Sorry. I took a break for a bit. We had a baby shower and things got busy. Life happens. Right? Anyways, I bring you today’s haiku:
between sound is youth
forever a cool highway
Sorry. I took a break for a bit. We had a baby shower and things got busy. Life happens. Right? Anyways, I bring you today’s haiku:
between sound is youth
forever a cool highway
Some things about me… I recently answered a series of questions from another blogger. Here are some highlights……
I work in the mail room at a horticultural company for my day job. I am also a blogger and writer. A music appreciator, a concertgoer and an all-around nice guy. I am a socializer too.
I love my wife and three wonderful nieces. I love my family and many coworkers I consider friends.
I don’t think I have enough money but I don’t need a lot more. I take advantage of discounts and Groupons when necessary. I try to live a frugal and thrifty life when possible. I live within my means.
Yes I am healthy. Sure I tend to eat junk food like pizza and chocolate sometimes and too much coffee but for the most part I do work out and am mindful of what I do daily. It’s all about mindfulness.
I believe I am a good person because I treat people the way I wish to be treated. I have received feedback from my wife and friends that I am good so it’s got to be real.
So I’m 39 going on 40 yet I do feel like a teenager still.
My best friend is Denielle, my wife. I can’t imagine my life without her.
My dream has always been to travel all over the world, take pictures and meet people.
I do laugh every day, sometimes more than others but I tend to make other people laugh more so. That’s something to think about.
A lot of things make me smile. I get amusing thoughts in my head which eventually lead to laughter. But I do tend to smile first. I mostly smile when I meet and greet people because smiles are contagious.
Someone who I am trying to avoid right now? This person is very overwhelming and controlling. I always have to look over my shoulder and watch what I say when confronting this person.
I live just outside of Chicago Illinois.
The word “strong” is tricky because I think I’m physically strong or at least strong enough to do what I need to do to survive. But I don’t think I am the kind of person who has a strong conviction. I have a hard time admitting to failure and owning up to my mistakes.
Moving out of my moms house was an important decision in my life. My independence was long overdue and luckily I met my future wife and she gave me a reason to do so. I often think about what would’ve happened if I never left home or met my wife that things could’ve ended up disastrous.
The stupidest thing I ever did was smoke pot in my car with a friend and get arrested and put in jail. Then my dad bailed me out. Oops. That was 17 years ago. Otherwise I feel a close second place was when I dropped out of college recently because I used my brain surgery as an excuse to stop going.
I think I like myself and at times I can love some things that I do. But I really don’t look in the mirror and say to myself “boy I love you.”
My biggest fear is being alone with nobody or the ones I love suffer from Alzheimer’s and there’s nothing I can do for them.
Currently my favorite expression is Hee Haw
I cried the other day I don’t remember why but I cry more than the usual guy.
If we inherited a small sum of money I can pay off all of our major debts that are not reoccurring payments then I feel like we can save up for bigger and better things and take more vacations.
Worse thing that could happen right now? Lose my wife lose my job lose the house.
More random facts:
Music is one of my many passions….i just love music!
I have a tendency to crack my knuckles.
I met my wife (Denielle) over 8 years ago through eharmony…….and i am very happy i did so! i love her very much!
I am a roller coaster enthusiast!
I am obsessed with facts about musicians, actors, directors, and strange historical figures like who the worst novelist that ever lived is.
I hope to improve my living financially and find freelance opportunities writing for something.
I enjoy going to concerts. i’ve been to so many. my first one was a pink floyd concert with my dad at soldier field. that day solidified my father’s coolness.
traveling is another passion of mine: been all around America except west. i hope to travel to California someday. however south dakota was perhaps the most fascinating trip i’ve been on
i tend to not capitalize the letter”i”
i graduated from marmion military academy.
i love my mother and sister…they are two of the most wonderful women in the world who have always given very sound advice.
i drink coffee with sugar and cream and i drink tazo hot tea
i collect comic books, cd’s, dvd’s, and vinyl records!
