Thursday, April 21, 2016

It's April 22 Somewhere... -or- A 'The Bob' Top Ten

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time (at least longer than a year), you'll know that I sometimes refer to my beloved father as The Bob (I sort of always do).  And you'll also know that April 22, in my book, is akin to an intergalactic holiday.  It's The Bob's birthday.  And this year, The Bob is turning 65.  With that...

Originally I waffled between two different titles for this post:

"On His Birthday: Why My Dad is More Awesome Than Yours."


"Top 65 Reasons The Bob is The Bob."

I decided to scrap both ideas.  First, I thought the one might be offensive.  Second... I thought maybe no one would actually read fully through either one.

So instead I give you a mix of the two:

Top Ten Reasons The Bob is Awesome.

Much less boldy argumentative... and a lot shorter.  So here we go.

10)He's put up with me for a really long time.  If you know anything of me, and my personal history, you know that I'm no cupcake.  Nor am I a pushover, wallflower, dainty, candy-ass creature.  I know what your'e thinking... "welllllll... he's sort of to blame for at least a little of that dysfunctionally brash personality of yours...." I mean, half of my DNA is his, so he sort of has to put up with me, but there are things that even a circus strong man, or the Pope would have walked away from.  Not The Bob.  Nope.  The Bob as dealt with flying tupperware, minor curbing, moves across the country, near death encounters, and Henry.  And that's not even scratching the surface.  Still.  The man is there for me.

All.  The.  Time.

Which qualifies him for prevailing awesomeness.

9)Was once escorted, by police, off of the grounds of the International Court in The Hague.  Go ahead, challenge his awesome now.

8)He can still do more math than most people I know.  I think he can still do more math than most people he knows.  In his head.  And is always right about it.  And he knows a lot of engineers. (I'm not going to mention his almost encyclopedic grasp of English Grammar.  Also, apologies to anyone I just insulted.)  That is to say, he's brilliant.

7)He once killed a man.*

6)The Bob taught me how to swear in at least four different languages not too long after I mastered the phrases "Mommy" and "The Bob."

5)He has jumped every battery of every car that anyone in our family has ever owned.  Possibly except for his own.  Which is weird, but also another example of his mechanical mystical awesomeness.

4)He has more tattoos than most sexagenarians.  Seriously.  (Oh and yes, that's a real word).  And he's getting even more before you do. ***

3)I'm pretty sure he was once mistaken for the International Spy Carlos.  Which he may be (see number 7).  But you'll never know, now will you?

2)He's a Hollywood Legend.  Few people know this- but both the characters of MacGyver and The Most Interesting Man in the World are based off of The Bob.  It has something to do with his intellect.  And his beard.

1)He's The Bob.

And with that, a very very Happy Birthday, Daddy.  If I could be there I would.  Fo. Sho.

The Myth, The Legend, The Bob

*With his bare hands.**

**Just kidding- but he does have a poker face that could deliver that line and leave no room for doubt.

***One is of Chuck Norris.****

****Once again, just kidding.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Until you've been on the edge of extinction, you've got no idea what it means to be alone.  The meaning of alone only comes on the brink of singularity.  When the room full of people is just a room full of people.  When everything else falls away and it's just you and every single doubt in your mind; when nothing justifies the ends- the means are the means and that's all.  

Alone is hard to be, but it's a tolerable hardness.  It's a hardness that you can grow accustomed to, given enough time and enough thought; enough silence.

And just when you begin to near that edge of extinction, there is a point when every silent tear means the world- but only ever to you.  Isn't that the point of silence?  Like everyone, my eyes hurt when I cry.  And that's when I cry more: for relief.  Because I finally feel all the tiredness that I usually keep beaten back closing in on me. 

There is a uniqueness, an aliveness, to prodding your own boundaries and pushing them just so you know.  There is a strangling reality to finally realising that you're broken; that the exhaustion is closing in.  And that you might not be unbroken again. 

Unbroken is hard to be.  

Friday, April 8, 2016

Kitchen Tongs*

*Still make me twitchy.

When I lived in New Zealand (I say lived, but it was only for a month when I trained to become a yoga teacher) I very nearly severed the tip of my finger from the rest of it.  To make a rather convoluted and quite silly story very very short... I did it while helping to wash dishes left from our last dinner as a group.

With a pair of kitchen tongs.

That's right.. with a pair of dull, largely useless for cutting, exceptionally helpful for depositing large bits of foodstuffs onto plates, kitchen tongs.  I stood at the soapy sink and watched as the water turned a particularly menacing shade of pink, then dark pink, then red and thought, 'I really don't want to take my hand out of this sink.'

But I did.  And, as I avoided watching the top bit of my fleshy finger flop around, I set my mind to developing a healthy distress of kitchen tongs.

Which brings me to this morning, putting the clean dishes away, and noting with dismay a pair of tongs on the top shelf of the dishwasher.

It's funny, what sticks in your head.  I'm 31 years old.  For those 31 years, I have largely been mostly afraid of spiders, giant squid, and child birth (you can thank the Discovery Channel for all of those).  But then there are these other things- these things that haunt you, much to your chagrin, and cause you to get a little bit queasy when you least expect it.

I mean... really?  Kitchen tongs?

But then there are other things, more serious things.  I get a different kind of queasy when those other things come to mind.  Things like loss; like the memory of separation; the violence of grief.  There are other things that kick me in the chest like a prize-fighter and leave me reeling.  These are fears and nerves and terrible emotional triggers that have only developed as I've experienced them; only as I've adventured through my existence.  I suppose that's the trade off: if you're living, engaged in life, experiencing the world around you, you run the risk of 'it' crippling you.  For a second, for a lifetime, for as long as it takes to get stitches- whether those are mental or physical- you are held at something else's whim.

I can deal with spiders these days; I've not yet come face to face with a giant squid; I'm not touching the topic of child birth.

Like those, like the rest, it's all day to day- memory to memory-

Kitchen tong to kitchen tong.