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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Why LA Ninja?

The ninja is one of history’s most elusive and mysterious entities.  Their existence in the ancient, feudal time of the Samurai in Japan is sometimes mind blowing to me.  To be fair, I acknowledge that in general, I picture an uber glamorized ninja, much like Sho Kosugi of 1980s ninja movie fame ( imdb entry here: ).  Of course I know that this image is ridiculous and purely fictional, but it’s fun and harmless, so long as I know that it is bs.  At least that's what I tell myself.  Still, the allure of this ancient being is strong for me, as I have always had such a respectful interest in the Japanese people, history, and culture.  I mean, let’s be honest; they invented the friggin’ ninja!  Cool points for Japan = one million, right there alone. That doesn't even include the Samurai.  (I will get to them later.)

In my mind, there are a million different reasons that one would want to gen up a story about ninjas.  In the end though, my reason turned out to be pretty stupid and simplistic.  There we were on day, driving over to the drive-ins of all places –to watch what, I can’t remember.  At that time, I had already written One-Eighty, so I knew I could pull a novel together.  Then I thought, out loud, “wouldn’t it be cool as shit if there was a story about a kid from LA; he’s an orphan; he gets adopted by a Japanese family; the dad is secretly a ninja; he teaches the kid to be a ninja; the kid grows up and some crazy stuff happens, and he ends up fighting LA street gangs.”

My wife, who was in the car with me, laughed, and then said, “yes, actually, that would be cool!”  That was how easily the idea came to be.  Of course, anyone that has read LA Ninja knows that that isn’t at all how the story turned out.  Not even close.  I found that while I was developing the plot, it seemed too barbaric.  It was too much muscle and not enough brain; too much lack of concern and not enough passion; too much rage and not enough love; too much Charles Bronson and not enough Jerry Maguire.  You get the point.  I’m kidding, kind of, because I hadn’t written anything down except a summary plot of what I thought I wanted the book to be about.  But it was going in that direction, and I knew that I wanted the story to have the depth, love, and spirit. 

It didn’t matter what I thought, as it turned out, because when I got to writing it, Gabe pretty much took me wherever he was going, and not vice versa.  That’s the beauty, as most writers know, of writing stories and characters.  You, as the writer, may think you’re in charge, but you’re really not.  A true character will always do what they are going to do, whether you’re on board with it or not.  At least that’s what I have found out.  It’s a very exciting thing, as I have blogged about previously.

The outcome was more than I ever dreamed.  Gabe is both a simple and very complex character.   He is both very real and very surreal.  We traveled together on a journey through heaven, hell, and everywhere in between.  He inspired me with his ambition, discipline, strength, and capacity for love and goodness. He frustrated me with the mess of his life and the misfortune of his decisions. 

Why I wrote LA Ninja, I’m still not exactly sure of.  I guess I have never seen or read an all around Ninja story.  You know the one.  The story that follows a strong character but isn’t just about some crazy Japanese ninja running through the 1980’s trying to kill the good guys a la Sho Kosugi.  Not that there’s anything wrong with those stories.  I love those stories.  Call me a dreamer.  Call me a sap, even, but I wanted a story that had love.  I wanted a story that was at least semi-believable. 

I couldn’t be more proud of that piece of work.  I wrote most of it in the span of about three weeks, while my lady was in China.  I wrote it with Phoebe on my lap or next to me, pretty much the entire way through.  I wish I could go back and dedicate it to her, but I can’t, unless I am somehow able to republish it.  I already have the plots ready for the sequels, and I can’t wait to get to work on them.  I have to admit though, the story that I’m almost done with, about a lady named Alexis, has been an even more exciting story for me.  I don’t know how I will feel when it’s all said and done, but I know this: I never knew I had it in me.  Tell me how you really feel.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Feminist State of Mind

Feminism is a state of mind.  It is about freedom, power, and independence.  It doesn’t mean you can’t be girlie, or be cute, or pink, or wear lipstick or heels.  It doesn’t mean you can’t cook, or clean, or iron your husband’s clothes or be a stay at home mom.  It means that you can be what ever you want, so long as you realize that you are in charge of yourself.  Nobody tells you what to do.  No stereotypes.  No orders.  Only free will.  That is feminism, to me.

