Bald Is Beautiful & Other Things You Need To Know

I love that song for a million reasons but primarily because it reminds me of when my kids were really little and they rode daddy around the house. Speaking of little my mother is having a hard time with my hair or should I say that she doesn’t like that there is less of it than there once was.

I told her that bald men are beautiful and she told me that I am not bald. She is right, the hairline starts a little further back than it once did but I have  a long way before I have to worry about being bald. However, I have played around with shaving it all off long before it reaches that point. Mom doesn’t like this but I think that has more to do with her friends turning 70 and the knowledge that her own 70th birthday isn’t a dream anymore.

Mom tells me how she loved the long dark curls I had and refers to that picture of me from when I was three years-old. I laugh and tell her that I am going to write about how she is trying to turn me into a mama’s boy and she scowls. She wants to know why I must always be a pain in the ass and I say that it is because I can.

+++++

It is a week since the move and we aren’t even close to being settled yet. Most of our stuff is in storage and the rest feels like it is scattered between two sets of houses and cars. Every day I spend time trying unpack and purge more stuff- organization will come…right? Actually I know the answer and am completely confident that it will indeed happen but it is going to take some time. Time feels like a frenemy to me. Sometimes when I want it to work with me it does but that precocious prevaricator has moments of mirth and he laughs hard at my expense.

I am not a fan of President Obama but I wouldn’t say that I am a detractor. I am sort of ambivalent but as I said earlier this week at Jayme’s place he should have kicked John Boehner’s ass six ways to Sunday. I don’t care if you don’t like the president, respect the damn office. When your president asks to speak to congress you say ok and STFU. But he didn’t and then Obama really disappointed me by not doing as I said. There are times to be quiet and there are times to be a leader and lay down the law. I am so tired of listening to both sides point fingers at each other.

Stop whining about it. Stop acting like children. In the real world if you said that you couldn’t work with someone you would be told once that it was too bad and then you would be fired. Part of the problem is that our government doesn’t feel the pain of the average person. My second largest monthly expense is healthcare. Thankfully we are healthy, but it wouldn’t take much to make life exceptionally difficult. One serious injury/illness/accident and the whole house of cards could tumble. So let me add a second STFU to the government and my size 12 boot in your ass.

Fix this. Just fix this. I am tired of paying taxes and doing the right thing to watch you act like a bunch of entitled, arrogant, clueless assholes.

+++++

My children are playing soccer again this year. My son moved up to the U12 division and discovered to his chagrin that he is the second shortest child on the team. He is of average height for his age but puberty has begun to kick in for some of these boys and they are pretty big. After the second practice we have a long talk about this and he expressed his concerns.

I told him that my job as his father is to help him reach his potential and that I see things in him that he might not see. I said that he is much tougher, stronger and smarter than he realizes and that soccer would help him see that. He nodded his head and I wrapped him up in a giant bear hug. I wasn’t lying nor did I exaggerate. I believe all those things and think that his biggest problem is that he is tired. The move was a big deal and he didn’t want to do it. He has already asked me how much money he needs to save to buy our old house back.

With a bit of luck this soccer season will help him realize that everything I said is true. It is hard to watch his discomfort, but I can’t do this stuff for him. All I can do is try and set things up so that he can learn and grow from it. Time will tell.

23 Comments

  1. TheJackB September 8, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    @israel.kendall Yes he does, one of my favorite artists of all time.

  2. israel.kendall September 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Great video, Johnny Cash rocks.

  3. Leon September 6, 2011 at 8:42 am

    @TheJackB Jack, I feel for you over the moving. Been there, seen him, done that. As for Frankie Laine’s “Ghost Riders”……one day God will give you the grace.

    It’s true. An old nun told me!

    Leon

  4. TheJackB September 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    @marianne.worley I think that I might have to show your comment to my son. It might present a good starting point for a nice talk about the importance and value of memories.

  5. TheJackB September 5, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    @Leon Frankie Laine may have done it first but Johnny does it best or so I think. I hope to one day have an 18 year-old grandchild, with a bit of luck and hard work that should be many years from now. I say that after having heard of a family friend who just became a grandma at 37- oy.

    If politicians had less influence on my life I think I might like it better.

    There are worst things than moving and certainly your story about the widow reminds me of it, but I have to say that this has been a dreadful experience that is sucking the life out of me.

    Always good to see you here- I told the the Livefyre chaps to make sure to be good to you.

