October 28

NaNoWhatTheFuckAmIDoing

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November 1st marks the dreaded month long grueling spartan race known as NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. The purpose, is to put together a novel in a month. A few weeks back I decided I was in a good place to attempt the challenge I have only recently even found out about.

I have been blogging for a little over a year. To be exact, I have been writing for 1 year 2 months 21 days

or 14 months 21 days

or 63 weeks 6 days

 or 447 days

 or 10,728 hours

 or 643,680 minutes

 or 38,620,800 seconds.

But who is counting? Clearly not me. In that time, I have gone from silly to serious about my writing. They say ten thousand hours is required to master a practice. I am proud to say I have finally figured out which there, their, they’re to use in a sentence.

Talk about progress. 

So, for the past 38,620,800 (I am sure it is much higher now, as I continue my mastery of word-slinging) I have done a whole lot of writing. At the beginning, I was publishing from my phone. I actually didn’t have a laptop, at all. I used my wife’s work laptop for a whole two posts before she left that job, having to turn in the laptop. Sheepishly, I lied and blamed my children for why I had to use my phone.

“They broke it, they broke my laptop because they hate me”

(While this is PARTIALLY true, my laptop was broken long before I began blogging. I believe it was broken during my drunk youtube internet sensation that plays the guitar days, which can be found here, I wouldn’t click it at work, or ever.)

I was embarrassed to say that my only means of writing was my iPhone. I knew people didn’t take me seriously. I didn’t even have a computer and I was trying to be a writer. I needed to write though, it kept me up at night.

It is hard to describe how words keep me up at night. The need to write almost suffocates me daily. Once it was turned on, well, I couldn’t turn it off if I wanted to. My mind races through memories, sizing them up and wondering how they would be to write. My conscious is a librarian, scrambling around trying to find what is just right to share, while still busily taping off parts as restricted.

When I don’t write, I don’t sleep. Once my mind has decided it has something to say, a recorded loop goes on in my head,

“It is time. This needs to be said. Now is the time to say this. It needs to be said”, followed by a rough outline of exactly what I will sit down and write.

I once heard a quote, from a famous sculptor, I believe I heard this in Venice so I assume it was one of the famous artists that were later immortalized as Ninja Turtles. The quote basically stated that his statues were always stuck in the stone, and it was his job to free them.

This resonates with me. A lot of the time, these words are already there and my fingers blast away furiously at the keyboard, releasing them from their prison in  my mind.

Sound crazy? Is that artist enough for you? 

It is crazy, even I can admit that. It doesn’t make it any less real. These aren’t my words, just like they aren’t yours. These words are their own.

Yes, so I decided, with the words becoming increasingly impatient, to do NaNoWriMo.

Since I decided to take this challenge. There have been two panic attacks and serious consideration of committing blog suicide before erasing my social media presence as much as possible.

I don’t want to fail. I am having a really hard time with self-doubt over it. Something that I keep with me is the memories of how people reacted when they found out I wrote exclusively from my phone.

“You need a laptop to blog.”

Well, I had a family to provide for and no extra income for a laptop. So, no, I don’t need a laptop to blog.

( I have a laptop now, and you don’t need a laptop to blog- if you are reading this wondering about writing- consider this- PEOPLE ONCE DREW ON FUCKING CAVE WALLS. You don’t even need a pencil to draw. Use what you have. Whether it is pen and paper or the blood of thine enemies. If you want to write, don’t let anyone tell you what you “need” to write. The only need there is, is the need to do it.)

Seriously.
But, you know, you need a laptop to word-sing.

Two panic attacks, with the challenge five days away, I am all but ready to give up on myself. Self-doubt and insecurity are raging a war inside with words that need to come out.

Self-doubt and his pal, insecurity, are telling me of all the things I “need” to write a book. All this time I “need”.  All these books I “need”. All this space, purpose, outlines, everything I “need”.

I just need to fucking do it. 

-The Words

So here I am. On the precipice of what, in my mind, is glory or defeat. Taking on another challenge, ill-equipped and without my needs. I have something that trumps need though.

I have the words, coupled with desire and passion.

Bring on NaNoWhatTheFuckAmIDoing, because I am ready and excited for the experience.

 

Also, I really fucking want it.

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October 25

What Magazines Won’t Tell You About Your Body

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What Magazines Won’t Tell You About Your Body

Remember slamming forties of malt liquor in the yesteryears? Taking the 211 to 911 and laughing off the crazy night before with friends?

