Saturday, October 30, 2010


Damp, dirty blond hair fell over Silas Bane's young face. Bleary eyed from too much beer and some other "party" substance, he looked through the sharp spotlights and saw at least a thousand people frothing for his entertainment. He looked over at his bass guitar player Kenny and he mouthed the words "let's melt their faces". With a tiny, gray, plastic guitar pick located between his sweaty thumb and middle and pointer fingers he raised that arm above his head, looked into the anxious eyes of the crowd and yelled "one, two, three, four,!" and threw his right arm over the gray and black Les Paul electric guitar and strummed with fury. The audience jumped with excitement and screamed their approval as the band ripped through a gritty song of bluesy punk angst. Silas' heavily tattoed arms and raw energy tapped into the fans' need to release and he smirked and snarled his way through the song. Maybe 50 feet away, a tall dark haired man of about 40 years old, with green eyes and a weathered countenance, semi-long hair and crows feet starting in his experienced face and a body that had several arm tattoos of it's own; watched quietly, with arms crossed. Although his body language said a lot,  kept his opinion to himself. No cheering, no singing along, no clapping. Dean Hellenbach had seen it all before. Someone young, with some discernible talent, whipping a booze and possibly more fueled music hall into a frenzy. He wasn't being critical. He was observing; seeing how the young singer with dirty blond hair, and snarky vocal delivery went about showing his art. Dean had been Silas, twenty years ago. Further back in the concert hall, much further back, almost next to the beach, that was over 100 feet away from the stage the dirty blonde haired singer raged on, stood another dark haired man. He was older and his hair was much shorter. His face showed time. More than middle aged. Wearing a dark blue suit without a tie, and no sign of tattoos he watched Silas bane and Dean Hellenbach. With eyes as black as charcoal, and a stare as deep as an ocean, the odler man smirked ominously. He had definitely seen all of this before. You could even say he was the man who made this moment in time happen. When Silas and band Agent Tangelo finished his set before the beach crowd, the oldest man would put his plan into action. His plan was twenty years in the making. His plan was to change the lives of Silas Bane and Dean Hellenbach. It was time.

*bloggers note* This is my first page of 175 to 200 covering about 50,000 words. I am writing a novel over the month of November. It will be called Hellandback; a rock and roll horror story. Stay tuned, thanks for reading, hope you like it all. Starting November 1st, my story will be posted as it is written over at

thanks for reading

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bust A Move

Since the day Bobina and I married, almost two years ago, we have talked about moving. We met, wedded, blended our familyand adopted a golden retreiver in less than a year. The entire time we acknowleged that our town house was on borrowed time. When we got back from our short vacation earlier this month we started talking about it more and actually looking around for a place. We saw this two story house with hardwood floors and a fenced in backyard. It seemed like home. Like our marriage, our family, our dog, and well, everything else we are about, we wasted no time in getting this house. Today, we handled the paperwork and sweet talked the authorities involved into giving us the keys three days early, Friday, so we could move in before I hit the road again to Houston on Monday.

Omitting the address, size of the bedroom, and what we paid, I can tell you that the place has 3 bedrooms, a garage with inoperable doors, which we prefer so we can store stuff and have the girls use it to play in, plenty of area inside and out for Buddy, the dog, and lots of hardwood floors, which Bo and I love.

Most importantly, it's our first house as a family. The kids are so excited, you'd think we were moving into Toys R Us (or Abercrombie and Fitch for Tay) and their enthusiasm has really helped Bobina and I with the stress of moving. It's only about a mile or so from where we live now, so the kids won;t be negatively affected, school wise. Follow me on twitter @TLanceB and I'll tweet moving pictures and settling in pictures.

