Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Funny, you don't look 500!

This is it. A very important day in the world of Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim. A milestone in www.jt1970.blogspot.com. Yes, my dear readers, we have reached it:

500 posts.

500 posts on a blog started 6 years ago. 500 posts on a blog started on a late night whim, when I am sure I thought I'd lose interest right away and pull the whole thing.

Through frantic, daily posts, to detached, once a month posts, it's still here, for better or for worse. While many I have followed have disappeared for one reason or another, for some reason, I can't quit this. 500 posts.

So, when I realized last week that the big 5-oh-oh was creeping up, I tried to think of an over the top way to celebrate. After much thought, this is what I am doing for you, dear reader:

YOU ARE GETTING A CAR! AND YOU ARE GETTING A CAR! AND YOU ARE GETTING A CAR! AND YOU TOO, WAY IN THE BACK! JUST GO DOWN TO YOUR LOCAL KIA DEALERSHIP, AND PICK OUT WHATEVER MODEL YOU LIKE (EXCEPT THE SORENTO - THEY ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE DEAL). JUST TELL THEM JT FROM JT1970.BLOGSPOT.COM SENT YOU, (AND fill out the credit application with the nice dude in a suit - if your credit isn't perfect, or if you are over-extendeded, feel free to go over to Ford, who will approve anyone - and just finance your car over 84 months. Your payments will be so low, it will really FEEL like I did indeed give you the car for free).

Anyway, glad I could help.

So, I am thinking about the past 6 years. A few posts ago, Rox reposted her own first few blog posts, from the same year. This prompted me to go back and look at my first few posts again. And while I thought they'd be cringe-worthy, they actually weren't. However, what really got me was how.. shocked.. I was when I read them. I didn't exactly understand just HOW crazy time flies in 6 years. 6 years ago, at the beginning of this blog, I was a father of two girls, with a wife who was all of 5 weeks pregnant. I had a dog and a cat. I worked for one institution. My kids were 4 and two, I think.

While much hasn't changed in some sense, much has. I have doubled the number of kids I have, to 3 girls and a boy. The dog and cat who I am sure I blogged about way too much? The dog died later that year, after being run over, in August 2005, as Hurricane Katrina hit, and George Bush showed he really didn't care about Black people, as Kanye said. I cried for days, as death was still new to me. The cat? Got run over at the age of 13 this summer. I cried for a few hours and moved on.

So, since then, my immediate family has doubled. I now have a son, who is more fun that I could have ever imagined. And I have 3 growing girls, who are still Daddy's girls.
But I've lost my parents. Whatever the fuck I talked about for the first 3 years must have been trivial. Losing my mom, sorta suddenly 3 summers ago has changed my world forever. And since this coincided with my dad going into a home (with Alzheimer's), I was basically orphaned at once. And it shows. The first three years were most likely trivial talk. The last three? Probably not that much fun. But life is a work in progress. While I tend to blog when I am feeling particularly orphaned, it sounds like that is all I think about. And that's not true. But the thing is, this place is just a good venting sounding board. So I guess I need this place. I sort of obsess with how others deal with parental death. I am now ok much of the time, but you see here the moments when I become unglued. I am more than what I write. But what I write is indeed a reflection of one of the multi-faceted faces I wear each day.

So, I've gained 2 kids, lost in different ways 2 parents. Right now i have 2 sisters going nutty. I have gained 2 dogs and a cat. I changed jobs. I've lost and gained the same 40 lbs over and over. Right now, I am hopeful it will stay off. I've started to appreciate exercise.

I've lost some friends. I've realized that people come and go. I'm probably more even-keeled than I was 6 years ago, and more unglued in other ways than I was back then.

I've lost my closest Aunt. I've held on to her memory, and in writing her eulogy (which I didn't get ANY credit for) I realized just how important she was to me.

I've continued to love Joni and Stevie. I've had the opportunity to see James Taylor, my fave male singer, and had him reply to my shout out song request. I've fallen in love with Chelsea Handler's writing, God help us all.

I've had a vasectomy, which I never thought I'd do. And it's completely made my sex life infinitely better.

I've grown a beard.

I still look 22.

I bleached my teeth. And stopped when they got sensitive.

I kinda learned to bite my tongue, although not always.

I've driven from Northern Canada to California the past two summers, once planned, the other not planned. With 4 kids. I am now infected with a wanderlust and a love of America that is totally nuts. As I tell everyone, I'd move to Utah in a snap if it wasn't for the Mormons.

I've also become obsessed with Mormons. But that's a whole other story.

