Dads out there, you have no idea how powerful you are. If you have a daughter please know she adores you, she admires you , she worships you and she needs your attention, desperately. This is true if your baby girl is 2 or 20.
You are the first man she will fall in love with. If you are there for her she probably won’t need an actual boyfriend until she’s in her teens. If you tell her she’s pretty and wonderful and smart, she won’t need conformation from a stinky boy for a long time.
If you are a cold uncaring jerk, if you argue with your daughter constantly and criticize everything she does, she’ll probably find a boyfriend who fills the gaps you leave before she leaves the school play ground. Little girls need a man in their life who makes them feel special. If you don’t do it they will find somebody who will.
So dads, man up, do your job, hold her hand and tell her how lovely she is. Start when she’s young and you’ll save yourself from a boat load of heart ache and late night worry.
Now, I want to make one point very clear. I’m not telling all you guys to spoil your daughters…rotten. Spoil them with love and attention but not with crap and stuff. If you buy her a I phone when she’s 7, a new Play Station every month when she’s 10 and a brand new car when she turns 16 YOU ARE AN IDIOT and SETTING HER UP FOR MISERY. If you spoil her with “stuff” two things will happen.
She will equate love with money and merchandise and she will expect every man she meets and likes to buy her everything she wants. Don’t wreck her life like that, please.
You probably need to consider this too. If you want your daughter to date and fall in love with good men who treat her with respect, treat her like a lady you should consider how you treat your wife or girl friend. If you’re a jack-ass who yells and screams at your woman, if you are rude, mean and ugly. If you’re a lazy deadbeat, your daughter will probably end up with a dude just like you. You’re telling her how women should be treated.
The first time a boy friend screams at her or God forbid, slaps her, she will respond one of two ways. She’ll get out of the car, cry and cry then forgive the guy and take him back. Or she’ll get out of the car, tell the guy if he ever lays a hand on her again she’ll rip his fingers off and eat them and never talk to him again.
How will your daughter respond? It’s on you, that’s how much power father’s have.
Tags: dads, daughters, fathers
Let me tell you something, life is better when you have money and a super fine car. I know money can’t buy me love, and money can’t buy me happiness but after driving around in a Lexus with less than ten thousand miles and a state of the art butt warming system, I know for a fact it comes pretty close.
The second I sat down behind the wheel I swear to you my hair was softer and more luxurious.
Music sounded sweeter because I had 120 satellite stations to choose from and better speakers. And I could change stations and turn up the volume with buttons on my steering wheel. You know I do get exhausted reaching all the way over to the radio.
My children were less annoying on the trip because the Lexus has so many freaking usb/120 volt/AC/DC plug options they were able to talk, text, Instagram, facebook, watch movies and not listen to my MoTown station. You’re right,they missed most of the sights. Sandor didn’t see the long horn steer or cool rustic fences, he was too busy watching Jack Black in Gulliver’s Travels. And we didn’t’ have many meaningful conversations because they were “all plugged in”. But we still liked each other when we arrived at our Hampton Inn.
When I called my husband he sounded kind of sad, “you love it more than you love me, don’t you?”
“No! Not really.”
“You realize that car
Getting out of a Lexus, I was sure I looked casually sophisticated in my trench coat and jeans and other well-to-do folks smiled at me because I was in a Lexus and so were they. It’s nice having new friends.
On the way down I got pulled over on I-30 for speeding by a state trooper. It was the first time I’d been pulled over for speeding ins 20 years! I was going 82 in a 70 mph zone. But that car wanted to go fast, it was so smooth, like chocolate pudding. And guess what? The State Trooper, with his enormous and intimidating hat, let me off with a warning. I promise you….it was because of the car.
I know, money is the root of all evil and can’t make me happy, but it tries so hard and comes so close. I don’t mind if it keeps practicing one me.
As we were leaving she said, “Has Alex finished your kitchen?”
“Hell no,” I laughed.
“Oh no, it’s almost Thanksgiving.” She sounded genuinely alarmed.
