Father’s Day

Hello WordPress…I’m back.

I feel like a husband who left his wife for a mistress, and then after he’s had his fun, he comes crawling back.

Here I am.  Will you accept me?

Today is Father’s Day.  I always get down in the dumps on Father’s Day.  I don’t ever really think about it until all the “Happy Father’s Day!”  start flying around.  I lost my father years ago.  13 or so at this juncture.

I miss my dad.  A lot.  Every day.  But especially today, when everyone is posting pictures, and talking about how fabulous their father is, etc, etc, etc.

And so it goes.  I didn’t do much today.  I’m in the midst of riding 860 miles this month for the Great Cycle Challenge, which raises money for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. I’ve currently raised $940 dollars, and committed myself to riding 860 miles in solidarity.  So far this month I’ve ridden 458 miles.  I got 402 to go.

During my ride yesterday, I knew I had a leak, but fortunately I made it home.  Unfortunately, I woke up to a flat today.  Fortunately, Small Shop Cycles is open on Sunday, and I was able to go in and get a quick innertube replacement.  I also got a chain cleaning kit, and some other materials to clean my bike, which I did this evening.  It’s far from perfect (could really use a hose), but it looks pretty good, and the chain, derailleurs and my cassette and rings are all clean.  And lubed.  I also discovered that one of me pedals was falling apart, which I fixed.  Both pedals were loose actually, so glad I caught that before I got stranded somewhere.

Beyond that, I recorded my first podcast this weekend, with a friend who was in town, Sarah.  She crashed on my couch, which was cool.  It was the first time seeing her in 19 years.  It was great to catch up, and I’m glad I was able to save her some money, especially in this town.  Love this town, but it for damn sure ain’t cheap, and that includes hotels and Air B&B’s.

And here I am.  Waiting for my chili in my slow cooker, watching Gran Torino, hoping that it doesn’t rain tomorrow (it’s not supposed to rain tomorrow, but this weather has been crazy and atrocious), and hoping I can get some extra miles in tomorrow.  I’ve been slacking on miles the past few days.  Hoping the rest does the legs good, because it’s been hell on my motivation.

I did talk to one of my two daughters today though.  That was the highlight of my day.  They’re soon to be 14, such a strange time for your girls, and I feel the distance between us growing much further than the few hundred miles between Chicago and Florida.  A constant source of depression.

I gotta figure it out.

How was your Father’s Day?   Did you get to spend time with your dad?  Are you a Father?  Did you spend time with the fam?  Lets hear how your day was in the comments down below.

Step 2, if you liked what you read here, SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!!!! 

Also, be sure to know every time I post a new entry by subscribing! Also, you can check out Reflections of a Chicago Life on Facebook.  I post a lot of articles and we can have some wicked discussions on there. Be sure to click “Like”. You can also check me out on Twitter, and see all the things I see around the city on Instagram, and it still bears repeating…it’s important to have STANDARDS!!

This post was created on a  HP Pavilion x360.
I hate this computer. 

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Thinking About Beauty

This week is Social Media Week here in Chicago.  Had to start the week off with a blog before I head over to the Merchandise Mart to pick up my pass and hit my first session of a solid week of Social Media talk for myself.

So this morning I had a short exchange with a friend that got me thinking about beauty.  Anyone who knows me knows that my mind is constantly spinning off into tangents.  Couple that with my memory issues, and within 5 minutes, I have no idea where I started.

But first, I was thinking about the person I was talking to.  From there, I started thinking abstractly about beauty.  Often, when we think of “beauty”, for many of us, a picture of a person pops into our head.  I find this unfortunate, because beauty has so many facets.  I think we often hear media talk about “beauty” as it pertains to a person, that we often forget about things like the beauty of the human spirit.

