Archives for March 2016

Confessions Of The Heart Breaker/Heart Broken

You should be reading an updated version of The Phone Sex Surprise and not some semi-serious commentary about how you never know real fear until you become a parent.

It should be something light and silly because the time has come for April fools to share their silly side with those who wish to laugh and frolic with other fools.

Except, the silly side of me has chosen to go on a walkabout and he hasn’t told me when I can expect him to return.

Granted I could yank on the chain that links the two of us and drag the jester back to where he belongs but it is after midnight and I am…tired.

It is not a physical fatigue, but a mental malaise that is slowing me down.

bowling-237905

I feel a bit like one of those bowling pins you see at the far end of the lane, except when I get knocked down there is no machine to pick me up.

There is only me.

Me, the guy who is too damn stubborn to stay down and has too big an ego to believe that he can’t somehow figure out a way to save the day and overcome the odds.

Me, the Taurus who knows from experience that sometimes heroes fail and that sometimes they don’t.

Sometimes, they find a way.

Confessions Of The Heart Breaker/Heart Broken

If you haven’t been around and want more insight into what is going on you can try reading one or all of the posts below:

But you don’t have to, you can accept my word that Steiner the minor is in the midst of a teenage moment that is tearing me up inside.

Why?

It is a combination of watching him make his way through uncharted waters knowing I can’t do a damn thing except tell him he has my support and I believe in him.

It is knowing that sometimes he is too damn smart and part of the hiccup here comes from his overthinking this moment.

Paralysis of analysis is wreaking havoc here, or so it feels to me and while I have no doubt he’ll make his way through this it is just hard.

Not just because I know I can’t do it for him but because part of me wonders if some of the choices I made are responsible for creating this situation.

Crowns & Root Canals

Disturbed is playing their cover of The Sounds Of Silence and I am thinking about the two root canals and multiple crowns my dentist says I need.

I am thinking about whether I could have done more to prevent this and shrugging my shoulders because genetics say there is a damn good chance I would be in this position no matter what I did to try and prevent it.

Part of me doesn’t care because money comes and money goes. I am good at spending it, but I am better at making it.

And I am thinking about the windy mountain road I have been walking up and how I know I am getting closer to the summit.

I am thinking the best tool I have for helping Steiner the minor make his way through this moment is to show him how to keep moving forward when the crap flinging monkeys attack.

I am thinking I can show him that sometimes our closest friends choose to walk a separate path without us and we can’t wait to see if they will come back to the place we parted.

We have to keep moving forward and figure if our paths intersect we may journey together again or we might have to just smile and file the memories away.

Moving With Music

More music flows into my ears, Dr. John’s Right Place Wrong Time pushes past Three Dog Night’s Old Fashioned Love Song and I think about what I want to write about.

The muse is feeling capricious and it takes a walk through Shambala before I think about the words and questions in What Kind of Writer Could You Be?

If there is such a thing as destiny or the right path I can smile because my gut tells me I am doing what needs to be done.

It says to keep pushing forward and to remember Stephen King’s words about the need for good writers to remember every scar.

That is a skill I don’t need to practice because I…remember.

I remember the girl who apologized for breaking me and how I corrected her, “you broke my heart, you didn’t break me.”

I remember falling in love and realizing it was deeper and more powerful than any of the other times I had ever fallen in love.

And I remember wondering if this time it was so deep that if things went south this time I might be…broken.

But old Jack Steiner is a storm walker and a fire dancer who has made his way through multiple storms and figured out how to become a phoenix.

“And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains within the sound of silence”
The Sound of Silence- Simon & Garfunkel

I sat Steiner the minor down and shared those words with him. He asked me what I wanted him to take from that and I told him that when times are tough you need to find your happy place and focus on it.

I said think about where it is you hope to go and visualize yourself getting there, picture success and then keep moving.

He nodded his head and said thank you.

“I can’t do this for you but you can lean on me and know that when you are tired I’ll figure out a way to carry you.”