If I tried to down a Four Loko now I am pretty sure I would shit my pants and throw up on my dog. There is a slight gag coming on in the back of my throat just thinking of all the times I drank those. And Joose, the purple kind, my skin crawls.

When I was younger though, it was the best. I would take malt liquor any day of the week, two cans or a forty MADE YOUR NIGHT. You could hand me a craft beer and I would probably have called you a douche (okay, back in the day, young Briton had an affinity for calling people fags and I don’t feel it fair to lie and pretend Forty Chugging Briton wouldn’t have called you a fag for handing him a fancy beer) and told you your stout tasted like unwashed butthole. You would have said, “You know what unwashed butthole tastes like? Who’s the fag now” and I would have violently attacked you for questioning my masculinity.

Nowadays, reformed F-word user Briton likes a good IPA. That’s India Pale Ale for those not in the know. My favorite thing to do is kick back, relax, turn on whatever sport is showing on ESPN and enjoy a cold bottle of a fancily brewed IPA.

“What happened to us?”

Slurs the messy drunk of the past.

Over time, our tastes change. Be it music, food, beer, even women. Just like I am not running to the TV for Saturday morning cartoons, I am not running out for the types of girls I liked in my youth. (I know youth, for me, is a relative term. I have three kids, bills to pay, and I am a good three years clean from Steel Reserve. It is about as old as you can get without purchasing a Life Alert button.) 

My wife isn’t the girl I met. As a person or physically. My first memory of my wife was a tight ass, a firm belly and some breasts that looked like they may have been tiny planets. They also had a gravitational pull. I was hooked on that knockout down at the grocery store, going as far as to pay the extra few dollars for a rack of beer at her store just to get her to okay the sale.

She still has this chest that pulls me in from a room away, but her body has changed. Go figure, after providing me with three kids, she looks physically different. She has very much earned those tiger stripes on her stomach. The heels that once pushed her ass up have gone, in favor of comfier shoes, making it easier to chase two very active kids around. She has changed physically. The woman I am married to now is no longer the girl from the grocery store. Damn though, she is still a knockout.

I love her physically now, just as much as I did the first time I saw her.

What beauty magazines don’t tell you about, because they are written by women for women about men that women never cleared the men desires they are claiming as man secrets by the actual men they are trying to perfect your sex life with, is men love women. Men don’t love girls. Men love meaty, they love your body’s transformation post motherhood. What the magazines fail to mention, while being distressingly interested in trying to get you to stick your sneaky pinky in your man’s ass  (seriously, stay away from my goddamn ass, Cosmopolitan), is that sexuality moves past physicality at some point.

Sexuality as a kid is physical. There is little to no understanding of how many inhibitions can be let loose once you get on the same mental wavelength with your partner. Oklahoma, Diana. (All married couples need a safe word) 

As we have matured and become less partygoer and more parent, our tastes have matured. Yes, twenty year old us still is in there, still remembering the joys of tequila shots and sex that could be broken up any minute by perverted and nosy friends. Now, we still want to pull you in the bathroom and pray the TV holds attention of nosy kids for a quickie.

We still want you, and yes, the you we want is the you now. It isn’t the girl we met but the woman we decided to promise our lives to.

You won’t find that in a magazine, because they are too busy selling flowery scented insecurities. We aren’t kids anymore, but that doesn’t make you any less the hottie from back in the day. MILF porn is a thing for a good reason. Besides, those tiger stripes you earned that adorn your body? Those are exotic. Exotic is sexy.

Meow.

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October 22

Mandatory Halloween Post

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Every year, as the leaves turn crimson colors and the brisk air forces jackets out of closets, I stop in the candy aisle. There, sitting in the same spot as it has for what must be a few years now is the big pile of candy corn bags. I pick up a bag of candy corn, brush the dust off of it, and throw it in the cart.

The bag comes home with me, where I joyfully open it, usually the moment I get in the house. In my head I think, this is the year!, as I pop one of those yellow and orange suckers in my mouth. Excitedly, I bite down, waiting for nostalgia to bring me back to a time when I loved munching candy corn.

Then, as the disgusting flavor of disappointment and sugar fills my mouth, I sigh because every single fucking year I dupe myself into picking up a bag of disgusting candy corn. Why do I do this to myself? I know candy corn is nasty, but a part of me expects them to change the recipe to make the little Halloween mainstays at least somewhat edible.

