Monday, August 31, 2009

Meet me in Dayton

I forgot just how much I despise commuting. I'm in the Ohio office and found a few packages waiting for me: the summer issue of Confrontation; an advance proof of Never-Ending Birds, by David Baker; and a copy of Robert Frost Speaking on Campus: Excerpts From His Talks, 1949-1962. Great stuff! (But still, that commute--ack!)


So, I successfully drove up to Ohio from Georgia. Took me two hours just to get out of the ATL, because of rush hour traffic and thunderstorms (Note: Atlanta + rush hour + thunderstorms = idling). I'm not a big fan of driving in the rain, but the storms finally let up around Knoxville.

A few observations:
  • Southbound I-75 through Lexington was cop crazy. More than four cars pulled over, and I counted another three cop cars patrolling. Need to watch myself through that area on Labor Day when I head back home.
  • Times is tough. I know my trip from Duluth to Dayton is more than 500 miles long, but I noticed five cars that were driving on the Interstate with one of those rinky-dink spare tires. Either people can't afford to get new tires, or they're waiting until the tires pop to replace them.
  • There's still nothing like seeing Cincinnati. I've always loved turning around the bend on northbound I-75 through Northern Kentucky to see the Cincinnati skyline. That, and crossing the Ohio River.


I write while I drive. It's just something I do, and I'm lucky I haven't been in an accident as a result of such foolish risk-taking. But some of my favorite poems came while driving. I also write song lyrics. My earliest "poetry" was actually song lyrics, and if I had the patience to learn guitar, I'd probably travel the country as a singer-songwriter.

Here's a song I wrote for Tammy on the way up to Ohio (sung in a kind of folksy way):


I don't wanna be the one you choose
just because you got the blues;
don't want to be the one that you take
just because your heart did break.

I wanna be the one you love
like a story book or heaven above
or some other dumb cliche--
what's so wrong with love anyway.
(O, anyway.)

Your hair's long, and I got none at all,
but I'm still waiting for you to call,
because there's something about your smile
that always makes my heart beat wild.

I wanna be the one you love
like a story book or heaven above
or some other dumb cliche--
what's so wrong with love anyway.
(O, anyway.)


Picked up the boys on Friday evening. On Saturday morning, my brother David and my mom swung by, and all five of us went out for some youth soccer.

Ben's team was first. They won 1-0. Ben spent half the game on the bench. He played the whole first quarter. Then, he sat the second quarter as part of the normal rotation. He started the third quarter, but took himself out when he needed to use the restroom. And then, he started the fourth quarter, but took himself out after getting hit pretty hard by the soccer ball. He had fun, so that's all that matters, I guess.

Jonah's team played next. He's on a six-year-old juggernaut team. They won 9-1, and that score is even misleading for how much Jonah's team dominated the other squad. And the funny thing is that Jonah's team was smaller. Jonah didn't score, but he was up where the action was and had a few assists. I'd be surprised if Jonah doesn't get his share of points by the season's end.

Later in the day, we went over to Uncle David's and played video games. We also learned that my brother Simon (the stormchaser) was going to be driving through town very late at night and hanging out in Ohio on Sunday.


So, Sunday morning we all met up Turtlecreek Reserve to play disc golf. David ended up winning--with Simon and me finishing tied in second. None of us have played much this year, so we were all very inconsistent (one great hole followed by one horrendous hole).

Then, I took the boys to get haircuts. (An unrelated aside: Ben and Jonah just recently started up 2nd grade and kindergarten respectively. Jonah likes riding home on the bus with Ben, and Ben's favorite part of 2nd grade is the library. He's really into reading those Goosebumps books.)

After the haircuts, we met up with Simon at my mom's and watched some of his Hurricane Bill-Nova Scotia footage. Cool stuff. We played a little baseball with the boys in the front yard until their mom came to collect them, and then, we talked politics and global warming with our stepdad. Good times.

