My babies

Yeah I know, they’re not mine.  But I have a vested interest.

Okay parents, remember when the kids were small and a handful and sometimes a basic pain in the ass?  Remember thinking “Oh when you grow up and have kids, you will have to [insert dreaded parental task here.]  Ha.  I will laugh.”

Well the boy who kept me up at night with chronic ear infections is raising a few babies of his own.  They’ve been sleeping through the night, but last night they had him up.  I’m not laughing through, I’m empathic.  And, not getting up.

One of the unexpected rewards of raising kids is seeing your kids turn out to be good parents.  Devin’s surely got his hands full; two is too many.  He has developed a routine that works pretty well.  They go to sleep with a little fuss but no coddling.  They shriek like banshees, it was a little unsettling to hear at first.  But they’re in bed by eight and they stay there.  They have to, he rolls out of here at 5 AM to get to his job in Naperville.  Four days on and three days off.  He works this weekend.

I would love to know what they think of their latest scenery change.  They’ve never stayed in one place for more than six months.  They’ve always been in someone’s living room, on crappy mattresses, or a playpen.  Here they have their own bedroom on real crib matresses.  This house is quiet.

Best of all, they have me around.

Guess who’s babysitting this weekend.  I heard it’s like riding a bike.  I’ve already changed my first diaper in about 20 years.  She made it extra special with some shit!

Published in: on 13/03/2009 at 2:27 am  Comments (1)  

Holy ‘effin SHIT

What more can I say? 2008?  Well, Writer Wannabe Boy here has been asleep at the switch.

I’m bursting at the seams. bitches.

Where to start?

Let’s wind the clock back to about a year ago.  The babies were still pretty new, pretty much still at that meat puppet stage.  Damn cute of course but they don’t quite have the motor skills to convey emotion.  Dev was working at that place that made cabs for that other place.  You know.  Anyhow his 90 days were up and they says “Hey Dev no hard feelins’ but you aren’t hired here.  Clean out your locker.

His young bride had been working on their next jumping off point, Tennessee.  There was the good life, not like Arkansas.  Not like Iowa.  This was differ’nt.  This was better.  All is forgiven with Daddy.

Now at this point Devin was set up in a 2 bedrooom apartment in Downtown Joliet.  Nice place, but the elevator was a bit spooky.  Many of my really bizarre childhood dreams involved elevators that didn’t quite land on the floor right.  You were either half up or half down.  Bad news for a kid 2 feet tall.  I digress.

He had gotten a pretty nice selection of furniture in the apartment by that time because his mom was moving to California to be with her husband in San Diego.  I thought that they might actually stay in one place for awhile.  Again I was wrong.  This was a nice little apartment and he might have found something else in town (this was a year ago before the hammer fell), but she was hell bent on TN.  And, what the girl wants the girl gets.  Back then anyhow.  The young bride had the deal set by the time Dev got his walking papers.  Unfortunately when Daddy made the deal he made it clear there was no room for furniture.  So Dev sold or gave away all that he had collected for this latest move.

The young bride’s father is actually a pretty nice guy.  I don’t know what let up to this blessed union but the brains of the outfit are in this guy.  He is honest, hard working, articulate and a good judge of character because he loves Dev as if he is one of their own.

They loaded up the truck and moved to Tennessee, you know the rest.  He got a job in a plastics factory in Nashville, that didn’t last long.  He has a job as a Dish Network installer, he does well at that.  He’s lucky to have a job.  He works a lot of hours, a lot of holidays.  He misses his kids.  They young bride got bored…

She starts fucking a high school boy who lives with his mom in  one of the nearby trailers in the park [isn’t that perfect?]  High school boy has pot and pills, what a fun way to fill young White Trash mommy’s long afternoons but a pot buzz and some strange prong.  Yum.

It took awhile but eventually Dev found out.  One of his friends from work spotted her sucking face with the new squeeze.  He alerted, Dev confronted and accepted the excuse until he saw it, first hand,  for himself.

Last Sunday Dev was all “I want to wind back the clock.”  I warned him that if the past looked better than the present, adjustments must be made.

