Polaroid of the Day:From the archives


IMG_0396 This was taken at the orphanage where we adopted our son. This picture, though, was taken in the ward where they kept children who tested positive for hepatitis B.The woman in the picture was the one  who played with them every day.

Shavuah Tov. Impeach Drumpf.


Can you fall asleep like this? Were you ever able to?

Asleep on a Roadtrip
Asleep on a Roadtrip, Boston to Columbus.
From “In The Loop” (2009):
Lt. Gen. George Miller: Twelve thousand troops. But that’s not enough. That’s the amount that are going to die. And at the end of a war you need some soldiers left, really, or else it looks like you’ve lost.

 

From “Duck Soup” (1933):
Another Cabinet Member: Gentlemen, gentlemen. Enough of this. How about taking up the tax?
Firefly: How about taking up the carpet?
Member: I still insist we take up the tax!
Firefly: [to his secretary] He’s right—you’ve got to take up the tacks before you take up the carpet.
Member: I give all my time and energy to my duties, and what do I get?
Firefly: You get awfully tiresome after a while.
Member: Sir, you try my patience.
Firefly: I don’t mind if I do. You must come over and try mine some time.
Member: That’s the last straw: I resign. I wash my hands of the whole business.
Firefly: Good idea. You can wash your neck too.

(Social) Media Shabbat


I imagine that your mind is probably shattering at the moment, too. There are too many mental balls to juggle, and they are flying all over the place and getting dropped. Some of them have explosives in them, others are just paint balls, and others are just trite metaphors getting overworked on an unread blog.

That can only mean one thing: It’s time for our weekly break!

I’ll leave you with this thought: It’s my former wife’s weekend with the kids. They don’t hang out with me, y’know,  being teenagers and all, but that sensation when I get back from dropping them at school, their presence still palpable (the humidity upstairs from the shower, the smell of whatever it is that my daughter put in her hair, the mug that I used to heat the milk for the hot chocolate my son drinks in the car), it is overwhelming and poignant, it fades all too fast.

And in other good news, it’s baseball season!!Pogo26

The Tortures of High-Conflict Divorce


Sometimes, the most sobering and the hardest part of the high-conflict divorce is the constant barrage of reminders of what a f@#*ing moron you were.

The signs were there, but you weren’t thinking straight.

A friend tried warning you, but it was a half-hearted attempt, and it was too late.

You’d been burned by love in the past, and  in the state you were in you were willing to settle for something a little bit less.

You’d been living in isolation, and it distorted your judgment.

You know that you should just put all of this behind you. You try to, every day. However, when you are chained to the rock of co-parenting with a psycopath  narcissist  someone with Borderline Personality Disorder  a difficult person, it’s hard, if not impossible, to do so.

So it’s Sunday, and we there’s a big informational meeting about our son’s upcoming trip to Israel. All the travelers and their parents are gathering at a Jewish day school about a half hour away. I will be driving the Kid as it’s my weekend. The former wife asks if I’ll be staying until the end–she needs to return to help a friend who is preparing chocolates for Taste of Boston. I say, sure, but I have a condition. She grumbles and rants, afraid that I’m going to ask for something reasonable, like she actually return something of mine that is a family keepsake that she decided to appropriate in the divorce. No, I ask for her to bring one of the chocolates. (I like chocolates). She says she’ll see if she can. I say, If you can.

I get to the meeting first. The organization running the camp is quite smart, at least in terms of self-preservation, and they bill me and the former wife separately. They also make us separate packages of the informational material. They’d rather go to the trouble of sending out separate bills and info than to have to listen to us call and accuse each other of being the bad parent.

Because I get there first, I grab the heavier packet. The packets are identical, except that the heavier packet has two luggage tags in it. The kids are supposed to use these luggage tags so that everyone in the group can have their bags identified by anyone in the group. I take the heavier packet. Why? Why not? I know that the former will have a strong sense that she is entitled, for chissà quale ragione,  to be the keeper of whatever keys need keeping. This belief is also reinforced by its correlate, that I am not capable of handling things. (In fairness, many women subscribe to this myth: men would be dead in their houses with their guts being eaten by the cat within days  of last contact were it not for the intervention of the Ever-Feminine.)

True to form, when the former arrives she comes up and asks for the luggage tags. When I answer that I’ll hold on to them, she goes on to demand them. Loudly, vocally, and of course, without regard for the fact that we are in public.

We are reliving our bad marriage all over again, in a microcosm.

It’s not a big deal, the luggage tags. But the assumptions and treatment are galling. So I say, calmly, I think I’ll just hang on to the tags.

