Saturday, December 25, 2010

(Father) Christmas Past, Present, and Future


Daisy, Beast, Fire, and I are all spending Christmas at my dad and Step mom’s home. My sister, brother-in-law, and their three boys are here as well. The packages have all been opened, the food has been eaten, alcohol has been consumed, movies have been watched, toys have been assembled, the internet has been browsed and couch naps have been taken.

Just as the coffee was being brewed and kitchen snacking on fudge and cookies had been restored to life, my father began to reminisce on Christmas past. He noted a particular Christmas when my sister had become a recent Madonna convert and was listening to, “Papa don’t preach”. Evidently this was bothersome to my father and he had remembered it for all of these years. Perchance it was the idea of teen pregnancy or that Madonna was talking to her father in a commanding tone that appeared to be disrespectful. Hell, maybe she played it too loud or too often. Whatever the case, dad was annoyed back then and I was currently nervous. Why?

Well let’s move on to my very own Christmas present, except let’s make it yesterday. Daisy and I went to the Christmas Eve service at church. Y’know the Christmas Eve services that are offered five times throughout the day? Y’know the Christmas Eve services where people show up a half an hour early and save seats for the whole damn pew by laying jackets and purses down? Yeah, the family comes 15 minutes late and, oops, Jack and his 5 kids aren’t able to come so now the pew is have full and the balcony is crammed so people are sitting in folding chairs and everyone around the, “HEY, these seats are saved!” lady are pissed but trying as hard as they can to still praise the baby Jesus as nicely as possible.

Because what the “saving the seats” people did was put us directly behind the head pastor with our kids who do not always behave in a godly manner. After Fire yelled, “Jesus in a manger? That’s silly!” for the pastor and half the sanctuary to hear (including the “saving the seats” lady who gasped in horror) I took him, kicking and screaming, to child watch. After Fire was contained I had to walk the aisle of shame back to my seat at the front of the church.

I was a bit of a grumpy dad so when I saw a young child with a ponytail sticking out of a shaved head I was, well, annoyed. What are those parents thinking? How could that kid think that haircut is cool? I wonder if he would still want that ponytail after I swung him around by it for a half an hour? Then I stopped. Uh oh.

Right around the time my dad was annoyed by my sister’s music I had bangs that went down to my chin, hair on the back of my head long enough to be braided, the sides of my head shaved to the skin, and a cross my dad constantly threatened to rip out, dangling from my pierced ear.

Now let’s move to my Christmas future. Am I going to make excuses to the family for Beast’s blue hair or Fire’s midriff? Probably. No! Probably not. No! Never, they are just teenagers finding their independence. Ugh, but what if it is a reflection of the internal evil I did nothing to stop? How can this be so difficult? How was my dad to know that after my sister listened to, “Like a Virgin” it didn’t mean she was days away from losing her own flower which would eventually lead to her saying, “Papa Don’t Preach” to him?

I guess I can just love them no matter what. Ultimately, I think that is what the baby Jesus would want.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

(Father) Awkward Pregnancy Photos

Our internet was down for the past couple of days so I was unable to post. You might say, "Yes, but couldn't you have pasted from a Word document?" My answer is, "That's a good point. I should have thought of that."


In lieu of an absent post I want to share with you some beautiful photos provided by The Pregnant Chicken blog. 

http://pregnantchicken.squarespace.com/pregnant-chicken-blog/2010/12/10/awkward-pregnancy-photos.html

Here is a sample.



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

(Father) Treasure Trash



About ten years ago I was working with Developmentally Disabled adults.  Most of my job consisted of taking 5-10 of them out into the community to free events (tight budget) or just relaxing in the park.  There  were times when one of us would have to stay at the resource center and "Mama" was usually one of them.  Mama was a 75 year old woman who needed a steady stream of oxygen and shuffled along with the assistance of a walker.  We called her Mama because she was absolutely in love with babies (any child under ten).  You could never see a happier woman when she would see children.  She would turn to one of us and smile with a toothless grin, point, and say, "Babies!" 

But Mama had a grouchy side that was unleashed on anyone who dared touch the collection of papers stuffed into the front pouch of her walker.  If one had "lost" their craft for the day we would know exactly where it was.  Many times our daily newspaper had reached her front pouch before anyone had even taken it out of the blue plastic wrapping.

When Mama's front pocket became full we had to distract her and pull as many papers out as we could without there being so much of a difference she would notice.  Otherwise this 75 year old woman would be overturning garbage cans.

I thought of Mama the other day and I'm sure you will see why.  Fire and I were collecting trash from around the house.  We were having a lot of fun until we overturned one particular garbage can into the trash bag.  We stopped talking and stared at what had just fallen out.  Those precious colorful drawings made from the blood, sweat, and tears of our children.  The colorful drawings that were made "just for you" and they "worked really hard on".  The colorful drawings you see them make with a furrowed brow reflecting steady concentration.  The colorful drawings they presented to you with bated breath.  Waiting, and hoping, for praise and admiration regrading the fruit of their labor.   Like an innocent little sponge they soaked in the acceptance of their work from idealized parents and asked we keep it on the fridge "forever".

In that moment in time the world stood still as he processed the fact "forever", for adults, translates into 7 days.  There was no way to hide it.  I had stuffed these precious items to the bottom of the trash.  Well, the bottom becomes the top pretty quickly and the evidence was plain to see.  Fire looked up at me with a concerned look, "Oh! Why in da bottom of garbage".  I lied.

"How did that get in there?" I said.  I have to admit that if pressed further I would have blamed Daisy.

"We take it out!" said Fire as he began collecting the pile of papers that had once been trash.  The guilt inside of me for not only throwing them away, but also lying about it, prompted me to repeat the praises of each item as they were removed  from the pile.  It was like reliving old times with Mama.  At least Fire didn't have a walker to throw at me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

(Father) To Santa Or Not To Santa


There appears to be a whole spectrum of possibilities when it comes to belief or disbelief. 

Snowflake

On one end you may have a parent who lays out the milk and cookies for Santa and carrots for the Reindeer.  They have prepared the child with lists that have been mailed to the North Pole and phone calls or texts from Santa, Mrs. Clause, or the elves asking if Johnny has been good.  Perhaps a weather report before bed and where Santa is on his route.  In the morning the child finds the milk, cookies, and carrots with bites taken out of them, soot at the bottom of the fireplace, deer droppings on the front lawn, and packages signed, "From Santa".

Scrooge

Telling the kids that not only is Santa not real but telling every other child the same thing.  When the parents of the flake cover the child's ears then the scrooge may yell, "You are ruining your child's life with lies!  ALL LIES!!!"  The parent may not even set up a tree and if they do it is a fake one from 1962 with duct tape holding it together in 5 places.  The only reason they may have lights on the outside of their house is because they were too lazy to take them off 7 years ago.

Daisy and I have taken the, "Don't Ask Don't Tell" approach but we soon found out we couldn't stay on the fence for long. 

Scene 1  (The Recognition)

Beast:  There's Santa on the cartoon.  Santa is in that song.  There's Santa on the front lawn of that house.  Santa is on that glass, plate, box, light, advertisement, package, toy, cereal box, and everything else I have laid my eyes upon. 

Us:  Yep, there he is.

Beast:  There is Santa in the mall with kids on his lap telling them what they want for Christmas.

Us:  Yeah, why don't you wave and say hello.

Beast:  Hi Santa!  He waved back!!!

Daisy:  Isn't our child cute?

Goose:  He is adorable.  He gets such a kick out of Santa.  Let's point out more to him.

Daisy:  Yes, we shall.


Scene 2 (The Description)
 
Beast:  Does Santa have a big belly?  Why does Santa give gifts to kids?  Does Santa come down chimneys?  How big are the elves?  Why doesn't Mrs. Clause go with Santa to houses?
 
Us:  He has a big belly, because kids are cool, he comes down chimneys, maybe 3 feet, and because Santa is a lone wolf.
 
Daisy:  Doesn't Beast have such a great imagination and curiosity?
 
Goose:  He is so aware of his environment.  How did our child become so brilliant?
 
