Thursday, December 31, 2009

Time keeps on slipping...


2010 is almost upon us.

I have the inevitable feeling creeping in that there are so many things that I want to accomplish in the coming year. The list is long and overwhelming.

I think my first resolution will be to not be so overwhelmed; to deal with one thing at a time. To be steady and consistent. To know that I will get it all done.

That's a good place to start.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

5 to 10?

I don't know about some of these kids shows these days.

I'm driving Sean home yesterday, and as we came up the street, we passed by a Paddy Wagon. Sean looked over and said "That's a police car, right Daddy?"

"Yeah, Sean, that's a big truck that they use to take people to jail in."

"Oh. Dad, how long would somebody be put in jail for slapping a cop?"

Pause. Uncontrollable laughter from me. Catch breath. Regain composure.

"I don't know, Sean. Maybe like 60 days or so. Probably more."

...

"Sean, what would make you ask a question like that?"

"It was on iCarly. There was a guy who asked that, and the cop said 90 days, and then he slapped him!"

"Oh. Well, I guess it sounds like a long time. That's why you don't do bad stuff...'cause you go to jail and jail is a bad place to be."

"I know dad, but I'm not even old enough to go to juvy yet"

"Sean, how do you know about....never mind."


The Follow Up

So I feel, after watching the rest of that movie, that I owe a little more respect to Mr. Page. The truth is that I have a lot of history with him, whether he knows it or not. You see, it all goes a little something like this:

The very first Heavy Metal show I ever saw (I think I can call it that), was Poison at Lawlor Events Center when I was about 14. I had just used my bus boy money to pay for my first CD player ("boombox", actually...an important distinction...it could actually record tape to tape, OR tape from CD, which was more than handy for making mix tapes...the only reason I got any action in middle school, I'm pretty sure). My very first two CD purchases were The Black Crowes "Shake Your Money Maker" and Poison's "Flesh & Blood". I played the shit out of those two CD's, and to be honest, I think that they have stood the test of time...The Crowes a little stronger musically, but God Damn if Brett Michaels hasn't found a way to sell more records. Anyway, when Poison announced that they would be playing in Reno, along with openers Slaughter and Firehouse, I was at the front of the line with my friends for tickets. This was the first concert without parents for me, and sure to be a treat. My buddy Jim and I listened to a LOT of Poison to get ourselves ready for the show. I tended to hit the harder stuff with awesome drum solo's. I knew all of the musicians, and where they shined in each song. It was a real treat to see the show, and then hear Brett announce that it was guitarist Cee Cee Deville's birthday that evening, and as a birthday surprise, Jimmy Page (who was in Reno recording at Grammy's Studio on Plumas) was going to get up on stage and play with the band during an encore!

Now I was pretty young, but I knew who the fuck Led Zepplin was. I prided myself on having a little bit of knowledge about the roots of Heavy Metal. To be honest, looking back now, Zep was more Heavy Metal than Poison would ever know, but that's beside the point. Jimmy was on stage, and not being subjected to playing Unskinny Bop or some other bullshit. They busted right into Stairway, and it was pretty righteous. About halfway through the song, however, I watched Jimmy slowly walking and playing as Brett was doing his best to not totally disrespect what Robert Plant had originally made famous. As Jimmy played, he took a couple steps back on the stage and *whoosh* disappeared into a black hole designed for stage hands to hoist up guitars and water bottles and makeup or whatever to the band members. I guess Jimmy had no real knowledge about the lay of the land up there, and who could blame him? It would have looked like a really cool effect, him dropping out of sight during an eerie song, but the monotone blare of the E chord echoing off of Lawlor's less than forgiving acoustic nightmare made me realize this was a total accident. Poison continued to play for a few more bars before realizing something was totally amiss. The music stopped. The crowed wondered what was going on. Suddenly, stage hands were pulling Jimmy up from the hole, and medics were taking him to the hospital to deal with a broken arm. It was a totally anticlimactic finish to an otherwise special evening. Thanks alot, Cee Cee, for being born on that day. Asshole.

The next time I saw Jimmy, aside from in the several TV appearances and old Zep videos, was when I was in college in San Diego. My friend took me to see "Page Plant" at the Sports Center. I was kinda stoked, but also skeptical of seeing these two old shrivs diminish the respect that I had for the Zep I had listened to an nauseum over my high school career. It was Robert Plant and Jimmy page, but in place of the deceased John Bonham was his son, and instead of John Paul Jones, the guitarist from The Cure stepped in and rocked pretty hard. I was totally blown away by Robert Plant, and honestly to this day I can still say that I think that he gets better with age. I couldn't BELIEVE how hard he wailed, and how much BETTER EVEN he sounded than on the Zep albums. The guy was born with a gift. Jimmy, on the other hand, seemed like he had lost a step or something. I don't know if it was his colored curly hair that didn't work, the fact that Plant live is so much different than Plant recorded, or if I had a bad hot dog, but I didn't really give Jimmy his proper respect. I felt a little let down, and now that I look back, it wasn't Jimmy...it was my own perspective.

