I guess it has been, technically, nine or so years since we've talked. I tend to think it has been more like ten. You really weren't yourself those last nine or so months.
I am not sure how much you've been keeping up with everyone these last nine years so I thought an update might be in order. If you've stayed abreast of everyone while you've been gone then, well, here it all is anyway (in case you missed something).
You would be so proud of Craftsman. He is very much his father's son. Everyone always labeled me the creative one. You left before seeing his creativity find a medium. He's started his own remodeling/contracting company and is turning away business already. He has such a gift of looking at a room and seeing what it COULD be. He then has the vision to make it happen.
It amazes all of us how he can try something he's never done before and his vision and determination make it happen. You should swing by his house sometime and look at the amazing poker table and coffee tables he made. They are 100% his designs. He imagined them and then realized them. There is nothing more creative than that. As much as I've loved being viewed as the talented artist in the family, he's more than proved he is as much, if not more, of an artist than I.
Everybody thought I got my artistic gifts from you. He is proof that we got it from both you and Dad. Dad, like Craftsman, was, and is, an artist. Craftsman has his same vision. The ability to build and create. To see a space as a puzzle, an area as a challenge and to take wood, nails, paint, varnish and solve the problem that nobody else even realized existed.
He's also become an amazing man. He has your warmth and uncanny ability to make any stranger see a new best friend. Everybody he meets immediately sees his warmth and genuine kind heart. To this day I've never heard him say a bad word about anyone. He somehow seems to always find the best in everyone he meets. Even if they may not deserve it. He's more like you than any of us expected.
His open-heart policy makes him pretty vulnerable; not unlike you were. We all try and protect him from being hurt or taken advantage of. He's learning. He's figuring out that sometimes you have to be a little selfish so there is enough of you to give to the ones you love. Hell, its been years since he's lived down here in FL and a week does not go by that someone doesn't ask me about him or tell me to say hello to Craftsman for them.
I can't wait until that special girl comes waltzing into his life. Jesus, she is only lucky chick. He is going to make quite a husband and an incredible father. She's out there right now and has no idea what a great future lies ahead for her. I often wonder if you know who she is.
I wonder about you all the time.
Sister has been doing one hell of a job since you left. You were the glue that held us all together but when you took off, she picked up the bottle and kept everything stuck together. She is so damn thoughtful. You know how we all think, "I should write so-and-so" or "I should do this for so-and-so sometime"? We all think of stuff like that. She, on the other hand, actually does it. She sits down and writes the letters, mails the pictures, remembers the birthday or buys a little thing that proves she was thinking about you.
She makes sure us boys don't get too sharp edged. She's been my guiding light through some really strange and difficult times. She's been there for Dad more than I think she even realizes. She's teaching now and back in NC. I volunteered in her class when she was teaching down here. There are some teachers out there that do it because they got nothing else they can do. Others do it to be a little powerful and have a little influence. Some actually do it because they give a shit. God, does she give a shit. She has your tenderness.
You always looked at us kids and saw all of the potential even we did not see. You saw every small accomplishment or accolade we got not as an isolated event but as part of the natural path we were taking to becoming what you already saw us as. Sister is just like that with every child she teaches. I use to love hearing her talk about the kids when she came home. It gives you hope about what the next batch will bring to this world.
Youngest graduated this year. Can you believe that all four of your children have degrees now? He's starting to find his path. There is nothing he cannot do. His personality is infectious. If you can spend more than thirty minutes with him without laughing so hard your face hurts, you have some serious problems. He always finds humor and is always there when a laugh is exactly what everyone needs.
He is very much like Craftsman. He has your ability to make new friends by just being him. None of us know exactly where he is headed now that school is closed and done. I know that whatever he finds he will excel at. You don't have to look too hard or too long before you see his talents, kindness and work ethic.
Dad is having the toughest time since you left. After being kicked in the teeth for so many years before he met you, then having 24+ years of happiness with you, it is so hard to see him back at the business end of the kicking. The part of him that left when you did has not filled back up again. In fact, its been sucking happiness from his life ever since.
He can't seem to get ahead or find the ability to get it all straight. Nobody can blame him. He was given a nasty ticket to a shitty movie and you and us kids are the only intermission. I hope their is a great twist at the end of the picture that none of us sees coming.
