July 21

Why Do I Write?

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I have been spending a lot of time recently trying to strip away all the sequin attached to blogging. I have never been a fan of the term blogging or blogger, mainly for the simple reason blogger sounds way too damn similar to the word ‘booger’. I don’t want to be a booger.

But really, it is forever associated with the word ‘booger’.

I love writing. The instant gratification that goes along with hitting publish can produce a small high for me. Yeah, that’s right; I am a junkie for words.

It’s why lately I have been on a vision quest of sorts. Seeking out my origin story and my inspiration.

Why do I write? It is the latest in a life of existential crises. I mean, what is the point of it all?

I certainly don’t do it because I am some sort of activist. Most social justice issues I approach with tongue in cheek because even I can’t entertain the idea of truly caring deeply about things not happening to me. Bathroom issues? I somewhat sympathize, but I will never feel empathetic. To be honest, I feel enough things too deeply to get into feeling other people’s issues to my core.

I already have a hard time falling asleep with my own problems.

I do have things I need to say though. It started as a parent blah blogger. Before I knew it, I had listicles, word pictures and bears- Oh my! Over time, I feel as if I have refined myself. Taken the rawness and molded it. Worked it into something more than this passionate, emotion-laced rant.

I learned to be concise. Put a suit on and cleaned up per se.

Sometimes, I miss the way I used to write. Back when the rules didn’t matter because I didn’t know them. Sure, I couldn’t differentiate my ‘there their they’re’s with such precision but whatever.

I write because someone told me to do it, and in that moment of someone believing in me I believed in myself. I also had more to say than ever had I imagined.

I write for the rush. There is a certain synapse fire off that goes along with airing your dirty laundry. A false sense of bravado, leaving me feeling, for the moment, as if I can do or say whatever I want.

I can talk about the things most attach trigger warnings to, what else can I do? I put voices on demons and then hand them microphones and loud speakers.

Why do I write? Because, someone needs to provide Melania Trump with something to plagiarize. I write because I can’t plagiarize how I feel inside.

It is a conduit for me to express myself in a way I never thought possible. It is my interpretive dance. I am wild flowing motions moving messily along, but most importantly moving freely. I am following the beat of the fingers on the keyword, pirouetting through prose as if they were poems. It is slow before speeding up. I move from the bridge to the chorus, trying to dance across the paragraph.

There is a beat, you can find it hidden in the verse.

I write because it is more fun to be a troll with a blog than just an everyday asinine commenter.

A troll with a blog might be my new name.

I have so many reasons to write, every one of them important to me.

I write because I needed to give my voice safe passage into the world. I write because it can be as one-sided or conversational as I deem it. I write because it is a better way to pass the free time than drink and snort cocaine. I recently got a small plaque from work for being employed there for five years, and lamented over how when I first began working there if they given me the recognition thing it would have been the perfect surface for crushed up joy to be snorted from.

I write because I have a tumultuous amount of things to say.

I write because my sister killed herself.

I write because she wasn’t the first person I knew to end their life. Not even the first in my family.

I write because her father killed himself.

I write because my mother’s brother killed himself.

I write because I don’t want to kill myself. It isn’t a claim to know the reasons they or any others have had for ending their lives. It is an admission of not wanting to exist sometimes.

I write because if I didn’t, that admission of not wanting to exist would stay buried inside to possibly sprout and grow into suicidal thoughts.

I write because the highs and the lows are easier to navigate if I have a loose catalogue of them. I can read every post I have ever written and tell you if I was happy or depressed when I wrote it. I can tell you if I wondered about whether the world would be better off without me. I can read and be brought back to that moment, and remember why I needed to sit and say something that day.

I write because I haven’t stopped having things I need to say.

I write because…

I write.

July 10

From Jail

As I am writing this, I am currently incarcerated. Facebook has put me in cyber jail, banning me from posting, liking, and commenting. Am I being a bit dramatic about the whole ordeal? Maybe. But, as someone who spends a lot of time on the Book of Faces, after only twenty minutes in time out, boy did I feel sorry.

How will I gauge my popularity now? Twitter??
How will I gauge my popularity now? Twitter??

I like to fancy myself a freedom fighter of sorts. I champion causes with the fiercest of social justice warriors. So, upon being cast out, banned and labeled a rule breaker; it cut me to my core.