Having watched the movie below and seeing the roots of where Jimmy came from...having come to the realization that yes, he DID invent Heavy Metal...having seen footage of him in his honest, unashamed flowing white hair (he has so much more of it that I ever did...who cares what color it is)...having thought about all of it, I have come to the conclusion that Jimmy Page is my new idol. Musically, at least (please don't kill me, Chuck Norris). Here is a guy who has survived the test of time, stuck to his guns and never compromised his integrity, made it through some long years of trying new things, but ALWAYS done what he was put here on Earth to do: Rock.

You Rock, Jimmy.

I hope that when I am your age, I can have just as much integrity, and still get so much pleasure out of doing the things I love to do today.



Times are crazy right now. The people I look up to and am surrounded by are struggling along with the rest of the world. The things I have grown to believe are all changing. It's good to have something to write about that is true and pure. For me, right this second, it's a rock star.

So what?


Sunday, December 27, 2009

It might get loud

Leaves are falling all around
Time I was on my way
Thanks to you, I'm much obliged
For such a pleasant stay

But now it's time for me to go
The Autumn moon lights my way
I smell the rain
And with it pain
Is headed my way

Oh sometimes I get so tired
But you know there's just one thing I got to do





I'm watching a movie called "It might get loud" with Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge.

It's awesome. I couldn't find a video snippet of this one part where Jimmy Page lays into "Ramble On" all by himself, as he describes whispering to the thunder...the real poetry coming from his guitar as he alliterates about musical dynamics. So I put a Page/Plant video on this post instead, as those two together are pretty good about getting the message across.

I am feeling really inspired by this movie, life, and some other recent events. I can't go 15 minutes into the movie without running to my keyboard to work out ideas, or stopping to blog on it like a total dork.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eve of the Eve


Santa, if it's not too late, I want this vest back. It was sweet.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

HA!


HA!
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
"Happy Holidays"

That's what he was shouting at the exact moment. I know it's hard to believe that Captain Anonymous could be so P.C., but that's how he rolls these days.

And Huggie...always a good smile, too.

Thanks for being there, guys. Goodtimes.

Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Observations

I have always been complimented on my eyelashes. People say they are long and pretty. It bothered me as a kid to be called pretty in any way, but at 34 I take anything I can get. I have noticed that the hair growing in my nose very closely resembles eyelashes. Sometimes it gets pretty long, too...peaking out of the nostrils to say hi until I finally tame it back with a tear-jerking torture device that I use on myself every so often. What I'm wondering is: Why doesn't anyone compliment me on the pretty noselashes and the glorious lengths they can grow?

I am the same weight that I was in high school. Everyone always liked to say "we need to fatten you up" throughout my life. I got married and tried to put on some weight, but my metabolism just isn't slow enough. Fat guys would tell me to "enjoy it while (I) can" because once I hit 30 it would all be downhill. Sorry, dudes. It's weird to me that we live in the most obese society in the world, plagued with cancer and heart disease brought on many times by an overweight and unhealthy lifestyle, yet people want me to be more than the ~180 pounds that my 6'2" frame seems to like. Well, everyone except the medical community. They say I'm doing just right. For the last year, especially, people have told me that I look too skinny. I have lost too much weight because of the stuff I have been going through. I need to take better care of myself. A couple of lovely friends even said "You look like shit". Thanks for that...I feel the love. Again, I don't know if it's their concern for my health, or their desire to have something to point to as a way to fix myself because I must be broken. Whatever the case may be, it's taken me a long time to love myself for being born tall and skinny. I like it. It suits me. And suits, by the way, fit me too.

I wish I had a better observation about my baldness, but it just isn't that cool. "The more hair I lose, the more head I get" ?? I saw that on a bumper sticker, I think. Not true, btw. Although, there is a special someone in my life who says "bald is sexy". So bring on the MPB!

Cheers.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Onward


Tonight I am just tired. Long week flew by without leaving me much to show for it. On my way into work again for a long night ahead. I just miss these two so much right now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

GraduaMOtion


Congratulations, Mo Mo!!

I wish I was there to see you walk. I am so proud of you. You look beautiful, and I am so happy that you continue to find your way in this world with the most true and honest smile I know.

I imagine that when you were handed your diploma, you gave a little squeal of excitement, and did a 360 degree twirl into the rest of your life!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snowmuscles

There are a lot of painful sighs that happen when the Winter Storm Warning goes on all weekend in Reno. The sigh of waking up and thinking about shoveling the front porch, the walk, around the car, the steps and walks of the apartments, the patio at the bar, and all of the other places that may just have to wait for the sun to clear it up. There's also the sigh of the test of patience from following inept drivers going 7 miles per hour down the street...their 2 wheel drive sports cars unchained and unfit for conditions that the High Sierra often provide. The sigh-coupled-with-an-F-bomb when a bump from behind at the stop sign indicates that some people should TRY driving 7 miles per hour. The sigh of awareness that 6-and-3-year-old ears should not be subject to profanities...oops. Most of the time, sighs are a result of something painful.

Sometimes, however, they are a release of stress.