He told me that would be kind of weird and I laughed.

“Yeah, but that is what father’s do.”

As he walked away I noticed a familiar gleam in his eye and watched him stand a little taller.

I think we are going to be ok.

Who’s Got Your Back

Don’t look now but there is an audiopost inserted into the middle of this blog post, but wait, there is more.

Keep reading and you’ll find the link where I say I am funnier than you are.

Don’t argue with me because it is true. How many times have you written stories like these:

One Slightly Used Pump For Sale

The Phone Sex Surprise

It is Called Life

The Flying Clown

Don’t answer that, it is a rhetorical question. My fragile male ego can’t take much of a beating and you’d feel guilty if you found out your response made me hide under my desk.

And then my ego would take another beating because I don’t think I’d fit under there, $@^#$T^$@ extra weight.

Someone tell my 19 year-old metabolism to come back home, all is forgiven.

Who’s Got Your Back

There is no punctuation set against that headline so we don’t know if it is a question, statement or exclamation.

So let me help you and say it was a rhetorical question I phrased for my children, one that I asked and answered.

They have reached that joyous time of life when surging hormones wreak havoc upon brains that are still developing creating highs and lows.

Most of the time they are pretty even, but they’re no different than other tweens and teens so the aforementioned highs and lows roll in and out of here like the tide.

But unlike the tide you don’t listen to the roar of the surf and smile because it is relaxing.

This particular tide of emotions brings other stuff that is far less relaxing.

Anyhoo, I work hard to make sure the kiddies know their parents are always there for them. I work hard to try and make sure they know they can speak with me about anything.

But I never forget how unwilling I was to speak with my parents about my private affairs and how I dodged and deflected their questions.

It wasn’t because they weren’t present, but because I found it hard to talk about many of those things with them.

Hopefully my kids will find it easier to speak with me and if not, well I hope they will never forget that I always have their back.

The Audiopost Portion

Congratulations, you have reached the audiopost portion of this post. You get to listen to me speak about being affectionate, hugging kids and teenagers.

Enjoy.

If you made it down here you clearly need to read more of my posts. There are some gold nuggets floating around this joint that will move and motivate you.

Why not take a moment and search for some more fine reading material.

The Myth Of Controlled Chaos

Mom looked at my father and asked him why he ordered the same meal he always does and then looked at me and said, “your father isn’t very adventurous.”

Dad shook his head and said, “I know what I like.”

I suppose it’s fitting to say I understand where both of them are coming from and that I wrestle with these things too.

When I visit certain restaurants I want to try something new but at the same time struggle because I know what I like and find a bad meal to be very disappointing.

It makes me think of the hang glider below and the fear I feel about hang gliding because I fear not doing it as much as I fear doing it.

glider-420720

I have heard people describe life as controlled chaos but I am not sure if I buy into the inherent contradiction of that particular phrase.

Of course calling it a myth lends weight to saying that I have a different or better definition but I am not sure that I do.

What I am certain of is that we never have as much control of life as we want and that sometimes that is a very good thing.

Why?

Because that lack of control is what pushes and or forces us to take on experiences that we grow, learn and change from.

Sometimes we move the chess pieces around our life boards and sometimes we are the chess pieces being moved around the board.

****

I am struggling today and I am not sure why.

Maybe it is because it is Monday morning and I am tired or maybe it is because I have a lot on my plate that makes me tired.

There is a sense that big changes are looming ahead of me and that makes me a bit crazy.

Sometimes I do better with the earthquake I can’t see coming than the tornado that fills the skies ahead of me.

While you can prepare for both they require different amounts of energy because when you are constantly on high alert it doesn’t take long for it to start wearing upon you.

It reminds me a bit of the schoolyard fights of my youth.

You and the other guy would start pushing and shoving each other until someone got the nerve to actually take a swing.

I hated that.

The anticipation of getting hit made me crazy so it is possible I might have thrown the first punch far faster than anyone expected, including me.

That is, if the stories/memories are true.

