Sunday, November 27, 2011

Nephew


Nephew
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
THIS guy,,,



He's rad. I'm already interested to see what he's bringing to the party. It's going to be fun, guaranteed.

Sean and Ireland see it too.

It's exciting.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lessons


A warrior of light does not rely on strength alone, he makes use of his opponent's energy too.

When he enters the fight, all he has is his enthusiasm and the moves and strikes that he learned during his training. As the fight progresses, he discovers that enthusiasm and training are not enough to win: what counts is experience.

Then he opens his heart to the Universe and asks God to give him the inspiration he needs to turn every blow from his enemy into a lesson in self-defence.

His companions say: 'He's so superstitious. He stopped fighting in order to pray; he even shows respect for his opponent's tricks.'

The warrior does not respond to these provocations. He knows that without inspiration and experience, no amount of training will help him.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

She called it a Martooni

My Grandma Egan was unlike anyone else I've ever met. I'm not alone in that sentiment. Since her passing yesterday, I have already heard so many compliments cut from that same cloth. She was "one of a kind", a "Great lady", and a "True Irishwoman"...that last reference hinting only slightly at the fact that she was also the most stubborn woman I have ever met. And up until she finally decided to let the silver tones shine about a decade ago, she was a red head, too. For the record. But there wasn't a description of Dorothy that I've ever heard that would be considered an insult. She was strong...in a way that most people left behind on this earth simply aren't anymore. She had a depression-era toughness that comes from losing your parents at a young age, growing up knowing that real work was the real world, and nobody is going to give anything to you. She worked every day she could...well into her '80's, often times for money, but more and more for the good of others. She was a constant volunteer, serving tirelessly for the hospital as everything from a candy-striper to a gift-cart mall-on-wheels, to a helpful part of the information crew at the front desk.

That "job" at the hospital, along with her long and successful career in real estate sales (yes, she and her husband Ed started the "family" in the "business" long, long ago. He actually snagged her when she worked for his Mortgage company in Tustin, CA, many lifetimes before 4 children, 9 grandchildren, or 6 great-grandchildren were even a thought), dialed Dottie into the intimate and core group of the Biggest Little City's bustling populous. Everyone knew The Dot, and it's because she was not shy.

She was the opposite of shy. Google "the opposite of shy". I just did. Yahoo answers rises to the top with the word "Bold". Dictionary.com then further elaborates:


not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; 
courageous and daring:

Yeah, that's grandma. My dad had plenty of stories to back it up from his childhood, from his mom encouraging the nuns to "do what they gotta do" to keep her rebellious son in line, to marching right up to Bill Harrah's table in his showroom to introduce herself and her family...possibly playing the long odds that she might be able to help him find his next residential purchase? I'll never know. But she wasn't hesitant or fearful, and she was bold and proud wherever she went. She was a cheerleader for all of her grandkids, and demonstrated her love and pride loudly and with abandon at every football game, basketball game, recital, or graduation I can remember. As she reminded me on the phone, after her second martini of the night when she called to check in and see how college life was treating me: she was my biggest cheerleader.

Damn. I just lost my biggest cheerleader. It's crazy how I have never taken that for granted, but it just now really set in. I could always count on Grandma. She was always there for me. I know I'm not alone in that thought, either...she was there for everyone, always. But she was there for me in so many ways...like with a laugh. I could always make the Dot laugh out loud...even if she didn't understand where I was coming from, she appreciated the effort, and made sure the room never fell silent for me. That's probably why she taught me how to make a Martini when I was 7. Bucket glass...rocks...vodka, and just a CAP full of vermouth. I learned that a cap full could actually be measured after seeing my Grandpa's face wince a little when I handed him my first draft. But I got it. Thanks to her, I learned a lot of things at an early age. And she knew she could always count on me to get her drink right. Nothing made me happier.

Except maybe when I was really, REALLY young. The age when staying the night at your grandma's house was still kinda scary. Scary because your parents were not coming back tonight, sure...but more. Scary because the staircase that led from the foyer up to the bedrooms was bigger-than-life, and there was a giant crystal chandelier hanging from the top of it that I always wanted to jump up and touch, and just the idea gave me nightmares every time I spent the night there that always involved me waking up right before hitting the ground from jumping off the top step, which in my dream was like 50 feet high. Those dreams got easier over time, mostly because Grandma would tuck us all in and kiss us goodnight, and take her thumb and do the sign of the cross on our foreheads before she left the room. She was always praying. She taught me how powerful it is.

I've talked about her a few times on this blog, but I could never say enough about my Grandma, and what she means to me. She is such an important, inspiring woman that is single-handedly responsible for the reason I believe so proudly in equality, inner strength, and joy. She was full of joy.

I've missed a lot of the memories of Grandma, and her house, and family dinners, and everything that fades and changes as we all grow old. But I haven't had to miss her, because she has always been close by, and within 5 seconds of seeing her face, and kissing her soft, folded cheeks...unless she got those puckered lips in the way, of course...I knew my Grandma was there.

She will always be here. She is not gone from this earth completely. Her song that she hums in the kitchen, known only to her, but recognized by a few of us that have heard it as the soundtrack of our childhood, will find it's way out from my memory banks on occasion when I think about the good times that she was here to share with me. We are all so lucky to have those.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Just a quick apocalyptic post...

