Motivation For Making Your Bed

I showed my children the video below and told them it would provide them with motivation for making their beds.

My 17-year-old looked at me and asked if this was one of those things I expected him to get/understand/appreciate when he was older.

“What do you think?”

“I think you are trying to manipulate me.”

“It wouldn’t be the first time and it might not be the last. How do you think I got you to start taking baths when you were really little.”

He smiled and told me I should remember that he might have learned how to be sneakier.

“Maybe one day…”

He smiled again and walked away. A short time later I stood in a quiet house and wondered how much longer I get to live with these kids and how much longer I get to teach them.

It goes so very fast.

A Different World Series Experience

It is the bottom of the 6th inning of the Dodgers-Astros World Series and the family is gathered around the television.

That is an experience that mirrors the one I grew up with as a Dodgers fan in the ’70s and ’80s which is to say how we watched the Dodgers in the series.

But that is where many of the similarities end because by the time I was the same age as my oldest child is I had seen the boys win one series championship and play in four.

And by the time I was 19 it had turned to 2 series championships out of five visits so I never expected to have to wait 29 years before I got a chance to see them in the series again.

A Different World Series Experience

If my grandfathers were here we’d swap stories, memories and thoughts about this series.

We’d laugh about how the Cubs finally won another title and I know they’d talk about how they can’t believe how old they are because they would both be over a 100.

I am sure they would point out how strange it is to see us watch while occasionally checking our phones, updating statuses or responding to texts from friends/family about the game.

And I am certain they’d include a comment about their favorite grandson live blogging the moment.

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Since they aren’t here all I can do is make educated guesses about their comments and say it is as hard and as fun to watch my boys in blue play.

The series is tied but they easily could have been up 2-0.

The reasons why they aren’t are as cut-and-dried as saying they were outplayed but include the screwy and questionable plays that make sports amazing.

You know the kind that make fans of the winning team declare those destiny and the fans of the losers call cheating.

Memories

As the game progresses I make a point to look at the faces of my children and to enjoy their expressions.

Teens are jaded and some of the looks that cross their faces are harder to come by than they once were.

Sometimes I catch them looking at me and they laugh because they say I am way too serious and there may be some truth in that.

Twenty-nine years is a long time to wait and I didn’t realize how much I missed this until it started.

It turned the pilot light that never stopped burning into something big and bright.

So as we head into the top of the 8th I have to stop writing and focus solely upon my boys.

The baseball lords of superstition must be followed and I must go through the remaining rituals just in case they will help.

Blogging & The New World

Blogging has been a part of my life for 13 years now and so it has become the instrument I use to record thoughts and feelings about the new world(s) I enter.

Living in Texas for round two, except this time I have moved into a house and find myself preparing for the arrival of the children who have never lived here with me.

Visited yes, but lived, no.

A giant sacrifice on all our parts and one I desperately pray will work out half as well as I hope because it just has to.

Unpacking It All

Alone for now, I unpack boxes and organize preparing for a new life with a bit of trepidation and a lot of hope.

Thre is an inordinate amount of pressure upon me and all I can do is say I am a big boy and take it.

All I can do is my best and hope it is enough to make the sacrifice meaningful and worth it.

My gut says the answer will be yes, but you never do know about these things until you cross through to the other side.

So here is to taking steps into the fog of the great mystery and to having the courage to see it through.

Here is to finding out whether the joke is on me and if so, learning to laugh with and at myself.

Life is an adventure for those who are daring and willing to live it.

I am and I will.

Ask The Old Man About Age

I spent five out of the last seven days slinging iron in the gym and was reminded rather aggressively about how much time I have spent outside of it.

The audible cracks and creaks combine with sore muscles to make it clear that I can’t just pick up where I left off, no matter how badly I might want to.

Can’t just walk into and do what I did or expect my body to respond as if no time has passed and so I find myself having to make a significant effort to be patient.

It is the smart and mature move–I hate it.

And the silly thing is if my kids or friends asked for advice I would tell them to take their time.

Be smart, be safe and work your way back.

Guess I am not particularly good at taking my own advice.

Ask The Old Man About Age

I haven’t seen my family since January 1 and am starting to get excited because we’re only a few weeks away before the next visit.

And we’re all of two months or so before the move and we live together again.

That is a good thing, an important thing and something I am looking forward to.

It is not easy to parent from a distance and I haven’t been pleased that I have had to do it, but it is part of making a better life for us all and I think ultimately it will work.

