Don’t Stop Believin’

I just had the worst day ever. My team went down in the worst way. We won 73 games this season. No team had ever won more than 72. We had come back in the conference finals from a 1-3 deficit against a team that everyone said had two of the best five players in the world. We were up in the final round 3 games to 1. No one had ever blown that big of a lead in the championship round. We had this! The champagne was on ice. But right after halftime it all fell apart. We lost. Everything went down the drain. I sat silently in despair. It didn’t get any lower than this.

 

…until we lost our baby. Again.

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How could this have happened? We had gotten past the tough part; the first trimester. We’ve endured more miscarriages than we care to relive. Each time we lost our baby in the first three months. Our son Donny was the only one to make it out of the first trimester. He was our benchmark. We knew if we could just get our fragile little baby past that point we were home free. And then we did. We had our appointment at fourteen weeks and we heard her heartbeat beating fast and strong. She was moving around and very much alive. We celebrated. We had pie. I should note here that for us, celebrating and eating pie are not the same thing. We love pie. The celebration was eating out. The pie was the normal part of the day. Banana Crème, in case anyone wanted to know. We were happy. I was happy. No, I was ecstatic. For the first time I was looking forward to this baby from the start with no worries or fears.

I’m still trying to figure out what went wrong. Maybe we got ahead of ourselves. We were starting a whole new chapter in our lives. We moved to a bigger house in the suburbs with central air –`cause we fancy now. The place even had an extra bedroom for our growing family. We moved to a real suburb where there’s no traffic and people say good morning when you pass them on the street. One of those types of neighborhoods where you feel like you don’t belong because everyone else on the block is an adult. I mean, we’re adults too but our neighbors are all adultier adults. The kind of adults that probably play tennis and pronounce GIF, “jif” like the peanut butter. Everything was going well and nothing could stop us. We announced our pregnancy to the world! The congratulatory messages and well wishes poured in. And then it all ended.

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I was numb too. How are you suppose to feel when you’re faced with the exact same disappointment you’ve felt over and over again? The feeling of numbness eventually gave way to embarrassment. How could I be so stupid as to get my hopes so high? The feeling of embarrassment soon became anger. Why is the world doing this to us again? I was mad at life. I felt betrayed by it. How could it take this baby away from me? THIS baby? I wanted her so dearly. I wanted to break something. I wanted to throw my fist through the wall until it looked as shattered as my heart felt. But I was an adult now. A father. And with age comes maturity and the knowledge that my frail aging bones could never absorb the punishment the wall promised to give back. I stood there staring at a wall that suddenly felt like it was mocking me. Saying, “Go ahead. Take a shot, punk. You’re not even close to your deductible.” I conceded. My anger turned to sorrow and I did what any reasonable adult does. I ate. Everything. I started with a few slices of watermelon and then some chips. I chased them with a handful of grapes and a few carrots. Then I slathered some hummus on a couple of stalks of celery before getting out the crackers and dipping them in this exquisite artichoke and jalapeno dip we had bought from the local farmers market. Then it was back to watermelon and more chips. The combination of salty potato chip and sweet melon was so damn good it was magical. With every bite I took I could feel all my sorrow and pain and anger come together to give me the strength to tell my wife the craziest thing I could think of,

“Let’s try one more time.”

IMG_8787She was not on board. She told me that she thought this was life’s way of telling us to stop. That we had Donny and another child simply wasn’t meant to be. I couldn’t argue with her. This was our [redacted] miscarriage. [Redacted] times now we have made plans to welcome a life into this world with no one to show for it. Too many times now a dream has come true only to end in tears and confusion. No answers, just questions about how and why this keeps happening. I’ve had to watch my wife swallow one foul pill after another in order to force her body into giving birth to nothing way too many times. How could I be so selfish as to ask her to continue to endure this? How could I sit beside her and watch her struggle again and again to come back to me as she laid recovering on a hospital bed? I couldn’t. I decided I wouldn’t ask her to do it again. She has already fought so hard and given me her most precious gift, the miracle that is our son.

My wife is a Warrior. She’s so tough and doesn’t even know it. I’m just speaking about her physically. Mentally, she can not be defeated. She may see me as her rock and the foundation of our family, but she is without the question the engine that drives us and carries us through this wild unpredictable ride we call life. She has tried so hard to give us another child and never feared the consequence of failure because she’s so damn tough. She fights for this family with every fiber of her being. That’s why it came as no surprise when a few hours later she said,

“F— this. Let’s try one more time”

That’s my girl! She may not have said, “F— this” because she’s a classy lady but that’s the way I took it. This woman can’t be beat. So try again is what we’re going to do. We’re both getting older so it’s not going to be easy. We’ll get in better shape, eat better, live healthier, and take all the professional advice we get. There are no guarantees in life and we know this could end in heartbreak again. However, it is said that fortune favors the bold; bold we shall be.

