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Author Archives: ianmdudley

About ianmdudley

Writer, lover, reader, father, taxpayer, husband, and son, though not necessarily in that order.

Oh No, My Kids Are Nerds!

All of my D&D dice are loaded

Guess which of those die rolls was mine. Think “unlucky” if you need a hint.

The other morning, out of nowhere, the kiddos burst into our bedroom, jumping up and down and screaming about playing D&D.

Now when I say morning, I mean “morning” in the sense of “weekend morning when I can sleep in until 10:30am or so without consequence” and when I say “burst into the room” I mean in the sense of “very, very much before 10:30am”.

I’m an ugly man. I need my beauty sleep. But it seems like, ever since I had kids, I keep getting uglier.

(Unlike the Missus. With these early bird spawn, I have no idea how she avoids it.)

But I digress, and will distract you from my unsightly visage by returning to the tale at hand.

My kiddos somehow learned about Dungeons & Dragons and now are extremely anxious to play it.

Like right now. Not five minutes or an hour or a day from now, but five minutes ago now.

I did not play D&D when I was a kid. Not that I didn’t want to. I found the concept intriguing.

Exciting.

Exotic.

But my friends were too cool to play D&D. Or any other role playing game.

No, they wanted to log into BBSes, use a z-modem client to allow for interrupted downloads, play chess, and use numbering schemes involving mega-Hertz and / or baud rates and nothing else.

You know, cool, non-nerdy things.

Or at least the coolest, non-nerdiest things you can do without atheletic prowess and above average hand-eye coordination.

As you can easily imagine, the trauma of being denied D&D games as a child resulted in my psyche forming a protective layer of scar tissue when it comes to all things RPG-related.

It was a purely defensive response that came about shortly after I realized playing D&D by myself just wasn’t cutting it.

Six weeks into that disastrous, sanity loss inducing solo campaign…

The long and the short of it is that I had a miserable childhood full of self-loathing, bitter disappointment, and a lot of shiny, mint-condition dice with a varying number of sides.

I was filled with as much ennui as an overworked and illiterate Parisian barista with dreams of writing the Great French Novel.

Years later, when I became a father, holding two red-faced, howling baby kiddos in my arms (they never liked it when I held them), I had two epiphanies:

One: Holy crap babies can be loud!

And two: I will never let them suffer the way I suffered when it comes to RPGs.

I vowed to raise them in a world without the siren lure of D&D.

The nurses were unimpressed with this vow.

Initially, I planned to go back in time and prevent Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson from ever meeting, let alone creating the game. But I could only figure out how to quantum leap into my own body during that time period, which was, in 1979…well, let’s just leave it at too young to dissuade anyone from becoming friends with or inventing anything.

So time travel was out. I had no choice but to go with Plan B:

Hide it from them.

While the kiddos were very young and not very mobile, it was easy to protect them from the existence of such games. But no growing kiddo is an island, so I knew I could only delay the discovery.

Inevitably, they would learn about role playing games.

Some hooligan on the school playground, furtively beckoning them over and asking if they wanted to try some GURPS. For free.

At first.

Most likely it was the seven year old next door who talks non-stop about Pokemon and My Little Pony and that the Missus and I decided was a bad influence. We banned the kiddos from hanging out with her, but they must have anyway, just to spite us. Her mom probably drove them to the local gaming store in the mall, where they have weekly gaming sessions.

WHY DID I NOT KNOW OF SUCH THINGS WHEN I WAS A KID?! So much pain could have been avoided!

But, availability of weekly mall sessions aside, I’d made up my mind about my kiddos and RPGs, and I wasn’t going to waffle or flip-flop now.

I had a plan. A beautiful plan, which I thought I’d executed flawlessly.

When the kiddos were old enough to understand and start experimenting with nerdy things, I locked them in a closet with a tablet and didn’t let them out until they’d watched all three seasons of Star Trek.

(The original series, since there is no other legitimate Star Trek and you all know it!)

I thought it worked. Not only did they avoid Star Trek, but after that just looking out the window at the night sky gave them fits.

No way they’d want to experiment with anything even remotely nerdly, no matter how “cool” or “da bomb” their friends said it was.

My plan seemed to be working. I put a basketball hoop up in our backyard, and they took to it like tuna to a can. Running, shooting, taunting each other every time they missed.

It was perfect.

Until this recent morning, when, out of nowhere, they dragged us out of bed at the crack of dawn and made us buy the Player’s Handbook 5th Edition.

(Well, wait outside the local bookstore until it opened, then buy it.)

