Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Morning Moment

Naked and dazed, he walked across the dark room,stumbling through his memory to spare himself turning on the light. His head ached. He began to sweat. His hands shook as he pulled the small black box from his dresser. He decided to make one desperate, last-ditch emotional show of vulnerability to her. A voice came from the back of darkness near the window with broken blinds, revealing the sun rising. "Honey, what are you doing?", she asked. He turned, grabbed her arm leading her to the dawn. Kneeling on his left knee, he opened the box.

*blogger's note* - This is this week's entry for @velvetverbosity / 's 100 word challenge. I write 100 words prompted by one word. This week's inspiration is DITCH. I will be incorporating this 100 word entry into my fictional short story found at my other blog . Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Honesty is Bad Business Policy

The truth is rarely pure and never simple. - Oscar Wilde

What is right is not always popular. What is popular is not always right. - Albert Einstein and Howard Cosell

Go to him he calls you, you can't refuse. - Bob Dylan

In 1995, before playing the greatest game in Atlanta Braves history, outfielder David Justice criticized his hometown fans, meaning me, for not being as loud and enthusiastic as Cleveland Indians(the Braves series opponent) fans. Everyone I knew lost their minds in anger in reaction to Justice. I was 25 years old and much more foolish then. While grabbing dinner with friends after work that night I tired of the Justice bashing and after my second adult beverage said this, "you know, dude's right. We are lame. I mean Georgia fills up their stadium to watch some directional school. The Falcons sell out when the Saints come to town and most of the times those teams are playing for first round draft positioning. We kind of suck. Get over it." I think I lost at least two friends that night and I wasn't invited over to the game six viewing party. I watched the Braves win the World Series the next night, on David Justice's home run, alone. It was a great night.

Yesterday, as the Tampa Bay Rays clinched a playoff birth for only the second time in their 13 season history, their two star players, third baseman Evan Longoria and starting pitcher David Price criticized their fans for not coming to their games, despite their success. Today, they are the subject of derision. Tampa Bay plays in a horrid stadium in a poor section of the city. Their area's economy has been hit hard by the recession. There fan base is split between blue collar twenty and thirtysomethings and the elderly. Those are cute excuses. Yet, they are just that, excuses.

I have never told anyone what to do with their discretionary income. If you saw my CD collection or my wife's DVD colelction you'd harangue us with insults. If Tampa's fans want to ignore their awesome baseball team full of young talented stars who play with reckless abandon, fine. Yet, the insouciance the Tampa area shows to their sports team should be reason to contract them. The teams, not the fans.

Major team sports have to stop overvaluing the public's interest in their products. Baseball has seven teams that are either hemorraging money or now using their profits to make their teams better; Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Florida, Arizona, Washington, and Baltimore. Hockey has more than that. Even the amazing NFL, which is by far the most successful sports league has teams in St. Louis, Buffalo, Detroit, and Cleveland that are laughingstocks in finance and relevance. Instead of criticizing the "fans" of these teams in these towns, the leagues should do the right thing and take the teams away. We do not need 30 teams a league. Is that harsh? Yes. Is is right? Yes.

That warm October night in 1995 is a funny memory to me. The friends I gave up weren't really friends, because they didn't like what I had to say.  While I have learned that being too punk rock for the room has consequences and thus my tongue needs harnessing at times, I like being honest more than I like being nice. I always will. Longoria and Price are backtracking to the backlash today and that's ok. I hope they know that they are being kicked by the myth that the customer is always right.  Neither will be as honest as they were yesterday, because it takes money out of their pockets through endorsements they will lose by being pariahs in their town. In professional sport, like politics, it's bad business to be honest.

Here's Like A Rolling Stone, listen to the lyrics:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Waiting On A Friend

Being a good friend, a true friend, means saying something the other needs to hear; not wants to hear. My wife and I pride ourselves on having a great relationship because we tell each other everything, even when it's brutally honest. I am about to do the same to someone I care about. I hope they hear me, or um, you know, read me.

Derek Jeter, I say this out of love, I hope you know this; you must retire from baseball after the season. We go way back, Derek. We "met" your rookie year with New York Yankees in 1996. Everyone became interested in you because you wore the number 2 (Billy Martin wore 1, Babe Ruth wore 3), played shortstop, and hit .314 your rookie year. I saw deeper than that. In a time when baseball was recovering from the work stoppage of 1994 which saw the World Series canceled, you played the game with an energy and respect not seen, outside of Cal Ripken Jr, for a long time. You carry yourself with a style that, while most likely contrived and manipulative, seems natural and effortless. Despite playing and living in a era of mass media, the internet, TMZ, and fallen superstar and superficial celebrities, you have maintain a clean image.

