Are you Happy?

There’s a quote that I saw a long time ago that makes me think every once in a while.

“If you aren’t outraged, you haven’t been paying attention.”

I said it makes me think every once in a while.  Why only think?  Why aren’t I more outraged with what is going on in the world today?  Why am I not standing up and shouting from the rooftops that I am not going to stand for any of this crap anymore?  Why aren’t there more people shouting from the rooftops?

I think it’s because there’s too much.  There are too many things to even begin tackling any of it and feel like anything is helping.  The rich get richer, the middle class are slowly being phased out, and America, the country I love, is slowly shifting to the curb as far as effectiveness, change, and progress.

Where could I start?  With my senators and congresspeople?  I’ve written to them and received canned responses time and time again.  Local school boards and people around me?  Sure, I guess, but how much would I honestly effect?  Or is it affect?  That always confused me 🙂

I feel like I’m drowning sometimes with work, with finances, with lack of time, lack of energy.  I feel like …. I was watching Eat Pray Love the other day with Fae and one of her Italian friends was talking about how Americans work so hard and give up so much just to say “It’s Miller Time and I deserve time off, or this vacation” and it really made me think and rethink how I go about my day.  Is that what it’s all about?  About moving things forward, working as hard as I possibly can, just to have a week or two off and during that week or two I’m so consumed with sucking everything out of every moment, it creates stress sometimes.

How many of us really live, every day?  How many of us are truly happy with who they are instead of with what they have or what they’ve done.  Truly content to look in the mirror and see a good, confident, happy person.

Is that too idyllic?  (Is that even the word I am looking for?)  Am I naive for even thinking that I can do my job, be with my family, accomplish some of the things in life and be happy?  Again, how many of us poke our heads up from our every day and really take a moment, a second, a breath to think what’s happening around them?  Even if it’s just in their home, community, state, nation, planet?

I think that as a nation, not only have we become deadened to the things going on in the world around us, complacent with the backseat our nation seems to be taking lately, but lethargic and lazy.  I think we’re outraged for a moment and then we go back to just getting by, surviving,  by trying to keep our heads above water.

Okay, I’m rambling.  It was a long day today, but I took some time and spent it with Fae and Gillian, Aidan was at a friends for most of the day.  Lets see if I can come out of my torpor a bit tomorrow and even just go for a walk or do some kicks and punches.  Physically shrug winter off once and for all and get my blood moving.

Cheers.

6 Hours later

And I was still ready to go.  Oh come on you sick people.  I’m talking about my son’s birthday party last night.  His friends showed up around 5, and I drove them all home around 11:30pm.  All in all a fun night.  What did we do?

We slayed orcs!

When I was growing up, I played D&D for several years with my friends.  Playing, making up dungeons, the works.  It was great until girls got more interesting than orcs, goblins, and bugbears.  About 6 years ago, I came across a boxed beginner set that was similar to the one I started with in the late 70s, early 80s.  I talked to Aidan and Gillian about it and they seemed to like the idea so we played.  And they loved it.

About 4 years ago, maybe a little more, Aidan asked me to have a D&D party for his birthday.  Invite his friends over, teach them all how to play, and play for a little while.  It was a sleep over so I knew if they dug it, we could play pretty late.  They were hooked as badly as I was.  They were all worked up around 11pm so I bribed them with “If you crash now, I’ll wake up at 7 and maybe we can finish the game”.  They were all asleep 20 min later and we enjoyed another 2 hours or so the next morning.

This year?  Oye.  He invited like 11 kids.  The sleepover was no longer possible, and for those who have never played D&D, a group of 11 is an invitation to disaster.  5 is pushing it.  We started around 5:30 because a few of the kids were a little late, but once we got moving, it went really well.  A bit of arguing about what to do and what order to do things, but it all worked out and he had a great time.  That’s what mattered.  My wife went to the pretzel factory and grabbed like 50 of them which they inhaled, had dunkin donuts instead of cake, and by 11:30, they were all home, sugared up and riled up from killing things and solving puzzles, and each of them trying to outsmart the dungeon master, me.

Me?  I had a freakin ball.  You have to understand, each one of these kids is smarter than the other so when they breezed past several puzzles, I made it a little harder.

