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Category: fatherman

06/02/11 02:39 - ID#54402

20 years ago today

I learned some important things: Lamaze is crap and Petocin doesn't speed your contractions, it makes labor one big long spouse's hand-crushing contraction.

My eldest arrived on June 2, 1991 after 23 hours of "sheer bliss." I think there is a file on my former spouse and me because the experience really molded us for when we returned for the other two kids.

But despite it all, she arrived quite nicely.


We were feeling pretty good about a year after. She's continued to age quite nicely. I can't do that beard anymore without there being "Santa-like" connotations.
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Category: fatherman

10/29/10 03:05 - ID#53027

one of the signs of the Apocalypse

Both daughters now have their learner's permits. I'm pretty sure just typing that sentence may have caused my Dad's hair to regrow
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Category: fatherman

06/20/10 09:29 - ID#51972

For Father's day

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Category: fatherman

03/04/10 08:47 - ID#51106

Parenting: not for wimps

You never stop getting tested. Been camped out at Women and Children's Hospital during the first part of this week. Going into last weekend, my older daughter was complaining of a sore throat that was funky enough that we took her to the Dr's office on Saturday morning. It was promptly diagnosed as Tonsilitis and Antibiotics were prescribed. We took her home and got her settled in and she took her stuff saturday.

Sunday she was having a tough time getting them down. She got herself dehydrated so the doctor said time to quit fooling around. To alleviate that, the solution was to head for the hospital and the safety and comfort of hydrating IVs and a liquid form of the antibiotic to chase stuff away. Her mom stayed with her Sunday night and I did the job Monday evening (getting a little old to sleep in a chair, but you do what you do). We got her back home Tuesday night, where she is recovering and should be ready to greet the world once more. But you fall back into roles pretty easy. My ex and I were never shy when it comes to speaking up. I'm pretty sure there is a file on us at Sisters from when Number One Son was born. The staff mentioned a painkiller to ease the tonsils. It wasn't administered right away. So, my former spouse looked at me on Monday night and said: "Pardon me, I'm going to have a Aurora Greenway moment (Shirley McClaine in Terms of Endearment). Painkiller was delivered straightway. I laid out the kids dentist office for trying to give us a hard time for missing an appt for number one son on Tuesday morning. Medical staff is insanely great, it's the administrators who need to be incorporated in health care reform. I never looked up from a chair before to discover we were in the middle of rounds.

She is 18 and you are in charge of that point. While we were getting checked out in the INT ward. I couldn't help but laugh a little when Mighty Daughter said her Mom and I could speak for her.Things you'd never thought you'd hear, right? Right up there with hearing her say "Mommy" or "Daddy" without it being ironic.

I had to do a sponsorship presentation for work mid-day on Tuesday. At that point, we engaged the grandparents for a little help. I did most of the prep work last week, but nothing like addressing the hierarchy of one of the local health care providers on sleep that was mostly a series of short naps. Between that and the amount of coffee I had, I must have sounded like the fast talking guy from the American Express Ads. It must have worked because they signed on for two years.

So, I'm glad for the warm weather and pending weekend. Mike needs a beer.
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Category: fatherman

02/15/10 03:43 - ID#51020

The Suite Life

've been to sporting events with lousy seats, with no seats, with good seats, and with very rich seats. Let me tell you rich is better.

Thanks to my day job, I was invited to take up residence in a suite for the Sabres vs. Sharks game on February 13th. It's a beautiful thing. Not being the tiniest of guys, I can shoehorn myself into the 100s just fine, but the suites are a whole new world. Space, views, comfy chairs, oh, my. I took my 11 year old son who took to this level of exclusivity without a trouble. We were the first to arrive and the hostess came down to announce herself and there is something in the way my boy said "Dad, we have our own waitress?" that still makes me laugh.

We've all been at something where a great view is ruined by a beer-swilling popcorn spilling wooly mammoth who sits down right in front of you.

After a brisk walk across the windiest place on the planet, the street in front of the Arena, we "moved on up."






It was a fine evening, and did wonders for my disposition and my youthful sidekick who had a long week, too

I'm at a loss to explain what was going on with my hair at that moment but we were getting spoiled, something everybody should get once in awhile, so who cares.



