Good Morning, Afternoon, Evening or night, everyone. Happy Thanksgiving Day minus two or, depending on your age and perspective, the Biggest Party Night of the Year minus one. I remember when the latter actually meant something to me. Nowadays? I have become a certified and bona fide, card carrying Sh*thead and will be spending tomorrow evening at home with my two daughters and our two cats. My wife is working until 10 PM and by the time she gets home, I will likely be three quarters of the way through a two liter of Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper. I know: Quite a crazy night I’m planning for myself, my three year old and my six month old, aye? Maybe we’ll even watch “Tangled” for the umpteenth time and eat some popcorn. Cue the dancing girls and the pulsating but outdated, Techno soundtrack. Who doesn’t love Moby in 2012?
Okay, then. Apparently, no one even knows who the f*ck Moby is in 2012 so I’ll just skip right over that reference and move on. What, exactly, is a Sh*thead and why am I referring to myself as one? The Urban Dictionary defines “Sh*thead” as, among other things, “a narrow minded or ignorant waste of food, water, and air who usually is impolite to those with seniority and/or is sovereign; smacktard; bigot.” While that is an… intriguing definition it is not and has never been my understanding of what a Sh*thead is, nor is it what I’m referring to when I call myself or anyone for that matter a Sh*thead. So please, don’t call me a bigot if I refer to you as a Sh*thead. I’m not calling you a smacktard. What the hell am I calling you, then?
Okay. Back in 1999 I wrote a piece of what I then called “Mental Flatulence” and now call a blog entry entitled “V-D Day: An Observation.” In essence, all “V-D Day” was was me, rambling on for five single spaced, typed pages about how much I hated Valentines Day. In it, I stated that “the world is full of Sh*theads” and proceeded to categorize the many variations of Sh*thead that I had observed inhabiting my personal space on this side of the proverbial wormhole of existence. ‘Cause really, guys? If you’re going to make a statement like “the world if full of Sh*theads” and call everyone from the girl working in the cubicle next to you to the members of your family one you’d better be able to back it up with an explanation.
And I was. At the time, a Sh*thead was anyone other than me and my closest friends. There were monkey-suited Sh*theads and artistic Sh*theads. There were married Sh*theads, single Sh*theads and parental Sh*theads. There were slutty Sh*theads and Sh*theads that liked to play with your emotions. There was the worst kind of Sh*thead that would alter her or his (I need to be fair to those with different penchants then mine) entire personality to fit yours, i.e. the Chameleon Sh*thead. Back then and too this day, the Sh*thead was and remains by my definition the Nine to Fiver who gets up every morning between six and seven, showers, brushes his or her teeth, combs his or her hair, drinks his or her coffee, gets his or her kids up and ready for school, drops them off and goes to work for eight hours (minus a one hour lunch break) before leaving work, picking his or her kids up at school, taking them home, feeding them dinner, bathing them, getting them ready for bed, putting them to bed and thereafter, prepping for the next day before finally retiring to bed no later than 10:30 PM. While I don’t have a copy of “V-D Day” in front of me I remember that the crux of that composition was pretty simple: I was tired of my vagabond existence. I wanted to be a Sh*thead. I wanted to live a normal life. And I vowed at the end of it that I would make a concerted effort to become one.
Fast forward 13 plus years from when I wrote that to now and guess what? Yep. My effort payed off. It didn’t even take that long. I was already well on my way to becoming a Sh*thead when I met my wife-to-be in 2001. Granted, I was merely a fledgling Sh*thead then, still unschooled in the Sh*thead culture of early bed times and Sunday night, HBO co-viewing with your spouse while drinking wine and eating a summer salad (thank you, “I Love You, Man”). It wasn’t until recently that I was officially inducted in to the International League of Sh*theads, EST Chapter. I’m not exactly Chapter President yet, but per my latest evaluation I’m doing well. I’m targeting a political run sometime around this time next year. Maybe 2013’s “What Thanksgiving Means to me” will be a campaign piece and not just a… what did I call these “essays” (a bit of a misnomer, I know) in the header of this blog? Oh, yeah, “the sometimes insightful but many times inane observations of a self proclaimed Sh*thead living on one side of the proverbial wormhole of existence.” A guy can dream, right?
Consider my day, yesterday (not today as today was a wife-off-and-home-with-the-kids-and-the-cats day): I woke up at 6:20 AM, fed the almost six month old, took a shower, dressed, left my house at 7:10 AM, stopped and bought breakfast (which included a Diet Monster energy drink which I prefer to coffee), got to work at 8:01 AM and plugged away until 5:00 PM when I left work, picked up the girls at daycare, drove them home, fed them, got them ready for bed, put them to bed and prepped everything for today, all in the vain hope of being in bed, sound asleep by 11:00 PM which, of course, didn’t happen. That’s my life, guys, and unless I’m mistaken, my life closely resembles the life of one of my aforementioned normal, Nine to Five Sh*theads, doesn’t it?
Yep. It does. In short? I got what I asked for. I now live in a house with my loving wife, our two daughters and our two cats and not on the floor of someone’s apartment. I have a roof over my head and money in my pocket. I have a deck and a backyard, along with a combination office and Man Cave. I have everything that I wanted back when I wrote “V-D Day”… back when I and my brethren all lived on a small plot of prison ground in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania known as “Madison Manor” and no one lived anyplace else. I have it all and then some. End of story. Finis, right?
