I knew it was going to be a train wreck. I knew for a fact that it could turn into a platform for nonsense and ugliness. That it might be the platform on which the world saw something heinous, together, live, in horror. This was such a bad idea. I was going to be one of the voyeurs watching helplessly as it all unfolded. I got something much different.

I turned it on the other night to see a chain smoking, jittery young man smiling into the camera. The cynical side of me felt like he was up to something. Another young man stood in the background with a camera around his neck. They were friendly. The chain smoker bobbed in and out of camera view every now and again turning to the stream and smiling. The camera man stood in the background, coming forward to inspect something unseen near the streaming camera. They would chat with people as they came to visit. The camera man would take pictures and give them to the people that wanted them. I loved these two guys.

I kept checking in after this point. A tambourine man, a woman in an orange hat, a man bundled up who is apparently not a hero. I caught glimpses of them dancing, talking and smoking. I tuned in to see a man with glasses repeating He will not divide us over and over. I saw him approached and mocked. Then it became important to me. As the worst kind of troll stalked around this man. The mustached man spoke in slurs. He mentioned Hitler in a favorable light. He did all of this as the glasses man stood and kept saying it. “He will not divide us. He will not divide us…” The glasses man would look up now and again and smile at this man. Smile and just keep going “He will not divide us…”

I was getting frustrated for my new friend with the glasses. Why is he there alone? Is there not one person in New York that will join this man? That will stand with him? I was getting agitated. A shadowed figure appeared from the sidewalk. She had been tucked in bed back in Brooklyn and felt inspired to come down. They embraced in a hug and then stood side by side ad continued. That was the moment I was hooked. My own little Truman Show was going to be here for at least 4 years.

Other things happened that night. A Craig’s List ad was taken out in the name of the girl from Brooklyn, stating that she was handing out sexual favors. That in and of itself was bad enough a reality. But when someone showed up to try and collect on the advertisement was absolutely terrifying. It was past bedtime, but now I had to see how she was going to leave this place. Would she be safe? Creepy Craig’s List guy just stayed and stayed and stayed. She eventually walked off accompanied by another person and I was finally able to go to sleep.

What’s the point? What does it mean? They are calling it a living art project I guess? It is fascinating. I have spoken to my kids about it. Shown them examples of the kind of people that they will encounter in their lives. The people that we find despicable. The Hitler loving, Craig’s List creepers, and trolling instigators all looking for their turn in the spotlight. Those people fade away into the peripheral. They can come into your lives and make it uncomfortable for a moment or two. You can choose to challenge them with a smile. You can exhibit patience for them while showing the world the kindness in your spirit.

I showed my boy stills from the Twitter feed of the embrace in the middle of the night between strangers trying to show support. Images of a smiling young man who seemed to be enjoying himself even if he felt a little awkward interacting with a wall. A shot of another man taking pictures of whoever came through and were wanting to keep this moment forever.

To me it isn’t about politics. It’s not about being different or the same. It’s about those who want to come together. Having actual interactions and share moments with a stranger and maybe even enjoy a dance session. The Flower Boy said “If you want to come down and talk, let’s talk” and I hope people do despite who they voted for or what opinions they have. What it is all about to me is my boy coming home from school and asking me what happened last night and asking who is there now. And here is my boy saying that he wants to go, he wants to be there and meet these strangers. I kind of want to take him.

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Are you going to eat that?

December 12, 2014

Breathe… This quarter has been stressful to say the least. But it is over now. For at least a couple of weeks I can catch up on much needed sanity before starting my final class of the IT Networking program. Which is weird because I haven’t taken the entry level classes yet due to the unavailability of them last Spring. So I get to take them the quarter after I complete the “final” class. Talk about feeling like you are missing something all quarter long.

 

Kyra – “Catch up on some much needed sanity?” Hmmm, is sanity a thing that exists in this house? Well if you find it could you let me know where?

For the next three weeks none of that matters. The holidays are here and the house does not yet look as if drunk elves have puked up lights and decorations in every nook and cranny, so that has got to happen. The wife’s snowflakes and ornaments are hanging from the ceiling. The boys advent calendar is taunting him to peel back all of the panels and consume 25 days of chocolate when no one else is looking. The daughter is buying gifts and wrapping them as this is the first season that she is employed, and then there is me. Just sitting here drinking massive quantities of cocoa and marshmallows that are entirely too hot. The skin on the roof of my mouth should be healed by the time March comes around.

