Archive for August, 2008

Bound to Happen

August 13, 2008

“Who Needs Soap Operas When You Have Real Life” continues…

Vent and Whine Alert— We can prepare and plan and brace ourselves for “minor unpleasant situations” we expect may arise in a Divorce, but when they actually do, the emotions can still come in full sway. I’m not happy of how i reacted to such a minor thing, but it was visceral.

A bit of background –

First — We (okay, she mostly) were very good about saving money early on for the kids’ university needs, setting up separate accounts with money markets, then drawing off of them as needed… between that and the scholarships my brilliant children (my genes) got, we didn’t have to dig into our own pockets much. For ease of paperwork, we put both of those accounts in The Wife’s name.

Next — The Wife and I have two bank accounts, one with her as primary and one with me as primary, each with the other as secondary owners. The thought was to help better manage expenses by using mine to pay all the daily stuff and hers to pay all the random big expenses (for example, next car or replacement oven… or big kid bills…). Over time, “the thought” was overtaken by real world events… bills came in and we paid with whatever account had the most money.

So the brouhaha –

Daughter Person’s university bill came due. I paid it immediately, on-line from the bank accounts (unfortunately, the one with her as primary), with the expectation that we’d reimburse that account from the money market… as usual… same as eight prior similar payments.

I told The Wife that I’d paid the bill. She wasn’t surprised, saying that she and Daughter Person had noticed I’d done so when they looked online.

Then I told her we’d need to reimburse the bank with the money market funds. Out of left field, “Oh, so the money market is just going to be a free-for-all for whoever gets to it first now, huh?” [a very confused GnuKid blinks… blinks again… trying to figure out where that came from].

I reminded her, no, this is what we always do… and to avoid doing it again next time a bill comes due, I suggested that The Wife withdraw enough from the money account for the remainder of the university year bills and put it in her bank account. “Oh, so you’re not going to pay her bills anymore?” [a still very confused GnuKid blinks… blinks again… trying to figure out where that came from as well].

I explained… okay, getting admittedly a bit aggravated and raising my voice a wee bit… that as our names were on both bank accounts and the money market funds were for Daughter Person’s education, it didn’t matter a damn bit where the bill was paid from, as long as the money market funds were used. And, as long as the bill was paid, it didn’t matter if I paid it or she paid it, but I’d be more than happy to make sure our daughter would still be going to school, so I would continue paying the bill.

But, for some reason, no matter what was said, she seemed to be taking it as if I was trying to find a way to avoid paying or trying to bilk money from her or whatever… (hey, it’s still ‘our’ money and still ‘our’ daughter)…

Daughter Person stepped in and suggested rather forcefully that we didn’t have to resolve this right now thank you very much. She shouldn’t have to have done that… [grump].

So, I’d prepared myself for illogical excursions by The Wife as she attempts to emotionally grasp that, yes, I’m actually leaving… yet it still came as a shock to me when it happened (for the first of many times, I’m guessing) and I allowed myself to get quite perturbed by it.

…and, yeah, the ride is just beginning…

…hang on, GnuKid, it’s gonna be a bumpy one…

Our Electoral Process

August 10, 2008

As we U.S.-ians…U.S.-ites?… gather later this month to select Presidential candidates to select from… I offer the following public service to my fellow Blog-lings…Blog-ettes?… and will venture to explain, briefly and succinctly, the American electoral process. Or at least I’ll do my best – – –

This is a highly complex issue which is typically beyond the normal mortal’s understanding, but being I’ve already assured myself that none of you visiting my blog are ‘normal’, I feel safe in continuing.

Presidential nominees are chosen through intense analytical study by several unpleasant 5th grade children who examine the tides, the World Cup schedule, summer TV reruns, vacation plans of Oprah (to accommodate), vacation plans of everyone else (to screw up), and skewed results of throwing defective darts at a collage of photographs of political contenders.

These are all added together, divided by pi (filled with strawberries and using 3.14159 as an approximation), corpusculated using imaginary numbers (e.g., eleventeen), then hamstrung and hung to dry @ 350 degrees for 2 ½ hours, basted with a light wine sauce, then planted in even rows 12” to 15” apart using the 99.5% confidence variability rule of the Geneva Convention on cruel and unusual warfare. At that point, whoever has the most money wins the nomination.

Any further assistance I can give in understanding this arcane and mysterious logic would likely require me to delve into fantasy and science fiction. It wouldn’t be pretty.

Thank you for your attention and I hope this clears it up once and for all.