“He still has to put the trim around all the flooring. And all the countertops are still plywood.” I realized how bad that sounded after I opened my car door. “Hey, it could be a lot worse, one year he decided he could build a deck out of the big wooden pallets.” Turned out that was a very bad idea. And ten years ago he thought it would be a great idea to upholster our bar with all our old Taekwondo belts. Lexie was eight at the time and thought it was so pretty.
I was trying to make her feel better by telling her about some of Alex’s silly ideas. But once I got in the car I remembered there’s some other stuff he does that’s not so silly. He resets the alarm every morning and gets dressed in the dark, so he won’t wake me up. He does math homework with Sandor because I’m not very good at it. Secretly he cuddles the cat when nobody is around. He never gripes when the kids and I have to run off to a Taekwondo tournament or I need a new dress so I can announce an MMA event, and last night when I absolutely insisted on spooning for five or ten minutes he just laughed and let me have my way. “We’re gonna spoon and you’re gonna like it, damn it.”
Alex doesn’t send me flowers, call me “sweetheart” or “beautiful” he never buys me extravagant jewelry (he would if he could I think) but when I have an emotional break down and cry for two days because we’re broke he doesn’t get mad or make fun of me. Instead, he puts up with me, day after day and that’s a pretty big deal.
Tags: alex hampo, husbands
Thirteen or fourteen years ago I wrote a novel, Invisible Branches. It’s the story of a pregnant bookie in Hot Springs who decides to break away from her horrific boss. He’s a pretty nasty dude who owns a bunch of strip joints and runs numbers.
I based this dangerous villain on a local man named Burly Webb. Burly owned or ran a lot of local late night clubs in the 80s and 90s. Because so many folks were, ripped off, cheated, robbed and savagely beaten in his parking lots, Burly had a pretty terrible reputation.
But for some strange reason, Burly and I became friends. He helped me out a couple of times and never asked anything in return. People under estimated him, and thought he was just a stupid violent guy. It’s true, he was uneducated but he was anything but stupid. He was however a very dangerous and violent man. Even my own brother, who was a professional smuggler, didn’t like the fact that I was friends with Burly Webb.
In the novel, the character Hurley, only had one leg. He lost his foot and half a leg when he stepped in a bear trap in the woods. It was a pretty gruesome scene.
Before the book came out, I told Burly I’d written a story and he was the bad guy. He thought that was just great and bought ten or twenty copies to keep at the bar. I doubt he ever read Invisible Branches but he loved knowing he’d been immortalized. People told him how horrible and monstrous his character was in the book and that just made him laugh.
Then something freaky happened. Six months after the book was published Burly was out in the woods cutting down a tree. The chain saw slipped and he cut off his own leg, exactly where his character lost his.
The real Burly recovered, he got around on crutches after that. he still thought it was funny as Hell that he’d done virtually the same thing in the book. He never got mad at me but our friendship wasn’t quite the same. I think made him a little nervous. and who can blame him?
Burly died a few years ago. The character Hurley died too in a pretty nasty way. I think about this strange coincidence sometimes and it reminds me how much power the written word holds. Humans are the only animals on the planet who have the ability to write things down, so when we do, we need to be careful and get it right.
Tags: AR, Burly Webb, Club Car, Gators, Hot Springs, Invisible Branches
Apparently, if you fall into one of two categories it’s almost impossible to get a job.
1. If you have a felony record.
2. If you are black.
I’m very white and I’ve never been to prison but I’ve got lots of friends and family members who fall into one or both categories.
According to an NPR story three out of four business require a back ground check and if you have a felony conviction they don’t even consider you for a job. It doesn’t matter how minor the offense, how long ago you screwed up, how qualified you are for the job or or if you payed your debt to society.
So a woman who is arrested for prostitution or having a small amount of pot when she”s 19 still can’t get a job in most restaurants as a dish washer when she’s 30. Then we complain when she is forced to go on Welfare in order to talk care of her kids.
