Saturday, March 21, 2015

Stories for the Boy: Happy Birthday

HBD baby

So you've had your sixth birthday this year. In case you forgot, your day included blue and blue baseball cupcakes with custom made Whitecap logo sticks for your party at school; presents in the morning which included a Star Wards pretend shaving kit and Lego accessories for your iTouch; and dinner at Applebees by request.

Since you share your birth month with your dad, I think it's appropriate to tell you about how we celebrated his birthday, our first as a couple. That would have been 1992.

Since I didn't have quite enough money to go whole hog on the day, I recreated our first date for him, the best I could. I "took him out" on a date in his living room, serving pizza and a six pack of Killian's Red. We opted not to return to Bilbo's in Kalamazoo. There was no cake, but we met with friends after. I know I got your dad a car, but cannot remember if I got him an actual present. Maybe a bow on the beer. Kind of a big deal.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Typing Out Loud: At Last!


It's been a long time coming. In a few days, I start a new marketing position for a local university.

When I started this blog back in 2008, I had a feeling change was on the horizon, and my fears were later confirmed when my position was eliminated, and I faced coping with defeat. To paraphrase the recently departed Toller Cranston, he based his creative career, artistically and athletically, on making up for loss of the Olympic gold in '76.

I think I have too.

I became a runner.

I rediscovered myself as an artist.

I became a silver level figure skater and an ice dancer.

I became a gold level figure skating judge.

And I chronicled it all the last 6+ years over the course of 260 blog entries.

Writing this blog was not only a way to cope, it was also a way to fire up my creativity and keep my writing skills sharp.

I've taking a lot of hits too. I've joked often about the interview process being like a series of blind dates and I have had my share of nightmare situations that have, quite honestly, done a number on my self esteem over the years. I could really write a book about this series of disasters alone.

Which makes it deeply satisfying to move on.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Playlist: Marty Robbins, El Paso

First, some facts:

El Paso was a number one hit, pop and country charts, in 1960.

It won a Grammy for Best C&W recording in 1961.

It is considered one of the top 100 country songs of all time.

It was used in the finale of the show Breaking Bad, a perfectly heartbreaking narrative.

So why the love?

My grand mother was a huge Marty Robbins fan. My dad used to sing this song while listening to the oldies station.

The song is a narrative ballad and tells the story of a cowboy in love with a dancer from Rosa's Cantina named Faleena. I love the flamenco guitar work and the haunting harmonies. And the end is so damn heartbreaking...