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‘Twas the Night Before Tuesday – A Poem about Ferguson

‘Twas the Night Before Tuesday – A Poem about Ferguson

Twas the night before Tuesday
and all through the streets,
every news network was stirring
with smartphones, and iPads, and pointless Tweets.

My white children were all settled in bed.
While visions of actual justice danced in their heads.
My wife in the bed & I on the sofa
had just turned on CNN because Monday Night Football was ovah.

Out in the midwest there arose such a clatter.
I sat on my ass and watched the whole matter.
Away to the internet I alt-tabbed in a flash.
I threw open the Facebook, the Twitter, new ‪#‎hash‬.

The floodlights on the haze of new fallen smoke
gave the lustre of Bill Maher or Snoop Dog taking a toke.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear!?
Nothing but reporters talking right out of their rear.

A looter, a runner,
Anderson Cooper and Blitzer.
Things burning, on fire
It’s all in the shitter!
From the voice of the SWAT team
To the warning from cops.
Dash away! Dash away!
You’re gonna get shot!

Then in an update I thought was a spoof.
The auto parts store had gone up in a poof!
As I went to the fridge and was turning around
down the street came cops in armored vehicles abound!

They were all dressed in body armor from head to foot.
I heard the stomping and tromping of each little boot.
A bundle of surplus military gear on their back
they looked like soldiers prepared to attack.

Their guns how they twinkled. The violence so scary.
The blue lights were merry. The reds like a cherry.
Anderson’s stoic mouth drawn up like a bow.
The hair on his head as white as the snow.
The fires did burn and spat out the ash.
But the news still had commercials ’cause “We gotta earn cash.”

The chief of police was a jolly old elf.
All callous and righteous and sure of himself.
A wink of his eye & a nod of his head
is all you would see when ‘klansman’ was said.

They spoke not a word and went right to work.
The armored cars tore down the street with a jerk.
And laying their fingers aside of the triggers
They were gonna have to shoot a whole bunch of [PEACE-LOVING RESIDENTS OF FERGUSON, MISSOURI]

They sprang into action and fired a flash.
The people did scatter from a can of tear gas.
But I heard them exclaim as they ran out of sight.
“I’m against violence, but I’m LOOTIN’ TONIGHT!”

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Posted by on November 25, 2014 in Journal

 

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#6 – Dear Dad

As you can see I have done a wonderful job keeping up with the blog & journal, as well as the 30 days to a better man list. So here we are six months after journal entry #5 with #6, right on schedule.

I got hung up because the item 14 on the 30 days list was ‘Write a letter to your father’. That was a lot tougher for me to face than what I had anticipated. So I put it off…and off…and off.

My dad died from cancer in 1998. He thought he had a summer cold on June 5th. He was diagnosed on July 5th. The funeral was on August 5th. It was ocular melanoma, which is a form of cancer so rare that doctors will stop what they are doing and really listen to you when they meet a direct relative of a victim. My doctor told me he will probably go the rest of his career and never meet someone directly related to a melanoma patient.

Anyhow. Here’s my letter to Dad.

Dear Dad,

We haven’t talked in awhile, and never will again. Your sudden death caused me a lot of problems and put my life on a different path. Who knows where I’d be now, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is my present and future.

I went into depression for what I believe was 10-12 years. It came and went in severity, but I don’t believe I ever fully got over it until recently. I know you struggled with your father’s death, so perhaps we share a common bond even post-mortem. I have been very angry and negative for a decade now. Even being married for 10 years and having three wonderful children couldn’t fully shake my sadness.

However in the past few months I have been working out these feelings. Physically I have been getting healthy by losing the weight I gained within six months of your passing. I was up to 350 lbs. at one point. Got down to 330, and stayed there for a year or so. Then dropped to 300 and have been hovering there for 3+ years. I’m now at 280, and I aim to get back to my weight at your time of departure, 220. This time I’m really eating healthy and feel better. About two weeks in, during a workout, I almost had an emotional breakdown. I think it was all that negativity leaving, and me moving on.

This helped me mentally, and I finally see that I have been unmotivated for years. Upon your death I let myself slide for years with very few meaningful goals. You were a source of motivation. I always wanted to beat you, and prove myself.  I realize now that I don’t need to do that. I need to be me, and stop punishing myself for not living up to a standard that never did exist in the first place.

