Olympics

I used to love the Olympics. Grew up watching them. Huge event, not just for the Olympians, but for our household. We would watch nightly, daily, and endlessly – all winter and all summer – every election year. It was intense and exhausting. It felt as if we were part of a ‘family olympics’. The goal of OUR games was to endure the grueling schedule of watching televised olympic events for an entire year.

Then they changed it to every other year.

It used to correspond with elections. There were Presidential Elections. There was hope. There was the Olympics. We were in tune with our country, and regardless of any allegiance to our country’s olympians, the olympics themselves seemed patriotic.

I couldn’t care less if the individual who wins is from our country or not. My patriotic allegiance is to skill, beauty, and talent. If this red, white, and blue-ism includes being elated over the stunning performance from someone born in another country, so be it. I will favor based on attitude, a winning smile, or just personal style. If the olympian meets the standard I alone set, then I root for them. I love when they stand on the podium with their country’s flag. Good for them! They met my criteria AND the judges. They should get to wear heels or something for that.

The skiing is visceral. These phenomenal athletes race down the slopes at highway speed, making turns on ice with just boards attached to their feet. I watched this past week as many women fell, audibly gasping as I internalized their plight. This is dangerous stuff, and these women were braver than almost any man you will meet. But they don’t think of themselves as such. When you are in it, you are thinking only of how you will win. Others falling ahead of you could inspire you to show your stuff, but you cannot be oblivious to what it means. Lyndsay Vonn was amazing, but so was the final skier who finished 2 seconds behind her. As she came down the announcer was saying, “She’s really gotta pick up the pace…” but all I could think was: ‘She’s doing it. She is going to finish.’ She skied cautiously, and finished, while Lyndsay skied aggressively and amazingly, and snagged the gold.

Recently the skating has been on, and this is great. The men skate and train all their lives to get to the olympics. What they don’t know is they only win by a nose. In the final analysis, in order to grab a medal, you must have a sizable proboscis.

In women’s skating, there was a 16 year old American by the name of Mirai Nagasu who skated brilliantly in the short program. Then she skated extremely well in the long program, but fell short of a medal. Talent, athleticism, and artistry are important, but don’t forget to make a deduction for age. Sure, Kim Yu-na was better. She was amazing. But Mirai Nagasu deserved the silver.

I am a proud American. I proudly announce Kim Yu-na deserved to win the Gold. Hooray for South Korea – – even though she felt the fatal pressure of shame for her country had she returned with a measly silver medal. Between Gold Medal or death, Kim Yu-na made a wise decision.

It isn’t my patriotic spirit that feels ripped off by Mirai Nagasu’s failure to win a medal. This is a yearning inside that says sports – especially at this level and on a World Stage – deserve better score-keeping management. If the judges don’t get their act together we will make a hole in the ice to stick their face, then require the skaters to do spins in this place.

I am a proud American. Bleeding red, with white blood cells, and singing the blues.

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Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except for The Louse.

The husband all snuggled up in his warm office, was doing nothing to kindle a dreamy romance.

The wife she lay sleeping alone in the bed, while visions of romance danced in her head.

Awakening shortly in search of Valentine’s clues, she finds one clawing cat, 2 whining dogs, and a fresh pile of poo.

Her husband has fled to find a last minute gift, which he hopes within her will induce a lift.

He will be forgiven of this he has found, their love is permanent and she gives him the crown.

He wears it with honor, for she is the one, he chose to Marry until life’s setting sun.

He will return and she will embrace, this man who has scurried back from the race

Elbowing, shoving, and near-bloody nose, to get a Valentine’s gift that really shows

All the love he has for her though cannot be achieved, for any gift given pales to what he received

The cup runneth over when she married him, looking upward you cannot even make out the brim.

Writing

So I was in Greenfield the other day. While enjoying my morning coffee, I am writing in my journal, as I am wont to do. Sitting at a 4 seat table with my journal open, and pen in hand, the ink is penetrating and covering the page. Some guy approaches with a salad and asks me if I wouldn’t mind him sitting at the table with me.

“Are you waiting for someone?” He asks. “There is room upstairs. I could go upstairs if you would prefer.”

“Yeah,” I said, flustered. “I will only be here a few more minutes”.

Then he sits down.

I am dumbfounded. I cannot believe this guy just took it upon himself to sit down next to me when – as he acknowledged – there were other tables available. I was wondering if my haughty Americanism was getting the better of me, and if it was I who was being disdainful towards him for not welcoming his presence at the table directly adjacent to my writing forum… but I don’t think so.

I was immersed in what could be the most intimate act anyone can legally perform in public.

I should have said: “Sure you can sit here, but I just noticed something: I think you have some food stuck in your upper molars. Do you mind if I get it out with my fingernail before you eat?”

Stepmothers

For Christmas I gave my wife a book on step-mothering. This was not because I believed she needed any assistance, but because she is genuinely interested. She takes it seriously. I have given her books before, and she appreciated them, but this one was very enlightening. I have been reading it myself, and am amazed at what a tough task – a truly thankless job – the role of step mothering is. Hard enough to enter into the world of marriage for the first time on the second go-round. It is another altogether to live the life of a stepmother. I had no idea.

The stepmother is not revered, rarely appreciated, and kicks ass nonetheless.

