Wasteful Thinking

In recovering from many tragedies, we often attribute the answer to be an instantaneous conversion from the previously inopportune circumstance. More often than not, however, the reality of it is that we have to wait upon the provision of our solution.

This isn’t to say it’s hopeless. In fact, waiting on the answer to happen is significantly more enjoyable than waiting on the answer to become obvious. Arguably, most of the waiting a Christian will make is of the oblivious variety, but sometimes He’s nice enough to clue us in if He knows it won’t make us wet our pants.

Speaking of wet pants, the avoidance of doing so usually involves a toilet in the West, and that has been one of the more engaging matters we’ve been ruminating and reading upon.

Social Media Tip: It’s not good to share crap on the Internet, but it’s perfectly normal to talk about crap, so here we are.

For you newer readers, my Slurry Sealers and I have been living in a large fifth-wheel recreational vehicle from the early 1980’s. We received it from a pair of Christian siblings (Chris & Chloe Milligan, if you want to give a shoutout) that saw our complete destitution and gave it more lovingly than our then-stingy pride was willing to accept. A few months later God finally humbled us enough to accept it without hesitation, and they have been generous in letting us stay on their property in exchange for me doing miscellaneous things for them.

The first project was to make the roof stop imitating Swiss cheese, and that was a week of hard OSHA-uncertified labor. The second was pulling out the original vintage chic carpet and laying stick-on tiles. The third was curtains to keep the sun from making us die.

From there, the projects were put on hold for a while due to NMS (No Money Syndrome). With my rather amazing job at UPS, the work is continuing, starting with the second-greatest need known to man, which closely follows the first: a place to poop.

Sales Tip: As much as turd-polishing is considered best practices in much of the marketing world, they’re not usually being literal, though there are probably exceptions for manure sales.

This RV has trouble moving objects forward sometimes. A toilet, as you may know, runs a long conduit down from the hole you sit on into either a municipal system or, like in our case, a septic tank. Somebody in Engineering probably fell asleep at the drafting board and designed the thing to travel at a right angle. The man is now probably collecting his pension, but we still have to suffer his oversight, as a 90° angle serves as a crappy way to expedite the flow of goods to its intended destination.

An additional problem is that our black water valve doesn’t work, which makes the fancy RV breakdown fluids hard to use. It can stay open with a prybar and several hours away from other humans or can be hammered closed, and the budget requires us to wait on a new valve, since me being able to wear clothes to work and drive to work without an exploding car is slightly more important.

This hole problem has lent us some alternative approaches, and we’ve made a new business plan for it. We only have a few answers right now, but the Specialized Committee for Abatement of Toiletries (SCAT) made up of my Poopy Pushers and I have a few options at our disposal:

  1. We have a long snake that just barely reaches the bottom of the toilet, but it’s only long enough to touch on the problem approximately 47.356% of the time.
  2. There are some leftover garbage garden hoses sitting around the property, and we can often give a solid shove with a purging enema, but sometimes it backfires.
  3. Once we’ve gotten the black water valve replaced, we can start using heavy chemicals the way God intended.
  4. In the meantime, we’ve figured out that moist waste is moving waste, and the best way is to take a page from nature and keep it hydrated and topped off with water.

This problem may actually become a protracted one, since it keeps popping up and flowing abundantly over, and we’ve learned many life lessons through all of this. They are certain to serve to improve the quality of life for us in the long-term (somehow).

  • Liquid waste is worse than dried waste.
  • Dead maggots are easier to clean up than living ones, and those suckers get fat when they’ve got lots of food!
  • Human waste starts smelling like compost when you leave it in an enclosed space for 2 weeks
  • Most importantly, healthy eating makes it all better.

Hygiene Tip: When the weather outside gets frightful and you have no place to go, let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.

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Communicating Values

Though it’s a day late, happy Father’s Day! I’m sure you had a grand time-honored festival involving lederhosen, whipped cream and a slightly annoyed bulldog. For my Fuzzy Yummums, our new person and I it was a bit more toned down.

After fulfilling the routine and mostly uninteresting Sunday things, we spent time eating cake and reflecting upon our depressing brood and sorting through the right way to inspire our mix-and-match genetic hybrid to be a more qualified person after we’ve discovered precisely what God really looks like.

Family Tip: Always prepare your child for the miserable and unfulfilled adult life they will someday have. Get them working as soon as they can grab things. Teach them the value of silence once they can speak. Help them understand the value of hard work by forcing labor on them without compensation (there are no child labor laws for family yet!).

The two of us spent a good deal talking about the seemingly inpenetrable emotional constipation that both of our spawning families have, which has shown itself through some profoundly retarded communication, and for your educational pleasure I’ll share the current state of things along with projections for the future. If I had more time I’d use charts and make a diagram, but we’ll just pretend those things exist and won’t talk about them anymore.