After all memory is a funny thing.

aboutphotos

I came across Letters I Have Written-Never Meaning To Send and You Made Yourself Look Stupid in the archives.

Took a few minutes to read what I had written and was taken back in time to different moments and feelings.

Remembered things that were and tried to decide if the ideas I had about the future then… matched what is now.

Shook my head because in some ways the more things change the more they stay the same and yet everything is…different.

If there is/was a guide to talk to about my life’s path, a person, creature or being that had the knowledge and foresight to help me I’d grab them.

If they truly existed and I could speak with them I’d demand some answers and ask why they have insisted on messing with me.

I’d ask why they think that I am Charlie Brown and that I am going to try and kick that football knowing that Lucy is going to pull it away every damn time.

And then I’d ask them if they knew that eventually I’d tire of that game and try to kick Lucy instead to teach her a lesson.

Maybe they’d answer or maybe they’d ask me who taught who.

abouttime

Time & Choices

Last night I looked at my mother and told her my financial advisor and I agreed I need to focus on working until I am at least 70.

I turned and looked at my father and asked him if he retired at 58 or 59.

“Something like that. I got lucky. They don’t offer packages like that anymore.”

Dad has been retired for years now and I am not jealous of his luck, well maybe a little but I am glad for him because he deserved it.

He put in almost 40 years.

If I retire at 70 I’ll have been working for almost 50.

I might work past 70 but I hope it is my choice to do so. I hope that between now and then I make enough money to have the power to make a decision.

It is kind of funny to say how we spend our time is a choice because I hear myself talk about working until 70 being mandatory but it is not.

I can go a different way and do things differently. I have a choice. We have choices.

My friend Mitch wrote a post that made me think about choices too.

Taste & Experience Life

One day I am going to die and so are you.

I think about it sometimes and wonder what the end will look like. It is not morbid curiosity, it is just curiosity.

Will I become a grandfather or great-grandfather? Will I publish all the books I have inside my head and write those screenplays?

What sort of people will my children become and if I do become a grandfather and or great-grandfather will I get to see the grandchildren grow up.

When I close my eyes for the last time will I do so knowing I tasted and experience life or will I wish I had time to do a little bit more.

Knowing me I’ll probably wish I had more time, but it doesn’t have to be said in a bitter way. It can be in a “damn that was fun, let’s do some more” kind of manner.

That is what I hope my kids see and do.

Taste and experience life.

The Wrong Reason To Blog

Got Dylan playing Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door flowing through my headphones and a healthy feeling of regret for having blown up at Steiner the Minor last night.

That kid of mine pushed all of my buttons and a few he didn’t know existed and saw a minor explosion.

It was a combination of fury, frustration and rage and I think he got his first real insight into why I have long said there is a line you never want to cross with me.

Since I promised to use the blog as a place to chronicle the moments of our lives and not just thoughts I’ll share a fragment of the event.

Someone might have stomped on a sandwich and thrown it. Someone might have said in a whisper that he wanted to destroy things and smiled while he said it would feel good to just let loose.

****

I apologized later on and told him he had been given many genetic gifts but the famous Steiner temper wasn’t one of them.

“I wasn’t afraid of you, but if I was still a little kid I might have been.”

I nodded my head and say I know. “I know myself and you couldn’t have pushed me like that when you were little. That doesn’t mean I am not responsible for my actions because I am, but relationships evolve.

You didn’t fight with me about some things then the way you do now.”

He nodded his head and we talked more.

anger

I know I sound like a grumpy old man when I wave my finger at other bloggers and suggest they are doing this for the wrong reason.

I know some people will push back and tell me it is not my place to say who or who shouldn’t blog. They’ll tell me it is wrong and obnoxious to say what others should or shouldn’t do and I am cool with that.

It gets old to hear/see/read the same old comments/complaints about how to build your readership to get a book deal or invited to be a brand ambassador/speaker.

I don’t say it out of blog envy or any sort of jealousy.

I could do more to market and promote my blog. I could spend more time trying to hang with the cooler kids and get myself invited to more events and participate in more opportunities.

