Sunday, March 13, 2016

Happy Birthday Jackson....

Jackson and Parker at Pack Meeting
Nine years ago today my son Jackson was born.  I still remember the day.  It was an early morning c-section and we arrived at the hospital before it was light out.  On top of that I was SICK.  I had a fever, felt like crap, and had to run to the bathroom several times while Kelly was prepped for surgery.  The rest of the morning is a blur of activity, him being born, me not being sick any more and viola it was all over and we had ourselves our first son.  Pretty amazing shit really.  There were no complications and we had the whole family back home in just a few days.

     Jackson has amazed me in the last nine years.  He is compassionate, gentle, and thoughtful.  Everything I’m not.  He has an imagination that rivals my own (which is saying something).  He see’s the world through a set of glasses that I envy.  He see’s everything and he see’s the good in all of it.  He wanted to deconstruct it and understand why it exists, why it does whatever its supposed to do.  My biggest challenge has been to not destroy that with my jaded cynical self.    He’s just an amazing kid.

     In the end it’s this kindness and his imagination that I am most proud of.  Right now, as I type this, I can hear him in the background playing.  He’s running back and forth, through the living room and into his room, yelling and shooting at imaginary beats.  (actually I think right now he’s fighting a pokemon if I understand the phrases he keeps calling out).  He can do this for hours!  Hours I tell you.  It’s pretty amazing really.  He doesn’t need toys, nor does he really use the ones he begs us for, to do this.  It’s just him in his little world have a blast.

     I mentioned earlier that he thoughtful and it shows through every day.  I remember a year or so ago (impressive isn’t it!?) we gave him some money for books at the schools book fair.  He got himself something but he also got his sisters something if I recall right.  That’s just the boy he is.  He loves his grandparents a ton but especially his grandmothers.  I truly hope he stays this way for the rest and I’ll do everything I can to make sure that happens.  He makes me proud to be his father.  Happy Birthday Jackson! 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Jury Duty Made Me Do It......


     All this week I’ve been on Jury Duty stand-by and today I finally had to go in.  I was prepared for a long haul sitting in the main room reading a book on the iPhone or worse sitting in a court room listening to the same talk by the Judge and the lawyers time after time after time.  This, however, was not to be.  Nope, instead we were released around 9:30am.  To late to make a Supervisors meeting and too late to make the CPR class that followed said meeting I decided I had a day to myself.  I had no responsibilities at all and no obligations.  I just knew I didn’t want to do the ‘usual’.  So I started to drive….and drive….and drive some more until I found myself trundling down the 76 heading towards Oceanside.  Wanting to make it more of an adventure I started taking the odd left or right at streets I recognized the name of.  It’s amazing how little Oceanside of 2016 looks from the Oceanside of my youth.  I managed to find my way to the Oceanside Pier.  It wasn’t particularly crowded but I also didn’t want to pay for parking so I just kept driving south along the Oceanfront.  It was high tide and the waves were breaking on the rocks really close to the road which was pretty cool.  I rolled down the windows and breathed in the sweet ocean smell.  A smell that instantly takes me back to my youth.  I’m not really sure why because we didn’t spend all that much time at the beach as kids.  I think maybe just the hint of the smell of the ocean is in the air even as far inland as Vista and now it means I’m home.  Or not…..maybe I’m just trying to be ‘romantic’ for romantics sake.  It was a lovely drive that led me through Oceanside and into Carlsbad.  
     At this point I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.  There was always the stand bye of going into Encinitas to the REI.  Going all the way down to Ocean Beach to the book store Mysterious Galaxies or even all the way down to SeaPort village.  It was almost intoxicating knowing I had all of these choices, endless possibilities in front of me to choose from.  Yet none of these choices really rang true for me.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to go all the way down to San Diego, didn’t have any spare money to buy anything at REI or the bookstore, so I just stopped.  Sometimes your best bet when faced with many choices is to stop.  Smell the roses.  Take in the moment.  Be present in the now.  So I pulled over to the side of the road near where many many people were also parked and I got out of the car and joined the throngs of people enjoying the beach.
     I was swept up in the wave of people walking, jogging, rollerskating, dancing, working out, riding their bikes, surfing, and doing yoga on the beach.  There were dogs everywhere you looked and the sweet sounds of the surf pouring over us all.  I let my mind drift and I walked.  I walked to count the steps for the day.  I walked to see how far I wanted to go. I walked to take in the moment, the people, and the beauty of the high tide.  I’m actually not entirely sure you could call what I was doing as walking.  It was more of a slow stroll, stopping every few moments to enjoy the spectacle of the surfers catching the waves or the many high end bikes that whizzed by me.  Usually at this point I’d be looking at the bicyclists and thinking to myself how awesome it would be to be out with them doing the same but this morning it was different.  This morning I was content to stroll, to watch, to breath in the world and settle into the sense of being.  

