I feel like blogging. 

You ever get the itch to just start tippytapping away on a keyboard for no other reason then to just be typing frantically? Maybe that's just me as I don't get afforded many opportunities to write copious amounts of text in a streaming coherent fashion. Most of my keyboard usage is limited to sentences equaling 140 characters or less, or interrupted with curly braces, ctrl-tabs, alt-enters, and double semicolons (for that extra boost of speed). 

Making intestinal issues even worse. 

Stress is a funny thing. And by "funny", I mean, stress is a huge asshole. Stress is the person you really don't want to be at your party, but they sneak in anyway, get really drunk, and the start forcing the people you do want there to leave. You know... people like "sanity", "good health", and "sleep". But stress is bigger than you and can be quite violent when provoked... so you just kind of smile it off, crack a joke or two, "Hahaha! Oh look at stress doing his thing again.", and hope to god he either passes out quickly or gets bored and leaves. 

(frosted tips AND spray tan? sign me up)

Given that my digestive system already hates me (yay auto-immune disorders), stress is even more un-welcomed because he and my disorder go together like mentos and coke. 

What stress could you possibly have?

I'm not emotionally strong when it comes to the fragility of my loved ones. Humans are very fragile beings. Sure, we can heal ourselves like a slow Wolverine... but think of what separates you from death... squishy stuff. 

Do you know why the military uses strong and hard elements to create armor and not squishy stuff to protect their assets? Yeah... squishy stuff isn't very good at protecting things. 

It's even worse when someone I love is going through a procedure where a man who I've never met will be cutting open my wife and jamming 5 robot arms into her midsection. I crack jokes about how a stranger will be up in my wife's guts... but I crack jokes because secretly I'm destroying myself inside. 

I have this thing I do...

I play hypothetical games in my head to prepare myself for any possible outcome. However, never is there a time where I focus mostly on the "everything goes great" outcome. I spend most of my time focusing on what I would do if my entire world collapsed on itself. See... if my wife were to ever be torn away from me... I would die inside. I'd physically stay around because my children need me, but I guess I'm just one of the lucky bastards who got the girl of his dreams and the thought of losing that girl hurts... a lot. 

As I explained to her... she's the Borg nanobots that have assimilated into my flesh... you can't just remove the Borg side of me without killing me in the process. I have been assimilated. 

(I wish I was this handsome)

Surgery day finally arrives...

I'm strong. The 4 males of my family have a theme song... "I am a rock... I am an island... and a rock feels no pain... and an island never cries". My wife needed me to be strong, to be there for her... she, afterall, was going to be the one going into the surgical room. 

She's a smart cookie, though, and picked up on the fact that I would be sitting in a room and waiting... for what the doctor said was going to be 2.5 hours. She laughed and counted herself the lucky one because the whole ordeal for her was just a long nap. She'd go in, fall asleep, and wake up when it was done. I, on the other hand, would be conscious the entire time... slowly counting seconds and hoping to god she'd come out ok.

It didn't take 2.5 hours... 

I got the call from one of the nurses that was assisting in the surgery. "Hi Mr. Bauer. I just wanted to give you a call and let you know that everything is fine but it's going to be about another hour."


(i didn't look anything like this)

What came out of my mouth was an overly cheery and fake, "Ok! Thanks for letting me know!". As if to say, "hahaha! yes my fine dear, I am well aware everything is going to be tip top cheery-o. I will quite simply be over yonder enjoy a relaxing spot of tea."

The next hour dragged on and my stomach started turning against the spinach salad I forced down for lunch. I was feeling gassy... sour stomach... it was horrible. 

But... it didn't take another hour...

I never did get another call. At the 3.5 hour mark I got up repeatedly to check the status board and all it did was mock me with "In Operating Room" next to her code. 

What was happening? Why was she still in there? Why haven't I gotten another call? 

Terrible images of surgeons and nurses scrambling around my wife trying to resussitate her in a serious drama made for TV style as her beep beeps flat-lined, the paddles coming out... "CLEAR!" bzzzzt.

Another 2.5 hours later...

I was getting up one last time to check the board before going for another walk to try to shake my pain... my worry... to try to get rid of the nautious feeling that had taken over. The damn board still said "In Operating Room" when her surgeon ran into me. 

