Donald Trump Hates My Blog More Than He Hates You

Spammers hit The Brazen Blogger That Made Cleveland Cry and Spit Or Swallow Still Means You Have Time To Blog.

Can’t say it is because they thought older posts were less likely to be monitored or if it is because of some automated software.

Nor can I confirm or deny that I am slowly unraveling because I see it as something that is happening at light speed but has taken decades.

Yeah, it is a contradiction, probably one of the great contradictions of my life.

But that is ok because life is a giant contradiction and I am living it hard.

I Might Be That Guy

I am somewhere between supreme confidence that I am going to exceed expectations and life is about to explode in a way that might not be real comfortable but I can’t tell you where.

What will be is going to be and much of it doesn’t matter because no matter what I do or how I do it the control over the situation is nonexistent.

All I can do is control how I respond and or react.

I still get comments and letters from people who dislike my words and my writing.

That is ok because I am not here to make everyone happy or ask to be loved by all. It is one of the most important lessons I can teach my children.

Be who you are.

I understand why they sometimes don’t like hearing it because it is hard.

Be who you are means taking a a risk and giving people a chance to reject you.

Happens to me all the damn time.

I hear a million reasons why I am not who I could or should be and how that might hurt me in a million different ways.

Thing is I hate not being me more.

That hurts far more than capitulating.

I haven’t always been this willing to just let go and let it all hangout but I haven’t been afraid to be different either.

It has been sort of a seesaw where I swung one way or another. It is not always easy to feel like you’re the oddball or screw up.

Sometimes it is easier to try and go along to get along.

That is something I have shared with my teens more than once because they see me as a guy who is unafraid to make a spectacle of himself and is willing to say/do anything.

I have made sure they understand even though I am unfiltered there are still those moments and that as crazy as I can be I know when to reel it in.

Donald Trump Hates My Blog More Than He Hates You’

I don’t know if that is true because I am not sure if Trump has read my blog.

Can’t tell you if he has stayed up at night wishing Jack Steiner would leave him alone or wondering why I choose to pick on him.

I hope he doesn’t because I haven’t begun to tear apart his stupid policy, ridiculous commentary and unhinged rhetoric.

What I have done is say he has proven that it is ok to make shit up and pretend the false facts you promote are true even when it might make you look bad.

Hell, I can’t figure out if he is that dumb, that ignorant and or that ill informed and confused.

All I know is he is some combination of those things and if he tweeted about this blog I would be besieged by wingnuts, nutjobs, conmen, thugs, ugs, bugs and nazis.

But I might find some interesting folks and cool people too. That might even include people I disagree with politically but who are still able to present a well reasoned argument for why they disagree.

Maybe.

Sucker Punches & Suckers

Sometimes things happen and you find yourself somewhere between the familiar landscape of heartbreak and hope.

You look out the window of the train and pray it stops on the right side of the tracks but hold your breath because you know you can’t do a damn thing to impact it.

All you can do is hold on and see what happens.

It makes me think of sucker punches and suckers.

 

Of Fury & Rage

Hit some pretty big bumps in the road and found myself involved in an unexpected and unnecessary struggle.

Took a deep breath and told myself to do as I tell the kids to do, “breathe, think, breathe and work it out.”

And then I discovered the cause of the struggle could be traced back to an intentional act by someone else.

That brought out my inner Taurus and the horns were lowered and I had to work hard to not go out on a mission of seek-and-destroy.

In the midst of it all music rescues the moment.

How?

Sophie B. Hawkins singing Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover.

Suddenly it is 1992 and I am all of 23 and hanging out in a bar in Santa Monica with some of the boys. The song comes on and a group of girls start dancing and singing along.

A couple of them are staring at us and we work extra hard to try and look cool while simultaneously debating whether they’re serious or not.

“That blond wants me.”

“How do you know?”

“Because she is staring hard.”

“You’re an idiot, she is staring at me.”

I listen the guys go back and forth and occasionally add my own comments. I am not convinced they have any interest in us and am not sure I want to be the guy to walk over to the group and get shot down.

“Jack, I’ll bet $20 dollars you can’t get a phone number.”

I smile and tell him I’ll take his money.

I walk over to the group and tell them I need their help.

“My friend bet me $20 I can’t get one of your telephone numbers. He is a cocky pain in my ass. If you give me a number that I can bring back I’ll take his money and give you the $20.”

One of the girls smiles kisses my cheek and then writes down a number and sends me back across the bar.

I take the $20, turn and deliver it.

Mission accomplished.

Some hours later I try the number and get an answering machine upon which I leave a message. The call is never returned.

Sucker Punches & Suckers

I don’t know that I agree with Freud but I have told the kids there is a benefit to struggling.

You learn how to appreciate what you have and the work it to took to gain/acquire and or obtain it.

Most of the time I believe it to be true and feel like I ought to be open to one day looking back upon the beauty of the struggle.

But the thing is I am killing myself right now to make the things work and worrying about a million different things,

I am busting my ass to not get knocked upon it by another sucker punch or punches and wondering if maybe I am the sucker.

Flying The ‘Friendly’ Skies

People say you shouldn’t write when you are jammed for time because you might make some silly errors but I don’t follow that advice.

Mostly because I think there is a certain beauty that comes from not having time to question your muse and his/her idea for the words you’ll put on paper.

I am jammed now because I have to finish packing so I can catch a flight in a couple of hours.  Got to build in time to toss the clothes in a bag, drive to the airport, park and then walk through security.

