6-30-16

6:27 PM.

Yesterday morning, I was dancing with my baby. We decided to start spinning around. When I stopped, I zenned through the body daze, with a ninja-type balance move. Let dizziness wash over me like a wave. I had the realization that’s the key. Perturb the bag of neurotransmitters. Doing so shows you how the so-called ego, the executive of self, is really nothing. Spin him around, go diving down a muddy hill, face some danger, the ego flees and the world emerges. The baby’s grin tells me he get it. Shake it off, see what’s underneath.

Two days of domesticity left me aching for child free space and time. It’s nothing to do with the children themselves, but more like the hundredth day with best friend on summer vacation, or pizza everyday sort of vibe which creeps around, when your making pasta sauce, or changing diapers, or doing the laundry. Ego plays an important part in parenting. Parents have to be adepts at putting on the mask of calm and togetherness. Kids see those chinks in your armor, because they are building their own ego and operating systems right along with you. I think parents are often embarrassed when they see themselves in the mirror of their children. It’s themselves, but askew slightly. That slight difference is often manifested in big ways. The child who did everything right until their mid-twenties, but then picked a crazy partner, or way of life. Divorces, in-fighting, dysfunction.

A crack of thunder punctuated that last word. Unusually cool this week, the storms just keep sneaking in and running off. I’d hate for it to shut the computer down mid word, so I save my words. I love the storms. My dogs are scared of them. I’ve been in a couple really bad storms. Tornadoes, and things like that. I got some memory of  an Uncle or Cousin, people said every time it rained, he’d grab the whiskey bottle and sit on the back porch. Cheer it on as it approached, raining and banging. I bet everybody has an uncle like that too. People love the weather, don’t they? Why, I think it’s what I was just talking about, stirring up those neurotransmitters, losing the self for a moment, coming back stronger, like a pushup.

Got a sour-dough starter started today. 1 cup flour, half a cup lukewarm water (dechlorinated and not all fucked up). Apparently every day you take half of it away, discard (I will be using), and then feed it with same amount, and keep that process going for days. After a little bit of time and magic, you’ll have a wild fermented sour dough starter, which can be used in all sort things, bread, pizza-dough, even pancakes.

Made pizza dough myself today, and used the sauce I made yesterday, made with back yard garlic, parsley, and one of my last jars of tomatoes from last year. Old and new. Sauce was delicious. Made basic cheese pizza for gang. Kept it simple too for Mom and Dad, red onions, shredded Pleasant Ridge Reserve, and then when it was halfway through cooking, I drizzled honey and Espelette peppers flakes on it, damn!

That’s the key to keep the balance. Treat yourself right. You’re going to have to work hard one way or another. Might as well put the energy towards things like gardens, cooking, spending simple quality time with family and friends. Or you can work long hours, for take-out, day care, and hockey league, and run all over hell and hopefully crash on the couch for an hour of TV before you pass out and do it again tomorrow. Saw somewhere people in the US spend 50% of their monthly earnings on rent, add on daycare, car payments, debt payments, everyone seems to be a couple bad events away from utter ruin, myself included.

Whoops, sorry for that, got a little negative. Mea Culpa. I’ve been reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown. To put it bluntly, and I realize now that was a false apology I just gave you, but it is about the Native American genocide which took place in the Americas, and it fucking soul crushing. It’s definitely not something I was unaware of, but this exceptional work paints a detailed and compelling picture.

Maybe I’m weird, but I think about history and things like the Fourth of the July, and I have a pretty mixed response and position. Like the Brexit event demonstrates, I think modern people have a very fractured sense of self. Often we come from families where people have served their country, and were clear nationalists in their thinking. Closer to now these ideas have shifted some and this sort of blind Patriotism was exposed as problematic, think post 9-11 realizations. But it not just a shift in Nationalistic ideologies, but cultural identity changes too. I think with the Baby-Boomers, and then the MTV generation and beyond, there’s the nihilistic shift to a philosophy of no-philosophy, at best a sort of frozen adolescent hedonism, at worst The Purge. Sigh, sorry for that, but it felt good.