And you know what he had... which he piled RIGHT into my face?!

A smile.

He was smiling and I was torn. I didn't know whether to hug him because I finally knew that my wife was ok, or to punch him because he was so cheery after my body had practically digested itself. 

We talked, he explained why it took so long, told me how it went, things that they found. I think I was there for most of it. Of course I had on my best Sunday game face as if to let him know that nothing could shake me. He said I could see her in an hour.

We shook hands and went our separate ways. He to another case and I to my car. 

... and I cried...

I called my brother... my emotional rock in times of pain... someone who knows fear and uncertainty and fragility of life... and I cried like a little girl who forgot how to cry. The tears didn't want to come at first because I felt I was being weak... that I was failing at being a rock for Isabella... but they came. 

The rollercoaster, all the hypothetical games I played with myself, the stress, the pent up emotions... they just couldn't be contained any longer. 

I sat in the car and I cried. 

She's healing - I'm healing

Her body is bouncing back at an alarming rate. She was up on her feet withing 3 days. It took me about a week to get to the point where every piece of food didn't have to be choked down to avoid barfing it back up immediately. 

My parents did a good job training me to always mask your pain... to put on a mask when in front of other people. To make people think you're the top of the world even though you're more flawed then everyone else. It was a terrible lesson to be taught as a child. I'm hoping there is no "next time", but if there is I'm really going to have to stop trying to be super human on the outside. 


First and foremost I must apologize to the one or two readers of this blog that it has been such a length of time since I've last posted. I tried to make a commitment when moving out so far away that I'd at least post a blog post frequently, and here I am almost 5 months later sitting down to write a post about lots of nothing. 

I'm not going to take this post to do a giant update of what we've been doing... I'll save that for a rainy day when I'm bored. Because right now I'm not bored. 

Right now I'm in a space of my head that I don't like. 

Sure, it's easy to always pretend that things are happy grand and terrific. You've got to put on a certain face for people so that you don't burden them with baggage. Everyone has their own baggage that they need to deal with and having to feign interest in dealing with other people's baggage is not something I like doing nor do I want other people to feel. 

Really, this post isn't for you, the reader, it's for me. It's a way for me to get thoughts out of my head in a way that doesn't waste the limited number of key strokes that I have left in my fingers (though, since this is a new keyboard I am hitting the backspace a lot). If someone just happens to read this and think "huh... me to" then my keystrokes won't be considered completely wasted.

It was the same age that Niamonster was. 

I have such a love/hate relationship with the age of 2. It's the age where a child finally starts coming to their own and finding their personality. They're interactive, loving, cuddly. They run around and say words instead of grunts, eat food with their own fingers, drink out of straws and glasses. They're even starting to be curious with using the toilet instead of dropping loads in their pants. 

But one thing is also very consistent with a child of this age. They are complete, unrelenting, persistent little shits. I have very little patience for people who choose to be bad. See, logically, I know that a child of that age does not know any better because they are still learning just what it means to be a little human. 

Logic has nothing to do with this.

When you have a child that is consistently being a holy terror for 4 hours straight, you aren't logically processing anything. You are biting your tongue, clutching that cup of coffee a wee harder than you should be, you are walking to the other room so that you don't "accidentally" smash their face into a wall. 

I have a breaking point, and my son took me to it today. He woke me up at 7 with his yelling, he was throwing toast around, hitting his sister, and screaming when he didn't get his way. He was actively ignoring any direction I gave him and would purposely wait until I wasn't looking to go get in other trouble. 

It got to the point where he screamed in anger one too many times at my wife and I snapped. I hopped up out of my chair, wrapped my arm around his chest under his arms, and carried him to his "timeout" chair. 

"Uh... Shank... that's pretty normal, it's called discipline."

Yeah... but here's the deal. I yelled. It wasn't loud yelling. It wasn't "daddy getting attention" yelling. It was anger. I was mad... nay... pissed. My son was being someone that I despise. He's freaking not even two years old yet... and the thing is... I don't anger yell. Ever! It's not something I do. I manipulate, I subvert, I redirect, I get sarcastic... but I don't yell when I'm angry. 