my favorite artist is salvador dali
i took dancing lessons several times and danced the waltz at our wedding and i was on television on new years eve 2008 at williowbrook ballroom
i taught confirmation classes at church (8th and 9th graders can be a real handful) ahhhh! but it was worth it!
i workout to yoga and pilates 3-4 times a week (namaste)
i was an expert shooter with an m-16 rifle
my favorite video game is Mortal Kombat
i rode my bike 100 miles last summer in dekalb, illinois to support MS
i have read my poetry in public in parks and at bars and gave a speech at my hometown library
“i am the lizard king…. i can do anything”….my favorite quote (jim morrison)
I survived brain surgery and got married in the same year
that’s all for now
It always brings me back to my youth
Tasting an apple for the very first time
Smelling the fresh air of the summer wind
As your friend gives you an underdog on the swing set at recess
I loved those days, it always felt like summer
The first ride in the car going down to Florida
For summer vacation
Capturing memories and dreams on paper
Why poetry? Because it has everything that real life
lacks. Absolute freedom like you couldn’t imagine
A child is poetry
Because poetry is open-minded and confused
My poetry is confused by me sometimes
Both children and poems are vulnerable
Sadness and joy
Laughter and anger
Greed and envy
Unlimited feelings and emotions become adjectives
Thoughts stray constantly
There’s too much structure
In America sometimes
Not enough innocence
Why poetry? Everyone has something to say
Our souls must roam free.
Throughout human history as our relatives
Have had to face the shocking and alarming fact
That we have no clue who we are
We are going
In this maze called life!
The people of “power”
The ones in command?
The educational establishment?
They have tried to sooth us
By giving us order, rules, and a set of laws
Instructing us and shaping our minds
To accept their view of reality
What about my view of reality?
That is “why poetry” for me
I still want to hug a bag full of sweets
And run around wild chasing fireflies
Once again I return to my youth
Helping my dad out in the garage
Or baseball games with the neighborhood kids
At the lot across the street
I take steps forwards
And sleepwalk backwards
To the small days of early life
Why poetry? I want to think for myself
I question authority
and the rules it provides
Poetry is not structure
We must keep talking
And let loose the power of our mind’s eye
Put ourselves into a state of open-mindedness
Allow room for chaos and confusion
Weren’t things better when we were young and confused?
I want to live dangerously
And yet remain calm, clear and observant
I’m no fool, I see what goes on all around me
So I write because its how I feel
That is “why poetry” for me.
What Makes a Dad
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
He called it … Dad
What Makes A Dad
Wiped my ass when I was a baby
Taught me how to ride a bike despite me crashing into a tree and getting blood and dirt on me
Coached me in little league baseball
Came to the rescue when my classmates in 6th grade tried throwing me into a dumpster
You were my Scoutmaster in Boy Scouts and truly helped me become an Eagle Scout
You have always given me solid advice
Built a loft for me in college and drove all the way down by yourself because there was a part missing and it was very selfless of you to do that
We went on an amazing trip, just you and I, to South Dakota
You always helped me with my math homework, whenever you could
With several scary moments involved, you taught me how to drive. I think you had white knuckles then.
You took me to my first concert. It was Pink Floyd at Soldier Field. Very awesome!
You taught me how to mow the lawn
You went to my graduation ceremonies both in high school and in college.
Impersonated Donald Duck
Made me laugh a lot
You have an impressive music collection and taste (especially pink floyd)
A White Sox fan and went to a lot of games together.
You were always handy in the kitchen and with the grill.
You watched my track meets, swim meets and cross country meets
You drove me to school in your cool dodge truck
You let use drive your truck for a couple of summers to take to work when I was at the theater.
When I drove a Plymouth Acclaim, you had a cd player installed in it for my birthday and I was surprised!
You took us to the movies when mom had Tupperware parties.
You taught CCD and ushered at church
A firefighter for 20 years
You demonstrated the properties of liquid nitrogen at school and various organizations and froze a hot dog and it shattered on the ground when you smashed it.
We built model rockets and pinewood derby cars together for scouts while listening to the Beatles in the background.
You even took me out for my 21st birthday and bought me several drinks.
Thanks Dad for always being there for me…..no matter what!