It is not high on my list of desires, flying, that is.

I don’t like it very much anymore but I do it often enough I am pretty good with the drill. Still, post 9/11 flying is a task and it is not made any more enjoyable by seeing videos like that one from United.

Flying The ‘Friendly’ Skies

I often remind my children that our attitude has a big impact upon how our days go and am doing my best to just smile and stay loose today.

The more relaxed I am the easier it becomes or so I tell myself.

It works most of the time, but not all.

Have I mentioned how happy I am not to be flying United today. Can’t say I am interested in paying for food, blanket, ticket and a beating.

****

I didn’t get as much sleep last night as I wanted to because I had to make sure I talked to the kids before my flight today.

Since they are two hours behind me and were busy until quite late it meant I didn’t finish speaking with them until after midnight.

Most of the time I don’t think twice about that because I am good at sleeping on planes but this flight is all of an hour so I am not sure if I’ll be able to catch as long a nap as I might like.

But I’ll do my best and maybe some lucky person will get to hear me snore. 😉

I kind of feel badly about it because no one wants to listen to someone snoring and yet I need the rest. Since I am unlikely to see these people again I’ll just let it go I suppose.

That reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend who asked how many social conventions are lifted if we are with strangers.

The answer for me is not many.

You won’t catch me clipping my toenails on a plane or engaging in other personal behavior like that, especially since I have seen it on flights before.

I don’t gross out easily, but that just makes me go yuck.

Reading Material

Been a while since I provided links to other posts here and since I won’t be able to update for a few days I’ll provide a list you can dig into if you so choose.

Here is a short selection of posts to get you started:

An Uncertain Certainty
Words Are The Death Of A Blogger
A Father Describes Parenting
A Father’s Burden
How Sister’s Helped to Train A Father of “Daddy’s Girl”
Inside the Blogger’s Studio- A Dream, Er Nightmare
The GermoPhobe
What I Dream About
I am In Love
Becoming a Dad
Dad’s Most Important Job
A Decade of Dad
Grandpa
Donuts
Why Your Post Sucks and Everyone Hates Your Blog
Of Dads and Daughters

See you in the comments. Back with new material later this week.

P.S. The post before this isn’t bad, try giving it a read.

Transitions & Evolutions Of A Dad

It is a strange feeling to be listening to Where The Streets Have No Name and yet hear Gordon Lightfoot singing about a ghost you can see.

The first is a high school anthem, from an album that came out my senior year and pumped me up because every time I listened I heard possibility.

Thirty years later I still do.

Yet my old pal Mr. Lightfoot’s lyric comes from a song much older, but still part of my childhood, don’t know if that makes me old or older.

What I do know is I had a conversation with a teenager who calls me dad and his younger sister who is almost a teen.

A conversation that made me ache because I felt time slipping away and yet I smiled because for the most part, things are going as they should.

She Giggled

She giggled about a boy and I didn’t have to see her face to know what expression was on it.

“Daddy, he is too old for me but my friends keep trying to get us to go out.”

I know that giggle and once or twice I have been the reason girls and or women have giggled like that.

It is the giggle that tells me the day is coming when a boy will supplant me as the male she runs to first. Got a long while before it happens with the kind of finality that a husband will bring, but I heard the echoes of the future.

I heard her down the road tell me to be nice and felt her glare because she knows her dad can be a rascal and might mess with the boy that comes to see his little girl.

Got a while before that happens too and I am not going to rush things along, but it felt strange to realize how close that time might be.

Ten years ago she was so very little and ten years from now she’ll be on her own.

It goes that fast.

Where Are You?

The emails and notes come in occasionally asking where I am and what I am doing.

“Jack, you used to update this place two or three times a day and when you didn’t do that, well you still posted daily.”

“Jack, I miss your writing. Post some silly story.”

I smile at the notes and think about how I was always the active outsider of the parent blogging community.

Hit the ground in 2004 and never stopped, always said I would go to a blog conference or two but never did.

Have worked as a brand ambassador and written sponsored posts and played many of the reindeer games but never worked my way into the inside like others.

Sometimes I was accused of being jealous because I would criticize some of the Babble or Good Men Project writers of this and that.

Would point fingers at the popularity contests and talk about how the same people won because their friends were judges and not because they had talent.

Some did and some do, but not all.

*****

The blogosphere is still a noisy place and there are still some awful writers punching out crap that is dressed up in gold and sprayed in perfume.

It still stinks.

I am obviously still around and still publishing, probably more than some people realize.

The words are slapped on a page daily and some of them are still pretty good while others aren’t quite where I want them to be.

But you don’t get better by thinking about it, you improve by focusing on your craft and practicing.

Apparently I took this seriously because I have been sleeping with fear for a long while.

Some days are harder than others but most of the time I do what I have to do not because I fear the consequences of inaction but because I fear letting fear win.

Most days I get up and work and wonder where the day will take me, adventure is always at hand.

It is a strange place to be, to realize my kids really need me and yet not like they used to.

They dress and feed themselves, go about their business with minor interference from their folks and live their lives.

Not quite in a place where they can claim the sort of independence they say they want. Not quite ready to run things without some help, but it gets closer each minute.

I hear the tick-tock of the clock and pray I have made smart choices and that the sacrifices have been the right ones.

Can’t say yes or no without walking the path and crossing the doorways, but sometimes I wish we could.

It is an exciting time, but I feel like a stranger in a strange land and I know I haven’t really hit the time or place when that is as true as it will be.

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. 😉