Archives for December 2011

Words You Won’t Read

I wanted to call this post 2011- The Year of The Motherfucker but then I thought that it might be better to write 2011- You Were a Real Motherfucker.

As you can see I opted not to use either headline and not because I was concerned that I would scare away the millions of brands that are pounding down my door demanding that I become one of their ambassadors. Nope, I like Words You Won’t Read better because it is more accurate.

That is not because I don’t have legions of readers who hang on my every word because I do and let me tell you that it is not always easy to have groupies. Groupies still think for themselves and sometimes that means that they do don’t as I wish they would. Minions are different.

Minions don’t think to do anything other than your bidding and that is kind of cool. But you have to be careful about that because as Uncle Ben Parker said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Of course that didn’t prevent him from getting shot and killed but we won’t talk about that now.

Instead I am going to share a few thoughts with you.

  • I am waiting for my pals at Headway Themes to finish tweaking things so that I can migrate to the current version. That might involve small changes or it might involve big changes. I don’t know.
  • It makes me crazy to see how many of the videos I have embedded here are gone because something happened on YouTube’s end.
  • It makes me crazy to see how many broken links develop over time. That is just a hassle that I prefer not to deal with.

I am listening to Ray Charles sing “Mess Around” and dancing in my chair. When I am not dancing I am pretending to play my keyboard as if it is a piano. I keep hitting the keys and creating new words that look  like gr-0uyghu-prfv and 0ifv80f4hr0cjw vnpln.

More than twenty years ago I worked at a camp outside of Toronto. We tried to convince the Canadians that “Combrodonate” was a word that everyone in LA was using and that it would be really cool if they did too. Most didn’t do it. I blame it on a short guy from cleveland named Mark who said that he had a cousin in LA and he had never heard anyone use it before.

Mark was an obnoxious prick. I asked him if he suffered from smoke inhalation back home. He pretended not to know what I was talking about, but I know he got it. Really, what clevelander isn’t going to acknowledge that the river bursts into flames every hour. It is sort of like their version of Old Faithful, except one is a natural geyser and the other was created by a bunch of guys…er…

I think that I am having more fun writing this story than I ever have. There is a point and a purpose to it that fuel my passion. All those ‘p’s make me proud.

Blog posts don’t have to have a purpose. Some people will read your prose because your passion is your purpose and that is the point of it all. I have written about 550 posts this year, give or take a few. Most were written because I had words that refused to remain bound inside my head.

Passion, point and purpose. I like those three words. I appreciate how by simply rearranging the order in which we use we can provide new meaning and intent.

Going to sign off now. In a few hours I’ll find out if these really were words you won’t read or not.

The Most Important Things In Life

“Comin’ close together with a feelin’ that I’ve never known before, in my time.
She ain’t ashamed to be a woman, or afraid to be a friend.
I don’t know the answer to the easy way she opened every door in my mind.
But dreamin’ was as easy as believin’ it was never gonna end.

And lovin’ her was easier than anything I’ll ever do again.”

It is the end of the year and posts about what you wish you had done or plan to do are a dime a dozen. Hell, it is a damn good thing that they aren’t physical objects because it is a guaranteed fact that 23 people would inadvertently trip over a post about New Year’s resolutions and die as a result of the injuries suffered in the fall.

How embarrassing would that be. “Jack the dad blogger died from injuries received when he tripped over a post about his desire to eat healthier, exercise more and tell those he loves most that he loves them. He was 42.”

Well,  I may still trip and break my neck but fortunately it is not going to be because my feet became fouled up in the errant of my post or yours. The more superstitious among us might suggest that I am being foolish in mentioning that. They might even suggest that my words are bringing undue attention from the wrong sort of powers upon me, but I am not worried.

Told you that after the year I have had the devil doesn’t dare show his horny head nor hide anywhere near me because I will defenestrate his ass…twice. Yes, I said twice. After I throw him through the window I will walk downstairs for the sole purpose of carrying him back up so that I can do it again.

Stupid devil should have realized that I am a better fiddler than that guy Johnny in Georgia. Don’t believe me? Go ask Tevye or Mottel the tailor and they’ll confirm.

Oy, my poor head is pounding in a way that makes me most unhappy. I would like to say that it is because the boys and I went out and closed down a few bars but that is not the case, no sir or no  ma’am. You can pick.