Yesterday the young bride summoned Dev to the trailer to pick up the kids.  But it was actually a set-up with the new boyfriend laying in wait to “kick his ass.”  Dev had his father-in-law with him, plus another guy so the “ass kicking” kinda fell through.  But there was some good old fashioned Tennessee Justice dispensed, the young bride landed a few on Dev and dad, cops were called.  At the end of it, Dev went home with his father in law, who admitted to me his daughter is White Trash.  I concurred with him over the phone.  The father in law hooked Dev up with an attorney.

Dev wants to come back north, and he can land here. It’s like he suddenly snapped out of it and I have the old Devin back.  He can live here with his kids until he can get his wings again.   Without her he is always welcome.

Published in: on 14/02/2009 at 6:15 am  Comments (1)  


I went to Mexico again this year.  We planned this trip to coincide with the Spring Equinox, so we could see Chichen Itza on that day.  I have pictures!

In the spring and fall equinox, the shadows fall on the pyramid in such a way as to create an illusion of a snake coming down the pyramid.  Of course this requires sunlight.  It was overcast and rainy on that day.  According to our Mayan tour guide, it was the first overcast equinox day he’d seen in over thirty years!  Lucky us.  Cloudy or sunny, I can’t get enough of that place.

After thirty years of back aches, I finally decided to get some relief.  I started seeing a chiropractor about a month ago.  I discovered that my spine is nearly straight.  That explains the huge muscle mass in my lower back that has formed to hold me up.  I am undergoing a lot of physical therapy and it’s already starting to work.  I don’t wake up with a back ache every day; and if I do, 30 minutes of ice cures it.  I should have done this a long time ago.  One drawback: in the process of restoring the curve in my neck, some nerve endings related to balance are being affected.  I started getting dizzy spells last week and they continue.  It’s not really bad; it’s kinda like the buzz I get after a few shots of whiskey.  It’s annoying but I know it will pass eventually.

Published in: on 06/04/2008 at 3:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Little boat anchors

The younger son arrived in Illinois about 7:30 last night. He says he’s here to stay. He said he hated Arkansas. I reminded him of the beforehand research I had suggested. He said it was an “stupid uneducated mistake.” I said he could leave out “uneducated.”

My next question was “where are you living?” He’s back at her mom and dad’s house. The very place they tried to run from, twice. They’re much better off. So as soon as he’d scraped up enough money they rented a U-Haul and hitched it to Mike’s new Expedition. Now there’s a Grampa car if I ever saw one! The kids and mom rode in the floating brick whilst Devin and Heather’s younger sister rode in the Escort.

Mike and Nicole, Devin’s new in-laws, had driven down there to visit at Christmas. That’s when he must have mended fences with Mike and hatched this plan to get back north. He wanted it to be a surprise for me. The surprise was his returning this soon. Derek and I were a little stunned to see him stride in.

I’m glad he’s back. I haven’t seen the babies yet. They’ve got some settling in to do.


Published in: on 29/12/2007 at 8:11 pm  Comments (2)  

2 more Vallees

Maybe the last two.  We need some boys.

Brooke Lynn and Taylor Marie arrived on December 21st sometime in the late afternoon.  Nancy has the stats on an envelope I keep forgetting to get.  They’re both healthy and have all their fingers and toes (a deal in this family.)

Here are the pictures I have of them:

Uh, no.  I don’t have any pictures.


Published in: on 29/12/2007 at 12:33 am  Leave a Comment  


I just got word from Devin, in the hospital.  Seems the water broke this afternoon and the babies are on their way.  Everything changes for him now.  It’ll be a C-section, one of them is breech.

stay tuned…

Published in: on 22/12/2007 at 12:23 am  Comments (1)  


The garage is clean. The furniture is gone. There are two cars in there now.

I got shut down at Menards, that old trick doesn’t work anymore. I ended up at J&M Truck Rental. Yee haw. I got a 16 foot box van, it was well worn. There was plenty of room for all my stuff.

There was quite a line up at Goodwill, a lot of folks are cleaning house for the onset of Winter, I guess. I helped them unload, to speed up the process. They gave me a numbered reciept. I figure it’s all about worth $550.

There was a pair of old school desks we bought when the kids were little. They’re the kind where the seat joins the desk with a steel bar, and underneath the wooden surface is a stamped pan for all your stuff. The hinged wooden top was decorated with some pre-teen artwork. Solid though, I bet some decorator picks ’em up. I hauled them out of another house for the last time.