The simplest communication problem is with the two notable individuals that raised my Flipperdoodle Hunhun. Her mother follows a formulaic system to reconnect with their daughter:

  1. Bring along Sperm Donor Divorced Father in the hopes that she passively submits to their undying implicit authority
  2. Avoid communicating with her in any way, shape or form if she asserts herself by asking to be respected
  3. Lurk around trying to find sources of information to make another approach, such as this blog
  4. Visit everyone she affiliated with her, including past workplaces and mothers of friends
  5. Repeat until daughter has finally seen the error of her ways

Her father uses a similarly simple system:

  1. Escape into games, work, drugs, infidelity and anything else that guarantees a genuine disconnect from other people and reality
  2. Do what anyone else says including ex-wives
  3. Recollect having a child, but keep mixing up names and birthdays from the drug abuse and forgetting which child goes to which mother

All in all, they don’t give us much trouble, though I imagine my Fudge Nuggers will have a unique and memorable experience involving the cops and a restraining order when her mother finally discovers our address.

Family  Tip: Don’t be afraid if your mother-in-law reads your blog; bank on it! The worst thing she can do is sue you for defamation. Codependency is even better, since they would never do anything to sabotage the implied connection with their Source Of All Things Good.

On the other end, things are a bit more amicable and…confusing, at least until last night.

A good God-focused marriage is like good therapy: past crap gets brought out, people talk out things, feelings are validated where nobody feels like a worthless piece of garbage freak, and everyone walks away feeling more human and somehow closer to perfection from it.

However, a bad marriage is a bit like being stuck in a concentration camp: past crap defines the current situation, nobody talks about anything meaningful, feelings are ammo for the other side, and the entire dynamic is a scraping power grab that looks like Game of Thrones if it was stupid and nobody was royalty.

I would clearly articulate my parents’ marriage as a “bad” marriage. This wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that I spent several decades being their Problem Dumpster. Once I discovered the bittersweet joyful misery of marriage that inspires growth and change, my own parents became weird.

Dysfunction is a bit like the game Hot Potato, except that it consists of several roles and some people actually learn to want those roles. For your convenience, here are the basic roles that all dysfunctional homes seem to play out:

  • Hero – seen as an infallible beacon of hope and promising results, but often has problems with happiness and self-worth, usually defines value through successes/failures
  • Scapegoat – seen as the anti-hero and always a screwup, has tons of problems and everyone assumes that it’s their purpose in life to fail
  • Mascot – the comedian, seen as the comic relief but never actually taken seriously, many of them aren’t actually funny either, usually acts as the peacemaker as well
  • Lost Child – not always a child but never actually “seen”, needs are never met because everyone’s focusing on fixing the Scapegoat

In a steadily improving or healthy home, these roles shift around all the time as each person changes and adapts to the miscellany that confronts our daily life. Unhealthy homes expect these to stay the same, which lends a lot of truth to shows like Arrested Development and Malcolm in the Middle.

Marriage Tip: Netflix is a great way to avoid having to spend money on things like dates or anniversary gifts.

In my upbringing, I was given the mixed potatoes of Hero and Scapegoat, which yielded a weird and quite unsexy inferiority/superiority complex. My mother tried to be the Hero, but her inability to take personal responsibility made her too conspicuously non-Hero-like. My father and brother would be the Silent Child and Mascot respectively, and then would swap roles when conflict happened. Life was good, well, minus the fact that everyone was unhappy, but good besides that little detail.

Now that I’ve married and started acting like it’s my God-given duty to take care of my wife and son before my extended family, it’s been difficult for roles to settle in my childhood home.

My brother moved back in and he became the Scapegoat, but he’s so much more patient and passive than I am that the conflicts are more sustained and less intense. The recent foray into marriage counseling was inspired by how my mom had become the Silent Child and wouldn’t have any of it, so recent developments have had her stealing the Scapegoat role from my brother and blaming everyone for it. My brother in turn took both the Mascot and Hero role while my dad became the Silent Child. This means that there’s no room for me in that family, since I’m no longer Scapegoat material and my brother’s the new Hero. My mom is forever bitter at me, but part of it could be marital jealousy. Eventually, my mom will probably successfully find a way to shove off the Scapegoat onto my brother, since my dad has quite a bit of experience staying under the radar. (breath) If my brother moves out or ever stops being the Hero, then they’ll come back around to try to connect with me, which incidentally has already happened.

About a month ago, my parents made an unusual request. Apparently, the marriage counselor “said” that distance from the family that is raising their newborn grandson is ideal for their marriage. My spidey senses were tingling for several reasons:

  1. What kind of marriage counselor gives guidance to cut off connection from family? Someone is obviously placing my Funny Bunny and I in a bad light.
  2. At the time I was unemployed, and what kind of parents decide to cut off communication or support at that moment? If I wanted to attain family shame I’d rather become a meth-head or go kill someone.
  3. If we were really causing problems in their marriage, the marriage counselor would have brought us in to talk. This smells like a bury-it-and-ignore-it tactic.

