Friday, February 27, 2009

Fatherhood Friday - Who are you?

Welcome to another installment of Fatherhood Friday!

Today I'm going to tackle the ever-untalked-about-topic: Other Hotties 

(Forgive me, I'll probably write "her" a lot, but know that I am aware and sensitive to the dad/dad combos out there... so if you're a dad/dad then just read the "her" as "him". Oh I guess if you're a female reader then replace the "her" with "him too. Unless you're a mom/mom combo then keep the "her"... jesus... did I cover my ass enough?)

You know what I'm talking about, dads. The good looking moms (or dads) that adorn you with those eyes of safety because you are running around with a child. Or those just turned 18 year olds that seem to stay the same age while you get older.

How many times have you had the internal monologue with yourself: "Yeah, I'd do her"

Now I'm not saying you should proclaim this to your wife at every possible moment because that does have the potential of wearing away at her self confidence, but I am firmly convinced that letting your wife know that you still know what "beauty" is, I believe, lets her know that when you say she is beautiful... you aren't lying.

Have your Top 5
(switch hit top 5 optional)
What is the Top 5? This is a list of 5 people of the opposite sex that if they showed up at your front door, said "Hi. I want to go on a date with you, and I expected you to have sex with me at the end of the night." then you have a free-pass. A free pass meaning that your wife has to be "ok" with it, and a free pass meaning that you would never leave your wife over it. 

Rules of the Top 5:
  • This list must be ranked in order of how long you would ponder/rationalize whether or not you would actually do it, with the top one being the least amount of time.
  • It absolutely CANNOT be anyone that you know personally. No ex-girlfriends, no girl down the streets, no one easily accessible.
  • There can be only 5
  • The person who comes to the door must be on the list for at least a month.
  • They have to be alive and must be recognized in their current state. (No "Marilyn Monroe" or "1980's version Madonna")
  • Your significant other must be aware of the list at all times.

My Top 5:
  1. Natalie Portman
  2. Lisa Sheldon (Roxy Model)
  3. Chyler Leigh
  4. Tyra Banks (the now, thicker version)
  5. Gwen Stefani

But even with the top 5...
I told my wife one night, "You know... you're the only person in this world that I would never have second thoughts about banging. I would never have to justify myself to myself that it is ok. Because it's always ok and always awesome."

So at first read I bet that looks like I was going to get pimp-smacked. 

But she took it as a compliment. Because even if Natalie Portman came knocking on my door, at the end of the night it would still take some time for me to have to rationalize in my head that what I was doing was ok. 

... even if it only would take 3 seconds. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wacky Wednesday

I think I've nailed down what I want each day to represent in this blog. 

Monday is the serious, hunker down, be a good dad and post something useful day.

Wednesday will be "Wacky Wednesday". A day where I post stupid shit to make you laugh. (obviously on topic with Monkeys and Daddies) (oh, and it will probably be very "ADD" as well)

Friday, as already specified, will be Fatherhood Fridays (ah-thank you dad-blogs)

So today is Wednesday... get ready for the Whacking.... er Whacky.

You know you've married the right person when you wake up and hear her humming the
theme song from the A-Team (dun duh duh duuun dun dun dunnnn). When asked just how she possibly got that song in her head she proceeded to tell me about a dream she had where she was in the Navy and they had pulled into port which was a prop house (like on a movie set) so the walls were fake and that the Cajun Chef was there and that evolved into her thinking about Chef's with catch phrases which led to thinking of Emeril (whom she hates), and then in a general thought about people past their prime who should stop doing what they are doing cause they are starting to suck at it (cough cough Madonna). To which she started thinking about Mr. T and how he actually left prime but came back - to which the A-Team song popped in her head. 

Yup. That's my wife. 

Niamonster has taken akin to using her little nails as her personal Ninjatō (look it up), which she likes to flail around and slash people with. So far she has two victims, Isabella and myself. Isabella had her face sliced open (complete with blood) and I had my neck slit open. 

Pretty awesome.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gaming in the "new world"

"The good old days"

You hear that from time to time slip its way out of a husband's mouth. It is the sure fire phrase to guarantee to not get laid for at least a week. A wife or significant other hears that and you're bound to get the dirty look that slaps you in the face with the unspoken, "What? Did I make life that bad for you?"

As with almost everything that slips unexpectedly out of a man's mouth, that's "not what we meant by that."

The "good old days" refers to a time when it was all about "us". The times where you could stay up all night in your apartment, watching TV, browsing the internet (usually for porn), and do whatever, whenever. It was your life and you answered to no one. 

