Archive for category Life
According to the internet (and really, if we can’t trust the interwebs, who can we trust!?), Chinese philospher Lao-tzu wrote, “A journey of a thousand leagues begins beneath one’s feet.” The common paraphrase for that, of course, is, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”
A journey of my own, one I’d been simultaneously preparing for and putting off my entire life, started more than three years ago with the single, not-terribly-kind sentence, “I have come to the conclusion that I am not a very good writer.”
With that sentence, I set about proving to myself that either I could be a writer or, well, just couldn’t. One way or another, though, I was bound and determined to find out.
In the course of the year that followed, I did, much to my delight, in fact, demonstrate to myself that I could write regularly if I put my mind to it. Even more importantly, what I wrote entertained my wife—sometimes to the point of laughing through tears—and that meant everything to me. Better still, not only did I write blog posts for Puddintopia that served as much-needed exercise for my atrophied writing muscles, but I also ended up with a complete novel, too. Oh, sure, I always hoped I’d end up with a novel, at some point, but I had no idea if it might take me half a decade to get there.
Turns out it didn’t.
Ten years ago, I generally thought it was cool when the time rolled around to get a new pair of glasses and update the ol’ vision prescription. In my case, I’ve been rumbling steadily down the road of deteriorating myopia since, um, third grade, which means new specs or contacts every couple years have been the name of the game.
What’s not to love about get new glasses? Few things can so fundamentally change the way people see your face as a new set of specs. And while I tend to wear my contacts more—because I have the light-sensitivity of a garden mole meaning Yay! Sunglasses!—I honestly think I like better with my glasses on. You know, more studious and less confused middle-aged beer drinker.
In case you’re curious, the script for my peepers at the moment puts me at –6, which is bad. To put that in perspective for you, without correction, I couldn’t tell the difference between my mobile phone and a ripe avocado sitting side by side on my desk, a mere 24 inches from my face.
Which is unfortunate, because avocados get worse reception than AT&T.
Usually, the disc-sleeve inside that familiar red DVD envelope from the mail gets torn open the evening after Pete the Postman slips it into your mailbox. It’s like you’re a 10 year-old all over again and Santa just came and you’ve not only got a G.I. Joe with kung-fu grip, but also a full-scale Millennium Falcon and that Play-doh, um, thing that could make either fake spaghetti or fake poop depending on which shape you picked for the dough-stuff (Mmmmm, delicious, salty play-doh) to squeeze through.
Yes, I realize now that the “thing” was an extruder and the shapes were dies, but, you know, I am *cough* 30 *cough* years older at this point. Cut 10 year-old me a little slack—he didn’t know all the things then. Honestly, it’s not like he was the only one who thought that Luke Skywalker was going save to the galaxy with his “Life Saver” and a little help from Hand “I Shot First” Solo.
Because I’m an Old Guy now, it seemed to me that I should have some Old Guywear. Nothing as frightening as Pat Boone shoes or mid-chest-level pants or anything. But you know, maybe something a dude who was trying to pass himself off as being moderately mature might wear.
You know, like a sport coat to throw with a nice pair of jeans when you go out with your other adult friends, who also aren’t dressed like they staggered out of a goodwill store bleary-eyed one morning.
(Come on, I’m a software guy by trade. We’re not exactly known for our fashion sense.)
My four year-old son, The Attitude, apparently just started a new stage in life. For the last few nights, he’s been slow to get to sleep and has been waking up tearfully in the middle of the night.
Kind of reminds me of my twenties, but let’s not go there.
In my son’s case, I’m afraid it’s worse than a few questionable late night decisions. The poor kid is seeing bugs all around him.
I mean, he’s not really seeing bugs, thank goodness. But unfortunately, there’s just no convincing him that his room is clean and bug free. Even when we turn the lights on and show him it’s just a trick of his eyes in the dark, his 4 year-old brain will not be assuaged.
There are bugs. In his room. At night. Flying around. He is certain.
As you undoubtedly gathered from Friday’s post about, well, I don’t know, reflux and other somewhat loosely related ramblings, I’ll be turning 40 this week. Actually, tomorrow, to be specific about it.
Woohoo, indeed. I’ve got party hats all picked out already. I intend to mark the occasion with a Cub Scout meeting and my daughter’s cheerleading practice.
Because, yes, I rock that hard.
In the case when celebrating something can’t conveniently be done the day itself (see above), normally I’d schedule a celebratory outing for a date after the actual event. You know, just to make sure the Earth didn’t end first in a fiery, brimstony, cataclysmic rain of meteors the size of the average Kardashian
ego home. Because then I’d feel bad for having celebrated something I didn’t actually accomplish.
Just when or how I would feel bad about it, considering that world would have ended and all, is, uh, not important right now. But I’m sure I’d still find some way to feel guilty about it. Metaphysically or whatever.
But, as we all know, next weekend there will be reveling a-plenty for St. Patrick’s Day. Now, as I’ve said, I lurves me some St. Patrick’s Day, but I also consider it one of the two larger “Amateur Hours” on the calendar. You know, when millions of people who lead otherwise normal, productive lives spend hours in the middle of a perfect good day consuming drinks with odd names they’d never even think about on a “normal” day. That’s usually followed by the only real competitive event of such days: Vomiting Upon Whatever or Whomever Happens To Be Nearby.
I should probably be clear, right off the bat, that this “This is 40″ post is, somewhat surprisingly, not about the motion picture This is 40.
Certainly, I have little doubt I’ll get around to doing 100 words on the film eventually, since that kind of adult romantic comedy makes up 90% of the movies the Puddinette and I watch together.
Nonetheless, we’re not talking about that today. Today we’re talking about my age. In four short days, I’m going to turn 40 years old. That kind of seems like a big deal to me. I mean, 30 was, you know whatever. At 30, you still have pretty much no idea what you’re doing with your life, except probably not going to clubs anymore because, damn, the kids are making those places louder and louder and more and more crowded. There are plenty of 30 year-olds still making questionable long-term life choices and acting like fools.
But 40? Forty, man, is officially middle-aged. Forty means you should probably have most of your shit together. Forty is about time to go pick out that ridiculously irresponsible and impractical red sports car that’s so little you have to wedge yourself and your 1920′s-era paperboy-style cap into it with a can of WD-40 and a shoehorn.
It’s apparently a repeating pattern in my life that something that starts innocently is ultimately destined to end up hovering around the patently ridiculous.
For instance, tell me after just having a baby that “it’s really cool being a parent”, and somehow I’ll deduce that if that’s true of only one kid imagine the benefit of having a whole horde of your very own! Which is how, ten years later, I’m having dinner nightly with four-fifths of a basketball team.
Or, if you mention to me one day that you had the best ever pot stickers last night, twelve hours later I’m likely to be face down in the lo mein pan at the Grand Dragon Buffet, sweating hot and sour soup and with my pockets stuffed full of egg rolls* and mei fun noodles (which aren’t half as fun as they sound). Read the rest of this entry »
I suppose the title of this post is, among other things, terribly misleading. While I did go on quite the day trip on Thursday, calling it a trip to New York City is about as accurate as saying spring is mostly here. I mean, spring is almost here but that “almost” ignores about a month of calendar time and the fact the central US is either getting or is about to get slammed with some hot winter storm action.
I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be wholly absent from the internet for something ridiculous like three entire days. Seriously, three days of being mostly offline is akin to, I don’t know, going down in a bi-plane crash in the Congo in the 1920′s or something. Which is to say, everyone will assume you’re dead and odds are good you’ll have to abandon societal norms and embrace a lifestyle of savagery that will leave you changed forever.