Showing posts from 2014

Successful in Love

“You will be successful in love.” It came from a fortune cookie I got once. It’s stuck in a picture frame on my desk. The photo is of my wife in a hospital bed holding our daughter the day she was born. Such an incredible day in all of our lives. Such an incredible person who made such an incredible person. I really do feel like the luckiest man alive.
I realized something the other day: I am the second most important person in two very wonderful people’s lives. As it should be. Don’t read that as “favorite.” Just important.
Emily and I knew each other for around 15 years before we were married. We had off-and-on romantic connections over the years. We had some of the most nuclear fights I’ve had with anyone in my lifetime. Whatever happened, we always ended up back together in some regard. So after sowing my crazy oats with the Ranch lady, I realized that I needed to find someone rational and domestic with whom to build my family. Emily was a clear choice. I already knew I could be …

I'm not saying I'm better than anyone

My daughter turns 5 tomorrow. When my wife was 5 she kicked her father in the head for spanking her and he left.
I've been wondering ever since we got married and especially since we had the kid if I would make it as far as Wayne did. I mean, I didn't go into this family with the intention of breaking it up. Who really does that? On some level they think they will make it work, that it will be good and happy and fun. But I have to be realistic. With the rate of divorce in this country in my lifetime alone, including my parents, my mom’s parents, and I guess most of my family that I know, I had to realize that there was a chance that it wouldn't last. Emily and I had had our bouts. We had been as happy and as unhappy as a non-married couple where both people survive can be expected to be. So I guess in the back of my mind I have always kept the thought that, “if it gets really bad, I can get out.” And now, if it does get bad, I just lean back a little and I see that divorce …

Daniel 5:15

A funny thing happened to me at the supermarket.
I was checking out, when I noticed a dry erase board on the wall behind the manager’s station at the front of the store under the windows. The sign said “Daniel 5:15”.
So I thought, “is that reference to a Bible verse, or is it saying that Daniel’s shift will start at 5:15?” So I got out my phone and Googled it. I found that the Bible verse at Daniel 5:15 is roughly this:
“Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not show the interpretation of the matter.” 
Now that’s what I call irony.
So I went back to that same market the next day. The dry erase board today said “Cora 11:45.” Pretty sure there’s no book of Cora in the Bible. Plus the girl bagging the groceries at my line was named Cora. So still not sure what the sign indicates, perhaps a break. In any case, it’s probably not any reference to a holy book. Not the inspirational “John 3:16” …

All Out of Grandparents - to the memory of Martha and Stan Coutant

I've been realizing that I have no natural grandparents left. I don't feel THAT old, but I guess I am. Ever since 100-year-old Martha passed away, they're all gone. At least I got to know them all. But the one I knew best was Martha. Not just because she lived the longest, but because she was the most involved.

From the time I was born, Grandma Martha ("Gramma" as we knew her) lived a few blocks away at 666 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Don't look for it, it's not there anymore.
She and Grampa (Stan Sr.) lived in the 2-bedroom house where my dad grew up. They had a swimming pool, where my brother and I learned to swim, dive, cannonball, whatever you could think of.
In their bedroom there was a piece of furniture, old, heavily-stained to almost black wood, with a compartment on each side which had a hinged lid. The compartment on the right was known to us as the "Surprise Box" and, just about every time we went over there, there was a pair of new toys in…