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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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?

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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.

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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’.

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Roblox

So one day, I pick Lexie up from school – her friend, too – and they’re both in the backseat giggling as sixth graders do, and about nothing at all. Absolutely nothing! I mean, they climbed their asses into the car, and were already cracking up. Meanwhile, Zoie had just fallen asleep on the five minute drive around the corner to pick them up, and Lexie asks me about this game called Roblox, which I have never heard of before. I was a little surprised she was asking about video games, because prior to the sixth grade she’d always look the other way when it came to video games. I mean she has a Nintendo Wii in her bedroom that she never plays, but whatever.

So, I’m thinking maybe she’s trying to dig into my wallet again. I asked her where this game was, and she said it’s online.

“Well how did you find out about this video game?” I asked.

“We play it at school,” she said.

So we dropped her friend off and got home. She gets online and logs into the roblox site. Damn, she’s already got a user account, and she’s explaining to me that it’s a game that all the kids are playing. Now, when I did my research about roblox, which by the way, looks like some sort of failed Lego project, I’m finding that the language on the site is pretty liberal. Alright whatever, I’m not going to buffer her from all the shit that’s said on and around the web. Between Target.com and Roblox, she’s content with the internet.

However, I did tell her that I didn’t particularly like the site and that if this Roblox thing is approved by the school, then enjoy it and don’t abuse the privilege. She told me that she only goes into certain areas because in alot of the other areas, the users talk inappropriately.

So, cool. I’m confident that she’s enjoying the game as it is. And since she first told me about Roblox, her activity is pretty normal. This is because I check her movements on that site. She doesn’t know it, but even if she did, I’d just advise her not to delete any online history.

We can’t police every single step our children take, but we can educate them about using excellent judgment, not being followers, and making decisions that put them closer to the rewards, and further from punishment.

She got a computer for her room, so that she’d stay off my laptops and desktops, and guess what? She hardly spends any time playing online. That’s cool, too. Absolutely cool.

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It’s Bedtime

 

“It’s 9:30, kiddos. Time for bed,” I say. 30 minutes later, it’s ten o’clock. Amazing, right? NO! That’s not amazing. What’s amazing is the fact that all three of them are still up, carrying on like its two o’clock on a Saturday afternoon.

“What the devil is going on right now? I thought I said it was bedtime thirty minutes ago.” Suddenly they’re all mute. Looking around at each other, trying to quickly figure out some bullshit to feed me, as to why they aren’t in bed, their own rooms, and at least pretending to TRY to go to sleep.

“Look kids, I know you want to stay up because you’ve either got early school release tomorrow, or you’ve got a late start schedule. But listen here, doggonit. When I say bedtime, it means exactly that. Next time I find myself repeating myself again, I’m gonna start taxing ya’ll. Meaning, it’ll come out of your personal video game time, allowance, whatever, and you’ll do extra work around here. I’m not playing. I send ya’ll butts to bed at a decent time to make sure you get a full rest, so you can be at school bringing me A’s and B’s…..”

So the lecture goes on until 11pm, and now they’re yawning like a bunch of lions. Perfect. LIGHTS OUT!

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Get Rid of Some Stuff

“C’mon Lexie. You’ve gotta get rid of some of this stuff, and stop changing your room around. I don’t want the carpet in here worn down everywhere because you want to move your furniture around every other week. Not to mention that cat of yours. All he ever does is lay under the bed at the corner, leaving all his doggone hair matted into the carpet.”

“But there’s a big rug under my bed that he lays on, so he’s not actually on the carpet,” she says.

“Well okay, but we’re not moving your bedroom around every other month. Maybe once a year, IF I decide. And another thing, stop leaving your TV on during the day. You and Cameron have that bad. It’s gonna start coming out of your allowance. Don’t believe me, just watch.”

Anyhow, I get it. She’s a girl, and she wants to do these kind of things, and all I can think about is wear and tear, walls be scratched, cat hair all around the room. I swear I don’t like that dude..meaning the cat. If I haven’t told you guys already, his name is Nermal, and he’s nothing like the Garfield character. You know, the grey cat. This goddamn cat just eats, sleeps and shits…well, I guess that’s like Garfield.

Lexie’s room used to be immaculate, from corner to corner. Well hold on, do get me wrong, her room is clean, but not like it use to be. Maybe it’s because she’s accumulated so much shit. Girl’s accessorize everything, and I mean evvvverything. There’s never just one or two of something. There’s hundreds of something. Even shit that you think couldn’t be accessorized is accessorized. Like paperclips, staples, rubberbands, and tootsie rolls.

I’ll go into her room, look around and ask say, “Throw some of this shit away. What are you keeping it for? Why do you need it? I never see you doing anything with this stuff. Why don’t you get rid of it? It’s just taking up space.” Haha

Her answer is always the more obvious of answers that a parent would never think of, because we’re so ‘logical’, right? She says, “Because it’s my stuff.”

“Oh, but of course,” I think to myself. Why is this realization so groundbreaking to me? I’m 41 years old. Her response is absolute GENIUS. Why then do I always get rid of my own shit? I mean, it’s mine, right?

“Maybe the reason people get rid of things every so often,” I tell her, “Is because people make room for new or things. Or just that some stuff is in the way, and has run its course in the place that it’s been.

Then I realized later that she’s barely twelve years old. Her room, I imagine, is supposed to have lots of personality..translation…(shit everywhere). Again, her room isn’t messy or anything like that, she’s just accumulated all sorts of stuff from everywhere. It’s what she’s supposed to do. It’s her own pre-teenage world. She’s got cable, video games, smartphone, Netflix, a computer, walk in closet, all sorts of stuff..Oh, and a damn cat to match.

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Late Night

“Yo Cameron! It’s time to get up man. What time did you go to bed last night?” I ask. He rolls over and looks at me, and says, “Around two o’clock. I was up late.”

“Well, it’s almost noon, dude. You’ve gotta get up and make something of the day.”

“C’mon dad, it’s Saturday. Why can’t I just sleep all day?”

I’m still standing in his doorway, waiting for him to scratch his ass and get. I tell him the reason he can’t sleep all day, is because he has chores and he has to participate in them. It’s a beautiful day to spend effectively. When I was a kid, every though we stayed up late, we still got up no later than eight or nine. Not because we had to, but because it was Saturday, and me and my brothers wanted to get our allowance and our basketballs or footballs, run down to the corner store and buy some candy, soda, and chips. We’d get into our day and use it all up. There wasn’t a second lost in our weekends. The last place we wanted to be was in our rooms. We couldn’t wait to go outside. Outside! Can you imagine that? These kids nowadays think outside is punishment. Outside is where the adventure is.

The reason he tries to sleep in like this is because he sits on his ass playing PS4 all night Friday, after school, after his homework, after his chores. So I told him that if he couldn’t get up at a decent time, then maybe I’ll just have to enforce an earlier bedtime.

I’m so passionate about this. There’s no way in hell, he’s going to lay around like he’s worked a 12-hour shift. I don’t care if it’s Christmas Break, and school doesn’t begin for another two weeks. The way I see teenagers is very simple: Everything is habit forming, and falling out of a regular sleep schedule is just not good. Too much sleep makes you tired. I have an older cousin that used to sleep in until two o’clock when we were kids. The grown folks would wake his ass up, and he’d have a shitty attitude..we were like eleven and twelve years old. It would literally take him the rest of the day to bounce back from his twelve hour sleep pattern. He’d have endless headaches, backaches. He was sluggish. It was just ridiculous how this dude moved around like an old man. The rest of us youngsters, had already been up since seven or eight, had breakfast, been outside, etc.

I remember that stuff like it was yesterday, and I’ll be damned if I let Cameron fall into a crappy sleep schedule. So recently, on Friday nights I’ve been telling him, “Listen, if you can’t handle getting up at a decent time on the weekends, mainly Saturday, then you better go to bed at a decent time. You don’t work a 9-5, so you better set that alarm on your phone to something like eight or nine. Don’t sleep later than that. You’re a young dude, get outdoors with your basketball. Go running, get that exercise in. You can take a nap in the afternoon, but you need to be up. Don’t become lazy.”

Now, sometimes, I feel I come down on him a bit too hard. But who’s going to teach him these things. Who’s going to teach him about ambition, fitness, responsibility, etc? Who’s going to take the time out to give him advice and perspective? Nobody. It’s a father’s job and responsibility to lay heavy perspective on his kids, especially the boys. I’m not saying a mother can’t. I’m only saying that a man must instill the jewels of ethic, time management, decision making, and PERSPECTIVE in his children.