Yes, sure, part of the fun is that it was on somebody else's dime. It does remind you of that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry is flying first class and the attendent asks if he wants more of anything, and the only true answer is more of everything.

Food prepped with a little more care, hostess who makes a special point to tell me where the Molson Canadian is, unencumbered view, great company, and a win.

We could wave off our balcony to the unfortunate masses, but I figured a picture was a much more quiet, dignified way of gloating


Good times.

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Category: fatherman

09/07/09 10:15 - ID#49717

Is projectile grief possible?

I've been thinking about Asa Hill a lot over the weekend. He and my son played together a few times. And living on Anderson for many a moon, his great family was often visible given the proximity to the Ujima Theater (a marvelous place, btw). I don't them personally very well, but enough to know they are good folk and to lose somebody so young, well, there aren't any right words.

I suppose the silver lining in all of this for me is the amount of people who left their cars and did everything they could to give that little boy a fighting chance. We live in a world where we don't treat each other very well, very often and to see people rally like that is heartening. But I fall back on young parents burying children. I'm sitting on the couch tonight, torn up a little that I missed the service for an exhausting day at work and projected that onto my son. As a result, I'm having a horrible day dream about that being a consequence which has resulted in me being a big teary mess.

The Grandfather said something about being joyful for the time he got. I completely appreciate and respect that sentiment, but I guess if number one son was taken from me, I'd be pissed and angry with whatever diety or other invisible man in the sky about that, gyped over what should have been. There are evil cantankerous, hate inspiring sons-of-bitches who have all the durability of Michael Meyers, yet kids who don't know hate meet this type of end so soon.

If somebody came up to me with some bromide about God's plan, my first thought is that there is a serious rewrite need. That's provided I didn't deck 'em for excessive clinche use.

Yeah, I guess it is hitting awfully close to home as a parent and somebody who's been through it before. I was 14 when my 11 year old brother passed away. He had some health issues that never gave him peace and I think my folks at least at the benefit of knowing what was coming. That doesn't make it easier to take and I can still remember the looks in their eyes when they broke the news to me. I can't tell you what dinner was like tonight, but stuff like that I can remember in fine detail. Love my folks, my dad remains my most trusted advisor as I stagger through my 40s, but that is one trait we don't need to share. I know that is a stretch, but you worry.

My lovely son is slowly coming to terms with dogs. For the longest time, he has scared of even the most harmless thing and it is slowly turning around. I like most dogs more than some people but sometimes not everybody remembered my guy's phobia. Last school year was his first, getting himself out to the bus. There are a couple of friends, but it was his first time on his own. After a couple weeks, I relaxed a little as he fell into a great routine. It helped that another great friend brought her kids and dog down to the same stop. I had this clear as we're watching vision of number one son running away from a dog that was only sort of paying attention to him only make the mistake of going into Ashland where not all the motorists are paying attention to what their car is doing.

Which is I guess where I should wind up this rant. We need to watch out more for one another. Nobody, I mean, nobody needs to be on the phone in the car. Nobody needs to text. Put the damn ipod on shuffle, before putting the car in drive, and leave it the fuck alone. The world will keep spinning if you pull over to check your messages. None of us are so important that we need to be constant uninterrupted contact. After all, how can I miss you if you won't go away. That's why reuniting feels so good. Take a little time, so you always have the time.

Watch what your car is doing and hey, let's be careful out there.
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Category: fatherman

08/08/09 11:54 - ID#49484

Free time

For the past six years or so, my former spouse takes our daughters to Michigan Women's Music Festival. The girls bemoan it, but I think secretly that is part of their act. They like the freedom and the time bonding with mom away from the distractions of life. The upside of this for me is (easy jokes aside) that our mighty lad comes and bunks with me while they are gone.

I'm not ashamed to admit it, that is pretty great too. When this first occurred I grumbled a little bit since what vacation time I had got a little boxed in, but since I finally have a good employer, it's been pretty cool too. We get to hang out, relax, get caught up on missing blockbusters, eat a little more junk than usual, and in his words, "work really hard at being lazy."

