95 More Reasons Why Geniuses & Sex Addicts Read My Blog

Killer Whale

Every day I outrun the hordes of people who mistake me for an internet superstar and demand that I share the secret of blogging success with them.

Because I am better, smarter, faster and humbler I effortlessly say the best way to blog is…your way.

But it is never enough, they demand more and so I share 5 Reasons Why Geniuses & Sex Addicts Read My Blog and then I wonder if maybe the reason they love me is because they think I am the heir to the Tim Hortons empire.

It would make sense for the Canadians but the Americans, could they be so silly, it is not like I am the master of Dunkin’ Donuts or something.

Frankie Says Relax

I am wandering through the mall looking for Father’s Day gifts when I see a guy wearing a pair of overalls that aren’t hooked and hair that has frosted tips.

Dude has a shirt that takes me back in time.

“Frankie Says Relax.”

Truth is his whole outfit makes me wonder if he has watched too many John Hughes movies, it is 2014 and the Brat Pack is pushing 50.

I watch him for a moment and wonder what his story is. From across the way I can’t quite decide how old he is or isn’t. Maybe he is a high school kid who is going to an ’80s party or maybe it is something else, doesn’t really matter because now I am lost in 1984.

A couple of friends and I are at a youth group dance but we aren’t out on the floor. We’re standing in a corner watching groups of girls dance together, trying to figure out if we are going to try and join them.

In a few years I’ll be in college and I’ll have ample confidence to approach whomever, whenever and wherever but I am not there yet. I have kissed girls before but haven’t had an official girlfriend yet and I am bit unsure about it all.

Jon tells me that he is desperate for a chance to dance with Becky but he says he won’t go unless I am there because he knows she won’t dance with him alone if her friend Michelle doesn’t have someone to dance with.

In between songs we walk over and Jon asks Becky if we can dance with them. She says yes and by the 3rd time Frankie says we should relax I am ready to bolt because the girls are pointing fingers and laughing at me.

“Jack, you dance like such a spaz.”

That is enough for me, I am gone. The Go-Go’s are singing Our Lips Are Sealed but mine are curled in anger and embarrassment.

Reality…Bites

Dude wearing the Frankie shirt wanders away and I reconnect with 2014. It is an early dismissal day for my son, got about an hour before I have to go pick him up from school so I make a point to move with purpose and intent.

The night before he told me about some girls who are teasing him. I can’t figure out if they like him or if something else is going on. I don’t like it when he is upset but I want him to figure it out for himself.

I don’t see a reason for me to jump in but the echoes of the girls who laughed at me have reached through the years and something inside my head is rattling.  It irritates me, there is no reason for them to have free rent inside my melon but I figure I am just concerned about my son so I write it off.

Sure enough the echoes disappear and I am left with my decision to let him handle it. I still feel good about it. I don’t want it to turn into anything but I have confidence in him and I trust that he’ll find a good solution.

A tall brunette walks by me and another memory floats to the surface. I am back in the fraternity and we are all inside dancing but there is no room to do more than sort of sway.

Some of the guys and I are dancing with some girls when one of them tells me that she likes the way I dance. I am sure she is drunk or blind  but the reason doesn’t matter because she likes me and she proves it.

I feel better about my son.

95 More Reasons Why Geniuses & Sex Addicts Read My Blog

It is early Friday evening of Memorial Day weekend and I am back at the computer. We’re not going away this weekend but I plan on taking the kids to see some movies and to enjoy some barbecue.

A short time ago I participated in a conversation about whether it made sense to blog today or not. I said yes and listed a bunch of reasons why.

But the primary one isn’t because I have readers who aren’t in US and aren’t celebrating a holiday weekend. It is because I love to write and I love to chase down these obscure memories and try to turn them into a story.

I love that feeling I get when I feel like I have successfully bent words to my will.

What about you?

The Most Staggering Adrenaline Rush…Ever

Sometimes you have to find your wings on the way down.

Sometimes you have to find your wings on the way down.

There are no coincidences because what you see, hear and do are part of something greater than us. It is tied into something larger that can be described as both mystical and magical.

Don’t ask me to explain this because I can’t tell you how or why. All I can say is that I know because I have experienced it. I have seen it. I have lived it. I have been there and that is all the proof that I can provide.

It won’t be enough for some of you. It won’t be the kind of thing that you can accept because you can’t buy, touch or taste it. Actually that is not true, you can but only if you open your mind and let your soul seek its match.

I know this because for the longest time I didn’t do it. I spent years not buying into it or believing that it could be real. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to because I did. I desperately wanted to believe that this thing was something tangible. Because I just knew that if I could feel it in my hands and see it with my eyes it would prove that there was something to this dream I had once lived.

