Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Something worth fighting for...

Ask me today if I'm a bad ass and I'll most certainly tell you yes, as I puff up my chest and speak with authority.

Today I am not wrong, and I am not weak. I am confident in the words that come out of my mouth or that are put to paper.

When I was younger I got in my fair share of scuffles in the neighborhood. I can remember on one such occasion where I didn't end up on the winning end, and I told the boy who just whipped my ass how I was going to get my older brother and he'd better not be around when we came back. Only my brother didn't come back
I do not have the strength, confidence or the attitude of a bad ass. I do not walk around with a chip on my should pissed off at the world, just daring someone to cross my path. 

But sometimes we have to fight. We fight for our loved ones and our family. We fight for our kids; and when that happens. When the time comes that you must stand up, put up your dukes, and fight. You better be a bad ass. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Why I quit blogging...

While I never officially announced my retirement with a press conference or contacted the local news I did in fact quit blogging.

I was awake again last night at one o'clock in the morning and today I feel like I spent the night dancing with Mr. Brownstone. 

Not that I'd know exactly what that feels like but I imagine I'm close. My head hurts, my eyes burn and my body aches. I read one of my favorite blogs I realize why I quit, and why I'm back, blogging that is. 

He's not one of my favorite blogger's because he's funny or informative or even because of the words he puts to paper. In fact half the time I have no idea what the hell he's saying, but he is who he is. 

A long time ago I wanted to be an actor. It was fun to me, being on stage being someone different. Pretending to be the local store clerk, or the sheriff in a one horse town. I enjoyed the theater. 

But somewhere along the way somebody told me I couldn't make a life of it, or that it wasn't something cool kids did. So I quit. 

And somewhere along the way this became blogging.

Photo Credit
I didn't start A Day in the Life because I wanted to tell the world about my kids or about my latest project to lose weight, or how to craft. It wasn't supposed to be about funny stories or pictures of my vacation. Because the truth is, nobody cares about that shit. 

And that's what it had become. 

I don't envision being a famous author or an Internet sensation because of this. But at some point I'd like to be a person who can be honest and put my words and thoughts down without reservation. An outlet for the daily grind that a father and husband go through. 

I quit blogging because of the cliches of blogging. I'm starting again because I want to write. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Because Juno MacGuff...

Sometimes the pain shoots right through me and then it's gone, but mostly it's a dull ache that never leaves. Like a dripping faucet, it constantly reminds me.

My oldest daughter has a D minus in gym class. I know we can't all be Rhodes scholars and lord knows I struggled in school, but for God sake, it's gym class. How much effort is really required for gym? I'm sure she'll say things like, it's not the same as when you were in school dad, and maybe she's right. Maybe it's not the same. Maybe it's not the same because she's a girl and I'm a boy. Maybe it's not the same because she's older than her twelve years would indicate. Maybe because she's more like Juno MacGuff, than Mia Hamm. 

Pancakes and bacon are what's for dinner because there isn't much time until the basketball game and mom's busy with a different school function with the other daughter.

It's a fine time to learn that the boy doesn't like bacon.

Only he does like bacon he just likes making me crazy more. Not, Heerree'ss Johnny!! crazy, but rather, he's just like me when I was his age crazy. And I wonder how in the world did we get here?

Not here as in arguing whether or not the boy likes bacon, but rather to this stage in our lives. 

It seems like only yesterday we were making up code words for I love you and running up 400$ phone bills in a long distance relationship. 

I'm not so sure I'm ready for this part of life. You know the old age part.

Not that I'm old, but the dull ache in my shoulder, and the stiffness in my hands, or the pain from my knees constantly remind me, life is moving on. 

Filling Holes....

I'm begging to understand that this life, my life, is not meant to be more. And that's not a bad thing. 

I used to feel as though there were holes that needed to be filled, and I was constantly roaming the earth with a shovel looking for something to fill those holes. Maybe they don't need filled. Hell, maybe they're not even real holes. Maybe they're something I've made up in my head, like a Fight Club. You know it's like how we sometimes can't see the forest for all the trees. 

I made scrambled eggs this morning for the kids. Actually I made eggs for myself, but I couldn't eat a hot breakfast in front of them while they choked down a toaster strudel that was still cold in the middle. So I made them some eggs as well. Some with cheese, some with out. 

Death for me used to be something unique and rare, almost ficticous, like a Bigfoot sighting. But it seems I've reached that age where guys I know start passing. Guys I've worked with, played golf with and met their families. Guys that are too young to die fighting cancer or heart disease and it makes me again think about the holes.

But the truth of the matter is the holes are just as real as they are made up. I constantly struggle thinking there has to be more to life, to my life.  There has to be something to fill those holes. And yet today I made breakfast for my kids. I woke up next to my beautiful wife, and I've lived another day...filling holes. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Today's Breakfast...

I received a text message this morning from my dad wanting to know if we were all OK. It struck me as odd. One, because I don't normally get texts at 7am unless its my birthday, and two this wasn't something my dad normally did. My initial thought was we had received unexpected snow throughout the night. I immediately pictured in my head letting the dog outside and looking at six feet of snow. I quickly realized, no snow. I replied back that everybody was fine but inquired why he asked?

