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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hiya.


Long time no write.
No apologies.

I'm feeling loquacious. So in no particular order:

Steak: Yes, as a matter of fact I WOULD pay $139.95 for two - 12 oz. New York strip Wagyu beef steaks. Life is too short not too.
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Ipad 7 inch: Not even if you bought me one. sorry. (Insert #anti-apple rant here )
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Kindle Paperwhite: Fuck YEAH, I read! Words in a ROW muthafucka!!
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Guitar. Electric: Learning. 'nuff said. I suck proudly! something I've always wanted to learn.
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Motorcycle: I've always said the responsible thing was to wait 'til the kiddoe's were 18 before buying my death on wheels. must...remain...strong.....
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House: Yeah... working on it.  It's gotta have a pool... and 5 rooms. One story. Other than that, I don't care. House! My house! Our House!
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Business: Starting another one!  I am reminded of a story of a fellow that spent 20 years in the Army- his job was to polish the cannon on the parade grounds and prepare it for firing every morning for reveille. When he got out of the Army at retirement, he bought a canon and went into business for himself....
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Personal enrichment/ improvement: I pinpointed the one thing about myself that I dislike the most and decided to remove it from my life: Anger. I'd love to spend a couple hours telling you how I did it, but I suspect it's a "path" kinda thing. You have to walk the path in order to learn the path.  Best I can do is point you in the direction of  "Working with Anger" by Thubten Chodron. Start here.  You have to want to stop being angry for it to do any good...
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13 -1/2 year old daughters are a trial of biblical proportions. Trial. Biblical. I'm not Christian but... Trial. BiblicalDamn!
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A:  "You know what would make a cool Halloween costume Dad?"
Me:  "?..."
A: : "Red shirt Star Trek dude- as a ZOMBIE."
Me: "...I'm am SO stealing that!"
A: "DAD!!!!"
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See you next time, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel....













Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Healing

( I started this post at the beginning of July- just found time to finish it an put it up.. )

We've been packing, getting ready to move again.. no, it's a good thing.

This little house has been a powerful healing place, a real home, our sanctuary. When we moved in just over a year ago, we ( the kids and I ) were so damaged, broken, we could barely function.

Over this past year, we've healed, become ohana again, formed our routines, made our space in the world and learned to live together, if not in harmony ( c'mon! ) at least with respect, love and trust for each other.

I've given up my anger over this past year, let it go. I've let go of the crushing humiliation of losing everything, reduced to living, all of us, in one room. Given up the bitterness, the rage and the hopelessness that I wore like a cloak, wrapping myself in its misery, hiding my face in its shadows...

This house fed our souls, welcomed us in into its hearth and heart of light, warmed the coldness away in the kitchen full of love and spices, gave us space and comfort to be ourselves again in our own rooms. It shielded us from the sounds of the outside world when we needed quiet, enveloped us in the safe, twisting smoke of copal and amber, gave up its roses to bring color and life inside and blew cool afternoon breezes in our faces through its windows.

It's time to move on now, to pass on that healing. We're moving in with Mars, to help take the load off of her, so that she can heal, become whole again, that she may breathe easier, worry less. We go to share our love and warmth with her, carrying the magic healing of the house inside us.

I comfort myself knowing that someone else out there needs what that little house has to give, that someone will move in and begin their path of recovery, like we did.

I will miss it though...



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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

..yet another one of the many reasons I love this woman!

A: "you cut up rats in school???"

Mars: "Yes, I dissected a rat in High school and you will too, one day."

A: " Groooosss!"

Me: "I had to do it too, boy. I can still remember the smell. Formaldehyde soaked rat smells exactly like three bean salad."

Mars: "Don't. Please don't ruin formaldehyde soaked rat for me... I hate three bean salad."




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Sunday, January 23, 2011

$100 million...

Eric Schmidt gets $100 Million on the way out of google.

I don't know how to even think about an amount that large.

I'm not saying he earned it or not, or that he wasn't instrumental in building a name and a company to the point where he was due that kind of largesse.

I'm simply saying, I don't know how to even think about an amount that large.

Back when I was a corporate number, punching the clock and killing 6 out of 8 hours, a bunch of us used to go into a lotto pool once a month or so. Everyone chipped in 5 bucks, we'd buy 100 lotto tickets. Oh, sure, laugh, I know the odds as well as you, but it was an interesting night before the lotto commission revealed the numbers popping off the balls..

I'd go to sleep figuring out the post tax take divided by 20 co-workers, based on the jackpot that night. I'd divide my share into 20 years, 12 months, 52 weeks or 365 days of cash. I'd play at spending my daily "allowance", what I'd buy, what I'd do... eventually, overwhelmed by the numbers, I'd lie in the darkness staring a the ceiling, wondering what I'd really do with it.

Share it with my people, was always the answer.

As near as I can figure, most of us, MOST of us, would have our lives substantially altered with as little as $5000.

maybe it's credit cards, maybe it's a car loan, maybe it's student loans... $5000 would make a difference.

For me, for mine, $5000 would allow me to pay back some friends and family, have little bit left over to tide me over for a rainy day... get my kids braces.