Kyra – Slowly I’m beginning to grasp the delicate art of wrapping Christmas gifts. I think I may have gone a little over board this year…hmm, perhaps. Also, how are we to know that the boy hasn’t already eaten all twenty-five chocolates already and precisely taped the calendar days back down?

My knitting projects are becoming many unfinished projects. Currently I am working on a blanket, a hat, a scarf and a gift for someone (not revealing the nature of the gift in the off chance she is lurking nearby). So once again I find myself with many projects nearing done, but I find I have a serious inability to finish any of it. This is a theme throughout my life and days. Kyra mocks me because she has never seen me finish a plate of food, always leaving just one bite. I am sure that there is some deep psychological explanation for this, but who has time to explore it?

Kyra – I had time to explore it actually, several times. It is a Japanese custom to show that you’re full. Hmmm, where did you pick that up? I’m not quite sure.

 

The holidays though. The wife is entrusting me with the creation of all the cookies and most of the treats this year (she isn’t allowing me to steal the almond toffee duties). The joy is finding where to start with it all? Planning for cookie making! That is what my break will be consumed with and it will be glorious. Chocolate chips, peanut butter, sugar, SNICKERDOODLES!!!! Oh yes, it will be an event. It will also be amazing if half of them make it to the cookie jar as I am stocking up on milk and dreams. I would invite you all to partake in the sugar rush, but I am greedy. Well except the last bite, I guess you can have that.

Kyra – No matter how much you hate them, I expect the little round white cookies that Jeanine makes…

~Dave & Kyra

Did you hear that?

October 14, 2014

The house is so quiet. The boy just left on the bus wearing the failed infinity scarf/cowl that I had made for myself. I casted off too tightly and couldn’t fit it over my gigantic head, so now he wears it proudly. The weekends can sometimes get hectic around here. Art projects left on the table. Plates of uneaten nachos are just waiting for someone to give up and just throw them away. A weekend full of “pick up after yourself”, “do the dishes” and “FFS, someone fold the laundry so we have somewhere to sit!” has passed and now the house is quiet. The boy is at school. The girl is at her Mom’s house. The wife has gone to work. So now would be a perfect time to sit and focus on homework before making a run to the Costco. I could get ahead in my studies with no distractions. Instead I notice that the house is empty and it feels strange.

My schoolwork is staring me down and instead of the kids distracting me, or SpongeBob being played too loudly, I have a fish tank bubbling in my ear from across the room. I wonder how much of a negative effect it would have on the fish if I unplugged it. I also hear the computers fan lightly humming, like a seashell that will never shut up. I guess I could turn it off but it may be more difficult to do my online homework without it. I never realized how much I have gotten used to the constant motion that my house seems to be in. Do I need the bangs and shouts to actually be able to concentrate anymore?

This being a stay at home Dad and student isn’t what I thought it would be. I was going to get so much done. I was going to take advantage of the quiet time and actually accomplish more than just treading water at some job. The kids were going to love me. I was going to get straight A’s and maybe make a few friends at school. I was going to learn how to cook! While I have been able to do most of those things in some capacity, (my homemade mac and cheese is better than yours!) it still feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day.

I somewhat refuse to take care of that plate of nachos before noon! I can’t remember if I brushed my teeth this morning or not. The laundry still needs folding, but I am putting that off until 2 so that I can watch my show at the same time. Sooner or later the quiet in this house is going to drive me to the point of insanity, so the homework will no longer matter. Later than sooner my homework will get the attention it needs, but for now I think I will find some videos to watch and take up the silence while I sip coffee and ignore the nachos… the filthy, cheesy, uneaten and discarded nachos. Do the Harlem Shake.

I Was Near Death But Decided I Wanted a Taco Instead

September 26, 2014

*Kyra decided to make some edits and interjections after this was written. You may notice her new thoughts in BOLD

One of the important lessons I try to teach my kids is empathy. Try to look at things from someone else’s point of view. When someone tells you a story realize that you are only getting their perspective. The other person or persons involved may have a very different explanation of events. This includes the stories that you tell to others. Even though you feel strongly about the events does not mean that you are right. You are more than likely biased by your own interpretations of what actually happened. My daughter came home after job hunting in the big city with a tale of near death at the hands of a careless driver. Kyra, having a newly minted license, was driving through the parking lot when a woman inexplicably backed out of a parking spot and nearly ran into her before speeding off. She repeated many times that “I almost died! She tried to kill me Dad!” Then a short time later I received this message in my inbox.

She tried to kill me.

