Archive | October, 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!

8 Oct
Good Morning.

Good Morning.

 

Good morning!

At 5:47 a.m. good morning.

After a long night of tossing and turning because the pacifier was MIA … Good morning.

After an overnight diaper fails to pass the leak control test at 2:00 a.m. … Good morning.

After she wakes up at 3:18 a.m. because she decides my bed is more suitable for a good night’s rest … Good morning.

After she smacks me around with tiny hands, Dora the Explorer, and Chica the Chicken during a heavy sleep … Good morning.

As she wakes up to start the day and all I want to do is hit her snooze button … Good Morning.

But I guess the morning can’t be that bad when I get a wake-up call like this.

Good Morning!

 

Choosing Your Own Story and The Real Richard Parker

7 Oct

Embarrassing. It was embarrassing.

I’d probably get expelled from a book club.

As a writer I should be able to read great novels in a short amount of time. Boring long-winded-going-no-where stories, I’d understand. They take a little time. But not great novels. The pages should have a kung-fu grip on me at dawn and wrap around me late at night. If the story is great, they should consume me. And the thing is the story was great! But life and lack of sleep won the battle and literacy lost. It lost and it took me about five months to finish reading the book.

Embarrassing. I know.

I should have been able to finish it sooner, especially since I made a pact with a friend to read it together and chat about it. But I fell short of the deadline and then short again on the extension.

Don’t you feel terrible when you say you’re going to do something, and then it doesn’t happen?

And not because you’re lazy, but because of life. If you had an adventurous world-wind-crazy-wonderful-kind of life I’d understand. But there’s nothing too adventurous about diapers, paying bills, rejection letters, Legos, and Nickelodeon. At least not when you’re trying to be an awesome reading buddy.

But regardless of life, I finally did it.

I did it and I’d like to thank my reading pal over at The 50 Year Project for being patient with my below basic speed-reading skills.

The spark for our International Book Club Party began with Life of Pi. Granted when I first saw the cover I was like what the hell the kind of story is this? Then I got an extra nudge from my pal Cayman Thorn who loved the book. So I chatted up the possibility with the only reading sleuth I knew … My pal T.B. Markinson and so the adventure across the Indian and Pacific Oceans began.

Life of Pi

Life of Pi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Through this adventure I learned to love orangutans, and Bengal tigers. I also learned to hate French chefs and hyenas. They’re a bastard species. But most of all I learned to really like Piscine Molitor — A.K.A. Pi, a Hindu, Christian, Muslim who survived 227 days out at sea, on a lifeboat, with Bengal tiger.

It was an amazing adventure story, sometimes a little too amazing with a brief stint on a man-eating botanical island populated by thousands of meerkats. But wanting to find out what happened between Pi and this ginormous Bengal tiger, known as Richard Parker, kept me going. Belief that for some reason Pi had formed a friendship with Richard Parker and that this friendship was going to help them survive. I actually believed they had a deep connection, deeper than Sigfried & Roy.

But then the twist came. The Holy Crap moment that made me sit down.

I never saw it coming.

I sat there for minute in disbelief of the truth. If you can’t handle the truth you better stop reading now.

There was no Bengal tiger on the boat.

Dude.

No orangutan or zebra. No bastard hyena who violently killed and ate them. There was just a ruthless French Chef who went a little too far with his killing spree and got all Hannibal Cannibal on the survivors. He was the hyena, and Pi — Pi was the real Richard Parker. He created a version of events that made more sense to him using the zoo animals he’d grown up with and cared for his entire life.

After telling his Richard Parker saga to ship authorities, they didn’t seem to believe him. So he confessed to a different version of events, one with no animals, but with a French chef. One where his family still dies.

After hearing both versions I, like my reading budding T.B. Markinson, agreed that the Richard Parker version was much better. Sometimes stories, whether they’re books or movies, have something extraordinary — out of your realm of possibilities — happen and you believe it. You take it on faith because the spirit of the character or the journey has gotten to you. You’ve become invested. You believe it because the struggle seems so real. You believe because you champion for their survival.

This is what happened. I championed for Pi and Richard Parker. I championed for “choosing your own story”. I championed for the underdogs.

 

For My Friend …

4 Oct

Today I saw another daughter weep for her dad and it reminded me of my own loss.

And it wasn’t just that he was a good person who tried his best with what he had, it was because he was dad. Fathers perform random acts of kindness. They love to laugh. They believe in you and your dreams. And they teach you something. Being a dad … that’s what made him special, that’s what made him different. And I know that’s how my friend felt about her own father. So tonight I send her good vibes, prayers, and strength.

 

:)

🙂

 

 

Sometimes There’s No Bright Side

3 Oct
Image via Despair.com

Image via Despair.com

 

Sandbox Adventure List 20: The Diamond

2 Oct

He’d seen it a couple of times before. He’d seen the field, the chalk lines, the bases, the uniforms, and the players.

But he never played, not until now.

He’d played golf, soccer, and tennis. He’d been excited about all of them, but baseball was a different kind of excitement. It was The Sandlot kind and it was contagious. And even though I had been unknowingly drafted into being the Team Mom, I was still excited about the whole experience. I was excited to see him in uniform and to witness his first at bat.

Little League … it brings all kinds of excitement.

But I can tell you, I wasn’t excited about the parents. I don’t think most people are excited about the parents. It’s something very common, that peopled don’t talk about. We tend to keep it to ourselves, but it still exists.  In fact I’m one of those parents that doesn’t really like other parents. I mean just because you have a kid the same age as mine doesn’t mean we’re friends, and in truth I’m not into the fake talk. I’m not much for exchanging birthing stories with random people. You kind of have to grow on me. If you give me a good vibe, we’ll chat it up. If you seem like the Mommy-Me-Mafia type camouflaged in baseball clothing I’ll probably keep my distance. Surprisingly there weren’t too many unlikable parents on my son’s team, which was a relief. Don’t get me wrong there were plenty out there, luckily none belonged to my son’s team.

But all that didn’t matter, because when my son stood out on that baseball diamond, I forgot about everyone else and cheered him on. I was proud of his hustle. He makes for a good shortstop, although he’s not too fond of the pop fly. Nobody on his team seems to be, but that’s O.K. I love those Bad News Bears moments, that’s how they seemed to bond. And he seemed to enjoy playing on the team. So we’ll be sticking around for the rest of the season, making our weekly visits to the diamond. Parents beware.

 

Waiting in the dugout, waiting to hit their first homerun.

Waiting in the dugout, waiting to hit their first home run.

 

It was a little overcast in the beginning, but as the hits kept coming the sun came out. I was happy that my son was able to connect, even if the pitches were way up there. Kids often have a determination to smack that ball even if it's not in the strike zone.

It was a little overcast in the beginning, but as the hits kept coming the sun came out. I was happy that my son was able to connect, even if the pitches were way up there. Kids often have a determination to smack that ball even if it’s not in the strike zone.

 

The sun came out as they took the field ... Baseball ready.

The sun came out as they took the field … Baseball ready.

 

One of the Bad News Bears moments, where everyone felt the need to help, but in the end my son was able to get the ball and make the play to first.

One of the Bad News Bears moments, where everyone felt the need to help, but in the end my son was able to get the ball and make the play to first.

 

Heading toward third and making his way home. He was pretty ecstatic that they didn't tag him. High-fives all around when he reached home plate.

Heading toward third and making his way home. He was pretty ecstatic that they didn’t tag him. High-fives all around when he reached home plate.

 

In the end it was a good Bucket List Adventure.

In the end it was a good bucket list adventure for both of us..