Friday, October 29, 2010

Memories In Photo- Part 2

Dani in a self picture on the car ride down to Branson
Here's the whole family at a stop in Yellowstone. Dani takes wonderfully great photos, but it's even better to see her grace a few!
Mom with her boys at Rushmore, and one of her and Josh at our campsite outside Custer SD.

Nice shot of my wife, myself and our oldest out for a horseride up a mountain. It was my first time riding a horse. Dani was quite amused by me this day.
And of course, the obligatory old time photo of the family. Dani was looking a bit too sizzling for a family photo here, but hey, I don't mind checking her out in this outfit.

Here's my wife on the boat for a cocktail cruise before the fountain light show at the Landing in Branson. And a nice picture of us in the Hotel prior to dinner, where she dazzled in this self-made dress. The waiters fell over themselves, the men in the restaurant whiplashed themselves taking longer looks, and their women got a bit jealous. I was one proud man to have this Lady on my arm for the evening.

Memories In Photo Part 1

It was 14 years ago this week that I first laid eyes on my wife.

Here she is when we first started dating, in the middle of two of her friends wearing my jacket. Who knew what the future would hold?
Oh Yeah, here is what it held...her hanging out with some guy who refuses to take a normal photograph!
And here she is, posing with Buggy, our youngest.
and here's Buggy, probably trying to choke out his older brother Josh!
Then she decided to catch me at some point around my naptime, just to capture a photo of us together. Very rare since she's usually on the other end of the camera!
Here's Daddy unsuccessfully trying to intimidate one of his little goobers!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thoughts On Life For The Day

I'm a mere two days away from taking an adult education class on getting into the world of publishing. I'm excited for it, as this is the first time in a long time that I am attending something more in the formal education realm to actually learn something. Even though it is just one night for two hours, its almost like when I was young, and waiting for the first day of school to arrive.

When I was young, adventure came daily and cost me nothing but my time, and the allowance of my imagination to flow freely. As an adult, it seems like adventure is tied to money, whether it is to pay for gas to get there, a place to stay, or a fee to participate. Real life seems to get in the way and only allows so much time off to take advantage of, which is never enough time to do what you want to do. But maybe I'm missing a major point. Maybe, just maybe, certain aspects of real life are the adventure that we miss because we focus too much on the mundane activities, rather than enjoying the interactions with those people in our lives and those that occupy the spaces around us. Sort of 'failing to see the forest for all the trees in the way' kind of thing.

Growing up, I used to build forts in the ravine behind my old place. By even the worst of construction standards, it was crappily constructed. I'm sure the little pig-built house made out of straw was far more stable and pleasant to look upon. But it was my fortress or cabin in the wild frontier that I had conquered. The nearby creek was my fishing hole and a place to soak my feet, and the source of my fire fighting abilities. My firepit was built to occupy my need for playing with fire, to absorb the warmth it put off, and to ward off the evil things that lurked around after dark. If you wandered by, you probably saw nothing more than a mess. But if you asked me then, I could share my world and the imagination that built it with you.

When I was young, we used to dream of the day when our phone wasn't connected to the wall or a base by a short cord. We would be able to walk around whereever we went and hold our conversations with friends, be it in another room, to pay attention to our food cooking on the stove, be able to wash the dishes, or out walking the dog and not have to do that whole "I'll call ya back in a minute/hour" thing. Now that we have all that, I almost wish it back to the way it was. I find myself in the company of people with cell phones. We may be talking about important things, or just talking about the weather. Then their phone notifies them of a text, an email or an incoming call. Without hesitation or thought, their attention goes directly to the phone. It must be checked out and attended to. While they may get back to me afterwards, it always made me feel like I was merely filler material between the important things to them. The text must be acknowledged immediately, and possibly responded to even, before their attention would turn back to me. Or if it were a phone call, suddenly the personon the other end became more important, even if it was a conversation about nothing. It always made me feel like I wasn't good enough to be a priority in anyone's life, even if we were the only two people physically present. Rather than being a tool, the cell phone became an addiction, a dependency- for how many people's lives are ruined for the moment when they forget or lose use of their cell phone? Whatever happened to unplugging for a moment and ignoring the damn thing, especially in the presence of actual people right in front of you?