I’m a person who loves beauty in all its facets.  On Friday, I went to a fundraiser.  At the fundraiser, there were pictures from an exhibit about Afghanistan.  I mentioned to a woman that they were fabulous pictures, but I’ve seen very few pictures that actually do Afghanistan justice…it is an absolutely beautiful country.

“When people talk about Afghanistan, I don’t think I’ve ever heard them refer to the beauty of the place.”

It is beautiful.  Perhaps that fact escapes them…perhaps it just never comes up.  But that’s one of the things that popped into my mind as I was driving in the sun of this beautiful Monday morning.

From there, I started thinking about all the beautiful people that I have in my life, and I get to spend time with.  Whenever I think about beautiful people, the first person who usually comes to mind is my dear friend Beena.  Whenever I talk about Beena, I always say “…aside from being a physically beautiful woman, she has one of the most beautiful souls that I’ve ever encountered.”  I’m fortunate that I have a lot of friends like that in my life.

Then my mind wandered to all of the beautiful people that I got to spend my weekend with.  This Saturday, I went out to watch the fights.  My friend Veronica was there, who is beautiful inside and out, and although I don’t think we could be more different, and sometimes I want to throttle her, my life is enlightened by the beauty she brings to my life.  Then there was Phil, whom I’ve always appreciated for the beauty of his honesty.  He has no problem separating the wheat from the chaff, and that is exactly how and why we become friends…and with him was his girlfriend Karina, who is a very physically beautiful young lady, and was an absolute delight to chat with.  Then there was Daniel and his female friend. Daniel is a beautiful soul with a keen eye for social justice, and human rights.  I love people who think so far above and beyond themselves.  I find selflessness very beautiful.  And then on both Saturday and Sunday evening was my friend Karina.  A new friend; I’m having the pleasure of meeting and getting to know a new friend who brings a new shade of beauty to my life.

On Sunday I got to train Jiu Jitsu…and while I was on a mat getting beat up by a roomful of alpha gorillas and savages…they are all beautiful people. The caliber of character I encounter at training is the reason I’ve remained there for the entirety of my Jiu Jitsu journey, and why I intend to stay there.
And then of course, is the woman whose conversation sparked this entry, Ophelia.   While I don’t know her very well, I do know that she is very sassy, and endearing, wrapped in a visage of exceptionally exquisite beauty.

My friends often tease me by saying “You think everyone is beautiful” or “You think every girl is cute”.  And yes, that is true…because they are.  Who am I to say that someone isn’t beautiful…or this person is less beautiful than another.  My views of beauty certainly don’t jive with the popular notions of beauty…but I”m totally ok with that.  I know I get that from my father.  I rarely recall him calling any woman anything other than beautiful. The first thing he’d say to any of my friends was “Aren’t you the cutest thing?”  He appreciated beauty, in all its facets.  That’s mad hip.

And of course you have the sexual aspects to it all as well.  Being in the presence of a beautiful woman is like…to me…it’s like being in the rays of the sun on a beautiful spring day.  It makes you feel…hmm…wow, I don’t know the word for it.  I suppose it’s like sitting in a bathtub that’s just the right temperature.  But yeah, it makes you feel alive. When I first met Ophelia, I was like “Wow…Umm….wow” and then pretty much avoided her.  Sometimes sunlight can be too intense. I dig that too.

So yeah….I’m thankful for all the beautiful people in my life, as well as all of the beautiful things I get to see day in and day out.  I try not to take any of those moments for granted…and I often fail, but then I have mornings like today to remind me all over again…and I guess that is a part of life.

Around and Around….Revolutions….Revolutions…

My mind is in a spin today.  Some days it’s relatively calm, and some days it just churns…spinning and spinning.

A week or so ago I was having a conversation with a dear friend of mine.  She visited me a year ago.  We were talking about the visit, and I really couldn’t recall much of it.  Apparently we went to a Teavana, and I was charming the knickers off the women who worked there, and when I stepped away for a moment, the young ladies told my friend that I seemed like an amazing guy, and that she better hold on to me…blah, blah, blah.  I don’t recall any of this.  Even in retrospect…nothing.

