Parent household maintenance in my world is a series of cycles.The wash cycle - By the time you are finally ahead and all clothes are clean… the hampers are full again.The food cycle - By the time you put away dinner, watch House of Cards, sleep for 7 hours… it’s breakfast time.The cleaning cycle - By the time you finish cleaning the house from front to back, the front is messy again. The mess stalks me like a wave from front to back from room to room as I clean.
My friend Hayden recently passed away after a heroic two year battle with cancer, he was in his early 30’s and left behind lovely wife, beautiful baby and his loving family including his identical twin brother Parker. Thousands attended his service and many more mourned his passing on to heaven.
I am going to repeat what many say here and most likely not so eloquently. From now on when I could whine and claim that I am tired, hurt, swamped, fried, over scheduled, under appreciated, run over, I will try to think about H and redirect the path. Now, I may by nature’s course complain again, but I hope to shrug it off immediately knowing in my heart and in my head that Hayden would take on any paltry complaint the world had to offer tenfold if he was afforded the luxury of life or even a small extension of it to be with his family. Bottom line folks, it just ain’t worth it to me anymore. I have lived most of my life in a “carpe diem” mode, and had some amazing runs, but I left the tracks for a while. H my friend, thanks for putting me back on. You are still down on here with so many of us.
I look at the things I have around me, my wife, my little crazies, my baby on the way, the madness of my household, and I just smile these days. Sure life will have many more bumps in the road, but doesn’t it make the ride more fun? Keep those days packed, the optimism handy, family close, and those laughs flowing. You never know when it’s all going to be gone.
Hey Hayden, if you see my mom up there- sit down on a cloud and have a martini with her, she’s hilarious! Miss you my man.
Parent household maintenance in my world is a series of cycles.
Well here we are 2014!
I promised myself that I would start hitting the Tumblr-ama again this year so here we go! Apologies to my kids (who I write this for) for taking some time off, but you miniature people can keep a dad quite busy.
It’s been a while since I checked in, but that’s only because we have been rolling through life with the petal to the metal and now in June, baby makes three. That’s three total, with three year old and a five year old already throwing down the hammer. We will now officially go from man on man to playing the zone. We are excited and nervous, but plan to stick to our credo of taking things day by day and week by week, as we head into the new unchartered territory we aren’t going to try to boil the ocean and think to far ahead.
I work in the entertainment industry which is a blessing and a curse filled with many highs and lows. A few years ago when we had our little girl I was presented with a choice. The choice to roll the dice and stay at home for the most part, or to push into more of a full time world which would complete the dual income family script (and bless those out there that do that) - I chose to roll the dice at this junction as my friend said to me at a poignant moment “You will never get to rewind this time with your kids, once it’s gone it’s gone.” Now a child later and with one on the way, the script remains the same.
I grew up an only child of a single mother who worked many long hours for many years so we could have the basics. I might add she is my hero and there is not a day that goes by I wish she was still here. That being said, unfortunately she missed a lot of life moments and mile-stones due to our situation. I had a rare opportunity to break that cycle, and I took a shot. Mom, if you were still around you would be a welcomed baby-sitter, heck you would have a wing on the house.
So here I am, sappy life story out of the way and onto bright blogging once again. I am blessed with a wonderful wife who works in my industry so she definitely understands “crazy” and we have two wonderful, challenging, awe inspired, magical kids that keep my on my toes 24-7 / 365.
Stories, musings, thoughts, good, bad and ugly, are coming down the pipeline, so here I go again. If I am lucky enough have someone read and comment here and there so be it.
Thank you. Have a great day.
Well as the great Steven Tyler once said “I’m back, I’m back in the saddle again” After a little hiatus in which life took over I wanted to get back on track because much like a resume, when my kids read these someday I don’t want there to be too many gaps.