Was up until 1 or so in the morning writing and reading Robert Bly's Leaping Poetry (University of Pittsburgh Press). Now, I'm here. Better get working. ;)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ohio, here I come!

Since I was able to bring Ben and Jonah down to Georgia for some long stretches during the summer, it's been a good long while since I've spent a week up in Ohio visiting them. Tomorrow morning, I'll begin my trek up I-75 and stay at my dad's until Labor Day. Of course, there's like 60-80% chance of thunderstorms the entire trip tomorrow. (And I completely and utterly and unequivocally loathe driving in the rain. One word: Hydroplane.)

I always love spending time with the boys, but it means I won't see Reese, Will and Tammy for 10 days. That's a long time, especially since I've gotten used to Tammy hanging around the house with Will and I while she's been looking for a new job.

News flash: Tammy got a job offer yesterday. Hooray!

We were seriously looking at alternative options for keeping ourselves afloat, including selling our books, our CDs, our DVDs, our blood, our Pez dispensers, our rubberbands, our alphabet magnets, etc. Maybe even living out of my Kia Spectra. Talk about a cramped lifestyle.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't that bad, but we are glad for the jobby-job. I think. It would still be super cool if we somehow won the lottery or had a very rich person decide to give us tons of money to hang around the house all day and watch Noggin with Will while he learns to crawl and walk and such. (Any very rich people out there?!?)


News flash #2: Tammy received her contributor copies of No Glass Allowed (verve bath press), her second chapbook (and first solo collection) of poetry, in the mail yesterday!!!!

(A lot of good stuff happened yesterday for the Brewer household, especially Tammy.)

So, about her chapbook: Amanda Oaks published the collection. The first run is limited to 50 copies--so talk about an Act Now offer. If you want to be a part of history and own a very rare first edition of Tammy Foster Brewer's first solo collection of poetry, you'd better act now, because copies are already flying off the shelves. Literally, I think more than half the print run is already accounted for.

You want a copy? You want to read more details? Then, click here, my friend.

Here's one of my favorite poems in the collection:

The Baptism of a Bicycle

I ask him about forgiveness.
He tells me of the rain
and how he needs to mow
the lawn. Where I live

there is a drought. Grass
breaks beneath each step
towards my mother's
mailbox. An empty
womb. An invisible

dog leaves footprints
on the sidewalk. When the cement
was wet, it was his father who
taught him how

to kiss. His childhood,
like the removal of foreskin.
A formality. To forgive

a flat tire. Sometimes legs
are not enough. To pedal
naked beside guilt until
the water's edge. Before,

it was a feeling
of swallowing buildings,
an attempt to drown
metal. Now, it is

a love affair with air
planes. And I am barefoot

on dry land. Forgiveness,
he says, but first
you have to wait
for the flood.


Btw, Amanda Oaks makes the best chapbooks over at verve bath press. She really puts a lot of time and effort into each book. For instance, she actually individually sewed a heart on to the front cover of each copy of No Glass Allowed. Amanda is cool like that.


My personal update for the last few days: A whole lot of working. I guess I've put in about 40 hours of database and coding work in the past 3 days. That's like more than 13 hours a day. That's like a lot. But the hope (the eternal hope) is that things will eventually slow down.

(Again, any very rich people out there?!? Or winning lottery tickets?!?)

Monday, August 24, 2009

From Dahlonega to Nova Scotia

Luckily, I did not have to travel the distance from Dahlonega, Georgia, to Nova Scotia, but my brother Simon, the storm chaser--also known as "Crazy Uncle Simon" to the boys--did have to drive from Norman, Oklahoma, to Topeka, Kansas, through Dayton, Ohio, across to New Jersey and then up to that Western Canadian town. His prize? Hurricane Bill.

Apparently, he was even interviewed live on the Weather Channel. But what else is new? I hope he had fun with that drive.