I’m going to stop this here, I can tell the rant was threatening take over. I will save us all the displeasure of that. As you can tell, as the weekend and the writing sessions approach, I am raring to go. Four day weekend guarantees we will finish the first draft of Nowhere, over 50k words! Get your words.

P.S. I am also cruising right through the first book of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle, The Name of the Wind. Classic yarn, great hero, deep cosmogonies, reads with the truth of another world, heart breaking, redeeming. Fantasy at its best. Tolkien trained.

6-28-16

Great day. It’s easy to have a great day when you visit one of your happy places. Today I was able to take my gang out to Grade A Gardens in Johnston, Iowa. I had worked there, three previous Community Supported Agriculture seasons. It was a tremendous experience. One that solidified my second great passion in life, gardening (maybe there are other competing passions now that I think about it).

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Summer Squash

 

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Summer Squash Blossoms
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Squash, Note the bad ass Pattypan Squash at the bottom

I was in my second year of backyard gardening when I volunteered out here. Each week I woke up early Thursday went out and experienced the life of a farmer. Cut zinnias, caught apples, dug potatoes, planted potatoes, and a thousand other things. Weeding, bees, chickens, foraging wild mushrooms, see once I get going I just can’t stop.

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A Sea of Garlic, Soon to be Harvested

 

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Garlic, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Peppers, Celery, Oh Yeah!
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Up-close Peppers
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Early Zinnia

One part of the rewarding CSA experience was working with my farmer buddy, Jordan. In him I see the perfect mixture of Artist and Hustler. Someone whose soul was in tune with the Beautiful and the Good, but it also on the hunt for profit. He is one of those people that you meet that has such a positive and influencing way about themselves. Always kind and welcoming to new people, hard working, good humored. His farm was the perfect introduction to the larger business of organic farming. He is a textbook example of someone doing what they love and succeeding in it. I think that combination leads to epic bounties and a happy life.

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Onions

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Sharing that space with my children today was awesome. We have dreams of packing it all up and going country. Our two littlest are too young to have much say, but soon to be first grader Chay has been a little shy on the idea. Well after chasing chickens and sorting some eggs, he is convinced. Farms, goats, chickens, a bunch of land to run around and adventure on, what’s not to love!

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Apples

I heard about this article the other day, headline was like, Increased Outdoor Time Proven to Provide Mood Boost. First thing I did was shake my head. It sounded like one of those made up, almost Onion type headlines, or this other type of Orwellian news story we seem to be dealing with these days, where old news is regurgitated and weakened ad naseum, pause. But I read enough to realize that nope, some brainiacs got together, spent a bunch of resources, did some science, and were sharing it with the world. Smart-dumb people, I like to call them, the overspecialized technicians and statisticians , that can’t see the forest for the trees.

Anyone who as ever had the experience of being stressed in a routine, in the city, and then takes a hike or whatever in Nature, can tell you Nature is awesome! It calms the heart rate, clears the mind, dissipates tension. And if you don’t give a damn about your broken soul, and crushing anxiety, think about the children! Again, I don’t need some scientist to tell me, children’s emotional and cognitive function are greatly improved by time and exercise outdoors.

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Sorting Eggs
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Taking Tractor For a Test Drive

We are built to experience the world. Confined domestic, city spaces, and even digital spaces don’t cut it. Give us the space and experience we need. And now, I will get off my soapbox here and stop before this becomes a rant against TV and I-PADS (they really did nothing to us, we allowed them in). Let’s just leave it at, before kids are given any sort of psychiatric classification or dope, how about we just increase there outdoor time, like twenty percent, two weeks, see how things are going…

 

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Giving the Chickens Some Old Greens
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The Birds

 

So yes, farm was incredible. When Britney and I discuss selling it all and buying the farm we each have different concerns, and as always the differences are very telling, and show the whole unique thing we got going on. My concerns were emotional, the point about Chay-Bobby missing his school, and his neighbor friends, and the house he grew up in. Britney’s were practical, how would we buy and sell this place, where to go, and just generally how would this insane plan go down!?