I embarked on a journey when I decided to write about Alexis Cruz, a fictional character in my upcoming book, not yet titled. This journey, although not yet complete, has gotten me to think a lot about equality and the struggle that women in particular have in our “modern” society.  I find myself now admitting that I most definitely did not have the level of understanding on the topic that I like to think I had.

I have always considered myself a modern guy that looks to reason, science, and philosophy to understand the world around me.  I blame the Aquarius in me for that, as I tend to over analyze things as well.  Still, the relationships that people have, men and women, are both complex and simple.  I have spent a great deal of time studying the character of an individual, and over time, one comes to realize that each person’s individual motivations move them to act and think the way they do.  

It’s such a simple concept, yet we have been over-complicating it and screwing it all up forever.  Sometimes it’s as simple as feeling hungry or tired; or wanting to do the right thing like telling the truth or helping a stranger in need.  Other times it begins with something basic, like viewing another person as an equal, because you know the right thing is not to assume someone is inferior because they are physically weaker, smaller, or of different skin color, or of a different sex.  The instinct for someone to make that initial assumption and then assume mental power over the other is the basis for inequality and the perpetuation of the deepest of character flaws that some of us have.

I mention it because these simple motivations are at the core of the problems -and the solutions- that I see in today’s feminist fight.  When Alexis came to be, my first idea was to model her mind and actions after my own wife’s, who to me, is the most forward thinking and powerful woman that I have ever known.  She was a perfect foundation for me; but as I delved deeper into Alexis’ character and what motivated her, I found myself becoming more and more confused about her and what decisions she would make.  I thought for a time, that I was not enough of a feminist to write such a powerful character.  She in fact, was becoming more than I could handle. 

I laugh now, because the idea seems ridiculous.  She was not overwhelming me, per se, but she had become so complex that the clear lines of definitive feminism didn’t work for me.  Feminism was not a clear definition, I came to realize.  It was not what the media would have me believe. It was not just a strong woman working in a man’s corporate world.  It was not a woman unafraid to speak her mind.  It was not an uber-liberal progressive that went to college and executed cutting-edge journalism to an audience of millions.  I should say, it was not just that.  It was those things and more.  Feminism was also mothers, teachers, stay at home moms, students, farmers, artists, singers and dancers and much, much more.

It was when I realized this that I also realized that feminism is deep at the core of our character and beliefs.  Feminism is equality, at its core.  It doesn’t even matter if I am a man or a woman, because if at my core I believe that women are equal, then equality has been achieved and the ideal of feminism no longer needs to exist.  Since our core belief system is what motivates us to act and think, in terms of equality, how can value and morality have a gender? A man can be weak, as can a woman.  A man can be shrewd, aggressive, and arrogant, as can a woman.  None of these traits have anything to do with the position a man holds in life, whether it be a farmer, lawyer, politician, or laid-off construction worker.  Same goes for a woman, regardless of her working role in society. 

This is all most definitely a change from how I viewed the topic many moons ago.  I see it as an issue still for women.  There are a lot of women out there trying to get out of this game of cutting each other down. At the core of the weaker person’s character is jealousy, shallowness, materialism and image.  The competition of it all makes people want to continuously outdo each other in order to “win” something that doesn’t exist.  The typical outcome is that women cut each other down.  It is sad to see, because it is often times over a man, which is the ultimate slap in the face to the feminists. There is no power in the weakness of lying and backstabbing because it will always come back to you.  Victims will never forget.  And it is weak because it means that you don’t have the courage to admit that you are ruthless or that you have made a mistake.  It’s a negative and ugly game, and if the energy spent on it were instead focused on making yourself a better person, you’d get real power.

It is power over self that defines feminism.  A strong man that works a career and focuses on making himself a better person has a lot of power.  So does a woman. Be independent.  Be free to follow your dreams and do something great, whether that is to run a marathon, climb a mountain, lose weight, raise great kids, earn a degree, or rise to the top of a fortune 500 company.  All of those things represent feminism, or masculinism (like that one?), if they are for you and by you.  Do it all for yourself, not for any one else.  Do it all with dignity and without cheating, and you will find power and independence. That is feminism.  That is masculinism.  Now get out there and kick some ass!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Phoebe Zephyr

I wrote about Phoebe’s Meadow, as a dedication and promise to my dog, Phoebe Zephyr, who has now passed on. The abrupt and tragic passing was due to the suddenly rapid deterioration of her liver, which had a shunt. Her passing is the single most devastating thing to happen to me in my life.

