Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chin up

I've heard the phrase "Chin Up" quite a few times lately. The first time, I thought it was pretty insensitive, and I wanted to get pissed. Then I heard it again. And again. It started to occur to me that people with the balls to say that to me right now might actually have something to teach me...maybe I should open up my mind a little bit and give this idea some thought. And I did. I thought about who it came from, delivered to me at a time that I didn't really even know which way was up. These people all had some serious love for me...they have been around me a long time. Why wouldn't I trust what they were saying and get my head out of the gravity and lace up the boots, and pull my shit up and smile? I did.

Dad used to tell me to chin up all the time. He had different ways of doing it. When I was in college he actually gave me a set of motivational tapes, and made me promise him I would listen to the whole series, and I did. And it helped. Most people in the world have something good to tell you when you give them a minute to do so.

We move fast these days. Life moves consistently faster. No matter how hard we try to keep up, we will not. We are along for the ride. It's better to keep your eye on the horizon or even the sky on this ride...staring at the ground will just make you sick.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Within

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You got to give-a-whatchya take!!



Things that are amazing about this video:

1. It's the ballsiest coming out song ever.
2. I had no idea about #1 for about 10 years due to my fascination with Cindy Crawford caressing herself in the tub.
3. The message is transcendent of gender or sexuality.
4. Exploding jukeboxes are fucking rad, as are BSA motorcycle jackets. DAMN those gays and their competitive nature...they get everything cool before I hear about it.
5. It's catchy, I don't care who you are, it will hook you...GM is simply a music legend.
6. Freedom comes from truth.

And by the end of this video, if you don't believe that you got to give what you take, then you should probably watch it again. I believe it. I am bearing witness to the truth in that statement every day. I am giving, and I am getting, and the world is a wonderful place to be when you're caught up in a cycle like that.

This song is what I'm waking up to in the morning. That and the Sunshine.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I remember


I remember this painter's cap I used to wear. And those shades. I still go for those shades all the time. Some things never go out of style. Like summer in Graeagle, those tall trees in the background, the shuffleboard game you can't see behind those chairs over on the right side. Paddy's hair was typically much wilder. It complimented his face pretty well when he would press his lips up against the glass of the window, or the sliding glass door and blow his mouth open so big that you could park a truck in it...and we would all roll over laughing. There weren't any video games up there. Only one TV in the lounge, but we hardly ever wanted to go in and watch. There was a 9-hole golf course that was, at that time, called "The Prep School" to those of us who knew that if you caught it at the right time of the evening, the angelic sounds of the girls choir would float through the air in such a peaceful meander that even a pulled tee shot off of #2, bouncing down the highway, wouldn't phase him or any of us.



Fucking good times, dude.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Turn it up

I finally broke into the slide show my sister made for my dad's wake. I also decided to watch it whilst listening to the mix I put together for the same.

Unreal.

I'm only posting a couple of the shots that grabbed me hardest by the balls and reminded me that I was so blessed to have the best role model in the whole world as my father.

He was a proud parent,
He was a kind man full of compassion,and love,

He was dignified.


I considered, while struggling to get through these pictures, turning the music off and just paging through the them methodically. Then I realized that's not why I'm looking at them. These pictures and this life were FULL of music.

Thanks, Pops.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Eyes are better.

Heart is good.

Head is full.

I'm headed to the game with Sean. Then down to make sure the Santa's behave themselves tonight...as much as I can ;)

But mostly I'm moving forward, looking up, and stoking the fire to keep warm.

Staying warm.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My EYES!


I woke up with pink eye today...conjunctivitis, I believe it is called by the people in the know. It doesn't feel good. It makes me squint to see the letters on my computer screen. It filled my eyes up with stuff that resembled cement this morning. Apparently, the drops that the Doc gave me will take effect as early as tomorrow, and everything will be OK. That's cool. Because, to be honest, this is not the best look for me:




But the situation has made me think about something more important. I had this brief moment this morning, when my vision was actually affected, when I considered what it must be like to go blind. Frightening. Not that there's a chance of that here, just that the idea itself made me go "hmmmm". And you know what? I am pretty sure I would be OK. I love the beauty and wonder that I see every day. I love the way the sky lights up with fire during a high sierra sunset. I love the color of my kids' teeth when they laugh out loud...the way their booties shake when we dance around the room. I love the way nature can play tricks on us and change blue to green...I'm looking forward to seeing that kind of thing again. But lately I have started to realize that the most important things in this world exist in another dimension, where there is no physical embodiment for us to dwell on...these things are more like thoughts, ideas, feelings, and they exist in our heads and in our hearts. And If I had to give up my vision, I would still have these things, and I just have to believe that life would still be pretty awesome.

But for now I'm using the drops, and looking forward to some Sunshine in the morning.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Here it comes...


IMG_0748
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
I just got my kids bathed and bundled and put into bed. Been catching up on emails, and enjoying the evening. Then I somehow stumbled onto the photostream again...and another stream started running. And I started to think about another day in the office about to hit, another year gone by, and another holiday about to sneak up on all of us. I don't know how I'm going to do at a family dinner where someone very important is missing from the equation. My kids asked me tonight if Santa can go to Heaven.

I am doing good during the days right now. I think someone upstairs is sending me a lot of business, good fortune, and love. There are so many things to be grateful for, and I am, and it keeps me focused and busy and happy. Honestly, I am happy.

But sometimes at night...when it's quiet and calm, and I'm alone with my thoughts and these pictures...I have my moments.

I miss you, Dad. Thank you for all of the beautiful memories that are just a little bit too overwhelming to deal with right now...I wouldn't want it any other way.

Monday, December 6, 2010

March me down to the seven seas


"If music got to free your mind
Just let it go cause you never know,
you never know
If your rythm ever falls out of time,
You can bring it to me and I will
make it alright
And if your soul is let go
Oh you never know, no you never know
And if your heart is beating free
For the very fist time it'll be alright








Day One


Day One
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
I wonder what my dad saw 35 years ago.
Did it look anything like this?