But I don’t.

Twelve years into this I am on a different part of the blogging journey than I once was and my place isn’t as well marked as it once was, if it ever was.

Parent Bloggers & Young Kids

Sometimes I’ll apply for the sponsored posts because I figure if you want to pay me a couple of bucks to write about a product/service I am happy to do so.

I’ll check it out and give you my honest opinion and in exchange the fee will help cover some of the costs of running this joint.

A short while ago I got turned down for one and was told that the reason I wasn’t chosen is because I am not a traditional dad blogger.

I didn’t respond to their email or rant about how unfair they are online because there are bigger issues in my life.

The funny thing was I got pitched three more times that day to review products that are really geared towards parents of younger children than mine.

*****

If you ask me about potty training, strollers, infants and toys for young children I can tell you stories and share advice.

I have been there and done that…more than once.

But the truth is I haven’t changed a diaper on one of my kids in close to a decade. It is not something I think about except on the rare occasion.

My garage has an extensive collection of Thomas The Tank Engine and other cool toys for young kids but my kids don’t touch or look at those things anymore.

My sleepless nights aren’t caused by infants who can’t sleep but because I have a kid who is going to be driving soon, college tuition in the future and a Bat Mitzvah around the corner.

I started blogging when my son was 3, he’ll turn 16 this year.

Rolling Along With The Changes

Flip back through the pages and posts and you’ll find my thoughts about leaving my thirties and entering my forties.

You’ll see me write about saying goodbye to four grandparents too.

What is surreal to me is how much of my life has been covered here and how many big changes have come about.

What is surreal is how the boys and I are starting to talk about what we want to do for our fiftieth birthdays and how that went from being really old to something I can imagine turning.

Sometimes I flip back and see some of the posts where I griped about not being able to run like I wanted to and I laugh, because I was 35 then.

I could still play four days of basketball a week and be ok.

It might sound funny, but I remember that guy but I am not him anymore.

So much has happened, so many experiences have come and gone.

Life.

It changed me.

Or maybe I changed it.

Tastelife

I do my best to take advantage of my time in the driver’s seat.

My focus is upon doing the best I can to be the captain of my destiny and to take advantage of the opportunities that come along the road.

Blogging has been a huge, enormous and important part of it. It has helped me identify what is most important and critical to me.

Driving that Ferrari was exceptional and I only got to do it because of blogging.

But what I remember most is the combination of driving that car and the mile long smiles on my children’s’ faces after their time drifting in the Corvette.

Possessions can be taken, but memories and experiences are ours for a lifetime.

Almost True Tales Of Fatherhood & Other Stuff

You have 12 links below that consist of almost true tales of fatherhood and other stuff.

Some these stories are pure fact, some are pure fictiona and some fall somewhere in between. Ask for a purpose or a point and I’ll give you an answer.

Because.

Because why?

Well, let me think about it.

I dream by day

I have many dreams and have been privileged to live a few out already and am actively working towards living out more.

This post is part of that. It is me reaching out and tapping people on the shoulder and asking them to take a look at some posts they might not have read.

That is why I grabbed these 12 and suggest you try reading some here too.

  1. The Broad Shoulders of Fatherhood
  2. A Letter To My Children-2011
  3. Mean Girls Come From Mean Moms
  4. One Slightly Used Pump For Sale
  5. Dad’s Life
  6. Teenagers Are Harder Than Toddlers
  7. A Father Describes Parenting
  8. The Best Thing My Father Ever Said To Me
  9. Of Dads and Daughters
  10. The Greatest Dad Blogger You Never Heard Of
  11. A Whiter Shade Of Pale
  12. It Wasn’t Worth Getting Arrested

What you see above isn’t the only selection or sample to choose from.

There are many more, but we all need to start somewhere. If you like what you see I encourage you to keep reading and or commenting.

Feel free to reach out and let me know if you want tips, suggestions or advice for where to go for more.

Thanks,

J