 

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First One to the Country Wins! (Gang lost their shoes in the first ten minutes, didn’t seem to miss them a bit!)

 

What I think is interesting and awesome, and shows the reversed Yin-Yang like flavor of our relationship, is that in so many ways her concerns are more stereo-typically masculine, while mine are more stereo-typically feminine. Paradox abounds. Now, I will back away from that, before I get entrenched in any of the current debates of ever evolving gender roles, but it’s interesting to note. The point is though, my main concern with huff it to the back-country plan has been removed. Thank you Grade A.

I got a good dose of her practical concerns too. Moreover, I’m pretty fond of our current homestead. I also like the idea and challenges of gardening in the city and plan to build a chicken coop one of these days. Like in the next two weeks, make it a goal! My day-lilies are just starting to pop. Here’s a taste of them!

 

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6-26-16

12:21 AM, At like 2.5k words on the day, WIP at 46k words. I definitely see that 50k goal as something I could do, but the last thousand or so are going to be sort of sloppy, just thinking out loud on the page. And since this was a random urge, I feel like 7-8k words in approx. 24hours is a pretty remarkable showing. The larger point I would share with other writers is writing should be fun. I wouldn’t be able to write amounts like that if I wasn’t having fun.

That’s a lesson that goes beyond just writing. Things are so much easier to accomplish when it’s fun to do. If you find yourself really struggling to write just stop and go do something else. How’s that for writer advice, don’t write. Go live, have a new experience. I think that’s what I’m going to do for the rest of the day. Oh and again this morning session I did a heavy-bag exercise break in the middle of my words, and it was awesome!!! Getting that blood bumping, leaving the mind for a minute, emphasizing your body, wow it really helped the words come out. And it was fun!

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6-25-16 (Update)

Sitting at like 5.5.k words on the day, WIP at 43, 562. I could have kept going, but I had a great place to start tomorrow and it is getting late. Want to chill and watch a movie with Britney, 10 Cloverfield Lane.

The big key to my success today was a nap. I’m not a big napper, but after canoeing yesterday and being up early today I was dragging at the 3-5 time frame. Synchronicity complied and I found myself with an empty house, a cool bed and a dark room. Sleep was easy. Left the TV off and just swam right into it. It was very enjoyable.

Cujo started barking a couple times at me downstairs, getting pissed, wanting his dinner, but I was able to ignore him and sleep for an hour or more.

Another big success was having a couple heavy bag work out sessions in between my writing. That was awesome! Writing a lot like that can get you feeling sluggish and sedentary. Also going berserk on a heavy bag is a nice accompaniment to writing action scenes.

Don’t forget good coffee, that helped a lot too.

One of major things a writer needs to get in their head, to put up numbers like that with Fiction, or any writing really, is don’t overthink it, just let it all come pouring out however it feels like.

Of course, by the time I sit down to write, I’ve usually thought about the scenes and what I’m trying to accomplish some. I think this helps obviously. I also think there something to be said about not writing everyday and letting that stuff charge up for a while. Just think about it, listening for that next part of plot.

Final tip, all praise to the Muse. Writing is an amazing ability. This power to narrate and dramatize is magical and a lot fun. I think that’s the true source for great writing, which is loving reading. It feels like I am reading a great book as I am writing it. Let your mind wrap around that for a minute. Then you’ll understand the deep mystery of the Muse. Anyways, I can get a little word drunk on marathons like today. Can’t wait for the second leg tomorrow! Best of luck in your own efforts. Get those words.

6-25-16

Woke up early, Chay boy super excited to be spending the night at Grandpas. Have to help Mom lay the law down. We have to behave ourselves, follow our leaders. What is the meaning of the word “patience”? It is having a good spirit while you are waiting.