Scene 3 (The Belief)
 
Beast:  I asked Santa for (something unreasonably expensive) so he is going to give it to me on Christmas morning.

Us (looking at each other):  Oh.

Choice 1

Goose:  Y'know how Star Wars people are fun to talk about but aren't real?

Beast:  They aren't real?!?

Us (looking at each other)  Um. 

Goose:  We have more of a problem than we first anticipated.

Choice 2

Goose:  I'm sure he will lil' buddy.


Do you tell your kids Santa is real?  Do you tell them he is not?  If you tell them he is real then when do you tell them he isn't or do you ever tell them at all?  If you tell them he is not real then how do you explain how the other kids say he is? If you tell your kid he isn't real then the parents down the street are offended because your child begins placing doubts in their child's head?  Do the parents of the children who say he is not real have an equally legitimate argument?  Who is pi**ing on who's reality?  When it comes down to it who ends up having more fun with the whole idea of Santa?  What if you have a split family where one parent wants to explain the harsh reality and the other wants to explain the dreamy mystery?

How have you all resolved this dilemma?

Monday, November 22, 2010

(Husband) Old Flame



I was working out at the gym today when my blood pressure took a turn.  Not because of the workout but the girl walking in front of me.  It was not a situation where I knew I had seen her somewhere before.  No.  I knew immediately.  The last time I saw her was about 15 years ago for about 5 minutes.  Just enough time to show off her brand new muscular Marine boyfriend.  The time before that was another 5 yrs earlier except for a longer stretch than 5 minutes. 

I met her my in the beginning of my Junior year.  I had earned a small role in our High School production of a Midsummer Night's Dream so we had several scenes together.  We became friends and, because we lived close to one another, hung out a couple of times.  I perceived these times like any other time I hang out with a friend.  Evidently she read things a little differently.  When I was invited over for a family dinner I got a little freaked out.  Especially when her dad decided that would be a good time to drill me on defensive driving techniques.  I had never driven her, or planned on driving her, anywhere!

Well, it wasn't long until the Snowball dance came around.  A refreshing time for guys when we don't have to hang ourselves out to dry and girls don't have to make a choice between a bird in the hand versus two in the bush.  A pretty young thing asked me and I said yes.  That was a poor choice according to little miss unforgiving.  For those of you who judge, please remember that I was 15 years old.  15 years old!!

Even as a dense 15 year old I still had enough sense to realize little miss unforgiving hated me.  Y'know why?  Because for the next two months of practicing our parts in the play she never ever ever ever spoke a word to me.  We walk off stage?  No talking.  We are about to walk on stage?  No talking.  Putting on makeup or socializing with the cast for coffee after rehearsing?  Not a word.  The only talking we ever did was when we were saying our lines to one another.  To make it worse our parts were the comedic relief.  We had to make jokes, laugh, and generally act like we liked each other.  Going into the costume room felt like walking into a dreary cemetery at midnight with wolves howling and the full moon hanging overhead.

At one point I had to approach her and ask, "Do you really hate me that much?"  Do you want to know something even more ridiculous?  At the time I'm not even sure I knew what she was mad about.  (Sigh) 

When it really comes down to it I know after 20 years I have changed and so has she.  So why does a stupid High School issue feel so scary?  Am I going to hide my face every time I see her? 

When I saw Daisy I reached out my sweaty hands, arms, and body to hug her.  She has shown me so much grace and I'm not sure I knew how much until I felt like a hated 15 year old again.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

(Father) Absent

I take care of the boys on Mondays of each week.  I start out with enthusiasm but lose heart after the first hour.  Should I drink a Red Bull in the morning?  Answer?  Yes, and a different perspective.   

I was watching a show about the proverbial absent father who comes swooping in after a few months of visitation cancellations to the excitement of the children.  The kids get dropped off late with candy bars hanging out of their mouths and toys in their hands having just spent the day at the circus.  Then the father goes into hiding only to parachute back a few months later into the loving arms of the children.  The next Monday I decided I was going to be that father. 

We started out with Halloween candy for breakfast and moved straight toward dressing up in whatever clothes they chose.  They chose to wear T-shirts, that were in the dirty laundry, even though it was cold and rainy.  After a couple of hours of cartoons we drove to the gym where they were watched by people who helped them make crafts.  They were quite excited about showing me.  We drove straight to McDonalds where they ate Happy Meals and played in the indoor playground. 

But then the wheels started coming off and I became the responsible parent once again.  We needed to get into the car but Beast wanted to climb on top of the car.  I had to take Fire to the bathroom but he didn't want to.  I needed Fire to lay down for a nap or else that evening we were going to witness a child who may be mistaken for a meth junkie.  Beast didn't want to be in his room for quiet time but on my back while I checked my business e-mail. 

I'm not saying any of the things I did were irresponsible or that I wouldn't be happy to do them again.  But my attitude and behavior was child directed toward what they thought they needed and possibly deserved.  Short term pleasure is fine but long term does not translate into any more excitement or love for me which was what I was hoping for.  In fact, the only reason why it may have been exciting at all was because it was a special treat from the otherwise responsible father who doesn't always give in to their demands.

So what was the final lesson I learned?  Daisy and I need to separate so I will have them only for a couple of hours each week.  Then I will then undermine whatever silly rules she has in place so I become the favorite parent. 

Beast & Fire:  Mom says we have to do our homework.

Goose:  Not at daddy's house.

Beast & Fire:  Mom says we can't watch this show.

Goose:  You can at daddy's house.

Beast & Fire:  Mom says we can't east this, can't drink this, can't jump on this, draw on this, play with this, run on this, lift this or say this.

Goose:  Mom isn't very fun is she?

Beast & Fire:  NO!!!!!!

Goose:  Tell her she is making daddy poor and I shouldn't have to pay more money for chi.......uh, support.

Beast & Fire:  OK

Goose:  Cry if she doesn't.

Beast & Fire:  OK

Goose:  Now let's go slash her boyfriend's new tires.

Beast & Fire:  YEAH!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Father's Day

In honor of Father's Day (June 19th, 2011) I am changing my background to something called, "Spurs and Spit".  I'm not making that up.

Monday, November 8, 2010

(Father/Husband) Got Penis?

No picture for this one.

Got together with a friend who has a boy the same age as Beast (4 yrs. old).  Have never met each other before but it only took about.......oh........75 seconds for one of them to say, "poop".  They laughed until it looked as though their sides hurt.  Then the other one caught his breath and repeated the word.  From what I witnessed the second poop statement was funnier than the first.

Poop, pee, and butt are only a fraction of what is funny to a boy.  The other word, of course, is penis.  The boys are more than aware of their own penis and think ripping their clothes off and running around the house shouting, "penis, penis penis!!!!" is wildly entertaining (reminds me of a Bachelor party I attended).  That is why I was struck with the seriousness of Beast's tone when discussing the topic of a penis to Daisy.

Beast:  Mom?

Daisy:  Yes Honey?

Beast:  Do you have a penis?

Daisy:  No.

Beast:  How come?

Daisy: Because I'm a girl and girls don't have penises.

Beast:  Why?

Daisy:  Because we aren't born that way.

Beast:  How do you pee?

Daisy:  Ummmm...........we sit down.

Beast:  Why?

Daisy:  We just do.  Here, let me get your shoes on.

Beast:  Fire has a penis.

Daisy:  Yes he does.

Beast:  Do you want a penis?

Daisy:  No.  I don't want a penis.

By this point Fire has come over showing curiosity with a face reflecting concern.

Fire:  Yo don wanna a penis?

Daisy:  No. Now let's get out to the car.

Now I step in.

Goose:  Do you feel left out? 

Daisy:  Are you men really so self absorbed to think everyone on the planet desires a penis?

Goose:  Freud said penis envy..........

Daisy:  Are you joking with me right now?

I chuckle.  Fire sees Daisy as distressed and comes over to pat her on the back.  And I swear on all things holy this is really what he said.

Fire:  Is ok.  Som day yo ge a penis.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

(Husband) Dream Lovers


Ever have sex with someone you never thought you would, or even could?  Well let me tell ya.  There have been times I have woken up in the morning thinking, "How in the living hell did this happen and how am I ever going to tell Daisy?"  And then I think, "I never will.  She will think that deep down in the recesses of my mind I am a disgusting piece of dog crap who will never be allowed near her again."