I had a nice, big sigh of relief yesterday when I finally sat down with Sean and Ireland to munch on a warm afternoon lunch, knowing that some kick-ass snowmen were out front watching over the street...reminding me that there's nothing better than fresh snow on the ground!



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hello...hello, hello


Is there anybody OUT there?!

Mom, I know you are in New Zealand, but in case you are checking the blog, I thought I would post this picture of your car the day after you left:

I tried to text it to you...probably too expensive to get picturemail in Kiwiland. I tried to text it to Mo...probably doesn't use the iPhone. This, I figured, would be the next logical way to communicate what I believe to be a pretty funny shot. You are likely enjoying the warm (if wet) NZ temperature of approximately 63 degrees. I know this because MY iPhone tells me so. Here in Reno, we have dipped below 0 for the first time in over 10 years. In fact, the high a couple of days ago was something like 7 degrees.

Anyway, I hope you appreciate how well timed your departure was. I have since cleaned off the snow from your mint green SUV and moved it around. I have avoided major catastrophe on the icy roads. I love the butt warmers.

Hope you guys are having fun. CONGRATULATIONS TO MO MO on her Graduation!!!

That is all for now.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Three to the Four

Get ready, it's a doozy.

What can I say about the last year? I guess you will just have to wait for the autobiography, because the blog post about how I spent my 33rd year on this Earth would take me weeks to think about, cry over, laugh about and construct. It's been a lot of blood sweat and tears, but the light at the end of the tunnel shined down on me this weekend.
The last couple of weeks have been a real challenge, as I have been busy with work, recovering from Thanksgiving, and making it through another successful Egan Cup bowling tournament!

I followed that all up with a big move onward and upward in my life, in many ways. As I have discussed here and there on this blog over the past year +, I moved out of my house and Babymama and I are headed for a divorce. It has been a long time coming, and the actual legal action delayed longer than I wanted due to the fact that I have been trying to make sure she and my children have a house to live in...that has been worked out now, and I have turned my attention onto making my own life a little better, and more accommodating for Sean and Ireland. Living in my apartment has been very difficult. I have been lucky to have a place to spend the last 14 months or so moving on with my life, but I haven't really been able to have my kids stay with me, and I have been so busy with all of the work I have been involved in that my time for them has been limited to a few visits, lunches, dinners and hang out sessions every week, but nothing like the fatherhood I imagined myself having when I brought them into the world...and unacceptable to me. It's been beyond stressful, and there are very few things that have helped me stay sane, but life is not bad, by any means. In fact, I feel so very grateful to have so many friends and family around me supporting me through this struggle, and one of those people is about to surface here on this blog.

This is Anna.




She is many things to me. She's the manager of my bar. She's my friend Cody's little sister. She has been around my family since she was a little girl. She was also around Babymama's family too...she babysat Anna as a little girl...but don't mention it to her, because she's not her favorite person at the moment, (understandably), because Anna is my girlfriend.

Yep, I have a girlfriend now. I have for a few months, actually, and it has been very, very nice. Not only has she been loving and caring, and accepting of me and my life, with tons of support in a time when I really needed it, but she has been ready and willing to move forward with me and all of the beautiful baggage that I bring along. She and I have moved in together, into the first house that I bought with Babymama. Imagine how challenging this is as a woman, to accept and embrace the situation and move into the house. She is a very mature, hard working person, however, and she has worked through those trivialities to see the big picture of helping me make a home for us and for my kids that will bring joy and comfort to us all. She and her sister Kadie helped pick out some amazing colors for the paint, and cleaned the SHIT out of this house from floor to ceiling. After being a rental for the past 2 years, it needed some serious scrubbing! So that's what we've been doing for the past 2 weeks; getting the house ready and moving up stuff. It's not done yet, but it is warm and getting there, and we are happy to be settling in.


I turned 34 yesterday, and I wanted to keep it mellow and lay low, surrounded by family and friends. I couldn't have had it play out any more perfectly. Anna switched her Saturday night shift so she could hang out, and I texted a couple of friends to come in and say hi. Little did I know that Anna actually let quite a few people know about it, and got the bar packed with a bunch of my friends. She decorated top to bottom, brought in food, and made it extra special. She also pulled a fast one on me by bringing 3 of my favorite musicians to play an impromptu gig! Her brother, Cody (who recently got his MFA from Cal Arts) played percussion. My buddies Fernando Flores and Jimmy Hoover (both from Sol Jibe), played bass and sax. And the big surprise was when I looked up and saw my own keyboard on the stage and was told that Brian Egan would be playing too! I was nervous as hell, especially because I am so disgustingly out of practice, but I sacked up and tried to work through the buzz I had going...and I played with 3 of the best musicians I know.



We had a great jam session, and people actually stayed around and listened...and I think actually enjoyed themselves! I think I am inspired to get back after it again with playing music, and I refuse to be caught so off guard again, so I will be practicing more and ready next time I get shanghaied into a jam session!

One way I plan on keeping my chops up is to jam a little more often with Sean. This will be not only possible, but a regular occurrence, as the drums and keys are now set up at my house! Last night, as a matter of fact, I had a real birthday treat when I jammed with Sean. And it was even more special, because he and Ireland got to come and stay at the house for the First Time!!