Did she? Or did you try to kill her? Think about it

She tried to kill me! 😦

Maybe she was trying to kill herself? Maybe she thought she had done enough when you stopped short and now she has to go on with her day feeling like she failed in life again…. you should have more sympathy for her plight. Or maybe she was having a bad day and decided she wanted to kill someone, and I was it. Ever think about that father? I almost died.

-.-

Weeks later she is still pointing out the fact that she almost died.

Along with grossly exaggerated stories of near death, Kyra also likes to try and distract me from a sensitive topic by offering tacos. While this does work sometimes (I do love me some tacos). Sometimes I can catch on to her smoke and mirrors and try to keep her on topic. I have been trying to convince her for years to participate in some fantasy football leagues with me and year after year she declines. This season I was signing up for another league when this message comes to my Facebook inbox from her room, so I took a chance.

Is my TV too loud?

Nope. Do you want to do a fantasy team?

No… I do want a taco though

Are you absolutely sure?

That I want a taco?

I give no shits about a taco…. fantasy footballs!!!! If you really want a taco there are still leftovers to be had(weeks later) I am still waiting for the taco that you never made me… not getting any younger here.

And I’m sure no fantasy football.

BOOOO!!!!

Why do you hate me?

Why do you hate me? I am the one creating a new bonding experience… you are the one fighting it! So who is displaying the ‘I don’t like you or anything you stand’ for behavior? YOU! I am creating memories for you to deny.

Wow…

hahaha. Ask me why I hate you and that is what you get!

One day I will get to her and she will discover just how wonderful it is to participate in fake football for no reward from the safety of behind a computer screen. Hey, I have taken the large step in doing the board at Randy’s Fantasy Football draft. That is quality bonding time right there. Appreciate the good things. I don’t have a team but I still actively participate for at least one day out of the year… I feel that is a decent amount of effort put into it.

Introductions of the heros

September 19, 2014

How to write a co-blog with your daughter? Do we walk around with a recorder trying to catch those conversations that leave us both laughing uncontrollably? Sounds like a tedious thing to do. Fast forward through all of the silence and hope your conversation doesn’t seem forced. How can you be interesting or funny when you know that you are supposed to be being interesting or funny? I don’t know, but we are going to try and find out.

First thing is first though. Introductions need to be made, actually no. A few rules need to be addressed. I will not be talking about any of her weird boyfriends specifically, relationships perhaps, but only in general terms. We will probably not refer to members of the family at all, no dirty laundry will be aired. I do reserve the right to add rules that I spontaneously think of in the moment.

And an FYI, to keep from adding, “I said” then “she said” Her parts will always be in italics, unless it is funnier to make it seem like she something that she didn’t.

So what to say about my daughter? She is equal parts maddening and brilliant. Sprinkle in a few bits of complete frustration and infuriating combativeness and that is her. She understands my madness though. She can tell when I am attempting humor and gets it. Not only does she understand, you will see in future posts that she seems to enjoy instigating me on when I start babbling on about whatever it is we are talking about. I find her hilarious, but she thinks and acts a lot like me so is that self-centered?

To the outside world maybe she is just a typical teenage girl, shrieking with glee at the mention of some pop star that I have never heard of. Maybe the truth is that she speaks in text speak when I am not around SMH. Maybe, because she is my daughter, I filter out all of that nonsense and just see her as a smart, witty and thoughtful human being. It could be that I turn a deaf ear to the insane giggles of her and her friends because she laughs at my jokes. Either way I enjoy her company more than a little bit so who cares if she says “like” a little too often and thinks Dr. Who is dull. Not me, but for the record Dr. Who is fantastic television.

Hmm… What to possibly say about my dad? Where to start? With his incessant need to make me enjoy football? Yes, let’s start with that. Constantly reminding me that it is a Thursday or a Sunday to which I respond with a “sigh”. Always talking to me about statistics and players that I will never understand. On occasions his cooking makes up for the football nagging.

When my dad and I talk to each other I can always tell if he’s interested in what I am saying. How can I tell such a thing you might ask? If he is quick to respond with an argument or suggestion he cares. If he’s not arguing with me he doesn’t care about the subject, and isn’t listening.

Overall I find brilliance in most of the things we talk about. Separately we are both quiet people who would never willingly start a conversation with anyone, but put together I must say there is some amount of genius in both of us (or madness)… Who can tell the difference anyway?

It is so strange because we are so much alike, yet we rarely agree on anything. This is probably due to his overly stubborn personality… I guess that’s what keeps the conversations interesting, I mean who wants to talk to someone that you can always agree with?

Without my dad I would have no pointless jokes to exhale air a little faster than normal at, and no one to make fun of for playing a little too much World of Warcraft.