Category: Inkognegro

Happy Jackie Robinson Year

So, I turned 42 yesterday.

Forty-Two years old.

42 isn’t a number that jumps out at anyone as an age to ponder.

Every birthday brings about a certain amount of introspection.  This year, the run-up to birthday number42 consisted of basically pondering if 42 really even matters.

Between watching my sons grow up and my own memories of birthdays past, I find myself intrigued by the significance we place on certain birthdays

Childhood is an exponential experience where each birthday is monumental, because you haven’t had very many and it never gets old to have your own holiday. (To those of you born on actual holidays, yeah…I am sorry about that)

Once you hit 21, only the round numbers stick out.  Even as the evolution of humanity has changed what it means to be thirty, forty, or fifty, those numbers maintain a certain gravitas. Even the 5s (25,35,45,55) gain cache by marking the halfway point between round numbers.  So wither a random year like 42?

The only thing Significant about 42 is Jackie Robinson, and that is rather kitschy. But as an acknowledged baseball guy…That’s what we are going with this year.

This is my Jackie Robinson year. And it begins tomorrow, since I was born at 11:35 pm EST.

Beginning at the Beginning… (Or the beginning of the End, to hear the Mayans tell it)

So, you’re a philosopher?

Actually, no. I am an intermittent blogger and non-custodial father…BUT…

Yes. I think very deeply. (Paraphrased from the opening to My Philosophy, 1988)

Now that we have puttered around and disposed of the 2011 holiday season, it is Tuesday January 3, 2012. Today is the first functional day of the new year. Today is the day that you are supposed to get down to whatever the hell it is you said you were going to do differently from last year.

If you are like me (and despite my incessant desire to proclaim some kind of Singular mode of humanity…you are more like me than either of us care to admit), You made a conscious or not so conscious effort to put off whatever sea change you sought to make in your life until the day when society deemed that life return to normal.

And At the dawn…Here we are. So…what did I decide?

  1. Writers write.

    Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there. – Thomas Berger

    I realized that I spend far more time in 2011 telling people I was a writer and explaining why it was I wasn’t writing than I spent actually writing. After Last year’s pitiful performance…I don’t really deserve the title. I am officially on the writer’s hot seat. When Ed Werder is done chronicling the annual underachievement of the Dallas Cowboys he will stand next to the Wendy’s in front of my Building and discuss the tenuous status of my “writer” title.

    I say all that to say the following:

    If I cannot accomplish significant improvement in my productivity within the next week, I will stop calling myself a writer. If you know me well…I expect you to hold me to that.

  2. Writers read.

    If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. -Stephen King

    I spend the preponderance of my time Reading. As someone who has left the driving to someone else, I spend most of my commutes and my non working time reading the thoughts, facts, and opinions of others, typically in the form of short bursts of text. The reality is, no matter how many of those short bursts of text a single person or a group of people string together, the ability to focus and follow an extended narrative suffers.

    Your experience may differ…but I can say with certainty that my ability to read is suffering.

    This is not to say your ability to read long form communication must be negatively affected by this change in societal communication, this is to say that my reading, and by extension of my writing. This too, must change.

And so…with that…I give you nominal, yet substantive change. It’s what is hot in the streets in 2012.

Mail Bonding

I wrote my 3.0 a letter last week.  It was for his 13th birthday.  Which would be cool if his birthday was in December.

His Birthday is October 14.

I was homeless on October 14, and writing a letter to my son was the exact last thing  I could do at the time. I called and we had the usual conversation on his mother’s cell phone.

“How are you How is school having fun playing football I am proud of you youre getting so big I am sorry I couldn’t make it to visit like I said I would  I am making changes to my life to be in a better place to be closer to you guys please take care of each other and look out for your cousin and your mother I love you so much. “

Regardless of how up or down my life has been, the conversations with my sons have always been the same.

For my son’s 13th Birthday, I wrote a lot closer to what I felt.

I welcomed him to his first steps of manhood and proceeded to start apologizing for my failures.

That wasn’t smart.  Upon reading the letter, 3.0 was very distraught, feeling as though the pain I was feeling was at his hand, even as I took pains to exonerate them both  (him and his brother) from blame.

Ex#1 was very evenhanded in encouraging me to continue to write to him, but not to go so hard on myself, as it was obvious that any pain I felt hurts 3.0 just as much.

The darndest thing happened Come Monday when I called them for Christmas.

I didn’t talk to him about the letter..i just talked to him

We just talked…about whatever. Music, Gifts, Family, His favorite Basketball player (Derrick Rose) the way his Mother and Stepfather ridicule 3.1 for Picking up and putting down Football teams to support. (He is a Saints fan, largely because no one will allow him to change teams for the 4th time in 7 years)

From a painful letter…a new path was forged.  My birthday isn’t until June, But this is the best present I have gotten in years.

The 21 Day Junk Food Challenge: Prelude

At This very moment I am Simply Obliterating This #4 Single Baconator Medium combo with Natural Lemonade and a Big Al’s Fudge Cake White Chocolate Sauce.

Tomorrow?

I begin the 21 Day Junk Food Challenge. Not so much because Junk Food is Bad, but because I need change in my life. I need to be the change I want to see.

I am working harder, and longer and I am less and less able to stay on task with my other activities.  Unless it is my job, staying on task has never been more difficult for me than it is right now.

After initially Swearing off the 21 Day Junk food Challenge I have decided to Throw my hat in the ring and get with the program .

Additionally I shall be Blogging EVERYTHING I eat throughout the 21 days of No Junk food.