I tried giving candy corn to the kids, as a reward for using their potties. The first few times it went smoothly. My sweet kids would take the candy corn with  a smile and eat a few before realizing the same thing I do; candy corn is awful. Not to hurt dad’s feelings, they then go behind the couch to spit chunks of orange nastiness onto the ground. My dog, who eats her own poop, doesn’t even go back there for the discarded treats. My kids also refuse to use the potty now because of candy corn.

I am not saying candy corn has ruined my life, but I am heavily inferring it.

One of the cool things I decided when my kids were born was that every Halloween we would match our costumes. I told my wife this will go on the rest of their life, as I sat there and plotted the next twenty five Halloweens. The first year we went as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was really cool.

Year two, I got hooked on Pinterest and decided that we needed to make their costumes. What could be so hard about turning my family into a tribe of proud Indians Native Americans? As I sobbed internally, my hand remained super glued to feathers that were supposed to be superglued to a headband and not my body. He Who Tries Standing On The Baby and He Who Takes Off His Diaper To Pee On The Sleeping Dog refused to wear their headbands, forcing my wife and I to wear them.

This year, with the Baby in the mix, we have opted to stay away from the glue gun and feathers in favor of costumes from the store. I want to dress them as knights, so I bought them swords and little suits of armor. The welts on the back of my legs from their constant surprise attacks makes me think arming toddlers is probably not the brightest idea I have ever had.

This year, we were invited three different places to trick or treat. I enthusiastically RSVP’ed my family to all three invitations and now have to sit here weighing the pros and cons of the only three friends I have that are nice enough to invite my kids over after countless times of hearing me apologize for something broken or destroyed by my offspring. I am thinking Halloween night we all catch a virus and haul ass across state line to Rhode Island where no one will recognize us and we won’t look like horrible people who blew everyone off.

The real problem is now I can’t take pictures on Halloween because it will be evidence. This Halloween will be filed in the mental memory database, the same one that keeps making me think there was a time in my life I enjoyed candy corn.

We tried to carve pumpkins this year. After going to a local little market, we picked out the most perfect pumpkins in the history of gourd. They were gorgeous gourds of gourdyness. Not learning my lesson about handing my kids things that could be used as weapons, I handed my son the little carving tool before  having to take it away as he tried to cut my fingers off. While emptying out the guts, my kids decided it would be HILARIOUS to fling orange gook at the dog. Terrified, our dog attempted S-style evasive maneuvers, all the while being pelted with pumpkin insides we had planned to Pinterest (I never learn my lesson on anything) into pumpkin pie. Then, after all was said and done, the kids cried at the door because their pumpkins got to stay outside but they didn’t.

With Halloween comes the next few months of everyone talking incessantly about The Nightmare Before Christmas, or as I like to call it, The Whiny Goth Kid’s Bible. I really have never found this movie to be good and have discreetly tossed the copies people have given my kids as gifts. I actually cringe a little when it flashes up in Netflix, worried one of my kids will point to it and make me turn it on.

I don’t know what it is about that movie but I just fucking hate it.

Last year, I got in trouble for eating all the candy. My wife and I each claimed one of the kids candy loots as our own before dividing the baby’s candy equally. Having a kid allergic to peanuts is pretty awesome when you realize it is your parental duty to eat all the Reese’s and Snickers. We weren’t selfishly hoarding their candy, we were protecting my son from an allergic reaction. Anyways, I would pack some candy for work, while my wife left her candy alone and uneaten on top of the fridge. As my candy stash dried up, it wasn’t fair to look at her overflowing plastic pumpkin of sugary sweets, so I ate her candy while she was out and didn’t regret it once. If she wanted it she would have eaten it, not been angry when she noticed her bowl was filled with wrappers and those nasty Lifesavers Gummies.

There is no point to this post, other than I felt I needed to write something about Halloween. I really hope there is a house that hands out ecstasy, because I could use the pick me up for when I go to work after taking the kids trick or treating. I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween, fuck candy corn and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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October 20

Weirdo

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“You’re a weirdo, I don’t want to play with you” said the boy who was roughly a little over a foot taller than my son.

My son’s weird action? He walked up and waved.

