Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Nightmare

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Christopher and Nico enjoying good ole Saint Nick.  December 19, 2018.



December 31, 2018

“I will nightmare you, dad,” my youngest son said to me right after Christmas. We are only one week from New Year’s Eve and 2 months past Halloween. So he must be referring to The Nightmare AFTER Christmas.

“You will fall asleep and when you think you’re headed to the lullaby clouds and fairy dreams. I will be there to nightmare you and have all those happy dreams, disappear.”

Words my 8-year old jokingly declared on this holiday season are still not very reassuring of a happy and resolute 2019. Even if he is joking. But we are in the start of a new year and technically we are at humble beginnings so Christopher’s words got me thinking about some negative and bad things of 2018 that will try to creep into my new and improved 2019 and nightmare me.

January will come soon and bring along with it all the possibilities and hope a person can believe can and will happen when he or she announces their new year resolution at the stroke of midnight December 31st for the new year.

It’s a little disheartening and worrisome however that we announced our resolutions at midnight. Midnights aren’t exactly the moment when dreams come true. I mean, Midnight didn’t bold very well for Cinderella. And deadlines usually end at midnight. Expirations? Midnight.


This December 31st at the stroke of midnight like most of us, I’ll start off my New Year by declaring a diet and workout, body fit resolution. The gym will be crowded in the beginning so I know I’ll be in great company with all the other gym resolutioners. And like a thoroughbred racing horse people will be jockeying for positions to shed weight and get fit for July swimsuit weather.

As January fades away so will most peoples resolutions and the crowds at the gym will soon fade as well. Which the gym will be happy regardless because most “gym rats” will not cancel their membership and the $22.00 monthly bill (if not more) will be deducted from their accounts the next few years.

I will reassure myself that the missed days of my own workouts have nothing to do with a failed resolution of 2019 but everything to do with rest my body needs. My lazyiness will try to nightmare me but I will not give in.

February is an easy month. There’s only 28 days. Honestly, there aren’t enough days in the month to fu*k it up.

I’ll proudly spring through March. Having made it to spring and bid winter adieu, 60 days of keeping my resolution. I hope by this point I have minimized my negativity by fighting the good fight and still carrying on strong into 2019.

But will 2018 still continue to nightmare me? Heck no.

I’ll just hop right through April, like Peter Rabbit. Shower into May. Ring in the summertime of June and celebrate the 4th of July like its 1999, because I know no nightmares of 2018 have intruded this far into my progress. But now I’m on the back half of the year. Will 2018 still encroach?

August, September, October, November, December

Whew, trying to keep my 2018 resolution, this is a nightmare!

Suddenly, I wake up.

It’s still 2018. The new year has yet to begin. It was all a dream. I suspect Christopher was right. He did nightmare me. The gym a new year’s resolution? No way! My resolution is to continue to be a good father, husband, friend, and neighbor. This, I can surly keep up in 2019. 


I hope everyone has had a great holiday season, have a happy new year and a healthy 2019!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!




A new Captain Imperfecto on the way.  3 boys, oye vay! Christmas party at our house December 22, 2018.



© copyright 2018 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.  

 


Friday, November 30, 2018

The Flag Bearer

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Christopher and Captain Imperfecto at the pre-flag meeting on the Hard Rock Stadium field. October 14, 2018

November 30, 2018


“Can you get a little closer, please? Come on folks can you just squeeze in there and fill all the gaps. There are a lot of people here. I don’t have a bullhorn as you can see”.

My son and I were invited to pull the very large American flag across the football field during a Miami Dolphins game. A true honor for me as a lifelong fan and one hell of an experience for Christopher, my 9-year old son.

The gentleman speaking to us was on the half portion of one of several spiral walkways that usually can hold about 500 people, in segments, as they enter and leave the stadium.

As he told us the rules i listened intensely. Christopher sat there on a golf cart mimicking a race car. He seemed very interested.

·  no opposing team gear!
·  No running with your phones because if it falls on the field it could be gone forever.
·  No cussing
·  No fraternization with the players
·  And if you a flag puller. Well, run, run, run towards the other sideline while the flag unfolds.

