Tag Archives: Aneurysm

The Luckiest Unluckiest Day Ever

It wasn’t until later that I realized he was born on Friday the 13th.

Unluckiest of unlucky days in Western culture, Friday the 13th is a triskaidekaphobics worst nightmare. It rarely comes about, but when it does, it’s usually wielding a machete and wearing a hockey goalie mask.

But not this month. On June 13, Casa de Dude celebrates! We kick up our heels and dance and sing (although not as much these days for reasons that should become apparent in only a few moments) and just generally enjoy life because June 13, this year falling on a Friday, is the day our family became complete.

Friday the 13th of June is Hyper Lad’s birthday. This is the year he’s turning 15, which means he’s already got his grubby little paws held out and ready to take the car keys and go for a little spin. The fact that he has no learner’s permit because his driver education teacher still hasn’t gotten around to him yet. . . Well, that means little.

He’s fifteen. He’s ready to drive. At least in his mind.

I say our family became complete because Hyper Lad is the youngest of our three young dudes. He’s six years younger than our oldest and five years younger than our middle son. In fact, we weren’t supposed to have Hyper Lad at all.

My wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Getting Her Way, and I thought we were finished procreating (although not practicing) after Zippy the Travelin’ Boy. Eventually, though, she began to yearn for another female in the house. Once she said that, it became apparent that I really needed a daughter as well since I look darn good on the dance floor wearing a tux at a wedding.

Instead, we got lucky and didn’t get our wish. Instead of a girl, we got a Hyper Lad and we couldn’t be happier.

Our oldest son, Sarcasmo, had to suffer through first-child paranoia as his mom and I freaked out about anything and everything related to our darling. Our middle son, Zippy the Travelin’ Boy, stayed sheltered in the harbor of our good graces and had vigilant parents every on guard. Relaxed, but on guard.

By the time Hyper Lad came along, we were pretty much okay with him doing just about anything short of juggling the razor-sharp blades we kept in the open, unlocked drawers in the kitchen. And even that, provided he had a good reason for it.

Having older brothers, Hyper Lad has benefited from being around (slightly) more mature age cohorts for most of his life. He’s probably more emotionally mature at 15 than his brothers were when they were his age.

Since he was smaller than everyone around whom he wanted to hang, he had to develop a quick left and an even quicker wit to survive. And he has.

His teachers see the same things that we do: one of the sharpest minds, with one of the most wicked senses of humor to have come around in a long while. He’ll frequently make an offhand joke about current affairs we happen to be discussing that’s amazingly quick, amazingly on-target and blisteringly funny.

His mom and I will just turn and look at each other — once the laughter finally dies down — and trade astonished gazes.

While Hyper Lad lives up to his name (and his blog name here), he’s not constantly rushing around and ignoring everyone else. The young dude is consistently polite (to non-dad people) in almost every situation and looks for ways to help everyone he can.

Not to say he’s perfect, of course. I mean, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve come thiiiiiiisssssss close to popping an aneurysm in my brain from the crap he will drop — literally drop — wherever it is he happens to be done with it. If that means he’s finished with a band-aid wrapper six inches from a trashcan. . . Then he drops the wrapper to the floor six inches from the trashcan.

And, being a teenager, he’s now discovered the joys of sleeping in until the sun warms up. . . say, sometime around 3 pm.

So, yeah, he’s got a lot of things to work on. But, here’s the deal about that: We’re just so glad we get a chance to watch as he does. It’s going to be an interesting experience.

Here’s to you, Hyper Lad! Have a happy birthday and know we love you. And we dearly want to live through you learning to drive, so please work on that.

 

We also take a moment to remember Hyper Lad’s Great Grandmother, my Grandmother, Irene Jones. A wonderful woman, my grandmother died three years ago. She and Hyper Lad were both born on June 13 and called each other Birthday Buddies. So here’s to you as well, Mama. You’re missed and loved.

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Memorial Day 2014

Take a moment to remember.

Here in America, today is set aside to remember and honor those who gave their lives in the service of this country.

As far as I know, Memorial Day is supposed to be reserved for those who died while in the armed forces, but I like to think that it includes all those who were working to make our country a better place.

Yes, it’s a broad definition, but I like it. Mostly because it means that killing people isn’t the only definition of greatness.

While you dudes are out at the cookout, or enjoying the warmth of late spring/early summer or doing whatever it is you’re doing instead of being at work, do take a little time to remember those who went before.

Talk to your little dudes about why they’re out of school.

You might also want to consider how you can honor the lives that have gone toward making our country a better place to live. Carrying on that sort of work sounds like the best way to me.

Make our country a better place for all its citizens*. Restore its justification to act as a moral beacon to the world.

Today isn’t only about getting a day off work or a day out of school.

Remember. Act. Improve.

Footnotes & Errata

* You have no idea how tempted I was to insert a blatantly political paragraph/rant here. I think I might have given myself an aneurysm from stopping my fingers. Ow.

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Disney Doesn’t Depress

I didn’t want to scoop out my brains and bash them on a rock, leaving my brainless body to wander the parks, forever staring blank-eyed and hungry at the exits, forever doomed to wander .

Admittedly, that isn’t perhaps as rousing an endorsement as you dudes have ever heard, but it is several magnitudes better than I had ever expected to hear myself talk about visiting Walt Disney World again.

See, I used to live in Florida with the young dudes and my wife, known to one and all as She Who Must Be Getting Back To Mouschwitz Again And Again And Again. . ., and that meant we had a residents’ pass every single year that we had kids. And, to make the pass pay for itself, we had to go to the House of Pain Mouse at least three times a year.

By the end of our time in Florida, I couldn’t contemplate one more visit to the Magic Kingdom without also contemplating where I wanted my body found and who I was going to take with me.

I realize that I’m going against the grain here, but there were some parts of the entire Disney experience that just rubbed me the absolute wrong way. The corporate-enforced cheerfulness on display everywhere. The constant way that the parks pushed both Mickey Mouse and his iconic symbol. The relentless manner in which Disney World did everything possible to separate you from your money, often in the most blatant manner possible; the worst of which was making sure your little dudes and dudettes wanted the latest cool thing the park was pushing.

The concrete covering every single part of the Magic Kingdom would reflect and concentrate the relentless Florida summer sunshine, mix with the famous Central Florida humidity and make every second out of air conditioning a minor torment. Couple that with the long lines for any attraction or ride worth seeing and you’ve got a recipe for instant whining. And the young dudes were whining a bit as well.

To say I had a bit of an antipathy toward Mouschwitz would be an understatement. Still, I managed to stuff down my true feelings, plaster a reasonable facsimile of a smile onto my mug and give the little dudes a good time. Of course, my aneurysm grew several times each day, but it was worth it. I guess.

Then the youngest little dude, Hyper Lad, told us he didn’t even remember going. I’d have told him to count his blessings and then moved on to the next conversational gambit, but that doesn’t cut it around She Who Must Be Having A Secret Affair With Goofy.

And so we were off to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, where a number of surprises awaited me.

But more on that tomorrow.

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