Sunday, February 17, 2019

Over at the Register Today

I know, it's been a while.  Writing time these days comes at the cost of sleep, and I'm honestly frustrated with my lack of production.  However, here's a piece I wrote two weeks ago, in thinking about the upcoming summit of the Bishops to discuss policy going forth for the Church as a whole, when dealing with sexual abuse/misconduct by her princes and administrators. 

To me, the reality is simple.  People who profess something, must live it.  People in positions of authority must live it all the more, because they've chosen this life.  The pains of not living out a vow are self evident. The reality for all of us as we wrestle with this hurt, is what we must do.  Hence:  As we Forgive Those who Trespass Against Us.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Tips for Living with 13 Year Olds

10) Take up kick boxing, roller derby or demolition duty for a local construction company. Why? Because you'll need to exercise out some of that aggression you spend 24-7 repressing for the next eleven years.

9) Yes, I said you have a decade plus one year to go. The human brain doesn't stop growing until then, and it's better to err on the side of this taking a while. it's why other self medications like alcohol and excessive amounts of chocolate aren't recommended. Sedating frustration only prolongs the agony. Keep a journal. When they turn 24, hold a bonfire. Some things shouldn't be recorded for posterity.

8) Find a photo of yourself at thirteen, or even better, a diary from that golden age of misery. Post it on your mirror as reminder, your parents survived you.

7) If you don't like something they like, the surest way to kill it as a fad, is to act overly enthusiastic about it to the point of instilling fear, you'll fanboy them into social awkwardness.

6) Talk about how cute they were as a baby with the other moms, bring up toddler stories, especially in the parking lot or at sporting events. They can't argue with you about it, and every parent gets to remember a time when it was easier to potty training.

5) Let the kids know, you've planned a group chat online or set up live feed on Facebook, because nothing kills their love of social media like parents using it. Don't forget to include the grandparents.

4) Shout louder than everyone at the sporting event. Applaud. Be their number one fanmom/fandad. Bring pom poms and wear school colors. Be there for every game, play, etc. Bonus if you do face make up in team colors too. Bonus bonus if you get their siblings to follow suit.

3) Make sure you crank the tunes when you pick up at carpool, especially if it's Broadway music or Disney. Sing along if you've been made to wait more than five minutes.

2) Invite your teen's friend's parents over for dinner. Play cards with them. Tell your teen they're on the list of acceptable potential in-laws. It should cure dating for years.

1) If your child proposes to do something dangerous, stupid, inappropriate, etc. and pulls the line, "I'm almost an adult...or I'm legally an adult," stand by with your FAFSA and say, "Do tell." Immediately plan your vacation with the funds that would have gone to parent plus loans. If he or she complains, tell them they were the inspiration. You felt honor bound to treat them as the independent souls they professed themselves to be, and the way to guarantee their independence, was to make your own self unavailable...and nothing says not available like a vacation in Hawaii. It's even better than years of Kickboxing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A Blow for Humanity, inspired by Lucy Van Pelt

Nothing makes me more frustrated than the creation of systems supposedly designed to make life easier but which wind up making life hard.  Take for example, on line forms.  I thought, great, I'll never lose a form again.  The problem with on line forms is, I can't run out the clock on things I don't want to sign people up for, because they know, the form is right there online.  Parental dodges become a thing of the past, along side rotary phones, VHS and conversations in public places owing to the down time waiting for whatever it is to happen. 

I tried to sign up my son for track, but he for some reason is not linked to my account.  It's like he's independent in the mind of the computer and the school system. For a moment, he remains free from all of us, and I must ponder whether affiliation with me is a net plus for him.   Still, if he wants to do track, he needs me to sign forms and get them submitted, but the form is locked, and only available to the family of the student which for some reason, the system doesn't recognize me as being.  So I send emails and fill out the forms trying to prove what already is a reality to a non-reality machine that wants independent proof of what I already know.  If it were a hard copy form, I could have finished it and sent it off.   If it were a down loadable form, I could have printed it and sent it off.   Because it only exists in cyber space, the regulations to protect against abuse of said forms, now prevent actual use of said forms to allow for a flesh and blood person to do a flesh and blood thing. 

His track form is hard on my health.  I also need a form printed up, brought over to the Dr.s, which I must then allow three days time to pass for them to print up a copy of the form with the right signatures and dates on it, and then return to pick it up so he can sign the forms saying he's in good health, proven by the forms the dr. signed, and thus sign up for track, while I sign up a form saying, he's in good health and even if he gets hurt while trying to improve his health via track, I won't sue.

Add to that, the obligatory phone tree to get to the gatekeeper for everything from checking your balance to scheduling a hair appointment and it's enough to make me search for all things Amish when it comes to the service industry.  Never mind the "service fee" for the convenience of being given the exclusive opportunity to do my work without help, the "service fee" now comes because the service exists at all, and not for energies expended or actions rendered by those who take the money.  I'm thinking, it's time to strike back at all these obligatory online formats for everything. 

I'm introducing my own personal service fee. I feel my time and efforts and energies in the service of everything that society throws at us, are undervalued.  As such, I'm now providing a "service fee" to any and all industries that demand I use a phone tree rather than talk to a person to schedule an appointment.  Likewise, I will have a convenience fee when appointments to deal with ordinary tasks require additional trips and/or waiting time.  Out of respect for everyone's time, I'll use paypal so no one need pay a fee to Visa/Mastercard, or worry about pesky checks being returned.   I'll tack a fifteen percent gratuity for extra services rendered when I deem it's warranted.  Yes, I think if everyone adopted this method of tip for trips, we might find ourselves with far fewer errands, far less nit-picky stuff to manage, or if not, we'd find it more bearable as a result of the compensation.

Just my little way to brighten the world. Such good ought to be worth more than just my two cent's worth of thinking...

Five cents please. 

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!