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Mini-Van : Parody

Something fun today. I started my career writing / producing / singing parody songs for Premiere Radio Networks a few decades ago. More recently I’ve been directing musicScreen Shot 2016-08-25 at 12.11.27 PM videos. Now the two worlds have started colliding and the result has been a blast!

This time around it’s a music video for the Texting Yoga Pants video for “Never Thought I’d Do It,” a parody of Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It.” The parody focuses on the apprehensions every parent has about going from the sexiness of a sports car  or SUV to the practicality of a mini-van. Grant it, this video is from the mom perspective, but I’m sure every dad can relate as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btI3v3c7y1w

Enjoy and share!

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Pace Yourself

Those who stop by here regularly likely know that I’m an avid runner. It’s been a part of my regimen since I was probably seven. I think what started it was my sister telling me I should be a runner because runners have small butts. But whatever the reason, it stuck and now nearing fifty, it has helped keep me relatively healthy and mentally stable.

One thing I learned from running was the value of pacing myself. I remember one particular track meet my freshman year of college where this point was very well illustrated. We were running the 1500 meter on an indoor track which adds up to about 7 1/2 laps. When the gun went off one runner from a visiting school just took off at full speed. I mean the rest12038670_10154254531642908_511981866436531684_o of us looked at each other and were like, “He knows it’s a mile right?” By the end of the first lap he was sailing off well in front of the pack. By the fourth lap, he was on the infield holding his hamstring screaming in agony.

I pictured that guy this morning as I was making school lunches. If you think of each year like a mile of a marathon, I’m on mile five. And let me tell you, some days I think I may have come out of the gate a bit too fast because I’m already suckin’ wind. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the run and for the most part the pace feels pretty good. But man, every once in a while I get a parenting cramp.

As divorced dads, we all pat ourselves on the back from time to time. We make dinners, do laundry, help a kid through a school project, coach a soccer game, make it to every recital, have good heart to heart talks, drive kids all over kingdom come for school events and
playdates, make dinners, do laundry; wait I lost myself for a second. What was I talking about? Oh yeah. “GO DAD!” Parents know it’s a lot. And some days just getting the kids to school on time feels like a victory lap is in order. But know this; it’s a long, freaking, run.

If you’ve ever run a marathon, you know those first few miles you’re like, “This is EASY! Not sure what all the fuss was about!” Then at mile 21 you’re on the curb puking your guts out while your left calf muscle keeps involuntarily flexing. That’s parenting. Every mile the breathing becomes more labored. The hills get steeper. The sun beats down a little harder. And your legs get a little heavier.

So pace yourself. Stop at every gatorade station you can find. And hell, walk a few hundred yards from time to time if you need to. It’s OK if your pace fluctuates from mile to mile. Not every lunch has to include all five food groups. Not every breakfast has to be eggs, sausage, toast and juice. Sometimes a pop-tart is OK. Trust me, they’ll live even if every once in a while their socks don’t match.

 

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Do You Know Where You’re Going To?

Don’t laugh, but I woke up this morning with the “Theme to Mahogany” playing in my head. If you’re unfamiliar with the Diana Ross hit, the first lines of the song go something like this:Mahogany-cover

“Do you know where you’re going to
Do you like the things that life is showing you
Where are you going to
Do you know”

I was always driven by goals and aspirations. I knew when I was in 8th grade that I would move to Los Angeles after college and work in the entertainment industry. It pushed me and gave me purpose and focus. It also kept me out of trouble for the most part. There were things I simply didn’t get involved in because they weren’t part of the dream. I knew exactly where I was going to and loved the things that life was showing me.

So when the sun rose this morning I reflected on the past week and the question resonated loudly, “where the hell am I going?” Because frankly it has felt like I’ve been going around in circles lately. And between you and me, I’m usually exhausted by the end of each cycle.

It’s easy to push for goals and dreams when you’re 23, single and completely focused. When you’re bringing a previous life along, youspinning-plate-1 can feel like one of those performers on Ed Sullivan who spun plates, constantly running back to make sure the first plates are still spinning as you add new ones.

My dreams and aspirations continue to be many. Some are personal and others are focused on my kids/family. And I’m very much aware of the fact that some simply aren’t getting the time or attention they need or maybe not as much as I’d like to be giving them. I’m hoping this means they’ll simply take a little longer to bring to fruition and am determined to keep them moving forward. But the reality is, I’ve got a lot of freakin’ plates spinning and often find myself running around trying to keep them all going. It’s especially disappointing when you see one fall and recognize that the only reason it stopped spinning was because you were trying to keep too many spinning at once.

