The “Random House” Rules


Okay. . . So we’ve established that I have a chip on my shoulder and wear my heart on my sleeve. It seems that leaves me “just” enough room for a “Name Tag” on my lapel. . . “Would you like FRIES with that?”. . . At the onset of the 2000’s, it appears that my “professional attire” will remain stuck somewhere between a perpetual “Casual Friday” and a “glorified Bag Boy uniform”. Though I am not actually required to wear a name tag for my current occupation (Substitute Public School Bus Driver)
I might as well be. With a powder blue polo shirt, with my “handler’s” name emblazoned on the chest, it basically SCREAMS, “Yeah. . . women chose the color. . . Really angry women. . . You got a problem with that?” But alas. . . what can I do? Absolutely nothing. . . or can I?

I sit here, at the end of yet another of my children’s “Winter Break Sessions”
(No longer referred to as “Christmas Break” – As you undoubtedly know, GOD has been strategically removed from “Christ”mas – and now I know why) By the end of the second week, it seems like an “ungodly” amount of time for children to be sent home in an attempt to deplete us of our resources, patience and sanity. “Yeah, we had a GREAT Holiday, how about you? Woo hoo.” To be honest, about halfway through the first week, my wife and I found new and interesting ways to to “duck out” of the house, every few hours:

“Hey Honey,” I’d say – my nerves frayed, as our five year began bouncing off of the last “standing wall” in our home. “I think we need to go talk to SANTA. Ya’ know. . . about that. . . one thing”.
My wife now gathering her purse, car keys and a small overnight bag would respond, “Yeah,” kissing the kids and taking photos to remember them by, “We better get going. . . the North Pole is a long way and with all the Holiday traffic. . . “
Then we leave our kids in the hands of our (capable?) 18 year old. . .

We never really know for certain what happens when we leave the four kids home alone. I don’t really want to know. My best guess, would probably resemble a scene out of “Lord of the Flies”
or “Apocalypse Now”
. But as long as there are no “casualties” upon our return from “SantaLand” (an imaginary place, to some – we just drive around in “very enjoyable” silence) we typically view it as a successful outing. We usually come home to find the 18 year old cowering in a back room of the house, while the remainder of the children finish spilling the last of whatever they can find that will leave the “darkest possible” stain on our “new” carpet.
(quick note for parents of teenagers: the best birth control for kids is to have them babysit ours) Any other time of year a stain on the carpet would send us into “orbit”. But a stain on the carpet during “Winter Break Session”, means . . . another excuse to leave the house.

“Hey Honey,” I’ll say – my nerves shot, as my 5 year old finishes up “fusing” our dog to our cat, with a hot glue gun. “I think we need to go talk to that CARPET GUY. . . about that. . . one thing”.

These types of “errands” can keep us busy for a good portion of the first week. But by the the second week, we’ve spent all of our legitimate “Christmas” money, our “gas budget” is exhausted and the kids have started to catch on every time we “excuse ourselves” – Now, merely finding ourselves wandering to the end of the block in a daze. My five year old always suspects our “deception” first.

“Are you guys coming in?. . . I’m hungry!” she yells, to the end of the block, where we huddle – trying to blend in with. . . anything.
“Yes baby,” I’ll reply, “Santa is dropping off some carpet cleaner. . . I’m meeting him out here”.
“At the corner?” she’ll ask (very inquisitive – 5 year olds).
“Yes, sweetie, now go inside and play with your new Pet(s)
.

