I haven’t written much lately. Frankly, I haven’t had a lot to say. But the other day, I was in a weird funk; something I’ve written about before but has weighed heavily on my mind:
I turned 41 about a-week-and-a-half ago. I lost The Old Man two-and-a-half-months ago. Needless to say, it has me thinking about my own mortality. A LOT lately.
I am The Human Bomb.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that I am the World War II era comic book character, or his modern day successor. But like Captain Picard says in “Star Trek: Generations” I’ve come to realize that I most likely have fewer days ahead of me than I have behind me. And that sucks.
The Old Man was 67 when he died. That means if I live no longer than he did, I have about 26 years left on this Earth. That scares the hell out of me.
I’m not dying or anything. Hell, I’m not even sick. I feel better than I have in a long time. Aside from the time I was working out a couple years ago, I probably feel the best I’ve ever felt in my life. The truth is, I feel like I’m just getting started. Divorce is the great reset in 21st century American society and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. i want A LOT more than 26 more years with The Auteur and the family that we’re building together. There’s just so much I still want to do in this world.
I’m reluctant to use the expression “mid-life crisis”. I’m not about to get a sports car. I’m sure as Hell not about to leave my family. But maybe it’s time I start on my Bucket List and crossing things off of it.
This is a somewhat cliched “men have feelings” piece, but I was fascinated to hear that nearly in nearly two-thirds of American divorces, it is the wife who files.
The stat about divorced men being eight times more likely to commit suicide than divorced women is always a little disturbing, but not news to me.
Oh, and for the record, in my case, Jabba said she wanted a divorce first; but I was the one who actually filed for it.
An interesting read. i would have assumed that the heart attack risk for men goes up regardless – simply because more men seem to have heart attacks than women…but this does make sense.
I don’t ever agree with any generalizations and frankly, I don’t agree with the majority of the reasons in this article. The first reason could not be further from the truth in my case. On the contrary, I feel that I actually regained my identity after my separation/divorce. The second reason – about a man’s parental instinct being challenged – is absolutely true. As for the third reason – not being allowed to grieve properly – again is another generalization based on how men are expected to behave or supposed to behave – and did not apply to me.
Opening Day is something like a holiday in Detroit – as I’m sure it is in many, if not most, Major League cities. Over the last 2 decades, it has become something of a tradition in my family as well. Back in 1998 (or was it 99?) My Dad started purchasing a partial season ticket package for the Detroit Tigers.
For the Tigers, as I assume it is with other teams, even the 21 game partial season ticket packages have included tickets to Opening Day. So every year, either The Old Man, Phred, LeRoy, myself – all of us and/or our significant others have attended every Opening Day since. In fact, when I moved Down South during My Previous Life, I told my parents”If I only make it home twice per year, it will be for Christmas and Opening Day”. During my 8 years there, I probably made it home for as many Opening Days as I did Christmases.
At the risk of sounding melodramatic, baseball is the great unifier in my family. My brother, sister and I (and to some extent, my father before his passing) don’t have a whole lot in common. We don’t all agree on politics and religion is basically a taboo subject among us. But baseball – Detroit Tiger baseball more specifically – is something we all enjoy. Its one of the few things we all have in common and we all enjoy.
Last year was the last Opening Day my father ever saw. I am happy to no end that I was able to be there with him. I am all-the-happier still that The Auteur was able to be there with me and experience Opening Day. Obviously, tomorrow will have a much different feel. It will be the first Opening Day without The Old Man. It may be the last Opening Day I attend for some time. My siblings and I haven;t discussed whether or not we’ll keep getting season tickets for the Tigers beyond this year. This could be the end of a tradition, in more ways than one.
A confession: I’m not really much of a college basketball fan, but I absolutely LOVE March Madness, or the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament as it’s more formally known. I love how any division I school has a shot at making “the big dance” if they just win enough games.
I love the Cinderella stories. Give me North Florida, Dayton, Belmont or Hampton. I love the fact that some “Cinderella stories” return year after year until they are acknowledged by the pundits as powerhouse programs like Gonzaga or Butler, or even Villanova was once upon a time.
Even for the experts, who analyze this stuff for a living, the tournament is a crap-shoot. It is a one-game elimination tournament. College basketball only plays two halves, so things can change as quickly as lightning strikes.
And of course, March Madness is the last major sporting even of the winter; and then baseball begins. But I digress…
The last few years I’ve printed off a tournament bracket and tried to pick the winners before the tournament begins. Like millions of others, I usually throw my hands in the air during the first day of the second round, as my bracket lies in ruins.
