Smoking Charges Ignite
Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...
Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...
Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise
When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...
A few months ago, I decided to write a daily quote on my office wall. No, I’m not an irascible child who will not be contained in my creative fury. I have a whiteboard that I use for quote purposes …...
Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...
A Reasonable Explanation
Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....
That's a Mouthful
Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...
Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right
I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...
The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...
When Did I Become a Pushover?
I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...
As I Approach 30
I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....
Editor’s Note–TFF Issue #19
By Seth Kabala
A few months ago, I decided to write a daily quote on my office wall. No, I’m not an irascible child who will not be contained in my creative fury. I have a whiteboard that I use for quote purposes and other work stuff.
I’m in charge, so to speak, of most activities that happen in a certain conference room in my office. This conference room also has a whiteboard, which is bigger than mine. Yes, I have whiteboard envy. The struggle is real.
Trying to bring the rest of the office (at least the subset that uses my conference room) along with me on my daily attempts to get out of the muck and get inspired to greatness, I began mirroring my office wall quotes on the conference room whiteboard. More Seth wisdom to make the world a happier place. Well, vicarious wisdom. I am a vessel. Even the best bits of advice need a messenger to carry them to the masses.
Here are 10 of my favorite quotes over this past quarter, along with observations:
1. “Nobody is a villain in their own story. We’re all the heroes of our own stories.” –George R.R. Martin, novelist.
Are you rationalizing something? Surely not. Not you.
2. “Home is watching the moon rise over the open, sleeping land and having someone you can call to the window, so you can look together. Home is where you dance with others, and dancing is life.” –11/22/63, by Stephen King, novelist.
I’m going to have my wife, Amy, wood burn this into a plaque. I love this blurb. King once wrote: “Writing is magic.” Boy is it ever.
3. “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” –The Sandlot.
Who will remember you after the remains of your retirement cake have been thrown in the trash?
4. “In times of crisis the wise build bridges, and the foolish build barriers.” –T’challah aka “The Black Panther.”
You like your alone time. I get it. I like mine, too. But we can’t live life isolated. I take that back. We can live, but we can’t thrive. Maybe you can do it all yourself, but why would you want to? The human experience isn’t about just you; it’s about the lives you touch. Figuratively speaking, people. Figuratively speaking!
5. “It was indistinct, just whispers in her head, a gentle susurrus, blowing through her conscious mind without taking hold.” –The Silver Eyes, by Scott Cawthon, writer.
Props to my son, Will, for suggesting this book. This title is from the Five Nights at Freddy’s horror franchise. I was expecting a cheesy, sloppily written story. I got the opposite. Susurrus? Nice word. Had to look it up.
6. “I’d rather die a big death than live a small life.” –Elfo, Disenchantment.
Solid advice from one of the main characters in this new Netflix animated series from the creators of The Simpsons. If the Good Book has been my spiritual Bible, The Simpsons has been my pop culture bible. Disenchantment continues in this same slant while crapping all over the saccharine sweet fairy tale genre. Love it.
7. “So don’t let it be / Before tomorrow comes / Before you turn away / Take the hand in need / Before tomorrow comes / You can change everything.” –Before Tomorrow Comes, by Alter Bridge.
Want some life advice? Listen to rock music.
8. “Cowardice is always with us, and bravery, the thing that provokes the poets to make their songs about us, is merely the will to overcome the fear.” –Sword Song, by Bernard Cornwell, novelist.
I discovered Bernard Cornwell’s writing last year after
watching binging the BBC/Netflix series The Last Kingdom. This series is loosely based on the first four novels in Cornwell’s Saxon series. I feel like I’m better prepared to be a man in this world every time I read one of Cornwell’s books. Bring on the Danes! Metaphorically speaking. I can’t sully this *making circular motion around my face* face.
9. “Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.” –Mitch Albom, writer/broadcaster.
Your time is precious. Distribute wisely, but do distribute.
10. “The purpose of life is not to be happy, but to matter–to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.” –Leo Rosten, writer.
If ever there was a credo against complacency and entitlement, this is it.
In this issue, we’ve given you advice on avoiding injury on your treks through your backyard; introduced you to a new (to us) comedian in Mike Vecchione, who has some just-up-to-the-edge (if not beyond) thoughts on family life; and described the vain hopes of parents having child after child and hoping that this one is going to be the good one, set against the backdrop of the impressive strategic planning efforts of the characters of the Jurassic Park movies.
At The Family Farce, we believe the concept of family travels miles beyond wherever you call home. We pride ourselves on producing tongue-in-cheek essays and humorous knowledge bites for you to smile at and say, “Hmm.”
The quotes from my wall, however, show that much office advice is cross-applicable to the home. Literature and song poetry can astound and educate us, if only we take the time to absorb them, opening our senses to the full spectrum of beauty surrounding us in this world. I challenge you to write your own quotes–yes, physically write them out. (Maybe you’ll burn a calorie or two and get closer to closing your rings. Bonus!) Make each day a day where it made “some difference that you lived at all.”
Stay hungry for knowledge, folks. The table is replete with nourishment, and a seat is waiting for you.
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Tags: 11/22/63, Alter Bridge, backyard, Before Tomorrow Comes, Bernard Cornwell, complacency, conference room, Danes, Disenchantment, Elfo, entitlement, Five Nights at Freddy's, George R.R. Martin, greatness, Jurassic Park, Leo Rosten, literature, Mike Vecchione, Mitch Albom, poetry, quotes, Scott Cawthon, Seth wisdom, stay hungry, Stephen King, Sword Song, T'challah, TFF Issue #19, The Black Panther, The Sandlot, The Simpsons, whiteboard
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