It’s hard to get going. Watch a rap battle to feed the word machine, massage the poetic subconscious. I catch myself hesitating, looking up stupid shit on the internet. But I stop myself, put on the background meditation music, and hit the WIP, as of now 11:48 AM I’ve put up over 2k words. Started somewhere around 38k, sitting 40.5k  right now.

Today is a day for me to do my work, to write my words. As I like to do everyday, but today is for that purpose. I got hold of a wild tendril of spirit that is urging me to just finish, what if I just did it, like strapped in, put up another 3.5 thousand today, which wouldn’t be hard because I am writing the climax, siege scene at the end, which really will fuel itself.

And in between five hundred words I can do a push up plank furry, maybe do three minutes on the heavy bag, fight for my words, fight with my fists, be a word warrior on the imaginative plane…

And then tomorrow just make it another all day word push, and who knows maybe I could claim another first draft. Finally get focused on some editing around here. I don’t know, plenty off coffee, ice creams treats on the horizon, delicious dinners in mind, the kraut, older fellas at Gpas, could be the day…stay tuned…

6-24-16

Exceptional day. Britney’s Birthday, turned 32, we’re numerically equal now. My Mom came over to watch our boys so we could go on a canoeing adventure. She got my older sister to bring her two little ones. Other younger sister joined her to help. It was hard getting out of the house, but worth the effort. We packed a delicious picnic, special treasure Prosciutto Americano from Iowa-native La Quercia, Willoughby, a soft stinky cheese from Jasper Hill, Wilde Weide from Holland, and from Switzerland an ultimately delicious Challerhocker from Chas & Co. Felt like we were going to forget something. I had to declare it was time to go two or three times, but finally we did it.

Morning interstate. White truck almost got us killed, slowed way down to get on, missed his spot. I make Britney nervous when she drives, but just like in other areas, she sort of likes my criticism. It can be helpful. My strong intuitive element can just sense that problem about to develop. Out of nowhere, cars started slamming on the breaks, again I gave her a heads up. She played it cool, slowed down, and we got passed it. Something had exploded on the road, causing cars, to go swerving between lanes. Greenish white packing foam type stuff. That’s what everyone was avoiding. That’s the type of thing and moment that can end it all, on the way to the perfect day.

I’m following this Brexit thing. I love the watching the spectacle that comes from things like that. Some random bloke being interviewed down at a pub. Just spitting bullshit. It’s all a game of chess, and everyone sort of knows that, but you can’t stop playing. I get ranting about this for a moment, but stop myself. I put on the Sam Cooke CD which I bought on our first date. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful summer drive in the country. The hour plus drive seems like nothing. The interstate activity seems to slow down, the flow is established and the day is perfect.

It’s a quiet day at Seven Oaks Recreation, only two other groups, another couple, and a family. We admired the unused ski-lifts. Note we should go tubing with the kids, better than the death slope a block up from our house. It’s weird being away from the kids, how easier life does become. Maybe that’s not a nice thing to say necessarily, but it is true.

After a brief but pleasant ride on a school bus, we pulled up and there was river and canoe. Britney wanted me to get in first, in the front. She was nervous, there was something heavy about the river, like it was a living thing, later we would discover it’s generally shallow, but right there at that first moment, it was so glorious, magnanimous, it provoked that little pang of instinct that says big river could be dangerous.

My stroking overpowered hers. I made dirty, everything is a metaphor for sex jokes and we giggled. We paddled for a while and saw a large sand bank, with some shade and pulled over. We found an appropriate log and sat down for feast. It was heaven. Perfect weather, blue sky, tasty treats.

