Easter is Coming!!!

“But Joe…you’re an atheist!”

Yes. Yes I am. But, keep in mind, in the Bible, when the bunny hopped from his lair and began pooping out colored eggs, the children of the land of milk and honey woke from their slumbers. They climbed from their hewn rock beds, covered in dust, and walked to the kitchen table. There before them lay baskets of jelly beans, mixed up in the most shiny of plastic confetti. Digging a little deeper, the little children uncovered the stickiness of a Peep, melted onto the bottom of the basket from the desert heat.

No matter. They popped Peeps in their little mouths, Easter grass and all, and swallowed. Easter was here.

Yes, I know the Christian tradition of Easter. I’ve written extensively in my old and dusty corner of the interwebs on why I think the barbaric and bloody mess of Christianity’s human sacrifice necessity is well…barbaric and a bloody mess. So I don’t give a rats two shits on the true meaning of the holiday.

For most of us, anyway (me not included), it’s a time to dress up in ugly clothes and go to church the first of two times we’ll attend this year, providing fodder for the fire and brimstone Baptist preachers, yelling insults at their congregation, deploring the idea that “going to church twice a year will get you into heaven.” I mean, seriously…Jesus fucking Christ, that Billy Sunday shit is so old school. Do you really think, with the proliferation of information and general religious knowledge all over the internet, people don’t know the Baptist con job of the salvation riddle?

You know the one. An all powerful and all knowing god, cannot simply NOT ALLOW sin to manifest itself in the world, and is forced to carry out a human/god sacrifice. And even then, you don’t get to go to heaven. Whatever…I can hear the spaghettified hoops the religious are jumping through in their minds, rolling their eyes at me, wondering why I don’t just accept that I need to drink blood and eat flesh, then look judgingly upon a National Geographic picture of naked cannibals in the Amazon jungle.

I mean, don’t they know the sanctity of life? You know, like God feels about it. So much so that he forced Pharaoh’s heart to harden and not let the Israelites leave Egypt, carrying out the killin’ of the first born of every family, so that “they may see my signs and wonders and know who I am.”

Yeah God, we see who you are. Nothing I would want to be or have anything to do with. You have more in common with Ted Bundy than a rabbit has with an egg.

Happy Easter!

Oh…and I’m going to be doing my annual golden egg hunt with my religious in-laws. I love doing that every year.

My Felicity, The Humanist President

Felicity (8) brought home a writing piece she did in 3rd grade titled, “If I Were President”.

If I were President, I would focus on state laws. Because if I didn’t, there would be litter all over the state. And there is going to be a lot of poor people. And no inventions. And no good food. And no money. And a lot of hunger.

And there’s not going to be health care. And no school for nobody. And there are not going to be learning. And no education. And no homes.

And people will be really poor. But if there was state laws, everybody would learn. And have homes. And have good food.

And nobody would be poor. And the world would stay in peace.

Behold, your next President. Powerful too. World peace and awesome state laws. A tad utopian and a small lack of civics education, but her heart is exactly where I knew it was.

Just Another Run-of-the-Mill Morning

A boat with wheels rolled up to my group, blocking our path. We raised our guns, which looked more like bad-ass potato launchers, than anything that could shoot to kill. There were six people in this boat, the dust from their screeching halt wafting over all of us.

It was the end of the world. Some plague had killed off the entire human species, except, in the last few days, after being chased from our compound by other humans, we were meeting more groups of humans all over the place. The world was getting smaller and smaller, sometimes dangerous, most of the time, weird as hell.

“Let’s take a vote. Should we kill them or not,” the beady-eyed gentleman, who appeared to be the mouthpiece of the group said, around a toothpick he was moving side to side with his tongue.

A little boy, not more than five-years-old, spoke up, looking straight at me, “I like him. I don’t want them killed.”

“Neither do I. We can’t be killing people. We need to work together,” an old man, missing half his teeth, grumbled, in a cowed sort of way.

One by one, the remaining members of the wheeled boat group voted down a sacrifice of my people, then hopped out of the boat and began hanging out with us.

My alarm went off. I woke up.

It was 5AM. Monday. I didn’t want to get up. So, I scrolled through news, drifted off, looked at my Incongruous Circumspection (this blog) Site Stats, drifted off, checked the time, drifted off, wished a few people good morning, then finally my bedroom door opened.