I am a social kind of guy who wears Converse. And conversations over coffee and pie at a diner with a friend (or friends) puts me in a relaxed state of mind. When I shop around at a record store I talk to a guy named Steve; or as I call him, Sunday Steve. He works behind the counter and likes to talk about music. So do I. Normally I talk about music at my other blog: http://www.themusicbard.wordpress.com
I have the kind of job where I interact with people everyday. On the phone, via internet and believe it or not, IN PERSON!!! Wow! What a concept! Actually communicating with human beings in the flesh.
We’re not robots or computer data after all! Hooray! We are mammals and I am one of the social beings that exist out there.
I enjoy my job.
Helping other people. Solving problems. Answering questions. Listening to someone’s problems.
Just being there….helps
No I am not a psychologist or a social worker or a mentor or a teacher or a counselor. But I did go to college and I did get a degree in Sociology. However, the paths of my career choices led me to warehouses, office spaces, computers, copy machines, marketing distribution forms, mail machines, post offices, banks, train stations and conversations with the receptionists in the office.
A human resources representative once told me that I am “the corner stone of this company.” She said I was “creative, unique and original.”
I seem to apply my “social skills” to all of my environments.
I provide a social service everyday……making others laugh and listening to them cry too.
Recently I suspended my facebook account because it was finally getting to be too much for me to handle. Too much insanity! Too much drama! I need my own place to get out my feelings.
My happiness comes from connecting with other people in the real world. Lunch dates. Going out to the movies. Taking a jog through the neighborhood and saying hello to other people as I pass them on the street. Conversations are AWESOME! Humanity is a blessing. Empathy and sympathy does exist. We are all connected.
Sometimes you just have to press the reset button and disconnect and remember what you’re supposed to be doing.
Charity begins at home and my neighborhood.
I have much to be thankful for. Where am I lacking? Where have things become more important than Family or friends? This is a time to pray, give to others and give up so that I can become empty and get filled with a life of faith, hope and love.
What’s the biggest time waster and love defeater? facebook, for me. I’m gonna try to turn it off for a while. I know it sounds tough. But I will blog as much as I want and spend more time with my new book dedicated to road trips. I am more than 75% done. The goal for me is to take control of my family (Denielle, Smokey “the little canary upstairs” and I) back from some of the technology that is slowly robbing our lives of intimacy and closeness. I’m not preaching to my friends and family. I chose this for myself to do for however long it takes. I only ask that you respect my choice.
Part of the fun of this is that it is part of our shared sacrifices, language and love that reminds us that we belong to something so much bigger than just us and our own wants and desires. I have many obsessions and bad habits. More happy blog posts will re-focus my priorities and life goals to better my health. Peace out family and friends. This time, I will do it. Call or email me if you wanna talk.
This is my babble for today.
If you want to FOLLOW me then click off to the right were it says (FOLLOW)
I am employed at an excellent company with awesome benefits. Ball Seed is a world leader in plant development & distribution. So I have a career in the Horticultural world. Ever since I began working there almost eleven years ago, I have been exceptionally HAPPY. The people I interact with every day are simply amazing! After all of these years I have received numerous vacation days,made a lot of friends and have experienced other great opportunities. One major accomplishment I will share with you now.
You see, after ten years, you get to attend a great big banquet and award ceremony. Cocktails, mingling and music kicked off a spectacular evening. It felt like a real classy wedding, or something. Gourmet food was certainly quite delicious! Managers gave speeches awarding everyone with such dedication and the years of service put into the company. I received my award pin and got to hug the C.E.O. on this special night. I received a book with a list of prizes to claim.
The prize I chose was “travel vouchers.” I spent some time with my wife deciding where to go and what to do. Finally, we made our decision. I wanted to go somewhere I haven’t been to since my father and I took a special journey almost fifteen years ago. Nature, wildlife, mountains, rivers, fresh smell of pine needles, history and a peaceful retreat is exactly what I need. To get away from the hustle and the bustle of the suburbs provides salvation to this busy life I can get caught up into daily.