In case you haven't already heard, there has been a fire burning around approximately 2,000 acres along the hillsides of Reno since a little after midnight. The white smoke and devastating heat sneaking down the canyons and occasionally igniting the homes that line the canyons in the neighborhood I grew up in, the streets my loved ones live in...many of them evacuated from their houses since the early hours of the morning. Fortunately no one I know has lost anything besides sleep so far, but many have lost their homes already. I watched the smoking black frame of a house on Pioneer Drive send white clouds into the air this afternoon, shocked that this was happening, and resisting the temptation to think of this as some kind of nightmare that would get worse. Fortunately, it appears to be slowed from progress, if not even reportedly 1% contained. I just saw a social media update with the word "rain" in it, and I can only hope and pray that it was true, and that the sky will open up and make it stop.

As if any of us needed a reminder: everything can change in the blink of an eye. 



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mysterious ways

I try not to get into too much discussion about religion or politics on this page, but every once in a while, something along the nature of spirituality or personal beliefs creeps into the fold. This morning, I had a thought that I felt I could share without stirring up too much controversy. It was about God, or god, or a higher power, or whatever your name and capitalization preferences dictate. It started when I took Bodie out to do his business in the back yard. I always grab two plastic grocery bags when I head out...one to toss the "debris" into, and the other to use as a makeshift glove to pick it up with. Well, often there are several bags all bundled together, which I dislike as if I grab too many and don't realize it before I head out, one or two gets wasted. There are plenty of extras in the house, but I just don't like to waste. Well, I started picking up the crap, and realized I had 3 bags instead of 2. I put the spare in my pocket to return to the stash, and tossed the used bags that I had filled up. As I did so, I looked into the sky, and say a cloud-shaped jet stream in the sky, stretching long and far. It ran from north to south, getting smaller at the southern end, and it occurred to me that it was like an arrow pointing me to warmer places. It occurred to me that I need to head south soon, if only for a brief escape from this reality here. I saw this as an omen that the Dude upstairs was reminding me to do so. It's just the thought that first popped in my head. As I looked back down, Bodie was going for round 2 of his business, as he will sometimes do, and although I had already tossed the used bags in the dumpster, there was one more bag in my pocket to deal with this occurrence. How fortunate...almost like someone was looking out for me. Another omen?

OK, maybe the reality of it all is that we can see and believe anything we want in the stars, the sky, the daily happenings of our lives. Maybe Jesus or the Virgin Mary will pop up in our mashed potatoes. Maybe not. But I do know that we have to be willing to find what we need in any place at any time, and if it means that my messages are going to be realized in my dog's shit, then so be it. I better be able to find some kind of positive sign in shitty places, or be prepared to wallow in them with no explanation, right?

I don't know.

This is actually seeming even more ridiculous now that it's written than when it was in my head 3 minutes ago.

Oh well. Keep your eyes open. There is a grand design. It's not always as pretty as you want it to be.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Struggling with the lock he twisted it back and forth, turning the handle of the old garage, waiting for the clank of the metal bars inside to break loose and allow the creaky, broken-down wooden door to release it's tired grasp. Finally it did, and as the door rolled up, the garage yawned open, pulling cobwebs off the ground, and sending dust and the dead leaves of fall back into the cold air. There in the corner was the stack of belongings that didn't. A plastic crate of ammunition, a cardboard box of holsters, belts, and a couple of handguns. A stack of shotguns and rifle's all leaning atop the rest, cloaked in their canvas and leather cases, quiet. And to the side were a pair of hiking boots, cold, unworn, new. They were actually the right size. They had a good height to them, for when the snow stacked up and crusted from the wind, and each step would be a work of lifting out from under, and sinking down again. There was so much work in the hunt, and these boots would actually come in handy. But still, he didn't know if they were necessary.

Into the winter night he returned, thinking about the darkness and the unrest in the air. The clouded sky holding captive the full moon and her gentle message. The soft lights of the houses around illuminated dinner tables filled with conversation. The focused gaze of the armchair quarterbacks were lit brightly by flat screen temples. All of this passed slowly as he walked through the dark, cold night, struggling onward to find a warm place. A good pair of boots wasn't necessary for this short clip. They would be better kept locked up in an old dark garage. They weren't going to be needed this year.






Friday, November 11, 2011

FML

video
I fully understand the meaning of the word bittersweet now.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

If it ends in "d-a-y"...

...I'm working. And I'm not complaining here, as it is a counterproductive method of getting things done. I'm just taking a second to comment on a pretty funny thought I had this morning. I knew my kids are coming over tonight, so I dove into the dishes, the floors, the laundry, and probably fired through it all in about 45 minutes, but as I did, I thought to myself, "I have to quit procrastinating and get to work!"

Something isn't right about that thought. Still sorting it out.

Happy Sunday to all. Stay tuned for some vital announcements this week regarding Movember, The Egan Cup Bowling Tournament, and more.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

probablymyfavoritepictureofalltime

He's 8 today...EIGHT!!!!

I don't know where the time goes,
These faces when the wind blows,
Come in, fade out and who knows,
How long we'll have this love.

I'm a lucky dad.