The next week I would see her take a glance at me, frown, and go back watching television.  I would find her looking on the Internet for insight as to what might be wrong with me and if there is anything she can do to either stop my thinking errors or how how she could slowly ease her way out of the relationship.

Sometimes dreams are obvious in the process of analysis.  As a Psychologist I attempt to make sense of dreams my clients have, especially if it is disturbing or reoccurring.  I accept dream interpretation as a legitimate piece of the therapeutic process that could make some reasonable sense of what might be behind the curtain.  But.............hmmm.............let me give an example.

Your husband/wife asks, "Would you mind picking up some wine on the way home."

"Sure." you say.

"Hello." you say to the grocer.  "Nice evening".

"It sure is." states the elderly grocer.  Next thing you know your rolling in the hay with the man/woman who just rang up your alcohol.

How about an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend who you hate and find absolutely revolting?  Well guess what?  That evening you're doing the mattress mambo.

Your overweight boss who smells like tuna?  The horizontal hustle my friend!

Creepy clown?  Lust and thrust.

What about the bum on the subway?  Well now you're vulcanizing the whoopee stick.

Maybe in the moment you are confused or, God forbid, you actually enjoy it.  You want my advice?  Don't tell a soul.  Stuff that thought down into the closet labeled "Secret Stuff.  Keep out!"

Let me be perfectly clear.  We are not talking about doing the two person push up with Jerry Seinfeld.  That's just funny and quirky.  Maybe it's knocking boots with Brad Pitt in a chicken suit or laying the pipe down with Walt Disney.  That's weird.  But bumping and grinding with a cartoon character like Sponge Bob square pants?  Might need to keep it between close friends.

You see where I am headed with this?  Let me know if you think of anything else.

Monday, November 1, 2010

(Husband) Girly Man


A friend of mine, who I will call Peach Schnapps, suggested I might be kind of "girly".  I didn't agree.  However, this past weekend I was at a wedding and realized I was enjoying it for more than just the open bar, socialization, and food.  I genuinely appreciated the ceremony.  Furthermore, I got a little weepy when I heard a story of a popular kid who, as one of the two captains choosing teams on the playground, chose the weakest kid first.  I went back to her and admitted she was right.  Hence, the inspiration for my post.

Those of you who know me may mistake the man in the picture as me.  But surprisingly enough it's actually Tom Brady.  He is an all pro, 3 time superbowl champion, MVP quarterback for the New England Patriots who happens to be married to an international supermodel.  He is all man.  In fact, I think this picture says it all. 

First, he has the black shirt and pants that state, "I'm a bad ass".  He is also sporting the short sleeves which show off his muscles and wind blown hair produced by cruising around in a convertible.  It is important to note it is wind blown hair produced by wind and not a blow dryer.  Blow dried wind styled hair means you are a metrosexual. 

Notice the scruffy five o'clock shadow.  Loosely translated?  "Screw the rules!  I don't have time to be a pretty boy for nobody cuz' I'm my own man."  It is obvious there is a young woman in the shot but what may be more subtle is Tom's left leg which looks very close to being out the door.  It's as if to say, "If this b*tch starts talking about her feelings than I'm outta here."  Y'see, a real man can't be tied down with that crap.

But get this.  Tom earns less than his wife and he told reporters his wife won't let him cut his hair.  There was also a quote, by his wife couple of years ago that refers to Tom as sweet and gentle.  Bob, from the bowling alley, said he would never let his third wife control him like that.

Once I realized Tom Brady and I were one and the same I decided to call him and get some advice.  He said there a few rules I need to follow in order to toughen up my image: 

1)  A man doesn't cry......................unless he is watching his favorite sports figure's retirement press conference.

2)  A man doesn't give hugs......................................unless his favorite team scores a game winning touchdown.

3)  A man doesn't say, "I love you"........................................................................................unless he is drunk.
    
4)  A man doesn't talk about his feelings.................................................................unless he says, "I'm pi**ed".

I asked him if he followed these rules and he said no.  I asked why he believes in a double standard.  After some silence he said, "I'm an NFL quarterback and you are a Psychologist.  Y'know what?  Scratch everything I told you.  Do you shave your legs?"

"I need the extra speed when I swim and bike ride."

"Shut up.  Go hunting, kill an animal, eat its liver, cover your body with its blood, and dance around the fire naked.  Then, and only then, will you break your girly curse."

"Is all that really necessary?"

"You need all the help you can get."  (click)

Well, wish me luck.  I wonder if I can kill bunny rabbits with love.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

(Husband) Happy Ending


A friend of mine used to greet other with a question of, "Are you happy?".  He would catch most people off guard with the question.  If he were to ask me right now I would say, "Yes, and let me give you the recipe."

1) Take a stomach and empty it (Not the throw up or laxative kind of empty.  Just starve.  But no more than two meals.)

2) Drink a beer.

3) Make an Omelet.

4) Drink another beer.

5) Inhale three donuts.

6) Watch Modern Family.

7) Kiss Daisy.

8) Sleep.

It's not much but the simple things in life create joy.  Do you remember simple moments that created happiness?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

(Father) Political Ads and Innocent Ears


This post is based upon true events.  And by true events I mean inspired by happenings that may, or may not, have happened in the Dr. Goose household.  More than likely the events about to be told did not happen but very well could have happened if given the right circumstances.

Beast:  Dad, who is that happy man on TV?

Goose:  Oh, that is Mr. Blah Blah.  He is running for the Blah office.

Beast:  What is he saying?

Goose:   Well, let's take a listen.  Um, sound like he is going to create jobs and provide leadership while developing new ideas.

Beast:  What else?

Goose:  Well, he is going to lower taxes, secure social security, place an emphasis on education, and be tough on crime.

Beast:  Is that good?

Goose:  I think it is wonderful.  He seems like a wonderful man who is going to stand up for the working class and fight for our freedom.

Beast:  Is that why he is so interested in those guys from the paper mill? 

Goose:  That's right son.

Beast:  Dad! Did you here that? He approves the message.

Goose:  That's because he is a man of integrity.

(Moments later)

Beast:   AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Goose:  What is is Beast?!!??!!

Beast:  Who is that man in the black and white photo?

Goose:  Why, it's Mr. Blah again.

Beast:  Why is there scary music?

Goose: I don't know son but I'm sure as hell going to find out.............Oh dear God!!

Beast:  Look at his face dad!  Is he going to kill us?

Goose:  Yes Beast.  I'm afraid he is.

Beast:  But why?!!!??

Goose:  Because this other guy is saying Mr. blah is going to destroy jobs, not going to lead us in the right direction, and continue making bad choices for our state's future. 

Beast:  What el.........

Goose:  Shut up Beast!!!  I'm trying to find out.

Beast:  Dad, (starting to whimper) Why are you crying?

Goose:  Because I've been taken advantage of and feel like an absolute fool!  A FOOL!!!! (Sigh).  I just found out he is actually going to raise taxes, take away social security, and take books away from you and Fire so he can spend it on prostitutes.  And to think, I was going to vote for that guy.  Wait a second...............Mr. Blah is from my registered party.  Those jerks making this commercial are rude and inconsiderate.  How can they live with themselves for putting this filth on the air?

I considered the thought of Mr. Blah's opponent winning and shuddered at the thought.  I made Beast and I Hot Chocolate and sat down for a brainstorming session.  After we decided to buy land in Idaho we discussed building a bunker loaded with guns, ammunition, and a 10 yr stock of canned corn and beef jerky.  God help us if Mr. Blah doesn't win.  God help us indeed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

(Grandson/Son/Brother/Uncle/Nephew/Cousin) Birthday


Do you have two sets of friends?  Like office friends and High School friends who have never met each other and probably never will?  Perhaps they have and they separate into little enclaves at parties.  They have different dynamics and two different cultures take time to mesh.  Well, I have different relationships with different members of my extended family and prefer they stay separate.  But family members don't always have the luxury of staying separate for very long.  And so it happened...........

