Friday, July 31, 2015

Like I Said Yesterday...

Several months ago, I received an email from a lady named Jody who lives in Alabama and who invited me to join her home owner's association "Neighborhood Circle" site.  I ignored it, thinking Jody would realize that she had sent the email to the wrong address, until I received two more requests within a week.  After that happened, I replied to Jody and explained very nicely that she was sending the emails to the wrong person--I do not, nor have I ever, nor WILL I ever, live in Alabama.  I am most definitely not a resident of her neighborhood.  Please remove me from your neighborhood email list.  She responded to my email almost immediately, apologized, and told me that she would take me off the list right away.

Two weeks later, I got an email inviting me to a neighborhood cookout.  Once again, I very nicely emailed Jody and reminded her that I was NOT whomever she thought she was emailing, and that I would like to be removed from her contacts.  She responded within five minutes or so, apologized, and told me it would be taken care of.

Last week, while we were in Hilton Head, I got an email from Jody with suggestions regarding how they should treat the neighborhood pond, which apparently has a terrible algae problem.  I replied AGAIN (for the fourth time now), still politely but a bit more emphatically and said YOU HAVE THE WRONG ADDRESS.  PLEASE REMOVE ME FROM YOUR LIST AND YOUR CONTACTS.  THANK YOU.  Very quickly she emailed back and told me she was SO sorry, it would be handled right away.


Two days ago I got the following photo and message in my inbox from Jody:

It's Cappy's Sweet Sixteen!!!!

This is a copy of my reply email:

Oh, happy Sweet 16, Cappy!  I've been working on his gift for a while, but I wanted to give it to him in person.  WHEN CAN I COME OVER???  I bought him a jaunty little felt hat that I've been embroidering to match the needlework on his suspenders that I carry in my Etsy shop.  Have you ever VISITED my Etsy shop?  It's Cat-tabulous!  It's good that he's lived this long because I am just SO SLOW at embroidery!  But that Cappy-- he's worth all the sweat and tears and time I've spent, late at night, plugging away at my birthday needlework!  Such a sweet little pussy!  He's going to look so dapper!  Are we having him a party?  What can I bring?  I make a tuna fish casserole that is just OUT OF THIS WORLD that I bet he would love!  OOH, WE SHOULD TAKE HIM AND HAVE GLAMOUR SHOTS DONE IN HIS NEW OUTFIT!  SO exciting!  I definitely want a copy of one for my living room-- maybe on a canvas?  He's just so photogenic!!!!  LOVE HIM!

Jody has not replied to me this time.  It's been over 48 hours.  

I thought we were friends.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I'm Dangerous When I'm Bored

When I'm super bored, like I am today, I get an insane amount of pleasure from fucking with people.  I tend to do this in person occasionally (more often than not with my family, but if the opportunity presents I love to mess with strangers too), here on my blog, or, more often than not, on Facebook.

I mean, seriously, what else is Facebook there for?

The people who know me in person and who have spent time with me ("real friends" versus "FB friends") can generally tell when I'm screwing with their heads.  At the very least, they know me well enough to realize after the fact that they shouldn't get too worked up about it because IT'S WHAT I DO.  IT'S PART OF MY CHARM.  If they didn't know that, we wouldn't be friends in the first place.

You see, growing up, I was always a "pleaser."  I wanted to make my parents proud.  I wanted to be accepted and admired and avoid all conflict.  Then, sometime during the Spring of 2001, I realized TO HELL WITH THAT.  I JUST WANT AN INTERESTING LIFE.  I think most people do this when they become adults.  Also, due to my social aversion, I rarely give a shit what anybody thinks about what I say or do because I DON'T WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH YOU ANYWAY so I have no problem saying COMPLETELY ridiculous things (that I often don't even believe) just to set off other people's crazy or make them wonder about my own.

It's fun.

Which is why:

1.   I like to tell my black friends that Obama is a terrible president BECAUSE HE'S BLACK (not true-- I mean, he is a terrible president, but it's not because he's black, it's because he came into a giant mess with no experience to clean it up.  And I even voted for him the FIRST time because Palin was such an idiot I sure as hell didn't want her as our VP.  It's just fun to watch them lose their minds.  Note that I ONLY do this with my FRIENDS though.  I may be an asshole, but I would never say that to a stranger.)  I also really enjoying telling everyone that I don't like Asians because they are just too damn happy (I DO say this to strangers).  THAT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE.  It also tends to confuse people and they never seem sure how to respond when I say that.  And it's even funnier because I have two Asian stepsisters.  It's also funny because my sister-in-law is extremely politically correct and it took her YEARS to not take anything I said seriously, so I'm pretty sure she hated me for the first 5 or 6 years after she married my brother.  Now we're best friends.