You see I fell in love with a girl and I loved her fiercely. I loved her madly. I loved her passionately. I loved her in every way that the poets wrote of, spoke of and dreamed of.

I loved her with all of my heart and all of my soul. I loved her desperately and somewhere in that madness I lost her.

Some of you can’t feel what I am saying. These words have no meaning to you. They are figments of imagination that you can’t feel, see or taste. So they never grab you. Your heart, your eyes and your mind are closed to them.

I can’t fault or blame you because I used to be like you. I used to look at this sort of writing and roll my eyes because I didn’t know. I hadn’t seen. I hadn’t felt it.

But that was long ago. That was in the time before I became who I am now. That was before I understood that love is a drug that can make you soar to the highest heights and or drop your ass into a pit so dark and dank you can’t remember what it felt like to see sunshine.

Some of you are nodding your head. You don’t even realize that you are doing it. You aren’t even aware that your pulse has quickened and you can’t see anything other than these words and even those are growing faint.

That is because we are running with the moon you and I. We are partners on a journey and you want to know more about my story because you hope that maybe it holds some sort of key insight to your story.

You want to know about the girl I loved and what happened to her. You want to know if there is hope for us because if there is hope for us there might be some for you.

The thing that is ever so interesting about this is that I haven’t given you much in the way of detail. You haven’t heard about how we met in the most unusual way or how crazy it all was. You don’t know how it is we fell in love. You wonder if I am exaggerating or maybe you don’t.

Maybe you know what it is like to have that kind of passion where you can’t stand not having that person in your life because there is a gaping void that aches and burns without respite.  Maybe you too were surprised to discover that the kind of crazy love you experienced the first time you ever fell in love could come back. Maybe you were shocked by the passion and overwhelmed by the loss of the friendship that you had.

Because that friendship threw you for a loop. It wasn’t just about love or lust. You liked them as a person. They filled the gaps and made you believe that you could be more than you were. They made you believe that all that hokey stuff you read in cheap paperbacks or saw on television might be based in reality. You understood that you could be naked in every possible way with them and be confident that they would caress your soul and cradle your heart.

It doesn’t have to be a dream. You don’t have to keep running with the moon. You don’t have to feel that enormous sense of loss or wonder whether you can ever love and be loved like that again because if it happened once it can happen again.

There are no coincidences. You can live your dream. You can find a way back. All you need to do is let go, submit to the reality of the possibility and accept that there will be opportunity.

It is not poetry or fiction. It is reality. It can’t happen on its own but if you ask and if you believe you will find the answer. You don’t need the old gypsy woman to sell you Love Potion number 9.

There are no coincidences.

The Most Staggering Adrenaline Rush…Ever

We stood on the balcony wrapped in each other’s arms and got lost in a minute that turned into an endless moment. When she asked me to tell her why things felt like they did I called it The Most Staggering Adrenaline Rush…Ever and then watched her eyes narrow and widen again.

Saw her try to figure out if I was feeding her a line and then relax when she realized I wasn’t. Felt her melt against me, nuzzled her neck and heard her promise to be mine forever. The soft whisper of insecurity and wondering whether it was true crept up inside, asked me if I could let go and believe.

Asked me if I could let go of the earth and allow us to float into the twilight sky and do so without fear of falling because that fear was and is the anchor that prevented things from following the natural course.

I closed my eyes and allowed myself to see with my heart and felt possibility flow into opportunity and this time when the jester threatened to rain down on our parade I smiled at him and watched him gnash his teeth. Watched him shake his fist and promise to turn joy into ash.

Once that would have worried me. Once I would have wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew but not anymore because now I had seen fantasy manifest as reality and felt the joy that comes when free fall turns into soaring through the evening sky.

Now I could say I know things with the sort of confidence that only comes from experience because sometimes there are no coincidences.

The Most Brazen Approach To Blogging…Ever

www.thejackb.com

Sometimes the best posts I write are rooted in the most painful experiences of my life. The darkest moments where I felt the dumbest, most helpless and most foolish provide ridiculous amounts of blog fodder and generally the most feedback.

Maybe it is because people relate to whatever I am writing about or maybe the cynical side of me is right that people like reading about other people’s pain. Look at the stories that sell the most papers and garner the most views and you see there is a connection between the two.

Sometimes I wonder if I should focus more on those pieces, plumb the darker depths more thoroughly and engage in far more self promotion because it is a proven recipe for success. When you don’t ask, you don’t receive.

The Most Brazen Approach To Blogging…Ever

The 17 long time readers know headlines trouble me and it is not because I have trouble coming up with them. I am consistently surprised by my irritation with being asked to play the headline game and write ones that have an active call-to-action that generates activity.

That is because I tell my children that sometimes the most effective way to make good things happen is to find a way to work within the structure and systems we operate in.