Gut instincts aside, I’ve honored their request. In fact, since they persisted in their vagueness, I drew a hard line to make everyone happier. I clarified that we’re not talking, with the exception of an emergency, until September 1st. In spite of this, my mother texted my Silly Slippers on Mother’s Day and my dad on Father’s Day. Apparently values mean nothing to them. Honestly, if they won’t abide by values then they can’t abide by the family we’re building here, since we must build our home in love, which can only come in spirit and truth. The tragedy is that most people desire to only stop at one of them.

Parenting Tip: Let your kids know all about what goes on with your extended family, since they see it already. We’ve already told our child all the details. We know he listened because he drooled more profusely as a response and then pooped.

Do What Works

A week ago, my Shambler Snuffers and I were brought a new blessing through my gainful consistent employment at UPS. Since then it has been a flurry of activity on our end from the mixed additional job of weed abatement that the property owner here has tasked me with.

Thankfully, only one of these jobs has a pretty steep learning curve. One of them involves me putting out fires regarding dispatching UPS drivers and the other involves me driving a tractor over a flat surface. I’ll have you guess which one.

Farming Tip: Make up songs in your head to pass the time while doing anything farm-related. It’s especially useful when you’ve bored of hearing every song that exists.

The job at UPS has been God-sent, but it hasn’t been without its unique challenges respective to our current situation. The most profound challenge has been in being able to pay for gas!

To quote Proverbs, “a rich man’s wealth is his stronghold, but a poor man’s poverty is his ruin”. Obviously working at a job is a great thing, but the whole act of commuting, paying bills, etcetera is typically paid with the previous paycheck, which was December 2nd of last year. By God’s grace, several dozen people along with Venture Church Beaumont have been more than generous in providing for our needs.

Pro Tip: The difference between someone in need and a mooch is that a mooch stays in need after the need has been fulfilled, and then sucks the life out of you after that.

This financial difficulty has been the cause of untold grief on my Gummy Wimpers’ end. About once every other day we bicker about it discuss in strong terminology about the minutiae of financial hardship.

The truth is that God permits this sort of thing to happen. For the both of us, it’s been a strong exercise in humility, since we both were raised by prideful families that believe that receiving something is akin to getting punched in the face.

However, when you really think about it, isn’t that a bit stupid? You’re breathing God’s air, eating His food, live on His property and are reading this using technology made from His raw materials. To believe we shouldn’t receive is a form of silly shortsightedness that gets us all in a boatload of spiritual trouble.

Conceit Tip: The best way to stay self-absorbed is to avoid anything that glorifies others. Between becoming a professional (something) and a stout atheism you’ll have most of your bases covered.

Of course, this barbershop quartet of pain wouldn’t be complete without the sharp falsetto of a small person’s crying. Babies do cry, but self-esteem issues and a brood of anti-social tendencies yields a lonely and mentally unstable Dippy Lippers. My Y chromosome happens to possess many benefits (lifting big things, tenaciously driven, good-looking all year round, etc) but one downside is that it inhibits my ability to relate on a feminine level.

Nevertheless, we press on. As long as nobody dies, we’ll all survive. Nietzsche once famously said “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”, but all philosophers talk of “the good life” as a wonderful cascade of joy with suffering, happiness with tragedy, love with loss, and we are simply rolling out of a turbulent season into a different kind of turbulence.

Of course, on a spiritual level, there is much more at stake. What appear to be our smallest actions in context of eternity hold drastically more value. You may think you’re alone, but at all times there is an audience of angels and God Himself watching to see what you do when you feel you’re not being observed. Ironically, God’s got such a thing for transparency that He even indicates it in the Bible!

Spiritual Tip: They’re all watching you. All of them. They see you, and you can’t escape them. That’s why they flouridate your water and hide behind the mass media. All the smiling faces are part of the secret conspiracy.

The Dark Black Hole of the Soul

When you take on a really large project, it invariably becomes an emotional extension of yourself. This may be true for most creatives in their artsy-fartsy endeavors, but it rings true universally for the normies who don’t get emotionally connected to everything they ever touch ever.

Comedy Tip: Anything you’re personally familiar with is fair game for humor. Being married to my Gunky Slimers now allows me the freedom to make fun of black people, white people, Asians, mixed people, miscellaneously-raced people, college dropouts, college graduates, the uneducated, the poor, ex-addicts and people with delusions of competence.

For me, I devoted my heart and soul to the Philosopher Accountant, and the expectation was that it was a permanent fixture added to my life. However, like any parent of a 3.25-year-old, it was time to release my baby into the world and never bother with it again, hopefully expecting it to call at least once a year or so.