When they came over last night, they were so excited to see what we had in store for them. We had made a trip to Ikea to get some inexpensive but SUPER CUTE kids furniture to make them feel welcome and comfortable. If you can see in these pictures, the stuff resembles The Cat in the Hat, and it made for a nice reception when they saw where they would be spending the night last night, and for many nights to come in the future.









We had pizza for dinner, and a birthday cake after.


They made me birthday cards, and brought up a plate full of my favorite: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies! We watched a movie, and read some books, and although they were a little scared of the new environment, they nestled down to bed and slept soundly all night. They woke up to a foot of snow on the ground outside (and still coming!), which meant NO SCHOOL, and MORE TIME TO CHILL with them this morning.





The night was also topped off by a first...Sean's first lost baby tooth, which meant that there was a fairy floating around my house last night!! (And money in a special "Tooth Fairy" silver container that Anna just happened to have packed up, waiting on Sean's nightstand in the morning).



I could go on and on about this last couple of weeks, or even just about last night, but the point is this: probably the best birthday ever. I think 34 is going to be an amazing year. There will be struggles, as always, but things are going in the right direction for me. I feel like I have the fundamentals falling into place to have a positive environment around me, and plan on being more of the father I want to be.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chuck would know

I may knot no how to do everything write.

Sometimes I feel like I might be losing my shit.

There is never going to be enough time.

I can't wait until....

Somebody throw me a donut.

Laughing is such a gift.

My kids are the funniest. They win.

I want everyone to be happy.

I need to get back to kicking ass. Chuck Norris Style.
He would know what to do.
He would probably just break everything in his way.





Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's around the corner





Sorry, uncle Smokey...life is busy, and blogging is down the priority list.

At or near the top of the list right now is this project I'm doing for Sean's birthday. (He will be 6 next week. What the fuck?)

Anyway, I am doing an installation of skateboard related artwork and functionality.

I'm working on a 4-canvas picture for the wall. I've created my graphic, now I just need to stencil it and paint it onto the canvases. Here's a picture of it.
Here's a picture of where I got it from.
I figured it would be more excellent to actually have one of SEAN on his board than some other schmuck. Means more to me, anyway. And I love this picture of him.

I'm also creating a snowboard shelf for the wall, and I am painting 3 skate decks...design TBD.


Oh and I have to build a rack for the wall for the boards he actually uses.

Oh and the Babymama also requested I install a basketball hoop sometime between now and his birthday on Monday.

Good thing I don't have anything else going on in my life right now...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hi


I'm still here.

Please enjoy this picture from an Aces game this Summer...it was fun.

Back for more soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

For Ronstar*

Quick story.

I was having coffee with my friends BL and Trav. Trav just got back from Yosemite, where he was bummed he didn't bring his beachcruisers for the "fatty trails" that he and his dogs were limited to using. By fatty trails, I mean that they were flat and not anywhere as picturesque and challenging as the ones he wanted to take his dogs on. Alas, dogs are regulated to certain areas of Yosemite like the fatty trails, not because their genes and penchant for cramming ding-dongs in their face two at a time prevent them from wanting to do anything resembling a hike, but because them's the rules for dogs.

My guess is it's because of the bears.

Apparently, Yosemite is experiencing a pretty big bear overpopulation. This year alone there have been, according to T-bone, somewhere around 24 bear deaths caused by vehicles. That's just crazy! Those bears, however, were probably drinking heavily.

Case in point: T-Rex hears some rustling outside the tent, and then a pot and pan banging together...a human letting a bear know "I don't want you here". Well, Trixalot pops outside his tent and bares (sorry) witness to a big furry brown 400 lbs of comedy. He says he snapped a picture, but the blurry ball of brown fuzz isn't going to help, and I didn't need to see it to crack a smile at his description.

T-Money says there should have been some kind of game show music (I'm thinking Price is Right at this point) playing super fast because the bear barrelled from bear cannister to bear cannister, as if under a time crunch, trying to beat the buzzer, swiping at each one to see if he or she could luck out and snag a little snacky-poo before the buzzer sounded! I don't know if I'm telling the story right, and since I can't see your face(s?) as you read this, I will never really know if you got a kick out of that image as much as I did. Maybe it's because when I play the scene out in my head, I picture my buddy*, Papa, in his bear mask acting out the part of the actual bear. Is that wierd?

Matt, are you still paying attention? I need you to put that picture of yourself in the bear suit back up on your blog so that my reader(s?) can really tie this whole thing together.

Anyway, there's your pointless drivel for the week. Resume.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Today

I have been awake for an hour this morning, thinking about my life and what a crazy whirlwind of events has been taking place. I am at starbucks, resigned to giving up the extra 2 hours of sleep that I might normally get were I to ignore the burning feeling in my stomach. Instead I am going to embrace the feeling and go forth with purpose. It's time again for change. It's time to recognize the growing I have done and that I have more yet to do.

