Pessimistic Optimism

Life as I see it… sort of.

Emergency Guidelines or Mere Suggestions

When I’m not playing with my wife and/or kids or writing I’m probably working at my 48 hours-a-week side job, firefighting.  This time-killer gives me an inside view of what many people do in extreme situations or at least stressful ones.  Unfortunately, I’m disappointed often by a lot of people’s attitudes toward emergency situations, their lack of realization that it is an emergency situation, or the fact that I have to see these people sans make-up or clothing a little too often. 

I’d like to rhetorically ask you some questions about some of the things I encounter on a daily basis.   

If four firefighters with medical equipment were in an elevator would you get on and press a lower floor?  What if you were about to be late for work or really had to pee?

I hope your answer to both questions was a resounding no, but I know some people are oblivious to their surroundings whatever the situation is before them.  In fact, this happened to me the other day when a rude little man reached into the elevator and pressed four immediately after hearing us say we we’re going to eight so we kindly helped him out of the elevator doorway and left him behind to feel shame.  People like this are not only ignorant and selfish, but also downright pathetic and should be made to wait the next time something bad happens to them, like an axe to their forehead or a fire hose tied too tightly around their neck.

If an alarm’s ringing in your apartment building and firefighters are going in loaded with heavy equipment and SCBAs (air tanks) on their backs should you walk into the building and get in their way?  What if your dog or turtle was still in your apartment or you left the pigs’ knuckles in the frying pan?

Again, I hope you answered no.  Normal people get out of the way of firefighters during an emergency situation unless they have pertinent information to share, like which apartment the stove’s left on in or if their grandma’s doing yoga naked in 4B.  Some things you need to be mentally prepared for.

If an emergency vehicle’s driving with lights flashing and sirens blaring either behind you or coming towards you should you pull to the side of the road or at the least stop your vehicle before it’s on your ass?  What if you might end up sitting through another red light and might miss the first five minutes of Judge Judy as a result?

This time the answer should be yes unless you want a fire truck to do its best monster truck impression on your VW Jetta or you don’t need your hearing, which will be impaired by the air horn pressed incessantly until you are in our dust.  You probably won’t be shot the bird physically, but make it understood it is being sent telepathically fourfold.

Feel free to pass this information on to your friends, loved ones and local politicians, unless they’re in the airport restroom because they might take that for something else, the politicians that is (see Larry Craig, US Senator for Idaho).

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August 30, 2007 Posted by | firefighting, Humor, life, Ranting | 3 Comments

Watchdog, My Arse

Man’s best friend has a lot of good uses in this world.  Number one is probably being a, well, best friend, but after that our furry possessions perform numerous other tasks on a daily basis for their supposedly smarter two-legged dog license holders.

Like most dogs mine wears many hats, and he looks damn good in them, especially the Stetson accompanied by some spurs.  Never mind that, but he does serve many purposes for my family.

He’s a fantastic plaything for the kiddies, you know, something to pull at or climb on or just plain pet and he never shies away from them unless he sees them coming.  When he bucks them off when their hand or foot accidentally hits the right spot he looks in my direction for approval and I nod.  I figure that he needs to get his licks in, too.

Having our dog around fulfills a lot of basic needs at my house and none of them have anything to do with peanut butter.  His thick mane makes a great footrest which is mutually beneficial because my feet stay warm and my corns and warts and whatever the hell else is growing down there scratches his back for him.  Stress reliever is a job that my k-9 boy relishes, I think, because he always listens to me, most of the time, and no one else does, most of the time and this makes me feel good.  I didn’t even have to beat him to obey, much.

Fertilizer is a job title that most dogs take to heart.  Mine’s going for top dog in this field.  He’s so proficient at it that I share his talents with my neighbors when they’re sleeping or not home.  I have him do this because I think everyone should be empowered the same way I am every time I shovel up a load of yesterday’s Kibblesn Bits.  It’s kind of like a Robin Hood thing, but has nothing to do with stealing or gold or anything similar to the story about that tight-wearing freak.

I have to admit that my four-legged boy isn’t as good at one of his chores, being a vacuum for dropped food.  The finicky pooch ignores the conveniently dropped veggies while scarfing up the chicken, steak or SPAM.  The sad part is that this was exactly the reason why we wanted a dog in the first place, sort of.