  6. TheJackB September 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    @Faryna Hi Stan- you have done it to me again- given me a line that sums it up. That last sentence really says it all. Hasn’t touched the ball and it is the 4th quarter- good for Hollywood not good for real life.

  7. marianne.worley September 5, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I was 18 when my Dad sold the house he’d lived in my entire life. I immediately started telling him that I intended to buy it back someday. After a few years, I realized it wasn’t the house I wanted, but the memories of times past. And I didn’t need to spend $500K for something I already had.

  8. Leon September 5, 2011 at 9:46 am

    G’Day Jack,

    So many memories! I’m old enough to remember the original “Ghost Riders In The Sky” by Frankie Laine. When I hear anyone else doing it I’m reminded of what Louis Armstrong used to say when asked to play “I Can’t Get Started:” “I don’t play that.” Louis would say. “It’s Bunny’s-Bunny Berigan- song.”

    My eldest grandchild turned 18 two weeks ago. That smartens you up a bit, I can tell you. We are blessed to have an excellent relationship with Camille, her brother and sister and parents.

    When my kids were growing up there was one thing that I hammered away at more than anything else:the importance of family. I used to tell them that family transcended everything. Seems to have worked…..here Leon crosses fingers, toes and any other appendage capable of being crossed.

    Fortunately, I still have some remnant hair on top of my head. It’s all that’s left of the headful of waves and curls my mother worked for years to sustain. But my beard will turn 50 in February 2013. “Bout that!

    When I was about 15, I developed an interest in politics. It wasn’t long before I discovered that politicians seemed to , shall we say, follow a set of principles that are uniquely self interested. I complained to my father about this and he said, “Don’t worry son. There’re only politicians,” The older I get, the more I value this eminently wise counsel.

    Finally, I last moved a year ago.It was reasonably painless as it involved only Julie and I. Our previous move about 17 years earlier involved moving office, house and adult son….all at the same time. It still ranks as one of the most monumentally stupid things I’ve ever done in my whole life.

    Just to keep everything in perspective…..One of our new neighbours is a widow who’s about to become a great grandmother. Her husband was a Ukrainian who died a couple of years ago. He was a chef. He was forced into labour by the Nazis during WW11. When he tried to escape, he was interned, including at Dachau, for the duration of the war. He weighed four stone when liberated by the Americans.

    Stalin insisted that all Ukrainians return to Russia, so he escaped again, forged documents, claimed he was Polish and migrated to Australia. He never used his real name again.

    Bloody Hell Jack! And we worry about the value of LIvefyre and the integrity of blog commenting…….!

    I’ve said it before; make sure you have fun.

    Hope I haven’t gone on for too long.

    Regards

    Leon

  9. Faryna September 3, 2011 at 9:28 am

    You’re lucky I have house guests or I could go on and on. [laughing]

    Actually, I’m with you, Jack. Because I am disappointed with his performance up to now. I just like to take the long road to agreement. Sometimes. [grin]

    Three problems are obvious to me. But there could be a hundred more I can’t see.

    1. The man was surprised to find things work different in the White House. In other words, I imagined he needed a little medication when he figured out that the best and brightest weren’t as clever and honest as he had imagined them to be.

    He had no idea! You and I would be chasing people inside the White House fence – waving baseball bats.

    2. He is used to having the strong support of his community and constituents. The voices of Illinois can’t raise the roof of the nation. On the other hand, Americans thought they did their job by voting him into office. If we want change, we’ll have to do a lot more than vote. We’ll have to listen, think, speak, and get it done.

    3. He cut loose from his faith community because of political pressure and bad press. In other words, he call off his own balls.

    The man should have done the unthinkable. He should have had a weekly pow wow with Americans. TV. Radio. Internet. Interaction. He should have given the American people several intelligent choices to choose from or think about. Each week. He should have put Americans into the uncomfortable position of participating in the democracy and taking responsibility for their expectations. That would have turned the good old boys game upside down. Then the ball would be in his hands.

    Because it looks to me like he hasn’t actually yet held the ball. And the game only has fourth quarter to play.

  10. Faryna September 3, 2011 at 9:22 am

    @TheJackB

    You’re lucky I have house guests. [laughing]

    Actually, I’m with you. Because I am disappointed with his performance up to now. I just like to take the long road to agreement. Sometimes. [grin]

    Three problems are obvious to me. But there could be a hundred more I can’t see.

    1. The man was surprised to find things work different in the White House. In other words, I imagined he needed a little medication when he figured out that the best and brightest weren’t as clever and honest as he had imagined them to be.

