Sweet Child O’ Mine

It’s been one year since my last blog post, and I feel lost on what to write. I could write about how I’ve been working more hours at the day job than in the last seven years. How the granddaughter is now one and a half years old, or the youngest daughter is eight. Brag how the oldest daughter has been working three jobs to provide for her and the granddaughter. This year my wife and I went to Las Vegas for the first time to hang with our 20-year-old daughter while she performed as a professional wrestler. We also took a trip to Orlando, Florida, to celebrate the youngest turning eight, and my wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary! So I’m going to start writing and see where it goes.

25 years with this woman!

Recently I’ve been sharing the story of our wedding day. Unfortunately, it was far from a perfect day with horrible weather and a DJ that didn’t show up until midnight. The cool thing about it all is we are still married and have this tragic story! I wouldn’t change anything about that day.

As it was time to start our wedding ceremony in the Catholic Church, the sky turned green, and people came in off the street to take shelter in the church basement. When the wedding party joined me, a door to my side slammed and shattered the glass. Was this a sign of running? The thought of running didn’t cross my mind until after thinking about it years after being married. The stormy weather knocked out the power at the reception hall and caused the beer to be warm. As it was time for the DJ to be there, I was on the phone asking the DJ company when they would be there. Finally, the DJ showed up at midnight, but my aunt suggested not to enter the building. 

The day after, we spent it getting to know the neighbors in the downstairs apartment. That was our honeymoon as I went back to work that Monday. I will also mention I was late for my bachelor party as I worked a 14-hour day and got to the party around 11 o’clock, the Friday before the wedding. Little did we know I’d find a job even worse for working more hours and missing out on family functions.

Our Katy

My oldest two daughters give me crap all the time about how all I did was work when they were young. Although, in my defense, I thought that was my role as a father. I always tried to say no to work if there was a funeral to attend, but I still worked over going to family members’ weddings. It wasn’t until years later I realized the father needed to do more than bring home the bacon. So when we took in my cousin’s oldest boy, I stayed on the evening shift to help care for the family. I missed out on hours, but I felt it necessary to keep our family and marriage together. Shortly after taking care of the cousin’s son, we took in our niece, who a year later became our daughter. I can remember on the third day we had her, I texted my wife to let her know I loved this little girl. I don’t know where my family or marriage would be without having Katy in our life, but I know it’s beautiful with her. Damn, it’s hard for me to keep a dry eye when talking about her. There is more to the story of how we came to be her parents, but we are protective of the story.

I will end this blog entry there as I’m full of emotion now and need to finish writing. I’m very thankful and blessed for the path God has given me. I hope you all feel the same about your journey. Share your love and be kind to others. God Bless

Rockin’ The Tomboy Life

Tomboy Life was the life for my grandma.

1985 roller-skating, playing pool, video games, foosball, and cranking the radio in Grandma’s basement. That basement was unfinished and not the prettiest setup, but damn, the grandkids had it made there. All we were missing was a disco ball.

Sadly Grandma is getting put to rest this weekend. She passed away Spring of 2020. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, it wasn’t until the Summer of 2021 we had a service for the family. I’m writing this the day before.

My memory stinks. I will do my best to share a bit about my grandmother’s life.

She was in the Air Force, or so I thought as it was technically the Army, where she met my Grandfather. They started a family and moved to where ever Grandpa was stationed. A total of 8 children and settled in Minnesota when Grandpa left the service. Their place was a small hobby farm with cows, chickens, cats, and dogs. Other animals could have been there, but I’m going from memory. Some of my earliest memories are of that scary little farmhouse.  

At elementary age, there was a time grandma, two cousins, and I played Trouble. I was winning, and they all plotted against me. Finally, I blew up and hit the bubble hard enough for the game pieces to fly, and I ran out of the house. They came out and calmed me down. Grandma would bring that story up throughout my life.

In the mid-’80s, they sold that farm to move into another hobby farm closer to where Grandpa and the youngest aunt worked. That is where the cousins and I roller skated, played foosball, and played pool. But, of course, my grandparents always had stuff for us, outside activities, and video games.

When I got my first dirt bike, I remember her saying, “He can’t ride a motorcycle; he sweats too much.” FML as I sweat too much talking to people.    

Grandma claimed to be a tomboy, yet when you went into her house, dolls were everywhere. In the place, a pair of doll eyes were watching you. It was a little girl’s dream and an adults horror movie in real life. Grandma had an uncontrollable doll addiction remembered by anyone who visited.

