It’s not a big surprise that my annual summer writer’s block is back. I’ve come to expect it. When summer rolls around, every orifice in my body tightens up when it’s time to extract something creative for this fine magazine. I’ve found it tough coming up with magic when I’m wearing flip-flops and board shorts while sucking on a cold Corona. Truthfully, after 9+ years of at least one article a month, the well might finally be dry. Brilliance is fleeting. Truthfully, I may have peaked in the spring of 2011. As NBA announcer and former Golden State Warriors Head Coach Mark Jackson once said (when the team got bounced from the playoffs too early), “There’s no shame in my game.” Well there’s no game in my shame either or something like that. I came, I wrote and now I’m tired. I don’t want to talk retirement just yet, but similar to last summer, the best that I can do right now is come up with a few random thoughts on a variety of unrelated topics.
My oldest daughter, Hannah, is leaving for college in a couple of weeks and I’m sad. I’m happy for her, but sad for me. Me, I’m probably going to cry. I’m very close with my girls and not having the oldest one around will take some getting used to, and I’m not sure I’m ready. Granted, every baby bird leaves the nest eventually, but my guess is it’s easier for the mommy bird to adjust than the daddy bird. Mommy birds are tougher and they had to sit on those damn eggs forever. Not to mention regurgitating three meals a day for months. Now with just one kid at home, I’ll have to focus 100% of my attention on her younger sister, Claire. How was school today? What did you do at school? Do you like your teachers? Who did you hang with/talk to/text? Do you have a lot of homework? What are your plans for the weekend? Do you want to walk the dog with me? Watch TV with me? Go to the gym with me? Let’s bake cookies. Hopefully I’ll be able to hang on until Parents’ Weekend at the University of Colorado (Sept. 30th – Oct. 2nd) without first having a major breakdown. Whatever you do, don’t even remind me that both my girls will be going away this time next year because I don’t think my heart can take it. I’m thinking of starting The Danville Lonely Dad’s Club. Applications are available online at www.lonelydads.com.
I love the Olympics. There are over 10,000 athletes representing 205 countries (minus a few who have been banned for PED doping). It’s the thrill of international competition, the amazing athletic accomplishments and the immense pride of country that inspires me every four years. It inspires me to go into rehab after watching approximately 280 hours of television over a two-week period. I just can’t seem to get enough swimming and diving, track and field, gymnastics, rowing and fencing. What am I going to do with all my spare time once the Olympic committee wraps up the closing ceremonies? I guess I could pick up a hobby like ballroom dancing, magic or binge watch Game of Thrones. I’ve heard Game of Thrones is a little Olympic-like, if Olympic events included slayings, incest and dragon defecation.
If Game of Thrones is too big a commitment, Silicon Valley and Veep might be the right call. These two HBO sitcoms are quite possibly the funniest two shows on television—that is, if you don’t mind an occasional F-bomb in the dialogue. By occasional, I mean virtually every other word frequency. Regardless, both of these shows are uniquely crafted, wonderfully acted and perfectly paced if you like that sort of thing. Silicon Valley follows the rise, fall and VC flogging of a start-up data Compression Company located in Sun River, Oregon. Just kidding, the company, Pied Piper, is located in Silicon Valley…pay attention! Veep, on the other hand, is about a female Vice President and her staff of politically gifted, but morally challenged, gutter-mouthed nitwits. Serena Meyer maneuvers Capitol Hill as the Assistant President (VEEP) for three seasons before ascending to the position of POTUS, President of the United States in Season Four. The brilliance of both shows is in the writing—something I can relate to, obviously. The rapid-fire in both SiliconValley and Veep sparkles with topical references, industry accuracy, jaw-dropping insults, putdowns and trash-talking. If only I could employ that type of banter in my work place. I hope the writers of these two shows can keep it up because, take it from someone who knows, it’s difficult to be brilliant for an extended period of time.
I don’t belong to a book club, but I’m open to an invitation. If I did belong to one, my first recommendation would be The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom. You might recognize the author’s name from his previous works, which include Tuesday’s with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day. While technically I can label myself a writer, I’m not a Mitch Albom type of writer. He’s in a completely different league than yours truly. Using baseball vernacular, Mitch is first ballot Hall of Famer, 300-game winner and I’m a single A utility infielder that makes a lot of errors. The above-referenced book chronicles the life of a guitar virtuoso from birth to death with Forrest Gump type run-ins with actual musicians such as Duke Ellington, Elvis, Hank Williams, Burt Bacharach, Lyle Lovett and Paul Stanley of Kiss. It includes a love story, a reunited family story and a music history story. From cover to cover, it’s a wonderful compelling read. The type of writing a hack magazine scribe can only dream about penning. One day.
I’ve been a Golden State Warriors fan since the early 70’s and the addition of Kevin Durant to an already great team, still hasn’t sunk in. I saw my first game in 1975, the fall after they won their first NBA Championship and to be honest, I truly never thought I would see the team win another one. The 2014/15 season was a dream come true and the conclusion of the 2015/16 season was a nightmare. Now, with Durant, they might not lose a game next season. If you thought 73 wins was impressive, just wait until they whip off 82 and then sweep the playoffs 16-0. Just kidding, the Dub’s might lose one game, if they rest the starters. However, they might also run off 5-6 titles in a row. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Rubba Dub Dub, 4 All-Stars in a tub.
I do like these compilation pieces, although a few of you “haters” might see them as pieces of dog excrement. I like dogs so I can give anything a positive spin. Hopefully next month, I’ll regain my mojo and come up with an entire article on just one topic. Either that or I’ll formally retire from my 10-hour a month volunteer writing job and travel the world. Just kidding, I can’t afford to travel the world. Who do I look like, Mark Zuckerberg? If you did like this article, please “Like it” on my Facebook page and maybe MZ will hire me to be Vice President of Humor Lifestyle at FB or the official FB Humor Lifestyle blogger. The stock options alone would cure my writer’s block.