We lost our child. It sucks, but we’re ok. We’re better then ok, we are determined. Determined to not let this destroy us and determined to not let our failures define us. What will define us will be our strength and resilience in the face of everything life has in store for us. We don’t require your sympathy, what we do desire are your smiles. Be happy and hopeful for us. Happy for our present and hopeful for our future.

 

 

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“Everything depends on what is in our hearts. Heartfelt prayers will definitely be answered. If we decide that something is impossible, then, consistent with our minds thinking so, even possible things will become impossible. On the other hand, if we have confidence that we can definitely do something, we are one step closer to achieving it”

– Learning From The Gosho

 

 

 

 

Daddy Day By Day – No. 22

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Dick Soup

I went for a swim last night. It was nothing impressive. Nothing brave or manly like taking a swim in the ocean or the malaria infested L.A. river near my home. Instead I flailed and kicked and struggled my way up and down the slow lane at the gym pool for an exhausting and unimpressive 20 minutes. To reward myself for not drowning I decided to end my evening by relaxing in the communal hot tub.

I thoroughly enjoy exercising. maury copy copyAfter a hard 60 minutes of sweating on a treadmill and straining to push weights that would impress no one, I like to reward myself with a nice long steam bath. Occasionally I step into the sauna. After my swim yesterday I decided to remain in my swim trunks and unwind in the hot tub. I am a member of a new fancy gym. It’s three stories tall in the heart of downtown with all the services you can imagine. Expansive locker rooms, pool, indoor track, basketball courts, even massage rooms. In the lockeroom there is also a steam room, which I love, sauna, and whirlpool hot tub. At first I thought putting the hot tub in the locker was genius. It’s there to provide relaxation and nothing is more uncomfortable than sitting in close quarters topless with someone of the opposite sex. Hell, I even get bashful taking my shirt off around my wife after a big meal.

“Take it in babe, look at all this beautiful gut you married.”

I never anticipated that the same aspect of jacuzzi exclusivity I once thought of as genius would have a dark side. Before entering the whirlpool I always shower. Not a full soap and lather shower but enough to rinse the sweat and gym funk off my skin. It’s a shared hot tub, I’m sure the common courtesy is appreciated by my fellow gym rats. The moment I stepped into the empty spa I could feel my troubles drift away. Once I was knee-deep I could feel the stress of parenting a spirited two-year old release itself from my pores. Once I was waist deep I could feel the argument Mommy Moneybags(MM) and I had about the lack of gas in her car– drift away. Once I sat down chest deep in the steaming hot water, I could feel the constant stress of watching daily televised klan meetings masquerading as political rallies– evaporate away. Ahhh, I was relaxed. I closed my eyes. I had found my moment of zen. Then there was a disturbance. Something large and clumsy splashed about beside me. It sounded like a drunken hippo had stumbled down the stairs and splashed into the corner area across from me. When I open my eyes another gentleman was also chest deep in the water and looking right at me. He gave me a wink and smile. He seemed friendly. A little creepy but friendly. I decided to name him Buddy. I kept an eye on Buddy for a minute or two until I trusted him enough to drift back into that zen-like state. Before my eyes could fully close my tranquility was shattered. Not long after Buddy sat down he was followed by another man. I only saw him coming out the corner of my eye. I decided to take Buddy’s approach and welcome the new comer in with a wink and a smile. Hey, maybe that’s how they do things at this gym. So I turned my head with a smile from ear to ear only to be rudely greeted by a pale uncut dick! I couldn’t move. I was stuck in a state of shock. Like when you go to quench your thirst and mix up your glass of water with the glass of vodka sitting right beside it. C’mon, I can’t be the only one drinking vodka by the glass with an ice water chaser. Either way, there I was stuck watching some dude and his bare penis disappear into the same body of water I was sitting in. I was outraged! This wasn’t his personal bathtub. This wasn’t some clothing optional pool party from the 70s that could break out into free love and cocaine at any minute. This was the public spa at the YMCA damnit! I couldn’t even make eye contact with the guy. I just stared at my new friend Buddy with a smirk. One of those “can you believe this guy?” kind of looks. Buddy just kept on smiling, always the optimist. I frantically searched the many signs covering the wall looking for a “no-nudity” rule to gesture toward when a third gentlemen entered the small enclosure. He stepped over toward the coat hooks on the wall and proudly removed the towel around his waist only to reveal, yet again, nothing. As in no bathing suit. He then gleefully stepped into the now overcrowded whirlpool and sat down right beside me. I was again outraged. I felt violated. I looked angrily at the two naked men. The first seemed peaceful. He had closed his eyes and found his happy place. Just like me before I was rudely interrupted. I wondered what he was daydreaming about. Probably some Caribbean nudist resort where prudish bartenders like myself had to serve mai tais all day in uncomfortably close proximity. I peeked over at the second guy. He looked deep in thought. Probably pondering the negative consequences to his sperm count by allowing his bare balls to boil in a hot tub full of other innocent men. I looked over to Buddy, he looked back over to me and then over to the submerged staircase. He too was planning his escape. With a quick nod he stood up and made his way over. Buddy, like myself, was surely thinking, F#@% this, I’m out. I would soon follow. He gave me one last wink when he reached the stairs and began to make his ascent. I looked upon Buddy fondly. Like an ally and a friend. Someone that also saw the ridiculousness of the situation. That was until he reached the third step and his bare hairy ass was revealed to me. C’mon Buddy! Has the world gone mad!?! Not you too??? The gravity of the situation hit me like a ton of bricks. This whole time I had been in there marinating with a bunch of guys and their johnsons hanging out. It’s like we were making dick stew or something. The only thing missing was some Looney Tunes character standing over us slicing carrots and onions into the pot. OMG I was cupping some of that water in my hands and splashing it on my face!!! Needless to say, I stood up and quickly left.

