Archive for May, 2012

When it comes to shopping, I waste little time. I get in a store and I’m out in a matter of minutes. I don’t look around at stuff because I know what I went in to buy; I rarely stray from my list because I’m probably on a limited budget. When it comes to exploring my options, my only thought is, “Which one is the cheapest?” I find it and then I’m gone. I can go inside Wal-Mart and do my grocery shopping in fifteen minutes max, because there are only five food groups–beef, chicken, pork, cooking grease, and sides. When I went to buy my first car, I went over to a car because it was black (one of my favorite colors) and said, “This is the one.” The person I went with said, “It’s a stick shift….” so I walked over to the car next to it and because it was white (my other favorite color) I said, “Well, this one then.” I was driving off the lot within thirty minutes–no car fox inquiring about a carfax–and let me tell you something: that car lasted me for some years…that is, until TitleMax got it’s grubby little hands on it. Oh, well. My first apartment, didn’t see what it looked like until the day I moved in. “Oh, this is nice!” I said as I carried my stuff into the place. When it comes to shopping, no matter what it is, I don’t waste time with indecision.

Then there’s my girlfriend….

I love going out and about with my girlfriend, but when it comes to shopping we are the exact opposites and it drives me mad. We go to Wal-Mart and grocery shop for about an hour when she’s at the helm. Why?! We get the exact same thing every time we go, so why are we in there so long? There are only five food groups! She walks around and discusses every item she wants to buy, then she looks around for something different. And we still walk out of there with the same stuff we buy every other week. Once she decides that we’re done, we go to the front of the store. “What line should we get in?” she asks. I reply, “It doesn’t matter! They’re all long (because it’s Wal-Mart) so just get in one before they get longer!” I don’t mean to get testy, but I hate being in Wal-Mart too long. There’s always a bunch of people milling about, not to mention, you got guys who can’t keep their eyes on their shopping or their own woman. So I’m walking around there claustrophobic and ready to fight the next guy who has the lingering eye.

And don’t get me started on clothing and shoe shopping. She walks around the store for the longest, debating on what she should get. I’m like, “What’s your favorite color? Get something in that color and let’s go!” Oh! And online shopping is the worst. “Come look at this,” she says. I walk over, “Oh that’s nice,” I say, then one minute later she’s saying, “Come look at this.” I let out a frustrated sigh, walk over to see what she’s talking about, then say, “That’s similar to the one you just showed me.” “No it’s not,” she replies, then she goes on to tell me why it’s different. And I’m like, Whatever man, leave me alone, but I never say that because I’m not an idiot. So I say, “Oh, that’s nice.” Then one minute later, she asks me to come and look at something else and I ask, “Are you gonna buy anything from there?” She replies, “No, but I can look.” And I comeback with, “If you’re not gonna buy anything then you don’t need my opinion.”

Here’s my last gripe and I’m finished, I promise. When we go to a fast-food place, she has to look at the menu before she makes up her mind. “If you needed a moment, we should’ve went inside,” I tell her. “I don’t like going inside,” she tells me while looking at the menu intently. I sigh and reply, “Well, the drive thru is for people who know what they want.” We go to these places all the time, she should know what she wants. I get the same thing no matter where I go so I don’t need to think when I pull up in the drive thru. It’s a number three with no onions at McDonalds, a number eleven with no sauce at Burger King, tender strips at KFC, chicken sandwich (no mayo) at Krystal’s, a number four–double–with no mayo at Wendy’s…we’ve been doing this for years, she should have it memorized like I do.

Sigh. When it comes to shopping, I waste little time. Then there’s my girlfriend….

Here’s a little something different to shake things up a bit.

It’s been a while since my last blog post, but they say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Later on, I’ll check my blog’s visitation stats and let you know if that’s true or not. Anyway, I try not to blog unless there’s something that I just have to get off my chest; hence, The Ravings of a Madman. Well, there’s something that’s been bothering me.

Shardae and I were watching The Dream House a couple of nights ago, and it turned out to be a good movie despite my initial feelings about the film. So I was feeling pretty good about the movie until the ending came. The scene goes dark, transitioning to another scene, then you see the main character wearing nice clothing. “Don’t do it,” I told the television. “Don’t tell me he wrote a book and–” Before I could finish my statement, the main character strolls in front of a bookstore. In the window is a huge poster with his face on it, and below the poster are a great number of books–his newly released novel. “Really?” I exclaimed. “He writes a book and just like that everything’s better! They just throwing money at him, huh?”