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Laundry

It’s Saturday all day long, and I haven’t seen him do anything in the way of responsibility, such a his laundry. I dont say anything, just going about my way. Damn, now it’s Sunday, and it’s been Sunday all day long. I’m painting a picture for you about my teenage son. Now I still haven’t said anything to him about anything that he should be taking care of for the coming week ahead. I’m just observing and waiting to see if he has any initiative about himself. I always preach about business before pleasure. Get this stuff out the way before you do what you really want to do so that you don’t have to re-visit that business later.

This is me in prior instances. You know, I’m just trying to instill some direction in him; and to show that the day is all about you, if you get things in order, because there’s nothing like not having anything else to do but watch TV, play video games, surf the internet,etc. Hell, take a nap if you like.

So like I said earlier, it’s now Sunday evening, roughly 2 hours before bed. He still hasn’t done his laundry. He has other clothes he can wear, but the rule is to get your laundry done so that the laundry room isn’t a mess going into the next week. Not to mention getting it done so it doesn’t start to mess.

So finally, it’s exactly one hour and some change before bed, and guess what? Yep, laundry still not done, but guess where his black ass is? You got it. In his room, with the door closed, Beats headphones on, talking to one of his friends who’s half way around the world in Belgium or some shit, and they’re laughing and whatnot over the PSN Network.

I look at him, leaning against the door, and asked him when he was thinking about doing his laundry. He told me, he thought he’d already done it, even though it’s pouring out the top of the hamper that’s sitting right there next to his tv. I mean, you can’t miss this big ass clothes basket. But at fifteen years of age, I guess it perfectly possible. WTF!

I asked him, when exactly did you think he did it? He tells me he doesn’t remember the time. Now Im rubbing my bald head, because it’s clear to me that he thinks he can feed me some bullshit. He knows damn well he hasn’t done any laundry. He uses that, “Oh I forgot”, or that “I was getting ready to do it right now,” crap.

Strange how it’s always perfect timing that he’s about to do something when I question him about his lack of responsibility, or drive to get things done, etc. So I told him to turn the video games off and get started on his laundry. Then I remembered that I also told him no video games two hours before bed. Can you imagine his response… don’t worry, it’s coming…5..4..3..2..1…

“Dad, I don’t remember you telling me that.”

“Well Cameron, I find that very offensive of you, considering the fact that you asked me last night, what time you had to be off the game on Sunday.”

His response? “Ohhh, yeah that’s right.” In that moment-right then and there- I just told him to bring me the controllers to the PS4 AND the PS3, because it’s clear to me that he doesn’t remember anything, and if he does, he’s just playing dumb. So to remedy that, I told him he won’t be playing video games for the next two weeks. You should have seen the big teardrops falling from his eyes. I felt bad for him, but hey, if I was his friend, I would’ve forgiven that shit, but since I’m his parent, then it is my duty to confiscate shit and not give it back until he starts taking responsibility and minding these simple expectations.

“Now you have time to do you laundry,” I said. “That’s all, son. Get moving.”

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Sleep-overs

I grew up with three younger brothers. Didn’t have any sisters, so I never understood the nature of girls and the things they needed or wanted, like sleep-overs. Let me break this down much more because it’s about my second oldest. That’s Alexandra (aka Lexie), if you’re just now tuning in to these stories form home or work. Growing up, I never had friends over for anything. The closest my friends got to my house was when we walked the same way after school, and on the weekends, if I hung out with my friends, it was because we all met up somewhere.

Maybe it was because the houses we lived in, during my childhood, were very small. Now let’s talked about Lexie, since this post is mainly about her. I’m finding that girls are alot more complicated that boys. All Cameron needs is a couple snacks, a slushie, and his video games. Once he’s in possession of those few things, I might not see him anymore that whole weekend. He doesn’t care to have his friends over, or go to their house. If he can reach them through the Playstation Network, that’s as good as real company.

But seriously, let’s look at the complexity of Lexi. If it were up to her, she’d have all of her best friends over every Friday evening through Sunday night at 8p, with just enough time to brush her teeth, shower, and go to bed. So she asks me if she can have two of her friends over one weekend, and two others the following weekend. I just looked at her like she was crazy.

“Heck no, you can’t have your friends impose on my tranquility for two full weekends in a row. Hell no. That shit is not happening,” Is what I thought, but I didn’t say it. I told her that her request wasn’t very well thought out because there was no way that was going to be granted.

And of course she wants to know why. I didn’t answer her, but I said, you can have them over this weekend or next weekend, but not both.

Let me tell you why I gave her even that much. Girls are loud, obnoxious, and they laugh at everything. Everything seems to be a bunch of inside jokes and secrets, and when you check on them, they make you feel like you just walked into the wrong restroom. But hold on for a second. The situation gets a bit strange. She asks if her friends can come over, and then when they’re all here, somehow it becomes my dilemma as to what to do with her and her friends. She’s like, “Dad we’re bored. Can you take us somewhere?”

“Uh hell no. What were you guys planning on doing when you invited them here?” I say.

“Well there’s nothing to do,” she says with her reinforcement team standing behind her, observing my responses, totally silent the whole time.

“Well Lexie, do your friends want to go home since there’s nothing to do?”

Suddenly, like a choir, they all speak up at the same time and say they don’t want to leave.

At that point, I look back at Lexie and tell her she’s the host. As I’m getting ready to walk down the hallway to my room, I reminded her that I don’t care how bored she and her friends are. I will pick them up, drop them off, and even feed them in between, but I’m not going to bus you guys around spending my money. Enjoy yourselves here and have fun.

So they all go back into her room, and it’s amazing how fast they start giggling again.

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Episode 1 – Intro

This is the very first episode. I’m not sure how long this one will be, but there will be more. Don’t cry little birdies

I feel good, when I feel good I sing. I was just listening to Jason Mraz, and that is a helluva song.

You know, this podcasting thing, its crossed my mind a few times over the last few years, and I’ve always wanted to create one. I guess I just didn’t know what the hell I’d talk about, and if you should know one thing about me, it’s that I’ve always made things more difficult than they should have to be. I’ll take something simple & make it complicated. I’m just too doggone analytical

I know that at the heart of it all, podcasting is just a conversation.

Well no shit Denory, I know that’s what you’re all thinking right now. Seriously though, I really thought podcasting was just for marketing experts, financial analysts, people giving out legal advice, and citrus experts telling you how to care for your grapefruit trees. Shit like that.

But I stand corrected.

Truth is, you can talk about many things, anything, in your podcast. Inject a ton of personality into it. Talk about your day, your experiences, whatever… It’s simple, yes I know

I’d done my research and watched videos, read articles, repeatedly, and what I found out is, it’s all the same advice. “PODCAST that thing you love to do”, but now, the things we love aren’t always the things we do, right?

For instance, you might have a membership to the gym that runs you $40-$50/month, but you may not go twice a day, or every other day, or even twice a week because of the other things you like and love, or just life’s other priorities pulling rank

The problem for me is I’m a jack of all trades-so to say-but a master of none.

But above all that, I just didn’t want to create a boring podcast and only talk about one thing.

However, I’m not saying that specializing in one subject makes a podcast boring at all. I’m only talking about my “jack of all trades” label.

So this past week, I’ve been working on other things. I think the fact I’d taken my mind off of what to podcast about, and not chasing content for each episode, it’s really made the process even easier.

So with that bit of info shared & before we begin I want to tell you guys that the intro music at the start of this and all episodes will always be my own.

And now, enough of that racket. Let’s get busy with nothing.

So right now, it’s around 11pm. I’m not exactly in night owl territory. But that’s when I reach creativity. I think it’s when the kids go to bed

Season 1: Episode 1

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Long Showers

I don’t know how it didn’t occur to me that Cameron’s showers are long for a reason. Long showers, for real. Well hold on, let me clear this up. I don’t have the slightest clue as to what my son could possibly be doing in the shower so long that the goddamn water heater has run out of hot water. When I say hot water, I mean, you can’t turn the shower further than the two o’clock position before it feels like the water temperature is being powered by hot lava. A brand new bar of soap-right out the little box it comes in-is weathered down to a sliver. This is in one shower period.

But then it occurred to me that evolution is occurring in him. Shit! He’s fifteen years old, damn near sixteen. Male biology says it’s time to relieve some of that pressure that’s been building up. Testosterone is occurring everywhere. So I had a talk with him about ‘nature’. I said, “Just make sure you wash your hands before you leave the bathroom, and don’t be firing up no cigarettes after self-service. And please, don’t bring no babies home. In fact, don’t even carry on like you’re grown.” I mentioned some other things, too.

