Sunday, February 22, 2009


So this is what's on my mind today. I'm wondering what the whole "pregnancy/childbirth" process was like 500 years ago? I'm wondering if it was just as nerveracking and tedious as modern science has made it these days.

As if there wasn't enough to worry about, enough to be insecure about, enough to feel guilty about, the new age of obstetrics gives you a whole other level of "issues" to balance. You have to make sure the mom-to-be eats right (naturally), she has to sleep on her left side, she has to excercise but not too much, she has to drink lots of water and the number of doctors' appointments is staggering.

So what I'm figuring out is this; having a baby today is vastly different from having a baby 300 years ago...oops, I mean 30 years ago. Some of the stuff I tell my mom about probably sounds like I'm speaking a foreign language. Our parents clearly didn't go through this much rigamoroe(that's probably not the correct spelling) and they probably didn't have nearly as much information as we get today. But my question is, who gets the better end of that deal?

Is it better for us to have numbers and charts that mathematically explain our kid's development or lack thereof leaving us open to worry and concern every time one number is too high or too low? Or were our parents better off measuring the status of their pregnancy by kicks and appetite?

I know who gets my vote, afterall, I turned out alright. Right?

And at the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist I wonder aloud to you, what is the point of having so much information? Who really benefits the most from all of the tests and measurements, the patients or the moneymakers (oops, I mean doctors, etc.) Especially in most cases when the end result is a happy healthy baby that may be a little too big or a little too small?

I haven't figured that answer out just yet, but what I have figured out is that when people are shoving numbers and big words at you to describe what MIGHT be wrong with your kid, the best remedy is faith.

Works every time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Archives: Great Debate

I was going through my archives the other day and I came upon this dandy. It shows that I have a nose for the hot topics. I originally posted this on November 7, 2006. Check it out.

The Great Debate
I saw a special the other night on Illinois senator, Barack Obama and the main focus of the special was his possible campaign for President. Of course this got me thinking about the prospect of a having a black man in the white house, check that, a black man LIVING in the white house. (I’ll spare you all the black man working in the white house joke to avoid any uncomfortable chuckling, you know how when you laugh at a joke and then you feel ashamed).

Right away I had images of the only two black presidents I could think of in recent history. There was President Palmer on the t.v. show, “24” who served two terms, BUT during each term there was some terrorist plot that threatened the security of our great nation, and who ultimately was assassinated AFTER he was out of office no less (talk about holding on to grudges) and then there was President ummm……President uhh…… President Morgan Freeman in the movie Deep Impact. Yeah, the movie that ended with a giant asteroid hitting the earth and destroying the world as we know it.

Scary huh?

So with these visions of how life would be with a black President in office, what mature adult with any common sense is going to vote for such a catastrophe?

But that’s not the point here. As usual, the topic came up over lunch at the office. I was sitting at a table with a white female, black male and black female and someone brought up the same special about Obama. So the conversation turned to the likelihood or lack thereof of him winning a presidential election and the black male insisted that it’d never happen. “Hell no” he said “not with all the institutionalized racism in this country”.

Oooh boy.
The black woman disagreed and even went as far to say that it’d happen before we’d ever elect a woman into office. And thus the great debate began. Who was right, who was wrong, which –ism had the strongest grip on our society, racism or sexism? Who are we more afraid of, Barack or Hillary?


In 2006/almost 7, it’s a damn shame I think, that this question still holds any relevance at all. But guess what… does. If you think about all the “first black” to do this or the “first woman” to do that, they all happened a while ago. Granted, there are still some “firsts” to be accomplished but none as seemingly far fetched or out of reach as the Presidential Office. My question is, after our most recent Head Honcho, how could anybody justify excluding any potential candidates based on anything OTHER than a strong intellect, common sense, honesty, and or the ability to form complete sentences.
I would like to think that competency would supersede such 1863-ish attitudes but guess what…..

It doesn’t.
Being the cynic that I am, I would have to agree with everyone at the table today that yes it is “possible” to have a black President or a female President, but it’s also possible for me to win the mega millions tomorrow and run off to Hawaii never to be seen again. Is it likely…..uh, no.
But there is an answer to the problem. I’ll give you a second to ponder it before I give you the answer.

(Jeopardy music)

I got one word for you ladies and gents…………..

There it is. Her majesty herself. The Big “O”. Her loyal followers are so deep that I’m sure if each one of them convinced their husbands to vote for her too, she’d win in a landslide (was that sexist? Sorry honey). We vote O-Dub into the Oval office and we instantly wipe out this whole debate. Not only that but through the Angel network she’d end famine in third world countries, cure AIDS here and abroad and bring peace to the Middle East. If Oprah can’t do it, nobody can.

For real.

Friday, February 13, 2009

T.V. is My Friend

You know what? I’m done pretending. There’s something that I’ve grown up being ashamed to admit. It’s always been taboo to cop to this offense but after 32 years, fuggetaboutit, I’m done hiding my true self from the world.

You want to know what it is?