Oh, I could go on and on, but I won't bore you. But what I am trying to say is that for the past 6 years, I've cherished this space. I admit, that when I started, I think that I was obsessed with trying to get Rosie O'Donnell to comment on my blog - we all tried to do that. I was commenting on Rosie's blog all the time and stirring up shit, and she never commented on mine, but she DID, twice, answer my questions. Once, she was bitching about money and I said something like "gee, not having to have both parents work, and having a frigging VAN would be nice with money" and she answered "well, yeah... yada yada" and again, later, she answered my question about favorite Joni songs. Anyway, it was Rosie's blog that inspired me, and indeed, if you look at my first few posts, you will see I told my oldest friend Margo about the new pregnancy in our family on Ro's blog. So than you Rosie, for all of this. I have to say, I didnt really watch The View. I didn't get all that bullshit "Yellow" talk of yours. But it's because of you that I started writing here, so here's to you, Mrs. Robinson (I did tell you once that you looked hot in Exit to Eden - I am sure that's why you didn't ever comment to me - it was the straw that broke the camel's back). But anyway, if nothing else, I "met" one of my closest friends from your blog, who read my comments and checked my blog out, and 6 years later, I feel closer to her than I do to many "real life" people. Technology is a fascinating thing, hey?

So for those who still read here, thank you. My commenters are few, but I know from my site meter that there are these odd pockets of people reading. So thank you all.

I am a work in progress. I know nothing. But I will pretend I do. I can't believe an attention whore like me has kept all of this private. Somehow I have. After the first few weeks, I thought "well, that was funny, I should tell Steve and Tina." But I never did. And I am glad there is a little bit of privacy out there with some of you so I can just.... be.

Anyway, thanks for being there. I don't have Oprah money to buy you a car or take you to Australia, or to show you how Gail and I tool around the world together. But I hope you like what you get. And if you don't? Let me refrain a favourite Eddie Murphy quip: Goonie Goo-goo, bitch!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Haunted Tupperware and a Relationship Lecture: On the Next Maury

