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Showing posts from April, 2010

The 5 Minute Video You Don't Want To Watch

Here is the skinny. This is a 5 minute video in which I share some thoughts about blogging and why I do it. I am not sure whether I am going to make Vlogging a regular feature of this blog, but sometimes you have to try things so that you can figure out if you like them or not. Watch or don't watch, it is your call.

Disturbed, Distraught and Disappointed

"If I swallow anything evil Put your finger down my throat If I shiver, please give me a blanket Keep me warm, let me wear your coat No one knows what it's like To be the bad man To be the sad man Behind blue eyes" Behind blue eyes -The Who There are moments in my life where I have considered this to be a personal anthem, a theme song that describes me. Days when I woke up and described myself to be disturbed, distraught and disappointed. I count some very dark days among those moments. Times in which I felt like I was living my life alone and apart. When I think about it those moments have been relatively few and far between. While immersed in them they felt interminably long and I sometimes wondered what was wrong with me. Sometimes I'd sit in silence and look at the people around me and wonder how they could all be so happy while I seemed to be trapped in misery or two steps removed from it. What I eventually learned was that I wasn't alone in th

The Ghosts of Our Past

The ghosts of our past haunt us to our dying days. It is a common misconception among people to assume that this is a negative thing, that this is a something that hurt us. It can be, but only if you let it. We have the power to control our destiny. That is what I had told her, a promise of our future. We were so very much in love. She was intoxicating, addictive, my favorite drug. I couldn’t get enough of her. Even now I can still smell her, the scent that never leaves me. Ok, it is not completely true, now it is more of a memory, but in my dreams she still visits me. In the dark of night she comes to stay with me and in the morning I wake up to the bittersweet realization that she has left me again. Sometimes I’ll close my eyes and try to fall back asleep, hoping, praying that I can reconnect with the dream. In my mind there is no pain, no sorrow, no loss and no heartbreak. We’re still driving a convertible, her hair blowing in the wind, body pressed close to mine.

The People You Love Most

( I thought that this was worth sharing again .) In the quiet of the night my son asked me to try and explain why boys fall in love with girls. He admitted that there are some girls that he likes playing with, but that is only because they play more like boys do. I told him that love wasn't something that you could study or understand. It is not something to be analyzed. It is meant to be felt, to be experienced, to be lived. I wasn't surprised to see a look of confusion on his face. It is a bit more sophisticated than talking about superheroes. And then he surprised me by asking if love could die. So I told him that a parent's love never dies and that he shouldn't be worried. He told me that wasn't it, he wanted to know if loved died because Jason's mom and dad had split up and so had Michael's. I asked him what he thought and he said that he thought it could. I told him that I thought that he was right. And then he went back to asking

The Father I Want To Be

Superman - REM The rules of the blog are simple: be open and be honest. Tell your story as you see it, not as others wish to. So simple in concept yet far more difficult in practice. Difficult because it means unloading a closetful of chaos upon the screen and I am not sure that I am ready to look at some of these things during the day light. It is a funny thing, this concern of mine because the person who I am most afraid of already knows these things. The person whose opinion will bother me most won't be fooled by simple parlor tricks or fancy smoke and mirrors. They'll see through it all in a heartbeat. Because I am him. He is me. I am my own worst critic. You won't anyone who is harder on me than me. The fact is that I can't hide or ignore these things. So I am shrugging my shoulders and admitting to myself that sometimes I can't get it done. Sometimes I fall short. Sometimes I feel like I live on my own island because I put myself there. And the reason

For Your Reading Review

A snapshot of recent posts: Ain't Got You- Or A Different Sort of Muse Cookie Monster Cures Writer's Block Two Kids & A Dog- Part Three We Live In A Bubble Why Do They Want To Kill Us? Dad's Not Your Friend Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #8  And your blast from the past: How Do Fighter Pilots Go To The Bathroom Time Is My Enemy & My Ally