Thanks for reading. The blog is averaging over 70 hits a day and I appreciate every click of your computer. By the way, through my crew over at I have signed up at a writing site where in the month of November I'll be writing a 50,000 word novel over a 30 day period. So, I'll be traveling for work, moving into a new house, and writing a book. That's what you call busy. Don't worry, I'll stay medicated.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hey Jealousy

Her walk was quick. Her normal, casual warmth replaced with an unbidden fury. Looking for answers to questions she never wanted to ask the man she fell in love with, she burned inside. She saw him across the room talking to a woman that wasn't her. She ignored politeness and threw cordiality into her furnace of jealousy. Interrupting his conversation, she grabbed his arm, clenched her teeth, and spit "what are you doing? who is she? " He narrowed his eyes and acknowleged her mistake, "Suzann, this is my cousin, Helene, I was just telling her how perfect you are."

*blogger's note - This is my week's entry for 's 100 word challenge. This week's one word prompt was UNBIDDEN. Please visit my friend's site and read the fine writers and their submissions. You won't be disappointed. As always, no wagering. My wife would like for me to run the disclaimer, while she is the inspiration for the character of Suzann, this 99 word post is fiction. Maybe. I mean, it is. I promise. Whatever.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 25, 2010


My girls worry about me sometimes. The youngest ones think I need something to protect me in the car on my long drives. Carly, the six year old, bought me the Spiderman. Lyla, the seven year old, knows Green Lantern was a favorite of mine when I was their age, so she got me, him for my last birthday. I thought that the girls saw Spiderman and Green Lantern as heroes and thus, considered their "powers" real so that's why they thought I needed them. I was wrong. Talking to Carly and Lyla aka Goose and Bug, they told me that, when I was a little boy, superheroes were important so I would like having them to protect me. According to them, they don't need superheroes. They have mommy and daddy and sometimes their oldest sister when she isn't being mean. This, of course, made Bobina and I swell with pride but then we started thinking about what comic books, Star Wars people. superheroes, Disney Princesses, etc meant to all three of our kids. They told us they just liked them, they were funny, fun to watch, and fun to play with but they weren't "real". Maybe my kids are weird, well ok, they are, but I think today's children are more self aware and quite frankly, smarter, about what real life means to them.

Today, I read an article about the people who are now caretaking the Superman comic book image, changing him to be edgier, more maleviolent, moodier, and even changing his costume to a hipster vibe with a hoodie and skowl.

At first I tweeted how dumb it was, but then I started thinking; if my kids don't put superheroes on a lofty perch, then maybe today's comic book writers need to make Superman less symbolic and more entertaining. Heck, I always thought Superman was an alien dork who needed to loosen up and be dark like Green lantern and a smart alec like Spiderman. I don;t know if a hoodie, bad attitude, and edgier storyline will do it, but if it makes little boys and girls more entertained, and less confused about what and hwo real heroes are, I'm all for it. I'm traveling in a rental car right now. I miss my Spidey and Lantern. Hope my Spidey sense and power ring are transferable over 800 miles. Wait, what am I saying? Hope my kids don't read this. I'm supposed to be their hero. I should have written all this in the Comic Sans font.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Good Scare

Charles Dickens would have written a heck of a book about this weekend. It is indeed, the best of times, it is the worst of times. When  Bobina and I married, just six months after meeting, we would wa nt to move in a year or two. At the end of year two we have decided to move. The bottom line is, we have decided to find a new place to live as soon as we can.

The trip mto the corn maze was a great time. When we got there, my mother in law, MiMi, came up with a fine idea. We would split up into teams of two, and Amazing Race like, run around to each checkpoint, then find a winning team at the end. Bug and I started sprinting and we did well for a while, then I started arguing with a 7 year old about right hand turns, and hilarity ensued. We actually finished last. But, we had so much fun that by the time the story is told, say, 50 times, we won easily, and picked up million bucks. Anyway, we picked up a huge pumpkin and finished the night off with Halloween Happy Meals for the three little girls, aged 8, 7, and 6.

This is Spooky, our jack of lantern of the season. The design is by Bug and Goose. The carving is primarily my hands.

Belly, the 8 year old niece is in front, sweetheart Goose is to her left, age 6, the goofy girl in the back is Bug, age 7.

