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Entries in life (4)


Snapshots From the Life Of A 35-Year-Old

Tomorrow’s my birthday!!

July 3 will mark the 35th year I’ve kicked around dirt on this lovely spiraling rock. I’m five years closer to that magical number 40. And, as a someone nears that age their forced to take a moment and reflect on everything they’ve done since they were born.

So here’s my reflection. Snapshots of my life over the past 35 years:

July 3, 1975 I’m born! Holy shit it’s bright out here

Age 1 - What’s up bitches!! I can walk!!

Age 2 - I don’t wanna poop in that thing!

Age 3 - Mine!

Age 4 - Is this a losth toof?

Age 5 - Why is the sky blue? Why do birds fly? Why does daddy’s butt make those sounds?

Age 6 - Can you turnaround while I get dressed?

Age 7 – Mommy, can I have a Garfield lunchbox?

Age 8 – My first record – The Beach Boys, Surfin’ USA

Age 9 – My first kiss.

Age 10 – Double digits bitches! I’m an adult and now! I know everything!!

Age 11 – My mom makes me Jams that are too poofy in the front so I look like I’ve got a butt-in-front.

Age 12 – I love every girl that looks my way and masturbation is so AWESOME!!!!

Age 13 – Iron Maiden, Meggadeath, MTV Headbangers Ball

Age 14 – My first heartbreak.

Age 15 – Music obsession reaches a new high.

Age 16 – I start dating my future wife.

Age 17 – This writing thing is pretty damn cool. Maybe I should obsessively write a journal and poetry…

Age 18 – I can drink, party all night, go to class when I want and my parents aren’t around? I LOVE college!

Age 19 – Long hair and living the grunge life-style.

Age 20 – I guess I’ll major in journalism and minor in professional writing.

Age 21 – I sell my car for $50 and my best friend almost murders me over it.

Age 22 – Why hello there real world…damn this sucks!

Age 23 – I marry the wife and place my balls in jar never to be seen again.

Age 24 – The wife and I contemplate moving to Washington state for the hell of it. End up in Virginia instead.

Age 25 – My first house! Now I’m all grows up!

Age 26 – Let’s start taking this running thing to a whole new level!

Age 27 – It’s a boy!! Let’s name him Grayson!

Age 28 – I just….want….to…..sleep. And I run my first marathon!

Age 29 – It’s a girl!!! Let’s name her Macy!

Age 30 – I just….want…to…sleep.

Age 31 – Oh sweet vasectomy how I love you!!

Age 32 – No more diapers! No more cribs! And everyone’s sleeping! Could this be real?

Age 33 – Alright family…let’s pack-it-up and move our asses to Chicago!!

Age 34 – Wow…this four-months being unemployed sucks…. Oh hey new job!

Age 35……..

What a wonderful ride it’s been.



Maybe They've Had Enough

“Honey! Have you seen my keys?”

I loathe those words when they fly from the wifey’s mouth. I hear them all too often. And the word “keys” is an interchangeable word sometimes replaced with “phone,” “mind,” “other shoe,” and “purse.”

More times than I care to count, I’ve come home only to be greeted at the door by my wife’s keys hanging from the lock on the outside of the door. Yeah…the side of the door the entire world has access to. I’ve even found them early in the morning like that, which means they were dangling there all night giving anyone and everyone free access to our house, cars, and lives.

But then I think, what if my infamous words “oh, they just grew legs and walked off all by themselves huh?” where actually true? What if those keys just had “enough?”

I mean, in all reality, they share the same experiences as us, day-in and day-out. They’re snatched from their resting spot early in the morning, make the commute, sit at the work desk all day, drive home, make a quick stop at the store, experience the challenges of family life, and finally, when it’s the end of the day, settle in to relax before it all starts over again. And again.

Maybe they’ve had enough.

When all the lights are turned down for the final moment before slumber takes over, they poke their heads up for one last safety look. The beauty of being the keys is they have an all access pass.

Maybe they go for a drive and end up on some random bar, soaking in the alcohol from the air and listening to stories spewing from barstools filled souls.

Maybe they find their way to the top of the water tower—a place of solitude, where as their eyes survey all that lies before them, their minds wander, remembering, considering, projecting, and sometimes causing a smile. It’s a place where they’re comfortably aware that the slightest misstep could mean their life.

Maybe they slowly talk themselves into creeping into Home Depot, wandering the isles while deep down knowing the entire reason they’re there is to find the key cutting isle. The Mecca of un-carved flat metal pieces dangling hopelessly, unscathed of repeatedly being shoved into locks and pockets, thrown on desks and floors…living a life.

Maybe that’s always the last place they go. Maybe because the thought of erasing it all, starting over, being carved again from scratch is that sexy dream floating in their head—something fun to occasionally poke a stick at. But in reality, the scars, the repetition, the memories, each delicately carved notch is what makes them who they are.

And they crawl back home. Slide back into that familiar front door lock—their home. They take the risk of staying their all night, just so they can feel the warmth, security, and knowledge this IS where they belong. And, that they were one day carved, specifically to experience this. This time. This place. This family. This…

This life.


It's All About the Music

Music has always played a huge part of my life.

I’ve always been jealous of people who could just instantaneously look back at life and remember specific moments.