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I accept that I work out at a busy  gym where people feel free to walk around the locker room in their birthday suits. It’s all good, man. Do you. I don’t turn my nose up when guys step into the sauna without rinsing off in the shower even though there is clearly a sign on the door instructing gym members to do so. I’ll even forgive the guy** that passed gas in the steam room. Maybe the gas was really cramping up his stomach. And I guess letting it out was a better option than shitting himself in front of strangers. The point is, I have no problem sharing space and facilities with other strangers so long as boundaries are respected. Call me childish, immature, call me a prude if you want, but that will be the last time I step foot into that jacuzzi without deep sea scuba gear, or at least a wet suit.

**it was me

THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – I still have body image issues. It’s something that began when I was just a teenager. I was never really fat or anything, I was just fat enough to be teased. Teased by not only my classmates but some family members. Those are the ones that hurt the most. Please, think before you speak. That sharp hurtful little joke that provided you with 5 seconds of laughter can have consequences that last a lifetime. The one you hurt could be someone you love.
  2. Random Thing – Donald Drumph is clearly going to win the republican nomination and promptly lose the general election. So what happens to all his passionate and angry supporters? They certainly aren’t going to feel any better. Scary times ahead.
  3. Sports Thing – It’s a great time to be a Oakland sports fan!

 

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the eighteenth Daddy Day By Day. This was definitely my most immature post to date. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. Talk to you soon…

Big Poopin’

I have the pleasure of fathering my child in what feels like the golden age of Parenting. There is so much advice and opinion on the internet that no obstacle seems too large. With the simple click of the mouse — I suppose I should say trackpad, what is this the 90s? — I am instantly connected with child care experts all over the world. However, every once in awhile I come across an instructional article that is such horse crap that I wish to beat the author with a bag of Donny’s dirty diapers mixed with nickels. Coincidently enough the article was in regards to potty training. Potty train your toddler in three days it said, quick-training works for many parents it said, this isn’t some new trend it said. After 1 feces filled hour I say, rubbish!

If you don’t have time to read the full article I will supply the cliff notes:

  • Remove child’s pants and diaper…for 3 entire days.
  • Fill child’s and parent’s bladder with liquids and sodium.
  • Force child to watch parents pee and poo. Yuck!
  • Do some silly song and dance when child goes in the potty
  • [Berate] child for having any accidents