No Junk Food:

No Chocolate

No Candy

No Biscuits or Cookies

No Cakes Donuts or Muffins

No Pastries

No White Bread

No Chips

No Fast Food

No Nutella, Peanut Butter or other naughty spread

No Ice Cream

But first: *Clicks Publish and returns to his culinary debauchery*

Media Blackout: Day One

The first thing I observed was silence.

Deafening silence.

I have never been deluded into not acknowledging that I have a fear of silence. I have always been of the belief that background noise settles my mind and focuses it, first on whatever I am listening to and then onto whatever else I deem important enough to think about. I grew up in a home that had something on at all times. My mother had either a TV or a radio on wherever she was. After thinking about it, I realize that this was something I took from her.

I didn’t struggle with disconnecting from Television very much at all. Of all the things that I was giving up, I found television to be the one item that I was LEAST bothered about. My most enjoyable experience of the day was replacing Random TV Viewing with a morning perusal of my local Newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (a McClatchy owned Newspaper, a fact I will pontificate on at a later date). Granted, there are several Documentaries that I have been meaning to watch along with my daily diet of talking head blather, but I know very well what a timesuck television can be. I will add that the primary reason that I am starting this project so much earlier than my classmates (it is due to be turned in on Tuesday, March 24, 2009) is because I knew that I didn’t want to deal with my lack of television overlapping with any meaningful part of March Madness, the name used to denote collegiate athletic conference championships and the NCAA Basketball tournament. While I will miss a few of the minor conference championship games, I will end my Media Blackout just in time for the Big East Conference Championship, which is where my favorite team growing up, the University of Pittsburgh Panthers, will play for back-to-back conference championships. Everything else that I find myself watching can be delayed or just plain old forgotten about. I didn’t even bother to adjust my DVR to see if there was anything I needed to record while I was away.

Unplugging from the Internet will be far more difficult (I say as I blog using a technical loophole as we speak)

I was slightly late to the phenomenon of the Internet, Joining AOL on Christmas Eve, 1997. It wasn’t until 1999 that I began to use the Internet for something other than chatting with other people and exchanging emails. As broadband connectivity became available, I found the internet becoming a more and more functional part of my life. Now, There are very few parts of my life that aren’t impacted by the internet, chief among them, my online banking and billpaying.

While I have long since soured on the radio, as someone who finds himself driving an average of 1500 to 2000 miles a month, it is an invaluable source of background noise. Whether it is the entertainment masquerading as information that is Talk radio, or the information masquerading as entertainment that is public radio, or the useful idiocy of sports-talk radio, It can always feed my never ending yearn for background noise in the event My ipod and my FM modulator are not playing nicely in the car. Easily the hardest part of this experiment will be avoiding the instinctive reach for the radio dial the instant the engine roars (or in the case of MY little four cylinder, putt-putts) its approval of the Starter. Driving in silence is going to be the most painful part of this experience, by far.

Show me your Twits and I will toss you some beads.

So, after several months of casually tinkering with Twitter, I have gone all in.

I spent this weekend twittering frequently and just as I figured, it’s highly addictive.

Yeah, just what I needed.  something ELSE to keep me from blogging.

Shout out to all the folk I have picked up and met over the past several hours.

Now If you will excuse me, I have Two finals tomorrow and a bunch of Make up work for Wednesday’s final.  Almost done though.

Better to me than I have Been to myself

For the many times I’ve fallen
And yet You forgave me, thank You,
Lord, I thank You
For unmerited favor,
And Your brand new mercies
Thank You, how I thank You
For wakin’ me up this morning
For letting me see one more dawning
Thank You, Lord, I thank You,
I thank You, Lord, Oooooh

For life, health, and strength
For food and for shelter,
thank You, Lord, I thank You
If I had ten thousand tongues
It just wouldn’t be enough to say
Thank You, how I thank You
For wakin’ me up this morning
For letting me see one more dawning
Thank You, Lord, I thank You,
I thank You, Lord, Oooooh
For saving my soul, for making me whole
For calming my fears, for wiping my tears
And letting me know that I’m not alone
For wakin’ me up this morning
For letting me see one more dawning
Thank You, I thank You, Lord

I have been tossing around a lot of possibilities as to how to bust back into this piece. We are cracking open the final can of whoopass on one amazing year.

But before we can wrap up 2008, we have to actually finish it.

Instead I want to take this weekend of Thanksgiving to ponder the wonders of gratitude. When I’m not getting my disgruntled former baptist on Me and the Most High are quite tight.  Of Course, it’s when I get out of pocket and forget my foundation that I tend to spiral out of control.

Nothing like a week devoted to giving thanks to get a handle on how blessed I have been this year.

Last year I spent getting my inner self together and growing up in preparation for the challenges I have faced this year.

In this year I have managed to finally turn the corner on a number of my personal issues.  I was able to tighten up my relationship with my sons and my wife and my ex-wife.  I watched my mother grow as a college student and complete her Associate’s degree.  I was so inspired by her that I woke up one day and went and enrolled my behind in a full load of classes.

Then two lovely lil kids end up on my doorstep and I am thrust into informal Foster parenting.

Mrs. Ink is wrapping up the bow on her Master’s Degree, Im getting my 38 year-old freshman and we are both playing Mr. Drummond to Arnoldette and Willis Gandara.

And here we are…One week to go in this semester and I was able to swing a small vacation to the Mountains with The Mrs.

Meanwhile the whole time I was listening to and watching news reports on the radio and tv about how bad things are for people all over the world.

Better to me than I have been to myself, I tell ya.

Now lets get back to church, shall we?