The spectre haunting our home is the ghost of Christmas future. By that holiday we will we elsewhere. The best choice is some townhouses near where our kids go to school. We also have a bead on a house near that area as well. It's a scary time around our place, but it's a good scare. A lot of our past, most of it not good, will be done away with. The idea of starting fresh and being able to do so for the holidays is exciting. I guess you can say we are living a pyschologically horror movie. This ghost doesn't stand a chance against my three daughters. Mwahahahahaha .....ha

Friday, October 22, 2010

Burying Hamlet

There is a period in lot of young men's lives where they put away their kid stuff and start new interests. Mine was between the ages of 13 and 16 when I put aside the comic books, hot wheels cars, and toys and started reading and brooding. At 14, my daughter's current age, I read Shakespeare's Hamlet for the first time. Overnight Prince Hamlet of Denmark replaced Spiderman as my idol (with some competition from The Doors Jim Morrison).

The image of Hamlet being this good man, surrounded by evil, misunderstood by even other good people, fit my whiny, melodramatic teenage personality. When I wasn't growling into fake micophones or writing marginally awful poetry like The Lizard King, I was keeping tabs on my enemies, and making speeches about morality and justice like The Danish Prince. All of this was curiously proper for a young man, but the problems happened for me, when I reached adulthood. Hamlet is a dude with serious issues, and regardless of his rock solid character, and noble heart with lofty intentions, he is destined for unhappiness. So, yeah, I followed the same path.

While I never ended up dead in a Paris bathtub like Jim or killing myself with poison like Hamlet, my emotional rollercoaster ride over the past twenty years could have been moderated by making the proper change in heroes in my twneties or early thirties. Like Hanlet, I am a moral man, burdered with an inaction due to a superhero complex that wants to save or make everyone as moral and resolute as I. It's a doomed philosophy and most adult men would figure this out early on, not me. A few years ago, while going through a divorce, I told my therapist about my self link to Hamlet and she pointed out why my past sucked and my future would be worse if I didn't learn to believe in myself, worry less ab out the flaws of others, live through those instincts and pray for those who weren't doing the same. The slap across the face began a two year trip into reality that formed a more together man that is now with my wife and children. The only unresolved issue was completely breaking from Hamlet as anything more than being a fan of a great literary work.

My favorite scene in Hamlet in the final one, where the violence is swirling, and Hamlet finally overcomes his self absorption and thinks sympathetically towards others, while maintaining his moral compass. His death isn't heroic but it's not pathetic, like say Kurt Cobain's or Morrison's. It's just. The irony of Hamlet journey is , in the end, he dies better than he lived. I have no desire to even walk beside such a fate, much less have one. At the end of your day, you have to be honest like Hamlet , although it's Polonius that says to thine own self be true, but you can't force others to look at the world the way you want it to be viewed and followed.

I relapsed with my Hamlet complex recently, nothing major, but it was a reminder that I never performed the funeral for Hamlet like I should have a few years ago. This is the memorial service. It's a great play, and Morrison and Cobain were great songwriters, but their lives belonged to them. No one should find anything but entertainment in any of them.

"To be, or not to be,--that is the question:--whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them?" - Hamlet

"A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself." - Jim Morrison

Rest in peace mad Prince, rest in peace.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Needs to be Heard: U2 All i Want Is You

This is what I'm listening to. I am really connecting with my wife. The past two weeks have been marriage fortifying. What I have learned is that no amount of jewelry, cards, presents, you know, stuff can do what I can do for her except to show her how much she means to me.

Hope she pays attention to the lyrics.

great song

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The proposal was intimidating. Suzann said yes, an emphatic, physical yes. Now her brain had to catch up. Three kids, instead of two, a smaller house instead of a larger one to accomodate the schools, then she remembered what her heart told her, she stopped worrying. She left his house and called her friends. Then she called her daughter. Delia answered, she could hear her daughter smiling. "I kind of sorta knew, mom. He asked me if he could marry us, I mean you." she said. The drive usually took 25 minutes, that morning, she was home within 15.

