My Hometown – Huntington Beach, California
Great father. Good friend. Decent writer. Lacking husband. Solid drummer. Sometimes funny. Often A-hole. Terrible poker player. Too smart. Punk rock. Work in an ice cream shop.
Still with me? Want to know more? Okay, let’s break it down.
When I was young, my mantra was never get married, never have children – something I boasted proudly to anyone who’d listen.
The first of these insane proclamations took a dirt nap in 2002 when I married my wife. The second followed it into the same shallow grave in 2005 when my daughter was born and my son drove a steamroller over it when he arrived in 2009.
I’d heard people talk about having a purpose in life, but I never had one until I became a father, when my kids showed me mine. Thank God, or the healing power of amethyst crystals, that I had them or my life would be an empty, non-candy coated shell.
It’s too early to know how they will turn out, but I think I’m a good dad and I’m doing a good job. Check back with me when my daughter turns 18 to see if I dodged a bullet or want to eat one.
I have a wide circle of acquaintances, but only a handful of friends. This is partly due to the fact that my father always told me, “count your true friends on one hand.”
The other part of this equation has to do with the fact that I’m not a social person and the effort needed to maintain a large circle of friends exhausts me just thinking about it.
However, if you are my friend, I’m loyal. And more importantly, I’ll trust you implicitly and always give you the benefit of the doubt when the facts are unclear.
For example, say a friend of mine stayed at my house while I was away and had a cocaine-fueled orgy with a group of strippers. If my grandmother’s fine silver was missing when I came home, I’d suspect the strippers instead of my friend.
That’s just the type of friend I am.
I’ve written a lot of stuff, some of which you are reading now.
I’ve written content for pay and I’ve written stories for free. Most of the content sucked, but some of the stories were good. A few might even be great. In the end I figure it averages out to decent.
I hope to raise my average with this blog.
For all of my efforts at being a good husband, so far I’ve fallen short.
I don’t cheat or party all night with my friends.
I’m home when I should be and I’m always where I say I am.
I don’t do drugs or drink to excess.
I help cook, clean, and take out the trash.
I take part in all school functions and extra-curricular activities.
I don’t forget birthdays or anniversaries.
I like my mother, father, brother, and sister-in-laws.
Yes, I’ve definitely fallen short.
The closest thing I have to a passion – besides my kids – are the drums. They’ve been the one constant in my life since my left foot started tapping at the age of eight.
After all these years I should be a better drummer than I am. Perhaps it’s due to my ADHD that I didn’t study harder and practice in a more focused way.
But I didn’t. Each time I sit down I just want to beat the shit out of the skins, not practice.
That having been said, I can keep a pretty steady beat and have even been known to get in a groove from time to time. I’ll leave it up to you to make the call.
If I were walking along a deserted beach and found a lamp producing a Barbara Eden type genie promising me one wish – but only a wish that benefited me personally, so that I didn’t look like a dick for not ending world hunger or something – my wish would be the power to make people laugh at will.
That’s how much I like the funny.
I especially like the wrong type of funny. The dry funny. The sarcastic funny. The dark funny.
This is probably why I’m sometimes funny – because my type of humor doesn’t resonate with a good chunk of the population, my wife included (remember the lacking part above)?
It might also be because I subscribe to the “comedy train” philosophy, which isn’t so much a philosophy as something I just made up.
It states that when you are trying to be funny, and all you hear are crickets – never give up. Keep driving that train down the comedy track until you finally land something that works, or the train goes off the rails.
I’ve been known to go off the rails.
Seems like this would be related to the previous point, but it’s not. I have separate A-hole side, completely unrelated to not being funny.
In the past, this was because I had a lot of deep-seated insecurities I was trying to mask. Nowadays, thanks to the wonders of therapy, it’s more due to the fact that I speak my mind more often than is prudent in today’s society.
The flip side though is that you pretty much know where I stand on most things and I won’t bullshit you. Those who appreciate this quality, well, they’re my biggest supporters. However, the other 87% of the population thinks I’m just an A-hole.
They’re probably right.
Terrible Poker Player
I’ve played poker for over 30 years. In friendly home games, not so friendly pickup games, and in card rooms from Cali to Vegas. And I suck.
I suck because I love the concept of poker; a night out with the boys, knocking back some drinks and taking down huge pots. I love the concept. I hate the reality.
I don’t like to sit still. I don’t like paying attention to the players. Tracking the cards. Analyzing the bets. Reading the faces.
I want to chat with the guy next to me. Flirt with the waitress. Listen to music on my iPhone. All of which make for a shitty poker player.
(If you didn’t pick up on it yet, I’m using poker as an analogy to illustrate my ongoing struggle to see myself as I am, not how I think I am. Deep huh?)
At the age of sixteen, I was the smartest person in the world.
I held this title year after year until the age of thirty when it first donned on me that maybe I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was.
Since then it’s been a daily battle to unlearn what I know, and more importantly, what I think I know.
It’s been good for me. I’m more open to new ideas. I’m more tolerant of others foibles. And best of all, I spend almost zero energy on the type of pointless arguments that neither change people’s minds or affect their lives.
I say “almost” because from time to time I still fall into the trap of thinking I know everything.
So as you have probably figured out, the title of this section comes with the implied amendment “….for my own good.”
What can I say, I was born and raised in HB.
Work In An Ice Cream Shop
It’s the easiest way to explain what I do at parties.