The BluePrint #1: ROAD RAGE

9:11 PM Posted by Knox McCoy

On the whole, my skill as a driver is probably average. Sometimes, I may assume that I have unlocked some inner code to what it means to operate  motor vehicle, but the fiftieth percentile is most likely where I live.

This is good, I suppose. My averageness means that I will never try to ramp onto/into an empty transfer truck and I will always be hesitant before boarding another vehicle whilst engaged in a highway shootout. Vin Diesel, I am not.

But in all my road mediocrity, I do excel in one area: road RAGE. Unfortunately, this is for the worse.

Rage of the road is one area where I struggle mightily in concealing my problem from the Boy. Usually, he is on hand for most of my outbursts. I will vehemently disagree with another driver's course of action and after I conclude my loud rant, I can always count on looking back to see the Boy staring at me, mouth agape and fingers wrapped tightly around his blanket. Fatherhood fail.

To be fair, there's A LOT of bad driving going on these days. It's inevitable with so many options behind the wheel. Back in the day, when horses were the preferred method of transport, if you took your hands off the reigns, it was OVER. If Last of the Mohicans taught us ANYTHING, we know that inattentiveness on a horse meant an arrowhead right to the sternum.

Now? You can watch Daniel Day Lewis as Hawkeye IN YOUR CAR and tweet about it WHILE DRIVING. For the overall species, this is what anthropologists call BAD. Take it back ten years, and using a cell phone while driving wasn't even a good thing. Now though, it seems tame in comparison to playing CoD: Modern Warfare 2 and freaking Farmville while parallel parking.

As a general rule, I think doing anything while driving is too ambitious. Think of it as church marquees. Is it cool to have a witty marquee that grabs the attention of an unchurched public? Why yes. Yes, it is. But your margin of error is slim. Guess wrong on your content and you may come off as small-minded, close-minded, or ignorant-minded.

"Better get sanctified or you'll get CHICKEN FRIED!" may seem like a winner, but it's probably not. Better to keep it simple.

Same with driving. Texting, tweeting, and watching Friends Season 2 all while driving may sound awesome, but staying alive is better. And besides, don't you already know that Ross is a TOTAL loser? (Smelly cat, Smelly cat, it's not your fa-ault.)

That's a long way around to my original point. As long as we operate vehicles, there will always be terrible drivers. People will always drive woefully slow in the fast line, they will never use their blinker when turning, and they will presume that their new car deserves two spaces instead of one. These are the inevitabilities of the world we live in. We do not control them.

What we do control though, is our reaction. These permanent fixtures of the road will continue to be flagrantly awful. But do my reactions have to be awful? My hope is for the Boy to roll with life's punches: on the road, at work, at home...wherever. And so I will begin changing this in myself so that it may be part of his blue print.

While on the topic of driving, I read this tragic, but fantastic story (Dead Man Driving) about an accident and how it relates to you or I. It analyzes the small choices we make while driving and how it can translate into a life altering decision. It's a long read, but WAY worth it. Especially if you drive with a high pulse rate (hand raised).


The Strange Art of Baby Ages

10:12 PM Posted by Knox McCoy

In my younger days that were rife with a cavalier disregard for free time, I would often wonder why was it that when parents were asked of their child’s age, the reply is given in exact months? Such a strange practice.

When a child turns eight, does the parent announce that their child is 96 months old? No, silly, they do not. So why do babies get this treatment? It seemed superfluous to me at the time. But I understand now. BOY, DO I EVER UNDERSTAND.

Being on the other side of the parenting divide, we parents give exact months because WE EARNED THESE MONTHS. Sometimes, they are nice reminders of how long our little bundle of joy has been with us. Other times, these months are the metaphorical chalk tallies on the walls of our prisons homes.

Don't get me wrong though: There are some months that are wonderful. These are nice because each day runs into the next like a beautifully choreographed montage where wistful music plays, graceful shenanigans take place, and it all ends with him cuddled in his bed. These months do exist.

But these months have a ferociously ugly twin. It's like Meet the Parents vs. Meet the Fockers: Seemingly related entities but entirely opposite. These companion months are not so wonderful. They are like the Trail of Tears for your sanity and they are the times that try the hearts of mothers and fathers.

See, each month is a badge of parental honor. If I say “right at 15 months” it's because I’m proud that:
A. The boy is still alive.
B. My marriage is still intact.
C. Child services has not investigated my parenting methods.

I claim each and every month greedily, like a homeless waffle fry at the bottom of a Chick-fil-A bag.

Why? How dare you. WHY NOT? I’ve earned it, THAT'S WHY.

I’ve been yelled at, peed on and crapped on at all hours of the night. I’ve been pegged by grapes, slimed by sweet potato guts, and had my feet smeared with swiftly decomposing banana bits. I’ve had my beard ripped out in spots, been almost t-boned by a Mickey Cart and nearly brained by wooden building blocks. YOU WANNA KNOW HOW I GOT THESE SCARS?