I'll get to Dahlonega eventually. (You don't just name-drop Dahlonega for no reason, you know.) But first, let me catch everyone up on my weekend with Tammy and Will (Reese was having a "Daddy" weekend).

On Saturday, I spent the morning working like some obsessed mathematician on those crazy XSLT style sheets. I've made it about a quarter of the way through them, and received confirmation just this morning (Monday) that I did them correctly. Go me! Not bad for an English Lit major. A little bit of Shakespeare, a whole lot of programming.

Tammy saved me from myself by getting us out of our apartment and over to her parents' house. We visited for a bit, and then all four of us ventured over to watch the Gwinnett Braves (or G-Braves as we call 'em down this way) play the Charlotte Knights in some AAA minor league baseball action.

Grandma Linda bought Will a little G-Braves shirt, Grandpa Ed bought us all dinner, and the G-Braves delivered us a win (3-2). The evening was perfect, and so was the atmosphere. I've been to a few different minor league games in different cities and at different levels, but they all share one thing in common: The minor leagues always rock the socks off the major leagues in how family friendly their games are. Sure, you don't know anyone on the roster (and if you did, you wouldn't know if they'll be there from one game to the next), but the games are just fun. From the mascot hijinx to the kid races around the bases, the minor league games just make the spectators feel more involved.


Anyway, we got home in time to watch Tammy's favorite Saturday night show on RTN: Midnight Monster Hop. This time around, it was the black & white version of Sweeney Todd.

I don't think there's a time or place that has been or ever will be spookier than late 19th/early 20th Century London, England. From fogs to top hats, it's just a spooky place.


Sunday was the day we drove up to Dahlonega, GA. Apparently, the first U.S. gold rush happened in the Dahlonega area in 1828. So yeah, them thar hills is filled with those touristy gem stone places where kids sift through big clumps of dirt for gold and diamonds and rubies, but they end up with a tiny piece of quartz or some little green stones.

Anyway, we didn't go to any of them thar places. Instead, we visited the downtown historic district, which is just beautiful. They even have a horse-drawn carriage that can clop-clop-clop you around the square if you're into that kind of thing.

Big surprise: Tammy and I found some great stuff in the chocolate store, and I even purchased a peanut butter milkshake, which I can usually only find in Ohio at UDF. (In Ohio at UDF, though, I usually order a peanut butter and marshmallow milkshake with chocolate milk. So rich. So good.) The drive thar and back was totally awesome.

As we drove the hilly and winding roads, we listened to the soundtrack for Night of the Living Dead, because that's how we roll.


Today? I got a bunch of stuff done, despite losing my Internet connection for a few hours in the middle of the day (Charter's been doing that a lot lately). Watched the Jets and Ravens play their Monday night preseason game. Had a caramel pudding cup for dessert.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ice cream & coffee

New addiction: XSLT style sheets

(I bet you thought I was going to say coffee and ice cream, huh?)

Yesterday, I wasn't sure if I'd even be able to handle them. Now, I feel super empowered.

I'm so glad I decided to bite the bullet and offer to do the programming for these particular pages on the website. One, these changes will get reflected sooner. Two, there will be a lot less back-and-forth and trying to describe what I want. Three, they'll be more accurate. Yay!


So, where does the ice cream and coffee enter the picture?

Tammy, Will and I got out to the Duluth square earlier tonight to listen to this percussion trio and the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra. The event, called Symphony on the Green, was free, and it was a nice break from the XSLT style sheet coding.

There's a lot of green space at the Duluth square, so we just spread out a blanket and listened to the music while Will played with his baby toys and tried standing up on his own. He was being very, very cute. And you can tell he's like his mommy and daddy, because he's a straight-up people watcher.

Anyway, at some point, Tammy decided to get us some coffee and this super awesome chocolate with chocolate chunks ice cream. OMG, it was great!


