Thieves

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If you’ve ever wanted to listen to any of my advice take this to the bank: don’t ever let a little girl steal your heart. Love them all you want, but do not give your heart away, no matter how precious, no matter how little.

When I was 23, I fell in love with my wife. She was a 22 year old single mother, and the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Her daughter was a kid out of a situation comedy, you know the type: adorable, fork tongued, funny, and amazing.

The only way this arangement was going to work, was for her to love me, and vice versa. At first, she did not. Quite the opposite in fact. She is the only person who has ever punched me in the nose…ever. She hated me every fiber of her tiny, adorable being, until she didn’t.

One day she decided to love me, and that love hit me harder than any punch. She called me Poohbear, saving the title of dad for her own.

I have to be honest, before these two, I never thought I would have children. I have always been too self-centered for that kind of responsibility, but here they were. Needless to say, I fell hard, and watched the years roll by.

I have heard it said that time flies when you are having fun. I have had the time of my life, sharing joy and pain with these beauties. One day we were buying school uniforms for kindergarten, the next, we were picking out prom dresses.

It happened that fast.

I have quoted Jason Silva many times. “Life begins when you step out of your comfort zone.” It is the truth – I was terrified to be a father, but now, I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it.

Happy 16th birthday Kaylee. I hope your life is as full as your smile, and happiness comes as easily for you as that which you have given to me. I love you.

Oh and that part about never letting a little girl steal your heart, don’t forget it. One day she will be grown and she’ll never give it back. I don’t mind though, it was always hers to take.

Advice From A Character

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Of late, my focus (my writing focus) has been scattered at best. Not to say that I haven’t been chipping away at it, but distractions, my friends, are in the air. When I say distractions, I don’t mean binge watching The Walking Dead on my DVR, or a difficult work schedule. For me, distractions come in the form of self-doubt, getting under my skin like a tick. I scratch, and I dig at these ticks of doubt. I can pull out the body, but the head of the thing is lodged deep within.

Let me set the scene for you – you know, for posterity and whatnot.  It was too dark when I woke up, the stars were still laying claim to the night sky. My alarm hadn’t gone off yet, but thanks to my nocturnal pets I lay in bed awake. It was cold, a lot colder than I thought it would be for this time of year in the desert, and our thin blanket was not doing the trick. My wife was up first, she let the cat out,  “goddamn filthy wretched animals,” she muttered as she made for the slider. Before long though, she returned to sleep, and so – so, I did what any normal person would do: I went to work.

The drive, is usually wear these blogs come together. It is where I sit and think about what concerns me today. Today though, I thought nothing. Not because I’ve given up, not because I didn’t care, but I kept thinking: what’s the use? What could I possibly have to say of any great importance?

Ugh, I hate that. When I get so far into the bottomless pit of my head that not even a rope will get me out. Now, you may be asking yourself, “but hey, he is writing this, so…?”

I’m getting to that.

I have been focusing a lot of my attention on finishing the manuscript, letting the blog get away from me. It’s like I only have so many words, and if I blog, I won’t have enough words to continue writing my fictional work. Poppycock. Of course I’ll have words, I’m a wordy mother fucker. That does not mean however, that I have not been dissatisfied with my blogging performance of late.

To be honest, I’ve been phoning it in. Not because I don’t care, not because I don’t want to do it, but because of that nagging feeling. The overwhelming self-doubt that has me convinced that this doesn’t matter; that I don’t matter. It’s not all the time, and more often than not, it is a fleeting thought, but nonetheless, it is there.

Something happened today, hence the scene setting. I got to work, and began my vehicle inspection for the day. Unremarkable. I was in my self-doubt death spiral,  and I remembered something that one of my characters said to the other. He said, “if it matters to you, then it matters.”

Of course he was referring to psychotic jealousy, but I can cherry pick something out of context, can’t I? This sentence, these eight words were enough give me pause. It does matter to me. That is why I do it, and if it matters enough to me for me to have started this whole thing, that it matters enough to me to continue.

It doesn’t matter whether five people, 500 people, or no people ever read this. It matters that it was important enough for me to write, and that it was important enough to me. Now as the sun crests the jagged mountains, painting the landscape in the morning light, it scares the ticks away, and with bloody hands, I cut out the head of self-doubt.

There are two rules to live by:

1. Never doubt yourself.

2.  If you start to doubt yourself, see rule one.

Sabotage

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I love to watch The Morning Sun cast the first rays of daylight on to the mountains in the desert. Watching the countryside become bathed in the light of a new day reminds me of the days when I knew everything. It is the one sure thing in life, the rising sun, the setting sun; an endless cycle of life and death. The sunrise always brings hope and the promise of a new day in life, and in spirit.

I recently applied for new job. Four of them to be exact, these prospects have made me tentatively hopeful for the future, but they also did something else. Remember last week, I spoke about being a dick to my family. I blamed writing, and a bunch of other nonsense, but the truth that I did not want to name, was that it was this prospects for a new future that made me feel out of control.

