Monthly Archives: January 2017

Unemployed to Self-employed

In Feb. 2016, I left a job that I wasn’t really content with, even though it had a lot of benefits. The pay was good, and I’d been there a good while. But then the wave of pink slips started rolling out and I didn’t want to be caught off guard coming in on an unsuspecting Monday morning, and find my access badge being denied; or better yet, get to my desk and find that my login codes rejected. I could go on with different scenarios, but you get the point. I left on my own terms. I’ve seen how that shit works.

It was a job working in Escrow. Like I said, the job had many benefits, with one being no micro-management. But where were the supervisors and team leads when a motherfucker needed one? What I didn’t like about the job was the environment. Most of the team I was on, was all cliqued up, like the other teams. Bunch of gossip and greater rumors, and shit like that.

There was favoritism for a chosen few, while everybody else just got in wherever they could. The managers didn’t know a damn thing, so nothing ever got figured out. It was like watching a bunch of screaming monkeys trying to fuck a football.

Anyhow, whatever. So when I “left”, I’d been sitting around the house figuring things out; well trying. My dad called me – which was out of character for him, and he asked me if I’d ever thought about starting my own landscaping business.

I told him, I hadn’t given it a whole lot of thought since I didn’t have the equipment or a truck. I certainly wasn’t going to use my main vehicle. He said he’d give me his old ’94 Dodge Dakota if I wanted it. His true reason was that he just wanted to get that ugly ass, oxidized rig off of his extra driveway. I mean it runs extremely well. It’s just an ugly green color. There’s nothing nice about this truck. It’s got a very strong engine, though. So I told him, I’d come down and pick it up.

Anyway, moving forward. So, after returning with the truck, along with some cash my dad had given me to get started, I bought some used power equipment. I ran a few ads in the paper, got some biz cards made, passed out a few flyers, and pretty much waited a few days, and like magic, my cellphone started ringing. I was happy and ready for any and all maintenance opportunities. So much so, that I was charging less than I should’ve been to do xyz job. But the reason why, was very simple: I was just trying to bring in an income as soon as possible.

Looking back at February 2016 and now – almost a year later – and because I’m so hard on myself, I feel I haven’t reached the cruising altitude of viability; to comfortably say, “Yes, I’m in business for myself.

With time constraints of school aged children, I feel I’m missing out on an additional third of potential business, possibly. I enjoy being in business for myself, but I also enjoy the peace of mind dropping kids off at school and picking them up because I know they’re okay…blah blah..

So how does a lion go conquer the world when he’s also got a mother hen complex? Always worried about the wellbeing of the chickens. Haha.

That being said, enter the writer/blogger in me. Business still functions, but I feel that I should cast a wider net, allowing optimism to reach opportunity.

Don’t let me confuse you about my ambitions. I live in Phoenix, therefore landscape maintenance isn’t on my to-do list. The summers are brutal. It’s just a means to a greater option. I prefer to write, blog, vlog, produce music, do photography, that sort of thing there. That’s where my heart is, but we must hustle for our own causes. In no way, shape or form, is a maintenance business something I sought out to do. It’s only a stepping stone to something else.

So this is just a look at what I’ve been doing for the last year. Anyhow, this is a journey from unemployed to self-employed. The next stop I’m aiming for is to work from wherever my laptops are.

With that said, please leave your comments below. Thank you for your time

-Denory

Parenting

Parenting is a wild adventure. So how could another parent not feel the say as I? Wait? What? The hell am I talking about. I must be running a fever from all the drinking I do, due to parenting. Ha-ha. No, I’m kidding.

Listen, there is nothing easy about parenting. Ruling with an iron fist becomes very heavy, nah, all the time. I have one that runs up my pant leg, another one that lives in my wallet, and a third one that eats all the Colby jack shredded cheese. Anyway, parenting cannot be their children’s best friend. These children must understand place value, like math. At home, there’s a parent or parents. At school, there are friends and enemies; hopefully no enemies, but hey, they exist. Anyway, at home these three kids are relentless. They are never satisfied. No matter what they’ve just received: new phones, money, combo meals, etc, all of that shit, they still have the mind frame of “but dad, what have you done for us lately?”

It is in those moments, I jokingly wish I could say, “Get out my damn house! Take that lazy ass baby with you. Come back when your 40. If I still remember who you are.”

