Halloween 2010

Every time I hear this music I am taken back to my childhood. It is 1978 and I am a precocious nine year-old boy. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I look forward to celebrating it every year. I have a neighbor who lives across the street. His name is Sam and we walk to and from school together.

Some days I go over to his house and we play together until dinner time. Sam has an older brother named Harry who knows much more than we do. In the years that come he and some of his friends will be the guys who educate me about girls. They have magazines that they'll show us. Magazines with lots of pictures of naked women, but that is a post for a different day.

For now I am focused on the memories of the 9 year-old boy who watched horror movies at Sam's house. Good old Sam who loved the horror movies and had a room full of models that he would build. Plastic replicas of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Frankenstein and more decorate the walls. When his mom is home we often work together to assemble the latest model. Sometimes Harry suggests that we try sniffing the glue that we use to build the models, but I don't know why. It smells funny but I am afraid it will hurt me so I don't do it.

Most of the time Sam's mom isn't around so we watch television. We look for the horror movies because those are Sam's favorites. I like some of them, but not all. I can't tell him that the reason that I don't like some of them is because they scare me. If it wasn't for Harry I might mention that they bother me, but I don't dare when he is around. He loves to torment us and I refuse to let him call me a baby. Sometimes he hits us but I never cry because I won't let him know that it hurts.

Time passes and the nine year-old boy I was has a birthday or maybe two. It is hard to remember exact details, but I know that one day I am at Sam's and they have a machine that  you can use to watch movies. One day we watch Halloween. I know the music from the commercials, but it isn't until I see that movie that I realize that it is kind of scary.

For a long time after that I find myself worrying about whether someone is hiding in the bushes or in the closet in my room. It doesn't take much for my active imagination to start thinking about possibilities.  Many years later a 21 year-old man who hates the dark will punch another guy in the mouth. It happens very quickly. The 21 year-old is walking in the dark and all of a sudden he is surprised when someone jumps out at him.

He doesn't feel badly for hitting this other man, even though he knows him. It was an accident, a mistake and something that probably shouldn't have happened. But in many ways it did because a kid who was scared silly by a movie felt powerless to defend himself. So as he grew older he forced himself to learn self defense as he couldn't take the idea of not knowing how.

Twenty years later the man who hit the other man in the mouth is a father. He'll take his kids trick or treating because they love going and he takes pleasure watching their joy. But at the same time he'll be scanning the surrounding areas for danger because it is Halloween and part of a father's job is to make like the Secret Service.

It will probably be fine and his concerns will be for naught, but he can't help himself because somewhere inside him that nine year-old still lives.

Related Links

Halloween 2007
My Halloween Costume
Look At My Halloween Costume
It is Almost Erev Halloween- A Few Thoughts
R2D2'S X-RATED STAR WARS COSTUME
Ghostbusters

Things that Frighten Me

In Honor of Halloween here is the list of things that frighten me. Some of these may have changed or require updating but I am going to save that for later.


This a list of things that have frightened me in my life. Some are still relevant and some are not. But I thought that it might be interesting to just throw them all out there to see what they look like during daylight hours. P.S. I have explanations for all of these, but I may not include them on the list. Why? I just don't feel like it. :)
  1. The Dark
  2. The Amityville Horror scared me.
  3. Oscar the Grouch
  4. Bigfoot- The one from the Bionic Man television Show. He gave Steve Austin plenty of trouble.
  5. The Creature in the Legend of Boggy Creek
  6. A couple of dogs that chased me on my paper route.
  7. The homeless guy from the park.
  8. V.L.- He and I got into a fight in high school. I pretty much kicked his ass up and down the corridor, but I do remember shaking with adrenalin afterwards. For about two weeks I was concerned that I was going to have to face him and his older brother again.
  9. Having my heart broken again
  10. Breaking someone's heart
  11. Not being able to provide for my family
  12. Letting my children down
  13. Not making it to the bathroom in time.
  14. Finding out that I have a child that I didn't know about.- Ladies this is never a problem for you, but we men wonder about this sometimes.
  15. Being mugged at an ATM- When I was in college a guy was murdered at the ATM I used that day. It was several hours after I had used it, but....
  16. Something happening to my children.
  17. Getting stuck at a job I hate
  18. Never living out my dreams.
  19. Being paralyzed
  20. Losing a parent/close friend or family member- Actually I have lost several friends and family members, but it is still a fear.
  21. Losing my perspective on life and why most of these things are nonsense.

Saturday Morning Music Mash

  
Download now or listen on posterous
01_The_Batman_Theme.m4a (5506 KB)
  
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07_The_Man's_Too_Strong.m4a (8823 KB)
  
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08_Just_Like_Heaven.m4a (7100 KB)
  
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16_American_Pie.m4a (16551 KB)
  
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2-08_The_End.m4a (24510 KB)
  
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02_Country_Comfort.m4a (10128 KB)
  
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11_Tusk.m4a (7112 KB)
  
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01_Imagine.m4a (6261 KB)

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Posts That Precipitate Participation

A brief round up of recent writings

I Am Not Jewish, Ok Maybe I am But...

5 Secrets of Great Bloggers

Here are 5 Secrets that Great Bloggers use every day. They're important enough that you could build a single post around each one individually.

  1. Write a picture with your words. Build sights, sounds and imagery that capture your reader's attention.
  2. Build a relationship with your readers. Provide content that they can relate and connect to.
  3. Be reliable. You don't have to hit a home run with every post but you need show up consistently.
  4. Be authentic, be open and be real. Show your readers that a real person is behind your content.
  5. Respond to comments on your blog and visit your readers. In other words, engage and interact with them.

The Talking Penis- A New Bathroom Adventure



Longtime readers are well aware that there are plenty o'adventures to be had in a bathroom. I have written about his on numerous occasions. For those who have missed those stories here are a few of them:

Jack's Experience In the Ladies Room
Bathroom Etiquette
The GermoPhobe
A Little Digestive Distress- Chicken Vindaloo


If you read those then you just never know what is going to happen in a public place, especially a public bathroom. This is the tale of one of my experiences.

Let me set the scene. I enter a public restroom. Against the far wall there is a line of a half dozen or so urinals, only one of which was in use. If you are familiar with urinal selection strategy this is a good thing as it provides much to choose from.

As I had enjoyed plenty o'coffee I had need of one and so I headed down the line a couple places past a gentleman at the front. He was a big guy, had to be at least 6'2, dark hair and wearing a dark suit. Not that I was looking hard, but I had to pass by him on the way to my own urinal.

As I moseyed on up to my special place I realized that he was saying something, but it was a bit muffled. I didn't know if he was speaking to me, so I paused for a moment to listen.

Man: What are you afraid of? Why are are you waiting? Just do it.