Did it fill his heart with wonder, as it did mine, to see the most precious and amazing thing in the world?

Did it get better or worse over the years?

How will it go for me?

I am confident that this little version in the picture is on the right track.

I am less confident in myself these days. It's a new feeling. One I don't like. One that isolates me. One that makes me want to stay in bed.

But in 6 hours, I'm going to get up, and make it happen for this guy in the picture, and for the new man upstairs.

I love you both.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Swelling

A few months ago, a client of mine and I were sitting at The Hub, having coffee, and talking about downtown Reno and life. We somehow got on the subject of Ireland, and he suggested I watch the movie "Once". I remembered, and put it in the queue, but when it showed up a couple of months ago I never really found time to watch it.

I watched it tonight...not sleeping, and thinking it might put me down. Instead, it captivated me. The movie starred the singers/songwriters/band The Swell Season, who I hadn't heard of. I had heard one of their popular songs on the radio...this whole time thinking it might be Cat Stevens. Instead it was a man and woman, star-crossed, and finding their way through Dublin and a short time together while their lives played out and they made music together.

Anyway, Fernando, all I can say is thank you for turning me on to this movie...this was a real treat. The music and the story were both full of complicated love and struggle, and some situations in life that defy description yet beg the poetry of music. I'm stoked to be able to hear it so clearly right now. I've been digging the singer/songwriter these last few days...been turned back on to Ray LaMontagne & Damian Rice, so Glean Hansard & Marketa Irglova of the Swell Season really fit into that mix.

The streets of Dublin, which made up the backdrop for the film, also got me fired up about a trip I will be taking back to that beautiful island some time soon.

To those people that open my eyes every day...whether you have been in my life for 3 decades, 3 years, or 3 days, thank you for sharing the dialogue that you do. Talk to you soon. Goodnight.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What would he say right now?

"I just don't feel like I can handle much more of this."

"I know, Brian, but you are doing a good job, and nobody said this would all be easy."

"I just feel like crying or screaming or teeing off on someone right now...like I am going to lose control."

"Take it from someone who has been there...it will get easier. You have a lot of good things going for you; you are a handsome young man, you are hard working, and you will appreciate it all so much more when you get there...and you will."

"Thanks, dad. I love you."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trail-a-Sean


Trail-a-Sean
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
Holy Crap, I was just importing some songs, and while awaiting the burn process to finish, fingering my way through my flickr photo stream and came upon THIS little ditty.

Have I ever talked about how rad Sean is? Well, maybe once or twice, but just in case:

This kid was 2 years under the age limit to be allowed on this guided ride down a volcano...he was definitely not tall enough to ride this ride...but he had that eye of the tiger, and no bus driver or tour guide was about to question him or me...he was rolling with his dad that day. And we took shortcuts, skid out, and blazed trail. He had this smile the whole time...even when he was scared.

I get it.

In a blaze of glory


Pops had this picture hanging up in his office since I can remember.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thank You


@ Thomas Maher's w/Dad
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
For everything.

I wasn't ready.

I am still in disbelief.

I'll do my best.

I miss you so much already.

I love you.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rest In Peace


Austin O'Malley once said, "The worst misfortune that can happen to an ordinary man is to have an extraordinary father."

That's pretty funny.

But I disagree.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One day at a time

It's hard to update on my dad when there isn't a positive spin on it. And the truth is that he's still fighting this battle day-to-day. We are all waiting, watching, wishing...and feeling pretty helpless right now. We know that he is in good hands. The doctors are on top of their game, and everyone there...hell, everyone I know all wants the same thing. We know that this longed-for recovery is going to take a while.

But he's no stranger to distance...he's a marathon runner.

Spun.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Disclaimer

I've had a large amount of hits on this blog over the last couple of days, and some commentary outside of the online discussion from my family. I think my favorite was a text exchange with my brother last night:

P: Hey man- well written blog! Seriously. Just a little constructive criticism (i hope you don't mind)...I just thought the profanity was unnecessary, It was so strong without it. Again- It's your blog. Just wanted to tell you how good it was and what I thought.

B: What the fuck are you talking about, man?

P: Have it yer' way dude...


Classic.

For those of you who are making your first trip to "The Evolution" via the post below, be warned: I tend to drop an F-Bomb here or there, and the occasional other vulgar reference. That's just me. Sorry, mom.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Where to begin

It's hard trying to figure out where to start this story, and I have hesitated even beginning the process, because I feel like this blog post is more worthy of a short story or even a book. The truth is, as I have said, Pat Egan is a book to be written. Well, here's a little intro to that book.

The new year rang in with a shock January 1st. I'll never forget waking up after a fun night out and getting the worst phone call of my life. My dad's wife, Beccy, was on the other end of the phone from St. Mary's hospital, telling me that my dad needed to see me immediately, and that he had just been diagnosed with brain cancer.

Fuck.

Everyone had been worried about my dad through the previous few months. He wasn't talking to anyone. He was quiet when he came to work. I was pretty sure he was either pissed at me or depressed, but since Pat Egan doesn't get depressed, I figured it was the former. Well it turns out that there was actually a big tumor in his left frontal lobe, which was pushing so hard on his speech center, that he couldn't talk! The relief that came with the knowledge that his behavior had a logical explanation was not bittersweet...it was painful and real, and woke me up to the fact that everything I had been a cry baby about for the last 34 years was unimportant now; tragedy had struck and put everything else into perspective for me.

For my dad, the journey had just begun. After several meetings with numerous doctors, we found ourselves sitting in the house of my mom's boyfriend, Paul, who is the head of neurosurgery at UC Davis in Sacramento. Paul was generous and thoughtful, providing more information than most people in this dark place normally get. He offered to do the surgery, too, but a few day's later, Dad and Beccy had decided that they wanted Dr. Berger from UCSF to perform the massive resection, and we all headed down to San Francisco to get it on.

