Wednesday, July 4, 2018

We the People... Independence Day

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Nico and Christopher not getting enough of Incredible 2. July 3, 2018.



July 4h, 2018

So much for being frugal!  I just bought fireworks for my kids.  The purchase of fireworks is an attempt to appear swanker than everyone else.  First of all, the store is jammed packed.  I could hardly move down the aisles.  I don’t dare leave my shopping cart un-attendant because it would be gone as quickly as a bottle rocket launched into the air.

I can’t believe this feeding frenzy over gunpowder and pretty lights.  How about just purchasing a kaleidoscope?  Everything is, buy one get one, free.  How about we do more buy one, get ones, at our local grocery store?  

I suppose we, as Americans, are doing our patriotic duty to celebrate our countries Independence.  And hey, if you’re going to celebrate our motto is, go big or go home.   Haven’t you seen the gratuitous, MTV’s My Sweet Sixteen?  And this is just reaching the age, 16.  We are talking over 240 year old celebration!  We are way passed a Quinceañera.   And way beyond a young man’s, Bar Mitzvah.  I think there is a tortoise out there the same age as our Independence.  Let us celebrate that!

 If Congress really wants me to celebrate America’s birthday in grand style how about passing legislation to make independence day on the first weekend of July!  Trust me, I will not forget our Independence because it isn’t on the 4th anymore.  When I’m BBQ my burgers and dogs, sipping my beer, hosting my party I’ll still find the time to woot out, Happy 4th of July!  Even if it is the 2nd of July. 

I am grateful to be part of a nation that takes care of others.  I am honored that my dad served in Vietnam because he was drafted and didn’t abscond.  I am fulfilled because I did my own service for my country and continue to serve my local government.  I suppose since I am feeling patriotic I should stop stressing out over spending money on things that go boom in the night.

My essay outburst is due to the hordes of people inside this firework store grabbing anything that has a fuse hanging out the bottom of it.  IT.  IS.  UTTER.  CHAOS.  And the utter chaos is stressing me out.  Thank gosh I’m not naked or they'd pull my fuse.  

Truthfully I’m just pissed at myself because I know that this $81.00 I’m spending on these projectiles is the equivalent to a wealthy person throwing a bundle of cash in a fireplace to keep myself warm.

O’ say can I see, We hold these truths to be self-evident, Purple mountain majesty,
the bombs bursting in air.  America.  It is my country and I am proud of it! Did I say $81 dollars?  Get out of my way people I’m going for 100!

Happy 4th of July and Independence of America!


Nico and Captain Imperfecto have a warm brace. June 24, 2018.



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Friday, June 29, 2018

Clear to Land

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Christopher and Nico at Miami Dolphins Training facility June 9 , 2018


June 29, 2018


Have you ever flown in a plane?  Cruising in a jet at 35,000 feet above the clouds.  Man does it look like heaven from here.  Can you imagine being able to exit the plane and run amongst the cotton ball fields of the sky?  The sight is so wonderful.  It’s heaven and it seems to be within my grasp.

My imagination goes wild.  I pretend I can see my family and friends who have died.  If only I was a simple flight away from seeing them all again.   Maybe it is the isolation way up here in the sky that makes me nostalgic.  Being inside a plane is the most isolated you’ll feel even though you’re crammed in a sardine can of over 100 people or more. 

Flying high in the sky, skimming the clouds, looking at the sun as it lights up the gloom and dreary down below gives me hope that mankind can somehow find beauty in the simplicity of air travel.  Where else can so many people of all-different races, cultures, faith, and differences of opinion tolerate each other for so long?  But once we leave this aircraft and return to our corners of the world all of our opinions are spewed again directly towards each other like daggers as we try to bring each other down. (see what I did there?)

At my seat, in this plane, I have my Coke and Jack.  I take a sip and I wonder what it is like to live up here in these wonderful cumulus clouds.  But then I realize that no matter how hard I try to run from my worries, I can’t elude what is still out there waiting for me because lately the things in the news can make any person depressed.  Just like those clouds that drift along in the jet stream can’t avoid the heavy burden of potentially merging with other clouds that contain torrential rains and thunderstorms. 

But I can ride the storms out and still have a successful landing as long as I can fly above the mess.  When the dark clouds recede they reveal that hope does exist through the blistering weather I may see those beautiful runway lights and begin to land.  

I have zoned out this entire flight.  I smiled and nodded at the flight crew.  Paid for my extra alcoholic drink.  Flipped through the movie section until I got bored.  Worked up my imagination, as I gazed at the clouds, and looked at all my fellow passengers who were doing their own thing, until I felt the plane begin to descend.  Now, we are told to put up our tray tables up, place our seats in the upright position, turn off our electronics, have trash ready as they are getting ready to make one more pass through, and then prepare for our landing.  

I miss my view from 35,000 feet all ready.  Things were so tranquil then.  I’m below the heavenly clouds and cleared to land back on earth.  If I was flying up in the heavens, then where am I landing?







Kid in a candy store. Captain Imperfecto at the Miami Dolphin Training Facility, June 9th, 2018.





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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Building the Bridge of Life

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Nico and Christopher goofing around in the backyard at home. (April 1, 2018)



May 26, 2018

It seems as if building bridges is the one structure I need to continually construct while I raise my boys, to be men in life.

“Dad, I can’t do it,” I’m told by one of my boys.

“Yes, you can. Focus on the task. Zero in on the goal. And attack the problem until you get your desired results.”