Every athlete declines, Derek. You're 36 years old. I turned 40 this month. I know aging, dude. You have 170 hits. I know You have 2917 of them. You probably want 3000, who doesn't. Derek, go out now, while you are still a respected everyday shortstop on the nation's most high profile team. Look, I know, you're thinking I'm not being a good friend telling you this. You have to see all the sides, man. You aren't the weak link on the Yankees. You've watched AJ Burnett and Joba Chamberlain pitch. Your teammate for the last 15 years, Jorge Posada, has declined more than you have. Let's face it, you're still awesome at the little things you do for the team. You run the bases well. You sacrifice and move runners over with aplumb. After the season the Yankees will be put on the spot to either pay you over 20 million dollars a year or watch to take your talents to Tampa or Los Angeles or (if God is listening to my sillier prayers) Atlanta. Let's not put any of us through that soap opera.

You have stayed single for the duration of your career, Your girlfriend, actress Minka Kelly, wants to get married. Think of all the time you'd have to devote to that young marriage. Your business acumen is noted. We both know your second calling in life is to be a New York and Florida real estate baron and investment entrepeneur. It's time to show that world who the Hall of Famer in capitalism really is.

I know what you're thinking. No one is going to tell you want to do or when to do it. Point taken, Derek. Although I'm sure you will own this postseason and add a World Series MVP to the trophy room, the last few postseasons haven't been great. The last thing you want is Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner, or Lord forbid, Alex Rodriguez taking your Yankee postseason mystique.

Maybe The Rolling Stones can help:

Don't worry Derek. I'm not going to get sappy or weird or creepy here. We know how we feel about each other. Some things can go untold. I just want you to know, I think it's time for you to fold up the pinstripes and take Minka on a long honeymoon. Listen to someone who cares, brother.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Statin', not Hatin'

This blog turned four months old this week. I mention this because I was looking over my 64 posts and I realized that none of them contained a rant. I do that everyone in a while in my real life. I lose it, go off on a rant, have a pill and a glass of sweet tea and everything is better. The closest thing to a rant was a blog I wrote during the summer about the ten bands I dislike. Those who know will tell you that wasn't a rant, it was me statin' not hatin'. I talk about thoe ten bands a lot. This rant will be about hate. It's time someone provided some prespective as to what hate is and is not. Let's get on with it, please.

The schism between my generation and my teenage daughter's is symbolized by how we view criticism and self awareness. I have found people under the age of 25 say "I love this" "I hate this" "I love him/her" and "I lhate him/her" a lot. It's overused. Everyone of you reading this will go through your life and truly love and hate few things and people. Why? love and hate are extreme emotions that can only be sustained by importance of the people and events involved. I love my wife, my daughters, my dog, my parents, my in laws, my sister in law, my niece, my cousins, my grandparents and six other people who know who they are. Other than than those people, I haven't been able to sustain respect long enough for them to have them qualify for my love. The same can be said for respect. Bill Clinton, of whom I am not a fan, once said "to hate someone, you have to respect them. I respect the people I hate." Brilliant words from someone I don't even like.

I've noticed my daughter, her friends, and people around their ages bristle at direct criticism or others criticism of people they like. About a year ago my daughter and my wife were conversing about the pop star Lady Gaga. My daughter was still gaga over Gaga while my wife, who likes some of her music, ripped the music diva for her style, behavior, stage presence and other things. My daughter jokingly called my wife a "hater". I heard the term earlier tonight on twitter when I dared critcized the new media darling, convicted dog killer, admitted pothead, and waster of millions of dollars, Philadelphia quarterback Micheal Vick. Vick is playing well with the Eagles and there seems to be a buzz of empathy for him. His celebrity appears to be rebuilt. When I questioned this, three people, all under the age of 25, tweeted I was a "hater". Yet, I never called Vick a name, used foul language, or even talked about him personally. I had never heard anyone called a "hater" until maybe 10 years ago. I think the rap/hip-hop community popularized it. I don't really care. I find that anything someone says something critical, even constructively critical, the immediate response is "you're just hating" or "you're a hater". Pompous, hypocritical, and deeply talented hip hop artist Kanye West even drops this line in the middle of his entertaining song, Stronger; "Homey take six, and take this haters".