I am simply talking about the Black Hills of South Dakota. To some folks, this may not seem that exciting but it is for us. Hiking through the woods, lakes and hills among fresh air and away from computer devices is great medicine. To observe wild rock formations known as the “badlands” and man-made tributes to our presidents (Mount Rushmore) and great Native American warriors (Crazy Horse) blasted on lush, breathtaking mountain tops are truly remarkable.
We are staying in an old restored 1800’s cabin for five days. We are “unplugging.” I am taking photography lessons before our roadtrip this Spring. I want to enhance my skills and use my wife’s Pentax digital camera and get a better grasp of shutter speed, aperture and lighting. Taking pictures is a passion of mine. Roadtrips are a passion of mine. Exploring the great outdoors and the essence of America is what we are seeking.
So this voyage was 15 years in the making. Uncle Sam made this possible and most certainly I owe a debt of gratitude to Ball Horticultural Company and all of these exciting years getting to know a wonderful family. They rewarded me for all of my efforts. Because I love music so much, I like to make playlists and soundtracks to the various moments I experience. I truly feel this is a great opportunity that I must take to center myself.
My wife is spiritual and connected to her Native American heritage deeply. She loves the outdoors, even if the outdoors don’t always agree with her asthma and allergies. But she enjoys hiking and kayaking anyways and doesn’t let her medical issues stop her from embracing life. We both agree that I’d love to own a cottage in South Dakota some day. The sights and sounds of the black hills’ forests are quite astonishing!
So this is something that is truly exciting for me and most certainly makes me HAPPY.
Being organized doesn’t make your life easier. Being HAPPY makes life awesome! Getting all the presents wrapped, the trees decorated, the bills paid, the food all prepared and pulling your hair out can be mighty stressful. Are we in a hurry or something? Do we really need to brag and complain? That seems to be the two main focal points of the holidays. Bragging = look at me, look what I got, I am special! Complaining = but I want it now, thats not what I asked for, I’m so bored and the ever popular “are we there yet?” Life throws us curve balls, potholes, rainy days, getting sick and the inevitable end of life. Let’s face it, accept it and move on. We all will eventually die. Our lives should focus more on gratitude. Looking around this room that I sit here now and spend this moment to type my words is a good place to start.
I have a computer. I am sitting in a comfortable chair. There are cd’s on my shelf. In this room there’s two cabinets filled with art supplies. A small pull out couch is next to me. A window with vertical blinds that allows me to see beautiful ponds and weeping willow trees. I can SEE. I am not BLIND. I can touch and feel the keyboard as I express my thoughts right now. I smell the coffee and freshly baked cookies downstairs. We have a kitchen and the supplies necessary to make food and beverages. Why should I complain about doing the dishes? Why should I complain that I am running late for work or that I have too many places to go to this weekend or too many obligations? Why? That is just futile! Complain? Let’s go ask a homeless woman that’s starving in downtown Aurora right now at the Hessed House what kinds of things she has to COMPLAIN about! Or how about that old man in a nursing home who has nobody to call or visit. What’s he complaining about? They would love to have dishes, food, a job, a place to go. It simply puts my life in perspective.
Christmas is a time, first and foremost, to celebrate the miracle of a special birth. Birth in general is a miracle. It is a continuation of Thanksgiving, really. There are amazing lights, clothing, decorations, music, movies, etc. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating. I just wish everyone would stop whining about what they DON’T have. YOU HAVE A LOT if you’re even reading this blog post right now! Be grateful that you didn’t wind up in a coma from a car accident caused by text messaging while driving. Or when kids barely even out of diapers are complaining that their life sucks because they don’t have an iPhone? Seriously? What happened to normal families with rules and obedience and joy and thankfulness and HAPPINESS?