Today is Ireland's first day of pre-school. This week is Sean's first week at elementary school. It's going to be a big week for everybody. I know we are all a little excited and unsure of what is to come...nervous and scared to leave our comfort zone, but that's just a part of life. They will learn this. I will remember it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

In case we get lost.


My boys
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
So my nephew Jeffrey is finally back in town with his mom, dad & sisters. It looks like he's here to stay this time, too as they are talking about enrolling him in school while my sister and her hard working husband await the imminent day when his new job in Reno opens up and they can pack the house in North Las Vegas and get back HOME! Needless to say we are all excited.

Sean is at the top of the list of people stoked to have them all back in town...but mostly Jeffrey, his only boy cousin! I knew Both boys would be happy to head out with Ireland and me to catch some of the Reno Tahoe Open on Sunday, so I picked Jeffrey up first and made my way to get the kiddos.

It was a short ride over with just the J-Man sitting next to me, filling me in on things and showing me just how much he has grown up since the last time I saw him. As we made our way down the hill, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a cell phone. I noticed out of the corner of my eye, but didn't say anything as he put it up to his ear.

"Hey", he said into the receiver. I thought to myself, that was odd, I didn't hear it ring...must use vibrate like me...pretty hip kid. "I'm in Reno now. OK, bye". His conversation was short...and his phone was put away as quickly as it was pulled out. I wondered: was that a real conversation? Who just called this soon-to-be 6th grader? It occurred to me that it was actually a fake phone call so he could show me that he has a cell phone now...a modern day right of passage or something. I decided not to talk about it. About a block down the road, the phone came back out again and Jeffrey let me know, "hey Brian, if we get lost or we need to know where we are, I have gps on my cell phone. This is my cell phone."

Sigh of relief.

"Awesome, dude." All of it really was awesome. My nephew is a young man now. He's not only, like every normal 6th grader, looking for attention and recognition from his elders and peers, and finding out which is which...he is also still happy, sweet and considerate.

We all went to the RTO, and he was more like a big brother than a cousin. My kids love him like he is there every day. I hope he can be.

This picture is from yesterday morning when Sean, Jeffrey and I took Bodie up on a hike...boys being boys...something Jeffrey is very good at, and something Sean recognizes as good. I know with boys like Jeffrey in Sean's life, I have no worries about what kind of awesome young man my son is becoming.

Monday, July 27, 2009

You Two



I made history in my world last night. For the first time, I got my kids to spend the night with me. We had a great day all day, did some swimming, chilled out and watched a movie, went to my mom's house for dinner with her and my brother and his wife. When we got home, I gave them a bath, and I pulled out the brand new spider man and barbie toothbrushes, (and pointed out the donuts that they could get in the morning), and neither Sean nor Ireland flinched...they knew this time that they weren't going to have a meltdown, that they were comfortable enough in the apartment that has been my temporary digs for quite a while now, that they wanted to be with me. I ended up renting "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" for us all to watch as we fell asleep. It's an old Dick Van Dyke Movie, and I kind of remembered it from my childhood.




One thing about old movies, even when they are made for kids, is that they just can't keep up with today's Pixar brilliance. But they are colorful and fun and full of music, and the kids liked this one enough to watch about 15 minutes before the sleep took them over. I, however, stayed up watching it, thinking about how much I resemble Dick Van Dyke (don't know if that's good or bad, but I have a feeling he was Poppin' Mary back in the day, if you know what I mean, and Julie Andrews was hot, whether you're into the maid thing or not...also, he was wearing a pretty badass ascot in most of the movie, and I'm thinking about rocking that to more formal occasions this summer, we'll see. I digress). What a funny idea it turned out to be, when shortly into the film, a song came one called "You Two". It was Dick singing to his two kids, and the lyrics (googled for your pleasure) went like this:




"What makes the battle worth the fighting?


What makes the mountain worth the climb?


What makes the questions worth the asking?


The reason worth the rhyme?




To me the answer's clear;


it's having someone near; someone dear


Someone to care for; to be there for.


I have You Two!




Someone to do for; muddle through for.


I have You Two!




Someone to share joy or despair with;


whichever betides you.


Life becomes a chore, unless you're living for


someone to tend to be a friend to.


I have You Two!




Someone to strive for, do or die for


I have You Two!




Could be, we three get along so famously,'


cause you two have me,


and I have You Two too."






Seriously, I had no idea that the theme of the single dad with his two kids was even a part of that movie. I think I must have been Sean's age when I watched it, and I probably remember as much of it as he will later today...and he didn't even make it to the part where the car sprouts wings (brilliant for a movie of that vintage, btw). You can imagine my surprise, and slight emotional response when I saw that part. Now, I'm not saying that it mirrors my life in any way, just that the similarities, on this night 9 months after I left the house, when my two awesome children finally felt safe and comfortable enough with all of the trauma that surrounds them and the confusion in their heads, to pull up the covers and slip away peacefully with me.




When Ireland woke up to me watching her and the first thing she did was get a great big smile on her face this morning, it made my day, and probably my week. After a very, very long week at work, sure to be followed up by more of the same, there is not too much that could make me frown today. Seeing Sean's big blond bed head while he sipped his juice made me think that I, too, might be OK because I have those two.




Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tomorrow is another day

Actually, the tomorrow I refer to is yesterday now, but whatever. Yesterday was pretty rad, and that's the point. The reason it was rad, in case you were wondering, is that I took the morning off to drive Sean and Ireland up to Sand Harbor and hang out next to the beautifully cold water of Lake Tahoe.


Those kids are so much fun. Sandcastles, skipping rocks, playing paddle ball (I think we got a rally of 6 hits going, which is good for a 5-year-old), wading in the shallows...and lots of love and affection. That's what I miss the most these days. Even getting it for a few hours yesterday doesn't seem to fill me up. I can't get enough.


Ireland is turning 3 this month.


Wow.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hard to explain

An age that melts with unperceiv'd decay, And glides in modest innocence away.
-Samuel Johnson

As I get older, there are heavy, sad things that weigh heavy in their balance of the happy, good things. These things all are a part of life. There is no escape from one or the other.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

JC

I don't normally get offended by obscenities or even blasphemy. Anyone who knows me would agree that as a matter of fact, I think that the occasional F-bomb or appropriately timed swear word make for healthy, proper dialogue. Some people (hi dad) tend to completely disagree with this perspective of mine, but I do it anyway, and we manage to remain friends. It's who I am.

So imagine me getting upset about it. I was even surprised at my own reaction this afternoon when I had the following experience at a bank that I do business with:

I walked into the empty line, and waited as 4 tellers at their empty windows looked up at me, and went back to ignoring me for 3 or 4 minutes. Finally, one girl came from the back, where the drive up window is, and actually acknowledged me,

"Someone will be right with you, sir."

"OK, thanks," I replied.

A couple of minutes later, the girl on the end finally looked up with a sigh and a face like she was having an extended Monday, and told me to come over. I did, and got to my business. While I was standing right in front of her, she noticed that several people had lined up behind me at that point, so she looked to her right at the girl next to her and snapped,

"You need to help the customers!"

I remember thinking that yes, she was right, and someone should say something. Bully for her. Until...to herself, but loud enough to specifically make sure I heard her, she then exclaimed,

"Jesus CHRIST!"

Wow, I thought, that was off-putting. I own a bar, and I'm used to that type of behaviour and much worse in that environment, but this was a bank! I was so taken back by her audacity, and her assumption that I was someone who wouldn't take offense to such language. Well, I do use that kind of language, but Jesus Christ, that was actually offensive! I couldn't BELIEVE that she would represent herself or her place of work in such a manner. I am friends with several of the higher ups at that particular bank, and the thought crossed my mind to see if they would like to come down to the floor and have a little discussion. Instead, I bit my tongue, remained silent, and waited for her to finish up:

"Is there anything else I can do?" she asked.

"Yes, there is," I replied,looking her dead in the eye, "You can watch your language."

She looked at me, and then in shame looked down and mumbled "I know."

That was more than enough for me. I feel bad that I needed to call her out at that moment, but maybe it's what she needed to hear. It's a lot better than bringing it up to her boss. It's a lot better than making a scene. We all have bad days, and she was probably having one today. I have had a string of a few of them recently, and as my dad will attest to, I'm not the most pleasant person to work around right now. I'm working on it. But the fact is that when I am representing myself to my clients, or to the public at large, I get my game face on, regardless of my attitude. I don't want to end up slipping like the teller did. I want to make it through the trying times that so many of us are dealing with right now. After all, one minute it's the slip of the tongue, and the next minute, it's blowing through the post office with my .40. Right?

God Damn, I'm just kidding. Fuck!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I remember MY first musrhoom trip

Ironically, it resembled this Crayola ad...except that I was much older than these little deviants.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cre8

This is my little dude. He's not quite as little as he used to be. He was, however, the littlest grom at the skatepark today. It's no little feat that his little feet can manual, ollie, tailslide and pump that huge board up and down the concrete playground that I know will become like a second home
some day.


He likes to skate. I wish I had started when I was 5. (He actually started at 3 or 4, on a kiddie board, but he just got this full sizer over the weekend). If I had started that young I would probably have peaked and broken even more bones long ago, but I might have had a chance at being really good. The reason I know he's going to be good is because he LOVES to do it. Sure, he got a little scared of all of the "big kids" in the park today, so much that I had to hop on the board in my slacks and button down shirt just to show him that it was OK. (Thankfully I didn't hear any chatter from the crowd of cool kids, because I might have actually had to tell a 12 year old to fuck off. I may be temperamental as hell these days, but I really don't want to go there). Sean warmed up quickly and proceeded to roll around and try out some tricks. He's really good. Did I mention that?
He's just a lot of fun, and it's awesome to see him taking to something like skateboarding. I really don't care what he takes to, as long as he's having fun, and not doing anything bad to himself or others. I think this sport is not only going to be all of the above, but throw in that curly blond hair and his sweet smile and looks, and it's all over for the ladies. He won't even have to wear Emo shit and dye his hair to look cool...he'll just be money as-is. Amazing.
I should have started skateboarding when I was 5.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When life hands you lemons...