What I want the younger generation to realize is, if you do something stupid, or in the case of Micheal Vick, criminal, and someone mentions it, they aren't being a hater, they're being an analyzer or a critic. There's a difference. This is hate; People of a certain race are inferior to another. This is criticism; The guy pitching for my favorite baseball team who is being paid 15 million dollars a year, has an over 4 era and gives a lot of hits and baserunners. He should be better.

Hate is what Hitler did. Criticism is what everyone everyday engages in to either make people around them better or raise the intellectual quotient.

For the record I hate fewer things than I like. I also hate few, if any people, because if I lose respect for someone, I immediately relegate them to grave indifference. Which is the opposite of love.

Recently I had a good twitter conversation with Del the Dad aka @delthedad on twitter, here's his blog: . Del was fired up about politics, I was trying to soothe his savage beast. The conversation turned to how crazy a lot of mommy bloggers were and eventually we were talking about our kids. That's how dads roll on the internets. The mommy blogger portion of the tweetfest was right down this hate alley, I'm writing about. People, especially younger ones, are so sensitive to brutal truth and any criticism, even constructive, that they immediate play the hate/hater card and squash healthy debate within minutes.

This rant ends this way. People, get over yourselves. Most of you are completely full of crap. So am I. I am wrong more than I am right, just ask the women I live with. Learn self-awareness. The late great comedian Bill Hicks once said, the one thing more dangerous than nuclear weapons is people's failure to grasp humor. I'm sure someone called him a hater right after he said that and Hicks probably smoked another cigarette and found someone intelligent to talk to.

Here's Lady Gaga:

Here's Malcolm X talking about hate:

Here's Kanye West:

Here's the late great Bill Hicks:

Take that haters

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Life

Exhaustion was settling. I just wanted to lay down. I had worked all week in Houston Texas, driven over 12 hours to get home to my wife and kids Friday night. We had just gotten home after running errands and grabbing an early dinner at our favorite hole in the wall Mexican place. My teeager was complaining of a stomach ache, and I knew why. For some reason her mother wanted to know more. I flip on the second half of Alabama (my alma mater) on the road at Arkansas. My Crimson Tide were losing and I needed to yell at the television, to help them to victory. The conversation around me grew louder. "You have to put it in all the way", my wife is saying. "Mom! I know that, it's just uncomfortable," answers my daughter. It got worse from there. I realized that everything I, you, or anyone needed to know about my marriage, family dynamic, living situation, and relationship with my loved ones had been crystalized in an inappropriate female hygiene, time of the month discussion between my wife and kid. Estrogen surrounds me and I love it, despite my protests to the contrary.

Later in the night I watched my Alabama team pull out a football victory. I ran around the neighbor hood with my male golden retriever. I turned on the DVR and watched the new Hawaii Five-O tv show that is filled with mindless violence, things blowing up, and testoserone on a stick elements that made me feel red-blooded and virile. In between it all, there was a discussion about silly bands, more female body issues, kissing, and me taking a bra out out of the dryer and insisting, 3 times, that my teenage daughter do something with it, other than have it in my presence.

I was born for several reasons. One of the main ones, was to raise these 3 girls, and be a complete, non traditional husband to my wife. I will continue to complain about the less masculine elements to my life. But it will make me treasure these women even more. While Bobina and Tay engaged in the graphic feminine product dissertation, I yelled, cringed, and begged them to stop. Inside, I was satisfied and extremely loved. This is my life.

Here's some red meat rock and roll by Social Distortion, one of my favorite songs ever, also pertaining to my life:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Rain soaks his black suit. The white dress shirt becomes heavy on his skin. He's frozen in place, staring at the grave. Grief rolls over him, leaving him motionless. Minutes march by. He brings his voice to a shout and tells the spirit of his grandmother, "I'm sorry I lied to you! I don't know how to make this right, but I will try until I can't try anymore. I love you," his voice trails off in tears. Distraught, hurt, confused, he walks away. As the downpour of water and sadness increases, his life changes, greater than ever before.

*blogger note* this is another entry for 's awesome 100 word challenge. As blogged earlier, I'm incorporating the 100 word posts into a fictional story on my other site : . I write 100 words prompted by one word. This week's word is GREATER. Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 20, 2010

FAQ, traveling news, and suburban Cowboy

I am breaking from regularly scheduled programming because after I pick up Tay from cross country practice this afternoon I am headed to Houston for the rest of the week for work. I'm not looking forward to it because I am just helping out someone with their project so I don't get to tell people what to do like I usuallt get to. Plus, I don't like being away from Bobina and the girls. I'm fine, they have a tendency to fall apart without me, I don't blame them.