Ain't Got You- Or A Different Sort of Muse

"I got a house full of Rembrandt and priceless art And all the little girls they wanna tear me apart When I walk down the street people stop and stare Well you'd think I might be thrilled but baby I don't care 'Cause I got more good luck honey than old King Farouk But the only thing I ain't got baby I ain't got you I got a big diamond watch sittin' on my wrist I try to tempt you baby but you just resist I made a deal with the devil babe I won't deny Until I got you in my arms I can't be satisfied" Ain't Got You - Bruce Springsteen "I know somebody and they cry for you. They lie awake at night and dream of you. I bet you never even know they do, but somebody's crying. I know somebody and they called your name. A million times and still you never came. They go on loving you just the same, I know that somebody's trying. So please, return the love you took from me. Or please, let me know if it can't be me

Cookie Monster Cures Writer's Block

I rarely suffer from the dread disease known as Writer's Block, at least not in the conventional sense. The world is filled with blog fodder so it is not at all difficult to locate a topic. The issues I have aside from having a sick and twisted sense of humor are a bit different than not being able to find the words to put down. It is easy to apply pen to paper. No what bothers me with more frequency than I care to think about is my distaste and disgust with the words that I write. The moments where I look at the screen and silently read something that is stilted, awkward and ineloquent. Moments where I scrunch up my face and shake my head because I know that I am capable of producing something far better. Moments of utter hypocrisy. Why? Because I teach my children that as long as you tried hard it is ok to have a bad day. I teach them that sometimes they don't have to hit it out of the park, that a lay up is worth as much as a dunk. But I don't always follow my own

Two Kids & A Dog- Part Three

It is hard to believe that we are almost three weeks into the new adventure of owning a dog . Three weeks ago I could wander about the house without fear of stepping in warm piles of puppy love. Three weeks ago I didn't worry about making sure that my schedule allowed for time to play with seven pounds of black furry love. Seven pounds of black furry love has his moments. The silent ninja who preys upon the weak and unprotected baby dolls that lie helpless. He pounces upon them and savages their bodies with reckless abandon. And if you catch him in the midst of his murderous act he looks up at you with sad puppy dog eyes that suggest that you are the one who are at fault. You knew that he is a baby. You knew that he searches for objects to make his sore gums feel better even though you have purchased toys that are his. Seven pounds of black furry love is slowly learning that there are places for relieving himself that do not resemble tile or hardwood floors. He already recogni

A Dad Blogger Complains Sometimes It Feels Like a Conspiracy

Can't Find My Way Hom e- Blind Faith This post has next to nothing to do with being a daddy blogger. Really, I decided to include daddy blogger in the headline and body of the post for the sole purpose of S.E.O. Don't really care much if it actually helps drive more traffic here or not. Don't care whether some people think that mommy bloggers get more respect than daddy bloggers. Don't care if some columnist writes a story that denigrates mommy bloggers as being less important than some think they should be. I don't care because my self esteem isn't based upon having the most popular blog. I won't cry if I am not asked to be a speaker or shout because Disney doesn't provide me with free trips and Ford doesn't supply me with cars to review. Those things are nice and I won't complain if they come about, but they aren't why I blog. I blog because of moments like now. Moments where I can scream that some days it feels like every little thin

We Live In A Bubble

Call me The Boy In The Bubble. For god only knows how long I have been ensconced in my own world. I am not talking about the dream world I escape to when I am writing Fragments of Fiction but the real world. The real world in which I occupy a thousand different roles as father, son, husband, friend, cousin and wannabe maverick.  (Thank you Sarah Palin for helping to make that word a little less fun  to use.) Anyway, in my world the responsibilities rotate throughout the day. About ten minutes ago I was called upon to play dad and was forced to let the dark haired beauty do my hair and makeup. Her brother was none too happy watching me become beautiful so when it was done I grabbed him in a bear hug and rolled around the floor with him. And then I retreated to the bedroom. Alone, I sit on my bed and type this post. A set of earphones are plugged in so that I can listen to the music of my choice. It helps me to concentrate and focus upon my work and tonight I have a substantial amoun

Why Do They Want To Kill Us?