She woke up very sick on a Wednesday morning before work. My wife called me, frantic, and I rushed to meet them at the vet. The news was bad. The doctors at the vet that we’d been taking her to for her whole life said that Phoebe wanted to die, and that her liver was the problem. They suggested putting her down right on the spot, but we refused. There was no way that we could accept that outcome at that moment.

Phoebe was beyond just a special dog to us. My wife and I married young, at twenty two years old. She never wanted children, and even though I did, I loved her so much that I agreed that if it was our destiny to never have children, then I would be ok with it, and I promised to never resent her for it. We got Phoebe a few years later, as a six week old puppy.

We probably didn’t realize it at the time, but because we agreed not to have kids, Phoebe became that kid. She brought us closer and gave us something to pour our hearts into. As more time passed, we treated Phoebe more like a kid, taking her everywhere with us. We pioneered driving in the car with her hanging out of the driver’s side window.  She was always on my lap. We took her to kids parties, we bought her clothes every week, and we went to places just because they were dog friendly. We even stopped going to movie theatres and instead opted for the drive-ins because we could all be together. We lived like that for almost ten years. We called her our dogter.

People often say that they love their dogs, and I’m sure they do. Few though, are truly dog people. Phoebe was literally the center of our universe. When we fought, we talked about visitation rights, and who would get full custody. When we fought, Phoebe would get sad and sulk in the corner.  Our feelings were very real, and she, Phoebe, knew it. This was why we could not accept what the vet told us.

We went to another vet, visiting a person that we knew personally. There are many reasons that we had not taken her there in the first place, but the main reason was because she was not a vet when we started off with Phoebe and her numerous health issues. We thought that we trusted her original vet. We turned out to have made a deadly mistake.

The new vet, our friend, told us that we should have been treating the liver shunt with medication the entire time. It was what ultimately killed her. The toxins were too much and they attacked her brain. We were too sad to be livid, but as more time goes by, that truth, that our first vet did not prescribe something that was explained to us as “routine”, absolutely kills me. It means that Phoebe did not have to die yet.

I don’t know what I can do yet. Nothing will bring my Phoebe back. She died in my arms from a lethal injection one day after her 11th birthday. It was devastating. I am still devastated by it. We gave her almost eleven years of love as the center of our lives. Sadly, during the past few months of her life, she fell from that special place, as the birth of our daughter changed our entire dynamic.

Our daughter demanded our full attention. I wish though, that I knew what was happening with Phoebe. I feel so much guilt and regret that she did not spend her last few months and weeks with more attention from me. It shreds my heart knowing that I was ignoring her and unable to yet find balance in my life with her place set. My life has been out of balance. I could not balanced the new baby, working out, writing, working, eating, taking care of my Phoebe, or anything else.

Maybe it’s foolish of me to think that I could have saved her, but I think that too. Maybe I would have acted faster, or actually noticed something wrong. I don’t know. It’s too late now. She is gone forever, and her last days were the worst. We tried to save her with liver shunt medication and other medications. We went through a week of hope and despair. Our emotions shot up with happiness, thinking that each thing we tried might work, and then they fell hard when she did not improve. It was unbearable. I went through bouts of heavy crying during her last week with us. I knew a few days before she left that she was already gone. I cried hard then. Her mind was gone.

She came back only once, many days before she died, to give my wife and I “family kissies”, which was when we all three put our faces together and kissed. She licked our faces like crazy. I am so thankful for that.  I hope it is the last thing that she remembered.  She was gone for good after that. She wouldn’t eat. We force fed her with feeding tube, but she wouldn’t eat on her own. On the night before we put her down, she locked herself in a corner and cried. I could not take it. The next day she died in my arms -her favorite place to be. Her passing was peaceful and painless.

Rest in peace my baby dogter. Wait for us in the meadow. We will be with you soon. We will all be together again. Until then, we carry you with us always. You will always be our first baby. I love you.

