Dad for Beginners

Amateurism at its best

December 13, 2014
by Creed
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Santa’s Lap

The seemingly age old tradition of small children sitting on Santa’s lap and asking for presents is so engrained in our society that most parents think nothing of it. For decades it has been commonplace to take your younglings to a venue where they can perch atop the lap of the jovial fat man of the season and tell him what they desire for Christmas. It has become as normal as any other American holiday tradition.

Parents buy into this more than kids. It is the parents who promote this idea of Santa’s Lap. Over time, children accept the notion of Santa and of the seasonal custom of sitting on a stranger’s lap during the winter months, however it is the parents who initially instigate this bizarre tradition. Any other time of year, parents would scream in horror if their children willingly sat on a fat, bearded, strange man’s lap and asked him for things. All stereotypes aside, most people probably don’t want anything a bearded, fat guy has to offer anyway. Unless you have a thing for Werther’s Originals and perhaps a cigar.

There is nothing more disconcerting than placing your young children on the lap of a stranger who has an uncanny resemblance to most homeless. Sans the red suit and hat, most Santas are barely discernible from bums. Similarly to hobos, most Santas are outwardly disheveled, overly hairy, and probably drunk. If that very same man lost the suit and approached your child in a windowless panel van offering candy, you’d run for the police. Yet somehow putting a red suit and a furry hat on even the creepiest individuals changes their aura altogether. So much so that parents enforce their child’s closeness to this seasonal being.

Santa's Lap

Odin, father of Thor, Allfather of the Gods, Ruler of Asgard, the original Santa, and a lookalike of every homeless man ever. Quite a resume.

The annual tradition of handing your children over to an obese, elderly codger in a red suit has become as natural as eating turkey on Thanksgiving or dressing as a hussy on Halloween. The normalcy associated with Santa’s Lap is easily one of the most paradoxical qualities of an already hypocritical time of year. Santa’s Lap is only Santa’s Lap insofar as the individual is perceived as jolly, rotund, bearded, and dressed in red. It is perhaps the ultimate irony that parents will relentlessly protest the presence of a sex offender in their neighborhoods but will nary express a concern about encouraging their impressionable children to climb upon the lap of a complete stranger…especially one with such lofty career ambitions as “mall Santa.”

Santa's Lap

Sinterklaas, based on the original St. Nick. Nothing strange or creepy about this guy at all.

Happy Holidays, kids. When mommy and daddy push you towards the bearded geriatric at your local mall, just remember this. Santa is fictional. And that guy dressed as the conjured deity of childhood materialism…he hates you, he hates all kids. The only thing he needs besides a real job and probably some hydrocortisone for his fake beard rash is to be left alone whilst in line at the soup kitchen.

December 5, 2014
by Creed
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Setting Career Goals for your Child

As a child, the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” comes up a lot. For kids, this is often an incomprehensible question. In order to properly understand and answer this question, a child would first require an understanding of the misery of having a full-time career and the endless toil earning a living exacts on your life as an adult.

Children live in a fantasy world. They can say whatever they want to this question and it’s ok because they are kids. If a child wants to be a portrait painter, Broadway actor, or musician, he isn’t a beatnik or a hipster, he’s idealistic and creative. He only becomes a loser when he still holds these preposterous desires into his 20s and 30s when he is inevitably still living in his parents’ attic. One of the most common colloquialisms that you hear from seasoned parents is that raising children is intrinsically rewarding but they never specify in what capacity or to what extent it is actually rewarding. While I’ve not exactly witnessed the “rewarding” part yet, there is nothing less rewarding than crushing the irrational hopes in a child’s mind that he will one day be able to support a comfortable lifestyle by doing something that actually makes him happy.

More often than not, the answer you receive from a child is based purely on the child’s interests at the time of the question. My younger sister always had the same response when she was a kid. She wanted to be either a bank teller or work at Taco Bell. My family thought this was funny. Obviously, she was foolish to desire one of these two dead end jobs. I mean really…who wants to work at Taco Bell? But as we’ve grown to be adults, I’ve learned that my sister still has an overabundant love for both money and tacos, so maybe she was onto something that wasn’t completely based in childhood idealism. However, despite her continued fondness with the things that were once her career ambitions, she, like everyone else, was co-opted by capitalism and now works as a restaurant server with a degree in evolutionary biology. I haven’t asked her lately how often she gets into heated discussions with her co-workers about wetlands and nursing abandoned baby squirrels to health while she’s firing the dessert course but I’m sure it is fairly often given the intellectual nature of the average chain restaurant wait staff.