As we were unloading the wooden captain’s beds [the dresser drawers are underneath the raised beds. Devin had to scramble at first onto the tall bed, climbing up while grabbing the sheets.] I had to explain to the Goodwill kid that the pallets that the mattress rests on are an essential part of the bed, and not really a forbidden mattress at all. [They don’t take computers anymore either, some infernal nonsense about OS’s and licensing stuff. I’m betting that’s a stinging hoof-mark from the legal stable at Microsoft.] The manager confirmed they were not contraband and off they went.

The gas stove went out behind the garage with a sign that read “works fine, free to a good home.” The scrappers got it about three hours later, all that heavy steel is a goldmine.

I returned the truck about two hours later, the guy was kinda surprised to see me. I only put 18 miles on the truck. One trip.

I’m hoping my tax benefit will outweigh the cost of the truck.

Derek helped me, he’s motivated to get this garage space. He waited while Devin’s baby furniture lied stalled in storage. Once we had a street it was easy.

I feel accomplished.

Published in: on 21/10/2007 at 5:36 am  Leave a Comment  

His Big Adventure

Allow me to point out that I’m enjoying a gin martini in honor of my dad who crossed over seven years ago last Wednesday. I did it differently this time, dad [I don’t have to tell him this because he was probably there, it’s more for you.] I poured a jigger of vermouth in a glass of ice and merely rinsed the ice with it, then tossed it out; then poured four ounces of gin over the ice, swirled it a bit then poured it in the chilled glass with three olives. Here’s to you, dad. Your lessons, they stuck.

Fatherhood is bittersweet these days. I saw my youngest one off on Saturday morning. I had no advance warning, like many things these days, it was an impromptu surprise.

I went into work early that day. I got up with Nancy, she had a 12 hour shift to do. I got to work a little after seven, his call came through about eight.

“I’m leaving this morning Dad, I hoped to see you before I go.”

His plan involves moving to Little Rock AK. By his logic, the cost of living is lower there. He can support his new family on what he makes; he has a job lined up through one of his new found friends there. His friend is working at a chain hotel, and has set young Devin up with a job manning the banquet halls. According to Devin it’s a sure thing, he just has to show up for the interview and he’s in.

I always had the job before I packed up and moved. But that’s just me.

I knew he was planning this move and I tried to use Logic and Reason to interject some reality. I asked him to at least research the area before he packs up his truck and moves there. I was met with the same annoyed look, my lack of faith in what was Meant to Be; his chosen path with this girl.

It sounded annoyingly similar.

I’ve talked with him about Fatherhood, but he doesn’t get it yet, it hasn’t happened. When he sees it, he will know. The girls will be his whole life, apart from who spawned them. Because he’s like me, his life will be driven to provide a home for these girls.

He was there at my house, [the one he doesn’t have a key to anymore,] to get the remainder of his stuff [baby stuff they’ve been collecting, his kid’s stuff.] I had plans to be done at work by noon, that was changing too.

I got done what I had to do, part of it, and beat feet home. I missed him and decided to head back to work. He called, he was back at the place he’s been living at, Hillbilly Heaven. But that’s another story for another entry. I backtracked and headed over there.

He had the sleigh about mostly loaded and there wasn’t enough to fill it. It was a sad collection of stuff. I reminded him he still had a box spring and a bedframe back at my house. He’s been sleeping on his mattress with her, right on the floor. I asked if he would like his 9 month old pregnant wife to haul her ass off of a mattress on the floor. He agreed, it didn’t make sense, and we made plans to retrieve that, too.

Houses built in 1929 knew nothing of queen sized box springs, they don’t fit up the staircase. We have a balcony here, it’s a matter of getting it down via an extension ladder, we always set that up. That’s how we got his out yesterday, one last time. We got his remaining bedframe parts out of the garage.

While we were fishing them out, I caught sight of a toy he used to play with when he was about nine or ten. It had fallen off an old bedframe I’d planned on giving away to a worthy soul somehow. It was in my garage, purgatory for unwanted furniture these days. It will be a garage soon again, mark my words.

