Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vacationing 2.1

The picture above represents 100% of my past vacations. From 1980-2008 this was what I expected. To be at a beach and to relax. That was my only goal. In 2009 something changed. Our two person family grew to a three person family. Now in 2009 we were unable to take a vacation due to having a baby that was just a couple of months old. This year we attempted the vacation. It was beautiful we went to a gorgeous beach stayed at a wonderful condo and had a great time. The only hitch was that the baby didn't realize that it was vacation. He still went to bed at 830 and woke up at 7. He did everything he did at the house just on vacation. He took his regular 10 and 2 o'clock naps no matter what. I guess I should be happy because we were fortunate enough to go on vacation and all that jazz. But man we coulda saved some money. Yes he really enjoyed the beach, he loved the pool but his favorite part was having all of his "people" close together and getting to see them everyday. Now I'm not bitching or anything in fact I would do it all over again. I just wish someone would have warned me that I'd only be having a half of a vacation. Lots of beach no relaxation. In all honesty I had a wonderful time and am sad to be back home. I am very fortunate to have been able to go on vacation and to spend time with my family.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lucky SOB

I am lucky. I have some of the best people in my life. I know Imp not the easiest person to put up with all the time. I do have my diva moments, but I do have the best people in the world around me. First and foremost is my wife. She is my best friend. She knows every single button to push to make me madder than a hornet and most of the times, she doesn’t push them. I love every second I am around her. Secondly are my mom and dad. They are the type of people, as I am, that if they have something and you need it, then you can have it. They are giving and full of love. Thirdly is my sister. She, aside from my wife, is the person that knows me the best. She is a beautiful strong confidant aunt, sister, fiancĂ© (to Scott) and daughter. Last but certainly not least are my dear friends, my brothers.

Where do I start with them? I cant go in any particular order so I will just do this randomly. My oldest friend is Jarrod. He and I have been friends since I was about two years old. His mother would come and have my mom cut her hair. We would of course play together. Jarrod and I have watched each other grow into men. We have both been their when each of our children were born. We’ve been there through the good and the bad. Jarrod was my best man at my wedding, and if Lezlie and I got married again today he would still be my best man.

I guess we will discuss Chip next. Chip is Bizzaro Nigel. Everything that I am, Chip is the opposite (well not everything). I am passive aggressive, Chip is not. I am horrible with money, Chip is not. I am not an athlete, at all. Chip is. For these reasons, Chip is the God-father to my child. I want my child to learn everything. There are things that I can’t teach him. Hopefully Chip can.

My friend Brian is one of the kindest friends that I have. Brian reminds me so much of my own parents. Brian is the guy that will put his all into anything he does. He loves his wife intensely. He loves his friends and family just as much. He is the one you can talk too about anything, he may not give advice but he will listen. He is not the type to make you feel bad about anything. He is my most loving friend.

One friend is like my little brother. He is a transplant from California but quickly established his place in our group. Jeremy has been here for about five or six years now. Jeremy is the one I share with the most. He knows all my secrets. He is my take care of business friend. He is the one I can call on if I truly need anything.

Jason Foster is a nomad. He travels around lighting in a place for a little while and then he gets a notion and packs up and leaves. Jason is the friend that is most like me. We share similar interests in many things. I enjoy having him around and am sad to see him go. Jason will be missed as he travels to New Orleans. Jason is the guy that is content to sit around the house watching what ever and just as at ease in a crowded bar. Jason does not lose his cool, at least not on the surface.

Now I have intentionally left people out. This is just phase one. These are the guys that have done or will do me the honor of writing to my son. When we found out we were pregnant with Jasper, I thought it would be a good idea to journal and log the events and milestones of his life. This has turned into something else. It has turned into me imparting wisdom to my son, something that he may learn from if anything ever happens to me. During the course of this I decided that I was not enough for my son. I didn’t learn every single thing from my father, what makes me think that Jasper will learn all he needs to know through me. This is when I asked the men I respected most in this world to help me raise my child. They have all been gracious enough to write in Jaspers book for me, each of them imparting a bit of wisdom to my son. For that I am beyond grateful. Now this isn’t all I plan. I have many more friends that I intend to get to write for Jasper. I know they will. So Richard, Dennis Ledford, Dennis Proulx , Dylan, Bill, and Brad, get ready to write gentlemen.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Raising a Superhero