    He had no idea!

    2. He is used to having the strong support of his community and constituents. The voices of Illinois can’t raise the roof of the nation. On the other hand, Americans thought they did their job by voting him into office.

    3. He cut loose from his faith community because of political pressure and bad press. In other words, he call off his own balls.

    The man should have done the unthinkable. He should have had a weekly pow wow with Americans. TV. Radio. Internet. Interaction. He should have given the American people several intelligent choices to choose from or think about… each week and let them participate in the democracy. That would have turned the good old boys game upside down. Then the ball would be in his hands. Because it looks to me like he hasn’t actually yet held the ball. And the game is almost over.

  11. TheJackB September 3, 2011 at 8:44 am

    @Faryna $15k is a chunk of change. I don’t fault people for undergoing transplants but that is not for me.

    As for your lotto, well I’ll toss in a blessing to help it along. Can’t hurt. 😉

  12. TheJackB September 3, 2011 at 8:42 am

    @MimiMeredith Hi Mimi. That move was long and arduous. I would like to say that I am exaggerating but I am not. Now we’re just unpacking and decompressing- I almost feel like a person again.

    I’d be happy to act as a consultant for these politicians. Did they run for office to help people or because they hope to become famous and wealthy. If they aren’t part of the solution they are part of the problem. It is ridiculous.

  13. TheJackB September 3, 2011 at 8:24 am

    @Faryna Stan, I don’t disagree that he came into a mess but he asked for it. Think about how much effort goes into becoming POTUS- this was his choice.

    I want and hope our leadership to be capable and focused on fixing problems/providing solutions.

    I don’t expect them all to work, but I want to feel confident that the effort is being made and I don’t feel that here which is why I am disappointed.

  14. MimiMeredith September 3, 2011 at 8:18 am

    I’m glad the moving part of the move is behind you. I found a red moving sticker on something a few weeks back. I couldn’t decide if it was a sign of poor housekeeping or not, but we did move here 11 years ago. Ah well.

    I seldom run across people to whom I want to offer an enthusiastic “EXACTLY” after I hear their political perspective. But…exactly! STFU, grow up, risk responsibility for your own opinions and then DO SOMETHING! Maybe we could get ourselves hired as expert consultants…or at least experts on CNN…oh wait, anybody can do that.

    Here’s to happy soccer days filled with great weather and great learning opportunities!

    M

  15. TedRubin September 3, 2011 at 6:18 am

    @wadyz77 Thanks for the RT Veena!

  16. Faryna September 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Hair

    My hair line is retreating and my head of hair is thinning. A few years back, a friend who is a hairstylist, recommended that I get hair transplants to the tune of $60,000. I should probably be able to find a doctor in Romania that will do it for $15,000. Now all I have to do is win a partial lottery win (5 out of six numbers). But I’d rather take the big win (I think $30 million Euro would be spiffy) and that way I can give Jack’s son the money to buy back their old house. Or get a place way better than the old one. [grin]

    Can you hear me God?

  17. Faryna September 2, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Hair

    My hair line is retreating and my head of hair is thinning. A few years back, a friend who is a hairstylist, recommended that I get hair transplants to the tune of $60,000. I should probably be able to find a doctor in Romania that will do it for $15,000. Now all I have to do is win a partial lottery win (5 out of six numbers). But I’d rather take the big win (I think $30 million Euro would be spiffy) and that way I can Jack’s son the money to buy back their old house. Or get a place way better than the old one. [grin]

    Can you hear me God?

  18. Faryna September 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    America

    As one version of the nursery rhyme goes, threescore men and threescore more, cannot place Humpty dumpty as he was before. We need a miracle because, yeah, we are talking about Humpty Dumpty.

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

    All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

    Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

    My point being the obvious: President Obama came into a mess. And I doubt that anyone (other than the man in the office) from the left or right could have done a better job. Of course, we have cause to snicker and criticize the man because we expect much from our leaders. We elect our leaders and by so doing, we empower them to kick ass. Or do we truly empower them? Do we stand by them through the thick and the thin? Do we march behind the man as he pushes down the highways and byways on a cause of Freedom?

    Anyway, things were bad when the man came around (ref. to Johnny Cash song). It seems to me that Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush merely postponed the shit from hitting the fan and by such postponement, the shit multiplied beyond the prudence and problem-solving capability of our best and brightest.

