Just Married

All I can say is “wow.”

Which is strange because I’m generally a man of many words. But this last weekend was such a flurry of love and activity. I’ll do my best.

The first thing I want to say is how much I love this woman that married me again. Through all the chaos that is Tom Cummings there has been Mrs Cummings, Mrs C, Suzie – she has always been there to help right the ship through every storm. To say she is my rock is to understate the value and strength she adds to my life. To say I’d be lost without her is to assume I’d have a direction at all. Thank you, my love, for making life worthwhile.

And then I want to thank the rest of the people that came out to enjoy our day! You make our lives worthwhile every day with your companionship, your strength, your humor and your love. I’d take a little time here to thank each and every one of you personally, but so many of you came that to do so would put me over the 400 words Cory laments! So I’ll just say thank you all, and let you know that Suzie and I love you so incredibly much. You fill our hearts!

Next, I want to thank Chapel of the Flowers for doing such incredible work for us! The whole thing went off without a hitch. I watched the video of the ceremony this morning for the first time and was thrilled with it! How often can we say that? Just amazing.

I’m still sorting through all the pictures they took for us, and they are really good! I’m hoping to get some of them out there for the world of social media and the readers of TomBeingTom to see. My only enemy since returning is time. Well, I have two. “Recovery” is the other one.

Lastly, I want to thank Las Vegas for accommodating me, Mrs C, and our band of crazies. For the most part they tolerated our indiscretions (you know who you are, hallway food cart riders!) and kept up with our alcohol intake the best they could. I haven’t received a single bill for damages. 😉

There will be many more things to say in the days ahead about this trip, the biggest one our group has taken yet! And there will be many more amazing trips to come.

Thank you again, Mrs C, for renewing with me on our 20th! This was so much fun we’ll have to do our 21st!

On second thought, let me review the financial damage from last week first. 😎

I guess I had more to say than I thought. I guess I always do. Bless you all for being a part, and I’ll link the video to it below. Please click it, sign the guest list, and watch the ceremony! She was spectacular!

I get a passing grade. 😏

View our ceremony here!

The End of a Thing

Technically, I ought to just skip today’s session and buy the fellas a round this weekend, in thanks for their support. Or maybe I could play the birthday card and wiggle out of that obligation or trade free birthday beers for free blogging beers. Technically, I could fudge on my bet. Technically, I could call 30 days good, since this is 31.

But, on the other hand, I could really prove something to myself if I could somehow come up with 400 words in 10 minutes, before I have to get ready for work. If I could do that I could look back on the whole experiment as a success, because it taught me how to free flow, to meet my obligations, and to piece together an article in a hurry, when I have to. I mean, sure, it’ll be short on research and might even come across looking rushed or unplanned, but, sometimes, we have to make compromises. Sometimes we just have to wing it. That’s life.

Speaking of life, you probably know by now that my life ticked another notch forward yesterday, when I observed my 49th birthday. This ol’ planet did another revolution around that there sun, and gravity pulled me a little further down in various parts of my body. I’m not complaining, I like moving forward in life. I feel young, most of the time.

I don’t feel young today. My plan to pace myself on my birthday got blown apart by a noon call from a friend for a lunchtime beer. That led to all sorts of mayhem, as lunchtime beers often do, and the celebration began. I celebrated. Far harder than I expected but, again, it was my birthday. I do have great friends. And a spectacular wife. And one hell of a strong liver.

But that’s it. I know it’s Friday, but there is no way the party will continue. I’m done. Forget the fact that the weekend has not even begun, or that it’s kind of a long weekend with the 4th of July on the other side. Forget all that. I’m taking a break. Even the most powerful liver needs a weekend off.

Soon.

Go ahead and strike that last paragraph from existence. There’s not an ounce of truth in it. The party has just begun. It’s still my birthday until it’s not. I might take a day, but I won’t take a weekend. Come on, man. This is Tom we’re talking about. Who are we kidding?

But however the rest of this weekend goes, I know I’ll spend it with love. I’m lucky enough to have a big group of great friends, and an amazing family. I just, somehow, drew the right card in life, in that respect.

On that note, I made it. Some 500 words in about 10 minutes.

Thank you again for your patience this month. I’ve enjoyed bringing you daily Tom, more than even I thought I would. I’m amazed how many stuck with me; the daily clicks actually went up as the month went by. But that’s enough of that for a bit. Tom Being Tom will return to its regularly irregular schedule, and I’ll go back to bringing you my thoughts, on stuff, about every week or so.

I’m gonna miss this. But this is not the end, only the beginning. We have a lot left to talk about.

