Hey, I see you ‘lurkers’

January 29, 2009

Know what pisses me off?

Lurkers.

People who come to a blog, read it, and never leave a comment.

Now I don’t mean to brag, but since I’ve started to actually post to this site on a regular basis, I have been getting a decent amount of hits. By decent, I mean more than me, The Boss, The Parents, The Sister, and The In-Laws.

Like, five more people than that – each day – at least.

It’s certainly nothing spectacular, and definitely nothing to quit my day job over, in an attempt to become a full-time stay-at-home blogger Daddy.

Nope, nothing even close to that.

But still, there’s a bunch of people who drop by daily to see what I’m rambling on and on and on and on and on and on about, but either don’t give a shit about what I’m saying, have no thoughts on the subject, or spend most of their time trying to figure out how they landed on this page and how they can break free.

And that makes me sad.

Like, snot-dripping-down-my-face and having-to-wipe-it-off-with my-sleeve sad.

Not because I’m vain and have to know who everybody that lands on this space is, or that I’m making a difference in soooooooooo many lives (ha ha, I know) by blathering on about the most tedious aspects of my daughter’s existence, but just because it’s good to get feedback from people.

It’s nice to pick people’s brains for their life experiences, which might help me as I work to give The Hurricane a solid head-start in life.

Plus, in a selfish way, it’s nice to know if the blog is actually being enjoyed by people, or if I’m stirring up any emotions, or making people think outside the box, because I’m having a blast writing this thing, since I no longer get to write at work anymore.

So don’t be scared to leave a comment. It’s the whole point of the blogosphere – to force your opinions on complete and not-so-complete strangers.

(And no, I’m not really pissed off at you, but I have to stick with the theme, right)


Taught by TV

January 11, 2009

Know what pisses me off?

Kids cartoons and shows.

They’re just so educational.

And what’s with that?

I know, it’s a good thing that The Hurricane can learn manners from Franklin – although I was taught to never trust a talking turtle – or reading from Super Why or what a map is from Dora the Explorer (and don’t they realize we can tell that doesn’t rhyme?), but I fail to see the entertainment value in all this learning. There’s no fighting, nothing blows up, and everything is just so warm and fuzzy and everyone’s so special that it’s just a bit much.

I don’t know why I have just noticed this now, but perhaps it’s because of the week away from work, when The Hurricane and I watched a minute or two of TV from time to time, just to take a break from tearing the house apart.

That’s how I got to thinking about the cartoons I used to watch, like Transformers, Inspector Gadget, Bugs and Tweety, and Thundercats. And do you know what I learned from them? This:

– you should always be polite to transport trucks because you never know when they might turn into combatting robots

– all cops are bumbling, inept idiots

– violence is funny, unless you’re the one getting the anvil dropped on your head

– the word ‘Ho’, which would eventually get me slapped at least once later in life, so I guess I didn’t use it in the same context as the Thundercats call to arms.

And yet, even with all these uneducational but entertaining cartoons, I somehow turned out OK.

But I will say that today’s cartoons/shows do a decent job of slowing The Hurricane down for a few minutes at a time, so they could be teaching her how to make a shoe bomb and I’d be happy with the break in action.

So some evils are just necessary, I guess.


Merry Christmas

December 25, 2008

Know what pisses me off?

Nothing.

It’s Christmas. Everyone is here, everyone is happy. I have the most amazing wife and the cutest, funniest 17-month-old on the entire planet.

Life is good.

I hope your Christmas is too.


Why I hate teachers

December 17, 2008

Know what pisses me off?

Teachers.

Not the good teachers who help their students get passing grades. Or the teachers who hoist the underachieving group of students onto their shoulders and help them find their calling instead of scuffling along a road to gang-bangin’ and drug dealin’ (OK, I’ve watched a few movies). Or even the teachers who drink, stink and have affairs with other teachers in their high school not to mention that ones fired for dinking their students (at least 10 teachers from my high school fall somewhere in those categories – one even falls into both the stink and sex with student block too, which made for interesting classes I tell ya).