It took a moment to realize that he wasn't speaking to me and instead was speaking to himself. I probably wouldn't have thought twice about it but what he said made me stop what I was doing.

Warning, this next part is going to be a little graphic, but it is an important part of setting the scene.

As you can imagine I was a little surprised by this. At the exact moment that he was speaking I had reached into my own pants and had my friend in my own hand. There was business to be taken care of and this other guy is babbling about fear, but that wasn't all.

Man: We have done this a thousand times. You can do it, just relax.

Men, have you ever tried to urinate while the guy down the way is giving his penis a pep talk. I have to tell you, it is more than a little distracting. I must have coughed or done something to indicate that I was aware of him because the next comment was directed to me.

Man: Don't you speak to your penis?
Jack: Not usually, I am not sure that I ever do.

Man: I speak to mine and he answers me.
Jack: Really?

Man: He is my best friend.
Jack: Is there a camera in here?

Man: I don't think so. I am serious, I always talk to my penis.
Jack: Did anyone ever tell you that your best friend is a dick.

Man: It is not a joke. I use special visualization techniques to improve my performance.

I remember thinking, " what the hell is going on here!" All the while I am looking for a camera because I am convinced that I am being filmed for some crazy television show.

Man: They have conducted studies that prove that you can do better in every aspect of your life. All you need to do is think about it.

Jack: I have heard about some of those studies, but I can't say that I remember being told to speak to my penis.

Man: You have to try it. It will make a big difference in your life. I know it sounds weird, but it works.

Now I am tolerant of many things and find people to be amusing, but I have to admit that the man with the talking penis was making me less than comfortable. So I did my best to finish what I was doing and get out of there.

As I was washing my hands the juvenile kid that lives inside my head decided to make an appearance. "My penis says goodbye," I shouted as I dried my hands.

To which I received the following answer:

Man: Ted says goodbye to you too.

And with that I was left to ponder a few things. Who was Ted? Was that the name of the man or what he calls his penis. And when he said goodbye which form of the word "to/too/two" was he using.

Was it singular, or was he saying goodbye to my penis and myself. More importantly, did I really want to know the answer to that question.

I didn't bother to turn around and ask. I just kept walking. In the end I decided that it was better for him to think that my penis and I are rude because there are some questions that I just don't need an answer to.

(originally posted here)

The Fear of Failure

It is time to update this post so if you have seen it before I encourage you to keep reading because there is new material.
"If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.'
Thomas A. Edison

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
Thomas A. Edison
I suppose that sounds rather New Agey, but anytime I am feeling like I have failed to succeed I try to take a look at these two quotes. Actually there are a bunch of others that I like to read, but I didn't have time to include all of them.

And that leads me to my next point/comment. The moments that I find that I am most disappointed with myself are tied into the fear of failure, not failure, but the fear of it. It is much easier to live with knowing that you tried than to say that you never did.

"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom."
Bertrand Russell


"If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way."
Bertrand Russell 

I look at these quotes and ask myself many questions. I wonder if my beliefs are based upon reality or faith. And if they are based upon faith I ask myself does it really matter because there are some things that you cannot prove in terms that scientists would accept. So when it comes to faith I wonder am I helping or hurting myself.

And I look at these quotes and I ask myself if I am living the kind of life I want to live or if I allow fear to control my actions. Am I living or passing through. Because I don't want to just pass on through this world. I want to live a life that is worth writing and reading about. I want to live a life that I can look back upon with pride and say that I did all that I can do.

The answer is that sometimes the fear of failure has held me back. Sometimes I have stood back in the shadows because it was safer to be there than to step out onto the hot coals. Life is about balance- sometimes the shadows beckon and there is reason to stand among them. But there are also those moments where you must engage in firewalking because to not do so would be to allow the fear of failure more control than it deserves.

Balance is what I seek.

Goodbye Grandma

In Dublin's fair city, where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

Yesterday was my grandfather's 96th birthday or should I say that it would have been. Hard to believe that so much time has passed and yet not hard at all. I look at my life today and shake my head in amazement. Four years later grandpa would be shocked to see how much has changed, how much has not and how much will be changing...soon.

Four years ago the dark haired beauty was a toddler who didn't understand death. Now she is pushing 6.5 and has no memories of the man I miss. She recognizes his face in pictures but doesn't know that those blue eyes had a special twinkle and no memory how he would sing Molly Malone...badly.

I don't have to close my eyes to hear him or to remember how he would tell me that he didn't "sing good, but he sang loud."

So much has happened since then. The boy I wrote about in Walking With The Dead is far bigger and understands life in different terms now. In some respects you can blame him for some of this. I have never forgotten when he asked me not to die.

But in some ways this particular post is driven by my grandmother.
I love you grandma
Grandma died this past March. She died the night of my 14th wedding anniversary, so it is only fitting that somehow her children chose the same granite for her headstone that graces my kitchen counters. The next time I make a brisket I might take some of the juice to the cemetery for the sole purpose of spilling it on her stone. Something tells me that she wouldn't mind.

There was a time just a few short years ago when my grandfather told me that my grandmother had a great ass for an old lady. I must have given him a funny look because he smiled and told me that he still saw the girl that he fell in love with. He said that he had never been given a greater gift than being loved by grandma and that just holding her hand made him happy.

I never doubted any of that and I suspect that no one who knew my grandparents did either. They were that couple, the one who had the relationship that you wanted to have. Best friends, lovers, partners and life companions.

When I think about my grandfather's comment it is hard not to smile. It was said with a twinkle in his eye and a giggle like he knew that he was getting away with something. But that is because he was. It was the sort of thing that would have made grandma make a face at him but she still would have smiled. They were married for more than 75 years so she was well accustomed to his comments and habits.

Life never stops moving. Seven years ago I had four grandparents and now I have one.

Related Links:

What I Fear
Do The Dead Walk In Dreams
Beloved Wife
Loss- A Familiar Pain
The Cemetery- Who Is In the Box
Dad, I Didn't Get To say Goodbye
Grandma's Dying & Grandpa Has Cancer
Five Years Later
We Aren't That Family
Mothers Love Their Mommies Too

A Letter To A Girl Who Was

I was made to love her,
Worship and adore her,
Hey, hey, hey.

All through thick and thin
Our love just won't end,
'Cause I love my baby, love my baby. Ah!

My baby loves me,
My baby needs me,
And I know I ain't going nowhere.

I was knee high to a chicken
When that love bug bit me,
I had the fever with each passing year.

Oh, even if the mountain tumbles,
If this whole world crumbles,
By her side I'll still be standing there.

'Cause I was made to love her,
I was made to live for her, yeah!