Never underestimate the intellectual ability of a restaurant employee. There are droves of educated capitalists foregoing their ambitions in favor of greenbacks.

It is difficult and sometimes painful to explain to an optimistic child that life is hard and the world is cruel. When you’re an adult, nobody asks nor do they care if you’re happy at your job. If, in fact, you are one of the fortunate few who is thriving in a line of work you enjoy and prospering both professionally and personally, no one wants to listen to how your life is overcome with passion and fruitfulness. They do not want to hear these things because they are stuck living a life they didn’t intend and laboring endlessly at a job they hate. Sadly, this is the case for most adults. How many among us are actually living the life we planned? In general, I find my co-workers to be a lackluster and supremely unimpressive group of tools that, if it weren’t for my need to pay the rent, I would likely never associate with out of choice.

I think that it is ok to tell my son the truth. I do not believe in lying to him by letting him believe that his future will be funded simply by his love for something. If current experience is any indication, then my son will endeavor to be the Grinch based purely on his fascination with taking things that aren’t his and smiling menacingly. I love his Grinch face and I’m quite certain he takes great pleasure in it as well but unfortunately for him, there is no money in grinching. As a responsible father, I have to be the caretaker over this behavior. While I certainly do not want to steer my son down a path ill intended, I do not want him growing up to believe that he can be a professional Grinch just because he likes being one.

If only my son could make a living doing this, he’d be the happiest and most prosperous professional curmudgeon in existence.

With the holiday season in full swing, I may begin my pilgrimage to teach my son the hard truths about life with a rousing trip to various area malls to visit the seasonal “Santas” who are employed over Christmas. I’m sure most of them are living out their childhood dreams of dead leg and fake beard rash. I’ll be sure to ask these individuals if Bloomingdales is funding their epidermal treatment packages and prescription strength hydrocortisone.

It is in this way that I hope to impart to my son that life is difficult and idealism isn’t always reality. I take absolutely no joy in dismissing the hopes and dreams of a child but subsequently, I do not want my son growing up in a fantasy world constructed on the premise that he will earn an adequate living by making balloon animals or performing magic in the local park on Sundays. Dashing whimsical endeavors is not my game, but sufficiently preparing my son for the realities of a harsh and unforgiving world is.

November 26, 2014
by Creed
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Why We Love Egg Nog

The holiday season is officially upon us. Nowhere is that more apparent than in your local grocery stores, where assuredly the typical Christmas-themed garbage has already been on display for several weeks. We do this every year and predictably so, there are two kinds of people who emerge this time of year: those who love it, and those who hate it. There are few things to look forward to during the holidays. It is generally a frigid time of year filled with all sorts of frivolous gift giving and familial togetherness…yuck. However, there is one thing that we can all be thankful for: egg nog.

Egg nog is a seasonal delight that can only be enjoyed during the Christmas season. It isn’t abundantly clear why egg nog cannot be made available year round. After all, it is merely whipped eggs and cream. There is a myth swirling around the egg nog-enthusiast community that the cows that produce the mysterious milk-like-substance take a full 10 months to mature, and thus egg nog is only available for a limited timeframe from mid-November to Christmas day. Guzzle as much as you can now, because once December 26th rolls around, it will be a scarcity yet again.

egg nog

Cousin Eddie enjoys his cognac-spiked egg nog in a green dickey.

Egg nog is a wonderful beverage for many reasons. For those people who foolishly choose to reside in colder climates, egg nog is a quick and effective way to pack on 10-15 pounds without any effort. By consuming copious amount of egg nog daily, you can bulk up that spare tire around your waistline into a full-fledged and serviceable lining of warm, fatty insulation. In the absence of egg nog after Christmas, go ahead and substitute by drinking a pitcher of pancake batter each morning.

egg nog

Use egg nog to help beef up that residual stomach fat. Nothing Bizarre about that.