When we got back, I jumped back into my XSLT style sheets. And have been listening to rain and thunder all evening (luckily, it held off for the concert earlier tonight).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Meetings, programming & other nonsense

Whew! What a busy day! (Started around 7ish this morning and just ended a few minutes ago.)

I usually don't have more than two or three meetings scheduled during an entire week. And those meetings that are scheduled usually get canceled or postponed (often postponed multiple times--only to be eventually canceled). I came into today with three scheduled meetings, so I was expecting one or two to actually stick.

Actually, all three meetings happened in addition to a fourth meeting (that was scheduled like 30 minutes ahead of time). Wow! It's amazing how things happen in waves in publishing.


I submitted a chapbook a few weeks ago for the open submission period of a small press. Last night, I received confirmation that the editors decided to pass on the manuscript. Oh well.

I was actually feeling pretty good about that chapbook manuscript. So, I'll probably see if there are any tweaks I can make before submitting it out again.

Speaking of submissions, I really need to send out some individual poems, too.


I may be taking on some programming responsibilities soon. I mean, I've been formatting, templating, styling and configuring on the database for a while anyway (which is pretty much the same as programming). So, I don't think programming on the website will be too much different. It's totally cliche, but sometimes if you want something done (and done in a reasonable amount of time and somewhat right), you gotta do it yourself. The only possible hurdle is that I have no experience with these crazy XSLT style sheets, but I've got my fingers crossed that it's nothing I can't learn (eventually).


Fun daily routine: So one of my favorite daily rituals (during the school week) is to walk up to the bus stop with Tammy and Will to wait for Reese to get home from school. It's a nice excuse to get out of the house--if only for 20-30 minutes--to get a little Vitamin D and some fresh air. Yesterday, it even started sprinkling on us as we were walking back from the apartment, and there's nothing like the smell of summer rain.


It's official! The Cincinnati Bengals beat the New England Patriots! Okay, okay--so it was preseason. The score was 7-6 (kind of like a baseball game or something), and the big surprise is that Chad Ochocinco (formerly Chad Johnson) kicked the game-winning PAT. That's why he's on my fantasy football team.


Oh yeah. Here are my most recent posts at my Poetic Asides blog:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Working for the weekend?!?

We're into another week of working. I think it's Tuesday, because it's the second day that Reese has gone to and come back from school this week. You see, I'm a telecommuter, and I love it, but I can get a little confused on things like:
  • What day of the week is it?
  • What time of day is it?
  • When does work begin?
  • When does work end?

These were easier to answer questions when I was working in an office. Though I was much less productive, I knew that I couldn't get into the office any earlier than 7 a.m., and that I should leave by 9 p.m. (at the latest) if I wanted to get enough sleep to be ready for the next day. I never went into the office on Saturdays and Sundays, and I rarely worked on things at home. So, the boundaries were well-defined. In the office meant I was working; out of the office meant I was not working.

Now, the office is in my bedroom. So, I have trouble figuring out when to un-plug at times. Take Sunday night. I checked my e-mail before going to bed and saw that there was some database changes ready for my review. I sent an e-mail saying I'd check them first thing in the morning and then crawled into bed. But I couldn't sleep. After about 15 minutes or so, I got back out of bed and reviewed the database changes. Then, I went to sleep. At like 1:30 in the morning.

I'm not complaining. My employer gets more out of me; I don't have to waste time dealing with traffic; but it does get confusing at times.


Speaking of work, who wants to read some of my latest posts on my Poetic Asides blog?


Talked to Ben on the phone today about his and Jonah's first day of school today (Jonah almost never talks on the phone, and I don't blame him). Ben said that he had a great day and that he's already made lots of new friends. He's a people person. Then, him and Reese talked on the phone for like 10 minutes about their toys and what they're watching on television and stuff. As Reese put it, "We talked about 'boy' stuff."