Example: there’s a puzzle that sets a chessboard in the floor of the room and a plaque on the wall that says “8 fighting queens want to settle their own boundaries on the board.  To leave, you must help them”  In other words, find a way to place the queens on the board where none of them can take another using the Queen’s moves on a chessboard.  That was a difficult one, but they eventually got it.  Another is a grizzly little hole with spikes and grime and gross stuff around it with a sign, “put your finger in the hole to set you free”.  You have to stick your finger in the hole to push the button that opens the door, but I make it creepy enough that they all don’t want to do it.  So what does my son do?  He takes the hand of one of the creepies he just killed and puts its finger in the hole.  It pushes the button and opens the door.  Almost punched him for figuring that one out so easily. 🙂

Yeah, it’s swords and sorcery and killing the bad guys and gathering loot, but it’s good fun, it makes them think, and they had a great time.

Thank god none of them slept over. 🙂  I just woke up at 10 and for me?  that’s a miracle.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a good Dad.  How many fathers take the time to put all of that together and then do it all with a bunch of loud 14 yr olds?  Oh yeah, I wrote the dungeon maps, populated the rooms, found the puzzles and traps, wrote the background story, and ran the campaign.  Felt a lot better than paying someone else to entertain the kids, tho there were several times I thought it might have been easier to take them all to play Laser tag at the place down the road 🙂

Who is this woman, and why is she still living in my house?

This is my Fae.  She’s mine and no one else can have her.  Well, if you’re nice she’ll be your friend, BUT THAT’S IT!

Here are 21 amazing things about her since April 9th is her 21st birthday.  (I said I would never lie to YOU, honey)

  1. She gets me, and I’m pretty low key and easy to get along with, but not everyone ‘gets’ me.
  2. She’s passionate.
  3. She’s intelligent.
  4. She’s smart (yes, there’s a difference).
  5. She’s constantly trying to improve herself, every single day.
  6. She’s helped me become the man I am, the friend I am, and the father I am.
  7. She makes my toes curl when she sings, doesn’t matter what it is.
  8. She learns from everything she does and things around her.
  9. She likes having opinions, and enjoys banter back and forth of opposing ones.
  10. She lights a fire under my ass constantly.
  11. She helps me to know what I need more than what I want.
  12. She taught me to stand up when I have an opinion and not back down from fear of confrontation.
  13. She likes my piercings.  5.  (All in my ears you sick people)
  14. She is constantly striving to grow and change.
  15. She talks to our kids; teaching, explaining, joking and when they need it, being their parent.
  16. She has the most beautiful eyes that I constantly find myself getting lost in.
  17. She likes to cuddle.
  18. She could sell a drowning man a drink of water.
  19. She has cool tattoos (ankle, shoulder, lower back)
  20. She has faults, and quirks, and lots of baggage, but I wouldn’t trade her for anyone.  No, not anyone.
  21. She’s my girl.

I love you babe, always have, always will.

Love,

Your Matthew

What the hell is going on?

Is democracy dead, and fear, and uninformed opinions reign?  Government Shut Down?

I don’t know.  You know why?  Because I don’t believe anyone on the news anymore.  Shit, the only one who I feel is telling me anything near to the truth is Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

I hear about things – Japan, Syria/Libya/Egypt, Obama this, Trump that – but how much is truth, and how much is spin?  Fox News?  Please.  Glen Beck and Neil Cavuto?  Wow, I watched 5 minutes of each of them and was physically ill.  America, I”m going to tell you something right now that will scare you into thinking like me.

Is MSNBC any better?  I liked them for a while, but got the feeling that they were going to the other extreme.

Wolf Blitzer?  Sorry man, but you remind me too much of Dr. Beard Face from Scrubs for me to take you seriously.

I could sit and bitch about the trouble the country is in, but in truth, I don’t know if I’m right, what I’m upset about, and who should do something about it all.  I’m sorry tho, President Trump?  Please.  Please America, tho I would take him over Palin or that Bachman loon.

What we need is agreement.  What we need is people working together.  What we need is to scrap all of the bullshit, kick just about everyone out of office and have a do-over.  Make it so that the way people are elected is fair, for limited terms, and efficient enough to actually get things done.  It’d be nice if we could take those millions of dollars that get spent on ads that most people ignore, and put it into projects that would help the economy, bring business back into the US, and make America great.  Make it a place I am proud to be a part of.