Dear Big Brother - Survivor phoned. They want their gimmick back.
There, just had to say it. I am right annoyed with BB, which is my usual favorite show in the summer. They bring back these 3 couples to play again, just like Survivor did this year with bringing back Rob (sorry, I refuse to call him "Boston Rob", because I know some people in Boston and wouldn't want to lump them in with that douchebag) and Russell. Anyway, CBS kept bringing Rob back season after season, in hopes the poor bugger would finally win. So, after like the 4th time back, he does win. But the cast is just a bunch of stupid people, so it's not like it was some real win. It's kind of like Carrot Top starring in a dramatic role, and since the poor bastard has no hopes of winning a Golden Globe (even from the drunk and kooky Hollywood Foreign Press), Hollywood thus stops releasing new movies by actual actors, and instead Carrot Top is judged against actors like Scott Baio, Willie Ames, Tom Arnold, and Screetch. Then, finally, Carrot Top wins an Oscar, and nobody cares. THAT is what Boston Rob's win meant to me.
And with BB? Bringing these people back is an old trope. Do an all-star again, or don't do it at all. And that's all I have to say about that.
So anyway, today started out a little rocky. Do you ever wake up and just know that everything is going to be a little off? Well, I think we all felt that in the wind. Kids were overtired and over the top, and we were a little bit too. Anyway, it all ended up ok in the end, and we went to this.. well, I guess you would call it a park, outside of the city. It's a wilderness area, with campsites (you can't actually camp there) with fire pits and tables and such, so we went for a walk and a hot dog roast and such. We spent most of the afternoon and early evening there and then came home.
Remember me saying yesterday that we went to this estate sale on Friday and bought all of this old tupperware? It was the home of my old French teacher, who died a year or two ago. I guess his wife has been living in Cowtown with her kids, and they came back to clear out stuff and sell it off. So, we saw all of this old tupperware laying there, and bought it - the classic stuff, like big-ass containers for cakes and lettuce and camping dishes and cups and covered bowls, etc. Well, the thing is, this tupperware is haunting me. You see, on many of the pieces, there is still tape with stuff written on it, like "Xmas 2009" or "date squares and cereal bars" and "pecan date slice", all written in this shaky old lady scrawl. And it got me thinking. This old lady was at the sale. She didn't look especially happy, and didn't look especially touchy-feely, so it's not like I saw her and melted. But I keep thinking of how hard this must be for her to watch everything she owned and kept throughout the years just being sold in big boxes for 10 bucks. I started thinking how horrible that must be, like the end of an era. Back in Calgary, she can make date squares, but she won't make them in the same containers she's used for the past 40 years, or in the same kitchen she's cooked in for the last 50 years, and now, she probably won't need to cook so much because people aren't coming home for Xmas - she's on their turf now. so while it's just tupperware, there's a deeper meaning to it.
So tonight I throw some of it in the dishwasher. I end up opening it to throw something else in, and the thing is so full of suds, it's like a fucking washing machine. So, I keep checking throughout the cycle, and the damn thing is all sudsy. I had to run it all through again without soap just to get it to stop sudsing. And the tupperware has this stale, old lady smell to it. At first I was thinking she must have always washed it by hand without rinsing, and soap built up, but now I am thinking the shit is half-haunted. I am kidding. Kinda.
What else... oh, on Friday, after we went for lunch where I got all pukey from the lady's dirty teeth, and after the big Tupperware Heist, we stopped at home for a minute to get something before we went on our next errand. The kids stayed in the car and the mrs. went inside to get something and I ran to the back to hang a comforter on the line. As I am doing that, I hear yelling and swearing and then kid #1 comes out back and says Mindy and Wayne from 2 doors down are fighting in the driveway. I think I posted in the winter that she left him and shacked up with this dude and we were so sad, it pretty much ruined a few weekends for us? We were happy they moved in, and they had 3 kids, 15, 8, and 4. Kids 1 and 2 were hers, from different daddies, and kid 3 was Wayne's. Kid #2 and their kid #2 are friends, and their oldest was our babysitter for after school in the fall. Nice kids. And we always said he was a wonderful man to get involved with her and take all of that on. Anyway, he's sort of been venting to us here and there and on Friday, after we came home, he ran over and apologized for the scene in the driveway, in case the kids heard. Now that's classy. And it was her freaking out. She moved out to live with this abusive-ish crazy man, and anyway, she found out he has a female friend, who I think is pretty much still just a friend, and she freaked. Anyway, she's obviously nuts. So we invited him in and gave him a few beers and it breaks our hearts. They were our first crazy break up, that has been followed by so many going nutty.
You know what? I am so thankful for my wife. And it pains me that others don't have that. Or, rather, it pains me that others have that right in front of them, but choose not to grab it. I am not saying people should "settle". Not at all. But if people think that the loves of their lives should always be shooting off fireworks in their hearts, well, that newness that people mistake for fireworks is replaced, with time and hard work, with a trust and a deeper love. And every relationship is a work in progress. It's always two steps forward and one step back. But I have to say, after being married 13 years next week, shacked up for 19 years, and together for 21 years, it gets deeper and better and so surprisingly GOOD as time goes on. That butterflies in your stomach feeling when you first meet someone? Well, that means nothing. Is that person making eyes at you equal to the person who holds your puke pail when you have food poisoning? Nope. Or if you are one of those who live in the past, like one of the recent crazy separated people I know is, will that first love of yours hold you when you are sad or scared or both? No. He pretty much just wanted to tell his buddies he scored. You don't see it, but it's really what he's about. Or will this new love of your life be a new start, or the repeat of your usual pattern? Think hard on that one.
So yeah, while part of me is freaked out at how everyone around me this year has wigged the fuck out, I am happy to stay the course, knowing a good thing when I see it. I suggest all of you do the same.
Anyway, my lecture is done for the night. Have a great Monday all y'all.
Seacrest out.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Random Night

Random post bullets in no particular order:

-- Saturday night. I'm feeling a little.... down. Well, not even down, exactly, just... well, maybe down is the right word. I don't know. It's sort of just built up this evening, and I don't know why. Probably just the classic story of one parent with dementia in a home, a dead mother, two sisters making crazy life decisions, yada yada yada. You know, the universal story we all share (is my sarcasm apparent? It should be).

-- Anyway, we were supposed to be at a wedding tonight, me and the Mrs. We skipped it. I don't really care at this point. It's a friend of mine, and I was shocked that we made the cut. They are having 300 to the supper and I think 600 to the dance. He's aboriginal, from a prominent Aboriginal family, and he's a musician, so they have like 5 bands lined up, and so it sounds like every Indian from here to Yellowknife will be there. I keep seeing posts on FB of pictures and such. Anyway, I was shocked we made the invite cut, because there were so many relatives and friends who didn't make the supper cut, but while I feel a little guilty, with that many people, it doesn't matter that we didn't go. I just didn't feel like it. We would have had to get a sitter, and since the people I am close to are family, they'd be sitting at the family table, so I just didn't want us to be sitting there with strangers. Anyway, it sounds like it's quite the party, according to the FB.