I have a 13 month old human tornado. He has the ability to toddle through a room and leave it in utter destruction. He leaves no drinking glass unturned nor magazine un-ripped. Good news for him though. I have prepared for this my whole life. I figured that if I didn't have super powers then it was only natural for my progeny to have them. I feel somewhat like Jonathan Kent. I have to teach him how to control these abilities. The downside to Jaspers new abilities are that he does not know how to yet. I guess thats where child rearing comes in. I get to determine, to an extent how I want this child to turn out. Here is my theory. If I teach him baseball he will undoubtedly hate the dreaded sport in his adult life. My theory is to teach him opposite of what I want him to like. At least thats what made me who I am. Just kidding. In all seriousness I want to raise my child to be kind first and foremost, loving, gracious, funny, patient, confident, and most importantly, a nerd. Now that word has some bad connotation. A nerd is a person, in my opinion, who haves a thorough knowledge or extreme interest in particular things. I am a proud nerd. I have already started the process of making Jasper a nerd. He has several and I mean several super hero tee shirts, just like his mama and daddy. He has already been to the comic book shop with me several times. And he already has a favorite super hero. I don't know what kind of nerd Jasper will be. He may be a comic book nerd, he may be a technology nerd, he may be a sports nerd (these are the worst kind). I plan to prepare him mentally for his job as a super hero. He has to be sharp as a tack, fortunately for us, he already is. He also has to know when to use his superpowers. We also have to prepare him when we find out what his weakness is. Right now its his temper. Its going to be a long road but I know that his mom and I can do it. Its gonna be a fun adventure with him. I hope with all this training that Jasper can be the best super hero around. I also hope his nerd training helps conceal his secret identity.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Saying Good Bye

Attention!!: This is not a funny blog or have anything in it that will make you smile. Plain and simple this blog is about me putting down my much loved canine companion. Feel free to read but consider yourself warned.

Let me set the stage. Early winter probably around 1994. I was a chubby 14 year old kid. The cold air was making my breath visible during the early morning hours. Just before dawn I set out with my grand father with a deer rifle in hand. This would be the morning I killed my first deer. We had on all our gear and were in the deer stand when I saw the first one. I held my breath as two more came out. My grandfather was waiting on me to take the shot. I raised my rifle slowly. I put the cross hairs right on the spot my grandfather had told me. I waited and started squeezing the trigger. Then something happened. I brought the barrel of the rifle up about an inch and finished squeezing the trigger. The blast was defining. I remember the sound of me letting out all the air in my lungs. I remember watching my grandfather as he watched three perfect deer gallop out of sight. I also remember the thoughts running through my mind the seconds before the deer appeared. I had no use to kill them. I had no use for their meat or hide. Why would I kill this animal.
This year on Memorial Day I went back to that field. This time I had a different gun in my hand. This time it was substantially more difficult to pull the trigger. It wasn't for the meat or the hide but for a different reason I pulled the trigger. I was quite possibly the hardest thing I ever did. I had to put my loyal and friendly dog Stella down.
I wish I could say that it was because she was old and just not able to enjoy life any more, but that wasn't the case. Stella was a beautiful pure bred American Pit Bull Terrier. She was trained and socialized at an early age. She never showed any signs of aggression. My wife and I got her right before my 28th birthday. She was our baby. We loved her and took her everywhere. We took her with us when we moved to the farm where she loved it. She could run around all day and ride all over in the back of my truck. She had her puppies at the farm. This was her home. When we moved into the city. It was difficult for her to adjust. There were new dogs that she was introduced to and socialized with. One in particular to whom she was very submissive. But one day this Alpha male dog came into our yard while Lezlie was pushing Jasper in the swing. Stella felt the need to protect Lezlie and Jasper from that dog. There was a horrible fight between Stella and this dog. Stella was victorious. She had thoroughly defeated the Alpha Male. I wish I could say that her fighting days were over. Now having a taste for blood (literally) Stella began to fight the other dogs in the neighborhood and also began to growl at the neighbors. All the while letting little Jasper crawl all over her when we brought them together. She never made a whimper when Jasper would pull all of her hair out. But when she was outside with other dogs she was a different animal.
On this Memorial day the same dog came back into the yard. The fight was horrible. Stella was the aggressor this time and there were many other dogs with her all against this dog. I ran to the bed room and retrieved my hand gun. I fired two shots into the ground which dispersed the other dogs leaving just Stella, un-phased. She fought with such ferocity. Thats when the thought of little Jasper ran to my mind. What if he were out here during this just wanting to play with his Stella. If a gun shot didn't phase her how could a little boy's cry? It was at this moment my mind was made up. I finally got her away from that dog. We rode in my truck for the last time. I took her to the same field where 16 years ago my grandfather wanted me to kill. I did just that. I do miss her tremendously. But that vision I had of my beautiful little boy wobbling toward his Stella while she was in a fight. I hope to keep that just a vision.