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Posts Tagged ‘stories’

So, I am sick.  I have been sick for the last few days.  I have been self-medicating with non-stop drugs while at a wedding in New York just so I could be present for my friend’s celebration (more on the wedding later, as it is blog worthy).  I feel like my body is finally saying, “The wedding is over, you are back home, let’s be sick.”  And that is what I am, sick.

I have been laying in my bed for the last couple of hours.  Our bedroom is on the second floor of an open cape cod house.  You can’t hear everything from our bedroom, but you can hear a lot.  Here is what I heard:  Based on the various metal clinks, my wife was eating dinner by herself at the kitchen table.  My best guess is that getting three kids fed did not afford her the time necessary to satisfy her hunger needs.  So, she was eating in the kitchen, and the three kids were in the family room.

Brett was telling his brother and sister a story.  I could not hear the exact words of the story.  As a matter of fact, I have no idea what the story was about.  What I can tell you is that close to every two minutes, Isaac and Violet would laugh hysterically.  They were laughing hard.  The kind of laughing that forced each kid to jump up and down and you could tell that they could not stop laughing if they tried.  Then, silence, as Brett continued his story.  Once again, I could hear the metal clink of silverware as Leah ate in the kitchen.  And then, hysterical, uncontrollable laughter, but this time, one child must run around the house in a circle because of their laughter.  I have no idea what the story was about, but I do know one thing:  According to Isaac and Violet, Brett is a comedy story-telling genius.

This is one of the few advantages of having three kids, especially when the oldest is old enough to give you a parenting break.  I would love to tell you that it is due to our awesome parenting skills that has afforded us this older sibling luxury, but that would not be true.  Here is how I remember it:  Isaac is done eating.  He wants to play.  He asks his mother to play, but she is not done eating and tells him to wait.  Isaac asks me to play, but I too am not done eating, and then I say, “Why don’t you ask your brother if he will play with you.”  He does.  Brett says no.  I go talk to Brett, “Come on man!”  And the rest is history.  Later, push Violet towards them and point out how much more fun she would have playing with them, then sitting on her parents’ lap.  Add a dash of being purposely extra slow eaters, and you got yourself an after dinner break.  Many times, Leah and I actually talk to each other while we eat and the kids play.  It’s awesome!  Don’t judge us.  Unless you have kids, you don’t understand.  Besides, we are building Brett’s character.

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You know why the kids were being entertained by Brett rather than TV?  No, it is not because we are progressive parents.  Someone lost the remote.  To encourage finding the remote, Leah stated that no one watches TV till the remote is found.  I guess Brett’s love of TV is overshadowed by his hatred of actually looking for stuff.  You got to give my son credit.  Telling a story that makes a one and a half-year old girl and a five-year old boy laugh uncontrollably truly is genius.  He has made one fatal error though; he is very good at entertaining those kids.  He couldn’t get out of giving us a break if he tried, and it’s only going to get worse.  I’m just sayin’ …

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So, recently I had an experience with someone where I was asked, very politely, to NOT write about what just happened in my blog.  They did not even want me to change the characters, or pick a different, but similar subject matter to write about, because as they put it, “Even if only you and I knew what the real story was, please don’t write about it in your blog.”  Just in case you are wondering, it was NOT my wife.  The funny thing is, this is not the first time this has happened to me.

When I first started writing this blog, about a year ago, I made it very clear that I wanted my blog to be random, with very little redeeming value.  Most importantly, I wanted to write what was on my mind.  As my friend Corey put it, I had things I wanted to say.  As a reader, I am sure that some of my blogs were good and some were bad, but all of them, for one reason or another were thoughts that for whatever reason entered my head.  Some blogs were written because of an experience, some were truly random thoughts, and some were things that I thought would be funny, but most of my blogs are not written about a specific event or person in my life, with the exception of myself, and to a lesser extent my children, especially my oldest son.  However, even my parenting blogs are more about me, rather than my children.  Nonetheless, I have a series of stories that I could have told, had it not been for my conscious decision to not tell personal stories about other people.

So, when I was asked, once again to not write about a particular event in my blog, it got me thinking:  How many times have people asked me not to write about what just happened?  I don’t know what the actual number is, but at least 20 times.  As far as I know I have kept my promise, although I have a list of stories I wish I could tell.  Maybe I will write all of the stories that I have been asked not to tell, but I just won’t publish them.  Then I will save them in a special file, possibly to be used later, when the time is right.  For example, if someone decides to run for office, or if I need a really big favor.  Is that wrong?  Probably, but I do find the idea of it very funny.  Hey Buddy, remember that time I promised I would not write about that ‘dog incident’?  And you know who you are.  Maybe you wouldn’t mind if I borrowed your car for the weekend.  Or something like that.

I wonder if reporters and columnist have to deal with this kind of thing.  Think about therapists; they must have tons of stories that they can’t tell.  Everyone has skeletons in their closets, but few people actually know where they are hidden.  Some people know where multiple people’s skeletons are hidden, like me.  I am not sure if I like that, but it does give me a sense of power.  Which is kind of cool.  (Insert evil laugh here.)