There have been some very hard moments and challenges and it hasn’t been as smooth or easy as I had hoped.

There is some guilt and anxiety about the changes.

A certain amount of nervousness about whether it is going to be good and some fear that it could go south.

I don’t really think it will, but it might and that would to use a technical term…suck.

But I figure old Al is correct and that the only way to figure it all out is to keep going, got to put one foot in front of the other.

Can’t tell, know or see without trying it out so we’ll push on and see where it leads.

And that leads us back to the gym where the old man is doing his damnedest to stop the clock, if not turn it back.

Most of the time it feels like that is working, but there are moments where I wonder.

Moments where it becomes clear that I am not 25 any more and that I better act like it because this old body starts to bark at me if I don’t behave.

Got to trick it into forgetting how many miles I have put on and think it is younger or at least in better condition.

We’re getting there…slowly.

Not Quite Final Notes

The kids are a mix of excited and nervous about the coming move. They ask questions and tell me they look forward to seeing me.

Sometimes they ask if there is any way to avoid moving and wonder if maybe I could move back instead of them moving here.

I get it.

I understand.

I feel badly, but sometimes the best thing you can do is take a chance and leave your comfort zone.

I am keeping my fingers crossed, it might be bumpy, but it could be great.

Hope they see it as an adventure and a chance to explore uncharted territory.

Just have to wait and see.

The Homeless Writer

Five weeks, 12 hours and five minutes from now my lease expires and I don’t where I am going to live.

Those numbers might not be entirely accurate because I didn’t confirm their validity but they are close enough.

That is ‘cuz I know the lease ends the day before the 19 and after the 17th, but don’t worry about whether old Jack Steiner will have a place to hang his hat because if need be he’ll knock on that wacky Shmata Queen’s door and tell her to make room.

But chances of that happening are pretty slim because I have been quite active in searching for a new joint to call home.

The Homeless Writer

The good news is I have lots of options for where to live and that I am actively looking into new places to call The Ponderosa.

Put in some applications in a few different spots and am waiting to hear back, kind of excited and nervous.

Got one in particular that I think could be very cool, but it is a bit of a stretch financially. Not a horrible one, but initially it might be a little challenging.

So I signed up today to be Lyft driver.

Did so based upon the recommendation of a friend who said he averaged about $200 a week in spare cash and figured I’d try it out.

That is the kind of easy extra income I can go for and I figure if I hate it there is limited risk.

And if I like it, well it is guaranteed blog fodder and something that I can do as a way to help make some luxuries possible.

Not that I need all that much because I don’t.

But I tell the kids that if you really want something you will figure out how to work for it.

Anyhoo, when you have moved as often as I have you soon learn to care much less about where and what than who is with you.

Who I Am Meets Who I Was

I completed another circuit around the sun last Tuesday which means I am 48 and that much closer to middle age.

Kind of peculiar and surreal to think about how young I feel versus what I see in the mirror.

Strange to stare at pictures of my nephew and his prom date (kid is a junior, but he took a senior) and to reconcile it against reality.

He won’t appreciate my saying I sometimes think of him as being this little kid or understand how my eyes sort of narrowed when I think about prom.

I skipped mine and haven’t a single regret but I do remember how my girlfriend chose to celebrate and wonder if I ought to be the good uncle and check in with him about certain things.

Not because I want or need details but to make sure he is being smart and that he doesn’t get himself into trouble.

I did a very good job of keeping my parents out of my business and know they didn’t have a clue how active I was until I was in college.

Call that a thinly veiled reference for having played with fire a little bit because I was dumb and so were some of my friends.

I do know a couple of guys who have children who are about 30 or so now. Did I mention we graduated high school in ’87.

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Anyway, I have been thinking a bit about how good Texas has been to me and how fucking hard a lot of this adventure has been.

Been thinking about how hard I have been working to make it easier for my children and to do something that will help them immeasurably.

None of that provides you with specific details about who I was and how it compares to who I am now so you might wonder about the subhead.

It is really a placeholder for me and a time marker that will help me remember this moment and that is important.

The blog is a chronicle of time and events, a place that helps me see where I have been and figure out where I am going.

And those Whitman quotes, well consider them to be significant and substantive words I live by.

I’d write more but I keep getting interrupted and am taking that as a sign it is time to publish, sign off and walk.

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The Flying Clown