“Daddy, can you drive us to school?”

It was Renaya (13). She does this every single morning. Asks me if I can drive them to school, at 7:00 AM, knowing that I can’t say no, being that school starts at 7:25 AM, the two older girls eat breakfast there, and it’s a 1.3 mile walk.

“Do I have a choice?”

“Um….no.”

The ritual completed, she closed the door, I rolled out, threw on some clothes, and drove them to school.

Arriving back home, I made a pot of coffee, took care of some work-related needs, then proceeded to wake the other kids. Fred (11) went straight to his iPad where he would sit until five-minutes before we had to leave. The other three little ones woke up, looked at me, then rolled over and went back to sleep.

I took care of a few more things.

Needing to leave with the kids at 8:30 AM, I looked at the clock. 8:14 AM.

Crap! I jumped up from my office desk, flying throughout the house, “KIDS! YOU HAVE 16 MINUTES! GET UP!!!”

Immediate panic ensued. This was manifested by everyone beginning to cry at the same time, and coming into my bedroom, crawling into Mommy’s arms, to be cuddled. I shrugged, and lied to myself that I could sit down for a few minutes. I sat down, then popped right back up.

Felicity (8), a perfect student, in every gifted and talented, advanced placement class the school could throw at her, was beginning to panic. She had a homework problem that she hadn’t finished the night before. It was the following math problem:

Use simple math operations to get the solution, 24, using each of the following four numbers, only once: 2, 11, 20, and 24.

I tried for a few seconds, then updated my Facebook status, asking all my friends to help. In the meantime, Felicity had taken the lack of urgency by all the other kids upon herself, escalating her anxiety. She being the sweetest kid alive, I heard her begin to weep, thinking the world was about to end. My anxiety escalated, working my adrenaline into a frenzy. I swore at the dog for getting in my way, she looked at me like I was an asshole – and stayed put. Running around her, I audibly grabbed one kid at a time, getting them ready. Felicity’s anxiety escalated further. Mine went up faster, wanting to make her happy. Fred (11) sat down on the master bathtub, not fully dressed, not packed for school, shoes scattered somewhere in the house, and cried. Felicity became even more anxious.

Then a dear friend of mine posted the answer to Felicity’s math problem on Facebook. I wrote it on Felicity’s homework paper, her anxiety evaporated, mine followed suit, I got the last items ready for the kids, and Mommy took them off to school.

And then I drank some coffee.

Letters From Mama: God Will Not Bless Your Marriage

Now, I will introduce you to one of my most popular series on my old blog, off in that dusty corner of the internet.

I grew up in an abusive environment, learning to cope quite well until I was 19 years old. At that point in my life, the heat got too hot and I was ready to be free. I left and went to live with my dad to get on my feet and expose myself to the real world in full color, rather than a world through sheltered and well defined, paranoiac lenses. My freedom came with many bumps in the road as I discovered that I was truly lazy when I wasn’t being yelled at to accomplish a task. I needed to mature…grow up. Life moved very fast and I needed to jump in and roll with it.

One day, I went on a weekend trip to Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Minnesota and met a girl. She was struggling to set up her tent and I squirted over to help her. The rest was history. We fell in love, I proposed less than two months later, and we were married a year to the day we met.

Let’s back up to July 17, 2001 – the day the love of my life and I decided on the date of the wedding. My mother, who henceforth will be referred to as “Mama,” sent me a letter. I had left her world nearly two years prior and she would leave no stone un-turned trying to get me back. Using religion and false warmth was her favorite tactic.

Dear Joseph,

I had been going by “Joe” for years. Ever since I left her home, I never went by my full name. She knew this and used my full name at every opportunity.

Forgive me; all the issues I obtained for you of This Old House, I’d thought I was giving you the most precious gift; I looked through the last one I’d gotten, and found I’d been giving you a magazine that had liquor, smoking, and more and more sensuality being slipped in. I am so sorry. I trust that my prayers for you had kept your discernment muscle strong.

First of all, I knew when Mama started out with an apology that she wanted something. She was never wrong. Additionally, she was reading my mail. But it wasn’t just my mail. She had ordered a subscription to This Old House for me, then had it delivered to her house, so I would have to come and pick it up, more than likely even be required to live there again. Get used to this type of manipulation.