I noticed he was taking these long showers, pardon me; long ass showers around thirteen, but I was on a different thought pattern. I was thinking along the lines of wasted water going down the drain, because I could hear him in the shower rapping and singing “One Republic” songs. So I’d knock on the door, and ask him, rather, tell him to get out if he’s done. Never realizing that he’s likely reached puberty. Shame on me, for probably interfering with his shower processes.

Now even with that said, I still don’t like all my damn hot water running down the drain. I told him a story about my grandfather and my uncles when they were kids. Well one of my uncles told that their father –my grandfather- would shut the water off outside if they were in the shower longer than five minutes. Now, I know I can be strict or whatever, but damn, being forced to wash up and be out of the shower in under five minutes is just crazy. Whether soaped up or not, when that five minute mark hit, the water line to the house was shut off and my uncles had to dry off. That’s an unusual way of parenting. Cameron’s showers are usually twenty minutes.

I even told him one day that women are the only people who need to take extremely long showers. A man can be in and out of a hot shower in ten minutes. But that was just some food for thought –for him-if ever he felt he needed to take a shower longer than twenty to thirty minutes. I can see that he doesn’t need to shave; still in the peach fuzz zone. His hair isn’t that long; but he does need a trim up. So I reason his long showers are due to evolution and pressure relieve.

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Episode 2 – Sneaking Soda

Let me say this here. I provide for my three kids. I give them what they need and what they want, even though they act like they don’t know the difference between the two. Now Cameron is the oldest, that’s my son, he’s fifteen. Lexie/Alexandra is the second oldest. She’s twelve, and finally, the other one.., that’s her name. The Other One. I’m kidding, her name is ZOE. I spell it ZOIE, but her indifferent mother spells it ZOE.

Anyway, this is some funny shit.

My son- well-he only comes out of his room to eat and to ask for money. Oh, and eat some more. Well the other day, he comes out of his cocoon to refuel between hours and hours of PS4, and I’m assuming he must’ve thought I wasn’t home, or I was in the room, but more generally, not in the immediate area to witness his teenager-ism, because I don’t believe he’d be so bold to do what I’m about to tell you all.

Now you may not think it’s a big deal, but when I explain this shit you’ll understand the greater potential of this behavior.

Alright, so I go into the kitchen to load my dinner plate into the dishwasher. I told Cameron to put a power pack in the washer and start the dishes. Well I go back into my room for a quick minute. In that short amount of time, he’d gone into the garage and come back in, and started small talk with me. Now I know he’s up to something now. The trash was still sitting there, full as shit. SO I know he didn’t take the trash out. I didn’t mention it yet. So I let this comedy run it course.

He heads to the bathroom, I’m slightly watching him, and as he turns the corner going into the bathroom, he turns his head back at me. I’m assuming it was to see if I was still there or –in his teenage frame of mind- gone about my goddamn business. But I am still there; with total awareness of this rooster, that is my son.

So I’m sitting there in the kitchen, and I hear the tab break on one of my goddamn 7-ups. I’m certain now, no longer guessing as to what he’s up to.

He’d snuck a can of soda.

The shit was funny to me. I wasn’t gonna bust his ass too much, because it was just that funny.

He comes out the bathroom, without the empty can, and looks at me like I shouldn’t still be sitting in the kitchen….

Season 1: Episode 2

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Episode 3 – Coffee

You know I enjoy staying up late, always have; and then to add to it, I still get up around six or seven in the morning. Basically a good five or six hours of sleep is all I need.

But if I get any more than that for any reason, I’m not worth a damn to nobody. But I do it without coffee. I mean I enjoy a solid cup here and there, and I prefer decaf.

My brother calls my kind of coffee bean water.  I just like the aroma more than I do drinking it. But from time to time. I do that on purpose though. Let me tell you why.

One time many years ago, I’d gotten up to get ready for work, and I brewed a very dark dark dark pot of coffee. It was so damn dark, it tasted like I soaked a bag of dirty pennies in it. It was horrendous. Nah, it tasted like ashes.

Seriously, it was bad. I set the brew strength, and went and took a shower. Got out, got dressed, made a couple pieces of toast with sourdough bread, and poured a cup. Then another, then another, and still again, another.

Well, not only did I drink that nasty shit, but I poured the rest of it into this big ass thermos, and left for work.

Man I was WOKE, jack. Singing my ass off, on the way to work. On the interstate next to the carpool lane. 45 miles one way.

Anyhow, I had another cup half way to work by using the cap on the thermos.

When I got off the freeway, I pulled into a Quick Trip store and bought a couple of those Starbucks frap bottles.

Now a few hours later, I’ve been at work for some time now, settled in for that goddamn 8 hours shift, but around noon, I’m sitting there talking to a customer, and I felt like my whole being had shifted…

Season 1: Episode 3

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Episode 4 – A Fathers Role

You know I’ve been a hands on father since day one. I am my children’s biggest fan, you understand. We fathers out here – we who’re involved in every facet of our children’s lives –that’s everything from love, discipline, chores, homework, doing hair, buying clothes- know that the job doesn’t have a stop and start time. It’s going to appointments, giving allowances, and rewards.

There isn’t a time clock to punch, or direct deposit, and certainly no promotions. Where we fathers receive payment, is when our children bring home good grades, and understand the rules.

The rules aren’t in place to make them weak, but to show them that they will not grow up wild as weeds.  We teach them right from wrong so that they will know right from wrong and make the effort to stay out of trouble.

Our role is to show them what’s necessary to make good decisions and use solid judgment. We fathers are here to teach them a healthy respect for each other, in and away from home, as well as towards others.

No one else is going to look after our kids but us. Hands on fathers know this one thing: I’ll be damned if another man raises my child or children. This is what we are cemented to.

I mean there’s no way in hell I could stand by and let some other cat raise all that is mine. So this requires much commitment on our parts as fathers.

How the hell can we as fathers be available to our children when we’re out at the bars carrying on like we don’t need to make ourselves available when it matters?

How can we play a vital role if we aren’t around? We’re around because that is what we choose, and is what our kids expect

Season 1: Episode 4

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Planning and Thinking

“Cameron, I need you to start planning and thinking about your life. No, I don’t mean go out and land a job or anything. I just mean you need to begin thinking about what your interests are and start looking into them to see if they still interest you or not.

You’re getting to that age when every second will start to count in favor, or against you, because there are alot of things you can choose from, and it can be overwhelming as to which path to take. So start now. Every decision will also begin to affect you, too.”

This is the level of conversation that I am quickly approaching with him. Not that the kiddie gloves have to come off now, but the language I use is more aligned with the real world. I remember my dad telling me that a young boy doesn’t go to sleep one night and wake up a grown ass man, but that behaviors and the choices made will foster results that affirm that he is indeed coming into manhood.

I wonder if Cameron is ready for that world of cold hard truths about life. Or maybe I’m more concerned than I should be. I think it has alot to do with my expectations of him, rather than let him be a young man who will reach the standard of a man that will become more than what I believe he can be; for himself.

He’s interested in Robotics, and computer sciences, but he also likes cars, and tinkers with the idea of becoming a high end certified mechanic, which is not what I thought he’d pick since I’m always telling him to think about going to school to become your own boss, as opposed to going to school to potentially get a job working for someone else. Then he tells me he’s interested in Sports Medicine. Well that’s a good direction too, since he likes to tell me about muscle groups and how they perform. It’s really interesting stuff.

Like I said, I’m not telling him specifically what to do. No laser-focus here, but again, as a parent, I think it’s a good idea to have him begin looking into his interests alot sooner than what it appears he’s doing.

I’m sure sometimes he thinks I’m rushing him to grow up, but actually all that I’m doing is equipping him with some basic knowledge. Like boiling pasta, washing clothes-which I did when he was probably ten or eleven years old. Things like paying for shit at the grocery store. Using measuring cups, Browning ground beef for different things. I could go on and on. So I don’t think it’s about raising him up too fast. It’s about equipping him with a little know how.

For example, he’ll ask me a quick question about something, and usually I’ll answer, but sometimes I’ll ask him if he checked with google first. I could answer him in two seconds, but I challenge him to be resourceful, to be creative, and think through possible solutions to some things. TO THINK!! That’s what I’m doing here. Training him to get by with at least some knowledge, because the rest he can figure out however he chooses to.

A parent who is really invested in a child’s wellbeing-in my opinion-will challenge that child to discover; but without reckless abandon. In the animal kingdom, those animals are brought up quickly to hunt and survive. I understand that it’s a tough example, but the idea behind it all is that we equip these children with a few basic know-how’s.

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Episode 5 – Approaching Women

People always ask questions about dating. Specifically about how to talk to women, and I’m shocked at how many men don’t know how to hold a simple conversation with a woman.

I’m shocked at how scary some of these men are when it comes to approaching a woman. You can’t even have a conversation with one, if you’re too chicken shit to approach her.

