Friday, March 18, 2011

Mother Truckers

[Note: I'm only certain this blog has two readers: my mom and a high school sophomore, so I'll keep this as PG as possible.]  It's no secret that I love to swear.  Some argue that people swear because they can't think of any other, and possibly better, word to use, so they resort to blue-language.  Screw them.  I say that my background in English and my job as a rancher give me both the license and venue in which to curse.  But, of course, there is a drawback and I knew my day would come:  Dylan swearing.

I'm surprised Dylan swearing didn't come sooner, but, in my defense, I tried, sort of, not to swear in front of her.  Like a Mormon, or Cate Blanchett in Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, who used "F" instead of, well, you know what it's instead of, I tried creative ways to avoid swear words.  It didn't work so well.  I can't get my head around using "fudge," or "frick," or even "frig," but I have adopted plain old "F" (thanks, Cate), or "Mother Trucker" when things really get out of hand.

But those are all substitutes for just one word.  What about the others?  I tried the Scottish "shite," but that's not a very good cover.  And "darn" or "shoot"?  Boo, I say.  And there's really no way to hide my go to swear when I'm super-pissed off.  It rhymes with "pit trucker," but using that really decreases its punch.  For now, Dylan's swearing has been very tame and limited to "dammit."  Pretty innocuous, I know.  But dammit is a gateway swear word.  It leads to "crap," and from there, it's open the flood-gates and before you know it she's talking like an Alaskan logger.

I really would rather she learned where and when it's appropriate to swear.  School = No, Feeding Cows = Yes.  I have to give her credit, she's used "dammit" in the correct situation every time she's used it.  But this is also a three-year old with poor impulse control who still uses fifty squares of toilet paper to wipe with after she pees and only two squares after she poops, so learning proper swear-venues isn't something that's going to come naturally.

I know, in a couple of years I'll be having the same talks with Grady, and I'm hoping his big sister will be there by my side, helping me with that lecture.  Until then, if you see me out and about and are confused about my tame language, just remember, today is brought to you by the letter "F" and my mother is a trucker.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sacramento Highlights

Last weekend, Regina had a conference in Sacramento and, like any good sugar-mama would do, she let her hillbilly hubby and rugrats tag along.  Aside from feeding Grady chicken satay (peanut sauce -- he's allergic) and letting Dylan hang out with panhandlers, I'd say I did an alright job of guiding a couple of country-kids around the capital.  The weekend was a blast, but each one of us had his or her own personal highlight.

We spent Saturday night with some friends in Folsom.  Martin and Anna have two kids approximately our kids' age, so our suffering is nearly equal, and it gave us plenty to drink talk about.  If I had been kidnapped by Russians (you know, when they were cool and kicked ass) and sent to the same facility where Ivan Drago trained in Rocky IV, I would, today, look a lot more like Martin.  He's the Uber-Judd, and Grady fell in love.  Grady would flee from my arms to go hang out with his BFF, Martin.  Better looking?  Check.  More fun?  Check.  Grady learned that having two dads was waaaay better than one, and Martin seemed to really like Grady.  Plus, they had a great bar, so neither of us wanted to leave.  I was content sipping Guiness and Grady just wanted to drool on his new dad.

For Dylan, the highlights never ended.  Just the fact that we got to stay in a "hotel-house" was pretty fun, but it also had an indoor pool.  Yes! and Yes!  Also, we stayed in Old Sac, which, in about three square blocks contains nothing but restaurants, tattoo parlors, and candy shops.  Dylan learned quickly that, because of the intense competition between "Candy Heaven," "Sugar High," and "Hey Kid, Want Some Candy?", the shopkeepers were pretty liberal with their free samples.  I retaliated every sample by leaving both kids unattended in their candy-packed stores until their highs wore off.

And Regina?  She kind of geeks-out at conferences, so I'd say that sitting in a convention center with other like-minded educators was, for her, loads of fun.  But, seeing friends and family, eating awesome Pho, and having a never-ending supply of dirty martinis made her weekend a long string of highlights.  And I think the rest of us were just good enough to get to tag along for her next conference.  Fallon, NV, look out 'cause here we come!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An Open Letter To February

Dear February:

I don't understand you.  We'll talk about the stupid way you spell your name and your measly twenty-eight days in a bit.  But the mind games you play, the ups and the downs, let me address those now.  You began beautifully.  Sure, snow would have been nice, but you brought the sunshine.  If I didn't know you so well I'd of thought you were March (or April.  Meeeow!).  You're blushing, but it's true.  Blue skies, crisp mornings, sunny days, it was glorious.  We hustled to our tractors and farmed like it was late spring.  And we got a lot done, so thanks.

Then you had to go and hand out a round of RSV to both kids and a sinus/ear infection to Grady.  And having Grady cut both eye-teeth at the same time?  Come on!  I'm sending you a bill for the chair legs he chewed up trying to ease the pain.  Still, you let the monkeys off easier than last year (you were a real prick in '10), and we appreciate it, really.  Grady's even named you "Kitty," and that's an honor only a step below "Mama."

But, I've got to admit, you sucker-punched us with our first school Valentine's Day party.  Who knew candy was the new expression of love and friendship?  Okay, I knew, but I didn't think that knowledge was mainstream yet.  Dylan's still not over her sugar-high -- here she is at her worst:

Just when I thought you might be cool and we could hang out, you hit me with the never-ending flu.  And you mocked me with it.  You took all my sense of taste the day before Regina and I went to our favorite restaurant, then gave it back, for one night only, during dinner.  You let me recover just enough to see Ryan Bingham in concert, then kicked me to the curb when I started bragging how much better I was feeling.

Nobody likes a complainer, so I'll be positive.  You taught me a few things that I'll always carry with me.  Things like: I can successfully blame fever-sweats on a faulty heating system in my classroom, or codine + Nyquil = crazy dreams, and most importantly, don't cough and pee at the same time.

So, goodbye, jerkface.  And here's a little advice for next year.  First, bring some snow, it's winter, remember?  Next, buy a couple of extra days to fill the calendar like a real month and, finally, drop that stupid silent "r," it makes you seem pretentious.  You just might fit in after all.


The Eastside Gang