Monday, June 15, 2009

Head Trip

Since I already bitched about my regret over not going with my family to this past weekend's camping outing, I won't re-hash it here. I stayed behind and got a bunch of cleaning done. Yeah, big whoop. For the most part, the weekend was spent fairly solemnly, in isolation, just me and my thoughts and the lemon-fresh smell of Pine-Sol.

There was a bright spot last night, though, worth mentioning. Watched Battlestar Galactica: Razor for the first time. I had been saving it for a time when I was really missing BSG and wanting a pick-me-up to help get me out of any mental funk, so I put it in. Pretty good, not as great as I had hoped it would be, but then again I am watching it WAY out of context, not at the time that I should have been watching it (during the long gap twixt the two 'mini-seasons').

Still, the whole hybrid thing explains a lot of things I was sort of 'Huh?' about while watching the last season. And it was interesting to see the Gina-Cain relationship (not talked about) and some of the other events talked about regarding the Pegasus and its activities prior to encountering the Galactica. Plus, how can you EVER go wrong with classic versions of the Cylon Centurion?

Damn...I really do miss that show...gonna be a LONG while before something can fill that void.

Speaking of filling voids, I was thinking...yeah, I didn't go this past weekend, so I decided to take a little trip in my head. And since I'm all about the sharing, figured I'd write about it. I kind of just basked in some memories of some weekends at Deep Creek Lake.

Some backstory required.

I used to live, with Jennifer, in Baltimore, MD, even though we met here in Ohio while I was living here for a few years. But she followed me out there when I took a job at Palisades Toys in 2001. Our time in Baltimore started before we were married and then continued after we were married and had Carter, our first born son. We moved away from Maryland in 2006, June I believe it was, and have been here in Galena, Ohio for, hmmm, I guess 3 years now. That anniversary totally passed me by.

When we lived in MD Jen really missed her family, and they missed her too. Being that far away was something that Jen had NEVER experienced. She even went to college fairly close to home. So, it became a sort of tradition for us to drive to what was around the halfway point between Columbus and Baltimore, a place called Deep Creek Lake. Members of her family would drive there, we would drive there, and we'd all rent some lake house and hang out for a few days.

Had we stayed in Maryland, I am sure this would have happened even more often than it did, but as fate would have it we moved to Columbus in 2006, basically so that we could be closer to Jen's family. Obviously with what has happened lately with Bennett I can't IMAGINE what our lives would be like without her family so close to help us. But then again, had we not moved here, would Bennett even exist at all? That's alternate reality thinking and it makes my head hurt.

But I do really miss those lake house weekends. They were AWESOME. I think they all took place before we had kids, so there was a lot of freedom (though I think the last trip we took out there was when Jennifer was pregnant with Carter), but it was also just fun to chill out in this huge house and just relax, do some fishing, some walking and a lot of just quiet time around a fire chit-chatting. THAT I miss a lot.

Of course, timing and perspective are everything aren't they? I may miss those simpler times TOTALLY because the pressure and fear and despair that are with us all day every day right now were totally absent there. Maybe THAT'S what I really miss, that simple peace.

The simple peace of walking the dog on a flimsy makeshift pier.

The simple peace of watching a grown man make a fool of himself on the guitar, just for funsies.

The simple peace of sitting around a campfire and talking about the most meanlingless of things, with no worries about Retirement, Cancer, Asthma, Sarcoidosis, Layoffs, Infantile Spasms and all the other difficult things that we would come to know in our futures.

The simple peace of a lazy morning breakfast, no rush, no fuss, no hassles...

The simple peace...of simple peace...

The simple peace of a pick-up game of pool with your wife on a lazy, overcast afernoon, and kicking her ass.

The simple peace of a trio of Beer Can Chickens. Mmmm...chicken AND beer? Like chocolate and peanut butter.

The simple peace of fishing, without the kids around that you have to watch and make sure they don't fall in the water or get a hook embedded in their cheek. The tranquility of those silent moments where the only sound you hear is wind on water.

And of course, since these visits often took place in the VERY early stages of spring, keeping warm in the hot tub.



...and night. Note me off to the right. I was far too cold and it's hard to keep a bald head warm in a hot tub.

And speaking of bald, it was on one of these trips to Deep Creek Lake that I made a decision, one I have never once regretted. Since Mandy, Jen's sister, had brought some clippers to cut her brothers hair, I asked if she would mind cutting mine. I had been losing my hair for years, knew it was only a matter of time before I was faced with a choice. That time, seemingly, had come.

I had to either do something to cover up the fact that I was losing my hair or embrace it and make it a part of who I was. No more middle ground, it was time to shit or get off the pot.

I made my choice, and someone actually had a camera and took some shots. What's funny is that even when I sat down at first the plan was to just have Mandy buzz cut my hair short, like she had her brother's. Somewhere in the middle of that experience, I found the courage to go even further and I asked her to take off the guard and buzz it completely off.

I took care of the rest with a razor and some soap.