After our pre-game pep talk that seemed to be tailor made for any Hollywood movie. We waited around for our moment to take the field. Inside the tunnel and inside the bowels of the football stadium. The roars of the crowd and the intensity of the music began to percolate the adrenaline from within both of me and Christopher. Hell, just give me a uniform and I’ll take the field against the opposing team!

About 300 of us take a position along the inner walls of the stadium. Sitting right above us was only about 10,000 fans.

“Pop off the bungee cords, please. And hold on the that flag! “

We all grabbed a section of the 100-yard flag. The material snaked along the walls and was wrapped in an outer carrier.

I heaved my little portion of the flag and stood there eagerly awaiting to enter the field. Christopher on the other hand, well, he was bored. He sat by my feet and waited for us to move.

As members of the Miami Dolphins staff walked the lone to make sure everyone was in a good spot one young man stopped in front of me. He stared at me and then Christopher.

“Sir, if you’re pulling the flag you may want to be a holder. We will run pretty fast. Your son may not be able to keep up. If he falls. Well he’ll have to stay down as the flag stretches out and then run under it afterwards to get out. It’s so large he may not come out at the right spot or he may get lost.”

I heard every word he said however, I was standing there so long holding my portion of the flag, my blood flow to my brain was constricting my hearing and I could only muster a smile and a nod to acknowledge his concerns.

Before I could decide, without any warning, the other flag holders in front of us were walking on the field. The flag lurched forward. And like an attached train car I was mercilessly to stop it. Never thinking of letting go, I went with the flow and walked to the tunnel and onto the football field.

As a regular Joe Blow who has no affiliation to the National Football League I was awestruck over the energy field on the field.  I can only imagine what it is like for a player to step out onto that field with a roar of a crowd. 

The music was reverberating off the walls.  The fans were pumping their fists.  Stadium personnel were swarming around like worker bees in a hive.  The stadium announcer announced, “Lets give it up for our Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders!”  Christopher’s reaction?  “Dad, stop with the pictures.” 

We lined up along the opposing team sideline.  Those Chicago Bears players stalked the field ready to play.  I stood toe to toe with them but understood that even though I was a Miami Dolphin fan I better let the real team handle the football business. 

The field staff announced,” Phones down! Get ready to run!”

I held on to the strap and leaned forward.  I was going to run north to south right at the Miami Dolphin player sideline. “GO!”

I shot out the gate like a thoroughbred horse.  All 100 of us took off as fast as we could.

“Daddy, daddy, Christopher yelled.  I wanna pull too!”

 He turned to grab a hold but stumbled and fell to the ground.

The flag encroached like a rogue wave and it was ready to engulf him.  But using my arm like the claw of an eagle plunging into the ocean I reached down and plucked him from the green field and launched him forward well ahead of the pack. 

“Run!” I shouted

Christopher turned and ran as fast as his little legs could take him.  The crowd roared as if he was breaking through towards the end zone!  The flag draped the field and covered all the green like an anthill be kicked over. 


Christopher faced the all-pro running back Frank Gore who stood on the sidelines waiting for the national anthem.  Christopher locked in on him and like a linebacker charged right at him.  But Frank Gore did not move.  As the flag straighten and begin to go taut Christopher continued running onto the Miami Dolphins sideline mingling with the players.  I looked back and marveled.  This could be the closest he ever gets to experience life as a player.  It was good to be a flag bearer. 




Nico (front) and Christopher enjoying the hot tub on a cold Florida evening. November 25, 2018.




© copyright 2018 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.  

 


Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Haunted Land, a Halloween Story

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Christopher (front) and Nico just got their fresh haircuts. Snip-its, September 20, 2018 


October 20, 2018


If you were able to find your way to the valley of Indigenous Falls, which is nestled in a deep crevice of ancestral land.  And you were lucky enough to locate the path that is hidden deep in the thick green forest.  One could follow this path where it would lead you to a baron land.  Not only does nothing grow here but also, not one living thing can survive on this cursed land.  You will not find a mammal, a reptile or even an insect.

