After the niceties were over, I said, "Dog, do you remember that time we went to the Lollipop?"
Girly, the Dog didnt even say anything. There was a delicious empty pause on the other end of the phone .. before he just started laughing.
And it was the type of laughter that told me that I have him right where I want him.
It's not easy to catch the Dog off balance like this. So I was proud of myself. (Timing is everything, you know.)
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Then I said, "Do you remember where we went after the Lollipop?" (You cannot possibly imagine how much fun this was for me.)
The Dog feels around a little, trying to get his bearings and he says somewhat confidently, "We went to the Sugar Mill."
"That's right," I said, very calmly, so as not to let him know where I am going with this thing. "Do you remember what happened when we got there?"
Now I really have him. He starts laughing again. Nervous laughter .. because he knows his ass is mine.
He starts somewhat unsure of himself, "Yeah .. we ordered.."
And I jumped in and said, "We? No, dog .. not we. You .. you ordered."
It was so much fun working him like that. I was working his ass mercilessly. He totally deserved it.
I love the Dog.
He has gotten me way more times than I've gotten him. So it felt extra special good to get him like this.
» When Giving Shit Means I Love You
The Dog is so good at fucking with you and giving you shit that it actually makes you feel good when he does it. He makes you feel like he loves you.
And he always brings a valid point that he works from. Or, at least, a pseudo-valid point.
[ Whereas I grew up with one brother and no sisters .. the Dog grew up with one sister, and no brothers. ]
Girly, both you and the Dog make me feel less alone in the world. There are very few people who make me feel that way.
I was giving my son dog-style shit when I took this photo of him. I forget what I was giving him shit about .. but he did not seem too terribly bothered by it.
» Kids Always Want to Do Exactly What You Tell Them They Shouldnt
Here is a photo of my son at 2 years old, after his evening bath, climbing out of the crib.
I would say, "You better not climb out of that crib, Buck-o .. or you'll be in big trouble. Big, big trouble. Dont even think about it."
Whatever I told him that he better not do .. that is always exactly what he wanted to do. "Look at my leg, dad. Look what I'm doing."
[ This is close to the age that he was when that girl said, "I want one just like that." Can you blame her? He is the reason why people tell me that I make good babies. As you can see, I put a lot of effort into him. Effort and love. From day 1. I'm sure you can see it. Super-human. It's not easy to be a good dad when people are calling the police and child protectives services every other day for years on end to tell them that you are a horrible dad. (In their opinion, of course.) ]
For this shot I held the camera at my chest (for a more natural shot) and was saying to him, "Do not dare try to climb out of that crib, mister .. or you will be very sorry."
Notice how, in the other three photos of him posted here, he seems to be hamming it up for the camera .. which I am pointing at him. He is being cute and he knows it. (He knows how to work me.) Mr Guapo. But this one here is just us having fun. "Look at my leg, dad."
There was a period there, for quite a stretch .. when I wasnt sure if I'd be seeing him the next week. You cannot imagine how that fucks with your head.
This is why I always wanted the current week to be as cool as possible .. filling him with as much love and affection and attention as I possibly could.
» The Prophet Who Turns the Hearts of the Fathers to the Children
» Modeling Good Parenting Techniques (Not Bad Parenting)
I should probably note here that I learned more about how to be a good parent from the Film school girl .. than from anyone else. She was dedicated and devoted to her kids more than anyone I had ever met.
She told me many times how she felt that her own mother was not there for her and her brothers .. while they were growing up. And she was determined not to repeat those same mistakes with her own kids.
I very much admired and respected her for this. She would drive all the way back from USC (in LA) to Laguna Beach in order to make it to one of her daughter's high school plays. She even went when she was feeling sick as shit.
She never missed .. not even one play. (Ever.) If you have ever tried to be that kind of parent, then you know how difficult it is.
» Correcting Dysfunctional Parenting or Repeating It with Your Own Kids
There is a thing, where some people, when they grow up and become parents themselves, correct in their own parenting practices the shortcomings and the dysfunctions of their own parents.
While other parents seem to simply repeat the patterns-of-dysfunction that their own parents visited upon them. (Which they probably learned from their own parents.)
And they frequently become even more dysfunctional than their own parents were .. adding their own special flavor of dysfunction to what they learned from their parents.