One of the most important things a dog can do is protect your home from intruders or Tony Danza.  A good watchdog’s priceless as long as he doesn’t eat you or one of your children or was previously owned by Michael Vick.  My family thought we had the best because he always barks loudly at people walking by or urinating in our bushes, that is until the other day.  It was just a regular night with my wife and I getting cozy on the couch using Fido as a footrest while watching The Girls Next Door when our child’s finger painting masterpiece sailed off of the kitchen wall and made an odd noise.  The not-so-brave doggy jumped up, stuck his tail between his legs and whimpered endlessly.  I guess that’s what we get for choosing a Golden Retriever.

August 27, 2007 Posted by | Dogs, family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, Ranting | 4 Comments

Raw Chicken and Then Some; A Year of Remembrance

One day ago was the one-year anniversary of my first post.  It almost seems like yesterday… plus 364 other days, which I decided to let the world have a peek at my writing.  In the past year I’ve hit the “publish” button 140 times, each one hurled my thoughts and meanderings into the depths of cyberspace for all to see and even scarier, to form an opinion on.  As the days went by and the posts accumulated it got easier to hit the button.  It went from indigestion to butterflies to anticipation to cockiness to apathy to butterflies and so on.

The decision for me to enter the blogosphere came easily after I talked to my nephew last summer about his entertaining blog manninchina.  For some reason, he validated the medium for me so thanks to him Pessimistic Optimism lives, in other words, if you don’t like what you see, he’s to blame.  Don’t upset him too much because I don’t like to fight with family… that’s bigger than me.

Writing somewhat true tales about my life as a father and husband came to me during a visit from an angel in my bedroom advising me that it was God’s will or it came on a whim.  Either way it’s difficult to remember what happened in my life before I started writing it down.  This decision was the most frightening one because I only wrote fiction before this and I wasn’t only putting my writing out there, my life would be on display, too… sort of.  After a year it’s easier for me to write about myself than characters I make up in my head, so I’m not sure if this is for the good or not.  It definitely hasn’t helped me further my fiction-writing career, but I intend to add a fiction page to the blog soon… hopefully.  That might get me in the right direction if the right person reads it.  Stephen or Nelson are you paying attention? 

If you’ve read this blog or others you probably noticed that some people like to comment on what’s posted.  So far, there have been 289 non-spam comments on this hopefully witty display of odd thoughts and stories.  I bet about a third of them came from my keypad, because I heard that acknowledging commentators is the proper thing to do if you want them to comment again or eat their freaking words in a shallow grave covered in chocolate sauce and maggots, but I digress.  One of these comments sent me into a tizzy that led to my most viewed, and probably stupidest post called Raw Chicken Good.  The comment from imhelendt was misinterpreted by my hypersensitive ego and sent me into an over-reaction because only I can pick on my parenting skills even though she really wasn’t.  The title of this post has made it my most viewed because people type “raw chicken” into their search engines just about everyday and my post is the seventh offering on Google as of today and has been as high as number two in the past.  This post has been viewed 804 times, which is probably about 700 more times than any other one yet to date.  It’s good to know that I can be associated with something of such great importance as raw chicken as opposed to world hunger or Quantum physics.

Aunt Weather is my number one commentator and for that she gets a great big wet one… from my dog which I know she’ll enjoy because he absolutely adores her and vice versa.  The person that gets a nod for being tied for the least comments is my beautiful wife.  She has commented here as often as almost every living person in the world, English speaking and otherwise, zero times.  I think she just doesn’t want to show me up, because she’s very funny and sexy and a great mother and wonderful spouse and whatever else give me brownie points.

Hits are something that a lot of bloggers like to watch.  It’s very sad and doesn’t mean a whole lot, but I like this, too.  My site received it’s 12,000th hit in just under a year, so I can say that I average 1,000 hits a month and I wouldn’t be exaggerating like I do in my posts, but I won’t get into what qualifies a hit to be a hit (just so you know, mine don’t count).  Twelve thousand hits might seem like a lot to a non-blogger, but some people get that in one day.  They must have a lot of friends or some kind of nudie thing going on, it couldn’t possibly be that they have an audience that likes to read them.  Some day I aspire to have at least three readers that aren’t reading my posts as an obligation, but that’s just wishful thinking.