I will never forget grandma working on her small farm, even in the muggy summer heat. You could pull in and see her on the tractor, bailing hay, or ask her who had dug a three-foot-deep trench to find out it was her. She was a tough lady, a Tomboy for sure. In one of the last conversations I had, she told me how she always wished to be a boy. Interesting to think what she may have done in the age we are in now.

Goodbye, Grandma, save me a spot for a game of Trouble.

Life moves pretty fast.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller.

Did anyone else watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when skipping school? It became my tradition, not that I skipped very much. I always admired how that character embraced the moment he was in and had fun with it. As I’m 46, I’ve definitely been better at having that attitude. During this month two of my daughters had birthdays, turning 27 and 19. January 2021 will include one daughter having a baby and the other daughter leaving us for three months to work on her wrestling career. In our house, 2021 may overshadow 2020.

Time is the one thing that makes us all equal. 24 hours a day and what we choose to do with it. How do the successful accomplish so much while others seem to only get knocked down and discouraged? Staying on task and focus is so difficult more than not for me.

I try to journal, read, exercise, and plan yet I fall off every time. When I do these things I’m happier with my daily performance. Why does my brain fight me on these things I know will help my daily life?

24 hours is my excuse for not exercising every day as I work on a new t-shirt, social post, email campaign, or update the website. Looking at how I go through my day I realize I’m draining my willpower constantly. The current book I’m reading is Building Self-discipline A 10-Step Guide To Improving Your Level of Mental Toughness by Massimo Gill. Only having so much willpower throughout your day is very interesting to me. I definitely see that when I go all-in on changing my habits rather than taking one bad habit at a time.

Again I ask, why is doing the things for mental and physical health so tough? Would you think it would be natural thinking the other way around? For many of us, we give in to the short term indulgence rather than that long term far away goal. For myself, I will exercise and continue reading to finish 2020 a little stronger compared to where I am now.

Low & Scary

Does everyone get as low as me? Is it so easy for everyone to get as low in thought? At this very moment, my mind wants to stop, wants my heart to give up. I look to things that keep me going but it’s so easy to think the world is just as good or better without this failed rock star. It’s so exhausting trying to keep my thoughts in positive territory. I love my family, life, hopes, and dreams. Keeping this brain in a positive space is so much work! I want to spend my time being creative and productive, NOT working on mental health. I’m in tears thinking of how much work it is to stay in a place that I rarely reach. It’s like my f**king belly that is flat after 6 months of hard work and back to the starting point after 2 months of neglect. WHY GOD, WHY? Is this the same for everyone or just the select few that struggle with mental health like this? What is the difference between someone who doesn’t fight depression versus someone who does? Is it a behavior learned early as a child? Did I not learn how to deal with personal failure or learn to celebrate small victories? I take meds, talk to a therapist, and do things to improve mental health. Here I am back to wanting and picturing dark sad thoughts and wanting to quit. Quitting seems so easy. I’ve thought less of others who have given up but here I am in that place. Who was I to judge anyone to end the self-torture? I have no clue what was going through that person’s head and heart. No one knows how much that person was hurting or struggling with dark demented anguish. I hate going to bed hating myself, waking up right where I left off before I fell asleep. Why shouldn’t everyone have a better person around them than me, I’m sure I can be replaced as a dad, husband, friend, and coworker. There are so many good people in the world to lift others up than me. Mental health maintenance is too time-consuming. In no way is this a goodbye post, just what is on my mind. I hate these thoughts and hate I can’t lose them without so much effort. Depression sucks the life and energy from me so bad it pisses me off. It’s almost a game that ultimately I don’t want to lose or be remembered by.

Maybe it’s for the best?

As I walked into my local grocery store and everyone going in and out had a mask on, I decided to wear mine. I am a person who has no problem when someone else doesn’t choose to wear a mask, but I’ll wear one to make others feel comfortable. As I tried to think of a positive spin on wearing a mask, I came up with the idea that in high school, when I had acne, I would have embraced putting something over my face and hiding. I had long hair trying to hide my face, plus I could have had a mask on the lower half of the face!

Not sure why I feel the need to get this out on “paper,” but I do. Is there a charity helping acne? I need to look into that because that will destroy your self-image. Between medications, doctor visits, gas, time, and long term mental health visits, I wonder how much money I have spent on a damn pimple? Honestly, the mask most likely would have made me break out more and feel even more ugly.

Here is a fun story in jr. high! Imagine hating your face, and there is a school rally about self-esteem. The entire high school is listening to the guest speaker and enjoying our time away from our studies. Then the presentation took a turn for the worst! The speaker said that in his day, a zit meant you masturbated! I swear on my grandmother’s grave, the entire gym on my half-turned and looked at me. My face turned red. I’m sure as it turns red for much less. I was 14 years old when this happened, and I couldn’t think of anything worse being associated with my face. I only heard a joke for a short period, and it wasn’t all that big of a deal, but I really could have used a mask at that moment.