Obviously, a woman who steals stuff shouldn’t get a job in a bank and a man with a sexual assault on his record shouldn’t work in a school. But I feel confident in saying….a former prostitute should be allowed to work as an electrician, bank teller, nurse etc. if she has the aptitude and training. For the most part I really don’t care what my dental hygienist, radio dj or jewelry sales person did ten years ago. There are exceptions…I don’t want a plumber who is a mass murderer.
I recently saw a sad case of discrimination here in town. A local contractor needed an office manager. A man I knew who had twenty years experience in that exact field applied. He had great references. The company interviewed him twice and liked him very much. They offered him the job. Then the back ground check came back. Five years earlier he was convicted of trying to have sex with a 17 year old girl. He served his prison sentence, he was punished for his crime. His wife stayed with him, he had two kids in college. Still, once the contractor found out about his crime the job offer was withdrawn.
Of course there are exceptions and some criminals should be punished fore ever and ever and ever. But for the most part I don’t think that’s right. When does his punishment end?
The only people who have a harder time getting a job than felons, according to CNN reports are…. black men. A black man WITH NO CRIMINAL RECORD is even less likely to be hired than a white guy with a record. That’s ridiculous and what I really want to know is….why is there even a question about race on job applications? If race isn’t supposed to be a factor in employment why ask if you are black, white, Hispanic, Asian etc?
I just don’t understand. I know it’s wrong and I know something needs to be done…but I’m not sure what it is.
Comments OffTags: African american, black men, employment, felons, jobs, work force.
I’ve promised my kids I would write this story for a long time. It’s tough because it may be the greatest story every told, and I’m not sure I have the words. I’m reprinting this blog , in honor of Veteran’s Day.
My father, I Granger McDaniel, did not serve in the American military but he absolutely served, saved, survived World War II.
My dad was a short, quick and charming kid when he was in high school in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1940.
Hitler was slaughtering Jews in Europe but America had not yet joined the forces to defeat him. My dad wanted a piece of the action, he wanted to fly, he wanted to save the world and he wanted to impress my mom, who’d been his sweet heart since third grade.
So, at the age of 17 he dropped out of Hot Springs High, forged his own high school diploma and ran away to Canada. Because he’d been taking flying lessons at the Hot Springs Memorial Field the Canadians considered him a pilot. They shipped him to England where at the age of 17 he joined the RAF, the Royal Air Force.
He had just turned eighteen when he was made the Captain of a Short Sterling bomber with an eight man crew. Eighteen years old. Over several months he and his crew flew lots of successful missions and raids. They delivered their load, dodged gun fire from land and air and did their part to beat back the Nazis.
After completing a mission in 1942 Dad and his crew were limping home, across the North Sea after being hit by enemy gunfire. Finally, dad made the decision to crash land the massive bomber in the North Sea. My father was able to save some of his crew but not all. They floated for days in a rubber dingy before being picked up by a Danish fisherman.
While on board Dad wrote a letter to his mom. I’m holding the letter now, so I’m gonna let him tell the rest of the story.
Now don’t go get all worried. I am o.k. On a Danish fishing boat at the present. Spent four days in a dinghe. Jerry will treat us ok. two of my crew are with me, I lost four. Tell Cal and Dailey to be good and take care of you. I will try to get my pay sent to you. sorry i let you all down, thought i was going to win this war. I had a hell of a crash in the sea. I was thrown through the wind screen and swam with full flying kit to the back and pulled two out. It sank before I could get the rest. Two of them were shot anyway.
Tell Cal not to forget all the things I told him and that with faith he doesn’t need to worry about anything. Maybe I can study Architecture in prison camp.
Write to Air Ministry and tell them to send all my pay home. I hope dad is feeling better and Ginia and the baby are ok. Dad always said would stick my neck out too far. Now I’ve done it. I am lucky to be alive tho.
Tell Choate he thinks he was pretty sly I guess.
I guess I kinda got my flying career cut short huh? I got four engine stuff anyhow….