“You know that’s a symptom of PTSD right?”

Continue reading

Aside

Nerves

So I have a date tomorrow with an old friend. She is single for the first time since we’ve met, and came to the realization that there is a mutual romantic interest. I’m nervous, which is a liberating feeling. I really want it to go well, I’ve been interested in this young lady a long time. Any dating advice for a first date with an old friend?

My love life in pictures…

Some time ago, I saw a pic, and it kind of depressed me, because it reminded me of some of the thoughts I have from time to time concerning dating…

photo (1)

…sometimes, if you’re not careful, you can start to get down with the disappointments of dating, and you can easily slip into a “what’s wrong with me?” mentality…that even happens to me sometime, and I think I’m freaking awesome.  I actually think there’s something wrong with any woman who doesn’t see how fabulous I am, but to each their own…and then I saw a pic that simply reaffirmed the things that I already know…

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…and now all is right with the world…and yes, I’m still awesome!

The Ones Who Got Away

I’ve always said that I don’t do regret. For the most part, that’s true. I’m not about regretting the things I’ve done in life, or the choices I’ve made. Sure, hindsight is definitely 20/20, and I can thinkof tons of things that I could’ve done differently, perhaps even better. But the choices I’ve made all bring me to now, and most importantly, the person I am, and that’s something I wouldn’t trade. Besides, none of the choices I’ve made were cataclysmic. I’m still alive and have avoided prison…hell, I’ve never been arrested. I’m doing pretty darn good.

However, as of late, I’ve begun thinking about my exes. Now, I’m a pretty average dude. I, however, have had the opportunity to date some pretty awesome women in my day. Some of them were not so awesome, but some of them were amazing people, and I’m proud to say that many of them are still friends.

So, you may ask, well what happened? Well, a variety of things. I was young. I wasn’t looking for something serious. Not “marriage” serious…hell, not even engagement serious…not even “let’s live in sin” serious. I remember being 25 when my views on relationships began to change, evolve, and I became more comfortable with the idea of being in a committed relationship that could evolve and develop into whatever.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been single for a while, but I’ve been having thoughts of some of the aforementioned women. Today, my mind slipped back to Candi. Candi was a girl I dated in college.

We had a class together. I couldn’t tell you what class it was, my memory is generally horrible. But I remember from the beginning of the class, she caught my eye.

She had long brown hair, that she always wore in a long pony tail. I can actually still remember the first time I saw her with her hair down, which was the first time we spent he night together. She was thin, average height, with a gorgeous, caramel complexion…that made me think initially that perhaps she had a Hispanic ethnic background. But I thought she was so delicious, and would often find myself stealing glances, or outright staring at her during class. After a while, I started finding ways to talk to her. I suppose it started with hellos and goodbyes. One afternoon I’m pretty sure I asked her if I could walk with her to her next class. That old school progression to a relationship. I do remember our first date. Now, from first talking to her to actually getting her to go out with me, we’re talking months. I was really interested In her, and getting to know her.

We both lived in the dorms. I wanted to come up with something special for our date. So, I cooked her dinner. I can’t recall what made, but I do remember baking brownies for dessert. I also remember taking a table into my room, and putting candles on it, and stealing 2 chairs from the common room. We had our own 5 star restaurant in the dorms.

From there, our friendship bloomed into a relationship. Candi was amazing, Intelligent, thoughtful, funny, playful, beautiful. Even so many years later, I can remember the intimacy being breathtaking. She even had an awesome family.  So, what happened?

Well, I can’t for the life of me remember specifics. I’m going to take a leap and guess it was some variation of me being a dickhead. I did that a lot in my younger years.

And Candi wasn’t the only one…that I was a dickhead to that is. There was Kelly, and Katharina, and Josie, and Sarah, and Carly…the list goes on and on.