Nope, I have got one hell of a nasty cold. It is the reason that I am not with the family watching “Chipwrecked.” I will join them for my son’s birthday dinner. Please don’t tell my son that I really didn’t want to see the movie.

But as I explained to him the most important things in life are a mix of what you do and who you do it with. You can have a fine time wandering through the grapevines of the world or climbing the Covent Trees with people, but when you do it with the right person it makes a significant difference that only fools ignore.

And that leads us back to the point of producing a post about New Year’s Resolutions. It is not to create a nice document that lists all the things that you hope to accomplish. It is to create a blueprint of accountability for yourself. It is to put yourself on notice that these are the things that you want to do and the things that you HAVE to do.

Once you figure out which is which life changes and you can focus on determining how to make those things happen. The rest is simply commentary. And by special request here are your lottery numbers:

8 31 68 5 9 69

For Your Eleventh Birthday

Dear Junior,

I laugh every time I write that or refer to you as “little man,” “Little Jack” or any other derivation thereof. I laugh because none of  those are even close to your name and it feels a bit ridiculous but sometimes I need a different way of referring to you than “son.”

Tomorrow is your birthday. You are going to turn 11 and I am going to spend more than a few minutes thinking about you and the life you are living. It is what parents do. We look at you and wonder how time moves so quickly and ask silly questions like “what happened to the baby boy I used to carry.” I know what happened. Time passed because that is one thing that doesn’t change…ever.

Change is something that you and I talk about frequently. There have been a million changes this year and you don’t even know about what is yet to come. You aren’t real fond of change. I get that because I am not either. I have fought to keep things that same in any number of areas and places and sometimes even been successful.

But that success isn’t black and white. The fact that I managed to stop some sort of change from taking place isn’t indicative of that being a good thing. Sometimes it hasn’t. Sometimes it has kept me pinned down and trapped in situations that were not particularly good.

When I look at those moments I think that change would have been good and that I made a mistake by not doing a better job of just blooming where I was planted. Your great grandfather would talk about those moments and say that you can’t screw an old head on young shoulders.

He was right.

Your grandfather will tell you that it is really hard to predict the future and that sometimes you just have to go with your gut. You can only play the cards that you are dealt.

He is right.

Your old man as you sometimes like to call me will tell you that you have to work hard to do your best at whatever it is you are doing. When you go to sleep at night you need to be able to close your eyes and know that you did what you could with what you had.

I’ll continue along that line of thought and encourage you to let some things happen. Pick and choose your battles carefully because you can’t fight every windmill that you wander across. That is not the advice of an over protective father speaking, it is experience.

I am a fighter and a scrapper. It took me time to recognize that I didn’t have to fight every foe that stepped into the ring. Took a while to recognize that brute strength wasn’t always the best way to try and fix things. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should.

You don’t have to be me and you shouldn’t. Be you. Be the best version of you that you can be. That is a cliche but it is based in truth.

Tomorrow you want to go to 7-11. Your sister told me about this. She is 7 and you are 11 so you think it is fitting. I am game. I love seeing the two of you work together. You are best friends or mortal enemies. I prefer it when you are best friends.

When it comes to your sister I will tell you again that you are her biggest hero. That is why she wants to do whatever you do. Deal with it and in time you will appreciate it.

And don’t ever forget that I am not kidding when I say that if I am not around you are to protect her. It is what big brothers do. It is what I did as a kid and still do for your aunts. Ask them and they’ll tell you. If you don’t like it blame grandap for it, I do. 😉

He won’t care. He’ll laugh and I am good with that. You will be too.

Keep learning as much as you can. I am not kidding nor exaggerating when I say that my education didn’t end with college. You know that I have a big opportunity coming soon. It is here only because I kept reading and because I pushed.

You can do that and do it better than I ever did or have. That is what I want for you. It is what I have always wanted. It is the same thing that every father wants for their children, a better and easier life.

This won’t be the only note that I write you. It might not be the only one that I write for this birthday, but you won’t see it today. This is for later.

One day down the road you’ll read this and you’ll gain more insight into me and what I think/thought. If it goes as I hope that will give you something special and be meaningful to you.

Right now I am feeling a bit lost in the memories of your life. I am lost in thought about my grandparents and how proud they would be of you and how I wish that they could be here to see you.