-- Watched some taped "America's Got Talent" tonight, since the kids love it. Let me say this: it annoys the ever-loving FUCK out of me when people go on talent shows and sing predictable shit. Like, if I ever have to see another AI audition where some chick sings "At Last", I will vomit all over my sofa. Because when some 16 year old is belting that out, I know they are thinking it shows they are down with the classics and down with the Blacks and down with being an "old soul." Well, that's just bullshit. They aren't down with anything - it's just pretentious show. I always want to scream "you ain't Etta fucking James, dingbat". Same thing when they all sing "Georgia on my Mind." Fuck off with those songs already! It would be more refreshing if they sang, I dunno, Stacey Q's "Two of Hearts" or something. Ok, not really, because that song sucks
(and when that bitch guested on Facts of Life as a singer named "Cinnamon", you knew she was washed up on the shore already), but you know what I mean. America's Got Talent had this anorexic Justin Bieber look-a-like Lesbian girl on named "Dani" who sang an "original" song, and then choked, and then they gave her another chance and made her sing a song they'd know, and my kids were so pissed she got through, because nobody else got another chance. And this chick annoyed the hell outta me, because she was so ballsy to sing an original. I put her in the same category as those Etta wannabes. Anyway, whatever.

Oh, and they have this gross dude on there who looks like Little Richard. And tell me, what the fuck IS the deal with LR? I get so grossed out when I see that thing. I think I would have preferred looking at Michael Jackson than LR - two different, but sorta similar, degrees of grossness. But I can't understand what the appeal of LR ever was. And I can't figure out what he's singing. Tutti Fruity? It just makes me think of Rudy Huxtable and her moustache.

And I know I've said it here before, but WHY was Mrs. Huxtable such a bitch? Couldn't Theo ever catch a break? Those kids were never good enough for her, especially Theo. It bothered me.

I went to Value Village today and got a handful of books I'll never have the time to read. I did pick up another copy of Helter Skelter, which, freakishly, is an obsession of mine, and since my copy has missing pages, I was happy. I also bought a Haven Kimmel book, since Augusten Burroughs is always peeing his pants about her, and some book about the Ukraine, and... hmmm... what else... well, I can't remember, but there's a bunch.

I really should go now. I have to plan our trip. We are going to Montana, to this time share right outside of Glacier Park, in August, but we are planning on doing Radium Hot Springs, and then the Couer d'Alene/Spokane area right before. It's not like me to have anything figured out, so I should get busy and book some shit. However, Hoarders is on right now, and this woman has like 10000 dolls or something in her house, and it's giving me the creeps, so i think I should watch it. Decisions, decisions....

Oh, Brother in Law Warbucks was across the street at my sister's tonight (I think they only see each other one day a week, I shit you not) and since we still haven't met him yet, Rachel finally said "should be we going over there?" but really, shouldn't she call us and say "come, meet Daddy Warbucks?" That alone just makes me wonder. This whole thing is a fucking disaster waiting to happen.

And, speaking of crazy shit, yesterday was one of those nutty days. I ended up taking the day off, because, well, I just felt like it, but I was tired and lazy and not feeling up to snuff. I have had a stomach bug for over a week now - nothing horrible, but I can't quite shake it entirely. I supposed if i just limited myself to soup and clear fluids for a day, everything would right itself, but I don't roll that way. Anyway, we ended up trading a few of our kids for two of my sister in law's kids, and took them garage saling. We ended up at an estate sale where I figured out after the fact was the house of my late French teacher. Anyway, we bought a shitload of old tupperware and then went to a few more sales, and then to liquidation world, and then took the kids for lunch at the restaurant run by this organization for mentally challenged people. It was spotless and the food was awesome. However, I wasn't feeling the best, but in the restaurant, I got all pukey feeling. It wasn't a panic attack, but felt like it. Anyway, I am trying to get myself feeling better so I could eat, since I know that if I get food in me, I'd feel better, but this worker kept coming over to talk to us, and I don't think she's brushed her teeth since Clinton was in power, so I was getting more and more nauseous as the moments went on, but she eventually left and I ate and felt better. But it was funny when I think of it now.

Ok, I gotta finish this Hoarders - the doll lady is getting freaky. Have a good weekend y'all.

Peace Out.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Nobody told me there'd be days like these...

Well, this has to be quick, because I just realized it's late. I think I'll just make this a stream-of-consciousness post with bullets just to be efficient like a German.