No, Im kidding. However, children bring out a part of you that is inherently a slice of yourself. So with that said, do I ever feel like I’m struggling with myself? Hell no, these fuckers are ruthless. I can’t even enjoy a bag of chips, a single bag of fruit snacks, or a glass of milk or juice, because I feel that if I ever plan on sampling the shit that my money buys, I’d better drink it as I’m backing into the garage. Otherwise, that shit is good as gone. They will stand around the snacks until that shit is gone. But then I ask, “Why don’t you assholes stand around the goddamn green beans and zucchini?” Oh, that’s right, because it don’t taste like fruit snacks, Nutter Butters cookies, or Cap’n Crunch cereal. Pardon my funny French, I only cuss in this medium as a means of emphasis.

Anyhow, Im going to test out the new Samsung fingerprint reader for the pantry and fridge. Hahah j/k

Chores

Listen here. There are days where I will do the chores that I’ve delegated to the older two kids. Usually days where they’ve got alot of homework or some other pressing thing to do. I’ll give them a break on holidays and birthdays. Even some weekends I’ll cut them some slack and do the chores. But when they do something they know I don’t like, then they gotta pay the price for it. Or even better; when they don’t do something I’ve told them to do.

Now, I understand that kids will forget to do something, and I get it, but the understanding is in the lesson, and I always make certain that they will learn it. Seems to me, kids think chores are just something they have to do. But actually, it’s so much more than that. Cleaning, if you ask me, is about attention to detail. It’s about time management. It’s about taking care of things. It’s about organization. It’s about inventory and being prepared to take on a necessary task. It’s also presentation, and as I constantly explain to my older two, chores are practical functions in and outside the home.

If I don’t teach them, who will.? My kids like to cut corners, and then quickly try to get out of dodge before I take notice. All that does is waste more of their time because I’ll just call them back to wherever they just left, and instead of telling them what they forgot to do, I’ll just say something like, “You know you aren’t done, right?”

They’ll look at me like I’m shit on a hot sidewalk, and I’ll look at them like, “We can do this all weekend.”

They’ll act like they can’t see bread crumbs on the floor, or that the damn trash needs to go out, or even better, the damn counters haven’t been wiped down. And that’s just in the kitchen…

So, even though it might be something small that they didn’t do, or forgot to do, hopefully they’ll figure it all out, and see that it’s not just about the effort of cleaning in and of itself; but all about them and a developing a work ethic.

As for Zoie, the four year old. She has chores, too. “Pick up all these crayons, paper, beads. Oh and that empty bag of crackers. She gets in on the cleaning action, too.

I’m far from a drill instructor, but I do expect some cleanliness. Once they’ve handled their business, then the rest of the day is all theirs.

Pets

Pets

Alright, so here’s my deal. I like animals and all, but I’ve never had a desire to own one. It just isn’t me. But like I said, I don’t mind them. There’s a reason why I’m talking about this. Cameron and Alexandra wanted a pet, as all kids do, I imagine. I was totally against the idea, and here’s why:

Cats will claw your good furniture, shed hair every-damn-where, claw the carpet, throw up hairballs, and if you’re not lucky, they’ll urinate anywhere but the litterbox, which is designated for them. Fortunately, I don’t have the issue of this cat relieving himself anywhere but the litter box.

Let me formally introduce you guys to this damn cat. His name is Nermal. They named him after the Garfield character. Now this cat was okay when he was a little dude. Back when he couldn’t meow loud enough and didn’t walk around like he’d won the Annual Big Dick contest ten years in a goddamn row. So I admit, I guess I was kind of fond of the calico fucker early on. But now, he just stays in Lexie’s room (that’s Alexandra’s nickname).

Alexandra and Cameron both try to get out of cleaning the litter box, and re-filling his food and water bowls. Mostly Cameron though. For him, I think it’s an out of sight, out of mind kind of thing since Nermal lives in her closet or under her bed. He doesn’t even look out the damn window. I wonder if I opened the window, would he go explore the wild blue and green yonder….far far far away.

Anyway, back to what I was saying. When they brought the cat home from their mom’s friend’s house..mind you..without my expressed permission, I felt like I was put on the spot. They were all, “Please, please dad. Please. We’ll take care of him, etc, etc, etc.” I was still reluctant, but what the hell, whatever.

Five years later, they still can’t get on a systematic schedule of cleaning the litterbox once or twice a day. That was my biggest stipulation. I didn’t – still don’t – want to ever smell the scent of a cat. They’ve done a good job of it, too. But every now and then, I’ll go into Lexie’s room, and look to see if her and Cameron are on their pet detail.

Good job, kiddos.