Monday morning I started my day with coffee, oatmeal, and optimism. Little did I know it would end with Pine Sol and disappointment. As soon as MM(Mommy Moneybags) left for work the chonies came off. For the next 72 hours I would have to watch him like a hawk. Wherever he went my eyes followed. I stayed on his heels as he ran back and forth from our room to his. I was stuck on this kid like white on rice. Like a hotdog on a stick. Like a fly to — you get it. It was easy at first. I was confident. This was going to work out just fine. By the 4th minute my focus started to wane and my eyes began to glaze over. There’s only so much baby buttcrack a Dad can take. He went into the bathroom and sat on the potty and I sat on the toilet right across to give him guidance and encouragement. At first I was excited! This was finally going to happen. I stared at him and smiled, all teeth and raised eyebrows like some creepy clown with botox injections. I waited for the sound of success; The first drops of diaper liberation! Nothing came out. Then I waited some more until the wait turned into boredom. That’s when I made my first mistake. My mouth became dry and my palm started to itch. The shakes slowly began and I couldn’t take it anymore so I gave in to my addiction. Like Scrooge McDuck diving into his vault of gold I plunged my hand deep into my pocket and retrieved my coveted instrument of distraction. The iPhone felt cool and velvety in my hand. I can’t believe I had gone 8…maybe as much as 10 minutes without touching it. Hello old friend. With a quick swipe and a few soft touches I was quickly plunged into a dark underground community of global poker players. All of us hellbent on achieving fake riches and a false sense of glory. My focus was so great that I never noticed Donny stand up and shuffle back into our bedroom. All I knew was I was on 4th street with a strong two pair. Aces and 9s. All the online players had dropped out of the hand except for me and Suckmyballs75.  She pushed me all in with 2 spades showing on the board. It was decision time. As I weighed the risk a siren went off in my head. Don’t do it. But I needed to. She had bluffed me the previous hand and I was determined to rescue my fake chips from across the fake digital table. The siren got louder and louder until it could no longer be ignored. That’s when I turned off my phone, took a deep inhale, and uttered the F-bomb under my breath. I was familiar with that particular wailing siren and it was coming from the bedroom. I knew before I walked into the room that I had missed the boat. The only question was, how bad was it? To my horror, that boat turned out to be a gravy train. The water bottle sized poop laying on the floor stopped me in my tracks. It was light brown decorated with bits of last nights dinner on the outside like wallpaper. It had a bit of a oval shape going from left to right until I reached the end. The end of the poop was interrupted. Smashed down and slightly smeared like…uhhh…well…I got nothing. Smashed down like some idiot dude allowed his kid to step in his own poop because said dude was sitting on the toilet playing fake poker on his phone. Damn you Apple! (blame everyone but myself; Classic) I continued to assess the situation as I followed three poop shaped footprints that led me to my horrified son. He was yelling frantically trying to rid his foot of crap by rubbing it further into the hardwood floor. A screaming kid, a filthy foot, and a lump of shit on the floor. I was suddenly staring at a multifaceted disaster that needed my immediate attention. I quickly spun around and stepped toward Donny and slipped and ended up flat on my back. I banged my head a little and probably lost consciousness for a quick 1 or 2 seconds. As my eyes fluttered open I rolled over and realized I was laying there nose to poop. The gross scent of digested day old cumin and lentils filling my nostrils, my cotton tank top soaking up Donny’s urine from the floor. Did I not mention there was pee all over the floor too? Of course there was because who poops without peeing. Poop and pee are like peanut butter and jelly, Kermit and Piggy, Me and doing stupid shit that my wife has to learn about through my blog. I eventually peeled myself off our now bedroom floor sized potty. I cleaned his foot, changed my cloths, then mopped and disinfected the floor. All under the disapproving glare of my newly diapered son.

This past Monday may have traumatized me a little bit. I’m considering leaving Donny in diapers his whole life. We all grow old and end up back in them at some point, right? At 11 he could be viewed as advanced for his age. We’re going to give it another try. MM believes we have not yet taken the proper steps to prepare him for this 3 day potty training exercise. These are the steps I plan on taking this weekend:

  • Wake up before everyone else
  • Line all the flooring in plastic wrap
  • Leave flowers for MM next to a bottle of Pine Sol
  • Spend weekend at golf course while she gives it a shot

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“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

-Lao Tzu

THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – According to my Mother I was potty trained by the time I was 1. As unbelievable as that is, she now expects Donny to follow in my footsteps. How quickly she forgets how exceptional I was. And how many years I proceeded to pee in the bed after being potty trained.
  2. Random Thing – I recently switched from Old Spice to Dove deodorant. Dove deodorant is garbage. As I give Gillette a try I first must apologize to my wife and friends whom I may have offended…with my B.O.
  3. Sports Thing – WARRIORS BABY! I KNEW THIS WAS OUR YEAR! ALL HAIL THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS! CHAMPIONS OF THE NBA!

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Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the seventeenth Daddy Day By Day. I apologize for the all the feces filled imagery, I just really wanted to bring you all there with me. Thanks for continuing to read. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. Talk to you soon…

Barbershop(Black)

Let me get this out there now; I hate the barbershop.

There are two types of barbershops in this world. Black barbershops, and others. Needless to say I get my haircut at the former. The Black barbershop isn’t exactly a place of business. It’s more of a social club. To the straight-haired passer-bys on the street it may seem mysterious and highly exclusive. It’s not. If you’ve ever been curious as to what goes on in there, I’ll tell you.