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We smuggled a glass bottle of Fritz Muller “Perlwein”, from the website “this lightly sparkling wine is meant to be the German answer to Prosecco”. We took turns straight from the bottle, absolutely delicious and perfect for the heavier cheese. It was one of those beautiful moments in life you can’t help but keep reflecting on with cheap sentiments like that, it’s great, it’s beautiful, I love this. (BTW shout-out to the pros at The Cheese Shop of Des Moines that supplied all these goodies)

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When we hopped back in, I took the back end and it was much better. I mansplained that it was best this way, that this is how most things work, that you need like broad strokes and fine strokes, and how she was much better as the steerer up front. It was true too. We settled in, realizing the river would do a lot of the work if you let it.

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We came to the main attraction, excluding the river and nature itself of course, which wins outright in all estimations of value. From the website, “the longest and highest double-track railway bridge in the world with trains passing 185 feet overhead,” There are two bridges, old and new. A super long train comes rolling across it right as we approach. The old one was made with welded steel, the new one concrete. The towering structures influence the water, create a little stream, my paddle went all the way down, made it harder to paddle around them.

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Could have spent another half an hour or so on the river. Right as we ended a group of kids were getting out. A nice chaperon in a Cornell shirt greeted us, and chit chatted about how great it was out there. We packed in with them on the bus. One of the other chaperones instructed us awkwardly (nothing unseemly had been said) to watch our language. We smiled and nodded and took the last seat at the back, kicking out a sprawling middle schooler, and packed in next to the chaperones.

We didn’t say anything, nice and relaxed from the paddling and everything. I realized how cool kids are. How special that time is in life, when you got people running everything for you, where the adults take care of you and you’re just carried along. I think about all the lives, all the stories, that will be lived and told on that bus. All the great things that will be accomplished.

We’d decided to look up a place to eat in Ames. High ranking on google or whatever lead us to Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, sushi is also a favorite of Britney’s. Again, and I hate to be pouring glitter all over you here, but it was a perfect lunch/dinner. The ginger dressing on the salads, the soup, the chicken pot-stickers, all perfect. I went for the somewhat boring, but delicious Yakisoba noddles with steak. Birthday Mrs. went for Chef’s choice sushi plate. She had another beer. I drank a virgin pineapple frosty thing, and stole some of her sushi, it was excellent, sense it could become a thing. Perfect.

 

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She took a nap on the way home, after a brief argument about who had the right sense of direction. I ultimately was wrong, I guess, it’s hard to tell when you’re spinning around and pointing your fingers every which way. Sometimes in moments like this, moments today, the world can start to feel so thin, like it could just slip to something else even more beautiful and transcendent. Like people say floating on cloud-nine, I don’t know where that’s from, but it’s like that, floating on a cloud. Just like on the river everything feels light, right, and easy. I realize how this woman is a god to me, and how I am carrying her around in this medal basket, racing down the concrete, and she sleeps easy because she knows I am a super safe driver, and that I love her. She rests content, knowing her treasure waits at home.

It’s back to earth when we get there. 3-5 is tough anytime. Kein doesn’t like to skip naps. Coen is harassing older kids, slapping on the side of their tents, presenting a knowing coy smile. Perfect. My older Sister arrives, pick up her little one. I water the summer squash patch I am waiting on.

Today gave credence to the currently bemoaned speculations of horoscopes and astrology, the study of the orientation of stars and planets on your particular birthday leading to certain characteristics manifesting in your life and personality. The day was Britney McMulin. It was beautiful, warm, pleasant, breezy. It was a delicious bite of cheese, and a sip of wine next to a gently flowing river. It was a day were you could reach out and touch your partner’s arm, and let it rest it there comfortably, wordlessly, and know that you were loved. It was a day like that.

6-23-16

Stayed up too late, like 12:30, talking, plotting with Britney, then I watched some Netflix.  A couple episodes about tiny homes, basically people trading on their home equity, and I started this documentary called The Wrecking Crew. On the tiny homes, I’ve come to the conclusion, I couldn’t do the super tiny ones, especially with the number of souls I swim with, but I could definitely do smaller, on a huge chunk of land.