Now I just want to talk to the fellas this episode. Ladies you can listen. I’m going to begin this thing with a broad stroke:

“Talking to women is no different that talking to your boys, except for the content and purpose.” Let’s break that down now.

You’re in a bar, you’re by yourself or with a couple friends, it really doesn’t matter. I’m just trying to clear a path. So you see a nice little something across the way from you, and in your brain, you’ve already decided you’d give her the job. Nah, you want to give her that job.

If you could, you do it right now. Fellas, you know what the hell I’m talking about. I mean you’d go there with her. THAT NIGHT!

But for some damn reason some of you are too scared, nervous, shy, insecure, not drunk enough, whatever to go introduce yourself to her. Whether she’s by herself or with friends, doesn’t matter one bit.

But if she’s there with a seeing eye dog, then you’d be better off closing your tab going home, breaking out the chicken grease and think about Leslie Jones’ legs for a couple minutes.  If you like Leslie Jones. I’m just saying. I’m qualified to make that suggestion, so please don’t send me no emails asking for recommendations.

You gotta support your own habit. Speaking of which, I should probably delete my google history..Donald Trump is in office, and I just don’t feel my browsing history is safe anymore…I said that out loud didn’t I. SHIT!

Season 1: Episode 5

 

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Episode 6 – Walk Away

So I heard this story about a woman who wanted her man to fight other men for her. She believed that if her man didn’t fight for her, literally fisticuffs, then he didn’t love her.

You know, that is the most foolish thing I think I have ever heard. If some guy in the bar is making passes at my woman, I will ignore it and see how she handles herself. Most of the time when guys do this, it’s when they’re liquored up and don’t really know any boundaries. So part of the situation is assessing the threat level, no matter how big or small that drunk dude is.

Not every altercation is won physically, sometimes the altercation is won with brains, and understanding that a few words could change some lives or they can de-escalate the situation.

In any case, here’s an example. You and your girl are out and about, and again, some cocky dude walks up interfering with your date. Your girl might feel disrespected and look to you to straighten this guy.

She’s probably looking for a boost to her ego or some shit. So you and this guy get into it.

First of all, you don’t know what this guy knows, and vice versa. So if we run with these variables, somebody might take a loss and end up in the hospital, and now one of you has a legal battle. You’re both hurt and damaged, but whats the condition of the girl? Oh, well shit, she’s fine. She don’t have any bruises, broken bones, bloody face, she’s not facing legal problems either. Not even an overnight stay downtown. It just cant look good. And why? Because your girl wanted you to fight for her honor. If you got your ass handed to you, would she respect you more or less than if you had just taken the high road and took the evening somewhere else?…..

Season 1: Episode 6

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Episode 7 – Early Frame

So, a guy wants to know if he should let his girlfriend have sex with her ex. Hmm, where do I begin. Alright, have any of you heard of something called Early Frame?

Let me explain what Early Frame is, if it isn’t the slightest bit obvious. No better yet let me paint the picture, it’ll be better illustrated. This guy’s girlfriend is asking permission to have sex with an ex.. Is it possible that she’s already had sex with the ex?

Is it possible that this isn’t the first session? I think she’s already done the do. Anyhow, if he tells her, “Yeah baby, I trust you. Go and screw you ex,” she’s off the hook so to say, because she’s already done it, so when word gets back to him that she was playing around with the ex, he can’t get mad because they already discussed it, and he approved it.. This is Early Frame.

Now, lets say he denies her request, well the fact that she has the nerve to ask him if she can lay around with the ex, tells me that she’s already been carrying on with the ex. They’ve already been in touch with each other.

Now, the next thing. He really thinks he’s got the keys to her decision making, her choices and her rights and whatever else. This is also part of the illusion, she’s going to do whatever she wants, and if he ‘quote on quote’ approves her then she doesn’t have to slip out the back door, she can walk right out the front door and wave bye to him as she drives off in their new vehicle to go screw the other guy.

How is that a relationship?

Why would any man approve, grant passage, condone, endorse, allow, agree, submit, accept any request like this and then still think they share something exclusive..

Season 1: Episode 7

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Episode 8 – Music

Okay, so we all listen to music everyday, right? It’s in everything, its everywhere. You can’t escape it. But then again, why would you want to escape music. It’s there for you. It’s for me. It belongs to the listeners. It’s something we need. There’s pieces of life in every song. In fact, there’s a most beautiful song written by someone you have never heard of. That’s a fact. No one has heard every song ever written in the world. So that’s a fact, too.

Think about this for a second. When you hear a new song being played, what do you do? You either ask who sings that? Whats the name of that song, and if you have the shazaam app, you’ll open it up to sample that song. A better example would be you’re driving home from work and the next song playing on the radio instantly becomes your new favorite jam. Case in point Bruno Mars 24K Magic. You’ve got to be crazy to not love this song. I think I saw on youtube, this song has been played 123/124M times. That’s crazy, It doesn’t have the most prolific lyrics, but the song, the video are a package. It moves you. It’s a party song. You understand. So you turn it up and beat the hell out of that song for the next week. But here’s the more fascinating thing about music. We all have unique experiences towards the same song, its because we equate it to how we’re feeling.

Season 1: Episode 8

 

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Peppa Pig

So, Nick Jr. has this show called Peppa Pig. I don’t know when this cartoon started, or if it’s in syndication now, but I think it comes on a couple times a day; at least. The reason why I don’t know anything about this show up until maybe a month ago, in case you’re wondering, is because I hardly watch any tv, rather cable. I’ll use those two to refer to cable tv. So anyhow, the kids watch Netflix and Hulu programming. I don’t watch much of those apps either, unless Walking Dead is on, or Stranger Things is back. There might be another show or two I’ll tune into every now and then, but the for the most part I don’t partake in television.

So one day Zoie must’ve been tinkering around with the cable remote-shit, she might’ve been stepping on the goddamn thing. It ain’t hers, she don’t give a shit-and she accidentally changed the channel to Nick Jr. Mind you, this was about ten o’clock in the evening, and since she didn’t have a nap earlier that day, due to waking up late, she was comfortably awake in bed, making all sort of noise, giggling, and trying to sing alone with the cartoon jingle.

It was perfect timing, because as the channel changed-as a result of whatever she’d done to the remote-Peppa Pig was just getting through the opening song where the daughter pig says something and snorted every tenth word. I think the cartoon is rather odd, but Zoie loves it. Besides, what does she know about cartoons, she’s all of barely five years old.

The show finally goes off and she looks at me like I did something to cause it to not come on again. I suppose it’s because she has no concept of television programming. I imagine-to her- Peppa Pig and other cartoons should be on, or come on, no second than the moment when they cross her mind.

So I had to wise up in a way that she would completely understand my ‘parent’ explanation. I told her that Peppa Pig had to go to sleep because it was late. What good that did. This little girl got pissed; like Cameron and Lexie had taken one of her morning pancakes. I admit, it was pretty funny watching her meltdown. She was rolling around the floor, tangled up in several blankets, for a good thirty seconds until I disappeared out of the bedroom and re-appeared with a deeper voice. I told her she’d better knock it off before I tan those hips.

When you tell a child you’re gonna ‘tan those nips’, a part of me wants to believe they understand exactly what you mean. Or could it be the voice? But just as fast as I said it, she dried her face, rolled over on her little blanket club house, and started talking to me about shapes; she knew Peppa Pig was going to get her lil’ butt in trouble.

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Raising Kids

I wonder how many parents today would raise their kids like, and in the same fashion that their parents raised them. As for me, I give thanks to both of my parents for being as stern as they were. But everybody has a different approach to raising kids. Otherwise in my early years, I may have veered off path and become something else. And I say this because as kids grow up and pay dues to become functional adults, they don’t understand the reasons behind the answers their parents give them when they [the kids] don’t get what they want. It is not in a parents best interests to always, or ever make their children happy. It produces nothing for society but more cleanup work. So I thank my parents for making sure that my three brothers and I grew up with the coping mechanisms for when life doesn’t always give us what we want.

But with that said, Im a different parent to my kids. In the time that I grew up, kids didn’t have opinions, well we did, but our parents weren’t open to a child’s words. In that time, a child did what he was told. That was all there was to it. Even if you weren’t responsible for that broken window next door, you received punishment anyway. The reason for this was crazy. Let me explain.

Your parents couldn’t prove you were involved in that window breaking next door, AND you actually had nothing to do with it, other than just being outside. Well what would happen is the asswhooping with the belt was still coming, because the parents would just whoop that ass for something else that they know you did. So the asswhooping was always a ‘just in case you’re lying to me Im going to give you this discipline’ kind of thing  ..WTF..crazy right?