We didn't really know what to expect, but everyone had primed us for the worst. We all knew that he might lose a lot of his functions, including walking, talking, etc, but it could all come back. We were told he would be in ICU for up to a week, and then maybe longer in recovery at UCSF. We braced. We tried to breathe. Dad went under the knife, and when I went up to see him 15 minutes after the operation was over, this is what greeted me there:





Un. Fucking Believable.



Except it was believable, because it was Pat Egan. He was back. He was talking more in that first 15 minutes than he had in the last 3 months, and his pose was perfect. I couldn't agree more: "Fuck you, Cancer"! In true form, he excused himself from ICU the next day...and then when they moved him to another hospital room, he decided he was feeling just fine and the hotel sounded better. We grabbed an Car Bomb at the Irish Bank, and he stayed another night, but decided to head back to Reno the next day so he could catch the Wolf Pack game...3 days after brain surgery!! Yep, just throw on the hat and grab his seat in the front row. No way he was going to let a little thing like this slow him down.

He had been told that he may not have much time. That the chances of him being around for his baby daughter's wedding in June were pretty slim...and if he was, it would probably be in a wheelchair with a feeding tube. Grim. But he recovered, struggling daily with steroids, chemotherapy, radiation, and everything else that comes along in this process that so many people go through every day.

I considered that a lot more. How many people out there go through this? How many people that I meet with face to face every single day are dealing with something like this in their lives. I need to be more kind, I thought...and I still do.

Around the time of his birthday, as part of his follow up, he had another brain scan, and just about the worst possible thing that could happen to him did. He had another tumor. It was in his brain stem. It was "inoperable". It would be the one that kills him.

Tears flowed. From everyone. Including my dad, who I had only seen cry one time in my life: after his father's funeral. This time he was crying mostly because of the emotional roller coaster that the steroids had him on. But he was doing it, and I was proud of him for it, for communicating, for dealing with it all the way he was. He is so fucking strong. And strength was in and around him. In his children. In their mother. And in his wife. Beccy had already been down this road before, losing her first husband to cancer...and here she was again, walking back into the hospital she promised herself she would never step foot in again. For him. Amazing.

The prognosis was not good. With additional chemotherapy and radiation, we were told that he might make it to Mo Mo's wedding in pretty decent shape. Well, in true Pat Egan form, he made it alright...in great shape. It turns out that the treatments seemed to be working, and when we got the news that the tumor had actually shrunk by over 40% we got pretty excited.

It's a tough emotional journey, this life. We get beat down so hard some times that we fear celebration of the joy almost like we are goingto jinx ourselves or something. Like we can manifest bad things by not keeping our head on a swivel. It's hard not to be a cynic sometimes. But successful people don't allow cynicism in their lives. My dad never has. He refuses to be defeated. He never quits. He never says die.

When the news of his tumor growing again came, it wasn't actually a surprise. He had been struggling through the fall. His right side was slowly becoming paralytic. He took a spill in the doctor's office and rolled his foot pretty bad. He had a seizure. Then he had a heart attack. The news wasn't getting any better. In fact, it was just plain bad: his doctors from San Francisco decided that based on his deterioration they were not going to treat him any more. They told him to get hospice.

Fuck that. You don't tell Pat Egan to roll over and die. This was not an option. Ever.

It was a little over a month ago that Paul got more involved. He had an idea. It's an idea that he has had for many years, but he hasn't been able to prove. He told us his idea: there are a significant number of people that have lived with brain stem tumors for much longer than they were supposed to. There was one thing about these people that Paul thought was a common denominator: they had infections at some point in the process. Could the infection in some way be the very thing that was helping these people? Paul thought so.

He had been talking about this idea for some time. He even had his partner, Rudy, grow the gram negative bacteria in the lab at their hospital to be prepared to infect someone should he ever get the opportunity. He had wanted to test his theory somehow, but regulations and approvals had never been given. A willing, consenting patient had never been available. Until now.

The thing about the Irish, as I'm sure my dad would tell you, is you don't want to back them up against the wall. There's only one direction to go from there, and if you are in the way, you're probably going to get run over.

With absolutely no other options, my dad decided that he was going to be a part of Paul's experimental treatment. Paul made the arrangements and told Dad that he could get in as soon as "next week", but Dad said he wanted to go now. No use waiting. In fact, when I drove him down to the clinic for pre-op procedures, (which included signing the most real and eye-opening consent form I have ever seen), Dad was getting worse by the hour. I was lifting him in and out of the car. I talked him into letting me put him in a wheelchair to get him around. He said to me "I'm glad we didn't wait to do this." I agreed. And it turns out that it's a good thing he didn't wait...they did another MRI that night to map out the surgery, and in the 10 days since his last one, his tumor had more than doubled in size.

Have I mentioned yet that Cancer can lick my balls? Seriously, what the fuck is that? Why does it creep into so many people's lives? Why is there truly sometimes no rhyme or reason to it all? Why does a man who ran more than a dozen marathons after his first heart attack at age 43, who has never smoked or used drugs, who was an athlete his whole life, a total stud, GET CANCER!? None of it makes sense.

So I got dad checked in at the hospital. It was all happening so fast. The family descended on Sacramento. We all realized that this could very well be "it". We didn't want to talk about it too much. But we were there, and he was not alone in his journey into the operating room. Ultimately, we are all alone...a thought I am sure he has had many times over the past few months. This time, however, there was someone else out there on his own, right alongside my dad, and he just happened to be my mom's boyfriend! What a trip, right?

And Paul finally got to do his procedure that he has been talking about with other neurosurgeons for so long. He talked about it to several of them at a conference he attended the week before the procedure. About half of them agreed with Paul that they would want to do it, too, if it were themselves in this position. The surgery involved not only injecting the bacteria into the tumor itself, but soaking the bone flap that they take off to get in there in the bacteria too. The goal was to give Dad a chronic infection, meningitis to be precise.

