Stuff that happened, Part 2

March through today has been pretty much all about Josh.  Good things and bad things and then good things again.  One thing I’ve decided is that I will be blogging less about him because he’s now at the start of that transition into manhood.  I can’t tell you how much I hate that word, manhood.  Not because of the actual word, but because it means my baby is not a baby anymore.  He hasn’t been a baby for a long time.  I rationally know this but he’s my first born and I’m weepy as fuck.  So let’s get on with it then.

All of these hyper sensitive emotions are because my baby son just turned 10 years old.  Double digits.  One decade.  One year closer to being out of the nest.  This should be a happy thing!  I am happy and blessed to have a perfectly healthy 10 year old son!  I am a total ass for being weepy about this and yet, here we are.

I’m super into Ansatsu Kyōshitsu and just binge read the whole series.

The birthday was fun for him but also fun for me to plan and execute.  He made this year a hard theme for me:  Blizzard Entertainment.  Not just one game, but all the games.

Challenge accepted.

First, the quests:

Time to go on an adventure!

Before we go any further, you can download the “LifeCraft” font right here.  I want to use it for everything, but oh well.  He had 10 quests with a total of 3,650 experience points.  One for each day of his life.  I’m not crying.  Not at all.

Magnus Finnegan Chesterfield also turned 2 years old this year. 15.1 lbs.

Since there are no party supplies actually licensed by Blizzard for any of their games I had to make do with my Macgyver-like skills.  Okay, maybe not Macgyver, but solidly mediocre art skills:

Overwatch and Hearthstone painted wrapping paper. Not pictured: Starcraft, WoW, D3, HotS.

Hearth Stones, Apexis Crystals, various mis-colored potions.

My crowning achievement!

Seriously, though, that fucking cake.  I had to get two 10″ pans which was basically two boxed cake mixes (I’m not a from scratch baker, sue me).  The top is actual icing from a company called Edible Prints on Cake.  It’s literally not literally magic.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.

For posterity, here is my 10 year old baby son opening his presents.  Wearing the pajama pants that he wanted his mom to make him.  Because one day he won’t want handmade things from his mom.  Who won’t want family parties anymore one day.  Who won’t want Magic cards and Attack on Titan swords or Star Wars light sabers.

*sigh*

The next big Josh thing to happen was that he quit his Tae Kwon Do school.  He quit about a week before he was to test from 2nd level brown to red belt.  It was only late summer when he joined the newly formed Black Belt Club and we paid out a ton of money for a new uniform, new gear, and a new higher monthly tuition.  His new instructor left (was practically forced out) and a new-new instructor was somehow amazingly ready to go within two weeks.  How convenient.

This entire year so far has been trying to adjust to the new teacher and his new methods but frankly, it just wasn’t going to happen.  There was absolutely no discipline in the class so the other kids literally –yes, literally– would run around and yell and scream and do whatever the hell they wanted to.  No reprimands from the teacher, nothing.  We went to the coordinator and discussed the situation and she told me “I’ve never seen him teach” so she’d have to look into it.

What.

Who hires someone that you’ve never seen teach?  We even showed her video of the stuff that Josh has to put up with to which she responded ‘unacceptable’.

Well no shit, Sherlock

Now, I don’t want to project my emotions or mental lunacy onto my children, but I can honestly say he was becoming depressed over this whole thing.  The boy who used to practice every day and was always so eager to go to class and learn was gone.  He wouldn’t eat, he was moodier than usual, withdrawn, and most importantly, he didn’t want to go anymore.  A total 180°.  He would gladly not go which used to be the ultimate punishment.  I won’t say much more because we’re still dealing with the whole thing but we made it very clear that he was quitting the school, not the sport.  The day we said “if you want to quit, you can quit”, he made a face akin to hearing that he was going to Disney.

We toured a few other schools but I think we’ve found a place that he will fare better at–it’s literally everything we wanted and it’s completely amazeballs.  The Grandmaster used to train the South Korean military, so there’s that.  It may be a couple of months before he can even start but he actually said he didn’t mind since he knew he was going to a much better school.  Could he be any more wonderful?

MY BABY

 

ChÜberlist 2017 – The Year of the Slug

EDIT:  OH SHIT IT’S PAST MIDNIGHT AND NOW IT’S FEBRUARY OH NO!

It’s still January!  I’m not that late!

 ChÜberlist 2017 – The Year of the Slug has finally arrived!

ChÜberlist 2017 – The Year of the Slug has finally arrived!

Here is my current list conveniently sorted in pseudo categories.  As always, I’ll probably add more to the list just so I can mark it off my list because I like meaningless achievements.