-- Last week I wrote a long frigging post explaining the latest goings on in my ever-increasingly kooky family. Once it all seemed so normal. Now, not so much. Anyway, I wrote this post about it and it was really long and, I thought, good. However, I yanked it the next morning because I forgot a whole component to make the story even more interesting, but apparently, when you unpublish something, you DELETE THE DAMN THING! However, a faithful reader had already read it and must have had the thing still open, so she cut and pasted it and emailed it to two of my email addresses. It never arrived at either email addresses.
Creepy? Yes. I am thinking maybe it's a sign I should keep my yap shut. However, I don't roll that way.

-- So, long story short: my sister, the one who lives across from me, who has been widowed since 1997 and hasn't dated anyone, is getting married to a widower whom she has been dating 4 months. They are getting hitched in November. They don't live in the same city and I don't even know if they see each other once a week. He's ultra conservative and ultra religious. She is religious too, but she's more of a free-thinker the past decade, which is really cool. Back in the day, she was one of those Focus on the Family people that I distrust. Now? She thinks outside the box. But I wonder what will happen. She's just resigned from her job, is going to sell her house, and whatever. They are going to live in "the City". He's from a small Mennonite community. And he's a millionaire. But the last part doesn't mean anything. I haven't even MET him yet. This whole thing has consumed me since I found out two weeks ago. Consumed, as in my stomach has hurt, and I was anxious to the nth degree, and I was the most abrasive, angry, horrible person the night I found out (and nobody understood WHY I was so crabby, so I just looked like a dick), but this sister? She's the one everyone goes to for answers. Why? I dunno. Maybe because sister #1 just sort of buries her head, much like my mom did, and much like I do, except I obsess and rock myself to sleep at night (hence my anxiety/panic attack issues), and sister #3 just does whatever the fuck she wants to and will somehow make everyone else feel guilty for not giving her a lollipop in a treat bag at a party back in 1976 as a means to just do whatever the hell she wants to. But whatever).
Anyway, my assumption is that they are both saying that they prayed about it and God has told them to be together. And since I've once upon a time been along the born again route, I COMPLETELY understand THAT pull. But I personally think that she isn't thinking clearly, for reasons I won't go into here. But I pray that if I am indeed right in my thinking, that the good Lord will stop this before it gets any crazier, and that it will happen before she sells her house and she can somehow get her job back. And if it doesn't happen?? I pray that brother in law Warbucks pays off my fucking mortgage. Awful, yes? Well, until you walk a mile in my shoes, goonie goo goo, bitch.

-- OH! And then, I hadn't talked to eloping religious sister since she told me the news about this crazy wedding shit, but she called me on Wednesday at work to tell me that she received a text from our sister #3, who said she left last weekend to BC to be with her loser boyfriend. This is the sister who... oh fuck, I dunno if I blogged any of this, but she ran away at Thanksgiving to be with this loser, a brother of her insane friend in BC. Left her kids and hubby. This loser she shacks up with is apparently so wonderful, she leaves her hubby and kids. This arsehole apparently shoves her at Xmas, and she runs back home in January, and her hubby thinks its a new start. But it isn't. She does get a job, but blames her hubby for everything, and her daughter DOESN'T graduate last weekend. NO FUCKING SHIT SHERLOCK. She needs a fucking mother to fucking MOTHER. But whatever. People will do the stupid shit they do. And when the rain washes then clean, they'll know.
But for me? Both of them is just a variation of a theme. It's running away from bullshit. But as a 41 year old, I must realize that I can't control fuck all, so I will just try to keep myself open to them, just like Jericho, to loosely quote Joni Mitchell. But that doesn't mean I have to like the bullshit my sisters are doing.

-- You know, one of my "random" bullet posts was going to be about the song going through my head all night - John Lennon's "Nobody Told Me". I have to admit that this outtake happens to be my favourite Lennon song. I always thought it was because I live in the past and this was from the post-Lennon death days, but now, I had an Oprah "aha" moment and realized that the "nobody told me there'd be days like these/ strange days indeed/ most peculiar Mama" lines fit perfectly with everything happening right now.

-- Anyway, I better get my sorry self to bed. We are heading to the lake tomorrow, for the first time this year. It seems fitting that summer should finally arrive. So I will leave you with a happy Canada Day/Happy 4th of July, and hope all y'all have a good week. And if you decide to leave your spouse for a loser or run off and get married to JR. Ewing? Don't fucking tell me, ok?
Seacrest Out.