And now I’m crying.

Crying tears of joy.

I’m having the second childhood I always wanted but never had.

For the first time since my age hit double digits, I’m happy.

Inexplicably happy.

Almost happier, even, than the day the kiddos were born, except I just rolled a three on my check initiative, and that kinda takes the edge off the whole thing.

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Posted by on 21 July 2019 in Angst, Life

 

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With humidity like this, who needs a steam cleaner?

It was a hot summer night. The sort of hot that left you feeling warm all over.

Really, really warm.

The sort of warm that led to misdemeanors. And maybe, if you were lucky, a high crime or two.

My kind of night.

Unlike me, a fair number of the good citizens of this city were loitering in the shadows and the sickly yellow pools cast by the sodium streetlights, listlessly nursing the futile hope that the evening air would provide some relief from the ungodly warm.

As I passed one particularly rundown tenement, I was met with the hard stare of an old man slouched on the stoop, his suspicion baked in by the oppressive weather. Knuckles white and unyielding, he held a struggling, foam-covered cat in one hand and a straight razor, paused mid-air as I passed, in the other.

Just before he passed out of my peripheral vision, he resumed shaving the cat, I could only assume to help her beat the heat too. Didn’t look to me like either was too successful in that endeavor. But if one was less successful and less happy with the result than the other, this hissing told me it was definitely the cat.

I’d been tailing a mark in the green light district, where the road signs never slept and the cars never stopped. It made crossing the street a real exercise in life insurance actuarial tables.

And not the good tables.

My mark was a married man, but his wife had a hunch he didn’t act married. Hired me to get the scoop, dig up the beans, look under the rocks for the ugly, ugly truth.

You’d be surprised how much ugly truth can hide under a rock.

Even a small one.

As a general rule, I hated this sort of work, but as an even more important general rule, I liked having the dough to pay my bills. Office rental doesn’t come cheap, and neither does life insurance in my line of work.

Plus the slap and tickle on the side cases generally worked out better for my clients than the shoot and stab murders I sometimes found myself (and my clients) embroiled in.

What’s a little infidelity when you get to wake up the next day still alive?

Of course, more than once, my efforts on these more unseemly cases led to murder after the fact. After I reported the bad news to the aggrieved spouse.

Sometime right after.

There was probably irony to be found in this, but for the life of me I couldn’t see it.

The jilted spouse turning to murder then getting arrested before paying my bill might have contributed to that myopia.

And if life in my line of work had taught me one thing, it was that some wrongs even eye doctors can’t fix.

– – –

I’m bored and my imagination tends to wander when I should be trying to sleep. Tonight, unlike most nights, I didn’t ignore the impulse and then realize the next morning just how stupid the idea was. No, instead I jumped on the Missus’ computer and started typing away.

My apologies.

 
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Posted by on 23 June 2019 in Mystery, Noir, Story, Writing

 

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If you cut down a tree in a forest while on Ambien and don’t remember, did you make any noise when it landed on you?

Black hole phobias and baggage retrieval concerns aside, 2019 has provided plenty of material for me to stew over. And when your D&D alignment is Lawful Worrier, you don’t really need a large portion of angst to get a good ol’ knot in the stomach rolling (or is that roiling?).

But 2019 has definitely been the year that giveth when it comes to bad news, and halfway into the year it has started to take its toll.

In particular, the irrational fears gnawing away at me have made it difficult to sleep. Difficult enough that I ended up with a prescription for Ambien.

The doctor’s thinking went something like this:

Worries prevent sleep → Lack of sleep inhibits ability to deal with worries → Worries prevent sleep

Robert Jordan’s less famous Wheel of Fear concept, which he eventually cast aside for the Wheel of Time concept. Would have been a very different series had he stuck with his original idea.

Basically, the expectation is if I can finally manage to get a decent night’s sleep, I might be able to snap out of it.

Why am I blathering on about this? Because it’s important to convey to you that I’ve been prescribed sleeping pills to help with my anxiety.

Remember that.