Wrong. Because this blog entry isn’t about Sh*theads. I’ve already categorized them and explicated them to death via my previous writings. Nor is it about “V-D Day.” While I still pretty much despise Valentine’s Day and always will I’ve come to grips with it out of necessity, not for my wife who respects my feelings about it but for my daughters, the eldest of which expects that her daddy will be her very, very best Valentine every February 14th. Who am I to deny her that request? Were I to do so I really would be the Urban Dictionary’s walking and talking definition of a Sh*thead or one of said term’s many synonyms.
No, guys. This blog entry is about Thanksgiving. Specifically, what Thanksgiving means to me. If this is your first time reading something that I’ve written welcome. I’m glad to “meet” you though if you Googled “cats” and somehow ended up here I’m sorry and I expect that you’ll be sorely disappointed if you aren’t already. For your viewing pleasure I give you the following two pictures of my cats.
This is Pandora:
And this is Roxy:
Okay, so the second one really isn’t a picture of Roxy, but she’s about as elusive as Big Foot. Only a handful of photos exist of her and those are from the rare occasions when she wasn’t A.) Locked in the closet or B.) Hiding under the bed in mine and my wife’s room. Those of you that ended up here in error may now redirect your browser to any number of the blogs about cats that exist throughout cyberspace.
For those that are here by choice a little background before I continue: Everything Thanksgiving since 2010, I have written a blog entry entitled “What Thanksgiving Means to me by way of BLANK.” Previous installments have replaced the BLANK with the well received “Probability and Statistics” and the poorly received “Monty Python, Industrial Strength Aerosol Lubricant and CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD.” This “What Thanksgiving Means to me by way of BLANK” is the third, and only time will tell whether readers actually enjoy it or run screaming in another direction. I hope it is the former though I am braced for the latter.
What does Thanksgiving mean to me in 2012? Well obviously, it means the traditional trifecta of family, food and football but is there more outside of my new, yearly tradition of not only the above, but “Punkin Chunkin,” Single Malt Scotch and midnight, online shopping? I’d wager that there is. While my family and I never embraced this tradition I’ve known others that did. Pre-gorging themselves on turkey and ‘fixins and before lapsing in to a Tryptophan-induced coma while the Dallas or Detroit game plays in the background (seriously, NFL, why not just combine the two traditional, Thanksgiving games in to one?), families go around the table and talk about what they’re thankful for. This year, I’d like to embrace that tradition myself in this, the first of what I hope will be many blog entries here on Random Musings of a Pseudo-Madman Version 2.0.
So what am I, a certified and bona fide Sh*thead thankful for this warm and sunny Thanksgiving Day minus two, 2012?
Well, guys, I’m thankful for my loving wife and our two glorious daughters, not to mention our two furry, feline children, only one of which appears more than occasionally, usually to eat something that she will, 10 minutes later, puke up on our supposedly stain resistant carpet. FYI: Cat’s mock the phrase “stain resistant.” There’s a helpful tip for any cat people that have despite their better judgement read this far either A.) Out of morbid interest or B.) Because they thought that picture of a white cat wearing a polka dotted dress was just too f*cking cute to turn away. See? Random Musings Version 2.0 can be practical, as well.
I’m also thankful for my family and my friends, both the ones that stood beside me so many, many years ago when we all lived in one place and no one lived anyplace else and the ones that stand beside me today. Even before I had a traditional “nuclear family” of my own (though our place does not have a white picket fence and we prefer cats to dogs)… even before I was a Sh*thead I had a family: Brothers and sisters that weren’t necessarily related to me via blood but were related to me via our shared, life experiences. I will always consider those people my family no matter how much time or distance separates us in 2012 and beyond.
I’m further thankful for my lone, God given talent and no, I’m not talking about an unerring capacity to sling bullsh*t or to put my personal feelings about Valentines Day aside for the benefit of my three year old daughter. I’m talking about the ability to write and, I hope, write well. Some may beg to differ with that assessment. Mine is not to question your judgement. If you find this blog entry, or anything that I’ve ever written nothing more than an inane observation of a self proclaimed Sh*thead living on one side of the proverbial wormhole of existence then that’s your prerogative. But I, personally, feel pretty good about what I consider a gift from the almighty.
And finally, I’m thankful that the world if full of Sh*theads, even Chameleon Sh*theads that, if given a chance, can and will drive a man or woman (depending on your penchant) insane. I’m thankful that I, too, am a Nine to Five Sh*thead now. There are times when I miss the vagabond lifestyle that I used to lead, along with the spontaneity and the endurance required to live it. But then I remember what it felt like to wake up on the floor of my buddy’s apartment at three in the morning covered only by my jacket with the taste of liquor still on my lips and the smell of cigarettes still on my fingers. I glance around me at the big bed within which I’m lying, or the couch upon which I’m reclining, or the office within which I’m writing a book or the deck upon which I’m enjoying a brief moment’s peace and I smile. Because really, which would you prefer if given the choice?
That’s it, guys. Finis. I’d write more, but I’ve got a date with my girls, a two liter bottle of Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper, the movie “Tangled” and a big bowl of popcorn to get ready for. Who needs Moby? Cue the dancing villainy that frequents the Snuggly Duckling and the opening chords of “I’ve Got A Dream.” Those of you heading out for the Biggest Party Night of the Year? Have a shot of Patron and a cigarette for your ‘ole buddy the Madchronicler. And have a happy, Happy Thanksgiving.