I once mentioned this to someone, and right afterwards their phone rang. They looked for a moment at the phone laying on the table, and then back up to me. I could see it in their eyes that they really wanted to answer the phone, HAD to answer it. I told them to just answer it, as they're not answering it was merely trying to prove a point, since they had already done this a few times prior in the same conversation to me before I talked about it. And so they did. I took the moment to get more coffee and get rid of the previously drank coffee in my system. Hell, I've had my wife do this multiple times here at home, as well as when she and I are out and about somewhere together. It's not an indictment of her, or the other people for that matter, but rather of the societal/cultural addiction to the damn devices. However, I feel, and I'm sure others have felt this about me at the same time, that if and when I might demand they ignore it and pay attention to me, that I'm merely being selfish and quite frankly annoying the hell out of them. And of course that means they'll avoid the annoyance and focus on someone or something else instead. It seems like I'm in some kind of catch-22 situation, that I either put up with it and feel like a 2nd class citizen or say something and alienate myself altogether, but maybe I'm just overthinking things.


I have always loved to go out and observe nature. To enjoy the pure beauty of a river or lake, the mountains, a large forest or small wooded ravine, the animals in the air, on the ground and in the water. But now, I like to watch certain people around me as well. Not just any people. I find beauty in seeing my kids asleep, or watching them play with each other and/or their friends and hear them laugh their little kid laughs as they enjoy themselves. I love to peek in on my wife when she is taking a nap on a saturday afternoon, or when she is going through her closet looking for something to wear, or just looking the stuff over to see what she's keeping or giving away to Goodwill. I like watching her cooking or cleaning...not because those things may benefit me, but to see her move about with purpose and grace. I find these things beautiful.

Photos and video of these things just do not have the capability to truly capture these small moments in life. They are something that are truly more enjoyable and fully appreciated when you see them in person. And I think that we, well me specifically, take them for granted and don't appreciate them as fully and as often as we should. I think if we did, life would be a lot more enjoyable than we make it out to be, especially if we remember those moments when we're doing the stuff we don't care to do, like cleaning up the litter box or paying bills.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Extending My Reach, Expanding My Realm

So recently I have posted a bit on my journey into and through manhood. I have spent a lot of time reading on the subject, and reflecting on my own life, seeing what matches up between the two; what matches up with my ideas or not.

When I was growing up, I was often out away from the house, away from my parents. Most of the time by my own volition, other times at their behest. Turns out that I could be a bit of an annoying pest from time to time- go figure. I longed for adventure as a kid, but was always told to play it safe. Do this, don't do that, blah blah blah. Most often I would do the do list in public. Conforming to those around me. Rather than be me, I tried to please people. Out of sight, I often participated in the don't list, occasionally with my best friend, but many times on my own. I was told be a boy, but be a good boy. The times I was told to be a man, was when I complained of a perceived injustice or at a moment of injury. Beyond that, I never really knew what a man actually is. I saw the loner in John Wayne, Mr all-American heroic cowboy who could do anything. I liked that idea and set it into my brain. Well, I achieved the loner part pretty easily. For when I was alone, I could do things, and if I failed, it was only me who knew. When I tried and failed at something in front of others, the message was quite clear that I was not good enough. When I would express my dreams to do something, like be a pro ballplayer, I was often confronted with the stats on how little chance there is, and how I should think more realistically, more practically. I liked my dreams, but they were just illusions in my head. The real world just didn't have a part for me in that dreamworld. Rather than push myself, I bought into all the hype entering my ears and eyes, and slowly resigned myself to a life of dull necessity.

I remember once, when I was older and I was making my car payments through my dad who had cosigned the loan for me. I had worked many hours day after day, and I walked into my dad's work while I was in town to give him the money to write a check to the bank. I gave him well over a thousand dollars in cash to cover my $100/month expense as well as a huge payment on my car loan. I didn't say anything, but I still had $600 in my pocket and another $900 in a bank account. I was quite pleased with myself. And my dad commented to his co-worker who was standing nearby about how responsible I was being, and that he was quite proud of me in my dealings. I'm sure he had mentioned being proud of me about other things at points along the way, but that was the first time I really truly realized he was saying this. So in my mind, the job of a man was to go to work, and pay his bills. In a nutshell, that's what it took; all it took. Dad and I never really talked about what it is to be a man, and I never bothered to ask. I just watched, and went with what my eyes saw and my ears heard in the public realm.