Please pray for me.  I feel good and evil fighting for my soul daily and I just want it to end. I just want to be numb.

This was the facebook post of a friend back in April. Not a day goes by in my life that I don't think about this post and this friend at some point. When I first read it, I reached out. Sent a private message asking this person to seek some help. Hell I even peeled back the layers of my past and explained how I got through a rough patch thinking maybe that could help. We all have them, rough patches. Times in our lives when we feel like we just can't get it right, and maybe never will. 

I woke up today thinking about my friend. They must have been in a dream, although I don't remember. I'm one of those people who rarely remember what they dream. Unless it's about spiders. It's a bit unfair really. Never being able to see in your minds eye what cool places you've been. But today the first thing on my mind what this friend, until I received my father's text. 

Just checking on everybody. Have an uneasy feeling this morning, he wrote. 

I sent my friend another private message. 

I don't know if good or evil work in certain ways. Does God touch one person in hopes of touching another, does Satan? Do I believe in either? I don't know, but my friend replied,, thanks for thinking of me......

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Letters from Beyond...

Today I was thinking about my death, and what if it happened today or tomorrow, what would be my last words to my children? It's no surprise to anyone who knows me, I love being a father. I love teaching them. I love just talking to them. Something I feel to many parents, especially dad's don't do enough of.

So this afternoon I sat down and wrote them each a note as if today was my last day on earth. I know it's a bit weird, but we don't get to choose when we die. Sometimes we never see it coming. So instead of my shouting, good-bye, as I rush out the door being the last thing my kids hear from me. I wrote them each a letter.

I told them each things that I love about them right now. Things that I've seen as they've grown up, and things I want them to always remember. Each one of them was something different because each one of my clowns are different. There were things for my daughters about loving themselves and others. Begin a good mom and wife if they choose that path. And about being strong women. For my son I wrote about what it means to be a man. How to be a father, husband and brother. And what the future holds as all three.

I know my Letters from Beyond seem a bit weird, and I hope they never have to open them, but if something should happen to me today, tomorrow or next week, who's gonna give them fatherly advise.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Disney Must Do's...

So for the past few years we've spent our fall break at Disney World. It's a great family vacation that I'm so glad we can provide for our family. So since I've been for the last 4 years, here are my Must Do's Disney

10. Slow Down...My first must do is slow down. Try to remember you're on vacation. I know it's tempting to try and cram everything into one day, but take it easy. Relax and enjoy yourself.

9. Stay on Disney Property....We've done both, stayed at a hotel close by to save some money and on Disney property. In the end staying on Disney Property is such a better experience. The resort staffs are awesome and you get the entire Disney experience. Don't be cheap. Stay on the property if at all possible.

8. Do your homework....Every year my DW puts a lot of time and effort making our vacation the best it can be. If you don't do your homework ahead of time like making your reservations, having an agenda and planning what parks to visit, you will waste a lot of time. Let's face it. The crowds can be heavy and every year my DW plans what parks to visit based on the anticipation of those crowds. She does her homework and it pays off. Not to mention the fast passes.

7. Wear Disney attire...Every year the DW puts us in Disney shirts. Usually we coordinate in some way, and every year I complain about it asking, why I can't just wear a normal shirt. But here's the thing. You're not in your hometown. It's not normal "life". It's vacation and it's the happiest place on earth. Let your hair down a bit and wear goofy shirts together....no pun intended.

6. Wear Mickey Ears... Yes. This goes along with #7 sort of. But look. Again, You're on vacation and what's the old saying. When in Rome do as the Romans. Wear the ears at least once. Now a days they have so many more than just the basic Mickey ones. Find one you like and wear them proudly. After all. Nobody back home will know.

5. Get a Dole Whip... Basically this is an ice cream float with pineapple juice. You can get them in a couple different varieties but it's a must. 

4. Ride Big Thunder Mountain...Big Thunder Mountain is a roller coaster, and even if you're not a roller coaster guy, you should ride it. It doesn't have big drops, cork screws or take you upside down. Think about it. It's a Disney Roller Coaster. But it's a Disney World Legend. It's the one ride we all agree on over and over.

3. Take in a show... Disney World offers a few different shows in various parks. There's the Lion King at Animal Kingdom, and Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios just to name a couple that I really enjoy. The point is, Disney doesn't skip on the details in anything they do. So sit down, watch a show that you normally wouldn't watch. You won't be disappointed. 

2. Stay for the fireworks... I can remember all the times when I was a kid my dad would always be like, "we can see them as we're walking towards the car". "You've seen one fireworks show you've seen them all". But look. Stay a little longer. Watch the fireworks, and watch your kids watch them. Besides Disney puts on great fireworks shows.

1. See Mickey Mouse. Yes the lines can be long if you get there on a busy day, and maybe it's hot, or whatever. But look. He is the reason you're there. So suck it up. Meet the mouse and get your picture taken with him. It's worth it. Actually this year we met a Mickey that actually talked to us. It was so worth it.