After a few hours we got to see dad post-op. He was responsive to us a little bit. Wiggled his toes, squeezed his hand for us. Not much, but he was there. And then the fever kicked in that first night. The infection, we thought, would take a few days to develop. We were wrong. That's the thing about pioneering, groundbreaking experimental surgery: it's the first time it's ever been done, and nobody can truly predict what will happen...it's science. But the two MEN involved were just right for their respective jobs. They were and still are the Men in the Ring. They had to treat the infection pretty quickly, which wasn't the game plan. The plan was to let it go as long as possible and hope that something good would happen.

Days went by and dad was in ICU. Some days he would open his eyes. Some days he wouldn't. When he did, the first time, it was one of the best days of my life. I had been pretty emotional that day, listening to old Loggins and Messina songs that he used to play in the house when we grew up, when he would pick us up in his arms and dance around the living room with us. I got a couple of little speakers and plugged them into my ipod and set them on his bed next to him. Beccy was right next to me and his bright blue eyes opened up and he was there for us for a few minutes. It was amazing. This continued, on and off, and he even tried to talk a couple of times. He let us know he was not in pain. He let us know he was fighting. That's what he does.

But weeks have gone by. He was on and off with breathing tubes. We watched and waited, hoping the infection had time to develop, but not knowing for sure if having to treat it so soon was counterproductive to the plan. But the MRI's showed that at the very least, the tumor had stopped growing, which in and of itself was amazing.

Then last week we finally got news that something was happening. The fact that they can even track white blood cells and their path in his body by injecting radioactive dye into them is mind boggling to me. Science is amazing. And his body was producing white blood cells to fight the infection. We didn't even know if the infection was in his tumor, since spinal taps showed no evidence of it being there. But it didn't matter. Those little white blood cells were raging and attacking not only the infection on his bone flap, but they were attacking the tumor itself, as well as the spot where the first tumor had been removed!! This was good news. We waited.

And then yesterday, something else happened. Paul ordered another MRI...he had waited as long as possible to get the most accurate reading he could. He called in a specialist for the job this time. They scanned his brain. They got the results. They were in shock. They looked at them over and over.

The tumor was gone.

I got the phone call. I am still, as I write this post, in total shock. I can't stop thinking about it. I am torn, in that place where I want to shout for joy, but nervous to jinx it. I want to celebrate but I am frightened that it will be premature. I know that there is still so much more to come. He needs to be "rescued" from the place that he is in. It may or may not happen. He has a long recovery ahead, more procedures to handle, and we hope that he can recover completely and get back to doing everything he loves so much. Hanging with the grandkids. Going to Wolf Pack games. Hunting chukkar up and down the Nevada mountains. Getting back to work. Whatever the hell he wants to do. I want to be there with him. I want this journey to continue. I want the good fight to go on and on in a natural way. I want to celebrate. And I'm enjoying this moment right now, for what it truly is: a miracle. And just so I don't forget who I am, or who he is, and I get that feeling like I shouldn't be allowed to enjoy this fucking amazing thing that is HAPPENNING RIGHT NOW,

FUCK YOU, CANCER!

You may have just met your match.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I needed that

I just got back from my first parent/teacher conference since Sean started first grade. To say it went well would miss the mark by so much. It was awesome. It filled me with joy and pride. It made me emotional. His two wonderful teachers were glowing to talk about Sean, who they couldn't take their eyes off of the whole time during the meeting. His report card was completely perfect.


His skills are above and beyond, and they have methods of challenging him, which makes me happy. He is actively participating in everything, the first to raise his hand, and according to the teachers, a natural leader who all of the other kids just love. They said that they "aren't supposed to say stuff like this, but he is just perfect, and he is our favorite". They blushed.

I get it.

I love him.

Monday, November 8, 2010

12,747 days

That's how long I've known him.

Every one is a gift.

Even the ones where we screamed. Those ones we learned the most from.

Today was roughly punctuated with the reminder that as much as I wanted to believe otherwise, he's the only one who understands, trusts, and believes in me the way I need. The way that keeps me fighting and going at this fucking thing every day.

Now I pay a therapist to bounce deal points off of...to help keep me in check from blasting people whose personality and character flaws don't measure up to the way I think we should all be...the way he is.

An important piece of me is missing.

I am not the same.

Friday, November 5, 2010

This Girl Makes Me SMILE

She likes to move it from Brian Egan on Vimeo.

Feeling heavy today

When you are sorrowful,
Look again in your heart
And you shall see that, in truth,
That for which you are weeping
Has been your delight.

---author unknown

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What can you do?


Grow out your beard. My dad can't shave, so his beard is growing. Uncle Mark and I decided right at that moment of realization that we weren't going to shave until he does. Then we realized that the month of November is now called "Movember" by a bunch of dudes who grow their moustaches out for cancer awareness and fundraising. So we decided to raise the bar, and we call it "Beardvember". Paddy got involved immediately. As did Uncles Brendan, Mike (although I hear he is pussing out and doing the goatee thing because he doesn't like the grey...sack up dude, you think my dad likes the grey?), good friends Scott, Kevin, and many more. The more the merrier. If it's white, shine your light...I call my uncle Mark "Hemingway", which I personally think is pretty fucking righteous.

Solidarity rocks.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

7


I remember when I was 7. It's still a pretty fresh memory, to be honest, which is why it totally melts my face off that 7 years of Sean's life have flown by so fast.

What a fucking understatement.

As are the words "I love this kid."


Friday, October 22, 2010

Dear Paul & Dad

Just so you two know, you are both my heroes. You guys have huge balls, amazing strength, and big hearts. You are both, in your own way, the Man in the Arena. And since Teddy said it best, I'll leave it to him to describe in words that I can't make any better:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Take a break for style points


It was hat day. Everybody else wore crazy hats. He wore a cool one...backwards...his shirt was on backwards, too...just because.