I won't get to twitter much for the next 4 days and some questions came up from new readers and old ones this weekend. In my previous blogs on myspace and facebook I usually did a frequently asked questions answer post every few months. It kept up the house cleaning.

1) Is your wife really named Bobina? Is your sister in law really named Bubba? Are your kids really named Tay, Bug and Goose? Why don't you have a nickname?

answer(s) - My wife's Christian name is Deana. She is known as Bobina to her close friends and family. I affectionally call her Bo. My sister in law is 5'3", thin, and has very blonde hair. Obviously she looks like a Bubba. The name her mama gave her is April. The kids and I refuse to use it. My kids are, Taylor, age 14, Lyla, age 7, Carly, age 6. Their nicknames are established and frequently used. They prefer them. I don't have a nickname because my friends and family are lazy.

2) You live in Atlanta and yet follow the New York Jets, New York Yankees, and New Jersey Devils fervently. What up?

answer: I have some friends and family connection to the New York/New Jersey area, but my dad was a big Joe Namath and Mickey Mantle fan. That's where it all started. Atlanta didn't have a hockey team for a long time so I just adopted the Devils about twenty years ago. Do to childhood trauma regarding the local Atlanta teams, I reserve the right to reject them sometimes and stick with my adopted ones.

3) Obviously you have a blended family, can you explain the dynamic?

Bug, (Lyla), I made and birthed (yeah I know how it works but we don't acknowledge biology on this blog) her in 2003 while married to something else. Bobina gave birth to Tay in 1996 and Goose in 2004 while married to something else. Bobina and I met through mutual friends in May of 2008. We married in November 2008. Like the Brady Bunch, we don't use the step word. Bug is with us about 50 percent of the time. Buddy, the golden retriever came into the picture in early 2009. He was a rescue adoption type deal. He's almost three.

4) What's the deal with the two blogs?

When I started this blog in May, I thought I would just be writing about my two favorite subjects; music and sports. I messed up and made a couple of personal posts and they proved popular. I write all the time. Mostly in notebooks and restaurant napkins. After meeting other bloggers/writers and seeing how they incorporate their different styles I decided to create a fiction writing site (emplyong the 100 word challenge posts from this blog) called The goal is to post their every other day. Being a dad and having a job this week may slow that down, but it will speed back up soon. This blog will be about my life and include many different topics, including some creative writing.

5) Why don't you have facebook?

I did have it from August 2008 til April 2010. I created an account to ready for my 20 year class reunion in 2008, then Bug got sick and I couldn't go. After that I found facebook to be annoying, time consuming, and I was concerned about the privacy issues. Hard truth is, I like twitter better. Short, to the point, and often entertaining, kind of like me. My wife has the facebook. You are more than welcome to facebook her. She enjoys it.

Every time I think of Houston I am reminded of Bud Davis, played by John Travolta, driving his pickup truck into the big city for the first time, bright eyed and excited. In preparartion for my trip I've shaved the beard, inquired about power plant work, and researched mechanical bull riding.

Oh, one more thing, you people, can you direct message me on twitter or email me at the results of the 100 word challenge? That's the only way I read stuff on my phone. If tinfoilmagnolia wins it again, I am demanding an investigation. kkthxbi

Saturday, September 18, 2010


This is a common occurence at my house. We need to be somewhere at a certain time, the kids need to have shoes and socks on, and either Tay, the oldest, aged fourteen, or Bobina, my wife, aged a lottel older than fourteen, are applying make up. There's usually a heated discussion about Tay coming down and taking Bo's cosmetics or perfume. This makes a five minute delay turn into a fifteen minute one and magic! We're running late. This isn't me complaining. I am used to it all. There's an underlying principle that makes all of this possible. Neither Tay nor Bobina believe me when I tell them they look their best when they are natural.

I have never thought women look good "made up". Some of you reading this are yelling a word that rhymes with coolspit but I promise I feel this way. My wife looks her best, early morning, sun coming throught the window, hair tousled, clean faced as the day she was born. It's reason number 8 why I married her. I cringe every time she or any of the important women in my wife, take more than two seconds out of their day to apply mascara, blush, foundation, the one with the brush, and lipstick. It does nothing for me. It also make me late for something.