Oh sure, I sometimes miss having the warmth that it provided, but it was so thin that I think saying to myself that it helped keep my head warm was just a lie. Something I told myself because I liked the false sense of security the lie provided. The truth is that I was just trying to trick myself into believing I was better off trying to hold on to something that I knew deep down I was better off just letting go of.

There's a life lesson there, of that I'm sure. :)


  1. Like all your other posts, this too is a great read... especially the story behind the bald head. I'm sure the "me" time is something that did you good, even though you feel like you missed out on some things with your family. I really hope you continue writing here, Ken. It's something I look forward to on a daily basis.

    Now if your dedication could rub off on me so that I could write on a regular basis.

  2. For what it is worth, you look way younger with the buzzed hair! And, obviously, more kick ass.

  3. That looks awesome. I hope someday in the near future, a relaxing, calm get together like that happens for you.

  4. Ah, the simple life...forgot what that was like!

    Even though, at the time, I didn't realize how simple it really was...ya know? I'd gladly take back my crappy job that I complained about and hated so much, if that could just be my biggest life crisis again. In a heartbeat.

    By the way, the hair cut agrees with you!

  5. there's a word I need to use more often!


  6. BSG: The Plan - the story told from the Cylon point of view is this fall.

    BSG isn't quite done yet...


  7. I like this post. Very nicely written. You certainly covered an interesting variety of topics. I agree that shaven is better. And the topic of reminiscing back to the simpler times resonates with me greatly right now. I keep trying to figure out how to get back where we were....even with cancer and IS in our lives, I feel like there has to be a way to reclaim some of that missing joy. I vow to do it, not sure how or when, but I will find a way to make it all work so I can get the joy back.

    It's funny that while you were missing Jen and the boys during their weekend getaway, that you were looking back so fondly on such a similar trip. Maybe next time you will go.....

  8. I really enjoyed this walk down your lane of memories! Thanks for continuing to write for all of us...We don't care WHAT you write about!!!

    Do LOVE the hair story!!!


  9. I saw you were following our blog. I'm so sorry to know that your son is suffering with IS. It sucks. Thanks for writing with feeling.

  10. Great post ... again.Love bald.We have seen alot of that over the last 8 months.Bald is indeed beautiful and as for the past,the what if's,the false sense of security deemed from the comfy places and things.Get that too.wishing you a way out of the funk soon.It will come.Promise.

  11. Our stories are similar. Brandon and I met in St. Louis. Moved to Connecticut for his job in 2003. Found out I was pregnant. Lived in DC the summer of 2005. We had to move to DC for about 4 months in order to get back to STL before I had Sophie. We moved into the house we live in now about 2 weeks before she was born. It was quite interesting between trying to get in all the required OB visits.


    It is hard to go think about the simpler times. Like Holli said...I wish I would have realized how simple it was at the time.

    But things are different now. I thought this day would never come. I always hoped but never thought it would be a reality. But it is. And how much simpler life feels at the moment!!! So I am trying to soak it all in. It feels bringing this up with you where you are at right now but I just want to say that because you know how low we were at one point. I think you will get much simpler times...someday. I hoping that someday is sooner than later. Much, much, much sooner.

  12. Chad:
    Glad to see you started writing more dude. And thanks for checking in as often as you do.

    Thanks, whoever you are.

    Yeah it would be great...not this year I'm sure, but that's why I am going to do a few more of these Head Trips. Might even plan a vacation and go in my head via the internet. Could be a fun experiment. Since we can't afford to go anywhere, might be my only shot for a while.

    Thanks. I was lucky. Not lucky that I lost my hair, I hate that...but lucky I didn't have a misshapen head.

    Great word ain't it?

    Yeah, but will The Plan really be as good? I dunno. I just wish the show had gone 7 seasons. I like a meaty series I can watch and rewatch on DVD.

    Well, I am not surprised on your hair take, you are after all a wife of a Marine! I think it was the missing of my family that made me start looking at old vaca pics, and viola...a new category of blog type was born.

    Thanks...I try to break it up a bit and not ALWAYS be about how sucky it is to have IS in our lives.

    Thanks very much!

    Yeah, one of these days we'll get there. All of us.

    I'll bet you didn't met Brandon on an Internet dating site did you? Yeah...and we did WAY before stuff like eHarmony and junk even existed. Not so surprising considering ho much life I actually live in cyberspace though, but she was just passing through. Blind luck we even bumped into each other. This year will be our tenth anniversary of being together. Damn.

    And I said it before, lose that survivor's guilt. I LOVE THAT SOPHIE IS SEIZURE FREE!!! :) It makes me VERY happy to see the changes in you guys and to hear the stories. I'm always checking in to your blog with major happiness. So...don't feel bad at all. I consider you a HUGE source of inspiration.

    Besides, you are like my personal Saint Ubaldus Baldassini. He is my favorite of the patron saints for sick children, mostly just because I like the fact that his first name has 'bald' in it and his last name has 'bald ass' in it.

    As you can tell from this blog, I can relate to that. :)


You Are a Beautiful Blank Page...Do You Have a Great Pencil?

Christmas is over. That sound you hear is my sigh of relief. The tree is not actually down, as the opening image suggests. That was a t...