My nephew was exercising his cooking skills for my grandmother's 84th birthday party.  My sister asked me to go and, because I love my nephew very much, I went.  Without Daisy.


Update:  Daisy said my post was, "Too Harsh" for human consumption.  These paragraphs have been edited for the safety of all who would choose to read it. 


If you have made it this far I commend you for listening to my rant.  Believe me, I'm quite sure I play as big of a part in this soap opera as anyone else.  Does anybody else have weird dynamics in their families?  Is there any way to change them to be more healthy?  A mentor of mine would you say you only have the power to change yourself for the better but that sounds too difficult.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

(Father) If your happy then I'm happy

Look at this happy family.  Aren't they having the time of their lives?  They looked well rested, joyful, and well nourished with their only concern being what ride to go on next.


It brings to mind a frustration I have.  I want my kids to act happy even if they aren't.  Adults are great at this.   

I give Daisy a gift, she opens it, and then looks at me like I'm a 2nd grader trying to perform differential calculus (sadness but with appreciation for effort).  She then composes herself, smiles at my gift, and then states how pretty it is.  Everyone is happy

I want my kids to be happy so I decide to take them swimming.  Found an example of a list of things to bring on-line.

•Deodorant

•Baby Powder for extra help getting dry and to prevent a swim cap from sticking together

•Shampoo/Conditioner if showering at the swimming pool

•Soap/Shower Gel if showering at the swimming pool

•Hair Brush/Comb

•Towel

•Flip-flops or similar footwear for around the pool and/or showering areas

•Wet Bag, which can be a plastic bag or a fabric bag with a waterproof internal lining, as long as it keeps the rest of the items dry from the wet swimming costume

•A small change wallet with membership card, locker money and some reserve money for emergencies.

Other items that may be included in a swim bag:

•Make-up

•Perfume/Cologne

•Facial Wipes

•Bottle of Water

•Goggles/Swim Cap.

Instead of joy, they refuse to get in because it is too cold and their swim instructor looks like a monster, Darth Vader, or our pediatrician with an immunization shot in hand.  After all the screaming, wailing and crying I decided it was time for me to calm down.  The kids look a little embarrassed at my actions but I spent so much time trying to lead these horses to water only to have it backfire.  They could have at least acted like they appreciated what I was trying to do.  I'm telling you, if I spent that much time for a picnic lunch with Daisy I could guarantee a few more years of matrimonial bliss. 

For better or worse, kids will tell you exactly what they think and will act according to how they feel.  Case in point, Beast pointed at a man's belly the other day and told him it was "big and silly".  Why can't they just lie like everyone else?  Act happy, it's not all that hard once you practice it a few times.

The giggling, laughing, and joyful screaming are all I want to hear no matter what.  They need to get along with other kid's at the park, like the food I bring, and have the time of their lives.  Even if it isn't true.    I'll sit back on the bench I'm sitting on and smile while all the parents tell me what great kids I have.  And when all of that anger comes out 20 years later they will then be in a position to pay for therapy themselves.

Friday, October 8, 2010

(Father) Lobster Fire

Some of you may already know we lived in Maine a few years ago.  Fire was born there so we honored him, soon after birth, with a very special friend who was about the same size.


Soon after we actually made him a lobster for Halloween.


We then passed on the lobster outfit to my niece who will wear it proudly for this year's trick or treating expedition.  It went from good.....


To bad in a matter of moments.  Isn't dress up fun?


Anyway, may the good Lord bless you with more candy than you will ever need (or want for that matter).

(Husband) Amazing Race, How Sweet the Sound


Back in 2003 Daisy and I printed off an application for the Amazing Race but never filled it out.  I had always regretted not doing it so a year ago we sat down and finally completed one.  I got a sinking feeling when I realized my answers to the questions were probably not what they wanted.  As you can imagine, they had a question measuring how volatile our relationship is.  Daisy and I have a vanilla tasting relationship but I tried to make it sound as if we tasted like Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey.  The application was done so all we needed was the video.

I looked on line and found videos of people who had actually been flown to LA for another interview.  They didn't seem all that special or funny so I was encouraged.  It took A LOT longer than I thought but after a few days of filming and another few days of editing, with music added, we had a pretty decent product. 

I would like to show it to you but am not sure if there would be that much interest.  Essentially, Daisy tackles me and we wrestle for a while...........naked.  Then we go out and play soccer with AC/DC playing in the background.................naked.  Then we make out to show our crazy passion...........fully clothed. 

We didn't hear back.  I wasn't terribly surprised but, admittedly, had just a sliver of hope for a trip to LA.  A friend of a friend said we weren't interesting enough and I got mad.  But let me tell ya, after seeing the couples on that show right now, we didn't stand a chance.  Nor would we ever.  But it was sure fun flinging ourselves off of bridges into water...............naked. 

When we die, and while our corpses are still warm, our kids will be rummaging through the attic for things to fight over.  I will place this video in a strategic place, covered with a hundred dollar bill, and ask that they play it at our funeral.  Everyone will laugh and think we were so zany and fun.  But the kicker will be that we will have also reenacted all of the same scenes at the ripe old age of 85.  Then we will see who stays in the room.  Our lawyer will write down the names of those people and split up our money among them.  Y'know why?  Because those will have been our true friends. 

Before you ask to see the video because of the nudity I have to warn you, we weren't naked.  Originally that is what I had planned but Daisy thought better of it.  Probably cost us a million dollars.

Monday, October 4, 2010

(Father) Sick


The sick season is upon us.  Daisy has been the only person within our immediate family who has avoided whatever the hell is giving me a headache at this moment.  A few statements on health:

1)  There are very few things I hate more than my kids being sick.  My heart becomes especially torn when I hear them coughing at night and I have done everything I can for them.  My children are as crazy as peach orchard boars, which becomes incredibly tiresome, but I would rather have them wild than laying on my shoulder with a temperature.  Because if they are laying on my shoulder there is something terribly wrong.

2)  I, and many others, expect to maintain our current level of productivity despite our sickness.  I wonder why I am grumpy when it is perfectly clear my body is not well.  I am short with my kids and co-workers and consider it a character flaw rather than gaining insight into the context of my life.

3)  Hypocrisy.  You go into the doctor for a cold and they do an "add-on" that makes you never want to visit the doctor again.  Have you ever been told to lose weight from a physician who has clearly had one to many cheeseburgers?  Have you ever been told to quit smoking from a physician who has tobacco on their breath? 

4)  The zealots on the other side aren't any better.

Doctor: "You should lose weight"

Patient:  "You don't have an ass."

Doctor:  "I'm a marathon runner"

Patient:  "I hope you drop dead on your next jog"

Anyway, I toast to your good health because it is easy to take for granted.  

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

(Husband) Why are you with me?


When I was an insecure teenager I once a asked a friend, who was a girl, if I was attractive. 

"Ummm.....what do you mean?"

Bad sign, I thought.  I decided to make it easy.  "Like on a scale of 1 to 10."

"I don't know.  How about a 7?"  It sounded as if she hoped I would be satisfied with the answer so we could talk about something else.  I'm sure she was worried the next question would be asking her to the prom. 

At first I interpreted 7 to mean "Barely Palatable" but later had to realize I had attained a solid grade of C.  And you know what?  That's passing.  With a little extra charm, extra muscle, and a nice car I might even work myself up to an 8.  And 8 is awesome!  Now the girls are beginning to take notice. 

When I look at Daisy I see a beautiful woman and think, "I might be of equal attractiveness".  Then I think of the picture above and become frightened.

"Are you with me because of my money?" I say. 

"I hate to say this honey but we just got off of government assistance"

"Is it because of my prestige as a doctor?"

"Well, your not really a doctor per say.  Y'know, like medically speaking."

"Is it because I am the father of your children."

"I'm not entirely sure you are sweetie."

"Then what is it?"

She pinches one of my cheeks, vigorously shakes it from side to side, and says, "Because your so darn cute."

The 14 yr old Goose would have taken that in a heartbeat.  I think I will too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

(Son/Brother) Coordination

Tattooed roller derby woman w/ Fire 2 yrs ago

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.  Part of it was Beast woke me up in such a whiney tone I wanted the scratch my ears off.  I also felt sick (not self inflicted).

