Archive for April, 2013

My Pre-Birthday Thought For The Year

April 30, 2013

Say what you will about aging, but on the plus side, you fear life sentences a little less each year.

No Subtitles Required

April 29, 2013

Adopted words always make for interesting overheard conversations in what would otherwise be in an unfamiliar tongue.  Today’s example from breakfast:

“Blah, blah, blah, blah, public drunkenness.  Blah, blah, blah, resort pool, blah, blah, blah, yeah . . .”

(As an addendum, a further snippet of conversation revealed to me that the subject of this conversation’s blood alcohol level was such that he “should” be fine by the afternoon, and that he was being remanded to the care of his mother.  Somehow I suspect that conversation is one that will require no translation either.)

Ask A Silly Question

April 26, 2013

While foraging for a quick snack today (and loving most things sour), I announced, “I think I’ll have some sauerkraut.”

Wrinkling her nose up in disgust (and sounding more than a little horrified), Lala asked, “And what are you going to eat it with?”

“A fork,” I answered matter-of-factly.

But That May Not Have Been The Point In Question

April 25, 2013

An aspiring author of my acquaintance was recently questioned on his use of the phrase, “You couldn’t swing a dead cat around without hitting something.”

Always eager to provide feedback and support, I offered my opinion that it would be too cumbersome to say, “You couldn’t swing an initially alive, but soon quickly dead cat around,” so I advised him to stick with the original as written.

Proof That You’re Never Too Old To Make A Rookie Mistake

April 24, 2013

(This story is, of course, told with prior consent from all involved.)

“I have a weird nose,(1)” Lala said as she considered herself in the mirror this morning.

Now, kids, this is the point where a smart man finds something interesting to do in another room, and that’s exactly what I should have done, and I most decidedly should not have said, “It’s a little on the big side, sure, but who am I to talk?”(2)

There was a moment’s silence, then I heard, “Wait!  I have a big nose?”  There was just enough pause at this point for me to have time to appreciate the full horror of my situation, then Lala wailed, “I do!  I have a big nose!”

Sadly, despite my prayers, Zeus couldn’t spare any thunderbolts in my direction, so there was no easy way out of my predicament either.

Fortunately, a quick example with a handy fedora and an improvised red scarf proved my point that not only who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!  But what nose is easily seen by the eyes of men? My Shadow nose!

Happily, that evened the score again, because, like I said, who am I to talk?

In fact, I’m giving serious consideration to not talking at all for a few days.


(1) She doesn’t.

(2)  “Oh, Rob . . . NO!” was L’s Mother’s horrified response at this point of my telling her this tale.

Making Me A Bard In A Guilted Gauge, You Might Say

April 23, 2013

As I mentioned recently, my available free time isn’t what it once was; I truly am okay with this.(1)

But one of the things that does get to me from time to time is the realization of how little time I have right now for keeping in touch with people outside the walls of my house.  My friends and extended family(2) have been very understanding about the current strictures on my availability, but I still feel bad about it now and again.

For example, the other day an old friend I hadn’t talked to in months dropped me a line just to let me know “she wasn’t dead,” and while this made me happy, like I told her, “I thought about asking, but figured that if you were dead, you wouldn’t answer, and if you were alive, you’d drop me a line eventually.”

Have I mentioned I tend to get glib when I feel guilty over something?

So I’m definitely feeling some guilt over all this, particularly how often I choose to use my rare quiet moment to write instead of pick up the phone, but I don’t think I feel too guilty about it,  otherwise I wouldn’t be quite that glib.  Even so, I think I’ll set today aside to gauge how I really feel about this.(3)


(1) I’m not always good with it, admittedly, but I am okay.

(2)  The ones still talking to me, I mean.

(3)  Yes, I really walked that far for today’s title joke.

Maybe They Meant He Was THEIR First

April 22, 2013

Only in the world of ad copy can a man who has authored countless articles and stories over the course of a friendship that has lasted more years than either of us would likely care to admit, only in that world can such a man be described as “a first time author.”

And I’m Ashamed To Admit That It Took Me THIS Long To Realize This

April 19, 2013
(This is the tabled post I referenced earlier this week.)

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, a friend of mine, hit closer to home by the event than I, expressed his wish that he could say something intelligent, empathic, or eloquent in response, but all he had was rage and despair for humanity.

So this is being done on his behalf, with deep appreciation for the inspiration from all those I’ve heard say something similar to what I’m about to say, but didn’t quite say it the way I felt needed to be said:

In times like these, it helps to consider the numbers involved.  While exact details remain sketchy at this time, it is safe to say that only one or two, or at most a few, are responsible for the many victims.  I think it’s also safe to say that the perpetrators want us to feel rage and despair, which is reason enough alone to not give them what they want.  Even more important than that, the victims need sympathy and support, and that should be the priority.

And it is.

The actions of the few, having hurt the many, has to led to millions outpouring their sympathy and support, as is the norm in cases like these days.

Let me say that again:  “As is the norm.”

It’s the norm.

Just think about that.  It’s the norm, and it’s a norm that’s been demonstrated time and time again with the arrival of the Information Age!

For one moment, let us ignore the attempt at disruptive noises made by the few when most are quiet.  Let us ignore the attempts to shock just so a few can vainly attempt to fill the silence, within and without, that they can not abide.  When people are brought together by tragedy, any tragedy, for one moment it becomes clear that those who perpetrate horrible acts are the aberrations of humanity, not the norm.

The equation is simple:  A few may hurt many, yes.  But in return, uncounted millions respond with sympathy, support, and grace once they are made aware of what has happened.  People don’t always instantly realize what the right thing to do is.  Once they do, though, millions upon millions do it, momentarily drowning out the noise of the aberrations.

That’s not blind hope in humanity or Pollyanna faith in the power of love.  Those are the numbers.  Those are the facts, demonstrated time and time again.

“L. Is A GOOD Boy!”

April 18, 2013

As a brief intermission/observation at the end of a particularly frustrating day, I would just like to say here and now that my son, L., is a good boy.  No matter how bad my day has been, no matter what the future brings, I will never forget that.

This is in no small part because he has told me this fact a minimum of once a day for over a month now.

Making Time

April 17, 2013

I don’t have the free time that I used to have; this is just a fact of life involved in raising a child.  Even with the generous support of Lala and L’s Mother, I’ve slowly had to resign myself to the fact that, at least for the moment, “days off” are a thing of the past for me, and even periods of “time off,” in the sense of time that is completely my own, is unlikely to regularly occur in blocks greater than half an hour or so.

I’m okay with this.  (I really am, son.  Again, I knew (as much as possible, at least) what I was signing up for in advance.)

But what this means is that sometimes I have to make choices on how to spend my time, which is one of the reasons my entries here are frequently brief, but today I have something to say that requires more time than I have to say it well today.

So I’m tabling it.

I’ve drafted my thoughts out, and I should easily be able to post them before week’s end, but having done so, my only remaining thoughts for here for today is how I need to go do something else now.

And rather than make a filler entry, I  wanted to let everyone know the situation.

Talk to you soon.