The Wrecking Crew was about a bad ass group of studio musicians, who played on all the major Capitol Records hits, Sinatra, Beach Boys, Elvis. I love studying people like that. People that get so wrapped up in the Arts it consumes their whole lives, and changes the world. That sounds so manic, over the top, but that is what Art is about if you didn’t know.

Number 3, Coen Luxey Bucksy Boy, woke up at a hellishly bright 6. Dad forced him to cuddle on Mom’s side so he could try to steal a couple more winks. Of course this only provoked the toddler. He flopped back on Dad, conquering Mom too. Finally I conceded and we made a spot for him in the middle. There was mutual entertainment and adoration and then number 3 left to wander the empty living room, giving Mom and Dad a chance for a private smooch and rub.

Soon though he was sitting outside the door, and the cuddles had to end. Mom made breakfast, simple but satisfying scrambled eggs. Dad packed up for an adventure to a local park. The plan, capture the life the heart desires. Hike in the woods, play by the pond, playground, pop-flys, nap time. Dad success.

This initial trip was promising. Cool summer morning. Big Boulder (truck) running smooth and loud. The roll of the wheel put number 3 to slumber, but Dad fretted not, knowing that all the activity would wear him out, ensuring later nap.

We arrived, everything was teeming with life. We stopped for a small faun, and number 1 & 2 got to admire it. Number 1 (Chay) was worried it might have been lost. I explained that things in nature didn’t really get lost, that everywhere was open to them, but then I worried, that that wasn’t quite right, so I tried to abbreviate it with, mostly things in nature couldn’t get lost, and let it go at that.

 

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I know about this short trail in the woods, which I thought would be perfect for the gang. We pulled up, roused Coen (the number things is getting old), and hopped out. Earlier I grabbed the video camera, and the phone, hoping to document the perfect day, and perhaps even mess with iMovie and see if I could make a cool video.

As we hit trail, we ran right into the bastard swarm, mosquitoes. I half hold some mystical concept that if you just ignore these type of plagues it won’t fuck with you. That’s what I read in some anthropology book about pygmies. I tried to fight through it. Swatting at the bastards, as they circled my sweet headed boys, to no avail. Stupidly, I even brought out the camera, tried to get the boys into position for a nice approaching shot, but my spirit failed.

“Look Coen’s bleeding,” Chay said. I examined. “Yeah I slapped one off of him.” A wound-less trail of blood streaked his precious neck. I surrendered, turned the gang around. “To the pond,” I said.

 

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The gang was highly suspicious at this point, emphasizing no more trail work. I consented, struggling myself with approaching itchy eyebrows, which still haven’t left (need a shower), but the pond ended up being the highlight of the day. We threw rocks into it, saw some tiny little fish, and even a couple frogs; I love frogs.

 

Being the pro I am, I urged Chay and Kein to use the porta-potty. Chay obliged, Kein refused. Note to self, from now on we make number 2 always use the restroom, even if he says no, we try, dear god do we try.

So I reloaded the crew and headed for the playground. Things were going perfect, repressing the bloodsucker attack. The kids played perfectly on the playground. Even did five pull ups myself, and finally I sat down and checked the internet for news of the world. Note the spell of Babylon, it foreshadows the fall. So Kein approached, showing the universal sign of a potty break, doing the Michael Jackson, and declared he had to poop. Now as I said paradise was being enjoyed, but I realized this is not a thing to play with, so I said okay we will pack up head back to the outhouse, but then he said no and ran off.

 

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The rest is fecal history. Accidentville. I’ll spare you the wretched detail, no I wont, Chetto-puff slime, down the leg. I discovered it as I chased them as a monster. We now know what the true horror was. Pro-Dad packed a changed of clothes, but really, fuck, there was no recovery here. I scrubbed with two dozen wipes, awkwardly ditched the soiled garments (sorry Park & Recs) in the trash can, tried to get it together, failed, surrendered.