Since I don't yell, my kids never hear that voice. He heard it and it scared the be-jesus out of him. Which, on one hand, good... but on the other, he's probably now scared of me. That's no good.

At a certain age, I miss the "still a kid" thing.

Once my kids start interacting with me, I forget that they are still little drunk monkeys. I figure in my head that since they can carry on conversations with me that they should start acting like adults. Dumb. I know. But when it comes to emotionally heated moments you forget logic and reason, and you go with the first thing by muscle memory. 

It's not just him I scared

My wife is strong, beautiful, and charismatic. She's overcome things in life that you don't talk about because of how uncomfortable it makes people. You know... those things you sweep under the rug for generations, she was vocal about and triumphed. I've learned to not use my "angry voice", not just because I believe children should never experience, but because it takes my wife to a place in her head that she shouldn't be. 

It turns me, albeit temporarily, into one of the demons that she's spent her whole life surviving. 

And that, my dear readers, is why I'm in a bad head space right now. 

Regret is a terrible hangover. It clouds you and makes you think about things that you know are illogical... it takes your happiness and craps all over it. It's like an IV of depression slowly dripping into your veins. I've found that the best way to rip the needle out of your skin and start getting over regret is to admit and apologize to those affected by your decisions. 

To the wife of today and BMan of the future:

I'm sorry I allowed myself to grow horns and turn into a demon that will haunt you. That isn't me and certainly isn't someone that I want to be. I won't promise it won't happen again because I fail at perfection, but I do promise that if it does happen again, the horns will be a little smaller and the voice a little quieter.


I've been working my tail off recently to make some miracles on code-street happen. Big projects, high reward, high risk. So far the reward has been paying off very nicely. 

Because of that I was finally able to get back into a love of mine that I've had since college: photography. 

I went and got myself a new baby with some fun accessories

The Canon 60D

She's a beautiful little camera and does everything I've ever wanted in a digital camera without having to pretend like I'm some sort of professional. 

With that, I reactivated my Flickr account so that I can share the bazillion images that I will be taking. 


Boom: http://flickr.com/shankrabbit/



I don't like the open nature of the web when it comes to my family, so I have everything locked down for Friends and Family only. 

So get yourself a Flickr account and send me a friend request and I'll add you straight away. I just need to have control over who gets to see who my family is. 


I'm usually not a very "barf my beliefs on you" kind of person. In fact, I want to punchisize people who think it is their mission on Earth to make sure everyone hears and knows about their opinions and how their opinions should be my opinions. Political, religical, vacinical, or dietical... doesn't matter - shut up.

You think the president is a socialist? That's neat. Shut up.

You think through meditation you'll achieve enlightenment? Fantastic. Shut up.

You think that vaccines cause autism? Cool. Shut up. 

You think killing animals to eat is wrong? Super. Shut up.

 I'm not going to "spray" my opinion on you right now.

I'm going to bitch and it's going to be loud. Loud because I wanted to scream and beat the living shit out of someone for her blatant abuse of a system that's in place to help people who are struggling.

Sometimes people fall on hard times. Times that they didn't plan for and have no control over. When people fall on these hard times they usually aren't very vocal about it because they think it's embarassing. No one wants to call out to their friends and neighbors and say, "I'm financially dead and can't eat... I need your help". Sure, it sounds simple and you know that anyone with a soul would jump at the opportunity to help someone out in that manner. 

See, I don't think the "village mentality" is dead. I just think that villages don't exist any longer because no one reaches out to each other, no one relies on each other, and trust among anyone but family is all but dead.

As a society we have decided that instead of individually helping the village out in times of need, we'll let the government create the village to help feed people who simply don't have the financial ability to feed themselves. 

I'm talking about welfare.

Oh yeah, I said it and I'm going there. I'm going there because on one hand I'm ok with doing my duty and financially helping out my countrymen in their time of need. Right on the WIC website it says "...who are found to be at nutritional risk." I don't want people to starve in my country. But I will be damned if I keep my mouth shut when that countryman abuses me. 

There are two types of nutritional risk: 1) not having enough to eat, 2) only eating the bad foods. Keep this in mind, cause we're going to bring it all back full circle in the end.

Why are my panties in such a bundle?