Which leads us to the side effects of Ambien, or, in my case, the generic version called zolpidem tartrate. This is all straight from the information sheet provided to me by the pharmacist along with the pills themselves:

After taking zolpidem tartrate tablets, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night. (Emphasis theirs, and it case you can’t tell, that whole thing is in bold!). Reported activities include:

  • driving a car (“sleep-driving”) Holy F*ck! And come to think of it, I had a friend who sleep-drove naked while on this! I weep for my neighbors.
  • making and eating food OK, that doesn’t seem so bad…unless I’ve sleep-driven to the drive-thru and didn’t bring enough cash (BECAUSE I’M NAKED!!!!).
  • talking on the phone Hello there, Mom. It’s 2am. Do you know where your kids are? Besides me, obviously, since I’m on the phone with you.
  • having sex Also doesn’t sound so bad, except bummer that I won’t remember. Wait, who am I having sex with? That’s an important detail!
  • sleep-walking Compared to the rest of this crap, that seems downright tame. It’s not like I’m apt to start using trapezes without a net…right?

So there I am, having gotten through the side effects list, feeling understandably…anxious. But hey, no problem, I tell myself. Just hide the car keys, my cell phone, warn the Missus about surprise conjugal efforts, maybe barricade the bedroom and/or refrigerator door. And strap on a parachute, in case I find my way into a Cirque du Soleil show.

But then I kept reading the info sheet, more out of curiosity than anything else since I’d understandably, having read to the end of the list, thought I’d gotten through the side effects section.

Expect it turns out I hadn’t. The initial list of side effects was on page one. The continuing list of side effects was on page three. And in between? A lot of dry material about calling your doctor if anything weird happens, how to safely use the medicine, etc. You know, standard boiler plate: don’t take with alcohol or while operating heavy machinery and the like. So I can be forgiven thinking I was done with things that might go wrong and kill me.

Buried on page three is where the manufacturer listed the “most common” side effects (shouldn’t the most common stuff be on the first page???), and at this point things got a little surreal. Either that or Big Pharma is screwing with me.

So what are the most common side effects of Ambien née zolpidem tartrate? Allow me to enlighten you:

  • drowsiness Um…OK? Are you sure that isn’t a primary effect of a…sleeping pill?
  • dizziness I suppose that isn’t too shocking. You’re really tired after taking the pill, probably gonna have a balance issue…
  • diarrhea Will I, should the urgent need arise, go to the bathroom in my sleep to prevent an unpleasant mess/embarrassing episode, or will drowsiness and dizziness prevent me from preventing a horrible incident?
  • grogginess or feeling as if you have been drugged What the actual f*ck! Are you trying to tell me that if I take a drug designed to make me sleep, I will feel tired and drugged? No way! How is that possible? How on Earth could the FDA possibly let you market a sleep aid drug that makes you…GULP…sleep, but at the same time have a distance suspicion that maybe, just maybe, you took a drug to get that way?

So at this point I honestly don’t know whether to feel worried about this drug or be looking around for the hidden cameras capturing my reaction to the absurdity of this moment.

The only thing I do know is that the thought of taking this pill to help me deal with my anxiety is making me…anxious.

 
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Posted by on 9 June 2019 in Angst, Life

 

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Talk about a phobia that really sucks

The way things have been going in my life lately (dark, generally unpleasant, pulling me inexorably downward, outright terrifying), I suppose it’s only reasonable to talk about my biggest phobia (which is second only to my abject terror of Cuisinarts).

I’m deathly afraid of black holes.

I know it’s irrational. We aren’t near any black holes. I’m not in any danger of enduring extreme time dilatation and coming back to see my kids old and dying. I’m not about to get thrown into one and experience that latest slimming fad, spaghettification,

Though I could stand to lose an inch or two from my waistline…

But phobias aren’t rational now, are they?

A movie about extreme sucking that sucked extremely

Not visible: the heart of the black hole. According to my nightmares it’s a spinning Cuisinart blade.

Two space movies that sucked came out at the same time. Who woulda thunk it?

Dad eventually took us to both. Could have been worse: it could’ve been Star Trek: Generations.

It all started when my dad couldn’t decide which movie to take us to, The Black Hole or Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Ultimately, there was no good choice on this front, but still he rolled the dice and took my sibling and I to see Disney’s The Black Hole.

He must have thought it was a safe bet. I mean, it’s a Disney movie. How could it traumatize a young child?

In a Disney movie, it’s not like you have to worry about things like a momma deer getting killed by a hunter, thereby orphaning an adorable baby deer which then has to fight off a pack of hungry rabbits that announce their imminent attack via ominous thumping sounds, right?

So we saw it in the theater and, quite predictably, I cried when Old B.O.B. died.

But that’s not what launched my ignorant, child’s-eye view of terror when it came to black holes.

It was when Maximilian, the evil red hovering Cuisinart, killed Dr. Alex Durant (played by Anthony Perkins), slowly advancing on him with that rotary weed-whacker on steroids.

