Office Chair Betrayal – Embarrassing Myself

When Reece was very little, but before we moved here, I had one of the most (if not THE most) painful things happen to me. I’ve largely avoided serious injuries in my life, which is amazing given I’ve played sports my entire life. So of course I injure my back doing something embarrassingly normal: stepping out of the shower. It was a sharp, stabbing pain in my lower back that forced me to the ground and had to crawl to move.

Why am I bringing up my old-man back? Well, this exact back pain has happened three times since, most recently keeping me from going to Disney World with the family. But when it first happened after moving to Alabama, I thought it’d help to make a change in office furniture for my desk, so I bought a huge exercise ball to sit on instead of a chair.

For a while I thought it was helpful. I had to pump air into it every few weeks or so, but that was no big deal. It was oddly comfortable, and impossible not to lightly bounce around on. Honestly, if it had handles like the bouncy balls they used to make (maybe they still make them), I would’ve annoyed the shit out of everyone bouncing all over the office.

Then the fateful day arrived: August 25th, 2015. I recall it being sometime in the afternoon, with only a few of us at our desks at the time. I’m just sitting there, minding my damn business, and POW!!!!!!!!!!! The piece of shit ball explodes underneath my heavy, dresspant-covered ass. The noise sounded eerily close to that of a middle-school face getting demolished by an accelerating dodgeball. That gym school floor screech-type noise. It happened really fast, but every time I recall it in my head, it’s a Hollywood movie slow-mo car crash scene. I tumbled down and backwards onto the floor, with confusion and hot red anger, my arms swinging like I’m an Olympic backstroke swimmer trying to medal for the first time. And then it immediately became the funniest shit to ever happen.

Think about how funny it is when someone falls backwards from an office chair; not much is funnier than that. Now picture someone at the gym using an exercise ball COMPLETELY wrong, and you know it, but can’t bring yourself to tell them. Mash those two together and I would imagine that’s what it looked like. Nobody else saw it happen, but they definitely heard it. Here is the aftermath, which I brought home to show Jessika. Who knew my butt worked much like a switch blade.

Office Chair Betrayal - Embarrassing Myself

When it comes to my back pain, I think my problem has been how easily I forget just how bad the pain is when it happens. It eventually goes away and then becomes a past-Stephen problem. Then I lean down to pick up a laundry basket and fall directly into it, writhing in pain. Jessika was sweet enough to create this graphic for me. I thought perhaps if I had a daily reminder of what the hell the pain was like, I’d be more motivated to do something about it. And I thought it’d be funny to include a picture of my x-ray of my lower back / upper ass. My chiropractor gave me a few recommendations that could help me avoid future back pain. Jessika made it look good and framed it. 

Office Chair Betrayal - Embarrassing Myself

One last recommendation: if you want a big ball as an office chair, don’t use a cheap exercise ball. It will betray you.

Tua Helper

Jessika and I have an agreement not to eat certain foods when we’re both in the house. She doesn’t eat pickles, and I don’t eat canned peas and Tuna Helper. Last week I had a rare moment of being alone in the house, and the running joke is that anytime that happens, it’s Tuna Helper time. But it has to be the cheesy pasta one; anything else is unacceptable. After I make it, I immediately wash all dishes involved and spray the kitchen with whatever air freshener is in the house.

In the middle of preparing this delicacy, I saw the word “tuna” and thought of “Tua,” and instantly had in my head all of this ridiculous information you see on this image. And because Jessika is so talented and I’m no graphic designer, I drew up a rough image and asked if she could put it together. If the goal here was to make myself laugh, mission accomplished, because I think it’s hilarious, and she managed to create it exactly as I had imagined it.

For those who aren’t college football fans, this is Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide, winners of the 2018 National Championship game. That was probably the most intense game I’ve ever watched Alabama play. And apparently I almost hit my head on the ceiling fan after the last play. These old man knees still have a little spring in them.

Roll Tide, and here’s to more helpings of both Tua Helper and Tuna Helper in the future.

 

Making New Friends Is Hard

Making New Friends Is Hard

I knew I’d miss my friends when we moved, but I didn’t realize how much it would affect my mental health. We never had a huge circle of friends, but definitely had people we loved and could count on.

I used to be a social person; I don’t know what happened. Moving around the country after college made it harder to keep it touch with friends from school, but I also made life-long friends with people I worked with in the process. Most of my friends came from work, or friends/family of those friends. Which makes sense; we don’t tend to make best friends with someone you meet at Publix or the chiropractor. Although, only a wonderful human being can make your back feel better, so perhaps they should be my friend.