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Explain to me why people think it is OK to have a conversation in the middle of a hallway or walkway.  Why must I say “Excuse me” or have to weave through your butts to get down the stairs or move through the hallway.  Is there a reason why you can’t respect the passageway and automatically let people by?  And don’t give me that evil look when I make you move, it is the freakin’ stairway!  I’m just sayin …

 

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So, I am at home visiting the family for Thanksgiving.  My wife, and three kids braved the crazy airport scene to arrive in California where most of my family resides.  If you can avoid LAX, I highly recommend it.  We landed at 8:45 pm and did not get out of the airport until 10:15.  Here is the thing, we got all of our bags at 9:20.  It took us almost an hour just to get out of the airport, CRAZY!  The bizarre thing is that I was born and raised in LA, but now this place feels like a foreign country to me.

If you are from the Midwest, which now I must say I am a Midwesterner (You have no idea how sad it is to write that.  I am even looking at it now and thinking if I should erase it, but sadly, I can’t, the Midwest is my home now. Sad clown), you should consider a trip to LA for the experience.  I promise you, the city will not let you down.  It starts with the flight into the airport, where you will see more lights on the ground then possibly anywhere else on the planet (and I have been to a lot of the planet).  When you arrive, you will see every walk of life; black, white, hispanic, asian, muslim, greek, jews, gentiles, you name it, they will be there.  Also, foreign languages will be spoken all around you.  When I go to the grocery store near my mom’s house, the dominant language by far is Spanish.  You might find that odd, I find it very cool.  The bottom line is, despite having way too many people, too many cars, traffic at 3am, and times of smog that could kill a canary, I love LA.  However, I now must say, great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here.

Alright, now that was a huge digression.  I want to talk about family, my family, all of my family.  On Thanksgiving we ate at my Dad’s house. 

This picture is nothing like dinner at our house. First of all there are no ribs in the picture. Secondly, there is no can-shaped cranberry sauce (A must have. Don't eat, but must have). And who eats fresh green beans? Where is the green bean crap?

At the house were my father, stepmother, stepsisters and their families, my stepbrother and his family, my sister and her kids, my cousins, my family, some random people I didn’t know and my mom.  There was like 35 of us.  The dinner was planned and hosted by my stepmom and it was a great time.  There were babies everywhere and multiple generations.  We shared stories, laughed, and ate; we ate a lot.  Looking around the gathering I couldn’t help but think to myself, this is who I am, this is me.  All of this is what has made me who I am and if you are like me, I would encourage you to embrace that fact.  Your family and my family has made us who we are today.

My sister who tells a story of my father’s arrogance.  She says, “Am I right? He is arrogant!”  My father notices that no one is disagreeing with her.  Everyone in the room doesn’t say a word as everyone looks at each other and bust out laughing because we all know it’s true.  Even my mom chimes in on how my father has the ability to smooth talk his way through any situation, fully expecting to get his way. – this is me.

We share how my mother used to make all of us stand in line at the grocery store as she headed back into the store to find more items.  If she came back and we did not hold our position, or if the checker made us move, she would get mad at us for not standing our ground.  Always stand your ground. – this is me.

My father talked of not knowing his father and being raised by his mother.  It is very clear that despite not being raised by his father that he did not take that path.  He broke his cycle, and became a father to his kids, all of his kids.  You see, my sister’s dad is not my dad, nor my older brother’s, and obviously not my stepbrother’s and stepsisters’, but you wouldn’t know it in that room.  He may not be the father by blood, but he is father by action. – this too is me.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I hope you spent the time with your family.  Maybe it was stressful, maybe it was joyous, maybe your drunk uncle got out of control again, but remember this:  Your family has made you who you are, some for the good, and some for the bad, but all you, and if you take a moment, you will see the little origins of you in the faces and actions of your family members.

I could go on and on with family stories from this weekend, but what I will remember most is that we may not be the Brady Bunch, the Cleaver’s or even the Cosby’s, but we are truly the Modern Family.  They made me who I am.  And remember this, if your family is the best at pushing your buttons, you shouldn’t be surprised because they are the ones that installed them.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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I went golfing with my father, brother and stepbrother yesterday.  It was awesome.  So awesome we are going to try to do it every year.  The funny thing is we all complained of the cold.  I live in Wisconsin, so it made me laugh because the temperature was about 60.  I now know why I hate Wisconsin winters so much, I clearly have a California weather gene.  I’m just sayin …

I’m Just sayin … (Part II)

Is it just me or when you go home you walk through a time warp and the family dynamics become that of when you were a kid?  I’m a grown-ass man with kids, but when I am home I can’t help but wonder why it’s Thanksgiving and my mom has not made my apple pie yet.  I may throw a tantrum soon.  Wrong? Yes, but true.  I’m just sayin …

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