Phoebe Zephyr Huerta, Aug 19, 2001 – Aug 18, 2012

Back from the Sadness

Back from the sadness. I’m back from a hiatus of sorts. Life happens to us all, and this past year, life, and death, has been in full force. My best friend, Phoebe, left us and passed into the next realm. She was my dog. Our dog. I have a lot to say about her, so I will be writing about her soon.

 On top of that, my baby daughter was born. She’s my first child. Our first child. I’ve written about her a lot already. Through it all, I have found myself both lost and found; both depleted and filled; both dragged through the bottom of the deepest of the dark sea floor, and at times, finding myself floating blissfully high in the clouds closest to heaven. I am both full of love, and full of emptiness.

 I find myself here though. I have finally published my fiction novel, L.A. Ninja. This work was actually done almost two years ago, but because of the publishing process (self-publishing) and how real life actually works, it has taken me this long to get it out. This marks a significant milestone for me, as this piece of work got more of my soul than any other at that time. Not to discredit or downplay One-Eighty, which was an important piece to me for certain reasons, but L.A. Ninja has like a hundred times the passion from me. My subsequent work, currently untitled, has also gotten a lot more passion from me, and it has taken me in a wildly new direction. More to come about that one too.

 Anyhow, the few initial reviews for L.A. Ninja have been awesome so far, so I hope it continues. It's available on (link here: LA Ninja ) and on The approval for Apple devices, Sony E-readers, and Barnes and Noble should be coming any day. It’s feels good to be back to writing here on the blog too. More to come soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lactation Freaks

The prospect of my wife being pregnant had been an exciting and beautiful notion, with periods of frightening moments of fatherhood scattered in between the entire pregnancy, of course.  We had waited a long time, and even though we knew we could handle it, it still seemed scary.  Our logic was, “hey, sixteen year old girls have babies all the time; if they can handle it then so can we.”  That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Well, we tried to do everything right, from the start.  We ate organic, ate a wide variety of foods, and kept the sugars to a minimum.  Wifey was like a beast with the workouts too, yoga, P90X, jogging, and even dance sessions on the Wii so long that I had to beg her to stop.  We also read books, like Brain Food for Baby (highly recommend by the way), and we scoured the internet for trusted information.  And I have already blogged about the baby classes, and much of the comical musings that were brought on with it.  By the end of the pregnancy, we had our plan in place, and we felt ready.

You know what happened though?  The plan didn’t work.  We were confused by the contractions, surprised by the level of pain, and of course, baby was coming early.  We never really panicked though, constantly repeating to ourselves that if fifteen year olds could do it, so could we.  We went to the hospital, and after hours of pushing, we realized that we were going to have to do a Cesarean birth.  That is when the shit hit the fan for me, and the first thought of real fear entered my mind.  C-sections, while routine and common, are still surgeries under the knife.  I am normally the calm one of us two, but I freaked out, for reasons outside of the scope of this puff piece.

Anyways, everything went ok, and later that night the real game of propaganda began.  We met our first lactation consultant.  Oh yes, this is a real person, and a real position of the hospital corps.  Of course we had planned to breastfeed.  Of course it hurt my wife’s already uber-sensitive body to do so.  Sometimes, we learned, babies latch on to the breast and it hurts like hell.  Of course we kept trying anyways.  Of course it was killing me to watch her in pain.  Of course we wanted a healthy, happy baby.  Do you think we are monsters?

The lactation consultant came on like a highly specialized Storm Trooper spreading Darth Vader’s message of conformity and critical necessity.  For a moment, her eyes seemed to signal that things would be getting physical at any second and that a slew of backup storm troopers would be entering at any moment to quell any resistance.  I was ready to defend my family.  It was a time of uncertainty and frustration, the likes of which none of the baby classes had prepared us for.

I highly sensationalize the actual events, naturally, but there really were some tense moments.  When I had seen my wife cry enough, around night three, I had to ask the nurses to take it easy.  It was only then that they had us begin using the breast pump and feeding the baby with tiny tubes.  Through all this time, our experience had been pretty terrible.  Time that we should have spent bonding with our baby and finding ways to feed her that were sustainable, was made sour by tension filled hours of trying to force the baby to latch on to my wife’s distraught and pain-filled breasts.