This morning, I picked up Tay from Suwanee Days, it's where the town where we lives, celebrates who tehy are with commerce, balloons, and bad music; where she was hanging with her friends and her friend who is a boy and his his parents. She had gone to the event sans make up because she slept in and didn't have time. She had  alot of sun on her face and looked beautiful. I told her so and she commented that her friend who is a boy said the same. She said he went out of his way to compliment her on her natural look and encouraged her to continue the practice. It became really tough to dislike him. I feel the same way. Often when Tay comes down the stairs she strikes me with her make up choices. She looks older than I would like. I have learned to shut up and let her mom handle it all. Today, I wanted to stop the car, jump out, dance in the streets and yell I told you so, sweetieQ! I didn't. I embarrassed her enough by showing up.

There is a a lot of money in female products including cosmetics in my bathroom and my daughter's bathroom. I understand I probably am in the minority on my women look natural opinion based on the billions of dollars spent on the modeling business, fashion industry, and cosmetics empires currently operating in full force. Yet, I have a blog. It's my voice, sort of. This is me telling my wife, my daughters, my mom, my mother in law, my sister in law, my three close friends, and the women who read this blog and my twitter account; cool it with the make up. Less is more, ladies. Bo and Tay tell me that women usually dress for women. It's like when animals mark their terrority and stalk their prey. Whatever the cultural issue is I think women shoudl be comfortable with themselves, it makes them more appealing. Even if your significant others say they like it when you eyeliner it and face paint it like a beast, at the end of the day they are the ones that love you for who you are, naturally. Do I dig it when my wife vamps it up to a concert or party or special occasion with some make up, perfume, and other beauty enhancers, sure. It's like dressing up for Halloween. It's cool for a short time.

This is not an excuse to wear sweat pants to Wal Mart or stained t-shirts to a nice restaurant. Have some pride, women. But, when it comes to who you are, especially the thing people who love you see the most, your face. Go base. Thank me later.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The stench of cigarette smoke hits him sharply as he opens the heavy, graffitied door of the pub. The tattoed, unwashed doorman doesn't bother asking for his ID. He walks briskly past the restaurant tables and bar, saying hello to a few people, then muscling his way through the thick door to the basement. He could feel the vibrations of the music. As he opened the door to the stage, the thunderous chords of Communication Breakdown jars his senses. He grins briefly. The only escape from his catastrophic day is his friend's cover band rehearsing,; bravely taking on Led Zepplin.

*Bloggers note* - This is my entry for 's weekly 100 word challenge. I write 100 words around a 1 word prompt. This week's word is JARS. For those who may be wondering. There's a story happening here. Starting this week I will put the 100 word challenge posts together at to start a short fictional story.


Monday, September 13, 2010

The Authority Blog

Fresh off my compromise with Tay's homecoming plans, I am now experiencing new authoritative revelations. In high school I played on the football team (poorly) for four years. At the time I disliked every one of my coaches. They pushed me, yelled at me, drove me, and asked from me more than I thought I could deliver. How dare they. Twenty plus years later I realize, while their schemes were elemntary and unimaginative at times (we shouldn't have been running the option. we were too slow and too small), their personalities were perfect to help young men learn about themselves. Parenting and football coaching are parallel philosophies.

I graduated from the University of Alabama in the early 1990s with a degree in communications. Alabama is known for their football program. They won the national championship in my senior year. They won it last season. They currently employ Nick Saban as their head coach. Saban has a brilliant mind for recruiting and developing elite talent. He is a sour demeanored perfectionist. He has more detractors than supporters because of his history of jumping from job to job. He also tends to be disagreeable with the media. I personally like that part of his personality but media types will paint a person a certain way if he doesn't stroke their egos. Saban's record in several jobs is outstanding. He has won two national titles and appears to be ready for a third. He is not well liked by many people, including his own coahing staff. The best part of Saban is he holds his players accountable for their performance, often threatening them with their positions. This works in the football world because you are only as good as your last game. Saban's players rarely are in trouble, mainly because they fear him. Saban would probably make a terrible CEO or high school principal, but in the dog eat dog world of major college football, he's perfect.

I am finding, with my kids, that trying to make them happy all the time is a waste of time and energy. Their mother and I are not their friends. At least not right now. We are their to love them, protect them, provide for them, and mold them into good people. We are supposed to say no, stop it, quit whining, eat your food, you've got to be kidding me, get off the phone, don't hit your sister, make up your mind, inside or outside, put on clothes when it's cold, do your homework, call your grandparents and tell them thank you, walk the dog, pick up your clothes, clean your room, and show me respect. As a result, my kids are not going to like me, think I'm cool, or even smile in my presence some of the time.

