Finley Y Fuckery

Last year, we enrolled our son in camp at the Finley Y for the few weeks his school’s camp was not in session.  Having been members of the Y for a few years and having heard good things from other parents, we didn’t think twice.  One assumes that a Y camp will be a safe environment for a child.  Our only concern was what one of Milkface’s friends called “G-d Time” which was a time for Christian prayer.  Given that Milkface is Jewish, his mom is Jewish and his father is agnostic, we had to have a discussion with Milkface about that.  Our discussion consisted of “They’re going to pray.  You’re going to be quiet and daydream.”

Milkface’s time with Finley lasted all of three days.  He started on a Monday.  By Thursday morning, he was in tears in the parking lot, begging me to take him home.  Camp was scary and he had been bullied every single day.

After the first day of camp, I reached out to management to alert them to the issues.  Management was marginally responsive but not responsive enough.  The supervision was limited.  The older kids antagonized the younger kids.  Despite my repeated requests for additional monitoring or supervision, nothing improved.  We sent an email to the director informing him of Milkface’s withdrawal from the program and requested a full refund.  The only positive observation I have of the program is that the refund was issued lickety-split and with zero argument.

Dock and I wondered if we were being hasty in our decision to yank Milkface from the program after three days.  We knew we had an unhappy and scared child.  We knew something was very much off with the program.  We also knew that abruptly pulling your child from a program would also limit his opportunity to learn how to manage bullies.  Like most things parenting, there’s always going to be some way you shortchange your kid.

Today, reading the local news, I found this article.  It is awful.  It is not, unfortunately, remotely surprising.

I’m not one to post many mommy rants or condemnation of businesses or services unless it’s a necessity.  I feel it is.  The culture of bullying is still pervasive.  Only now, because of one very on-the-ball and brave mom, we understand exactly how terrible and horrendous it really is. And, of course, the message needs to be shared because neither child nor parent deserves an experience like this.

Raleigh mom says son was pinned to ground, assaulted at YMCA camp

There is growing concern among parents, and an ongoing police investigation, after a Raleigh mom said she saw her 6-year-old son being assaulted by two older boys at a Triangle YMCA.

Justine McGuire said she walked into the gym at the A.E. Finley YMCA last week and found her 6-year-old pinned to the ground and assaulted in the groin by two older boys.

“I got there and I found him lying on the ground and his back was next to one of the benches,” she said. “One of the boys was holding him down to the ground with his feet on his chest while the other little boy pulled his genitals out of the bottom of his gym shorts and then sat on his face.”

McGuire said her son wears a hearing aid and has epilepsy.

But she said her concern skyrocketed when she was told that one of the boys wouldn’t be punished at all, and the camp director told her not to contact police.

“The camp director basically told me, ‘I know it’s gross, but boys will be boys and horseplay is typical at this age’ and I may have been overreacting,” she said.

McGuire said she disagreed and called authorities.

A Raleigh police spokesperson said they are actively investigating the allegations of assault.

In the meantime, McGuire’s story has gained traction on social media where other parents have shared similar stories.

Tasha Bullock says her 8-year-old daughter was assaulted by another child at the same YMCA last fall. She too said the camp director discouraged her from calling police.

“A little boy lifted up her dress and tried to touch her in her private areas under her underwear,” Bullock said. “I’m telling (the camp director) I am about to call the police, and he is like, ‘Oh, police aren’t needed.'”

A YMCA spokesperson released a statement Wednesday that said, “We have been in close contact with parents, our staff and local authorities, and are fully cooperating with the investigation. The children alleged to be involved in the situation are not part of camp at this time.”

A letter was also sent home to parents, but officials declined to release any additional specific information about the incident.

YMCA code of conduct prohibits harassment of any kind.

Random Misanthrope’s…

….Go Fuck Yourself Weekly!!!

Since my return from my self-imposed exile, I have refrained from scribbling about politics because, at this point, it’s pretty much like shooting fish in a barrel.  It’s effortless skewering requiring little thought – these idiots write the material themselves.  All we need to do is read any old newspaper (note:  NOT BLOG.  A blog is not a legitimate news source, you right winged asshats.  Neither is a newsletter from your local “I have a throbbing hard-on for the 2nd Amendment” gun club.) and it’s all there in its glory.  Be it from Palin, LePage (a personal favorite of mine), Chris “Governor Sammiches” Christie or Rand Paul – it is an infinite font of stupid.  Thus, I have been reluctant to dispense of the stink-eye because *everyone* is doing that and Kang is not a joiner.  Kang is a trendsetter.  Remember that.  ಠ_ಠ

Until today.

Until I had some inspiration.  Or…several sources of inspiration.

