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.

Keeping It Going

I don’t think I watched Friday Night Lights until after I moved back from Texas but I do know that every time the music came on I remembered.

Every time I saw certain pictures and images I remembered.

That was enough to make it clear I had to go back and I did it.

All that needs to happen now is to wait and see what happens.

Maybe this and maybe that, but something will happen because nothing isn’t an option.

Birth Of Days

Some of you know Jack Steiner is not my real name and that January 1 is not my real birthday.

When I started blogging in 2003 or was it ’04 I wanted the ability to write freely without concern about some things.

Not because what I had to share was so controversial or crazy but because I just wanted to write and not be questioned by family/friends.

I wanted to just let go and be free.

For the most part I have done that but like many things in life there have been moments that changed me.

I am not the same 35-year-old guy who followed a wild impulse and started blogging.

While much is different there are things that have changed and it is fair to say that what you read here is generally my real belief or feeling, provided you aren’t reading fiction.

There is a lot of that here, far more than my other blogs.

Birth Of Days

When I first joined Facebook I thought it would be helpful for old Jack Steiner to have a Facebook page.

Since he was me, but not me I gave him an arbitrary birthday of January 1, never thinking that I would get a bunch of birthday greetings.

I am grateful and appreciative for them.

They are a reminder to me about the good and kind people in this world, not that this is limited to those who share the aforementioned greetings.

That is certainly not a requirement for goodness or kindness.

****

I don’t update this blog or the Jack Steiner Facebook page with the same regularity I used to.

That is not news to those of you who have stuck it out here.

Most of the updates go to the other places and I don’t know if I see that changing.

Nor do I know if that means I am going to shut this down or wrap it into the other blogs.

It is too important and has too much meaning to me, but I do know I am thinking hard about what I ought to do.

Am considering whether to continue to keep this standing as it is or make changes.

There won’t be any rash decisions made on New Years day, but not because of the date but because I need to think hard about what I want and what I need to do.

This place is similar to the others but it has a different feel and audience and probably a bigger footprint.

That is because it has been around a lot longer and when I had more time it received an awful lot of attention.

Maybe it will again, we shall see.

In the interim, Happy New Year to you All and may this be our finest year ever.

 

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.

****

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 Chanukah Sampling

Thought I’d share a sample of posts I have written around Chanukah. Hope to get around to writing something more substantial here soon.

A Different Chanukah Celebration

It is Almost Time To Celebrate Chanukah

How To Celebrate Chanukah

A Curious George Chanukah

Chanukah Songs