Archives for March 2017

It’s Just A Blog

I woke up before my alarm wondering if the tornado sirens were going off unsure of where I was and wondering if the screaming I heard was coming from my own lips.

Took a deep breath, opened my eyes and found myself lying on top of the comforter with a desperate need to empty my bladder.

Sat up and stretched and silently demanded all parts of my body behave.

There will be no mystery aches or brains and no discovery of bruises whose unknown origin irk me.

The only response I got was from my bladder saying it didn’t care where it was emptied and that I had a short time to figure it out.

Rolled out of bed and figured I should be grateful because I drank about 32 ounces of water after 10. Some of the boys tell me doing that guarantees a middle of the night bathroom visit.

Took care of the first part of the morning routine and asked why I feel like I am panicking.

It’s Just A Blog

I have two main blogs and a handful of others that I still support but I don’t know how long that will continue.

Time and energy are huge factors in why I wrestle with condensing what I have in to just a couple of places.

Limited resources are best used in ways in which we get the most out of what we have, or so I muttered to myself.

You may ask yourself why I am not more decisive and says it is just a blog.

Since you can’t see inside my head you haven’t any understanding about how proud I am of some of the work I have produced and how valuable writing is for me.

In the five minutes that have passed since I started writing this post I have noticed a distinct release in tension and pressure.

That sense of panic and dread is fading because putting pen to paper triggered something inside my head, clarifying what caused the upset.

Now that I understand what set me off I can say there is a reason for the discomfort and concern. It is there because there is a situation that I have limited control over and it could get ugly.

But knowing why I feel as I do is usually good enough for me. It takes some conscious effort to push aside and push through, but I can do it.

It doesn’t quite explain why I hear Banarama singing Cruel Summer but it does remind me of ’84, the beach and girls in bikinis.

That was a good summer.

I Want Candy

My reverie is interrupted by a Snapchat from my daughter as she walks into middle school and her 7th-grade commentary sends me back a few more years.

It is the spring of ’82 and I am at Magic Mountain in Valencia. This band called Bow Wow Wow is going hold a concert there and the park with filled with punkers.

There are people with mohawk haircuts, leather jackets and a ton of earrings and piercings. Might not look as shocking today as it did then, but back then they made a statement.

As I wander through the park with friends The Waitresses song I know What Boys Like starts playing on the overhead speakers.

Doesn’t take long for some of the girls around the park to start dancing and singing along to it. The guys and I look at each other, thinking about times we have been teased.

Girls are the great mystery to us. One moment they’re holding our hand and or doing more and the next they ignore us.

We can’t figure out what the hell they are thinking and aren’t convinced they know either.

Fast forward 35 years and some of the conversations with my single friends still sound the same. I imagine women probably say the same about us.

Don’t Stop Believin’

Someone tell Chuck I am doing it and that I am encouraging my kids to do it too.

Can’t just pass through life, got to live and live hard. Make your mark and whenever you reach that finish line you’ll feel better.

That is what I tell myself and the moments when it feels like the bull I am riding is about to throw me are the best and the worst.

So I go back to my eighties music and pull out Journey.

Saw them in concert in August of 2015 and was a part of a crowd of people singing Don’t Stop Believin’.

Man, I am legitimately nervous about some stuff, but it only takes a couple of hits from these arrows to give me a little swagger.

Enough to be almost cocky, but not quite.

Paying anything to roll the dice just one more time or something like that. 😉

Good Enough, Maybe…

There are days when I want to tell my kids that one of the secrets to life isn’t to focus on being great, but upon being good enough.

Doesn’t mean I am interested in mediocrity or suggesting they settle for that either but that sometimes we don’t really need to shoot for the moon.

Sometimes we need something higher to shoot for, but less than impossible to achieve. Something possible, probable and likely.

 

That’s sort of what this audio post is about. Might have to follow up with something fleshed out and more substantive later.

69 Bloggers Who Hate Saint Patrick’s Day

You might see the headline as linkbait but I see it as an entry to memories of being a kid in school.

Days long past when people would pinch you for not wearing green on Saint Patrick’s Day and your beloved author would punch those who pinched him.