Then I got married, already with one child, and later we would have a 2nd son born to us. So, it was time to man up. I had a job, I worked hard to pay the bills, and make sure we had a roof over our head and food in our belly, along with a little extra money to help cover incurred debts along the way. I got up, kissed the wife goodbye, went to work, came home, ate food, watched TV, played with the boy for awhile, went to bed, and repeated it the next day. Here I was, Mr Provider, Man of the House, doing my duties of work and paying bills. We would do family oriented things from time to time, but mostly my life was centered around work and bills. My wife and I would get into arguments over little things. Me being me, would argue that this cant be done, or we cant go do that, because I need that money to pay this bill or that bill. My life had literally become centered not around my family and living life, but around what bill was due next, what problem came up that I was going to have to pay for now, how many hours could I be allowed to work to make up for this new discrepancy in my financial outlook.

In essence, I became what I thought I saw my dad to be. A man works and pays his bills. I never saw the other side of him, the side that drew my mother in and makes her love him to this day. (I can't see it; he's always got a bit of stubble going on, and in my estimation a bit ugly. Just kidding, Dad!) My wife struggled in her life as well, especially with the marriage. As a guy, I hunted her down, I pursued her, and eventually I was able to persuade her to be mine. And then, it just slowly died out. I made the compliments here and there, I tried to do things for her, get her gifts, take her places, whatever. But the hunt was over, and I was drunkenly complacent, not unlike a guy right after a healthy sized Thanksgiving meal. I just sat about wasting away, waiting for my belly to be unstuffed. I basically 'took a nap' in regards to her, focusing mostly on the man things of going to work and paying the bills.

While I did those things, I left her home to take care of the kids, clean the house, and just be the good domesticated wife. Of course my wife was never really built for that role alone. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to cooking, and mothering and just about any task, my wife is at the top of her game. Even in the work world, my wife sets the standards for herself well above that of her coworkers and even the expectations of her superiors. She learns, adapts and applies knowledge quickly, as though she has known it all along. In fact over the past couple years, instead of just bitching about her 'promotions' that came with pay cuts and increased responsibilities, she merely took ownership of her role, expanded her knowledge base, and was probably more adept at her job than anyone there, including her superiors, who were merely personnel managers as far as action goes.

With the absence of my emotions in the form of communication and support (I seemed more worried about how much her paycheck was and when it came in, and what bills needed paid), she turned to her work as a major focus. She turned more to the support of her friend instead of me, who could be counted on mostly to just do the same crap I was doing every other day. My complacency wasn't just a self-identity killer (as I hid myself behind my job), but it was killing my wife's femininity in regards to me. I had realized, only well after the fact, that I had slipped from actively loving my wife to merely taking her for granted. I have since learned that this is the quickest way to kill any sense of romance in a marriage. My wife just settled into her routine, patiently waiting for me to hear her, actually hear her, and to correct my mistakes in regards to how I live my life, as well as how I treat her, but one saying comes to mind: Abused patience turns to fury. - Thomas Fuller

She has felt that she was no longer the adventure, not inspiring enough, and not worth my efforts, but just too much trouble for my self-absorbed lifestyle and mindset to deal with. In other words, she didn't feel that she was the beauty to be loved wholly. In response to this, it is only natural that a woman puts up her self-defenses towards men in general, and especially the men in her life that can still hurt her, like her husband.

