A Sad Story, According To the Mobster

My Picasso was sick last two weeks ago. Only for a day. He thinks he ate some bad venison summer sausage. Nonetheless, he was sick and feeling quite feeble.

I had told the mobster what was going on with him; of course he wished him well and told me to let him know he hoped he felt better soon. Actually, what he said was something along the lines of, “Tell him his fake dad says he hopes he feels better soon.”

So, I pass along the message: Your fake dad said to tell you he’s sorry you’re feeling bad and he hopes you’re feeling better soon.

Picasso looks at me and asks, “Who is my fake dad?”

“Who do you think I’m referring to?” I laugh.

“I don’t know. Do you mean that asshole CF?” To be clear, he does not call him Cousinfucker. He does, however, refer to him by his first name.

I go on to explain, no, that’s not who I meant. At that point he pipes up, “Oh, do you mean the mobster?” He goes on to say, “I don’t think of him as a fake dad.”

I’m curious at this point. “How do you think of him?”

“I think of him as more like a real dad.”

Wow- I didn’t see that one coming. I thought he was going to say he didn’t see him as any sort of father- fake or otherwise.

The mobster was flattered at first. Then he became sad, and kind of angry. Not at Picasso.

He was sad because he feels like he has done so little. He hasn’t done anywhere near enough in his opinion for Picasso to think of him as his dad, and yet because of the father he has, he thinks the few simple things that the mobster has done are “dad worthy”.

When he puts it like that I tend to agree. Picasso has been around the mobster perhaps on five occasions. But he has taken an interest in him. They share a love of video games. Any time my son is around while we’re talking on the phone he says hello to him. They’ve run errands together. We went rafting together and have gone to festivals together. He buys him birthday gifts and Christmas gifts. He takes the time to talk to him. I know he has even sent him texts and has called him. He makes an effort to seek him out and interact with him.

His father hasn’t spoken a word to him since August of 2015. If he’s really lucky his dad might send him a card and write a sappy message in it which Picasso dismisses.

Even before our split CF was not what one would call an ideal father. Right before I found out my darling husband was screwing his cousin I had taken Picasso to a child psychologist because of difficulties he was having adjusting to the move- still- a year later. The psychologist asked him if he could click a magic remote and have life be the way he wanted it to be what would that look like. Picasso said he would make his dad get better. Remember, we thought we were dealing with serious mental health issues. He would make it so his dad didn’t hide in his room all the time. He would be able to play video games with him once more like they used to. He would actually stop into his room and ask him how his day had been instead of Picasso having to be the one who approached him in order to spend any time with him. This 13 year old boy’s wish, if he had a magic remote control, was to make his dad feel better. He wanted a live, involved father. It broke my heart.

The only time I ever cried in therapy was when I recounted the story of learning how Picasso had told his friends in Utah that he wished he had a dad like theirs. One that would shoot hoops with him, take him places, and do things with him. He wanted a dad who was present and active in his life. I put up with so much shit believing that an intact family was best and it was so important that my kids not be from a broken home with an absent father. My son still ached for a dad- a normal dad.

That is what makes the mobster angry. He realizes it shouldn’t be that way. He knows Picasso deserves more. As he told me, “There’s so much more to being a dad than what I’ve done for him. I haven’t done anywhere near enough to be considered a father.”

He has never been able to understand my ex. He sees a man who had everything- a good paying job, a beautiful home, two fantastic kids, an amazing wife- and he didn’t want to have anything to do with any of us.

Again, I agree. It is rage worthy. Especially considering the act he has put on for Harley and her kids. Daddy Of the Fucking Year.

I’ve never been one that felt it was a good idea to set up your newest significant other as another parent. I’ve never used mom or dad and stepmom or stepdad interchangeably. One is your parent; the other is not. I was never a person who felt it was okay to blur those lines. As much as CF sucks he is Picasso’s dad, and as great as the mobster is he is not Picasso’s dad.

I will say, however, that I am glad that the mobster is around. I’m glad he’s willing to take the time and interest to interact with my son. I love that he looks forward to being able to spend more time with him and be an influence in his life once he moves up here to where we are.

He may not be my son’s father but between him and CF he’s the only one that acts like it.

The Life of Riley

My mind is blown! I have heard that expression many times. My mother uses it (of course!). I have used it. For those of you who have never heard of it until now I’ve always heard it used to describe someone living a carefree, possibly decadent life. She’s going on her third cruise this year. She’s living the life of Riley.

The mobster and I have used this phrase in conjunction with his youngest son. Currently the young lad, as the mobster likes to refer to him, has chosen to cut his hours at his full-time job and instead go part-time, with the thinking that it will force him to work on his true passion- photography. He lives rent free in the apartment above the garage. He doesn’t have many expenses outside of utilities so it’s not like he needs to make a huge amount of money in order to survive. Working part-time also allows him plenty of time to take trips and see concerts with his girlfriend. The mobster has been a little frustrated with this. That’s when I introduced him to this phrase. As I told him, he’s a young adult just starting out. His expenses are low, his job is fairly flexible (he works for his uncle), and he can afford to do all the fun stuff. He’s basically living the life of Riley right now. Who can blame him?

The mobster asked me the other night, “Who’s Riley?” I said, “Hell if I know!” I figured it must be some rich guy enjoying life. You know, the original Riley for whom this phrase was invented. He googles it (isn’t it great to live in a world where everything is at our fingertips?) and discovers Riley is not a person. Riley is a noun! It means a luxurious or carefree existence.

I suppose I was half right- it does mean a rich, carefree existence. It’s just that Riley himself is not enjoying it. Anyone can be living the life of Riley. Andrew. Dan. Paul. Jane. Samantha. It’s not only for Riley. Who knew? OK, I knew it anyone could enjoy it. I just thought there was a Riley out there long ago and his life was so great everyone thought, “That Riley has got it made. I sure wish I lived his life.”