I had to work a little, so he went to Zoo camp while I was working, but we've been able to have some fun in spite of those hurdles. We were even contemplating a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame jaunt till I realized that it was the Pro Football Hall of Fame weekend and most Cleveland area hotels are beholden to the NFL through Tuesday. That can wait, in the interim, it's Harry Potter, Bodyworlds, a little Pizza, G.I. Joe, the beach, and maybe a little more Pizza.

Pretty great.

My mom-in-law asked if he could come tonight for an overnight to help her with my three year old terror of a nephew, which he accepted. That threw me into something completely unexpected for the week or so: free time.

As pleasant as this time frame is, (we hung out in front of Comfort Zone with root beer and people watching after camp), that is a nice bonus too.

Now, what to do.

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Category: fatherman

07/03/09 11:45 - ID#49181

Bisons, BPO and whatnot

Thanks to (e:Vincent) for organzing the Bisons/BPO game this evening, I was looking forward to it thinking number one son and I could go, see the game, hear the music and enjoy some fireworks. I know costume characters still freak him at age 11, but I figured it was innocuous enough where the seats were that we could have some fun.

He showed up at my door upset and in near tears at the thought of having to go. I want to do stuff other than hang around my apartment and it almost looked like we had a decent night for doing it, but he finally told me that he "doesn't like it and doesn't want to go."

I know the Bisons are bad, but geesh. I'm okay with him not wanting to go if he doesn't enjoy it. He doesn't have to like everything I like. I guess that would be cause for worry if he did. He is becoming an individual and I think I need to give him some space to find his voice. What kind of Dad would I be to shove him into something just because I find some moments of peace at the ballpark. The price of the tickets was a hard thing to swallow. The threat of rain today succeeded in making the game scalper proof. So, it's only money. I know ultimately he and I are cool, I guess I thought I had something another avenue of shared experience, something that is ours. He's asleep in the other room as I write this. His sisters are a challenge and I think he looks at my place in kind of a sanctuary sort of way. With the ages the kids are, things a little more specialized. With one pretty much an adult, and another at that fractious age of 14, the days of universal experience are pretty much over.

And I'm used to that. Quality time has always been more important than quantity. I'd rather laugh around a dinner table periodically than cram them all into a space where they would be resenting it.

I guess I'm feeling the side effects of building something up too high in my own mind. We hit the movies pretty regularly, but I was anxious for some guy time, fresh air, a pretzel, watching grown men try way too hard to catch a foul ball. To know that he didn't want to hurt. I told him that he needs to tell me before I go off and buy tickets for stuff, because once we buy, we're committed. He apologized and we did pig out of some of Just Pizza's finest and I took a nice nap after that, but something felt a little empty.

I was looking forward to it. I love my job but events there necessitated that I work late while my dad stepped in to take him to the recent "Walking with Dinosaurs" show. That made me real depressed while I worked my event. I don't get a chance to show off that often and I guess it feels like one slipped away again.

Only a game.
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Category: fatherman

06/02/09 09:02 - ID#48822

Happy Stuff

It's funny how often you can read in these pages how somebody's getting old or feeling so old and invariably the writer isn't past 30. Well, I got one for you all and I don't mind. Today, I am the parent of an 18 year old. That statement is one of those that makes me worry. I can't remember much about last night's dinner, but the events of today 18 years ago are practically in high definition. She got her yearbook last week at a reception at the Pearl Street Brewery (My kid in a bar, one of my bars!!!) and the following picture was inside. I'm so proud, even at just a few months old, she could render a good evil eye.

Happy Birthday, Siobhan

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05/28/09 10:32 - ID#48780


Despite a couple of errors on the media's part, my former spouse and current son represented on Ch. 2 tonight about how we all just folks. She spoke well and he works a camera well.

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paul said to mike
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i'm glad you documented this. I was actually looking for a picture but came across this and am glad ...

mike said to paul
i'm glad you documented this. I was actually looking for a picture but came across this and am glad ...

mike said to paul
i'm glad you documented this. I was actually looking for a picture but came across this and am glad ...