Tag Archives: Beetle

Zombie Kittens

Zombie Kittens

This is a post in the My Things series on this blog. In it I chronicle items I own. I seek to describe why I own the item, whence it came, and what value it provides . . . and any other tidbits of interest.

Our family enjoys the Exploding Kittens games. We have all the expansions. Some cards are better than others, but the universe is great fun. We play regularly.

For Father’s Day Fritz got me this, the newest expansion for the franchise. I was unaware of this. From what I can tell, it was released a month ago.

This game introduces the ability to bring back players who are out of the game. Initially, I wasn’t quite certain. Once we played, however, we learned this is a fabulous edition to the game. The second time we played, we played with all the expansions. That turned out to be great fun! There are also cards that interact with the player even when he’s dead and awaiting his return.

Despite Beetle stealing and causing me to give up much of my perfect hand, I was able to persevere by stealing the Streaking Kitten back from Joey causing him to go out at the end with the Imploding Kitten face up as the last card in the deck.

Great times! We will play this much, I suspect.

Christian Family

The hollowness of the Catholic faith preaching Christian family is highly evident.

Fritz served as an altar boy at a Catholic church. His mother registered the entire family at this parish. The boy served every Sunday. I rallied three out of four Sundays a month to ensure he arrived by 7:30. I was so good at my parenting, I even got my atheist daughter to proclaim the word of the Lord in the choir.

Then overnight, my son decided not to attend any longer. He’s a teenager; he prefers sleeping in. I did not fight it. I like peace in my life.

One might think that when the parish lost its one and only altar boy who showed every Sunday without warning it might reach out to see what is up.

Not a word. It’s been months now. Three parishioners just disappeared without a trace. Not one phone call. Not one e-mail. Not one inquiry as to whether everything is okay or not.

That’s the Christian faith the way it is practiced. Tell me again about the good deeds of the church while you pay off the lawsuits for the priests you allowed to molest boys!



I am old enough to have seen this in the theater. I now get the pleasure of watching it with my son who has become a DeNiro fan. Yeah, I did that! 🙂

This is Scorcese at his best! I’m not a huge Pesci fan, but he shines here as well. Just a perfect cast, to a perfect script, to iconic images/scenes. Love every minute of this.

Paul Sorvino is a favorite and sets the tone as Paulie. Watching how the crew is built up in the early goings to the heist to the aftermath is masterful. While I am sure the real life tales were plenty colorful, in the hands of these storytellers, this tale pops!

Fritz was surprised not only of the reciting lines I did but of pointing out the missing lucky hat, the helicopter and other images throughout.

This is as good as it gets for movies in my lifetime.

Precipice of Adulthood

Beetle had a meltdown this morning. She is stressing about college. She sees money issues regarding college. I think it is good that she is aware of the cost. I had no clue when I attended college as to how much it actually was. I knew the dollar figure, but I didn’t know just how much of a commitment that was.

I recall interviewing for my second masters program. The dean highlighted my undergraduate GPA and the GPA for my first masters. She asked why I thought there was a discrepancy in the two numbers. “Oh, that’s easy. My parents paid for my undergraduate degree; I paid for my masters.”

Beetle has heard me speak of avoiding debt. Because she did not heed my guidance to go for a college she could afford, she is stretching her budget. She didn’t understand that the way the school presented the budget to her to get to a number she thought she could afford included a $5,000 annual loan.

Now she’s stressed about having loan payments after college.

Her first plan (have me pick up the tab) did not go so well. I said, “No.”

Her second plan was to have her parents split the $5,000. I said, “No.”

I had had thoughts of coming through with the money. But then the other side of my daughter presented itself. It was a reminder to me that she has never had to be responsible. Because of that, she has quit everything she has ever been involved in. Yeah, I am not tossing any more money into the pot at this point.

There is enough money for Beetle to go to college. She has done what she has always done: pushed the limits. She’s going to end up with debt, I suppose. Despite that, I think it will be good for her. Having firsthand experience with this I hope will provide the lesson early that carrying debt is a burden.

Given the way our country is being run, it is likely the government will excuse Beetle from the debt obligation. I am also open to helping out more in the future, but I want to see results first. Go to college. Earn good grades. Want to return for your sophomore year. Then we’ll talk. I already have lots of money invested in her education. Use that before I put more in.