Perhaps you think that is an overreaction to a child’s game but the rebel in me has always run deep and I didn’t want to have to wear green unless I chose to.

Doesn’t mean I didn’t or that I always responded with fists of fury because I did wear green and I didn’t always use my fists.

It was something that evolved over time and when I chose to stop wearing green I gave notice that pinching me would yield an unpleasant response.

Be nice to me and I’ll be nice to you.

69 Bloggers Who Hate Saint Patrick’s Day

If you are wondering if there is going to be a list of 69 bloggers here the answer is no, there is not.

I am not a fan of list posts for a host of reasons primary of which is because it is the province of lazy writers and or popularity contests.

Granted if you want to pull in eyeballs running a popularity contest can be an effective technique for doing so.

The Sneetches of the blogosphere are glad to wear stars or not wear stars if they think it will bring them more readers and opportunities to speak at conferences or brand ambassadorships.

Anyway, I haven’t any doubt that in giant world there has to be at least 69 bloggers who hate the day. And if you disagree, well I am just following the lead of our president who is never troubled by making statements of fact regardless of whether they are truthful or not.

A Time For Goodbyes

I am making a mental note to ask my daughter if her school experience still includes harassment by the green police.

It includes a separate thought about friendship in general.

Daughter is responsible for having prompted some of this by telling me about the shenanigans going on at school with some of her friends.

Many of those stories make me shake my head in part because I hear the women in my life share stories that don’t sound particularly different than what I hear from my not so little girl.

She is in 7th grade so I am not entirely surprised to hear some of it but when I hear this stuff about forty-somethings I shake my head.

Do people ever grow up?

It is not that men are perfect, because we aren’t but I don’t see the game playing and one-upsmanship that I keep being exposed to.

My issue with men is more focused on those who stay in touch and those who don’t.

That is ‘cuz there are guys who never write nor call and I wonder why I am connected to them on Facebook or anywhere else.

If we are not important enough to check in with, well maybe it is silly to be friends on Facebook because we aren’t acting like friends.

Might be time to say goodbye to some people, wonder if they’d even notice. Wonder if I would notice.

Maybe not wondering is the answer to whether I should let them go.

Dad Blogging Or Something Almost Recognizable

There is a teenager sleeping in my living room.

He is stretched out on a mat and softly snoring away not knowing that his dad can see faint hints of the baby he once was.

That is in spite of the massive size difference between now and then, the facial hair that is slowly starting to make its presence known.

Hands that are only slightly smaller than my own and a voice that again is almost as deep as my own.

It has been this way for a long time now but sometimes it is still a nice surprise to hear “dad” rumble across the room.

Dad Blogging Or Something Almost Recognizable

He wants to know if I still blog and if I do, what do I get out of it.

“You used to get stuff or go on trips sometimes. I don’t remember hearing about it for a while.”

I smile and tell him I always write but that I don’t do it the same way I used to.

“I used to share more stories about parenting and what it was like to be a new or younger father. I don’t do things the same way because stories about babies and toddlers are different from teen stuff.”

He asks me a few more questions and I tell him little kids cause little problems and big kids cause big problems.

An eye roll or two later I explain I don’t spend as much time reading some of the parenting blogs as I used to either.

“It is not because there aren’t some very fine writers out there, but potty training, diapers and first day of school stuff are well in the past. Been there, done that. Now I wonder and worry about high school, college and can almost see empty nest time.”

What A Long Strange Trip

I can hear a million echoes of college and high school friends talking about the Dead and what a long strange trip it has been but today I see it differently.

A wry smile crosses my face because I have danced in the fire and run through hell covered in gasoline and know the difference between true chaos and ordinary life.

Looking at that teenage boy I smile and shake my head because in so many ways I have done what I set out to do when I first became a father.

It wasn’t always easy and there have been some very tough moments. The funny thing is when I look back at what I thought were the hardest times I can see now they were just the warm up.

This last year has been more of a challenge than any of the other stuff, but that is because anything that can be solved with money is simple.

Might not be simple to get the cash you need, but at least you can see a solution.

When I look at the current situation I can see some solutions and feel pretty confident that we’ll get there but I know this is going to be a rocky road.