I had never before seen anyone make my wife feel like such a failure.  She is a strong person, and the strongest woman that I know.  There were no words that I could say or statistics I could give that would have changed how she felt, though.  As if seeing our birth plan go out the window had not been enough, they had to suggest that she was inadequate or abnormal, thus implying that she was not a good mother.  She was giving milk.  What would have been so wrong with going straight to the pump when things were not working out?  We were all about trying, but when is enough, enough?  

The truth is that every mother is different.  We would go on to later learn that many of our friends had similar, and even much worse experiences.  In truth, only about 11% or so of mothers are able to exclusively breast feed beyond six months, or something close to that.  I think I read that around 25% can do it exclusively beyond three months.  I would never try to dispute the many benefits of breast feeding.  The information is pretty overwhelming on its benefits to the baby’s overall health when compared to formula only.  Pass down your immunity to me, mom?  Yes, please!

Talking about the benefits is the easy part.  The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics can do the research and make recommendations to their heart’s content.  The action of it is quite another.  It is not only personal, but the experience can be a source of tension, and if left unchecked, real resentment could set in.  Post partum depression anyone?  No, thanks.  I’ll pass.

The most important part of the experience is passing on mother’s free, delicious, healthy, nutritious milk for baby to drink up and be healthier than not.  If it works out, and you can breastfeed and bond through it without resentment, then you are one of the lucky ones, and congratulations.  If you can, at least add breast milk by means of pumping, to the formula.  If not, then straight formula is ok.  Baby will be fine with your love and a life full of nutritious choices.  That is the bottom line.  Only, I think that the lactation nazis can’t see the forest from the trees.  By the way, when did everyone stop thinking for themselves? 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

First Baby

I write this, knowing that so many more pieces will come. Even so, I stare at my little daughter, sleeping, and I feel this tremendous feeling of love and duty. She is only six weeks old, and she, of course, has no idea how she is affecting me, but she is, tremendously, and in a good way. She gives me hope. She makes me love, as though I hadn’t before. She amazes me, even at her age, with her mannerisms, gestures, squeaks, and grunts. She stretches her arms, smiles, frowns, cries, and clenches her fists. Most of this is normal, but that matters not, because this little girl is as free as can be. I am looking at her now while I write this, and she has no clue of the powerful feelings that she has invoked in me, and with all that, and all that is in my soul and mind, I will project it unto her, and propel her to be the best that she can be, no matter what that is. She is free to choose. I love that. She is my baby. She is my love. She is my life. I lover her, and look forward to her next movement and thought. Life is amazing, and she has touched me deeper than anyone ever has before. That counts for a lot. I love you, baby.

Your World, Babygirl

I have a daughter and not a son. It is extra special to me, because I am going to pour my heart and mind into her, teaching her all of the useful and useless knowledge that I have, in hopes that she will shape her own opinions about the world around her. Most of this knowledge is exactly what I'd teach my son, if I had one. Besides what she learns from Mom, she will also know how to change oil, catch a fly ball, drive stick shift, and anything else that she may be interested in learning from Daddy’s side. Most importantly though, while she will know how to be a lady, she will also know how a man thinks. I will teach her this most important lesson, so that she will be on equal footing with other men out in the world and never be afraid to speak her mind or know that she can be stronger than them. This is important to me, because even today, women struggle for equality in America. If I can help it, my baby won’t be part of the problem, but she will command equality with a strong mind and strong voice. I know too, that she won’t be alone in the fight, as her mother carries the same bright torch. Babygirl, this is your world. Do your thing!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Laugh Attacks

There was a moment, not too long ago, when I sat in a room full of very important people that were having a meeting. Of course, I was not a direct participant in this meeting, because frankly, I’m not that important. No, I sat in the back with a couple of other people that I knew through work. As the important people, whom numbered around sixty, carried on with their important meeting, I watched my friend walk back to his seat next to me with a cup full of pretzels, which he then proceed to drop on the floor.

