Pessimistic Optimism

Life as I see it… sort of.

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. 

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

It’s Not What You Say…

Children are a great barometer of a person’s likability, especially with something like a language barrier.

We recently had the pleasure of spending some time with my sister-in-law’s mother, Paw Paw- I think it means grandmother in Manduran-, who happens to be right off the boat plane from Hong Kong and only speaks un poco English.   Just about my entire life has been spent in a predominantly English speaking setting, a week in Puerto Vallarta being the only exception, so this would be a new experience for me.

The initial introduction went as well as can be expected; she smiled, my wife and I smiled, and the kids hid behind us.  Then, I think I might have said something like welcome, nice to meet you, or would you like some cheese.  I don’t remember what exactly, but I’m sure it was just gibberish to the nice woman.

The kids avoidance of this woman lasted less than ten minutes and then they were all over her.  It seemed like our soon-to-be four-year-old understood that her new found friend couldn’t speak English because she and her little brother decided to use the photographs as flash cards.  The woman was inundated with “Daddy”s, “Mommy”s, “Papa”s,”Grammie”s, and “Fred Willard“s.  I’m not sure why my wife had all those pictures of Mr. Willard; I thought she was more of a Martin Mull fan.

The most amazing and amusing thing I witnessed during this experience was something my little boy did.  We decided to read both kids a bedtime story downstairs where everyone was instead of upstairs with just our nuclear family like we do at home, minus the dog, and it kind of blew up in our faces.  All the extra activity helped the usually captive audience lose interest in the story quickly.  First, our daughter drifted away toward her Aunt and then our son followed his big sister’s lead and wrestled his way off of my lap.  Because our listeners abandoned us, we stopped reading Good Night Pillow Fight half way through.  That’s when my two-year-old little boy grabbed the book out of my hands and brought it over to Paw Paw and wanted her to read it to him.  She looked stunned.  I’m sure she must have been thinking what do you want me to do with this nonsense.  The best part was that he kept returning the book back on her lap after she would set it aside.  It was his way of “insisting” that she read to him.  I didn’t know how to break it to him that there was no way for him to win this time.  Fortunately he eventually gave up on his own and we all shook our heads and laughed.

The boy obviously didn’t take the book snub personally, because he spent a lot more time “conversing” with the nice woman that only speaks a little English.  Our daughter enjoyed her time spent with Paw Paw just as much and never once seemed to care that the adult couldn’t speak her language.  It’s probably very similar to when she hangs out with her brother who just started speaking somewhat recently and she always seems to know what he said.  Because of this we learned that the boy is generous to a fault, because through her interpretations he always tells us to give his toys or cookies to his sister.  I guess we’re just fortunate that she’s around to help. 

June 6, 2007 Posted by | family, Friends, house guests, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting | 5 Comments

Dancin’ Fool

One of my best friends married the love of his life yesterday and I had the pleasure and privilege of standing up in the wedding (for reasons unbeknown to me, some people actually like having me around).  This was the second wedding I got to rent a tux for in three weeks.  Another great friend had me serve as his “best man” on August 5.  These are probably the last weddings that I will be asked to participate in for non-relatives.  That’s a shame because they both were tremendously fun… I even danced at them.  Picture Elaine on Seinfeld elaine-dancing.jpg , but not as graceful and hopefully not as feminine.  Luckily my beautiful wife looked so good out there that there is a chance that no one noticed me.

The whole day was a blast.  After dropping our dog off at the kennel I headed to my friend’s house who was also standing up in the wedding.  I was his ride (we hadn’t started drinking yet) to the groom’s mother’s house.  It was great to just b.s. with him because we both are quite occupied with our families and our careers and don’t get the opportunity too often.

The groom’s mother is a wonderful woman with great taste (she thinks I’m cute).  She prepared a great spread for all the guys in the wedding… I had two pancake and sausage sandwiches.  My mouth is watering just thinking about them.  The groom was very calm… he should have been because he’s like fifty years old… just kidding!  He’s not that old.

We hung out and got dressed in an extremely purple room (sister of the groom’s).  Something about six grown men getting dressed together in a purple room with a picture of Patrick Dempsey on the wall just doesn’t seem right.  After that traumatizing experience we boarded the limo (a great big bus) and enjoyed a beer together on the ride to the church.

We sat, stood, paced and talked about everything for the next two hours while waiting for the people to show up (we were very early).  The rehearsal Nazi showed up first… she made the rehearsal HELL!  I’m still trying to block it out.  Hold me.  Really, please hold me.  Okay, I’m better now.  This time she left us alone, except for pinning the corsages on us.

The groom remained calm, cool (he did wipe his sweaty palms on his pants at least once) and collected during our purgatory… it was actually a good time.

When it was time the groom headed off to his isolation chamber with the best man.  We stayed behind to usher all the female guests to their seats.  Ah, the smell of ben gay and cigarettes… enough about my cologne.

The ceremony went off without a hitch except for a minor problem with a candle that wouldn’t light.  It was supposed to symbolize unity or togetherness or some crap like that.  If you need a candle to keep you together you’re in trouble.

The ceremony on a whole took less time than the rehearsal, I think.  At least it seemed like it did.  It was also more fun.  My buddy and I laughed so hard at times that we shook.  This seems to be a recurring problem when we’re in a church together.  Hopefully I never sit next to him at a funeral.

Champagne, beer, mountain dew and cheese and crackers were on the menu while riding to the cemetery for pictures.  After many pieces of cheese and a couple of beers I was quite full.  While enroute the “maid of honour” told me that I looked like the guy from American Idol.  I was confused because I have gray hair and a chubby face, there is no way that I look like Clay Aiken.   I shook it off and then we posed at a grave site.  It sounds much worse than it was. 

After the pics were done we headed to the reception at an upscale restaurant on the waterfront.  Cool stuff.  My beautiful wife walked onto the outdoor patio with some of our friends that weren’t in the wedding party and blew me away.  Damn, she looked good!  We ate hors douvres and sipped on (yeah, right) our beverages of choice.  The view on the patio was awesome.  It overlooked the marina, the lighthouse and downtown Buffalo.  City Hall looked as though it was wearing a burka because of the renovations taking place and it kind of scared me.

Next were the introductions.  This is fun.  It makes me feel like a sports star.  They announce your name and the crowd cheers.  I think I’m needy.  This experience was different than any other wedding I was in because I was involved in a threesome… there was one more guy standing up than the girls.  We shared the occupier of the purple bedroom with the picture of Patrick Dempsey on the wall.  She’s a lovely girl and took it in stride.

Dinnertime.  Delicious prime rib.  ‘Nuff said.

The party kicked into high gear when the bar reopened and guests (mostly women) invaded the dance floor.  Most of my friends and I stood near the dance floor and talked and laughed and passed gas.  Oh wait, that was just me.  It was kind of embarrassing because it was sooooo bad.  I’m a rather honest person so I admitted it and was shunned for a little while.  Even by my wife.

Like I said earlier I, too, ventured onto the dance floor once in a while.  Joan Jett’s “I love Rock ‘n Roll” sent my wife and I into a fit of fury (happy fury if that’s possible).  People were staring, but that’s okay.

The last song of the night was Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”.  We all headed onto the dance floor and formed an impromtu circle.  By the end of the song it was made up of about forty people including the bride and groom and most of the wedding party.

My wife and I had a hotel room for the night so this is where my story ends… Boom-chicka-boom-boom!

August 28, 2006 Posted by | Friends, Humor | Leave a comment