Makes me wanna: Jump! Jump!!

My little daddy mack.

I love this moment, right before he realizes I showed up to pick him up from school instead of his Bobo. This kid makes me smile.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Little things I like right now


Blue eyes.
Head nods.
Thumbs ups.

Intestinal fortitude.

I've seen a lot of those things today. They make me happy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quickie


There's a much more detailed post in the making...marinating in my head as we speak. Until then, the short version, aka: why I don't have the time or energy for more. Dad's in ICU right now recovering from an experimental brain surgery that has never been done before. Nobody knows what to expect.

He had his game face on going into it. What else would he do? He's Pat Egan.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In that moment


I was just watching a show on Nat'l Geo or Animal Planet or something like that. There was a re-enactment of these 3 dudes who were in this smaller plane that started to have engine issues as they headed into the face of a mountain. The pilot banked the plane but it wouldn't pull up, and inevitably there was the ground coming up really fucking fast. The guy in the back seat interjected a dialogue as the plane in the re-enactment was about to eat dirt. The TV pans from plane to survivor as the story dives on. He says, "I heard we were going down and I had about 15 seconds to say to myself - I've had a good life."

What would you think in that moment...if you can actually ponder that. I don't know if I could, but I have been close to something like that, and I remember what I thought...it went something like this: "This is gonna fucking hurt"

Yeah, I guess those are two perspectives. One takes into account the future, while one stays in the moment. When you break it up like that, it almost seems like a spiritual discussion. But the reality of what either perspective actually MEANS to the situation is that it just doesn't matter. What happens, happens.

But I think I prefer to live in the moment, brace myself for impact, keep my eyes wide open for the split second when I might be able to duck, dive, jump, or eat shit...and respect the fact that moments in life when we can feel truly alive are few and far between, and Jesus Fucking Christ, here we go.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What's wrong with this picture?

Answer: Plenty.


The truth is that a lot of things in this world are simply not in order. The more I try to put things in order, or expect them to follow certain rules, the more I get slapped with a little chaos right across the grill. I blame myself for not ever learning that there is no control...expectations lead to let downs, and the only way to Be is to roll with the punches.

Sometimes, in the toughest, most stressful moments, it's actually quite beneficial to enjoy the chaos, and look for the smiles that exist therein.


And I'm aware of something else that's true: Not only can I not control what's happening to me all the time, but I sure as hell can't control what's happening to others, or opine on their choice of how to deal with them. It's their own bowl of chaos that they have to eat. Everybody I know is doing pretty good anyway.

So what do I do when I find myself standing in the hospital room with my Grandma and my Dad, wondering what the fuck is this all about? Go have lunch with Grandma in the cafeteria, of course. It was Chinese food day. Pretty decent, actually.

Monday, October 4, 2010

SNF


Not the place I thought I would watch it, but the company was nice. Hung out for a while with Pops & Bec. Then let them be. Sounds like Dad will be in there for a couple of nights, possibly...I'll update soon.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Great Leslie


RIP, TC.


Thinking for myself

I just read a wise tale, passed down to me via Coehlo. He recants a tale told by the Lebanese writer Mikail Naaime:

""We need to free ourselves from the slavery in which mankind keeps us,” an ox said to its companions. “For years we hear human beings saying that the door to freedom is stained with the blood of the martyrs. We will find it and will get in there with the power of four horns.”

They walked for days and nights through the road until they saw a door stained with blood.

"Here is the door to freedom,” they said. “We know our brothers were sacrificed in there.”

One by one, the oxen began to enter. And only inside, when it was way too late, did they realized that it was the door to the slaughterhouse."



I think. I act how I see fit. I often fail. But I am just trying to do the right thing. I believe most of us are this way, and only fear holds us back from the evolution.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Grandpa


Grandpa
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
This guy is a fucking stud.

4 Kids.
5 Grandkids.
He's also a brother, son, friend, mentor, leader, giver, provider, comedian, loving man, and most importantly...

Not. A. Quitter.

He walks the walk.

I dare anyone to say something different...ever.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Man

Sometimes I feel like Sean and I have been around this block before...maybe in a former life. I have that feeling about other people in my life lately, too...it's hard to articulate exactly how it feels, but it just seems like a familiarity that comes from inside the soul.

Sean is my man.

He's Beautiful.

He's a great big brother.

He's helpful and a hard worker.

He loves adventure, and will get to the top of any mountain he chooses to climb.

He's also missing his two front teeth right now with is way beyond awesome.

He's a love, and gives me bear hugs and snuggles on the couch when we watch Batman Begins. He is awesome at everything he does. He's sensitive like his dad.

He is my man.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Post up for a second

I'm hanging with the munchkins at the crib...finally. They are spending the night, we will get up early, I will make coffee and we will march up the street to the Balloon Races. I am as excited as they are!

And I just want to say that I have had a busy week, but a good one, too. I can't say that I have been more happy that I am right now in the last, oh...three months. I haven't been doing anything super special...just really enjoying two of the greatest gifts we are ever given in this life: friendship and love.

Life is good.

Friday, September 3, 2010

This Dude

I picked up Sean last night to hang out while Ireland went with her mom to dinner. Sean asked if he could swim and I agreed, then got a call from my sister inviting us to dinner. So I told Sean, "Sorry dude, but we gotta go. We'll swim another time."

He said OK, then proceeded to put this move in my face...



the kid wanted to get wet. I couldn't blame him, and I like his style.

So we went up to dinner, and hung out, and on the way back home, Rush came on the radio. Sean instantly picked up on the awesome drumming in the song, and asked about it. I told him, "It's funny you should ask, dude, because that's Neal Peart, and he is one of the best drummers of all time!"

Sean thought that was pretty awesome, and then, after a face-melting drum solo, he said, "WHOA, dad, how does he make his hands go so fast!? Turn it UP!"