P’s Meme

August 8, 2008

this picture was a result of being tagged by the delightful Parenthesis to do a meme and i thought, sure, what the hell—

The questions:

  1. What is your name?
  2. What is your favourite food?
  3. Which school did you attend?
  4. What is your favourite colour?
  5. Which celebrity do you consider to be your favourite?
  6. Your favourite drink?
  7. Your dream holiday?
  8. Your favourite dessert?
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  10. What do you value most in life?
  11. One word to describe you?
  12. Your blog’s name?

Note: The photos correspond with the questions in the sequence:



  1. GnuKid
  2. Lobster
  3. Grove City
  4. Blue (though it changes all the time… purple, red, green…)
  5. Emma Thompson
  6. Gin and Tonic
  7. New Zealand (at least at the moment)
  8. Crème Brule
  9. I don’t want to grow up
  10. Friendship
  11. Eclectic
  12. The Wilds of Ohio

Big D Filing Day

August 6, 2008

Yet another installment of “Who Needs Soap Operas When You Have Life?”

More on “The Process”…

I’ve met the first big milestone in the Divorce process—officially filing my intentions in the courts. With the official filing, the clock has started.

The Wife will be served soon. That just sounds weird—“served”… like I’m bringing her dinner or a drink. She’ll get a ‘complaint’ (not like she hasn’t been getting those for the past umpty-squat years) which says “I want a divorce”. She’ll also get a restraining order.

That restraining order scared me some when the lawyer showed me the draft. The lawyer assured me it was all boilerplate “say it because you gotta” words. Stuff like she’s not allowed to harass or attack me, burn or sell my property, incur debts…

Why is that scary? Well, hell, what if she hadn’t thought about doing those things before? This seemed to me to be a readymade checklist of “things to do to GnuKid” rather than the protective order it is intended to be. (Visions of The Wife evilly cackling and rubbing her hands together in anticipation of working through the list).

So, once served, The Wife will have a couple weeks to respond to my complaint. Not really sure what that means other than just acknowledging that, yeah, we’re married and, yeah, I understand GnuKid wants a divorce.

Then she’ll have a couple weeks to make any complaints of her own… basically, to identify just how seriously and lube-free a screwing she intends to give me financially.

The good thing about the official filing is that I can legally start looking for a new residence wherever I want. I’m sure that’ll be loads of fun.

Then, the trek towards court date… how long depends on how amicably (HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!… whew… I crack myself up sometimes) we can come to an agreement or how long to get on the court docket for them to come to an agreement for us.

Still, life is a little better and brighter each day …

… and tonight? I danced …


August 4, 2008

Still feeling the need to avoid thinking about the Divorce going on, so – –

A recent post of a fellow blogger reminded me of the caring sensitivity of those in the medical profession. And that reminded me of my experience with epididimitis. Those who have had it are likely cringing right now.

How did the GnuKid learn of this one and how will you learn? Well, kiddies, pull up a spot on the rug, set a spell, and hear my sad tale…

Thursday I got home from work and had a seat at the computer to catch up on e-mail. A strange ache started developing on the right side of my gut at the belt line. I repositioned myself in the chair, granting me temporary relief. But the ache came back and bordered on pain. In the back of GnuKid’s mind the shadowy specter of appendicitis starting whispering at the Worry Lobe of my brain. In the next hour, the pain increased and radiated downward.

It was time to go to the hospital.

Arriving at the emergency room, I felt very lucky to get back to a bed after only 15 minutes or so. Directed to undress and put on the famously fashionable hospital gown, I for the first time noticed that my ball sack was swollen. Now, that’s just not right. It’s usually the guy right next door to the ol’ scrotum that gets swollen.

I reached down and tentatively touched the swelling, only to stop immediately…it hurt.

The nurse comes back to ask if I’m in pain, since I was occasionally moaning (and not in that good way I like). Damn straight, lady, it hurts. She says she’ll ask the doctor for some pain medication.

The doctor shows up just a few minutes later…and she was a slammin’ hottie woman doc of the female persuasion. I’d say “Yee-HA!”, but things hurt too much for me to do more than just notice. She asked for the history, I told her. Her first inclination was the appendix as well, so she starts poking around my abdomen. And…the abdomen doesn’t hurt nearly so bad as before.

However, “the boys” down south in scrotumville are fussing at me something fierce. I let her know that and she pulls up my gown. Oh, dear God, yes, I would clearly have loved for this to have been a “Dear Penthouse: I never thought this would happen to me…” moment. But no. She immediately commented on the apparent swelling.