     In the end I walked a little over seven thousand feet or roughly three miles.  Enjoyed the fresh air and was quite content to end the morning driving off down Pacific Coast Highway and past the old SDG&E power plant before continuing on with my little road trip through roads I’d never seen or heard of.  Eventually I found my way to this moment.  Munching on a late lunch, content that I spent my morning well, refreshed and ready to head back to the rat race.  My little timeout was nice and now I’m ready to dive back into my work week and handling the day to day minutia of raising a family.   

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Once there was a blog....

         I once had a blog.  I don’t think it was a successful blog but my Mom liked it.  I suppose a few friends liked it to but it was mostly family or at least a large portion of a pretty tiny friends list on Facebook.  I’d put up a post and link to it in Facebook and then the views would rack up.  They’d die down soon enough and I’d want to see the numbers soar again so I’d post again.  It was fun…until it wasn’t.  Well it was always fun but I had envisioned something else.  Perhaps something more.  I wanted to be recognized.  I wanted a book deal, strangers to find my blog and go from getting a 100 hits to 1000 hits or more….a hundred thousand hits maybe.  I kept it up for close to a year.  It’s filled with the drivel that oozed from my brains.  Some of it was good, most of it wasn’t.  There is a travel post, a review post, some pictures, and some Flash Fiction.  There are exactly 42 posts on there.  The first being in February of 2013 and the last being on May 4th, 2014 which while super poignant about Star Wars on May 4th is almost 2 years old.  So am I back?  Am I a glutton for punishment?  I’m not really sure how to answer either of those questions although with four kids I’d say it’s probably a yes to the later.  

The first paragraph of this here post seems to be a bit down, somehow denigrating my skills as a writer and perhaps it should be but really it’s just a statement of the facts.  I love my friends and my family and I’m glad they read my posts and enjoyed them but it always felt as if I was the ugly kid in Kindergarten that my mother swore wasn’t.  I wanted recognition outside the circle of friends and I wanted to be a part of the ‘writer’s community’.  That didn’t happen.  I was sad.  Now I’m not.  So maybe I am back.  

I turned 43 the other day.  It was a nice day but it’s also eye opening to know that changes are I have fewer days in front of me than I do behind me.  I realize I’m on the bullet train to the big light in the sky which is ok with me but it’s not okay to have a dream or a goal or whatever you might want to call this and to ignore it.  Some people are naturally gifted, some people have to work at things and some people find no joy in any of it.  I like to write….actually to put it more bluntly I love to write.  I love to put my thoughts down on paper…errrr…screen.  To type away madly as the thoughts pour from my head to my hand to my screen and then to the dear readers eye-holes.  It’s pretty freaking fantastic and I miss it when I’m not doing it.  

So I’m here to tell you I want to try to bring Writesanity back. It’s a killer name for a mediocre blog belonging to a mediocre writer who has yet to actually publish much.  I also want to tell you now, this is what I’ll use as practice as I begin working on a book.  The one thing in my life I have not done that I really want to do.  Publish a Book!!!  TO have a book complete with my name under the title and kick ass cover wrapped around a few hundred pages.  That is the stuff dreams are made of.  Lots of people have had the same dream and lots of people have obviously failed.  There are used books stores dotted all over the US with those failures and even more raving lunatics in funny farms hugging themselves close who didn’t even get the chance to enter the Used Book Store Purgatory.  I want to rise above that.  I want to be better (sorry raving lunatics - you’re a good group of peeps but not for me).  

So as of today March 7th, 2016 I am declaring myself a writer once again.  I will post more regularly and I will be working on a book.  Before anyone asks, no I don’t know what the book will be about.  For the first time in a long time I have no idea what I’m going to write.  I didn’t when I sat down to write this little piece of nonsensical prattling but I will figure it out.  I’ll brainstorm, mind map, and outline my way to a decent collection of pages that you’ll want to keep turning and then like the rest of my imagined fans will demand another and I will write it and there will be ensuing cheering by the masses.  Okay, maybe not but a man can dream.