You see, I was only spreading a message about being comfortable in your own skin, when someone decided to report me to the gestapo. If given the chance to do it again, I would a million times over in the name of doing what is right.

It all started when I downloaded the Pokemon GO app. I grew up on Pokemon. In my youth, with Poked in hand, I dreamed of breaking out of my small town and making it to the Indigo League, to become a Pokemon Master. The Pokemon GO app made my dreams possible. Here I was, ready to CATCH EM ALL!!!!!

So there I was, having my dreams realized, when a wild pokemon appeared! I was super excited and went to capture it. The wild pokemon just happened to appear on the front of my boxers.

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I didn’t know the front of my boxers was such a hot spot for pokemon to appear. But, being the 25 year old, mature, adult that I am, I found it HILARIOUS. I decided to snap a picture, and post it on the Gods of Faces that are Books. I even captioned it cleverly with a ‘lol’. Now, most are not comfortable enough with their body’s to post recklessly pictures of themselves online in their underwear. This guy however, he has been known to occasionally post photos of himself on the internet some would see as distasteful.

Couldn't find anything to wear
Couldn’t find anything to wear

I find it important to celebrate my dad bod. I think being comfortable enough to do something in hopes of likes and comments is somewhere we all strive to be.

Guys, I was trying to break down barriers.

In my boundary busting movement, I also titled the art of catching trouser pokemon as Pokemon GO: On My Penis. Apparently, this was not nearly as well received as I assumed it would be. The Pokemon Go On My Penis Movement was swiftly and unjustly shut down as I was censored and banned from the one place I love with my whole heart, The tome of faces. I don’t blame anyone for slut-shaming me. I believe it was more out of ignorance than anything else.

But, I will not be silenced. And although I am currently facing and serving my Facebook jail time with my head held high, I will continue to fight on and champion causes.

You see, if we can’t post things for shock likes and laughs, what social media cyber world are we living in? You would think, between the constant video and images of people being shot, a wild Poke Penis picture appearing would be a blessing.

Guess not, folks. I guess not.

I spent the first hour of incarceration texting my friends to let them know I would be gone for twenty four hours and making it clear I wouldn’t go down without a fight. The second hour, I have spent writing this anthem for freedom of doing things in the name of social justice or gaining likes. With twenty-two long hours ahead of me, I plan to take as many pictures of pokemon on the front of my boxer shorts so I can pump them onto Facebook with the anger and determination of a woman who posts breastfeeding pictures.

I will not be forgotten. Pokemon GO On My Penis will NOT be shut down!

So here I am, getting ready to be the greatest pokemon master of my generation. To bust the stigma that goes with doing things to gain popularity on the internet.

You can not stop me, Mark Zuckerberg. I pay for this domain.

Pokemon GO On My Penis Lives ON!!!!
Pokemon GO On My Penis Lives ON!!!!
July 7

Comply or Die

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Fuck the police coming straight from the underground

A young nigga got it bad cause I’m brown

And not the other color so police think

They have the authority to kill a minority

Oh great, another shooting. The condemnation spreads through my newsfeed. A social media wildfire is sparked. Look at those lyrics. So much hate. When was this even written?

1988.

No, that can’t be right, can it?

Twenty years before hashtags became the norm for spreading social justice and bringing controversial subjects to light, NWA released an anthem for the angry minority. The ones who felt the brunt force of police brutality.

This isn’t a new issue. The only thing ‘new’ about this issue is the ability for a grotesque murder to pervade its way into the places we seek comfort from. I watch, as my Facebook newsfeed becomes gripped by videos, opinions, fighting. I search for the usual food videos and humorous memes, only to find they are gone and in their wake are images and disgusting stills. Men, with rosebuds turning into splatter marks seeping from their chest. A shaky camera, a gun and another officer-involved shooting.

When something happens in Los Angeles, nothing happens. Just another nigga dead. 

A post pops up in my newsfeed, it claims to be an anonymous commentary from a police officer. Among other things, he says the victim ‘determined his fate’

Maybe I am not fit for social commentary on these type of issues. I read something like this and it angers me. I want to tell the purported officer of the law to sit his wannabe Robocop ass down until his notions of dystopian judge, jury, executioner dream world come to an end.

And not the other color so police think, they have the authority to kill a minority

In the wake of these tragic and appalling cases, there always seems to be a protocol. Urge caution and waiting for the facts. Vilify the murdered person through posting any past crimes they had, while insinuating the world is actually a better place without them. Ignore the people’s call for change until it dies down. Kill another unarmed black man.