This year, I decided to actually keep track of my bracket. I didn’t sign up with any online contests like ESPN, or CNN’s; nor did I even follow the “First Four” opening round, focusing instead on the traditional start of the tournament with the pool of 64 teams. Here’s my results so far;
2nd round: 23/32/ 72% Pretty impressive, I think considering I don’t even follow the game much.
3rd round: 9/16. 56% At this point, I’m still ahead of President Obama’s bracket.
4th round 5/8. 62% Woah!
UPDATE 3.29.15: 5th round 2/4. 50%. One side of my bracket is now completely shot. On the other hand, I did successfully predict the elite 8 and final four teams from the regions. Maybe I’ll even try one of those online challenges next year.
Changes by Tupac
Come on come on
I see no changes. Wake up in the morning and I ask myself,
“Is life worth living? Should I blast myself?”
I’m tired of bein’ poor and even worse I’m black.
My stomach hurts, so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch.
Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a n****, he’s a hero.
Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares? One less hungry mouth on the welfare.
First ship ’em dope and let ’em deal to brothers.
Give ’em guns, step back, and watch ’em kill each other.
“It’s time to fight back”, that’s what Huey said.
2 shots in the dark now Huey’s dead.
I got love for my brother, but we can never go nowhere
unless we share with each other. We gotta start makin’ changes.
Learn to see me as a brother ‘stead of 2 distant strangers.
And that’s how it’s supposed to be.
How can the Devil take a brother if he’s close to me?
I’d love to go back to when we played as kids
but things changed, and that’s the way it is
[Bridge w/ changing ad libs]
Come on come on
That’s just the way it is
Things’ll never be the same
That’s just the way it is
I see no changes. All I see is racist faces.
Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races we under.
I wonder what it takes to make this one better place…
let’s erase the wasted.
Take the evil out the people, they’ll be acting right.
‘Cause both black and white are smokin’ crack tonight.
And only time we chill is when we kill each other.
It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other.
And although it seems heaven sent,
we ain’t ready to see a black President, uhh.
It ain’t a secret don’t conceal the fact…
the penitentiary’s packed, and it’s filled with blacks.
But some things will never change.
Try to show another way, but they stayin’ in the dope game.
Now tell me what’s a mother to do?
Bein’ real don’t appeal to the brother in you.
You gotta operate the easy way.
“I made a G today” But you made it in a sleazy way.
Sellin’ crack to the kids. “I gotta get paid,”
Well hey, well that’s the way it is.
We gotta make a change…
It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes.
Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live
and let’s change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do
what we gotta do, to survive.
And still I see no changes. Can’t a brother get a little peace?
There’s war on the streets and the war in the Middle East.
Instead of war on poverty,
they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me.
And I ain’t never did a crime I ain’t have to do.
But now I’m back with the facts givin’ ’em back to you.
Don’t let ’em jack you up, back you up, crack you up and pimp smack you up.
You gotta learn to hold ya own.
They get jealous when they see ya with ya mobile phone.
But tell the cops they can’t touch this.
I don’t trust this, when they try to rush I bust this.
That’s the sound of my tool. You say it ain’t cool, but mama didn’t raise no fool.
And as long as I stay black, I gotta stay strapped and I never get to lay back.
‘Cause I always got to worry ’bout the payback.
Some buck that I roughed up way back… comin’ back after all these years.
Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat. That’s the way it is. uhh
[Bridge ’til fade:]
Some things will never change
One of The Auteur’s close friends, who is now a neighbor of ours, got pregnant a few months before we did and just had her baby yesterday. She had a boy, as are we; and I have to say that I’m getting bit by the baby bug once again.
I want to meet our little boy. I want to see what he looks like and I want to discover his personality – how he takes after The Auteur and how he takes after me. The Auteur is showing. The Baby is looking like a real baby in his most recent ultrasound photos. I just want him out now.
I think we chose a name. Thursday night, we drove down to Columbus to see a WWE NXT house show. On our way home Friday, we decided on a name. Granted it was a name we were leaning toward already, but I think we made our final decision.
Today, I’ve been gearing up for another round with Jabba, which has had me searching for old computer files. While doing so, I came across some old photos of The Kid when he was a baby, which is making the baby brain thing even worse.
Oh yeah, and The Old Man’s first name is also going to be The Baby’s middle name. It only seemed right…
Last week, The Auteur told me that it looked like my hair was starting to thin on the top of my head. I pulled out a mirror and saw exactly what she was talking about.
Losing my hair.
This is not going to sit well with me. I will shave my head before I get a bald spot. My hairline has managed to outlive those of my closest friends and I refuse to allow it to wither away now. A Scorched Earth Policy, indeed.
I mean, it’s bad enough that I notice myself gradually getting nearsighted…