So, in some ways I’d raise my kids how I was raised, but I definitely allow my kids to use their voices, and to explain what actually happened in a given situation. And my reasoning is that, if your children cant express to you how they feel, how in the hell will they be able to articulate how they feel when they come of age and need to be able to defend a position on some decision, or what have you?

Also, you can be your child(rens) friend without be their friend. What I mean is you don’t always have to have an ironfist. You don’t have to wait until those kids are grown folks to get to know them. You can get to know your child(ren) right now. That way they can always come and talk to you.

My parents approach to raising us was, “Kids should be seen and not heard from’. Well that doesn’t promote open door policy…

Bottomline is this, your kids should understand where the line is drawn when it comes to dialog. They should also understand whats expected of them. And with that expectation comes reward.

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Bedtime

Bedtime use to be between 9-9:30p, but then I realized that when I’d go into their rooms around 11p to check on them, they [Cameron and Lexie] would still be woke, looking at the ceiling and walls. I’d asked them why they were still up, and the response was clearly the most obvious: “I’m not tired”.

So I decided to let them stay up until 10, and they’d actually fall asleep by 10:30p. It’s like magic. They get up every morning around 6-6:30a and are ready to leave for school within the hour.

The reason why I’m saying this is because as parents, somehow we think we know everything about our children. When in fact, we don’t. We know that we want them in bed at a certain time, but this is due to the fact that they need to be bright-eyed and bushy tailed for class lectures and assignments, so that the good grades come to them. We can assess when they might be tired and cranky, but we don’t know things just because we are parents. We make assessments. We give instructions. We aren’t all-knowing, we learn as we go.

I never gave or made my kids take naps. Well, when Cameron was probably two or three, and he’s the oldest, I stopped trying to make him take a nap. I’d look at the clock and it’d say 2:15p or something early like that. I’d decide that, “Oh it’s time for a nap.” I’d take him in the room make him lay down, even though he wasn’t tired. He’d be fussing not because he was tired, but because I was trying to make him sleep. Well forty-five minutes later, he’d given up and gone to sleep.

Now, that he’s sleep, I’d say to myself, I can now have a short while to myself. No sooner than when I’d leave the room, he’d be up running around like we were never in his room to begin with. Seriously, ten minutes after leaving his room, he was up. It would make me mad that I’d wasted nearly an hour trying to make him go to sleep, because I decided he was tired. That’s crazy. So because of that one instance nearly fourteen years ago, I have never been so bold as to make them take naps.

But now the beautiful thing about it this, even to this day, they’ll take a nap when they get ready to, and they’ll sleep one or two hours and be functional.

I don’t think it’s worth the time trying to make two, three, and four year olds take naps, unless they’re clearly cranky. I noticed that as they get older like seven, eight, and nine, etc….they’ll lay down all by themselves.

I know things in terms of learning and growing, parenting, etc. But I don’t know when another human being should take a nap.

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Chore Rotation

When my brothers and I were growing up, we had defined chores that rotated every day, and we dare not make any bones about whose turn it was to do what. My parents didn’t give a damn who did what. We knew when we had to clean and what we had to clean. That was an ironfist society.

When I tell Cameron and Lexie its time to clean, even though they’ve been doing chores for years, there’s always something that one of them forgot to do, that the other feels they shouldn’t have to when the chore duty rotates. So then a discussion is had about who did or didn’t do what. Cameron and Lexie like to play that tit for tat bullshit and it gets on my nerves. So what I do now is, whoever didn’t completely do everything they’re tasked with on a given day, then their workload is increased.

The effect of this approach is that not only can I go on about my business, but it effectually has them governing each other. Cameron might have dishes and floors, and Lexie might have trash, recycle, and countertops. Yet, even with this approach, it’s not always a solid design. They are kids and because of this fact, they feel that chores aren’t things they need to commit to their brains. I DON’T KNOW.

So when they ask to go out to eat, or a few extra dollars, etc. my answer is no. They don’t understand it, or rather, pretend not to. They understand that I expect the house-especially the kitchen-to be clean, but they don’t consistently make the effort that leaves a shine.

Ever since they got new smartphones, it’s like they started slacking on the effort, so it seems. Growing up at home, when we didn’t do the job right, we had to do it all over again. If there was a tiny bit of food on a fork sitting in the drying rack, the whole drying rack was emptied back into the sink, and the dishwashing started again. I guess looking back on those times, it wasn’t that my parents were being mean or anything, because as a parent, myself, we teach these kids attention to detail, and a bit of care, and they’d better get it right the first time or do it all over a second time.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t irritated by Cameron and Lexie’s chore ethic. I really hate resolving who’s got what chore to do. So, in exchange of that, I just hand down restrictions. Their problem not mine.

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Inappropriate

This morning, Lexie tells me that there’s a kid in her classroom who behaves inappropriately. I’m not going to say his name or anything, but I will speak on his behaviors. So I asked her exactly what it was that this young man was doing in class. She tells me that one of her other friends was having the same issue with this kid until she asked to be moved away from him. So now this kid is messing with Lexie. What he’s doing is putting his hands down his pants, rolling his eyes around and making inappropriate sounds and though he’s…..well you know.

I said, “Well, how long has he been doing this in class?” She says he’s been carrying on like this for quite some time.

I asked her if she’s brought it up to her teacher or the principal, and she said that she talked to her teacher, but that the teacher didn’t do anything because she didn’t see the kid behaving this way.

It really infuriated me that her teacher simply blew her off like it’s no big deal. So today, I went to the school and spoke with the Dean of Students before the first bell rang, and to my surprise, there’s already a list of complaints about this kid. I should have

This morning, Lexie tells me that there’s a kid in her classroom who behaves inappropriately. I’m not going to say his name or anything, but I will speak on his behaviors. So I asked her exactly what it was that this young man was doing in class. She tells me that one of her other friends was having the same issue with this kid until she asked to be moved away from him. So now this kid is messing with Lexie. What he’s doing is putting his hands down his pants, rolling his eyes around and making inappropriate sounds and though he’s…..well you know.

I said, “Well, how long has he been doing this in class?” She says he’s been carrying on like this for quite some time.

I asked her if she’s brought it up to her teacher or the principal, and she said that she talked to her teacher, but that the teacher didn’t do anything because she didn’t see the kid behaving this way.

It really infuriated me that her teacher simply blew her off like it’s no big deal. So today, I went to the school and spoke with the Dean of Students before the first bell rang, and to my surprise, there’s already a list of complaints about this kid. I should have requested the Dean of Students talk with the teacher to make sure that all students in her classroom have a voice and not feel like they can’t bring their concerns to them.

Before I met with the DoS, I asked Lexie if she wanted to be in the room with us. She said she didn’t because another student told her that the Dos wanted her to describe the sounds this kid was making while his hands were stuffed down his pants, and Lexie didn’t want to do all that. I was surprised when the DoS asked me if I knew of any specific sounds this kid was making. I said yeah, but I’m not going to provide any demonstrations. It was very odd. I mean what does it matter what sounds this kid is making when he’s engaging himself in the learning environment, making other students feel uncomfortable? What the hell is going on in the homes of some of these kids? If nothing else, this kid isn’t understanding any of the social cues that might tell him, “Hey, what you’re doing isn’t appropriate or respectful. Please stop.”

Anyway, rant closed.

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Hair

I called my mom one day to ask her how often she washes her hair. She said she washes it once or twice a week, but definitely on Sunday. The reason why I called her was because I realized Lexie has been washing her hair every day. So after talking to granny, I told Lexie not to wash her hair more than twice a week. I told her that granny [my mom] told me to make sure she wasn’t doing much more than that, as black/mixed hair produces its own oils. Now her mom thinks she should wash it every day because she washes hers every morning. Well I told Lexie that she and her mom have different types of hair, she can wash it five times a day.

So when she stopped washing it so much, it started looking much better, and responding to different black hair oils. One thing I don’t care for about her hair is doing it every Sunday. It just eats up so much of the day, and then to add to that, is the fact that Lexie doesn’t like to sit still for the duration, which is fine with me because I don’t like to stand up over her head for over an hour. I’m impressed at how hairdressers find the motivation to do hair all day.

I do Lexie’s hair because I want her to look presentable at school. She deserves to have her hair done, even though it’s tiresome.

One Sunday, she was in her bathroom trying to straighten her hair by herself, and I kept hearing her say “OUCH!” So I knock on the door to see what progress she’s made, and she’s totally crying because she can’t figure out the whole mirror thing, and-well- her hair was a mess.