Ah, I was made to love her,
Built my world all around her,
Hey, hey, hey."
 I Was Made To Love Her- Stevie Wonder

Hey woman, it is me again. Yeah, I know you can't figure out what I see or why I keep this up. You're tactile and concrete in your world view. The queen of low expectations who likes to think that she is logical and rational, but I know better. You are one crazy broad and I don't care.

I don't care because you are the one who fills me up and makes me happy. You drive me crazy with some of your completely ridiculous habits and your nonsensical proclamations. No one does a better job of infuriating me. No one makes me angrier and no one makes me feel sadder. I once told you that you were the best thing and the worst thing that ever happened to me.

How is that for a start to a love letter. But the reasons I love you can't be written down and checked off like some cockamamie grocery list. You can't apply logic to love and you can't ignore your heart. You can try and ignore it, you can come up with reasons to stay angry and use those to keep me at a distance. You can come up with a million reasons why it shouldn't happen and so can I.

As a matter of fact I have. I know why and how. I get it and I dismiss it because as your partner I am the one who understands dreams and recognizes that sometimes we can be more than we are. I know these things because they occupy a place inside me that cannot be ignored or dismissed. I can't forget or ignore who I am without you and who I am with you.

Can't pretend that it didn't happen. Can't ignore the past, but I can see the future. Can see the possibilities and I can't stop chasing them. Can't pretend that a life without you is the kind that I want to live. Don't go off half cocked and worry that I am going to kill myself because that is not going to happen. I am too freaking strong for that, too stupid and too stubborn.Too crazy by half to wreck the chance of holding you again.

If it never happens that will be tragic and the angels will weep and the heavens will open up with a torrential downpour and a lightning storm such as the world has never seen. But it would be nothing compared to the storm that rages within me at the idea of just giving up. Nothing compared to the pain I feel at the thought of not trying.

So as I tell you now and have said before- I will jump headfirst into the flames. I will burn and ache because you are worth it to me. I will do it because you brought me back to life. You rescued me when I had no idea that I was almost dead. You took my heart and taught it to beat and soothed my soul. You reminded me that the world is filled with magic and helped me recognize that there is something more out there.

Is it hard to read this. Is it hard to write. Is it all difficult and crazy. Yes to all of the above. There is a class out there that we can teach and many that we should take together. There is a world that is waiting for us and a chance to be the people that we want to be. We don't have to wear these shackles or to be prisoners of circumstances.

Take my hand...please...I don't beg anyone or lay my throat bare for anyone. You know this, you have always known it. So to the one person who sees me for who I am I ask, take my hand. If you do I promise one hell of a ride. Stop blushing, I didn't mean it that way, but ok, go ahead and blush 'cuz...well you know.

Give me your hand and I will make like Samson and tear down the walls of this prison. Give me your hand and I will be Popeye on spinach and Bluto will have no hope. Take my hand and fly for a while. Live your dreams, don't dream your life.

(yes, this is a recycled post but it is up again for good reason. New material is coming quite soon)

Hey Shmata Queeen

Hey Shmata Queen- Not sure if you are going to come by today but I wanted to point out that I was right...again. Go read It Is Just Unfair and then tell me to stop lording it over you.  I know, I am a pain in the ass. The crazy Taurus who tamed the even crazier Virgo.

It was done using exceptionally complex mathematical equations, numerous quotes from Bertrand Russell, Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond and 23 pounds of Godiva Chocolate.

Mind you that it took great skill and agility to avoid being smacked in the head by that exceptionally large black purse she carries. Someone ought to take that away from her long enough to remove the rocks from it. Sheesh.

When Bloggers Bully


The fastest way to make friends and enemies in blogging is remarkably simple. All you need to do is create and publish a list called “Best” or “Most Popular” and you are guaranteed to be praised and criticized for your wisdom and or tunnel vision. The interesting thing about it is that it doesn’t matter whether you are an expert in a particular field or the most popular blogger in your niche because you will make waves.

You can blame it on human nature or spin it any way you want to because the truth is that with few exceptions most bloggers want to be praised for their work. Most want to have millions of readers and comment sections that are overflowing with discussions about the most recent posts.

None of this should be seen as being exceptionally profound or insightful because it doesn’t take a P.H.D. to point out that politics, popularity contests and jealousy rear their heads in the blogosphere with the same frequency as they do everywhere else in life.

However, the thing that is different about the blogosphere is that the lack of face-to-face contact provides a fertile ground for bad behavior. When you don’t have to look someone in the eye it is really easy to write a post or posts in which you lambaste them. When you don’t worry about seeing someone at the office, grocery store or school yard it can feel like you have a license to impugn their character and make nasty comments about their person, looks, blog and or integrity.

Still, that is just a prelude to one of the more significant issues that comes along with blogging…bullies. Yes, the scourge of the schoolyard has somehow managed to find his/her way into the blogosphere. It is a sad but true story about how sometimes a lack of accountability morphs into a very ugly atmosphere.

It really shouldn’t be surprising to learn that there are bloggers who engage in bullying because the sad reality is that bullying is a trait/characteristic that is all too human in nature.  

But what distinguishes the bloggers who bully from the kid on the schoolyard is their reach. A popular blogger has a reach that the schoolyard bully can only dream of.
A popular blogger can literally unleash a horde of angry people upon your and or your business.

If you are a comic book geek like me you have heard the expression that with great power comes great responsibility more times than you can count. That has never been truer than in regard to the popular bloggers. It is not just because of the number of people that they influence but because what is published online lives on in perpetuity.

Spend a little time reading parenting blogs and you will find numerous posts that discuss educating our children about this topic and why it is so very important to be careful about what we publish. It is because the Internet is unforgiving. If you find a way to act like fool or an ignorant jackass you might be privileged to share the moment again with your great grandchildren.
Another danger that stems from the popular bloggers influence is that their bullying isn’t always seen for what it is. The written word is very different from the spoken. Without verbal clues it becomes harder to discern sarcasm or attempts at humor. It is also different because those who are less technologically savvy may not always recognize just how many people are participating in the free for all.

In person it is much easier to gauge how many people are participating in a particular activity. On the school yard you can see when it is one versus many- but that same clarity isn’t so obvious online.

But that doesn’t lessen the sting of the words or the bite of the consequences.  There is no mitigating factor here. You don’t get to say that you didn’t know or you didn’t mean it. That assumes that one day you feel badly about your actions and decide that you wish to apologize for them.

The best advice that I can provide for any blogger is the same thing that I tell my children. Do your best to treat others the way that you want to be treated and try to remember that good intentions can sometimes go bad. Sometimes the best thing you can do is say you are sorry and move on. Because when the lights go out and you are left alone with your thoughts your conscience will always let you know whether you did right or wrong.