It's story time, so grab yourself some popcorn and get ready for this doosy. 

I had just picked up my bestest friend's and their amazing daughter from the airport. They had been relaxing on the beaches of California and had just returned to the great state of Wisconsin. As you all know, when you get back from a longer vacation you're always torn. You don't want to come back to reality but at the same time - there's no place like home.

However, no matter what, the last thing you're thinking about when you get home is "what should I make for dinner". Knowing this, I wanted to make my besties dinner so they wouldn't have to worry about it, but didn't want to pre-cook anything because you never know what their in the mood for and the female side of the bestie is sometimes a vegetarian but not always. After discussing meal plans, I dropped them off and promptly went to the local grocer to pick up what I needed.

I wish I would have been walking around with a video camera that day. It must of been "movie cliche day" and our local Pick n' Save because the people watching was in full effect. They had every flavor of awesome person that I love watching. Here are my top 4:

  1.  The "I wear makeup to the gym" lady. 
    These people never stop to astound me at how hard they try for something so basic like catching a few glances from wandering eyes. "I'm about to sweat my ass off in hopes to trim up a little... better make sure my foundation is evenly distributed." What in the actual hell? The bonus about being at the grocery store was that it was post-workout. So the mascara and foundation were ALL over the place. Still, they strut like they've got it. 
  2.  The inversely proportionate couple
    I love seeing people in love, but there will always be those couples that make me do a double take. Some people's preferences just baffle me. While being a nice person goes a long way, I'm just not a firm believer that "his personality makes him attractive" works in all cases. (what a heartless bastard)
  3.   The super angry businessman on the cell phone
    This guy is angry. So angry that he's yelling into his phone so loud that there is a 10 meter radius of silence from everyone else as they behold the destruction this man is dumping on the poor bastard on the other end of the line. I often wonder if there is even someone connected on that call, or if he's just yelling into a dead cell phone to piss his dominance on others around him.
  4.   The "I'm not on meth, I swear" person
    Half of your face is melting off. That's not acne, that looks like a self-aware box cutter got mad at you one night because it found you cheating on it with a pair of scissors. You look like you caught a grenade... with your face - only, there is no war going on in WI right now, so unless you just freshly got back from active duty, I'm going to guess that your face is the result of a terrible batch of a terrible homemade drug in which you almost blew up your family trying to create.

I love these people. I love watching what they do and how they live. I love eavesdropping on them and trying to create a life story around them from the 5 seconds of conversation that I hear. (Well, except one meth-head screaming "GRANDMA! GRANDMA WHERE ARE YOU?!" I truly did wonder if the grandma was even there.) 

So (back to the story now), I'm walking around the store completely baffled by the multitude of varieties of these people, picking up my ground beef and corn and I finally get to the checkout area. 

(my amazing photoshop skills strike again)

Holy crap was the line forever and a day long. Live-aid just barfed all over this checkout area and I knew it was going to be about the same wait time as a TSA security checkpoint. 

I settled in for the long staring contest I was about to have with Eva Longoria and Brad Pitt on the Star magazine cover (they always win).

As I was silently waiting to purchase my 6 items, I was slowly drawn to the lady in front of me and her son. This was a fascinating creature who's choice of foods was borderline deadly. Multiple bags of Doritos, popcorn, cookies, a giant cookie from the bakery, sodas, sodas, and more sodas. Sunny D (which might as well be soda), frozen pizzas, frozen ice cream, popsicles, processed american cheese, soda (there seriously had to be 96 cans of soda all told), a butt load of candy. Oh, and a package of mystery meat. 

Either her and her son eat like titans, or there was a lot of family that was not accounted for. 

This lady and her son get up to the checkout line and the cashier, dead to the world from the onslaught of the hoarde, started scanning the items like a factory working robot. Beep, boop, beep... bam. 10 minutes later of solid scanning the enourmous total from the junk food train pops up on the screen. I'm noesy so I look.

Your total will be $214.23

Wow, that is a lot of crappy food. Hey... maybe it's for a party - good on you for graduating... or... something. (I think the cookie said "Happy Birthday", somehow I was doubting it was anyone's birthday and they just wanted a giant ass cookie).

