Reminder of Age

Baby E: Daddy, you need to shave your beard off.

Me: I can’t do that. Mommy likes it like that. Why do you want Daddy to shave his beard off?

Baby E: Because you’ve got lots of gray hair in it and I don’t like that.

Me: …..

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RTotD: Underappreciated Disney Villain

When you think of Disney villains, who do you think of first? Scar? Maleficent? Jafar? Ursula?

While all of them make for good villains, there’s one that popped into my head that I think doesn’t get the credit they deserve.

Honest John.

How many of you know who that is without having to look it up?

If you don’t feel like going to Google, Honest John is a talking fox from Pinocchio that leads the young boy astray on a couple of occasions. Now, is he someone you think of when you think of Disney villains? Of course not. He’s probably not even who you think of when you think about Pinocchio villains. If you even think of Pinocchio villains at all, you probably think of Stromboli first. According to Wikipedia, despite the fact that there are a number of bad guys in the movie, Stromboli is the only one recognized as an Official Disney Villain.

Was Stromboli a bad guy? Sure, he was. He bought a little boy, locked him in a cage, and was going to force him to put on a show every night.

What about the coachman towards the end of the movie? He was a bad guy too. He bought Pinocchio and tried to turn him into a donkey so he could sell him. That’s pretty bad.

But, what do those two bad guys have in common? That’s right. They both bought Pinocchio from someone. And who did they buy him from? You guessed it. Honest John.

Honest John sold Pinocchio to two different bad guys. He manipulated the little boy into thinking they were friends and then sold him. Not once, but twice. Sure, he might not have known that Stromboli would treat Pinocchio like he did, but he knew exactly what was going to happen to Pinocchio when he sold him to the coachman (As far as I can tell, the coachman was never given a name).

And what punishment did Honest John get for his crimes at the end of the movie?

None. He got away with it (although, to be fair, none of the villains in Pinocchio are punished for their actions. They all got away with it). So, he’s still out there, causing trouble in the Pinocchio world. Who knows what other havoc he’s wreaking?

Hell, after the movie ended he might’ve thought up a third way of selling Pinocchio. It wouldn’t surprise me if he did.

Diversify

I’ve got a few writing projects going on at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped me from also reading two different books (one at work, the other at home). A guy I work with asked me how I was able to read two books at once. “Don’t you get the characters or the plots confused with each other?”

Honestly? No.

And it’s not because I feel like my brain is too sharp or powerful for such a thing. That’s certainly not it. I’m one of the most scatterbrained people I know. For example, if Mrs. Revis asks me to do something right before she goes to bed (like empty the dishwasher or switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer), unless I do it right away, I’ve forgotten it about five minutes later. Then, when the morning comes, I am the recipient of an angry glare and I don’t know why until she reminds me of what I was supposed to do.

No, the reason I don’t get them mixed up is because they are nothing alike. Other than the fact that at least some of each of the two books takes place in Texas, they have nothing in common.

The one I’m reading at work is The Deceivers by Alex Berenson. Here is the back cover blurb for it as it appears on Amazon.

The target was the American Airlines Center, the home of the Dallas Mavericks. The FBI had told Ahmed Shakir that his drug bust would go away if he helped them, and they’d supply all the weaponry, carefully removing the firing pins before the main event. It never occurred to Ahmed to doubt them, until it was too late.

When John Wells is called to Washington, he’s sure it’s to investigate the carnage in Dallas, but it isn’t. The former CIA director, now president, Vinnie Duto has plenty of people working in Texas. He wants Wells to go to Colombia. An old asset there has information to share–and it will lead Wells to the deadliest mission of his life, an extraordinary confluence of sleeper cells, sniper teams, false flag operations, double agents high in the U.S. government–and a Russian plot to take over the government itself. If it succeeds, what happened in Texas will only be a prelude.

The book I’m reading at home is Night Shift, the third book in the Midnight, Texas trilogy, by Charlaine Harris. Here’s the blurb for hers.

At Midnight’s local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves—only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town. Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who, while translating mysterious texts, discovers what makes Midnight the town it is. There’s a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place…

So, basically, one book is about a CIA agent trying to stop terror attacks and the other is about a small Texas town that has vampires, werewolves, psychics, and witches in it.

Not similar at all.

And that got me thinking about all of my books. It’s the same with them too. If you were to look on my bookshelf, you’d see Harlan Coben books next to Jurassic Park, Dungeons and Dragons novels next to The Lincoln Lawyer, and Star Wars novels next to books written by the fictional Richard Castle.

And that, my friends, is how you avoid getting burnt out on reading. You diversify your library.

The Body in My Backyard

When I came home from work yesterday, I had to bury a body in my backyard. Unfortunately, it was not the body of one of my enemies. No, it was my daughter’s fish, Kiki.