I told her from that point, if she wants to do anything to her hair, just flat iron a small section near the front, or twist it. You see, I don’t know hair lingo. I’m only describing my experiences. Anyhow, I don’t know how she’s accumulated so many hair oil products. I did, and still do, advise her not to process her hair. It’ll be cost effective and she won’t have to stay on top of new growth.

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Shes Impossible

Zoe will try to wear all her underwear in a single day. She’ll start off with one pair of underwear, and wear those for a few hours, or until she has to go pee. At that point, I guess the fact that she has to pull them down before sitting on the toilet is reason enough to just take the damn things off.  When she puts on a fresh pair, as if the previous pair weren’t, she’ll put on an additional pair, and then she’ll get pissed off because she can’t get into her jeans.

“Well take four or five pair of underwear off and you’ll be able to put your pants on!” I tell her. She really believes in the impossible and will try everything under the sun to get her way; which is to get into every article of clothing no matter the size. I’m not sure how this is going to translate to a good quality later on life if continues to be so stubborn.

When you think about it, it’s really like a grown person trying to put their grown ass foot into a kids shoe, or wearing baby socks. What if grown folks didn’t possess the logic or reason needed to accomplish or understand life’s daily processes?

So I watch Zoe go through her moments with her clothes, and sometimes I just want to get the camcorder and film everything. The problem is, the moment she’s on film, her demeanor changes. So instead I write about her instances of child-dom.

So after she’s given up the struggle with her clothes, and she’s finally decided on something, her room is a mess. Now she’s in another part of the house taking those clothes off, just to run around in ONLY her underwear. I just don’t get it.

I actually think she’s doing this shit on purpose, just to keep me busy doing anything BUT the shit that I’d rather be doing. I don’t ever remember the older two doing any of this, and if I’ve spoiled her, how do you spoil a child to have a fit over their clothes? You understand what I’m saying? You can’t spoil a child to be stubborn in this way. So this is why I think Zoe is her own cartoon. Lacking reason and understanding. She’s impossible to not love, and her stubbornness makes her a wreck, but what do ya do?

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Episode 10 – Sweat It Out

Alright so, man, I woke up this morning feeling like I was coming down with something. My throat wasn’t right. It felt sore and scratchy. You know what I mean. The morning thing where your head feels cloudy. I realized that I’d left the bedroom window open, and I was sucking in all that cold midnight air. Well, after I got out the shower, it became a normal morning. I didn’t feel like I was getting sick.

But I want to talk about when I do get sick, which only seems to happen twice a year. Been that way my whole life. It’ll happen in June- I’ll get sick for a few days, and in November, like a week before Thanksgiving. Never fails.

Now, I notice that many people will just lay down when they get sick. I mean they don’t do anything about it, other than take Tylenol cold medicine or Nyquil/Dayquil combination. And that’s it. Eat some soup, just marinate in that situation and let that bug run its course. I think that’s just ridiculous.

I’ve always rested for a day once the flu bug has set up shop and gave me all the business. I’ll actually rest for one whole day. I won’t do anything. I mean, I’ll make myself eat something and drink a bunch of water. But on the second day, I’m up taking sheets off beds, spraying disinfectant, scrubbing everything, doing whatever laundry there is to do. Wiping stuff down; you know remotes, light switches, fridge handles, faucets, door handles, microwave buttons, phone chargers cabinets, the backs of chairs, house phones, cellphones, drawstrings to the blinds, countertops, toilet handles…you get my point. Everything that gets use, video game controllers, anything.

But I also take a vitamin or two. The main one is Zinc, yeah I like Vitamin C, too. But I’ll take a Zinc tablet once a day for a couple days. But I’ve also taken Cod Liver Oil gelcaps for years. Even if I get whatever the kids bring home from school, it’s really just feels like a 24hr bug or a passing allergy. However they’ll go through the motions. I mean whatever they came into contact at school hangs onto their asses for like a week. And check this out, I’ll be around them, might accidentally drink from one of their used cups, not realizing that “oh shit, one of you just drank from this cup.” These kids will breathe on me and everything, but I don’t get much more than a quick stuffy nose…and I’m wondering if it’s just a bit of pollen in the air. Its interesting stuff because I’m so hands on with them, that they can’t figure out how I don’t get sick, too.

With that said, I’m not big on over the counter medicines. I’m not knocking them, I just prefer alternatives. Even with a rare headache I’ll just ride it out and drink alot of water.

That’s just me though. I don’t want you guys to email me asking what the benefits of some other vitamin or spice is, because I’m no holistic treatment provider or otherwise, I’m only speaking about me.

SO I would tell you guys, if you have it in yourselves, when you’ve fallen under the weather next time, to rest for a while, then get on your feet, take a shower and clean house, and don’t forget your zinc and cod liver oil.

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Episode 11 – Closet Door

Have I told you guys that this shit is random? This whole podcast thing. Have I told you guys that it’s all random? We’re just hanging, talking about stuff. Then why are ya’ll acting like it isn’t? I talk about everything.

Anyway, I’m gonna share something with you guys. Don’t laugh at me. This is serious beans right here. Ya’ll know I’m recording this episode during the day, with the windows open, YES! And all the lights on, right? Well of course you wouldn’t know that, it’s just a figure of speech, man. C’mon.

But seriously, I have to do this episode by the daylight. I don’t even like the TV being off, it’s too quiet. I hate silence, it’s too loud.

Let me ask a question. How many of you guys sleep with the closet door open?

How many of you guys sleep with all the lights out? I mean every goddamn light in the house is off.

It’s just you and the fabric of night.  How many of you can handle that much darkness and that much silence?

Well look here. I have a most active imagination ever. The most ridiculous thoughts occur to me.

How many of you sleep in total darkness, the closet door open, and your bedroom door closed?

If someone gave me a million dollars to sleep in a dark house, no sound and the closet door wide open, I would honestly turn that shit down. I just cannot deal with those variables.

Oh, how many of ya’ll sleep on your backs?

See let me explain something. I cannot sleep on my back. I feel too vulnerable. And let me tell you why; I might just wake up in the middle of the night, on my back. I’ll open my eyes, and some will be right there in my face smiling like a motherfucker at me. Now, if my bedroom door is locked, how the fuck am I gonna be able to get out of there QUICKLY, if I first gotta unlock the damn thing. First of all, I wouldn’t be thinking, all my thinking faculties will have been forgotten. I’m trying to get out of a door that doesn’t seem to unlock and all off my sensibilities gone.

This is why I don’t like my bedroom door closed. Well hold on, not for the reason, I just like it to be open. My closet door cannot-and I repeat-my closet door cannot be open when I go to bed.

But let’s be logical, that closet door ain’t holding shit back, right. I mean think about it. Something that’s been here for thousands of years…do I really think that it’s going to think, “Damn, he closed the closet, we can’t get him now”, hell no, but it’s a mechanism of safety for me.

For those of you who sleep with no hall light on, what is your problem. WHY?

Anyway, I know I’ve watched too many scary movies, and I know that there are probably a dozen people in that room filming that scene. So why in the hell am I tripping about what I’m seeing on TV when the whole scene is actors, directors, light boys, and bestboy grips…you know, all the people in the credits.

I will tell you it’s because I internalize those scenes. I think holy shit, I got to get the hell out of here, and behind me would be a wall that’s cut out like the cartoons because I ran through the motherfucker.

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Episode 12 – Interested

You know, you’d think that in this day and time-with all the available technology-men and women would and should be able to communicate a little better. This episode is intended for the Millenial women, but is a unisex discussion, it applies to men as well because this issue I’m going to talk about isn’t just about women, its just who I’m talking about mainly. Now, some of us men act like we can’t discern the interested eye of a woman.

For men, this is completely different than choosing not to fall into the subtleties of an interested woman. This here is about catching up and getting with the program, so to say. Alright, I get a message from a girl who wants to know is this guy is just being nice or if he’s interested in her?”

Okay, so the rude and unfeeling response is or would be to ‘just fucking ask him’

The more patient and compassionate answer is a little more in depth.

So let us scratch off the rude and unfeeling response and look at some of the cues this guy is emitting that should assist this woman in uncovering the greatest mystery of her life, thus far. Provided he’s straight and only likes women.

She should first consider the fact that the two of them have been texting for months. She should also consider the fact that he texts her every day at the top of the day and at the bottom of the day.

She should also consider the fact that she can call him, and he will listen to whatever the hell she’s telling him. She might talk his ears off, but he’s made time for whatever’s on her mind.

It’s really not that hard to see he’s interested in her, right?  They’ve solidified a strong dialog. Hell yeah he’s interested in her. How can she not be confident and aware of that?