I heard the lady mumble something like "I'd like to buy a bic"... which was weird because last time I checked you don't get carded when buying pens... maybe "bics" are new cigarettes? Thankfully (and by thankfully I mean good that I'll get to hear it again), the cashier didn't hear it right either so she, in the proper way to have someone repeat themselves in Wisconsin, said, "mwh?"

So the lady (she looked like a #4, btw), repeats herself and says, "I'd like to put this on WIC".

Oh. Hell. No.

Sincerely, my dear lady, I must have misheard you. Because I know I did not just hear you say that your welfare check is going to be paying for this. 

Sure as shit - that is exactly what I heard. The cashier has given up on life at this point and doesn't even say anything besides a slight jerk of the hand towards the machine in which my new ladyfriend #4 needed to swipe her WIC card. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am and just like that the grand total, after my ass paid for her junk food, came out to (drum roll): $7.12

Let's put some icing on this cake (the one I just paid for)

The remaining $7 will, unfortunately, have to be paid with her check card. Sorry I didn't cover everything. But then... 

OK... wait...

Now mind you, I'm already in shock because of this. I'm talking myself down from the vocally sacastic ledge of me cocking off and saying something like, "You're welcome" or "Since you helped yourself to my savings account, I'mma go ahead and have myself one of your delicious sodas"... no... bite your tongue, ShankRabbit... ok... so my tongue is bittena and I'm silent.

But then... she swipes her debit card and looks at the cashier and says, "how much over can I take out" - the cashier double takes as if non-verbally saying, "wait what the fu...", but verbally says, "$100". 


So wait... you can't pay for your food, but apparently you've got enough to just willy-nilly take out $100. 

I almost hit her.

Almost. Hit. Her.

The system is broken. We're taking "nutritional risk" from one bucket and allowing people to put their children into the other bucket of "nutrutional risk". It makes me mad. Mad because she probably went home and fed all of her children really shitty food which makes them fat and lethargic, which makes them perform poorly as humans.

And knowing Wisconsin, that $100 probably went to the slots at Potowatami Casino - because if you gamble with your kid's health, you've gotta gamble with their money too.

I know I write jokingly 99% of the time - but this sincerely makes me sad.


I have a simple question which I've been pondering. What is the point of mothers day/fathers day? I've been mulling this over in my head for a while and have come to a few possible answers as it relates to my family. 

  • A day to celebrate a thought out decision.
  • A day to celebrate a position you're in by mistake.
  • A day in which those related prove themselves to be the best.
  • Hallmark holiday.
The first two possible answers are related in that you either sat down with your partner, had a nice long talk about children and their impact on your life, and if you both are ready to commit to something that will single handedly be the most joyous and painful experience of your life. 
Or the condom broke.
The hallmark holiday aspect is prevelent with any holiday, but which came first in this case? It's a very chicken/egg scenario. Do we celebrate fathers and mothers so that florists, card makers, and balloon crafters can turn a profit? Or did they come around after the day of celebration was created? This kind of question probably falls under the same category as "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsiepop?" - No one cares enough to try to answer so we just bite the damn thing.
However, among all of these potential answers I am firmly convinced that it's not about the actual figurehead for which the day is named after, but rather the other people in the family. These holidays and their "celebration of the parental units" is just a ruse for what the holiday is really all about.
This holiday is not about showing your mother or father how much you appreciate them. No, this holiday is about proving to them that you are worthy enough for them to stick around. It's a game to show the selected parent that they should stick around and continue to be awesome. And if you fail that game... well... the consequences could be dire.
So you sit down and you think long and hard about the things that they like and how you prove to them that you deserve them in your life. This holiday is the true valentines day between partners and a true show of love from children. Actions speak louder than words, right? Valentines day is just a bunch of mooshy words and disgusting, minesweeper chocolates. Mother's day and father's day is where it all comes out. 
It's also a day where you get evaluated as to how you are doing as a mother or father. How much effort goes into that day is a true indication of how well you've done in that role over the past year. If all you're getting is a simple high-five in the morning... have you really been the best mother or father for the past year? 
I'll write more about how I have been solidified as an excellent dad for another year and how my wife and children really want to keep me around in a future post. But lets just say - Isabella, Niamonster, and BabyB did well.
Very very well.