Scarred not Scared

How To Be A Midlife Dad Without Going Postal: A Manual

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


can be so hard when there is pain.
Wrenching wracked wrecked.
Desire to damage, but making myself hurt
won't change anything.
Redemption with a past? Despite the past?
The scorch of learning, seeing clearly
but maybe too late.
The crunching pain of new uncertainty.
Smile despite the lie.
Sleep under the blanket of Depression the Medicant.

Oh, and the blog title above?
Complete lie. Scared shitless,
a mass of wormy nerves whose
hunger never dies,
feeding on confidence and hope.
Devouring, denying, descrying.
Afraid yet walking, some talking
Less sleep and food.
waiting still…

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Going, going…

From my craigslist post:
1966 Imperial Crown Coupe-Gr8 4 Custom or as Classic! - $2500 (Grandview Heights)
Reply to:
Date: 2006-12-02, 10:53AM EST

Have to let go of my dream car. This is a rare (only 2,373 made) 1966 Imperial Crown Coupe; you won't see another pass you on the highway. Made by Chrysler, this car boasts a 440cid engine (the largest version of this block, great for overboring). First sold in NJ, I bought it in PA, and it is now titled in Ohio with less than 25k miles. Sat for years on a farm and the interior shows it: split driver's seat and center bolster, dingy carpet, etc. Decent repaint by prev. owner + minor dings & scrapes. Transmission rebuilt in Summer, 2005. Starts but sounds awful: needs new bearings or a complete rebuild. Many extra parts and 1-yr-only wheel covers. NO TIRE KICKERS OR WANNABES: only interested in hearing from folks who know what a great price this is for an Incomparable car. More info here. Only asking $2500/O.B.O.

* This item has been posted by-owner.
* Location: Grandview Heights
* It's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Deep blackness recedes

A shake of the head, droplets fall. I almost fell in, almost died almost lost it all. Suicide of the heart. The edge pulled, not beckoning more threatening. Was enveloping with nails caressing. How did I get here? Is this my beautiful death? Was that my beautiful love? Fog thick choking refusing air. Pain, doubly doubling over. A scream--was that me? Can I make sounds like that? Shuddering squeeze; no relief. Then light sparks unexpectedly. This can't be: I live? Light's golden glow giving fog shape, form, words. Words bringing me back from the edge? No, the scream. The ripping of my gut/heart/life. I did this. I almost killed it without looking, knowing. Ashes drop, flames recede, cool air lifts my eyes. This pain friend forges anew, steel steaming as it cools. A thumb on the honed edge reminds of the edge, the deep eternal failure of regret. For now, at arm's length, but waiting.

The abyss is my friend, failure my savior:


"One hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the most skillful. Seizing the enemy without fighting is the most skillful." --Sun Tzu

I will not fight, I will bring my enemy my self closer. Knowing is the trigger. I am lifted, scarred not scared. Fear drove the wind through me and I felt its chilling despair. Smile.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Wilhelm Scream--I knew they did this sort of thing!!!

This article in boingboing discusses the uncovery of The Wilhelm Scream. Follow the link in the article to a vid clip that illustrates the use of the scream over decades of movie making.

This does not surprise me at all. In fact, I have often figured they did the same thing with canned laugh tracks: take some recorded, hysterical and remarkable laughs from other audiences and reuse them in layers to create the impression of an audience wetting their pants.

I even know some people (Ernie, you are the one I am talking about!!) who have laughs like that. I have even witnessed the phenomenon occurring within my own theatre where a person, usually a woman, laughs so distinctly and remarkably that the audience winds up laughing harder at her than at the comic action on stage. It helps if the person with the laugh also finds things funny at times that most in the audience do not, so that his/her laugh cuts through all other distractions.

I giggle just thinking about it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

No money back, no effn guarantees

Hello? Is this thing on? Can anyone hear me?

Tripping along, living and loving, making creating destroying digesting. Gettin' comfortable with some aspects, some connections, then WHAM it hits: wonder of the grey kind. Shadows, doubt, disbelief. Can it be? Do fears come true by imagining them? Do we distort our own reality if we let it germinate/gestate within us? Do we want our fears to come true so we can whimper and slink? How? Why, when the joy of succeeding with integrity is so crystalline, so soaring and bright?

There are no guarantees, not even that you will make it across the street in one piece. Are your children on the path to good and happy? Will they treat others as full humans and feel real joy? Will your smear of life bring remembrance of love and a sadness for what's missing? Have you changed lives? Have you tried?

Our futures cannot be stopped, they come to us. We welcome them, no matter the color.
We birth them then decide to keep them or try again. Divergence.

Fear twists, begging to be mocked. Yet the mind won't let it go completely--why this love affair? Why limit? Blame yourself? Your parents? Fate? That sour bologna?

Even though I can't escape fear completely, it is only allowed visitation, not cohabitation. I know I can kick it out and that the sun will touch my skin again. I am prepared, armed and resilient. I know I cannot prevent the Change in others.

But I also know that no matter what pain falls on my head, clouds break. They always have, eventually. The music brings tears, the hot sting of joyful pain.

