Random thoughts from a random mind…

Posts tagged “Son

Been a while…

Wow, has it really been over 3 months since my last post?  Not that any of you were losing sleep, wondering what the next “great” thing to come out of my spacey mind would be, but I’m sorry that it has been so long.

So much has happened over the past 3 months:

  • For starters, we are only 8 weeks away (give or take) from an anxiously awaited addition to the Brooks household, Jacob.  I can’t believe it is going to happen so very soon.  We are excited to finally meet the little ninja that constantly attacks his mother from the inside.
  • Brendan has started the sixth grade!  I can’t believe how fast they grow up.  I mean, it really only seems like not that long ago, he was so excited to start school.  It truly is amazing how fast the time flies.
  • Another school year has begun…not only Brendan has started another school year, I have also.  This really doesn’t mean much since I don’t get the summers off, but this year has been a bear thus far.  Truly seems like summer never even happened.  This is the start of my 5th year at the school, and I have never felt so overwhelmed.  Not sure what that is a sign of, but we’ll see how the rest of the year goes.  Hopefully things will get back to normal.
  • I had one of my photographs entered into my first Gallery along with some of my PikTripper friends.  It is at Buon Giorno Coffee in Grapevine if you’d like to go and see it.  The Gallery will be up through the month of September.
  • Football season has started! After a record-breaking summer, finally, there is a sense of fall in the air and along with that comes another season of college football.  There is just something about the cooler fall air, and meat on a grill in preparation for another great game.  Really looking forward to the hopes of a great season for ASU this year…Go Devils!

I guess that’s about it, but it seems like a lot has happened since we last spoke.  I will do my best to get back into the swing of filling the screen with my random thoughts.  I’m sure that will be easier said than done once Jacob arrives, but then again, he may be just the fuel needed to spark a few more random thoughts.

Hope you had a good summer, and are ready for whatever is next.


Properly Aged Cheese

Various CheesesResources say that it can take a few days to several years for cheese to ripen, but how long does it take for “good” cheese?  I guess it would depend on the cheese that you enjoy.  Cheese has been a product of the Brooks family for as long as I can remember.  My dad started in the business long before I could ever talk, but the art of attempting to create “good” cheese is engrained deep within me to the core.

Cheese can be a very acquired taste amongst individuals.  Most people don’t mind mild cheddar, but sharp cheddar is another story.  And then of course there is the stench of a good limburger cheese.  The various types of cheeses around the world are of no comparison to that of which has been cultured and ripened within my family.

This post is just another proof that cheese is not just created in my family, but is running rapid through my veins without any cure.  If you haven’t already figured it out, my family has never actually made cheese.  Well maybe someone attempted to make some mozzarella along the way, and I know I’ve done a few experiments growing mold on cheese as a kid, but no one has truly made cheese as you know it.  The cheese I’m referring to is similar in terms of the acquired taste and whether or not it is “good,” but you may not want to eat it.  I’m referring the cheese of jokes that cheesy dads set forth all across this world of ours; the stupid puns that shoot out at a moment’s notice to the reaction of rolling eyes and the occasional success of a good laugh.

My father is the master or jester of the cheesy joke, and from what my family tells me, I’m not far behind him.  This is where my theory of “properly aged cheese” comes to fruition.  You see, a good cheesy joke is very hard to come by.  Most of the time, people will just ignore you, roll their eyes, or laugh “with” you.  The art of the cheesy joke comes with age.  You learn how others will react, you better your timing, and you better your understanding of the English language to “help” not make a fool of yourself (this result is and never will be guaranteed).

To me, this is something that truly comes with age.  As we grow older and wiser, we learn more and more how to deal with what life throws at you.  I am one of those who believe that one of the reasons we are here is to touch other lives; to make other people’s lives a little brighter and put an extra smile on their faces.  Whether that be at our own expense in a horrible cheesy joke, or the success of a great one that will come up in future conversations.  When someone needs a little pick-me-up, there’s nothing better (or worse) than a “good” cheesy joke.  Either way, they will smile and laugh.

As I just celebrated my 35th birthday a few weeks ago, I wanted to write a blog that talked about growing older and lessons learned in life.  This is what I came up with (pretty sad, huh?).  The world is full of those trying to perfect the art of the cheesy joke, and I am still far from ripening that good cheese, but will continue to do my part in helping others.  As for the family business, I have a feeling it will continue to grow as my son takes a shine to the cheesy side of life, working on the perfection of the craft.


Soccer at 35 (well, 34, but close enough)

First of all, pardon me as I take a slight “random” break from my DJ progression, and give you a little insight to my most recent brush with insanity.

My son has been playing soccer for the past two years.  I have really enjoyed watching him play, and helping him with some techniques (not that I really have any, but he thinks I do).  It is quite fun, and I even would help coach the team every once in a while.  This past season, they played on an indoor league at Stampede Sports in Southlake, TX.  This just made my inner kid want to join in even more.  I had already been trying to subdue this playful energy since watching him play, but the indoor thing started to make me really curious if you will.  It is such a faster version of the game, being able to kick off the walls, as if making a bank shot in pool.  So, yes, I just did the unthinkable last week…I signed up for a men’s league.  I didn’t go too crazy, the league I signed up for was a men’s “take it easy” league.  Well, I didn’t think I was going too crazy anyway.

