“What was she thinking?” An anthropological guide to teenage girls.

"So I walks into a bar and I orders ten beers and I says...put it on my bill!  Get it!  Why don't anyone laugh at me jokes?  I'm a freak!  A freak!!"

“So I walks into a bar and I orders ten beers and I says…put it on my bill! Get it! Why don’t anyone laugh at me jokes? I’m a freak! A freak!!”

What is the function of the mighty Platypus?  If we were to be part of some kind of cosmically aware sentient Google Earth and we zoomed out and looked down on creation, could we see what part the odd Platypus plays in the theatrical production that is life?  No, probably not.  The same could be said about the twice as mysterious Teenage girl.  What are they thinking?  What do they want?  When will they stop talking?  WHEN?  WHEN?  WHEN?!!!!  The joy of parenthood.

My wife, Mercy and I began raising my sister Michelea when she was just 10 years old…It seemed so much easier then.  Once she was acclimated to a lifestyle that didn’t include the continuous consumption of pixie sticks she stopped fidgeting enough to fall in love with reading and playing outside and just being a kid.  She would just run around fighting imaginary zombies until it was time for dinner….then we would read the Witches.  While only six years ago, those days of imaginary ghouls and Roald Dahl seem so long ago.  Fictitious zombies faded away to make room for real life ghouls like the disgusting Black Veil Brides.

"What do you mean we ripped off Kiss?  We meant to rip off Motley Crue!"

“What do you mean we ripped off Kiss? We meant to rip off Motley Crue!”

Seriously, have you seen these jokers?  It is as if they worshiped at the altar of Aqua net and Motley Crue.  If you thought Motley Crue was a lousy band, you haven’t heard anything until you’ve listened to this collection of groaning imbeciles.  Michelea:  “Oh can I please see the Black Veil brides….please?  It would be so Amazing!”  Me: “I’d rather have a tarantula bite my left eye while a howler monkey beats me in the head with a ratchet.”

I'd rather have this happen than listen to Black Veil Brides.

I’d rather have this happen than listen to Black Veil Brides.

Whimsical and creative fiction from the minds of Maurice Sendak, Mark Twain and Shel Silverstein  became cookie cutter drivel like Twilight and the Hunger Games.  I will concede that the Hunger Games is actually written well but the concept is just like any ordinary summer blockbuster.  You all know Twilight and if you’re not a girl ages 12-16 you know that it is just plain silly and sometimes downright insulting to the female gender.  “I don’t care if he’s an unholy creature of the night and he wants to suck my blood and he’s kind of a diva and a jerk….I love him!”  Now if that doesn’t sound like someone struggling with battered wife/girlfriend syndrome, I don’t know what does.  “Hey girls, it’s okay to like a guy who treats you like crap as long as he has magical powers! WHEEEEEEEEE!” Luckily Michelea is over that trend.  Okay actually when her grades were slumping I threw every last one of her vampire books away.  I would like to think that somewhere there was a garbage man that was about to throw the books in the trash compactor when his fellow burly garbage man stopped him and said:  “Are you insane Carl?  That’s Marked, the first volume in the House of Night series!  I love to read about the struggles of young Zoey Redbird and the world of vampires!”

"No Zoey Redbird!  Don't fall for the dashing young vampire, he'll just break your immortal heart!"

“No Zoey Redbird! Don’t fall for the dashing young vampire, he’ll just break your immortal heart!”

 

Of course these are all just phases in the mad world of teenage-girldom.  One phase that seems to last FOREVER is that all teenage girls know better than you.  According to a council of teenage girls, the teenage girl brain is like that of Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer all rolled into one.  This of course is a biased conclusion.  One such memorable teenage brain moment came when Michelea was insistent on telling me that the Getty Villa was in Miami.  Miami, California.  I corrected her as nicely and as diplomatically as I could.  “Don’t be a moron, Miami is not in California!”  To this she replied:  “You don’t understand!  It’s in Miami, California.”  So I showed her a map and she was quiet for about two hours.  That was the plus side.  However, teenage girls don’t stay quiet for long and they tend to share their opinions with everyone in ear shot, as Mercy can tell you.

Mercy and Michelea were arguing over a word in a book….ugh, I believe it was in Twilight.  Michelea swore up and down that there was a word pronounced “Chow-es”.  Since my wife has lived longer than a teenager and you know, can read and stuff she disagreed.  To which Michelea responded:  “You just don’t understand!  This is a word you probably know nothing about!  It’s Chow-es, It’s Chow-es!”  Teens see themselves as world weary pioneers and think that they have discovered everything for the first time and we as adults are just some kind of dim witted country bumpkins.  So, the common battle cry for the ego wounded teen girl is “You don’t understand!”  Of course in this instance I was the official, reluctant and scared referee.  The word was Chaos.  Chow-es is not a word, sorry to disappoint you.  And yes Michelea, we do understand Chaos, it’s called having a teenager.

