Beard Brush

So I began growing a beard. I started on my father’s birthday September 19th.  I am planning on shaving it off on the anniversary of his death on November 25. Growing a beard was done for a few reasons.  

  1. My wife and kids said I couldn’t do it.
  2. I’ve never grown a full beard ever.
  3. My father always had a beard and I wanted to see if I’d look like him if I grew one.


I’m only a few weeks in and I must say that the beard no longer itches. I almost shaved on the fifth day because of this.  But I overcame that urge in order to persevere. I have some points to prove!

A few days ago, I dug out my father’s old beard brush.  I figured it’d be a good idea to keep my facial hair tamed.  As I ran the brush through my beard, something odd happened.  I could smell my father on it.


My dad never wore cologne or aftershave. The memories I do have of his beard were the smells of beer and stale cigarettes.  But on his beard brush was something that took me completely by surprise.  I could smell the brand of hair spray he used- 17 years later.  A sweet smell, not at all what I expected to remember about my father.

Happy memories poured into my mind.  Such as my father’s smile behind his beard.  The way he combed his hair. The suit he wore to work. The jogging pants he changed into every night. All of the simple things that defined who he was.  Back on His Birthday I was scared that I’d forget who he was, but it came back with one scent.

Now I’m unsure if I want to shave my beard off. But I don’t want the smell of my father to be removed from the brush. As time goes on, I’ll have to make that choice. 

But today, I brushed my beard once more.

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Ear Worm

There’s a tune stuck in my head from a song I heard the other day.  I don’t know the name of the song or the artist or even the words to the song.  The only thing I do know is that it’s an 80’s song.


Not much else to go on.  I can’t even hum the tune because it was of a higher octave than I can manage. But there it is, in the back of my mind pushing forward. I need to get some other song to take over until this one diminishes into oblivion.

I haven’t had this happen in quite some time.  Usually I can sing the song or find it online to get my fix.  But this one is different.  This one is killing me softly with its song.  

Even Khan’s ear bugs would be a nice change.


Nope.  Even trying to add lyrics from some other song isn’t working.  Time to turn the radio up for that sweet sound. Maybe I can drown it out.

Repetitive Nature 

Being a goofball is something that comes easy for me. Acting silly or crazy has been my m.o. for years now. Since leaving high school, most of my behavior doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. That was a huge shift for me. High school felt like a challenge just to make it through those five years. I’m pretty sure most people reflecting back would agree that those years are the most challenging.


I can’t let go of my silliness though.  It also feels like sometimes I am tad bit AD/HD. (I also see it in my son from time to time.) For me I get focused on one thing and can’t stop repeating it until it’s run its course. Sometimes it’s a song lyric, a joke, or a catchphrase. 


Earlier this week I couldn’t stop quoting Johnny 5 from “Short Circuit”.  It got to a point that I was starting to annoy myself with it. But it was a good change from yelling out “I’m Pickle Rick!” Even though that went on for ages…

But if it makes me smile and I’m not hurting anyone by it, then I don’t see a need to stop. Especially if there are a few “Dad Jokes” that I can throw in as well on a regular basis.

Did you hear about the new corduroy pillows?

They’re making head lines.


Leafers

I couldn’t believe what they were stealing from my property today.  I was at my kitchen window in plain view of them. These two older, retired women entered my yard and began snipping leaves off of our vine maple.


Mind you, it didn’t bother me.  But curiosity came over me, so I went outside to speak with them.  They were super friendly and told me what they were up to.  Of course, my thought was that they wanted the fall coloured leaves for some Pinterest inspired art project or flower pressing.  But I was wrong. Turns out they wanted the green leaves only because the red and orange ones wouldn’t work.


They were collecting the leaves in order to create a dye for silk scarves.  Scarves that they were going to give away to friends and family at Christmas. It was a lovely idea. I told the ladies they were welcome to come back any time to collect leaves because it saves my children from raking them up when they dry up.

In the end, it looks like I have made some new friends in my neighborhood. Even though they were leaf thieves.

What is the Balance of My Time?

Time is precious.  My time is extremely valuable to me and especially to those I care about. My children, my wife, and my friends all get a piece of my time. Work also gets some of that time. But have I achieved a balance?


I have 168 hours a week to offer up.

Work gets 48 hours a week of my time. Two full days out of the seven.

8 hours is devoted to driving to and from work as well for the week.

56 hours is spent sleeping. Maybe more. Maybe.

That leaves 56 hours for my friends and family. That is exactly 1/3 of my time. That time is extremely valuable to me. In fact, I cannot think of a price to put on it. I would gladly give up my job or sleep before I give up the time I have for those I care about.

At the end of every week, my family comes first.  At the end of every workday, I walk away proud of what I did that day. At the end of every sleep, I am ready to do it all again each and every day. 

I feel I have created a healthy work/life balance.

The Death of Social Media

Is social media dying? One word:

Advertisements.


I am among most people who have been groomed into social media sites over the past few years.  In its infancy it started as using a computer having an identity on ICQ or later on, Messenger.  Advertising began as little ad bars along the top or sides of your message windows.  Easy enough to ignore. Typing took a lot of focus!


Then Facebook boomed. There were no ads, a bit of freedom to share statuses and tidbits of your life.  All you had to do was log in.  Facebook started to allow links to websites, photos, and simple word based games that forced you to log on repeatedly to get further on.  All of it exploded into a worldwide phenomenon. People staring at screens for hours on end, logging in hourly, hoping to connect.


Even as Twitter and Instagram grew as alternative options to Facebook, the freedom to just spend time with online friends soared. Someone out there realized that there was an untapped advertising market.  So now as you scroll through your smartphone, trying to see what’s new with your friends, every third of fourth thing is an ad. 