Work Things Out

Although I’m a hands-on parent, I still like for them to work things out amongst themselves, and leave me be. I mean, let us look at this thing here nutritiously – as I love to say. I could solve their issues everyday all day, and then there’s tomorrow, and another day after that. Some days feel like the day before. They’re always at each others throat over or about something. I can’t remember the last time I watched a full commercial uninterrupted. haha.. No I’m kidding about that.

But seriously though, I don’t remember the last time I watched a full episode of anything. If they aren’t being loud, then they’re being…well…LOUD, and if not that, then one of them is telling the other to stop. Shit gets tiring.

But again, I get it. they’re kids, and I’m supposed to hear them bitching about everything that offends them when they’re in the company of each other.

However, although I enjoy hearing them laugh, not too loud though. When either of them isn’t feeling well, and they sleep all day, I think about when they’re being loud, noisy, and on my damn nerves. It’s in those softer moments that I can’t wait for them to get better and be noisy again.

So this parenting thing is very peculiar.

When Lexie comes in from school, for example, and she’s got a big ass ziplock bag of goodies from the class party, Zoie won’t stop nagging her for the fruit snacks and cookies. Well, Lexie will nag me to make her stop bothering her. I’ll usually tell her something like, “Well, considering the fact that you arrived from school with a bag of sugar, how should this four year old anti-Christ behave?”

Time and time again I have to remind Lexie that she can put that fire out by simply sharing a piece of candy, or whatever with Zoie. Once she does that, Zoie will usually go away and not piss on anymore of Lexie’s snack parades. I don’t understand why she doesn’t take my advice.  There are so many examples to share, but as I’ve explained already, much of their business is easily quieted, but somehow, I get sucked into every roundtable.

When the older two, Cameron and Alexandra(Lexie), disagree on something and can’t come to a fair resolution, then I have to get involved. So when I get involved, I make sure that they don’t involve me again. I just want them to be able to talk and be fair towards each other.

Early bird, night owl

I’m not sure about you, but I’m an early bird and a night owl. There’s just something that I get from the night owling that keeps me up, doing whatever. It’s quiet, the kids are sleep, and I can hear my thoughts. I can plan the next day. Maybe eat a fat bowl of Frosted Flakes, watch some Animal Planet, maybe an episode or two of some Netflix show. Truth is, the night owl lifestyle is my creative timezone to work on vlogs, blogs, music, etc.

It seems I have more to talk about in the evening. Then suddenly there’s a rip in the fabric of my quiet time. It’s a Zoie-saurus screeching down the hall, riding a wave of emotion, like I’d done something to disturb her. She doesn’t want anything other than to cramp my comfort by sitting on me while I -NOW- try to blog or vlog. Shit, eat my bowl of Frosted Flakes for that matter.

Even with that stated, I still love to burn that midnight oil because she’ll be sleep just as fast as she climbed up on my lap. And she does it like I’ve got nothing better to do than to hold your sleeping ass.

I use to stay up until 4a doing whatever, and still get up before 8. That’s 8 A.M. if you needed clarification. But now, I try to go to bed around 230, and get up around 630 to handle the days business. If I could stay up non-stop for a week, or some undefined date, I’m sure I would. Sleeping eats up some very valuable and production time, that you don’t get back. Therefore, I’m aware of every second. That’s part of the ambition, and the focus, right? Good ole parent stuff

Grocery list

There was a time when I’d always take the kids with me to do grocery shopping. Don’t ask me why, either. In fact, there was a time when I didn’t even need a list to go to the grocery store. But since that point, I have. At first, I figured it was because I was getting older. But fuck that shit, yo. I use a list because everybody has a goddamn request, that’s in addition to the main grocery list. Plus I think the list is about efficiency. Meaning, I’ll begin a shopping list every Monday for the trip I’ll make the following Monday. However, there are random trips in between for things like bread, red grapes, milk – and for my black ass – cases and cases of brown whiskey. Ha-ha, no I’m kidding. I don’t drink that old man syrup.

Anyway, the reason why the kiddos no longer participate with me is simply because, they distract me from the important shit I have to get, like ass wipe and whiskey..I mean, FOOD.But back to that list thing for a moment. The list is just a safeguard for me because I have so much shit to think about. Grocery shopping isn’t a tiresome thing for me like it is for many others.

Now, I’m not saying I buy the same stuff for dinners every week; month in month out, but I generally know what I’m missing.