What isn’t in the protocol seems to be accountability. Between all the shoulder shrugging, deflecting and constant reminders that not all cops are bad; accountability falls to the wayside.

Officers, sworn to protect the citizens; except from the officers themselves. There isn’t a cop problem, it is a compliance problem? We citizens should comply or our friendly neighborhood officer will use his compliance pistol?

These deaths remind me of an episode of South Park, where the boys go out with their Uncle Jimbo hunting.

There needs to be accountability. Too many of these incidents have shown the general public something has to happen. No longer can we deflect from the issues by saying the amount of good cops outweigh the amount of bad cops. We see this argument with everything. When a system needs to be fixed, there needs to be decisive change. We cannot, as a society, continue to allow an issue to fester and boil over because ‘The good outweighs the bad’.

When lives are at stake. When there is a deep-rooted problem. We need to stand up and demand change. We need accountability. By refusing to acknowledge a problem and allowing it to continue; we become a part of the problem ourselves. When cops are killing unarmed men with little consequence and are protected by their fellow officer for blatantly disregarding human life, it sends a powerful and disgusting message to the people.

Comply or die.

I want to thank my friend, Bria, for inspiring this post with her social commentary on this issue. 

July 3

This One Time At Blog Camp

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There’s no cool way to say you have a blog. Hi, I am a blogger. See it even sounds awful. I like to think of blogging as similar to Iceland. That is to say, the awful name is to ward off people; convince them it is an awful place they absolutely do not want to be.

Hi, I live in the blogosphere.

I went to blog camp. Technically it was blog college. Either way, I paid to go to a stay overnight program exclusively for bloggers. I feel about as bad typing that as I did when I tried to justify such a thing to my wife.

“Baby, all the COOL bloggers will be there!”

So, I spent a decent amount of money to find my social anxiety crippled self around a bunch of strangers in Baltimore. Did I mention I have severe social anxiety?

A five hour train ride later, I found myself in the car of my best internet friend. Best INTERNET friend is a title I use here because when I found myself in her car, it was the first time I had ever met her. Thankfully, she didn’t serial kill me and, I think, we became real life best friends in that moment of chain smoking and getting lost on our way from the train station to the dorm rooms.

The conference was everything you would expect a death march to be. Surrounded by good people, trudging to what seemed to be certain doom.

Along the way, I learned cool things for sure. I learned how to survive walking six miles a day by the powers of sangria. I learned the reason you don’t talk to strangers online and meet them in person. I learned if you have social anxiety, a five hour trip to a campus surrounded by people you don’t know might not be the best birthday present to yourself.

I enjoyed BlogU. For everything I hated (The walking. The walking. Did I mention, I HATED THE WALKING) it was absolutely amazing to meet some people I formed a relationship online with.

I can’t believe how popular blogging is with people in the south. Usually I associate the south with burning crosses and fried chicken. It was a real eye opener to spend so much time with thoughtful, awesome, people. I actually picked up saying ‘y’all’ after BlogU ended. Y’all got to me, and not with racism so that is cool.

A blog college wouldn’t be anything without a little controversy, right? Well, aside from my constantly shouting “This isn’t a blog conference, this is a fat camp” I did get myself in some trouble.

Okay, I told one person they should cut out another person’s hair. I did that. That was me. To be fair, the person I told to cut another person’s hair- they didn’t even have the resources possible to do such a thing. We all brought a lot of things to BlogU, one of them wasn’t scissors.

I met a ton of great people at blog camp. I also met people who I will pretend I never met, for the sake of their internet profile. I think this is absolutely fair. I know I suck in person some (most) of the time. I can forgive people who suck in real time because most of my existence relies on being at least occasionally awesome on the internet.

I did try to convince my friend to write someone’s name on a desk next to “for a good time call” BUT, I am sure a phone conversation with anyone I met at BlogU would fall under the category of ‘good time’.

I learned a lot at Blog camp college. It was like a vision quest. I left it hungry and tired, with a new understanding of myself. I will always be the guy who tries to get his friends to do awful things like unsuspectingly cut someone’s hair or write their number on a desk. I never said I was a role model.

 

And, Sangria in Baltimore is GOOD. Find The Cock, sip from its fountain.