That doesn't mean those days were "better", they were just different. I know that I am much more happy in the world where I have a beautiful wife and a lovely daughter to run around me. Sometimes I like answering to people and having them keep me in check.

"Uh. Shank. The theme of the post is supposed to be Gaming"

It is! It is about gaming in the new world, and to know the new world you had to be put in the way-back machine to remember the old world. One of the biggest time consumers of my life when I was all about myself was gaming. Guild Wars, Flavors of Doom, Flavors of Quake, Madden, etc. (I just looked at how much I've played Guild Wars in the past 2 years and it works out to about one hour a day, everyday. yikes!)

I used to come home from work, play games for 7 hours, then go to bed. 

Now, I go to work, come home to a beautiful wife and daughter, spend time with them until Niamonster goes to bed between 8pm and 9pm, then spend some alone time with the wife, then MAYBE, if I don't have any freelance work to do, game for an hour before my old ass gets so tired I can't keep my eyes open.

Gaming -> A family affair.

But why does gaming have to be a solo activity? How many games are left that DON'T come with a multiplayer option? Not very many I would guess. 

So I decided to get my wife hooked on Guild Wars and we've been playing a lot of that. Running around and doing missions with your S/O is a great way to spend time together, especially in an RPG type fashion. You still get plenty of time to talk, plus you develop your "working together" skills which are especially useful with a child. 

When Niamonster gets old enough we're going to allow her to play games too. I don't want to hear any crapsauce on how games rot your brain and make you fat. Shut up to all of you who think that. The right games, at the right time, for the right amount of time is a perfect way to develop hand-eye coordination, working together skills, strategy skills, etc. 

Trying Something New

While Isabella was cutting my hair last night we discussed new games that we could potentially start playing together besides Guild Wars. I mean, let's be honest, I have over 700 hours clocked into Guild Wars and it's starting to get a little old. You know what we came up with?

Nothing. All she kept naming was different expansion packs for Guild Wars. 

She has instantly poo-pooed first person shooters because apparently looking from the viewpoint of eyeballs is difficult for her. I think this would explain why she is generally a clutz, since you could assume that her looking out of her own eyeballs is probably just as confusing. 

She hates war/fighting games and scary games because they give her nightmares. 

She can't stand flying games or space games. (If she can't handle 2 axis movement, she certainly sucks at the 3rd axis)

She hates fighting "bosses". (really?)

What games could you recommend to her?
(available platforms: PC, Wii, PS3)


Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I have to be a very lucky man to have a wife who loves to even game with him in the first place. But we need to expand her horizons - help me, oh reader, guide me to a fun game we can try.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dad Blogs: Fatherhood Friday

My wife just sent me this link that she found on DaddyFiles site who found a site called Dad Blogs. (Still following me here?)

I just joined and was intantly introduced to Fatherhood Friday!

A day full of link sharing, thought sharing, idea sharing, and a big old group hug among dads.

Here's the deal with dads. We act like we know what we're doing, we pretend like we don't need help. But all of us dads have an unspoken bond, because we all "know". 

  • We all know that we are clueless and make it up as we go. 
  • We all know that it's scary as hell trying to make it all work for the best.
  • We all know that being a dad makes you more insecure then a 14 year old girl.

So to all the dads out there on this Friday: as your child is screaming loudly or pooping his/her pants or running around like a drunk monkey, here is my eye-contact with you that gives you an embrace that we will never have and the reassuring words: 

"Dude. I know." 

The pain of growing up.


That's not a word you want in your vocabulary when caring and watching your spawn fly around on all fours, getting into and doing things they shouldn't. There is the pain that they feel when their little feet slip out from under them and the only thing left to cushion their fall is a head that is so disproportionate to the rest of their body that gravity acts quickly making sure that it is the first thing to meet the ground. Then, there is the pain the parent feels seeing the crocodile tears stream down the face knowing the new found agony they just felt. Then, and let's all be honest with ourselves here, there is  the pain of having people notice black on blue knots on your kids head who give that look of, "wow, dad, nice parenting". 

I have a strong conviction about this though. Even though it's painful for both me and my 1/10 scale version of me, I let it happen.

"You LET your child experience pain?!" (maybe this guy actually is a bad dad)

Please read me right one this one. I don't cause my child pain and I don't allow her to get in situations that would detrimental to her health. But I do let her hurt herself.

"My God! Why?!"