To a certain degree, I recognized this on an intellectual level, but I wasn't truly learning it. As I have done my reading, I have extended my reach of reading into the world of women. I'm new at it, and by no means an expert. In fact, I'm scared beyond my ability to fathom such fear. Men are simple and easy to figure out. Women are a bit more complex. Yet I press on, because if I am ever to be able to get it, I am going to have to expand myself into the realm of a woman, to understand her mind, her heart and her soul. This is the part of true manhood, which I never really knew about. I grew up knowing only a few things about girls: they have cooties (we all learned this early on), they are nothing but trouble (I learned this from DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince as well as shows like Jerry Springer), and as guys we just like them for some damn reason we can't figure out (and sex-ed class never answered that question)...which goes back to the trouble part. We know we want them, whether or not we know why, and once we have conquered them so to speak, we look around for the next one to conquer. Essentially most guys are bastards at some point in their life, with some of them eventually figuring out that isn't the way to go. Some guys remain just guys, and not men. Just because you turned 18, or moved out of your parents' house does not mean you're a man, in the true sense. Trust me, I've done both, and at the age of 31, I'm just beginning to fully realize that maybe I wasn't truly a man, but a still a lot more so a boy, or just a guy.

Most guys prefer to look at life as a series of puzzles and problems to be solved, and this applies to our attitude as women as well. Rather than looking at a woman as a problem to be solved, we forget that a woman is a vast wonder to be explored. An adventure to be had everyday of our lives, using our strength as men to tackle the adventure that is a woman. Not to conquer her and move on, but to get to really know her at the innermost intimate levels (not just sex). But to fully expose yourself to her, and allow her to feel safe in secure in making herself naked to you (again, in the proverbial sense). But to take a woman for granted, over a long period of time, can result in her building walls around her, that she feels she has to protect herself, control her world, to avoid the pain that a guy can bring her, to avoid the painful vulnerability and broken trusts that are the risk of any real relationship. In essence, by being just guys instead of men, we steal a woman's femininity, her very core, forcing her to replace it with something else a little less natural. Many of of guys act like we listen, but often we just hear the noises associated with Charlie Brown's teacher, and never get to understand the women in our life. And when they suddenly shoot lightning bolts out their eyes at you, or worse yet display apathy towards you, as guys we stand (or sit) there completely dumbfounded, as to why this might be. We run through our head what we have done. We went to work, we paid the bills, we took out the trash, we didn't cheat on her. What in God's name could be wrong?

Well, maybe that's the problem. We forgot about God. We forgot the true name that God gave us as men made in his image, instead bearing and living out the name the world gave us. We forgot that our wives or girlfriends are essentially the daughters of Eve, the mother of all mankind. That we are to continually seek and pursue her as much as we are expected to do with God. We are to seek true beauty, and true love with all our heart, in a never ending journey. For God really is both love and beauty, and a woman is the bearer of that image of God. Now, I see why we feel this natural inclination towards women. there is, no matter deeply buried, something in us that tells us to go after the woman. But as with most things, we always think we have the next day, or the next week, or year, or whatever to accomplish whatever project or mission in life we have slated for 'later'. But we really don't know, if you really think about it, if any of that will come to pass. We take today for granted, and thusly our women for granted. I know I have, and as I have been reading and seeing the truths for the first time in my adult life, I feel as though I'm being hit by a brick from Heaven. That brick is full of knowledge, but it hurts like hell when it smacks you. Like a spanking to a child, it sometimes requires a little bit of hurt, or a lot (my dad could really pack a wallop), to make the message clear. Taking a time-out doesn't always cut it, but rather the issue needs to be addressed swiftly and directly. Maybe then the lesson will take, and the mistake won't be repeated anymore.

Also as I read, and I have seen communications from friends or words spoken to me from a friend about situations they have had, and I hear, see, and feel the beauty they bespeak, and it pains me to hear it. It feels like hell, because what they write or say sounds wonderful, and romantic, and like the perfection of a dream world encapsulated in the small moments, and I realize that I didn't necessarily give enough of myself to provide my wife with more of a love story to such a high degree that she deserves. I realize life on earth and in relationships isn't going to be always perfect, but it could be more perfect than what it is now with even just the slightest efforts, of which I have withheld. I hold many good memories, many great thoughts and affections for my wife, but inside of me. I rarely let them out. I don't know if I'm just subconsciously trying to be the strong silent type, or if I'm scared of being told off or rebuffed in anyway to avoid my own pains.