“In the Black barbershop the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups. The Barbers who cut the hair and the brothas who waste their days waiting for them. This is my story [dune dune].”

Having an appointment at a Black barbershop is the most frustrating aspect of getting my haircut. Mainly because I seem to be the only one that owns a damn watch. This past Saturday I made an appointment with my barber for 9:30AM. I always try to get the first appointment of the day. Not because the blades are fresh or I know my barber won’t be fatigued, but because if I let even one person get ahead of me I’m liable to be stuck at the shop for damn near 4 hours to get a 90 minute cut. I hate being late to anything. As MM will attest I usually like to leave absurdly early for any function that has a start time. Naturally I arrived at the barbershop 30 minutes early leaving me plenty of time to finish my coffee and read an article or two out of TIME magazine. As I shut off the car engine in front of the barbershop I received a text message from my barber telling me he was running late. Which is odd because he’s ALWAYS late. This is the first time he’s contacted me to tell me so. He’s never just 10 minutes late, or 15 minutes late, he’s LAPD late. The kind of late that makes you question, “Is he even coming?”

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As I made it half way through my magazine I got the urge to get up and grab another cup a coffee. There’s a lot of things people in Los Angeles don’t do. Among them is use turn signals, or wake up before noon. The streets were practically empty. My walk down the block was peaceful and quiet with the occasional faint sound of shuffling behind me. As I walked a few blocks down to the convenience store I felt the hungry eyes of cheap beer and broken dreams upon me. The Real Hobos of Hollywood. I bought my $3 cup of coffee and paired it with a $2 bottle of water. Upon exiting the store I was greeted by a scene straight out of Thriller.

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Derelicts of all shapes and sizes practically walked me back to my car. Invigorated by the cool morning air and smell of fresh coffee I decided to be the Warren Buffet of Bum Boulevard. I was handing out money like Oprah Winfrey. You get a dollar, you get a dollar, you get a dollar, everybody is getting dollars! By the time I reached the barbershop I barely had enough cash left to pay for my cut. This appointment was getting expensive and I still had not seen my barber yet. While waiting in my car AGAIN I noticed movement inside the shop. I was so excited I practically burned my esophagus trying to down my coffee. It must have been rust flavored. A rust roast perhaps. There’s no way the coffee tasted that horrible by accident. I fed the parking meter AGAIN and gleefully stepped into the shop at 10:18. He wasn’t there. Instead it was one of the other barbers. The female stylist whose name I’ve never bothered to learn. The one who shows up on time even though she has no appointments! So now I’m sitting there in a cold quiet barbershop with some random girl walking around. Awkward. At this point in my life I accept that I look like an adult, but I’m not, I’m just playing a role. Girls still make me uncomfortable and I still think they carry cooties. Now I’m forced to breathe in all this cootie filled air because my barber can’t seem to be on time to his own postponement. At this point I’m pissed! Although, I should be used to this because every haircut I’ve ever had starts this way. Now it’s 10:24. I’ve finished reading TIME cover to cover and run out of angry faced emojis to text MM so that she too may stew in my frustration. Why I do that I don’t know. Its therapeutic I suppose. Like passing gas in the car and locking the windows before your partner can save themselves. Not that I would do something like that…I step back outside to put the magazine in my car. It’s a really nice day out. The city is starting to come alive. I’m tempted to say F it and go to the beach. Overgrown afro and all. Instead, I slowly drag myself back in and sit down. At 10:34 my haircut finally begins. 

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This story repeats itself every time. Not just with my current barber but with every barber I’ve ever seen dating back to when I was a child. Wrecking my Saturday morning seems to be a Black barber theme. A tradition. You may be asking yourself, “Well did you say something to him?” “Did you still have to tip him?” The answer to the first question is yes. I said a lot of things to him and he said a lot of things back. We argued… about sports. We talked about movies. We discussed police violence. We traded stories about our kids. We joked about each others shoes and nodded to each other when pretty women walked by. And yes, I tipped him. That is where the beauty of the Black barbershop lies. The relationship between the barber and the client. The relaxing hum of the clippers against your hair. The feeling of relaxation and swag that you walk out with. In the movie Barbershop, the character Eddie says,

“This is the barbershop! The place where a black man means something! Cornerstone of the neighborhood! Our own country club! I mean, can’t you see that? Hell, that’s the problem with your whole generation. You know, y’all… you don’t believe in nothin’. But your father, he believed in something, Calvin. He believed and understood that something as simple as a little haircut could change the way a man felt on the inside.”