When you consider all that comprises the investment of parenting, there’s a sense of obligation to yourself to be as accurate as possible because it leaves nothing to chance. What if the following exchange took place at a local Target?:

Random Stranger: Aww he’s cute. How old is your son?

Me: Over a year. Have a good day.

(The End)

"Over a year" could mean ANYTHING. It could mean 366 days. It could mean that it is 12:01 am on the day after his birthday. He's 16 months old for crying out loud! These things cannot be left open for interpretation. This isn't Lost , you know? PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW.

There is a moral obligation to clear the air so that this random stranger understands the caliber of person that stands before them. Namely, the kind that can keep a child alive for “just over 16 months."

Ergo, the exchange presumably would become this:

Random Stranger: Aww he’s cute. How old is your son?

Me: Just over 16 months.

Random Stranger: Really?! Please, take your assorted domestic items and various groceries and take my place in line for YOU HAVE EARNED IT.

Me: I have, haven't I?


I think the latter scenario works out much better, don't you?


More Self Loathing: Bachelor Finale Review

11:17 PM Posted by Knox McCoy

Obviously, we all know that on Monday night, the inexplicable happened: Jake picked Vienna and in doing so, he horrified the masses. I don't know if I'm ready to live in a world where people like Vienna prosper. It would seem that the terrorists have already won.

But much like an episode of LOST, a significant amount of questions were left unanswered. Below, a few lingering questions and thoughts I have.

#1 - Who picks out Jake's ties? Conceivably, it HAS to be Jake himself because any other person of the ABC employ would have been fired with just cause. The only people who could pull off those ties are gentlemen of the homosexual persuasion OR Fonzworth Bentley (and any other similarly affiliated hip-hop personalities. If I was Tenley, I would be relieved when he turned me down because of that ridiculous looking tie and if you think it's limited to ties, YOU ARE WRONG. You know he has an entire dresser full of jean shorts that may or may not be frayed.

#2 - Speaking of Tenley, I can't help but wonder about what is more the source of her despair: that Jake simply rejected her or that he rejected her FOR VIENNA. I think an argument could be made that a majority of the dismay felt by the rejected women this season was not that Jake didn't want them, but that they were voted our BEFORE Vienna. This can't be emphasized enough. Rejection at the hands of Jake is one thing, but when you factor in the fact that Jake is essentially saying, 'I do not want you because I find the trollish and obnoxious Vienna to be more desirable.' Wouldn't this disturb you?

#3 - Vienna's win effectively destroys my theory of her being an ABC plant. OR DOES IT? If The Departed has taught us anything, it's that sketchy, seedy people are capable of anything. Maybe, just maybe this goes deeper than The Bachelor. Maybe, Vienna is in DEEP DEEP cover. Scoff at me if you must, but consider the following: What if ABC, in an effort to prop up the fading Dancing With The Stars franchise, orchestrated this unholy union? Silly? Maybe. But remember this when Vienna bankrupts Jake during this DWTS season and sleeps with his brother. And not the decent looking brother either. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

#4 - I like how Jake's family initially recoiled in terror at Vienna, but then she won them over by talking trash about Tenley. I always feel better about people AFTER I hear them talk copious amounts of trash about others. Vienna seems to have the unification skill set of Nancy Pelosi. Mark my words, those sisters-in-law will be dropping anonymous scoops about Vienna's alleged drug habits to US Weekly in less than 3 months.

#5 - I mentioned this previously, but watching Tenley get rejected was like watching Bambi getting shot or Mufasa getting trampled all over again. Just painful. I guess if I just realized that someone as morally bankrupt as Vienna was preferred to me, I'd be a little catatonic too. But her trying to change Jake's mind as he was escorting her out was just depressing.

#6 - Finally, I wonder how much was known about Vienna prior to Jake's selection of her. We can assume that ABC had a pretty decent idea of Vienna's malevolent exploits prior to her selection. But did they communicate these things to Jake? Are they obligated to? Would Jake have chosen differently if he was aware that Vienna was essentially a social climber? I SAY YES.

A conversation may have gone like this:

Chris Harrison: Hello Jake.

Jake Pavelka: Greetings Chris.

Chris: Congrats on your impending nuptials to Vienna.

Jake: Thank you, Chris.

Chris: By the way, you know how Vienna's ample bosom basically bewitched you and caused you to overlook some SERIOUS red flags with her maturity and emotional IQ?

Jake: Yes, I am somewhat aware of the bosom that you speak of.

Chris: Well that bosom was subsidized through her Iraq-deployed husband's savings account. Additionally, she has a Hooters pedigree and is prone to sleeping with her significant others' friends. Lastly, your tie is hideous. Talk to you later!

Jake: (Anger/Shock/Regret)

I leave you with this video.