July 1

Box of Hammers

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I am constantly being a stick in the mud. As I scroll my newsfeed, seeing post after post about copying and pasting or picture challenges, I roll my eyes. Nobody cares about your support via copy and pasting. No one actually wants to see your first profile picture or photos that make you feel beautiful.

I catch myself thinking these thoughts. A part of me is forever annoyed with other people. I don’t like people. If I don’t have a few drinks in me, I don’t think people much like me either.

Maybe it is a part of social anxiety, but I have never been one for small talk. I don’t want to know how you are and I don’t want to lie when you ask me how I am. I have never been much good at small talk either. I actually got into sports to have something to talk to people about.

A good portion of the useless information floating around in my head is for the sole purpose of being able to maintain a conversation and not make someone uncomfortable with my awkwardness. I don’t watch baseball, yet can tell you fact after stupid fact if baseball is what you are into. I read movie plots so I can join in conversation about movies I never even plan to see.

It is neurotic the lengths I go to in the name of fitting in. I go through motions, suffering inside for an exit sign or escape route.

I want people to like me. So much so I know random oddball information and have it prepped to pepper into conversation. If given the option to dissipate, I may linger a moment or two.

I am scared I lack the impact to be remembered.

Would you miss me when I’m gone?

If I peel away my sarcasm and cynicism, exposing my soul in its bare gritty form, would you look away or hold my stare?

I am perpetually sad. Perpetually anxious. Perpetually uncomfortable. Some days, I don’t even realize I have carried sadness with me all day. I sit at my laptop to write and find myself suddenly feeling a burden lifted from my chest as sad thoughts fill page.

A good day spirals into darkness when I finally allow myself to think.

A friend of mine put out a message for writers to share their faces and the anxiety or depression they carry guarded by a smile. As I typed out my feelings, I found myself unable to leave a comment. It wasn’t so much feeling like talking about my sadness would be taboo, but the thought that nobody cared.

In my mind, everyone I talk to hates me. I don’t much like me, so why would they? I didn’t want her to feel obligated into including me. For as long as I can remember I was an unwelcome obligation and I spend a good portion of adulthood going out of my way to be out of people’s way.

I didn’t add to her piece, because my anxiety coupled with my sadness told me I wasn’t wanted. I am feeling a deep sense of irony with that.

One of my closest friends said I was fucked up like a box of hammers. I don’t understand the analogy and maybe that is why I loved it so much. It fit. I spend most days feeling like a square being forced to fit in a circular hole.

If I had participated I would have said I am sad. Most days, the sadness creeps up on me when I take a moment to myself. I don’t label the sadness, because I try to spend my time outrunning it or outright refusing to acknowledge it. I have anxiety. It forces me to become withdrawn when I really want to be outgoing. My anxiety convinces me everyone hates me. The sadness convinces me I should disappear. Together, they coerce me into believing no one will care if I dissipate.

I am fucked up like a box of hammers.

June 24

How To Be The Most Successful Blogger. Ever.

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While the words successful blogger and Punk Rock Papa are not exactly synonymous, I decided to give it a go anyways and write a definitive guide to being a successful blogger. Sure, my ‘stats’ aren’t exactly gaudy, but who cares? I pay hundreds of dollars a year on internet writing so I must know what I am doing. Also, I am sort of published in an anthology, so you know I am the real deal.

There are many things that go into becoming a successful blogger. Do you feel like you don’t have the writing talent to be a successful blogger? Who cares?! Being successful isn’t about being good at anything. I like to call my approach to blogging the  Kardashiyesican Approach.

First and foremost, you have to find yourself an audience. Your audience, at first, can be family and those ride or die friends who always told you how good of a singer you were and how you should totally try out for American Idol. The ones who uploaded the grainy video of you singing to YouTube and then submitted it to America’s Funniest Home Videos. Show those friends your dreams and aspirations.

There are many different kinds of bloggers. Some write lists and some write recipes. Others like to take all their sessions of therapy and condense them into 500 to 1,000 word bursts to spew across the internet in between shares of funny memes and a disgust for the word ‘moist’. These are the successful bloggers, the real MVPs of the blogging world. You want to be one of them.

The Kardashiyesican Approach involves you being completely bare and pretending to be embarrassed about being ‘naked’ in front of strangers. When posting you should use phrases such as;

“This is really important to me.”

“I never thought I would find the courage to share this.”