I have one of those interesting careers where I talk, write, and create for a living and here in my middle age, I am really starting to understand the value of words and realize if you consistently say nice things, “try” to keep good things in your head, and match those with actions you have nothing to look back upon with regret. I have done a lot of good in my life and admittedly I have made more than my share of mistakes, but isn’t life a learning process?
This is something that I hope to instill in my children as they grow up. It is funny how a simple cliche like “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all” would play out in a global spectrum if everyone followed the rule. Obviously this could be a thesis of theory, example, history, and experience, but in the interest of cranking this out before my toddler wakes up I’ll just move on…
It is wildly fascinating to me when I shut down the social media and turn off the phones how much I enjoy bathing in the wonder of my one and half year old. I bask in sitting with him and seeing with his eyes. It is exponentially more delightful than any form of media or work duty, even if it’s creative. I posted a few weeks ago that in the span of 7 hours I only heard four words “puppy, ball, mama and more” and it made for one of the happiest days of the year. Four words and nothing else. We walked, we played, we listened, we looked, we imagined. It was simply a fantastic journey that concluded with the wonder people coming home, which of course kicks things back into the crazy, lovable family zone.
Speaking of wonder people, my four year old is now in the avalanche of vocabulary learning, deciphering, spelling and process. It is so funny to us to watch a miniature person spout out full sentences, question things, argue with meaning, and try to figure out the way of the word. Sure, it’s frustrating at times, but she’ll be ok. We help her along and let her discover naturally, but are also quick to correct if words are used inappropriately or in a hurtful manner. It is impossible to thoroughly explain the power of the spoken word, as I am still figuring it out in my middle age, but she is definitely doing the math that words can make you feel very good, and words can make you very bad. It’s so simple and so elementary, but we just hope they both grasp this concept throughout life as it effects not only the social space, but the family space, the work space, the creative space, or any space for that matter. I won’t touch on bullying here today, but we all know the power of the word can have long range effect on people, and in a way I am glad people finally caught on and are being so pro-active in trying to gain awareness around the fact that it is wrong. I keep hearing “It’s just part of growing up” No it’s not. It’s wrong. Will it still go on? Of course, but recognition and awareness are half the battle, now let’s move on to action. Our kids and yours too are heading into unchartered waters, but if you stick to…”If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” ( I am sure there’s a hipper version of that saying out there) It would probably make the world just a little bit better.
Oh yes, the four words that got me thinking about this entire blog post? We were going out to dinner during the holidays and amidst the chaos of family logistics, and me not being in a particularly wonderful mood, my daughter simply took my hand and said “Daddy, You look handsome.” A four year old turned a grumpy forty year old around with four small words…and I am writing this six months later.
Have a great day and thank you for reading.
Tall Trees and Finding Joe
As I walked my little one to the market today we stopped to look at a butterfly. Here it sat on the edge of a lavender plant just long enough that we could admire it, pronounce it, (we’re trying to move on from “ball” and “mama”) and proceed, but something unique happened. As I traipsed up the sidewalk the little friend followed us from bush to bush, landing, looking, and then fluttering on. This went on for a long city block. I thought, hmm…our daughter loves butterflies so maybe that’s her way of being with us right now as she’s in school, then I thought; my mom loved nature, so maybe that’s her way of checking in on me during my daily walks with the little man. Regardless, it left us as we crossed the street, but it got me thinking about signs in the metaphorical sense, and of course the literal sense as I was indeed, crossing the street.
Did you ever notice that when you read a horoscope no matter what it says, for the most part; it oddly fits your day or your situation and you think wow…that’s really strange? I have had my share of wrinkled horoscopes and fortune cookies in my wallet over the years so maybe it is just me, but I do believe in signs.
This leads me to the Tall Trees, Finding Joe, and a little bit of the Grand Canyon. A recent convergence of seeing both an inspiring movie about the teachings of Joseph Campbell, and visiting the Tall Trees forest in California seemed to lay a comfortable “I’m doing the right thing” feeling on my life just like the horoscope I had aforementioned.
