Monday, November 29, 2010

Steve Brewer: Nest is never quite empty

Steve Brewer posted this on his blog today. Geez, when I read it, I felt the need to go outside away from Dylan. As my friend Dave would say, "damn sinuses."

I was digging around in a file cabinet in my home office when I found a cowboy tucked into one corner of a drawer. He's quite the frontiersman, armed with a rifle, a pistol and a knife, and crouched in a kneeling position perfect for sniping.
Been a long time since our sons -- ages 21 and nearly 19 -- played with little plastic cowboys. Wonder how long that cowboy has been waiting in that drawer for someone to rescue him?
You can't tell it from my stellar cellphone photography, but the cowboy is pretty detailed, with windswept bandana, fringed shirt and the words, on his base, "Made in China."
I'm keeping him on my desk, a reminder that my sons are never as far away as they seem.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Heavy Light Reading

Do we really know someone we've only "met" online? Yes and no, I think. I think we know them on a different level, somehow. Not necessarily better or worse, just different.
I've never met Thom Gabrukeiwicz. He's a friend and former coworker of my good friend Ian, who presides over a fun blog titled Uncle E's Musical Nightmares. They both worked at our local paper in Redding, the Record Searchlight, but they both left--along with a bunch of other senior journalists and staff--with the downturn in the paper's fortunes. Thom strikes me as someone who would make a good friend, even though he'd thoroughly piss you off now and then.
In addition to his blog, Thom has a site named Three Word Wednesday. Once a week, he offers up three words as writing prompts. Folks create poetry with the words, or short stories, or "flash fiction." Thom presides over the site like a kindly uncle, and his own submissions show how much can be conveyed with few words.
Perhaps because I'm in aviation, where divorce seems as common as the common cold, Thom's post yesterday really got to me. For National Guard and Reservist folks who've been deployed to Iran or Afghanistan, the divorce rate is strikingly high. That's probably another reason why Thom's story wrapped me up: I've heard similar stories over the intercom. I hope you'll give it a look.
Thom worked as a journalist in the midwest until recently. On his deathbed, Thom's dad encouraged him to go to New York to pursue his love of writing fiction. I wish Thom loads of luck, and I hope he'll do his best to see to it that his first novel is released on Kindle.

Monday, November 08, 2010

What Goes Around

I mentioned in a Facebook exchange with fitness writer Lou Schuler that I'd stopped watching VH-1 several years ago, after watching a string of "Behind the Music" episodes. "Behind the Music" often had a "where are they now?" theme, but heck, I'd never heard of most of the acts in the first place. And that was several years ago.

In response, Lou wrote, "It's funny to see my kids get into music that was new a decade or two before they were born. One of their Kidz Bop CDs has a cover version of "Time Warp," from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. They were absolutely shocked when I not only knew the words, but vaguely remembered the dance steps. I tried to explain that it was fun to go see it at midnight when I was in college, but I didn't get far. They refuse to believe any story that involves their dad being awake past 10 p.m."
In related news, Dylan is now referring to me as a "walking fashion crime." Geez.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Dylan's Seven Line Poem

A couple of months ago, my wife, son, and I were lounging after a lazy Saturday morning breakfast. It was my first weekend at home after being away to Louisiana.
Rhonda said, "Hal, Dylan wrote a poem in school about you. You should read it." She handed it to me.
Dylan walked up and hugged me, looking somber, and said, "I love you, Dad."
I tend to get a little misty when he does that.
So I read Dylan's creation. His assignment in his fifth-grade home room was to compose a seven-line poem. Here it is, just as I read it.

Snow as white as a rabbit
It's been quite the habit
That I go sleighing on a Saturday night
I gave myself quite a fright
When I heard a deathly howl
And I realized it was my dad Hal
Getting whipped on the butt by an owl

Rhonda and Dylan were so pleased with themselves when they saw my reaction. Sheesh, what a set up.