2.  I like to tell conservative, white, Republican men (particularly strangers, because they will believe me) that I think abortion is perfectly acceptable because I'VE HAD KIDS AND THAT SHIT ISN'T FUN TO DEAL WITH OR PAY FOR.  Do you KNOW how many people I've pissed off with my abortion banter?  A LOT.  (The ironic thing is that it's usually MEN who get so worked up about this.  I always want to laugh because REALLY?  Men shouldn't even get a say-so in that conversation.  Oooh, how many people did I just piss off with that comment?)  I've BEEN there--pregnant while on birth control and told I couldn't have kids anyway, unmarried, young, and not making much money.  Obviously, I didn't have an abortion, or Bellamy wouldn't be here.  But people never seem to put those pieces together.  PULL IT TOGETHER,  YOU STODGY OLD MEN.  YOU'LL LIVE LONGER IF YOU JUST LEARN TO IGNORE ME, BECAUSE YOU KNOW MY COMMENTS ARE NOT GOOD FOR YOUR ALREADY HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.

3.  I like to make it very clear that if you are a Pisces or a Capricorn I WILL NOT LIKE YOU BECAUSE I'M A GEMINI AND YOU ANNOY ME.  This one is fun because if I tell it to someone as soon as I meet them and say it with a totally straight face and a lot of emotion, they are always left speechless.  THEN I JUST WALK AWAY.  Mic drop.

4.  I enjoy scaring people I don't know, in totally non-scary situations.  Like, you're standing in an aisle at Target and there's someone five feet away and suddenly you jump at them and yell "Boo!"  HAVE YOU EVER TRIED THIS?  If not, you should.  One day, I will likely get my ass kicked for it so I don't do it often and when I do I try to do it to teenagers who are less likely to punch me or have a heart attack and die from the surprise.  BUT IT'S SO FUN.

5.  I like to leave completely inappropriate comments on my FB friends' statuses.  Particularly my friend E because she's a devoted mother of six, presents herself as much more normal than I suspect she really is, and has a lot of conservative and religious friends, specifically Catholic ones.  Over the years I've had one friend whose parents asked her to unfriend me because I was GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL AND SHE SHOULDN'T BE AROUND THAT INFLUENCE, at least 100 people unfriend me just because they didn't like what I said on SOMEONE ELSE'S PAGE, and I've made a lot of my family's friends who have never met me REALLY REALLY ENTHUSIASTICALLY ANGRY.  Once, I got a death threat THROUGH MY BLOG COMMENTS.  That was pretty much the highlight of my blogging career.

Lighten up, people.  Things aren't always what they seem.  And be careful if you're ever standing next to me at Target.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Insane in the Membrane

I am an Overthinker.  I overthink everything.  This is definitely to my detriment, but I realized today that it could also be to YOUR entertainment (or annoyance.  It's definitely to poor B's annoyance, since he has to live with me).  Today, just for the hell of it, I placed a blank sheet of paper and a pen on my kitchen table and every time I walked by it, I jotted down what was on the forefront of my mind at the moment.  This is what we got DURING THE FIRST TEN MINUTES.  (Note:  I quit after thirty minutes, because it was just too much.)