I remember first seeing my wife in October of 1996 at our place of work. She was a vision of beauty to beheld. She had on jeans and this deep blue sweater. When I met her outside, she had on a heavy coat, and the hood was pulled tight around her face that only her eyes, her cute button of a nose, and her small mouth could be seen. I was very smitten with her. I didn't care who she was dating, married to, or whatever, I had to know this one girl; this beautiful woman who made my stomach churn, my legs weak, and not just my heart, but my mind skip a beat. I had to be careful and slow down my speech in order to sound like I had things 'together' and be impressive and all that manly macho bullshit I was convinced was the way to be.
And after 14 years since I first saw her, she still turns me on as much now as she did then. I just found a way, to my own detriment as well as demeaning to her, to hide it better.

I regret that beyond almost anything I have ever done in my life. And yet, I know that before I can repair us, I must first retool and build myself up to where I'm supposed to be, to be my true self, before she can accept my overtures in the same manner she did in our more innocent first days of teenage love. I think my lesson is one that many guys need to learn, and the quicker the better. For if one is truly honest, it's much easier to build up a happy woman than it is to heal her hurts that you inflicted.

And yes, even the thought of such a journey, to explore our own emotions, much less those of a woman, is one of the scarist ideas we can have. Acting on it as a mission is even scarier. Yet, regardless of the outcome in our personal life, we can draw upon the strength of God to enhance the warrior, the adventurer that lives within our soul, to make this journey into the unknown realms. We shall come out stronger in the end, should we see ourselves through it. And if we have a significant other in our lives, maybe that relationship, even if all seems to be lost and over, can become stronger and fuller than we could only imagine it to be in our dreams.

You just have to make yourself vulnerable, no matter how scary or hurtful the idea may be, and give everything an open-minded and honest chance. To go about it any other way is both unfair to yourself and those you love, but dead wrong in the approach.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Going It Alone

I'm sure the title of this post has some of my reader's a bit curious, wondering if I'm alluding to something in my personal life. Well, yes and no.

It is my personal life since I'm involved, but it's also more of a general plan. Some readers may be aware that today is technically my wife's last day at her job. She left a little while ago to her office, where at some point she will be conducting her exit interview with her boss, who is in Texas, over the phone. As of the moment she doesn't have a next job lined up.

However, as stressful and scary as that may seem (and believe you me, there is a certain amount of stress, as my wife prefers to be active and moving forward), she did quite well for herself. She has 2 months of salary continuation and benefits lined up, which will get us to just about Christmas. She was also good enough to have secured herself a retention bonus. She intends on using that to purchase a second vehicle. This will enable the both of us with a bit more freedom to pursue our options. It will open up the hours of availability to work without necessarily having to worry ourselves about who's giving who a ride to work, or if alternate transportation needs to procured just to get to and from our respective work places. Also, in the event of a family function (which is always out of town)on either side, time won't need to be cut short for all, just because one of us needs the vehicle for work purposes.

It will also allow me the opportunity to expand my area of job searching to procure myself a second temporary part or full time job. As of the moment, I'm basically limited to my feet and/or a bike. With winter coming up, here in Iowa, that is not a pleasant option. I already work out in that crap with my current patrol job. Let me tell you, it is not the least bit fun. Well, okay, maybe the occasional fishtailing of the patrol car gets my adrenaline going and offers me a moment of feeling alive while performing mundane tasks.

Now, my wife is currently pursuing all avenues of employment opportunities, so as to make her salary continuation go that much further, be it for Christmas, paying off a bill or two, getting a little more car than her bonus can provide for, or to invest in her business. Either way, I'm not too worried about her employment prospects. She has worked very hard in her current job to advance to her managerial position, and has used the last couple weeks to learn more and further her training certifications to make her even more valuable to any prospective employer. I suspect she will end up with an even better job with more money, despite the economy doing its best to tank every one's bank account. She is a strong woman, with a strong will and desire to succeed at anything she puts her mind to. And believe me when I tell you, despite a lack of college degrees, she can easily learn, take on tasks, and excel beyond all expectations at any opportunity you give her a shot at. She really is that good. It can be quite intimidating at times to be in the company of such a strong woman. For a long time I subdued myself to her natural born leadership abilities, and have spent the last few years more or less hiding in my job, not progressing as I should be, preferring security (financially, not my job title) over success and any risk involved in attaining it. But to see how she has risen from temporary employees right up through the ranks of a major company, taking on the jobs of her superiors who were unwilling or unable to handle their own jobs, to eventually ending up in their position...well it's rather inspiring. I never took enough time to say these things to her face as standalone comments. When I did mention them, it was often couched between other subjects or me ranting on about something or another that wasn't that important, so she often missed me saying it when I did. So, Dani, let me be clear now as I have not been before: You are all these things and more!