I can't put into words how happy it made me that this conversation and the rocking out that happened the rest of the way home took place. It was just one of those moments when I realized how fucking cool this little dude is, and how lucky I am to be his dad.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pretty smart dude

Albert Einstein once said, "There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle."

I found this little slice of wisdom quite serendipitously today. It was well timed in my life. I am not saying that I have ever believed that nothing is a miracle. To be honest, I have experienced many miracles in my own life. I don't feel the need to list them out right now, but know that they are real in my personal history. But as of late, I guess I have had a hard time seeing the silver lining, so to speak. Life has been a little trying, and I guess my supply of gratitude has been a little low.

I can't live that way. Gratitude is key to life.

So thanks, Albert, for popping up in my world, posthumously, to remind me of something that needed reflection: it's all good.

Onward to the next miracle.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

She ain't scurred

I took Ireland to get her shots for school last week. I wasn't sure if she knew what we were doing...she was pretty chipper. When, at the end, the nurse left to get the shots ready, I asked her, "Sis, you know you are going to get shots now, right?"

"Yeah"

"And you are OK?"

"Yeah"

OK, so I decided to be safe I would try and make her laugh a little bit. I tried to play around and make faces.






















She played coy with me and pretended not to smile.
Then all of the sudden, she got this big smile on her face and I thought I had done the trick...until I looked over and realized that her brother had the magic touch.

















I can't compete with THAT!

He's rad. She's rad. She took a deep breath for 3 monster shots, and didn't even frown.

Tough girl.
Funny boy.

They make a good team.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Right now...

...Uncle 'Trick is going to TOWN. I love seeing the comments pop up in my email inbox. Validates my existence, if you catch my drift.

That guy can READ!

Oh, btw: he can also WRITE! Pretty well, as a matter of fact. Hope to see more than comments from him soon...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On Sesame Street...That's where you'll find me

I feel like I have posted this one before, but I searched my blog...holy shit it's old...and came up empty handed. So I HAVE to post it now, and probably watch it one more time tonight before I go to bed. I love how Stevie and his band get all Miles at the end...and they keep on going and drifting off like they want to be Bitches Brew, and forget they are on the playground of Sesame Street. Well, Stevie doesn't forget. He actually has that muppet swagger about him anyway, so he fits in well, and he calls out the Cookie Monster, among others, in his jam. The kids are digging it. This kid especially. Man, that would have been a cool gig to say "I was there". I didn't catch Stevie until Lawlor, circa 1985...when he was playing "The Woman In Red" and "Don't Drive Drunk". His rotating circle-shaped stage may as well have been Big Bird's courtyard for all he really knew. Although the acoustics were probably better in the ghetto. Not that Lawlor isn't ghetto. OK, I digress. Without futher ado:





Damn, he's still my hero.

Monday, August 16, 2010

To the MAX


This is Max. We just figured out that we've been friends now for about 20 years. Holy shit. How did that happen?

He may not like to talk about it, but he's an amazing guitar player.

And he has a cool motorcycle...or two.

And he is happily married.

And his son, Finn, it beautiful and a big flirt.

Max has it going on. And he's right there to pick up the phone, drive over, pick me up, and do whatever sounds good.

That's friendship.

Thanks, dude.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Just BLOG

Sometimes I think about whether or not I should blog about some of the things that happen in my day to day. Some times I keep it to myself. Sometimes I consider that the image I might portray of myself is less than flattering or perhaps demonstrates a little too much of my personal insecurity, struggle, or occasional pathetic nature. This is one of those times I am just going to say fuck it, here it is. It's mostly good, anyway.
So I went over to swim and hang out with the kids today while their mom went to see her sister who is visiting from out of town. She needed a few hours away, and I needed some time with the two greatest people on Earth. We had an awesome time just chilling, eating grilled cheese sammies, swimming, watching old-school Batman so Ireland could get an idea of what her Halloween costume (Catwoman) might look like...yes, she is already thinking about it. It was just simple and good, like it tends to be
a lot of the time. I am starting to see more and more affection and attention from Ireland these days, too. She had been very hard to break through to over the last year or so, but it's getting better, and she even looked over at me from the couch today, out of the blue, and told me "I love you, Daddy." She hasn't said those words without being asked or guided for a long time. It was surprising and awesome.

So I went over and chilled on her couch with her, playing barbies, smelling her feet as she slammed them in my face, laughing. I was looking at her and she looked up at me and said, "Dad why is it sad inside your eyes?"

Wow. I wasn't feeling super sad, as I have been lately. In fact, this was the best I have felt in a while, and I had to face the facts that Ireland, at 4, is pretty in tune with more than I realize, and I figured it would be better to be as honest as possible than confuse or dishonor whatever this open line of communication is that she is creating. So I said "Well, Ireland, I am really happy right now, being with you and Sean...having fun. I get sad when I don't get to see you guys, and I guess missing people is what makes me sad."

"Yeah, you miss Anna", she said.

Holy shit. Right to the jugular. No way to avoid it now.

"Yeah, I do."

She looked at her Barbie, and moving on to another subject, finished with "I know."

So yeah, Ireland, Sean, everyone reading this: I do. But I am getting better.


Friday, August 13, 2010

In my opinion...

"If you go down to hammond
You’ll never come back
In my opinion you’re
On the wrong track
We’ll always love you but
That’s not the point

If you go with that fella
Forget about us
As far as I’m concerned
That would be just
Throwing yourself away
Not even trying
Come on you’re lying to me

Well I went down to hammond
I did as I pleased
I ain’t the only one
Who’s got this disease

Why don’t you face the fact
You old upstart
We fall apart

You’d be okay if you’d
Just stay in school
Don’t be a fool

Do your eyes have an answer
To this song of mine
They say we meet again
On down the line
Where is on down the line
How far away?
Tell me I’m okay

If you go down to hammond
You’ll never come back"




So I removed the playlist on the right for now. Sorry, uncle 'Trick...I just can't listen to it anymore. I put the words above from my favorite song that was on the list. They are still relevant. They hurt to hear, as beautiful as they are.