More fun Than A Root Canal

If you have to ask what is more fun than a root canal and two crowns you clearly haven't had the pleasure of undergoing all three procedures in a single day. I am told that it would be wrong to compare water boarding to the joys of a four hour stint in the dentist's chair.

And in all fairness there is no doubt that it was my choice to be there. I was free to leave any time I wanted to but that provided limited solace and support. I still had lie back and listen to the sound of the drill and there was no doubt that the smoke I smelled was coming from the fire in my mouth.

There may not have been flames but it is not an exaggeration to mention the smoke nor to say that this time I was truly spitting blood.

So for two days now I have been sucking down Vicodin and Amoxicillin. For two days I have been shocked that my mouth feels like someone has been messing around inside there. Really, I shouldn't be surprised by any of this. The soft tissue isn't made to be stabbed, tied, poked and or prodded in this manner.

Needless to say I haven't been my normal cheerful self. Funny how not being able to chew on the left side of my mouth has made me a little bit edgy. But have no fear I am sure in the not so distant future you'll see the same old Jack you have grown to know and love- all sunshine and roses.

The Many Layers of Hell

I can't remember who said that there are many levels of Hell, but I know that there are many and that I have been to at least a couple. The Department of Motor Vehicles, The Mall during the holidays and most recently Costco and Trader Joe's market on a Sunday afternoon.

It is common knowledge among the intellectual elite that venturing to a Trader Joe’s, home of “Two Buck Chuck” vintage wines and fine cheeses will involve solving a puzzle that is a prerequisite for entrance into Mensa. It is called parking. Some sick man/woman in their corporate office gleefully searches for store locations that cannot support the traffic that the store will bring, or so it seems.

I conducted an unscientific survey in which I drove to four stores and then polled the people there and the three dogs that were tied up in front of the stores about this. All of them agree that parking at any Trader Joe's is an exercise in treachery and guile best left to politicians or those of low moral fiber.

But food is the way to my heart, next to the miles of veins and arteries interred inside my body and I decided that my family required sustenance. As the hunter-gatherer in the household I was required by nature to dare to traverse the challenges that this entailed.

So I ask the dear reader, was I just fool hardy on this errand or is it poor customer service to ask your customers to engage in demolition derby so that they can frequent your store in hope’s of buying food. All I know is that the experience in the parking lot was merely a warm-up for what was waiting inside. As I approached the store I grabbed a shopping cart and bravely entered, armed for bear and ready for hand-to-hand combat.

Needless to say I was not surprised to find aisles packed with hungry shoppers all of whom had the same shopping list as I. Who would have thought that we all needed cheese, soy milk, crackers, cereal, chocolate, wine, juice and produce, more specifically blueberries. The same evil executive who designed the parking lot was surely chuckling as we banged and bounced off of each other’s carts and bodies. In my younger days I would have enjoyed the adventure, but now it just rubbed me raw.

After what felt like days I managed to check out and take my purchases home for deposit into the refrigerator and cupboards. But something in my skull must have been jarred during this experience, because I knew that my shopping was not done. Now I had to run the gauntlet and go to Costco.

Costco, another parking nightmare not unlike Trader Joe’s, but on a much larger scale. Costco, where I knew that the primitives would lose their minds and trample me and small children in the fight to get the free sample of the seafood dip or the greasy slice of pizza. Costco where you go broke saving money by purchasing two tons of toilet paper at a time.

The good news is that you’ll never worry about wiping, but you may worry about wiping out your checkbook. That is assuming of course that you can get a parking space without being overcome by road rage. And assuming that you manage to win the fight to maintain composure there is still the very real chance that you may succumb to some other malady, some other shopping rage. There is only so much one person can take. You can’t be bumped and pushed a hundred times or prevented from reading the description of that new fruit drink they are offering. Heaven forbid, you might miss out on taking advantage of the deep discount they offer for a trough of butter.

Why oh why do the folks in Kirkland not understand that we want, no must have parking attendants in the lot, turn signals on the carts and signal lights on the aisles. How much more bruising can a person’s lower back take before Kirkland understands that shopping carts need padding.

Because the tragedy of this is that while you can shop at both of these stores online you cannot squeeze the pears, nor smell the sausage or appreciate the scent of a good melon. There are still some challenges that technology has yet to overcome. Oh the humanity of it all.

The Red Dress

"I thought about you for a long time
Can't seem to get you off my mind
I can't understand why we're living life this way
I found your picture today
I swear I'll change my ways
I just called to say I want you to come back home
I found your picture today
I swear I'll change my ways
I just called to say I want you to come back home
I just called to say, I love you come back home"
Picture- Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow

Sometimes the only explanation for the unexplainable is that there is no explanation. This is never more true than in what some people call affairs of the heart. When you are dealing with the heart there is nothing more frustrating than trying to apply the rules of logic and reason for no reason other than The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants.

It is exactly that simple. The heart wants what the heart wants and rational thought be damned. You can only fight it for so long before you realize that you can't apply mathematical formulas to your relationships. No matter how hard you try you won't find a scientific explanation that ties it all up in a neat little bow. But if your name is Johnny you have a thick head and a stubborn streak that won't allow you to accept this.

So you'll fight your heart and do your best to convince yourself that your head is capable of making good decisions, sound decisions that are based upon that logic and reason you so wish applied here. For a while force of will combined with a dash of anger/frustration will prove to be a recipe for some muted success.

During that time you will have managed to quash most thoughts of June or stuff them down so far that you don't feel the hole that her absence has created. Time passes and it becomes a little bit easier to convince yourself that you are doing the right thing. Each day without contact serves its purpose in providing you with a check mark on the mental calendar that you keep to prove that you can live without her.

But that only works for so long. It is effectiveness is challenged by odd coincidences that remind you of her. You know, things happen that make you wonder if signs are real and you ask the universe to stop sending this crap your way because you don't want to be made into a fool. And though you pride yourself on your strength to weather any storm you find that these signs are too odd to ignore.

They are combinations of names, people and places that you cannot associate with anyone else but her. You fight a bit longer to stay silent and to not scream at the world in anger. Anger because you can't explain the unexplainable and frustration because that which you want is unavailable. Anger because just when you think you are fine you find out that you are not.

This Time you can explain/blame some of it on a red dress. A simple red dress that just happens to be worn by the very same woman you are pretending not to love anymore. A simple red dress that she wears with elegance and grace. A simple red dress that looks so good on her you know that she can't walk through a room without other women silently cursing her.

It is not easy for you to see her from a distance. It is not easy because you feel a connection to her that never disappears. No matter how angry you might have been or how angry you may become with her that connection pulls you back in.

For a long time you sat in silence because you thought that was appropriate and because she gave you no reason to do other than that. You have told her more than once that you would be her hero and that you would storm any castle to rescue her. There are no dragons that you wouldn't fight nor challenges that you wouldn't take on for her.

