Sunday, January 24, 2010

For Spenser With An "S"

I can't remember when I first wondered into that bookstore and picked up my first copy, but if asked I could describe the worn out cover. The blue-green paper with white creases created by others who had traveled its pages before me. That copy of Taming A Seahorse I was holding would be my first introduction to my eventual favorite author Robert B. Parker. I was about to take a master class in how to write a detective novel. I had heard about the character of Spenser from his For Hire series. Robert Urich played him on TV and forever in my mind became the image and voice of the character. I read a couple. Then maybe one or two more. Searching the local library and bookstores for anything I could get my hands on from Parker. Then I discovered Early Autumn. To this day I am in awe whenever I see a copy tossed aside at a yard sale or flea market. The story is one involving a bitter divorce, an angry vengeful father, and of course Spenser making the touch choices the everyone refuses to take responsibility for. The father kidnaps the son, the mother hires Spenser to get him back, but nobody stops to consider what is best for the child not even the confused boy himself...that is until Spenser decides it's time to teach the boy about what it means to be a man.

With the help of his best friend Hawk, true love Susan, and Pearl his beloved dog, Spenser routinely set aside money, fame, love, and his own life to do what was right. Sometimes he did it for revenge, sometimes for honor, sometimes it was simply personal. Every case haunted him and every decision tore at his soul for years to come. This week Robert B. Parker left this world doing what he loved to do more than anything in his desk in the middle of writing the latest Spenser novel. In total Parker wrote over 75 books a good majority of which featured Spenser. While my life has changed several times over the past 30 years one thing has never changed, twice I year I go running to the book store desperate to get a copy of his latest novel. Something that will only happen a few more times as the last of his previously written books are released. I don't know if I have ever walked into a bookstore and not stopped to see which of his books they had. Though the man and his work have been put to rest, I know I'll never forget them. Thank you Mr. Parker. You taught me how to read.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Birthdate For All The Little Feet

March 12 will be a special day for the Blockhead clan as it's the day we have picked to welcome Alexander Brock Beck into this world. Since Mandy is having a C-Section we were able to be a little flexible about when the big day was going to take place. The original date was going to be the 19th, but Adam's B-day is the 20th so we pleaded with the Doc to have a week in between. This day is also special because if what I am being told is correct it will also be the day that Little Foot arrives.

I've neglected to mention him here yet, but Little Foot has been around since the first of November. He came into existence when out of frustration for Adam's complete dislike for his little brother's first name (he tended to scream "I don't like that name!" whenever he heard it) I decided to have a little talk with Mr. Too Big For His Britches. Some talks can be put off till the time is right say maybe in the bedroom before lights out. Some talks like this one just have to happen in middle of church in a classroom off to the side while everyone is praying in the other rooom. Anyway there I am trying to explain how Adam can't keep screaming he hates the name Alex because it is starting to make his Mommy cry, when I get the idea that Alex can have a nickname and Adam can pick it. "I can even call him Little Foot, Daddy?" "Yes you can even call him Little Foot."

I don't know how it happened, but somewhere between walking out one room and into the other Little Foot went from being the nickname of his little brother to the name of the baby Adam was keeping in his belly. You can only imagine the look I got from Mandy as her 3 yr-old whispered in church "It's okay Mommy I like the name Alex....and I've got Little Foot in my belly too!" For weeks afterward whenever someone would tell Adam that they'd heard the good news he responded "Thanks! It's name is Little Foot and he lives in my belly" all the while patting his pooched out tummy. Soon Little Foot quickly became a reason for second bowls of ice-cream (he ate the first one and Adam didn't get any) and an extra hour of T.V (Little Foot prefers Scooby Doo while Adam wants to watch Cars).

We thought the end of Little Foot was in sight when Adam proclaimed that on Christmas Day, Little Foot would be coming out of his belly once and for all. When the big day past with no dinosaur to show, we couldn't help but wonder aloud "Where is Little Foot? I thought he was coming out of your belly on Christmas?" That's when with those eyebrows furloughed and hands palms up at his side, Adam perfected his new talent for sarcasm "Well is Alex here yet?" "No" we answered. " Than Little Foot's not coming out either"

With this we can only presume that with the birth of Baby # 2 there will be a second birth...the birth of a dinosaur that lives in the belly of Adam Beck....otherwise known as Little Foot.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

I don't know how much stock I put into the idea that each person has their own spirit animal. According to one site ancient Shamans believe "that everyone has power animals - animal spirits which reside with each individual adding to their power and protecting them from illness, acting similarly to a guardian angel. Each power animal that you have increases your power so that illnesses or negative energy cannot enter your body. The spirit also lends you the wisdom of its kind. A hawk spirit will give you hawk wisdom, and lend you some of the attributes of hawk."

When we got ready to decorate Adam's room we decided on frogs for some reason. Frog blankets. Stuffed animal frogs. Foam frogs stuck with Velcro tape to his walls. It was the perfect animal for our first tadpole. In doing some research I've found that the Frog represents a reminder of common bonds with all of life, a rebirth, a transformation. Frogs are singers of old songs. In some ways this is dead on because my life completely transformed when he was born. Plus everyday he seems like a different person.