“This has trigger warnings.”

It is really important to sell to your audience. Sure, the incident required a hundred hours of therapy and happened five years ago but you want to sell it like you are “Not over it but getting there.”

This is how the REAL bloggers do it.

Another good way to build an audience is to accidentally leak your blog at work. Tell Karen, who never keeps her mouth shut, about it. The key is to act super embarrassed.

“Oh, that reminds me of this thing I wrote. I am super embarrassed, I probably shouldn’t show you this. I trust you, Karen. I trust you. Well, I guess since it is on the internet it is there for everyone to see. No, Karen, scroll down. There. Yes, I blog. Don’t tell anyone. I trust you Karen, did you hit subscribe and share?”

A lot of bloggers will advise you to like and share other people’s work as well. That sounds like it requires a whole lot of reading and sharing that you could spend asking people to read your stuff. The best way to get around this is to just drop links to your blog on other people’s blogs. This will show them that not only did you “read” *wink* their work, but related to it so much it reminded you that everyone should be reading your words instead.

Feeling overwhelmed? Building an audience is important, there are many ways to do it. Sure, there may be ways that are more etiquette centric but let’s be honest here, you’re blogging because it is about you. The Kardashiyesican Approach isn’t about doing what is right or wrong, it is about being the most successful blogger you can be.

If you are really having a hard time building an audience, you can always just straight forward attack your peers. This method might even land you TV spots! I like this method, because it cuts out a lot of the social media aspect of successful blogging. Just write some vitriol, write an I’m not sorry post, write an I’m sorry post and then write a post about how you are seeking mental wellness.

Watch the stats stack up.

If you want to go the social media route, there are a variety of social media platforms to play on. I am what is known as a level 3 Facebook Guru. I have a ‘tribe’, a page with thousands of followers and an ability to say I was on Scary Mommy. Having a tribe is really awesome for exposure. You can use your tribe to build this really tight bond with your peers, in case you need to straight forward attack them and call them shit later. Tribes are also filled with really nice people, too.

We aren’t here for friends, we are here to be successful bloggers. This is a really competitive field and if, like me, you aren’t as talented as the rest, you can’t spare time to have friends or anything in your tribe. These are your competition for the trending topic. It is a constant battle of who had a worst childhood and if you want good sites to pick you up, you better start dipping into those repressed memories.

Social media provides a good platform to talk about yourself. I find it really important, in order to be successful, to always be talking about yourself or your family. Sometimes, my kids will want to do something and while it may seem like fun, I know Christine from whatever page has already done that this week so we have to do something else for the precious Facebook likes. Facebook likes equal more people reading your blog, something my children have a hard time comprehending.

Facebook is wildly important if you want to be successful. If you can be personable online, take other people’s statuses and reshape them so it sounds like an original thought, and get people to think you spend as much time with your family as you say you do online then you will be golden. It’s called balance. While I don’t advocate Munchausen Syndrome, I do advocate using makeup to put fun ‘boo-boos’ on your children. Sympathy likes are super in right now.

Lastly, and this is how you truly reach the pinnacle of success, you have to be angry. Not angry about your life, no, you have to be happy with your life. You need to be angry about something that doesn’t affect you. It could affect a sister’s best friend’s cousin, but not you directly. You have to be really upset though, as if your day-to-day routine of pretending to play with your kids at the park was truly affected by something that happened a million miles away from you. Lose sleep over something.

I like to say, “I know I was upset about that thing last week and can’t remember what cause I was fighting- but this, this truly traumatized me because of the magnitude at how everyone else is upset by it. I mean it, this has awakened my inner activist and I want to do somethi- Oh, wait, nevermind. I am really angry about THIS thing now.”

It is important to remember, the internet is a tough place to gain popularity if you aren’t a cat. I hope you can take the Kardashiyesican Approach and use it to turn childhood woe into viral posts. Because, at the end of the day, might as well do it for the likes.

June 22

Dear Congress, You’ve Failed US

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I moved between sadness and a deepening sense of outrage. Unsure of what I wanted to say, just knowing I felt compelled to say something, I fought the urge to go on Twitter and tweet the words ‘fuck you’ to every single member of Congress.

I hold them all accountable. If 49 families never got to see their loved ones alive again, the least Congress can do is sit in a room until they come up with something. Anything. As I explained my frustration to a coworker, he said this,

“Dude, if they did nothing after a little white child was shot, why would they do anything now? They didn’t care when an all black church was shot up. They don’t care a gay club was shot up. They didn’t even care a little white child was shot.”