Living in a Minneapolis suburb, there is another positive to the mask… cameras can’t see through a mask. The world is upside down, scary, changing, and yet I feel hopeful and optimistic. Am I mentally unfit? I believe in people and always try to see the good in others. Yes, people suck, and yet we can do pretty amazing accomplishments.

I love you all,


Breath of Dusty Air

I grew up next to a motocross track that I watched my uncle race many Sundays. I loved the races as it was my favorite thing to do in the summertime. The family would gather at the track to cheer him on and hang out. At age 9, my cousin and I got Honda CR60s, it was a dream come true for us as he actually lived across the street from the track.

Getting a dirtbike was a blessing and a cause of anxiety. My cousin raced the first year we had our bikes, but I waited an extra year to “practice.” My racing uncle always asked, “Why wait?” I’ve always felt bad as I blamed my parents and said they didn’t want me too, as Dad gave me a look that could kill as it wasn’t true. My reasons I must confess were that I didn’t want to perform poorly and disappoint my uncle, and I didn’t want my parents to spend the money on me to get to and into the races. Racing was and is expensive, and we didn’t have a lot of extra money. I’m sure my parents would have made it work, but I didn’t feel worth it?

I’ve always loved motocross; honestly, I always felt out of place at the track. My insecurities were more debilitating at the track than high school! Riders always had a cocky vibe that I couldn’t match, I just wanted to be their friends and have some fun racing. Then the ultimate confidence killer for me was everywhere, GIRLS! There were always cute girls at the track, and I was a shy ass kid.

When I stopped racing and got into music; instead, I began working at the local track as a flagger to afford to buy music from hairbands on cassette. The good old days of Columbia House Records. One time I was stationed on a jump near a rider, I knew that had started back when we were both in the peewee class. I’m sure he had no idea who I was or remembered me, but I thought he was the shit on the local scene. Later in the day, I noticed he brought a pretty girl into his camper. When I happened to look over at the camper, I saw the young lady drop down out of view directly in front of him, which caused him to notice I saw his business, AWKWARD! It must have ruined the mood as they both left the camper. A couple hours later, during my break, I walked past him, and his racing friend and they called out to me, “FAGGOT!” There I was more out of place and feeling pathetic. There he was, someone I admired and wanted to be like, because of bad timing and placement I was knocked even further down from any decent self-image.

Close to ten years later, I returned to racing, still couldn’t shake the zero confidence I had as a young racer. I did get to bring a girl to the track, and she ended up becoming my wife! I guess the story has a happy ending. LOL

Breath of Fresh Air

I am now home to help homeschool and entertain a kindergartner and senior in high school as my wife works from home. I pray that I have strength and patience.

I also have plans to improve my online presence, design t-shirts, edit video, self-improvement, and honey-do list. Let’s not forget I’m into my first week of T25 and I want to learn some new songs on the guitar. Where is my focus so I can shout in the fall, “Nailed it!” I also want to do some trading in the Futures market. My mind is racing as well as my heart as I just had a pre-workout drink for my cardio exercise. I better do that now and focus on this little blog after. Feel free to stop and do a workout you’ve meant to do yourself.

As I text the oldest daughter Jade, I find that we are a supportive family but fight like dipshits. She is also helping with Katy, which gives me time to improve and work on things in turn I feel will help me be who I want to be. My optimism just went up 10 points! My little family always amazes me, and I love them. I may not always be able to express, show, or act like love is in my heart, but I swear it is.

As I sit here in post-workout sweat, rocking out to the new Butch Walker album, wondering what to do next with my new time. What is Butch trying to tell me? F**K IT, just do something! I need to breathe and calm down my heart and mind. With COVID-19 giving extra time to some, who are these people? I assume it’s those who are home without children? During this sweet pandemic, I’ve had less time to do anything I want or “need” to accomplish. As I try to figure out what I’m sharing on social media and what people will even give a sh*t about, it will be there for people to see. I will breathe the fresh air the Gods have given me and be the rock star I want to be.