I calmed down by the time we pulled off in the truck. Kein sat in the middle in his undies, ashamed, head down. I calmed him down. Gave the speech about how accidents happened. Rubbed his chest, told him it was okay. He played with his belly button and I realized all was forgiven. Drove a new way home, Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds was on the radio randomly, on the only old school rap station in my city.

Came home, gave Kein a bath, peace and cleanliness restored. This is adulthood, you become suspicious of peace. It can get to you if you let it. Worry. Anxiety. The rest of the day was normal. Chores, dishes, laundry, prepped dinner, which was excellent. Made burgers, bunch of spices and shredded cheese, grilled to perfection. Brauts, homemade kraut (most delicious home batch ever). Churched up beans. Mom and Dad played catch with Chay. He’s catching flyballs now. He’s really starting to like baseball too; god help us.

Last night Britney and I were talking about how having no expectations, and how that is really the best way to be. And like an analytical asshole I pointed out, that when you think about it, with no expectations you would have no clue what to do at all, that you had to start somewhere. That if you just followed every whim you would probably end up in a back alley smoking crack.

I’m pretty beat now. I was sitting there at the dinner table, finishing my braut. I ripped off a hunk and handed it to Coen. He smashed it. Getting my writing voice going, I reflected that there was no point in making a plate for any child under two and half. That it would only frustrate the savage. That the proper toddler etiquette is to just share whatever you are eating. Keep it simple. Right as the thought punctuated, Coen reached out and threw the ice cream tub of legos to the ground. We picked it up, together. I didn’t get mad at all.

Chay, five years old, claims to have made up this joke, a pun no less. He may be a genius.

How does the cow get into the water?

It moo-ves.

 

 

6-21-16

11:02 AM

Britney and I stayed up late talking. Family life is kicking both our asses. No one said it would be easy, that’s what they say. As you get older all those little adages are so true, but you hate them more and more. Highway to hell is paved with good intentions, that’s another one that came up in the conversation.

We talked about her job. Came to the conclusion her problem was she was trying to hard. That in Babylonian systems trying to do a good job leads to more problems. Just fly under the radar, see it as a means to an end. People don’t drink water anymore, isn’t that crazy? What does it mean when a human, an animal, no longer desires water? Can’t be good, can it?

We tried to end the conversation a couple times, but it was after midnight before we crawled into bed. We whispered final thoughts to each other in the dark. I realize in it all how meant we are for each other, and how our three beautiful boys are proof positive.

As we lay there, my OCD kicks in, and I can’t remember if I locked the downstairs door. Grumbling I go check it out, and I have. Usually we lock the dogs up in the back room, so that don’t make a bunch of noise on the stairs, or try to gate crash, and get upstairs, but they’re nowhere to be found. I put the another kiddie fence up to stop them from coming up the stairs. I’m just about to drift off, and I hear them testing the kiddie fence, and then coming up the stairs. I jump out of bed, go lock them up.

I ask Britney if she let them out at all, since she was home. She thinks yes, but isn’t sure. Randomly the rain starts. “That’s what got them,” she says. I wonder through the sleepy fog, how they knew that brief rain was coming. Moments later she jumps out of bed. “Now I’m paranoid I didn’t let them out.” She stumbled back downstairs.

Wake up early, to the familiar sound of a door being slammed. Don’t know what it is, but can’t get the kids to keep the door shut during the day, but in the morning some instinct tells them to slam it. It wakes everyone up. Mornings are tough, chaotic, they want to hang with Mom, but she has to go to work. Brit goes for a run, which I admire.

I decide we got to get out of the house. We send Mom off with hugs and kisses and then head off. Get some burritos from Wackdonalds, go to a park. It’s a great time. Beautiful cool summer morning. Blue skies, relaxing breeze, everything’s green and at its peek. Everyone’s happy, content.

I push my boys in the swings, taking turns with each one. They all encourage me, higher, higher. Little one laughs with each push, dangles his big toddler head back. Drool runs down his cheek. I tell him to keep his big head up, scared he’s going to fall out. Why are the best things filled with some much danger?