I have a close friend with curly blonde hair. Needless to say he is white. He has a blonde wife, grew up in the midwest, and has a serious bacon obsession. He’s practically Captain America. When I asked him how long it took to get his haircut he told me around 45 minutes. Must be nice. But here’s the thing, I also asked Capt. America whether or not he gets the same barber all the time? What they talk about? “No, not much, but I do get a scalp massage” was his reply. My haircut experience may be expensive and a little frustrating, but it’s worth more then gold.

I hate the barbershop. Maybe I love to hate the barbershop. Or maybe I just love the Black Barbershop.

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THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – My barber is a good guy. Donny and I randomly ran into him in the street the other day. Donny had never met him before but immediately smiled and gave him a high-five. If the boy trusts him, he must be a good dude.
  2. Random Thing – When people say “You have a cute kid” do you say “thank you”? I mean, they aren’t complimenting me, they’re complimenting him. Maybe they’re complimenting my genes, which would be weird. Usually the focus is on his blue eyes. I can’t take credit for that. Next time I’ll just say, “fo sho.”
  3. Sports Thing – I am highly disappointed that the Clippers host the Spurs in the first round of the NBA playoffs. I was hoping my Golden State Warriors would have the pleasure of eliminating them both. I guess one will have to do.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the sixteenth Daddy Day By Day.  If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. Talk to you soon…

Killing In The Name Of

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Officer Darren Wilson “feared for his life” as Michael Brown ran away from his squad car following a fist fight.

Officer Darren Wilson “feared for his life” as he got out of his SUV and chased the fleeing teenager.

Officer Darren Wilson “feared for his life” as he pulled the trigger. Then pulled the trigger again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And Again.

Michael Brown didn’t have a gun. He wasn’t carrying a knife. Not even a rock. Michael Brown is dead.

The police officer will not face a trial.

Meet Joseph Houseman.

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He is openly brandishing a rifle in broad daylight on a neighborhood street. He has no ID. He is “being aggressive” as said by the police officers on the scene. Grabbing his groin and cursing at them. Houseman is never shot at. Never arrested. He will not face a trial. It is reported that he and the officers actually shook hands. Mr. Houseman is white.

Must be nice. Is it too late to trade in my America for that one?  How about another example…

I’m sure you are familiar with the story of Eric Garner. He was the man who was put in a chokehold by the NYPD for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. However, numerous eyewitnesses say he was not. In fact it is reported that he had just broken up a fight between two younger men. Garner didn’t attack anyone. He didn’t even fight back when all four of the police officers jumped on him. He didn’t pull out a gun. Or a knife. Not even a rock. All he said was, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” 11 times.  Those would be his final words.

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Meet Cliven Bundy, a rancher. He is involved in an ongoing legal dispute with the federal government over tens of thousands of dollars of unpaid grazing fees. On April 5, 2014 over 145,000 acres of federal land were closed to seize Bundy’s trespassing cattle. Land that he continually allowed his cattle to graze on without paying his fair share. In response, a group of protesters from around the country came to Bundy’s aid.  They were armed. They aimed their loaded rifles at federal agents. A few days later the federal government elects to simply give Bundy his cattle back and walk away. The only person arrested was Cliven Bundy’s son for kicking a police dog. He was given a tuna fish sandwich and released the next morning. The 20-year legal battle is still ongoing. Cliven Bundy is white.

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That’s Eric Parker from Idaho in the photo. He’s a “protester”. He is taking a defensive position while aiming a gun at federal agents. If it’s not too late, I’d like to trade in my rules, for his.

The winter of 2014 has been another grim reminder of the racial inequality that still exists in America today. A tradition as American as apple pie. The media has changed but the stories have remained same. Long gone are the disgusting days of newspapers covering the savagery of lynchings like a recap of a baseball game.

“The Negro was deprived of his ears, fingers and genital parts of his body. He pleaded pitifully for his life while the mutilation was going on…before the body was cool, it was cut to pieces, the bones crushed into small bits…the Negro’s heart was cut into several pieces, as was also his liver…small pieces of bones went for 25 cents…”-The Springfield Weekly Republican, April 28, 1899

Instead it’s now online. You can watch the public lynching with just a click of your mouse. Just as in the murder of Sam Holt described above, no one will be tried for the unnecessary death of Eric Garner. The reality that exists in this country is hard to read about, and even harder to digest. But I have even more shocking news. To all my Black friends and family members…

Things are getting better.