Don’t Stand So Close To Me

Don’t stand so close to me. #StayHomeStaySafe is excellent, a dream come true for a dork like me. The problem is I have four ladies in the house that need social interaction. In all fairness, I still go to a job and see other humans. Why is the wife stressed about work and helping the kids with their homework? I’m not sure how this is expected from families but, I guess this is our new reality? My wife’s new schedule…

  • Work from home 8 hours
  • Help children with school
  • Keep house chores up with everyone at the house 24/7
  • Be pleasant in the evening and make dinner
  • Make husband feel like the man because he is still going to work

Sounds easy, why can’t she be happy like me? I’ll admit I could never take care of the house as she does, but I don’t want to take these things she must enjoy as she’s doing them all the time over and over again.

What I’d like to know is who are the families with all this free time the media talks about. I see reports on how to use your time. Learn all these new hobbies during your quarantine. I understand if you are single, but if you have a family and more free time, let me know how this works! I’d love to have more free time to edit videos, obsess over stock charts, work on my marketing, self-improvement, exercise, and read. I can only hope those that do have time can find ways to make the world a better place in their own way while I try to figure out how to do school work in 2020.

When going to the store, it’s a new experience with social distancing. It’s hard to know if the other person is being polite or judging me. Do I touch whatever I need to hand to the cashier? Is it okay to talk and make the usual small chit chat? I do believe in this new crazy world that there will be good habits for long term socializing.

As a father of a high schooler finishing her sentence of 12 years of school, it looks like there isn’t a ceremony. I give her credit as it doesn’t seem to bother her. She just wants to start her wrestling career. My oldest daughter graduated from college in January and won’t have a ceremony either. She worked so hard and is now a COVID-19 college graduate. She’s 26, single, and wants to mingle, but the world has stopped the party vibe. I guess partying with your family isn’t hip? The youngest daughter loves people and always wants to approach others to compliment and ask questions. As long as we take her on bike rides, she is okay. Let’s hope these kids can tell their grandkids how we all made it through 2020’s pandemic.

If you do have time for self-improvement and learning a new interest, I hope you rock it! If you would like a music playlist for the 2020 quarantine, I put one together on Spotify. I’m going to listen to the playlist when I put the new curtains up the oldest bought for us. I get to spend my time hanging a new curtain rod, I’m not into wasting time making home improvement. I would like to say thank you to my Jadie for buying them, as she is our home designer when we do improve the look of our ’77 original vibe. If I hang the new window treatments up today, it could be a new record. Typically, I wait a couple of months before I hang something, sometimes over a year.

Numb Skull Designs from a Failed Teenage Rock Star,


Metal Health Will Drive You Mad

The year 2017 was a rough one, which spilled into 2018 to push me into the worst mental state I’ve suffered. It’s scary to find out how much you can feel worthless, stupid, and hate yourself enough not to continue dealing with life. Let’s face it, the world is scary and rough, but how we react to all the curve balls can help us grow better and faster.

My whole identity in my teen years was music, hair metal bands to be precise. I didn’t prepare for anything else, nor did I have the interest to pursue anything else. I practiced guitar, wrote songs, made music, read, and listened to everything I could get my hands on along with growing my hair to the middle of my back.

During my senior year in high school, a new attitude in music had occurred. No more fun in music with grunge as all I got from this modern vibe was let’s cry about shitty things that happen in the world. Music was my escape from the shit that happens in life. I didn’t know how to contribute to the music scene and decided I had missed my time to become a rock star. I know there is more to blame than grunge, as I didn’t have the skills, self-confidence, or a plan of action in place to achieve real goals. Grunge became my excuse to avoid looking at myself and my shortcomings. Now I enjoy going off on rants about grunge crybabies.

There I was outta high school with no skills, education, or confidence. What does a young man do, but see how many hours he can work in a week? I had job number one at the local grocery store for the first half of the day. Job number two at the Coca-Cola distributor for the evenings. Job number three at the plastic factory, my father worked, to fill out my weekends. This was a short self-punishment as I only kept that schedule for about four months. Luckily an uncle told me something, and I listened, “Work ONE job and put in overtime.” That is what I did as I went full-time at the plastic factory and worked as many weekends as they could give me.

I was on top of the world until I got sick of the night shift. Soon I left the factory and entered construction life. Working road construction, I was always disappointed with how little overtime I was able to get. Still, it was nice to get winters off. Then came working for a utility company! My first five years had never-ending overtime. Oh my God, what a find! Little did I know being the “provider” was going to hurt my little family so much. Oh, and I should mention the slow time is during the SUMMER! That’s right, the layoff season was June through September. I didn’t take advantage of that until recent years when my body was falling apart. As it became harder to walk because of the lower back, I took time off when I could. It became harder to keep positive as I considered myself a workaholic and was proud of it. It was becoming clear to me that this version of me wasn’t able to keep it going any longer, I needed to accept and evolve.