Another highly sought after feature of egg nog is its appeal to the functional alcoholic. Egg nog mixes suspiciously well with cognac. If you seek to heighten your festive spirit this holiday season, add some hard liquor to your daily egg nog servings. Egg nog is thick and rich and can easily conceal the scent of alcohol. Moreover, it pairs well with a myriad of delicious cordials. Because egg nog is delicious any time of day, you can clandestinely walk around drunk all day and no one will be the wiser. Add some egg nog to your morning coffee as a cream substitute and don’t forget the cognac because after all, nothing says “happy holidays” like catching a buzz at 8am.

egg nog

Don’t try to overdo it with one of the several frivolous varieties of flavored egg nog. Stay true. Keep is classy.

Unfortunately, the availability of egg nog after Christmas day is scarce. The manufacturers of this exquisite holiday treat diligently remove it from production seemingly immediately after December 25th. It is unfortunate simply because it is so delectable, however it is of extreme concern to the chubby and inebriated holiday aficionado. It is of much dismay to the egg nog junkies that nothing truly takes the place of authentic egg nog. Although we endeavor to remain tipsy and plump into the new year, without the creamy caress of the tempting egg nog, we are forced to make health-conscious resolutions that we will adhere too for exactly one week. We struggle all year to replace the void in our soul that egg nog has left, and much like timeless lovers, only through absent love does love’s tide stronger flow. Enjoy your egg nog now, drunk chunkies, the end is always in sight.

November 16, 2014
by Creed
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The Piñata

Young children do not need further incentive to be mischievous. It is a relatively well-known fact amongst the parent population that kids have an uncanny ability to find trouble where seemingly none exists. If manufacturing malfeasance was an industry, child labor laws would be outlawed forever. The vast majority of kids could find meaningful employment by professionally destroying everything within their wingspan. Productivity would skyrocket…and children would be researched as the next sustainable energy source. Eventually, all gas and electrical powered machinery would run on the harnessed power of unbridled childhood troublemaking and the energy affiliated with it. We would finally be free from fossil fuels forever. Rejoice.

The piñata is one of the ways in which modern parents have lassoed historical tradition and morphed it into a means by which children can further develop their destructive nature. The concept of the piñata has a rich history, dating back to ancient China, 14th century Europe, and Mayan Mesoamerica. The original piñata was a way to honor the cultural gods of the region and celebrate the coming harvest. By beating a papier-mâché animal with jagged sticks, the bounty contained within would fall to the feet of the idol, thus welcoming the harvest. Original piñatas often contained the seeds that would subsequently be planted and would flourish under the care of the false god from which they were beaten out of.

piñata

Refrain from using mythical creatures in your piñata, children need to believe in what they are destroying.

For modern children celebrating an event by smashing the innards out of a colorful animal, they too can channel the deified sacrificial abilities of Huitzilopochtli and instantly command the upper hand in tribute warfare with their rival kindergarten. Kids truly do not know the advantages they stand to gain by quickly and efficiently maiming the dangling papier-mâché critter.

Through this show of childhood strength and violence, kids can also learn two of the most valuable assets in adulthood: bloodshed and greed. It is of paramount importance in 21st century America that young children learn as early as possible that the world is a cruel and evil place and the only possible way to get ahead is to resort to excessive brutality and foster an increased hunger for gluttony. By decisively destroying the piñata and selfishly claiming its inner bounty for oneself, a child will fully comprehend the American way of avarice and annihilation. If they can somehow be taught do it as remorselessly as possible, then consider that the true definition of an added perk.

piñata

Pictured here, a group of future capitalists learn how to brutalize beauty and hoard the reward. Americans in training.

Once the violent energy of children has been scientifically adapted into useable power for our vehicles and warmth, piñatas could be the single greatest asset in the renewable resource community, replacing things like petroleum, natural gas, solar panels, wind turbines, and eventually the sun altogether. With children as the nucleus of all life on Earth, we can thrive forever in eternal darkness long after the sun has expired, surrounded by an abundance of sustainable energy and the incandescent glow of the planetary nebula.

