Blogging Is A Game

I was a 35-year-old homeowner with two small kids who played around with moving out of LA but wasn’t particularly serious about it.

Sure, I talked about moving to Jerusalem but I promised my wife that we could put that off until after the kids were out of the house so that was more of a dream than reality.

Then came the idea about selling the house and moving to Texas but I wasn’t so sure about it.

I liked the idea of being able to sell my house in LA and using the cash to buy something much larger and nicer in Texas.

Hell, I loved the thought of being able to do that and still have a nice chunk of cash in the bank.

That seemed practical and smart, but it also was a little frightening and not something I was real sure of.

Didn’t matter that I was somewhat familiar with Texas, I was a creature of habit and liked my comfort zone.

Fast forward almost 14 years and the house I was hesitant about selling is long gone.

I fought with Wells Fargo about trying to refinance and they laughed at my desperation, all courtesy of the Great Recession.

Jack the high flyer went from the top of the pile to the bottom.

Lifestyle Changes

We went from ample cash and kids in private school to just scraping by.

Vacations disappeared and the savings that I worked hard to accumulate went along with everything else.

Most of it was taken in an effort to save that aforementioned house and for a long while Old Jack was a very angry man.

It wasn’t right and it wasn’t fair and it was hard not to be bitter. Hard not to kick myself for not having pushed to sell the damn place earlier when we could have walked away with plenty instead of nothing.

But that is how life goes and instead of living in LA mulling over whether it might be easier to live elsewhere we are in Texas.

Hell, this is my second time around living in Texas, so technically I have lived here for about 2.5 years.

So maybe this is how it was always going to be and the only question was when would I end up here.

Maybe.

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Enough time has passed for me not to be pissed off at what could have or should have been and most of the time I am pretty happy with how life is now.

But it took some doing to get here.


Blogging Is A Game

I go back and forth between being the grumpy old man who is outraged about how many hacks blog for the swag and free trips and the guy who accepts blogging is a game.

Some days I want to do nothing but scream about it but considering I have done the product reviews, taken some of the trips and played the game it would be hypocritical.

Maybe it is jealousy. Maybe I am sorry I haven’t had the same success as others or maybe it is just my grumpy nature.

Maybe I am happier having something to complain about.

I don’t think I was always like this, hell I know I wasn’t.

Things happened, life happened and I changed.

If it wasn’t for blogging I might not be able to see it so clearly.

If it wasn’t for writing these thoughts down where I can revisit them I might not be able to track it.

Maybe some of these changes wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone through what I went through, or maybe they would have.

Hell, I ended up in Texas anyway, so maybe the 35-year-old was always going to turn into a grumpy almost 50 year-old.

Maybe.

Blogging is a game, play it well.

A Writer Shares A Thought

Beams of sunlight are supposed to gently rouse your body from its slumber, but that is not always how it goes.

Maybe that is why some people use blackout shades or do things to help ease their way into a wakeful state.
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I am not really looking out at the mountains or staring at the beach below.

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I wish I was staring at either of those places and that I was the writer who had enough money and or resources to set up shop wherever I want to.

It is not because I think it would bestow magical powers upon my skills as a writer and storyteller.

No, it is a simple and selfish reason.

Because I think it would be cool and because my imagination tells me if I could afford to do that I would be a happier and more peaceful person.

It is a theory I’d like to test one day but I have a sneaking suspicion there is no truth to it.

Money and resources may ease some of my concerns but they are unlikely tofix all of them

It Won’t Make More People Read

It won’t make more people read my words here or at TheJackB.

Might make it easier to promote and reach more potential readers, but it is not going to make them stick around.

That doesn’t happen without providing interesting, engaging and entertaining content.

I know from experience that this is not a theory and that a good imagination can help take you a long way so maybe it is not really a big deal to not have those resources.

But damn, it sure would be nice not to have to worry about paying the bills once in a while.

Words on a Page

I am sitting here in a state of mild shock. a lonely tear carving a path down my cheek. Just moments ago I sat here listening to AFI’s 100 top movie quotes and found myself totally entranced by the images, sounds and memories the words and music.

That tear surprised me and not just because I typically do not cry. I am not completely sure what caught me, but I have my ideas. I suspect that part of it is because the combination did what it is supposed to do. That magical combination of images, sounds and music conjured up something majestic and beautiful inside my head. It made me feel and reminded me that I have a passion that remains bottled up.