I hope, just as our hero is surrounded, out of supplies and bullets and his horse is dead the calvary appears on the horizon to scoop him up. You know we all miss you but Dad can't seem to quite live right with you gone. Us kids got things covered. Just keep an eye on him and pull any stings you got to make things a little better for him. He's had enough and deserves a break.
As for me... its been a crazy nine years. I graduated from school a few months after you left. I got married... then divorced. I got moved down here to South Florida and spent several years wondering if I was ever going to find anyone.
Were you able to hear me when I was lying in bed all of those nights talking to you? Did you hear me ask you how much longer was I supposed to wait? Did you have anything to do with me finally meeting A*?
I hate that she's never met you. You two would be instant best friends. She is so good to me and she sees in me the things you always saw. She loves me for the reasons you love me. She was so worth waiting for. If you had anything to do with her coming into my life then I guess I owe you another one.
I'm so anxious to get my life started with her. I can't wait until we have our first daughter. For some reason I know I will see so much of you in her little face.
I have a coffee press which I use to make my morning java love. If you are not familiar with coffee presses.... (pictured)
You grind your beans and dump them in the bottom of the press. You pour boiling water onto the grounds then press the plunger. The coffee is brewed as it mixes the grounds and water and the press forces the grounds to the bottom so you can pour the coffee heaven into your cup of loving.
If you love coffee and don't have a press... you don't really love coffee. If you are using a coffee machine you actually are really fond of coffee. You think coffee is cute and fun to hang out with. Coffee makes you laugh and you both enjoy each other's company. You don't love coffee, though. I mean love-LOVE not a "yea, coffee's cool"-love.
My love for my pressed coffee is also matched with me being an idiot. I have a routine (as with most things in my life)(read: I am an OCD freak).
I put water in the kettle and start the boil. I then grind the beans, they go in the press. I get my coffee cup (read: vat) and put my light soy milk and sugar in it. The water boils.
You are guarenteed at least 1 out of 6 times instead of pouring the boiling water into the press so the magic can happen, I will just pour the boiling water directly into the cup. This creates a less-than-magical drink of watered down sweetened light soy milk. Not so tasty.
Why my brain skips and ignores the 400lbs press on the counter and feels the need to pour the water in the cup (skipping a pretty important step) has yet to be researched and documented.
So I have a new neighbor. She has built a silk condo-complex right off my back porch. She has mad booty caught in her web of... well, web of... web(?)
I scoured the web (as in Internet not the web that comes out of her ass) to figure out who my new friend is (pictured).
She is a Golden Silk Spider and she is quite large (as in size of my hand - large). Despite not having a building permit posted, I've decided to let her squat in the tree by my abode. As long as she keeps the stereo down after 10pm and does not have strange spiders visiting at all hours, we shouldn't have a problem.
If you are like me, sometimes it is tough to come up with something to post about. That is where the Hofzinser Blogger Challenge came from.
This HBC is a doozy.
Think of an issue you believe in strongly. An issue that means a lot to you which also has many opponents.
Step back and think about how the other side thinks. What are the VALID arguments against your side of the issue. If you can't think of any you are clouding the issue. Really sit on their side and figure out how they can think your take on the issue is as wrong as you see theirs.
Create a post that argues for the other side. Don't be coy, don't be silly and don't be snarky. Take the challenge and really present an argument against your side in the issue.
You cannot hope to overcome opposers to your beliefs if you don't understand them, see there side as clearly as they do and respect their perspective.
I am in the midst of writing a post showing the benefits and advantages of a socialized central government as a solution to the ills of a free market. It is a toughie but I am getting through it.
Look at your issue. Do you understand it enough to make their argument? Could you convince someone of their side in the issue?
Can you argue the opposing side of your views on issues like:
Gay rights Reproductive rights/abortion the war in Iraq George Bush's presidency Clinton's presidency The role of religion in government or society Affirmative action American foreign policies Federal funding of stem cell research The death penalty Tobacco litigation A national health care plan Capitalism vs. Socialism Gun control
If you do take the challenge, please link to this in your post. Be sure to leave a comment so I may feature your post here.
This is a real challenge, folks. I am dying to see which of you are up to it.
