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Four hours til I have to be up, and I'm pretty much wide awake; which is not to say that I'm not tired, only that it's impossible for me to sleep. Of course, sleeping to 10AM yesterday, and drinking a Mountain Dew Code Red and two Sunkists soon before bed probably didn't help matters. Nor did this throbbing headache (which was probably made worse by the caffeine).

Seven hours til my midterm in Problems of Democracy. I still haven't read the last three chapters of Dahl for it. Thankfully, we went over it in class, so if any of the material is on the test, I won't be totally clueless about it.

The first case of West Nile in Maricopa county showed up yesterday - two miles from my house. Which means that when I get a headache or feel dizzy or nauseous, I'm going to get paranoid and hypochondriacal (er, you know what I mean) and think I'm coming down with it. Or not.

Maybe I should take some warm milk or something. And some Ibuprofen or something for my head.

Man, have I’ve got a sure fire case of the “guilts” today.

Most of you folks who “know” me here at E2 know how much I try and dote an my kid. I write about her often because I think she’s such an easy subject and I think by having her in my life, I’ve become a better person. Most of you also know that she posts some stuff here on a sporadic basis. For what it’s worth, the majority of it has been well received.

I like to think of myself as a good father. Someone who is patient and attentive to the needs of their kid. I screwed up last night.

Ever since this, my schedule with her has been a little topsy turvy. Often, arrangements between me and my ex are made at the last minute depending on our alternating schedules. I don’t like it but I guess it’s better than nothing. I’m not trying to make excuses for what occurred last night, there isn’t one. Even though, at times, my life can be pretty hectic, I should know better.

This was not “my week” to have my kid. My ex was with her and I figured that was that. I’d pick her up as normal on Friday (today) and we’d move on with our lives as we normally do. So, this being Thursday evening I figured I’d head out and have a couple of beers with some of my friends.

About 9:30 or so, my phone rang. Figuring it was too late for telemarketers or bill collectors, I picked up the phone. It was my ex’s father, Anna’s grandfather. I figured to myself “this is odd” because since my divorce, I haven’t had much contact with my former in-laws. I braced myself for bad news.

He informed me that Anna was with them and that my ex was out of town. Was I aware though, that I was supposed to pick her up at school last night?

Holy shit! Did you ever have one of those moments when you suddenly remember something that is really important that you had forgotten about? The conversation I had with my ex about a week ago echoed in my head at that very instant. I had agreed to pick up on Thursday! I totally freakin’ forgot!

I asked him if he wanted me to come get her and he said no, they would take her to school today. I felt like shit when I hung up the phone.

I got to work as usual this morning. As I arrived at my desk I saw that I had a message on voice mail. This is pretty odd because I usually clear ‘em out before I leave and I get in the office pretty early. I replayed the message and I heard the voice of my kid…

Borgette: “Hi dad, it’s just me Anna, I thought you might still be at work. It’s about twenty after six and I’m still at school. I thought you were going to pick me up. Everybody but the teacher has left. Mom is out of town. I guess you’re not there. Bye!”

I’m kicking myself today. I feel like an idiot and a bad parent. I’m sure word will leak back to my ex and they’ll be all sorts of explanations that will have to be made. Hopefully, the accusations and recriminations will be kept to a minimum. I figure I’ll just admit that I screwed up, promise it will never happen again, and be humble and await the inevitable consequences.

One last thing – ”Honey, daddy is so, so sorry!”

Fair Shmare

So the good ol' Mid-South Fair is here. Excuse me while I show no excitement whatsoever. I hate the fair. I always wanted to go when I was younger b/c I had always had a good time then. Don't ask me why. I think it was because when I was younger my parents gave me money to go and I didn't have to spend my own. Or maybe b/c it is that I am fucking old now and can't be riding those damn rides anymore. I just can't.

I think my reasoning back then was, "FUN! I get to ride all of these cool rides and eat all of this cool food and have fun. Totally radical!!!" Now I'm more like, "You want me to pay for a ride that is going to jerk me around and around over and over again at 100 mph??? No thank you. I'll just sit here and hold your shit."

However the food is good and I am sure the only reason why most people go, but I was told the other day by a woman at work that a radio station was actually telling everyone how much fat and carbs, and bad, nasty shit was in fair food. Again, no thank you. Instead of spending my $7.00 on a funnel cake that will take a few years off my life, I'll save it for a nice smoothie or something. I love ya, Mr. Funnel Cake, but I can't do it. But if I don't see you, keep on truckin'.

And the ultimate fair food: The foot long corn dog. Dear lord. Not only am I about to inhale 12 inches of lord knows what the fuck is in hotdogs, but it is also battered and deep fried. Yum Yum. Mr. Foot Long Corn Dog, you're mighty tasty, but my ass needs to move on. We separated quite a few years back, and the reminder of what I am missing is just too much for ol' girl to bare. Sorry man. You are one well endowed Mo Fo, but no matter how good you are, no one needs that much. Check you later.