Last week I went to the park like I always do, with my daughter in tow, waiting to pick up my son from school. Some days we’re the only people there; on others, several moms meet up with their kids. But the other day was the first time I had more than a two minute conversation with another parent (that I didn’t know beforehand), and I couldn’t believe how much it affected me. She was a very sweet, genuine person. I don’t believe she had met many stay at home dads, so perhaps that made her a bit curious; I don’t care why, it was still nice to have someone to talk to. I know that sounds pathetic, but I think some moms I’ve encountered at the park seem hesitant to talk (I’m sure the previous mullet didn’t help). And I certainly don’t blame them; men are garbage and can’t be trusted. Plus, I think we’re all, in our own way, more guarded when we have our kids around. 

Sadly enough, my new friend is moving next month. Her husband’s job is relocating them. Not that she would’ve become my new best friend, but still sad. I’m sharing all of this because you just never know when you’re going to make someone’s day, or potentially change someone’s outlook. I couldn’t believe how much better my day was just by having a conversation with someone. And she’ll never know how much that basic interaction helped me.

Even before this, Jessika was helping me meet people, because she’s a good person and wants me to be happy. She reached out to some other moms on Facebook and explained my somewhat unusual situation: stay at home dad has no friends and maybe wants to meet people. Sure enough, a few moms responded with a “my husband too.” I met a nice group of moms who meet at a park with their kids, one of which knew of another stay at home dad who joins them occasionally. So who knows, they could be new friends too. Reece made friends quicker than I did. One of the kids had a Pokemon toy, and that sparked an hour of running around and talking about Pokemon.

Later this week I’ll be meeting another dad at our library’s “story time.” In January I plan on playing in an adult rec basketball league. Even if I don’t encounter anyone I’d become friends with, hopefully I’ll get some exercise and have a little fun. Outside of friends and family, I probably miss playing sports more than anything. You need incredible motivation to stay in shape as a adult, when work and kids make it difficult. I played in rec leagues in Seattle and Portland, and they were awesome. 

Admittedly, this feels weird to talk about. It’s hard to admit to yourself that you “need” anything, but it’s become clear to me that I need occasional interactions with people who aren’t my kids. We’ll see how it goes. If none of this works, maybe I’ll just start posting the picture above around town with my phone number.

This Week In Memories November Two Thousand Sixteen

If you follow me on Facebook, then you probably see occasional attempts to make you laugh, sometimes with accompanying pictures. If you don’t, then why the hell not? Usually every few weeks I have to take all the pictures off my phone to make room for more, and I come across something I thought was funny, reminded me of a story, etc. but didn’t share anywhere. Here are some pictures from this time last year. This Week In Memories November Two Thousand Sixteen.

 

This Week In Memories November Two Thousand Sixteen

Roughly one year ago I found out they made Dark Chocolate Kit Kats. A glorious day for me. Other than Mars Bars (which they don’t make anymore), Kit Kats were always the favorite. But since my body began to slowly defy me regarding anything milk-related, I can’t eat them. Until now. I’ve learned that most dark chocolate candy is made with very little to no milk at all, which is ideal for me. I never cared for dark chocolate before, but now that it’s my only option, I’ve learned to like it quite a bit. This DCKK doesn’t compare to the original, but it’s a good replacement.

After finding this, I remembered a very random moment from college that still makes me laugh. I don’t remember the year, I think 2000 or 2001. I went to my friend Amy’s apartment and pulled out a Kit Kat, opened the wrapper and started eating it. The look on Amy’s face became instant confusion and terror. I can still easily recall her exact words as if she were writing this very sentence: “Boy you break off those pieces.” You see, I had committed the cardinal sin of eating a Kit Kat without snapping the sticks, with every intention of avoiding milk chocolate melting all over my fingers (we all know you can’t hold a Kit Kat in its wrapper for more than 3 seconds without instantly melting the chocolate; it’s impossible). I proceeded to take another bite, with her face only reinforcing what she had just said audibly; she meant business. I had to break off those pieces or face the consequences.

And just so you know, I ate the rest of the KK as the chocolate gods intended, thus maintaining our friendship.

Bonus: THERE ARE DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO OPEN A KIT KAT. The only humans who don’t know how to open wrapped candy are those too young to have learned how to read. And even then they’ll rip shit open out of sheer curiosity and kid strength.

This Week In Memories November Two Thousand Sixteen

More Random Pictures

This Week In Memories November Two Thousand Sixteen

They love each other occasionally

This Week In Memories November Two Thousand Sixteen

We played at a park near the beach in Ocean Springs. In November. Tells you just how warm it usually still is in November in the south.