“Shut up,” Shardae said playfully.

I ranted a bit more, but then I stopped. One of the reasons I have a blog is so I can have an attentive ear. Her mind drifts when I talk and my mind drifts when she talks. She continues to talk despite my inattentiveness, I don’t like to talk to people who aren’t listening. Therefore, I have a blog. You’ll listen, won’t you? Good.

So, this is what bothers me. How come a person in a book or movie decides that he/she wants to write a book, they write said book, then they’re suddenly doing better financially? That’s a bunch of bull…a bunch of bull crap. The guy in The Dream House was a homeless man without a computer and all of a sudden he gets a book deal?! I call bull crap! False advertisement! And The Dream House isn’t the only movie or book that portrays the life of a writer in that light; a lot of entertainment venues do that. You know who doesn’t sugar coat it? The Braxton Family Values, and that’s only because it’s a reality show. The guy on that show, Andre, lost his wife and pride because he was chasing his writing career. Seventy percent of the time, that’s what being a writer is about. It’s about your significant other complaining because you don’t make enough money. It’s about rejection after rejection from one literary venue or another. It’s about your accomplishments meaning nothing when you do achieve them. Because of media’s false advertisements, I jumped into this writing thing head first and had a rude awakening. I’m sure there are some who write a book and everything has a fairytale ending, but that’s not the standard–believe you me.

I wrote a book (which sucked, by the way) and went to a publisher. Found out that you have to have a literary agent. I went to a literary agent and after being rejected, or ignored, I discovered that it’s best to have a reputation before you can get a literary agent–or in my case, let someone else tell you that your work is terrible. Turns out, I wasn’t a bad writer, I just didn’t know what I was doing. I learned the trade and eventually got my first acceptance with a small press. Still can’t get a literary agent, by the way. No literary agent, no big publishing house. Went on to get numerous stories published, a novel published with two more on the way, and I just won a writing contest (makes a query letter look better). I have a website and a blog site to promote myself. That should be enough to attract a literary agent, but I wouldn’t know. Sold all my manuscripts (sacrificed is more like it), which means I have to write more–no easy task when you have an infant to look after. THIS is the life of a writer. Thought about going on Jersey Shore so I could get a book deal like Snooki; apparently, that’s the only way to do it…unless you want to make a sex tape with someone famous. Isn’t that right, Kim? My point is, if being a New York Time’s bestseller is this difficult (or that easy, depending on your feelings about being filmed during sexual intercourse), how does a homeless man with no computer make it? Made me angry.

 

The Ravings of a Madman

This is Mother’s Day weekend and I would like to say Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. And I want to say a special “Happy Mother’s Day” to my mother, Malena Newsome, and the mother of my child, Shardae Fair. Now back to my original thought. What was it? Oh, yeah! Women that have children and actually have a hand in raising those children (because not every parent raise their kids) are some of the strongest people on Earth–Conan the Barbarian strong. Now that I am a father, I have a new respect for mothers, single parent mothers especially. I don’t know how some of these women manage to raise children all on their own. And just think, my mother raised three troublesome boys without abusing us. I don’t know how she did it. I wouldn’t like to do this parenting thing without Shardae leading the charge. If you don’t already know, I have a little boy who is three-months-old now. And ever since the missus has gone back to work, I’ve been taking care of little Benjamin. I must admit–and at home dads, feel free to agree–being Mr. Mom is pure torture. An annex of Hell, it is. Now don’t get me wrong. My little one is a ray of sunshine and I love him more than life itself; however, there are times…sigh…there are times when I just feel like pulling my low-cut hair out. If you have an infant, you should know what I’m talking about. When Benjamin refuses to take a nap so I can work, I hate that. When he cries just to hear his own voice, I hate that. Of course, the two of us have our good times, but most of the day we’re just waiting for Shardae to get home.

“Momma’s home!” I yell while running to the door to greet her with baby extended.

I’m probably happier that she’s home than Benjamin is; although, I caught him staring at the bedside clock, waiting on his mother to get home last night. Yeah, he’s only three months, but he seems to have his mother’s schedule down already.