Danny Glover has a line in the movie Grand Canyon where he says, “When you sit on the edge of that thing, you just realize what a joke we people are” I have been to the Grand Canyon, but I had the same feeling while recently visiting the Tall Trees of California. Some of these trees have been around since the dinosaurs and have grown to hundreds of feet over thousands and thousands of years. They have been on earth from cavemen, to the times of Jesus, and through the Roman empire. They have been around for the discovery of America as well as the depression, world wars, and the inventions of everything from fire to cars and computers. Something tells me they will even survive the Kardashians. When you stand in the midst of these trees it is truly awe inspiring. Yet, here we were this tiny little family on a weekend getaway looking up at these behemoths and I; just like Danny Glover’s line, had this moment of self analysis/ clarity, realizing I wasn’t even a blip in the grand scheme of things, humanity, and the world. So what am I doing here on this planet, and what actually is my purpose? Don’t worry- not going to get philosophical here, just pondering.
"All of life’s riddles are answered in the movies" is a line by Steve Martin, also in the movie Grand Canyon. Oddly, this seemed to be the thesis statement of a wonderful movie I saw in the same week I visited the trees, called "Finding Joe". Joseph Campbell was one of the leading mythology experts of our time who believed that every human takes a heroes journey, and if you look at the history of movies, stories and literature which I love, (coming full circle soon) the story is told over and over and additionally, all things in life are based around taking that heroes journey in one form or another. Each person has the potential to become that hero and take that journey, and the only inhibitors are our fears, society, and ourselves. What we do with our lives can make us heroes in any way we choose if we believe, but in that journey we must think and go beyond the limits of our possibility. I won’t get lengthy but I have been blessed by entertaining and making whole lot of people smile during my career. Even if it’s not much, I took those folks away for those tiny moments and made life just a little more fun . I really think that’s why I am on the planet, but I have not really grown until recently when I had my back to the wall, had to reinvent life, and push through some a scariest things I could imagine just a few years ago. By "following my bliss", looking past the end of my nose and believing in myself, I now feel like I slayed some dragons, and I am in the right place for just this moment. This is until my heroes journey begins again. Hopefully, not for a minute or two.
I saw this movie and visited those trees at the right time.
I only share this because I think as a fairly new parent, I am still in a process of trying to figure out what I am going to be while raising and inspiring my children. They too will begin their own heroes journeys someday, and I want to lead them not by teaching cliches, chasing GPA’s, and drilling in educational and financial goals, but by actions and examples of following your passion, no matter what it may be. Also, ideally I would like to leave them a small form of a legacy, even if it’s only the printed out versions of this crazy old blog. So someday when they stand in the Tall Trees or on the edge of the Grand Canyon and have their moment of clarity/self analysis they have more information than I did to solve that elusive life riddle. When they ask am I just a number? or did I make a difference? Hopefully they will answer the latter.
If you made it this far, I thank you for reading. Please have a great week and keep slaying those dragons. As the little known band U2 might say “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”…either.
One final thing - click on the tree picture above and you will see tiny little humans.
To be, or not to be: that is the question.
Well here we are in the middle of the MLB Playoffs, NCAA football, and the NBA, NHL and more NFL right around the corner, so let the games continue as they always do.
Here’s the hilarious situation in my house. I am born and raised Phillies. I used to sit on the back porch with my grandpa and listen to KYW radio each and every night in the summer. When I think about it, I can see the glow of his smoke stick (daughter’s name for cigarettes), feel the humidity, smell the Budweiser tall-boys, hear the crickets chirping, and draw to mind the vivid imagery around the great radio calls of Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn. When we were a little older and the Phils were getting better, I recall tying pots and pans to my belt loops during the playoffs and all of us kids running down the street when the Phillies scored. I can draw dozens of other memories to friends, family, games, bars, little league dreams etc. etc. What older Phillies fan can’t tell you were they were when Joe Carter hit that home run in 1993?
