Slosh flush swear

It’s one of those days where you’re in the bathroom at work because you need a private place to scroll through Indeed because dear God there has to be another job out there, I’ll clear tables, mop floors, sell angel dust door-to-door HELP ME.

There’s a knock and the voice on the other side asks if we are going to unclog that toilet in the next bathroom, and by “we” they mean “Come out of there and get the plunger because there’s no way in hell I’M going to do it.”

All of this is at 8:09 AM. Well before you’ve discovered the chipmunk that’s dying in the custodial closet.

You put Indeed away. It’s all line cooks and RNs anyway, neither of which you can do with out A.) giving someone food poisoning or B.) involuntary manslaughter. After searching for the “good” plunger — depressing because you have a favorite plunger — you initiate the ritual:

slosh, slosh, slosh, slosh, cross fingers, flush, swear audibly, slosh slosh, slosh.

Flush again. It works. A sense of victory soaks your whole being.

Then your phone beeps and after washing your hands so thoroughly it’s like you’re in Silkwood, your high school freshman daughter sends you this via Snapchat:

Bad day averted, that kid is amazing, for some reason she loves me, so give me that plunger and I’ll go to town every freaking day because she. is. awesome.

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Bird calzone

It was that bird with the food in its mouth. Beak. Whatever.

7:18 AM and I’m staring out the window in boxer shorts and a T-shirt that reads “STAR WARS” in faded, yellow letters. Seconds earlier I yelled, “Let’s go, it’s seven eighteen!” to my son who should be getting dressed for school in the next room. By June 7th, he should just know to get dressed. By June 7th, I’m light-years beyond sick of prompting him to get dressed. As I reach for the jeans on the floor — worn yesterday but that’s nothing a blast of Febreeze can’t fix — I see it.

The bird. Outside. Standing on the roof of my shed. Small, grey and tremendously, almost aggressively ordinary. He (or she, who knows) is holding what for him (or her, who knows) is a massive piece of food in his beak. It would be the equivalent of your or I holding a calzone between our teeth.

thebird

The bird is in no rush. He’s just looking around, surveying the land from the gable of my 1970’s tool shed, content that he’s got a day’s worth of grub locked down by 7:18 AM. Everything is honkey-dorey. That’s when I realize it.

I hate this bird.

He (or she) has no bills to pay. No spouse to please. If there are kids, he’ll just deposit some of his bird calzone into their mouths and they’ll be set for the day. The bird has no insurance woes, income tax concerns or thoughts about the pending election. The bird doesn’t know what a job is.

I hate the bird because I wish I were the bird. Not a care in the world and his day made at 7:18 AM. That’s what four months of unemployment does to you.

It makes you hate birds.

First school dance

IMG_2001Off to his first school dance, the 5th grade social (complete with LEGO bow tie).

It’s tempting to bemoan the passage of time, but that’s not the right call here. In a few months, he’ll be in junior high. Meanwhile, my daughter is a teenager. Everything is temporary, including childhood. Bring on the next adventure.

My changing role at Apple World Today

My role at Apple World Today has changed. As of today, I’ve handed the role of Editor in Chief to Steve Sande, and assumed role of contributing writer. Why? Time, attention and focus.

As you may know, I began work at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) a few weeks ago. It’s been a great challenge and I’m really enjoying the work. I’ve also had to make some adjustments in my life as a result. For the first time since our kids were born, my wife and I are both working 40 hours per week outside of the house. We’re up for that challenge, and a challenge it is. Chores that I always took care of — soccer practice, ballet pick-up and drop-off, dump runs, groceries and more — now require forethought and planning, as I’m out of the house from 8:15 AM until about 5:30.

In short, I just can’t work what essentially are two full-time jobs and still be a decent husband and father. I won’t work at AWT if I can’t give it my all, as that’s not fair to Steve and Dennis, our advertisers, our patrons and our readers. So it’s time to stop being selfish and step aside.

I’ll still contribute articles here and there, so you aren’t completely rid of me. Thanks for reading and supporting the site all this time. I hope you continue to do so, as Steve and Dennis are fully dedicated.

Listen all y’all it’s a sabotage

sabotage

I don’t know what’s up with this but I have a tendency to sabotage myself. Not in the little things, either. I’ll let stuff go that I know will cause huge problems. I wonder if other people do this or if it means I have a serious psychological problem. Maybe it’s why so many of my projects fail?

Your father’s music

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“David, we’re late,” my mother says, stuffing me into cold weather clothes. I open my mouth to answer but she’s already in the kitchen grabbing a Dukes of Hazard lunchbox, two backpacks and her own coat and hat faster than a quick-change artist. She opens the door and the cold air hits us like a board.

“Into the Embarras-mobile,” she says. “Go.”

The Embarras-mobile was an ocean blue Ford Galaxy 500 with no hubcaps, fist-sized rust holes and flesh-colored patches of unsanded Bond-O. It was huge — with a hood like a helipad and bench seats half a mile long.

I climb in. The windshield is caked in a thin sheet of ice. My mother cranks the defroster and peers through a shoebox-sized hole in the frost.

She clicks the radio on. “Another Saturday Night” by Sam Cooke floats through the speakers. “Ugh,” she says. “Your father’s music.” She shifts it into drive and hits the gas.

My father listened to the “oldies” station with a smile on his face. “Someday,” he’d tell us, “I’ll take the car to the car wash, drive through the spray and the brushes and when I come out on the other side … it’ll be 1963.”

“That’s weird, dad,” I’d say, but he wouldn’t answer. He was lost in a memory far away.

My mother turns the corner and the icy windshield suddenly shines with piercing sunlight. “I can’t see,” she says.

I roll down my window and stick my head outside. “Don’t worry, mom, I can see,” I lied. “Keep going.”

“Are you sure?” she says, hitting the brake.

“Yeah,” I say. The frigid air burns the tip of my nose and makes my eyes water. “Just keep going straight ahead.”

The collision throws me hard against my seat belt. We hit a parked pickup truck.

“I thought you could see?” my mother says.

“I thought I could, too,” I say. Now the radio was playing “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” and I was wishing for a magical car wash.

* * *

Last week, my wife and I took the kids to the playground. After three days of bickering in the house, we needed to get out.

We pulled out of the driveway and my wife turned on the radio. A Van Halen song blasted from the speakers.

“Jeeze, hon!” she shouted, turning the volume down. “Don’t leave it on like that.”

“Sorry,” I said.

“What was that?” my daughter, Gracie, asked from the back seat.

“Your father’s music,” my wife said.

“Someday Grace,” I told her, “I’ll go to the car wash ….”