We were standing in line at the Israel Independence Day Festival when he asked me "why do they want to kill us?" I looked down and smiled at him and took a deep breath. It is a good question, a valid question and one that I hate having to answer. Because he is 9 years-old and I hate shredding pieces of his childhood. He still remembers when they stole his mother's purse and wants to know if I still look for them. I answer him truthfully and say that sometimes I do. We haven't discussed it in a while, but the last time we did he said that he wished he was older so that he could have helped me stop them. I am still Superman in his eyes. He tells me that he is sure that I could have taken the guy. I don't tell him that I am confident that I could have too, but never want him to see that side of me. It is one thing to see me get angry and another to watch me become violent. He has never seen that and short of having to protect the family  I don't expect that

Dad's Not Your Friend

I don't teach my children to behave for fear that to do otherwise will reflect poorly upon me. I don't care, ok that is not entirely true. I care, but only in specific situations. The reality is that my children are well behaved because they have been taught to be so. Part of that comes from understanding that they have parents, siblings and friends. One day those may not be mutually exclusive but not while they are young. While they are young there is a clear division between parent and child. My children may try to negotiate for better terms on things that are important to them, but ultimately it doesn't matter because the final decision lies with mom and dad. Some people claim that such an approach is backwards and that it is only established for the edification of the parents. They seem to think that such a thing strokes our egos. That is not the case. My ego is stroked when they say things like, "I want to be just like you" or other adults compliment me o

Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #8

2010 is the year of the daddy blogger and as such it is time again for the Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience. This is the 8th edition of our weekly series. A collection of posts from the unsung heroes of the parenting gang. Take a moment to read the posts the men have written and let them know that they are appreciated. Special note, check out the M3 Modern Media Man Summit , a convention for men and dad bloggers. It sounds interesting to me. Ed@Home Dad: Saturday Story Time (The Three Little Pigs, as told by Elle.) Jack: I Don't Want To Be A Mommy Blogger Cute Monster: Sesame Street Elmo’s Alphabet... Real Dads Hangout: Fatherhood: A Complete Review of Fatherhood Tessa's Dad: #Fatherhood Friday – My little toddler The Daddy Files: What Kind of Dad Am I? Always Jacked: Why I Took A One-Year-Old To Work Mr. Storage's Closet: C25K Beginnings Juggling Eric: A Prestigious Award Luke, I Am Your Father: Hammering Man Undad: On Dogs

A Lesson In Time Management

A good parent teaches their children how to be productive members of society. You provide the skills and education that they need to stand on their own. And with that you have The Jack B's philosophy on parenting, the abridged version that is. This past week my son demonstrated that he has learned many of the lessons that he has been taught, but not all of them. Time management as it relates to homework was not one of those. This is not a new thing or something that is surprising. When he finishes the school day he has no interest in coming home so that he can do more school work. So we have had more than a few occasions in which he has been forced to stay up a bit later to finish it. This is not acceptable. I can relate to his distaste. I didn't find homework to be particularly stimulating either, but you have to do it. We all have our lists of things that we dislike but that we do anyway, or so I have told him. Of course I made a point to omit that I think that homework

Jack's Video Debut- My First Vlog

Back in the day I was among the first to engage in audio blogging. It was cutting edge and cool...at least until video came along. For a long time I have played around with the idea of Vlogging, but have always been too shy. Today I decided that enough is enough. So here is my very first attempt at Vlogging. It has a few issues and I am not sure if I am going to keep this post or not, but then again, maybe I will.