But you cannot do it alone and you know this. You cannot give her the moon unless she is ready and willing to take it. Force of will isn't enough to make her do what she will not do of her own accord. Though it pains you terribly to accept this you do because it is the only thing that you can do.

For the time being you must continue to play the role of the hero who cannot rescue the damsel in distress. For the time being you must walk a separate path that you hope will one day intersect with hers. For the time being you must continue to dance in the fire because that's what is required.

But you can take solace and comfort that time is proving that you were right about many things. Right to let her go try to find her smile and to give her space to come back to you. And now if your gut instinct is to be trusted she is slowly taking steps in your direction. So while your instinct is to run towards her you stay planted where you are.

Planted in a place where she can find you and with open arms that will welcome her back to them. And in between it all you can't help but smile at the mental image you have of that beautiful woman in the red dress. So you close your eyes to block out the outside noise and picture her walking towards you. Long legs, dark eyes and a huge heart stare back at you and you smile broadly.

For the moment that is all that you have, this memory and this picture. It makes you snort and smile, this thought of how very strange life can be. Who knew that a picture of your girl in the red dress could make your heart pound like this.

Oh Mary
Was it just a dream
That I dreamed the other night?
I saw you there
Standing right beside me
And we finally had it right
Oh Mary Oh Mary Oh
Mary Oh Mary Oh Mary Oh
Talkin' out love
Mary Oh Mary Oh
No, I don't want nothing in between
Mary Oh Mary
Don't tie me to words that you don't mean
Mary Oh Mary Oh
I'm looking for something I never knew
Mary Oh Mary Oh
Oh Mary you know I'm looking for you"
Oh Mary- Neil Diamond

Must Blogging Have a Purpose

(Two years later I still ask some of the same questions)

About once a week I come across in article that offers stats that are supposed to show that blogging is so common that it is uncommon for people not to have one. My experience doesn't support that premise. I know very few people that have blogs or at least very few that admit to it.

As a point of clarification let me say that I am referring to people I knew prior to beginning my blogging career. With the exception of two people on the blogroll I really didn't know anyone who was blogging until after I leapt into the blogosphere.

The wild and woolly blogosphere who has finally gained acceptance as a medium that can affect public opinion. One of the great social equalizers. Here in the blogospheres looks and money are far less important than the real world. Here in the blogosphere anyone and everyone can become an internet hero and leverage their blog into fame and fortune.

"Fame and fortune, that is why people begin blogging, isn't it, Jack?" Now I am paraphrasing, but that is a question that I have been asked many times. It goes alongside of you have to be a real narcissist or have an ego the size of cleveland to blog don't you.

The answer to the question of "must blogging have a purpose" is no. It doesn't. There is no requirement to do so.

The critical question is why do you want to blog. Once you answer that question than it is much easier to determine what are appropriate follow up questions as well as what answers should be given for said questions.

If you can answer why you want to blog you can address whether your blogging should have purpose. I would argue that having a purpose offers significant advantages/benefits in that it allows you to construct a plan of action. Said plan provides opportunity to set goals and check them off your list. Some people love being able to make those lists just so that they can check off their accomplishments.

As is my wont I have been thinking again about where I want this blog to go and what I hope to achieve. It is not what it once was, although I am no longer sure what I thought that it was. At one point in time I tried to create a separate blog that I would use to serve as a tool to highlight important posts.

For a variety of reasons that blog kind of fizzled out. I suppose that you could attribute it to a lack of time and lack of a clear purpose.

So maybe the real answer is that blogging must have a purpose.

What do you think?

Facebook Privacy Issues

The Wall Street Journal ran a disturbing article that provided details about an investigation that they ran on Facebook regarding privacy issues. Take a look at this:

Many of the most popular applications, or "apps," on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing access to people's names and, in some cases, their friends' names—to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.

The issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to Facebook's strictest privacy settings. The practice breaks Facebook's rules, and renews questions about its ability to keep identifiable information about its users' activities secure.

The Journal ties this into companies that are building databases that track user activities online. The article says that 10 of the most popular apps on Facebook were transmitting user ID information to other companies. One of the bigger names that was listed was Zynga, the maker of Farmville,Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille.

Good old Zynga whose CEO Mark Pincus says "I Did Every Horrible Thing In The Book To Just Get Revenue Right Away." (Hat tip to Jessica Gottlieb for the video below)



His behavior is shameful and reprehensible. He talks about controlling his destiny as if that justifies his bad behavior. It reminds me of the discussion my son and I had following his soccer game last week. To recap, we were short one referee so the father of one of the players on the other team stepped in and did his best to ensure that his son's team could not lose the game.

Needless to say my son and his teammates were irate as were the parents. I am a hard nosed competitor and out on the field I do my best to give you all that you can handle but I don't want to win at any cost. And I don't want my children to be taught that it is ok to employ a Machiavellian strategy in life either.

Zynga is rightfully being sued for their actions here as is Facebook.
Lawsuits in California and Rhode Island are taking aim at Facebook and its largest application maker, Zynga, alleging that they violated federal law by sending identifying information about their users to advertisers and Internet tracking companies.
The lesson/reminder here is that it is important to pay attention and monitor the services and sites that you use online.

Teach Your Boy To Pee Like A Man


Visionaire Products introduces the Peter Potty® the worlds only flushable toddler urinal. With the Peter Potty®, the potty training time is reduced by 6 months on average. Because the Peter Potty® is adjustable, and the right size for little boys, it is eliminates accidental messes during the potty training process.
It warms my heart to see such an outstanding tool. On a serious note, it kind of irks me to see boys sit down unnecessarily. Stand tall and be proud.

With a little practice they can help extinguish a campfire because believe me, until you have experienced that little gem you haven't really lived.



(Yes, this post is recycled but we believe in being green.)

More Reading For Those Who Need it

They Violated My Home

The call came around a little after 11 A.M. It was my next door neighbor calling to say that he thought that his home had been burglarized. For a moment I felt like I had been sucker punched because I realized that I had heard the person/people breaking into his home.

A short while before I heard three loud noises. It sounded like a Pile Driver. It was loud and unexpected. I remember noticing that the dog and I both looked up. I said something to him about wondering where the construction was. The initial bang was followed by two more and then it was silent.

For a moment I considered walking outside to see what all the banging was about. It never occurred to me that someone was violating the sanctity of my neighbor's home. So since it was cold and wet outside I chose to stay inside and now I feel a pang of guilt about it.

One can argue that it is good that I didn't confront those responsible for this as it could have been dangerous. After all they took some televisions, stereo equipment and jewelry, just stuff that can be replaced. But they are my neighbors and what happens to them affects me. People who feel free to break into my neighbor's home could just as easily choose mine.

