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Monthly Archives: June 2008

Returning the favor

It’s father’s day.  Since I have become a father myself, this has always been a day of reflection about my kids and my relationship with them, and how it relates to mine with my own dad. I don’t really buy the conventional wisdom that most conservatives spout, that most of society is moving beyond the concept of fatherhood, that fathers are unappreciated and, most people think, unneeded.

I don’t think anyone thinks of fathers as unneeded at all. Absent? A great deal of the time. But unneeded? I don’t know of a single person in real life who actually thinks that.

I certainly had a great father. I’ve written about him before here: http://therandomavenger.blogspot.com/2006/06/my-father-unauthorized-biography.html but this year, as parts of my life began to fall apart, and others started to come together, I’ve been reminded again of what makes him so great. A lot of guys grew up trying to prove themselves to their dads, and felt like they failed. They just never lived up. I certainly inhaled the same cultural smoke that makes this a right of passage for men in our society, but as I’ve become an adult and a father I realized that with my dad, I didn’t really have to do this. He didn’t always understand me. Hell, I didn’t always understand myself. But he saw who I was and didn’t place upon me responsibility for his own happiness. He never wanted me to be anyone else. He didn’t need a sports hero, or a clone of himself. He didn’t even need to “get me” to love me and support me.

That’s a rare gift. He had certain things he wanted for me: a work ethic, a sense of faith, to stay out of jail,  but beyond that … he just wanted me to be happy and successful.

And that’s what I want for my own kids. They are not me. They don’t have to reflect me. I just want them to be happy and successful in their lives.

And for my father? I don’t need to “get him” either all the time to love and unconditionally support him. He’s a man who’s worked hard all his life, and then gave up what could have been an early and easy retirement to move across country and start his life over again. He did that because he wanted to be in my life and in my kids’ lives. He’s a great grandpa, and a great dad, and I thank God every day for the gift of that. He’s certainly more patient with me than I am with myself. He’s not a perfect man, but I think his imperfections make him a better father. I certainly hope so, because that’s what I’m counting on for myself.

So, for father’s day, we should all return the favor, try to understand our fathers who who they are as people, and love them for being that person. It’s probably a lot of the reason we are who we are.

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Posted by on June 15, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

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Invasion Crisis in Infinite Local Comic Shop

After an absence of several years, i finally re-entered the comic shop a couple of weeks ago. I’ve always loved comics, (it’s the old aging hipster geekstory: midwest upbringing, blah, blah, difficult childhood, yadda, yadda, comics made them bearable, whatever) and never really left them. I just switched to getting them in trade paperback collections, which look cooler on my bookshelf and have no real must-buy-or-you-miss-it date, which allows me to purchase them only when I’ve squirrelled away enough dollar bills and quarters in my top dresser drawer. You’re welcome, honey.

You see, when I’m making weekly visits to the comic shop, i have an official problem. I can’t stop adding to my pull list. So, a couple of years ago. I quit. There’s no geeks anonymous group, so I had to go cold turkey on my own. My wife helped by looking at the pile of comics in the clset and grumbling things like “when i think of all the money spent…” The fact that my raw tonnage of comic boxes in the garage crushed all of her old 4h trophies only added to the, shall we say, resentment.

But anyway, two recent things got me back in the shop. Comic geeks, I’m sure already know what they are. Marvel’s Secret Invasion and DC’s Final Crisis.

I’ll start with Secret Invasion. I don’t really have a lot to say about it except that I am a sucker for these types of stories. Everything you know is wrong! I’m a secret alien! You are not who you think your are! (see also: Battlestar Galactica). So far it’s been a lot of fun. I have two things to say to Bendis: West Coast Avengers was the first comic I ever collected regularly. Bendis, you better not be kidding with this Mockingbird thing!!!!

As far as Final Crisis goes. I’m the natural audience for this, but I’ve not caught up with a lot of recent DC product, so a lot of the criticisms (it doesn’t make sense with recent events, it’s a little hard to understand for anyone who’s not an old-school fan, etc) don’t hit me as hard. Plus, it’s Morrison, so there’s a huge gosh-wow factor that compensates for a lot. I’m in. I don’t know, though, if I can forgive him for what he did to J’onn. 

 

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

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Welcome

This is the new blog. Different from the old blog, which was always a little unfocused. As I was. Now, this is about my work. My family. The culture we live in. All of it. Yes, it sounds unfocused still, but it’s really about confluence of all three.

For the new initiates, I am a student, a writer, a father, and a husband, living in the wilds of the Superior region of California, which if it had not been for the outbreak of world war 2 might have become a part of the 49th state of the union, Jefferson. Seriously, look it up. There may even be a novel there somewhere, someday.  

My short story, “This Abandoned Sky”, will soon be published in the anthology Barren Worlds, edited by Eric T. Reynolds and published by Hadley-Rille books.  I also currently have an online serial running. It’s called Mere Mortals and it’s nothing but a fun adventure super-hero story starring the people who the stories usually aren’t about. It’s at meremortals.wordpress.com

I’m also working on a novel. I’ll be posting occasional snippets here for comment.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2008 in Uncategorized