...make lemonade, right? Well, I just got a great idea about how to serve up the lemonade.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

my happiness


my happiness
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
Happiness is a commodity, and you had better get yours before it all runs out. For me, there is infinite joy in the little things. The little faces that come running to me on these few but precious days. The little rare moments in the day that I find a moment to take a breath and appreciate that I am alive and have so much to be thankful for. The little surprises in my world that show me hope and faith in the future of my life.

There is no perfection in the world, only the pursuit of it. And I think that in my quest for happiness I have begun to understand Bertrand Russle's take when he said, "To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.."

I am in the middle of sacrifice and compromise, and I know that although I couldn't have planned the way my hand would play out, it's my hand to play, and I am happy with the cards that I have been dealt. I think about the two aces in this picture, and the rest of the cards in my hand, and I believe that I'm going to be sitting at the table for quite a while.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Princess













This is kind of a weird post to write, because it's about something that I wasn't really involved in. Ireland had her first spa experience recently, and she came to visit me and show me her nails afterwards. I didn't know she was going to do this, and I didn't know if it was a special occasion or what, but once I saw these pictures, I realized that any time is special for a Princess like her. Enjoy:





Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On Cool...

...or more appropriately in my case, on being uncool. Case in point: I haven't posted regularly in quite some time. In fact, when I have made any efforts to post, it's been in the form of making excuses about why I don't post, which is admittedly pathetic. I hate excuses; they are the proverbial assholes of the world, and nobody's excuse smells like a rose. So yes, dear Reader, I have been very un-cool, un-dude, un-becoming of a ninja as of late. Thanks to Anonymike and 'Tricko for calling me out on my last post. Thank you even more for giving me fodder for this one in the form of a classic line from a very classic movie, Shane.




Shane was shown to me first by my father, who incidentally, just turned 55 last week. Happy birthday, Pops. I work with my dad in commercial real estate, and he is so heavily involved in much of my life both as a mentor and a friend, that I sometimes fail to remember to mention him on here...or I get hung up on the trials of working with family, and I don't take time to focus on the amazing man that he has been and is in my life. He came by it naturally, and when he first rented Shane for me to see, he told me the story about when HIS dad took him to see the movie as a child, in some small movie theater that was close to the orange groves that surrounded his home in Tustin, CA. That same home would later be lived in by the daughter of another iconic movie cool man, John Wayne, but to be sure, the Egan's brought the coolness to the digs first! It's endearing to me now to look back on the fact that my dad saw this movie as one way to connect his childhood to his fatherhood, that he wanted to give me a taste of something that he thought was awesome, and that we could share in this, his favorite movie of all time.

The movie is ripe with fatherly tones, and sets the stage in the Old West format that pitted the svelte, blonde haired Alan Ladd against Hollywood's ultimate bad guy of the era, Jack Palance. These guys were the real deal, and elevated the bar for Westerns for years to come. A former boxer, Palance defined toughness through his actions on and off screen; at age 73 he proved it on stage at the Oscars when he did a few one-armed push ups to demonstrate to casting directors that "old guys" still looked good on (and off) screen. I will never forget watching the Oscars with my dad that year and hearing him relive Palance's coolness as we witnessed him do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGxL5AFzzMY . The final showdown between the two leading men in the movie is historic, and will probably never be matched. The lessons to be learned from the movie are several and worthy of a separate post, but since this one is just about coolness, we'll stick to the theme, and say that this movie is.

I'm so grateful to my dad for showing me his coolness over the years, for introducing me to the music that he loved, the films that inspired him, and for consistently demonstrating his personal version of good vs evil that he lives by in the extraordinary ethical way that he conducts his life on a day to day basis. Don't get me wrong, there are days (more often than either of us like to admit) that we just don't get along, and can't seem to agree on anything. There have been times in our lives where we have probably wanted to go blow for blow, and I don't mean verbally. It's not been easy being just like him...we are both stubborn, Irish, and proud. But here we are still working together in this office, during this challenging time in the economy, and in the midst of what I think will prove to be the most difficult time in my life...at least I hope it is. To shed a little more light on the subject, as if both of my regular readers have yet to hear about it, my home life has taken a dramatic turn over the last few months, and in fact, I have not been living there. The rest of the details are really more than I care to get into right now, but it's been a process that has forced me to re-think everything I knew about myself and my life as an adult, father, and ultimately, husband. All the while, I just want to do the right thing, in particular when it comes to my beautiful children. I want to be the same, cool father that my dad has been to me; to demonstrate the best version of myself to them, and to show them the same unconditional love that only the cool know how to dish out.

That's what makes my dad the definition: through all of the bullshit that I put him through, he is forgiving, patient, and his love is unconditional. I feel it every day, and I see it given out to my kids just the same. Even though I know he doesn't read this blog, I want to say that he is the coolest man, on or off screen, that I know. I'm sure that when he's 73, he'll be trying to bust out some one-armed push-ups while at the same time telling me "stop trying to puff out your chest, Popeye". Classic. Cool.













Friday, March 13, 2009

Donde esta Daddyisaninja?


He's at the bar, of course.