I’ve always tried to conduct myself in a professional manner, and I’ve also always tried to act appropriate for any situation that I find myself in. Even so, sometimes I lose control. There was something about the way those pretzels flew onto the ground that sent me into a fit. I launched into a full laugh attack, and I laughed and laughed to no end. The people around me noticed the pretzels first, and then they noticed me laughing. Tears fell from my eyes. I couldn’t breathe. I tried my best to cover my mouth and crouch over to keep any noise from coming out, and I was able to partially manage, except for a few squeaks that escaped. I couldn’t keep up the secret though, and when I glanced up to see if anybody was watching, I did see some curious onlookers giggling quietly at me. This of course sent me back into my laugh attack.

The solution in a delicate case like this is only to cover my face, pretend I had an important phone call, and leave the room immediately, which I did. I proceeded outside, and unleashed the full fury of my laugh, which without doubt gathered me some curious onlookers from outside too, but I didn’t care about them. I was lucky to be in the back of the room during the meeting, and as I had found out later, the important meeting participants had not noticed me at all.

The laugh attack is something special that happens to me every here and there. I remember that the previous one before that happened to me about six months earlier while watching a movie at the drive in. There was no need to hide that one, of course. My wife has them too. When I told her about my episode at the meeting, she laughed of course, and then proceeded to tell me about hers which had happened while she had been reading a blog with pictures of awkward pregnancy outfits and poses.

I’m not sure if everyone has laugh attacks, but some people like us sure do. I decided to do some research one day, and I found a lot of interesting information on the subject, including the link below, which depicts a televised laugh attack for an on-air announcer during a game. Obviously, the announcer tried his best to remain professional as well, denoted by the period of silence and short, subtle squeaks. Anyhow, for anyone out there that hasn’t experience a laugh attack, I sure hope that you get the chance to, and if you do, I hope that it’s when you are free to laugh out loud.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Refusing to Break

It was during the week between Christmas and New Year that I found myself at a gas station, dropping some serious coin on fuel. As I was pumping, I leaned back against my car as usual to check out the scene. It was empty, in the middle the afternoon, except for one other person. As I watched the slovenly beast, I looked closer, and noticed that he was not the usual slovenly beast that I’ve been used to. He was middle-aged, maybe close to fifty years old, and very overweight. His shoes were worn badly on the outside edges from years of walking bow-legged, and his jeans and t-shirt were worn out and too tight.

He didn’t seem to notice much of anything going on outside of his personal area. His small pick-up truck was full of lawn mowing equipment, which was a rare sight these days as most of the landscapers around these parts are Latinos. The thing with this guy was that he was alone, and he looked very sad and downtrodden. I couldn’t help feeling bad for him in that moment.

The thing with me is that I have unfortunately been born with a soft heart. It has always been my weakness, but it doesn’t mean that I am weak. Even when I was a kid in school, I often found myself sticking up for the weak when they were being picked on. I have compassion for those that lack the strength and courage to stand up to bullies or to persevere over the hardships that life deals out. On the flip side, I find comfort in watching justice prevail, and watching the bullies, liars, and cheaters of the world receive their sentences from life.

I’m not a complete fool, of course. This man appeared to be sad, and I really knew nothing about him. He appeared to be a nice man, and even though he was cutting lawns and looked to be very poor, the situation in reality could have been the opposite. He could have been rich, and retired, and the lawn cutting was merely something he did to keep busy. Maybe he had been an asshole all of his life, and was indeed a liar and a cheat, and this was life’s karma coming back around to him. I don’t really know, but my tendency to assume that he was a victim of life’s harsh reality always wins the battle in my heart. It is something I know all too well about myself.

Either way, I am proud of this man. He is hanging on to life by a string. He is refusing to break, as am I. That day, we were in it together, even if he didn’t realize it. This economy has been tough, and life is not easy, but we are not giving up. We are working hard. We are both probably better than what we are getting paid to do everyday, but that doesn’t matter, because we keep moving forward no matter what life creates for us. Maybe he will rest in the shade, on a grassy knoll someday, rich with love and happiness. Maybe I will too. I hope so. I hope we all do, except for the assholes, of course.

Blackball Kia Motors

I never wanted to use this forum as an outlet to vent out about businesses that I didn’t like, or others that have otherwise treated me bad. However, the most recent events in my dealings at Kia Motors here in San Diego have caused me to change my mind about that.