Are you sure, because this could potentially affect the illuminating glow in which you see me. Okay, here it goes.

I love watching television! That’s right, I said it! I love watching television and I watch plenty of it.

So what, I stayed in high school, went to college, even graduated. For as long as I can remember though, there’s always been a stigma attached to watching television excessively, therefore creating that shroud of deceit that all t.v. lovers had to hide under.

Well, forget that. I’ve been old enough for a long time to accept the consequences and repercussions of my actions even if that includes killing brain cells every time I watch my favorite show Lost, I mean 24, I mean 30 Rock, no I mean Heroes, forget it, you get the point.

I know the argument is that…wait, no I don’t know the argument. Do the radio waves emitting from the t.v. microwave our brains? Does the time on our couch or favorite chair cause cellulite and leg cramps?


But for me it has always been an escape. Television (quality television) allows you to get away from the real life drama that can be a drag and gets you all caught up in other people’s problems. My imagination borders the fine line between vivid and absurd but without it I would be a completely different person, so for that I’m thankful for the countless hours I spent in front of the boob tube as a child.

As I look back I realize that only in college did my love for primetime take a backseat to everything else (after all, there was sooooooo much “everything else” going on) and that’s fine but post college it didn’t take long to get reacquainted with old friends (Cosby, the Simpsons, Knight Rider) and to meet a bunch of new ones (Jack Bauer, Ray Ramano, Marlo Stanfield).

I get ideas and inspiration from the stuff I see on t.v. and as a writer, I’ll take inspiration anywhere I can get it. I remember my parents punishing me by not allowing me to watch t.v. when I’d done something wrong. It tore me up, why wouldn’t they just spank me and get it over with. Keeping me from Denise Huxtable or the latest Real World sex kitten was slow torture. You don’t do that to a young kid, you just don’t.

Anyway, my rant is fueled by overhearing a man telling his son that he needed to go outside and play more often and not watch so much t.v. Now the guy was right, his kid was an ounce or two on the plump side and I agree, television can play a part in our national obesity dilemma among our young ones. But t.v. can’t handcuff our kids to the couch and make them watch. The t.v. set won’t grab our kids by the arm and say “enough, go read a book or go ride a bike”.

But their parents can. As much television as I watched, there were always alternatives (can I call them alternatives if I really had no choice?). Mom made sure I was in camp every summer, Pops made a point to throw the ball around and chase me in the yard, I learned to ride a bike, etc. All of that exposed me to other things that I’d grow to enjoy and sometimes even more than t.v.

Point is, t.v.’s don’t kill people, people kill people. Wait, wrong quote. Let me try again.
Point is, all things in moderation. Stop blaming t.v. and movies for your shortcomings and your 200 pound three year-old. Television didn’t raise me, my family did. Television just entertained me and if my daughter wants to watch t.v. for entertainment I’ll tell her…

...television rots your brain, go read a book. ;-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

That Hero Moment

In 32 years I’ve had my share of experiences, good, bad, exciting, heartbreaking and so on and so forth. These pretty brown eyes have seen their share of life’s moments that will stay with me forever. But at no other point in my life have I ever felt like I was a part of a life altering “event” or such a surreal time in my life that every morning that I wake up I have to remind myself that…”yes, this is really happening.”

I watched a news broadcast recently and they were asking children, “what does recession mean to you?” Several of the children struggled to find the right words while some of them obviously regurgitated what they’d heard from their parents at home. But as the report continued it dawned on me that my own definition of what a recession is has changed over the last five months.

A recession, in my eyes, used to be a period in time when people were struggling and couldn’t be as excessive in their spending habits as they once were. Perhaps one or two companies would go out of business and my parents taxes were going to rise. Admittedly my awareness was limited, thanks to a voluntary ignorance policy that could best be defined as, “it’s not my problem. Someone else will figure it out.”

That was then.

Today if that reporter came to me and asked, “what does recession meant to you?” my answer would be simple. It may be harsh, maybe a little too real, but it’d be simple. Today, recession means that after ten years of a false sense of security someone finally pulled the rug out from under my feet. It means that along with millions of other people, I have to figure out a way…a legal way to make a safe home for my wife and child. Recession means that my patience, my resilience, my pride, confidence and spirit will all be tested on a daily basis. It also means that for years whenever I thought I was afraid of something, I was wrong. Recession means fear unlike anything the boogeyman or the shadow in the closet could ever evoke.

“Is this really happening?” I ask myself every morning. Life experiences are responsible for shaping us into the people we can be and will be. But every so often there comes an experience that we could have never imagined and we watch as it changes us, our families, and our lives right before our eyes. It becomes that moment that you used to sit around and talk about with friends. It’s that moment that you used to say, “I don’t know what I’d do if I were in that position.” It’s that moment, that hero moment that will ultimately define you and your legacy, that moment that knocks you on your ass and kicks you while you’re down there. It’s that moment that despite the pain, despite how tired you are, you stand up again, not because you want to, but because you have to.

And that’s what recession means to me.