I remember when I was dating my wife. The divorce venom was coursing through the arteries of our life. Things were difficult, trying, and just plain crazy. I told her my daughter comes first. Frustrated – but understanding – she said to me with tears in her eyes, “I wouldn’t love you so much if you didn’t feel that way.”

My daughter as first priority was non-negotiable. She wouldn’t have loved me as much even if my values put her on a higher pedestal. She was on the fast-track to marriage.

I am married to the most beautiful woman in all the world. While stunningly gorgeous to the sight, she would look the same to me were I blind. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever met. Her heart encompasses my own as well as my daughter’s… with room to spare.

My daughter cried throughout our Wedding Ceremony, showing an emotional maturity far exceeding the mere 9 years of her life. They get along great, and there is real love, all around.

I am blessed by the women in my life. Yes, I am referring to my 9 year old daughter as a Little Woman. She has grown into the title with beauty, dignity, and grace..

In the mornings I set my alarm to a few minutes before 6:00 AM. To get to school on time, we need to be out the door at 7:30, at the latest. Last week I awoke at 7:00 AM, in a sheer panic. When I came into the kitchen there was my daughter, dressed, and having made herself a bowl of cereal for breakfast. She made me a bowl as well, and was getting the spoons when I first saw her.

“Hi dad!” she said.

My Little Woman.

I am a lucky man. I owe this largely to these amazing women in my life.

It’s Never Enough

It’s never enough just to love, for love is fickle.

It’s never enough just to embrace, for we must also tickle.

It’s never enough to think it’s enough – for beyond the perimeter of possibilities is satisfaction – lying in wait.

It’s never enough to do your best: The one who didn’t do it would have done it better.

Satisfaction is like a helmet of gnats. Impossible to pinpoint, it makes you uncomfortable, and you never feel ownership.

The puppy is cute. She’s adorable in fact. If she could just learn to signal when she needs to go outside that would be great. Cleaning up is tedious and gross. Just let me know, Babe. I’ll take you out. Of course, I could just take her out every 15 minutes. That would work. That would also work wonders destroying my life, and the ownership of said life which I desperately attempt to maintain. But do we ever really own our lives?

Father Gene said: Until you give your time you don’t own your time.

I am trying to own up to that philosophy, but I have no time to give. It is all owned by ‘the others’… who scarf it up like pilgrims to land.

I would gladly give my life for the people I love. This became apparent – like a softball sized tumor – during The Divorce. The divorce process was one of complete disillusionment. I don’t know if anybody can really appreciate what it is to go through a custodial divorce. All I ever cared about was my child. I would do anything for her, but the cards were all tainted. They still are.

The hardest thing to convey was my experience – as the mother of my daughter – and the primary caregiver for the first 6 years of her life. Twice a week I would be in the stands during swim team practices, just me and the other moms. Every Saturday I would take her to dance class and sit outside and chat with the other moms. On Sundays we would go to church – just the two of us – for years before the divorce began. I would wait outside after school – with the other moms – for the bell. Then my beautiful daughter would come running to me. I would pick her up in the air, and we were elated to see each other. On nice days I would bring her to the park. There she would run, climb and swing. I stood watching and occasionally helping her along, alongside the other mothers.

I love my job but it doesn’t pay. It does have a flexible schedule which allowed me to spend all this time with my daughter. While I will never get the time back, it is part of my permanent karmic record of devotional love.

Unfortunately, the courts don’t care. They didn’t even want to see it. I asked the GAL to speak to all these people – professionals – whose lives intertwined with my daughter. I gave them all the contacts, but they actively ignored them. Meanwhile, I was spending 9 out of 14 days without my daughter. She was suffering, and it was apparent. I could only hope to heal her suffering by keeping the battle subdued. I did my best, but the vortex spun a life of it’s own.

It was clear to me that a father’s place is at work. The mother’s job is to bring up the child. I had defied this norm, and was told by The Powers That Be: Too bad. Go out and make more money so you can pay more child support. That is my function. This was the pill I needed to swallow, but it got caught in my throat and I spit it out. The legal system has no right to keep me from my child. No matter how twisted she may be, I have no right to keep her from her mother. Why isn’t my parenting time valued – more than custodial contributions – by the courts? The courts emphasis should be a battery of tests to find out about parental emotional stability. That is all. If there isn’t a problem, then custody should be shared equally. In fact, even if a child might perform better in school living with one parent, this is mutable. Placing emphasis on things outside the home to decide ‘best-interest’ custody is just a venom-spewing, bloodsucking, demonic modus operandi. It is like having an affair to decide whether to stay married. The parents are the authority. When the courts take parental authority – including equal time – away from parents, it is inherently bias and the antithesis of child-advocacy.

Any system which values the money a father can give to the mother, in lieu of the love and attention the father gives to his child, is nothing short of perverse.


Hello world!

First off, I need to throw in The Great Disclaimer: Everything I write is for entertainment purposes only. The words parlayed only reflect possible real-life scenarios, and not actual events. These are merely thoughts which careen – clanging, loudly at times – around the skull of my conscience. Any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental. That being said, I do own the words. I own them insofar as they themselves cannot be stolen. Spewed, repeated, regurgitated for sure, but the lunacy is mine alone. I am king of this court. Visitors cannot infer proprietorship to these oozing conceptual drippings

Life is wild: Though slow and draining, it is a whirlwind until you close your eyes. Then it’s all over.

Don’t blink.