My life has been defined by music. Every moment I store in my memory could not be recalled if it weren’t tied to a specific song. I could go years without hearing one song—then it plays, and I’m eight years old again, in a horrific blue van, with my mother and brother, on my way to swim practice, and I’m watching the world pass by outside, and all I can think about is I hope my dad is there to see me.

And now, one minute, I’ll be laughing with the family in the car, while compulsively hitting the “seek” button on the radio and on comes Aerosmith, “Angel,” and my entire body tingles remembering how that was the wifey and our “song” back in the day.

Or Violent Femmes “Blister in the Sun” will hit and I’ll instantly be 17 and laughing, laying in the wifey’s trampoline out-back of her mom’s house, teaching her the lyrics while chuckling inside knowing it’s a song about masturbation.

I’ll always remember how fucking rad I thought my Uncle was when he gave me Iron Maiden “Piece of Mind” for Christmas one year.

The walls in my room during my high school days were covered in 60s & 70s posters. Janis Joplin, The Beatles, The Who, Cat Stevens, and Bob Dylan.

When I was 11, our family had driven to New York City to be with my father’s family. My cousin, a few years older, handed me his Walkman. I’m pretty sure my ears came at least five times that day as I was introduced to Led Zeppelin for the very first time of my life. That night my god-father died and we drove from New York to South Carolina non-stop, while I listened to Led Zeppelin I, II, III, & IV which my cousin gave me cause he felt bad we were on our way to bury my mother’s brother.

The very first CD I owned was the double album Led Zeppelin “Song Remains the Same Live.” John Bonham will always, in my mind, go down in history as the best drummer ever.

The introduction of Led Zeppelin was an incredible breakthrough musically for me. One I’ll never forget. And, the only thing comparable, was in 1992. I’ll never forget, sitting at the kitchen table alone, watching MTV (back when they fucking played music) and Pearl Jam “Alive” came on. The spoon fell from my hand. I was mesmerized. I later said to my good friend at the time “it’s the sound I’ve been dying to hear!” I wrote “Pearl Jam Ten” on a sheet of paper after watching the video, and owned the cassette by the end of the day.

Pearl Jam is Pearl Jam these days, but for me…it knocked down the wall to my musical boundaries and I never looked back. I even grew my hair out to live the part!

I obsess over lyrics. I can hear the drum line of every song and see it like Rain Man counting tooth picks. I remember:

The girl I dreamt about in middle school finally noticed me and we started dating. And Phil Collins “Groovy Kind of Love” was our song.

I got laid off from my job and I blared Rage Against the Machine “Wake Up” on my headphones and walked a straight line down the Chicago sidewalk daring anyone to bump my arm, look at me wrong, or even smile.

On the way home to grab some stuff from our house after our son was born, I’ll never forget playing John Lennon “Beautiful Boy,” despite the fact I blame Yoko for everything evil on this planet.

The Beatles “Don’t Let Me Down”Cold War Kids “We Used To Vacation”Iron & Wine “Trapeze Swinger”Dave Matthews Band “Say Goodbye”Bare Naked Ladies “Blame It On Me”Train “Drops of Jupiter”Temple of the Dog “Hunger Strike”Van Morrison “And It Stoned Me” (which this link is to the Great Jerry Garcia, because I could find a damn original Van Morrison version and who better to cover than Jerry!)

I could do this for hours.

I play music as much as I can for the kids. I name the bands. I try to explain the lyrics. I pound out the drum line on my steering wheel, knee, couch….in the hopes they get an understanding. I play my guitar, I long to own a piano again, and the boy and I are nagging the wifey to let us own a drum kit.

For me – the easiest answer to, “so tell me about yourself,” will always be to hand that person a CD and slowly walk out.


New Year's Resolutions 2010

Thanks to everyone who read my ramblings since I started this madness in August. Thanks to everyone who took time to knock out a comment. And…well, just thanks!

My New Year’s Resolutions

1) Get a job.

2) Stop calling the cat “jagoff,” “furry turd monster,” “sack-o-shit,” and “piece of shit” because it’s just got to be hurting his self-esteem.

3) Run a total of 1,000 miles by the end of the year.

4) Promote Pants Optional Friday until it becomes a global phenomenon or until the wifey starts participating—whichever comes first.

5) Find whatever the hell’s living in my garage and murder it.

6) Write the first three chapters of my book and start pounding down publishers’ doors.

7) Perfect my Moon Walk and be the first person to ever Moon Walk every sidewalk in the Village I live in.

8) Video myself burning the wifey’s Snuggie and YouTube the shit outta that thing.

9) Love the wifey and kids twice as hard as I loved them in 2009.

10) Continue our 7-year streak of not getting caught having sex by the kids.

11) Start a support group for people traumatized by being caught masturbating by their mother when they were a teenager.

12) Teach the boy that when he flicks a bugger they don’t just vanish in thin air—they land and turn into little hard, sharp landmines that eventually cut daddy’s foot open days later.

13) Continue to be honest, open, and consistent on whatever this blog thingy is that I’m doing here—cause in some screwed-up way it’s awfully damn therapeutic.

14) Finally take the picture of Robert Degen down from the wall in the living room and acknowledge that my idol really has passed on.

15) Invest myself more in my life than I ever have and stop acting like I’m waiting for something.