I got myself signed up last week, and was told my first game would be Monday, June 7th.  I had very little time to get ready, but I wanted to do this.  I went out and got all my equipment: shoes, shin guards (which are way cooler than when I was a kid), soccer shorts, socks, and a new ball (well, I “needed” this, because my son’s ball is a size 4 and I “need” a size 5).  Everything was in place.  I even started doing some “sprints” on the treadmill.  For those that don’t already know, I’m not a fan of running.  I give my wife so much credit for the long distances she endures.  I can’t go more than 5 minutes without wondering “are we there yet?”  I was ready, excited, and yes, definitely nervous.

The day came, and I got really nervous.  I hadn’t played an organized game of soccer since the 4th grade!!! I remember thinking to myself that some of the kids on my son’s soccer team would ask if I play soccer because of some of the “moves” I had, and that my thinking I could really play truly was  just an insane thought (remember, they are all 10 and 11).  As the day went on, my nerves began to dwell upon the unknown: will I be out of shape? (yep), will I pass out? (almost), will I get killed?! (no, but felt like it once, and got pushed around a lot).  My family wanted to come to watch me play, which I was truly happy for, but it just made my anxiety rise even more (I can’t let my son see his dad get carted off on a stretcher because he passed out!).  As we drove to the arena, I was really starting to freak out.

I got all my gear on.  Even began to question my overly cautious and protective nature in whether I needed a cup or not (YES, definitely glad I went with that decision!).  As we walked in, I saw the game before us (same league), and a sense of relief fell over me.  These guys, well most of them, were older than me, and doing well.  Most were pretty big guys, and I don’t mean football player big, I mean couch potato big – but they could move!  I was finally starting to calm.  That was until the air would no longer go into my lungs through my mouth during the game!

Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, but I was definitely OUT-OF-SHAPE! The team we played had like 5 subs, and our team only had, NONE!  We held up pretty well for the first 5 minutes or so, but were sunk after that.  It’s pretty sad when we were swapping to goalie for a break (I didn’t take on this responsibility – call it cowardice or just the fact that I’m too small to black such a big gap in the wall).

The other team were some pretty big guys.  Yes, similar to the team I saw when I entered, but some were actually football player size.  They pushed a lot, but I held my own as well as my small stature could – which I feel was pretty well since I didn’t hit the turf once!  They were a good group of guys though, no one wanted anyone to get hurt.

When all was said and done, we did ok.  We did lose, 7-1, but none of us died.  A few bumps and bruises, and I’m sure I won’t be able to walk all that well tomorrow, but all in all, we survived to play another game.

I felt great after…yes, I was sore, but it was the best exercise I’ve had in a VERY long time.  I am truly glad I joined the league, and would like to continue this – at least for now.

I really feel the need to thank my wife and my son for their inspiration in doing this.  Yes, it’s still somewhat ludicrous, but sometimes we need that in our lives.  We are only mandated to grow old, not up.


Getting old?

So, today is my son’s first birthday – holy crap, what?! it’s his 10th?!!! (Funny thing is that I really did start to type “first,” so I went with it)

Um yeah, so today is my son’s 10th birthday.  I can’t believe that it’s been that long.  I mean, it just doesn’t seem like an entire decade has passed since one of the most amazing, most memorable days of my life.  Has it really been that long since everyone feared the end of the world in the celebration of Y2K? Have I really been out of college that long (ASU ’99)? Does that really mean it’s been 16 year’s since I graduated high school (LHS ’94)? This list could get long….

I guess what I’m getting at, is the older your children get, the more you realize how much the world is changing around you.  The past couple of years have been full of “ah-ha” moments.  One of the first was when I added my step-sister, (former, how exactly does this work anyway? – do you just lose step-siblings in a divorce? I digress) Dawna, on Facebook.  Her initial response was, “you look like a young Art (my dad).”  It was at that moment that I began counting the years back only to realize that my father was my age when he joined their family.  That truly struck me, not so much in a bad way, but in a relative way.  I began to see many things in my life in a different light.  I began to realize my parents ages and what they were going through as I enter certain moments in my own life.  You really begin to get a better perspective of your own life through this imagery.

What does it mean to get old? to grow old? Is it the collection of new aches and pains you wake up to each day? Is it the way that you run out of breath trying to race your son through a bounce house obstacle course? Is it the way that you begin to look at yourself in the mirror each morning, realizing more and more that you look like your parents? Or is it the growth in knowledge, and the realization that your parents were one of the best forms of education you’ve ever had (good or bad)? It could also be the fact that you’ve become boring to everyone around you, well, at least some of the time.

Age is definitely just a number, and how old you are really is based on the way you feel and think.  I feel old….lol I don’t know, sometimes I just feel so run down, but when I think of others throughout my life, I do my best to drudge through and keep going.  My son definitely helps me stay young.  I do feel at times though, I really need to do a better job to do more things with him.  As I’ve already said, a whole decade with him by my side has gone by, and I feel I’ve missed so much already.  Looking at him in pictures, it is just so amazing to see how old he now looks.  He is growing up so very fast right before all our eyes, and we don’t even notice it until it’s too late.

So now the question becomes, is growing old the realization of what all you’ve missed?

Nah…but I do think that it get’s you to think about it, and that’s a good thing.  It’s a good thing to take a look at what’s around you and realize what all there is.  Too often we take for granted everything that we have.  Life IS too short, and we need to cherish every opportunity, every smile, and every birthday.  It’s a sign of us growing older, but it’s also another chance to remember and be thankful.