Nope, I wouldn’t want to do this parenting thing on my own. I’m sure I could, but I definitely don’t want to. How does that song go? “It takes two to make a thing go right.” That’s how I feel about raising a child. You need someone that can give you a break from the responsibility of taking care of a helpless human being. And the home life is not the only thing that makes being Mr. Mom an unfavorable task. Going out in public sucks just as well. Have you ever been responsible for taking a kid out in public? When we go out, I’m lugging that bulky car seat around–a car seat that contains a twelve pound baby. I’m the one that has to make sure he doesn’t throw a tantrum while we’re out. And I’m the one in the backseat changing the baby’s diaper, praying that he doesn’t decide to pee in my face. Being peed on would surely ruin an outing. One time, when we were in Wal-Mart, I found myself wondering, Isn’t caring for the child the woman’s job? It bothered me until I realized that I was not alone. When we’re out, I notice a lot of fathers are responsible for caring for the baby. Fathers are pushing shopping carts with the baby atop. Fathers are carrying babies in those little chest contraptions. I love those chest thingies, but Benjamin hates it. He screams bloody murder every time I try to put him in the one we have. The boy is no fun I tell ya. Anyway, I see a lot of fathers caring for the baby when we’re out and I realized that taking an infant out in public is a strenuous job better reserve for big, burly men. And get this. Shardae is going out to do a bit of last minute Mother’s Day shopping with her sister and mother–and she’s taking the baby. She has never had to be responsible for Benjamin when we were out and she has no idea what she’s getting into. No idea whatsoever. Sucker!

You know, when I was getting ready to have a child, I imagined parenthood as being one big Hallmark moment. I was going to shoot hoops with my son and teach him how to ride a bike. He would smile at me all the time, I would clap and cheer as he first learned to walk. And although I still dream of doing these things, I can’t overlook this gigantic hurtle known as the infant stage. No one told me that he would cry for his momma no matter how well I treated him. No one told me that he pees his diaper every five minutes and booboo will come right through the diaper, onto my clothes. Shardae has never been crapped on, but I’m had baby feces on many pairs of pants. Crap has even managed to get all over my shirts. It’s disgusting! And we don’t have a washer and dryer.

I love being a parent, don’t get me wrong, but I hate the Mr. Mom stage. I can’t wait until the time comes for me to play my role as a father, to do my job in molding my son to become a stellar young man. That time seems to be a long way off, however. People are always saying, “They grow so fast. Enjoy these moments.” Well, they don’t grow fast enough and you enjoy these moments. I’ll take the talking and walking child any day.

To all of you mothers out there (especially my own two), I want to say Happy Mother’s Day. This world wouldn’t keep spinning without you.

Technically, I didn’t make a film. I made a fifty second advertisement (extremely low budget, might I add), and what little I did would still be listed under my graphic design skill sets. Yeah, I took a flash animation class when I was going to school to be a graphic designer–a.k.a. visual communications–and I was terrible at it. I did just enough to pass the class, but apparently that doesn’t matter. One of the problems with pursuing a degree in graphic design is that there are so many affordable softwares out there now, allowing everyone to do their own stuff instead of paying a buttload for a graphic designer. Of course, work from a professional/talented graphic designer is of a lot better quality than what someone who has not been trained can do, but who cares. I sure didn’t care when I created my poorly developed commercial. I am extremely stoked with what I did with software that came preprogrammed on my computer. **Blissful sigh** Computers can do so many things, and I feel kind of bad that I never knew my computer had film making capabilities after owning it for five years. I remember getting upset at my mother when she first purchased her laptop a couple of years ago. All the woman did was go to Facebook and play Farmville. She never did anything else with the computer, and I would always tell her, “That laptop can do so much more!” Needless to say, my mother never explored the other capabilities of her laptop; and although I use my computer for more than playing games online, I discovered that I have not been using my PC to its full potential, either.