But if there is one place where you can consistently call me a hypocrite/rebel say I am not good at following my own advice it is working within structure and systems. That is not to say I won’t or can’t but I tend to blaze my own trail far more than I follow the path that has already been created.

In the quieter moments I like to say it is because I a creative type and we like doing things our own way or by saying I am an engineer who likes to understand how things work by taking them apart and putting them back together again.

But is entirely possible I am just hard headed and prone to doing things my way and in my time. Ask the Shmata Queen and she’ll verify that and if you catch her when she is feeling talkative she might even tell you that it is not an exaggeration to say I will try to move the mountain instead of going around it.

It is the joy of being a Taurus, still I get wherever I intend to go.

Confessions and Tales

I wore glasses and or contact lenses for almost 20 years. When my son was 3 months old I had Lasik done on both eyes and then proceeded to make my wife crazy by trying to figure out how good my vision really was.

Sure the doc had said I had perfect vision but I no longer remembered what that was so I needed to confirm it on my own. It was glorious being able to see unaided again and I never stopped appreciating what modern medicine had provided.

Yet I always knew a day would come when I might require reading glasses. The doc had told me that it would come but that it wouldn’t be until I was in my forties and suggested I might have surgery then to fix that too.

Since I was 31 I didn’t care all much, forty was nine years away and being in my forties even farther.

A few years ago I started having some trouble with dry eyes and was told I probably had blepharitis which was a lovely thing to hear.  I began tearing through preservative free eye drops but that didn’t fix every thing, especially since work requires me to be at a computer for countless hours.

So I looked into additional help and came up Gunnar Optiks and picked up a pair of their computer glasses. That is a non affiliate link, this is not a sponsored post but I digress.

It made an immediate improvement and life at the computer improved dramatically but I have a sneaking suspicion that age might be catching up with me.

Reading Glasses and Middle Age

A short while ago we took my son in to get his eyes checked and when I mentioned in passing my eyes the doc suggested I get a pair of reading glasses and see what happens.

So I picked up a two dollar pair at the lowest strength and discovered they are working. Call that code for it is easier to read the screen with them on.

Gah, bleah and ugh.

I can still read without them. Give me a dime or penny and I can see it in anything but the darkest corners of the room but something tells me this is one time I shouldn’t try to fight.

Does this mean I am officially middle age? Do I need to run get a cool sports car for myself now. Should I be concerned that I have three gray hairs too.

I am not even 45 yet, ok I will be in a few weeks but that is still young. I am young and I’ll be damned if I let these glasses impact my view of myself.

This Is Not The Most Brazen Approach To Blogging…Ever

Ok, this is not the most brazen approach to blogging ever but this is the end of this particular post. I included one more photo you can use when you share this most magnificent piece of hyperbole.

“What I need is someone who will make me

What You Need & What You Want

What's in my bag?-8

This is not Felix’s Magic Bag Of Tricks

It is not an exaggeration to say that we come from different worlds. He is a single man from the Congo and I am a father from Los Angeles. We are standing next to each other watching children swim and just talking about life.

He has a fantastic accent that is melodious and full of life. He tells me that he loves the spirit of the children here and I smile. He is talking about all of the kids at the party but he is pointing to my daughter.

We’re almost 9,000 miles from his home. The equator runs through the village he grew up in. You can wear a t-shirt and shorts year round. I am not 9,000 miles from home. We’re miles away from the home I grew up in. I can walk down the main streets and provide you with forty years of background.

He speaks seven languages. I am humbled by that. I grew up in a house where language was important. I am a Peace Corps baby. My folks met in Ecuador. When we were kids if my parents wanted to have a private conversation they spoke Spanish. We all picked up on it. I learned how to read/write speak Hebrew, but the truth is that my Hebrew has gotten pretty rough.

He speaks seven languages, but I can curse in 12. That counts for something but I am not sure what. ( Needs/Wants)

++++++

Early afternoon on a Friday and The Lumineers are singing Ho Hey and I am smiling, thinking about how much of this song makes sense to me.

Thinking about life in Los Angeles and life in Texas, thinking about what it is I want and what it is I need. Two years ago the man in the story and shared a very pleasant moment and laughed in the most genuine way people do when they are truly happy.

It wasn’t a courtesy laugh or imagined humor. We didn’t smile to be polite or courteous because we didn’t have to. We just got along and enjoyed the ease that comes when you connect naturally with someone else.

Got a million thoughts floating through my head about how to be the best father and the best man I can be. Got a million thoughts about making sure we…I understand the difference between what we want and what we need because it is important.

It is meaningful, significant and critical.

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
― Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

I am thinking about this because I have been here before. I have been the watcher that stood by and witnessed someone else slip away. Seen people I love move through this world and slide into another place, heading off to where ever it is we go after we are here.