Last week I carried you. You were sick and so exhausted you didn’t get out of the car. So I picked you up and carried you in like a giant sack of potatoes.

You are well over four feet tall and about 82 pounds now. Eleven years ago you were 9 pounds and 19 inches. You don’t know how strange that feels to me.

I can lift far more than that. That curling bar I keep telling you to stay away from is more than that- but it is dead. You are not. You are so very alive. The little baby who was tucked in my arm like a football is gone.

The day that you were born I stared at you in wonder and awe. Stared and whispered my promises, wondered who you would become. Held you at your Bris and told you that I couldn’t wait to talk to you about so many things.

And now we do. Now I watch you play soccer and help you with your homework. Now I watch as you and your friends grow silent at my approach. I am not a kid in your eyes. You have your world and your secrets. That is ok with me, kind of weird but still cool.

Ok monster, your old man is going now. I have to go swing those weights around a bit so that I can have a few more years of being the strongest man in the house. Got to go because I could write a million more words about how proud I am and how much I love you.

You are capable of so very much.

Love,

Dad

The Secret To Better Sex Is…

SEX SELLS (Girls just wanna have fun)

The secret to better sex is not contained within the confines of this post but it is still worth your time to read it. Besides you are already here so you might as well take a moment to come inside where it is warm, the coffee is plentiful and the stories pleasurable.

The week in between Christmas and New Years is a funny time in the blogosphere.  It is exceptionally slow and incredibly busy. Surf the net and you will find large chunks of cyberspace devoid of people and activity. Some of the denizens of those locations are on vacation, in hibernation or engaged in alternative recreation.

But if you hit other spaces you will find all sorts of interesting activity. Millions of blog posts are being written about what 2011 was like and or about what they hope 2012 will be. There are infinite collections of hopes, dreams and resolutions being made.

Not here. Here it is business as usual. The words insist on being shared and the stories demand to be told so I honor their wishes and work on providing a pleasant and appropriate experience.

Come hang out here and you take a moment to read Tips and Tools for Writing or He Died A Hero.  There is a story about this story that I may tell one day.

And just for the heck of it here are pieces of a bigger puzzle, little fragments from other posts that you might one day want to read.

“I work in darkness and I work in light. In spite of adversity I work to find the way back to our secret world. Only time will tell if this is a fool’s errand or a noble quest. But at the end of the day I do what I must so that I can accept whatever the outcome of this journey may be.” Source 1

******
“I gather myself and prepare for the confrontation that must come, the challenge will be met head on, I don’t know any other way. The hard part sometimes is making me do so in a timely fashion, sometimes I hesitate and avoid it. But I never completely duck it. Sooner or later I will hit it and hit it hard.” Source 2

******
“The heart wants what the heart wants. It reminds me of Shakespeare, “Life is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” Somewhere my high school English teacher Mrs. McDonnell is smiling. Little Jimmy actually remembered a line from Macbeth. See ma’am, I told you that I could hear just as well in sunglasses as without.” Source 3

******
“The cavalry never comes. He is alone and it is up to him alone to find a way to survive. He must be his own hero and he must find a way to rescue himself. It sounds like a very lonely existence and at times it is. He often feels as if he lives alone and apart, but he knows the warmth of love and friendship too.” Source 4

******
“Yet…I am not so sure that he is right. When I close my eyes I see you staring back at me. Lightning crashes and I am convinced that it can strike twice. I have that knowing smile, that crazy curvy lip you remember. The promises of the past and the echoes of the future tell me that some things aren’t quite done. The whispers in the wind tell of a time coming that will give the truth of the matter.” Source 5

******
“I told you that I would be your hero and that if you called for help I would do whatever it took to rescue you. But the truth is that I need you to rescue me as badly as you need me to rescue you. We have always known this.