I tried. I still would. But my head and heart hurt from banging up against a wall, and I've lost too much blood. I will continue to follow my heart forever, and I am happy to be in tune with it. But for now, I need it to quiet down. I need the quiet. Even on the blog.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Easy Rider

Dad's on a trip. A road trip. I don't remember him really taking one, aside from the times he drives to a run, or to Carson, or Whitney...or that time when we all climbed in the back of the red suburban at 4am to drive down to Disneyland, and partied our balls off...just kidding, we were like 4-6-8-10 years old, so I think we just did the Disneyland thing and hung out with the Falbo's or something, anyway...all 4 of us got chicken pox on the way back through Death Valley, and that was probably the last road trip I actually remember. There was the hour to Graeagle or Donner every summer. Still...none of it measures up.

My dad told me he wouldn't be in the office for a week. I said cool. I asked where he was going. He said he didn't know. North. East. To the Idaho border. We'll see from there. I said rad. I wanted to hug him I was so proud, but I think it would have spoiled the free-spirited hair-up-his-ass buzz he had when he told me...and I had a couple of clients sitting at the conference table, so I didn't want to freak them out.

So he didn't respond to my text yesterday, asking where he was...but he did send a work email tonight. Fucker is always working. It's in his blood. Anyway, I asked him in the email after that, and he finally wrote back, "Sun Valley it is pouring rain we leave tomorrow for Mcall."

Awesome.

I've never been those two places. I bet he hasn't either. I bet the rain is amazing.

I was just sitting on the porch with a friend a couple of nights ago, talking about how I had no idea where my dad was. As the two of us looked at the fire-lit sky filling up with angry clouds threatening an awesome lighting storm (it turned out to be more bark than bite), I said, "I hope he's miles away from anywhere, and gets caught up in a big storm, and has to bed down for a night or two with Bec." She added, "Yeah, and I hope they are sitting on a huge covered deck, up close watching the rain."

Exactly.

Dad, I hope it's pouring hard up there. It sounds amazing.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hey Mom


I love you.

Thanks for living and loving with abandon. It's the only way.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Go Big


Or Go Home.

This was parked on Washington Street this morning. I like his style.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sweet


This kid's belly laugh can make everything in my life go from heavy to manageable.

He is a gift.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Why I love the river

Growing up on the bank of the Truckee River was a blessing. At a young age I learned of confidence and trust in the water and in myself. I would take Paddy and Todd down from the park to the backyard of our house, a 4-seater and an oak oar...no life jackets back in those days. I think they were 5. The water is always the same...30 years ago, and today. It's a little faster in the spring, the runoff still cold, and the sun setting a little bit earlier. Then when the heat starts working down, like today, the runoff all but melted, and the water temperature up by about 4 degrees or more, it gets really, really good. The water level is still high enough to where the butt bone has less of a chance of breaking on a rock. The sun provides a solid 12 hours of workable space with which to plan or be spontaneous. The guys at the gas station on California are awesome about letting you grab some air on the way out. Everybody on the water is your friend. Everybody knows. It's the best place to be.

And lying back, my neck stretched and my mind not thinking about what rocks might be coming up ahead, what rapids cry for inevitable navigation at some point in the future, I realize that I have no control...it's not in my hands. It's peaceful.

The river is a tough place too...It was my thing to do with Anna.

Thanks, Austin, for the tubes. They are the real deal, and worthy of a professional like yourself.

Thanks, Logan, for going for a float. It was a perfect break in the day. A good way to wash off a little heartbreak...for us both.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Telemundo

I just got home early to let Bodie in...it's freakin' hot out. So I'm checking my emails and finishing up my day, and decide to turn on the TV for some background noise. Somehow, it's on Telemundo. I didn't notice for a while...maybe 10 minutes, when suddenly I realize it's not English I hear, and I look up.

What to my wondering eyes did appear, but a middle-aged, hairy white man with his shirt off and a mask on, leather pants, on all fours barking like a dog in response to the masked blaexican dominatrix who walks him around on a chain leash shouting "muy fuerte!" and spanking him with a multi-tasseled whip...all whilst the closed set audience of an otherwise vanilla looking talk show watch in curiosity.

THAT's what's going on south of the border right now.

Oh wait,...the host is interviewing her. The dominatrix pauses for a drink of water. The camera pans up the man who is now fastened to an X-shaped cross with wire and chain...passing his hairy fat gut on the way up.

Amazing.

"Caso Cerrado".

That's the name of the show.

In case you were curious.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Multimedia Message

I just saw this commercial on TV:

Doug from rikflash on Vimeo.



It has nothing to do with my experience. Meth is nothing I care to get involved with. I hope I never witness something like this close to home. I just wanted to say that the message is well delivered. This is a real hit-home kind of effort that makes everyone...addict or not...consider the value of time. It got me on that level.

So does "Man on Fire" starring Denzel and Dakota. Watching that now. I am blown away that until recently, I was likely not as emotionally mature as D. Fanning...that girl is an old soul.

Amazing.

If only I had a target to go after with as much aggression as Denzel has in this captivating flick. The aggression is not a problem.

Maybe that's the message. It's to channel that much aggression into the protection that prevents such loss and desperation. It's a tough thing to see your place in the storyline.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cheese


Cheese
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
They take off in the morning. I got to spend a nice evening with them tonight. I am going to miss them. I love them.

It's been really nice having you guys in Reno. Your happiness is an inspiration.

Holy....

Quick experiment: Go to the upper left corner up there where it reads "next blog", and just start clicking that over and over. Before each click, take note on whether or not you notice something about "God", "Jesus", "Bible" or some other scripture, etc, within the first 2 seconds. I just hammered about 20 blogs very quickly, and I honestly think 17 of them were dedicated to these very things. I'm sure they all had their different substance and meaning, but the overall theme was quite surprising. Seems like the blogosphere has become the ideal place for testimony, religious dialogue, and more. I'm pretty sure that a couple of my readers fit this category as well. And I am not judging, simply observing.