Finally, my father had smoked for many years. Who did I go to heal with when I “escaped” her home? My father’s house. She knew full well what she was doing in writing this. And, to set the record straight, I love women and liquor (some liquor, anyway).

Joseph, my precious son, I have been young, and now I am old(er). All of my discipling (sic) since I have been saved has been right down this line – relationships and how God allows them to work or not work. HE DOES NOT ALLOW IT TO WORK IF YOUR PARENTS HAVE NOT GIVEN THEIR BLESSING.

My mother has actually been up on Mount Sinai and spoken to God herself. Moses had nothing on her. Moreover, she was thorough in her research before she wrote this letter, insomuch that she interviewed several billion couples that had tied the knot and believed in her god. Every couple that told her their relationship was perfect also let her know that they had received a full blessing from both sets of parents. Those couples that had eloped or had gotten hitched where at least one parent’s consent was not solidified, had either gotten divorced, murdered each other, or became gay.

Please do not set yourself up for misery, Joseph. Please wait until Papa releases you, deeming you fully mature in his eyes.

Now that went a bit too far. Mama had refused to have a relationship with my dad (Papa) since the divorce in 1987, unless he met her every demand. How did she know what his desires for my life were? Not to mention, he did exactly as a father should – gave me great counsel and kicked me off the branch, believing I could fly. He was a good dad.

I love you so much, and I would take the anguish you are going to go through, upon myself if God would let me. He cannot contradict Himself, Joseph.

Unfortunately for Mama, nowhere in the Bible does it say that a man or woman needs their parents permission to marry someone else. Sure, there are descriptions of marriages where the father chose the bride for his son. Also, the Benjamites lost a ton of womenfolk in a war that God brought upon them, so the dudes ran to another tribe and kidnapped some women for wives – also sanctioned by God. Hosea went and bought a prostitute as a wife – also sanctioned by God. David had wives and not ONCE did he ask his dad’s permission in the text and yet he was considered a man after God’s own heart. Her assertion was pure poppycock.

Also, “God never contradicts himself”? Right…apparently, the world’s most godly woman has never read the Bible.

Please ponder Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8 says:

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

It’s funny she uses this verse. Verse 7 would have worked toward her point much better:

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

And finally, the salutation:

In tears of anguish for your sake, yet, even so He gives me John 14:27, “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Mama XO

My Mama is a trip. I’ll post more letters in the future.

What is this white stuff on the ground?!

IMG_2740After being titillated with 80-degree weather last weekend, I woke up this morning to an inch of snow on the ground. As the voted-upon bearer of good news to the entire family, I rolled out of bed, went into Renaya’s (13) room, flung open the curtains and said through my laughs, “Look!”

Renaya groaned, “Daddy! I wanted to sleep in!!!”

Oops.

Sometimes Lying Makes the Littles Giggle

“Daddy, did you and Analisse go to the Children’s Museum in a bus last night?”

Felicity (8) was standing next to me, her eyes pleading with me for this not to be true. Her younger sister getting to go somewhere fun while she slaved away at school, the perfect and gifted student.

“No, we actually went on an airplane!”

“Nuh uh, Daddy! That’s impossible! You wouldn’t get home in time!”

“Well now, it was a fast plane! We flew over a jungle and watched tigers run below us. Then we watched cats herding cows. They were surprisingly deft at the task. Cows are very subservient to a nearly inaudible ‘meow’.”

“Daddy!!!,” Felicity was beaming and giggling uncontrollably. Analisse (The Freak) (5) was laughing, wondering how she was going to prove the truth of my story, her eyes flitting from person to person in the room.

“Then we landed in a muddy cornfield and made skunk sandwiches. They were surprisingly good! Unfortunately, Ani got a live one and it sprayed her in the face! I washed it with a tomato.”

Laughing out the words, Analisse yelled, “And I wiped my face off!”

“No. I licked the tomato off,” I retorted.

“Then I wiped the pupato off…”

“No, I handed you a cat and the cat licked you clean.”

“Then I wiped the cat’s spit off,” Analisse giggled.

Felicity was smiling ear to ear. “Daddy, what time did you get home?”

“Just before you got home from school,” I said.

Felicity laughed, an exasperated shaking of her arms, straightening them at her side. She looked at The Freak, her eyes glinting with mirth.

“Now get your asses in bed!”

Needless to say, they’re still up.