*blogger's note* This is my latest 100 word challenge for the awesome 's 100 word site. The opne word prompt was WITHIN. I will be combining the entries into the other site for a short story to be completed soon. Thanks for reading.

Happy Birthday to Marsha aka TinFoilMagnolia. See her at or @TinfoilMagnolia on teh twitterz.


Frantic, I ran from the house to look for the dog. The yard looked bizarre. Pale light cast over my home. My golden retreiver seemed ghostly. He led me to the field next to our home. It was desolate, save dozens of graves with perfect granite tombstones, some engraved, some bare. I surveyed the acre and noticed the supernatural maze of relationships symbolized by rock tablets. I walked barefoot aside the dog to the first row of stones. There was no wind, no cold, the weather was dead. I read the first engravings, they were people I missed, deeply. As my dog and I walked through the strange labryrinth of forgotten, I realized the tomstones were laid out by importance. Some were necessary to see and read, others were ignored, just piles of concrete. My four legged gride began to change face and look normal. He was hungry. I awoke to the sound of the dog barking. Stunned, I peeked outside and saw a peaceful, usual yard. The past was gone.

My spine chilled, brain scrambled, I walked into the hot shower and felt peaceful. I started to dry off and the dog was back. The eerie look was back. I threw on jeans and a t-shirt and followed the golden outside. the Yard was supernatural again, this time the spirits were above ground, appearing to congregate. I turned and walked back inside. The dog followed. We were done. We were moving on.

*blogger's note* this is part of 52/250 's flash fiction site. Every week they presenta  theme, this week's is TOMBSTONES, just in time for Halloween.

provided I'm cool enough, they'll post this entry on their site later the week.

Thanks for reading

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happiness, more or less

My notebooks and pads are full of stuff I wouldn't let my golden retriever, Buddy, blog. In a few hours, I leave for Houston, for work, and I will have a lot of time to think (which isn't always a good thing for me) and then I will spend four nights in hotel rooms, not sleeping, and so I will write. Whatever you don't like, I will blame Buddy.

Last week was good and bad, like most, but different. The end of the week opened my heart and mind to my wife and children more than ever. I am the luckiest son of a gun you have ever virtually known. My wife is beaufiful, funny, and special. My kids are just as much. In midst of the bad, my teenager, Tay, was the picture of maturity and cool. Of course, she reverted into teen form quickly because it was homecoming week. But her moment of awesome, showed me that my priorities had been skewed over the past few years and now they are not.

Maybe because last week's 100 word prompt from my friend at was VAGUE, I am choosing to be so now, but rest assured that the storm is over, and I am head over heels in love with my wife and daughters.

If The Verve is right, in the song Lucky Man, that happiness, more or less, it's just a change in me, something in my liberty; then I'm happy. It took twenty something years, enough bad relationships to make Jennifer Aniston judgemental, and some pills, some really good pills, but I'm there, you know, the happy place, whatever.

I don't give advice, because I'm terrible at it. It would also violate the no superhero complexing agreement I made with my wife. But, if you have someone in your life, someone that you know is special, meaningful, different; make them your priority. Hold them tighter than you ever have and tell them they are amazing. Say thank you, please, I love you; a lot. Say it even after they tell you "ok, I get it". Wait, I think I just gave advice. Don't listen to me. Just be true. Be true in your instincts, your word, your emotions.

I have to go to the bank now. I promised my number one priority I would. My word with her is good.

Write ya laterz, taterz.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Gaslight Anthem "American Slang" (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)

If you are looking for something real, American, heartfelt, moral, and rocking to listen to in the car, the shower, or around the house, check out The Gaslight Anthem's American Slang. This is what Bruce Springteen used to be like in the 70s but not as overtly commercial. Gaslight Anthem's first record is even better, google it too. American Slang is a terrific rock song. Blare it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


The dress was teal, the nails were clear, the hair was curly, and the tears were real. Taylor, aka Tay, my fourteen year old daughter, just left the house for her first homecoming dance. Before you ask, I'll just tell you, heck no I'm not ok.