Then there is my personal favorite: The Candy/Carmel Apple. This has to be the healthiest of all fair snacks. Is that not funny? The healthiest thing you could eat would be an apple covered in pure sugar. Sure, it can't be good for your teeth and it's not a friend to diabetics but at least it won't clog your arteries and it's not fattening. I am sure the caloric content is a nightmare, but calories are nothing. I understand fat grams, not calories. Fat grams and cholesterol. That is what I understand. I guess the next in line for the healthiest snack would be the frozen banana. They are tasty enough but I just can't eat a frozen banana. It's too cold and hurts my teeth. And there is always that one asshole fraternityboy mother fucker that has to point and make some dumbass comment about sucking on a banana or something. I'd rather just not give them the thrill. And I would like to see the man that is as big and as hard as a frozen banana, and as satisfying for that matter.

So to all of my Mid-South Fair going friends, have a good time. Get drunk. Eat a lot. Be safe. Please lay off the unsuspecting girls eating the frozen banana, and please, please, show Liberty Land some love. The poor neglected thing, it needs it. And could someone pick me up a carmel apple with nuts please? (heh heh, I said "nut").


I don't know when I got so cynical. I used to be so light-hearted and fun. I'm still fun. I just don't like as much stuff as I used to. Or the stuff I used to like has been replaced by other stuff; stuff that comes across more cynical.

I went to Oktoberfest in Mt. Angel, Oregon.

It was nice, in a middle American sort of way. If you're not going to drink beer or eat sausage there's not a whole lot there for you other than the music. So that's where my wife and I were, hanging out in a converted barn, watching a polka band. I haven't seen a lot of polka bands but, of the ones I have seen, it has always been full of old men. Men who seem a particularly harsh shade of red and sweat onions. This band was no different only I couldn't smell their onions.

There was one polka band that broke the mold. It was an entire family (like the Von Trapps) and they each played an instrument (really well) and all the daughters were kind of hot. Hot in a Bavarian peasant sort of way but not like Leelee Sobieski (or whatever?)

I was enjoying the anything-goes vibe (the attitude not the musical) and thought it was fun how everybody was so uninhibited (probably a little sloshed) and didn't seem to care who was watching. I've always been one of those people that can't dance like no one's watching because I know that someone IS watching and I'm scared of looking ridiculous.

This deserves a paragraph: I'm not fashion conscious (I know that you match your leathers, like belt and shoes but doesn't everyone know that by now) and I really don't spend a lot of time in front of the mirror polishing my look (or "look.") I don't care what people think of me in a vague sense of the term. If you don't like me, I'm not going to bend over backwards trying to get you to change your mind. It's very hard to embarrass me because I'm confident in my ability to save face. But, yes, I care if I look dumb.

It comes from being self-absorbed - I know this. I believe that there are several different kinds of self-absorbtion (so does Dave Eggers) and I'm the type that thinks everyone is watching them. Not in a paranoid, draw-the-blinds kind of thing but more of a star-of-my-own-sitcom kind of thing. I don't think that it's that uncommon either. I'm sure there are some people out there that know that they are just a supporting actor in this whole show. Somebody knows that they are the villain.

I know that I'm the star. Not of the world, it's too big, but of my own show - I'm the star of that. If I'm on your show, it's a cameo. If you think you're the star but you hang out with me a lot, I'm sorry but you're not the star - I am. Maybe you have your own show on another network but you are not the star around here.

But the Oktoberfest...

It was fun until I tried to do something other than watch the family rock the barn. Beer was spilling over the top of everyone's stein. There were fat, sweating, Germans in lederhosen all red-faced and double fisting bratwurst. They looked like they were on the verge of heart attack and yet they still pushed the sausages into their red, sweaty, bald little heads. You could smell the puke baking in the port-o-potties and the stale beer from the previous nights evaporated off the pavement making the air thick and muggy.

Everyone seemed fat. Disgustingly fat and still eating. Their pores releasing oil and sauerkraut - long, thin strands of pickled cabbage was oozing out of their skin like mugwumps. There were frat boys in home-made lederhosen (shorts with suspenders) their Hooters T-shirts untucked and plastered to their bodies in wet sections.

And there were lines everywhere. Lines for the tokens. Lines for beer, after you got your tokens. Lines for the bathrooms. Lines for water ($1.50) and lines for the garbage can. The narrow streets were lined with small booths boasting the deepest fried whatever. People moved in slow throngs, half the street going one way, the other half going the other way (vaguely.) Even without our cars, we are trained. Like cattle, everyone shuffles from line to line or stops to wipe the grease that's dripping down their chin and onto the front of ther mumus.

It was like a contest to see who could die the first from heart failure. I was starving but couldn't bring myself to eat. I did not want to be one of these people. These fucking people. It was a celebration of several European countries but, as I looked around, it was an event that celebrated obesity and wealth - the reason so many European countries look at America with disdain.

Like Finland.

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