Tammy got me out of the house today (thankfully) as we all traveled over to the library. Huge building. Not as many books as I expected. Reese and Tammy picked out four bed-time books that looked cute. Then, we all went to the park, where we had a picnic before playing on all the equipment. Fun, fun times.


Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to review some new database changes. And maybe go to sleep.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What you can get for $3.13 (or why Sundays rock)

Had a great day today. Did that fantasy football draft thing-a-ma-bob (more on that below, and I promise that's not the only thing I'm going to talk about on this blog), went out to a park afterward with Tammy and the boys, and then hit the Book Nook, which is the local used bookstore of choice. Actually, Tammy calls it Book Nook 2 (and yes, I've been to THE Book Nook in the ATL, too, but BN2 is much closer).

Found some cool books at the Book Nook, but since all our shelves are full of books (as well as many boxes in our closets) I wasn't able to justify buying any. Plus, I was trying to only use the cash I had on me (instead of using plastic), and I only had six bucks left after buying drinks for everyone after we finished at the park (because GA + summer + outdoors = thirsty). So what could I possibly find for less than $6 at Book Nook?

For $3.13, I was able to purchase FIVE CDs (I don't have an iPod or iPhone or iWhatever yet, so I still use compact discs--and really, I love listening to albums as much as I love listening to individual songs):
  1. Depeche Mode Songs of Faith and Devotion
  2. Juliana Hatfield Only Everything
  3. Urge Overkill Saturation
  4. Luscious Jackson Electric Honey
  5. JJ72 JJ72

Before I purchased these discs I checked for scratches and scuffs and such, because they had to be damaged, right? I mean, these are some awesome bands. And then, it hits me: These were awesome bands--like 10 to 15 years ago. That's right, I had a moment today when I realized I'm getting older. Sigh.

But anyway, the JJ72 album is one I've always wanted to check out, and let me tell you, "This IS the best $0.49 CD I've ever purchased!" It's actually well worth $15, so I totally got a steal. Whether I'm getting older or not.


This morning, Will was standing up while leaning against a chair on his own. He can't lift himself up to that position, and he falls if he gets too excited and tries moving himself. But he's getting there. Also, he's been making sounds like "da-da" and "ma-ma" a lot recently.

We're getting into that dangerous territory where he'll soon go from being a baby to five-years-old-before-I-know-it. Happened with Benjamin and Jonah; it'll most likely happen again with Will. In fact, Ben and Jonah will somehow get into the double digits simultaneously. (Speaking of getting older. Ack!)


But I know everyone really wants to know how my fantasy football draft went down today, right? (If not, feel free to leave for this post, because I'm about to get all FFB geeky on this blog.)

I was very, very happy with my draft today. I explained in the previous post how I wasn't sure who I was going to draft. Well, this is who I drafted:

1st rd (#2 overall pick): RB-LeSean McCoy, Phi
1st rd (#8): RB-Shonn Greene, NYJ
1st rd (#9): RB-Jamal Lewis, Cle
2nd rd (#18): DB-Eric Weddle, SD
3rd rd (#28): WR-Steve Breaston, Ari
3rd rd (#29): RB-Glenn Coffee, SF
4th rd (#38): TE-Josh Carlson, Sea
5th rd (#48): DB-Eric Coleman, Atl
6th rd (#58): RB-Bernard Scott, Cin
7th rd (#68): WR-DeSean Jackson, Phi
8th rd (#78): LB-Stephen Cooper, SD
9th rd (#83): DL-Leonard Little, StL
10th rd (#88): DB-Ronde Barber, TB
11th rd (#93): RB-Danny Ware, NYG

My needs going into the draft were to select a DL, 2 DBs, and a LB (K optional, because I can always pick one up before the regular season starts). I filled all my needs wonderfully. Weddle was my top-rated DB, and I was able to grab Coleman and Barber (both who I like a lot) later in the draft. Since Julius Peppers and Trent Cole didn't make it to me in the 3rd round, I was able to wait until our later supplemental rounds to draft my 3rd-rated DL, Leonard Little (IF he stays healthy, he could easily be a Top 5 DL in our league). I picked up Cooper last year off waivers, and he was one of the best LBs in the league after serving a 4-game suspension at the beginning of the season. Those missed games made him disappear on most draft boards, which meant I was able to grab a great starter/back-up LB at the end of the draft.