1.  Wow.  The kids are being really good today.  They must have sniffed out that I'm having a high-blood sugar psycho crazy day, because that can be the ONLY damn reason why Sutt hasn't asked what his "electronics time" limit is today.  And Bellamy brushed her hair and she never brushes her hair without a fight.  You know, we have really great kids.  People tell us that all the time.  But I mostly just yell at them and say things like "DON'T ACT LIKE THAT, YOU WEREN'T RAISED IN A BARN!" and "SANTA DOESN'T COME SEE ASSHOLES!" and "WHY DON'T YOU HAVE A JOB AND A HOME OF YOUR OWN YET?  YOU'RE A SMART KID!"  Now Belly is hitting puberty and next thing I know she'll probably have a stoner boyfriend and a tramp stamp she forged my signature to get.  SHIT.  THINGS CAN ONLY GO DOWNHILL FROM HERE.  CODE RED CODE RED.  And I yelled at Sutt in Kroger yesterday for fighting with his sister over cookies.  I'M A TERRIBLE MOTHER.  WHEN HE ENDS UP IN PRISON FOR MONEY LAUNDERING AND EMBEZZLEMENT (because he's really good at math) AND THEN KILLS SOMEONE WITH A SHIV MADE OUT OF A TOOTHBRUSH WHEN THEY TRY TO MAKE HIM THEIR PRISON BITCH, DATELINE WILL INTERVIEW HIM AND HE'LL BE ALL LIKE "I WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE IF MY MOM HADN'T CONVINCED ME AS A CHILD THAT I HAD BEEN BORN WITH A THIRD TESTICLE THAT HAD TO BE REMOVED" (Note-- in my defense, I made that lie up to teach him a lesson when he accused Belly of the birthmark on her stomach being a third nipple.  I feel completely justified in doing so.  BUT STILL.)  I'm screwed.

2.  I need a job.  Like, FOR REAL, YO.  This whole staying home with the kids thing off-and-on for the past decade has been great, but I am LOSING MY MIND.  I NEED TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.  I CANNOT WORK FROM HOME ANYMORE.  What the hell am I gonna do?  I'm 38 years old.  All the jobs I want to do (psychic, exotic dancer, pet therapist) are out of my reach.  MY PARENTS LIED WHEN THEY SAID I COULD BE ANYTHING I WANTED TO BE IF I ONLY PUT MY MIND TO IT.  Shit.  That means I should start telling my kids things like "Well, you can be anything you want to be within reason, taking into consideration your time constraints, beliefs, physical shape, and talents and natural abilities."  WHY DIDN'T MY DAD EVER TELL ME, "Honey, you'll never be a nun"?  It's SO APPEALING.  I mean, I really like sex, so I don't want to give that up, and I'm not really down with being married to Jesus, but IT SOUNDS LIKE SUCH A PEACEFUL LIFE AND I HATE THAT NOBODY EVER MADE ME AWARE THAT I DO, INDEED, HAVE LIMITATIONS (like be a nun, even though I'm also not Catholic).   And what if I had wanted to be a model?  I'm not tall enough or pretty enough to be a model, but MY MOM AND DAD NEVER SAID THAT.  THEY SAID I COULD DO ANYTHING.  THEY FUCKING LIED.  Shit.  Being a parent sucks.  It's hard.  I wonder if they thought it was hard.  Maybe it wasn't hard for them, maybe it's just hard for me.  SHIT SHIT SHIT.  THANKS FOR BEING BIG, FAT LIARS, MOM AND DAD, AND FOR NOT SQUASHING MY HOPES AND DREAMS WHILE I WAS STILL YOUNG AND FRAGILE ENOUGH FOR IT TO BE EFFECTIVE.  AND FOR NOT TELLING ME THAT PARENTING IS HARD AS SHIT.

3.   What in the HELL are the dogs barking at now?  Oh, geez.  It's the Indian people who live down the street out walking.  THEY GO WALKING ABOUT 20 TIMES A DAY AND THEY ARE ALWAYS WEAR FLANNEL PAJAMA PANTS AND T-SHIRTS.  What IS it with the flannel pajama pants?  It's July in Georgia. The heat index is 118.  PUT ON SOME DAMN SHORTS.  Hell, go naked.  I DON'T CARE.  Wait, I must care or I wouldn't be so upset about the flannel pants.  AM I JUDGEMENTAL?  SHIT.  I try all the time to stress to the kids that you should not be judgemental, and now I'm being judgemental.  Fuck.  But really?  Flannel?  Oh.....damnit.  Sutton sleeps in fleece pants all the time.  When he complains he's hot I tell him "TAKE OFF THE STUPID FLEECE PANTS, IT'S JULY IN GEORGIA, FOR GOODNESS SAKES" but he still wears them.  Maybe I'm not judgemental.  Maybe I'm just smarter than everybody else.  Wait-- is that judgemental?  I DON'T EVEN KNOW ANYMORE.  HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TEACH MY KIDS TO BE GOOD PEOPLE IF I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF I AM ONE?  But I'm still hung up on the pajama pants.  The Indian people seem pretty conservative, so WHY WOULD THEY WALK AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD IN THEIR PAJAMAS IN THE FIRST PLACE?  That's not a conservative thing to do.  They give me dirty looks when I go to the mailbox in workout pants and a sports bra, so what's up with the pajamas?  And why do the dogs only bark at the Indian people.  OH GOD, MY DOGS MUST BE RACIST.  Shit.  Is that my fault?  How did that happen?  I TURNED MY DOGS INTO RACISTS AM I'M NOT EVEN A RACIST MYSELF.   THERE'S NO WAY I CAN TEACH MY KIDS TO BE GOOD PEOPLE IF I ACCIDENTALLY MADE MY DOGS INTO RACISTS.  