I don’t regret it all. Life is as it should be. I hope they all went on to lead wonderful lives, and each one of them left something upon me that helped turn me into the person I am today, and I think this person is pretty good…rarely dickheadish…a pretty decent guy.

But, I think it’s healthy sometimes to look back and think what if…what could have been…where would I be now. I suppose ultimately, it helps me to appreciate where I am, and look forward to what is to come.

Being Inspired By The Communty

I must admit that I’m enjoying this Blogging 101 course thus far. It’s definitely helped open my eyes to some of my fellow bloggers, and their awesome writing and insights. There’s so much to read…and enjoy.

So, today’s assignment is to write a post that builds on one of the comments from my last assignment.

Well, I must admit that I went a little comment crazy for my last assignment. As I said, there are so many intriguing blogs out there, on a large variety of topics.

So, of the blogs and blog posts that caught my eye, the one I found the most amusing was The Mad Musing of Scruples McGee. I’m still reading posts and trying to figure it out. But it’s definitely very humorous, and the authors favorite tv show is “Sex in the City,” so she must be a cool character. It’s open, honest, and spans a large range of subject matter from what I can tell.  I really enjoy blogs that are varied. Much like my own, I enjoy blogs whose subject matter is simply dictated by what the author may have encountered on a given day, or what they are experiencing in their life.

So, as I was scanning blogs, the title Morning sex, really? caught my eye. Who am I kidding…of course it caught my eye. Some people like 50 Shades of Grey; I prefer to hear real people dishing their laundry. And notice I didn’t say dirty laundry. There’s nothing dirty about sex…well…ok, sometimes it can be dirty…yet I digress. It’s a natural act. But anyways….

…the first thing I saw was this:

Courtesty of someecards.com

Courtesty of someecards.com

Now, I don’t even think I can accurately convey how much I love this meme. Generally speaking, I think it hits all the bases. The author went on to add some very hilarious insight in the differences between men and women when it comes to morning sex. I definitely encourage you to give the post a read if you haven’t already.

So I’ve been single for a while now. I can’t even remember the last time I had morning sex. But, as I commented on the blog post I personally have a rule with morning sex: I will not engage without having brushed my teeth and washed my face, and I ask the same of my partner.

Because, as the meme states, there is no bigger turn-off than breath that makes ones eyes water. The last relationship(s) that I can recall where morning sex was on the menu, I would wake up, and go wash my face and brush my teeth. In those events that no toothbrush was available, I would at least swish some mouthwash, and when that was nowhere to be found in the alien room of pink pleasantry that I often find in the den of the bachelorette, I’ve been known to put toothpaste on my index finger and scrub the love around. It’s all about being courteous to your partner.

Now, it’s important to note that I put morning sex in a completely different category than  “oh, woke up in the middle of the night sex”. That, on the other hand, is  fair game, and a virtual free-for-all. However, as the meme mentions, there will probably be little talking and kissing involved…and eye contact.
~D

No Blog is an Island: Being a Good Neighbor

So, today’s assignment for Blogging 101 is a fairly easy one.

Leave comments on at least four blogs that you’ve never commented on before.

I really enjoy reading, and exploring the thoughts, feelings, and lives of others. When I was younger, I was pretty sure I wanted to be a psychiatrist… or maybe a psychologist. I remember going to the Beverly Chicago Public Library and checking out. “The Interpretation of Dreams” by Sigmund Freud as a kid. Flipping through the pages, reading his various interpretations. My interests have changed, but not my joy of learning about others.

I must admit that at this juncture, other than reading about topics that I truly enjoy (Jiu Jitsu/MMA and related areas), I much prefer the more risqué fare. Sure, I’m all about hearing about the joys of child rearing, or the small victories of raising 4 cats and a chinchilla… but I’d much rather hear about someone having her back thrown out in the throes of passion by some random dick that is simply that… random. Dos that make me a dirty bird? Perhaps. I think I deal with so much of those realities in my own life (long distance dad, searches for love and companionship) that I’d like to come here for a little more fluff. If I’m not getting laid on the semi-daily (that’s by choice I’ll have you know) I’d like to live vicariously through someone else.