You gave me everything I needed to be successful in life and will be. You were a good dad, and I was lucky to have you. I learned much, and I have built on your lessons and example. I will pass my own lessons on to my family, and carry on your legacy of hard work, sacrifice, and love for your family.

Your loving son,

Joe

And finally item 14 is done on the list.  Moving on…in more ways than one.

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2010 in Journal

 

#5 – Tough Days

A lot of things can make for a tough day. The weather, your boss, a coworker, or a poor driver slowing you down can all make you have a bad day. But a tough day is a special bad day. Of course we all know people or pets we love will die, and even unexpected deaths are still sort of expected. At some point we realize that someone has to fill out the statistic books for this generation so after the initial shock of the news we can handle with the grief with some practicality.

But years later that I have come face to face with a simple task that is still tough. Day fourteen’s task is to write a letter to my father. I’m dreading this one, and putting it off.

Dad died just over 10 years ago. I still have trouble with it sometimes.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2009 in Journal

 

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#4 – The Bucket List

Haven’t been keeping up with the journal, so might as well kill two birds with one stone. Today’s entry is my bucket list, day twelve’s task on the 30 day trek to a better man. Click the link or go see a predictable movie starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson to learn about bucket lists.

The task requires ten items at least, but I can beat that. (Does that mean I’m not doing nearly enough with my life?) I can come up with many because you can add anything, even as simple as eating a local restaurant you frequently pass, but never stop.

  1. See all seven continents
  2. Go to Cedar Point
  3. Weigh less than 250 pounds again.
  4. Eat at the Moonlight BBQ in Owensboro, KY
  5. Visit Russia and see the Kubink museum and Kursk.
  6. Travel in space.
  7. Ride on a bullet train
  8. Take a trip by train.
  9. Take a trip by steamboat.
  10. Take a trip via ocean freighter.
  11. Take a cruise.
  12. Visit Savannah, GA with the wife.
  13. Take the kids to Disney World.
  14. Take a wilderness trip to Alaska.
  15. Become a CCIE.
  16. Speak a foreign language moderately well.
  17. Go deep sea fishing.
  18. Skydive.
  19. Climb a mountain (1001 feet counts).
  20. Scuba dive.
  21. Visit Hawaii.
  22. Win a poker tournament at a casino.
  23. Get a bachelor’s degree.
  24. Continue this list.
 
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Posted by on October 19, 2009 in Journal

 

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#3

Once again up late, but nothing to write about.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2009 in Journal

 

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#2 Journal Entry

To tired for a long post.
Celebrated Megan’s birthday with a great couple’s only trip to Kings Islands Howloween fest.
Bengals beat Ravens. First place in the AFC North! WHO DEY!!
Watching a great Broncos/Pats ending that got recorded as well.

Proud of myself for sticking to the journal even though it was late. I was tired, and it would have been easy to skip.

Best day of the year so far!!

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2009 in Journal

 

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1 – The First Journal Post

This is the first entry in my journal. I’ve been turning over new leaves thanks to the artofmanliness.com‘s “30 days to a Better Man” series. Day #8 – Start a journal.

I’ve always wanted to start a journal, but three things have always prevented it, my lack of initiative, lack of follow-through (notice how much the Fictional Beer articles are updated), and thinking I have nothing to write about. But the Art of Manliness has pointed out that it is the mundane things that will be interesting in later years. I’ve taken the initiative, so now I hope I can stick with it until it is a habit.

It takes 21 days for something to become habit. Reading each entry in the ’30 Days’ series should keep me reminded. However I’ve already been post-poning some days, and just coming back to them the next time I check the site. Two-weeks to get to day 8.

I do feel improved. Today I also completed day seven’s task by reaching out to an old friend, Jeff Roback, and MCSE classmate at Sullivan University.

I’ve been trying to eat healthier, and have been successful. However beer is still thwarting some of my efforts. A good beer buzz certainly increases the late night appetite.

Tomorrow I complete day nine’s task, take a woman on a date. Megan & I will be going to Kings Island’s Fright Fest without the kids. I’m really looking forward to it. We haven’t been anywhere alone (other than simple dinner & a movie) since going to St. Louis 3 years ago.  Only a day trip but still fun.

I hope to write about all sorts of subjects, and I have no real goals for this journal. Other than to keep it up.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2009 in Journal

 

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