4.  Where the FUCK am I going to get a recorder?  Sutt needs a recorder for school and I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT A RECORDER LOOKS LIKE.  And WHY does he need a recorder in the first place?  He doesn't WANT a recorder.  He doesn't even know what a recorder is (I asked).  That's a REALLY STUPID THING TO PUT ON A SCHOOL SUPPLY LIST.  The schools here are so good but they are RIDICULOUS.  I wouldn't be surprised if the supply list didn't ask you to get all your kids' shit monogrammed.  I'm a good Southern Girl who loves a monogram as much as the next lady, but DAMN, there's a limit.  DOES EVERYTHING YOU OWN REALLY NEED TO BE MONOGRAMMED?  I don't think so. And for the record, I wore a monogrammed sweater to get my third-grade school photo made back in 1985 and I NEARLY GOT BEAT UP FOR BEING SUCH A NERD.  THANKS, MOM.  THANKS FOR RUINING MY LIFE WITH A MONOGRAMMED SWEATER.  But the recorder... Sutt is going to hate the recorder and suck at playing it.  I wonder if I should go ahead and warn him that he's going to suck at playing the recorder?  Like, "SUTT, DO NOT GET YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS UP ABOUT BEING A PROFESSIONAL RECORDER PLAYER BECAUSE IT'S NOT GONNA HAPPEN.  IT JUST WON'T.  LET IT GO, BABY, LET IT GO."  I don't want him to look back at me someday and think I was a liar (besides the third ball thing...and the shrimp vaginas.....and, well, actually lots of other stuff).

5.   WHY ARE THOSE DAMN BLUEBIRDS CONSTANTLY PECKING ON OUR WINDOWS?  I have never had this problem.  Are they possessed?  Are they dangerous? Should I be afraid of them?  I've never been afraid of birds before but I kind of feel like this is an omen.  There could be a zombie apocalypse on the way or, at the very least a wildfire.  Were there any pecking bluebirds in the first season of "The Walking Dead"?  I CAN'T REMEMBER AND THIS COULD BE IMPORTANT.  If it's a wildfire, and you use your garden hose to help fight it, does the state reimburse you for all the water costs you rack up while being an amateur firefighter?  That only seems fair.  Or maybe it's the county, since I think the water is a county-wide system.  Maybe it's my Dad sending a message to say hello.  WHAT IF MY DAD IS SAYING HELLO AND I THINK I'M FIGHTING A WILDFIRE AND DEMAND COUNTY REIMBURSEMENT WHEN THE ISSUE IS ACTUALLY A PARANORMAL VISITATION INSTEAD OF A WILDFIRE?  I would probably recognize a wildfire though.  I would probably be able to figure it out if the damn birds would quit pecking on the windows and waking me up.  I'm so tired. 

I'm gonna stop here.

Can you imagine what it's like to live in my head?  B says all the time that he can't (and he doesn't want to either).  Sometimes he'll be sitting on the sofa staring off into space and I'll ask, "What are you thinking about, Honey?"  and he says, "Oh, I wasn't thinking at all.  I was just sitting here."  AND I'M PRETTY SURE HE'S TELLING THE TRUTH.  I don't know what it's like to have an empty head, mine is always racing, racing, racing.

They should really make good meds for this, but I haven't found any yet.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Photo Roulette

Today, just for fun, I've invented a new game where I am going to go into my vast photo files, and (randomly, with my eyes closed) choose 5 photos to put on my blog.  Now, seeing as how I am not good with my camera and accidentally photograph my fingers, the floor, etc on a pretty regular basis AND never delete a photo, this could be interesting.  There are also photos that B has taken, the kids have taken.....THERE COULD BE ANYTHING IN THERE.  I promise not to publish any of the wide assortment of naked selfies I take.  Well, maybe just a few of the tasteful ones if they pop up.  Or a distasteful one or two if I start drinking while I'm writing this.  Let's be honest, who knows what you're gonna get here.  READ ON!