I'm different than many parents. I don't think about the benchmarks life will bring before they happen. That's too much stress. I don't read parenting books, I don't take parenting blogs, especially mommy ones too seriously; and as of a couple of years ago, I stopped listening to other parents direct advice. Parenting is heart, instinct, and not making the same mistake twice.

Today was a whirling dervish of emotional clarity. My wife and I are not good, but great parents. Tay woke up this morning around 9 o 'clock and asked for eggs, not pointers on how to handle her first real date. Deana aka Bobina, made her eggs and told me to keep my mouth shut, lovingly. Later, Bo and Tay hit the nail salon and to calm my building nerves, I ran from our house to my gym, about a mile and a half away. Then I pounded iron like a college football player. No amount of sweat or heart rate monitoring could distract me from my daughter's inevitable event.

The homecoming dance starts at 7pm, as I write this, it's only 5:20pm. Yet, a little after 1pm, Tay, with hair straightener in hand, attitudinally started the date preparation. I tried 2 or 3 wisecracks, the death glare I got from my wife and daughter told me to keep watching football, silently. Every few minutes my opinion was asked. I made sure beautiful, stunning, amazing, perfect, flowed from my clueless mouth and I tweeted accordingly.

Bobina and I realized how great we were as parents when Tay was ready, and her attitude had subsided enough to enjoy taking pictures in the backyard. She looked at us with pride, not disgust; with love, not annoyance. We were letting her have her day, and keeping our emotions separate from hers.

I wonder why my wife wanted to drive over to Tay's "date" (I dislike that word) but I figured out quickly that paying attention to the road was distracting her from breaking down in front of our gorgeous daughter. As we walked to her date's door, Tay stopped a few feet short, sighed deeply and smiled at her mom. Why Bo didn't didn't break down, I'll never know, but it was one of her finest moment as a parent. Her date was a nervous mess. I liked his tie, I liked is family being as emotionally goofy as Bobina and I. Tay glowed around him. I hope the little scamp realizes how lucky he is to be in her aura.

The next stop was Tay's friend's house. Her friend wasn't ready. Her family was going through the same motions we were 90 or so minutes earlier. We got details on the chaperoning, they were a little different that we originally thought. Bobina saw the look on my face and rushed me out of the house, politely. As I starting asking questions and worrying incessantly, she told me to shut up and get in the car. As we started backing out of the driveway, Bobina kissed me, perfectly, and told me "she's going to be okay, she's our daughter." For the first time today; for the first time in two and a half years, I believed her.

In case you're keeping score at home.....I've cried three times, I've asked Bo twice if we can pick her up earlier than scheduled, and no, I've not even close to okay. I hope Tay is having a good time, just not too good of a time. She looks beyond beautiful.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


She runs into the warm Cancun breeze to check on her husband. Dazed, he vaguely looks into the dropping sun. She tenderly brushes his wet hair across a cut above his left eye. "We need to get that doctored", she drawls. "I just bumped my head on the surf board. I'm fine." he replies. She waits until he turns away before she wipes a tear, then looks down at her left ring finger and sees the diamond gleam in the Mexican sunset. He says, "Come on, love. You promised a day on the beach, I promised a night of dancing."

*blogger's note* - This is my latest entry into 's 100 word challenge. The one word prompt was VAGUE.   I am compiling the entrys along with other writing into a story being posted at

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'd Like To Thank The Academy

you know....I just want to thank ME for being ME and winning this award:

That's sarcasm, I want to thank a fellow writer for liking this web address. You are reading an award winning blog. Today, your humble writer has been recognized by the hallowed blog halls of
Monday's entry in the 100 Word Challenge titled "Back To Life Back To Reality" prompted by the word HANDSOME. Initially written as a breakup post for something else, wrongly, but later refined to reflect on the changes that happen when you come back from vacation and delve into every day life.

Please visit my friend at velvetverbosity, she's a fine writer and has equally fine writer colleagues. I stumbled onto her site through my boy, Brian at DadsChalkboard, and the site and Brian's site have helped me through some writer's block, and to get started on a book. Velvet's inspiration came at a great time for me a few others.