And it took me quite a while, and a lot of introspection to get over the envy I had of her, but I too see myself moving forward one day at a time. I have a few old, long-ingrained, bad habits to rid myself of, but day by day, I get a little closer to that.

So now, in addition to regaining a second vehicle we are pursuing a path in which the both of us can financially sustain the family on our own. while she will maintain a full time job, she will also be pursuing her business goals to achieve the dreams she has for her family- financial security, the ability to help family as well as charitable giving, traveling, etc.

As I gain traction and secure that second job for myself, I will also be able to fulfill a few of my dreams- ridding myself of old debt (and avoiding any new debt that I can), fixing my teeth up so that I might have a more permanent and pretty smile to match this award winning face for radio that I possess. I can also afford to pay someone to workout with me and keep me motivated towards getting back my old body (except even better), and it will also open up the military option for me. All of that along with the book writing, will help move me toward the position to know that I could take care of my family if some freak accident left me alone to care for the family all by myself.

Now, we're not entirely alone in this as the title and thus far the body of this post might construe. My wife has been putting forth effort to help me with my writing, in technical terms as well as keeping me motivated to keep going even when I have those days where I just don't want to do anything more at the moment, along with advice on future projects I'm already looking at. And of course, as my side of the financial equation rises as well, it will also allow me to help her in her personal endeavor by providing more investment and revenue streaming through her business lines (I'm not sure if I'm allowed to give out her affiliations or not- if she gives me the go ahead, I'll re post and add it in later, as well as hit on it in the comment section for your updating pleasures).

Combined, not only will our efforts help us out financially, but it will give us the opportunity to help our kids participate in more of the activities, sports and otherwise, that often times have seemed cost-prohibitive to us. In addition to that, when we see someone in need, be it my buddy and his wife raising money to adopt their two daughters, or a local charity or just a stranger in need. If our hearts are moved, the decision to give or not won't be so easily influenced by the almighty (well, maybe not so mighty these days) dollar bill.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A New Accolade for The Mind of Mookie

After years of hearing the legal fine print voiced over in commercials on TV, and reading it in advertisements for contests, I have come to the conclusion that Rhode Island is filled with nothing but very, VERY boring people.

You can't participate in any contests that might garner you a little extra cash, special vacation cruises, or vacations period. I have deemed that this blog, The Mind of Mookie, shall join the extremely extensive list of items banned of voided in the Commonwealth that is Rhode Island.

I may not be the smartest or the funniest guy within my small circle of the vast blogosphere, but I'm pretty sure that I have had enough funny moments provided to me by the cat or my kids, that the content has exceeded the allowable levels of fun set by the powers that be in Rhode Island. Thusly, if you look up, you will see that I have made this distinction in the subtitle.

Yes, like most other awards I have, I made it up and have done nothing of importance to earn them. I have not received an official letter from the State/Commonwealth of Rhode Island. However, if anyone can pull the right strings, I'd appreciate a nice framed copy of an official resolution from their legislators declaring this blog and/or me void in their state. There's really two parts as to the why I want this to happen. One, it gives me a superficial feeling of false importance. And two, if I'm void there, I think it might hold up in the right courtroom if they try to nab me for excessively speeding through that tiny little dominion. After all, if I'm void, then clearly I don't legally that mailbox that got hit by a car, and the other car that got sideswiped a couple blocks later while the police gave chase... literally all happened over NOTHING! Although I suppose that technically I'd need a lawyer to craft a change of venue to California for the trial, since that may be the only place in this great country of ours with an insane enough judicial system that such an argument could work.