We buried ‘D.’

Not the men that work at the cemetery but his friends, the people who loved him and who would have done whatever we could to have helped him hang on longer.

We did it because there wasn’t anything else we could do and we were desperate to give some comfort to his family and so we took off our jackets and grabbed the shovels hoping that it would somehow ease their pain in some way.

I remember those endless blue skies and so much more. It was an August day that seared itself into my soul and it changed me or maybe it is more fitting to see the entire experience changed me.

There is the me who lived before it all and the me that came after.

One knew that bad things, inexplicable things could happen but he never really expected to see them and the other, well he lived through a few so he knew things.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light

When you have seen some of these things and traveled along the twilight roads you make choices about how you want to be and what you want to do.

You figure out what is important and you do things to hold onto it knowing you will never have or keep it all the way it is for as long as you want.

It is ok because along those twilight roads you can also learn how to just roll with what comes along and that gives you stability and strength to bend but not break and to accept the changes that come.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t stand up for what is important and you don’t fight to keep those safe and close.

“Once there was a way to get back homeward
Once there was a way to get back home
Sleep pretty darling do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby

Golden slumbers fill your eyes
Smiles awake you when you rise
Sleep pretty darling do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby

Once there was a way to get back homeward
Once there was a way to get back home
Sleep pretty darling do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby”

Golden Slumbers- The Beatles

Is The Road To Hell Really Paved With Good Intentions?

The Hell Holes of Eastern Ontario

“Daddy, drive faster! He is going to catch us!”

She was scared and crying when she said it but when I calmly told her to take a deep breath and promised that she would be safe she calmed down.

I didn’t tell her that will all the traffic on the road he had a damn good chance of catching up to us. Nor did I mention that I had a baseball bat in the front seat and no hesitation about using it.

It was a case of good intentions meet road rage and I was growing angrier by the moment. That is because there was no reason for my daughter to be scared and yet she was.

Life Changes In a Flash

A few moments earlier I stood on the school yard and watched her dominate the tetherball game, smiled because she was happy and because I liked seeing her competitive spirit.

Shouted encouragement once and then was silent.

Three girls had gone up against her and now a new one had come to play, except she was tiny.  I felt badly because there was no way she was going to win, the size differential was too great.

She lost and it wasn’t even close.

As my daughter and I walked to the car I asked how old the other girl was and learned she was in 1st grade. I looked at my daughter and asked her if she thought it was fair.

“You’re in 4th grade, that is not a fair match.

She told me she knew and said that is why she took it easy on her. I nodded my head and let it go. She understood and that was enough.

Two minutes later we were buckled up and heading down the street. I stopped at the light and waited for the car ahead to turn. When he moved on I moved up and was just about to turn when I saw a bicyclist flying towards me.

I had the right of way and thought he was going to stop and was about to turn when I realized he wasn’t. He started cursing at me, screaming and I tapped my horn once.

Not long, just a short beep so he would know I was there.

The light was about to turn green in my direction and red in his.  Surely he would stop so I started to turn and then stopped.

Why?

I stopped because I was concerned that he would be forced to brake hard and would fly over the handlebars and into traffic. I know that light well, know precisely how long it takes to turn and there was no way he would make it.

A car could accelerate fast enough but he couldn’t.

Still I stopped because I didn’t want to be party to his stupidity. It was better to let him go flashing by, except he didn’t.

He jumped off the bike, stood on the curb and waved his fists at me. It was the universal sign for “let’s get ready to rumble.”

Twenty-five years ago I would have obliged and we would have learned the hard way what the consequences would be but I am not that guy so I didn’t.

So I shouted out my own words of encouragement and made the turn. Watched in the rear view mirror as he jumped on the bike and waved his fist at me.

He was riding hard and he was following us.

“Honey, I think he is just going the same way.”

She didn’t believe me and truthfully I didn’t believe it either, but I wanted her to calm down. His behavior was stupid and asinine. I was angry about him turning a stupid incident of his own devise into a federal case.

My good intentions had gone to hell.

I should have just turned and let him worry about the consequences. I would have easily made it and he never would have come close but when he started waving his fist and screaming I decided that he was out of control and held off on turning.

Better to be safe than sorry and then he was there. Screaming, waving and trying to convince me to get out. He saw my daughter in the car.

I saw him look at her and then turn back towards me. That was when I had my moment of clarity and decided that I would do my best to get clear but that if I couldn’t he might have to lose his ability to eat solid foods.

Up until that point I just wanted to go, but when I saw him look at her and not care–I got angry too.

Postscript

I never got out of my car. Never did anything but drive away and he never did manage to catch up. That made me happy, but I still feel badly that my daughter was scared.

It was unnecessary.