For the record, my wife does have extraordinarily cute toes.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stop The Blog! Christina's on the block.....

The free pass is free. Christina Aquilera is on the street.,,20433625,00.html

Bobina and I will be in discussions and negotiations all evening. If I don't answer the phone, you'll know why. (sarcasm)

Christmas in October. It only comes once in a lifetime. (again, sarcasm)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back To Life, Back To Reality

Her cute toes, highlighted with sparkling rose nail polish, fixed on the dashboard. She sighed moderately, and reached for the car radio buttons with her left hand; nails the same color. A station playing "generation x" music made her smile; she settled. Pitch perfect, she began singing with the chorus "back to life, back to reality" the 20 year old pop song memorialized, poignantly, the end to a weekend, long for it's two extra days, and revelatory ocurrences. Nothing would be the same. She slowly moved her head towards her adoring husband. She cooed at him "you're so handsome."

*blogger's note* I missed this week's 100 word prompt from, which was HANDSOME. I combined last week word with the end of our vacation and will be combining this entry with the other posts at tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I was on a conference call at work, my head started hurting, I got flustered and frsutrated with a few minor things in my life, and my heart and mind started racing. The spiral was downward and I couldn't stop the inevitable. I called my doctor, didn't get anywhere, got more fed up, and called my wife. She was busy,so was her friend, my friend too, and I snapped at them on the phone. I wrapped up my conference call, realized I had a break, and started rationalizing, wrongly, that i could take care of four things in an hour and a half, before my next meeting. I felt trapped by my stress and I had no good reason for even being at the bank, but I decided to do same menial task there. I was missing my daughter, Bug, who I hadn't seen in over a week because of a crazy schedule, and I had to see her immediately. As I made the thirty minute trek, I caught every red light, every cell phoned driver, every in my way clueless fool that I couldn't legal knock off the road. I get to Bug's afterschool program (she's on Fall Break for the week) she was doing kickball games and she wasn't in her usual place. I couldn't find her. No one knew anything. My wife is calling to check on me and every vibration made me fluster more. There Bug was, on the furthest field at the place. Suddenly I was a little better. Not much, but enough to calm me, some. After visiting for a few minutes with her I decide to drive to my doctor. Again, does anyone know how to drive in this county? I get to the physician's office, my doctor's nurse, the only person in the place with a brain and a bedside manner see me right away. She listens, understands, and gives me two pills, which I take with no water. My perscriptions, which had expired five days earlier, were being refilled later. I go back to work. My wife, still checking on me, says she needs something from the store, I take this as a personal affront, the medicine hadn't kicked in yet. I apologized for snapping at her, eventually. Finally back at work, the pills are making in into my system. I'm much better now.

I've had anxiety since I was a teenager. I ignored some symptoms and some diagnosis for years. Over two years ago, I had a similar attack I described, only I was working out with weight in my garage and I tore muscles in my arms and chest. This exacerbated the panic attack so severely I passed out and failed an EKG. I and everyone around me thought it was the heart trouble I had 9 years earlier. It wasn't. Another doctor didn't blow me off, prescribed anxiety medication and my life has been smoother since. I have attacks rarely, only when the medication runs out and I try to make it a week or more without it. It had been almost a year since I had something this significant as I had today. This was the best I had ever delt with an attack. Good to know I'm getting better.

Before I scare you off from this blog or any other correspondence, know that my mental illness is minor in the grand scheme of things. I function well at work, at home, and with my family and friends. They and I like to call me "regular crazy". I never believed in pill popping. It's why I avoided taking anything for twenty years. I was flat wrong. If you have anxiety symptoms, bi-polarity, or depression and you think you can handle it without medicine or a doctor's care, you're flat wrong too. It's affected almost every relationship and job situation I've ever had, at least I have it under control now.