This Week In Memories November Two Thousand Sixteen

This Week In Memories November Two Thousand Sixteen

Every time we visit my parents in Mississippi, I make a trip early as hell to Tatonut, a place people from Ocean Springs better know as the BEST DONUT SHOP ON EARTH. Don’t dispute it, it’s fact. When I return to the house with our bounty, usually the kids are finally up. I spotted this little buster when I got back and it freaked me out just a little.

 

Embarrassing Story Of The Month – November

On the way to drop my son off at pre-school the other day, an embarrassing story about myself popped in my head, from many years ago, and I don’t have a clue why. As I thought about it, sharing it felt like a funny idea. This is not that story; I’m still working it out and probably share it next month. 

I’m certain I’ve embarrassed myself enough in my life to make this a regular series. Some of these embarrassing tales may only be a sentence long, because there isn’t much of a story, but still truly embarrassing to me. And hopefully I paint a clear enough picture so you can see just how much of an idiot I can be.

Location: University of Alabama. Year: 2000; probably spring time if I’m guessing. Walking to class one morning, towards the quad. (On my most recent visit to the university, despite all of the incredible growth of the school/campus, the quad hasn’t changed a bit, and I love that.)

Keep in mind, I am not deaf. I am also not blind. So I have those senses working for me, but not this day my friends. Because I don’t see, or hear, a freaking sprinkler shoot water RIGHT INTO MY DAMN FACE. And from a considerable distance. But don’t worry, an attractive girl was there walking by to see it. Luckily the water evaporated instantly off my face because I was so hot with rage and fury.

Oddly enough I can still see my best friend laughing uncontrollably after I told him what happened. It’s the kind of thing I wish I could extract a video from my memory, mainly to see how furious I was, and exactly how I tried to play it off. Because this isn’t an “oops, I tripped slightly over my feet and recover immediately” type event. Water from a landscaping sprinkler maliciously shot its dirty earth water into my face, which had to be intentional.

But I also have questions for the landscaping crew responsible for this travesty. Why in the hell were they watering the grass in the morning when students would clearly be walking to class? I’m not in the profession, but isn’t it best to water grass at night so the water doesn’t evaporate quickly in the heat? Far as I remember, it’s always been hellishly hot in Alabama, for most of the year. So if it’s spring time in Tuscaloosa, likely shorts weather during the day.

If you’re reading this and you too have been struck in the face, unexpectedly, by a landscaping sprinkler and didn’t deserve it, please share so my Idiot Meter goes from a 10 to at least an 8.

Mullet, I Hardly Knew Thee

Mullet, I Hardly Knew Thee

When I initially started this blog, I envisioned writing something new at least on a weekly basis. What I didn’t expect was to go from August to November and post exactly nothing, especially about the mullet. Yikes.

There is no question I’ve always been a selectively lazy person, but throw in the energy required to take care of two small children all day, getting sick on a weekly basis for unknown reasons, and dealing with depression, it’s been a bit rough. Also somewhat conflicting, because all I really want to do is joke around, but often I’m in a mood that makes it very difficult to express it.

(Insert Funny Mullet Pun Here)

When I thought about growing my hair into a mullet, I wanted to post regular updated pictures because I thought it’d be funny to see it getting longer each week or month, but obviously that didn’t happen. Instead, I hope you enjoy this incredibly ridiculous collection of pictures taken by a wonderful photographer, as a send-off to the mullet. My hair bothered me more than I anticipated, so it had to go. Also, I’m quite certain I was scaring off other human beings, young and old. But before we cut it, I couldn’t not treat my mullet to a series of provocative pieces of digital art, so we can all remember it fondly.

We took a lot of pictures, and rather than bog down one post with an insane amount of pictures loading, I’m splitting them up into separate posts. This is just a taste. You know those awful, junk, click-bait ads on basically any website you visit? I have a feeling I’m gonna see myself on one of those eventually with a headline “Do You Know Your Neighbors?”

 

 

Mullet, I Hardly Knew Thee
Body definition of this caliber should be against the law

 

Mullet, I Hardly Knew Thee
I am wearing underwear, so if you ever visit, feel free to sit in this chair

 

Mullet, I Hardly Knew Thee
Expecting a cease and desist from Alabama any minute now…

Breastfeeding In Public. You Don’t Like It? Then Keep Moving.

Breastfeeding In Public. You Don't Like It? Then Keep Moving.