Now I’m wondering if you even have to use the full phrase. Can you simply say, “I’m living riley,”? It’s not nearly as deceptive as, “I’m living the life of Riley,” with someone else thinking, “Wow- that Riley sure is a lucky guy! I’d like to be him one day!”

And why do they capitalize it? I think there’s something going on here. Something shady. I think they want us to think there’s a Riley out there. I don’t know why. I don’t know what their end game is but I’m on to them!

dkmlc

What Do Immersion Blenders Have To Do With Adultery?

The answer to the title question? Absolutely nothing but I needed a way to introduce my new topic which is, you guessed it, immersion blenders.

I meant to write about this back when I first used it but time has slipped away from me. I wasn’t going to do a review anymore because so much time has passed but I can’t help it. These things are amazing!

If you’ve never had an immersion blender you need one. They’re like mini blenders on a stick. They get into places you can’t even imagine. I use mine mainly to blend things really well when making soup. They do an amazing job!

Come to think of it I’m pretty sure the only time I’ve ever used one is when I’m making soup. For example, my Loaded Baked Potato Soup uses cream cheese in the recipe. No matter how much I soften it up or try to give it time to melt and blend I feel like I always still have small chunks of cream cheese in my soup. Until I brought out the immersion blender and used that to mix it up directly in the pot. No more chunks. Problem solved. Conversely, when making my Cheesy Vegetable Chowder I use the immersion blender to break down some of the vegetables and thicken the soup.

You can do that with any kind of sauce, soup, or gravy. How many times have you added an ingredient to the pan and no matter how much you stir small clumps remain? Or, you’ve made soup or a sauce and you’re thinking, “This really needs to be thicker.  What can I add?” That’s where your immersion blender comes in.

I wish I could remember exactly when I first used my immersion blender. I’m sure I was home in Virginia though, and I remember my overwhelming thought was, “Holy crap! This thing is amazing!” No more lumps, everything blended, and, if this is what you’re going for, a much thicker product.

I did a quick Google search to see what other benefits I could offer you all if you’re thinking about running out and buying one of these handy tools. I found a few more ways you use your immersion blender. You can make: smoothies, pesto, whipped cream, homemade mayonnaise, tomato sauce, hollandaise sauce (Eggs Benedict, anyone?), salsa, pancake and waffle batter, cheese sauce (any kind of sauce really), and apple butter.

On average these beauties run between $30-$65. Not a bad price at all. I highly recommend one!

I”ll leave you with a recipe. It doesn’t require the use of an immersion blender. I hope you enjoy it. I have not made it myself yet but I’ve made other recipes from this site and they are fantastic.

Crack Chicken & Rice Soup

Ingredients

3 cups of chopped chicken (the author uses a rotisserie chicken but you can use whatever is convenient for you)

5 1/2 cups of chicken broth

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 (3 oz. package) real bacon bits (you could always fry up some bacon as well but this is quick and easy)

1 (1 oz.) package of Original Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning mix

1 can of condensed cheddar cheese soup

2/3 cup of uncooked long grain white rice

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large Dutch oven or other large pan
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 20 minutes, until rice is cooked.

Hair

I don’t know why this came to me out of nowhere recently. I had been putting together a playlist to work out to and I was going through all the songs in my iTunes library. I put the song, “Hair” on my list. As I was listening to it I suddenly remembered how offended CF was by the movie and album, and the fact that I would like either.

A year or so before I met him I had gone to visit my best friend. We decided to rent some movies (you know, back in the days way before Netflix and Redbox). We came across “Hair” and I mentioned I had never seen it. She was amazed and said I simply HAD to see it. So we rented it. I saw it once and I really enjoyed the music (which makes sense because it was a freakin’ Broadway musical before it was made into a movie!).

Years later CF buys me an iPod for our anniversary. I know we were living in Utah at the time but that could have been anywhere from 2006 until 2014. Except I know it wasn’t 2006 and I know it wasn’t 2014. To be fair, that’s not the most important part of the story.

I remember being so excited about finally getting an iPod and being able to download music. I had no idea what to download though. The choices were overwhelming. Plus, I had young children so I’m pretty sure most of the song choices were relegated to The Wiggles and Barney. Anyway, I finally decided I’d like to download the soundtrack from “Hair”.

He was not happy. I’m not sure if I’d go so far as to say he was pissed, but he was definitely not happy. He was all, “That movie stands against everything I fought for!” I do know he had a fit when I tried to play the song when he was around. Like, he was seriously offended. By a damn song! About fucking hair!

I guess one could argue that the long hair was a representation of people who protested the actions of the government and therefore stood against the mainstream establishment. To me, however, it was simply a song about a guy with really long hair and how he and everyone else with long hair bucked society’s rules. To me it wasn’t about the government sucking or being wrong. It wasn’t even a message about how wrong the war was. It was celebrating hair.

I didn’t feel like starting a new Bitch List but this one definitely belongs on it. He got offended by a song he didn’t like that I dared to play. Poor, delicate baby saw his life’s work ridiculed and destroyed by a soundtrack that was 25-35 years old at the time I bought it. We were so far beyond that point in history it wasn’t even funny. I mean, I could understand if there was a movie out now protesting the Gulf Wars or Afghanistan and I was all, “Oh my God, this music is amazing! You have to see the movie! It’s my favorite movie of all time now!” No! It was about the damn Vietnam War. He was all of 6 when it ended it. He couldn’t even play the fife in that war. It was still an affront to him. How dare I enjoy that movie or play that music?

As you might have guessed I gave in. I scrolled past the song and I never listened to it in his presence again. Oh, to go back in time and find a backbone.