I've opened a bar. It's worthy of a lengthy blog post. I don't have the time, because I've opened a bar.

Thank God I know where to get a drink. Come in and see me before I implode.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Irish

From an email forward. Some of these made me laugh way too hard! (In fact, I can relate to numbers 2 and 4 very well.)



What It Means To Be Irish

1) You will never play professional basketball.
2) You swear very well.
3) At least one of your cousins is a fireman, cop, bar owner, funeral home owner or holds political office. And you have at least one aunt who is a nun, or uncle who's a priest.
4) You think you sing very well.
5) You have no idea how to make a long story short!
6) There isn't a big difference between you losing your temper or killing someone...
7) Much of your childhood meals were boiled. Instant potatoes were a mortal sin!
8) You have never hit your head on a ceiling.
9) You spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling in prayer (Catholic guilt forever!).
10) You're strangely poetic after a few beers.
11) You are, therefore, poetic a lot.
12) You will be punched for no good reason...a lot.
13) Some punches directed at you are from legacies of past generations.
14) Many of your sisters and/or cousins are named Mary, Catherine or Eileen and there is at least one member of your family with the full name of Mary Catherine Eileen.
15) Someone in your family is very generous. It is more than likely you.
16) You may not know the words, but that doesn't stop you from singing.
17) You can't wait for the other guy to stop talking before you start talking .
18) You're not nearly as funny as you think you are but what you lack in talent, you make up for in frequency.
19) There wasn't a huge difference between your last Wake and our last keg party.
20) You are, or know someone, named Murph.
21) If you don't know Murph then you know Mac. If you don't know Murph or Mac then you know Sully. Then you probably know Sully McMurphy.
22) You are genetically incapable of keeping a secret.
23) You have Irish Alzheimer's... You forget everything but the grudges!
24) 'Irish Stew' is a euphemism for 'boiled leftovers.'
25) All of your losses are alcohol-related (loss of virginity, loss of driver's license, loss of money, loss of job, loss of significant other, loss of teeth from punch...) but it never stops you from drinking.
26) Your skin's ability to tan.... Not so much.
27) At this very moment, you have at least two relatives who are not speaking to each other (not fighting, mind you, just not speaking to each other).
28) Childhood remedies for the common cold often included whiskey.
29) There's no leaving a family party without saying goodbye for at least 45 minute s.
30) You met your husband/wife/significant other/accountant/lawyer/landscaper/etc. In a bar.
31) Recognition of one's own limitations is the highest form of intellect!

ERIN GO BRAGH, I LOVE EM. MY KIND OF PEOPLE.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Honest Tea

I'm not always one for motivational quotes and shit like that, but I just read the inside of the lid to my "Honest Tea" bottle of Green Tea that I got for lunch. It says:

"It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out; it's the grain of sand in your shoe.
-Anonymous"

Indeed. Words I can relate to. Nothing literal, of course...I haven't been climbing any actual
mountains lately. In fact I'm in horrible shape, but that's not what I'm talking about so lay off me and hand me that ash tray.

What I am talking about, dear reader, is life and the challenges that we are faced with. How you relate the grain of sand to your own daily slice is really your choice...your metaphor...it's your mountain.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ask and ye shall receive

It's been far too long since my last post. The excuses are many, far too detailed, complicated, and troublesome to get into here. As I recently explained to a friend, I'm going through kind of a dark period, and I really don't feel like putting that kind of vibe out on my blog. I think that this little slice of the interwebs is a place for the funny, the happy, the stirring, the obtuse, and sometimes the over-the-line. It's not dark. So despite the fact that I do have a lot of things going on in my life, I'll save the majority of it for a summary post, or perhaps even a different blog. As one buddy suggested, maybe I start up "the de-evolution of what is left of me". That's fucking hilarious. I'll talk about that guy some day, too, but today is not that day.

I really appreciate the fact that a few readers have made it a point to reach out to me to nudge an update. It makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy that this silly quilt of stories and stuff actually touches people enough that they care about the frequency of updates. I have to say Thank You to those people, because you either really care about the things I have to say, or you just really need a life. Either way, I'm good, and my ego doesn't judge.

In my typical fashion as of late, however, I am going to fill the majority of this post up with the old go-to, fall-back content that is my children. They are the light of my world, and they give me reason to smile day in and day out. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of other good things going on in my life as well, (including a new business venture that justifies it's own dedicated blog, but that's still top secret, and I'll hit you with that facemelter when the time is right), but nothing touches my heart on the same level as Sean Patrick and Ireland Danielle. They simply rule. They are sweet, innocent, polite, funny, smart, and above all they are the two most beautiful kids I have ever, ever seen. When a very special photographer named Jessie Baldwin, took some family pictures of us over the holidays, I had a feeling that they might end up on this page. I got a hold of them and then I got permission from her to post them, and I have to say, she is saving my blog-deficient ass with the following pictures as the best content I have yet to produce...on the Internet or otherwise.
That's right, I did make these babies. Not by myself, mind you, but I had a part in their existence. To date, and most likely for the rest of my amazing and challenging life here on this planet, they are the best thing I have ever done.