Honest mom, I want you all to know, I tried to save my crew. I could have had em bail out in Germany, but I thought I could take em home on 3 engines but soon another cut. I tried to get em to crash positions before we hit, then I tried to pull em out but I got two and it sank in 1 1/2 min. My wirless (I can’t read his writing) was sending S.O.S though wounded.
I didn’t have my time all in my log. I wish you would write and try and get it.
Right now I got me a big black cigar, guess I better enjoy it.
I think I will be able to write through the Red Cross. Please don’t worry now. Just have faith.
Give everyone my regards Bud. Irven Granger McDaniel”
Everytime I read his words I am stunned by the grace, composure and selflessness of that eighteen year old boy. Strange things went on to happen. He spent four years in POW camp, but he was able to study architecture. He escaped so many times he was called “The Cooler King” and he was part of The Great Escape from Stalag III.
I was only sixteen when my dad died. but I hope his service to the world and faith will never be forgotten.
I love you Dad
Tags: I. Granger McDaniel POW, Veteran's Day, WWII
I can write but I’ve never written poetry. But I think these might be fifty percent brilliant.
My Dead Dog
Our little dog was hit by a car and died on the highway.
He was tiny and honey colored with the head of a Labrador
and the body of a dachshund.
The dog was enthusiastic to the extreme, a sweet crack head
but chased cars on the highway so we knew.
We understood a car would kill the dog.
I couldn’t find a shovel so I dug his grave with a pick and hoe.
It was hard.
Sweating, I tried to lift his stiff, furry body.
thirty awkward pounds.
He was heavier than I expected and too big for my hole.
I tried to cover him with the black soil,
but his tiny golden paw poked through the dirt.
When I told my son the dog was dead he smiled
Thinking it was a joke.
He wanted to look at the grave, so we did.
Then he stopped smiling. An hour later he rolled off the couch in pain,
limp with heart ache.
His heart will heal,
but the dog will not come home.
He’s buried by the creek in a grave too small to hold him.
In the Wal-Mart parking lot, we had a moment.
You parked next to me, in your cloud colored Lexus and smiled.
I smiled back then turned my head, hoping my hair would fall in front of my face
in a good way.
Not the disheveled, frumpy way.
When I looked again you were still smiling at me, while talking to your phone.
And you were middle aged handsome,
gray and black hair …and smiling at me.
Nice teeth very tan.
Then you got out of your car and strolled with a relaxed athletic gate
to the buggy corral.
Elegantly you snatched one free and pushed it inside.
When you were gone I climbed out of my old and tiny car.
I peeped into your Lexus.
Golf bag and clubs in the front seat, obviously your date.
A green Heineken bottle in the cup holder and a white I-pod charger.
You were old but not an idiot.
After spending fifty nine dollars and forty minutes I exited Wal-Mart.
Briefly, I wondered if your car was still there.
It was not.
But you’d left the Heineken bottle in the middle of your parking spot,
waiting to do horrific things.
Selfish, lazy asshole.
Tags: ass-hat, bad poetry, dead dog, poetry
One of my Taekwondo students is a little fellow, seven years old, round as a bowling ball with terribly buck teeth. His name is James. When he started six weeks ago his mom warned me that James had all kinds of issues like ADD and mild Asperger’s . It might be true but he just seems like a sweet squirrely, twitchy little boy to me.
As round as James is he always goes hard, tries to kick high (knee level) and punch fast. He gets to class early and stays late and constantly asks me to watch his new combos or made up kicks. James gets so excited that he interrupts and has a very hard time holding still. But he’s a wonderful little boy.
Last week we worked on falling properly. It’s an easy technique that keeps you from getting hurt if your pushed down. I explained to the students they needed to learn to fall and roll, break their fall with their arms and don’t let their heads bounce on the ground. We practiced falling and jumping right back up over and over. Then moved on to a new drill.
Yesterday in class James was twitching around, sizzling with a story he had to share. We all sat down to stretch and I said, “What is it James?”
“Ms. Diana, yesterday on the playground a mean guy pushed me down and I fell just like you taught us. I even used my arms!” He was so excited.