Pictured:  The Chow-es of having a teenage girl in the house.

Pictured: The Chow-es of having a teenage girl in the house.

 

 

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“Dad, what’s a blog? Does it live the swamp?” Lunaisms.

For the past few days I have been really listening to my children.  Yes, I know this comes as a shock to many.  Don’t worry, I’m not listening to them because I suddenly am trying to be a competent member of the family.  I’m listening to them because they are just so funny and people like to read funny things.

Today, let’s look at the many funny, baffling, and ludicrous things my three year old, Luna  will say. I call them Luna-isms.  It’s amazing when you think about it because she really does have an opinion on all facets of life, even if she doesn’t actually understand 88 % of the world around her.

 

Our miniature philosopher displaying her serene calmness.

Our miniature philosopher displaying her serene calmness.

LOCAL POLITICS:

Me:  “Do you know who the mayor of Los Angeles is?”

Luna:  “Grandpa.”

Me:  “Really?  Grandpa is the Mayor of Los Angeles?”

Garcetti, Not Grandpa

Garcetti, Not Grandpa

Luna:  “He told me not to walk in the living room with cookies.”

Me:  “What does a mayor do?”

Luna:  “He’s a boss.  Bossers like to take naps.  I can’t eat cookies in your bed anymore because I leave crumbs.”

NATIONAL POLITICS:

Me:  “Who is the President of the United States?”

Luna:  “The President is Obama.  He lives in the statue of Americas.”

Current resident of the Statue of America...according to my 3 year old.

Current resident of the Statue of America…according to my 3 year old.

Me: “What does he do?”

Luna:  “I need more money.”

Me:  “Yeah, so do I.”

ENTERTAINMENT:

Me:  “What is your favorite movie?”

Luna:  “Cinderella Blue.  She is Cinderella and she wears a blue dress and she has glass shoes.

After all that fast food, she might not fit into those glass slippers either.

After all that fast food, she might not fit into those glass slippers either.

Me:  “She wears glass shoes? Won’t they break?”

Luna:  “Girls won’t break glass shoes.  You can’t wear glass shoes because you are a big man.  And you have a beard.  Beard people can’t wear glass shoes.”

Me:  “What is your favorite show on television.”

Luna:  “I like to Eye Spy and Timothy goes to school.  You say Timothy goes to jail….I don’t like that!  Policers are going to take YOU to jail.  It’s a bad choice and get out of this family.”

Me:  “Okay, I will leave.”

Luna:  “No!  I love you.  I was just making a joke.”

FINE CUISINE:

Me:  “What is your favorite food.”

Luna:  “I like Pancakes with cherry eyeballs and sausage mouths and you eat them fast.”

Me:  “That sounds really good.”

Luna:  “It’s not for you.  Only girls.  Boys eat rocks.”

RELIGION:

Me:  “What do we do at Church?”

Luna:  “We sing Blessed be the name and then all the children stand up and pray and then they go to Sunday school and we talk about Jesus.”

Me:  “What did Jesus do?”

Luna:  “Jesus made good choices and wanted everybody to be good and some bad people made bad choices and they made Jesus pass away.  Then Jesus was in a cave and he pushed a rock and came out for Easter.  Children hunt Easter eggs and eat chocolates.  I like Chocolates.  Daddy do we have candy?”

Pictured:  Luna's dream Easter.

Pictured: Luna’s dream Easter.

Next time:  Michelea-isms, true tales of the weird things a teenager says.

 

Tonight’s Episode: “The hardest post I’ve ever had to write.” Or “A very special episode of Blossom.”

veryspecial

Nerds of Mass Distraction has been sleeping for a while. If you have followed the blog in its many incarnations in the past, you may have noticed that I haven’t updated anything in bloggo formo in a long time. While I have been introducing the new facebook page and dumping as much nerd based material onto that as I can, I have missed the personal depth that a blog can provide. Done right, a blog is kind of like viewing a piece of someone’s personality. That’s what I tried to capture over the years. If you read the blog you get to know me, at least just a little. To really explain why I haven’t touched the blog in a while is to delve into a very serious subject, one that few people talk about, but things need to be brought to light. So on that note, take some time to compose yourself….laugh break starting in 5….4….3….2…..1….

spamviking

 

 

Okay, are you done? Good. In January of this year I had an incredibly traumatic experience, something that would soon trigger a chain of events that changed my life in many ways. My lovely wife was giving me a back rub, as lovely wives tend to do. Out of the blue I was hit over the head with a horrendous memory of my childhood. A memory that had been locked inside my mind for over 25 years. I pushed my wife away and began to sob uncontrollably. I had just came to the realization that I had been sexually abused as a child. Now as odd as it sounds, repressed memories are not uncommon, especially for someone who experienced a traumatic event at such a young age.