There is an old adage that says, "Anything that does not kill you, only makes you stronger", and I think there is a lot to be said in that. Us humans are pretty dang stubborn and it seems that we have a tough time learning things when the going is "going good". But I find it absolutely amazing how many "life lessons" and "street smart" ideals I've learned from the times in my life where going has just been a plain pain in the butt.

For instance: We all have that "coffee table of death". The one that sits right at the end of the couch and is the last thing that separates the living room from the dining room or the hallway. How many times have you gotten close to running into it? How many times have you told yourself that you should take that corner a little wider? Sure. We can tell ourselves that something "will probably hurt", but something about just telling yourself isn't very effective. 
But then comes the frightful, barefoot day when you actually do take that corner too close. And out of nowhere the coffee table inches out its little leg JUST far enough to clip your little, vulnerable pinkie toe, trying to separate that poor little bugger clean off of your foot. I bet you take that corner a little wider every time now, don't you?

For another instance: Love. We've all felt it, we've all been hurt by it. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I, with no reservation, threw my heart out to a girl. And how, every time, that girl took my heart and launched it with a force of a bat hitting a baseball during fly-ball practice. Each time I was hurt, each time I felt pain, I learned more what true love was, and more how to better handle and approach giving my heart away. I know I love my wife as much as I do BECAUSE of the pain I felt, not in spite of it.

"I see where you're going with this."

I don't like Niamonster feeling pain, but I also know that when she is learning to walk, the times she falls down help her learn how to better balance. The times her head is plastered to the wall as the only friction slowing down her decent to the ground, she is learning physics and gravity. When she crawls under the table and sits up too fast and bonks her head, she learns spacial reference. When she flings toys around and one nails her in her fat melon, she learns force and Newton's laws.

She won't get up and exclaim, "Daddy! I know Newton's third law now!"... and in fact every time she bonks her head on something, even though she may be kissing schools such as Harvard and Princeton goodbye, I know she is "getting it". She's learning a lot fast then if I would pull her away and protect her from every little bump and bruise. 

I also know that protecting her as she grows up will get tougher and tougher. Right now, she bonks her little peanut head, but someday she'll be a teenager who has a bruised heart from some boy. I want my little girl to grow into being a woman who can handle her own, who knows she can heal, who knows she can get up the next morning and continue on with life. Who knows that pain is just another step closer to being a better person. 

Pain will happen. Growth will happen. And I know that there is nothing I can do to stop it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I have a blog for everything else, why not one about being a dad?

It's a double edge sword having so many blogs under my responsibility right now. On the positive sharp end, I have a lot of outlets with which to draw myself to deeper understanding of a certain topic while potentially helping other people solve problems or giving them an opportunity to laugh. But there is that other negative dull painful end of the sword where I actually have to try to keep up with writing that much or scraping my skull to be witty enough as to not be a boring read. 

I've got my techy outlet ( where I write all my advanced coding stuffs.

I've got my geeky, freaky car fettish outlet ( where I write about my little facination that I have with my car, a 2005 MINI Cooper S. 

And I've got my "family" outlet ( where I keep family members up to date with the latest happenings. (It's a lot easier then snail mail or emails... we're cheap, I know).

So why start this blog?

I realized that I don't have an outlet of what it is like being a dad. I know some would think, "Ok... Shank... you know how many blogs are out there from dads?" Well... no... because the internet is a giant black hole of people who have blogs that think the world would be a better place if everyone read their little nuggets of analytical gold. But I can imagine that there are a lot.

I get that my mind-vomit isn't going to solve world hunger, and it's not going to make every man a better dad or every woman a better mom. I get that. And I'm not trying to be that person. 

What I will offer is what I will call, "Ponder-Heh!". Things that make you go: "Hmmm" while offering you a bit a laughter. (Which I hope you now have that song in your head... "Things that make you Ooh Ooh Ooh".)

What I also want to offer is a viewpoint of an engineer, a senior application developer in specific, who one day became a dad and had to deal with the idea that not everything can be solved in binary thinking. Especially all the things that happen while having a little daughter run around. 

I want to post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. But I also hope that I won't get smacked with that dull end of the sword. You, the reader, deserve to get at least that much for the time it took you to click a little link somewhere to end up on this page. (which ironically looks like 1.5 million other blogs out there)

Welcome to my family.

I'm the dad: ShankRabbit
My beautiful wife: Isabella
Our little girl: Niamonster (or Peanut)

Welcome to the spew of my words about life in our household and all the crazy unorganized thoughts that I have. 

Welcome to The Code Monkey Daddy, it's just another blog about some guy with a kid and a wife.