Now go to the other side of the duct tape in our our living room. My wife was born and raised Giants. A California girl who has been going to games since she could walk and probably even before that. Her parents are die hards who have had season tickets for over two decades. They are the first in line for every give away, attend dozens of “Giant centric” events a year and have more gear than the team store. Without sharing too much here, they also lost a family member whose wonderful memory is directly correlated to the Giants and their exceptional outreach. They are outnumbering me 3-1 out here as the kids have three influences.
Those are our tribes, but here is the dilemma - Our oldest’s first year of life the Phillies won the World Series. Pictures, smiles and little high-fives will forever tie me to that moment. Now our son was born the year the Giants deservedly won the trophy beating my Phils and then winning the World Series. Pictures, smiles and little high-fives. It was ironic that our then baby- became tagged the “Rally Baby” as he was in attendance at 7 straight Giant wins down the stretch. Trust me I had no say. It was so funny/tense/ crazy in our house that I had to leave the room at points and listen in the car down the stretch.
So here we are again, the Phils are having the run this year so I am swinging the kids back to my side of the living room. What tribe will they end up for the long run? My wife and both are part of the sports world so we definitely unite on many fronts. Tennessee Vols, the Niners, the Eagles, the Warriors, etc etc. We even get our kids up early on Saturday to watch College Gameday and my daughter and I wager chores over what mascot head Lee Corso will put on. I’ll just leave you with this, my grandma on my dad’s side (rest in peace) was buried in a Carolina Tar Heels Blue casket, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. It’s fun, it’s passionate, it’s stupid, it’s crazy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
"Sports is life with the volume turned up" - Barry Mano
Oh yea and- GO PHILS!
Have a fabulous day and thank you for reading- MKbythebay
Balance+ Hustle+ Reality = Happiness.
Is that a real equation? Recently it has been in my book. Sorry these blogs have trailed off lately, the second part of the equation “Hustle” has taken so much time, that to have “Balance”, the “Reality” of me sitting down to write these when Mr. Jiggles is sleeping, will not lead to my new vision of “Happiness”. Nonetheless I am here. I want to to thank my friends who have given me positive feedback about MKbytheBay, but also want to thank my family for their contributions both by loving me and letting me chase the the next round of life, dreams, and visions. Without support I am nothing-
I could start whining and sharing poop stories like some typical daddy-blogs, but to say life is unchallenging and mildly cute right now would not service the story. Peek in if you will and I thank you ahead of time for indulging me. I had a full-day of work/creative Friday, went to my little girls pre-school open house, then went to research/ network a television idea at a food truck event, got home, slept woke at 6AM, drove to LA (5 hours), had a writer’s meeting, went to a television taping, networked till 1AM, got up at 7AM, drove back (5 hours) and still had time to take my kids to the park then our favorite Mexican restaurant. I feel right now I can do anything, anywhere, anytime. It made me feel like a chubby, middle aged Superman! I think if I could live all of my future weeks like this, nothing is insurmountable and looking back, I want to smack myself for wasting time in the past worrying about the future. “Just get out there and make sh** happen” as my good friend Scott would say.
A few years ago my life drastically changed without notice, as I left a 12 year career in the NBA and dove into the real world without a net …and a newborn. It took me a good two years to remember what I was actually good at, as those of you who know me can attest I have anything but a typical resume. I took a few enterprising gigs to make ends meet, but here I am back where I am happiest, in the hustle to get new ideas seen, heard and created, performing in front of people, and networking with such a wide stream of amazing creatives it is hard to even keep up, and that’s just the way I like it! It took a drastic change in my life to break me out of complacency and boredom and I have an amazing family to thank for that. Speaking of, back to stay at home daddy mode, so there’s the reality…for today.
By the way - we don’t have a dog and that’s not us in the picture.
Have a great day- MK by the Bay
"It’s not weather you get knocked down or not, it’s if you get up"