Month: February 2015

Poopy Diapers and Endless Hugs

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My little grand daughter, Delilah, and her parents are staying with us for a short while.  It’s strangely pleasant.  Keith and I worried it might be awkward, given the tight quarters (two bedrooms, 950 square feet), but it’s been rather enjoyable.  It’s temporary, we know this, but there’s ultimately one reason why it isn’t a bother in the slightest…

Because Delilah is the cutest fucking angel on the planet.

She’s a doll.  She’s two years old, including every virtue and vice that comes with it: stubborn, adorable, fierce, beautiful, funny, determined, energetic, cranky, fussy, girly, and brilliant.  Yes, I said brilliant.  Why?  Because I’m her god damned Papa, that’s why.

Before Delilah was born (that’s her name, Delilah, isn’t it perfect?), my affection for children was tepid at best.  Don’t misunderstand, it’s not like children made me cringe.  I tolerated them, I suppose.  In my early 20s, my nephew was a large part of my life when he was a toddler.  I babysat him every Sunday for almost 3 years.  But I was young, naive, and I didn’t appreciate the genuine marvel that is Children.  I was too busy being hung over to realize that I was missing out on my nephew’s formative years.

Fast forward 18 years.  I’m almost 40.  I’m at a time in my life when I’m beginning to reflect without being prompted; I look at my past for what it is, but I also understand that I have complete control of my future if I so choose.

Having Delilah is here is the strangest, most glorious thing to describe.  I’m used to seeing her once a week, when Keith and I would drive south to visit.  Now she’s here, babbling, learning, playing, making noise, rushing into my arms when she sees me, giving me twenty-minute-long-hugs in the morning, just hanging on my torso, her head rested wearily in the crook of my neck and shoulder.  Unconditional love.  No strings.

I have, at times, wished I’d had my own children.  This is probably the only detriment to being gay.  Yes, yes, there’s adoption, I know.  But Keith is 53 and I’m 40 (almost!), and though we’re developing a more comfortable financial future, having a child just isn’t in the cards.  What I love about Keith is if I were to come home tomorrow with a brand new baby (because, you know, that happens), he wouldn’t even flinch at the idea of raising it.  He’d embrace it.  Then, of course, reality sets in: he’d be 71 when this child graduates high school.  Even worse, I’d be 57.

So for now we just enjoy having Delilah around.  Even when she’s screaming at 1:30 in the morning.  Even when she doesn’t want to eat her “bites.”  Even when she dumps a monster-sized poop in her diaper.  Why?  Because she’s fucking adorable!  And she just loves her Papas.

Even the cranky old one.

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Work Hard, or Hardly Work?

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I have a fairly good work ethic.  Stop laughing, I really do.  I believe any job worth doing should be done well.

Let me explain.

I’m almost 40.  I’ve held a variety of jobs in the many years since I became a Contributing Member of Society – a deli worker, bartender, barista, interpreter, aide, and even a pizza delivery guy.  That’s just to name a few.  And looking back, I have stressed out over every single one of these positions.  I’ve made myself sick over them.  I’ve broken out in hives, rashes, lost sleep, and even threw out my back on several occasions.  And for what?

I know what you’re thinking.  “Boo hoo, Sean, that’s why it’s called work.  Suck it up and deal with it.”  But the question is: Should we have to?

I currently work as a supervisor for an independently-owned burger restaurant.  It’s a great job.  One of the more pleasing aspects about this job is that the owners truly want their employees to have fun on the job.  Yes, fun.  Even if we’re running ragged or mopping the floor, they’d like for our experience to be an enjoyable one.  And I like that.

So why, then, have I been letting myself get stressed out?  I was finding myself becoming unnecessarily frustrated.  There never seemed to be enough coverage.  The work of four people was expected to be done by two.  I had gotten to a point when, one day, I literally stopped what I was doing, looked up and asked the heavens: “What am I doing?  Should work really be this hard?”