I wanted to argue with him but what could I say? Nothing has been done. As I was dwelling on 49 faces flying through my newsfeed, he put it in perspective to me. There are many more than just 49 families out there missing someone.

The sickening reality is this country has a problem. Our newsfeed reads how I imagine a third world country’s would.

Murder.

Violence.

Death.

Brutality.

Nothing from the government.

This is how I imagine unrest to be. This is how I imagine any good dystopian novel begins.

I will try to be as measured and open-minded as possible when writing this. I want a conversation. This country doesn’t need more fighting, it needs people talking. It needs proactive movement towards resolution.

Four gun measures were put forward. Two from the republicans and two from the democrats. All four failed to pass. It reeks of bullshit. Two parties, serving the interest of their party, driving the value of human life down.

This is serving self-interest, not the people. Thoughts, prayers and condolences, culminating into one big message of ‘fuck you, you’re on your own.’

Wall Street received a bail out. When will Congress bail the people out from the growing threat of being riddled with bullet holes?

I am sorry if my language is obscene, senator. To me, it is more obscene to do nothing in the face of catastrophic loss.

I didn’t agree with every measure put forward Monday. The idea of a list the government can add people to lackadaisically without my comprehension scared me. I have seen enough movies, read enough books and caught enough History Channel to know some things have the best intentions and fall into the worst hands.

But strengthening background checks? This doesn’t sound like disarmament to me. This doesn’t sound like the government coming to take anybodies guns. If a stringent background check finds you unfit to carry, maybe that problem is you, not the law. Who is hurt by background checks at gun shows?

I don’t understand and maybe that is my problem. Maybe my issue is I look at my children and know taking them out in public runs the risk of them being shot. And maybe the issue I have is knowing their senseless death wouldn’t matter to anyone but me and my family. This isn’t me trying to appeal to some sort of human emotion, The Senate has made it quite clear, again and again, they do not care.

Four measures and nothing. At my job, when we fail to reach a solution to a problem, people get fired. There isn’t much they can do in terms of lobbying for their job. If you are failing to fulfill your duties, you are removed and someone else is moved in to your place. Someone who will get the job done.

Something. Anything. Your well wishes aren’t keeping us alive.

June 14

Death is Trending

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I want to be funny. I scan through the trending topics on social media, looking for a red cup fiasco or, at the very least, a child falling into an animal pit.

Instead I find photographs and stories of senseless murder. I see a country reeling on so many different levels.

I want to write a tell-all of the conference I went to. Be you at BlogU! The people I secretly didn’t like and the people I couldn’t believe I ever thought were anything short of wonderful.

Instead, I find myself reading article after article. Putting faces to forty-nine people who impacted someone’s life and are now impacting my life with their tragic and terrible fate.

I don’t want to be sad or make others sad. I don’t want to get into the never-ending fight.

Over guns.

And politics.

And Islam.

And homosexuality.

And religion.

And and and and and.

There is always another and. Another nasty fight. Faulty wording there for someone to pick apart, because diving into the depth of content is too much work. There are some who might read this and they will take from it I fight about gay political guns that practice Islam, because they are trying to pick something apart to deflect from the saddening sense of defeat we are all feeling.

Where can my children and I go today? Obviously we weren’t planning on going to a gay nightclub, although my wife and friends will go once in a blue moon to the local gay bar, where the woman my kids affectionately call Auntie Morgan helps those dressing in drag do their make up.

I can’t take my kids to school. That became clear on December 14th, 2012. An hour and a half away from where I live, to children only a few years older than my children are now.

I can’t take my kids to the movies. That became clear July 20th, 2012. At a movie I saw in theaters as well, with my wife on a late night.

But, all that happened in 2012, right? It has been four years, surely taking my kids out in public is safer now and I am grasping at straws to paint a history of gun violence.

April 15, 2013, the city of Boston, which happens to be my favorite city on the east coast, became the victim of an attack. The bomb detonating at a spot I have stood at on multiple occasions. I stood there as the Boston Bruins marched the Stanley Cup proudly through the city. I stood there cheering, with a sense of security and safety.

December 2, 2015, The city of San Bernardino, which happens to be where I was born and lived as a small child, became victim to a senseless and violent attack. Guns being drawn blocks away from where I sometimes envision revisiting as an adult.

