The Art of Giving Shit

Speaking of stories .. girly, the Dog called recently to say hi. He is very good about staying in touch. And I remembered the story that I told you and Nicki about whispered secrets.

Ariana whispering secrets to Nicki in Side to Side

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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••• today's entry continues here below •••

And he says a tentative, "Yeah." But he can tell already that I have him at a disadvantage. Because the Dog's memory is not as good as mine .. even tho he is no dummy.

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.

Notice how people try to blame me for shit that is not my fault. Sometimes I think there must be a sign hanging on my back, saying, "Blame me."

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.

[ It should be obvious, but worth noting nonetheless .. that there is a huge difference between 'giving shit' and 'giving a shit.' ]

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. ]

This is how guys have fun with each other .. giving each other shit when they deserve it.

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.

He loved it when I gave him shit. (He has given me way more shit than I've given him.)

MGK giving this kid shit about rapping naughty lyrics

[ Here is an image from MGK's Bad Things » behind the scenes .. where he is giving this kid shit about rapping naughty lyrics. ]

I learned how to do that from the Dog. This is another reason why I love the Dog.

» 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."

Climbing out of the crib at 2 years old

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. That shit takes a toll on you after a while. And the courts seem only too eager to oblige. You try to not let that toll affect your kids .. but it's not as easy as it sounds. ]

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."

Look at my leg, dad .. look what I'm doing.

Does he look very sorry to you? When a child looks at you with eyes like this .. this is indescribably delicious. (Or when he touches your face like this.)

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," as the old Mexican lady called him. 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

And dont think that Cormac McCarthy doesnt have a little something to do with the sparkle in that boy's eye. This is why Cormac reminds me of Elijah the prophet.

» 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?

Anybody who grew up with shitty parents and then became good parents themselves .. I admire the fuck out of that. (Because I know how difficult it can be.)

» A Fatherly Profession of Unconditional Support

It may be worth mentioning here .. how I was working at a nuclear plant in sunny southern California .. as a regular knuckle-dragging tech, and loving every minute of it.

When the big boss called and asked me to stop by his office after I got off work .. where he presented me with a position.

I was trying to get him to articulate the parameters of my duties and responsibilities in this new position .. because I had held similar positions at other nuclear plants.

He was basically wanting me to help a certain general foreman with the scheduling of a few hundred people .. because this is no easy task .. which you certainly know if you have ever done such a thing.

I'm talking about round-the-clock scheduling, coverage for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Twelve hours a day. Rock-n-roll, nuclear style.

But as I walked out of his office that day .. heading out to my car parked way out in the parking lot .. the thing that I was thinking about was how he said,

"I'll back you right, wrong, or indifferent. If we have a problem, then we will talk about it privately."

» Sometimes You Dont Even Know What You're Missing Until You Finally Get It

See .. this guy is roughly my dad's age. He has a son who is roughly my age. And this thing that he said, this is what every son wants to hear his dad say.

But my dad never said this to me. I cant tell you the number of times that I felt like my dad was trying to trick-fuck me.

Perhaps he reasoned that I would learn the ways of the world from his trying to trick-fuck me (his own son).

You can bet your ass that I learned things from this trick-fucking. But I can guarantee you that they are not the things that dad might have imagined .. if indeed that was his objective.

It is a sad thing for a son to see the shortcomings and limitations of his dad. The term 'disappointing' does not quite capture this sense of disappointment.

But I never really recognized that this was something that I longed for with my own father .. until I actually received such unconditional support from this father-figure.

Sometimes you dont even know what you are missing and lacking and longing for .. until you actually get it.

I remember thinking, "How I wished I had this with my own dad." .. this feeling of him having my back .. instead of making such a big deal out of every little fuck-up.

"Why does my dad celebrate my failures and ignore my successes?" I often wondered. The answer to that question, my friend,  is not pretty.

It was a similar thing with my judge-friend .. where I thought, "What I could have accomplished with a dad like this."

So I have tried long-n-hard with my own son .. in a million different ways .. to convey this sense of unconditional support.

» What's the Alternative?

There is more than three years time between when this photo here was taken and the ones you see of him climbing out of his crib on this page. Yet it is obvious that the sparkle remains the same, no?

That sparkle comes with lots of hard work. But what is 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. 