(I mean, what the hell does a robot in space even need with a built-in food processor unless it is a chef bot, which Maximilian definitely was not? Thanks again, Disney, for feeding my childhood nightmares so lavishly! I guess Bambi wasn’t enough, huh?)

So I forever associated that swirling black hole image from the movie with a whirring, shaky, shredded-paper-flying-everywhere death.

Later, I got older and in the arrogant manner of a teenager, tried to conquer my fear by knowing everything about it. Now, if you’ve read even a tenth of what is out there about what black holes can do, you know that further education, in this particular case, is a doozy of a mistake! The more I learned, the stronger and denser my fear became until nothing, not even cool rational thought, could escape it.

So I did what anyone else in my place would do: Avoided all references to Soundgarden and then went to a hypnotherapist who, after months of intense sessions, erased all awareness of black holes from my conscious mind.

(Apparently I also lost some of the details from Bambi, but to be honest, I’m not really sweating that.)

Flash forward a few years and, not knowing much about the plot, I went to see Interstellar (in IMAX, no less!!). All those hours of expensive hypnotherapy? Flushed down a black-hole powered toilet.

And, considering the (somewhat) more scientific accuracy of Interstellar, my nightmares were now even worse.

But with the help of an understanding wife who brought me a steady supply of food, I found solace in an extended stay in an isolation tank. An isolation tank, I should add, with one minor addition: it had a light.

When I first went in, I wasn’t thinking clearly and hadn’t added a light. It took me a week to claw through the sound-proof door of that chamber and make the necessary modifications. A week that felt like years. Or a different sort of relativity than what Einstein came up with. I call it the Not So Special Relativity. The closest way to experience Not So Special Relativity if you don’t have an isolation tank and a fear of black holes? Watch all of Carrot Top’s movies at full volume but half speed, twice.

I was forced to come out of my warm, brightly lit, comfy tank once my Medical Leave of Absence expired, but fortunately the respite served me well and I was mostly recovered. I was certainly well enough to resume a useful, productive life. Dark stars were a fleeting thought bubbling far back and in the depths of my psyche, only really bothering me in an occasional recurring nightmare (that also, for some reason, featured Carrot Top).

And then, this. This image exploded on the internet and I couldn’t go anywhere without seeing it:

Think you're having a bad day? Try waking up one morning, pulling open the blinds, and being greeted by this.

Objects in mirror are larger than they appear. Image credit: NSF

I used to think of science as a friend, but now that friend has shown its true colors: black and orange and oh so cruel.

These days I find myself staying clear of open spaces, lest I find myself plucked up off the Earth and dragged into relativistic hell, and strapping myself into my chair every time I sit down at my desk (the seat was…recently…bolted to the floor). That, a steady diet of the Twilight books on audio (as read by David Hyde Pierce, of course!), and a root canal or two should have my brain numb enough to cope with existence soon enough.

 

 
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Posted by on 18 May 2019 in Angst, Astronomy!, Life, Science!

 

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It’s really a shame I don’t like coffee

I’m tired. Are you tired? Me, I’m tired.

It’s strange to think we’re only three months into the new year and I am already flat-out exhausted.

Maybe it’s something to do with getting old. Or being a parent. Or the current political climate. Or suffering from high levels of stress. Or anxiety.

Maybe it’s a little bit of all those things and then the concerning stuff I know is out there but have yet to identify.

(Or does that last one just fall under anxiety?)

Whatever the cause, I am done tuckered out.

Out of gas.

Kaput.

I’m so lethargic even my fitbit is starting to worry about me.

Fitbit: Hey, you OK? You haven’t moved much lately. Have you fallen down and you can’t get up?

Me: Urggggh. So tired…

Fitbit: If you let me Bluetooth into your phone, I can call 911 for you.

Me: No way in hell! I’d rather die that reveal my private health data to your master’s servers!

Now the conventional wisdom is I should take some time off, find a quiet place, and relax.

Soak in a hot bath.

Sleep in a bit.

Meditate.

Conventional wisdom is a cruel harpy, jabbing me hard in the side every night just as I’m about to nod off.

(Though that might be one of the kiddos, scared awake yet again in the wee hours by a nightmare and seeking comfort in the most inconvenient of places. I mean, their mom is right next to me! Bug her instead!)

In other words, conventional wisdom is useless.

Why do I say that?

Aside from the fact that being a parent and a full-time employee and having bills to pay doesn’t lend itself to such an exercise, it’s because I spent most of the last weekend in bed, sleeping.