Somehow, I was able to grab 5 of my Top 8 rated RBs in McCoy, Greene, Lewis, Coffee, and Scott. Jamal Lewis fills a short-term need in having a starting RB, but the other four are rookies with tremendous upside, especially McCoy and Greene.

I'm happy that I could take two young WRs (in successful pass-happy offensive systems) who had great seasons last year. Breaston was a good value, but taking Jackson with the 68th pick was a downright steal. I almost took him 4 rounds earlier, but I really, really (like really even) wanted the top young TE in the league, Josh Carlson. He'll make a great backup to Chris Cooley.

My last pick was Danny Ware. I had a few other players I considered taking with this pick, but ultimately decided on Ware because:

  1. I can't make any more moves until my pick-ups before the first game of the season, which means that I can't react to injuries that will occur between now and the regular season.
  2. Ware is very talented and third on the depth chart behind Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw.
  3. Brandon Jacobs is injury prone.
  4. Ahmad Bradshaw has had his share of injuries, too.

I'm not rooting for either to get injured, of course, but Ware had more potential value than any other player I was considering. That's called upside. If both Jacobs and Bradshaw stay healthy through preseason, I'll probably just cut Ware off my team since I do still need to pick up a kicker before the season begins.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Scaring myself (and others)

Just a normal morning. Had breakfast, got some stuff together for my fantasy football draft tomorrow (more on that below), and scared myself half to death. While I was holding Will and standing on Reese's bed doing the weather report (where we point at his huge wall map of the United States and make up the day's weather), I started feeling "weird"--kinda like my heart was moving too fast and kinda light-headed (though not with tunnel vision or stars). Kinda just uncomfortable. So I got off the bed, sat down in the living room recliner, and let Tammy know I was feeling "weird" (about the best way I know how to describe it).

[Backstory: On May 16, I was up in Ohio with Tammy and Will to go to my son Jonah's 6th birthday party. Instead, while I was at my brother's house, I ended up losing consciousness, quit breathing, and turned blue before Tammy saved my life (and my brain cells) by keeping it together enough to get me back breathing before the ambulance arrived. Spent 3 days in the hospital without figuring out what went wrong; did a bunch of follow-ups in Georgia with cardiologists and neurologists--again without figuring out what went wrong; and here we are.]

So now, I'm left wondering if this morning's "weird"-ness would've been an issue before May 16. Would've I have just felt a little uncomfortable and left it at that? Did I freak myself out too much? Am I like some volcano--just waiting for another episode?

As you can see, most of the recovery process from something like this is winning the mental battle.


I feel fine now. Listening to Elliott Smith and trying to figure out my draft strategy for our keeper league fantasy football draft tomorrow. (If you don't care for football or fantasy football, I recommend skipping to the next set of asterisks.)

Our fantasy league has a salary cap that is determined by how many points each player scores the previous season compared to other players at his position. Each team can carry up to 35 players; starting rosters are QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 RB/WR flex, TE, K, 2 DLs, 2 DBs, 2 LBs, 1 IDP flex.

Of course, most owners keep all their RBs with any value. For instance, the top five returning scorers available from last year are:

Jamal Lewis, Cle
Dominic Rhodes, Buf
Kevin Faulk, NE
Warrick Dunn, FA
Deuce McAllister, FA

Jamal was a surprise drop by a new owner, and he'll go in the first round. The other four are either free agents (who are near the end of their careers) or buried on their teams' depth charts.