The phone rang and it was my sister.  I asked her to call me back because I was breaking up another useless argument between my boys.  I can't even remember what it was but I'm sure, in their minds, it was as important as creating jobs and cutting taxes.

Let's call my sister "tattooed roller derby woman" because that is who she is.  She reminds me mom's b-day is tomorrow and we should do something.  Y'know, being it's her 60th and everything. 

Let me stop here and say something.  Coordinating activities that include humans is as attractive to me as sucking on a hot cattle prod for five minutes.  An example:

Where should we eat?  Jenny is allergic to bread, Dave doesn't like sitting down when he eats, Nancy gags at the smell of cooking onions.

What time should we meet?  Jenny doesn't get off until 5:00 pm, Dave likes to go home and take a half hour bubble bath at exactly 6:00 pm, the only time Nancy has to meet is between 2:30pm and 2:35pm.

You get the idea.  However, the wonderful thing about having a guest of honor is that they get to make the choices and everyone lives with it.

Well, mom doesn't return calls, e-mails, texts, or smoke signals.  I called an all out frontal attack where we not only contacted her through every means of communication but also through her boyfriend which would include (picture emphatic fist pumping) a work phone number.  So here is the thing.  What if the guest of honor doesn't want to be honored?

After both of us had tried for a half an hour we were starting to give up hope.  Then tattooed roller derby woman said, "I still have a phone number we haven't tried.  It's an old phone number but it just might work."

I called it and heard a, "Hello?".

I was shocked and stuttered, "mom?".

"Yeah.  It's been a while"

I made it simple.  "Can tattooed roller derby woman and I come over to your house tomorrow to wish you a happy b-day?  You pick a time and we will be there."

"Well, I'm not really sure if...............excuse, excuse, excuse....."

"I'll bring Gin."

"Be here at 8:00 am.  Sharp!" 

Life lesson on coordination?  Know your audience.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

(Husband) Ring Ring Go Away


My ring is stuck on my finger.  At first I thought,"Oh, my finger is a little swollen right now.  I'll try again later." Well, later came and it still didn't come off.  Then I thought, "What does it really matter?  It's not like it feels uncomfortable."  Well, later it did feel uncomfortable because I realized I didn't have a choice in the matter. 

I told Daisy who asked, "Why would you want your ring off?"  Fair question. 

"I don't know. It's starting to bother me that I don't have the choice.  And with that, my inability to choose wants me want it off all the more."

I tried the grimace and pull method. 

I then tried the lotion and pull method.

I then my finger in cold ice water for ten minutes and then pulled.

Daisy's friend visited, we talked, had a few beers, she plastic wrapped my finger, virgin oiled the plastic wrap, and twisted/pulled until my finger turned white.

I visited a friend of mine, we watched the game, had a few beers, he weaved dental floss around my finger, twist/pull, and my finger turned purple.

Granted, I've gained a few pounds but not enough to make my digits little sausages.  Any suggestions or do I have to get this cut off by a jeweler?

Monday, September 20, 2010

This is Good


Extreme Makeover came to Oregon and helped out the School for the Deaf.  It will be broadcast on Halloween.  There was someone who received unexpected help and wrote about it.

Read the post before the most recent.

http://www.brownsound4.blogspot.com/

(Husband) 10 unhealthy ways to win an argument


It may seem obvious but listening is an important skill to have in a relationship. Pat LaDouceur, Ph.D. writes about the physiological response when an argument becomes frustrating.

http://ladouceurmft.com/articles/TakeABreak.pdf

It is incredibly difficult to listen when, “Your frontal cortex -- the part of your brain that reasons, plans, and solves problems -- shuts down.” If you would like to save your marriage then follow the steps in the article.  If you would like to always win an argument, at the cost of your relationship, then follow mine.

First, if your partner criticizes you then come back with a criticism that is much worse and with twice the anger. Bottom line, a good defense is a good offense.

Second, write down a list of hurtful things your partner has said. When you get in an argument you can always find your journal and repeat back prior offenses. There is no statute of limitations on prior offenses.

Third, try to use the words always and never in every comment back to them.

Fourth, always be thinking of the next thing to say, even when you are supposed to be listening. Don’t get lulled to sleep by internalizing the constructive comments your partner is making. You will get caught in the trap of finding some truth in what they are saying and will be faced with the temptation to change.

Fifth, don’t be afraid to fight unfairly by twisting their comments around to make yourself the victim. The best outcome is they will always need to say they are sorry even when they don’t have anything to be sorry about.

Sixth, make petty arguments even bigger. Make your partner pay dearly for even thinking about bringing up a criticism. Make them gun shy for the next time they speak. Your honesty is meaningful while their honesty is ridiculous.

Seventh, act like you are the bigger person while still getting your point across. Start with saying something but then stop with, “I’m not going to even say it.” They will want to know what you said so you tell them. If they are hurt, which they will be, tell them they are at fault for wanting to know.

Eighth if it looks as though you might be loosing the argument than retreat into your shell and refuse to talk any further saying something like, “I don’t want to fight anymore. I love you too much to hurt and be hurt.” Again, you are the bigger person.

Ninth, if you have no interest in starting, or furthering discussion, use the, “No, you are” approach. It’s easy, fast, and simple. For example:

Daisy: Could you start putting your dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink?

Goose: Maybe you should start putting your dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink.

Daisy: I already do.

Goose: I already do too.

Daisy: No you don’t.

Goose: I’m pretty sure you don’t.

Do you get the idea?

Finally, use divorce threats even if you have no intention on following through.

Best of Luck!!

(Man) Quick and Dirty


Here is me getting Quick and Dirty with two of my female friends.  One is ready while the other is scared.

I’m challenged to make my blog more readable. As I have come to understand, it is not the content as much as the presentation.  Thus the "Dirty".

I have found pictures to be fun and am now going to include more bullet points rather than enormous paragraphs.  The "Quick" is not premature quick but also not boringly long where both people would rather just watch TV. 

I’m going to stick with family topics and less of myself unless it relates to my three favorite people.

Through my cousin’s blog I have found females writers and I absolutely adore them.  But my new goal is to find married male readers. If you know of any would you send this link to them and see if they like it? Maybe they have suggestions to make it better or what topics are more of an interest to them.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

(Man) "You Too!"



A few weeks back I was getting a movie at the local Blockbuster.  The guy rang up the movie, placed it on the counter, and said, "Enjoy the movie.".  I replied, "You too."  I laughed but no one else seemed to have noticed or thought it was funny.  So I dug an even deeper hole by adding, "Y'know, in case you see a movie later tonight."  The guy, and the people in line, gave a half smile and a wave as if to say, "I think we are done talking now."

I went back to my car and remembered a comedian who had made fun of this misuse of phrase (almost 20 years ago).  I found it on the interweb and thought I would share.  It only takes a minute to listen to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2-5mDyCKac

Friday, September 10, 2010

(Father) Old McDonalds

McDonalds is crack for kids. I have heard many parents say, “I didn’t know my child’s eyesight was so good until they saw every McDonalds sign on our trip across town.” They know what the sign means to them. It means joy and happiness in a number of different ways. Scrumptious McNuggets, Fries from Heaven, Nirvana Playland, and Happy Meal Toys from Shangri-la. Forget the calories. They don’t care. Beast poured all of the syrup they gave him onto his Big Breakfast (1100 cal. w/o syrup) pancake and ate like it ain’t nobody’s business. He went ape sh*t on that thing. Actually it was me but I did share a few pieces with him.

Have you heard of the Mosquito teen repellent? Kids can hear it but adults can’t.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5434687

Well, they must have made an overhead lighting adult repellent sound in the Playground because that had me scratching my ears off. Beast and Fire could have cared less. Here is my theory, McDonalds wishes the families would leave sooner so other families can come in. And here is the kicker. It is right when the children are starting to have the time of their lives. That way the children will only remember ecstasy at its highest degree and will therefore desire to come back to this playground drug again and again and again anxiously looking for the high they had once experienced.

