Big Dan's Ramblings

Ramblings from a Boston Boy stuck in New York

Tag Archives: Plinky

Cussing With Kids

Big Dan's RamblingsThis post is most definitely rated PG-13 for language. You were warned…

I have never been a huge user of cuss words, but I don’t exactly shy away from them either. Words like “shit” and “damn” are pretty regular occurrences in my daily vernacular. I am, however, conscious of where I use such phrases. A public setting where kids are present is a big no-no. Work is a place I usually avoid using them as well. I was taught to respect others in my environment and that’s what I tend to do. I’ll drop a cuss (even f-bombs) on occasions, but only very rarely in public and never ever in front of kids. My house, however, was essentially my sanctuary. I could get away with saying just about anything there and I did. It wasn’t uncommon for my wife or I to drop a ‘shit’ here, a ‘damn’ there, or even the occasional f-bomb.

That all changed when the kids showed up.
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Finding My Way

Big Dan's Ramblings

I’m sure that a lot of you – and, by ‘a lot of you,’ I mean the 3-4 people who read this blog – have realized that I have been delinquent in posting anything new over the past week or so. There’s a reason for that. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about where I want this blog to go, what I want it to be about, and what I want to get out of it. For starters, I remembered that the name of this blog is “Big Dan’s Ramblings.” It is not, as a new reader may think, “Big Dan’s Reposted Sports News.” There’s really no excuse for this lack of originality. Life has simply been hectic lately. My two princesses just turned one year old, I’ve been travelling a lot for work, my back has been bothering me, the softball season has reached the playoff stage, and I’ve been trying to keep up around the house and with some reading. To say that I have a lot on my plate is an understatement (oh, and grad school starts up again at the end of the month). Keeping up with daily posts on a blog has turned out to be a lot more work than I expected.

So, I’ve determined why and how this blog went south, but how do I turn it around?

My original goal was to update this blog daily. I was hoping that, by updating daily, I would garner a following of readers. I was also intending for these daily updates to be a means in which my writing skills would excel. I did pretty good at this goal during the first few days of the relaunch, but quickly found that, without having a backlog of ideas to write about, I ran into tremendous cases of writer’s block. I then decided that writing about the Red Sox games (using internet articles as sources) would be a good way to continue writing and updating daily. This activity turned into simply reposting articles written elsewhere on the internet. I’ve quickly learned that posting articles about the Red Sox, Patriots, or Celtics that other people have written is A) boring and B) counterproductive to my goals. Who wants to read an ESPN or Boston Globe article at some off-the-beaten-path blog? And, quite honestly, how does cutting and pasting (with proper credit, of course) someone else’s work help my writing skills evolve? The answer to the former question is ‘no one’ and the answer to the latter question is ‘it doesn’t.’

So, here’s what’s I propose. I’m not going to update daily. I’m going to aim for 2-3 quality posts per week. They will be original posts by me – Big Dan. They main be about the Red Sox, Patriots, or Celtics. Or they may be about the myriad of other things in my life: family, work, school, cooking, or (if I’m feeling really secure with this blog) original works of fiction. I’m a long way off from that last one however. I’ll also use places on the web like Plinky to give me inspiration on posts. I may find a voice here – a central theme that this blog evolves into a subject matter area for. And I may not. Who knows. I think the best course of action for me is to try to be consistent with my posts while working on quality over quantity. This isn’t to say I won’t post links to great articles on occasion, but they won’t be the main crux of this blog.

So, please, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Thank you for sticking with me as I find my way.

Similarities Between Snowboarding and Life

But back in college I was reading an article about a professional rider and they were quoted about their views on snowboarding and life. Now, I can’t remember the rider or the exact phrase (and about an hour worth of Googling didn’t help), but it went something like this:

Snowboarding, for all its inherent coolness, is not much different from life; it’s all about charging the gap and dealing with the consequences.

It always has stuck with me as a simple truth – in life, as in snowboarding, you have challenges that you need to conquer. Even when you think about the worst case scenario and decide you’re willing to deal with it – see my previous post on Father Knows Best – you still need to execute. Just charge hard and figure it out when you get through with it.

Father Knows Best – The Best Advice I've Ever Received

How my old man has guided my decision making throughout the years.

You spend the first part of your life providing unconditional love to them, the next part insisting that they are wrong at every corner, and the rest of your life realizing that they actually knew what they were talking about. Of course, I’m writing about fathers.

My old man was, and still is, a straight shooter. Want to know where you stand with him, just ask. He won’t pull any punches. And, from the beginning he was always looking out for me and guiding me to be the man I am today. How did he do it? By providing a solid role model who never took the shortcut and always did the right thing, no matter how hard and socially-unaccepted it was.

He lived by one motto when making a decision and it still holds as the best advice I’ve ever received. Very simply, it goes like this:

Think of the worst thing that can happen and it probably will.

Yes, it’s a pessimistic look on life – at the beginning. At first it seemed like he was all gloom and doom – expecting the worst possible outcome at every turn. But, I learned over the years that what he was really saying was:

Think of the worst thing that can happen. Are you willing to live with that outcome?

Want to touch that hot stove when you’re a kid? Are you ready to get a burnt hand? Want to skip doing your homework in junior high? Are you ready to get detentions (and probably punishment at home)? Think you’re ready to bring that relationship with your girlfriend to ‘the next level?’ Are you ready to be a dad (that was a BIG one to think about in high school)?

It’s always been a question I ask myself. Hell, I even use this advice in smaller life situations. When I was thinking about whether I was going to keep my earrings in during interviews I thought about whether I was willing to lose a job I really wanted due to some older person’s misguided opinion. In the end, I wasn’t and took the earrings out for the interview (I got the job – although I don’t know that taking the earrings out was what tipped the scales).

So, thanks Dad! You’ve helped me make the right decisions in life and have taught me to think before I leap. Sometimes I wish I didn’t – I’m less spontaneous because of this advice – but, for the most part, I’ve made the right decision because I think through the consequences of my actions.

The Book with Tattered Pages

Steven King’s “The Stand” is one of those books that I can read over and over and over again. In fact, I have read it probably half a dozen times now and I believe it’s due for another read. I don’t know if it’s the battle between good and evil that gets me or just the fact that it’s a damn good story, but the book is a mainstay in my library and always seems to get circulated back into my “Must Read” list every few years.

What book could you read over and over again?