Long story short, my wife and I tried to go down and lease a Kia Sorento, because we need to trade in her sports car for something more useful for her and the baby. Of course, being a struggling writer slash starving artist and all, my credit is not good, which I knew going in. However, my dear uncle, bless his heart, agreed to co-sign with us. We were assured that this would “close the deal”. Keep in mind, I wouldn’t be writing this if things had worked out.

We were able to sign the papers and roll off the lot in the new Kia, with signed lease documents in hand. We had thought that we scored a new, safe SUV for Mom and Baby Peanut. One week later to the day, we got a call from the finance director at FULLER KIA/FORD in Chula Vista, California, telling us that we “had to come and sign documents because our loan was approved”. I asked this gentleman, Telly Gomez, is his name, what he was talking about, but he would not elaborate, and in fact, he became annoyed that I even asked.

So we went down there to find out that our lease was denied and that they wanted to make us “purchase” the vehicle to keep it. This of course would bump up the payments by about 80$ per month, pushing this struggling writer out of the market for it. Our only other option was to return the car. As anyone can see from my previous posts, I love my wife very much, and making her return that car has broken my heart. Seeing her confused and disappointed face, is what I live to avoid. Just thinking about it now vexes me, but I am helpless to do anything about it.

As it turns out, for various reasons, Kia can break a contract like that. It is unlawful to do so, but then I’d have to retain counsel (get a lawyer) to fight it, which of course I also cannot afford. So here I am, back at square one with my old car back. I suppose that watching my wife completely ream the finance manager was a bit of sweet poetic justice. She is amazing. I absolutely can not argue the way she can, and it is as poetic as it is brutal, and they deserved every bit of it. Side note, we tried to record this part of the conversation, which I was planning to youtube, but alas in our frustration in the heat of the moment, we didn’t hit the “record” button on time.

I am grounded enough in life to know that even hoping for a new car, of any make, means I am fortunate. I can accept that I currently don’t have the means to buy a new Kia right now. Still, that doesn’t give the slime ball finance director and his clones the right to treat me like a dirtbag. Telly Gomez and his crew treated me like I stole something from them, and they tried to lie about everything, which is something I will call you out on. I may be poor, but I am proud, and I don’t take no s*%t.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Daddy-O Daddy-O, Wherefore Art Thou, Daddy-O?

While going through some old pictures during the Christmas break, I fell into a surprisingly deep reflection of my dear old dad. I’ve always had this pretty cool picture of him where he’s in a jungle somewhere, dressed as a Marine, kneeling down while smoking a cigarette. A picture of a pint-sized five-year old version of myself is superimposed on the very same picture. It’s a pretty snazzy setup when considering the era in which it was created. I don’t know where I got the picture, or who made it, but I’m thankful for it.

I do wonder from time to time, what my dad might be up to, and what his life is like. I met him only once, when I was twelve years old. I got to spend about two months with him in his home town of Sacramento, California, and it was an amazing time for me. He liked Gumby, he told me a bad joke about Rambo, and he laughed a lot. He seemed like such a nice guy, and he went out of his way at the time to impress me and befriend me. It is a bit sad to me now as I’m writing about it in this moment. I never really knew at the time what I could have been missing there, in a possible life with him. It’s not like I ever had a choice in the matter either. Maybe there was a lot that he could have taught me, maybe not, but I will most likely never know.

I’d rather not get into the parties that had been in my life instead. That subject would just depress and anger me, but suffice it to say that I’ve turned out alright, even without my dad being in my life. I have only heard bits and pieces of the story surrounding the reasons that he wasn’t in my life. This is information that I have only come to learn recently too, and it seems like he tried to make things work at the time. Anyways, I was never mad at him for not being there. I am still not. I supposed it’s been a situation where I simply didn’t know what I was missing, except for that one glimpse when I was twelve. Even in my thirties now, I wish I knew him.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here, but this sure can be a lonely life sometimes. If I didn’t have a partner to share it with, and now, my soon to be daughter, I’d have almost nobody. Maybe it would be nice to have a good relationship with a father, even if he were just my friend. He wouldn’t even have to be that amazing at all. I would just hope that he had a good heart. This is certainly wishful thinking, but hey, that’s what I’m all about. I’m a total dreamer. Hey, if you are reading this, and you happen to actually be my dad, shoot me an email, bro! I’d love to talk to ya and catch up. lol-ing !