****

The thing is that rocky road is going to be safely and successfully traversed because of that past experience.

I am not the man I once was and am morphing into someone else, a guy I recognize and mostly like. That is what life does to us, it molds, shapes and changes us.

So I look at that teenager and ask myself if I am doing all I can to help mold, shape and prepare him to take on the world.

The answer is I have done and my doing my best.

Life has surprised us and there is nothing unusual about that. It will happen to everyone reading this post and all who don’t.

I can’t say what, when or how but I know we all will have to deal with some surprises.

That is not a warning or battle cry, just a comment.

The only question is whether we’ll find a way to roll with what comes or if we’ll spend time and energy trying to keep the river from rushing on by.

Prince- While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Sometimes I watch this clip of Prince playing guitar at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside a bunch of other musicians and get lost in the moment.

They’re doing a cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps and I see the expression on Prince’s face and wish I could ask him about it.

Because to me it looks like he gets lost in the moment and there is something that is ever so cool to me about it.

Truth is it doesn’t matter whether Prince was or not because what is important to me is the idea behind it.

I am a collector of moments and experiences and that expression makes me think he recognized the moment and just went with it.

That is what I want for my family, to find those moments and to just get lost in them.

Stop wondering and worrying about the mundane and to let the magic carry us somewhere special, at least for a moment.

That is how you come to enjoy a life well lived.

 

69 Things I Don’t Know & One I Do

My desk is messy and my heart is ripped wide open but the world is still spinning and nothing is very much different at all.

Had a conversation a short while ago about the future and as the words left my lips I heard the echoes of the past reach into the present and extend into the future.

Closed my eyes and thought about what I had heard, what was said and considered what it might mean.

Concluded I haven’t got a clue what I am doing nor any sense or idea about how to do it and yet here I am, moving forward, making decisions and big changes based upon nothing more than a sense of ‘maybe this will work.’

Midway into the moment I turn off my brain and turn on some music.

69 Things I Don’t Know & One I Do

Standing in the center of my room I listen to Roy Orbison sing and think about how haunting his voice is/was.

I know all about Driving all night but I won’t speak of it today and maybe not ever again.

Doesn’t really matter if that is true or just a sick feeling that will pass in the night because there are other more pressing issues to wonder and or worry about.

Big questions that cannot be answered or explored with the sort of precision and confidence I prefer because some things can’t be seen in advance.

So I stand in the proverbial cold wondering if raging against the dying of the light is of any use or if I am going to be forced to inch my way along a narrow path that isn’t kind to slips and or stumbles.

Yet in one of the great contradictions of life my discomfort and concern is matched by this confidence that all is rolling out exactly as it should and I merely need to keep on walking.

I suppose some might complain about my not having posted a list of 69 things I don’t know but is that really why you are here?

Do you really want to read a list of 69 things I don’t know?

Can I distract you with some of my favorite music.

I’ll never forget the way I felt some 35 or so years ago when I first read the part of the book this music memorializes.

A mix of awe, heartbreak and hope combined with a fervent need to find out what came next.

I still can’t believe Prince is gone.

Never was his biggest fan but I was very much a fan for many reasons and he helped make more than one memory for me.

But what grabs me here is his talent and expertise combined with artistry and the wonder that comes with knowing someone had so much more to give.

Yet loss and change are a part of life and the question isn’t will they happen but what we will do when they come.

Choices & Decisions

I am a mix of nerves and confidence.

Got some big choices and decisions ahead of me and it is impossible not to wonder what impact they will have upon my children.

Everything I do is with them in mind and with a focus upon trying to be a better father and provide more but with the knowledge that we can’t see the future.

There are things I have done that didn’t turn out the way I hoped and they offer a mix of really good, good and awful.

I have reached a point and place where it makes no sense to complain about why or how I have found myself in this position.

We are here and we have to face this moment head on.

Fear and uncertainty are not proof that all will not work out or that things will go poorly.

They are merely proof that the choices and decisions are significant.

I will do as I tell and teach my children. I’ll make the best decision I can based upon the limited information I have and then go from there.

Here goes nothing.