I remember going grocery shopping with my mom as a kid, and every once in a while, when I’m in town, I’ll ride with her to Safeway. Well one time not too long ago, I went shopping with her, and I realized where I got my shopping style. I was pushing the cart, the same way I’d done as a kid, and she was walking double time through that store, the same as I remembered in childhood. She knew where everything she needed was. It used to amaze me how she’d blow through those aisles, not missing or forgetting a single ingredient. Well that’s me now; except I bring a safeguard [read: checklist] just to make sure I don’t have to bring my black ass back in a day. The kids don’t ever ask to go either, they’ve grown wise to the game. They just have requests, yet they’ll text me if they need to amend their snack and beverage requests. The audacity, right?

Baskin Robbins

*WARNING* Graphic language

I love and enjoy a nice fat double scoop of Baskin Robbins ice cream. In fact, this past dollar-scoop Tuesday, I went into a Bask Robbins, 31-goddamn-flavors, and order two heaping scoops of pineapple coconut and a nutty coconut..double scooped that one too. I was good. I was nice. I was excellent.

Well, no sooner that when I finished the first cup, which was the pineapple coconut, my stomach started misbehaving and being rude. I had gas, solids, and liquids in me that weren’t mixing well. Alright fuck it! That ice cream gave me the shits. I’m not intolerant to dairy or sugar. It was delicious, but I never thought there was a possibility of ingesting ‘bad ice cream’. What kind of world do we live in, where a forty year old man can’t even enjoy a double scoop of ice cream excellence.

Man, I was in the bathroom having shit contractions, unwrapping toilet paper, spraying air freshner, lighting matches. It wasn’t nice at all. Shit, I even turned the light out, but I’m not going to bad mouth Baskin Robbins, but goddamn, is there a possibility that I was given a bad scoop..well double scoop? (rhetorical)

So when I finished knocking holes in the plumbing, I came out and my son asked me if I was okay, and I told him to get outta my business. I’d become someone else momentarily, it seemed. I walked out slow and bow-legged, like a fat cowboy with two six shooters, riding the fat part of a 1-ton turkey leg.

I found the couch and laid down on my stomach, trying not to flex any muscles. It was an ordeal. Fucking ice cream. How could I have enjoyed two whole scoops and not feel something was wrong until I’d finished wolfing it down?

I’m not terribly sure I’ll be visiting Baskin Robbins any time in the next twelve decades. I just can’t take that chance on dollar-scoop tuesdays…or whenever that was.

Making sandwiches

“Well, why don’t you make one for Zoe, too? You know she looks up to you. She wants to do everything you do.”

Type of things I constantly tell these kids, especially Lexie. It amazes me how they can’t figure this one simple thing out. They refuse to understand that the youngest gets every goddamned thing she wants. That’s how it is everywhere you go. As dad, that little four year old is unstoppable. Haha.. No you guys, I’m just being silly. However, it does remain true that the youngest gets alot of shit, and gets away with alot of shit.

Cameron is the oldest, and well, he endured this very thing with Lexie (aka Alexandra) when she started getting around the house on her little legs and having her way with him. He couldn’t understand how she got pretty much anything she wanted. He’s four years older than Lexie, and fifteen years older than Zoie, so I’m sure you can imagine his plight. Ha-ha

Now with Lexie, she’s not so smiley faced now that she’s a big sister. Zoie has her way with her, too.

“Dad, are you just going to let Zoie eat another bag chips? That’s her third bag.” It’s funny to me, because Cameron also complained about shit like that, too. I just smile back at her and say, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.”

Children don’t understand the parent, and the ways of a parent. They don’t understand that even though we don’t get up right away – in some cases – to iron out some stupid issue, we always zero out the balance of bad behavior.

So back to this “Make one for Zoie” too thing. There have been times where either Cameron, or Lexie, would make themselves a sandwich-all the while knowing Zoie’s standing right there, practically up under the wheat bread, wanting one too-and they’d just walk away like that four foot creature wasn’t screaming for a sandwich too. I’d tell whoever just made a sandwich, to go back into the kitchen and make an extra sandwich for her.

I reason that it’s only fair that they do this because in the opposite scenario, they’d be screaming, also. Now some of you out there might thing that’s rude of me, or some crazy opinion, but there’s more to it than just making a sandwich. As a parent I teach consideration and thoughtful character. I show these kids how to do things around the house for themselves. Parenting is all about preparation and lessons. That’s a topic all in itself.

Zoie can be a pain, but she’s really just trying to keep up, participate, and be like her big sister, Lexie. As for her and Cameron-though- I think she (Zoie) wants to kick his ass a few times, but that’s the German in her. All three of these kids have German in them. Their mother is half this, half that. So that’s where the German comes in. Zoe is her own nation and government. She rules the house until I get up and straighten her out…henceforth, the ‘zero balance’.