Monday, August 19, 2013

A Brief Update from a Busy Life

The Pale Rambler, my mainstay blogging alter ego, must be scratching his pink and balding scalp and wondering what has become of me.

After all, he was created for the sole purpose of providing a creative outlet for the wanna-be writer trapped deep inside of me. He hasn't always had profound things to say, but he had been posting fairly consistently up until recent months.

Truth be told, time has been scarce. What little spare time I've managed to get my hands on has been devoted to writing the second book in the "Psi Squad" series. I've never written a series before, and to date I've only completed two books, but I take seriously the challenge of completing the nine-book series as originally outlined. That leaves little time for pale ramblings or other online shenanigans.

Some day in the distant future, when I smell like my Grandfather and worry more about the regularity of my bowel movements than the earning of a paycheck, I might find the time to sit and write all the day long. Rather than scratching down errant sentences or paragraphs here and there on scraps of paper in the hopes of tying them together into a collective whole, my energies can be focused from dawn to dusk when the mood strikes and the ideas are flowing.

It's a pleasant dream, just not one to be realized today. Today is meant for more important things.

Today was spent bringing a meaningful wage into our household. Today was spent calling the school (and being called by the school) to straighten out our twin sons' schedules on their first day of middle school. Today was spent talking with our daughter over breakfast as she prepared for her first day of eleventh grade. Today was spent sitting at the dining room table as our entire family of five attempted (and failed) to solve a sixth-grade math problem. Today was spent enjoying a quiet lunch in a noisy restaurant with my best friend.

As time continues to pluck hairs from my head only to plant them in my ears, I realize how fleeting are the opportunities to carpe the remaining diem of my children's childhoods. The memories of walking Sara through the hallways of middle school for the first time have hardly faded, yet here we are entering her critical college-planning year. Two years might sound like a long time, but for a parent looking at the prospect of sending a first-born to college it might as well be two weeks.

And so, the Pale Rambler waits patiently, as do the "Psi Squad" characters. They'll be there when I need them. They'll come running when I call them out to play.

In the meantime I will cling tightly to every hug, capture the essence of every laugh, collect kisses and wipe away tears. Those are the things that make up a life, and they are far more tangible, valuable and meaningful than any silly dream.

© 2013 Mark Feggeler

Monday, August 5, 2013

What's In a Name?

Our Daughter is a singer in a band. Six kids, all roughly the same age, singing and plucking and drumming and tickling the ivories together, with an interest in playing local gigs and making a few bucks.

So far, they've gone under the name Dogwood Knoll, which was sufficient to provide an early identity, but is now in a state of flux as all six band members weigh in on what they should call their capriccioso collective.

Although no strong contenders have been presented, there has been some focus on bits and pieces that should be included in the new band name. Like using the word "six" since there are six band members, or the suffix "hurst" since we are in Pinehurst. The only problem with hurst is it sounds too much like "hearse"depending on your elocution, which seems more suitable to a death-metal band than preppie teens covering pop tunes.

However, some quick searches using an online band name generator and the suggested words have yielded interesting, if not entertaining, results. One of my early favorites was "Quick Fix Six," but it doesn't appear to have much appeal to the group. Then there are "Rocking Six," "About Six," "The Sixtones," "Deep Six," and "Pick Six."

Somehow, even though I had asked for random names with the word "six" in them, the generator offered a few wildcards. They might not be appropriate, but you'd be hard-pressed to find band names more memorable than "Nasal of the Brazen," "Indecent Viking and the Shimmering Treat," or "Placenta Boathouse." Just imagine the varied directions a band with any of those names could steer its musical journey.

Hurst has also resulted in fun names such as "Hurst Skillet and Adolescent Payday," which strangely sounds almost fitting. "Hurst Voices" also isn't bad, but I doubt "Hurst Rejection of the Wasting Truck" will make the cut. Nor will "Groovy Hurst," "Hurst Gumbo," "The Incredible Hurst," or My Lovely Wife's favorite "Trousers of the Disappointed." My vote for a hurst-inclusive name is "Nitro Hurst and the Misfits."

Of course, given the number of chocolate cookies the band has eaten the past two nights of rehearsals, it's only appropriate to search for names with "cookie" in the title, such as "Trouser Cookies" (too potentially perverted), "Putrid Cookie" (best for a neo-punk band), "Cookie Acid and the Asian Rider" (too... I have no idea), and the best one: "Cookie Venom."

Something tells me Dogwood Knoll will stick around a little while longer.

© 2013 Mark Feggeler ("Rusting Feggeler and the Fisting Logic")