I know at a time like this, that is difficult to hear. I know many of you are shaking your heads. You may think I’ve lost my damn mind. You may be mad at me for saying something so blasphemous. I know we still hurt for Trayvon Martin, 17, unarmed and shot dead in “self-defense”, Jonathan Ferrell, 24, unarmed and shot 10 times by the same police he was running to for help, Oscar Grant, 22, unarmed and shot dead by a transit cop who testified he accidentally grabbed his gun when he meant to reach for his taser. We still hurt for them. But for the first time in history these stories aren’t being swept under the rug. These tragedies are being scutinized and finally addressed. For the first time in history there is a national outcry of injustice and it’s not just coming from the small black communities throughout the country. It’s coming from everyone. Young Blacks, Whites, Asians, Latinos, everyone is finally having a conversation that is long overdue. The next generation is pissed off regardless of color! We’re hearing the conversation in the streets and on social media. All across the country people are marching together to demand change. To demand a better America where the laws favor the people and not the brotherhood that enforce them. Which leads me to my white friends and family members…

Don’t just be sympathetic. Be empathetic.

Sympathy is simply an agreement. In these circumstances, an agreement in grief. For example, “It is sad the police shot 41 bullets at 22-year old unarmed Amadou Diallo over a case of mistaken identity. It sucks those officers were simply acquitted.” That’s sympathy. Sympathy is specific. It is temporary. Sympathy fades away. While nice and slightly comforting it does nothing to progress us all as people. Empathy is a shared experience. A shared attitude. For example, “Sean Bell could have been my son, my brother, my husband, my fiancée, my friend. Sean Bell could have been me. These killings need to stop now”. Sean Bell was the 23-year old husband to-be who was gunned down by police the morning of his wedding. Three detectives shot more than 50 bullets at Bell and his friends. They were unarmed. The police were acquitted. Empathy doesn’t see color, or gender, or any difference at all. Empathy is deeply internal. Empathy identifies us as one human race. It makes you realize that we are all in this together. That we all want the same things in life. We want to be happy, we want to find love, we don’t want to feel that the men and women sworn to protect us are actually our biggest threat. Empathy creates solidarity. Empathy creates change. And change is what we need. No more acceptance of the murder of Orlando Barlow, 28, unarmed and shot dead by Las Vegas police while surrendering on his knees. No longer will we ignore Aaron Campbell, 25, unarmed and shot in the back while walking backwards toward Portland police with his hands locked behind his head. Empathy is sick and tired of hearing stories like these:

John Crawford, 22 – Killed in a Walmart by police for holding a toy gun he picked up off the shelf.

Victor White III, 22 – According to the arresting officers, he shot and killed himself  while handcuffed in a squad car.

Gilbert Collar, 18 – Naked (obviously unarmed) and high on LSD, was shot 30 seconds after banging on the door of a campus police station.

Kelly Thomas, 27 – Beaten to death by three police officers. He was unarmed, shirtless, and schizophrenic.

None of the police officers in these cases ever went to jail. It’s time for us to come together as a nation and demand policy change. Do it on the street. Do it online. Show up and demand change in the voting box! America isn’t going to simply change itself.  If you’re still on the sidelines, if you aren’t a minority and think police brutality doesnt affect you, remember this; those last two victims, Gilbert Collar and Kelly Thomas, are white. It’s up to the people to build a country that truly reflects the values we preach. Freedom and justice for ALL.

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One last thing in regards to the killing of Michael Brown…

If you believe that an unarmed teenager “charged” a police officer who had  his gun drawn, “charged” a police officer that had already shot at him twice? If you have taken the time to really think about that and still believe it to be true, then it is my opinion that you are a special type of stupid. If my opinion offends you, please feel free to never visit my blog again..