I couldn’t tell you how much breastfeeding is discussed across the country, mainly because I don’t Google search “breastfeeding.” I may feel somewhat comfortable discussing it, but not Googling it. But I swear I come across a ridiculous story every month or so with someone’s experience. And it’s painfully clear negative feelings exist when it comes to breastfeeding in public, and I can’t wrap my head around it. Three reasons I think it’s coocoo for Cocoa Puffs:

OneHalf the Population: Roughly 7 billion on this planet, which means half of that has breasts. I would sincerely hope most of that faction would be supportive (although I’m under the impression that’s not always the case), or at least silent.

TwoBoobies: The other half, men, are obsessed with breasts, straight men at least. So there would again be hope that this faction would have no problem at all. And for the men who aren’t straight, am I wrong in assuming they could give a shit whether a woman pulled out a boobie? In my time on this earth, I can’t recall any gay men or women disapproving.

ThreeBabies: Who doesn’t like babies? And I don’t mean who wouldn’t WANT babies, because a lot of people don’t want kids. I mean, who has a problem with children existing? No one. Babies are adorable. And everyone started as a baby.

I know this is an oversimplification, but honestly, what is the problem? I remember seeing a video that was so bizarre; this old, white man’s reaction to seeing a woman breastfeeding inside a Target food court area (why does everything seem to happen at Target?). He called it “disgusting.” He used that word. Why? Did that baby do something to him? Did those specific breasts reject him? Was he jealous? I know that last question is silly, but really, is there some underlying hatred involving jealousy? Again, how is it disgusting? He buys milk at the store, does that make him disgusting? Frankly, one could make an argument drinking milk in public that came from a cow is nastier; who knows what was put into the cow that produced the milk itself. But (almost) nobody would say you were disgusting for drinking milk.

I THINK IT’S GROSS THAT YOU THINK IT’S GROSS

Breastfeeding is not a sexual act, not even close. It’s literally eating. And if eating is offensive, I’m quite certain I’ve seen people eating in a way that was WAY more disgusting. And if your argument is breasts shouldn’t be shown in public, then we’ll need to implement a lot more changes in what’s considered inappropriate. Because I’ve seen some nasty ass feet and toes being exposed by sandals and flip flops that have made my stomach turn. So let’s require socks and shoes on everyone. Some people don’t shower or brush their teeth before they go in public, and for some reason before they sit on an airplane for 4+ hours. So let’s require daily showers, and you have to provide proof if confronted regarding your foul funk. Shoot, if you live in a state like Florida, there are a lot of dudes walking around without shirts. And just be honest with yourself, they have way nastier nipples. I don’t want to see that shit.

EYE DON’T KNOW YOU, GO AWAY

We also have these wonderful things called eyes, and your head doesn’t force them to look directly at anything, ever. You can make them look up, or even down. Sideways is a good option, some people are really good at that. Heck, you can even use those face curtains called eyelids.

LET’S BACK UP THOSE WHO NEED TO USE THEIR FRONT

A photographer in Tennessee did a photo shoot called Latched With Love. We need more positive exposure like this. We need more videos of people defending someone being harassed in public. I’ve never seen it in person, but I’d like to think I’d get in someone’s face who dared try to bully a mom of a hungry infant. Part of this photo shoot had the moms hold a white board with a question/comment written they typically hear when breastfeeding in public. These would be my responses:

Can You Go To The Bathroom? Sure, let me expose my child to your literal shit particles while they try to eat. Next time you go to a restaurant, just take your plate into the public bathroom and see how long you last. &%$*ing idiot.

Isn’t He Too Big? Well I suppose he/she is eating pretty well. But by all means, please tell her how big her child should be to do anything? I’m all ears, expert. In fact, she’s in the market for a new pediatrician, and it sounds like you know what you’re talking about, random asshole.

You Should Stop, She Has Teeth. The fact you’re thinking about the safety of her nipples makes me think a call to the police should follow soon after. Stop thinking about her nipples.

Are You Serious? No, this is an elaborate joke just to make you laugh. Apparently it’s not working, but it is humorous to me.

It’s Easier To Give Him a Bottle. No it’s not. You have to wash the bottle, dry the bottle, warm up the milk/formula, make sure it’s not too hot or too cold, because he/she will either burn their mouth or not eat, they’ll also take in more air which causes gas and fussiness. Or, she could whip this titty out and get to work.

You Should Use a Blanket. Sure, let her put something in her child’s mouth and then cover his/her nose so all air is blocked. Yeah, smothering her child makes so much sense.

You’re Still Nursing? You’re still talking? Shoo fly, don’t bother me. For I belong to somebody.

A big Hat Tip to any woman who’s had to deal with this, and kept themselves from murdering an idiot in public. And to women in general, because honestly, what’s next, eating in public? Breathing in public? Exist in public? Hopefully common sense will eventually prevail.