November 29, 2015, the city of Colorado Springs, where I stayed as we laid my mom to rest. Senseless violence, in the city I told my wife I would like to move to. Where my brother lives the next town over with his wife and son.

These dates are all over the place and I apologize. I only name them as they come to mind and hurt the heart.

I don’t mention color. I don’t mention creed. And why would it matter? If it matters to you, it’s a pretty even spread of angry ranging white to brown. Off the top of my head its White American, White American, White Russian (not the drink, although I am starting to need one), Muslim American, White American. When we add Orlando, June 12th, 2015, the day before my birthday, it adds another Muslim American.

I believe even the Russian was a naturalized citizen. I can’t be sure, my head is beginning to spin at the thought of taking my children out into a world where there are so many different people angry and ready to kill others who are strangers to them and guilty of nothing more than wrong place, wrong time.

I don’t feel safe at the grocery store. Or the mall. I am sure I can find dates for those places being shot up. I am sure there are people out there, still reeling from loss who can remember those days from the moment they woke up to the moment they lost a child.

I don’t claim to know the answer. I don’t want to get into the never-ending fights, with all their ands attached.

I want to be funny. To make fun of trending content.

I want to feel safe when I take my family in public, not just scanning the surrounding area for places to shield my family in case of senseless violence. I want to say hello to a passerby without scanning them for the possibility of a hidden weapon.

I don’t know the answer and maybe that means I should shut up.

I do know I am afraid. The general consensus is so are many others. Because this trend of senseless murder isn’t going away, it’s getting worse.

May 27

What I Wish I Knew Before Having Boys

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I watch my children run around outside, playing together and laughing in the beautiful weather. My heart fills with joy, as they do “boy” things, like play in the dirt and pick up bugs they find. I feel like the luckiest man in the world, blessed with a beautiful, happy, set of sons I get the pleasure of watching grow up. I shuffle them inside, marching them to the bath to clean the fun dirt from behind their ears so we can sit down for a nice lunch together. Family, it is such a beautiful thing. Washing my son gets awkward. His little trooper stands at full attendance, as I wash around his body parts to make sure everything is clean.

No one ever told me about this. They told me about colic and how to deal with a blow-out. I learned, from the parenting books, what was best to pack, the good and bad of crying it out. I learned fun games to help my sons grow cognitively and how important balanced meals were. I must have missed a chapter.

No one told me about the baby boner and now I am left to feel like a worker at a seedy massage parlor when I wash or change my son’s diapers. I think Viagra should rebrand it’s self.

“It will get you up like you were a baby!” 

I only speak of the baby stiffs because literally had no idea a baby could do that until my twins were born. Pull the diaper back and HELLO, THIS ISN’T THAT TYPE OF PARTY, YOUNG MAN!

I found out a baby boner supposedly means the kid is about to pee. Which, completely confuses me from my own personal experiences with erections. It makes me wonder why my children always are about to pee during Princess Sophia.

They don’t have to pee, they are perverts.

The twins, recently potty trained (hallelujah), have taken to pulling their underwear to the side and flicking their little boy toys while saying “Daddy, look! Pee Pee!” I have zero interest in looking at my son magically make his balloon animal grow, which I am quite vocal about.

It means they are about to pee, said the female expert. Have you ever had a boner, lady? Peeing with an erect..erm…member is like trying to convince your child to finish their vegetables. It ain’t happening, professional baby boner chick.

There is a lot you deal with when you become a parent. I didn’t sign up for dealing with hard-ons. I will wipe a butt and give a bath with a smile. I did not sign up for dicks dicks dicks all in my face.

You think they could have covered that in health class? I mean, I feel it would have deterred me from parenting.

“Let’s make a baby, baby!”

“Uh, what if we get a boy, babe?”

“We can name him after you. He can be Junior. Oh, please, my love, let’s make a baby!”

“Uh, I ain’t dealing with baby boners you better pass that box of condoms and pop your birth control or I am gonna go back to Netflix and Chilling without you.”

#Sorrynotsorry

I am here to expose this issue like my son exposes himself. Inappropriately. I can get by with school not teaching me how to file my taxes or do a mortgage but I will stand up against the lack of education about willy wonders of the toddler world.

Why didn’t anyone give me a heads up. Oh my god, I am gonna be sick.