This is the 12th Daddy Day By Day

Iesha

Have you ever tuned into the Discovery Channel or National Geographic and watched a crocodile hunt? They are very sneaky creatures. Their prey seldom ever see them coming. One minute you’re with the fellas sipping water by the pond, telling jokes, flirting with the ladies, the next minute you’re spinning around underwater with your head down some crocks throat. Whether Iesha had been underneath the entire time or ran over when I wasn’t paying attention remains a mystery to me. Before she practically appeared out of thin air we were all smiles. I picked Donny up and placed him on top of the slide and nervously let go. He slid slowly bouncing off the walls violently thrashing side to side and finishing his awkward tumble back to earth with a smile. Success. He demanded another ride and I obliged. The slide we were playing on was a two person slide with a plastic barrier in-between.  This time when we made it up to the top there was another child his age. A girl! She wasn’t much of a looker to be honest. Then again I met my wife unshaven and hungover trying to push through a morning shift at work. Maybe the little girl, like myself, cleaned up nice. She wasn’t much of a fashionista either. Some weird ruffled top paired with flower spotted pants. Why do we dress our kids up in such odd attire? Clothing we wouldn’t be caught dead in? Now you may be thinking, would you Daddy Donnell rock the Charlie Brown costume/shirt in public that you’ve forced onto your son? The answer is: hell no. But he can pull it off. Back to Donny and my future daughter-in-law; they made long eye contact. At least 8 seconds which is a creepy amount of time to be making eye contact with someone and not talking. Go ahead and stare at the person nearest you and count out 8 seconds in your head. The other person will probably complain. I did it to my wife,  Mommy Moneybags(MM), and she even thought something was wrong with me. My instinct was to try and give him some fatherly advice on dating and how to talk to girls. Rock solid advice like, look open and friendly, smile, be casual, try putting your hand on your hip, wear khakis. I’m really not very good at this. I decided it would be better for me to just step aside and let him work his magic. Right as he began to introduce himself he slowly began to lose his battle with gravity and went tumbling down the slide. All was not lost. She was still there. Perhaps waiting for him to come back? She even seemed to be giggling at him. He made her laugh! Smooth move my boy! I picked him up dusted him off and began to return him to the top of the slide beside her. As we reached the summit she appeared. Iesha. Like a crocodile rising out of the river. Ready to devour his game. She was a big kid and mean looking. Snarling and gashing her teeth. Even Donny’s poorly dressed friend seemed frightened. Seeing as we had just gone down the slide it seemed only fair to me that Donny stand to the side and allow the new kid to go down. That’s only fair, right? We should teach our children to share, right? So we did. And down she went laughing all the way. Seeing as there were no other children in line Donny retook his place at the top and prepared to go down. When I looked down I noticed Iesha still in his way. Not only was she still at the bottom of the slide, she was climbing up. I was faced with a choice: I could A) Send Donny down the slide like a bowling ball forcibly clearing the blonde haired pin to the ground. This option, though appealing to me, could end up causing physical harm to my own kid as well as the child of this absent parent. Or B) I could simply pick Donny up and move on. I choose C) Defiance! I did not move Donny. I made sure he blocked her way. But she keep coming up not allowing him to slide down. I politely (in my opinion) asked her to share the slide.

“Hi, don’t you think it’s time to let someone else go down the slide?”

“NO!” she yelled.

Did this CHILD just tell me “no”? I’m the adult damnit! She’s lucky I asked at all.

“Shouldn’t you be going down the slide? I think it’s someone else’s turn”

“___” She ignored me.

I frantically searched around for the 2-3 Neanderthals that conceived yet another bad creation. There was no one to be found. MM was the only other adult in sight. I could feel my blood pressure rise and decided the best thing to do was to go with option B. In fact I was so irritated by this whole exchange that I picked up my son and left the playground.

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I don’t like children. Never have. I always knew I’d eventually end up with a kid of my own but as I grew older the thought of it became more and more unattractive. I hadn’t even held a baby until I had my own. Actually that’s not true. I held my friend Hollywood’s new-born a day after he was born. Donny was due less than a month after that so it felt right. Like I was already a father. For the first time in my life I wanted to hold a baby. But now I’m forced to interact with children and I’m reminded of why I never liked them in the first place. However, I can’t simply blame the child anymore. They’ll only do what they are allowed to do. I used to work in a restaurant and one time I had to tell three young boys to stop showing their penises to two women trying to enjoy their lunch. They were eating sausage sandwiches ironically enough. Where were the parents? Sitting a few feet away more concerned with socializing with each other than paying attention to their flashing kids. After I told the parents what was happening there was no spanking, no stern talking to, no timeout. Not even a extra buck on the tip for having to see their kid’s dick! This wasn’t some rare example of parents not watching their kids. It happened all time. The nudity part was rare. Now, that I have a son of my own I beginning to realize something, I still hate kids. And by kids, I mean parents.

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THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – The phone number for poison control is 1-800-222-1222. The operators are very nice. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste™ is non-toxic. I will say no more.
  2. I don’t understand behavior timeouts. Our dog trainer told us to give our dog Domino timeouts when he behaves poorly. So far they have been completely ineffective. In fact, I think he enjoys it. He’s a bad dog. Bad dog.
  3. Sports Minute – You know what’s cool about your favorite football team being 0-9? NOT A DAMN THING!

***BONUS THING:

I just wrote a blog about parents not paying enough attention to their kids. I then followed that up with the fact that I needed the phone number for poison control. Talk about calling the kettle black.

https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/the-surprising-reason-more-kids-are-getting-hurt-at-the-102543542767.html

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the eleventh Daddy Day By Day. Please take a peek at the article posted above. Excellent food for thought and just in time for this blog post. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. Talk to you soon…