I already know what you’re going to ask me next. What might be the reason we never know when and how this cesspit is cleaned? I mean, how hard is it to throw a small 14 yr old kid, who is excited to be making minimum wage, into that septic tank with a brush and a bucket of bleach. And how hard would it be to post a date as to when it was done? I’m sorry but I have no answer for that. In fact, it furthers the question as to why I would ever allow my child into that bacteria packed container in the first place? And for the love of all things holy, what would possess me to go in there and contort my body into a backyard folding chair to retrieve Fire who refuses to come out?

Ugh. It has to be love. As many of you know, asking your child if they want to go to McDonalds is like asking if a fly wants to lay its eggs on dung. Of course they do! And the response I get is worth it. My kids feel emotions to its deepest degree and do not have the capacity to screen them. So when they have an overwhelming sense of joy it makes me smile. It makes me happy. Because, as crazy as it sounds, someday I will wish I had the opportunity to take Beast and Fire back to McDonald’s Playland. When Beast turns to me and asks if I wouldn’t mind standing somewhere outside a 20 yard radius of him in a public place I will ask him, “Would you like to go to Mickey D’s!?!?” He will look at me blankly, turn to his friends, and continue with his conversation. And after I have turned to go there will be a tug on my pant leg. I will look down and see a four year old boy.

“Yes?”

“Mister, I would like to go to McDonald’s……………..Why are you crying?” I will then reach into my back pocket, pull out a wad of cash and shove it into his hands.

“Buy a camera and tell your mom to take pictures. She will thank me in 10 years.”

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

(Father) Stories



Beast LOOOOOOVES storytelling. I make things up on the fly but only have enough creative juices for one every 4 hours. He wants one immediately following the last. Kind of like lighting a cigarette off of the one you just finished. It’s great because you can see his face light up when I mention key words related to star wars and pirates. I also include him in the story which makes him laugh.

A couple of mornings ago Beast crawled into bed with me at 6:00 am. Daisy had already gone to work so he didn’t have to compete for space. I guess making snow angels helps Daisy sleep. He asks me to tell him a story so I begin to do so. Pirate ships are a safe place to start. Beast then said, “Dad…….DAD!!”

“Wha….”

“I can’t hear you.” I wear a night guard and also slur when I’m first waking up. I was too tired to take out the night guard and realized that if I yelled I could still sleep and tell the story more clearly. I was in and out of consciousness so I wasn’t sure if everything I said was making sense. But if he didn’t complain than what did I care?

“Dad!!!”

“Wha…..”

“What are Vikings?”

“Um, they wear horns on their head.” How did that come out of my brain?

Mumble mumble mumble…….fade to black

“Dad!”

“Wha…..”

“What is Canada?”

“Um, it’s the country above us.” Is this where I sent the Vikings?

Mumble mumble mumble…….fade to black

“Dad!”

“Wha…”

“Are you talking about Bakers?”

“Um, yeah. They make bread.”

“Oh.”

Mumble mumble mumble…….fade to black

“Dad!”

“Wha….”

“What’s a ‘license’?”

“You need it to be qualified.” Who do I think needs a license?

Mumble mumble mumble…….fade to black

“Dad!”

“Wha…..”

“What’s the Pama channel?”

“It is helping the Vikings get to LA faster.”

“LA?”

“Los Angeles.”

“Are we done now?”

“Yeah.”

I raise myself up from bed and look at the clock. I kid you not; it was a half hour later. Either I knew what I was talking about the whole time and forgot it as quickly as it came to my mind or else Beast was catching a few words every five minutes and was asking me to clarify. Because to say, “Vikings went to Canada to become licensed bakers and then decided to go through the Panama Cannel takes about 10 seconds.”

After I wrote my short little post a couple of days ago whetting your appetite for what you just read, I was listening to a little NPR on the way to work. It had to do with storytelling being part of our biological makeup and a guy who was about to tell a story to Hollywood producers and the like.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129471712

And now for some extra fun!

One of my graduate professors wrote me and asked if I would speak to the class about beginning a career as a Psychologist. I was very happy to do it last year but didn’t expect an invitation back. Evidently I was, “well received”. Since I received a coffee mug last time I said I wouldn’t do it unless I received another one. I told Daisy about my conditions and she asked, “Isn’t this the guy who has written over a hundred journal articles and 4 or 5 books?”

“Um, yeah?”

She rolled her eyes and went back to reading her book. Today I received an e-mail saying he would indeed give me a coffee mug. I was close to asking if the all of the professors in the Psy.D dept. would sign it but decided against it. I’m not sure if he would think it was a joke or not.

Monday, August 30, 2010

(Father) Snuggie Dreams

BABY SNUGGIE!!!  I think this is what Lee Greenwood meant when he wrote - Proud To Be An American. Anyway, here is a link if you would like to join the fan club.

http://www.snuggiefanclub.com/


Lest you be led astray, this is not what the post is about. It isn’t even about my friend who thinks I look like this guy.


I used to be a DJ in College (which eventually led to one of the two blind dates I ever had) but it's not me.  It is about the stories I tell Beast and the one this morning I didn’t know I did.  Wait, I just heard Fire crying.  He is supposed to be sleeping while I was to take a shower from my work out 4 hours ago.  My stomache is still not "right" after that work out.  This puts me in a bind.  Immediately after writing a post I send it to be seen by internet people.  These internet people are just like you and me.  I have never started a post without finishing.  Even if it means withholding my sexual contractual obligations from Daisy.  What happens when I'm torn between two loves?  What do you think Mary MacGregor?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3WMHBJu8Tg

Gotta go.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

(Man/Husband) State Fair (Part I)


A couple of days ago I saw a billboard notifying all of our citizens the time has come for the State Fair to open its doors. I called the State Fair to let her know I was planning on coming. Here is a rough version as to what was said.

SF: (ring ring) Hello?

DG: Hey! It’s me, Goose.

SF: Uh, Goose?

DG: Yeah, y’know Dr. Goose. We see each other almost every year.

SF: Well, you’ll have to excuse me. I see almost 365,000 people every year.

DG: Well sure, but no one loves you as much as me.

SF: How so?

DG: There is the ever so popular Funtastic Carnival with Monster Truck Rides and Mechanical Bull Riding. And what about hot artists such as ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Queensr├┐che coming to perform? These bands can’t be seen at just ‘ol casino down the road. Did you know "Queen of the Reich," is featured in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories? Don’t forget the Beef Cattle Show, Dairy Cattle Show, Sheep Show, Swine Show, Goat Show, Llama Show, and Milking Parlor Demonstrations. I always make sure I drink responsibly and to abide by all security and state police requests.

SF: You sound like a commercial.

DG: (sigh) OK listen…….I love you because you were the reason I touched Belinda Carlisle’s hand. It was you that assisted me in talking to the hottest 8th grader in the school because she was running the snow cone machine. When she asked what flavor I didn’t miss a beat, “Watermellon” I said. “Oh (giggle giggle) that’s my favorite too.” It was almost as if the State Fair’s spirit….excuse me, your spirit was flowing through my veins that night. And the rides? Oh goodness those twirly rides. When I tried to collect my change after the ride was over and that Carnival guy yelled at me saying something like, “Any change on the ground is MY change!” Well, I figured the change that fell out of my pockets that magical evening was worth every spin. And oh yes, how could I have not remembered the animals! The sheep testicles are always quite impressive. Maybe that’s why those pills sell so well on the internet. Sure the cow dung and pig p*ss were hard to ignore given the smell and splattering on my flip flops and bare legs. But that is the very essence of who you are.

SF: Go on.

(Man/Husband) State Fair (Part II)


DG: The food! The….the….the…brick of fries that weighs 2 pounds before the deep frying and 5 pounds after. The corn dogs that have more breading than mystery meat. The ribs, cotton candy, teriyaki chicken skewers, chocolate and vanilla ice cream swirls. What more can I say? The people!!!! The people watching is the best part. Some of these people have not left their house since the last time they came to see you. I have never seen so many tattoos in my life! And some of those tattoos came straight from a booth less than 20 yards away for as low as $29.99. And if you refer a friend you get half off of the next tattoo (though not the same day mind you). What about the families who dress exactly the same or the teenagers making out underneath the bleachers of the concert stadium. Shirtless men and women in bikini tops. People carrying overpriced and overstuffed animals that are bigger than them. Where are they going to store it? And how many times did they have to shell out 5 bucks for every basketball they would then try to get into a small rim 15 feet high off the ground in order to win the darn thing. The invisible pet with a collar you carry around along with the pink spray painted cowboy hat with an added bonus of outrageous watermelon shaped sunglasses with black seeds, green rind, and red flesh color on the rims. You only see those at your palace. And after a hard day of walking around for hours you can always settle into a chair that will shake your feet until they are numb while holding a cold 12 oz Bud Light in a plastic cup that sells for $3.50.