So I kissed you one last time. One final kiss so that we’d never forget. One kiss so that if we ever lost our way we could use it to find our way back.” Source 6

******
“And in the end all that can be said is that you are loved. You are loved and appreciated, cherished for who you are not just yesterday but today. Loved because that is just how it is. And maybe one day we’ll find that quiet moment again and you’ll see that I never stopped Dancing In The Fire.” Source 7

******
“Some pieces of our life are not built upon logic. There are no equations that we can solve or scientific rules to be applied. They don’t lend themselves to the laws that Faraday, Newton or Einstein spoke of. Sudoku can be understood, this cannot at least not in the traditional sense. And that is ok.” Source 8

******
“The song of my heart you touch those places inside that others are refused entry to. Your smile warms my soul and makes me believe that I can do things that I might not otherwise dare to consider. There is a beauty and grace that you carry with you.” Source 9

******
“Because the truth was that your heart told you that June was still out there and that the end to this story had yet to be written. The promises you made were still valid. The love you shared still lived. And maybe, just maybe there might be chance to pick things up somewhere down the road.” Source 10

Stay tuned to this Bat Channel. This post is being written a few minutes before Midnight on a Tuesday evening. It will be hump day by the time you read it and who knows what sort of exciting tales will demand to be told.

A Letter To The Universe Part II

“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dear Universe,

It is me again, your old pal Jack. I am following up on the note that I sent you in early November. Remember, I said that I am a semi-skeptic but that I am opening myself up to possibilities and opportunities. I suggested that if you wanted me to respond faster to your messages you should be more clear in what you say and how you say it.

Well, I still stand by that. I fancy myself a writer who dreams of one day earning the title of wordsmith so it is important to me to try to be precise with words. And by precise I mean to have the ability to make them dance, sing and shuffle on command. By precise I mean to have a strong enough command to say nothing when I mean something and something when I mean nothing.

Anyway universe things are beginning to move and I am sort of excited. I hear chains rattling and the creaks and squeaks of things shifting and I know that changes are on their way. Got to tell you that I am a mix of scared, proud and excited about some of these things.

I am proud because some of it was tough. You sent a few dragons and demons this way but didn’t bother to include a sword, shield or holy water. You forced me to deal with these beasties by using my own ingenuity and resourcefulness. In a few cases that mean that I had to take a beating and you know that is never much fun.

It sucks being smacked in the face and though I give as good as I get it is not the sort of physical horseplay that I prefer. Doesn’t mean that I shy away from it but the best part of being 40 something is that I don’t need to prove a damn thing to anyone other than myself. I mention this only because it felt like a couple of those situations played out in the public arena and I don’t know why that was.

This is where good communication comes in handy. Did I misunderstand what I was supposed to do or did the 230 pounds of five year old take over. Beats me, but I am sure you will let me know.

So universe, I have to tell you that my fear is really more of the good kind of excitement. I have this ticklish feeling in my feet and butterflies in my stomach. It is the kind of thing that makes me a little crazy. It reminds me of those days on the swim team when I would start getting prepped for my races.

I would find a quiet place in the bleachers and put on my Walkman and try to chill out, but sometimes that adrenalin would make my heart race and I would picture myself slicing through the water. The best moments always came when that surge hit while I was standing on the blocks, because when the gun went off I really did fly…

So universe I asked you for a bunch of things and it looks like you are delivering on them, at least I hope you are. I have three that are particularly important but I won’t mention them here but I think you know what they are.

But I will say ask that you give me a hand with the kids. They are good children but sometimes I think that they got a triple dose of my stubbornness and an extra shot of know-it-all. If you could help clear the wax out of their ears so that they understand that sometimes it is smarter to listen than to learn by doing I would appreciate it.

And universe let’s take a look at 2012 and review a few other things.

1) I am working out daily. The weights, treadmill and I are in synch but the diet isn’t quite what it could be.  I recognize that my metabolism isn’t willing to pretend that we’re 18 anymore but I could use a hand here. Do I really have to give up carbs or can we negotiate terms that would be agreeable to both of us.

2) It would be great if you could give me more time to write and work on this book that we know I have in me. I don’t need much time at all to write these posts, but I need a few minutes to write the book. I want to take bits and pieces of the fragments and then weave them together into something that is bigger than they are alone. Here, I’ll share some links.

Living My Dreams
Wind and Waves
An Uncertain Certainty
Chasing Ghosts Isn’t Profitable

Anyway universe, it is after midnight and these kinder who call me abba expect me to have some time to play with them tomorrow so I think that sleep is going to be needed sooner than later.

I have a lot more to say and much more to share with you. Can’t wait to see if I what I have been told will happen really does and am ready to embrace all that comes my way.

2012 is going to be something special. What do you think?