Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thoughts from My Family Reunion

This weekend, I went to my family reunion. On my dad's side. They hadn't had one in a couple years, and then decided to start up with the tradition again. To a distant cousin on facebook, I had once said that if they had it, I would go. So, when it finally did roll around, I had no choice.

It was held in Superior, Nebraska. Don't bother looking it up unless you want to be bored to death. It took us a little over 4 hours to get there, driving through the boring Kansas plains and passing numerous swaths of farmland. We drove through many small towns, and came to the conclusion that all small towns have a Pizza Hut. They also have shitty wi-fi. By the time we got to Superior, none of us had a signal, so we couldn't call anyone to let them know we made it safely. A zombie attack could have occurred and no one would be the wiser.

So, family members show up, some of whom I haven't seen since my father died. My Aunt Mary was still aloof, her kids (now grown up) are still snobby, which is funny because they have no reason to be that way. My Uncle Dennis and Aunt Mary (who have been married longer than I have been alive) still don't like each other. Why they are still married, I don't know.

My cousin Rachel lamented that she is not liking on her husband, so that marriage might be in trouble. She may want to divorce him.

My Aunt Lois stated that her husband is a colossal prick. She wants to divorce him.

Aunt Mary and Uncle Dennis hate each other. They really should get a divorce.

Notice a trend?

On the other hand, my cousin Chip is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, and she was pretty cool. They have a son who is severely autistic, and I was amazed at the patience they both show towards him.

Standard family reunion fare as far as food goes. Someone brought moldy buns, and someone else just happened to have more in their car. Surprisingly, no one brought any Pizza Hut.

The distant cousin who organized the event brought with her a family history book, and I learned that I had family members that were here pre-Revolution. No mention was made if they took part in that. However, some family moved from Virginia to Tennessee, and fought for the Union army during the Civil War. The family members that stayed behind in Virginia fought for the Confederate army.

I'm sure that made for awkward Thanksgiving gatherings.

The Civil War information is interesting, so I plan on researching it further because there was a metric shit ton of family members who fought in the war on both sides. We also have our own cemetery, also in the middle of nowhere. I'm sure I won't have a cell phone signal there either, but it would be interesting to go there and check out the dates on the stones. The family history book has pictures of the stones, but the book was made with a typewriter and a really crappy camera.

It's kinda nice to know that my family has a history. It's kind of exciting to find out what that history is. Up until now, I've only known Dad's side of the family to be a bunch of high-functioning alcoholics. I also got an idea to start writing brief blurbs about current family members, and encouraging others to contribute.

The reunion only lasted as long as it took for people to eat until they popped. We, having come the farthest, hung around and visited with some other people. Redneck Brother and Aunt Lois getting into a water fight as some point. Honestly, we spent more time in the car than we did at the reunion.

It was decided that next year, it would be held a little closer to everyone. As all the old people who had once wanted it to be held in Superior had since passed away, there was no reason to gather there anymore. My only criteria for a new location would be a decent signal to make outgoing calls and update my facebook status. Maybe even live tweet the whole reunion, which would still be pretty boring.

Overall, it was nice to be around family...even if they are strange.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

How Bullies Are Created

So, Mom, Mr. Recommendation, and myself traveled up to Podunk, Mo to see my nephew play a little league game. As I have said before, baseball generally doesn't blow my skirt up, but watching 7-year olds try to play is quite amusing. You can almost pick out the Ritalin kids as they are watching butterflies in the outfield.

At any rate, we're sitting in the bleachers, watching my nephew's team completely smash the other team when the little pitching machine pitches the ball, batter swings, misses, and the catcher gets beaned in the hand or something. Whatever it was, it hurt, and the kid starts to cry.

Crying Catcher Kid is holding his hand. And instead of a concerned parent or coach checking it out, we get his father (all 300lbs of him) charging out of the bull pen and screaming at his seven-year old son to "Stop being such a crybaby!" and "You're causing the game to be delayed!" and "God, you're such a crybaby!"

Screaming Dad was also the team's coach.

A collective gasp from our team bleachers. Not a peep from their team bleachers. I'm going to guess that they have been witness to Father of the Year before, maybe it's standard operating procedure for them.

Someone does speak up, and Screaming Dad yells at that person to mind their own business because, "It's my son and I will do what I damn well want!"

With that, Asshole of the Year pulls his son out of the game. Mom comes in, collects the boy, and takes him up to their car. I imagine to calm down, but Mom never said a word either.

There's all kinds of wrong with this picture.

If I had been the Mom, Coach Douchebag would have had a new one ripped right there. If I was a parent that had a kid on that team, I would have pulled my own kid off the field, told the coach to go fuck himself, and then left.  I wanted to grab my nephew's new composite bat and shove it up his fat ass without so much as a drop of lube.

You know, I have always read the horror stories of parents behaving poorly at their kid's sports events, but I have never witnessed it firsthand. It takes a real man to stand up to an injured 7-year old.

Meanwhile, my section becomes the section of insults directed towards Coach Dickhead. Mom is suddenly stricken with Acute Tourette's Syndrome and randomly shouts out all kinds of words. Despite being furious as the appalling display I have just witnessed, I shush Mom before we are ejected by the umpire.

I should have recorded this whole thing and posted it on YouTube. Then, the antics of Captain Dickwad would be out there for all the world to see.

I'm still pretty mad. I'm also pretty sad for that kid, who has that piece of shit for a father. Ever wonder how bullies are created?

There you go.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Future Hospital Customers

So, the parental units and I stopped by Ghettomart on our way home the other night. I really need to stop going there. Every time I do, I end up hating the human race. Sometimes, saving twenty-five cents isn't worth your dignity...or your personal safety. I will admit, there have been a few times, more than I care to count, that I have gone there in the evening and actually been nervous walking from the parking lot to the building. The place, sitting like a beacon off I-70, draws them in from both trailer park and projects alike, and provides just an easy a getaway.

And it's not just me being paranoid. There's been shootings, muggings, and other American-made trouble that Sam Walton's gang didn't have to import from China. As a nurse, I've become acutely aware of my surroundings at all times. When intuition tells me to move my ass, I do so.

At any rate, we were at Ghettomart the other night, and we finished buying our kitty crack (hey, furballs gotta eat, too). En route back to automotive, where we had parked, were two youngish fellas, sporting very pretty gang colors, nonchalantly buying ammo for .45 Automatic guns.

Not exactly the kind of guns you use to hunt deer. Besides, it's not deer season. It's not anything season. And I hate the concept of profiling, but if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and buys bullets for automatic weapons in the urban core while wearing's probably a gang-banging duck.

We left the store pretty quickly. I wasn't disgusted. I was more disappointed that for some, this is the best they can hope for themselves. I was also a little alarmed that it was that easy for anyone to just go and buy rounds of ammo at their local Walmart. I'm not a fear monger when it comes to gun control. I actually support the second amendment. I recognize that while we have restrictions and rules in play for people who want to buy and own guns, those who have no business possessing them, will always obtain them illegally.

From the looks of the amount of bullets those kids were buying, we should be in for an interesting summer.

Meanwhile, I'm just going to be shopping at Target from now on.