Of course I shouldn't have to worry too much about it anyways. I'm not exactly as puritanical as those people, and for all I know they have a toll booth to get into the state where you are also given a morality exam prior to admittance. For residents leaving, they probably hand out free King James Bible's to any persons not carrying there own copy while traveling outside to the heathen states. "

"Must resist the temptation to play the New Jersey Lotto. Must resist signing up for a free barbecue grill and accessories kit at an out of state supermarket. Must resist pulling up the internet and visiting the Mind of Mookie blog. Please Dear Holy God O Lord, give me the strength to resist the evil temptations that might make life worth living that I might again return to this Holy Sanctuary of a state where I can again learn to love the joys of boredom and smacking my head with a ball-peen hammer repeatedly to end my want for physical life and any jopy it might actually bring so that I might come and rejoin You in Your Glory...Amen"

I'm not sure, but does this mockery of ultra puritans count against me at the Pearly Gates?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Writing To Write

So, its been a couple of weeks since I've written anything down on this blog. Most of my writing during this time has been either notes to my wife, or adding more writings to one of my books.

At count yesterday, formatting the book to a smaller size than the standard Word document of 8.5" x 11", I had 150 pages typed out. I have since added a few more chapters. Obviously it is all rough draft at this point, and I expect once I move forward with the publishing aspect, that an editor will start eviscerating my works and paring it down to a much smaller number. So the more I write now, the closer I'll be towards having a book of decent length when I go into my rewrites.

I have also used some of my weekend to hang out with my boys. The youngest boy, Buggy, recently learned how to ride his bike. Last weekend all four of us took a short ride around our part of town. Since then I took the boys onto a nearby walking/bike trail for some more experience off the streets. The oldest boy, Josh, has just been speeding along on his bike, getting out ahead of myself and Buggy, before stopping and waiting for us to catch up, and then continuing on his merry little way. Josh was sick this weekend, and is in fact on the couch behind me right now, home from school. So Buggy and I went for a nice little ride father-son ride by ourselves while Josh hung out at home and my wife was baking pies and cleaning the house. I don't get any of the pie. this is a bit of a disappointment to a pie lover like me, but it is the going exchange rate for our friend Trevor coming over and helping me fix the brakes on my car. Pretty sweet deal I'd say.

Anyways, Buggy got to decide which way to go, which he took great delight in. We road through a small residential subdivision to the west of us that is a pretty hilly terrain. He had mixed feelings about the downhill treks at times, worrying he was going too fast and might wreck himself, but he soldiered on and even managed to use his little legs to pedal himself right up some fairly long hills. There was only one moment in which he scared the bejeezus out of me. We were going on a downward slope, and as we traveled down the sidewalk he was out in the lead, pedaling away instead of coasting. I saw the car beginning to back out of the drive. I yelled at him to stop, but sometimes his own panic causes him to seize up and not hit the brakes. Luckily the car stopped and he steered himself right around it. I had the girl in the car apologizing to me for not seeing him, and him apologizing to me for not stopping in time. I was just glad he was okay, and did not relish the idea of having to tell his mother to meet us at the emergency room because he got smacked by a car! From there, we went and road on the bike trail once again, stopping for a few moments for him to play at a playground that abuts the trail, before coming home. I'm not used to the biking after so many years that I was getting tuckered out, and eventually he too was getting tired in the legs, as he opted to walk the bike up a few hills not nearly as steep as the ones he had pedaled up before.

I've also spent a considerable amount of time just reading. Mostly on the subject of manhood, and how to be a more considerate, participating, and loving husband and father. I've come to realize that I've spent most of my adult life, more as a guy than an actual man. So, while its taken me some time to wake up from the me-centric self I have been, I'm working on improving that aspect of my life, so that I might be a better person all around as God intended for me to be. And to play my part as leader and scout and provisionary for my family that He also intended for me.

Right now I'm reading the book Tender Warrior by Stu Weber, a former Special Forces guy turned Pastor. Once I'm done with that I will be diving into Wild At Heart and its sequel by John Eldredge during my time of personal and spiritual development. Now I just have to learn how to loosen up some more around people in public instead of being the frumpy, keep-to-myself jackass I've turned into over the years.

That's really all I have to say at this point in time. So welcome to October I guess...