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I did a lot of gardening stuff yesterday, pulled weeds mainly. We are loving our pool. Weird though, last night about three o’clock in the morning woke up with dead leg/cramp. Awful feeling, like somehow my legs had assumed rigor mortis. Dead flesh and bone, from my thighs down. I had to walk it out and chug water.

Before bed, Brit and I watched Michael Pollan’s Cooked, episode 2, titled Water. It bummed us both out something major. How fucked the world seems. The fact that we have traded all the good things, cooking, the outdoors, family, sex, free time, for garbage. In the documentary they stated how there is a correlation between the less time people cook, and the increase in obesity rates. Brit works as a health coach, so for her its more than just academic.

I hate how the modern world seems to create this stratification and elitism. That you can join the proletariat stuffing your face with junk that will put you in an early grave, or you can join the enlightened few who know about quality food, just be sure to bring your credit cards. Pollan states at the end how he doesn’t want to lecture people into eating healthy, but wants to use the pleasure of good food to sway people. I know it shows my inner Hitler, but something really bugs me about that. In my dark moments, I want to hijack the world, the culture, force them to act right. But that’s not how the world works, is it? Nor would we want it.

Weird dreams last night. In one I was walking with my Grandpa. A little boy started following us and harassing us. I was scared he was going to attack my elder. Ended up roughing him up a bit, and dragged him into a police station. They whisked him off, and wanted me to write out a report. I started to write it out, but the words weren’t coming out right, so I asked for a computer to type on. They said they could accommodate, but it would take a minute. Grandpa disappeared, the mood changed, and now they were eyeing me suspiciously. I began to fear that they were going to arrest me for roughing up the youth, so I snuck out of there, sans report.

Woke up, discovered I left some coffee in the pot, made a large cold coffee, chugged it, and headed outside. Britney was mowing. My three little ones ran around her. Then they went swimming. I worked again at the garden. Planted two more plots of beans, got some Hyssop and Lemon Balm in the ground, planted four more tomatoes, more weeding. I love gardening, something so gratifying about having your hands in the dirt, and the sun on your back. I want to flee Babylon, go off-grid, have a huge farm, maybe three more kids, and live Little House on the Prairie style.

That’s the five year plan, flee Babylon. I think it’s a good plan. Right now it feels 50-50, Babylon and Zion. We got a stay at a home parent, garden, paying down our debt, living frugally, try to eat healthy and spend plenty of time outside doing fun stuff. But kids probably still watch too much TV, live in the city, cop-out and order out, envy the greener grass over the hedge, and a hundred other little thing which keep us in soul suck…

Tonight, I went and met Greg the Blacksmith. He had advertised a free introductory workshop on Craigslist. It was awesome, learned a lot and got to bang on a piece of steel rebar. Got me thinking, how that is the key to kicking the Babylon-funk, doing real stuff. There’s something very enlightening too about watching metal change like that. Cool, it can seems so fixed and hard, but apply a little (read 1700 degrees) heat and you can bend it however you like. Our thought patterns are like that too. And unfortunately, it seems the heat needed to bend most people’s behavior and mindset is tragedy.

I think that’s the key though, just like a forge, we must find a way to control the heat. Manipulate things so we can change, but aren’t destroyed. We must immerse ourselves in the challenge momentarily, and then make the necessary changes that we want to see in the world.

There’s another benefit to doing stuff like that, and its meeting like minded positive people. There were five others and they just gave off a healthy vibe. And again, not to go negative, but it makes me think, just like in the Pollan documentary how did we ever give that up! It was a false promise, a devils bargain, I think. That life would be easier, and more fun, if you just gave that stuff up. And who really needs gardening or blacksmiths, when Walmart is right there, and that fucking screen is waiting for you. I, for one, am rejecting that bullshit and breaking the contract. I will be free.100% Zion. How about you?