Much like the way movie theaters know that they can put 20 mins of commercials at the start of a film because they already have “bums in seats”. There was no where to look but directly in front of you. Now, we do it to ourselves.  The amazing computer in your palm spewing advertisements when all you want to know is if your friend had a good birthday the day before.

Social media we once knew is dying. It is no longer “Social”.  At some point, there will be something new and everyone will jump on board because of the lack of initial advertising.  But it too will become a stream of commercials. We need to start calling it like it is:

Sommercial Media

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…

October is Here

Today is the start of Halloween!  Well, maybe not… but I do love the season. I have for many years.


Today I don one of my favorite t-shirts. A mashup of two films from my youth. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “E.T.” Both films impacted my life in profound ways.


The first movie I ever saw in a movie theater was “E.T.” when it was first released in 1982. I was six years old and it scared the crap out of me at the time. Yes, the cute alien terrified me enough that I had nightmares of it for weeks. I’m much better now and it holds a place in my heart as an introduction to the emotional connection that films have brought me.


Eleven years after my first theater film, I saw “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. Tim Burton’s style of films had been some of my favorite cinematic experiences over the years. This film was exceptional in the visuals and songs. For some reason, at age 17, I was able to relate to Jack as a misunderstood skinny guy in a dark world of happiness. 


Since then, I have collected numerous NBX memorabilia and love having them out from Halloween to Christmas. It saves from taking down the decorations! Maybe this time next year my family and I can be in Disneyland for Halloween. But until then, time to spookify our home for October!

Can’t Hold On Forever 

I’ve come to a point in my life that I need to move forward.  I always think back to my youth and the joy I had.  However, I can’t justify hoarding the items that made my life fun. Nor can I find solace in trying to reaquire them anymore.


Yesterday the SNES Classic was released.  Up until Thursday night I was 100% ready to buy one.  It was a reminder of how great the Super Nintendo once was. All the feelings of being able to play the great games included inside the new console came flooding into my mind.  But taking a friend to one of my favorite places on Thursday evening changed it for me.


My friend and I stopped in at Toy Traders in Langley on Thursday evening.  It’s a fun toy store with lots of huge displays and large dioramas. They sell cards, games, comics, new toys, old toys, and collectibles. I love wandering around with my kids, but I also enjoy going without them.  On Thursday I was looking at some old He-Man and Transformers figures that I once owned as a child. It dawned on me that I no longer needed to possess them like I had about ten to fifteen years ago. Probably also because seeing $200 for a used toy with missing parts seemed a bit crazy to me.

The toys and videogames of my youth shall remain in my memories.  Had I bought the SNES Classic, I would’ve had about a weekend of fun and then it would sit on a shelf collecting dust. I knew that fact to be true. A few years ago, I sold my original Super Nintendo and my N64 to a friend’s son with all my games and accessories. To this day, he gets more joy out of it than the box it was stored in did. I need to let go of some of the things from my past. 

Like side scrolling Super Mario- always keep moving forward, there’s nothing but broken bricks and crushed shells behind you.

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Anyone who grew up in the 80’s/90’s remembers the tv show “Cheers”. It was a perfectly written sitcom. But could it be written today and still have the same following? I think it could, if they expanded the theme song to include the original lyrics.

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.

Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,

and they’re always glad you came.

You wanna be where you can see,

our troubles are all the same

You wanna be where everybody knows

Your name.

You wanna go where people know,

people are all the same,

You wanna go where everybody knows

your name.

The original theme song brings out fantastic feelings associated with the knowledge that you can share misery with likeminded folks.

The other lyrics from the rest of the song could’ve made for a different show:

All those night when you’ve got no lights, 

The check is in the mail; 

And your little angel 

Hung the cat up by it’s tail; 

And your third fiance didn’t show; 

That’s a bit strange, but adds to the possibility of a good sitcom. A little closer to more recent events are the end of this section of the song:

Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee’s dead; 

The morning’s looking bright; 

And your shrink ran off to Europe, 

And didn’t even write; 

And your husband wants to be a girl; 

 I could get behind a Reboot of “Cheers”. But it would really need an upgrade into today’s tv market. I don’t think it could star all of the old cast.  However, viewers would probably tune in to see cameos from the classic show. I think it’d be fun.

Be glad there’s one place in the world 

Where everybody knows your name, 

And they’re always glad you came; 

You want to go where people know, 

People are all the same; 

You want to go where everybody knows your name.

Wine and Painting

My wife is heading out this evening for her first “Paint and Sip” at the Glass House Estate Winery with a friend of ours. It seems to be a popular style of event. Drink wine while you paint a picture. It’s a way for adults, mostly women, to express themselves through art while getting a bit tipsy.

I love the idea.  I think painting is an expression of oneself. Having a glass or two of wine also loosens up the fear and doubt one may have of their artistic abilities. 


The painting tonight that they will mimic is called “Autumn Bounty”.  It looks challenging for a first piece. I’ve never painted still life or flowers before. The colors portrayed in the imagery connect the winery nicely with the country community they are located in. It also feels like a piece that would be hung in our home if we didn’t love our Comicon fan art.


Unfortunately, all I can see when I look at the photo of “Autumn Bounty” is the alien from “Mars Attacks”.  What’s funny about it is that my wife first pointed out the resemblance.  Of course, being the supportive husband I am, I have dared her to paint this tonight.


I can’t unsee the image. I am waiting to see if my wife decides to embrace her silly side or go with the flow. Pretty sure if she painted the alien, it will get hung up in our foyer of fan art. If she paints the original, it will probably end up in the back of a closet because it doesn’t really fit our home decor.

For the rest of they day I am just going to respond to all questions from my wife with “Ack! Ack! Ack!” to try and influence her decision.