So when did I discover that my computer had Microsoft Movie Maker? A couple of days ago, a friend of mine told me that he wouldn’t mind showcasing my booktrailer on his website, and I thought to myself, I don’t have a book trailer. Why am I expected to have a booktrailer? Well, as soon as I admitted to my friend that I didn’t have a trailer, I went and started to get one together. I didn’t have the software to get a trailer going, but I figured I could find some bootleg way to create one. While I was going about my bootleg way, I discovered that my computer did indeed have film making software. Who knew? So late last night and early this morning (because the only time I can work is when the missus is home–my three-month-old is needy), I got to work on my film. It wasn’t long before I was excited about what I had, but the thing lacked sound. And if you think it is lame with the sound, you should have seen it before I tweaked it. So I search for sounds on Google and I came across this website, Partners in Rhyme (the link should be around here somewhere) and I discovered the sounds I needed for my film. They had some sounds that were free and some that you can buy–I partook of both–and my flash film was born.

Now that I made a short story long, you can go on over to Youtube and check out my film by clicking on the following link (I would’ve posted it here, but I’m not paying for extra space):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjwRQPnK9aU

My girlfriend’s three month maternity leave came to an end this past Monday, so now me and the little one are all alone for seven hours a day. The ability to raise my child around the clock is one of the benefits to being an at home writer. We don’t have to worry about someone else mistreating our child, doing things that we wouldn’t do, or not doing things that we would do. Well, I was very apprehensive about being all alone with Benjamin and not having his mother around for when he threw one of his fits. And I wasn’t the only one who was worried about me being alone with the kid. My girlfriend was also worried. Benjamin and I don’t always get along, and there are times when he prefers his mother. Him showing favoritism towards his mother doesn’t really bother me, because there are times when I prefer that he prefers his mother. However, I dread the times when Benjamin prefers his mother and she’s not there. The child can really be a handful at those times.

Well, yesterday was me and Benjamin’s first day together and things went smoother than I could have imagined. He cried very little, and when he did cry I was able to calm him down right away. The rest of the day he was asleep and I even got to do some writing. My writer’s block has apparently left the building…the same day my girlfriend went back to work. Could it be a coincidence? I won’t touch that topic (just in case she chooses this blog post to be the first piece of my writing that she reads), but yesterday was a good day for writing. I even washed dishes, cooked dinner, and did a bit of arts and crafts. That was the first day.

Today started out smoothly enough. I fed him, I let him see his mother off (because he usually behaves when he sees for himself that she’s not in the house), and when he got fussy I put him to bed. Everything was good until he awoke from his nap earlier than he should have. Right away, Benjamin went to crying. No problem. I changed his diaper and that should have been the end of that. It wasn’t time for him to eat so he should have been good, but Benjamin kept crying. His mother usually rocks him and walks around with him so I decided to try that. It worked for a little while and I was feeling good about myself, but then Benjamin resumed his crying which escalated to screaming.

“Maybe you’re hungry,” I said.

He wasn’t scheduled to eat yet, but I tried to feed him anyway. Benjamin took one sip then pushed it away as if I followed the recipe wrong and the dish was horrible. It’s Similac! There’s only two steps to making Similac–fill bottle with water then add two scoops of the powdery crap. I was getting angry by that point, but I told myself, Calm down. Shardae wouldn’t want me and Benjamin fighting and there has to be a simple solution. After I “woo-sawed”, I resumed rocking the baby. He screamed bloody murder.

Maybe he’s tired.

I put the baby down and stroked his hair so he could sleep.

He screamed louder.

I lifted him up and tried to burp him. Maybe he was gassy. No such luck. “That’s enough of this!” I told Benjamin after I had had enough. “I tried to do it your momma’s sissy way, but this ain’t working.” I laid Benjamin down and I firmly said, “Shut your mouth! Now!”

Lo and behold! Benjamin stopped screaming immediately and he looked at me. I couldn’t have gotten a better result if I put ‘In the name of Jesus’ in front of my declaration.

“Time for you to sleep,” I said just as firmly as I had when telling him to shut it.

Benjamin whimpered, signaling that he was about to start up again.

“No!” I said.

He stopped, stared at me, then started whimpering again.

“No!”

Eventually he got the idea and placed his hands over his eyes. That’s his signal for, “I’m sleepy now.” I stroked his hair until he fell asleep (I’m stern but I have my gentle side), and I had three more hours of peace and quiet.

In the beginning I was apprehensive about being alone with Benjamin, but not so much now. Yeah, I’m okay until the day comes when I try to be firm with Benjamin and he calls my bluff. It’s never pretty when he calls bullcrap on me putting my foot down. All I can do then is pray that his mother hurries up and gets home.