Needless to say when I received the call my neighbor was upset. He told me that he already called the police and was waiting in front of his house in his car. I told him that there was no reason for him to wait alone so I grabbed a pair of shoes and a Louisville Slugger and marched over.

But I made a point of going out the side door. I stood next to the block wall that divides our yard and listened, but didn't hear anything. The dog joined me on my excursion outside and made a point of barking loudly at the nearby squirrels.

For a moment I considered bringing him along but decided against it. I wanted him to stay inside the house. So I sent him back in with instructions to eat anyone he didn't recognize. I have conversations with him all the time. Some of those involve my providing instructions to guard my family. If I am not there it is his job to protect those children of mine.

As I marched out the gate I remembered a day years before when I felt like I had let them down. Daddy, They Have Mommy's Purse, it wasn't my fault then that they got the purse or that I didn't take the guy down. I am not second guessing my actions. I did the right thing, but when moments like this come up it bothers me a little.

I want the children to have complete faith in their father, to know that I will always protect them. Yet I also know that it is not possible to do so in the manner I would like to. I think what bothers me the most about the purse stealing incident was the loss of innocence that came with it.

My neighbor greeted me at the corner and told me not to go in the house or stand in front of the door. I didn't have any intention of doing either. I wasn't afraid of the burglar(s) as too much time had passed. I was confident that they were gone, but entering had other complications. He had already called the police and the last thing I wanted was for them to find me alone inside the house.

The police arrived moments later and checked everything out. Whomever had been inside was gone and we can all be thankful that no one got hurt...physically. And even though I live in a safe neighborhood it is another reminder to pay attention when things go bump in the night or during the day.

The Running Father

I stumbled across a four year old post today and read my words again. I stumbled across a four year old post today and read words that reminded me that some challenges never go away.
'On the subject of dreams there is always the question of how to fulfill those. What do you do to turn fantasy into reality. How do you bring the image in your head to life. Are you someone who is more content to dream or are you resourceful enough to turn fiction to fact."

For a moment I stared at the page and wondered how it is that I am still stuck in this place. Three weeks ago I wrote about Dreams I Have Never Had and described what it felt like to dream
"Sometimes I dream about things that never were and places that I have never been. These dreams I have are bold and bright filled with beauty, mystery and sometimes fear. Sometimes I see the echoes of a future I hope to have and fragments of a past that was. There are dreams that I can't quite describe but I can't tell you why that is.

Maybe it is because trying to remember a dream is bit like trying to hold water in the palm of your hand. If you squeeze too hard it quickly pours out all the nooks and crannies and all you are left holding are a few lonely drops. But even if you hold absolutely still you still find that in a short time most of it will still have found a way to escape. Drips and drabs slide down the sides and between your fingers."
I look at the words and I remember. Remember what it was like to be able to run with reckless abandon. Remember what it was like to run not for the sake of exercise and an endorphin rush but because children run. They run because they can and because little bodies have an enormous appetite for learning and a hunger to grow.

Little bodies have minds that aren't constrained by reality. They don't say that things are impossible because they don't know what it means. And as I stare at the words and remember I think again about what Thomas Edison said  "Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something." A broad smile graces my face and I realize that I am not really stuck where I was, progress has been made.
"There is something to be said for having a road map that you can follow to see that your dreams are fulfilled but there is also something to be said for enjoying the journey. Be of good cheer. Be strong. Be patient. Be tenacious and never forget that luck may be an occasional substitute for talent but there is no substitute for hard work."

Today my dreams have a shape and a definition that didn't exist back then. Four years later I am a different man. I have spent more than a few moments dancing in a ring of fire. Moments where I closed my eyes, grunted and screamed in frustration because there have been hard times. There have been situations which have tested my resolve.

I have wondered if I was being punished and questioned myself. I have closed myself off and looked inwards for answers and every time I have been at the edge I have found a way back. Every time I felt like I was going to be consumed by darkness I found a ray of light- sunshine that lit my way back.

I suppose that sounds a bit melodramatic and maybe it is but I don't care. The point and purpose of going through these moments in time is to grow or at least that is how I see it. The experiences I have had and the people I have met have helped me reach this place.

Now I am not going to say that I am thankful for all of it. Nor will I say that I am grateful for having undergone it all because I am not. Because I have spent more than a few minutes wandering through hell. I have lost hair and sleep over some of this. I have been through a mental and emotional ass kicking and I am not convinced that it was necessary.

But that was then and this is now. And now I find myself in a different place with thoughts, ideas and a goal. Now I find myself running on a soccer field with a host of children next to me. I challenge them all to a race. The six-year-old girls complain that it isn't fair so I give them a sizable head start and I still beat them.

Later on I'll take on the ten year-old boys, I still win but this time is different. For years I have been aware that one day I won't be faster than my son and his friends. Part of me can't wait to see how excited he'll be when he can finally beat me. That will be true joy and part of me is sad. Sad because I wish that I could run forever with him. Sad because there is such a limited window of time for us to compete and play together like that.

Sad because I am competitive and it is hard to imagine that I can't run like this forever but happy because I have rediscovered the joy of running like a child. Don't think that I ever really lost it, I just forgot about it for a while.

Another Guest Posting Gig

Today I have been given the honor of guest posting over at Motherese. Pop on over there and read a story that you don't know about me.

Things You Should Know About Me/Stuff I think About

I like to debate and I like to argue. I like to get the last word, but what does it all matter. I sometimes hold a grudge.

I like Pepsi and I like coke.

When I was a younger man, so much younger than today I never need anyone's help in any way. But I still needed ice cream.

A good pizza, a good beer and a clear summer night- this is the recipe for a good time.

I miss being able to eat with reckless abandon. I miss being able to survive for months at a time on 3 hours sleep. I don't miss being a poor college student.

Tonight I'll sing my songs again
I'll play the game and pretend
But all my words come back to me
In shades of mediocrity
Like emptiness in harmony
I need someone to comfort me


People I would have liked to have met:

King David, Samson, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Shoeless Joe Jackson, David Ben-Gurion, Casey Stengel, Harriet Tubman, Teddy Roosevelt, Ghandi, Winston Churchill, Julius Caesar, Leonardo Davinci, Galileo, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Benjamin Franklin. There are others.

If I had a hammer there might be a hole in the wall I am staring at.

Three Blind Mice, see how they run. What are the odds of finding three blind mice? What are the odds of finding all three together?

If I could relive a year of my life it would be 1988, or maybe 1985.

If I could go back in time I'd be rich.

If I could still dunk a basketball I still wouldn't be in the NBA.

If I had to pick one movie to watch I might have to poke out my eyes. I don't know if I can do that.

