Skip to content

jack kennedy

I’ve just realized the very real importance and  relatability of the anti-hero. You can have a pair of Achilles heels on top of a fatal flaw and still save the world.

This is particularly encouraging because none of us are perfect.

I later discovered that striving for personal perfection can quite easily be defined as character regardless of who (or what) inspires it.

Advertisements

a hard place

Let’s start with a little self indulgent flashback, shall we?  A little over two months ago my employer decided out of the blue that my protege was better suited as my replacement…awesome. Things like this happen and as someone so succinctly put it when they heard I was packaged out, “they’re paying you to find a better job.” This is a fantastic perspective, yet, it doesn’t really capture the essence of extreme suckiosity that immediately and continuously emanated from the situation.  Obviously, to properly honor said emanation I proceeded to indulge in a heavy diet of television and marijuana.  In hindsight, probably not the wisest course of action, but, it happened (and as a result I’m stuck between Dwayne Johnson and the title of this blog).  It’s amazing what 65 days of listlessness will do to an otherwise pretty stellar dude.

Now that you’re caught up, let’s crank the dial on the old blogger time machine to present day: I’ve pretty much blown through my savings, I have a beautiful 5 year old son that thinks life is peachy and that his daddy’s a hero while a pile of bills angrily attack my trademark joie de vivre, BUT, the good news is, I’m blogging again (you probably thought I was going to say employed…not yet, but I’m being a little more proactive about it)!

I won’t lie, I’m scared shitless.  So pray, meditate or create happy little voodoo dolls for me because despite my indomitable amenability, the next few weeks will be my go to definition for “sketchy” moving forward.

vanilla lattes and quantum mechanics

The idea that everything is connected has been around for a very long time (well before opposable thumbs and critical thought provided us with pillars of civilization like vanilla lattes and quantum mechanics).

In fact, I’m sure there were moments when Cro-magnon man surveyed all that was before him and felt like he was what he saw.

Despite the fighting that still goes on between believers of different faiths, religions have common themes and surprisingly morally similar omniscient protagonists. This fact almost helped me make peace with the frustrating all-encompassing exercise of deciding what to (or not to) believe in, but, the only thing that remains clear about my personal relationship with religion is that nothing ever is!

Fortunately I find clarity elsewhere: math, music…sex (“it takes two to make things go right“) and in my experience, these ‘personal portals to lucidity’ are exactly where this universal harmony is best accessed.

don’t call it a comeback…

I’ve been here for years. 

Long enough anyway to realize that from time to time, we will lose our way.  In my mind, “our way” simply refers to doing whatever it is that makes us happiest—without harming anyone of course (I’m not in the business of empowering psychopaths here). 

This blog makes me happy but the past month has been difficult in so many ways that it has been impossible for me to contribute to it with the humour and positivity that I expect from myself so I just wallowed and decided:     

for weeks.

I realize now that when life kicks a hole in your chest, one answer is to fill it with defiant pride in who you are and the infinite promise that goes along with that and before you know it you’re back on your feet (so to speak), fingers flying across the keyboard with a knowing smirk that comes with being a little more comfy in your own skin.

epiphanubian

What is an epiphanubian?

Let me break it down for you.

As a black man who is prone to random fits of inspiration I’ve always felt a kinship with made up words, ergo a made up word to express this kinship. Epiphanies plus black man equals epiphanubian. Make sense?

That being said, what is my epiphany for the week? I’m a single father with a gorgeous specimen of an almost four-year old to focus my paternal efforts on. I recently gazed upon his beautifully sleeping form and realized that I am responsible for his entire reality. This is a huge responsibility because it compels me to want to make sure that it’s always better than whatever magical toddler fantasies currently occupy the space beneath his natural curls.

My son, CJ, loves cartoons.

If there are animated cars, trains or super heroes (or cars and trains transforming into super heroes) he’s transfixed for that commercial laden thirty minutes. He then starts every subsequent conversation with, “Optimus Prime is the best yadda yadda yadda” and the reality that is dinner, abc’s and bedtime get relegated to the, “really dad, do we have to do this” category.

My challenge (and I’m guessing I’m not alone in this) is to make abc’s as cool as Optimus Prime. Not wholly realistic but important to me nonetheless. I’m not trying to rob CJ of a hardy fantasy life, quite the opposite, I want to enrich it by making the world that he actually occupies as fulfilling.  That way he gets to have his robot super heroes and maybe one day be able to build them too.

cognitive dissonance

Dissonance, despite its sexy sibilance and nigh universal applicability, is a beautiful word burdened with negative connotations (probably because it means discord or incongruity).  I believe that dissonance is as necessary as it is inevitable.  As much as I love Ebony and Ivory imagining a world of perfect harmony bores the shit outta me.

The best thing about the word dissonance is that it is often prefaced by some base component of the human condition (e.g. spiritual, emotional or my favourite, cognitive dissonance).

Cognitive dissonance–according to our good friends at Wikipedia–is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously.   The below exercise should get you there briefly:

This happens to me all the time (I referred to it as ‘the peril of an open mind’ in a recent semi-epiphanic convo).  Warring concepts will drop in and for a while it’s very hard to decide which to adhere to, which to ignore or whether to just dispel them altogether.  At the end of the day, I find the temporary discomfort of not knowing is worth the perspective gained upon finally making this decision. 

Frederick Douglass began his West India Emancipation speech with, “Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle.” 

Oversimplified: no pain, no gain (who knew your personal trainer was so insightful?) or, if you prefer a little more context, cognitive dissonance and personal reform can be bedfellows…if you let them. 

winter rant of an urban surfer

It’s -21 with the wind chill and I’m getting restless and grumpy (if Jack Frost could kindly refer to Cee Lo Green’s latest hit it would be greatly appreciated).

Why am I directing my displeasure at a fictitious seasonal character?  Mostly because I can’t do one of my favourite things in the world right now and that’s surf the streets of my beloved T-dot. 

I’m a soul skater.  The formula for soul skating is simple: 2(feet) + 2(trucks) + 4(wheels)/board * endless pavement = pure, unadulterated joy. 

Most other cold weather skaters eventually resort to snowboarding when the streets and sidewalks are no longer ride friendly.  I tried this once…it was frigid and painful (both my soul and my tropical heritage hated it).

I don’t ask for much.  In fact, I’m into the simplest of pleasures: my son’s laugh, fresh-baked chocolate chunk cookies, the sound the net makes when there’s perfect backspin and no rim, the way she bites her lip and carving Queen West on my Barfoot custom while grooving to Bill Withers

It’s getting to that point in the blog where I make mine: discovering the things that you truly love is essential to happiness and embracing them can be the key to sanity but missing them, just sucks.

I say enjoy what you can, when you can (within reason…whatever that means).   That being said, I think I’ll bake some cookies.