So if you want RBs in this league, you have to go after the rookies. And with the 2nd overall selection in the draft, I'm not sure who to target:

Knowshon Moreno, Den
Donald Brown, Ind
Chris Wells, Ari
LeSean McCoy, Phi
Shonn Greene, NYJ
Glenn Coffee, SF

A few months ago, it seemed that the obvious answer would be: I'll take whoever is left between Moreno and Wells.

But Wells (who was dogged by injuries in college) sat out the first preseason game with an injury; Moreno (who has a lot of competition for the RB duties in Denver) left his game last night with an injury--and an MRI due today. So, the two solid headliners are now question marks.

Brown was taken in the first round and did great last night, but he's the back-up behind a good (and young) RB, which means he may not get many chances in the next couple years. McCoy and Greene (both who played great in their first preseason games) are backing up RBs who will be older than 30 (an important age for NFL RBs) starting this season. So both could be starters very soon. And Coffee (who also had a great first preseason showing) is backing up Frank Gore, who is very talented but has an injury history going all the way back to college.

So anyway, I've got decisions to make by noonish tomorrow. I'll probably share the results tomorrow afternoon.


If you skipped past the fantasy football stuff, you only did so to learn that I'm about to watch (in like 5 minutes or so) the Atlanta Falcons play the Detroit Lions in a preseason game. Sorry to have to you skip over football-related stuff just to learn that I'm about to watch football.

Afterwards, I'll probably watch Tiger finish up the third round of the PGA; he's currently in the lead, and I'm rooting for him to get one more major championship closer to overtaking Nicklaus as the greatest golfer ever (a title many have already given Tiger).

Friday, August 14, 2009

My name is not Bob... really isn't. Yet, I've been addressed as Bob by strangers since my youth. For some reason, many people (such as doctors, teachers, writers, etc.) see the name Robert, and their mouths translate it as "Bob." So yeah, first thing you should know about me is that my name is not Bob; it's Robert. Or Robert Lee Brewer. Or even Mr. Brewer if you want to be stiff and formal.

This is an introductory post, so I ought to tell you a little about me (though if you're reading this, you're probably already somewhat familiar with who I am).

Here are 10 quick facts about me:
  1. I live in Georgia with my wife (the poet Tammy Foster Brewer--formerly Trendle) and stepson (Reese) and youngest son (Will).
  2. My two oldest sons (Benjamin and Jonah) live in Ohio with my ex-wife, who (though we don't always see eye-to-eye) is a great co-parent.
  3. I regularly (2 weekends out of 4) visit my Ohio boys, which means I do a lot of driving.
  4. Some of my preferred activities are reading, writing, playing disc golf, running, managing my fantasy football team (I'm in a keeper dynasty league with a bunch of friends), hanging out with my boys and awesome wife, social networking, watching movies, listening to music, cooking, etc.
  5. My day job: I work for F+W Media, Inc., as the editor of Writer's Market, Poet's Market and My responsibilities include editing listings and articles; assigning articles; creating new content; blogging; social networking; writing copy for promotions; formatting, styling and configuring databases; writing e-newsletters; writing articles; speaking at events; leading webinars; developing new ideas; improving processes; and so much more. Needless to say, they keep me busy.
  6. I also write and publish poetry. You can Google my name and find quite a few published pieces online. You'll probably also run across my Poetic Asides blog (
  7. I hit my friends limit on Facebook. I didn't know there was a friends limit on Facebook until I hit it. So, I've now got a Fan Page in addition to my regular profile.
  8. I have a Twitter account at
  9. In a former life, I was a pretty quick runner. My favorite event in high school was the 800 meters. My best time was 1:57. As I've aged, I have gained an appreciation for longer distances. Would love to run a marathon someday.
  10. My specs: 6 feet tall, about 210 pounds, brown hair, blue eyes, size 12 shoes.

So anyway, that should do for an introduction. I plan for this blog to be all over the place in the future; so enjoy the focus while it lasts.