SF: Goose?

DG: (panting) Yes?

SF: (voice cracking) I knew who you were before I even answered.

DG: I don’t unders…

SF: I have caller ID.

DG: Oh.

SF: I jus…..(silent weeping) I just didn’t understand why you didn’t come back for those 5 years.

DG: I was in Colorado.

SF: Did you go to its State Fair.

DG: No!

SF: What about other fairs? County, city, rodeos, Staurday markets…..

DG: Do we really have to…..

SF: YES WE DO!!!

(Man/Husband) State Fair (Part III)


DG: How many details do you need to move past this? How many? Do you want me to say I thought of you every time I went to a fair. Because I didn’t. I was in my own world at the time. I was in a selfish phase and had forgotten who had helped make me the person I was. I’m sorry OK? I honestly didn’t know if you had missed me. You had so many other suitors. Remember that 4-H guy Tom?

SF: Oh come on, we were only friends.

DG: That’s what you say now. (Pause) Do you ever think of the incident?

SF: (whispering) yes.

DG: I was walking up to the ride with my wife.

SF: Do you really have to do this?

DG: Yes I do. I was walking up the ramp and saw my aunt who was running the ride. I hadn’t seen her in ten years. She looked ragged and tired. I was surprised when she recognized me. “Gooooooooooose!” She yelled.  It was Aunt Cauliflower alright. I’m not even sure anybody had heard from her in years. She was never mentioned at Thanksgiving meals unless in hushed tones. Dad saw her name written on a bathroom wall a couple of times but that was it. “Should I go on this ride?” I asked you. Should I take the risk with Aunt Cauliflower at the helm? The person I cared most about was by my side and I didn’t want to put her in harm’s way. The ride began to look more rickety and rusty by the second.  I even saw a missing bolt or two. Then I heard a voice.

SF: That’s enough.

DG: No that’s not enough. It was your voice. The voice said, “Give her a second chance. Maybe she is clean now. It’ll be so much fun.” I looked at my worried bride and said, “I have from good sources that this will be great!” And she believed me State Fair. And I believed you.

SF: I was jealous. I meant no harm.

DG: But you did harm. All I remember were bloodcurdling screams fading into more bloodcurdling screams. With vomit sprayed on my face and tears running down my cheeks I begged for mercy but mercy never came. Then my eyes opened to see a bright light in front of me. I heard a voice. “God?” I said.

(Man/Husband) State Fair (Part IV)


“Yes?”

“Where am I?”

“In my care.”

“Thank you.”

“No problem. Nurse Jesus, will you help me out with this bandage?”

“Right away Dr. Gob”

I shot up like a bolt of lightning. “Where is Daisy?”

“Just rest now son.” I grabbed him by his stethoscope.

"Where is she?"

“The Psych Ward! Now let go of me.”

“The Psych Ward?”

“She suffered a lot of trauma. They have her on a very powerful sedative.”

SF: Aunt Cauliflower wasn’t very good at her job.

DG: It wasn’t Aunt Cauliflower’s fault it was yours.

SF: Your right. I’m sorry. Has Daisy recovered?

DG: Nobody ever told her about it.

SF: She doesn’t remember?

DG: Fortunately all she knows is we bought Cotton Candy and went home.

SF: We have been through a lot together haven’t we Goose?

DG: Yeah, can we come see you this year? I have two children now.

SF: I’ll leave the tickets at gate D.

DG: I’ll see you there.

SF: You know where to find me.

DG: I’ll always love you…..despite everything that has happened.

SF: I know.

DG: Bye

SF: Goodbye.

(Click)

Monday, August 23, 2010

(Man) Authors


It is difficult to find time to read blogs rather than write my own.  Sunday and Monday seem to be the only days I have time to write a blog so I want to spend my time creating and not reading. Even more so when I feel my blog isn't worth a sack of crap since there are so many talented writers weaving their words together like an orchestra creating beautiful music.  However, I find people have interesting lives and are able to put the reader in a position to actually see the story through their eyes.  I have heard these author bloggers say, "hearing your voice" to other writers.  I have now found a few blogs where I enjoy the voice of the author and how they explain the most simple of events.  Two writers can write about the same subject matter but I may like one over the other.  Both are good writers just like there can be two great guitar players playing the same piece of music.  I guess it just comes down to a matter of taste and if more people relate to one voice than another.  I have also found some blogs have more followers but aren't necessarily better in writing or in content than other blogs that have fewer followers.  That doesn't mean writers who have large numbers don't deserve their following.  It simply means there are hidden gems who have not been found or who don't do a good job of promoting/marketing themselves.  Beyond all of that I have come to appreciate every book that has ever been written.  These writers go through the ringer trying to get their books published.  And the majority of time writing 8-10 books before the first publication if any.  A lot of time and stress spent creating something that may never be seen.  I take my hat off to any writers who may be reading.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

(Human) Olfactory Nostalgia

It is first important to understand the physiology of olfaction. The primary olfactory cortex, in which higher-level processing of olfactory information takes place, forms a direct link with the amygdala and the hippocampus. Only two synapses separate the olfactory nerve from the amygdala, which is involved in experiencing emotion and also in emotional memory (Herz & Engen, 1996). In addition, only three synapses separate the olfactory nerve from the hippocampus, which is implicated in memory, especially working memory and short-term memory. Olfaction is the sensory modality that is physically closest to the limbic system, of which the hippocampus and amygdala are a part, and which is responsible for emotions and memory. Indeed this may be why odor-evoked memories are unusually emotionally potent (1996).

http://www.macalester.edu/psychology/whathap/ubnrp/smell/memory.html

Furthermore,

Nostalgia is often triggered by something reminding the individual of an event or item from their past. The resulting emotion can vary from happiness to sorrow. The term of "feeling nostalgic" is more commonly used to describe pleasurable emotions associated with and/or a longing to go back to a particular period of time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostalgia

Yesterday I was at an Outlet Mall with 5,000 of my closest friends. Beast and Fire were on a Dumbo ride tucked into a corner of the sidewalk between Reebok and…….I think it may have been something like Dress Barn. Anyway, I can’t even describe the smell and can’t even describe the memory. What I do remember is feeling happy. I recognized this happiness and felt sad I couldn’t go back and experience that feeling since it left as soon as it had come upon me. As strange as it may sound I then felt angry. Not because I couldn’t go back to that feeling but because, just for a second, I longed to be back in a situation of the past. I don’t like mourning losses because I feel as if my nostalgia means I don’t want to be in the present or are not looking forward to my future. Losses of good times and regrets of the bad. Looking back and expecting our child selves to have the adult logic, boundaries, or behavior we now carry.
Sing it Eddie:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbkowHt45yg



Ironically, as a Psychologist I assist in bringing forth feelings from the past that may weigh heavy upon the shoulders of the individual. If, as children, we were not taught healthy coping skills we will revert to defense mechanisms that simply helped us survive (psychologically) to whatever situation we were in. Defense mechanisms are not always a bad thing. But, as adults, we may still carry with us defense mechanisms we no longer need anymore. So, in learning healthy coping skills the client may need to go back and work through, not around, difficult parts of our lives. A lot of people I meet say, “I feel like I shouldn’t be here because I was never molested or beaten.” And then the person who has been molested or beaten may say, “I’m not starving like the people in Haiti.” Yes, there will always be someone out there who has it worse.  Listen, many things add up to become a powerful force in our lives. It is disrespectful to yourself to undermine their effects. You might say, “It’s in the past, there is nothing I can do about it now” or “The past is what has made me who I am and I like who I am”. Yes, you are a good person. But isn’t there that one memory that sticks with you like a sliver in your brain? You spend a lot of energy being busy so you don’t think about it or you don’t do anything and think about it too much?  It's not going to go away.  Not on its own.  Some say counseling is for the weak and it's a crutch.  Believe me, if someone comes in truly honest with themselves they will leave feeling emotionally exhausted.  It's not for the faint of heart.

