Dating guide for Dude(s)

I compiled one for Princess, it only seems fair I do the same for Dude.

Lust is in the air.

Lust is in the air.

He’s getting older, which explains why he suddenly becomes aware of hot girls, dreams about his first kiss and smiles every time he hears the word “boobs”. Technically it’s more than a smile; it’s the same look I get when someone mentions red wine and spaghetti bolognaise.

It’s common knowledge that teenage boys are a bit strange as they have all that testosterone raging through their bodies, giving them wide shoulders, hair in weird places and turns their voices into squeaky toys.  Unfortunately the hormone also prohibits them from making proper choices when it comes to members of the opposite sex. Continue reading

Secret revealed: Why Pixar used the mind of a girl for their new movie.

The jumping desklight company, Pixar, is currently busy making another animated movie that occurs inside the mind of a little girl.  It’s called Inside Out and is planned for a 2015 release.  The characters in the movie would be different emotions in the mind of the little girl.  With the voice talent of Amy Poehler as Joy and Lewis Black as Anger it is a unique concept that I would be very keen on seeing.  I am not sure which emotions will be voiced by Neil Patrick Harris and John Lithgow, but it can only get interesting.  You can read what little info I have here and here.

But the whole premise of the movie made me think, to use the words of Brain in his daily conversations with Pinky: “Are you pondering what I’m pondering?”

Yes, I do like to take a time-out once a week and meditate on issues that affects the world we live survive in. Continue reading

A male perspective.

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The first person on the moon was a man.  The first person to kill a human being was a man and the first person to blame a female…was also a man.

Men like doing things first, it’s the testosterone.  So I was REALLY surprised to find out that I am the first male contributing writer on a website on parenting.  The website is a forum where parents from all walks of life write about various issues we face as parents.  And like I always say, we need all the help we can get.

Parental roles have evolved.  Father’s can no longer only be the authoritarians and breadwinners anymore, we need to play a more active role in changing and sculpting the life of future generations.  Just like we don’t expect Mothers to only cook and clean.  So this website, Parents-space, is basically acting on the saying of “It takes a village to raise a kid.”

I was furthermore impressed with the fact that the captain wrote a piece on the first male deckhand working on this ship.  She has some theories as to why men are reluctant to write about experiences in parenting.  I agree with her husband when he said that men also have strong opinions about a lot of issues and yes we do discuss them, normally between mates over a few pints.

These discussion cover all aspects of life, most men just don’t feel the need to write them down and thus tell everybody.  So this one goes out to all my mates for sharing their opinions and allowing me to form a collective opinion for a modern father, which I am taking the liberty of writing down.  Cheers, to those who will supply content for all my future posts on the subject.

Sisters might be doing it for themselves, but we men, we do it collectively, we hunt in packs, we group together to ensure that our weaknesses are diluted and thus creating a stronger chain.  We do this in all aspects of life, of which parenting is an inevitable reality.

So girls, when the bro’s goes out of a drink, know that we are sharing and solving and making life better.  Just like you, but without the tea.

Death by bedbug

I alluded to the fact that I was almost eaten alive by a rogue gang of bedbugs during a recent business trip to India.  (You can read all about that and the other “fun” things I had to endure  in my previous post)

Ok, I might be exaggerating slightly, as the bedbugs only tried to chew of my lower right arm.   Have you seen what they look like?  Disgusting.  What is not known to the reading population is the fact that I develop flu like symptoms during the trip, two days after the biting episode.

I understand that this would the death of a hypochondriac, as I can easily imagine going to the dark place, thinking you might be infected with a unique mutated bedbug-carrying form of the bird flu.  To be honest, I never considered the two incidents to be related, having had the flu once or twice before.  It really never occurred to me that the coughing, sneezing, headaches and tiredness was as a result of the bites, until returning home, and a friend mentioned the possibility.  Being a rational man, I still had arguments to defend my state of disbelief, but they all disappeared when the friend uttered the now famous words, in front of my wife and daughter.  It changed everything.

Their concern seemed heartfelt and flattering at first, asking politely whether I shouldn’t consider going to the doctor.  Now, this was Saturday, with two big games scheduled and a couple of friends coming over.  There was no friggin way.  I faked my wellness right until Sunday morning.  Then the flu decided to fight back, gloves off.  So the wife’s concern turned to borderline annoyance, and the daughter’s concern turned into nagging.  I know it seems harsh but remember when a man is sick, the actual sickness and the extensive overacting, drains all the resources, patience and kindness included.

My reluctance to go?  I am not a big fan of GP’s.  Don’t get me wrong, if I am on a plane and my heart is missing a beat, or when I am choking on a chicken bone in a fancy restaurant, I will take any doctor in the house.  But a GP is a person I visit only to receive antibiotics, cause I got tired of fighting the virus alone.  I mean, I tell him what’s wrong with me, and he gives me medicine.  Strictly speaking he should pay me for making his job simpler and for waiting, as one always does.  The only other benefit is if there is a sick day or two in the mix.  That’s why I think veterinarians and pediatricians are the best medical practitioners, because their patients cannot tell them what is wrong.  They actually have to figure it out themselves!.  Sometimes I think we should just walk into the doctor’s room and say nothing.

Bottom line I don’t like to be billed for giving someone my own opinion on what might be wrong with me.  For that I can get a shrink and I work with consultants.  It has to be said, not all doctor’s are the same…

The reluctance for going to the doctor melted quickly when my daughter’s asked me this morning with teary blue eyes.  “What if the bites make dad even more sick?  I really want you to get better.”