The opposite of Nick Saban is University of Georgia's coach, Mark Richt. Richt is a smart man who lives an almost pristine lifestyle. He is a God fearing, religious driven, child adopting saint of a man who has the lifestyle respect of everyone in his reach. Media types love him because he is loyal, nice, available, and exhibits an air of kindness unseen in most of college football. Richt's regular season record is terrific but he has never won a national championship. He hasn't won a league title in 5 years. Richt is a very nice man, but his program has been beset with disciplinary problems for years. In the past 12 months, his players has been arrested 9 times. His best player, receiver AJ Green is serving a four games suspension for illegally selling a bowl game jersey to an agent. The one "knock" on Richt is his players like him, they don't fear retribution for there poor behavior.

I think being a parent merges the styles of Saban and Richt. You demand personal responsibility from your children. Yet, you shower them with affection. Let them know you care about them. If they do get out of line, they need to know that their are real consequences. Trying for perfection is stupid. I am learning this. While you can have high expectations for your kids, knowing they will fail is required. Teaching them how to handle failure is tantamount. I can't replace one of my daughters when they get in trouble the way Saban can replace a running back. I also can not go easy on one of my girls because I love them and think they're cute and smell nice.

I am not a John Cougar Mellanchamp fan. He has a few songs that are tolerable. One of which is The Authority Song. It's an ode to the Bobby Fuller Four tune, I Fought The Law (later covered by The Clash). The chorus goes "I Fight Authority, Authority always wins.  Well, I've been doing it since I was a young kid, and I come out grinning. Well, I fight authority, authority always wins."

I hope my kids rebel, even fight their mom and I. That's natural. It shows heart. I'm ok with them thinking I'm a jerk for making them clean their room or tell the truth or talk to their mom with respect. I just hope they always give their best effort, leave everything they have out on the field, and strive to be the best player they can be. Wait, I'm mixing metaphors or something. Maybe I need to run laps til I throw up.

Here's some more Johnny Cougar:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Dance

"You Can't Always Get What you Want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need." - The Rolling Stones

I preface everything that follows this sentence with this proclamation; I do not support the idea of girls, especially ones I am responsible for, dating before the age of 16. That's where I stand.

Earlier tonight, my 14 year old daughter, known in this blog as Tay, announced she is planning on asking her friend who is a boy, also 14, to her Homecoming High School dance in October. I immediately did not support her going. Her mom and I, as always, talked at length about it, and decided that dropping her off at the chaperoned event at the school would be ok, but we will sort out all the conditions as the date approaches. For now, at this moment, my daughter thinks I'm an ok person. I know it won't last, especially after the conditions get sorted.

I am brand new at teen parenting. As blogged before, I met Tay at age 12, and she is close to her 15th birthday. I have watched completely change in looks, personality, and attitude. I make so many mistakes with her. To her credit, she is pretty forgiving.

For the uniniated, teenage girls start haphazarding planning their events months in advance. Tay and her newest best gal pal have been talking about dresses, dates, and gossip surrounding homecoming for about 3 weeks. I was under the impression they were going as a group of friends. The friend who is a boy came into the picture this weekend; as a date possibility. I trust Tay. I know I shouldn't, because she's a teenager and teenagers are crazy, but Tay is a great kid. She makes almost perfect grades, tosses her mom and I enough bones of respect for us to keep her breathing, and she's a really good sister to the younger ones. It's not her I'm worried about, it's the friend who is a boy and everyone else. The friend who is a boy is a good kid (like I'm going to pump him up, right?). He and Tay have been "friends" on and off since April. They are doing well as we speak.

The discussion questions are complex, yet intriquing. Did I make the right decision agreeing to let her go? What conditions should be met? Have I cracked Pandora's door so far that I will regret this? Does anyone know where I can get better anxiety drugs?

Feedback would be appreciated. Share you parenting thoughts. Keep the comments as clean as possible. Thinking about the worst only makes me crazier.


Friday, September 10, 2010


If you read it on the internets, then it's true. I turned 40 today. I am having trouble accessing twitter through the conventional route so I am saying thank you to everyone here. My family has put up with my moodiness, whining about aging and my stomach flu this week and treated me with amazing kindness and generosity. I got a Green Lantern action figure, a remote control truck, a set of disaster movies, some new tennis shoes, and two red velvet cakes. Bobina and I are going to see Slash in concert next week. I''ll expand on my angst later about this number I turned earlier today. Let's just say, so far, it's been a rough go for me. I am counting my blessings, these four women I live with, and getting my head out out my rear end. I have more at 40 than most dudes do at 70.

Thanks for the texts, phone calls, tweets, and facebook posts on Bobina's page. Every word meant the world.

As Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy would say, "Come after me, I'm a man, I'm 40!"