Hug your mom and dad, Call your best friend, Make time for gratitude because once its gone……its not coming back
Take a risk, take a trip, force yourself to LAUGH! I will now share one final thought before I go.
everyone actually touches the world in a positive way. do not curse what cannot be seen. simply light a spark within your self and light the world with your own energy and you’ll know what to do and where to go
Went for hikes through the woods and the nearby grove
kayaking at Bass Lake, Michigan
rollar skating and falling down
spraining an ankle
Back cracks at the chiropractor
morning jogs daily
first sprint triathlon together
soothing massage chair resides upstairs
Joined the gym
Awesome spin classes
helping the middle niece get over stage fright
finding her voice
Chris recited more poetry and signed more books
Now he’s writing a new book
both he and Denielle are blogging
and found ways to WRECK A JOURNAL
Zentangle art is amazing
Denny sketched a portrait of her mom and two uncles as children
A girl at work, who drew Starry Night with crayons, gave it to them as a gift
just for being her friend
they made several new friends this year
Yet also said goodbye to companions who moved away
His father’s dog, named Sparky, was laid down to rest
Kahlua, a beautiful Cocker Spaniel was also put to sleep
Her stepfather, Mark
and Grandmother Tillie
both were taken away from them
but certainly will never be forgotten
they had a fight one night in their car
but literally made a U-Turn on the road
and went out to eat
with a $10 coupon….Awesome!
Experienced a 30 days of HAPPINESS challenge
and learned to LAUGH more
and live like children
Took a Spring roadtrip together to Missouri via route 66
and visited an old friend
Chris’ Grandmother Jean turned 90 this year! WOW!
He is famous for making a new breakfast casserole
and together they have brought “nut cluster” candy making to a new level
watched a film called BUTTER
which made them laugh a lot
Saw films like “The Hobbit,” “Gravity” and “Thor” on the big screen
Went to a lot of concerts this year
Colin Hay gave a live performance for them @ Park West
Japandroids and Savages @ Metro
Lollapalooza @ Grant Park featuring Vampire Weekend, Tegan & Sara and Cat Power
Neko Case @ The Hideout
He bought many vinyl records
One time he bought a small cup of coffee at work
for fifty cents
with a CREDIT CARD???
then he found some quarters at his desk 5 minutes later
this made Chris and others laugh out loud
Isnt it ironic? Don’t ya think?
Won FREE coffee from BigBY!!!
They went to her cousin’s wedding
and reconnected with some long lost relatives
Threw a great big STAR WARS Halloween Party!
He grew a mustache for men’s cancer awareness
She celebrated 5 years and He celebrated 10 years of service at Ball Horticultural Company
Thereby earning more vacation time
So many memories
Can’t wait to have many more
Merry Christmas Everybody!!!
To be thankful
I am not just grateful for turkey
I am thankful for these things:
For mom and dad for raising me well
For you teaching me how to ride a bicycle
For helping me with my homework
For showing me the difference between right and wrong
For always being patient with me when I was acting difficult
For providing guidance by taking me to church
For helping me stay physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight
Thanks to the Boy Scouts
For my sister because she is a wonderful person
For her ability to put up with my strange ways
For all the trees we climbed and the bikes we rode
For the tickle fights and drawing on each other’s backs before going bowling on Saturdays
For Saturday morning cartoons…those were the days
For all of those great birthday parties at Funway, Showbiz Pizza and the movies
For all of the sports I was in like swimming and track
For playing baseball as a catcher all those years and even winning trophies
For receiving my high school diploma and a college degree
For all of the support and encouragement from my family
For making good friends and being a great listener as well
For my excellent health condition
For the numerous vacations I have been on
For my love and passion for music and what it has done for me over the years
For the gift of writing
For McDonalds even when they screw up my order because it’s an American tradition
For late night conversations with friends
For good talks with my dad that I will never forget
For bike rides and talks with my grandpa
For photographs and memories
For magnificent sunrises and sunsets
For all of the laughter I have enjoyed
For rainy weather (yes that’s right) because it washes the dirt away
For the hopeful promise of tomorrow
For modern medicine and surgery improving my quality of life
For eventually meeting the girl of my dreams; my wife named Denielle
For the tremendous joy and wonderful experiences we have enjoyed so far
This year is a special year to really reflect and give thanks to everyone for never giving up on me for love outshining the bad for life to go on
I am so thankful for having a solid job with benefits
Having a nice new apartment to live in
And truly being part of a wonderful and blessed family.