Aside from my daily devouring of various LIEberal (tut tut tut) media websites, I also troll for memes and keep a reasonable cache of them for quick and easy reference.  I do this because, sadly, my humor is not far removed from that of a 12 year old boy or the average 4chan user. The more ridiculous the meme the better, too.  For instance – take any children’s show, slap adult language on top of it and I’ll keel over with laughter.  It has become the visual version of the “what do you call a guy with no arms and no legs?” jokes that, for whatever reason, bring forth a laughter induced asthma attack.  Not only am I a cheap date, I’m easily amused by dad jokes and shit.

Between the reading of the news and the trolling of the memes, I thought “Hmmm…it’s been years since we have done any sort of writing exercises.  The last time I had posted any asshole du jour spleen vents was back when Kang World was still Kang World – 2008, mebbe?  What if I tried a serial?  Do I have the attention span and stamina for that?”  Welp – let’s find out.  And let’s give it a catchy title, too.  How about:  “Random Misanthrope’s Go Fuck Yourself Weekly?”  A nice lilt.  No irritating alliteration.  Includes the word “fuck.”  Ok, possible.  I might get bored and change things if I find it’s not succinct enough.  Or, I might get bored and forget about it altogether (the more likely of the two possibilities).  But let’s just amuse the strange lady and let her have her moment, shall we?

The inaugural installment of Random Misanthrope’s Go Fuck Yourself Weekly is dedicated to the junior senator from my current state (how I miss living in a Commonwealth.  It sounds much more dignified.), Thom Tillis.

Thom Tillis.  Think about this for a second.  Thom.  Thom with an h.  This annoys me.  This annoys me almost as much as Toms who spell their names with the letter ö.  No, assholes, your names are not pronounced “Teum” so, for fuck’s sake, stop using a letter that has no place in American English.  Just stop it.  And to you, Senator Tillis…learn to spell.  You’re making us Southerners look bad.

Once upon a time, Pa Tillis and Ma Tillis birthed a baby in Jacksonville, FL, America (see…he’s not even from here.  Wait…most of us aren’t.  Never mind.).  Being born a white male in the United States, this lad was destined for great things and a life of marginal leisure.  After frittering about at two universities (1/2 the amount of colleges attended by Sarah Palin), he managed to obtain his sheepskin at the tender age of 36.  According to Wikipedia, the source of all things correct and valid, Senator Tillis’ life of public service began shortly after moving to suburban Charlotte and serving on the park board for his town (Leslie Knope or Leslie NOPE).  After serving as town commissioner for two years and getting a taste of that sweet, sweet nectar that is power, Tillis set his eyes on a higher branch of government, The State House of Representatives.

Really?  Who the fuck cares.  The guy is our junior senator because the evil Koch brothers bought an election and threw an otherwise competent and exceedingly moderate senator out on her ass (Sorry, Kay.  I tried.  I really tried.).

Yesterday (see how interested I am in the body politic these days), Thom-with-an-h makes some noise news.  This bastion of Conservative Values® thinks that people who work in the food service industry should be freed of the yoke of socialist oppression and have the freedom to decide whether or not to wash their own damn hands (soap optional) after throwing mud, as our Founding Fathers intended.  I guess that’s reducing the stranglehold of the nanny state?  But…he does feel that a sign should be posted (so, would that not be a form of…regulation????).  Ultimately, Senathor Thillis feels the Frhee Marketh will remedy the situation and the businesses that don’t make their employees engage in appropriate hygiene practices will go under.  That’s great, Thom.  What happens in the interim when one of the poorly paid line cooks comes back from his trip to the potty with a ½ wiped ass and unclean paws and gives everyone an extra serving of E. Coli with their barbecue?  Please refrain from saying the market will take care of that.  It won’t.  Now shut up and sit down before I make you sit in a corner or something.

So, for the man who thinks that public health is a non-issue, the man who thinks excrement the perfect flavor enhancer for any meal – all I have to say is “Congratulations for being the first in a line of an esteemed many!” or until I get bored with the concept of Random Misanthrope’s Go Fuck Yourself Weekly.

Hugs and kisses

Go fuck yourself

It’s not a crack house…

…wait a minute.  I was going to say it’s a crack home but I’m wrong.  It is a crack house.

Ever since Milkface began attending Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns, I have been saddled with the burden of the commute from our house to central Durham. Without traffic, it’s a fairly easy breeze through RTP and up 147.  Maybe 20 minutes at most given the way I drive (probably would have been 10 or 15 if I still had Astrid).  Unfortunately, the drive is not made during off-peak hours so the slog can stretch upwards to 45 minutes (one way) if there has been an accident, bad weather or some witless fucktard in the left lane driving the speed limit.  As you can imagine, doing this twice a day has its drawbacks. While I love the opportunity to jabber with Milky or rock out to songs from My Little Pony, Equestria Girls or Taylor Swift, I have come to loathe missing the two to two and a half hours in my day. Particularly now that my shoulder has healed from the Great Shoulder Fracture and Tendon Tear Incident of 2013 and I am cleared to return to the gym to work off the manatee and get back to the small sized seal I once was.