Nope, the teachers that piss me off are the ones who tell seven-year-olds that Santa doesn’t exist.

(And the ones who complain because they’re not getting paid enough, despite having a ceiling of over $100,000 before retirement, the strongest union in Canada that owns real estate holdings and the Toronto Maple freakin’ Leafs, four per cent annual increases on top of their crazy salaries, two weeks off at Christmas, a week off in March, all the sick days they can handle, oh and two fucking months off in the summer…)

Whoa, what happened there? Oh yeah, back to the ‘No Santa’ supply teacher.

It’s not the fact that this teacher told Grade 1 students that the Big Guy is fictitious – which he so obviously is not – but the fact that she did it on her first day of supply teaching at this school.

How absolutely retarded is that?

Does this teacher ever want to work again? How in the name of Rudolph does she think she’ll ever land another supply teaching in not only her city, but most likely on her continent, after telling a group of seven-year-olds that the one thing – the only thing – that is still honoured by everybody in this day and age is that YOU DON’T TELL KIDS SANTA DOESN’T EXIST you don’t tell kids Santa doesn’t exist (sorry, I’m a newspaper editor, I just can’t bring myself to use capital letters in such a reckless way).

I’m sure it was a mistake, and all the apologies in the world will be given, while assurances will be made right up until Christmas morning, but I think this teacher needs to think again about her career choice, because right now, I don’t think her chosen path heading in the right direction.


Two penises = no adoption

December 1, 2008

Know what pisses me off?

People.

Good God fearin’, shotgun totin’, inbreedin’, church goin’ people.

Further solidifying the stereotype that the American south – in this case Arkansas – contain a bunch of redneck, backwoods homophobes, a story in the Chicago Tribune explains how the state that gave us Little Willie Clinton has banned unmarried couples from adopting children.

But, as the Family Council Action Committee (FCAC) says, it’s not to stop John Smith and Jane Doe from adopting for lack of a piece of paper and ring, but to stop John Smith and Bob Jones and their evil touching penises from giving foster kids good, loving homes.

The purpose of the ballot measure, according to the Family Council Action Committee, was “to blunt a homosexual agenda that’s at work in other states and that will be at work in Arkansas unless we are proactive about doing something about it.”

Good on the FCAC (do they realize their acronym is F-CAC – now sound that out for a second …) for being 100% completely fucked in the head.

They’d rather leave children with sexually and physically abusive, drug addicted criminals that they are forced to call mom and dad when not bleeding from a foodless mouth than allow two people who are in love, have a warm, safe place to live and can provide health care, an education and three square meals a day, to save helpless children from a shitty fucking life with heterosexual parents.

Or even better, a shitty fuckin’ life being bounced house to house and orphanage to orphange, with stops at home with their “real” parents along the way, just to warp their poor little minds a bit more.

And still, the goddamned voting public agreed with these nutjobs, who would rather protect the almighty “sanctity of marriage” – whatever the fuck that is in a Bible-thumpin’ state with the second highest divorce rate in the U.S.A. at 6.3 per 1,000 marriages, behind only Nevada at 6.4 – than give children a proper start in life, with loving individuals.

It’s 2008 – don’t look now you hillbillies, almost 2009 – and Arkansas is leading the charge when it comes to continuing the cycle of useless drains on society who get to blame their shitty life on their deadbeat parents, while two people are denied a chance to alter the life of a hard-luck kid simply because they share the same genitalia.

It’s absolute, fuckin’ insanity.


Of Lice and Men

November 22, 2008

Know what pisses me off?

Lice.

And we think our house — and our 16-month-old — might be infested with the little creatures.

The Hurricane has been scratching her head a bit lately, and last night we went exploring on her scalp — no easy feat since she is absolutely against sitting still for longer than three seconds, and despises cuddling, so it was a no-holds barred, strap-her-down-and-pick-at-her-scalp affair.

