Put A Bullet In My Head

Some of you may remember watching a television show called The Greatest American Hero. It was about a high school teacher named Ralph who is given a suit by extra terrestrials that provides him with superhuman powers such as the ability to fly and super strength. It sounds simple enough except Ralph loses the instructions and is forced to learn how to use his powers by trial and error.

One of my strongest memories from the show is watching Ralph fly because he wasn’t graceful like Superman. There  was no “Up Up and Away.” Ralph would go hurtling through space and only be stopped by crashing into the side of a building or some other stationary object.  It usually made the 11 year-old boy version of me laugh pretty hard.

I mention this because the show has been on my mind. During the past couple of weeks I have had the kind of vivid dreams that make you wake up disoriented and confused because for a brief moment you aren’t quite sure where you are. Each time I woke up I felt like someone had given me instructions or advice that was very important.

During that first moment of wakefulness I knew exactly what it was that I had been told and why it was important and then suddenly it was gone. The harder I struggled to remember what had been said the faster the memories fled. The third time this happened I took a different approach. I got out of bed, stretched and did my old man shuffle towards the bathroom.

Except this time I was prepared to pounce upon the dream and write everything down. I put my plan in motion and as I walked I could still hear the whispers and though I was fast the dream was faster. Ask the fellas and they’ll tell you that I have fast hands. I steal a lot of basketballs but this wasn’t a pickup game and that dream fled from my field of vision leaving me frustrated and cranky.

Maybe it doesn’t mean a thing. Maybe it is something silly, I don’t know. I just know that the fragments I feel in the back of my head make me want to remember more.


My son asked me to tell him how to become a dad blogger. I smiled and asked him why he wanted to know. He told me that if he decides to get married he wants to be able to get cool stuff for his children and then he apologized and said that I might be too old to play with my grandchildren.

I laughed and told him not to worry. I am not middle aged yet and I don’t plan on being for quite some time, if ever. And then I told him that if he wants to become a dad blogger he is going to have to spend more time writing. It is a topic that I tread carefully around. He doesn’t like writing. It is very difficult for him. I don’t think that this is going to be an ongoing problem. He knows how to tell a story and I am more than able to help teach him how to improve.

But I remember what it was like to be a boy and how I sometimes struggled with letting my dad help me with certain things. I desperately wanted him to do so but at the same time I didn’t want his help at all. So there were more than a few occasions where he and I fought about silly things. He wanted to help me and even though I wanted his help I didn’t want it.

Sometimes it sucks is wonderful to be a kid.

I know my son well enough to know that I can’t tell him how much I love to write because he’ll feel badly that he can’t do it like I can. No need to fight with him unnecessarily. Not to mention that the situation is complicated by his younger sister. The dark haired beauty writes beautifully. I am biased, but she isn’t an ordinary second grader, not when it comes to writing.


Transitions are hard and we are in the middle of one. There a hundred and one changes taking place now and we are feeling the stress from it. Part of me celebrates the opportunities I see and is dancing with anticipation. During my conversation with my son we spent a few minutes talking about it and he told me again that he wants to live a “big life.”

I don’t know where he got that expression. It means that he wants to live his dreams. The smile on his face and the light in his eyes brings me joy and makes me laugh. It is the sort of feeling that is contagious. I love it. I feel it radiate off of me and I just feel so optimistic.

Later on in the day I discovered that I had made a pretty big mistake on a project I am working on and I muttered “put a bullet in my head.” I was by myself  when I said it but it still made me stop. That is not something that I normally say. I have a lot of different expressions but I don’t say things like that.

I took one last look at the word document, stood up and walked over to my weight set. I picked up the curl bar and let the clinkety-clank of the weights and the feel of my blood pumping take the edge off of my frustration. Midway through my third set I realized that I could hear the whispers from that dream in the back of my mind again.

So I put the bar down and slowly walked over to my laptop. The whispers were just loud enough for me to  catch bits and pieces. Just as I was about to start transcribing what I heard they stopped and the dreams fled again.

I feel like Ralph. I have got the suit and I am flying but I need to figure out a better way to land because I am tired of slamming into buildings.

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  1. Jens P. Berget February 20, 2012 at 4:53 am

    I haven’t seen the show, but I certainly understands how it feels like slamming into buildings.

    I don’t keep a pen and a notebook next to the bed, but that sounds like a good idea. I use Evernote to track all my thoughts, and Things to track all my tasks, and that helps a lot. But I still keep forgetting, but not as much as I used to.

  2. Bill Dorman February 16, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Do we ever figure it all out though? Some of it is elusive and seems to be just out of our grasp at times.

    Just recently I had one of those dreams and the clarity was incredible. When I got to my office I knew exactly what was to be done. And as soon as I started the task, it became elusive and just didn’t seem to be such the great idea I thought it was in my dreams.

    Grasp what you can and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    • Jack February 16, 2012 at 8:26 am

      Hi Bill,

      That is the kind of thing that I always find intriguing. That feeling that we know exactly what to do and then the realization that maybe we don’t.

      It fascinates me.

  3. Stan Faryna February 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I remember the show. And Ralph’s flights. I always thought the moral of that story is not to take off the red pajamas and cape. [grin]

  4. Hajra February 15, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Hey Jack,

    We all are Ralph… really. What have we done where we didn’t have to make a few trial and errors. Don’t be hard on yourself. It is tough hitting buildings all the time and realizing this wasn’t what I meant to be doing in the first place; but then the thing is that we keep trying. We aren’t Ralph who gave up after he slammed ; we are Ralphs who keep trying until he is going Up, Up and Away!

    Hold on! The ride just gets better 🙂

    • Jack February 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      I have no bigger critic than me. Every day is a day in which I remind myself it is ok to take it easier.

      There are benefits that come from being willing to keep getting back up.

  5. LaRae Quy February 15, 2012 at 9:09 am

    We’ve all been there.

    Every day we are a new creation.

    Keep the faith.

  6. Gina February 15, 2012 at 5:57 am

    Keep listening.

    Pen and paper next to bed.

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