I suppose this is where I can also add he fact that I’m a bit of a voyeur… and I may or may not be an exhibitionist as well. What can I say… I am free in many of the ways that people wish they could be, but simply aren’t.

So, on to engage with my fellow blogged. I’m sure at some point, I’ll be sharing about the blogs I explore.  Hope you all have a wonderful day!
~D

Dear Dream Reader…

So my assignment, which I’m late in completing, is to publish a post to my dream reader.

I find this to be a daunting task, as I’ve never had a “dream reader” in mind. I have certainly had posts that were directed at one person or another, but never really gave much thought as to who my ideal reader would be. My blog is so varied, I don’t think I could nail one down. It’s a reflection of my life, which is up and down, topsy turvy, and fast-paced.

However, as I thought more about it I suppose dating, and my search for “love” is a recurring theme in my blog.

So, I suppose this post will be in that vein. To that young lady, who would dare take a chance on a guy like me. Allow me to offer a few clarifications on who I am, what I want, and what’s going on in my mind.

hopeless_romantic_by_haleeelizibeth-d465bt8

First and foremost, I am a romantic.  I love romance. flowers, candles, handholding, kissing, cuddling… I love all of that stuff. Let’s stay in on a Friday night, cuddling under a huge blanket, watching a movie and sipping cocoa. Let me read to you, as you lie your head on my chest, and I play with your hair. Don’t be shocked if you wake up some mornings and find me watching you sleep. I imagine you look peaceful, and serene, and occasionally I went to take that in, and appreciate that beautify and serenity as a perfect counterpoint that the world presents to us everyday.

My-Best-Friend

I want us to be teammates, and best friends, as well as lovers. I think a key part of that is honesty and communication. I  want to be able to tell you anything and everything, and you do the same. I find in so many relationships, both mine and others, there’s so many secrets kept. Let’s not have any. Share your thoughts, hopes, dreams, worries and frustrations with me, and I will try hard to do the same. You have a crush on a sexy new guy at work? That’s cool. Come home and tell me all about it.  I’ll do the same when I develop a crush on someone at work.  Then we can use that fire, excitement, and tension to make our relationship hotter, which brings me to my next point…

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…I love sex… and you should too. I’m extremely comfortable in my sexuality, and yes, you should be too.  I’m extremely heterosexual, but I’m open to you exploring whatever it is that you feel you need to explore. I personally think that monogamy is an unnatural impulse at the least, and a time bomb waiting to happen at the most, but I have no problem being in a monogamous relationship, especially if it is for you.

You aren’t my first love. I have had several in my life before you came along, and I don’t want to have to lie to you about that either. I’d love to share some of those stories with you. I’d love to hear yours too. I wanna tell you about the women who broke my heart, as well as the lessons they taught me. All of those stories will have brought me to you.

I have tons of weaknesses. I have strange insecurities sometimes. I have quirks. I think life should be lived for joy, and passion, and not for money and security, so sometimes that brings a tumultuous nature to my life, and yes, sometimes I may need you to be a voice of reason and grounding, but sometimes I want you to push me…to live…to find my joy, and I want to share all of that with you.  I want us to push each other, to be better people, in all facets of life.

ROBERTO_CYBORG_ABREU_2009_BJJ_Championships

Finally, you have to enter into this relationship knowing that I have a mistress, and her name is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  She is beautiful and exciting, and she does many of the same things for me that you do. I’d love for us to all get together for a 3-way, but if you’ re not interested, know that I will give you both equal time.

And in a nutshell… that’s me. That’s us.

And to end this aimless diatribe, let me share two songs that I’d like us to dance to together sometime. Enjoy!
~ D