Well, I know I can get spiritual as well on occasion, but to be quite clear, I like to mix it up. I take from the good sheppards in all walks of like: Jesus, Cohelo, Buddha, Bukowski...to name a few. There is wisdom and meaning in every fucking thing on this earth, isn't there? And by remaining open to it all, I think I have reserved my freedom of speech to drop the occasional F-Bomb. We'll see how that stands the test of time, say, when Sean figures out how to follow this thing...the time approaches!

But this is the Evolution. This is a work in progress. I am a work in progress. Yes, it's all about me, so for those of you who have in the past made comments about "I am the hero of my own blog": no shit! Call it whatever the hell you want to call it. Hero. Antihero. Villain, even. Just don't call me uninteresting. I have made enough progress and more than my fair share of mistakes to have earned the right to avoid that labelling for the rest of my God-Given existence. (See, there He is). Fuckin-A.

If there is a lack of biblical scripture in here that gives what apparently 85-90% of the blogging world is looking for...I'm so sorry. It's a book you can find in a lot of places...from the pew in your church, to Barnes and Noble, to the bedside nightstand in the motel room where the people before you very likely weren't there to read it. But it's out there...ALL over the place. And it's here on the internet, too...just not RIGHT here...not on the Evolution. Sure, I might toss out the occasional "Do unto others..." garble, because it works for ME. And it works for my way of being a dad. I just had the Golden Rule convo with Sean last week...I think he gets it already. But I am not Paul, and there are no Corinthians that I know of to speak to online. If there were, I might toss out some thoughts on Love, though, just like he did. He was pretty good at that.

So what can you expect here on the EotM?

Fatherhood stuff.
Pictures of me being an ass.
Stories from my childhood...which still rears it's head even today.
Gangsta shit.
Love.
Loss.
Heartbreak.
Recovery.
Struggle.
Success.

Hopefully more on the success tip soon. I could use it. Lately it's been a lot of heartbreak. Even if it's between the lines (sorry, Austin...I didn't realize I was being so cryptic until you pointed out your surprise). I guess I just have been trapped in a glass box of emotion, and unable to properly reach the keys on my mac to get it all out. I also hate sounding pathetic, but the truth is that I have really been feeling sad lately. I also hesitate to tell too much, because some of my family and friends who read this thing are likely to start elaborating in ways that I understand but can not stomach at the moment. My stomach is a little f'd up, actually. It doesn't want food. It doesn't let me sleep. It's kind of a mess, and I am seriously thinking about getting it replaced. I heard there is some kind of stomach surgery or something, and I'm not sure if I qualify or whatever, but I'm probably going to look into it at some point soon.

One thing I know they don't have...I checked...it a heart replacement surgery. THAT would be awesome. Something that takes out the old one and puts in a new one, and then everything that the old one wanted, felt, desired, and was made for would just go away. They should call it a heart transplant. Wait...

No. Not really. I don't want a new one. I want to respect the one I have, and the ones around me that I care for. I want to hold them delicately, and protect them, and carefully construct every single syllable that comes out of my sometimes stupid fucking pie hole. I want to make it work right. I have learned a lot about this process in the past month, and I have to say I am pretty grateful for the lesson. And despite the pain I still feel, I am actually happy.

I still have a friend. I'm working on making it more. Starting from the beginning is not a bad thing. It puts things in perspective. It makes me appreciate what an important process we are all going through. It makes me realize the depth and truth of my feelings. It makes me realize how much power we all have to hurt. It makes me want to use my powers for good ;) It makes me want to evolve.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Life is good.

I am happy.

The challenges get bigger.
The mountain is tall.
The bottom is a deep, dark place, and I am not going back there.

The sky is blue, and the wind is soft.
The people along the journey fill me with hope and inspiration.
The music speaks to me. There is so much true and beautiful music in this world, inspired by the experiences we all must feel to understand.

Love is everywhere.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

And on that note...

...some happy times in my recent experience!





I'm not unhappy to be Bodie's favorite right now ;)


A dialogue on happiness

First of all, Thank You Mo Mo for posting a profoundly accurate statement on a recent post:

"Happiness is something that nobody else can give you. Happiness comes to those who create it :)"

I couldn't agree more about your perspective, and since you are probably the most joyful, pleasant, and consistently happy person I know, I want to acknowledge that you are right.

But I also want to say that there are times when happiness can be elusive. Times when life hands you those tests that I discussed. Times, perhaps, when you face the potential loss of a relative or loved one. Times when you struggle to provide for your family. Times when you want nothing more than to make a true, deep, and passionate love work but can't seem to navigate the waters you cross, themselves often rough and full of disturbances as well. It's hard, in those times, to see the light. I hope that when life presents you, and everyone with those seemingly impossible challenges, you are able to respond with the same strong attitude that you describe on your comment. Having a patient, loving partner like the one you have, I believe that you will always have what's inside of you AND what's inside of him to double-team any obstacles in your way.

Life is a balance. A give and take between making yourself happy, and accepting the love and assistance that surrounds you every day. My lessons, on top of learning how to be happy in this often rocking little boat that I ride across a vast and deep ocean, include learning to be always grateful for the wind that blows my sails, and the gifts that set me in the direction that I travel.

And I think that it's OK to recognize that there are people that can make us happy. I know you feel the same way about so many of the same people. Little, small, young and old, they are so very special, and it's OK to give them credit for the joy they provide.

And I still, in the midst of knowing that I am happy and grateful to be blessed with this life that I have and all that I am surrounded by, insist on holding on to a truth that can not be denied: the ability to express my love for the ones I love so very much makes me happy. I just want the opportunity.