Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fall in Texas

The baby is napping so I grabbed a cup of coffee and stepped out on the front porch to watch the new lizard hatchlings trying to catch mosquitoes. Yes, it's Fall in Texas! Mosquitoes aplenty, reptiles hatching (real ones and politicians), and Oh! the colors. The reds, the golds, the oranges. By that I mean the red necks of the redneck hicks, the gold lame' pants that don't entirely cover the Walmart shoppers' butt-cracks, and the orange of the undefeated University of Texas football team, who have beaten such powerhouses as Louisiana-Monroe, Texas Tech, and UCF. WTF is UCF? University of Canada at Farnham? I thought they only played hockey up there. Ugly College Females? I wouldn't bet against some of those gals. Union of Collective Farmers? They wouldn't allow a bunch of hippie-commie types like that in Texas. Must have been an away game.

Good hunting, lizards. I hope you eat all the mosquitoes. I commented to my wife this past summer how mosquitoes represent one answer to counter those who favor Intelligent Design. I mean, why would an omniscient God create mosquitoes and other such pests to wreak havoc upon His creation? My wife, far more clever than I, answered that the folks who propound the theory of Intelligent Design are the best arguments against it. So true. These people actually believe the earth is about 6000 years old, Adam and Eve lived alongside dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden, and not only is there a Hell but I'll be going there.

Well, folks, The Flintstones is not a documentary. A text written 2500 years ago based upon 5000 year old tales and allegories passed down from illiterate desert nomads and shepherds should not be taken too literally, especially by hypocrites who pick and choose which verses they want to apply at that given moment while ignoring the contradictory verses.

Oh, for those loyal American tea-baggers who insist upon making English our official language, learn to spell. Get a Brain! Morans

Saturday, November 28, 2009

...going on 25

As i said in the inaugural post, I don't feel 50, however that's supposed to feel. I feel young, all the important urges still ever-present, and so on. And just like at 25, my wife and I are raising a baby. We have had our 16 month old grandson since he was born. His mother cannot take care of him for various reasons, so he thinks I'm Dada. I like that...very much.

As the old saying goes, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. I expected to retire early, once the kids were grown and on their own, and move to the coast or the Texas Hill Country, and take up the life of a wandering painter, traveling the countryside, painting landscapes and attending art shows. But the reality is the company I worked for sent its entire R&D effort to Asia, and after 25 years I was laid off. I used my severance to go to school to become a paralegal, and now I work for a great firm helping people with disabilities. I love the work, though I now make about one-third what I was earning before the layoff. Unfortunately, my retirement is gone, also - no pension, no 401k. I will have to work till I'm dead. On top of that, we must remain where we are for now for the sake of the baby, whose custody we share with his other grandparents. I feel he should have the same sense of stability and home life my children had growing up.

So in many ways my life is similar to what it was at 25 - baby, new job, no money. This is not at all as I planned, but it's a great life nonetheless. My wife is a dream - beautiful, intelligent, sexy as hell! My kids are happy and healthy. The baby is happy and healthy and brings us all so much joy.

I saw a great analogy used in another context, but (with slight modifications) it applies to my situation as well. Imagine you booked a flight to Athens. You made all the reservations, planned which sights to see, learned some of the language, told all your friends you were going to Athens. The anticipation of seeing Athens was enormous! But when the plane lands you find yourself not in Athens but Paris. WTF?!? You were supposed to go to Athens, not Paris. You went to Nice when you were younger and swore you'd never go back to France. You're mad as hell. You don't have reservations for a hotel, you've forgotten what little bit of French you learned, you didn't pack clothes for the weather in Paris. But as you walk around, you see the beauty of Paris, and the language you thought you'd lost comes back to you. This trip is very different from what you planned, but it's beautiful in it's own way.

I'm sending you a postcard from Paris.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holy sh*t, I'm 50?!?!

In a week I will turn 50. No big deal, I thought. Age is just a number. I don't feel 50, however it's supposed to feel. I feel young, except for my knees. I think young, and by this I mean I'm liberal-minded, spiritual but definitely not religious, and still very much open to trying new things, although with my age and experience new things are harder to come by. I think I still look fairly young. I'm not overweight or bald. In fact, I have long blonde hair down to my waist. Pretty girls still smile at me, though I'm old enough to take that as a signal to look to see if my fly is open. So what's the big deal about 50?

Well, for starters, it's half a century! AARP will start sending me junk mail. The only way I could get carded now is to prove I'm old enough for the senior discount. I saw a photo the other day of a man I used to work with. I remember him as he was over 25 years ago. Young, strong, barrel-chested. The photo now shows him bald and looking very very old. Seeing that photo was a splash of cold water in the face. I am getting old(er).

Well, time, fuck you! I refuse to age gracefully. I will remain as youthful as possible, in mind and spirit if not in body. I have a baby to take care of, with the possibility of another on the way (more on this in another post). I have clients who depend on me to help them with their disability issues. I have a beautiful wife and a terrific life. I'm ready, 50. Bring it on.