Whatchootalkinbout Saturday: What’s Mine Is Mine

Don’t say it—I know what day it is (and I don’t even need that damn camel to tell me). I know I’ve been absent. There’s a reason…

Let me paint you a picture: I am standing in the middle of an open field, eyes closed, hands outstretched, communing with nature. Then the sky darkens, suddenly, rain begins falling then strafing the landscape, pelting my face. The wind picks up, sweeping across the land, grabbing sticks and tree limbs, rocks and debris, swirling around me in a roaring maelstrom. One moment I was in the center of peace; the next, in the eye of a hurricane.

That, my friends, is life. My life.

In the last couple of weeks, I fell of my game: my novel rewrites screeched to a halt and, while I tried to uncover the secrets locked within Come Hell or High Water, I haven’t written here like I should have. Sleep is a precious commodity I can ill afford. My gym has filed for divorce and wants alimony. Why? Because, while I’m more than the sum of my parts, each one of my parts needs something. My wife needs my time and attention and I’ve taken to writing her a letter daily to let her know I give a shit about how she feels. My kids need more oversight than I considered: the Honey Badger is actively searching for her Prince Charming (she’s fucking 11! 11! She needs to be searching for My Little Pony). The Boy has renewed his subscription to Doing Dumb Shit magazine and is now a Platinum subscriber—he even got the 64% cotton FuckIt t-shirt. And two suspensions. Two.

Here’s how that ended:

Uh Oh...

Uh oh Spaghetti-oos! This is what “I Hope It Was Worth It” looks like in my house.

wait wait wait—like Kanye West, I’ma finish in a minute but let me tell you watching my wife smash a hammer into an iPhone 4S and seeing that plume of glass was something I will never forget.  It was almost as funny as when she charged into The Boy’s room like Hurricane Amanda and tossed his xBox out the window. Did you hear that? She threw his xBox out of the bedroom window. That it hit an aluminum bat on the way down is another matter entirely.

Anyway, there’s plenty happening. I do have a novel I’m supposed to be updating. I try to write to 2 blogs 3 times a week. I get hungry. I have a dog. You may or may not know it but I’m a professional too and the people who pay me seem to want to sort of return on their investment. I know, right? Asses. Part of that ROI (because that’s how we say Return on Investment at the club *cue rich old man laugh*) means I have to get my Project Management Professional, or PMP, certification. The Boy calls it my PiMP certification. Those snazzy little three letters equal 35 hours of classes plus test prep and an actual test. Yeah, so there’s that.

What it comes down to is me being pulled in a variety of directions on the way to getting where I’m actually supposed to go. Where we’re supposed to go. Navigating this journey we call life really means making a series of choices and investments. Time is our most precious commodity and choosing how we spend it and where we invest it are the most significant choices.

Recently those significant choices, my choices on where I spend my time and invest my talents have come under fire. The return on that investment doesn’t seem to meet other people’s measurements. I don’t spend enough time writing or I’ve made the wrong choices in my professional career or the person I’ve chosen to spend my life with or the type of parent I choose to be, prescriptive or permissive—it doesn’t satisfy their assessment. It doesn’t meet their standards. But here’s the thing: when the ledger of my life is tallied and the accounting is all said and done, it won’t be a single, solitary human being doing the math.

The idea is simply this: live and let live. It isn’t my place to comment on the choices you make for your life because they are your distinct choices for your specific set of circumstances. Where your life is destined to go, who you’re destined to be, is something none of us can see or understand or comprehend. There is always more that pushes us, that drives us, that shapes and molds us and steers us where we’re supposed to go. If we follow the example of everyone else, we’ll simply be everyone else. I don’t think we were made to be same.

I’m learning that it’s okay to not give a shit what other people think. We get one shot at this life. I’m choosing to live mine. Live yours.

And that’s why I chose to be a squirrel for Halloween. Seriously.


It’s Tuesday and that means it’s the first installment of WhatchootalkingboutTuesday! Look I have an intro:

Come on, have a seat over here (do I sound like Chris Hansen?) Let me tell you a little about my life. I work at home. I have a routine. It keeps me sane.

Everyday, the Damn Dog (which is her official blog name) wakes me up an hour before my alarm to tell me she has to go pee and really wants to rip limbs off my bushes to bring them in the house to chew on. As I fall back asleep on the couch, I check emails on my phone, make sure I don’t have any early meetings, snore for about 40 minutes, then get up, curse at the dog (and her fucking mess), give her food and make coffee. For about 2-3 hours, I have exquisite silence: the dog goes back to sleep, the wife does her Disney stuff upstairs, I power through stuff with the Day Job Dragon and the world spins in harmony.

But for the past 72 days, my delightful mornings have been interrupted by little people’s loud ass iPhone rings and alerts, shoes and dirty cereal bowls and candy wrappers strewn about, a litany of somebody else’s kids eating my goddamn Swiss Cake Rolls, and my fucking creamer coming up empty when I make my coffee—for the last 72 days school has been out. My damn kids have been home.

It’s been a nightmare.

But tomorrow, tomorrow, that bullshit ends tomorrow! Why? Because it’s DMFGBTS—Deez Muthafuckas Go Back To School! Can you tell I’m happy? Dude, I am ecstatic. Actually, this is me right now:

I’ve been in my house doing the Dougie for the last 3 days.

I gotta admit though, I’m only so optimistic this year. If you’ve read my little blog, you know The Boy has an adversarial relationship with his academics. In fact, HE is the reason there is DMFRH at all. All summer, he’s been talking about turning over a new leaf and taking his studies much more seriously. Apparently, that’s tomorrow’s shit. Today, he had a 4 hour orientation to high school. High School. The precursor to adulthood. It ain’t no surprise–we’ve been talking about it for the last 70-some days: “Dude, you gotta be up and ready for your orientation at 8.” Come 7am, was the cat up? No? How about 7:15? Nah. 7:30? That’s better–once his mama kicked in the door like she got a warrant and a flak jacket.  “Why didn’t you set an alarm?” His response: “You didn’t tell me to.” For real? Like for real for real? How are you late on your first day?

But it all hasn’t been shits and giggle the last few days. I’ve already told you that I have a Superman complex and, while I like to believe I’m invulnerable, I can actually get hurt. And this week, the Boy got me. He cut me deep.

Like mothers and daughters, sons and fathers go through a tête-à-tête of sorts—in Discovery Channel fashion, the young lion tries to assert his dominance on the older alpha lion (are there alpha lions?) and routinely gets smacked down. This is our relationship these days. I know he will challenge. He knows he will lose. It works. For the most part. But on a routine mission to Disneyland (yes, again, but this time without me), the Boy had some commentary about me. He called me a “replacement” for his real father. A replacement. I was feeling some kind of way about it too. I actually got my feelings hurt.

I’d love to know what you think on this (and whether my response was justified) and, in order to do that I have to bring up another point. You may not know this but I have another blog, Falling From Grace, where I discuss my novels, their themes and other weighty topics. In my post there Sunday, I brought up this little tidbit in light of some grander themes in my Heaven Falls novels—mainly forgiveness. You know what that means, right? Crossover!

What you think matters to me, so follow the link, take a look around and gimme your thoughts! Feel free – hint hint – to also check out the Heaven Falls Facebook page and drop me a note!

Last week, I dropped a lovely Breaking Bad/VMA YouTube mix. I hope it cracked you up as much as it did me. And, as I was finishing up my new-and-improved Khan post, I stumbled across this lovely vid of Kirk watching Miley. This shit was funny!

We’re back on Friday with ZOD!