“Who was the kid?”
James shrugged, “I don’t know, just a kid.”
“Did a teacher see it happen?”
“No ma’am but I told one. She told me to stay away from him. But I fell just like you told me.”
“We’ll good job James. I ‘m glad you remembered.”
I thought about James getting pushed down as I drove home that night and as I drank my coffee this morning. I don’t want that kid getting pushed down. And if he does I want him coming up like a freight train. I want him to have the confidence and skills that keep him safe on the play ground. But he’s just a buck toothed bowling ball white belt right now.
Someday James won’t be proud of how he falls down, he’ll be proud of the way he gets back up.
This morning as I was letting Sandor out at school we watched a young girl, very pretty, struggling with several bags and back packs. It was about to start raining and traffic was backing up.
“Sandor, get out and help her.”
“No” he said adamantly. “That’s Heather. She’s mean.”
“Mean to you?”
“Mean to everybody. she makes fun of just about everybody in our class.”
Well, what was I supposed to do with that? I want him to be kind, to be helpful, to take care of people. but should I have insisted he get out and help the mean girl?
He’s generally a gentleman, holds doors open for strangers, shakes hands like a man, says “yes sir” when asked a question. I’ve insisted on these behaviors for years and now , at ten, they come naturally to him. So he should help the mean girl, right?
But she’s the mean girl in 5th grade. She told one of his friends he couldn’t go to college because he was too poor. When Sandor wore new red skinny jeans from Old Navy to school she told him he “looked ugly and would never get a girl friend or grow facial hair.” Ouch.
It took me two weeks to get him back into those pants. I told him if he liked them he should wear them, “don’t give a mean girl the power to control your wardrobe.”
So we watched the beautiful mean girl haul all her stuff into the school building without his help. He jumped out said, “I love you” and disappeared into the mass of children.
But I was left wondering. Should I force him to try to win her over with kindness, to turn the other cheek? Should I insist he be a gentleman and help everyone…even the kid who picks on others?
What’s the right thing to do as a human, as a Christian, as a mom? I don’t know.
Tags: mean girl
Yeah, I’m sitting at a little desk and pretty soon I’ll walk out and get in my little 2001 Nissan (with 245,000 miles on it). But I’m worried about Fergie because her situation is bleak.
Here’s the issue. Fergie is aging and it shows Generally, white women, when compared to Asian, Hispanic and Black women, don’t age very well. My mom used to say we had “cheap ten cent skin that didn’t last very long.”
To make matters Fergie has to stand next to a couple of black men all the time. They don’t age, they just get cooler and cooler. Nobody knows or cares how old Will I Am is, and he wears so much bizarre stuff, we can’t really see his face.
Will I Am is just the brilliant funky Blackeye Peas dude. Fergie, on the other hand, is supposed to be “the hot one”, and from a distance she still is. But white skin seems to crack faster than brown and black. It sucks but it’s the truth. When you look at publicity shots and their web site she looks just like she did five years ago because they can touch her up. But when you see her live or untouched photos it’s clear she’s aging like a normal woman. Take a look at her neck.
I go through the same thing with my husband Alex. He smokes a pack a day and of course he’s never used any sort of lotion but the man doesn’t have any freaking wrinkles. He’s five years older than me but his skin isn’t aging cause he’s a swarthy Hungarian guy with caramel colored olive oil skin. I’ve got cheap ten cent Scotch Irish flesh. I could cover myself in Crisco and my skin would still wrinkle and crinkle like tissue paper.
Fergie is certainly much hotter than I am or I ever was, but she has thousands of people staring at her every day under bright lights, photographers zoom in on her flesh like astronomers looking at Mars and she’s not supposed to age…she’s supposed to remain perfect, ageless and hot. I’ve got four kids and a mortgage, people expect me to get old.
So, next time I’m in a group and they want to take a picture, I’m going to find a great big old white person. I’m sure as hell not gonna stand by the cool black dude, so Will I Am….get away from me.
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