For both legal and privacy reasons, I will not go into the Who’s and the How’s all too much.  The fact is, that my abuser was someone who had abused many people in and around my family and did serve jail time for two of those crimes. Before this sudden and traumatic flashback, I only remembered and acknowledged one such event of abuse by this man but suddenly after January I would suddenly be ambushed by wave after wave of horrible memories. As these flashbacks continued to provide clues to the bigger puzzle, I talked to family members, asked questions and put the pieces together. Soon I came to the horrific realization that I had been abused for at least three years (That I can remember) From this January to now I have had my emotions just flipped upside down and blended into mush. I would get angry for no apparent reason, I’d yell, I’d cry….I was a mess.

Thankfully, God has blessed me with an amazing wife. Mercedes has been both a rock to keep me anchored and sane and a safety net to catch me when I am falling due to one of these emotionally overloading flashbacks. Let me tell you, they are incredibly painful to experience. I never know what the trigger will be and suddenly for a brief moment I am no longer in the present day, I am reliving that moment where my six year old self is frightened and powerless. Not to take away from the seriousness at all, to me, the experience is very much like Quantum Leap….instead of my consciousness jumping into JFK or Babe Ruth it jumps into my younger self and I am back there in the 1980s scared out of my mind. While these experiences don’t last a long time, they feel like an eternity. Some are very brief with a little impact while others send me falling to my knees crying.  Amazingly, this experience has brought us closer together than ever before.  I am so blessed by God that I have a strong, powerful and courageous wife otherwise I’d be a raving lunatic.  Mercedes Castro-Miller, I love you so much.  (Okay, I promise I will stop embarrassing you, Wifey-Poo…well, I just did it again, didn’t I?)

My church has been incredibly helpful as well, I have awesome guidance through my Pastor, Richard and his wife, Jennifer.  They have both kept me grounded and reminded me that I am loved and I am NOT TO BLAME for what was done to me.  I wish I could say that I found love and support all around, but I would be lying. Sadly we live in a society that would rather sweep the truth of sexual abuse under the rug and pretend there aren’t abusers rather than have fruitful and productive discussions on the topic. When I told my mother about what I’ve been going through she said “I’m really sorry that happened to you.” My father on the other hand said “Well it happened a long, long time ago. You should really get over it.” Needless to say, I haven’t spoken with him since then and I have no immediate desire to speak with him any time soon.  Also on my father’s side of the family I’ve had an aunt and a cousin who accused my wife of convincing me to “make up stories to stir up shit”.  I’ve stopped talking to them too.  Family can be a magical thing, can’t it?  Sadly, I’m not the only person who has had to face these ignorant types of people.

The topic of sexual abuse is like the proverbial Sasquatch in the living room, you can cover it up with a blanket and pretend it isn’t there, but that doesn’t make it go away and it doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Men, women and children are in danger everyday from predators who wear the disguises of friends, family, civil servants, clergy and what have you. For whatever reason males who have been sexually abused get ignored in our society. We have our cultural stigma that a boy/man can handle anything and “They’ll be okay…just tough it up….” The problematic misconception is getting worse. In my case the abuser was a man. However in our society if a woman abuses a young man many people say he’s “lucky” or she’s a “cougar”.  No, he is a survivor of sexual abuse and she is a predator…end of discussion.

We need to stop ignoring the abuse and start supporting the survivors rather than treating them like jokes or pariahs. That’s why I am telling my story today. Yes, I know I write a funny little blog about family, fatherhood, comics and being a nerd but it is a good platform as any to bring this dark subject to light.  Now as I am beginning counseling, I am slowly starting to be comfortable again in my own skin and comfortable interacting with people.  It’s a slow and steady process as with any post traumatic stress, but the healing has begun.

For anyone new to my blog who may be startled or offended by the little sprinklings of humor I put in this post….get over it.   One thing my wife is helping me with as we go through this experience is that I need to stop holding back who I am for the sake of sparing the feelings of others.  That side of me is definitely on its way out.  This is who I am and if you don’t like it you can take a walk.  I always try to bring humor and humanity to topics I write about and I will not allow this traumatic experience to change that.  Any sane person will realize that I am not making light of sexual abuse.  The truth is sometimes bitter and painful to swallow so I am just giving it the candy shell of humor.

So with that said, you’ll start to see a lot more of me and my blog and soon we will be back to that point where you all get sick of my rants once again.  As always thank you for reading and may you forever be nerdy.

For the  facts on sexual abuse please visit these sites, they’ve helped me:

One in Six:  A resource for Male survivors of sexual abuse.  This site really helped me a lot when I was first coming to terms with my experience.  There is a wealth of information here for men.

Male Survivor:   Another great resource for Men who have been sexually abused.  There are a lot of great resources here.

RAINN:  This is an excellent resource for anyone who has been sexually abused.  This is probably one of the best general sites out there on the subject.