Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #562 - It's my Birthday (again)

My birthday 1973
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #562 - It's my Birthday (again)

Hi Mom, Usually, I do not re-post entries from Hey Mom within Hey Mom. I figure once is enough. But with this marking the 562nd entry in Hey Mom alone and with 696 total published entries on this blog, I feel occasional re-posting is worth my time and yours (and yours, reader). Maybe some new readers will check out this entry again or ones who didn't check it last year will check it or maybe I will get brand new readers who have never seen my blog.

Also, I can reflect on what I wrote last year an update my remarks (here at the top) if necessary. I will also include a new photo up top. And I did. A photo from 1973. I am hypnotizing my sister with a yo-yo. This is a great photo. Not the usual poses with cakes or presents, and it both shows our great wardrobes -- check out Lori's headband -- but also has the fish tank in the background.

Looking over last year's birthday post from Facebook and the blog, much is the same. Though this year I had two teach two classes and attend Calculus, though I had to go to the store, drive Satchel to and from Camp Fido, and even take Ellory for a solo walk, many things were the same. I had work to do. I am still watching Y&R episodes from before Christmas just like last year (though Christmas 2016 right now not Christmas 2015).

I was missing you, Mom, but the feelings were not as strong as they were in 2016, the first birthday I celebrated since she passed. If anything, I was missing both parents as Dad is in Mexico. No Pistons game with Dad this year. They did not even play that traditional MLK matinee game this year, which is disappointing.

I let myself get behind on the blog. It's Monday January 23rd as I type these words. But that's okay. I needed a little break, and I had many other things to do. There was a test in Calculus Friday. I had work to get through. And Liesel and I needed to do stuff together. We drove Ivan home Friday and ate a great meal at a nouveau Mexican place in East Towne of GR (on Wealthy) called Donkey Taqueria Saturday, I had more work, but Liesel took a ride with her new bike and had a great time PLUS she took the dogs for a walk, and then we went to dinner at Rustica and had one of the most amazing meals of all time. It was truly outstanding: old fashioned with Knob Creek and a rosé - La Bergerie "K," Languedoc—France, `14. The meal consisted of a grilled romaine salad with fresh white anchovies -- which are for sale at Tiffany's and I must get some -- a Scottish poached Salmon with carrot, daikon radish, calamari pasta, ikura, red curry broth, and charred brussel sprouts with house bacon, parmigiano reggiano, walnut, horseradish. All of this was followed by dessert: Olive Oil Cake with pine nut butter, mascarpone, candied lemon. You would have loved it all, Mom. I am not exaggerating. It was truly one of the best dinners I have ever had.

So, looking over my post from last year, my birthday treats were not as extensive. I did not watch any shows. Liesel sprung for Thai take out, but I had to go get it. All Thai's phone was not working, so I had to go order in person and then return to get the food. It was yummy, and we set together to eat it. Then I actually had more work to do before I could go to bed.

But many things I wrote last year are still true this year.

I loved all my birthday wishes.

I have a new puppy, so that's awesome.

I am all right being 55.

I enjoy school, though for every year it takes me to work on this added degree I have to question if it's worth it.

I still regret not publishing a novel, and with school, work, and family, I have not had enough time to write this year as I would have liked. I have been mulling over ideas for fiction work but so far have not been able to fit it in the schedule. This seems to be the story every year. Maybe 2017 can be different, but with plans being made to move out west, I kind of doubt it.

Anyway, here's last year's post if you're interested.

My Birthday - 1971
not the HULK cake
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #196 - It's my birthday

(SUBTITLED: "It's my Birthday and I can denial if I want to, denial if I want to, you would denial too, if it happened to you...")

Here's my FACEBOOK POST about my birthday

The picture of me above is taken is from 2006. During my T-shirt year, I devoted T-shirt #303 to discussing the wonderful birthdays hosted by my mother throughout my life. Read there at that link if you want to know more about my idyllic childhood.

I am lucky to have had you as my mother, Mom. Thank you.

Birthday 1973 with Jeb Jacobs
note the ALFRED E. NEWMAN cake
 Hi Mom,

It's my birthday. Another holiday passing without you for the first time. This one seems to be hitting me harder than Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, your wedding anniversary, my wedding anniversary, Lori's birthday, and your birthday combined.

I am really missing you A LOT today, especially, Mom.

I know I write that statement (missing you) a lot, too. But it keeps being true, and it keeps stinging like a sword through the heart (assuming that stings as I have not experienced the physical thing). I was hit the other day with the overwhelming sense that I did not want to live in a world without you in it, and yet, I am sentenced to live in just that world. No choice.

That's kind of sucky.


