Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Countin' flowers on the wall, that don't bother me at all. Playing solitaire til dawn, with a deck of fifty-one.

This is an online petition to support research for kids born with heart defects, like my niece, Lucy.

This tough little shaver went through a series of very complicated heart surgeries when she was just a few weeks old. I believe she underwent ten procedures, and things were very touch-and-go for a while, as less than 10% of the children born with her ailment survive. She had something called Tetralogy of Fallot, a four-part heart defect, combined with Pulmonary Atresia, which means she was born without a pulmonary artery to one lung.

She was very fortunate to pull through. I am happy to report that she is a happy, healthy, smart, sassy little beauty...

In the immortal words of Winston Wolf, "If I'm curt with you, it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you guys to act fast if you want to get out of this. So, pretty please. With sugar on top. Sign the fuckin' petition."

I like pleasure spiked with pain and music is my aeroplane... is my aeroplane.


- I thought of my friend, Quagmire, yesterday. (BTW, he has arrived in NYC and is back posting. Check it and see. I've got a fever of a hundred and three.) He starts off every entry with a memorable quote he heard that day.

Yesterday, I went to give blood for the first time since high school. I have no idea why I stayed away so long. Between that and the sperm bank, I could be raking in the cash.

When you arrive at the bloodmobile, which is just like the batmobile, except it is used for blood donation instead of crime-fighting, they sit you down and run through some basic information.

The duder who was taking my info was named "Ole." No shit. After living in Wisconsin and hearing hundreds of dumb Ole and Lena jokes, here was my first live contact with someone actually named "Ole."

Well, Ole and I sit down, and he busts right out with the following Quagmire-worthy question:

"Since 1977, has anyone given you money or drugs in exchange for sex?"

After a loud guffaw, I told Ole, "I used to go crazy with that shit until '76. Then I turned eight, started second grade, and kind of outgrew it."

He chuckled and told me that I should see the looks he gets when he asks that question of 60 year old ladies.

Afterwards, I enjoyed a few hours of the feeling you get when you stand up too quick. Although, come to think of it, I have that feeling all the time.

The guest blog entries continue to roll in. Last night, Eck sent me one that I will post next week.


By the way, the serendipitous matching of the Tenacious D "Kielbasa" song lyric and the Chest Rockwell/Dirk Diggler picture below was completely unintentional, if a bit subliminally freudian. Seriously.


I stumbled across a blog written by Kevin Smith. You know, Silent Bob. The guy who directed Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma, etc. It is pretty entertaining.

It is Silent Bob Speaks.

As I was surfing through it, I came across an entry that made me a little misty-eyed. He wrote a beautiful piece about his dad passing away and their last day together. Clicque here.


Despite my "retirement," I continue to receive calls for legal advice. Crikey.

"Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in."


I just heard they are extending the Sopranos final season from 12 episodes to 20, which is awesome. Best... show... ever.


I had an incredibly lucid dream about snowboarding. I am enjoying summer fully, but I feel like a kid at Christmas when I think about what winter will be like here.

I'd like ten thousand marbles, please.

You're so far away. Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore? It would be so fine to see your face at my door.

Guest Blog, written by my good friend, Husker, on the plane ride home from dropping his daughter off at college. Grab a box of kleenex.

A father’s lament.

WOW, where did the last three and a half years of volleyball go? Not long ago we were sitting in the university field house watching tryouts for the 16’s team, wondering if she had a chance to make one of the traveling teams. The year before, we were headed to the tryout, but turned back after self doubt, fear and tears dampened her spirit and settled for the small local club team instead.

Now, I’m on the last leg of the flight home after dropping her off at a major university. She will soon be playing in one of, if not the toughest, volleyball conferences in the nation. 2400 miles from home, she is starting the next step, a dream come true and a great opportunity that thousands of want-to-be student athletes would die for.

So, what’s to grieve over? Well, that could be time gone by, or it could be about how a young girl turns into a young lady before your eyes, or how parenthood carries a cruel twist of letting your children go that hits your heart strings harder than a Stacey Gordon kill hits the floor. Or, even the anxiety of becoming a member of the empty nest club. I even grieve a little over the positive things like how these continuous years of hard work and dedication pay off…pride…love…

Writing in detail about all these potential options seem too numerous, but so are the emotions. So, I’ll simply take the opportunity to purge the highs and lows of this high school to college transition that seemed much like a rollercoaster ride. Funny, I remember qualifiers where the teamed performed in similar fashion. Up one game, down the next, looking like gold bracket contenders one match, and hoping not to be in the last flight the next. Somehow though, those were small waves that set the stage for the bigger challenges ahead. The tease, if you will. Now the ride really heats up.

As I watched people in the airport, I want to tell those parents frustrated with their young children to smile and enjoy these times, for they quickly pass and these trying moments fade in obscurity as fond memories serve up a smile. Funny how each little blond girl looks like my daughters at that age. Cute with blond curls but just a hit of mischief and a smile that lights up everyone around them. I look at the teenagers patiently waiting, listening to I-pods and wonder where they’ve spent their time and energy. Are they driven to succeed in their areas of interest, are they aware of the unlimited possibilities that await them if they can find the where-with-all to pursue a passion? Are they yearning to spread their own wings and go after the challenges life offers? As the father of two daughters that are, I hope their parents are as proud as I am.

Ouch, how is it that typing the word proud brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye? The same lump and tear I got when they announced her name at the state tournament, the same lump and tear that hit me when her sister played her first violin solo, and the same swelling pride I felt at both of their graduation ceremonies. A different lump and tear than the ones I got while trying to console them after the first lost boyfriend, or finishing in a three way tie in pool play and losing the tie breaker. But nonetheless, a simple word evokes an emotion that pours out memory after memory.

What a blessing to have the opportunity to raise children and to have the numerous outlets for them to use their gifts and creativity. Considering they come without instructions, but are more fragile than any thing else imaginable, it’s amazing we got them raised without a major malfunction. Like learning a jump serve, improving your hitting motion, or playing the piano, we practice parenting with patience, love and passion; and we get better -or lucky- or both. And with that luck we get the reward of seeing our children become great young adults that break our hearts when they leave the nest, but mend our spirit with love, appreciation, happiness and a run down a path toward success.

So lament may be an overdramatization, because this blessing brings pride, love, and joy in our children’s successes. The sadness of the quiet house will soon pass, and I’ll swing into the empty nest like all those parents do year after year. The times together will be that much more enjoyable, and the lessons they teach me in return will be invaluable.

As the Captain alerts us to prepare for landing, I guess these ramblings have completed their flight plan too. As I think of all the freshman women heading into their first collegiate volleyball seasons, I hope success follows them in whatever form they perceive it and that their fathers share the same lump and tear of pride that I have in both my daughters.

Needless to say she made that traveling team those many months ago, and last month when she got to play in the state all star game in that same university field house, we sat in for tryouts I thought we had come full circle. Now I’m not so sure. I think we’ve just added another ring and the ride continues.

I pray she travels well.

Thank you, Husker. I am sure your daughter will thrive and succeed at school. With this kind of love and support ^^^ from her family, I don't see how it could turn out any other way.

-The Dude

All I can think about is... Kielbasa Sausage

Chest Rockwell and Dirk Diggler, ladies and gentlemen.

As far as fake names go, does it get any better than Chest Rockwell?

The answer is no.

Have a great day.