Sunday, November 28, 2004

Well, been there and back again and it was a wonderful weekend. I picked John up Tuesday after he got out of school. We came here for a little while to pack and for me to take a short nap. We hit the road by 8:30PM and drove until 2AM when we stopped somewhere in Georgia for the night. While I had spread out an inflatable mattress in the back of the van it seemed prudent to actually stay in a hotel with my son instead of "camping out" along the way as I had done on previous trips.

Had one of those "Jedi Master" moments before leaving. There was a special on TV about the Kennedy assassination and John turned to me saying, "Dad, what was the whole story about that? They don't teach a lot about it in school. What happened?" While I didn't get into ALL the details, I did give him some basics, show off my Mannlicher Carcano and a promise to watch "JFK" soon. It was right up there with the moment he said "Gee, Dad, I've never seen "The Twilight Zone" Is that show any good?"

Made it into New Bern with a habitual stop at South of the Border. After a much needed rest and shower we headed to Harry's for dinner and to get reacquainted with his children. His daughter was in diapers the last time I saw her,so I was someone new to her. It's amazing that such a little princess came from my old pal, Harry. Former Marine, football player and almost as big a bonehead as me.

Samantha also apparently seemed to think my son was cute. She was all demure and shy but couldn't take her eyes off of him. Ah, the curse of the Eaton men!

John also had an affect on Brandon, my friend's 8 year old son. John was the slightly older, really cool kid. Not too old where he was like a grown up but still a kid. For the past two years boxes of comic books have sat unread in Brandon's bedroom. His parents have done all they could to get him to read them. Because the request was coming from boring old parents there was no way in hell he was going to read them. Then John breezes in, sees the collection, shows his interest and apparently comic books were the best invention since sliced bread and John was the guy who invented the knife.

It is always good to spend time with as good a friend as Harry. We both honestly miss each other's company even though miles and years keep us apart. His wife is as close to me as any blood sister could be.

Seeing his father, Red always brings back memories; this trip even more so. I was not able to be there when Harry's mom passed away so this was my first time to share that with them. Harry, Red and I went to the cemetery together. It was chilly and breezy which only added to the somber tone. I took the time to really look at Red and take in every moment with him. I compared the older, grayer and slower man in front of me to the one from my memory. I looked closely at the frail skin on his hands as he touched the nameplate on the grave. I marveled at the same twinkle in his eyes even though the eyes may have looked all of their 80+ years.

Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful as usual. Harry has a good friend, Tony, who puts out a magnificent spread. It's times like that when I wish I had my old stomach back!

We have plans on getting together again in June when Harry makes a business trip to Orlando. I would like to be able to get together more than that given how well our children gotten along together. Johnny did wonderfully playing with the both of them on this trip. He said he had a good time. When I asked what he thought of his godfather he smiled and said, "He's a lot like you!" Harry, apparently, has a hand up on the godmother as John really can't remember the last time he even heard from her. I would like to keep that score on our side.

We stopped for lunch at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach on the way back. We also nosed around Planet Hollywood and saw the SpongBob Squarepants movie; which was 10 times funnier than "The Incredibles"! We stopped again in Georgia for the night. I made out on budget better than I planned. Starting tomorrow it will be mega-overtime for the foreseeable future. I guess I won't mind it too much when I'm going on all the trips I have planned or using the new PC I need.

Again, it was a wonderful weekend for my son and I to spend real time together. When he wasn't spread out in the back of the van with his CD player we did get the opportunity to talk. We gabbed. We talked about important stuff. We told jokes. It was the best part of the trip. Even the times when he was ignoring me in the back of the van were good because he was right there doing it and not 90 miles away.

That feels soooo good!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Well, my blogging should be back to a regular schedule soon. I HAVE TO buy a new PC. I am now the Chief of Operations-elect for Starfleet International. I am happy, excited, nervous and scared all at the same time. I do look forward to the challenge but some of the torrential shit storms can be overwhelming at times. And that's as a spectator, now as one of the ones with a target on his back.....this should be very interesting.

I celebrated the news at a Vulkon convention in Orlando. Boy! Did I celebrate. It all started with an anniversary party for one of the chapters in Tampa. Champagne flowed. Then rum, vodka, wine and many other liquids flowed. I was described as "fuzzy" and "on another plane". I was proud of the fact that I was able to recall everything I had done during the evening. That was until a friend relayed a story of meeting me in the hallway. I stopped to talk and went to lean on the wall to talk, and missed the wall. I had a helluva time. I enjoy my alcohol and love the fact that my little bariatric stomach dosen't stop me.

The whole weekend was the usual good time with friends. Got to hang with a few of the actors. Some of the best moments had to do with a blow up doll which had a photo of Bill Shatner slapped on it. It was hilarious seeing this going through the hotel lobby as the atendees to the Baptist convention tried sheilding the eyes of their children. I know the Sunday morning meetings were prayer vigils for us Fleet people!

