Thursday, June 17, 2004

I feel like I finally have my head back together after returning from our Cleveland vacation. Although I ran a couple of times in Ohio (including an 8 mile run the day after we arrived!), I slacked off by Wednesday and wound up consuming mass quantities of beer and meat. My God, it seems like every meal has some kind of meat portion included when you sit down back there. Not that I’m complaining, but it starts to feel like the Python Spam sketch after awhile.

Our trip was excellent. I feel like each time we take a family vacation, it keeps getting better. We arrived on a Saturday without a hitch and quickly settled in to the Ohio vacation routine. Jacob was SO excited to see his cousin JF, he would run around the house calling out his name, “Gey-Eff!!” And JF was so patient with Jake. It was wonderful seeing them play together. Sophie LOVES being with her grandparents in Ohio and playing with JF and his sister, Gretchen. And all of the kids got along so well.

Highlights of the trip included a day at the movies seeing “Shrek 2” again and immediately heading on over to Chuck E. Cheese’s for pizza and video games. Beth and Zyg came up on Thursday and had dinner. I felt like that was a good night. It’s strange how Beth has settled into becoming a part of the extended Flynn family. All of the kids go off and play and because she knows everyone so well (I guess it has been 11 years), she just eases into hanging out with everyone.

I really admire Beth. She’s become very political and standing up for her beliefs. She and I think along the same lines of the political spectrum, although she may be a tad bit more liberal than I am. Good for her, though. We grew up in a semi-conservative family in which I was never really sure what my parents stood for. All four of us Malchus kids had to figure that stuff out on our own.

Speaking of politics, on that same day I had breakfast with Jan Denman, my high school senior English teacher, and an old friend. I haven’t seen Jan in a couple of years, though we have dropped each other emails throughout those past two years. It’s always a pleasure to just hang out with Jan. He had a profound influence on my life and to call this man my friend is seriously an honor. Jan taught me quite a bit about thinking for myself and about writing from the heart and not always worrying about the mechanics. In a lifetime, you probably can only call a few people mentors. To me, Jan will always be one of my mentors. I gave him a copy of “King’s Highway”. I hope it plays on his DVD player; otherwise he’ll have to wait for the release later this year.

Got to see Bob on several occasions. We hung out on his sister’s boat one night, and then he had a party that last Friday we were in town. Brian and Dan were both at the party. Dan and his wife, Jodi, also brought their precious daughter with them. I was pretty excited about seeing Brian. I haven’t spoken to him in some time. I was amazed when he brought up the blog and how often he read it.

It’s a tad intimidating hearing feedback about the blog. I tend to get self-conscious when I think about folks reading this thing. Still, I supposed to be a writer. I want people to read it. Duh!

Also at the party was a guy who co-starred in my senior film at Bowling Green. His name is Todd Meany and he’s a reporter for one of the networks in Cleveland. That was both exciting and a bit surreal. I haven’t spoken to this guy since the last month I attended BG. Isn’t it a trip when you get reacquainted with someone like that from your past? I believe I’ve detailed such encounters from last year in this very blog. Todd is very successful, and I was, I don’t know, somewhat envious of him and the success he has had. I have a difficult time promoting myself lately. I feel like I’ve been talking about “King’s Highway” for years… oh, wait, it has been years. I feel like people are hearing the same damn stories about the movie. So when I start to tell someone new about everything, my enthusiasm is a little bit lacking.

Have to work on that.

Saw Aunt Dorty and Uncle Ben and received a new Indian’s cap from them. It’s pretty stylin’ with the retro “C” from the 70’s teams (you know, when they were really dreadful). I think this is such an abbreviated rundown of our trip; it must not sound all that exciting.

I will say this: I really felt at peace on this particular vacation. I wasn’t restless to be somewhere and I felt like I had a lot of patience with the kids. That has not always been the case. In trips of past, I was a bit selfish about wanting time to myself and trying to push the kids off on their grandparents and cousins. I know, what a lousy father.

But it’s like I’m seeing them grow up so fast now. And as quickly as they are maturing, I am realizing that my time with them is running out. Soon, they’re not going to want anything to do with their cranky old man who will be barely able to walk. That breaks my heart. It’s bittersweet watching your children get older. You’re excited about them growing as human beings, but they leave behind those precious bits of childhood that are so special. The day that Jacob finally stops calling Sophie “Wo-wo” and calls her “Sophie” will be very sad (and I fear that day is close).

After returning home, I’ve returned to my running schedule. I’ve decided to move up to a 5/1 running pace. We’ll see how it goes.

That’s all for now.


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