So with that in mind I phoned my GP, who lives down the street and asked to see him.  Turned out, times changed and he actually knew a few things.  Tweak my opinion… The bites were indeed bedbugs, and the flue I have is actually a sinus infection.  Who knew?  Some deep part of me was really, really relieved and I am convinced there is a hidden hypochondriac in every one of us.  Like Gollum hiding in the dungeons of our unconscious mind, ready to leap and cause havoc as soon as we feel or see something on our own body that we cannot explain.  So thanks to all medical practitioners who keep a lid on Golllum.

And so I will live another day, ready to fight negativity and despair.  I used a roaring “YES” when my little girl cautiously asked me this afternoon: “Daddy will you be ok?”

Man vs Woman vs Being sick

In the dark hours of last night I suddenly woke up with the realisation that my lovely wife was not in bed beside me.  The emptiness must have called out to my conscious mind… I sat up, listened and heard some grovelling from the bathroom.  I called and she replied faintly.  It wasn’t an ogre.  (Note to Oscar Pistorius , this is how normal people do it, we call out, then wait for a reply.  No guns required).

My wife was sick, and not the feminine flu kind of sickness, she had a full force puke-a-thon-thing going.  Liquids were leaving her body from all known orifices and then some.  There was no choice in the matter, she was competing in some twisted version of a relay; racing between the bathroom and our bed.  All. Night. Long.

When I woke up I could feel the Sandman’s residue didn’t dissolve properly and I was left with scratchy, blotchy, red eyes.  My wife didn’t look any better.  She wasn’t just pale, she looked like a European after a very, very, very long winter.  Her dull grey eyes were sunken deep in her skull and I feared the start of a Zombie Apocolypse.  (No, I didn’t say anything, jeez relax.)   She was really weak after all the fun she had the night before.   Words were not necessary as it was obvious, she felt like shit.  What caught me of guard was when she tried to drag herself out of bed and assume her normal daily routine of getting ready for work.  It went something like this:

Shower, lie on bed, get shirt, lie on bed, wake the kids, lie on bed, put on shirt, get pants, lie on bed, comb hair, lie on bed.  It just became painful to watch so I suggested something radical:

“Love, maybe you should stay home today.  You look pretty weak, and it might not be the best option to face thirty grade 1’s.”

There was a moment.  Wait for it… Wait for it… She agreed!  It doesn’t happen often and it felt really good.

The only condition, I need to call in sick on her behalf.  I didn’t mind and the headmaster, being a normal human being, sympathised and wished her well. It should come as no surprise that men can also be compassionate and understanding.  My wife smiled a weak one, and flopped down on the bed.  I made her some tea and then things really became interesting.

I still had to get the kids to school and with all the commotion we were running seriously late.  What followed was a lot of shouting, chasing, threatening but eventually the kids were in the car, flustered but more importantly, alive.

I ran up the stairs, saw my fragile looking wife in bed and moved in for the kiss, then remembered the germs she was carrying,  and turned my cheek.  Cruel?  Maybe, but there was no way I was going to hand over control of my bowel and stomach to the urges of poo and vomit.  Before I left she said:

“I feel bad.”

“I know, my love.  Take some medicine, and stay in bed.  You need the rest, I think the worst is behind you.  You will probably feel better soon.”

“No, not like that”, she moaned, “I feel bad because I am staying home.  What about those poor little kids.  They’ll miss me…”

WAIT.  STOP.  DID SHE ACTUALLY SAY THAT?

What is it with woman and their misplaced guilt about taking a sick day?  Men don’t have it.   When a man gets a sick day, its a wondrous moment filled with joy and celebration.  And men don’t even need a terrible disease to take a day.  As a matter of fact, God forbid it being a real serious ailment.  A plain old stomach ache would suffice.  Once the call is made, enhanced with some Oscar-worthy acting, and the boss wishes you well, there is NO better feeling on this earth than seeing your family leave the driveway, whilst you are standing in the front door with pajamas.

And then the most amazing thing happens, as soon as that car is out of sight, the healing power of having me-time floods your system.

You run back to the lounge, grab your slightly cold coffee from the counter and jump on the coach, satin-batman shorts and all.  You pick up the remote with a twinkle in the eye, for it now belongs to you, a piece of equipment that opens the gates of cable for your own personal viewing pleasure.  Any channel, any program, any sport, any advert, any movie.  Just for you.  The ultimate surfing experience.  I get emotional just thinking about it.

When you get bored from doing nothing, after about three hours, you do it for another two.  Then only do you persuade your mind to get your body into a shower.  Afterwards you walk to the fridge and curse yourself for not replenishing the beer.  You head back to the coach and play Angry birds compulsively for an hour until you fall asleep.  Right there.  On the coach.  Like a slob.  Dreamy…

Then you hear a faint noise, a car maybe?  You jump up with a drool, three feet long dangling from your bottom lip, dump the empty packets and greet the family with a full-on disheveled look at the door.  This will result in milking a wee bit more sympathy for the-poor-thing-did-you-sleep-all-day-conversation.  And you just hug, look over her shoulder and wink at the kids.

So I ask this question with all sincerity, what part of my sick day does NOT sound like fun?  Which part of it is so repulsive that it packs on the guilt in woman.  Here are the facts of a sick day:

1. You are alone.

2. You have NO responsibility.

3. You are getting paid.

4. You can do whatever you want to and

5. If you want to, you can do absolutely NOTHING.  The. Whole. Day.

The irony was that my wife was really sick, so why do woman even consider guilt as an emotion on such a day?  I shook my head and told the wife I’ll see her later.  On the way to school the only answer I could come up with for my puzzled mind was that men work harder and thus have a lot more stress to cope with.  We need days off.  For ourselves.  To recover.

I might be wrong with my rational, and another reason might be that woman are more driven, trying to prove themselves in a chauvinistic corporate environment where they always end up being compared to their male counterparts, thus having a bigger drive to succeed, or rather to not disappoint…

Nah, it is because men work harder.