In recent time, I have become the master my own destiny. It is this fact that has made me feel more free than I ever have. For the first time in a while, I put a gate keeper between me and my future. The feeling it had created in me was one that contradicts all I believe. To leave in the mastery of my own destiny in the hands of a stranger.

Once I put a gate keeper between me and my future (i.e. An interview panel) immediately felt out of control, and reverted to old habits.

What it has taken me days to figure out, is that this changes nothing. Even if I do move on to a different career, I am still a writer. Just as doing what I do for a day job now leaves me the opportunity to write, so will the next. What it all boils down to, is being emotionally attached to an idea.

I do not want to admit this, but this prospect in particular , will afford me much time to focus on my lifes work, well still having more time to spend with my wife and children. It seems like a win win right? So what’s the problem you ask? There isn’t one. Just old habits of personal sabotage.

Dear reader, I hope that while reading this you think about how what I do to myself is wrong. I hope that you apply it to your life, step out of your comfort zone, and take any opportunity to better yourself. As I always say, you are worth it. So am I.

Sex & Other Stuff

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Coupling, the horizontal mambo, the dirty boogie, making the beast with two backs, coitus, et cetera- we all think about it often enough, else there would be no adult film industry. I am, however, not talking about the world at large, I am talking about myself, and I am pretty sure my wife thinks that all I want to do is have sex. All. The. Time.

Here’s the thing- I make passes at her no less than 20 times a day. This is not due to my overactive male appetites, or because I am a perv…Well, maybe a little. The simple fact of the matter, is that I’m still very much in love with my wife and I find her desirable, after all these years – Probably more than when we were married.

There is nothing wrong with romancing your life partner. In fact, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be. Sometimes, I like to pretend that we are still dating, but not because I miss the dating scene. I was terrible at dating- yuck. I think this is rather healthy, pretending to date, it helps to manage expectations. When we were young, getting lucky was not necessarily going to happen every time you went out with a girl. Being married is not much different. So when taking your spouse on a date, treat them as such. It is one of the many ways that I show her she is still the sun in my sky. Don’t get me wrong, hormonaly speaking, we guys can still be cavemen, but that does not mean that there’s not something else behind it.

I constantly want to have sex with my wife, because I’m still in love with her, and I still find her sexy. It is as simple as that. Have I always been as impassioned l as I am right now? No. There was a span of time where I let life get in the way of romance. We both did, and as a result, we separated for a few months. Since that time, I realize what is amazing woman I have, and how much I still want her.

Here, are a few things you can do to start spark some romance with your significant other:

1. Flowers

Dames love flowers. You can have them sent to her work, or deliver them yourself.  It may seem hack, but there’s a reason why there is a floral industry. It really works fellas.

2. Pampering

Get your lady, or your guy for that matter, a get certificate to go do what they like to do. This could be a massage, manicure, pedicure, movies, or a handwritren voucher to rub their feet after a long day. Affection isn’t always between the sheets.

3. Date Night

Going back to what I said about pretending to date, set aside some time to remind each other why you are together. This is the tip that we try most to honor. Be on your best behavior, and remember but not every date ends in yum yum.

4. Chloroform

Repeat after me, “does this rag smell funny to you?”

5. Plant a seed

Don’t be shy about how you feel. Believe me when I say, the one you want also wants to be wanted. There is no shame in telling them how you feel, what you want from them, and how. Be specific if you would like, some folks really get into the graphic stuff. There is no shame in telling them how you feel, what you want from them, and how. Be specific if you would like, some folks really get into the graphic stuff. E.L. James made a boat load of money on explaining exactly what she was after, albeit badly. Yes i read those books -don’t judge me. They did giv3 me some ideas though, maybe it would work for you too.

Any effort you make won’t go unnoticed. Just be honest about what you feel, what you want, and who you want it from. As long is your intentions are pure, it will work out. There is no wrong way to express your love except one: hoarding it. If you love someone enough to be with them for the long haul, show it -everyday.

Parenting Hacks

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Having children can be both rewarding and trying. Sometimes, we find ourselves leaning more towards the latter, but a lot of that I think is time management. The following is a list of life hacks designed for parents. With all the time that you will save managing your children, you can devote more time to enjoying them.

1. Chores

Running a household can be difficult, to say the least. It’s easy to get caught up in the day today mad dash to complete household duties. My suggestion, is have at least 7 kids. That way, you have seven extra people to do things you don’t want to do. Your own genetic workforce…bam. Say goodbye to laundry, and hello to Netflix. Orange is the new black season 3 start soon, without mopping the floor, cleaning the bathrooms, and painting the trim on the exterior of your house, you will be binge watching in no time.

2. Pets

Get a dog. After house training, you will have A furry four-legged distraction on your hands. Granted, you will need about seven of these can distract each of your 7 children when they are not cleaning the house cooking the meals and otherwise being servants…um I mean siblings.