I recall an episode of West Wing, where an overworked and exhausted dad was talking to Toby about college tuition for his daughter - that he didn't expect a free ride, that he just wanted things to be a little easier. Just a little easier. I think about that a lot.

Whenever I play the "lotto game", dreaming of all the things I'd do if *I* won the lotto, the night before the drawing, invariably, it involves helping everyone in my life, making it "a little easier".

Of course I'd set up college accounts for my kids ( although, buying them a business would be a better investment, a rant for another time... ) a modest house for us. I'd send my kids to summer camp, a real camp, on a lake, with canoes and archery and cabins and counselors. A couple of dogs to play with... For Mars, freedom from worry, for the rest of her life.. Never again with medical bills. Never again with worrying about her parents, her daughter, her doggos. Prague, Budapest, all the places we've talked about, dreamed about, we'd see. Keith, his kids, whatever he needed. Gods knows he's been there for me all my life, now it would be my turn. My parents, a new well, new windows, new roof and a goddamn water heater that actually puts hot water in the kitchen. The ability to run the heater in the winter and air conditioner in the summer without worrying about the cost, ever again.

B_ and M_, JBD, S_ and her kids in NH, AJJ downunder, Monkey in FL., friends I've know for years, others I've known for a brief time but grown to care for, friends of Mars', people that she cares for, too many to list, all those in my life or near it, I'd pay off the mortgages, buy them homes if they didn't have one. I can't imagine what it's like to have a home, free and clear but I'd love to give that gift to all those I hold dear. To be honest, I can't imagine what it's like to even have a mortgage right now, but I'm grateful that we have a place to rent.

I have cousins and a brother I'd take care of. I'd go see them, in the South, as it's been 20 years since I've been out there...

I suppose that I would be the guy you read about in the newspaper, the guy that won $20 million in the lotto, that 3 years later is broke, but I'd like to think I spent it on things that mattered, instead of 15 bedroom mansions and parties in LA, beach sand carefully sifted to a specific size by hand for a volleyball court that nobody uses or gambling debts for a feckless waste of a son with no values.

I'd change the lives of everyone around me.

I'd like to think that Eric Schmidt would too.



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Monday, November 22, 2010

that boy kills me..

...sitting watching "Pawnstars" with my son, on The History Channel. He turns to me and says:

"Geico should do a commercial; 'Can Geico save you 15% or more on car insurance? ...Does the History channel have a lot of damn shows about Hitler?'"



Heh..



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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One of the many reasons I love this woman!

Me: "I'll be back in a flash... or a jiffy. Wait! which is shorter- a flash or a jiffy?"

Mars: "A flash."

Me: "I thought a Jiffy was a unit of measurement shorter than a nano-second?"

Mars: "A jiffy is how long it takes to get your car lubed."




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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Little bits of Karma

Today I was supposed to take the kids to orientation for their new school. I was a few minutes late to the place it was last scheduled to be- the secretary looked a little gun shy, I guess the last mom to show up and find out they changed the location was a little irate. I was non-plussed by the news, asking if it would be OK to just go to the one tomorrow, for the elementary kids.  The secretary, seeing I wasn't going to rip her head off, helpfully inquired for me, then chatted amiably with me for a few minutes, commenting on my pleasant attitude at the miscommunication. The topic turned to my skull rings, as it often does, then to Dia de los Muertos and sugar skulls and when I handed her a business card, she abruptly blurted out that she too liked things of that nature, as she was Pagan.


Small world.


It made me feel good to know that I took things in stride, made a friend in the school administration and potentially a client.  It definitely set the mood for my day. 

We left, went to get gas and the truck washed ( A clean truck gets calls! ) and as I went to pump, it wouldnt take my card. The display said choose octane and begin pumping.  So I did, figuring I must have spaced off and double swiped my card.  A moment later the pump shut off at $12  and showed an message about seeing the attendant.

The couple at the next pump looked like they were having a problem and it dawned on me that they must have given the attendant MY pump number by mistake and I had pumped their gas into my tank. I asked them, and they said yes, they had just paid their last $12 to pump gas. I said no problem and went in and with the help of the attendant, sorted out the mess. 

The couple and the attendant seemed genuinely surprised that I would come in, pay for the gas that I had pumped on their dollar and again, be so amiable about it. What else would I do? Jump in my car and drive off with 4 free gallons of gas? Not my style.

So I go back, fill my tank the rest of the way and get my car washed. The kids and I are drying the windows with paper towels and a guy in the next space over from me offers me a nice little cloth towel to dry my car with- "I have an extra one.." he says with a smile.  When I went to return it, he says to keep it, it's ok.  I gave him a business card and told him that if he ever needed computer work, I'd give him a discount for being so nice.

Karma isn't always about saving someone's life and then winning the lotto. Karma can also be little bits of good that shift in and out your sphere throughout the day. What I noticed the most was how it seemed to affect me and people's reaction to me. A guy passing me as I was walking in the door of the gas station smiled and said "good morning."  I held the door on the way out for a young kid all baggy pants-ed and gold chained and he said "Hey, thanks man!" It's exactly like that Liberty Mutual commercial, where people help out strangers and then the stranger passes it on...

I might get work out of it. I might have a go-to person in the administration building for my kids school. 

Most of all though, I feel good. I'm in a great mood because of it.



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