The key is harnessing this energy. By doing so, you are not only perpetuating human existence, but you’re educating kids on the importance of savagery and greed all while maximizing the productivity of your own personal human generator. While the tangible and financial benefits to adults will be historically unparalleled, the intrinsic value will be unprecedented. After all, there is nothing more simple yet productive than teaching kids to bludgeon flamboyant animals with clubs and then fight over who gets to keep its insides.

The piñata, therefore, represents a landmark discovery in the history of the human race. With a little modern innovation, we as adults can simultaneously coach children to buy into our cultural norms while being productive members of society. It’s a win-win. Be sure to congratulate your youngling when he or she is the sole beneficiary of a successful piñata assault. They are well on their way to becoming full-fledged, productive adults and maybe, just maybe, the saviors of all mankind.

November 14, 2014
by Creed
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The Mythical Creatures of Childhood, pt. 4: Chuck Norris

Some punk teenager just told me a Chuck Norris joke. This ends now.

If you are reading this and were born after 1992, please close the window now. Actually, who am I kidding? Kids don’t read anymore.

Kid’s lives these days are empty of so many pleasures that children of my generation experienced. Today’s youth are glued to their smartphones and locked into the communicative superhighway of modern technology in place of any real human interaction. Instead of searching the neighborhood for a cluster of bicycles to locate the whereabouts of their friends, they can simply login to Snapchat or What’s App or Facebook and immediately locate their posse, then proceed to communicate without ever having to leave the confines of their own room or turn off the One Direction.

Chuck Norris

Look for the bikes. This is how kids used to find their friends before technology.

To the modern youngster, Chuck Norris is no different than the Easter Bunny or Santa. They hear about him. They suspect that he may actually exist. But they do not really know for sure. In part, this is because Chuck Norris is now 74 years old and while he still looks like he is in his mid-40s, he’s far too old for anyone born after 1992 to appreciate. However, due to the fantastic jokes that have circulated through the years about Chuck Norris, kids think that they have the liberty to tell Chuck Norris jokes. They don’t.

We’ve all heard these ridiculous jokes a thousand times over. Death once had a near-Chuck Norris experience. Jesus walks on water, Chuck Norris swims on land. Chuck Norris doesn’t write code, he stares at the computer screen until he gets the program he wants. Hilarious yes, however not useable social material for anyone under the age of 23. Even 23 is pushing it a little.

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris doesn’t wear a watch, he decides what time it is.

As Chuck Norris recedes into the twilight of his life, he has become a mythical figure for virtually anyone born in the mid to late 90s and beyond. For those of us old enough to remember, Chuck Norris was merely a man, albeit a superhuman badass of a man in skinny jeans that no human male should ever be caught wearing. Adults who remember Chuck Norris will always appreciate him for his Bruce-Lee-esque martial arts abilities and ridiculous similarities to a modern day John Wayne. These people can freely tell Chuck Norris jokes.

So consider this the unofficial Chuck Norris obituary. Is he still alive? Yes. However for all practical purposes, the Chuck Norris of our lives is gone forever and has been replaced by a pantheon of hilarious colloquialisms that only us old folks truly appreciate. Run along now, children. Miley Cyrus is whoring it up on a stage near you.

Fall

November 3, 2014
by Creed
1 Comment

Autumnal Darkness

The autumn season is in full swing and never is that more apparent than when people constantly remind you that it is, indeed, fall. Humans feel the need to fill silence with meaningless conversation and the annual onset of autumn is one of the most prevalent ways that the socially needy will justify breaking any peaceful silence. The fall season is applauded for its beauty. It is widely recognized for transitional esteem, as the bountiful summer foliage takes on breathtaking hues as it experiences its annual decline into morbidity. Autumn also signifies the beginning of seasonal togetherness. There is no time like autumn to reunite with people you don’t want to spend time with the rest of the year.

One of the most immediately recognizable characteristics of autumn is the changing of the flora. Fall is renowned for the beauty that natural vegetation dons as it descends yet again into death. If the cycle of seasons were institutions of human wellness, autumn is the hospice. Loyal autumn promoters take this opportunity to spend one last moment with the terminal wildlife before it decays completely and vanishes. The is nothing less hopeful than a hospice and nothing more depressing than autumn. After all, there is no better occasion for celebration than watching a loved one drift towards the light.

