Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dad's Day

Today, March 28, is my Dad's birthday.

He would have been 66 today.

I lost my Dad almost six years ago, and it still hasn't fully sunk in yet.

I wonder if it ever truly will.

I still sometimes think, "Man, Dad will love this movie, I gotta tell him about it."

And then I remember he's gone.

I still sometimes think, "I need to ask Dad how to do this; he'll know."

And then I remember he can't help me anymore.

No more advice, no more jokes, no more exploding cigarettes (I still laugh when I remember him sitting at the table with a dazed expression on his face, little scraps of paper and tobacco still falling out of the air), no more late-night Westerns while we have fried oysters and beer.

But then I remember that my Dad does help me, every day.

The things he taught me are still with me.

My Dad was a Vietnam veteran, and he taught me that when a fight is unavoidable, you stand up and fight for the things worth believing in.

He was man enough to know when not to fight.

He was man enough to cry when his first grandson (the only grandchild he'd ever know) was born.

My Dad taught me to laugh. He had an infectious laugh; when something struck him funny, everyone who was with him ended up laughing, too. No matter what kind of mood they were in.

My Dad taught me to work hard, but he also taught me the importance and sheer joy of goofing off and making other people laugh.

It may never truly sink in that my Dad is gone, and that's ok.

I don't think it's supposed to, and I don't really want it to.

His presence is still very vivid and real to me; not only when I remember the lessons he taught me, or the laughter that he gave me and told me to share, but also when I look at my sons and see that he is very much alive in them.

Dad, I'll always miss you, always. But I'm glad that you're not sick anymore, and it helps when I realize that you may not be here anymore, but you're not gone.

Not in the ways that really matter.

I love you, Dad.

Happy birthday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Myths, Monsters, and More...

This is just a quick post to invite everyone to join us at the Writer's Digest forums for a contest.

You do need to be a member, but don't fret: if you're not already, it's free, and you can register here.

Once you register, scroll down the forums page to Sci-Fi/Fantasy under Critique Central.

The theme for this contest is mythological creatures, and you can find the rules posted in the forum thread.

Please come and contribute (we loves us some new blood), or just come to read and vote.

Or just come to read.

Once you're there, explore a little. I've posted some stuff to read, and many others far more talented than I am have put up some wonderful tales.

Plus, it's just a fun place to hang out.

Hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading my ranting,


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Over WHAT Hill?!? I don't remember a hill...

Today is my birthday.

I'm thirty-nine today.

That's right, kids:

I'm older than Star Wars.

It's true. "What?!?" you say. "Before Star Wars? What did you do?!?"

Not much.

Life before Star Wars was very dull, and we played with sticks a lot.

But that's beside the point.

I'm old enough that, when I get up and walk across the room, it sounds like someone is making popcorn.

I'm old enough that my baby brother turned 30 just a few days ago.

I'm old enough to remember when "I have four bars" meant "I have more candy than you".

I'm old enough to remember when, if you wanted to talk on the phone while walking down the street, you needed a reeeaally long cord.

I'm old enough to remember when the pinnacle of video game technology was the Atari 2600: "Feel the excitement as you move your colored blip amongst differently colored blips! It beeps, kids!"

I'm old enough to remember pre-cable tv, which was a coat hanger (they used to be made of metal) stuck into the broken antenna part of the 13-inch black-and-white tv (this was before the world was in color) that you had to constantly move around so that you could get a decent picture. Even after you got it balanced just right, afraid to breathe so that you wouldn't mess it up again, and added just enough aluminum foil (useful for so much more than just leftovers) to increase the reception, you still couldn't tell Godzilla from Shirley Temple.

I'm old enough to know who Shirley Temple is.

I'm old enough to remember when G.I.Joe was a foot tall, and his vehicle accessories were roughly the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.

I'm old enough to remember when you could still buy a new Volkswagen Beetle.

I'm old enough to remember when Bugs Bunny was on every Saturday Morning.

I'm old enough that Lou Ferrigno will ALWAYS be The Hulk.

I'm old enough to remember watching the original Battlestar Galactica when it was first broadcast (in 13-inch, black-and-white glory).

I'm old enough to remember when music stores sold records (those big, black cd's).

I'm old enough to remember playing Ghost in the Graveyard (for those of you not in the know, think flashlight tag without the flashlights).

I'm old enough to remember when it was actually safe to play outside.

I know I'm starting to sound like my dad here, but I remember when one dollar could buy me a candy bar, a Coke (pre-Classic), and two--two!!-- comic books.

But as many things as I can look back and remember, I know that there are that many more things to look forward to.

Kieth Richards (you know, the Rolling Stones? *sigh* All right: Johnny Depp's dad in Pirates of the Carribean) said, "Getting old is fascinating. The older I get, the older I want to get."

God willing, I want another thirty-nine years. Or more.

I may be starting to tip over the hill.

But my life is a roller coaster, and downhill's the best part.

Thanks for reading my ranting,