And all it got me was a boat-load of dreams where I was so utterly spent I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

In. The. Dreams.

And not the pleasant, relaxing sort of dreams where you can keep your eyes closed and just lazily drift off, calm and content and filled with inner peace.

Nope.

I’m talking one-on-one meetings with my boss sorts of dreams.

Trying to cross busy streets sorts of dreams.

Biking on winding, downhill trails with no helmet sorts of dreams.

Driving on twisty roads with sheer drops to either side sorts of dreams.

Dreams where, even in the confused logic of the dream state, you know you really ought to have your eyes open.

Despite feeling like there’s wet cement pushing down on your eyelids.

So yeah, conventional wisdom’s approach to getting re-energized ain’t working for me.

I’m kinda at a loss what to do now. Clearly staying awake isn’t helping, and equally clearly, sleeping isn’t helping.

So what can I do?

It seems like I have two options, neither of which appeals all that much.

1) Double down on the coffee intake and damn the eventual withdrawal when I’m through this tough patch!

2) Keep pushing through until I have a physical collapse and then hope I get lots of happy, sleepy drugs while I’m in the hospital that will help me forget that the co-pay is really high and oh, there I go again, getting stressed about bills. Crap.

Come to think of it, those two options don’t sound all that different.

So coffee it is. I hope.

 
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Posted by on 25 March 2019 in Angst, Life

 

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The Mueller Report Release, Or Why I Finally Have A Reason To Keep On Living (For A While, Anyway)

He sees and knows all

Those eyes. Those dreamy, dreamy eyes!

I recently heard a news report about elderly and terminally ill people trying to hang on long enough to see the Mueller Report come out.

My first reaction was to feel sorry for the folks who have (and who will) die before getting that wish granted. I can understand their desire to see how this pans out and where it leads next.

Getting old doesn’t just suck, it is sometimes incredibly unfair!

This reaction lasted less than a split second. In fact, if you take the smallest amount of time that we can accurately measure with today’s technology, my first reaction came and went in less time than that.

Maybe half a Planck Unit? The point is, I didn’t dwell on the old fogies that long. I had something more important to dwell on.

My second reaction was more visceral, and in all honesty, more meaningful to me. While I am not, by most definitions, ‘elderly’ and while I am not, as far as I know, suffering from any fatal illnesses (beyond the aging process itself), I too could die before the Mueller Report comes out!

This worries me.

A lot, it turns out.

First of all, we don’t know when the report is coming. Could be this month, could be next year. Who knows? I sure don’t. If I did know, I’d probably be less worried.

But now every action I take is fraught with unimaginable peril because of the chance, no matter how slim, that I could get offed before seeing the outcome of Mueller’s investigation.

Driving to work, a spider could drop down in front of me, causing me to shriek, jump back, lose control of my vehicle, shoot off the overpass, and fall to the train tracks below said overpass where an oncoming train strikes me dead.

Before the Mueller Report comes out.

Eating my lunch, a spasm of pain in my arm due to carpal tunnel syndrome could result in me shoving my sandwich unexpectedly hard into my mouth, which causes me to choke, and seeing this, a well-meaning coworker who is actually shockingly clumsy attempts the Heimlich Maneuver, screws up and shatters a rib, a fragment of which rips into my heart and kills me.

Before the Mueller Report comes out.

North Korea launches an intercontinental ballistic missile as part of a test for its nuclear program, but an error causes the missile to fly over the ocean all the way to the continental United States where, fuel finally spent, it falls down on my house and crushes me.

Before the Mueller Report comes out.

Lying in bed, reading the long-awaited and just released Mueller Report, the freshly printed paper still warm to the touch, I turn the title page but my hands, shaky from excitement and anticipation, drop the (no doubt incredibly thick) packet and a page edge brushes against my wrist, slicing a paper cut that opens an artery and leads to me bleeding out.

Before I can read the Mueller Report.

I think you get my drift. Suddenly, everything is out to kill me.

Crossing the street? Are you paying attention to the idiots on the roads these days?? Totally unacceptable risk.

Eating dinner? Have you seen the recent reports of tainted food??? Even lettuce can kill you now!

Tying my shoes? I can’t risk shoe laces – they could come undone and trip me at the worst possible moment! Nope, I’m off to the shoe store to get Velcro shoes.