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


In his wallet were three one dollar bills. Four strokes of a computer keyboard showed his checking account balance of three hundred and twenty three dollars. In his sweaty left hand was a check for seven hundred thousand dollars. His heart raced. His chest tightened. A middle class kid from moderate means; he now found himself monied. In his second year of brokering, he was everything he never thought he would be; corrupt. He traded shares of a company that didn't exist and, for now, gotten away with the con. On the outside he looked accomplished. Inside, he was rotten.

*blogger's note* This is exhibit four of the my participation in the 100 word challenge, sponsored by aka @velvetverbosity on twitter. I write 100 words or less on a one word theme. This week's word is ROTTEN. I wanted to wax poetic on Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten but at the last minute I went with this take on a decayed soul. Please check out the other entries.

Also keep your eye on over the coming days and weeks.


On The Juice

I was hanging out with my man crush today and he gave me a good idea. I guess some explanation is necessary. Jonathan Franzen is my favorite living writer. He is my literary Derek Jeter. I was in an office for a meeting earlier and they had Time Magazine. Franzen was on the cover last month for a profile for his new novel, Freedom. I haven't read Freedom, because I haven't hit a bookstore or since the book came out a few days ago.  The Time magazine article is here:,8599,2010000-4,00.html

I was screwing around last night and wrote some pages that I think he wouldn't laugh too hard at before he blew his nose with them. Like Franzen, I dig literary realism. His 2001 book, The Corrections, is the '27 Yankees of 21st Century literature. The reviews for his new book, Freedom, say it's the '98 Yankees. Dude is really good at telling stories.

Franzen's work, combined with 3 hours of quiet, The Urban Hymns album from The Verve, and two or three good blog posts from some twitter friends encouraged me to take the next big step. I'm putting last night's writing together with writing from a few weeks ago, and posting them, in narrative form here: . The goal is to write every other day. I hit the gym 3 to 4 days a week and that keeps me in decent shape, I figure if I post 3 to 4 days of my stuff that should look good enough to get some feedback, grow my composition, and see if I can get a book together.

My wife says I can have neither a girlfriend or a sportscar for my midlife crisis so I am finally writing a book. I'm also getting another tattoo at the end of the month. I digress.

I feel energized, happy and strong. Turning 40 in 3 days isn't going to be so bad, I hope. By using the blog to exercise my brain, I hope to reach some goals, thought unattainable years ago. Give me a couple of days to get the site readable. This site stays functional. It's easy to maintain. I'll link both places and make things as less confusing as possible. I have another 100 word post coming with the word theme being; ROTTEN. I'll post it later tonight or tomorrow on this site.

Go get Franzen's other novels as well as Freedom. He is a genius.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cake Island

One of the more underrated lines of dialogue in the history of cinema happens in the 1999 classic, Office Space. Peter asks Lawrence "What would you do if you had a million dollars?" Lawrence's R-Rated response, while hilarious, is inappropriate for this family blog but I just figured out how I would answer Peter's inquiry. I'd buy this island

Also borrowing material from Office Space, don't get out your Tom Symkowski's Jump To Conclusions mat and leap to the thought that I am either materialistic or ostentatious. I am talking about packing up everything I own, my wife, and the 3 girls and moving to this small (.4 acre) island off the coast of Marathon Florida and living in peace and modesty. The name of this on the market island is Charlie's Island. I think me, Bobina & the girls could come up with something more germane to our family, but since I'm riding this Cake gimmick we'll just say Cake Island is a real possibility. Cookouts, satellite tv football games, and great fishing are open to everyone. I just need the million bucks.

Here's more information on Charlie's Island:'s-island-florida.htm

I used to want to live in downtown New York City in the middle of everything. I have done a 180 degree turn. I am ready to be away from the traffic, stress, and everyday business. Having a place to really call my own, an island, is a dream. Fishing, sunbathing, swimming, quiet, and a place to relax would be perfect. The price tag being one million large sounds very reasonable. Now, I'm going to wake the kids up so they can help me go through the couch cushion to look for loose change.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Blog Hop

This is a blog hop tool to link other bloggers and make it easier to read and find some good writers. Please oblige my networking and ehck out some people who blog well.

Also this is shameless self promotion for My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog to wreck more havoc on the internets and get people to enjoy this place. Yeah, at the end of the day, it's all about me. Sarcasm and truth will set you free.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Material Show

Beverly Hills 90210 is the Madonna of television shows. That's my thesis. Now, I'll support my position through intelligent discourse with facts like; Steve Sanders was awesome.