The former wife stomps off, loudly, “Well, then you can’t have any chocolate!” IMG_0211 Play my way, or you can’t have any candy. Story of my married life.

 

What Happens When a Child Calls a Parent by their First Name?


calvin
apololgies to Mr. Watterson for the unauthorized use of Calvin.

(Please forgive me for the use of ‘their’ as a neuter third-person singular. I just can’t fight it anymore.)

Referring to  parents by their first names. It always shocked me as a teen when I heard peers do it, and though it turned into more disturbance than shock as I grew older, I have to admit that it still sends me some sort of an unsettling signal when I hear it. I have to wonder: Do they call their parents by their first names when they are talking to them, or just about them?

There was a time when my daughter would do it with me. It was away for her to express anger. I didn’t put up with it. I’d walk away. As far as I was concerned,  it was a conversation ender. She doesn’t do it anymore. However, she does still get angry with me. Go figure.

“They may already know too much about their mother and father–nothing being more factual than divorce, where so much has to be explained and worked through intelligently (though they have tried to stay equable). I’ve noticed this is often the time when children begin calling their parents by their first names, becoming little ironists after their parents’ faults. What could be lonelier for a parent than to be criticized by his child on a first-name basis?”

― Richard Ford, The Sportswriter

Personal Stuff: Divorce + Fatherhood = The Worst, Most Painful Irony of My Life


I am sure that it is not an uncommon situation that I am in: I have two wonderful children, and an absolutely horrible ex-marriage. If I want to deal with my kids, I have to deal with this mess. Easy choice, but man, sometimes…

I’m not saying that the former wife is a horrible person, that she is x, y, or z (the variables standing for any number of derogatory adjectives or nouns that are used by divorced people all over the world to describe the other cohort in the crime of their coupling). I am willing to assert, though, that she is the ne plus ultra of the, hmmmm, how to put this, the epitome of the difficult former spouse; if in the afterlife she is to be judged by her co-parenting skills, well,  it’s going to be a tough trip through Purgatory.

Nor am I saying that I’m some perfect or even good former spouse and co-parent. I wish I were made of tougher stuff. I wish that I could always do the right thing, that I could let every insult, every attack, every pointless (except for the point of hurting me) act of revenge for G-d knows what misdeed (the misdeed of wanting a divorce?), I wish I could let them all slip by. I have thinner skin than I would like to have. I don’t know how to make it thicker. (Maybe Sean Sphincter and I should attend a class on obtaining some tougher emotional armor.)

Were there no kids? I’d be gone. I’d fly away. I’d head back to Charleston without looking over my shoulder, and there would be no sequel. But there are the children, and they are the greatest thing in the world that has ever happened to me. I feel a glow in their presence. I love doing things for them. Watching them stirs such strong feelings that even when I worry about them, even when I am mad at them, even when they are purposely difficult, there is not a part of me that doesn’t want to protect them, to love them, to make the world a better place for them. I do not know if I would ever have had this depth of feeling for anything were I never to have had children.

I wish more of my time weren’t occupied by the strife. But here I am, slipping down the backslope of my life, having to force myself not to answer hostile texts, steeling myself not to strike back at things perpetrated out of pure vindictiveness, working to keep my mind on other, more pleasant things, and most difficult of all, trying to construct a view of my life that isn’t so filled with this regret at the painful paradox of being a dad thanks to the biggest mistake in my life; all this, in order that I might just let myself be filled with the wonder and the privilege it that it is to be that dad.

No Wonder tRump’s Grumpy–His Wife Won’t Sleep With him, and there’s nothing he can do about it.


Of the restrictions imposed by being the Most Powerful Man in the World, the inability to move the seat of government may be the most torturous of them all.

Avoiding your vulgar, garish boor of a husband is now the easiest thing in the world for Mrs. Drumpf. All she has to do is stay away from the District of Columbia.

Twitler is taking Propecia. Side effects include:

  • impotence, loss of interest in sex, or trouble having an orgasm;
  • abnormal ejaculation;
  • swelling in your hands or feet;
  • swelling or tenderness in your breasts;
  • dizziness, weakness;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • headache;
  • runny nose;

Note the first side effect listed. It may be that that is an advantage if you are the president, your wife can’t stand your flesh, and you wish to avoid scandal. However, a man’s view of himself, especially a puffed-up peacock like tRump, is often inextricably intertwined with his dominant and dominating sexuality. A man that can’t even get it from his “young (relatively), and beautiful, piece of ass”, well, what kind of tough hombre is that?

The third side effect, swelling of the hands? That one Drumpf definitely wants.

melania-gun
“Try  doing to me what you did to Ivana and I will shoot your flabby ass. In Slovenian.”

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