3. Beverages

Teach your 4 to 7 year old, the proper way to make an old fashioned. This way, not only will they have a skill useful to them in the future, but you won’t have to make your own drinks anymore. Maybe you like a martini, gin and tonic, or a Manhattan. This one is limitless, so choose accordingly.

4. Sports

Why play with your kids, when for a little bit of money, you can enroll them in a sport and let the other kids play with them. There is even a person that volunteers to teach your child how to play the sport. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, you can binge watch Sons of Anarchy at the field with a clear conscience thanks to this distracting pastime.

5. Sleep

Go to the store, and by a mortar and pestle, chewable melatonin, and a jar labeled sugar. Grind up your melatonin into a sugar like powder, and place in the jar. use 4 or 5 tablespoons of this in place of sugar on desserts. I will also accept grape flavored benadryl in Kool Aid. Bedtime will never be a problem again. You are welcome.

The final hack did not make the list of five, but it is the most profound. Spend time doing what your children like to do. Video games, Legos, coloring, it doesn’t matter. Give them the time and attention that they deserve. They are the part of you that will live on, after you cease to. Do not tell them how important they are to you, show them. That memory will out last  any toy, game, or piece of technology you give them, and it will not cost you anything, but a little bit of your time. If they were important enough to have,  then they are important enough to be shown it, everyday. All joking aside, they are worth it, and so are you.

Warring With Spawn

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If you’ve been reading this for any length of time, you know enough about me to know that I have three children that I’m very proud of. They make each day a pleasure to live, and I cannot wait to get home from work to be with them.

So with that being said, there’s a part that I fail to mention. They piss me off…Often. As much as I would like to portray that everything is great all the time, we all know that’s not how the real world works. Our children are exasperating. At least mine are, I don’t know about yours, but I would assume so.

In a recent entry titled Be Here, I discussed how your presence, my presence – our presence so necessary for our little ones. When I did not discuss, and probably should have, is how trying they can be. They’ve got nothing better to do people. The purpose of their lives is to test limits and boundaries, and try patience to see what they can get away with. It makes me crazy sometimes…Most of the time. I love them, I really do, and I know of nothing as beautiful and as remarkable as my little ones, all 3 of them are spectacular. I do not write about my teenager much, but that is for her. She’s a teenager, and that’s that. She deserves a little bit of privacy, and I try to respect that. The 4 and 7 year old on the other hand- they are fair game. Sometimes though, I just don’t know what to do with them.

Have you ever gotten to that place- the place where you test your own capability for compassion? I feel like I do it all the time, probably too often. I see myself as a patient guy, I don’t let to many things get under my skin, and I try to treat people the way that I would like to be treated. But sometimes, my beautiful perfect little people direct me past the point that I’m capable of returning from. I am after all a human, it is what happens next that dictates the course of a whole day at times.

The path of the dark side

I go all Mad Max Beyond Thunder dome and make a kid cry. Wow, what a dick, making your own kid cry…well guess what? That is exactly what happens. I am a big meaner-face and little girls and boys run to timeout in tears. That is usually where I exit and berate myself for disciplining them in the first place. I am usually harder on myself than I ever could be on them, as it should be.

The path of the light

I try to keep cool, explain, rationalize, and negotiate the surrender of the fight as quickly as possible. At times, this works quite well. If the fit in question is over Legos, video games, or ice cream, then forget it. Gandhi would yell at my kids over Legos. The bottom line is: pick your battles. My wife calls it helicopter parenting, that is, hovering over kids to keep ’em in line. That is no fun for anyone – us or them.

Do I know what is best?

Nope.

Am I an exemplary parent?

Sometimes, but we all have our moments.

The moral of the story is simple:

Don’t beat yourself up over being in charge. Someone’s got to do it.

Fiction Therapy

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For the last few days, I have been a dick to my family. Not the throwing dishes and screaming kind of dick, but more distant and cold. So, this morning as I watch the Sun crest the mountains, I thought to myself, “what is your fucking problem asshole?”

That’s what I call myself, asshole. It’s a term of endearment.

My days have been normal, I’ve been active, the stuff that usually leaves me in a pretty good mood is being taken care of. So what is my problem?

Writing.

This whole week, minus a few days, I have not written a single word. No self expression, no venting on the page, nothing. Now, I know better than that. I am a fiction junkie, and none scratches the itch more than my own.

Now I am driving down in an empty stretch of highway, the crevices lined with cracked tar in a feeble attempt to delay the inevitable disintegration of the road, and I am wondering why. What is the hold up? With the end so near, the end of the beginning anyway, I should be speeding toward the finish line, but I ain’t. Last week, yes, but not this week.

There is a condition I’m sure is not unique to me, but it is a habit I have a hard time breaking. This is where I give up, more specifically this is where I used to give up.

Not this time bitch.

If there is such a thing as the alchemy of everyday life , then time and pressure are the forces which distil thought into product. I am holding myself accountable for this lack of motivation. I tell you all the time that you can do anything. Time to put my money where my filthy mouth is.