In that moment, it hurt. The clenched fist matched the lump forming in my my throat I couldn’t swallow. As the dick child ran off, my son stood there looking confused. He likes to walk up to kids and help them when they fall. He waits his turn or gives his spot in line to kids. He reaches his hand out to hold others’, for no reason other than it’s nice to hold someone’s hand every once in a while. Weirdo, in this household, is something said in a laughing manner. “Oh, you little weirdo!”, after being caught chewing dog food. It wasn’t a word used to exclude.

Not until today.

We have all been in that moment at some, or many, points of life’s journey. A person’s propensity for meanness is something most have become numb to, knowing it will never change. Some of us, myself included, have even been on the giving end,  making another person miserable for simply being alive.

It caught me off guard to see my son treated that way.

I didn’t run over and trip the child who was mean to my son. I wanted to, absolutely, but my clenched fist and I stayed back. As much as I want to fight every battle for my son, I know there are some I have to sit on the sideline and cheer him through, albeit sometimes silently. I didn’t seek out a parent to tell them how they are raising America’s Next Top Douchebag. These are kids, and this will happen the rest of my kid’s life. This was my son’s fight and unfortunately I couldn’t be tagged in.

That is why there was a lump in my throat.

At two years old, my son got his first experience of what it is like to not be liked. At two years old, I watched him be treated differently for no reason whatsoever. In that moment, a little boy, MY little boy, begun a battle we all fight every single day. My son learned people in this world sometimes don’t accept you, even if they have no reason not to. And that, that breaks my heart.

The fact it happened, coupled with the knowledge it will happen again throughout his entire life, it broke my heart.

The judgement. The exclusion. The petty name calling. People not liking you, for whatever you did that rubbed them the wrong way.

It will happen all his life.

At twenty-four, it fucking sucks. 

At two, it doesn’t seem fair. 

Today, at the park my son was called a weirdo by some older boy. Tonight, before he goes to bed I will tell him being a weirdo is perfectly fine and to fly a freak flag high. I will also let him know it is perfectly fine to throat punch pretentious little douchebags on the playground who call him a weirdo.

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October 5

Catch Me If You Can

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His eyes flitted around the kitchen. Feeling sure no one was watching he quickly slid the now empty toy bin against the counter. Upside down it provided the perfect elevated platform to stand on and reach what was on the countertop. Although it was tucked just out of view, over time he figured out the location of the precious treasure he was currently in search of. He knew it was there, if only he could reach it, without anyone noticing. 

Climbing up on top of the toy bin turned foot stool, he looked around again, his hand reaching out. As fingers found their way to what he was looking for, our eyes locked. 

“What are you doing, Killian?” I asked.

I had been watching from the other room over my laptop. I knew what he was doing and I knew that he knew it was against the rules. When he began his ascent up the toy bin, I moved from the couch to the doorway of the kitchen, waiting for him to notice me. 

As we stood there, time frozen and eyes locked, I waited for a response. His arm grew rigid, his mind going over the options. A grin formed on his face during our tense stand-off. He wasn’t going to climb down and walk away from the situation. He’d come too far not to get a cookie. Toys lay strewn about, quickly and carelessly thrown from the toy box he was now using as a makeshift platform. 

“It’s okay!” he shouted, as a hand darted into the plastic container. His hand secured around one. I moved in but was too late. I had misjudged his quickness, yet again. 

Actually, I didn’t really care if he had a cookie. This had been a fun game for a while. Sneaking treats, getting caught, laughing, enjoying the thrill of cat and mouse over some snacks. We had been doing this for about a month, since he figured out the location of the coveted sugar cookies. 

His hand shot the contraband into his mouth as I scooped him up laughing. 

“Those are my cookies! Give it back!” I snorted through laughs. Crumbs fell from his toddler mouth as my finger found the soft spot right below his ribs and began to tickle him. 

‘At least get me one!” I said, positioning him closer to the cookies. His hand reached back towards the bag, producing another sugar cookie. Using the fine motor skills of a drunken sailor, he smashed the cookie into my cheek before I had a chance to grab it from his hand. Cookie erupted, leaving evidence across the countertop of a struggle. 

Setting him down, I retrieved milk from the fridge and we went to the living to sit and enjoy our snack. 

As much fun as we had, the real fear of being caught set in about a half hour later, when from the kitchen we heard the female voice of the head of household,

“Where are all the cookies?” 

Looking at each other, Killian and I hustled our separate ways as I shouted, “Damn kids must have snuck some cookies again!” to my wife, wiping crumbs from my cheek and chin and discreetly placing our now empty milk cups into the sink. 

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