Video Games: A Rant

What follows an approximant account of the lecture I found myself giving my two oldest children last night. I want to state right now that I have no problem with video games and am actually quite fond of playing them myself, but there’s only so much a dad can take…

No! No! NO!!!

I will NOT get you through the rest of this dungeon!

No I will NOT beat this boss for you!

Do you think I had someone to get me through the hard parts of games when I was a kid?!?!

You think Nana or Grandpa ever beat a boss for me?

No.

No they didn’t.

My generation was the first to have complicated games and we didn’t have parents that knew how to play.

My parents played Pac-man and Pong and pinball!

We didn’t have the luxury of living in a house with someone who’s played games for 25+ years and who knew how video game logic works.

No, when I was a kid, WHEN I WAS A CHILD, we had to figure out how to get through things ourselves dammit!

WE didn’t even have the INTERNET!

Yeah, that’s right! No internet.

Let that shit sink in.

If we were lucky we had a friend who had played before us or we knew someone who knew someone who was able to save up enough money to buy a Nintendo Power magazine that might, MIGHT, have an answer to a question about the game we were playing in it!

When I was a kid, when that old man between the fires in the beginning of Zelda said “take this, it’s dangerous to go alone”, all he gave us was that sword, because we, we were truly alone out there in the shit man.

WE figured the puzzles out ourselves!

To US, every “secret”, be it level, weapon or what have you, was an actual goddam secret that you either stumbled on yourself by chance or you had to research and hunt down  like it was the Ark-of-the-MOTHERFUCKING-COVENANT!

WE DID THAT THAT SHIT OURSELVES! 

WE, WE HAD GAMES THAT NO ONE WE KNEW COULD BEAT!!

WE WERE THE LONELY MOTHERFUCKING WARRIORS OF VIDEO GAMES AND WE ARE BETTER PEOPLE BECAUSE OF IT, NOW STOP ASKING ME TO PLAY YOUR GODDAM GAMES FOR YOU!!!

Um…

I’m sorry, Daddy didn’t mean to…

Please stop crying guys…

I didn’t mean to…

How about I get y’all through those levels and we just don’t tell Momma about this?

Ok?

I… I love you… 

 

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One For The New Year

People I know have been asking me recently why I’ve stopped posting. Usually I come up with some bullshit answer like “nothing interesting is happening” or “I’ve been too busy”. Truth be told there are multiple reasons and most have to do with something I’m notoriously uncomfortable with: emotions.

Stupid, stupid emotions.

See, I’ve been avoiding writing anything because I don’t like to talk about feelings. Not real feelings anyway.

I want to write light, funny antidotes about the cute, comical little things my kids do while growing-up. And I want to write light, funny antidotes about the ways kids suck sometimes but it’s all worth it because of…

Well, I guess there’s the problem.

Things have started to feel a lot less light and funny.

I wake up looking forward to bed time. 

I react the same now to one of my children screaming in pain as I do to one of my children laughing hysterically in joy (if you’re wondering, that reaction is indifference (or annoyance depending on how loudly the crying/laughing is)).

I’m morose and generally unpleasant to everyone.

So what I’m trying to say is that I’m becoming, or have become, an unbearable dick.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to read a post written by an unbearable dick. 

But, it is a new year, and as I saw yesterday written over a picture of Robert Downey Jr. rolling his eyes, “It’s Time for that New Year, New Me, bullshit”.

So here’s me taking the first step and admitting that there is a problem, and saying that it’s time for me to start actively trying to stop being so fucking miserable all the time, start writing more often, go fishing more often, stop looking at life like it’s a burden and appreciate it for the love, beauty and all the other mushy emotional shit it provides and maybe lose a few pounds while I’m at it!

And if bootstrapping doesn’t work, there’s always antidepressants.

 

Why Won’t They Do Anything Funny?

I think we’re in a rut.

Nothing exciting is happening.

The house is staying clean.

Demon Spawn has mellowed.

The oldest goes to school, comes home, does his homework, plays his nonviolent/age appropriate video games and goes to bed.

The baby still gets into everything he can but other than an incident involving him drinking hand sanitizer and immediately throwing up everywhere nothing really new or exciting has been happening on that front.

I’m still at home.

My wife is still working.

Maybe I should look at it in a more positive light and say we’ve finally got a good routine down, but when you’re looking for funny things to post about it really feels like less of a positive thing.

Maybe I should start making shit up…

At Least I Feel Better

I have to admit that lately the stress being caused by the baby’s new stage has started to get to me.

I’ve been angry.

I’ve been sullen.

I’ve been bitter.

I’ve started to act anxious  and paranoid.