Children and Playdates- Then and Now

"Our house it has a crowd There's always something happening And it's usually quite loud Our mum, she's so house-proud Nothing ever slows her down And a mess is not allowed" Our House - Madness This past Monday afternoon my son finished school and then went over to his best friend's house for a playdate. On a side note I seriously dislike that term, playdate. There is something about it that just rubs me the wrong way. I am not quite sure what it is, but I suspect that has something to do with the organized nature of play. It is not how we did it when we were kids. Our parents didn't organize playdates for us. After school we'd play outside all afternoon long with the neighborhood kids. Or sometimes we'd walk over to their house, knock on the door and ask them if they could play. Did I mention that we walked unaccompanied. We didn't live in fear and our parents didn't either. Times are different now for a variety of reasons. I

There Are Places I Remember

"There are places I'll remember All my life, though some have changed Some forever, not for better Some have gone and some remain"  In My Life- The Beatles I think that I was around six or seven when I met June. I don't quite remember any more. She was the girl down the street with long dark hair. The middle child, sandwiched between a younger and an older sister, she was a full year ahead of me in school. Me? Well, I was one of five kids and a committed bachelor. At least I thought I was, but what did I know at seven. Back then girls were at best tolerated, an unpleasant experience that had to be dealt with. As you can imagine my attitude wasn't appreciated by any of my sisters and especially not by my mother. She would look at my father and ask him to speak with me. I remember those conversations. Dad would sit down and split a can of Ginger Ale with me and tell me that one day I would appreciate girls. I loved my father dearly and tried not to tell him

The Midweek Review

For those of you who have been busy, held captive, trapped beneath a heavy object or are stuck living in Cleveland here is a list of recent posts: I Don't Want To Be A Mommy Blogger How Long Will You Keep On Blogging? Dancing In The Fire Blog Disappointment Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #7 A Letter To My Children- 2010 And Now Your Blast From The Past: Don't Die Dad I Still Dream Inside the Blogger's Studio- A Dream, Er Nightmare

I Don't Want To Be A Mommy Blogger

The recent brouhaha about daddy bloggers not receiving the same amount of respect as the mommy bloggers irritates me.  I have a penis and I am proud of it. I stand about 5'10, have a relatively deep voice and can grow a beard in about two weeks. I am man, hear me roar. In short you won't ever mistake me for a woman and if you are smart you won't ever refer to me as Mr. Mom. If you hang out with my kids you'll hear them refer to me as Dad, Daddy or Abba. Ask them a few questions about their lives and you'll get a mouthful about both mom and dad. You'll hear that both of their parents attend school functions, help with homework, cook meals etc. In short you won't hear them tell any stories about the "Father Knows Best" dad of the past. They have no knowledge of those days or any idea that once upon a time things were different. If you delve in a little bit deeper you'll learn from them that their parents have the same philosophy about educa

How Long Will You Keep On Blogging?

In light of the reaction to this post I though that it made sense to toss out another question. This is the question of the moment. How long do you expect to keep on blogging? Do you have any sense of how long you can keep on going? Will you be one of those bloggers who comes on fast and furious and then suddenly disappears or will you be here for the long haul. What do you think? ( Originally posted here .) 

Dancing In The Fire

"Well, I know it's kind of late I hope I didn't wake you But what I got to say can't wait I know you'd understand 'Cause every time I tried to tell you The words just came out wrong So I'll have to say I love you in a song" I'll Have To Say I Love You In  a Song - Jim Croce "Come live with me and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods, or steepy mountain yields. And we will sit upon rocks, Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks, By shallow rivers to whose falls Melodious birds sing madrigals. And I will make thee beds of roses And a thousand fragrant poises, A cap of flowers, and a kirtle Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;" The Passionate Shepherd To His Love- Christopher Marlowe Dancing in The Fire seemed to be an appropriate title for that song I said I wanted to write . The idea was to set a tone and then paint a scene. I want to tell a story with bot