An odd bonus of this blogging thing was that I hooked up with Humor-Blogs.com, which introduced me digitally to a few blogophiles that are hilarious, or on an off day, amusing.  One is known as Diesel at Mattress Police - Antisocial Commentary and various other sites, he also commandeers Humor-Blogs.com, and another is a chick from Zoning Out Again who is out there, in a good way.  Humor-blogs somehow lists Pessimistic Optimism  along side the heavy hitters of the humor blogging world without having a disclaimer on it that says only read this one if you are really bored and want to remain that way.  Another site and interesting person I discovered is a guy named Bill that writes a site called Dying mans daily journal, which is an in depth look at a person facing the inevitable.  That’s the uniqueness (word?) about blogs, they can be about anything whether it’s interesting or not as you can see by this site.

Thanks to everyone that’s perused my thoughts this past year and also to those that have read my blog.  I hope to post more often soon when my kids stop taking up all my time so check back in about twenty years. 

August 17, 2007 Posted by | All about me, Blogging, Buffalo, career opportunities, Dogs, family, fiction, Friends, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, Ranting, Writing | 6 Comments

Little Swinger

I am free at last, free at last.  My daughter has made me feel like a Gen X-er for the first time by permitting me to be a lazier father.  I’ve been waiting for this day for a while and today it finally arrived by surprise.

We have a swing set in our yard.  Said swing set is used a lot by both of my children, a few neighbor kids and one strange little fellow who sneaks in late at night, but we’ll leave him out of this.  My four-year-old always wants to be pushed while swinging and I get a little fed up with having to be the pusher.  I don’t know if you know this, but I have to get out of my comfortable hammock to push her every time, so I tried to teach her how to pump.  I’ve tried over and over, but it hasn’t sunk in, until today.

I’d like to take credit for this spectacular milestone, but it happened while I was in the pool.  I heard my name mentioned, you know, Daddy, while floating around so I peeked at my wonderful little girl swinging her little heart out perfectly.  It was pure poetry in motion, if you like that kind of thing, that is.

She caught my eye and shouted out with glee, “I’m swinging, Daddy.”

“You look glorious Little One, glorious,” I yelled.

Okay, okay, it was more like, “That’s great Little One, I’m very proud of you.”  A little encouragement can go a long way, especially if the activity makes my life easier.

My face was moist, but I think it was from me falling off my Spongebob float and had nothing to do with the idea of not having to leave the hammock again… unless the boy wants to swing, of course.

August 5, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting | 2 Comments

Fashion Plate

My boy knows how to get under my skin.  He can turn a beautiful morning of singing and prancing laughing and dancing into one of screaming and crying in a split second.  I don’t know why he does this because he knows I hate to scream and cry.

The other day’s breakfast was a typical one of frivolity over pancakes and sausages smothered in syrup.  My daughter somehow managed, in between giggles, to wolf down two pancakes shaped like the letter “C” and three sausage links shaped like … sausage links, and my son did the same, except that his were shaped like circles, the pancakes that is, and he ended his meal a little differently than his big sister.

Most civilized children either hand their sticky plate to their parent or at least leave it sitting in front of them when they’re done; my little guy decided to be a comedian after his last bite.  The little ham placed the Lightning Mcqueen plate jelly side down on top of his head and smiled for the camera even though there wasn’t one.  The syrup coated plate hung there like a hat until I peeled it off.

Somehow I let this infuriate me.  So much so that I think steam literally shot out of my ears.  I said profound things like, “don’t you know that we just washed your hair last night?” and “I can’t believe you just did that.”  He looked at me and just grinned, which sent me through the roof.  I almost wasn’t going to clean him up to teach him a lesson, but then I realized that his stickiness would spread to all things clean in our house and that just wasn’t worth it.  I even thought about setting him on the floor and letting our dog lick him clean, but the two-year-old would enjoy that too much.

My daughter was already set free from the table when this took place but watched with amusement as her daddy had a meltdown.  She’s seen it before; I go on a tirade for a minute or two, come to my senses and try to laugh about the horrible situation one of my offspring put us in.   This time was no different, by the time I cleaned the boy up, I knew that getting upset was futile and childish, the most important thing was to get even.  My boy better watch his back because vengeance is a dish best served cold or something like that.

August 4, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting, Ranting | 4 Comments