I write these posts for a million different reasons. I write these posts because they serve as an exceptional creative outlet. I write these posts because they allow me to chronicle the lives of my children and the thoughts that I have. These posts provide a snapshot of my life during brief moments of time. These posts serve as markers for the journey my life has taken up to now and they hint at where it may yet go.

The Almost Warrior who remembers a past that never was and a future that may never be. I look at These Pictures of You and think that perhaps Lightning Strikes Twice. You don’t really know what life holds. Sometimes life is impacted by Timing or by the unexpected moments and events. There are things that happen that rock your world.

I write about the moments that touch me, those from the past and the present. I write about my dreams and my nightmares. I take the pieces of my life, the things I have seen and those that I want to see and weave my tapestry, I don’t always succeed. I don’t a;ways hit the mark, at least I often feel like I have fallen short. Sometimes I wish that I had an Instant Messenger that I could call upon to better convey my thoughts about how Johnny Was A Hero but it doesn’t always work that way.

Sometimes A Father’s Responsibility gets in the way. Sometimes The Pressures of Parenthood and the things that come with it make it difficult to remember that though you may be called dad, you have dreams that you still have chase. And somehow you have to balance your responsibilities to your family with those that you owe yourself.

So you stand up and remember that there is a A Love Song That Needs To Be Written and you will be the one to write it. At the end of the day I want to do something that provides an end result that is more than just words on a page. One way or another I am going to write that book. One way or another I am going to tell a story that is more than the 800 words or so I average on these posts.

2010 is many things. It is the year of Jack and the year of the Daddy Blogger. I am guest blogging over at Clark Kent’s Lunchbox today. Go say hi to my friend Ron and while you are at it let me know what you think of my post over there.

If you’re new here and you have read this far take a moment to go back through this post and click on the links. You’ll find that I have intentionally mixed in posts that contain part of a story I am writing alongside posts about being a father. And if I have done my job properly perhaps you’ll become a new reader and join the rest of us on this wacky journey through life.

Ok, I have babbled enough. It is well after midnight now and the morning will be here far too soon. Lailah tov from Los Angeles.

Poor Timing

Perhaps the timing on this ad promoting 2012 could be better. The screenshot here shows a bridge collapsing and fireballs striking the earth next to a headline that reads “Chile Quake May Have Shifted Earth’s Axis.”

Morning Notes

Monday, Monday- no I am not going to do my own version of The Mamas & Papas song, rather I am whining about the things that accompany my Monday. In spite of appearances I really prefer not to whine. It rarely does anything to improve my situation and more often than not exacerbates it.

But since I am complaining here is my primary issue. My @@$^%#&%&^% eyes are still giving me trouble. Went to the doc last week and was told that it was some sort of eye infection. Seemed to make sense, had itchy eyes that were burning and producing that lovely discharge. Doc prescribes an antibiotic and tells me to take it for five days. Being a good patient I follow doctor’s orders and find myself with eyes that are slightly improved by dry as ^#%^&#^&.

The damn things feel like the Sahara so I ask for help and am told to take some artificial tears. That works to a point, but still doesn’t solve the problem. And did I mention that these suckers are puffy? I look like I just spent the last decade living in cleveland. Talk about looking like some kind of sad looking hobo.

So I head out to the doc again determined to get more help. It is five days since my initial visit. Two hours of sitting with the people at urgent care. That is an experience. A room full of sick and cranky people and their relatives. People of every nationality and socio-economic class are represented there.

Under different circumstances it might have been interesting, but not this trip. I wasn’t up for it. Anyhoo, I finally get to see the doc on call and am told that he thinks that my issue is due to allergies, tells me that the rains have kicked up all sorts of pollen. I mention that I had LASIK nine years ago and he tells me that they have noticed that many of us have dry eye issues 10 years out and tells me to take artificial tears.  He also
sends me off with a new eyedrop for the allergies, an OTC that is more powerful than the one I have at home.

I leave the office hoping he is right. I am allergic to cats, crazy people and lactose intolerant. Notice that list doesn’t include mention of any other allergies because for 40 some years there hasn’t been anything else. But I figure that I’ll trust his judgment and hope that he is correct.

Two days later I am sitting here writing this post mad as hell. My eyes don’t itch or burn, but they are dry and puffy. The puffiness is affecting my vision. It is primarily in my left eye. I am having some difficulty reading small print. I suspect that at some point I am going to need reading glasses, but I don’t think that my eyes have actually changed. Every time I use the artificial tears there is momentary improvement.

All I know is that this is irritating the T#&^%&^%# out of me.