The problem is that women like this – there are millions of these poor souls- don’t ask ask these guys any questions, like what kind of girl are you into or maybe, What type of girl attracts you. These women aren’t confused, they’re just scared of making an assumption. But again, there’s nothing to assume here. He’s showing her all the signs of interest. Again, provided he’s straight.

Women, you millenials, the best way to find out, is to go find out. Ask him to lunch or dinner…go get ice cream. Keep it simple.

Now on the flipside, although it sounds like he’s interested, have you considered the fact that he maybe he isn’t sure if you are? Ladies, you guys aren’t always as obvious about how you feel as you think you are.

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Episode 13 – Father’s Daughter

So check this out, I was reading an email from a parent whose daughter came home from college one day and told him he’s a male oppressor. Apparently the daughter is taking gender studies. So the father wants to know if he should stop paying her college tuition. I’m going to venture out on a limb and say he got mad at her without first asking her to explain why she feels this way.

I mean I get his first inclination, but this is his daughter either way and the fact that he’s paying her college tuition means he cares about her, he loves her, and he’s fully invested in her life. My question is, what career is she going to lock down with the indoctrination she’ll acquire? If that were my daughter I’d feel she’s being rude, disrespectful and in a very short time-extremely obnoxious. Oh and let me add “ungrateful”.

Now, I’m thinking maybe she should get a humbling job and then maybe, just maybe, she’ll rethink her degree path and get serious

But on the flipside, even though she’s acting an ass, it might not be practical to punish her by terming her tuition. She’s coming into a whole new world-kind of like Aladdin.  I told him maybe he shouldn’t get upset at her, rather, try not to just because she walked in the door with some bullshit perspective she just picked up at some institution. I mean isn’t she thankful that he brought this far?

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Episode 14 – Colleagues

So this girl and her married colleague have gone out for drinks/dinner several times. She wants to know if he, the married colleague is interested in her, even though she their conversations are mostly business. Well first of all, what exactly is MOSTLY? How do you define MOSTLY? And how many dinners do you gotta have to discuss business?

Now my answer is assuming she’s inquiring for an obvious reason, right? Is she game?What do you guys think? I’m gonna go with a YES on this. But before I break all that down I want to say this. Why would she care if he, the married colleague, is interested in her? Does she want to fool around with a married man, whom she also works with? How often does that kind of relationship end well? Where does she think this adventure is going to go?

This is an office romance that’s probably exciting for them both.  She’s going along for the appetizers and a few drinks from time to time, and knowing he’s married tells me she’s just enjoying the adventure.  But then and in theory, she might want what she can’t have. Again, I say in theory.

They can fool around with each other and share a secret no one else knows, and spend lots of time at happy hour inside of weird and cozy places. He can enjoy the spark of another woman and still be home where his wife is waiting for him, and likely not suspecting anything…yet. Until he develops a pattern of ‘working late’.

Im not going to say she’s a homewrecker, he’s the homewrecker, and doing a fine job in secret.. Maybe she should have a moral responsibility. Maybe not. What about his moral responsibility? Where’s the fault line? Under her feet or under his?

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Episode 15 – Unique Meals

This guy said that the most unique meal that he ever had was his wife & daughter’s placenta. He went so far as to say it was…grilled… to perfection.

Gross. What’d he do soak it in Caribbean jerk chicken marinade overnight?

He said it tasted like grilled meat with creamy sauce.

What like an Alfredo sauce….Basil, Pesto?

Um, can I order the wife and daughter placenta combo with refried beans, baby carrots, and an apple juice. Sheesh..as if there isn’t already enough junk food every quarter mile in the country Please don’t tell me it tasted like smoked grilled chicken…I happen to like smoked grilled chicken

Some cultures, and many animals eat the placenta, and apparently its pretty common here. The hippies like to have it dried and made into pills that the new mother takes to regulate post-partum hormones.

Well this same guy said that he and his wife just put it in a plastic bag took it home and grilled it.

Hmm, I wonder what the aroma was like, and if there was a breeze in their HOA neighborhood.

Maybe add some Jack Daniels wood chips.

So he said that as he was grilling his human food. Literally spoken, and his neighbor walked by and asked what he was preparing. Said he’d never seen meat shaped like a whoopee cushion.

Yeah, what part of the animal is that..

Let’s see, he said he didn’t tell him but offered him a bite, but before the neighbor could eat it he knocked it out of his hand, saying he couldn’t let him do it.

Yeah, what was he thinking, he cant let another man taste his wife..this man is possessive…

At any rate, the husband said he and his wife didn’t eat the whole thing, just a few bites.

Well that type of dining is not for me.  But I did watch a youtube video, and I gotta tell you, throughout the whole video, my eyes were bulging and poking out of head. It was a spectacle.

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Episode 16 – Not the Father

A woman writes, I love my husband, but our kids aren’t his, (wow, shouldn’t she be saying ‘my kids aren’t his). We’ve been married fifteen years, and the kids are eleven and twelve years old.

He’s not their father, and worst part of it all, he doesn’t know it. I married him early and realized I didn’t like domestication, and so I had sex with many other men. I love my man but if I tell him, I’m scared he’ll leave me and the kids emotionally and financially. Any suggestions? (well he should leave your ass. Lady, do you think this is a game? Do you think he’ll magically get those 12 years of his life back? Because you’re thinking about being honest now) I’m not saying he hasn’t enjoyed raising those kids, I’m sure he has. What I’m saying is, what the hell is your problem?

To all you ladies out there, do you know what a man’s worst nightmare is? It’s that shit right there.

There’s more though. Some years later she got DNA tests to confirm that those kids absolutely weren’t his.

Give me a second you guys…and pardon my language.. what a bitch. This is a perfect example of bad character. This is a perfect example of the few, ruining the bunch

Shame on this lady. She’s made a terrible choice, some horrible decisions, Oh, It’s going to shatter some beliefs. It’s going to shatter the foundation of what love and trust is to him.

It’s going to start a life-long quest to find out some truths. She’s earned herself the obligation to tell these kids the truth.  WHO IN THE HELL IS or ARE THEIR FATHERS?

She says she loves her husband. I’m certain this isn’t any of that. She admits to flinging everytime her husband leaves the house. I really try not to judge people, but this shit kills that effort. Oh My God!

This woman should know her husband will not be calm. He is not going to be cool with this shit. He will not hold her hand and say, “It’s okay, honey. You’re just human. It happens.”

He’s not going to do any of that.  She should expect nothing less than solid gold emotion. This here is such a life changer. If he leaves it does nothing useful. The kids have benefited from this lie, though it wasn’t their fault, she’s benefited, too… because she’s scared his finances won’t be available to her if he does.

You know, I just realized something. If he is the named father on the birth certificates then he’s obligated to pay her child support, even though she lied.

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Episode 17 – Ladies

Ladies, I need yours ears right now. If your man falls asleep during sex, this does not mean he’s fallen out of love with you. Nor does it mean he’s losing interest. What this means is well, maybe he’s tired. Maybe you guys went out and had too many drinks and now he can’t get it up to roto your rooter. Why must you women think it’s some cause for concern. Why do you think the most extreme of possibilities. The man is tired, drunk, or tired and drunk.

My belief is that if a man isn’t attracted to you, there’s no way the two of you will ever make it to the fitted sheet. So whenever it should happen, or again, let that man go to sleep. The fact that he was tired in the first place, but then tried to satisfy you as much as possible, should be enough for you to not give him a hard time about. Leave his ass alone with that mess. He made the effort. Seriously, he made the effort to have sex. What man in this world will turn down sex with the person he wants it with? You guys need to be a lot more logical about this stuff here. Everything doesn’t have to revolve around an emotion.

Now on the other hand, if he’s trying to go for that second wave of sensation then he might fall asleep before he ever reaches it. That second one is hard to reach, baby. and that might be the one that knocks him out. So if we run with this possibility, what the hell are you complaining about? He already gave you the business, now he’s just trying to reach legend status.

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Episode 18 – Gentlemen

Gentlemen gentlemen gentlemen..what’s going on fellas.

Relationships are a serious thing right? I mean two people mutually love each other. They grow and nurture their dynamic. They hit milestones, they make room for each other. They may come from vastly different backgrounds, which on one hand might make things difficult but ultimately they make the effort to strengthen what they feel for each other.

Let’s say you and a girl have been in a relationship with each other for at least a solid year. What the hell lets make it five years for impact. Then one day, she calls or texts, comes over, or you go over to her place, or any number of variations, hell, how about the two of live together…and she tells you that she just doesn’t want to be in that relationship anymore. What do you do? What do you say?

Do you say screw it and let her go? Or do you pursue her like you just can’t stand the pain?