About a month into the slog, I turned to Dock and said “Sorry, pal.  I know you hate urban life but we’re moving.  You’re going to have to take one for the team.”  Lacking a mirror, I have no idea what my expression was but it was apparently horrifying enough that Dock immediately consented and we decided to start looking for a house closer to PCSGU in central Durham.

Our decision to buy our current house in Agrestic was made after spending months trolling neighborhoods in Raleigh.  Given that a house is potentially the largest investment we would make, we wanted to make sure we were going to get what we needed:  enough space to avoid each other 80% of the time and what we really needed:  resale value.  We logged many a mile creeping through neighborhoods, taking notes, counting rental homes, reviewing tax cards, property values and comparable sales data.  Since it was suburban Raleigh, we really didn’t have to worry too much about crime statistics.  As for schools, well – Wake County is such a dismal clusterfuck, it really doesn’t matter because the school district will reassign your kid in a heartbeat so why bother with that?  The outcome was good.  We actually like living in Agrestic.  The neighbors, for the most part, are decent.  There’s little drama with the HOA and, holla, we have equity.

Given the outcome above, we decided to employ the same and start our search for a new home.  Last week, after feasting on mediocre fare at a brewpub in Durham, we piled in the car and started cruising the PCSGU’s neighborhood and a few others.  Surrounding the school are some fairly adorable homes that reminded us of what Five Points in Raleigh used to be like before the yuppy scum moved in, knocked over the small bungalows and built repro Craftsman homes but with six or seven floors (logic that one for me, please). My first thought was “Gee, wouldn’t it be great if Milkface could walk to school like I did when I was in elementary school?”  So, I was pretty darn excited.  We drove up and down a few streets and then turned (direction is not relevant).  In the background one could hear the dulcet tones of Elvis Presley except he wasn’t singing a happy tune.  He was singing the mournful one.  He was singing “In the Ghettoooooooo.”

Now, I’m not talking ghetto as in “I’m a snob and I look down upon thee.”  Nor am I talking ghetto as in “ratchet.”  I’m talking ghetto as in crime and not that petty, bored, suburban vandalism shit, either.

Growing up mere miles from the city limits of Philly, I consider myself to be somewhat urbanized and somewhat of a badass.  Stuff like this doesn’t usually turn me away.  But – my husband travels for work and he travels a lot.  And while he does own many firearms, he is an antiquarian and I just cannot envision a break-in going down like this:

Felon:  Well, hello Lady of the House.  Would you be so kind as to give me your valuables, your legal tender, your credit cards, your ATM card and your pin code, please?

Me:  :ammo thing clamped between teeth:  Hold on for a second, Mr. Burglar/Serial Killer/Rapist/All of the Above.  I’m loading this long arm circa WWI and it’s a bit of a sticky bitch but have you seen this the Finnish stamp which has been marked over and replaced by this Russian/Bolshevik mark?  A very interesting time in history, would you not agree?

Felon:  My goodness.  That’s quite a find.  How much did your husband pay for it? Should I take that instead and sell it at a gun show? Perhaps, if you wrote down the history of this fascinating firearm, I might make enough bank to give up this life of crime, return to medical school and realize my dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon.


Each and every street, it seemed like we were either on “Adorable Bungalow Boulevard” or “Omar Comin’ Drive.”  The oddest part of all, there wasn’t any sort of delineation.  There wasn’t a transition.  It was either urban splendor or urban blight.  For a woman with lofty dreams of not losing hours in a day to traffic and commuting, this was extremely disappointing in a :sniffs: first world problems sort of way.  Especially since the more time I spend in Durham, the more I really like it.

Raleigh is so damn milque-toast, it viscerally upsets me whenever I return after a period of time elsewhere; mainly up North or abroad. Fucking Lexus SUVs, Japanese mini-vans and dvd players in every car.  There is this feeling that no one really works during the week – it’s just a series of carpool upon carpool.  The strip malls are the exact same.  My father lives across town from me.  We have the same exact strip mall with the same exact stores.  No variation at all.  There is very little local flavor and color.  From what I understand, one of the few assets is the annual hoovering of the fallen leaves.  I’m not sure if that’s compelling enough to make me stay.

Durham seems to be experiencing a demi-renaissance of sorts.  It’s always been a place that drew artists because *surprise* rents are low. One can drive through downtown Durham and see various tall-ish (there are no tall buildings here) being erected.  Some of the neighborhoods are positively darling or genuinely quaint.  It seems like the largest problem is finding the one that isn’t backed up to hAmsterdam.

*I realize that I have used this title previously but it is considerably appropriate in this scenario so accept my apologies for my laziness and lack of creativity.