1.  This is me.  I think I'm holding the Mimz.  I'm definitely at the Suffolk house.  And despite being very blurry, it appears that I have excellent cleavage, which makes me supportive of this photo.  It also looks like I'm talking, which is normal.  Actually, B probably took this photo because he was bored with whatever I was saying and started playing with phone.  He was probably thinking, "She's never going to shut up or hold still, but at least her boobs look good."  That doesn't happen that often because I'm pretty flat chested.  WAY TO GO ON GETTING A PICTURE OF ME WITH CLEAVAGE B!  High five, baby.

 2.  This photograph is interesting because it appears to be a selfie of Belly.  As Batman.  I have never seen this photo before, and when I look at the details it appears to have come off of HER camera, when she was about six.  WHICH IS AWESOME.  When I clicked on it and saw it I started laughing so hard I choked on my water.  I need to print a copy of this for her because WHO DOESN'T WANT A BATMAN SELFIE OF THEMSELVES?  It kind of makes me want to go find Sutt's old Batman mask and take one of myself, then put them in a double frame.  Mother/Daughter Batman selfies?  LOOK OUT, PINTEREST, HERE WE COME!  Who wouldn't want THAT hanging over their fireplace?
 3.I love this photo, although I don't remember it.  Shawna probably took it, because it's at her and Zach's house.  There are a couple of great points here-- 1) We don't allow Sutt to have soda, and he's chugging a Sprite.  2)  Neither of them is playing video games, but Zach is totally absorbed in the tv, which means they are probably watching something COMPLETELY kid inappropriate like "The Walking Dead."  3)  Mimi is passed out snuggled against her Uncle Zach.  She's probably drunk.  We liked to give her wine on vacation.  Anyway, the point is that when Sutt and Uncle Zach have "man time," all the rules go out the window, which is EXACTLY what makes me happiest about it.  SO my kid is now obsessed with zombies and has a few cavities?  SO WHAT?  Uncle Zach time makes him so happy that it's worth it.

4.  SO this was that time that B and I went out for Mexican food, had too much tequila, and invited that chick in the background (whose name I can't remember) back to our house for a really hot, dirty threesome.


I literally have no idea what's going on here.  I don't know that girl in the background.  I don't recognize that restaurant.  B looks tanked and is wearing a I'm guessing it's a typical Tuesday at some point in the past ten years.  I'm pretty sure I was no part of this (threesome or otherwise) so I'm just going to let this one go.

5.   OH SHIT!  THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PHOTOS EVER!  I've been looking for this thing, because I couldn't remember what year it was from, so I'm super stoked that it appeared.  THIS IS THE BIRTHDAY CAKE I MADE MY FATHER-IN-LAW A FEW YEARS AGO.  Is he a Star Wars fan?  No.  Did he ask for a 4-tiered, lopsided cake with black frosting and silver spray-sprinkles?  Hell, no.  I came up with this shit on my own.  THAT'S JUST HOW FUCKING AMAZING I AM.  This is what cemented my future as the MCPHAIL BIRTHDAY CAKE MAKER FOR ALL ETERNITY.  Since then, I've made a "Moses Parts The Red Sea Cake," a "Shark Attack Cake," a "Blazing Sparkler-Horned Unicorn Rainbow Cake" (that one almost burned the house down).  It's always my own idea and my own creation.  And in this head of mine, the possibilities are ENDLESS (just ask my poor family).

This was fun.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Daddy's Girl

I'm struggling a little more than usual today missing my Dad.  You would think after six years, six months, and eight days, this wouldn't happen, but it does and I'm inclined to think it will probably never totally stop.  These days come less frequently now than they used to, but I don't think I'll ever be totally free of days that are just HARD because he's gone.  I can't call him and freak out when things get overwhelming and hear him promise me that everything is going to be okay.  I can't sit next to him on the sofa and just feel better because he's there and he makes me feel safe.  I can't hang out on a stool in his workshop and talk about any and everything while he works on his latest project.  I miss those things.  A lot.

I don't really like to put my real feelings out there a lot, but today I'm blogging about it because I'm hoping if I spit it out, I'll feel better.  I also know I have a couple of friends who are struggling the same way I am right now, and maybe they'll read this and maybe they'll feel better.  Solidarity, sistahs.  It sucks.  I understand.