As Diana sings;

“Now looking back at all we’ve planned
We let so many dreams
Just slip through our hands”

Well, I’m determined to not let that happen.Need to spend a little time figuring out exactly where I’m “going to.” My kids need to see me achieve my goals as much as they see me supporting theirs. It may take a little longer, but one way or another, I’m going to get there. How about you?

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Divorced Status Update!

I noticed I haven’t been writing or posting as frequently of late. Trust me, it’s not for lack of topics or desire to write. I’ve simply been working through what I believe is a new level of understanding and acknowledgement. The last four years have taken a lot out of me. Keeping up the pace of a divorced dad has been draining. Maintaining our home, ensuring the kids get what they need from me, ensuringPeanuts
my work gets what it needs from me. Anyone living this life knows, it’s a lot. And don’t forget staying healthy and staying true to elements of myself that need to be maintained. All of it leaves very little left in the tank (both mine and my Jeep’s).

There are times I worry that I’m becoming complacent. Times when I wish I had more fight in me. But then I ask myself, what is it exactly that I’m fighting for? Where is my energy best spent? Perhaps I’m just mellowing in my old age (that’s a joke btw). But I’m finding myself less and less drawn toward any drama or angst. I just don’t have room for it. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Maybe I simply have less to prove and am ok with living a life devoted to raising three kids and forgoing some of the extras that, though they’d be nice to have, pull me away from my family’s true needs.

And then it hit me. Even in attempting to stay positive and approach divorce with a positive mind, even then, still I continue to focus on the negatives. Why haven’t I gotten farther financially? Why haven’t I gotten farther romantically? Why haven’t I gotten farther professionally? Constantly looking to get farther in all aspects of my life when the reality is, what I’ve managed to accomplish to this point is extraordinary and exactly where I need to be. Would it be nice to have more money? Yup. Would it be nice to be in a romantic relationship? Perhaps. Would it be nice to be the all being master of the universe? Not sure about that one. But the point is, what I’ve managed to maintain; our home; relationships I’ve built with my kids and what I’ve accomplished professionally despite the hurdles of being a single dad, is really something that gives me reason to believe I may be doing OK. There are times when I have to remind myself of that, especially when we’re going through a rough patch and I feel like I’m slipping again. As long as I focus on the foundation I’ve built, I know I can keep moving forward.

Through it all, my kids and I continue to grow and learn. They get a great deal of my focus, which sometimes means sacrificing in other areas. But I wouldn’t go back and skip a single moment I’ve spent on the kids’ behalf. Not one. In fact I wish I had more. I see the benefits of being there for them and them knowing I’m there for them whenever I can be. Even if it just means answering a text. They know I’ve got their back. I see their mom doing the same thing. All of us discovering what’s truly important.

From time to time I don’t write as much. But like you I’m still figuring it out. Even after four years, I’m still learning and gaining understanding in areas I thought I’d already come to terms with. With every stride I make learning about myself and growing as a man and a father, I recognize I’ve still got a long way to go. We all do.

So my apologies for not being there as much as I’d like to be for you. But know that I’m always on your side. I’m living through many of the same struggles you are. And working to be a better father just like you. Stay strong. Keep growing. And by all means stay positive!

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Music To My Ears

I am a huge fan of the arts and what they can mean to a child both academically and emotionally. Along with art and design, music has been a focal point of my own career and while I haven’t forced it down my kids’ throats, I’ve encouraged them to pursue and explore all aspects of music. We share it, discuss it and listen to all genres and styles in our house. Even when one of the kids “discovers” music her mom and I find somewhat questionable, it opens the door for terrific discussions about culture, taste, history, what sort of message they want to promote and a plethora of other topics. All of which provides moments of communication, learning and understanding. Now the eldest is determined to become a singer and continues to search out vocal styles from all styles of music from Beyonce, to Carrie Underwood, to Janis Joplin to Etta James to Lana Del Rey.

Another has a natural ear that no doubt will lead to more exploration and likely a lot of songwriting. And most recently our middle child joined the middle school band. Her instrument of choice? The trumpet. And I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Just knowing she’ll continue to learn music and music theory puts my mind at ease. It’ll give her something positive to focus on, build her self esteem, provide positive support from both classmates and adults and provide her with a creative outlet she’ll carry with her the rest of her life.

Music is not just background noise. It is a means of exploring emotions, of creating energy, providing us with a means of expressing our emotions and dealing with pain. It exercises our brains in ways nothing else can. It is so more than just a song on the radio. It becomes a part of our memories and a part of who we are. And while there will no doubt be some sounds coming from our house in the coming months that may be a bit sour, the fact that my children are embracing it and taking steps to make the arts an important part of their lives is truly music to my ears.

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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