Look, I’m not naive.  I understand their are jobs out there that require hard work.  I certainly wouldn’t want a doctor who breezed through his job like a little girl skipping through a field of daisies, or a lawyer who just barely passed the bar.  There are exceptions, of this I’m aware.

But I do feel it’s important that I adhere to a new philosophy, and it is this: Earning a living should never mean giving in to the pressure.

So I pose to you a question: Should work be hard?  Does it need to be stressful, overwhelming and backbreaking?  It is, after all, called work.  Is it okay for work to be – gasp! – fun?  I’m not saying we should be lazy.  Heck no.  Believe me, there is nothing worse than having to pick up the slack of a lazy co-worker.  But I do believe great work and hard work should be two very different things.  As an aspiring writer, I don’t want what I create to have been extracted from me like teeth with pliers.  No.  I want to enjoy the process.  If I don’t, then why bother?

P.S. tip your pizza delivery guys!  If anyone deserves a tip, it’s them.

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Coffee and Childhood Memories

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There’s something to be said about a delicious cup of coffee. I’m very much a coffee lover. I’m by no means a connoisseur, but coffee holds a special place in my heart.

I do, after all, work at Starbucks. But that’s not all.

One of my greatest childhood memories is tied to coffee. Growing up, my mother started her day with a fresh, hot cup. I’d hear her tinkering in the kitchen, getting things together. Soon there was a slight, metallic rumble on the stove: the percolator doing its magic. Then I’d hear the familiar clanking of my mother’s spoon stirring the cream and sugar into her cup.

This was my cue to wake up for school. So maybe it’s a bittersweet memory, but a lovely memory nonetheless.

Perhaps this is how my fascination with coffee started, growing up witnessing my mother’s morning coffee ritual – though it didn’t seem like that at the time. I remember once, on a hot day, my mother brewing a pot mid afternoon.

“Mom, how can you drink coffee on a hot day?!” I chided in disbelief, curling my lip at the idea of a hot drink on a hot day.

She eyed me knowingly. “You’ll understand when you’re an adult.”

I vowed then and there that I would not, in fact, understand. Ever.

But here I am, 35 years later, enjoying a velvety, frothy latte drizzled with a glimmering string of sweet hazelnut sauce. It’s magical. Warm, sweet, and gorgeous.

Here’s to childhood memories. Cheers!

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Writing on the Go…

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It’s just after 8 p.m. I’m on my lunch break at work (yes, at 8 in the evening…long story). As I eat my spinach wrap and contemplate the intricacies of the universe, I start to think about writing and blogging.

First of all, I haven’t blogged in ages. Almost a year. I haven’t written anything substantial, either. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea.

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Wait, that’s a lie. I know exactly why: I got lazy. Complacent. Sedentary. A stone at the bottom of a lake.  A dilemma which I will detail in a future post.

But as I feel, once again, that long lost spark of creativity, I find myself looking to my phone to get those creative juices flowing.  I mean, it’s here, in my hand.  My WordPress app is one tap away, after all.

Which leads me to wonder: why not write on the go? I don’t know about you, but I tend to be that writer who needs a stable place to sit and write – my computer, a desk and chair, a cup of coffee by my side – and rarely do I take advantage of my WordPress blog via my tablet or, as I am now, my phone.  What’s more confounding is that it’s so easy I’m lost on why I don’t use it more often.

So, as my lunch comes to a close (more quickly than expected thanks to the obnoxious 24-year old regaling me with stories of his female conquests, like I give a crap), I’d like to ask this: Are you able to write on the go?  Do you take advantage of technology when you write? Do you find it satisfying? Does it affect how you write? I’d love to know your thoughts.

Let me know!

S

P.S. That is not a picture of me.  I should look so good in glasses.  Nope, it’s just a stock image of a guy on his phone.  I imagine he’s writing.  Or tweeting.  Okay, fine, let’s face it, he’s on Pinterest.