I really need these. Click the picture to buy me the pack!

I really need these. Click the picture to buy me the pack!

One thing I didn’t put on my list this year:  Quit smoking.  I have always had that on my list as a gimme since I don’t smoke, but I’m trying to be an adult so I decided against it.

donglover

donglover

Self
1. Lose 10% of my current total body weight.  Unfortunately, NASA scientists are all busy at the moment so I can’t post any numbers right now.

They were busy with Barney's bar tab.

They were busy with Barney’s bar tab.

2. Practice better drug adherence. I’m shit at taking medicine at the right time…and I’m terribly inconsistent. So basically, I am a child and need to be reminded about everything, every day, forever.
3. Get a haircut that I can maintain. I’m going to be 38 fucking years old this year. I should grow beyond the ponytail. Basically, I need to stop being lazy about my hair. For the record, I’m starting to go gray and I don’t give a shit about dyeing it.
4. Sleep like a normal human being. “OH I’M SO TIRED” Maybe if I wasn’t up until 3 AM every night and up in the actual morning hours I wouldn’t be so fucking tired all the time. As noted in #2 above, I am a child and need a bedtime and bedtime routine. I need to learn how to be an adult.
5. Be conscious about my appearance. I know this is a newsflash, but I am not a big fan of myself, in literally any way you can think of. Since I think so little of myself, I have basically gotten to the point in my life that I only care about what I’m wearing or what I look like so I don’t embarrass my family. When I’m out alone, I am an even bigger mess than usual.

Accurate.

Accurate.

Home
1. I need a meal plan. Other than texting the Mr. at 6:30 with the usual “what for dinner?” Frozen breakfast is the first plan because that’s easy. Breakfast sandwiches and burritos, muffins, smoothie mixes. Then I’ll work my way up to having prepared food. I don’t know when I stopped really preparing meals to freeze. I did totally do it once, though now it had become more of a myth than anything.
2. I need a chore schedule. See #2 of Self. I am a child and need to be reminded about everything, every day, forever. Everything in my house is at some stage between cluttered and disgusting. My ultimate goal is to have a home that someone could stop by unexpectedly and I wouldn’t force them to stay outside.

How many decades will this strike last?

Strike also applies to brownies, domovois, heinzelmännchen

3. Major Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter cleaning. I need to declutter like no one’s business. I think if I haven’t used it in 10 years, I probably don’t need it. A handwriting worksheet from when Josh was 3 is probably also unnecessary to retain for his records.
4. Get the ice maker fixed. You’d think a simple task like calling a repair man wouldn’t take multiple years to do, but here we are.  It gets its own number because it’s been literally years.  I need to do this.  Eventually.
5. Stop procrastinating on all of the minor repairs and projects. Here is a preliminary list of things that need to get done:
– mount and display Josh’s Tae Kwon Do belts and certificates
– hang blinds and curtains in kitchen
– regroup and hang family pictures
– hang up artwork that I bought 10 years ago OR donate it
– replace towel bars in kids’ bathroom and half bath
– repaint any rooms that need to be repainted (It’s been a long time and the kids’ rooms especially need paint in my opinion.)

Kids
1. Enforce a consistent school, practice, wake up and bedtime routine. Which mostly means I need to have a routine. I’m the worst.

I have an alarm clock that can go off at two different times. I am slowly learning how to not sleep through both.

I have an alarm clock that can go off at two different times. I am slowly learning how to not sleep through both.

2. School at the library or park once a week. They need to learn to work with distractions and we are too cooped up in the house anyway.
3. Have lesson plans one month in advance. I can always improvise, but not every day.
4. Be more regimented on practice for extra curricular activities. I’m the worst, the WORST at practicing violin. And Tae Kwon Do kicks.
5. Help the kids stay on task with cleaning their rooms. Did I mention I’m the worst at everything?

Crafty
1. Finish hand quilting that giant king sized quilt.
2. Finish water color painting.
3. Sketchbook every day. Eventually.
4. Teach Robin to sew and to knit (those were her resolutions, so now they’re mine as well)
5. Knit at least 2 pair of socks.
6. Blog at least once a week.

Quantity over quality is easy since the quality has been at zero since 2006

Quantity over quality is easy since the quality has been at zero since 2006

Miscellaneous
1. Revamp the fish tanks.
2. Wash my car once a month (inside and out)

Whoooooo! So, 23 whole resolutions. To be fair, that’s a lot if I’m actually doing this. There are other personal goals I have this year but I’m not interested in airing all my dirty laundry to the world. Just the grossest pieces, I guess. I’m glad that I’m reviving the ChÜberlist; I’d like to believe that it means that I’m still alive and motivated on improving myself, even if it’s at a slug’s pace.