Every minute I am with her I can feel it in my bones; she will be my wife and we will be the foundation of a new and wonderful family.
There is no bigger heart than her's. There is no softer touch than her's.
Have you met someone who you love more than you knew you were capable of? Were you amazed that she might love you as much? Was the only reason it didn't scare the ever-living shit out of you is that it brought you more comfort than you've ever felt? I've met her, I am amazed and ever-so comforted.
This is the seventeenth installment in the "Why do Men...?" series inspired from comments on this post.
The always frank Kira asked: Why are men so fascinated with bodily functions? I'm not talking about sex, either. I'm talking about passing gas, belching, and how big the turd is that they just put in the bathroom. And the hard, cold fact that it has to be announced, relished, and appreciated. "OH HONEY, you just GOTTA see this one! It's TREMENDOUS!"
We men love to build and create things.
I call it womb-envy.
You ladies are the ultimate terrestrial creators. Your body produces friggin life. We will never be able to do that (maybe I should never say never).
How do we men compensate for this? We build and create. We make pyramids, parthenons, skyscrapers and bridges. Some of us make levees and some are not so good at it. We are in a constant species-long quest to create something CLOSE to as grand as what you ladies can create as bodily function.
Which brings us to the heart of your question.
We cannot excrete babies form our orifices. We can fart, burp, cum and lay logs the size of a coiled slinky. Do these compare to a baby? Of course not... so humor us.
*Fart* "Sweetie, was that you?" "um, yea" "Nice one!" *and high-five him*
Trust me, you will be known far and wide among his boys as the coolest fucking wife/girlfriend since Mary Magdalene or Eva Braun.
I just finished "Slaughterhouse-five" by Kurt Vonnegut.
I continue my quest to read every book I ever thought "man I need to read that". "Five" is one of the many I never read in high school (despite writing a book report on it).
My 11th grade English teacher Mrs. Johnson loved me.
I did well in high school. I found it short on challenges (yes, I was one of those kids). To keep my interest I created my own challenges.
One was to never read a book I had to write a report on. I found it much more challenging to write "A" papers based on the silly discussions we had about the book during class. Actually reading the book and writing a paper on it seemed too easy.
I also challenged myself to never attend an assembly.
I did promise myself I would eventually read the books required in high school. I am now keeping that promise.
SH5 is my first Vonnegut.
I bought Breakfast of Champions yesterday and cannot wait to dive into it.
One passage in the book stuck with me. This is reprinted without permission so keep your YAP shut.
He went into the living room, swinging the bottle like a dinner bell, turned on the television. He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this:
American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter plans flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.
The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new.
When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.
The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn't in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.
Just a tad timeless, no?
As for the BIQ....
I'm coming to peace with the whole thing.
I realized this morning it is the person BIQ is leading (PBIL) along a path of sadness that is getting me all fired up. PBIL must follow for now. There is little choice in the matter.
I hope that BIQ, for BIQ's sake, starts making better choices. I hope that one day BIQ sees that all we have are our choices. It is all we can control.
If BIQ never realizes this, I hope PBIL gets to the point where PBIL can let go of BIQ's hand and start walking a different path. That cannot happen for awhile but I hope it happens some day.
For me, I know all I can do is hope. Right now PBIL cannot make choices but that will change.
It is the classic clashing of swords between the Hof on the right shoulder and the Hof on the left shoulder.
The horned Hof (Hhof) on the left shoulder says I should submit to my desire to post about another (to remain unnamed) blogger. This blogger in question (BIQ) has a world view and disposition that is very disheartening. This perspective has come to the forefront in the past six months on BIQ's blog.
The BIQ needs someone to grab them by the shoulders and shake them. Shake them hard and hope it brings some sense in the BIQ's broken soul. There is no sign that BIQ can come back to reality on their own.
BIQ had constructed a warped view of how the world works and is on a path that will only lead to more sadness and more pain. The worst part, the BIQ is not alone. The BIQ is bringing another on this path.
The winged Hof (Whof) on the right shoulder says I don't really know anything about the BIQ. He says I can not know BIQ anymore than anyone can know me by this blog. He says the moral thing is to say and do nothing and let BIQ lead BIQ (and company) to wherever they are going.