I dont really understand how a parent can repeat the very same behaviors with their own children that they suffered at the hands of their parents while they were growing up.
I have had people tell me things like, "I dont want my mother to raise my children," and "I never leave my children alone with my mother."
I mean, I can certainly see how a child who grew up in a dysfunctional home would become familiar with dysfunctional parenting techniques.
But what are they learning? Are they learning what things not to do to their own kids? Or are they really learning how to trick-fuck their own kids?
» What's the Alternative?
Remind me to tell you about the time he said, "We won't tell mom." .. when he wanted that can of Red Bull. That's a good story.
He just looked and said it so convincingly. I totally believed him. How deceiving looks can be.
» Watch My Generation do What People Say We Can't
Oh .. look at Casey here during the 2017 Oscars (Feb 26), saying that the people of his generation have a similar reaction when they are told that they cant do things.
What a great face he has. That's a face that means business. (Hi Casey.) I think that these Samsung people are feeling me.
Oh, look .. here he is with a follow-up (Mar 7, 2017). That thing is trending like a motherfucker.
"And we are the fucking iceberg." That's poetry. How can you not love this guy?
» Not Humanly Possible
Speaking of doing what people say we cant .. girly, this thing that I am writing here .. this thing that I am writing to you, for you, with you, on you ..
.. this third millennium love-letter of sorts .. this erotic, dangerous, hyper-linked love letter .. this quantumly-entangled, mutually-creative DNA-type of thing .. it cannot be done. No, ma'am.
I hear this kind of thing a lot, you know.
» It Must be True what they Say About the Terrible Two's
Anyway, I would say to the Bug, "I cant believe what I am seeing. You are in so much trouble, young man. You cannot possibly imagine how much trouble you are in right now. It must be true what they say about the terrible two's."
I think that he liked the idea of being in trouble.
» Visitation Means More Fun & Less Discipline
Later, he would be all like, "What? Me? I didnt do anything, dad. What are you talking about? I'm just hanging out here in my crib. I would never think of climbing out."
Sometimes he would be so cute that I could hardly stand it.
On the rare occasion that I actually had to talk to him about anything, I would say, "You cant do this thing, Punkin." And then I would explain to him why.
And he would always get it and respond accordingly. You could probably count these times on the fingers of one hand.
» Best Dad I've Ever Seen
I have had people tell me, "You're the best dad I've ever seen." More than one. More than two. Not a lot more than two .. but more than two.
But there is really only one opinion that I care about.
» I Know that it Doesnt Make Sense
Kids are nothing short of exhausting. Thankless and exhausting. Everyday you do the impossible for them.
Sure, you occasionally get a special, enchanted little treat from them. But mostly, it's just a lot of hard work.
Hard, thankless, exhausting work. And you could not be happier. I know it doesnt make sense. So much of life doesnt make sense .. I am finding.
» The Parenting Gusto
The parenting gusto begins with unconditional love .. then it adds affection, patience, and attentiveness.
You are basically communicating to them, through your words and your actions, that they are valued and appreciated and loved.
» What's the Alternative (Part 2) ?
Say hi to Nicki for me .. the next time you talk to her. (You probably have her on speed-dial.)
And your friend, Jimmy Fallon, too.
» Resonating with Nicki
Do you remember when I told you about me being "up in the air" already?
This has to do with me being in a position to speak to certain things that come up unexpectedly.
This is where I feel an area of resonance with Nicki .. because she is able to craft and release songs in a very short period.
After you do certain things enough times (practice, practice) you start to get a handle on the creative process .. capturing the essence of the thing and converting that into a creative outlet of your own.
The ability to do such a thing, start to finish, in an impressively short period .. that is a powerful thing. Downright muscular.
This is actually one of my signature things .. where I get hit with a thing and respond quickly.
I did this with Selena's song. A few days after I first heard it, I could tell that I would need to respond.
So I lowered the plow and put my head down and saw what I could do in a day. There was an element of self-testing here.
And I was probably trying to impress Selena, too. (I mean, who isnt?)
But I was pleased with myself. I felt like I did a nice job. Because there was a lot to say.
From the moment of inspiration to the actual release .. what is the shortest time that you could take to release something that you would be proud of? (Assuming you have no other responsibilities .. which seems like such a fanciful assumption.)
The end. ■
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