Fall

The Roman Emperor Nero enjoyed the blood of slain Christians on his front lawn as aesthetically pleasing.

Fall is truly a time for the senses. In addition to the beautiful disintegration of wildlife, autumn also provides a series of sensory delights for the tongue and nose. Many popular flavors are now becoming readily available that seemingly do not exist any other time of year. Pumpkin spice is the ringleader of this uncontrollable mob of pseudo-flavors. While it is a relatively well known fact that pumpkin spice contains no pumpkin whatsoever, the autumn loyalists form a line that wraps thrice around the local Starbucks just so they can pay $8 for an arbitrary mixture of ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Additionally, the exceedingly rare cows that produce the mysterious egg-like milk substance known as egg nog become fully mature this time of year. It is a little known fact amongst the seasonal flavor junkies that it takes 10 years to successfully cross-breed a cow and an egg to create this holiday delight. Enjoy your egg nog sparingly, as it is the furthest thing from a renewable resource currently in existence.

Fall

The cows that produce pumpkin spice egg nog are rarely seen in their natural habitat.

Another exciting highlight of the current season is the nearing turkey genocide. For 10 months out of the year, most turkeys live peaceful lifestyles free from the perils that await other delicious birds of a similar genome. However, for a turkey, autumn signifies more than dying foliage and made-up flavors, it brings the annual holocaust of their kind. For the bulk of the year, most people are quite content to live their mundane lives without the presence of a turkey. However, as the weather and surrounding nature take on a darker and more somber appearance, so too does the life expectancy of most turkeys. For the next 2 months, turkeys will be targeted more aggressively that a catholic priest running a non-secular orphanage for misguided adolescents.

Fall

Gather ’round the table and enjoy what’s easily one of the ugliest creatures in existence.

The final cornerstone of the autumn season is the familial togetherness it represents. Many people will utilize this time of year to reconnect with friends and family. Typically, these celebrations will occur indoors in the presence of a freshly roasted turkey accompanied by virtually all of the frivolous flavors of the season. Familial intimacy during autumn is boosted by the presence of everything that makes the season great: dead turkeys, frigid cold, and contrived flavors. As the outside world succumbs to the freezing temperatures and you are forced into your home for warmth, be sure to spend as much time inside with the people you only want to see when you literally have no other options.

As the autumn season slowly wanes into another bleak winter, remember everything you’ve read here and keep your head up. After all, this is a time to celebrate natural death and artificial delights. There is truly no better time to embrace your Americanism. Happy holidays.

October 29, 2014
by Creed
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Dress Up as an Idiot for Halloween…Everyone is doing it…

Show me a holiday that’s designed exclusively for children, and I’ll show you a holiday that adults will eventually seize, overthrow, and capture for themselves. Think about it. Virtually every holiday that we celebrate in this wonderful nation has now become an excuse to get heavily intoxicated and binge eat. Even days that were not traditionally considered holidays like St. Patrick’s Day have become annual celebratory occasions for the excessive consumption of alcohol. Halloween is even more special because it allows adults to forego reality altogether and dress up as mythical or fantastic things. As the true definition of an added perk, adults also have the ability to commandeer their younglings candy hoard in the subsequent days.

Adults dressing up in Halloween costumes is the most tragic and laughable modern twist on this once great holiday. When I was a kid back in the early 90s, adults only donned Halloween costumes insofar as they were chaperoning their progeny during a raucous night of unbridled candy scavenging around the hamlet. Modern adult Halloween costumes are used for nothing of the sort. Nowadays, adults spend hours and dollars to create or buy the most outrageous, frightening, hilarious, or provocative ensembles to impress other adults and maybe, just maybe, solicit some drunken intercourse from a total stranger. Modern Halloween is akin to going to singles night at a circus.

Halloween

If you need a role model for your children, Halloween is a time to find plenty.