Its funny, when I'm racing, which is what I call not being on the medicine, I'm more prolific in creative things like writing and music stuff. I think the great artists are and were probably afflicted with something. Kansas City Royals pitcher Zack Greinke has the exact same disorder I have and he says he doesn't take his meds on days he pitches because he likes to feel as loose as possible. I'm neither a big league pitcher and my writing can go at the pace it can go so that my family and friends don't have me whacked.

As I write this I still feel the medicine I was given at 11am this morning. I am about to post this and leave for the grocery store and pick up my normal pills. I don't preach and I don't care if this blog made you uncomfortable but if you have issues, trust me when I tell you, you can't handle them by yourself. My wife is the most amazingly patient woman I have ever met. She loves me enough to let me know when I can't handle my life on my own. Today was one of those days. For twenty years I thought I was strong enough to handle things myself. It took Bobina, a great doctor, and some children who need the best father possible to make me realize, I wasn't Superman and I was weak minded to think otherwise. Now, they appreciate and love the flawed, pill regulated, me. Thom Yorke has social anxiety disorder, I'll listen to Radiohead on the way to Kroger.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Puffy Paradox

The room's dark, the kids are asleep, and she summons me sweetly. It's been a long week of travel, work stress, not getting to see one of my three daughters, and the usual melodrama that surrounds my four ladies. I am thinking a hug,a kiss, maybe even some compliments, instead I get the questions no man should ever be asked. "Do I look fat?" "Have I gained weight?" Really? Is this the first day we've met, honey? I'm thinking that maybe I have died and entered the first realm of Hades. I'm expecting a Bon Jovi concert, Black Friday shopping, and a Sex and The City marathon to start playing. No man should have to deal with this, yet I deal with it every other day.

For the record, if their is one, I think my wife is the most beautiful woman I have ever see. Yes, I am legally required to say this but I also believe it. Thsi blog's about honesty, right. Well, even the lovely Bobina needs to check herself and realize her weight is not my business, it's hers. So, go ask a female blogger if you look heavier.

I'm joking. This personal antecdote brought to mind how each of the women I live with bring me into their issues with how they feel about their looks and how they want me to respect them. Tay, our teenager, is headed to homecoming in two weeks. We are dropping her off at the high school with her friend who is a boy. This past Thursday, while I was in Houston working, Bobina took her to the mall and got her a dress and shoes. I am not allowed to look at the checkbook this pay period. Today, on the way home from church, as her mom and I were joking that we would chaperone her dance, Tay said "You know you guys are making way too big a deal about this thing (homecoming), I don't really care." Hmmm. You don't care, Tay? Is that why you weeped when we were apprehensive about you going? Is that why you dress shopped, twice? Is that why you talk on the phone with your friends and facebook about the details of the night. The truth is my beautiful daughter cares a lot. She cares what we think, what other people think, and what she thinks about her appearnce and reputation.

About a year ago, Bobina and I had a heated discussion about weight loss, mostly centering around my working out so much. During this discussion she dropped this bomb, "honey, my weight is my business, not yours." Ok, fine. Then why do we spend 30 minutes at the women's clothing department for you to try on 3 pairs of jeans, 4 shirts, and a parttridge in a pear tree? Then you put everything back and say "nothing fits, I hate the way I look."

I'm not picking on Tay or Bo at all. Their reactions and their behavior are normal. Crazy, but also normal. I care too. Turning 40 kicked my tail. I have spent more time and energy on my body and my looks than I did when I in high school. I realized I do the same things my girls do. I want them to tell me I'm awesome but be able to worry about what other people think about me. It's life big paradox isn't it. I mean it's not equal to Puffy and Biggie telling us It's All About the Benjamins then saying Mo Money, Mo Problems, but it's up there.

Tay found a dress and shoes. The dress isn't too short, she looks beautiful. Bobina found a new pair of jeans, and no one has been punched and no furniture has been broken. I answered her hellish questions the way I was supposed too because my finger still work to type this blog entry. I am learning that Tay, Bobina, the little ones, and the female friends I have don't want your real opinion, they want your unconditional love, in the form of flowing, flowery compliments. Heard and done.