These Thoughts are Mine

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”― Sylvia Plath Last week, when I needed a little help in my confession to my deep love for summer, I confided in one of my most reliable sources. I knew I had written some words that would help the exploration in the past. I am not one for extra work. I am efficiently lazy. I had written a poetry collection a few years back and had self published the book. I wanted to use a couple of excerpts from the book. Well, I don’t own a copy of my book. I’m sure if I clicked on the link above, I could probably get one. So, I went next door (yes, next door) and grabbed a copy from my dad’s office. I brought it back to my office and sat in my chair. I opened the pristine copy and a single sip of paper fell out. It was in cursive and it was from my three-year-deceased grandmother. It was a list of typos and criticisms. Her grandson finally published something and she wanted to let me know what she had felt about it. Now, I know that writing is a process. It is something that you need to do everyday. You need to do it every day to get better. I come from a work shop background. I like getting notes. I like getting criticisms. I want to be better. I want to be the best I can be....

The High School and College Years of the Seasons

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby Every year, around this time, the day’s grow longer and the nights welcome the bustle of people who would rather take in the fresh air than the staleness of central air. The rains subside and the foliage, now thick and strong, permeates the air with the essence of florescence. [Happy sigh]. Do you smell that? It smells like happy. Summer is a continuation of spring. It is the high school and college years of the seasons. It is when the blossoms develop and time slows just ever so slightly. Most of my fondest memories are in the summer. First kisses, first beers, first fornications, first Cubs game, first vacation on my own, second fornications, third, fourth, fifth and so on. In the summer, all the possibilities in life seem possible again. twelve, no, eight. I was eight years old when a worm I cast fell below into the underworld of the leech infested lake. a Northern, hungry, took the bait and fought with Dad as he reeled him in. – Excerpt from Kerosene Dreams, a poem by Mike Hansen The possibilities were arising when I was twelve or eight. Each summer I felt the air in my still blonde hair. Now Kennedy feels the air in her still blonde hair. She is exploring her “individuality” outside, like I did. Miles is running in the backyard naked, like I...

My Heart Opened and Blossomed

“A few days after we came home from the hospital, I sent a letter to a friend, including a photo of my son and some first impressions of fatherhood. He responded, simply, ‘Everything is possible again.’ It was the perfect thing to write because that was exactly how it felt.”   Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals In late summer, 2008, I began to feel that everything was possible again. Laura and I had returned from our failed year in Florida in 2007. We were dirt poor. We had to stay with relatives while trying to build our income. We were able to get two full-time jobs, and shortly before the bubble bursting, we bought a nice, starter, ranch home. That was late fall of 2007. We celebrated our new home and this new chapter in life by conceiving the most precious, cutest, bundle of holy shit that fall. In the winter we had our first annual “After Xmas Before New Years” party in 2007. It was a good little shin dig. We played beer pong. We danced. We sang. We laughed. No crying. That was the last party we had without responsibilities. I started getting suspicious around the end of November. Laura’s never been the best at tracking her cycle, but I always knew. Not sure if that’s because I have three older sisters but I tend to notice things like that. Self preservation, I suppose. Anyway, November came and went and nothing fell from her nethers. December came and nothing. Laura started getting suspicious a little before Christmas. We bought the tests and prepared for it the way everyone should. By getting...

Our Shouts were Deflated and Exterminated as they Left our Lips

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals On Saturday, my baby, my honey, the MILF of my children, my best friend had her birthday. She has many birthdays, but not a lot. She looks as though she has had only a couple dozen of them. No more, no less. On this birthday we did something that we have done for her past 10 birthdays, we went to Wrigley Field. This birthday was only the second night game in the 10 years we had been going. The first one was 2004. It allowed us to take our time in the morning. We dropped the kids off at my sisters around noon and slowly made our way up to Wrigleyville. For three hours, I was lucky to share the car with Laura. Just her and me. On her birthday. There is no place I would rather be. We got to Chicago around 2:30 local time and picked up Laura’s BFF, Kari and her sister Garen. Her name is not really Garen, but it would be funny if it were. Cyndi doesn’t have the same ring as Garen. We discussed this while on Lake Shore Drive. We laughed which made Laura’s overfilled bladder ease dangerously close to evacuation. We arrived at the field and Laura was able to pour her morning coffee directly down the drain of a Wrigleyville Taco Bell toilet. Kari bought a taco. Not a significant fact, unless you were there at O’Mally’s when 20 minutes later she devoured 2 and...