For Alex we have settled on Elephants. Don't ask us why, but we are already stocking up on Elephant lamps, bed spreads, wall paintings. Elephants represent strength, royalty, connection to ancient wisdom, confidence, and patience. Obviously it's too early to tell if this is correct, but I sure hope he gets some patience. It would be nice if somebody in this family had some.

I took a quiz to find what my Spirit Animal was and it turns out I'm a Tiger! Apparently I am REACTIVE. Impetuous and strong, I follow my instincts. If a problem arises, my reactions are swift and decisive. I live by my intuition, and can sense things that may not be so obvious. I can be counted on in an emergency, but not necessarily in a delicate or complex situation. Sounds about right to me.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Born To Be A Gleek

Music runs in our family. Mandy and I have a tremendously large CD collection and my iPOD is one of my most valued possesions. The first 9 months of Adam's life were filled with nights of me rocking him to sleep singing the latest Top 40 hits. He even got a guitar for Christmas and played me the Devil Gets In Trouble this afternoon. Few people know that I have an uncle that is a Grammy winning Christian song writer. If what we've seen the past few months is any indication, Alex may just come out dancing and wanting an MP3 player of his own. Everytime the music starts, it's as if a night club has opened up in Mandy's tummy.

This brings me to Glee the hugely popular Fox show about a group of highschool rejects all connected by their love of music through Glee Club. Each episode features 4-5 remakes which regularly reach #1 on Itunes the day after they are aired. A couple of CD's have been put out (which we own both of), the first 13 eps hit the stands last week (picked that up too), and there are plans for a concert next summer. One thing that makes this show so special to us is that whenever Alex hears a song from the soundtrack he goes crazy! Recently Mandy has even gone as far as listening to all that Groove Shark has to offer for us Glee fanactics or Gleeks as we are called.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Blockhead Family Secrets Revealed!!!!

Since most of my readers are local you have probably heard the news by now that we have settled on a name for our upcoming (only 8-10 weeks to go) baby boy and the winner is Alexander Brock Beck. The middle name is after my brother, but the first name we came up with on our own and simply liked the sound of it. Now I could go on and on about how Xander may be a possible nickname (after the sidekick from Buffy The Vampire Slayer which I own every episode of) or how the name Lex has been tossed around (a nod to the classic Superman villain), but I don't want Mandy to rethink it so I'm not going there yet. Oh and in case you are keeping track I'm officially pulling off the mask with this second post of the decade.

While I will no doubt refer to myself as Charlie Blockhead more times than not in the future, fake names feel so Aught Two Thousand. This decade already seems to be going by so fast as if it was shot out of a cannon, who has time to remember what they called everyone 355 posts ago.

For those keeping score at home the Cast of Characters include:
Charlie Blockhead = Bill Beck
Lucy Blockhead = Mandy Beck
Fred Blockhead = Adam Frederick Beck
Introducing our latest Blockhead in the making.....
Alexander Brock Beck

I was fortunate to have several days off during the holidays and with the time came a chance to do something I've been meaning to do since the end of year one, specifically make a hard copy of everything I've posted here. In doing so I realised a couple things 1)The frequency of my posts drastically dropped this year. Before '09' I was averaging 100 post a year for the past 3 years. In '09' that was cut in half. Some of that was because I changed jobs and since I can come home for lunch I don't have an hour to kill in the middle of everyday. At first I thought it was that my freelance work got in the way, but like everything else in this horrible economy that too just about became extinct. If I had to say what happened and I feel I do, I think the answer would be that I was able to spend more time than ever with 3 yr-old Adam and pregnant Mandy. Consequently with that came some writers block due to feeling like every time I sat in front of the keyboard I had to try to cram all the fun into one giant post. 2) I haven't talked nearly enough about how much I am looking forward to being a dad the second time over and all the new challenges having two kids will bring. I love what I have created here and plan to continue to write until they take my keyboard away. The solution I've come up with is lowering the size of my posts while also increasing their frequency. Similar to what I did yesterday and obviously not what I'm doing today.

Now that I have exposed every one's secret identity as well as shed some guilt I've been carrying I want to leave with a funny thing that is happening more and more as we approach the due date (March 19th). Growing up my mom always had trouble talking to us kids when she got flustered because our names both started with the same letter. The result was that to this day I am known as Brock-Bill and my bother is of course Bill-Brock. Well if you believe that history repeats it self you may find it amusing to know that I have recently been caught calling Adam Alem and have even done the reverse by referring to Alex as Adex.

I know....somewhere there is a psychiatrist's couch with my name on it.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Feeding The Beast

What I need to be writing about is the new baby that is due by March 19th. I should be posting about Christmas and New Year's adventures that were had. I've got a ton of pics that I need to put up. A thousand funny stories that need to be jotted down....but as is the case the majority of time in order to get to the good stuff I gotta clean out all the junk that is getting in the way.

Today's junk is brought to you by all that crap they stuff into the vending machines at work, specifically the Boston Cream Honey Bun. Why is that I can be home for 4 days and barely eat anything, but the moment you sit me behind a desk my stomach starts growling? I'm like Pavlov's dog drooling the moment my rear end touches leather office chair. If I was at home my first meal wouldn't even happen till 11, but at the office I'm hungry by 10 and that's only 3 hours after I've eaten it any wonder I'm ready for Fred to learn how to tie his shoes so he can get mine since I can't seem to bend over anymore?