Archives for June 2010

Traveling Music

Here is a snippet of what the Traveling Jack Band has been listening to:

How Do You Like Me Now– Toby Keith
How Do You Like Me Now– The Heavy
You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This– Toby Keith
Uprising– Muse
Into The Mystic– Van Morrison
Save The Last Dance– Michael Buble
The Hustle– Van Mcoy
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother– The Hollies
Mothers of The Disappeared– U2
The Song is Over– The Who
Bad Company– Bad Company
A Boy Named Sue– Johnny Cash

A Father’s Dream

A Father’s Dream is a contradiction. It is a non-descript, descriptor that both attracts and repels readers. It is three simple words that can be interpreted in a number of different ways. Three words that can lead the reader down the primrose path into a tangled tale of personal dreams or general ambition.

So my friends it is your choice to make, do you continue to read to see where the madman shall take you or do you point and click your way into some other thicket of thoughts. Even as we speak the hamsters are working feverishly inside my melon, running hard so that they can feed the machine so that I might produce another 600 words for your review.

Traveling Jack and his band of merry men have been on the road for more than a weekend and less than a fortnight. It has been enough time for he and his children to engage in discussions both serious and silly. They ask him why he is armed with enough electronic gear to open a small store.

More importantly they wish to know why he is always pointing his Flip camera at them. The dark haired beauty says that he is crazy- her older brother says that it is not nice to say that dad is nuts, but whispers “you’re right.”

If someone else had the Flip or some other means of videotaping us they already would have uploaded video footage of the crazy dad dancing to U Can’t Touch This with his beeeyootiful daughter. This where a Father’s Dream comes into play. Crazy dad imagined that he looked more than a little cool dancing. The dark haired beauty encouraged him to continue his herky-jerky movements- her laughter fueled his fire and he kept going until he was out of breath.

Oy, do you know what an almost six year old with dark eyes can do when she says, “dance again daddy.” All I have to say is that I came within moments of going viral on YouTube for all the wrong reasons.

Hmm…I just changed tenses again. Somewhere my English teachers are shaking their heads and wondering why I insist on breaking the rules. All I can say is that I am consistent- broke the rules back then and am still breaking them now.

This used to make Jack’s mama crazy. She would tell me that once I knew the rules I would be allowed to break them, grammatically that is. She would also ask me not to torment my siblings. And I must confess that I did dream about not doing that, but as the only boy among 16k girls it was too easy and I sometimes succumbed to temptation.

Life outside the big city we live in is different. I am happy that the children are exposed to these things. Some of the differences are exciting. They love watching deer wander through the backyard and think that it is really cool to be able to drive into Manhattan at a moment’s notice. The houses and buildings are different and the children they play with talk about California as if it is some exotic place.

But they miss their friends and wish that we could have brought the dog with us. They want to know if one day planes will be fast enough to turn it into a simple commute similar to going from the Valley to the Westside.

That is a Father’s dream- to live to see thousands of miles turned into no big deal. I suppose that if I were a billionaire that day would already be here, but I am not and can’t say that I will be any time soon. But you never know because a Father dreams. He dreams about who he will be and who his kids will grow up to be.

He dreams about things big and small, far and near. He dreams and he dreams some more. And somewhere in between he tries to live the life that will turn those dreams into something more than just a dream.

Links that Caught My Eye

A sample of some of the stories that caught my eye.

Moments To Cherish, Moments To Treasure

Some times people look at me and wonder where it is that I am. That is, they see my body occupying a space but they recognize that my mind is elsewhere. It has been this way for as long as I can remember and I suspect it always will be.

Endless hours are spent in the present living out the days and enjoying the fruits of my labor and effort. Countless minutes spent in the here and now because that is how life is meant to be lived and I would not want to live in a world where it was otherwise.

Still, there are those moments that you will find me elsewhere. Those times where you see me and know that my mind is elsewhere. During those you will find me walking in the gardens of memory engaged in reflection of moments to cherish and moments to treasure.

Some of those moments are things that I have seen or done with my children and others are of a different nature. Time spent in a secret world in a place that only one other has seen. Occasionally I will open the gates and enter the land and wander where I will.

That place is a wonderland of experience filled with moments that make my heart soar and my spirit rise. But like all rose gardens it does have the occasional thorn. There are the moments and memories of less pleasant experiences. There are things in there that some would designate of a darker nature. And there was a time when I would have wanted to banish them from my sight and from time. Erased from memory they would never trouble my soul with unrest.

But that would not be fair or real. The mistakes and missteps help to illuminate and illustrate the beauty of those other moments. They call out to me as little beacons of light that help remind me why the truly special moments are more deserving of my attention. They have no more power than I choose to give them.

So they stay in the secret world, memory buoys of what was and a guide towards what I hope will be. Moments to cherish, moments to treasure.

A Working Vacation

This trip is what you would call a working vacation. My time is divided among family and work responsibilities. In that respect it is nothing like the family trips that I remember from my youth and for that I am sorry. My children are forced to share me during a time where I should be focused on them.

My siblings and I never faced any of these things on our vacations. Mom and dad were always there. There weren’t any waves or gestures for silence while dad finished talking to a client. But then again there weren’t laptops, cellphones or any of the other electronic leashes technology has afflicted us with.

That is sort of a negative perspective so let me provide the positive spin on it too. The electronic leashes as I have named them also provide freedom to get away from a desk and go elsewhere. Some of the projects that I am working on require attention that I couldn’t otherwise give and so I am grateful for this flexibility.

But it is sometimes hard for me not to compare myself to my parents. They are the best model I have for parenting for that is what I experienced first hand. They fought and struggled for us and I appreciate that. One area that I know is different in a positive sense is access. My kids tend to see me more than I saw my father. He left early in the morning and came home just a few short hours before dinner.

The home office lets me see the kids all the time. I sometimes drive or pick them up from school. I get to attend practices for their sporting events and do things that my dad couldn’t do, so I guess it sort of balances out.

Maybe the person who is most upset by a working vacation is me. Maybe I am the one who is a bit frustrated that I have to keep switching hats. Have to think about that one. Either way I am pleased to see how much fun the children are having as that makes me very happy.

Gratitude is something that I need to express more frequently.