During the summer of 1991, I went to Florida on vacation with my closest friends in college. I became frustrated by their laziness during the 9o'clock hour at night because they wanted to stay in the condo and watch tv. I hadn't discovered Beverly Hills 90210 but they had, and the second season was keeping them glued to the screen. At first I was not impressed with the soap opera acting, the unlikely plot lines, and the ridiculous notion of getting involved with the fictional lives of rich high school kids. Then I started watching the summer season. I kept watching. I started seeing the layed appeal of the characters and the situations. The show touched every cultural hot topic - abortion, drugs, sex, dating, cheating, school pressures, gambling, having your girlfriend's mobster dad put a hit on you and him accidently killing her then calling a truce with you in his grief. You know, all of the everyday things that happen to each of us.

Beverly Hills, 90210 wasn't the best scripted show. It wasn't the best acted program. It wasn't even well rewarded or at times respected. Beverly Hills, 90210 was entertaining. Madonna wasn't the best dancer, singer, writer, musician, or actress but she is one of the greatest entertainers ever seen or heard because of how much she put into her act. That was Beverly Hills, 90210 way as well.

My favorite character was the tender hearted, mischievious rich kid, Steve Sanders. Athletic, vain, popular, funny, troublemaking, loyal, and always in the compamy of pretty girls, he was the perfect testosterone fueled teenager, young adult. I wasn't Steve Sanders. I was a combination of good guy, overachieving Brandon Walsh and bad decision making, always tortured Dylan McKay. As a result I disliked both characters. Sanders was always happy, even when he was in a world of trouble.
He also never took himself seriously like the other characters did. I think this makes the actor who played him, Ian Ziering, an ironic genius.

What connects Beverly Hills, 90210 to Madonna, "intellectually", is how the show constantly changed. Cast members left and yet the show kept growing. No one thought Madonna would surivive the 80s and yet she matured and put our her best records in the 90s, including the electronic music classic, Ray of Light. As a the Beverly Hills kids got out of high school and went to California University (Go Condors!), they kept mining pop culture ore with hot button issues like date rape and opening a night club called above their favorite diner hangout, The Peach Pit.

I believe in the Happy Days theory, "Jump the Shark". Everything, including television shows, have a spot where creativity dips. I was a fan of seasons 2-6. Season 1 isn't very good, credit the Fox Network for sticking with the show. I blame Hilary Swank for the show's eventual demise. The future two time Academy Award winner. Her character Carly Reynolds, a single mom who temporarily tamed Steve Sanders, was given very littel to do, bored everyone, was written out after a year, and Swank's subsequent success cursed the legacy of the show's final years.

Besides Sanders, 90210 gave us Shannen Doherty's Brenda Walsh, Tiffani Thiessen's Valerie Malone, and Jennie Garth's sometimes interesting Kelly Taylor. Luke Perry's Dylan McKay was better drunk. Brian Green's David and Tori Spelling's Donna were better apart than together. The worst storyline wasn't the most outrageous one, it's when Kelly couldn't decide between Dylan and Brandon and drops a monumentally bad line of dialogue "I choose me". Of course the next episode, she's got a new boyfriend.

Like Madonna, 90210 could be really bad. Like Madonna, 90210 could be really good. The show lasted 10 years, the theme song was memorable, the styles were copied, and anyone from the age of 35 to 45 can quote scenes, lines, characters, and cultural significance of something 90210 related. That's the mark of good entertainment.

For today, and today only, September 2, 2010, aka 90210, let's recognize the television landmark that was Brandon, Brenda, Dylan, Donna, David, Kelly, and Steve; Beverly Hills 90210. Grow the side burns low, flip the polo shirt collars up, find a convertible red corvette to drive, and get really materialistic and spoiled. Duh nuh nuh nuh, duh nuh nuh, chee chee.....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


He grimaces as water runs over his purpled knuckles. Bloodshot eyes glimpse shamefully at his reflection. Images from the previous hours flash. Several whiskeys led to a violent fight. He walks to the refrigerator and takes a frozen bag of peas to ice his hand. He finds his cell phone on the counter and plays a voicemail with the speaker on. An angry female voice bellows "Lose my number. You're an embarrassment. Your drinking has hurt me and my friends for the last time!" The pain in his injured fingers increases. He opens the fridge and takes out a beer.

* Bloggers note *

This is attempt number three in the 100 word writing challenge. The word prompt this time is "fingers". You can find the 100 word challenge at or , both great sites. No comment on whether this entry is based on a true story.