    Yes, they are arrogant – our best and brightest. But they are not very different from us. Their intelligence is better than ours by gentle degrees. The difference may be that our politicians and their staves (play on the word, staff, in plural with a little Harry Potterish magic for good measure) are more foolish than ourselves because they believe they can solves problems that we can not – nasty Hobits. Because, certainly, like us…they too cannot discern between their left hand and their right hand. (ref. to The book of Jonah (Yonah יונה).

  19. Faryna September 2, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    President Obama

    I had great expectations for President Obama. The election of an African American to the highest office was a triumph for black America; it was a long awaited confirmation that the black American was, in fact, an American – <i>alike in dignity</i> (reference to the chorus in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Their road of hope has been long and hard. It took them through the valley of tears, wound through mounting doubts and fear, and by corridors of shame and anger. Yes, the road stretches further on from here, but now they stand on the mountain top with a clear view of the promised land.

    Sorry about that. I have strong feelings about this.

    Regarding President Obama, I had high hopes for the prophet of Illinois. But if the man is a prophet, I fear he is most like Jonah (see Book of Jonah) when Jonah was reluctant to ask the people of Ninevah to repent. President of Obama is now in the belly of the beast. Jonah spent three days and nights inside the great fish. Since bible thumpers often translate a day as a year, if I’m right about him being a prophet, Obama won’t be doing God’s work until 2012. Of course, if I’m right, doing God’s work and what we wish for is two entirely different things. But we shall have an opportunity to avoid a Hiroshima slash Sodom and Gomorah event.

    Too much information? [grin]

  20. TheJackB September 2, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    @Craig McBreen Hey Craig. We moved a bit west of where we were into a new house. It is supposed to be a short term deal but could end up being longer. Long complicated story behind that.

    I did indeed have the Jewfro for a relatively long while. Was really happy to let it go and enjoyed short hair immensely. Would love to go back to the flat top, but just can’t anymore because the hair won’t cooperate.

    I can’t give Obama a break anymore about what he inherited. Three years in is enough time to have made significant changes but he hasn’t. He just strikes me as weak. I would feel better if he fought harder. To be fair, I think that anyone who came in when he did would have been in trouble, but this is just crazy.

    I love watching my kids play soccer. There are so many good lessons to be learned out on that field. Our gov’t could learn a lot from our kids.

  21. Craig McBreen September 2, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Hi Jack,

    Man, I have to catch up. Where did you move to? Hair: I lost that battle a while ago. At least I still have some. Did you have a Jewfro? My friend in high school had one heck of a fro and was proud of it!Obama. Like the man for many reasons. Understand where you are coming from for sure, but he did indeed inherit a sh*t storm. That being said, I would like to see a bit more fight in him, but the disrespect for the office is sometimes hard to watch.

    Politicians acting like children. There seems to be an epidemic. With regard to healthcare. My father is very ill and without Medicare, my mother would be in the poorhouse. I might be in the poorhouse too. Not caring for your citizens is scary business, and this selfish, pervasive attitude is frankly one that depresses the hell out of me.

    My youngest son is playing U12 this fall. I like the way you discussed this matter with him, just being there and talking to him like that is what he needs most.

  22. TheJackB September 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    @bdorman264 Mom wasn’t a fan of me trying to grow out the Jewfro but I don’t remember her really complaining much about it. The only time I remember her getting upset is when I had it shaved to the nub.

    I wore a flat top for a thousand years and loved it. Wasn’t quite a high and tight but it was close enough. Used to wake up, run my fingers through it and I was good to go.

    Knuckleheads is a good adjective for these people, our “fearless” leaders who fear to work.

  23. bdorman264 September 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Ok, I’ll bet she wasn’t diggin’ on the Jewfro back in the day though, huh?

    precocious prevaricator – my word for the day; liar, liar pants on fire.

    I am not a fan of President Obama but I wouldn’t say that I am a detractor. I am sort of ambivalent but as I said earlier this week at Jayme’s place he should have kicked John Boehner’s ass six ways to Sunday. I don’t care if you don’t like the president, respect the damn office. When your president asks to speak to congress you say ok and STFU. But he didn’t and then Obama really disappointed me by not doing as I said. There are times to be quiet and there are times to be a leader and lay down the law. I am so tired of listening to both sides point fingers at each other. MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY. Figure this crap out and find a way to work together, we did not elect you knuckleheads to deadlock and every single decision. Ludicrous.

    Have a great Labor Day weekend.

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