My dad loves jazz. He loves big band music. Christian rock? No, for certain a large NO. My dad is down with Johnny Cash. What a big man with a masculine voice. Does my dad want me to tell him what I know about Johnny Cash? NO. For certain, a big no. He wants to tell me, “Rog, he’s manly, the man in black.” Does he want me to tell him about the darkness of Johnny Cash? NO. So let’s get to cool shit about my dad. My dad wears cut off gloves when he drives. He has a police scanner going. Cut off gloves- fucking cool. Police scanner – not cool. What else is cool? My dad psyched on me playing drums. What else is cool? When I became vegan, my dad’s response – YOU’RE TAKING CARE OF YOUR BODY, I get it. What’s not cool? Bible time as a kid. “Rog, no more playing with G. I. Joe’s, I’ve got another tired story about women hating, god fearing bearded men. Remember son, these robes are smelly and worn too often, women have no say.” What is cool about my dad? He bought me Van Halen’s album new release with Sammy Hagar. Why??? Because my mom threw out my Van Halen album with David Lee Roth without his say. Is this cool? I don’t know. There will be more “what’s cool about my dad” entries. MORE is not enough.
Archive for the roger’s brain Category
I never truly understood just what it was that the community that I was raised in wanted me to do. Community involving the religion and thought processes that follow. When I was little I was extremely visual and creative, always using my hands to create what was in my head. This talk of being like Jesus was immediately troublesome to me. I was never told to be like Santa Claus. What the world told me about Santa was easily understood. I was simply told to be good. There was no guilt put on me. How dare I be born into sin. “Make your bed.” “Brush your teeth.” Obviously tangible shit to a kid! Santa’s character of giving, along with his bumbling in red persona, was explained with a wink. You’ll know that this is a game. You know you’ll get some presents anyway. Maybe not the one you want the most. I was never told to be like Batman. I liked Batman presents! Wasn’t I supposed to be myself? Was I ever really told to be like anyone? Perhaps another student who performed well. Yet this student was a living human being that I could get to know, and like, or dislike, be courteous, or keep my distance. There was merit in being yourself, but only up to a fine conservative point. Dangerous. As I got older Jesus seemed kind of cool to me, but I still had decided that he was rather still a concept than a reality of worship. Why did I get to play drums, hang out with friends, and be fed consistently? Why did I suffer through early years of strict Christian school? Why did the kid down the street get beaten up everyday? Why did God create an enemy to threaten all of us? Why do other cultures have other gods? I had constant questions. I find these answers rather easily now. When you’re a kid, you ask questions. Or you just decide on your own eventually, and pay for your ideas. What I found to be exhaustingly troublesome as I hit my twenties was this punk rock idea of believing in Jesus. I have decided that following all of these philosophies is just a way to simply “not be.” Things work or they don’t. There is room for improvement, or there is not. All of the books fit on the shelf or they do not. Build another shelf, give some books away, or leave it until you know. Just be. Sitting in a room full of people talking about your stack of books once a week. “I never get to sit next to him.” “She talks too much.” “They never invite me to have Thai food afterwards.” Every Sunday. No, I won’t pray about it. No, I don’t need your advice. No, you don’t get to tell me what “you” think “god” is planning. I am more than fine over here.
It was the year 1979, I’m guessing. I was around 5. Another guess. Everything that my older brother did, I did. I was at the dinner table, refusing to finish my dinner. (Apparently, I showed some independence from my brother by refusing to finish my food, because he always tore it up.) My Mom and Dad were in the living room. My plan for getting the doog to eat my dinner was foiled because my Dad was aware of what I was thinking. (That wasn’t a typo. The dog was named the doog later in life. At the time, her name was Dusty. I think now that it was because she was the color of khaki pants. My brother actually told me a couple days ago that our mom named her Dustina (because she’s a girl) Garbage (pronounced gar-baaah-sh) Brookside ( the name of our neighborhood) Bones (?) This is one of my many clue-ins for some unanswered questions in my life…) When I heard my Dad tell the doog to lie down, I knew that my plan was foiled. My Dad was going off on the tv yelling about the news, etc. My brother came into the kitchen really excited, saying “Come on Rog…I have this awesome thing set up with the men in the hallway. But you have to finish your food before you can…” Then my Mom or Dad told him not to distract me. (We always called our action figures men. Later in life, we would take them apart and make them into new men, by using different arms, legs, etc. We found a headless want to be He-Man figure. My brother glued the Star Wars guy, Grieko’s head, on the headless figure. My brother named him Strong Man and he made a file card for him like they did for G.I.Joe. He wrote at the bottom, Strong Man is very strong but he’s known to be very shy. ) So my brother and the doog were out of the picture and I couldn’t get myself to eat. My Mom came into the kitchen and gave me the talk. “Roger, if you don’t eat your food, the men with the barrels can’t go home. They’ve been working all day. The man working the potato barrel has already clocked out and gone home to be with his wife and kids. These other men in charge of the meat and vegetable barrels are tired and they want to go home. They are hollering up to you, “Please send more food down. We need the barrels filled!” So you need to finish your food so they can go home. Eventually my Mom or Dad released me from the table, I don’t remember exactly how. So after seeing the set up that my brother had with the men, which was amazing, The Incredible Hulk was on and we were locked in, if you know what I mean. Our Mom informed us that it was ice cream time. Somehow I got away with getting ice cream even though I didn’t finish dinner. The freezer was always overloaded with ice cream. I was a chocolate kid and my brother played all of the bases. So we were watching The Hulk and totally absorbed. The only thing that distracted us, was our ice cream. My brother yelled out, “Milkshake!” over and over. We began violently whipping our ice cream until it was like a milkshake. Then my Mom said, “Ok Rog, it’s time for bed.” My Dad said, “Ready Freddy?” Then I would be on my Dad’s back, piggy back style, being carried down the hall to my bedroom where an hour or two before, I was being instructed by my brother the right type of voice for each action figure. He would say, “Come on, look at his face. He would never talk like that!” Then it was prayer time, which was very intense. I would pray first, then my brother, then my Mom, Dad, yada, yada, yada. My prayer was the same every night. Dear Jesus, thank you for Mom, Dad, Scott, Uncle Dave, Uncle Dick, Aunt Barbara, Aunt Susanae, and oh yeah, Dusty. And Jesus amen, is how I’d say it. Over the years, I started thanking God for “the day.” My Mom would scratch my back for the whole ordeal. By the time my Mom was praying, she would be getting really heated up telling God about all of these issues, and the scratching would be getting to be really something. My Dad said every now and then, “Ok, let’s wrap this up, honey.” Then it was my Dad’s turn and he would get really discouraged from how my Mom was praying, and he would start asking God to help him deal with that. So my Mom would be put off by the way that my Dad was praying, and let’s not even talk about the scratching on my now very tattooed back. See you in church. I’ll be making a milkshake out of my soy ice cream and desperately trying to pay attention….End