Watch my generation do what people say we cant

I bet that Casey used to climbed out of his crib, too. "Watch me." (Scripture instructs the believer to be a non-conformist .. doncha know.)

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.

Do What You Can't

"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.

Go ahead and ask people who really know writing .. and they will all tell you the same thing .. that it cannot be done. It's simply not humanly possible.

I know that you must regularly be staring off far away into deep space .. with a dazed and confused look on your face, saying, "How does he do that?" Nearly every night.

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."

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."

What? Me? I didnt do anything, dad. What are you talking about?

Sometimes he would be so cute that I could hardly stand it.

When you have such little time with your son, you naturally try to make the most of it. Discipline quickly falls to the bottom of your list of priorities.

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.

Speaking of discipline, or a lack thereof .. this is about the age he was when he said (somewhat dismissively), "You're not the boss of me, dad .. mom told me."

» You're the 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.

Others have told me things like, "I've never seen anything like what you two have together."

This is because I learned early on all the stuff that dads should not do.

» 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 first six years are developmental and formative .. both emotionally and psychologically. (Say the experts in child development.) So that's where you want to go for the gusto. The parenting gusto.

The parenting gusto begins with unconditional love .. then it adds affection, patience, and attentiveness.

[ As a side thought, do you feel that it is possible that a parent who never received unconditional love themselves as a child .. would be able to give unconditional love to their own children? It's a valid question, no? ]

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) ?

I know it sounds easy, but it's trickier to pull off than it sounds. It's downright exhausting .. in my opinion. But what is the alternative?

In a way, kids make you relive your own childhood all over again. Many issues rise to the surface. And you think about things that you had long forgotten. Definitely a trip down memory lane.

Say hi to Nicki for me .. the next time you talk to her. (You probably have her on speed-dial.)

Your value doesnt decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth

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, what guy 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?

Nicki Minaj No Frauds

(Assuming you have no other responsibilities .. which seems like such a fanciful assumption.)

Because, in a way, a dealine can sometimes be the things that makes all the difference.

Some things simply cant be rushed .. I understand that, sure.

» Blow's Backhanded Compliment

April 24, 2017 » Nicki, did you notice that Blow posted a column today .. where he said some things about Americans in "this digital age".. along with a photo of students protesting in New York.

Students protesting in New York

He does not come right out and say that he is referring to the youth, but this is definitely the impression that I came away with. You?

I am referring specifically to where he wrote:

I must say that the issue of resilience was one that I worried and wondered about from the beginning: For far too many Americans in this digital age, stamina is rare, attention spans are short and the urge for instant gratification, or at least for expedient resolution, is enormous.

I worried that modern shortsightedness would prevent resisters from seeing the long game, that the exhaustion of constant outrage would numb them to unrelenting assault.

I know what Blow is saying here .. but his statements struck me as .. well, they struck me in the same way that some of his other statements have struck me. 

He is trying to be complimentary and encouraging .. but it seems to me a backhanded compliment .. such as, "You're not as dumb as you look."

» No Room to Criticize the Younger Generation

The thing that irritates me about Blow's statements .. is that the generation who came before this current "digital age" generation .. is the first generation ever to leave things worse off than they received from the previous generation.

Visualizing the National DebtThe older generation has consumed so much of the nation's wealth and resources on themselves,

and left an eromous IOU for the younger generation to pay.

So it seems to me that nobody from the previous generation,

which came before the current generation that grew up in "this digital age,"

has any room to throw stones at the younger generation.

I have read other articles that make similar comments about the younger generation.

And these comments are always made by people who grew up before this current digital age.

I feel that these people have no room to talk .. seeing how they make no complaints about leaving such an enormous debt for the younger generation to pay.

How many times have you read a column where Blow is decrying the enormous national debt that is being left for his kid's generation to pay?

I do not want to go down in history as the first American generation that left things worse off for their kids .. because they insisted on consuming (squandering) so much of the nation's wealth and resources on themselves.

Blow does not seem to have much of a problem with this, and his positions leading up to the election helped get us into the predicament that the nation now finds itself in.

The end. ■

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rad published on January 11, 2017 1:11 PM.

Connecting with the Soul Behind the Dazzle - Page Two was the previous entry in this blog.

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