Wednesday, June 27, 2007

40 years old

Holy shit...what just happened? Today, I turn 40. Yes, that's FORTY...ten more than 30. I can still remember high school graduation--22 years ago. Where did it go? I have teenage children, and my parents are well into their 60s. It wasn't supposed to happen this fast! I had so many things I wanted to accomplish by the time I reached 40, and so few of them have actually happened. I have seen many foreign countries (check that off)...I have been on a cruise (check)...I have been married and had kids (check). Also, sadly enough, I have lived to see my four grandparents die, as well as my step-grands and grand-in-laws.

Never again will I see the days of staying up all night and sleeping all day. Gone are the days of knocking off a 12 pack and then still being able to function. The music isn't as loud, and the car isn't as fast. I also look back on previous relationships and wonder where it all went. Best friends, girlfriends, party buddies, Army buddies, high school and college acquaintances. Man, there were a bunch, weren't there? Now, we're down to a small handful of friends and the memories of good times past.

I guess as long as I continue to see the top side of the grass, I should be grateful. I just see other 40 year olds and wonder if they have the same dreams and wishes that I have. As I begin to see "mid-life" as a reality, I vow not to become one of those guys who buys a closet full of Hawaiian shirts and buys a hot rod convertible just to try to relive the past. I already own a closet full of T-shirts, which I will continue to wear, and as for the car...give me a Tiburon any day!

I'm about to head out to the local jazz club and have a few beers while I listen to some smooth sax, remembering the days when hair bands ruled the world and I thought I was bulletproof. Funny how things change so much in such a short time. Until next time...

Friday, June 08, 2007

What is wrong with people?!

Anna Nicole Smith...Paris Hilton...Nicole Ritchie...Lindsay Lohan...I have seen all of these names pop up at the TOP of the CNN and MSNBC websites over the past several months. They've been drinking and driving, passing out at parties, falling over themselves, and in the case of Ms. Smith, dying. As tragic as this may seem to some, let's have a nice tall glass of reality.

Iraq...Iran...Afghanistan...these are all countries we have heard some about in the past few years. Ask someone before September 11 where Baghdad is, and they'd simply shrug and say, "I have no idea."

Now, that's not the case. We all know where Baghdad is. We all know where Afghanistan is. We all know where Iran is. And we've all seen the many faces of the towel-headed freaks that act as if they're some kind of god. My opinion? Kill them all and let God sort them out! The whole point is, why are Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith so important that they get headline news on CNN, MSNBC, Fox and any other news channel, but the soldiers who give their lives to see that we have the freedom to horde information about these damn celebrities don't even qualify for more than a blip showing "another soldier dies in Iraq today..." and nothing more is said. These soldiers have families--children, spouses, mothers, fathers--who are all deeply saddened by the death of their loved one. At the same time, these people at least can hold their head up because their loved one died to liberate freedom for us.

My brother-in-law recently completed his second tour in the Middle East. A tour in Afghanistan and a tour in Iraq flying Apache helicopters. Think he wasn't a prime target? He was shot at numerous times, but was fortunate enough to get out with his ass still intact. Now I have a nephew headed to Iraq as an infantryman. In case you didn't know, these guys are more like the pawns on a chess board. They are the front-line defense in the approach to hot spots, and are typically the first ones to put their ass on the line. There is a good chance he'll come home alive and well, but the odds of him being injured or worse are also too high for comfort. If he gets injured or killed, will that death warrant a headline on CNN? I can answer that--NO. He will be another one lumped in with the sub-headline "Another soldier dies in Iraq." No families...just a small blip.

For those who have lost family members in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Korea, Germany, the Philippines, and any other foreign land that the US occupies--I remember them, and I thank you. You are all important, and your loved one did not die in vain. As for these celebrities getting all of the attention, you are all welcome to die in a fire. These people are dying for YOUR freedom. Who are you to think you're better than any one of them?

I've said enough. I need to go find something patriotic to do. My soldiers depend on it. Until next time...