The story is told to generations of people about this spiritual land, which can give you everything, and anything, that you could have ever wanted.  But your wants, needs and cures will be used against you, as the land is known to have taken many lives.

Only one person has ever made it out to tell her tale of this land.  She will speak to anyone who will listen about a property that goes way back to the Native people.  Those Natives worked this land prior to powerful men, which used violence, as a way of taking what they wanted killed them.   They stole it from the people and tried to build on top of it.

She explains how this 300 yard long, 500 wide, piece of baron land was a spot where the Native Americans would bring their dead, and dying.  Long ago their ancestors before made a portal to the other side.  They spent years working the land, sacrificing on the land, and performing rituals to transform it to a place where their loved ones would make it to the spirit world. 

However, it was also used for greed within their own tribes.  So during their dance rituals they made a promise that they would dance for the Gods day in and day out, non-stop, to chase away anyone who would try to exploit the Gods generous offerings.

In return the spirit God’s rewarded them by protecting their dying and infirm with safe passage on their spirit journey.

However, as the myth of this place turned from whispers amongst the town folk to full-blown, full-scale expeditions were put together with quests to locate it.  The Native American people were killed.  And in the process the day and night rituals were stopped when they were murdered and thrown on the very fields in which they promised the Gods they would protect.  The corruption of man and their evil intentions used their power to destroy everyone.  In turn the ritual dancers became very powerful.  They were once protectors now they were soldiers.  Their blood soaked the land and made the purveyors of the gate.  What was once pure and good intention from the Gods was now rotted, and the stench killed anything that wanted to find a place on these grounds. 

A century later this place was a mere legendary place that never existed.  It was folklore.  It is now known as a haunted land.  A place protected by ritual Native American dancers to protect the Gods good will and destroy anyone who dares attempt to use the land because of mans corrupt intentions.  They say in the very still of the night.  In this wooded place that lays bare.  The dancers can be heard.  They still chant to the sounds of drums.  Their feet are still strumming the ground until this very day which echo’s the valley.  You can still cross this land in search of salvation however; the ritual dancers will see that you pay a terrible price while you attempt to make it through the gauntlet.

A man was holding his dying son who is stricken cancer before the boarder where the lush green grass boarders the brown dirt of ancient land. He caresses his child.  Kisses him on his dehydrated lips.  Hugs him in case he never sees him again.  He cries and whales in the pain that he wishes he could take away from his boy. 

He then lays his gaunt body before him.  Just one foot away from the dirt that boarders the lush grass where he lays his boys head.  He then whispers something in his ear.

‘Go son.   Wake up and go to the Promised Land.  You fight to get to the other side.  When you arrive I promise you this, you’ll find me waiting with open arms.  Until we meet again.”

The boys father fades away into the darkness.

The day passes into night.  The night passed into day.  The little boy still hasn’t moved.  Like clock work the sun rises and sets.  The trees shadows in the surrounding area would creep over his body, which offers some shade throughout the day.   Finally, as the sun set on the 4th day, the boy opened his eyes. 

He is very weak but manages to get to his feet.  He stands there only in his underwear as he takes deep breaths.  The boy closes his eyes and staggers into the land.  He begins to stumble and is unprepared for whatever may come his way.  He continues to stagger but then his surrounds are magically transformed.   There is now energy in his steps. 

What was once a slow deliberate stagger became a more solid walk.  His back straightened his gait began to get long full strides.  Marching forward, the scenery turned to lush green landscape.  A swirl of wind and bright lights encompass his body as he crosses into the other side and just like that the area turns into a place that would only live in his imagination.

His world is transformed what was once green, is now a rainbow of colors from candy that is littered through this fantasy world.  The brown ground turned until a path of chocolate.  The trees around him grew tall as he walked.  The tree trunks grew thick and the branches punched outwards.  Leaves began to form and candy began to bloom from the tips and hang like apples and oranges.  The flat ground began to rise like a wave as hills began to form and shrubs started to grow and more candy began to form.  His day was transforming into a candy land.