And if I understand what Beetle is being told, it’s quite possible her mother will pick up the difference. But that is where the meltdown ensued.

She knows she has to rely on her mother and Beetle is not comfortable with that. “She doesn’t follow through” was one of the many things Beetle whined about. Yeah, I know.

Beetle absolutely pegged Gert. Beetle sees what I spent two decades experiencing. I am basically free of that these days, but Beetle (and Fritz) are in the throes of it at this point. It’s frustrating for them and it’s frustrating for me to witness.

I counseled Beetle, as she is on the precipice of adulthood, that she is responsible for herself. If you are reliant on another, then you are at the mercy of their flaws. I reminded Beetle that with a driver’s license Beetle would have more freedom than what she perceives to have. With a college degree, she can do as she pleases.

In all this, I received a most welcomed compliment. Beetle asked about getting an apartment and how it works. She said it must have cost a lot of money. Then she whined about the stuff at the house. She said she wants things to match and look nice like my apartment. 🙂 Yeah, I did that!

I then walked Beetle through how almost everything she sees at my place was purchased since the divorce. I took little from the house. Most of what I took has been replaced. I control what my living situation looks like. I make it clean, organized, and matching. I am beholden to no one. Likewise, her mother does the same. And when Beetle pays for her own roof, she will be able to determine what her living space looks like.

Welcome to adulthood, little one. You’re learning isn’t over . . . it’s just beginning.

Murder at the Motel

22-06-11 Murder at the Motel

Picked this up some time ago. Fritz and I started this one night and abandoned it quite quickly. I was exhausted and we realized this was going to be a little more involved than others we had played.

The four of us sat down today and spent about four hours total solving this. The four of us work well together. Everyone contributed. We tossed theories about. We plotted the timeline, deciphered stuff (not as much as most of these), and worked our way through all possibilities.

I am proud of the work we did on this one. The game is rated decidedly harder than the other one-off boxes. I wouldn’t say it was hard, but it did require looking closely at the evidence.

I liked this box!

We then headed out for a late dinner at Chili’s to celebrate.

Defective Child

Fritz is here this weekend. Last weekend, Beetle commented that he had had detention. I questioned that and was informed that he had been missing school. When I investigated further, I found that hadn’t been the case although he had missed one day. I gather because I had asked, earlier this week I was told Fritz did miss a day of school this week because he was sick. Poor boy.

He arrived today. He’s coughing up his lungs. He looks horrible. He doesn’t have an appetite. He went to bed early. He’s snoring loudly. He is obviously still sick.

I asked Fritz when I realized he was still sick if he missed more than a day of school this week. Yup. “Three or four,” he said.

So yes, I was told he had missed a day. I had no idea he had missed most of the week. Sicker than anything, no issue with dropping him off here for the weekend to pass on his illness. Nice!

On top of that, in passing I was informed that the reason he was late in arriving is that Beetle was getting ready to go to Delaware for the evening.

Yeah, I am really removed from what is going on with my children. It’s almost as though I do not matter.

Out of the Loop

22-05-19 Prom

There’s not much going on in my life presently. Overall, that’s a good thing. 🙂 Tonight, however, I did attend an event. While it wasn’t very good, it was nice to be out of the house. When I left, I checked my e-mail before the long ride home. That is when I received a message that included the above photographs.

Life as a divorce father isn’t pleasant. I have been so removed from the day-to-day with my children, I am not even told of proms. Sure, there was the plea a few months ago to purchase a $500 dress for the event, but no, I didn’t know it was tonight. I wasn’t there to take photographs. I wasn’t there to smile, hold hands, and otherwise be Dad.

A friend of mine’s daughter attended prom recently. She posted a slew of photographs. Her daughter posed with every member of the family. The number of shots the daughter took with her mother and father were numerous. All in focus. All in vivid color.

I am not afforded that opportunity with my children. Pushed aside from the day-to-day.

While sad, I can’t let it beat me down. This is out of my control. I can’t stress over that with which I will be ineffectual. My role is different now regardless of my desires.

Beetle looks beautiful.