Truth be told I’ve even been wondering if this whole having children thing is worth it.

Now on top of all this, these feeling have the audacity to make me feel guilty for feeling them.

Then, this morning, I ran across the movie There Will Be Blood on Netflix. I’d been meaning to watch it because it’s supposed to be a pretty good flick and I wanted to know for awhile now why so many of my friends threaten to drink my milkshake.

So I watched it.

If you haven’t seen it or know nothing about it, it is not, IS NOT, a feel good movie. But it made me feel better. It made me feel better because no matter how bitter, angry, paranoid and sullen I get, at least least I’ll never be as bad as the asshole that movie is about.

I mean… Just… That fucking guy. Wow.

No Baby!

That title? That has been the most commonly used phrase in my home in the last month or so. Also, “No baby don’t…!”, “No! Put that down!” and my personal favorite, “That’s not yours! It doesn’t belong to you! Just stop! Stop! For the love of god why can’t you just… Just…! No, no, NO!”.

So what I’m saying is that the baby’s going through a stage. A “if I can reach it, I will take it” stage.

And he seems to be able to reach everything. I guess he’s tall for his age. He also has figured out how to drag chairs around and use them to climb on counter tops and tables.

Oh, and he also has decided that clothes and diapers were made to come off. That’s another fun stage he’s going through right now.

That’s how, just the other day, I had to quickly run into the bathroom for a few minutes due to an unfortunate encounter with some “Mexican” food, to come out and find a baby, who was previously completely dressed, naked, standing in his own bodily waste holding a large kitchen knife.

I was in there for maybe, maybe, two minutes. But it was enough time for him to strip naked, pull a chair to the counter, climb up onto that counter, pull a knife out of the block, climb back down and then poop in front of the bathroom door.

I’m not sure if either of us will survive this stage.

The Mind Of An Angry Dad

Sometimes in the middle of an especially trying week one of your children, who has been especially whiney as of late, will have a very small part of one of his toys broken. This part is not broken in a way that would affect the ability to play with this toy but the reaction to this broken part is equivalent to the reaction you would expect a child to have from seeing a beloved pet gunned down in the streets by an angry drug cartel. (I guess Fido was into some shady business…) You, being the parent of this overly distraught child, takes the toy and fixes it as best you can with what you have on hand. Your child looks at the toy and says, “I guess that’s better than nothing,” in their snottiest, most privileged tone, snatches the toy out of your hand and walks away…

(Before I continue I want to state again that it was a really rough week.)

When the above scenario happened to me not so long ago what I wanted to do to my child was grab him by the scruff of the neck like he was shady Fido up there and be like “LISTEN HERE YOU UNGRATEFUL LITTLE SHIT, IF IT WASN’T FOR ME AND YOUR MOTHER YOU WOULDN’T EVEN HAVE THAT TOY! YOU WOULDN’T HAVE A PLACE TO KEEP THAT TOY! YOU WOULDN’T HAVE FOOD! OR A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD! FOR FUCK SAKE, YOU WOULDN’T EVEN BE ALIVE!!!!!!!!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?!?!?!? YOU WOULD BE DEAD IF IT WASN’T FOR US!!! DEAD, DEAD, DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

But that’s not what I did. No, I took a deep breath, reminded him that when someone does something nice for you the proper reaction is to say “thank you” and let him go and play with the toy.

It doesn’t always go this well but my reactions are never as bad as the things that go through my head when I get pushed just a touch too far. I’m really hoping this counts for something because if thoughts could make you a bad parent… Whew!

Kid Cuisine

I used to make this dish, usually around the first part of October after a successful deer hunt, where I would take a section of venison loin, season it with little sea salt, fresh ground pepper and just touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, and sear it on all sides in a hot cast iron pan until it had a nice caramelized crust. I would then take this loin and stick it in the oven to slow roast. While waiting for it to reach a medium rare I would throw a little butter and a few finely chopped shallots into the pan I seared the loin in, let the shallots soften up a bit and then deglaze the pan with a splash of good bourbon and a half bottle of one of the seasonal pumpkin beers that come out around that time of year. I’d cook that down, add a dash of pumpkin pie spice and some cream, let it thicken up a little bit and serve this sauce with the medium rare loin and a side of homemade sweet potato fries.

Before children this kind of meal wasn’t unusual in my home.

Gumbos, creoles, shrimp  and grits, seafood stews, wild game cooked any and every way I could think of; almost all the ingredients caught, grown or shot by me or someone whose name I at least knew…

Tonight for dinner I had Mickey Mouse shaped chicken nuggets, boxed mac & cheese and frozen broccoli.

This kind of meal isn’t unusual in my house now.

Yay kids.