He felt new and refreshed.  The cancer that ravaged his body and prevented much movement was gone.  He was now free to run along the green grass and candy-laced trees.  He marveled at the gummy bears that flew above him.

He dove into the sugar water lake and played with marshmallow swans.

He sat on the crushed graham cracker shore and ate the candy seashells. Life was grand.

He turned around and laid on his belly and looked into the thick lush woods when he saw the chocolate bunnies hopping about.

“I wanna eat a chocolate bunny,” he said.

He pushed himself up off the ground and charged towards the bunnies.

They saw him and scattered into the woods. The boy zeroed in on one and followed him along the path.

“Come on chocolate bunny” he yelled while charging ahead.

The bunny stopped hopping and the boy reached down and grabbed him.

“Hi chocolate bunny,” he said,” you look good enough to eat.”

The bunny squirmed a little and then stopped.  The boy opens his mouth wide.  Stuck out his teeth and took a big bite out of the rabbits left ear.

“Mmm mmm my chocolate bunny. You’re sure delicious.”

He swallows his first bite and took another bite out of the second ear.

“Mmm mmm chocolate bunny. Now you have no ears. You sure are tasty.”

As he went in for another bite there was a tap on his right shoulder.  The boy turned to look and saw another bunny.  Only this bunny was 2 stories tall.


The bunny held out his hand and implied to the boy he wanted his delicious chocolate bunny that he had just taken 2 bites out of.

The boy looks down and sees chocolate syrup tears flowing down the face of the little bunny.  Ashamed of what he had done he turned towards the 2 story bunny and laid his treat in his hand.

The 2-story bunny looked down at his little bunny and wiped the syrup tears.  He then smacked his free hand over the top of his hand that had held the little bunny sending chocolate splatter all over the boys face.

The boy trembled.  He was too scared to move. The larger bunny reached down and tore of the little boys left ear.  He then reached to his right ear and attempted to rip off that ear but the pain of losing his left ear woke him up out of his trance.

“No!” He screamed.

The little boy turned to run away as fast as he could.  Blood dripped from the flesh that was torn when he lost his ear.

The 2 story bunny put the ripped ear in his mouth and nibbled quickly until the flesh was all eaten.

“Mmmm taste-tee,” the bunny said in a slow deep deliberate voice.

The big bunny then began to hop towards his meal by following the trail of blood.  The bunny was so full of hate.  And anger.  His hind legs ferociously dug in to the chocolate laden path.  Large nail gashes gnawed into the surface.  His grunts were as loud as a runaway locomotive.  He wanted to kill that boy.

The once healthy boy began to become ravaged with his cancer again.  He wiped away the tears from his eyes while he ran as fast and as far away from the killer rabbit.  He was crying and the boys’ howls seemed to only feed more fuel to the rabbits killer instinct.  He craved the boy even more.

The once candy forest began to melt.  The sweet sugar now became thick molasses as it settled on the ground and further hindering the escape of the boy.  But fear drove him to push harder.  Through the thick glue like substance that stuck to his feet and weighed his pace down and pushing off the licorice vines that lunged at him, threatening to strangle him.

Tumors began to form on his body further weighing him further.  This hell hath no mercy on his soul. Even though he was a child the spiritual dancers did not have pity.  His decadence has shown them he had no purity in him.  He was corrupt.

With the killer rabbit closing in, death was all but certain.  But out of the darkness there appeared a thin light.  Not knowing what that light was he ran for it.  Anything was better than this killer rabbit.  Within this light there was a silhouette of a man waving at the boy like a 3rd base coach to his runner who is rounding 3rd on his way home.

Tumors began to push outside of his body.  Sweat poured over his brows and traced the lines of large brown chocolate chip tumors that lined his face.

The boy was almost there.  The angry rabbit was on his heals.  His dad was the man waving his arms just outside, on the other side of the light.

“Enrique!” He shouted. “Enrique over here. You can do it!”

The little boy who was riddled with cancer he began becoming weak.  Who had no more energy to give, not even to save his life.  He was about to be only the 2nd person to make it to the other side.   Where a new life awaited him.  Not only him but his father who wanted him whole again.