Let’s lay one thing out right now.. Remember I said, “then one day she calls…” So if we take that slice of information and understand that everything as far as you know was fine between the two of you up until then, then what we are looking at is a pretty basic change of heart, right?

My grandfather told me once, that to get over one girl, you must get under another one. Because the new girl will get that other off your mind. He was an ole school, whiskey drinkin’ deuce and a quarter driving, down home blues music kinda of dude. He rolled his own cigarettes. Kept his two dollar whiskey in the cuff of his jeans, and ate seasoned liver in one hand, half of a white onion in the other and between his legs was a loaf of white bread . Some of the most disgusting stuff ever.

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Episode 19 – Black men White women

I was doing some laundry this morning and while I was standing there waiting for the last two minutes of the wash cycle to finish, I was reading an article on black men and white women. One of the commenters at the bottom of article explained their point of view. Basically it read..because black men are tired of Black women.

That was the very first line.. LIKE DAMN, OKAY.

And then the commenter said black women have too much attitude, and too much pride. And then added, because they’re loud, ghetto, liars, manipulative, argumentative, spiteful, and just rude.

The commenter further says that even though she’s black, and while physically attracted to Black men, she finds herself attracted to White men on a deeper level– physically AND emotionally—which she says is a completely new territory for her.

For a black woman this certainly breaks stereotypes… It used to be that black women would never date anything but black men, as though it was a bad idea all the way around.

Next she says the men she’s met in her life who have made the greatest impression on her in the most positive way,  just happened to have been White.

And that there is my whole thing. Be with someone who means well and does well, as a person.

Do you believe that it was a black woman commenting?

This is huge. Let me tell you why. I’ve always dated white women. Never cared a damn drop what black women felt about it. Oh this is gonna be good… For the longest time, I got those choice looks from black women, and sometimes I could hear them talking as we walked by.

In fact, I was out at a shoe store with my son, he was all of one or two years old. He was knocked out in the stroller. Well while I was trying on shoes for the both of us, my son and I, a group of about five or six black women walked in. They saw me, and saw me with this stroller with this baby sleep inside of it. Then walk up, like they know me, looking all in the stroller, and one of them said the most stupidest shit. “Uh uh, girl ya’ll know that aint his baby. Dat baby too light skinned.” I almost cussed their asses out..but I kept my cool.

The take away from that was the fact that I was a brotha that stepped outside of my race. Let me say this…date whoever the hell you want to date

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Episode 20 – What A Man Likes

We are anywhere and everywhere in this episode..

Let me be the first to say, that yes..I do like a woman with some meat on her bones..never ever too much meat for my potatoes

I’m going to say we men like to see women in heels purely for anatomical reasons. Everyone loves a nice view. When the view is of a woman its her chest, her butt, her thighs, when she’s in heels it’s her leg and thigh muscles. Whether she’s a slim girl, bbw, or she’s a thick girl. There’s a type of woman for every man, and if she’s wearing heels, she’s pulling eyeballs out of sockets. If I even hear the sound of heels, my head turns like the exorcist. There was a research study done on this, because everything needs to be goddamn study right?

Anyway whatever, one researcher studied the changes high heels made to a woman’s stride. So apparently we need a researcher to see that heels alter a woman’s stride length and also to see that heels increase the pelvic tilt and hip rotation. Well if that woman wears Nike’s one day, then high heels the next, any man is going to notice her ass, hips, and thighs that much more. Men don’t need this researcher to tell us what differences we notice. The second we see that woman wearing heels, we start imagining positions being rolled out.

And yes, heels increase a woman’s attractiveness. Is it any surprise that men like their women wearing high heels for that extra kinky business.. HELL NO.

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Daughter’s Sleep Overs

I grew up with three younger brothers. Didn’t have any sisters, so I never understood the nature of girls and the things they needed or wanted. Let me break this down much more because it’s about my second oldest. That’s Alexandra (aka Lexie), if you’re just now tuning in to these stories from home or work. Growing up, I never had friends over for anything. The closest my friends got to my house was when we walked the same way after school, and on the weekends, if I hung out with my friends, it was because we all met up somewhere.

Maybe it was because the houses we lived in, during my childhood, were very small. Now let’s talked about Lexie, since this post is mainly about her. I’m finding that girls are alot more complicated that boys. All Cameron needs is a couple snacks, a bag of chips, and his video games. Once he’s in possession of those few things, I might not see him anymore that whole weekend. He doesn’t care to have his friends over, or go to their house. If he can reach them through the Playstation Network, that’s as good as real company.

But seriously, let’s look at the complexity of Lexi. If it were up to her, she’d have all of her best friends over every Friday evening through Sunday night at 8p, with just enough time to brush her teeth, shower, and go to bed. So she asks me if she can have two of her friends over one weekend, and two others the following weekend. I just looked at her like she was crazy.

“Heck no, you can’t have your friends imposing on my tranquility for two full weekends in a row. Hell no. That shit is not happening,” Is what I thought, but I didn’t say it. I told her that her request wasn’t very well thought out because there was no way that was going to be granted. (haha)

And of course she wants to know why. I didn’t answer her, but I said, you can have them over this weekend or next weekend, but not both.

Let me tell you why I gave her even that much. Girls are loud, obnoxious, and they laugh at everything. Everything seems to be a bunch of inside jokes and secrets, and when you check on them, they make you feel like you just walked into the wrong restroom. But hold on for a second. The situation gets a bit strange. She asks if her friends can come over, and then when they’re all here, somehow it becomes my dilemma as to what to do with them all. She’s like, “Dad we’re bored. Can you take us somewhere?”

“Uh hell no. What were you guys planning on doing when you invited them here?” I say.

“Well there’s nothing to do,” she says with her reinforcement team standing behind her, observing my responses, totally silent the whole time.

“Well Lexie, do your friends want to go home since there’s nothing to do?”

Suddenly, like a choir, they all speak up at the same time and say they don’t want to leave.

At that point, I look at Lexie and tell her she’s the host. As I’m getting ready to walk down the hallway to my room, I reminded her that I don’t care how bored she and her friends are. I will pick them up, drop them off, and even feed them in between, but I’m not going to bus you guys around spending my money. Enjoy yourselves here and have fun.

So they all go back into her room, and it’s amazing how fast they start giggling again.

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Start Planning your life

“Cameron, I need you to start planning and thinking about your life. No, I don’t mean go out and land a job or anything. I just mean you need to begin thinking about what your interests are and start looking into them to see if they still interest you or not. You’re getting to that age when every second will start to count in favor, or against you, because there are alot of things you can choose from, and it can be overwhelming as to which path to take. So start now. Every decision will also begin to affect you, too.”

This is the level of conversation that I am quickly approaching with him. Not that the kiddie gloves have to come off now, but the language I use is more aligned with the real world. I remember my dad telling me that a young boy doesn’t go to sleep one night and wake up a grown ass man, but that behaviors and the choices made will foster results that affirm that he is indeed coming into manhood.

I wonder if Cameron is ready for that world of cold hard truths about life. Or maybe I’m more concerned than I should be. I think it has alot to do with my expectations of him, rather than let him be a young man who will reach the standard of a man that will become more than what I believe he can be; for himself.

He’s interested in Robotics, and computer sciences, but he also likes cars, and tinkers with the idea of becoming a high end certified mechanic, which is not what I thought he’d pick since I’m always telling him to think about going to school to become your own boss, as opposed to going to school to potentially get a job working for someone else. Then he tells me he’s interested in Sports Medicine. Well that’s a good direction too, since he likes to tell me about muscle groups and how they perform. It’s really interesting stuff.

Like I said, I’m not telling him specifically what to do. No laser-focus here, but again, as a parent, I think it’s a good idea to have him begin looking into his interests alot sooner than what it appears he’s doing.

I’m sure sometimes he thinks I’m rushing him to grow up, but actually all that I’m doing is equipping him with some basic knowledge. Like boiling pasta, washing clothes-which I did when he was probably ten or eleven years old. Things like paying for shit at the grocery store. Using measuring cups, Browning ground beef for different things. I could go on and on. So I don’t think it’s about raising him up too fast. It’s about equipping him with a little know how.

For example, he’ll ask me a quick question about something, and usually I’ll answer, but sometimes I’ll ask him if he checked with google first. I could answer him in two seconds, but I challenge him to be resourceful, to be creative, and think through possible solutions to some things. TO THINK!! That’s what I’m doing here. Training him to get by with at least some knowledge, because the rest he can figure out however he chooses to.

A parent who is really invested in a child’s wellbeing-in my opinion-will challenge that child to discover; but without reckless abandon. In the animal kingdom, those animals are brought up quickly to hunt and survive. I understand that it’s a tough example, but the idea behind it all is that we equip these children with a few basic know-how’s.

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