. . . But we’re almost there. the end of the “Winter Break Session”. The beginning of a New Year and a New Decade. The kids will be back in school. Which means I will be back to work. . . Which means I best “get to steppin’ ” on what it is I’ve decided to accomplish in the New Decade . I just turned 39 in November. . . It got me to thinking (which can sometimes be a “process”) It’s my understanding that some women have a “biological clock” set to about the same time (unless they are insane) that tells them, they’ve just about “used up” their alloted time for “making with the babies”. . . Now if you couple that with the “internal clock” telling a “professional” woman when a Glass Ceiling may no longer be able to be shattered (but may instead, just be a “really big skylight”) and I think you’ve also stumbled upon my “New Decade Dilemma”. . . and NO, not that I more closely identify with women, than with men.
But, just like bearing children, so do I view providing people with “Entertainment”. . . Painful? Sometimes. Labor-intensive? Certainly. “Messy”? Without question. . . But always rewarding. It has been a “process” trying to give you what you want. . . A “creation” that will keep you legally responsible and bound to me for “at least” another 18 years. . . In actuality, the parallels between telling a few jokes and childbirth, should draw absolutely NO comparisons. (I don’t almost pass out, while witnessing myself deliver a joke. When I saw my youngest delivered – it was almost LIGHTS OUT) But I wanted to illustrate a point and get your attention. . .

THAT’S What I’m “still” doing here. . .
In 2010, I will turn 40. This is “my Glass Ceiling” and the “not-so imaginary” deadline, that I set for myself (when I was 30) for accomplishing a few things in life. . .
They are (in no particular order):

Move to California (check)
Get Married (check)
Start a Family (check)
Become Outlandishly Successful and Amazingly Wealthy doing what “I’m Best At” (that thing to be determined at a future date) – (still pending)

So. . . so. . . in the New Decade, I plan on being “busy”. I will not be making any “North Pole” runs (at least not until the 2010 “Winter Break Session”) In this final year of my self-imposed “Success Deadline”, I will do everything I can to determine what is “I’m Best At” and, in turn, become disgustingly (to my enemies) successful at “it”. At the same time, since I achieved the bulk of my goals by age 40 – out of order – my priorities have “shifted”. . . a LOT. I haven’t been writing “this” as often as some of you had grown accustomed to. Part of my goals (as some of you know) included becoming a published Children’s Book Author
and to have some of my “Creations” turned into a “Full-Length Animated Feature Film”. That goal remains. . . As far as COMEDY. . . I haven’t attempted any sort of “Stand Up” in years. To be able to do that and be “successful”, you cannot merely “dabble” in it. It’s also not a life conducive to a “Family Man” . At least not THIS “Family Man”. No – whatever I decide to pursue in order that I may achieve this “Final Goal” will be more than “Dabble-Worthy”. I want to be able to concentrate my efforts on getting published. Perhaps by Random House
. You’ve got to admit (if you’ve read my blog – with any regularity) You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone more “Random”. I would like to explore “helping out” some folks that are in desperate need of assistance. I’d like to “give back” to the Community. Reach out to those that need our help the most. . . Does anyone know the number for NBC? I think Conan and Leno could use a kick in the ass.
So, when you read my “Quibbles and Bits” in the upcoming year, there are a FEW things I’d like you to keep in mind. These aren’t necessarily RULES, but for lack of a better term, that’s what I’m calling them. Call them whatever you like. Call them a pile of “Horse Mess” for all I care. But this is “Where I’m At” in preparing for the New Year.

The “Random House” Rules for “Go Figg’r”
  • If I seem to contradict myself from time to time, it’s only because I DO. We live in a world filled with contradictions. Get over yourself.
  • Just when you think you’ve got “This” all figured out. Think again. Then ask your kids.
  • When you find yourself confronted with something you can’t “make sense of” . . . Stop trying to.
  • No one has all the Answers as long as YOU have all the Questions.
  • For those not fortunate enough to have been “blessed” with Adult ADD (like myself) FAKE IT. It isn’t a “condition”. It’s a coping mechanism. If you’re easily distracted, you have less time to dwell on the “BULLS**T”.
Whatever, direction I decide to take, I’ve got to move quickly. . . I’ve already started the list of things I need to do by age 50. . . It’s a tad bit daunting. . .

So. . . so. . . I just ask that you keep Reading, Voting, Giving and Sharing. In the New Year, I hope you keep helping to put ME on the map. . .

‘Til Then. . . Go Figg’r!

Happy New Year!

Peace Out – Later

D A N
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