“Daddy!” The boy screams out.

“Taste-ee- Taste-ee- Taste-ee” the manacle rabbit repeated.

Within a few feet the boy went leaping towards his dads awaiting arms.  His dad grabbed him and held him close.

“No!” his dad shouted.

The rabbit stopped short.  He bent over and went nose to nose with the child’s dad.  

“No good,” the rabbit side.  His long ear pointed down to the ground.

The father stood there trembling.  He turned his head to the left and noticed he had crossed the boarder in order to reach his son.  The dad looked up.

“Wait,” he said.

The rabbit’s ears encircled them and forcefully the rabbit lurched back brining them both into the field. 


“ahhh” the last words of the father was heard.

Everything was quite.  Nothing was heard.  Then as the sun began to set behind the hills a small Indian chant could be heard.  This land is haunted. 



Captain Imperfecto and Nico going to his first Miami Dolphins football game vs the raiders. September 23, 2018 





© copyright 2018 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.  

 


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Safety Zone

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Nico (left) and Christopher standing by their drone! (September 24, 2018)


September 30, 2018



Down the block from our house there’s a park where my kids like to go play and just be kids without any of the worries us parents have.  Damn, must be good to be in their safety zone.   The boys' travel by foot, or at times their electric scooter, along the tree lined street.  They sure are enjoying their youth.  I hope they truly understand how lucky they are to be this young.  

Their innocence is evident in the purity of the conversations that I overhear while walking beside them.  On occasion I will ask them questions about the latest things happening but I'm a too uncool for their topics.  Can I just sit and stay in their 5 mile safety zone?

My youngest turned 9 years old and he is going to fly a drone for the first time.  I have never flown a drone myself so I am eager to see how it works.  I'm excited to feel like a kid for an hour or so as I get caught up in the addictive laughter.  

My childhood drone was a kite.  I still remember trying to select my favorite type or design.  The kite is now as old as the man who made it popular, Benjamin Franklin.  But my kite never offered me a view from up above.  I could only use my imagination and wonder what it was like to soar so high.  When I longed to see the world from the kite's point of view I would sneak on the roof of my house and survey the world around me. 

The drone is small, like a kitchen dish towel.  It has four pegs, like a spider, and four upright propellers that spin so fast it sounds like a hundred bees swarming around a honeycomb.  It has cameras all around it to capture the moments that feel special as it overlooks what it flies over.  Christopher places the drone on the ground and activated the controls from my smartphone.  He was completing a safety check.  He then flew that drone so high.  Nico marveled and shrieked with laughter and begged to fly the drone, at least once. 

At the tip of the drone there is a camera and from the camera on my smart phone as high as 240 feet!   I stand by and marvel at the video view that displays life so high above me.  I wish I could be on top of that drone.  The drone telecasts the peace and serenity from up above the trees and rooftops.  How lucky a bird must feel while soaring high above the chaos down below. 

The wind is soft and it gently pushes the drone along the path my son chooses.  The wind doing for the drone what I try to do for my 2 boys'. 

The drone doesn't always cooperate and the ride can be bumpy.  Just as the bumps I hit on the road while raising these boys.  My frustrations can grow as high as that drone is flying but patience and practice will win the day.  At least I hope.  If not there is tomorrow that will take flight and hopefully as their dad I have learned from the mistakes of yesterday. 

“You guys are never stranded in one place like this little 5 mile safety zone you have here.  You can fly above everything just like that drone," I said.  

They didn't hear me.  The flying object, like a UFO, has grabbed all their attention.  My kids don't appreciate this safety net, yet.  Because this moment we are having together is lost in the marvel of technology.   But boys', one day when you are adults and maybe reading this blog, if you remember the view you had from so high up above and find your self stuck today.  Remember, life isn't about a safety zone.  Life is about flying high above it all and looking at the world differently.  Challenge yourself tomorrow because you have lived through today. 





Enjoy Nico's first NFL football game. Go Miami! (September 23, 2018.) Drone view from the roof tops.



© copyright 2018 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.