I looked at that toy, it was a little boat. That sent me back to those days, how the times were so much more simple. Imagination was the order of the day. He was so full of questions, and hypothetical situations with the “what would you do, daddy” phrase at the end. “What would you do if I could jump as high as the house? What would you do, daddy?” The question never was “what would you do if I met a girl who made me believe that my path in life involved her because she was the first ever one like that? What would you do, daddy?”

Present Day me says, “Run the other way.”

Well he is running. Running like my dad did when he moved from Wisconsin to Ohio. Running like I did when I moved from Ohio to Indiana and then Michigan and Illinois. It’s in his blood, I just wish it were for better reasons.

But that’s just me.

As we were standing in the alley with his world loaded into a truck [as I have been from time to time] I told him I’d never imagined he’d be doing something like this. But its his destiny, his thing to do. I hugged him, he warned me he was sweaty. I didn’t care, I told him he would always be my son, and I wished him well. I warned him to always keep his doors locked as he started up the truck.

I love you. Good luck, Devin.

Published in: on 01/10/2007 at 2:55 am  Comments (3)  

Puppies and children are much cuter when they belong to someone else

Four remote controls. Count ’em, four.

Three Dish remotes, one Marantz stereo remote. The Dish remotes are only about 9 dollars on Ebay. The Marantz remote, that’s different. That will be $60.00

I warned him. I told him it would be a bad idea. But alas, what do I know? I never get puppies, only adult dogs.

When Devin moved out last November, and got an apartment in January; he was convinced he needed a dog. so he went out and bought one. And when the apartment idea flopped [no rent money, probably because he spent $200 on a dog he didn’t need] he hauled all of his stuff back here, with the fucking dog in tow.

The dog snacked on my throw rugs, he unloaded the trash can; and he ate remotes. I got to help housebreak a dog I didn’t want. The dog has a thing for my room, he likes to shit in it.

I love dogs. I have a kinship with them, they instantly know I am a Dog Person. Nancy’s Bull Mastiff knew. We bonded instantly, it took her by surprise. I was born into this earth to have dogs by my side. But not this dog.

Rocco is incredibly smart. He is a very focused dog. His mission in life is to chase things. He herds us around the house. he has border collie in him too. He has that drive to chase things. The shepherd part of him reminds me of Gladys, the superdog.

Gladys was my dog when I was a kid at the perfect dog/kid age range, about 10-14 years old. We got her when she was a pup. I was too young to know the magnitude of the pain-in-the-ass factor of having a pup. I learned that later when she had pups of her own. Six of them. [Have you ever de-wormed six pups and have to clean up after the result of that? Me too.] But she was my pal. She used to run alongside my bike. I used to tease her with my foot. She’d playfully gnaw on it as I rode along. Great fun. It kinda backfired on me though. She tried that on a little kid who didn’t know her; he was using it as a defensive posture. She did her thing, he freaked out and hit the pavement. Now my Gladys was a Dangerous Dog. Not long after that she got offed by a truck, I got to watch that happen too. I was with my good friend Matt Fox. You know, that Matt Fox. You know him? Matt and Sharie, on that HGTV thing: Room by Room? Google it.

Remember that, Matt? [He Googles himself, I’m sure.]

So Devin decided to start a family and there was no room in this family for this boat anchor, this dog. Last spring he was going to give him away. Derek took to this dog. He worked with him, taught him commands. I suggested that he take on this dog. He considered it a week before he decided to do it.

I should have gone with Devin’s decision on this. But the damn dog reminds me of Gladys. Lucky for him. I could grow to like this dog in about four years but I don’t know if I have the patience for that. Rocco still has his nuts; that’s part of his problem. getting rid of them was part of the deal behind keeping him for Derek. I made it clear tonight that the dog’s nuts, or the entire dog would have to go. Now. I also made it clear that the latter choice was my personal preference.

I saw this coming. I knew he was going to eat another remote, he was just biding his time. I kept the last one he ate, it still mostly worked. I could cover the missing functions with the Marantz remote, now that one’s gone too. Fucking dog.

Published in: on 28/09/2007 at 3:42 am  Comments (1)  

The times they are a changin’

They’re tearing up my street! We went from this to this.

Published in: on 16/09/2007 at 5:28 pm  Leave a Comment