So now you say, Dr. Goose, what is your point? I think the preacher who pounds the pulpit in a certain area creates a sermon they need to listen to. So in that sense I need some counseling. Hhhhhhhmmmmmm……….well, I don’t have the time, money, or energy. Besides, how could I trust a stranger? Maybe later when it becomes a real problem.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

(Man) Truckin' I

Daisy said I need to start including pictures on my blog.  Eye candy you might say.  Well, here is a picture of what I used to drive about 11 yrs. ago.  I worked out of the Denver International Airport haulin' freight to and from Ft. Collins (where Fat Tire is brewed).


Trucking School was 4 weeks in Blythville Arkansas. FedEx contracted with a local trucking school that hired some of the best human beings to ever walk the planet. There were others, like my instructor, that could have used a few hours of people skills training in a school for a**holes. My group got him fired but we didn't need much help. We drove old beater retired FedEx trucks that still had the FedEx logo on the side. Not good for FedEx's image to have someone yelling at other vehicles and hanging his middle finger out of their truck. But that was not what ultimately got him fired. We traveled around to different states and would stop to eat. Imagine 20 FedEx trucks going down the highway playing follow the leader. Our group finished eating and our instructor came back from the bathroom to say, "Let's go. I already paid the bill." He had not paid the bill. Other FedEx members at the truck stop came looking for reimbursement.

When I say our group I'm talking about 5 guys who were in their mid twenties. We were an anomaly because the waiting list for FedEx drivers was usually quite long. Truckers who were tired of going over the road without good benefits wanted to settle down and be home every night. In Memphis it was a 5 yr waiting list which meant you slung packages for that time. Not many people were willing to do it. Our cast of characters included a Quebec Canadian, an LA guy who told us stories about his penis, a recent convert to Christianity who didn't drink but still loved to jive with the ladies and blues on Beale street, TN, and a man from the South who had two kids already. Then me. Just plain ol' me.

1) Canada felt like it was his job to tell us how arrogant Americans were throughout our time together. "That's so American" was his favorite line. I couldn't disagree with him on many points but watching movies was bad because most of the guys who saved the world from destruction were Americans. He had served in the Canadian army and had a Maple leaf tattooed to his chest. But he was our French speaking Canadian and we loved him. I remember spraining his ankle to the point where he unsure if he could drive and finish the program. He was not happy with me. He was also the first to wreck his truck when he went back to his homeland. Ran over a GEO.

2) LA was a great to listen to. We each had our separate room he knew the phone number to. "Wakey Wakey Eggs and Bakey" is what I listened to every morning. He told us stories about how he and his penis went out together as natural as you would tell someone you mowed your yard. He would tell us about going to a bar and asking his penis what he wanted to drink or what he was thinking about. He would then proceed to tell us what his penis said. At the end of the 4 week span we were so used to it he had to make the stories ten times ridiculous in the last week together. The last one I remember was when he got an STD.

3) Christian really saved my butt on a few occasions. Minutes after we all met LA wanted to go watch a porno. I didn't want to and wasn't sure how I would talk my way out of it. Christian worked in the same station as LA and in no uncertain terms told him that was not going to happen. I also had a friend to hang out with at the bars who was not interested in getting hammered. He was one good looking dude so he made up for it in dance partners.

(Man) Truckin' II

4) Family Man and I drove to his home for a weekend which was about 5 hours away. The conversations I had with him still stick with me today. He had a thick Southern accent and once asked if his accent was as bad as our instructors. We didn't know what to say. We had no idea what he said for the first few days because it was so thick. We just nodded and smiled until we developed Family Man voice hearing. The man was so in love with his wife it shamed me. He took his kids fishing and was so incredibly patient with them. I spent most of that day playing Frisbee with his aunt who was a lesbian. Why do I mention she was a lesbian? I say "was" because she dropped dead that day from a heart attack. I'm kidding. I don't know. I'll have to do some thinking as to why I felt compelled to mention her sexual preference. Thank you for challenging my thinking.

5) Me? Well one of the highlights was the Walmart in town. I bought a toy semi and put a quarter on top as the steering wheel. It helped me learn how to back a truck from a variety of angles. I also am proud of the fact I talked to my wife for as long as I wanted. During our first meeting we were told we only had 15 minutes a night to make a long distance phone call. I asked them how they knew how long the calls were. She spent 2 seconds fumbling her words and came up with something. Too late. I already knew it was an empty threat. I needed the time to talk to Daisy anyway. We had only been married a few months.

On the last day we placed bets on who would wreck first. 70% of semi truck wrecks are in backing and most of those wrecks are in the first 6 months of driving. Canada wrecked the GEO and then I ran over a pizza delivery guy on some back streets. Not with my semi or else he would have died. It was in a pup trailer I was transporting to another station and blew a stop sign because I was thinking too hard about how to get unlost. I totalled a 50 thousand dollar vehicle, was demoted to transporting freight around the airplanes with a tug, and eventually found a job caring for the Developmentally Disabled. To be honest I would have stuck with the job for a long time. Including my drive to the airport I listened to books on tape for about 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for a year. I was up for a raise and had excellent benefits but fate ran its course as it always seems to do.

Maybe I'll drive a truck after retirement. But until I do I want all of you to know the "bail out" hills full of gravel that Semi's use to stop are not because they may blow a tire. It's because a trucker will use a high gear with the brake as the main stopping force instead of a lower gear when going down a mountain. The amount of weight the brake has to be applied to keep the load from pushing forward, in some cases, will literally burst the rubber into flames. If you smell burnt rubber and see a truck with steam on his tires then don't get in front of them. They may have also lost air pressure from using the brakes too much. It takes a while to build that air back up again. In fact, as a general rule, stay away from trucks going too fast down any mountain or hill.

(Husband) Grief I

Update: The frontal lobes are considered our emotional control center and home to our personality. There is no other part of the brain where lesions can cause such a wide variety of symptoms (Kolb & Wishaw, 1990). The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior.

A friend of mine read this post and jokingly said I am constantly "borrowing" Daisy's frontal lobes. In other words, Daisy helps me make better decisions because she acts as my conscious. When left alone with my own frontal lobe functions I make poor decisions such as the phone calls I made to her. Read and see if she is right.


I have a private practice in two different cities a half hour apart. One part I love about it is I get to wear the same outfit twice a week.

Side note: There was a banging sound on Beast’s door just now so I went to investigate.

“What are you doing? Are you hitting the door?”

“No, I’m kicking it.”

“No more kicking OK?”

“OK”

I came back to the computer and heard it again. I went back to his room.

“Beast, I said no more kicking.”

“But I was hitting it with my head. Is that better?”

“Uh………..sure.”

Anyway, I see clients in the town I do not live in from 10 am until 10 pm and have an 8 am client the next day with my last client ending at 8 pm. I was going to stay the night at a friend’s house who lives in that town and come back to my home late the next day. Daisy left to visit her folks at the same time I left to go to work and was going to spend two nights there with the kids. I knew she was climbing a mountain out of cell phone range and would be able to leave obnoxious messages on her voicemail. I decided to go through the stages of grief with my messages. Unfortunately my office doesn’t have Internet access and I left my cell phone at home so I just kept calling from a land line when I had time between sessions. Daisy said I left almost 30 minutes worth of messages over two days so I’ll abbreviate.

1. Denial – "I feel fine."; "This can't be happening, not to me."

(Beep) Daisy, I just wanted you to know I’m doing great. Work is wonderful. I can’t wait to see my next client because I really feel like we are connecting and he is beginning to trust me. I’m going to get a burger for lunch at this great place and have a little bit of time to read this book I have wanted to start for a couple of weeks now. I hope you are enjoying the mountain and the kids are having fun at Grandma’s.