I decided to compile a list of things that have happened lately that I wish I could share with my Daddy.  Things that would make him happy.  Things that would make him proud.  Dad always did love a good list (at least we know where I get it from).

1.  We recently bought a desk for Bellamy's bedroom, and then realized that it would benefit Sutt to have one too for homework or Legos or whatever.  I talked to him about what kind he would like and his response was that he wanted Blaker to BUILD him one, not buy him one.  Of course B was stoked (although he's rather slow at it due to his penchant for perfectionism, B loves him some good carpentry and woodworking time).  His one caveat was that Sutt had to HELP him build it, which Sutt was thrilled to do, so they headed off to Home Depot and spent the weekend measuring, constructing, sanding, and painting.  This is the finished product.

My Dad could literally build ANYTHING, so the fact that Sutt is learning to build things too would make my Dad super happy.  One of the biggest heartbreaks for me in not having my Dad is that my kids lost out on the opportunity to learn all the things he looked forward to teaching them-- how to fish, how to camp, how to build and plant and just DO things.  My Dad could do anything.

2.  The last time my Daddy saw Belly, she was 5.  She still had baby fat, had never lost a tooth, and and was obsessed with princesses.  Now she's long and lean and nearly as tall as I am, STILL hasn't lost enough teeth (at least not enough to get braces yet, but at least she's lost some), and is obsessed with Percy Jackson and unicorns.  I don't even know if he would recognize her.  I don't know if he would recognize EITHER of them (although Sutt looks like him, so that might help).  I mean, check this out--this was what they looked like when my Dad died, and what they look like now:

How does that even HAPPEN?  HOW?
All these years later, Belly can't pronounce the words "aluminum" or "innocent" to save her life.  Sutt gets angry when he watches House Hunters Beachfront Bargain Hunt (which he loves) because they show "coming up" teasers before the commercials and he says "it spoils what's going to happen because it takes the surprise away!"  My kids are SO DAMN WEIRD.  Coming from B and I that's probably to be expected, but STILL.  I LOVE their weirdness.  My Dad was kind of weird too, and he would have reveled in their quirks and their individuality.  I wish I could say "Dad, LOOK HOW AWESOMELY WEIRD THEY ARE!" and hear his response.  It would be priceless.

3.  My Dad always loved B.  They got along really well and had a lot of the same interests, even if they were nothing alike.  Dad thought B was brilliant (he is) and respected and admired him for being such a good husband and Dad, and I wish Dad could see how B has only gotten better over the years.  How he adores and spends time with his kids, how he always puts me first.  How hard he works and how far he's come in his career and just in his own maturity.  We are so lucky to have him, and Dad knew that already, but I still wish he could see how we are as a family, six more years down the road.

4.  Dad has a granddaughter now that he never got to meet, never knew was coming.  A WHOLE NEW PERSON!  How amazing is that?  A beautiful, hilarious granddaughter who has white-blond hair and jet-black eyelashes and can give the meanest death-stares I've ever seen.  Mia inherited my brother's ability to give zero fucks about shit that doesn't matter, and she inherited her Mommy's awesomeness.  She has Belly's fashion sense, and Sutt's love of playing rough.  Although she looks a lot like both Zach and Shawna, I like to think she looks a little like me too.  Here's me and my Dad when I was little:

This is Zach and Mia:
Dad loved his girls.  Mia would make him so very happy.  And SO very proud.  As would my brother and Shawna, who are amazing parents and who have grown and changed so much since Dad died.

5.  And most importantly of all (obviously)-- I REALLY WISH MY DAD COULD HAVE WATCHED "BREAKING BAD."  I realize this doesn't necessary fit with the sappy stuff I wrote above, but DAMN IT, Dad would have LOVED that show.  Walter White reminded me of my Dad in so many ways (so much that the show was often hard to watch) and my sweet, rule-following, do-no-harm Dad would have loved living vicariously through Walter White.  I think it's a travesty that it wasn't created until after Dad was already gone.  Damn you, Breaking Bad creators, for not getting your shit together in 2003 or 2004, so that Dad could have watched the series.  You probably missed out on your biggest fan.

So there.  That's all I got in me.  Dad, I hope you're listening somewhere, looking somewhere.  I hope this isn't all lost on you.  I wish you weren't lost on us.  I miss you.