One of the key components to a successful Halloween is no longer a quiet residential neighborhood or even the presence of children. In fact, the only two ingredients required for Halloween triumph are alcohol and stupidity. In much the same way a fraternity operates, Halloween enthusiasts will thrive whether or not children are involved and having fun. Kids have become ancillary to a happy Halloween party. So long as there are immature and juvenile grown persons dressed as idiots, all that’s required is alcohol and Halloween has been executed flawlessly. Well done, grown-ups.

Halloween

Dressing up is enough to prove you’re a dick. But if there’s any doubt in your mind, just dress up AS a dick.

Revolting against this ridiculous trend is futile. Moronic adults will always outnumber those of us who, well, aren’t. Perhaps even more disheartening is the fact that these Halloween jerkoffs have an increased likelihood of procreating, especially considering their inebriated state and already poor decision-making abilities. The only salvation from this lunacy is retreating into your home, turning off the lights, and hanging a pentagram soaked in the blood of an infant goat from your door. At the very least, your house will look scary, which as I recall was once one of the cornerstones of physical Halloween decor. Despite all the promiscuously dressed Halloween hussies, I’ve yet to see a sexy front door in the residential world. At least household decoration is still relatively consistent with historical tradition.

Halloween

If you’re not sure if you look stupid in your Halloween costume, don’t worry, you do.

Fraternizing with the dimwitted masses is unavoidable in life. Unfortunately, these people are everywhere. At work. Shopping. Dining in restaurants. And they cannot be stopped. These are also the people who will invite you to their children’s birthday, then use Halloween for their own selfish endeavors. By all means, invite me to your child’s birthday party, just make sure there is an open bar. Actually it won’t even matter, I’ll already be drunk when I arrive.

October 25, 2014
by Creed
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Halloween is for Kids

Halloween is just around the corner and I cannot recall a day I look forward to less. Every year at this time, children don frightening and clever costumes and walk around neighborhoods begging strangers for empty calories. The luckiest children, the ones who live in cold climates, will have the pleasure of their moms enforcing that they wear their winter parka over their costumes. There is nothing scarier that a suburban white kid who looks like he may or may not be some sort of dinosaur beneath his gortex insulated windbreaker. Modern Halloween, however, has become yet another holiday that adults have co-opted from the youth and transformed into a day of holiday debauchery. Of particular distress to a once fun-filled holiday is the direction that modern females have taken it.

The rise of the slutty Halloween costume is a relatively recent phenomenon in the paradigm of modern Halloween foolishness. For many women of varying ages, it has become popular within the last 10 or so years to combine virtually any form of animal ears with lingerie and call it a costume. Look around you this Halloween. What do you see? Odds are you’ll see a few zombies, a handful of witches, and copious amounts of slutty bunnies, cats, mice, and devils. In fact, the modern female has been able to adapt virtually any costume into sleaze. Instead of targeting the scary or comedic costumes, the gross majority of women nowadays will go as a slutty nurse, a slutty princess, a slutty twix bar, a slutty storm trooper, or a slutty crash-test dummy. In a recent poll of Halloween ho-bags, the overwhelming majority supported changing the name to Hallow’peen. Women have single-handedly destroyed an already marginal holiday and turned it into yet another reason to be narcissistic.

Halloween

Explain to me how this is a costume, and I’ll explain to you how it’s not.

You’d think that as a man, I’d champion this type of mutation in the evolution of the female Halloween costume, but I don’t. Granted, I find the scantily clad female form as alluring as the next dirtbag, however when I was a lad, Halloween was about being scary and being creative. Women have demeaned Halloween to the least common denominator in an unconscious attempt to further cheapen an already cheap holiday.

Women will justify their classless costumes based on the attention they get from men. Halloween has become a day where women can wear virtually anything and pass it off as a costume. Real Halloween excellence lies with the woman who can successfully pull off a sexy Stephen A. Douglas ensemble. C’mon girl, let’s go trick-or-treating and debate the tenets of popular sovereignty. After all, nothing is sexier than a brain and Civil War politics.

Halloween

There is nothing scarier, sexier, or smarter than Senator Stephen A. Douglas. Expand your intellectual territory and tell me where you stand on Dred Scott.