In 2018 I was broke, couldn’t work, couldn’t exercise, but had to show positivity to my wife as she was going through it all with me. I always wanted to prove I’m healthy and in control since I was a teen going through my parent’s divorce. With constant thoughts of a world better without a little old broken me, I had to decide what is next for me. I remember driving home from an appointment and just wanting to end the darkness as a light poll seem to follow me, begging me to hit it with my truck. It seemed like that short stretch of road lasted forever, and I remember vividly hating everyone on the road with me and the intensity in my hands wanting to act. It looks so stupid as I write this, but it is a turning point in my thoughts. I was a mess, hurting, scared, hopeless, and broken. My therapist could see that I was falling apart, and we decided to enter the Hennepin Help Line number in my contacts. I’ve always struggled with anxiety and depression, but this was stronger and more intense than ever.

The next morning I woke up and knew I could fix me, my thoughts, and my life. In my typical fashion of obsession, I began to read self-help books and learn a brand new skill. I took online courses in marketing and persuasion. I still have plenty to learn and try, but this little online t-shirt company gives me a place to be creative, technical, and be a Numb Skull.

My mental health is better because I have an excellent support team, my wife of 22 years, and three daughters. Joan, the one to encourage me on these little business adventures I’ve tried even though I self sabotage myself. She always sticks by me as I’m not sure why, as I don’t deserve her faith. Here are those negative words, as I mean, we make an excellent team. Jade, my oldest daughter, and family smarty pants. I’m so proud Joanie, and I have raised a college graduate!!! This is a rare thing in my family as I couldn’t be more pleased to hang her diploma on our wall until it hangs in her own office someday. Julia, the young woman who does things her way, defying social norms. She is going to be a professional wrestler that shares her heart and talent with the world. Katy, our sassy, sweet, never-ending ball of energy, which keeps our family smiling and striving to be healthy.

As I navigate through my messed up head, share too much online, and try to create t-shirts someone might wear, I hope you find entertainment from this journey. I’m excited to see what comes of this idea as it grows, and I grow alongside this new monster. I know my story is nothing extraordinary, but I hope to entertain, make a couple people laugh, and sell enough tees and hats that I can say, “Look, Honey, it’s my hat!”


Going out of style

When I was a kid at home, I drank milk like crazy as I rarely drank water, always milk. My mother use to get upset at how much milk I’d drink and say, “You drink milk like it’s going out of style!” Like it’s going out of style, WTF does that mean? If something were going out of style, why would I want it? Maybe if I crack this meaning, I’ll know all the answers I’ve ever looked for in life? As I type this, I feel the anxiety kicking in and feeling like I’m going to be yelled at. I feel so uncomfortable at this moment.

Today is National Milk Day, and milk always reminds me of my youth, then what doesn’t make me feel nostalgic? Milk reminds me more than just my mother getting frustrated with me. I had a great uncle that was the monarch of my father’s side of the family and a best friend’s family farm in my hometown.

My Great uncle, who had the dairy farm, has passed away, but I’ll always remember what a character he was. I’m so thankful my wife had the pleasure of meeting him before he left this earth. Growing up and my parents taking us kids there, it was love-hate. I absolutely loved it when the other cousins were there, and it was a family gathering on just some random weekend. We would run around and play games outside, and once the sun was down, it always was the best time ever. We would make up some games and play for hours, and it was still a drag when the fun ended. I absolutely loved those times with my cousins and so thankful for those days. I remember the guys working in the barn milking the cows and the ladies inside talking around the table. After the work was done, the adults would play cards, and us kids continue running around out in the dark. I was also always amazed by people stopping in and having a quick visit. Who were these visitors, family, friends, or neighbors? Did it matter? My Great Uncle must have been a Rock Star to have so much company and visitors coming and going.

After I was an adult and could go visit him myself with my new wife, I felt as if I was finally an adult. The thing I remember the most was Donald, my great uncle, said to me, “I always thought you’d grow up to be a chubby guy working in a grocery store, but you grew up to be a man.” I remember his daughter laughing in the other room overhearing, and my wife and I also thought it was the funniest thing to say to someone. My thoughts were, why would I not be a man if I was working at a store. Two, did you not think I’d become a man? He was referring to me working in the construction industry. Did I need a manly job for him to be proud of me? It was awesome to hear the monarch of my family approve my choices, but there are so many other ways to be a “man.” I let this continue my drive to work more hours, holidays, and weekends a father and husband should. As many do and as do I, I think of my Great Uncle Donald on National Milk Day. I hope I can be the man, influencer, comedian, and father figure that my Great Uncle Donald was and is.