He says I am not in the cold-water-in-face business and that BIQ would not react well to any exposure. He says any post that strips away the smoke and mirrors and shines a bright spotlight on BIQ will only cause more harm. BIQ is in no position to hear what I feel the need to say.
Hhof says a blog war makes for great entertainment for everyone. There is no doubt a post about BIQ would result in such a thing.
Whof says a blog war will have only two casualties; BIQ's fragile self image and my always-under-construction soul.
Hhof says, "fuck it". Hhof thinks I've over thought the whole thing already. Hhof says write the damn post, get it off my chest and let the chips fall as they may.
Whof is handing me a token to get on the high road express.
In the last three days I've made over $900 playing poker. I decided yesterday to treat myself to all new bedding. To the right you see my new 400 count sheets, 2 new pillows, a new comforter and bed skirt (yes, that is my actual bedroom).
Slept in it last night.
Now I just need a certain someone to come back here so I have a reason to wash them.
I am also in a great mood 'cause I leave for Hoboken tomorrow. I will be there for seven days!
Today is the first Sunday of the football season. My Miami Dolphins have a new coach. I fly up to Hoboken on Wednesday to spend a week with A* Work green-lighted me working from up there when I want.
This is a "rebuilding" season as we recover from our worst season in franchise history
The company I work for has a demo booth at the stadium to showcase a football-centered program we sell. I am stuck here, right now, at the booth. I want to be home or at Scooby's watching all the football my senses can process.
For no particular reason my DVD R/W drive has disappeared. My previously fully-functional CD-ROM drive is no longer recognized in Windows XP. No sign of it in My Computer. It was there from the day I built my computer then, for no good reason, it suddenly vanished.
The physical drive opens, closes, yada, yada. Just not showing up in the OS.
I need the Techie CDROM Dog the Bounty Hunter. If you think you can find my drive, email me. If you, in fact, find it (I can call you for some phone tech support love) then I will send you $50.
In a comment on the last post serra asked: I have a good bloggy topic for you--where on earth did you get your screen name? Forgive me if I'm late to the Hofparty and you've already done this.
Johann Nepomuk HOFZINSER was born June 19th. 1806. He was well regarded by the Vienna elite as one of the greatest entertainers of his time. He was a sleight-of-hand magic maestro. It is believed was the first person to do sleight-of-hand with a deck of cards which is why he is not one of the many long forgotten magicians of the time. He invented the card trick.
When I was just starting college, my family and I went to Myrtle Beach for vacation. At one of the restaurants we encountered a bartender who could do a few magic tricks. I watched as he entertained us and all of his patrons. I also watched his tip jar overflow.
I had just started bartending and was intrigued. The next day we were at an outlet mall and I walked by a magic shop. I went in, bought a book and a few tricks and the obsession began. I consumed everything magic. I bought, read, studied and re-read every book I could find. I spent hours and hours training my hands for the subtle and intricate moves. I theorized and experimented with perception and concepts of misdirection. I honed my performance skills, my stage voice and magical persona.
In a few short years I had thrown together quite a repetoir and eventually supported myself for almost two years doing magic at private parties, restaurants, bars and trade shows. One night I found myself dreading going to a gig. The last thing I wanted to do was a card trick. It was my last gig. I loved magic too much to ever dread it again. This is why I will never sell one of my paintings, carvings, sketches or sculpts. I love art too much.
There is nothing like good ungimmicked slieght-of-hand magic. When presented without challenge or ego you can do something that no other entertainment medium can do... you can bend reality for your audience. The great magician Paul Harris calls this the "moment of astonishment" when you scramble their brains. If you are good, they will love you for it.
I've not gotten paid for doing a card trick in almost a decade. I am very rusty and have forgotten more tricks than I remember. I still love it when someone hands me a deck of their cards and I blow their minds. Sometimes I will wander down to my garage and sift through the hundreds of magic books I own and dig up some old routines.
Cards will always be my favorite and Hofzinser is to thank for that. Many of the sleights that Hofzinser created well over a century ago are still used today.
When I first started getting online his name made a great handle because it was always available. It is also nice that your can HOFinize anything. Here is another HOFpost explaining a bit of HOFhistory to HOFergize your day.