Blog Disappointment

This is something that I suspect the majority of bloggers go through. It is a malady is best described as being upset because you spent time composing a post that you thought would be outstanding. A post that you were certain was so good that you wouldn't have time to respond to all of the comments because you knew that within an hour of putting it up there would be at least 15 and by the end of the day there would be hundreds. Only the exact opposite happens. You upload your post and anxiously await your first comment but there is nothing. It is like being back in high school. Your parents went out of town and left you home alone with strict instructions not to throw any parties. Of course as soon as they left you spent a ton of time notifying everyone about the amazing 16 keg Bacchanalian festival that you have planned and no one came. And then the disappointment and depression set in. Why, oh why are there no comments. You tried so hard to be funny, to be w

Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #7

2010 is the year of the daddy blogger and as such it is time again for the Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience. This is the 7th edition of our weekly series. A collection of posts from the unsung heroes of the parenting gang. Take a moment to read the posts the men have written and let them know that they are appreciated. A side note/comment. I have seen a number of posts that that incorrectly and inaccurately assert that dad blogs are new. Dad blogs have been a part of the blogosphere since the beginning. We may not have made as big a noise as the moms, but we have always been here. More on this in a separate post. On to the festival. Jack: A Letter To My Children- 2010 Dad Gone Mad: My Favorite Vitamin Dadwagon: A Week on the Wagon: When Dads attack!  Wrath66: Baby Talk (And Baby Read And Write?) Rebeldad: PR, Daddyblogging and the Long Road to Equity Tessa's Dad: #FatherhoodFriday – Follow Friday shout outs TechyDad: Aloha Friday: Tracing Your

A Letter To My Children- 2010

Success in the affairs of life often serves to hide one's abilities, whereas adversity frequently gives one an opportunity to discover them. Horace When I wrote this letter I though that I would try and update it once a year. If you search through the 2009 archives you want find the updated copy because I...forgot. When I stumbled upon it again I thought that I would take the time to update it, but I decided that it doesn't require much in the way of tweaking. But it still merits repetition so here it is. ++++++ Every so often I like to take a moment to write a letter to my children and share a few thoughts about life and the challenges that it presents. Each time I do this I agonize over trying to come up with something insightful and profound. I don't know if I ever really succeed in doing that, but I do know that these letters will help them better understand their old man. I decided that I'd start today off by sharing some favorite quotes with them. Som

Dad's Not Old- Cultural Reference Points

In the silent of the night I can hear the echoes of the past reaching out to me. Silent ghost like images march before my eyes, begging for my attention. Moments of time when I wasn't anything more than the boy who lived in his parent's home are intermixed with fragments of the future. The boy becomes a man, the son becomes a father. In the midst of all this I stand in front of the mirror. It is Wednesday night and I am getting ready to play in my basketball game. White high tops, blue shorts, a dark t-shirt and two days growth are about to accompany me to the door. Just before I leave I look in the mirror again and do my best to look menacing. It is part of my pregame routine. Something that I have been doing for about 30 years or so. As the realization of just how long I have been doing this washes over me I shake my head. Did I really start this during the first Reagan administration, or does it go back a bit farther, to the days when Billy Carter was making headlines fo

I Still Dream

 I still dream about things that you cannot see, cannot touch but know in your heart. The moments and feelings that cannot be described but only experienced. The quiet times you share with the person that knows you better than any other because only they are allowed to step beyond the gates. I still dream of hitting a home run to win the game. I stand alone at the plate and wait for the pitch and with one perfect swing I send that ball sailing. Fast ball, waist high and it is gone. Listen to the crack of the bat and start running because I don't dare to jinx it by looking up. I dream of that touchdown I scored. Broken play, grabbed the ball and take off running right into the heart of the defense. There is no trickery, no fancy moves or spinning to try and make them miss a tackle. It is a combination of dumb luck, brute force and sheer determination. Hands reach in and slap at the ball, bodies slam into me but I keep going. Unlikely and unexpected I keep moving because for that