Somewhere in the blog is a comment from The Shmata Queen in which she promised that LeBron would lead the cavs to a championship. Woman, I told you then that he would flee the burning river and he did. Just one of many things I said that came true or will eventually.

I once hit a guy in the head with the bible. It was in a hotel courtesy of The Gideons. I don't know who the hell they are but they do get around.

If life worked out the way that I had planned it would be very different. If like works out the way I want it to- it will be very different.
I hate The Sound of Music.

I hate Elmo- would like to punch that stupid muppet in the mouth.

One day I am going to write a book.

I never will forget those nights
i wonder if it was a dream
remember how you drove me crazy?
remember how i made you scream?

Musical Morning and Some Links

A few links and some music:

Me & The Ultimate Fighter- Road Rage
Walking With The Dead


Courtesy of the  iTunes Shuffle:

As Good As I Once Was- Toby Keith
How Do You Like Me Now?! - Toby Keith
Waiting on a Woman- Brad Paisley
Thunderball- Tom Jones
Battle Without Honor or Humanity-Tomoyasu Hotei
Calling All Angels-Train
Panama-Van Halen
Long Live Rock (Kid's Are Alright Mix)- The Who
Rain in the Summertime- The Alarm
Why Should I Care- Diana Krall

Do You Have An Accent?

So here is the question of the moment, Do You Have An Accent? Not clear on what the meaning is, take a look at this link.

accent
The latter part of the definition is really what we are talking about.
The word accent in English is also understood to mean the pronunciation and speech patterns that are typical of a speech community;
As a child I never realized that all people have accents, or should I say that it never occurred to me that people would think that my own speech has an accent. I grew up on the West Coast, Los Angeles born and bred. We didn't sound like people from Long Island, Brooklyn, Nashville or Alpharetta.

And we certainly didn't sound like we had rolled out of Tel Aviv, JoBurg, Sydney or Mexico City. To be clear, I have always enjoyed accents. It tickled me pink to hear people speak English yet sound so different. In fact, there was a point in time in which I was disappointed that I couldn't speak with an English accent, but that was short lived.

It was during that famous summer of 1985 trip to Israel that I learned that people thought that I had an accent. I don't remember exactly when it happened, but I do remember some Israeli boy telling me that I speak Hebrew with a thick American accent.

Whoa. What do you mean that I have an accent.

One of the other people with me confirmed it. He was a Jewish kid from Buenos Aires. He said that I sounded like an American.

I was truly dumbfounded by this because until that point, I had never thought of myself as having an accent, that was something that other people had. But I had to admit that it made sense, it hadn't ever come up before.

In the years that have passed I have been told by others that I have an accent and I am sure that many of my international readers would agree with this. Upon occasion people tell me that they can hear some East Coast influence, or that pronounce some things like a Chicagoan.

I laugh when people think that I am from New York. IMO, my voice doesn't sound like that at all. If I am around people with a thick Southern accent it is not unusual for me to start to affect a drawl. I have been asked if I am from Texas.

As for Chicago, well half my family is from there, including my mother so there is probably some truth to that.

One of the funnier occasions came during a wedding I once attended. The bride was Irish and quite a large number of the guests had come to the states to help her celebrate her nupitals. During the reception I walked over to the bar and placed an order for a drink.

The bartender smiled and began preparing it. While he was doing so he looked at me and said:

"I have Irish relatives. What part of Ireland are you from?"

I laughed and said "Hollywood."

The bartender scratched his head and said "Wow, you know that we have a city called Hollywood too."

Now I'd like to say that it was an easy mistake to make. I'd like to say that he was competing with the band and that some trombonist was especially loud, but that wouldn't be true. The band was on a break. It was relatively quiet so I said,

"Begorra, this ale do taste mighty fine."

It probably sounded more like pirate than Irish, but it fit my mood and was lot kinder than asking him if I looked like Lucky the Leprechaun from the Lucky Charms cereal box.


And while we are on the topic of accents let me share something else. Someone once told me that Australian women loved to hear American men speak. The legend said that if you found a nice Australian girl your voice would give you an edge. As a scientist I have always been disappointed that I couldn't test that theory. In the interest of discovery and human development I would have enjoyed running a lab on that.

Anyhooo.................................................

Let's go back to the topic of the post. Do You Have an Accent?

This Time

A new insert for Fragments of Fiction;

"Ran into you yesterday
Memories rushed through my brain
it started to hit me
now you're not with me
I realized I made a mistake
I thought I needed some space
But I just let love go to waste

This Time- John Legend

It sounds like a cheap rip off of a Beatles song but when I saw you standing there my heart stopped beating for a moment. You took my breath away and for a moment I didn't know where I was or why I was there. And then just like in the movies there was a loud whoosh and suddenly time started moving and the loud noise that I found so irritating turned into a woman saying, "excuse me."

I moved out of the way and wondered what to do. You were standing there in a red dress, completely unaware that I was in the store. I took two steps backwards and one to the side. I was so stunned to see you there that I needed a moment to compose myself. Thirty seconds wasn't enough time to figure out whether I should slip away unseen or come say hello.

Don't think you ever realized how much I enjoyed just watching you. In the old days I would watch you brush your hair or read the paper. You always had this natural grace and beauty that was and is refreshing. No pancake makeup. I remember how sometimes you'd catch me looking at you and then say, "what." I'd tell you that I liked looking at you and sometimes you'd blush.

It used to make me laugh, but sweetly. Sometimes when we would kiss I'd keep my eyes open intentionally knowing full well that you'd feel me staring and open yours. But every now and then you'd fool me and I'd find dark eyes staring back at me with the same intensity as my own.

That intensity, it is part and parcel of us now, then and forever. Kind of silly to say now because there is no us anymore, at least not now. Or so I tell myself. It is what I have to say because my heart and my head are at war. I really don't know which one to trust or listen to. Can't help but believe that this is a break, just time apart.

But maybe I am wrong. Maybe I was a fool or am or still are. I just don't know. All I can say is that everything about you feels unexpected and un-something or other. It is like one day life was one way and then the next it was different. You were a part of it and things were better than they had ever been. I had found the great love of my life, the woman I called my girl and so much more. You helped me realize and understand things about myself and relationships that I had never known.

And then when you left it was complete carnage, a storm that came through and just wrecked my sense of perspective and understanding- destroyed my equilibrium. I kid around about being a hardass and a tough guy, but  in some respects it is true. I am freaking tough in every way and have been for years. It is just been a part of me for so long that I don't know how to reconcile having that hard shell torn off and no one there.