This Halloween, I’m going to give all you single men out there a tip. Go as something that all these Halloween whores will find attractive to their lifestyles. Like an 80-year-old dude with a terminal illness, a bag of money and a living will. Step your game up, Halloween skanks. I’m on to you.

You can rise above this sexualized vanity by remembering that Halloween is a day for kids to dress up as their favorite characters or scary things and solicit unhealthy delights from total strangers. If rising above things isn’t your forte, then you can be like me and simply turn off the lights, close the door, and sleep soundly knowing that you’re neither part of the problem nor part of the solution. When in doubt, indifference is always a smart alternative.

October 20, 2014
by Creed
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When Cultures Clash…pt. 4

Feeding

“You need to know how to feed the baby. You Americans have an easy, careless way for everything. You don’t feed it from the jar. No! No! There is no jar! You boil the vegetables and then…you…puree…them! You know, in the BLENDER! THAT is how babies eat.”

pt. 1, Birth Announcements

pt. 2, Easter Bunny

pt. 3, Birth Prep

October 15, 2014
by Creed
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To Live is to Suffer

Suffering takes on a wide variety of forms, each instance relative to the environment and culture in which it takes place. The adult world is ripe with endless suffering. Sometimes suffering is physical, sometimes emotional. Each harmful in its own way. To live is to suffer. To survive is to find meaning in the suffering.

I had a really rough day last week. My 15mo old son fell asleep on my lap. He loves it there. I enjoy holding my son while he sleeps. It is very peaceful for both of us. However, the painfully humid environment of my Southern California, third-floor apartment combined with the warm corpus of my sleeping child caused me to perspire. I quickly found myself in a situation of intense suffering when my scrotum used the heightened atmospheric moisture created by the humidity and adhered itself to my inner thigh. Any man will tell you that sticky scrotum is not a sought after scrotal state. I was thus in a position of choice. Do I shift my body to ease my extreme discomfort and risk waking my son? Or do I persevere through the temporary hardship and allow him to continue sleeping peacefully. Fatherhood is filled with these kind of life-or-death decisions.

suffering

Do you know someone suffering from sticky scrotum? Donate all you can.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. I endure routine suffering. Just the other day I found myself in yet another prickly situation. While playing with my son on the floor, I inadvertently cut my thumb on a foreign object buried deep within our carpet. The unknown and mysterious object punctured my skin. There was blood everywhere. My thumb bled for a period of at least 25 seconds. The cut was deep enough that at least 0.0005 milliliters of blood spilled down my hand. It was easily enough to perform a blood transfusion on a tadpole larvae or chafer beetle pupae. Luckily I have superhuman thrombogenesis, extra strength hemoglobin, and an unnaturally high tolerance for pain.

suffering

I’m lucky to be alive.

My endless personal turmoil is not limited to physical pain. Emotional suffering plays a large role in my daily agony. I’ve been married for almost six years which represents roughly 20% of my life. One can deduce from that timeline, that of the approximately 10,500 days I’ve spent on this Earth, at least 2,100 of them have been spent in some state of emotional confusion which has contributed to my continued existence as an emotionless black hole of feelings. There is no individual less emotionally available than myself. And while marriage is not to blame for this, it certainly creates a hurricane of emotions that simply are not readily accessible within the frivolous exoskeleton known as my emotional welfare.

suffering

My troubled soul. Seeking release.

The triumph of the human spirit is evident in my day-to-day lifestyle. I’ve overcome severe instances of suffering that would have left a lesser man crippled. I’ve proven to myself that I can endure unwelcome troughs and crests of emotion, humidity induced sticky sac, and even torturous stab wounds that damn near resulted in stigmata.

Suffering manifests in a variety of guises. In Western Africa, suffering is dehydration and malnourishment due to drought and lack of resources. This type of suffering often results in widespread famine and eventual death. Suffering in Eastern Europe is excruciating physical labor due to a poor infrastructure created from decades of imperialism and economic oppression. This kind of suffering leads to lower life expectancy and scarcity of resources. Suffering in middle eastern nations is the constant threat of religious and ethnic warfare. This kind of suffering results in war-torn families and potential physical disfigurement. Suffering for me is when I lose my phone charger and my battery life in less than 20%. This kind of suffering leads to my phone dying. Life is hard.

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