Shopping at a shoe store or anywhere else? There’s the risk of stampedes, a mass shooting, a gas leak, a roof collapse, skin cancer from sun exposure, catching some nasty disease from the crowd because an anti-vaxxer just triggered an epidemic, slipping on a freshly mopped floor in the mall bathroom and cracking my head open, and I shudder to think what else is lurking out there, lying in wait, eager to deny me the satisfaction and relief of seeing that report come out.

So yeah, now I’ve finally got a compelling reason to be careful so I can keep on breathing.

At least until the report finally comes out.

And, assuming it isn’t too long, I actually bother to read it.

If I make it to that promised day, if I survive to see the final outcome, after that I guess I’ll need to find another reason to go on living.

If I’m smart, it will be something more long-term than the popcorn show of an impeachment.

Like my wife and kids.

Or something.

 
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Posted by on 9 March 2019 in Angst, Life

 

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Scheduling Success? Over My Dead Body (Seriously, Your Plan Will Kill Me)

It’s a new day, and I’m going to make some changes.

OK, more accurately, it’s two months in from the new day specifically known as New Year’s Day, and I’ve been thinking about all the changes I should have made then to ensure a successful new year by now.

Here are the goals:

  • Stop being so tired all the time
  • Get back into writing
  • Exercise the doggos with regular walks so the backyard doesn’t look like a poorly planned out but nonetheless enthusiastic reenactment of World War I trench warfare
  • Spend more quality time with the kiddos and Missus before they grow up/old and hate me

Note: goals not necessarily in order of priority.

So I chugged down a few (iced!) espressos and turned the ol’ noodle loose on the problem of how to make my dreams come true.

Here’s what’s gonna happen:

Every night, kiddos in bed by 8, me by 8:30.

Get my minimum eight hours sleep in, wake at 4:30am. Shower, breakfast, and the like.

5am: Write for two hours.

7am: Scream at kiddos to wake up and get ready for school. Leave for work, dumping aftermath of screaming on the Missus.

5pm: Leave from work.

6pm: Arrive home.

6:30pm: Dinner. Missus, strangely enough, still annoyed about the morning scream despite the passage of nearly twelve hours. Dinner is cold and moderately poisoned.

7:00pm: Still apologizing to Missus, trying to smooth things over with now-terrified-of-me kiddos.

7:30pm: Dogs, picking up on the others’ feelings, may be turning on me. Take them for a walk in attempt to win them back over / tire them out so they can’t dig up the yard tomorrow.

Note to self: Walk in the front yard, not the back. Too many trip hazards in the backyard due to last two months of not properly exercising the muddy mutts.

8:00pm: Kiddos in bed, each clutching an improvised weapon as they are concerned I will snap in the middle of the night.

Repeat daily.

By following this simple formula, I will not only be refreshed, productive, able to mow the lawn without taking my life in my hands, and a better father/husband, but I will also set a shining example for my family, friends, and you, dear readers, on how to succeed.

It’s a good plan. Too bad it’s also a load of crap.

Even if I cajole the kiddos into their beds by 8, they won’t be quiet, let alone asleep, by 8:30. The whining at the announcement of bedtime alone has triggered multiple complaints from the neighbors and two, yes two! welfare checks by the police.

On top of that, I’m a night person, so even if I was in bed by 8:30, no way I’m asleep before 11.

And sure as shooting I ain’t getting up at 4:30 (at least, not 4:30 in the AM). Oh, I might wake up for a moment, but then I’m rolling over and going back to sleep. Not to mention the beating the Missus might inflict on me when my alarm wakes her at 4:30.

That’s not the least of the problems with this ‘brilliant’ scheme. I wish I could plan regularly scheduled quality family time, but that’s not how it works. People have bad days, freak out, need to be hugged / restrained, all unscheduled.

And that’s just me!

The rest of the family (and those bloody, digging dogs) will need me for indeterminate periods at random times as well plus help with homework and listening patiently to the terrible things that happened at school and the horrible things the kiddos did when they got home from school not to mention the most minute details about how the latest Minecraft mini-game works and why it’s hilarious kill me now the kiddos alone can go off for hours on video games and [INSERT YOUR DEITY HERE] help me if I’m not paying attention and can’t answer a spot check question failure to do so triggering another hours long lecture about the importance of listening to your kids. Ugh.

So really, I don’t just not have a plan for a successful new year, I can’t possibly come up with one.

Instead, I have a plan to survive the new year:

Do the best I can. Be there for my family. Squeeze in fun and writing and relaxation where I can. Nap in the car at lunch if need be.

And, most importantly, drink a lot of coffee.

 
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Posted by on 3 March 2019 in Angst, Life, Parenting

 

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