The reason I compare raising my boys to building bridges is because I know I’ll always have to extend my hand as if it were a span extending from the mainland towards them as a pillar of strength, trust and understanding during their time in need.

Bridges with spans are huge and are built sturdy. When I think of bridges the Golden Gate Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, or the Tower Bridge over the River Thames comes to mind. They have lasted decades and some lasted a century. The pillars and expansion of a bridge launch outward over some gorge, or river, and ocean as it expands outward until one end meets a truss arch that was prebuilt to give it a stable footing. Then, once it’s safely attached to the truss the next span can begin again. And so the process begins a new, until the next truss, and so on. My bridge can never stop reaching towards an end. Because my life spans decades and it’s fluid and dynamic. I need my bridge to last more then my lifetime. It must last my kids lifetime and then their kids, kids.

As their father I’m entrusted to insure that the bridge I’m continually constructing is held together with a sound foundation. I try to be as stable as I can but even as the architect of my boys’ early life, I’m susceptible to my insecurities and self doubt. I know how big of an impact I can have on Nico and Christopher. I don’t want to blow it. I’m not constructing a bridge over the River Kwai only to have Alec Guinness come blow it up!

These massive structures of a spanning bridge is held up by strong cables that expand in-between giant trusses and are held up by thick cables that add much needed stability. Intertwined in what seems to be a single thick metal strain. But actually upon closer inspection you’ll see hundreds of cable strains that are interlaced, which are forming a massive suspension line. Without due care the newly created expansion line will break. Inspections and maintenance are critical. That is why I always adjust where I’m failing them.

Those moments of inward self-reflection are important because I have to prepare for the times when I’m broken. I may doubt myself as a parent on how I approached their problems and I have to be prepared to rebuild my span when these questions of parenting arise.  

Did I “lose it” and yell at them because my patience ran out?
Did I ignore their questions while responding to a text?
Did I ignore the bigger picture and chalk up their failure as “just a child thing?”
How do I expand when it comes to solving their temper tantrums, fears, fright, and despair?

Set backs in my family could cause fraying on the expansion cables which could cause outer spans of trust to break thus, breaking our bonds that are held together by trust or destroying the lessons that we have learned. Damn, parenting is hard.

If this fraying is still occurring after I adjusted my confidence building this could be an indication of a larger issue that looming and more than likely I'm failing to recognize it. Why do we overlook the things we think are trivial?  Ignoring the little things could quickly become a huge structural headache and without care and nurturing this large bridge I’m constructing will collapse like London Bridge.

Having the mindset of raising my boys’ as an architect of a bridge will be a huge benefit in the long run, for us all. And I will know that this bridge is complete while I’m sitting back and watching their life prosper with the confidence that I have extended towards them. A bridge built on trust, listening and understanding. This will ensure that The Bridge of Life will last for generations.




Captain Imperfecto checking out the Bat Mobile from Bat Man 1989. Starring Michael Keaton at the SmithsonianAmerican History Museum. (May 13, 2018.) 


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Monday, April 30, 2018

Conversations

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Nico (left) and Christopher celebrating Nico's 10th birthday party while ice skating. (February 24, 2018)




April 30, 2018

This table is a gift that allows me a perch of an unobstructed view of everyone seated and the best acoustics to pinpoint exact conversations.  Hey, don't judge me for saying that!  I'm doing the judging.  It's like an open forum anyhow.  This isn't a library where they require you to whisper.  My point is that these conversations allow me to relate to other people because it demonstrates that we all have the same problems, hopes and dreams. 

Case in point.  A woman can't decide on what kind of dining room furniture she wants.  She has been consumed by this for months!  Her conversation showed me how consumed with my decisions on new furniture too and demonstrates how nauseating I have been.  Like really, who cares! 

What I mostly love this spot is that I have the perfect advantage point to witness the conflict that I can relate to.  Conversations and coffee go hand and hand.  It is the perfect mixture of cream, sugar and chaos mixed all into one!  All around me people talk about life, love and politics.

Hot, cold, frozen, espresso, cappuccino, dark, and hazel. 

Damn, the things they can do with a coffee bean.  Coffee has come a long way from watching my dad place ice cubes in his coffee cool it down.  I wonder if a person overheard that conversation I had with my dad with a child when I told him that was gross.  My dad could have invented iced coffee! 

Life has the same variety that coffee now offers.  Life comes in the flavors of:

Love, hate, hope, prayer, work. Just to name a few.  

Scientist can manipulate a coffee bean like a hydroponics lab!  I wish life could be as simple as the choice between regular or decaf.  Conversations float around in this place like the whip cream bouncing around the inside of the plastic dome lid of my Frappuccino. 

I am tired of all this coffee talk. This conversation is boring.  So let us move on from this subject and turn to more pressing issues.  I think we should make the world a better place and agree through our next conversation should be about how the Boston Cream is a pretty damn good donut.  Maybe the best donut of all.  Now thats a conversation I would like to be a part of.  

This table at my favorite coffee house has the best spot for me to listen to the different conversation going on.  I suppose you can say, "well that is eavesdropping!"  But in all fairness people aren't exactly whispering their highly sensitive secrets over a latte! 


The conversations are as good as a caramel macchiato. I do my best to sort it all out in order to isolate the best conversation.  Don't grind my coffee please.  Let me dissect the ones I want.  At times I wish I could pour just one conversation without much work much like an order of hot coffee black.   











Captain Imperfecto enjoying the Miami Dolphins draft party. (April 26, 2018)


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