Get it? GET IT? GEDITGEDITGEDIT?!

Get it? GET IT? GEDITGEDITGEDIT

A Tale of Two Steves

Story Time!  Names have been changed because I’m not interested in talking about other people.  This story is about me–it’s my blog if you didn’t notice.

A very, very long time ago, I knew these two guys named Steve Urkel*.  They were friends, and privately I nicknamed them “Good Steve” and “Bad Steve”.  We’ll talk about Bad Steve first.

Bad Steve, obviously.

Bad Steve was a nice guy, but bad news.  He was a drug dealer.  Not a street corner drug dealer, more of a middle man.  Not a king pin, but doing well enough that I saw money, drugs, and guns.  I distinctly remember video security at his front door, a 9 mm under his pillow and an automatic rifle of some sort in the closet.  Aside from all that, Bad Steve was good looking, nice, personable and liked koalas.  He also liked me well enough that we never really used each other for anything.  This was past my days of drug use.  We enjoyed each other’s company–I was no threat and I didn’t do drugs so he could relax and I thought he was fun and to be perfectly honest, it was exciting to be around someone like that.  I was young, naive, and very, very stupid.

Good Steve with Laura Winslow

Now, Good Steve was friends with Bad Steve which is how I met him.  He was half Filipino and very frat-y and gregarious.  A good talker and good looking and he showed me the kind of attention that made me think he actually interested in me.  (As a side note, I don’t usually know when a guy is interested in me, so I’m going to assume in hindsight that Good Steve was very forward).  We talked a lot and tried to make plans (LIKE A DATE WHAT THE HELL) but either he or I always had something come up.

One night, very late, he gave me a call and wanted to see if he could come over and hang out since we never could meet up.  It was late-late, like 1 or 2 AM.  I scrambled around picking up and hiding my disgusting living conditions to make it look like I was a normal person and not the horrible slob I really am.

He came over with liquor and we stayed up drinking and talking and it was fun.  He told me about his family and how his Mom hated that he never dated Asian girls, how his dad wanted him to go into a specific field of work.  He walked around my apartment and complimented me about my choice of books and movies, but most specifically, he told me he was impressed with my art.  I couldn’t believe it!  I thought he was just being nice but of course inside I was screaming “OH MY GOD I THINK HE LIKES ME” because no matter what age I am, I still think of it as ‘a guy likes me’.

We went out into the stairwell so he could smoke a cigarette even though I said he could smoke in my apartment.  (HOW THOUGHTFUL!)  As we were talking out there, he leaned in and gave me kiss out of the blue.  I asked him what was that for and he replied Just because I wanted to.  (OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD I THINK HE REALLY DOES LIKE ME)

Now, at this point I would like to note that I was technically an adult, but I distinctly remember that I wanted to call my best friend right that second to tell her what happened.

We called each other for dumb things a lot.

Since it was so late, I didn’t call her.  As the night went on, I got progressively more and more drunk and ended up in a bad situation.  I think I mentioned previously that I was young, naive, and very stupid.  Very, very stupid.

That night Good Steve turned into Bad Steve and Bad Steve was suddenly Good Steve.  I never saw or heard from the newly appointed Bad Steve ever again.  Good Steve and I talked and saw each other here and there for a few months after but I never said anything about it because what was I going to say?  I know it wasn’t my fault, but there were a million things I could have/should have done to prevent it.  I don’t even know if Bad Steve knows what happened because he was also very drunk.  I don’t blame him as much as I blame my own poor choices but I don’t beat myself up about it.

This was a very long time ago and as weird as it sounds, it wasn’t so dramatic and I’m not overly traumatized.  I’ve had plenty of other things to ruin me, and in the big scheme of things, Bad Steve is barely a blip on my radar.  The thing that does stick with me and bothers me to this day is that I wonder if he actually thought my art was good or not.

(\/) (°,,,°) (\/)

I know that sounds dumb, but can’t recall actually finishing any original piece of art since that time.  Starts but no finishes.  I will make plans to start a sketchbook.  Draw every day.  And nothing.  It’s been such a long time so I don’t think I can blame Bad Steve Urkel anymore, but I do wonder if he planted that seed of doubt in my head.

I don’t expect to suddenly start churning out amazing pieces of original art just because I came to this conclusion.  It took me almost 20 years to compile this random thought, so maybe in another 20 years I’ll have something tangible to show for it.

Someday.

* The guys I’m talking about are actually not Steve Urkel or Stefan Urquelle.  Just thought I’d make that clear.