Not very pleasant for anybody, and it drew the real tears, those big dallops that slowly roll out of her eyes and suspend themselves halfway down her cheeks so Mom and Dad can stare into them as they grow fatter and wetter, until you can almost see your own reflection in them.

Unfortunately, we came up with a couple tiny brown bugs, and that can mean nothing else but lice. Fan-fuckin’-tastic. Gotta love daycare. Or else The Boss is cheating on me with a monkey, and that option is still on the table.

So, with a quick web search, we discovered that the main problem is getting rid of the nits, which are essentially the eggs of the little bastards, and what are soon to be the bane of my existence.

After hog-tying The Hurricane so The Boss could do some more looking, we later came up with no lice and no nits.

So where does that leave us? We had proof, and then our proof disappeared, leaving no trace that it even existed.

But we do know that we now have to wash everything in the entire house in steaming hot water to kill the alien creatures, and that process began last night — we got as far as filling the washing machine with water for the first load.

And then nothing …

Not a click, not a bang, and certainly no attempt at agitation. Except on my part — I was extremely fucking agitated.

So now we have a louse infested house, no proof that they exist, a daughter with an itchy spot on the back of her head, and a busted washing machine with a dozen loads of laundry piled up in front of it.

And to boot, we spent $1,000 on car repairs on Thursday.

They say bad things come in threes, and I didn’t realize I’d pay so dearly for winning $90 in the lottery on Wednesday night!

So I guess the Rule of 3’s is what pisses me off moreso than lice.

They’re just assholes.


Marketing at Moms

November 15, 2008

Know what pisses me off?

Christmas.

Not the religious aspect of it. Not the travel. Not the family gatherings. Not the four feedings of turkey. Not the messed up deadlines at my newspapers.

Nope, what pisses me off is the marketing of it. I know, that’s crazy talk, coming from a guy who’s salary is paid by advertisers (but hey, I’m an editor, so I leave the ass-kissing to the ad reps).

Here in Ontario, I saw the first commerical with Santa Claus in it on Halloween night. That’s Oct. 31 in Canada, in case Halloween falls on another day in your neck of the woods. I can’t remember what company had the gall to put Santa on display on All Hallows Eve, but I know the commercial ends with Santa tripping on the tree, and wrecking the entire house.

Sort of like I did when I saw the commercial.

But half a month has passed, and I’m used to the Christmas bonanza by now, as I always am by my birthday (which is Monday, by the way, in case you’re in a giving mood). But maybe it’s because I’m only two days from being 29 or maybe it’s because I’m not a girl, but there’s a theme to this Christmas that’s really getting me fired up.

It’s how companies are bringing back toys from the ’80s and directly marketing them at Moms, so they’ll go buy their daughters the Cabbage Patch Kid, Strawberry Shortcake, Barbie, Care Bear, or whatever other crap they played with when they were wee ones.

And the companies aren’t even trying to hide the fact they’re doing it. One Barbie commercial showed a mom reflecting on the Barbies and the fun she had as a kid, and then it returned to present day and a voiceover said (and I paraphrase), “I’m going to buy my little girl this blonde-haired, big breasted, obviously anorexic doll because it brought back warm and fuzzy feelings for me, and dammit, it will do the same for my daughter, even though it will most likely destory her sense of self-worth when she’s a teenager because she’ll think this is how women are supposed to look.”

(As an aside, you have to check out this post at Whiskey in my Sippy Cup about Barbie. It’s disturbing and hilarious all at the same time.)

It’s even happening in my house. The Boss is getting keyed up to buy The Hurricane a Cabbage Patch Kid because she had Christ knows how many in the mid-80s.

“You get to name them, and don’tcha know they’re orphans that live in a goddamn garden? Imagine, a baby sleeping outside in the dirt! It’s our duty to buy one.”

But I guess that’s exactly what advertising is meant to do – create warm memories that the consumer will try to re-create. But at least in the past they’ve been a little more subtle.

But during the Christmas season, they can’t risk losing a sale on subtlety, I guess.