It is to live and love life that matters. That's all there really is for any of us.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

MySpace this time

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Come on, CommArts

Got my latest issue of Communication Arts yesterday (
  • Interactive Annual 12
  • ). Usually, I let it sit for a week or two, then drift through it, unless its the Photography issue, then I tear into it right away. I often let the Illustration issue gain dust. The difference is that I am fairly adept at digital photomanipulation, and can even snap a decent photo once very 100 frames or so (so far my strongest ones have all been taken at the beach, and all at sunset), but I can't draw for squat. Last summer, my mom sent home with me a box of old photos, hand made cards, school papers of mine, etc. Ostensibly, she said she was cleaning out closets and couldn't bear to keep the photos taken during my first marriage. Upon inspection of the the contents of the box, however, she sent me much more than that. I guess that as we age, the issue of Keep Or Return changes with priorities and energies. My parents have TONS of stuff, much of it lovely (8 different sets of fine china, endless artwork and the like), and while its obvious that this stuff is/was meaningful to mom (afterall, she kept it for nigh on 45 years), perhaps the idea of ever going through it again seemed futile or just too overwhelming.

    So, I have it now, and while I was away for a week this past spring helping mom and dad with their landscaping, my dearest Megan went through the contents, went out and bought half a dozen multi-photo picture frames and put together a really terrific retrospective of my childhood. It was so impactful, I wept at the sentiment. It also gave her more insight into the part of my life she has never had much access. Perhaps it also added some myth to her biography of me, because she went through the items without me over her shoulder offering commentary and reference, so she could imagine what she wished.

    The point of all this is that amongst the photos and school papers were also a number of handdrawn cards that I had made for my parents, some which I vividly remembered making and others that seemed completely unfamiliar. And while reading through the
  • CommArts issue
  • I came across an article about the label art of Bonny Doon Vineyards. Looking at the illustrations by Chuck House and Gary Taxali gave me pause: why do I shun the illustrator that live within me? How childish, how silly, how fearful. So today I dug through our bookshelf and pulled out a spiral bound, unlined book of blank pages with a nice, heavy cardboard cover with a nubby, alligator-like cover.

    Stay tuned…

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    It sucks being older...and passionate

    Investment. That is what stage actors shoot for when creating a 3D character. An emotional reality that helps the audience forget they are watching a lie, a charade,<> OH CRAP. My 6 y.o. just tripped over a picture we use to block the kitchen doorway so the bunny doesn't 'escape' the kitchen and chew up the LAN cables (again). Christian fell, and the picture glass just broke into long shards. Whew. He didn't cut his feet, I didn't yell and he didn't cry. Scene averted. Of course, the glass is a goner and I feel like crying, but so far so good. Sometimes I really wish I was less passionate than most of the men I know. Most of the men I come into regular contact with, don't laugh nearly as much as I do. And I bet most of them don't get nearly as angry as I when they get pissed and they probably don't cry from intense feelings like I do. My kids and my fiance, they are the greatest source of my intense emotions. Now, I'm not talking daily, weekly or even monthly, but definitely 'every couple of months-ly.' And I don't mind. Crying flushes the crap out of my soul. My sons have seen me cry and I think that's OK. I still garner their respect and love. Megan has seen me as well, and she doesn't seem to think less of me. But sometimes…sometimes I just wish I was more middle ground like most guys seem to be. Then I wouldn't get depressed or sad when a new project doesn't pan out, like my recent efforts to fix my Imperial. 3 weeks of abouty 3 whole days each week of my friend and I tearing it down and putting it back to gether, then finding it doesn't work any better and perhaps in some ways, worse. And my new 'career' has its ups and downs. Again, I can deal with my emotions with myself, but its the reactions of those around me that make it harder. Everyone loves me when I am up, happy and laughing. When I feel the flip, when I feel down, sad, depressed or beaten up, then my kids deal OK, but everyone else seems to want me to not to do that. Oh, then there's the times when I get angry. Naturally, no one likes that, least of all me. Megan always bears the hardest brunt, I guess because she's far closer to me than anyone else. I tell her when I feel sad/depressed/beaten, and she tries to support me in my moment. But sometimes when my frustration builds and I have a hard time expressing or thinking, she takes it to mean I feel that towards/about her. Then she gets edgier…oh hell. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how she talks to me when she get mad or frustrated. It doesn't matter that I bite my tongue and try to talk her out of her loops. It doesnt' matter, because as soon as I lose my cool, its my fault. I hear my anger, I hear my curses but she doesn't hear her own voice. It doesn't matter. I'm older, more experienced. I should have a more composed demeanor, calm in the face of ANY storm. Patience at all times, understanding that the tone of voice is not meant for me even though it is delivered into my face, eyes forward. It doesn't matter. There is no…CRAP…there is only my own shortcomings, faults, unevenness, harshness. The pendulum swings again, and I hold my breath. Breathless, I wait to measure the damage I do to those around me. Kids, my lover, myself. Breathe…don't wish to punch the world. Don't expect anything to 'go right.' Just breathe. Hope for the best, try your best but don't invest. Dont' self defeat or you'll be beat.

    Aw, Effyou, Johnny Cochrane.

    I still don't know what to do with myself.