Okay, so here I am in pain from something that’s causing inflammation and swelling…so what does the lady doc do? Uh-huh…s-q-u-e-e-z-e… Holy Mother of Perpetual Needles Under the Fingernails! Damn, that hurt! Trying to be manly (HA!), I just clenched my teeth. Any other time, I would have been thanking the heavens to have a woman willingly handling my boy parts. But, not this time…

She was either a slow learner or in competition for the “Madame De Sade 2006” award, because she again… s-l-o-w-l-y… s-q-u-e-e-z-e-d. Fuck that “manly” shit… I hollered out that it hurt like a mother… (yeah, I maintained a modicum of decorum by not using the full—and correct for the circumstances—term ‘motherfucker’).

The good thing was I got some really good pain medication (yes, I still have a few… no, you can’t have any), so don’t remember much more about the evening / early morning.

After an ultrasound, they determined I was suffering from something called epididimitis (you were wondering when the hell I was going to get to that, weren’t you?). Us guys have a tube running around our balls called the epididymis…and mine was inflamed. Tests were negative for the bacterial causes: STDs (HA!! Not likely… that requires I’d actually been having sex… and not by myself!) and Urinary Tract Infection, so they marked it up to Prostatitis… the ol’ prostate just getting crabby with me.

Anti-inflammatory drugs ‘cured’ the inflammation, but I’m not sure even time can cure the memory.

So, be safe out there, kids… and watch the boy parts…

Girl Child’s Return

August 4, 2008

Hooray! The Girl Child has returned from her adventure taking a semester abroad at university in Switzerland. An excellent opportunity for her, though she was too far away for my liking (even if i did get a trip to Scotland out of it!). The Spousal Unit and I went to pick her up at the airport Friday afternoon. Given the events of recent, it was a very quiet… very chilly ride.

Unfortunately, Daughter Person got a cold the last few days in Switzerland and was kind enough to bring it home to share. She’s been sniffling and coughing while telling stories of her adventures. Very pleasant (ewww).

Despite my concerns, she’s so far handling the news of the Divorce quite well. Now, I’m still expecting she may have a blow up or two down the road, but for now, she’s doing fine. She even agreed when I asked her to go house hunting with me. I thought it’d be a good thing to share with her to let her know I value her opinion and will find a place where she will feel welcome and ‘at home’ (if she can ever feel that way again). It also won’t hurt for her to learn the house hunting process now.

She got into the spirit of things early on in the today’s trip. I was mentioning the price range of what i could afford, saying I hoped I could negotiate a better price. She immediately volunteered to play up her sickness to help get even more off the price. She offered to cough and sniffle. Then, in a pitiful voice, say,

“Please, Daddy… can’t I please for once in my life have a house to call home before this consumption takes my frail body to an early grave?”

[Big Grin] Ahh… she’s got ‘the gene’. She makes me so proud. I think she’ll be just fine…

Two Funerals

August 1, 2008

I find myself in need from a diversion from the D/d diatribe that’s been on my mind. This was a post written earlier, but never posted, when I was thinking on my dear Mum. I guess this is about making the best of an awkward situation.

The First Funeral —

Many years ago, I was visiting family over Thanksgiving. My Mom was visiting her sister the next state over. This also happened to be a year which a blizzard blanketed the northeast states. Roads were either closed or slowed tremendously.

Unfortunately, on that same day and after a long illness, my uncle (Mom’s sister’s husband) passed away . I struggled to balance my feeling of guilt against my ability to safely get to the funeral. Safety became paramount and I elected to stay where I was.

My mother had packed for inclement weather, but not expecting to have to attend a funeral, also packed only very casual clothing. Local stores were closed because of the still deepening snow drifts. I was glad the funeral home was able to operate*. My aunt assured my mother that whatever she had to wear was just fine and to not worry, just being there for her was what was important.

So Mom dressed in the best of her casual clothes, putting a sweatshirt on for extra warmth, and went to the funeral home. She wondered why she was getting stifled laughter or outright shocked stares in her direction from other attendees until someone finally pointed out her sweatshirt. There on the front were the Looney Tunes cartoon characters and the emblazoned words: “That’s All, Folks!!” Inappropriately appropriate for a funeral to give a final send off. And, for some (including my aunt), needed comic relief.

The Second Funeral—

Having heard the story of the first funeral, what happened next may come as no surprise to you. When my mother passed away, we made sure that same sweatshirt was folded neatly and tucked in the casket with her. All of us siblings took a moment to smile and remember the vitality and sense of humor of this wonderful woman. And glad to take the message with us that, we must make the best of what life throws at us and, though we will someday be gone, we can do so with a smile.


*Although, in a macabre humor moment, I do admit thinking that it was cold enough that they could’ve just dug a snow cave and packed my poor uncle right outside the back door, leaving him none the worse for wear by the time they could get to him after the thaw.