So there you have it. My top 10 Disney Must Do's... Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I like Bacon too, but......

Seriously, can we just stop with the bacon. I for one am tired of all the bacon flavored things. Tonight the DW backed some Maple Bacon cookies with Maple Bacon frosting. C'mon man.....

Look I like bacon as much as the next guy, but It seems like we're taking this whole bacon craze a bit to far. I typed in Bacon Flavored in my search engine and the first thing that came up was bacon flavored cotton candy. The second thing, Bacon Flavored deodorant. What? Seriously, someone actually wants to smell like bacon? 

No thanks. I'll stick to bacon on my burgers, club sandwiches, and at breakfast. Oh and if I'm forced to eat a salad. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

I'm a Bad Assassin.....

I'm not a "gamer" by any means, and since I've grown older my video gaming in general has taken a back seat. So when the DW came home with this little gem the other day, I was extremely surprised.

Yeah, I know it's not a very good post, but now you know what my excuse will be if I don't post.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Something to believe in...

It's Saturday afternoon and tears well up in my eyes. Nearly 23 year have gone by but at times I still get emotional. 

I'm listening to the song Something to believe in by Poison and I get choked up. It's nothing new. There's something about the part that says, my best friend died a lonely man in some Palm Spring hotel room....I tried all night not to break down and cry as the tears rolled down my face, I felt so cold and empty like a lost soul out of place, that gets me. Every. Single. Time. 

You see it makes me think of my best friend some 23 years ago. He died when we were Juniors in high school in a single automobile crash on a rare night that we weren't together that year. 

We'd both been through some stuff growing up and our Junior year just seemed to be my turn. 

And now every time I hear that song, at that verse I nearly loose my shit as a ton of emotions pour over me. It's funny how powerful music can be. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

30 in a row.....can it be done?????

I can't do it. 

I hate hearing these words uttered from one's mouth. Just the other night I got onto my son for saying this exact thing. But dad I can't do it..... those words run through me like no other. Yes you can, I told him. Don't ever believe that you can't. Don't ever beat yourself. Always believe you can no matter what the odds. 

Yet here I sit thinking, I can't do this..

Every so often I sit down and peck out a blog post and think, for the next month, or 30 days because it rarely happens on the first day of the month, I'm going to blog every day. 30 post in a row. No stopping, I tell myself. You can do this. It doesn't matter if it's about something stupid like air fresheners or something profound like my thoughts on when I'm dead. Either way, I'm going to sit my butt down and write. Then I'm going to hit publish. You see I have a bad habit of writing something, then just leaving it and never posting it. I wrote a post about it once. I think it's still in my drafts. 

So this past November 1st was no different. I thought, here we go, the whole month, every day. One post a day......and here it is November 8th, and I've written one besides this one, and with each day that passes and I don't get something out, I think. Who am I kidding, I can't blog every day. I can't do it.  

It's sad how those words come out of me without a second thought. 

So in an effort to practice what I preach, here it goes. For the next 30 days, one post a day.......I can do this. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Life Lessons...

I took my oldest daughter with me to the gas station yesterday. Mostly because I needed some help with a car issue, but turns out it was a great teaching opportunity. I feel like with all the sports and coaching I've done lately I've neglected my girls when it comes to learning opportunities recently. She makes it seem like it's a bother, her being with me, but then again she's 12. Everything is a bother. On the way we make small talk about the car, and her pumping gas for me.
 It's easy for me to give life lessons, or teaching moments to my son, even though he never wants to hear them. But sometimes I forget my daughters need these moments as well. Not because some day they'll be the man of the house, (not that there's anything wrong with that), but because they need these memories with their dad. On the way back to the house she makes fun of me and my car. I laugh because I understand there's a torch that's passed down. Every child makes fun of their parents, and every parent claims, you'll be old some day

Today is my 13th wedding anniversary. And as I write this post I think about what an awesome learning opportunity this has been. Not for me but for my kids. I think it's important for them to see all the ups and some of the downs that marriage couples go through, and I'm glad we've been able to provide that. The DW and I have lunch together and we talk about 13 years ago. I think about where we are and what we've been through, and honestly wouldn't change a thing. 

We spent this past Saturday kid free. We didn't do anything special and maybe that was the nice part. We went antique shopping for the day then had dinner. I remember when we were dating we spent a Saturday together and went to some flea market near where she lived. It wasn't much of a date, but I remember that day thinking how I was falling for her. I guess it just goes to show you that Love is weird. Sometimes it sneaks up on you in a flea market. It also goes to show you that we've been party animals from the get go. 

After work we go to my son's basketball game. He plays well. I'm proud of him. Not just because he played well and they won, but because of his attitude and sportsmanship. Something he's had to work on. After the game he rides home with me. It's just us in the car and we talk about the game. Something I never remember my dad doing with me. I asked him what he did best during the game. To which we both agreed was his defense. Then I asked what he did worst during the game. We have different view on what part of his game he needs to work on, but it's ok because it shows me he understands he's not perfect. It shows him as well...another life lesson.