"It's so crystal clear now
that I need your here now
I gotta get you back today"


For a while I tried to get you back. I did what I could to appeal to you in every way that I could think of, but it didn't work. I told myself that you wouldn't really go away, said that it couldn't be. We both agreed that the world had to have a minimum of 10,000 people that we could fall in love with. It was logical, rational, made sense, but when have logic or sense had anything to do with love.

So I stand there in the store staring at you, thinking about all these things and remembering it all. A thousand thoughts swirling through my head I can't help but get frustrated. Is your appearance simply coincidence or is the universe sending me a message. If it is coincidence I don't have to do anything, I can just stand here and stare. But what if it is a sign, what if this is the universe saying, "go talk to her." What happens if I don't, am I blowing it again.

Coincidence doesn't mean that I can't talk to you or that it can't lead down the path I so dearly hope it will, but it might not. If I don't talk to you I can't be disappointed if you don't want to talk or the conversation doesn't go well.

But that doesn't sit so well with me either. I am not the guy who hides from life. That fire in my belly burns brightly because I go the distance, I take the chance that dancing in the fire might burn me. But oh lord that ring of fire we kid around about burns so fiercely.

"Last time I wasn't sure
This time I will give you more
I'm more mature
I'll show you
Last time I didn't know
I messed up and let you go
I need you
don't say no.

Lying alone in this room

All that is missing is you
pick up the phone
Won't you come home?"


That is what I want, for your to come home. That is what I want, to make a life with you and to fulfill the potential that lies there waiting for us to take it. And then you turn and look in my direction and my heart stops again. I almost fall down trying to hide from you. I am not ready, can't talk to you- not yet. I need another moment. I need to figure out what to say.

Got to have a silly story that I can tell, try to make you laugh. Got to have something innocuous that doesn't make me sound like an idiot but gives me room to make a dignified exist if necessary. I can see you staring in my direction. I know that look, you aren't sure if you saw me, but you suspect that you might have. At least that is how I am interpreting it. For all I know you might be wondering if your favorite ice cream is located over here.

And wouldn't that be fitting. Me standing here like some bumbling fool wondering if you have seen me while you are trying to figure out if this is the place to get some Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough or whatever flavor it is that you'd like.

See if life were like the movies you'd walk over here and I would be waiting with a box of Godiva chocolates and a dozen red roses. Do they sell either one of those in the frozen foods section? I don't think so.

My mind is racing a mile a minute so I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I need something to calm me down, center me. I want to open my eyes and be cool like Rick in Casablanca but am afraid that what will come out will be a cross between Rocky and Porky Pig.

The thought makes me giggle, "Eye of the Tiger" baby, that is what I need. For a moment I am lost, I can hear the song and I visualize myself in the gym punching a heavy bag. Can't help myself, I am the idiot shadowboxing with the Tombstone Frozen Pizza.

Now I can hear the theme to Rocky, Gonna Fly Now. I am running through the streets of Philadelphia, kids trailing after me, I am running up the stairs straight to the top- no stopping me. In a moment I'll be at the top, jumping up and down I'll throw my arms up in an exultation of victory.

Except when I open my eyes you'll be gone. My Adrian isn't running to the ring to congratulate the champ. There is no Paulie to exchange witty banter with and later when I get home there is no Mickey in my corner to tell me to keep fighting.

It is just me and my memories because for now I have to live my life alone and apart. Later I'll sit on the couch and admit that my heart is still broken and wonder how long before it heals this time. Because the one really valuable thing about life experience is that I know it will heal and that the sun is going to shine again.

And while I sit there I decide that it is good that we didn't speak. I have some plans of my own that I am working on. Got some things that I have to do, goals to be accomplished. I am doing them for you, but if God smiles upon us and we find our way back to each other it will be good for both of us. And if not it is good for me so it is a win-win.

Because though I still love and miss you I am living my life. It would be better if you were in it, but for now you aren't so I'll chalk this up as just time to get new stories to tell you. And I'll make a mental note to ask you to wear that red dress for me because you looked amazing in it.

Anyway, after that episode in the store I loaded up the iPod with Rocky and other workout music. Might as well make use of the extra time and energy. Not going to say goodbye because I don't say it so I'll leave you with the very hokey, "Gonna Fly Now."

The Week Is Over- Sort Of

Don't read this post unless you are prepared to embark on an experience like no other. It is not an exaggeration or hyperbole to say so, really it is not. Hell the damn Bloggess can write about a Bloody Horse so why can't I write the greatest post you have never read. So take a moment to listen to the words found below. I'll wait.


Are you done listening yet? It doesn't matter because time doesn't wait for anyone and Jack has to use the damn bathroom so he is typing furiously and talking about himself in the third person. Two days later and my mouth finally stopped aching from the visit to the dentist.

So happy to know that I get to go back next week to find out if I am going to have a root canal. Never had one of those and would prefer not to. It sounds about as enjoyable as allowing the doc to shove a camera up my butt so that he can confirm that the G.I. system is working properly.

Well, that damn G.I. system is not working the way that it should and it sucks. Unless of course you need a man who can be rented out a weapon of mass destruction. There, I just created a new position for myself. I am going to head over to Afghanistan with three quarts of chocolate milk and six pounds of Taco Bell. In less than an hour I'll have that Taliban running for the border or lying upon the ground incapacitated and begging for help.

Was that TMI? I sure hope not because I am just getting warmed up. Because the best part of engaging in that sort of horrific gastronomic experience is knowing that after it is all said and done I will be 27.8 pounds lighter. Damn, I ought to find out when my next high school reunion is and give myself the same treatment.

Of course it won't matter that my waist will suddenly allow me to fit into my 1985 pair of 501s because the damn hairline won't keep up. I have mixed emotions about that. I wore a flat top throughout the majority of high school. I loved my hair that way. I was a swimmer so I really didn't want much to begin with and even better was knowing that it was the perfect sleep and wear style.

I could roll out of my bed run two fingers through it and I was good to go for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow I get to play soccer coach again.  Most of the time I really enjoy it. I like giving back and coaching is an easy way to do it. But some of these parents need a heavy dose of reality kicking them in the ass. They have this misconception that their little Johnny is going to be good enough to play pro ball. It would be great if their opinion was based upon a realistic appraisal of their child's skills but it doesn't look  like it now.

I have a simple philosophy. Have fun and play hard. I want the kids to learn and improve but you don't bring them to AYSO to make them in to soccer stars. So grow up, get a life and stop making the kids miserable with unrealistic expectations. And remember I haven't any problem telling you stop acting like a douchebag so please don't.

Well my friends my kids are finally home so it is time for old Jack to sign off and go play with them. Be well, have fun and I'll check back in with you a bit later....maybe.

Lightning Is About To Strike

Lightning is about to strike again, not a doubt in my mind that we're going to see it live and experience in 3D. Some lips are bound to ...