See the image post above that captures what I posted to Facebook this morning, which is now January 20th, as I did not finish my birthday post yesterday. It was a strange day. I had to work at pellmell pace as I had taken Monday off to see the Pistons game with dad, as described in yesterday's blog post. So, I turned on my DVR and loaded the next episode of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS that I needed to watch, as I am about a month behind. I was watching pre-Christmas episodes, which were filled with CHRISTMAS commercials, which I try to avoid but catch in sneetches. And THEN, this viewing (or I should say playing as I simply play Y&R next to me as I work and mostly listen to it, looking at it occasionally) makes me think of you Mom, as we watched Y&R together so much. And this thinking makes me miss you even more.

Though I wish I was riding a bicycle in the sky with ET... who wouldn't?

So, little birthday fun yesterday as I had to work and then attend Calculus and Java classes. But I did take some time at the end of the day to watch two episodes of The Big Bang Theory and the pilot episode of The Flash (which was so-so... the dialogue is pretty awful) as birthday treats. More enjoyment of birthday coming this Friday and Saturday when I do my official celebration.


Last week, my therapist asked me how I felt about turning 54. He specializes in men's issues and has made quite the study of men's response to aging. I think I answered him honestly, but you know, the mind, the heart, all those thoughts, all those feelings, the unconscious mind, the ego, the shadow, they are all very tricky things. VERY tricky.

Was I really honest or have I repressed my true feelings?

There's no way to really answer that question because if I have repressed feelings, if I am in denial about things, then I am hardly aware that I am in denial or have those repressed feelings because, then, they would not be repressed, and I would be coming out of a phase of denial.

But it feels right to tell him that I am all right with being 54, and that, overall, I am regret free. My regrets are few and manageable. And I have a lot that makes me happy, a lot of things and people and situations that I LOVE. I am very blessed and lucky. It's true. I am touched by something that will grow and bloom in you... sorry, went off on song lyrics there.

I have family and friends that I love. Most importantly, I am married to the woman of my dreams. I would be SO MISERABLE if I had not found and fell in love with Liesel and been so blessed to have her return that love and even more importantly STAY in love for seven years now. Our first date was shortly before my birthday in 2009, almost exactly seven years ago. My life has never been the same since, and I am so very very happy. Liesel is the best partner I could ask for. I have written about the joys of being married to Liesel a lot, like HERE: HEY MOM #89 - Sixth Wedding Anniversary.

Since Liesel is the woman of my dreams and marrying her was the best decision I EVER MADE, then I have no regrets about past relationships that didn't work out. I have FOND MEMORIES of many (most) of my past relationships, but I do not regret any of them or wish I could return to any of them. I am where I want to be with whom I want to be.

I have the greatest Dad ever, which you know, Mom, as you married him. My sister and brother-in-law are also wonderful and kind people. I have many fabulous friends, too many to name, but all of whom make me super happy and loved.

Though I am trying to change careers, I love my jobs. I love teaching. I am good at it. On the scale of jobs that I could be doing, these jobs are not bad at all. I say jobs because right now I am teaching six classes at four different schools and will be doing freelance writing and editing on the side. It's a lot. It's a bit crazy. It actually sounds much worse than it is. But I am well aware that it could be much worse. I could have a horrible job that I loathe. I could be doing something meaningless and without reward. I blessed to have done great work as an educator and a writer. Check out these kind words from former students proving my point!

So, that doesn't suck at all.

I like school. I am really enjoying my return to school to study computer science. Though often difficult, especially the math, I am having a lot of fun being a student again. There is a regret here, though. I probably should have studied computer science at K as a young man. I was doing computers in high school. Heck, Tim Travis, Jeff Waldeck, and I helped TEACH computer science our junior and senior years. So why did I abandon it when I got to K? Not a smart decision. I should have returned for this degree years ago. I should have been able to see that I was never getting a full time teaching job, but then, I WAS MISLED. But that's a very long story for another time, though you know it, Mom. You lived through it with me.

PETS. I have two of the most amazing pets in the universe. My puppy, Satchel, and my cat Vespers are an ever flowing and never ending source of love. I am very lucky to share a home and a bed with them.

And I am achieving BALANCE. Though I have TONS of work work and homework, I try to practice good living practice. I take time each week to relax and read. I find time for myself but also time with family and friends, especially my wife. I eat well. I drink, just enough. I enjoy life. I laugh, I sing, I dance a little. I exercise and walk the dog. Each month I make time to play some games with friends, and I make time each day, more or less, to write to you, Mom. ALSO, I am trying to make time to work on my fiction, even if it is just a little bit, it helps and it makes me happy BECAUSE now, we have reached the subject of my big regret.


My biggest regret, and really my only regret, is that I have not yet published  a novel and I have let so much time slip away without even finishing  a novel. I wish I was a full time write and novelist. I know it's never too late. I know. But I will never get back the last twenty years in which I left so many projects unfinished. I AM NOT crippled by this regret, but it is a thing that I think about, and I do wish it was otherwise.

I love you, Mom. Thank you for all my birthdays. I feel you here today. I appreciate your presence.

Happy birthday to me.

Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 198 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1601.19 - 10:10


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 564 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1701.19 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.
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