This was actually the second Kiki. We were able to find a good enough replacement for the first one before Baby E even noticed that something was seriously wrong. She noticed that Kiki suddenly looked a little smaller but my wife and I told her that Kiki had lost weight because she was sick. I don’t know if she bought that completely, but she went along with it.

This time, however, she saw Kiki 2.0 laying on its side, not moving, before we could try to hide it from her. I stuck the net in the tank and the fish moved away from it, but not much. Baby E was crying when I left for work. I tried to calm her down by telling her that Kiki was still moving, therefore was still alive. She knew, though. She knew Kiki wouldn’t last much longer.

Sure enough, Mrs. Revis texted me about halfway through my work day to tell me that Kiki was no longer with us and my daughter was inconsolable. I called and talked to her for a few minutes. It was heartbreaking.

“I miss Kiki!”

“I don’t want her to go!”

“We need to get another fish and name it Kiki too!”

It took a lot of work, but between us, Mrs. Revis and I calmed her down. Now the problem was what to do with Kiki. With the first Kiki, we flushed it down the toilet and Baby E was never the wiser. This time, she kind of flipped out when it was suggested. I said that maybe we should put Kiki in the river behind our house. She didn’t like that idea either. No, we had to bury Kiki in the backyard.

“That way Kiki will always be with us.”

So… that’s what I did.

She was more calm today. She was still sad about her fish dying, but she was able to talk about it without crying, which was good. I don’t know how much more of it I could take.

I can handle anything you throw at me, but not that. Watching my child weep uncontrollably is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. What made it worse is that there was nothing I could do or say that would make it ok that her pet had just died.

I don’t even want to think about what will happen the first time someone she knows passes away. If I couldn’t handle this, I sure as hell won’t be able to handle that.

Is That A Word?

I was unaware that “dank” was a word. Then, as if by magic, it started appearing all over my Facebook page. Almost always, it was in those annoying ads that they put of there. Those ads are for those stupid click bait sites that have stories titled “The Dankest Marvel Memes” or “Top 20 Dankest Justice League Memes”.

Against my better judgment, I clicked on a couple of them to see if I could figure out the meaning of the word “dank”. So far, I’m not sure I have the definition figured out. I’m torn between it either meaning “not funny” or “extremely disappointing”.

Make Someone’s Day Interesting

This may surprise you, but I actually have a home phone. Yes, they still have those.

We first got it a while ago when my mom was babysitting Baby E. She was very forgetful about her cell phone and we wanted a way to be able to get in touch with her if she forgot it. Now that my mom is no longer babysitting, we thought about getting rid of it, but decided to keep it for two reasons. One, while not necessary, it will be helpful when my wife’s company starts letting her work from home. And, two, due to the bundle we got from our cable company, it’ll actually cost us more to have it turned off than to keep it.

Other than my wife and I, only 3 or 4 people have that number. All of them are related to us in some way. But, none of them ever call it. They always call our cell phones (when they actually take the time to call instead of text). So, our house phone only rings about once every other day or so.

“If nobody you know is calling it, then who is?” you ask.

The answer is simple: telemarketers.

Or, maybe they’re scammers. Hell, I don’t know. All I know is that they’re going to try to get money from me one way or another. And, I know that they’re irritating. Instead of getting mad and yelling at them, however, I thought I’d take a different approach and make the phone call memorable for them.

Last night, my phone rang and I answered it. A lot of these calls are recordings, so I didn’t say anything right away. That’s when the brief conversation happened.

Caller: Hello?

Me: Yeah, hi. I was hoping you could help me with my butt itch.

3 seconds of dead silence

Caller: Excuse me?

Me: Come on, you gotta do something. My butt itches really bad and I can’t get it to stop!

Caller: 3 seconds of muffled laughter

Me: HELP ME!!!!

CLICK…

I think next time I’m going to talk about having a burning sensation on my taint.

At Least One Thing

When it comes to parenting, everyone is different. What may be right for some will be wrong for others. Despite what haters on the internet say, there is no surefire method to raising your children. We each do the best we can and pray it’s good enough.

Or, at least, that’s what I do.

I don’t know if I’ll ever really know how good of a father I am. My beautiful princess will be turning 6 next month, so I still have a long way to go, too. I suppose I’ll leave it up to my wife and daughter to be the judges on that. There aren’t many people’s opinions that mean a whole lot to me, but those two are certainly the most important. No matter what, out of everything that’s happened since she’s been born, I know for a fact that I did at least one thing right.

Every time we drive past a water tower, Baby E will say, “Look, Daddy, a water tower! That’s where the Animaniacs live!”

That’s a win, my friends. That’s a win.