Parenting During Divorce

Parenting during divorce sucks. The day-to-day isn’t shared with me. That’s tough, but it is what it is.

When a father finds out a major decision was made that he was unaware of, well, what recourse is there? None.

It began with an e-mail asking if I would take just my daughter this weekend as there has been stress at the house and it was thought that a break from Beetle would be good. That’s not a problem. I can understand that. I agreed.

Then came the text from Beetle asking if she could spend the night here tonight. I asked her what the issue was.

She called and began whining about her her mother doesn’t love her, embarrasses her, etc Then I heard about rules that were applied that my daughter did not care for. All typical teenager complaints. I played it cool.

Then came the kicker. My dear daughter spent the evening at her boyfriend’s house. I believe it was last evening, perhaps the evening before. Then I learned that her mother drove her for the sleepover.

I counseled Beetle that she was losing my support with this. She hung up the phone on me.

I can absolutely guarantee that if I still lived in the house that there would have been no sleepover. I guarantee that Gert’s father would not have approved a sleepover when Gert was in high school. I don’t know the new fiance, but I suspect he would not approve one of his daughters sleeping over a boyfriend’s house while they were in high school.

But there it is. I had no say. My ex-FIL had no say. Presumably, the new fiance had no say. The one who determined that is my ex-wife.

And she wonders why her daughter rebels when limits are set on another day. Sheesh . . .

Whose Live Anyway

22-04-21 Whose Live Anyway

Late last summer, I was binge watching Whose Line Is It Anyway. I’ve always enjoyed this show going way back to the English show. I liked Josie then. 🙂 Anyhow, the children saw some of these and seemed to like them too. Soon after, I saw that Whose Live Anyway was coming to Wilmington. I purchased tickets for the three of us. This had Ryan Stiles and Greg Proops and a couple other guys who gues on the show.

It’s basically the television show lighten up. We went up, had dinner, and then went to the beautiful theatre and laughed for a couple hours. It was nice hearing both children laugh aloud through this. I know they enjoyed it.

Sometimes my plans don’t materialize as planned. It did tonight. 🙂

It was a different type of evening for us. It worked out well. Good times!


22-04-19 Sakura

Around 2000 my parents took Gert and me to a Japanese steakhouse in Clearwater. We had a good time. I very much enjoyed the experience. I returned to one today for the first time since. It;s not that I hadn’t wanted to go in the intervening years, but I could not my ex-wife to join me.

I almost went a few months ago coming back a geocaching outing. I opted for a Sugar Hill sub instead.

Recently, my daughter has gone here a couple times with her boyfriend and his family. She raved about it! My daughter is far more adventurous with food than anyone else in my immediate family currently.

Here on spring break she has been bored. Not wanting to wait a few more days until she visited, she asked if I would take her to Sakura, a Japanese steakhouse in Mays Landing. She has learned how to convince me. She highlighted how I would enjoy it ans we could have a leisurely father-day meal out together. It worked; we went.

I was surprised that there were as many people at the restaurant for 3:30 on a Tuesday as there were. We were seated a habachi table. There were already two young women there. The restaurant waits 20 minutes from when the first people sit before the cooking commences. No one else joined us, so we moved to the front rather than a seat that would have actually been behind the cook had we remained.

Our cook was friendly and entertaining. Beetle ordered chicken and shrimp; I filet and scallops. The other women ordered shrimp and scallops.

Beetle kept talking about the yum yum sauce and the rice. Well, she ordered yum yum sauce for her salad too (she learns from the boyfriend’s family). I had the house dressing that resembled sesame sauce, in my opinion. We each had two shrimp for an appetizer. Quite tasty!

The vegetables were cooked. The scallops and shrimp served and then the meats. Finally the rice landed on the plate. I was a bit surprised as to how the plates were built. It was one item at a time. I thought the cook could have worked on getting everything lined up to serve together.

Nevertheless, it all eventually got there. Yes, indeed tasty. Yum yum sauce I bet has sugar in it. It is very rich. I understand why Beetle enjoyed it. I cleared my plate. The steak was perfectly prepared. The scallops were equally tasty.

As I explained to Beetle, I will dine here again, but it will be sparsely. It’s not inexpensive. I didn’t think the prices for what we got were out of hand, but it adds up.

Nice meal!