“An I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free” yeah, but free to do what?  Get by, watch the rich get richer, the poor get the shaft and the middle class get pushed farther down the ladder of Us vs Them.  The laws of this nation are so polluted with political bullshit and legal speak that it’s a miracle anything gets past without a landslide to vote for it.  How about we vote for America instead of Republican, Democrat, Liberal, or Tea Party.  How about we stop sensationalizing things and just stick to the truth.  Japan was horrific, but you know what, I don’t need to see the same wave over and over.  I know the earth is slowly shrugging off the virus the human race has become.

But there’s no global warming.

And while I’m bitching just to hear myself, why aren’t we investing in energy, space, and cool shit like laser guns, light sabers, and fully functional body armor you can buy at k-mart?  Why aren’t we paying attention to the fact that a teacher should be praised and thanked and REWARDED for one of the hardest jobs that there is out there instead of screwed on a regular basis and put down by people who can afford to bribe the right people to cut all that spending and give their college drop out children 80,000 jobs for which they aren’t even close to qualified.

I know there are good people out there.  Good American people.  People I would be proud to stand up with and fight the bullshit that is becoming our nation.  We aren’t a nation much anymore.  We’re constantly divided by issues most of us don’t take the time to find out more about.

Stop making it about the dollar, Washington.  I know that some of you at least believe in the job you’re doing, and that we elected you for the right reasons.  Please, stop the bullshit.  Make us proud.  Make us a great nation again.  Make us into a leader in the world stage.  And do it for the right reasons, not for power or money or bullshit.  Do it for the people, the people who elected you, the people who bought the line you sold when you said the things you said.  Give me someone who says it, means it, and can do it.

Please.

What’s up Mr. and Mrs. Internet?

Howdy folx.  Yup, 7am and I’m already at my computer.  Woke up to get Aidan off to school, but the back of his throat is fire engine red, so no school for him.  Lucky bugger.

Of course, now that I woke up to get him up and ready, I can’t go back to sleep.  I can hear him snoring in his room from downstairs.  Need coffee, ugh ugh ugh.

So yesterday was fun.  Got a call around 10 from the middle school nurse.  “Your son has a ring stuck on his finger and it’s turning quite red.  Our ring cutter won’t even scratch it, and he’s getting anxious.  You need to come take him to the doctor or the ER.”

Long story short, we went and got him, his finger was purple, brought him to the ER since the doctor’s ring cutter was broken and spent about 3.5 hours getting the thing off.  It’s a stainless steel ring that has two pieces, an outer ring that slides around the inner.  A really cool ring actually.  Remember I said stainless steel?  They worked on it for about an hour with the tools they usually use.

Finally they called maintenance and used something called a dremel.  It’s a highspeed drill type thing.  Fae wanted them to go to the morgue and get a bone saw;)  Aidan turned a little white at that one, but knew she was joking.  Mostly 😉

Working from home has been really great.  My desk is right in the corner of the living room which really kind of blows, but I live in a three bedroom townhouse so I don’t have much of a choice.  The fam is great tho, they really leave me alone and are very quiet when they’re down here.  It works mostly because of the schedule we have come up with.

6am – wake up Aidan and get his butt off to school by 6:50am.

7-8 am – get my emails out of the way, get some work done prepping stuff I’ll tackle later, read techie blogs and forum responses to stuff I posted at the end of the day before.

8am – 830am – wake up Gilli and get her butt off to school.  She refuses to eat breakfast, mostly because of her stomach in the morning.  It’s a celiac thing, not a pain in the ass daughter thing 🙂

8:30 – 12 – work work work, get honey coffee, work work work work

Noon – 1pm eat, run errands, sit and talk, watch some TV, hang with Fae, all or none of the above depending on schedule and if Fae’s at work that day

1-2:30 – work work work work

2:45 – 3 – make Aidan a snack, get him started on his homework

3-4 – work, tho lately usually a conf call

4-6:30 – help with homework, make dinner, drive kids to activity a or activity b

6:30 – 7/8 – finish up tasks for the day, post questions to forums/friends

aaaaand scene.

Doesn’t always work out that way, but that’s about my day.  Yeah, it’s about 12 hours, but it works for me.  I always have my phone on me, so if anyone needs me, they can get me.

Whoops, it’s early day for Gillian, before school Chorus.  Have to go get her movin.

Everyone have a great day, it’s April Fools AND Friday.