This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the timing. My Ducky Flippers and I have collectively never been through such a protracted and extreme form of poverty before. Outside of that God-changing-us-by-building-our-faith-through-ridiculous-hardships-that-come part of the poverty, I’ve created a much more analytical result out of it, and I will share it with all you lovely and/or ugly people.

Everyone has needs, obviously, and then they have wants. Wants and needs sit on a spectrum, but the more first world living you partake in the more you think your wants are actually needs:

  • Everyone needs to eat FOOD
    • It’s quite gainful to have a means to PREPARE that food to kill diseases and make inedible things be edible
      • Having a STOVE is simply a luxury, since it’s simply a fixed food preparation device
      • Having APPLIANCES are the same thing, and they’re usually meant to make everything easier
  • Everyone needs CLEAN DRINKING WATER
    • RUNNING WATER is quite convenient and decreases the likelihood of contracting various fun diseases
      • It doesn’t need to be through pipes, though!
  • Everyone needs SHELTER to stay protected from the elements
    • INTERIOR LIGHTING is simply a luxury, since the day has plenty of hours in it
    • CLIMATE CONTROL  is necessary only to the extent of protecting you from hazardous temperatures
      • HVAC of any type is purely a fancy luxury (and expensive in the hot and cold months!)
  • Everyone needs to STAY CLEAN, especially when society demands it
    • SOAP is necessary, and includes dish soap, laundry soap, hand/body soap, toothpaste, shampoo and hair conditioner
      • BRANDED SOAP is complete opulence, since you can make it yourself or buy equivalently good enough products at the dollar store
    • CLEAN CLOTHING is necessary to allow other first world people to take you seriously and actually talk to you
      • ELECTRIC/GAS WASHER & DRYER is complete convenience and a washer can be replaced with a clean plunger and a bucket, and drying can be air-dried
    • We all need a PLACE TO POOP, and the first world has many laws that inhibit where you can do the doodie duty
      • A TOILET is a wonderful thing, but it can be remedied just as easily with a shovel and/or a bush
    • A CLEAN HOUSE is nice, but it’s mostly to protect from diseases
      • BRANDED CLEANING PRODUCTS, like soap, does not need to cost much, and you can make it yourself or buy that at the dollar store as well
  • HOT WATER is a bit of a luxury as well, and has many uses due to our psychological connection with warmth
    • A SINK is connected to food preparation, hygiene and cleaning, but it certainly isn’t necessary
      • A DISHWASHER is really convenient, but is really unneeded
  • Finally, we all need SOMETHING TO DO, which historically had been in meeting all of the above needs
    • TECHNOLOGY like computers, televisions, cell phones and mobile devices are totally unnecessary to recreate
      • INTERNET ACCESS is even less necessary, but it can be gainful for researching about most things

In our own life, our extreme poverty has left us unable to even prepare food, take a hot shower or even use a toilet for a season. Some people would be mortified at this, but we’re pretty grateful, since it’s pretty much the lifestyle of 90% of the world.

This experience of ours has led us to realizing there are 3 major staples of the first world, and most people take it for granted so hard that they only complain when they fail:

  1. INDOOR PLUMBING – Running conduit through the drywall and plaster has been standard practice for a while now, but it’s to the point that it’s completely expected for it to work without incident. The downside is that when it fails it takes out the house’s structure with it or spews liquid that looks like chocolate and smells like the opposite of it.
  2. GAS/NATURAL GAS/KEROSENE/PROPANE – This is less prominent, except that everyone uses it for hot water. If you want to live further off the grid to avoid the conspiracy from affecting you (Hint: it still will) then living in an RV pretty much turns your lifeblood into propane. Even though it’s less prominent than plumbing, it’s still so vital that missing it would make many people cold and hungry. Except young bachelors, since most of them would just be cold.
  3. ELECTRICITY – Also known as man’s greatest servant, not a day goes by that you’re not using it in some way. Wrap it around a coil and its waste heat becomes  a source. Most meters use that same coil technology to bend a small bar. Connect it to a microwave transmitter set to a frequency that boils water and you’ll cook with it. Limit its transmission to being a rapid-fire Morse code signal and you have binary computer data. Without it we are practically helpless in the first world to fix our problems.

Anyway, this discovery has come right before a new development: I’m working again! I’ve now acquired gainful employment where people will pay money for me to do things!

Life Tip: Money is an arbitrary means of exchange meant to simplify the process of trading 55 cows for 10 wagons, but golly gee darn it’s useful to keep from not starving!

I’m working at a parcel service that was united some years ago. I’ll share more details about that after I actually start working at UPS!

Competence Tip: Don’t count your chickens before the watched pot boils, since a penny saved is early to rise. Don’t trust whitey, and always brush your teeth after every conversation.