The best personal moment, other than getting the election results, was getting a little surprise from friends in Tampa. I was presented with a street sign called "Towaway Ave". I had no idea what they had for me. I was floored. It isn't very often someone gets the better of me and it's really hilarious when that happens.

One of the first things I thought of when my team won was my mother. She was once the national secretary for the Ladies Auxillary of the Fraternal Order of Police. My position is very close to being a parralell to the position she had. She always shook her head at my interest in fandom but Fleet does many good works and I wonder if she would have been proud that I had reached such a position.

Tomorrow Johnny and I are supposed to leave for our trip to North Carolina. I may just blow the budget and do it because the trip itself is important. He hasn't seen his godfather in a long time. I haven't seen himin a long time either. Sometimes these things are more important than the money itself. I have been doing so well recently with my bills and budgeting. I have even been able to start stocking my pantry, something I almost have never been able to do. I have always used either food or supplies until they ran out and never had replacements in the closet. WHen I was a child there were cupboards and closets full. Then there was storage of dry goods and whatever was needed in the basement. I have been trying to be able to do the same since ever going out on my own; it's only taken 20 years.

I'll try posting when I can.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

My laptop continues to be a pain in the butt. On top of that I feel a certain writers block. I feel ok about it because I have seen Wil Wheaton go through the same thing with his blog.

The past Tuesday my company had its annual talent show. It was fantastic. I killed. It brought back those old feelings about being an actor. The wave of emotion flowing in from the audience is beyond words. To say something and hear hundereds of people responding and laughing causes an ache much like the first time you know you're in love.

The more I watch shows like "Inside the Actors Studio" and hear these professionals saying things about how they feel about acting, experiences and how they knew it was what they were meant to do and I hear things I've always thought and felt.

Things at work don't help much either. There has been a major "restructuring" wich resulted in people moving to other departments and a few managers being forced out. Luckily, where I am now does not put me directly in the cross hairs, so I feel a little more secure than most. It still makes for an over all air of uncertainty in the building.

A trainer friend of mine has suggested something called "the National Speakers Association" which is a group of professional speakers who hire outtocompanies for motovational speaking. He feels what I didin my standup could be played in any company setting and could very lucrative. I'm looking into it at least.

Right now I'm trying to scrape up the money to both go to a convention this weekend and my trip to North Carolina for Thanksgiving. Between the hurricanes and being very sick at the begining of the month I missed some work which means missing money. I am really looking forward to having John spending sometime with his godfather. Plus, I'm looking forward to spending time with him, too.

John and I have been having more and more "normal" conversations. What I mean by that is that they turn into just bull sessions as if I'm talking to just another person. Most of the time, talking to a child is just trying to keep their attention and talking about whatever is "the thing" with themat themoment. Lately my son and I have been able to just talk. Just two guys sharing ideas. That's another reason I'm looking forward to the trip. Talking is a great way to pass the time on a 9 hour ride.

Since I haven't been on recently here are some quickie movie reviews: "Ray" is superb. I cried at the end. If Fox dosen't get an Oscar the woman who played his wife deserves one. "The Incredibles" Disappointing. They didn't bring the funny which is what you epect from Pixar. It was good it just didn't have the fun and wonder on their other masterpieces. I went in wanting to love it but they just missed the mark.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Statistically, there are more than one of you reading this who voted for the re-election of the president.


Shame on you 866 times. That's how many members of the armed services have died in Iraq since the begining of the war. 755 of them have been since 5/1/03 when we "won".

The only good thing that came out of yesterday was that an almost record number of people got out to vote. As screwed up as it the result is, it was democracy in action; we can all take pride in that.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I really miss politics. I still find it odd to wake up on election day and not be hip deep in a campaign. Racing around all day long making sure polls are manned, phone calls are made, the candidate gets around and makes appearances and then that long wait at the end of the day for the returns to come in. I really, really miss it.

The early voting concept is something else I can't wrap my mind around. You vote on election day unless you're an absentee; simple as that. When I got up yesterday I thought about heading to the court house to vote early but the same impulse that makes me eat one thing on my plate at a time made me turn towards the office instead. It just isn't natural.

I voted for John Kerry. I did so because I believe this President lied to the country. The motivation for the "War Against Terrorism" was to get those responsible for 9/11. Bin Laden and Al Qaida; neither of which are in Iraq. I am perplexed how we went from billions in budget surplus to billions in debt. Hallibutrton makes my head hurt.

Mostly, it's 500+ young men and women who have died in Iraq. It all seems like a 1968 flashback. There was a program on Bobby Kennedy on a few weeks ago and almost every speech they showed where he was talking about Viet Nam could have been replayed on the nightly news in a story about Iraq.

I'll sit up late tonight and with the zeal of a Red Sox fan watching Game 4 I'll follow the results. Hopefully, we'll get it right this time.