Another revolution has just begun.

Happy Birthday to Me

I won’t bore you with a bunch of birthday resolutions today, you’ve heard all the promises I’m going to make to myself along the way this month. You know how that goes. I won’t talk about the history of the birthday itself, as I thought I might, because how other people in other civilizations throughout history viewed birthdays is inconsequential. I don’t want to start my day inconsequential.

Today is my birthday and the 29th day of the unnamed TomBeingTom.com June writing project. I’m on the cusp of completion. I’m 49 years old. I could wax philosophically about the importance of daily writing or the meaning of life at 49 years old. Maybe I could talk about how I feel different today than I felt yesterday. I do, a little bit. I feel a lot different than I did 5 years ago. I’ll have plenty of time in the months and years ahead to talk about all of that. At least I hope I do.

I could remind you today that a year ago I wrote about my birthday in comparison to the history of the nation. That is probably a more interesting read than this, because that had a topic and some deep research involved. I thought it was pretty cool. It was poorly read, compared to others written around that time. Go check it out. Bump last year’s numbers. Go ahead. I’ll wait.


Thanks for taking the time to do that; welcome back. Sometimes I have pretty clever ideas that compel me to write something intricate, sometimes I don’t. Today, it appears that I don’t.

That’s okay. It’s my birthday.

I could have, by this point in the article, told you what I’d want for my birthday. I got a new Kindle Paperwhite yesterday so I can read my books outside without glare. It’s awesome. I may never buy a paper book again. I’ll accept them as gifts, cuz books are cool, but I don’t need to go buying them now. But that’s not what I meant. I meant, the really big stuff. What, if I could have anything in the world, would I want for my birthday?

Should I really go into that now?

Well, let’s get the obvious things out of the way, while we’re here:

I’d sure like to see a better president.

I’d like to see universal health care in this country.

It’d be nice if we stopped pointing bombs and guns at one another.

Education should be free.

I’d like to see the Rams get back to the playoffs one of these days.

I want to talk to Mom.

I’d like to end bigotry, write about important stuff, grill on BBQ mats, take more walks with my wife, see the family more, take the Rogue on a road trip, and make my 49th year the best year of my life. So far.

Some of those things I have a modicum of control over. Others, none at all.

Whatever comes, I made it this far. So, is a birthday a celebration of how far we’ve come or a prelude to the life yet to live? The Egyptians only celebrated birthdays for their pharaohs, for the day they became a god. Early Christians thought it a pagan ritual. The Germans made it cool (of course), and the Industrial Revolution made it for everyone.

I simply made it through another blog. And another year.

Happy Birthday to Me.

And happy day to you, as well. I’m glad you made it, this far. Hang in there with me; we’ve still got a lot of stuff to do. ❤️

Tom 4.9

As I approach the final week of dailies I also approach my 49th birthday. This is always a time of deep introspection and June nearly always brings some level of previously-unattained personal growth. This year will be no different.

The first and most important change I need to make relates to my level of health. I haven’t seen a doctor since 2010. That must change. After the recent scare with my friend, I realize we must take nothing for granted. I need to exercise more, which, for me, means more morning walks with the pups, and doing daily push-ups and stretches. I’ll never be a workout warrior but a little bit goes a long way for me. My last, and maybe most important, change is to bring down that weekly unit count.

I don’t have a ton of bad habits. I’m not one to eat a lot of sugary foods. I don’t like soda much at all. I essentially have three daily liquids: coffee in the morning, tons of water all day long, and generally a couple of beers in the evening. A typical day for Tommy involves 2-4 cups of coffee, a half dozen or so 17-oz bottles of water, and 0-3 beers. June has not been a typical month on any of those scores.

When it comes to eating I generally stick to what most people call a version of a diabetic diet. I eat small, somewhat healthy foods every two hours. A banana at 8. A handful of nuts around 10. A Smart Ones around lunchtime. An apple at 2. A snack bar, or maybe one of those tiny bags of chips, around 4, and then sometime in the evening a fairly big but reasonably portioned hot meal.

Again, June has not been typical for any of those habits, either.

June has been broken air conditioners and abnormal house chores and kicking-off-the-summer celebrations and daily blogging and just about anything else you can think of that is a routine-breaking event. July will probably stack up to be unusual, as well, with the big trip thing coming up.

But I’ll do my best. On Thursday I begin my official 365-days ‘til 50 countdown. The 40s have absolutely been the best years of my life, bar none. I intend to make my 50s even better, but I might need some help. I might need some health. Just need a little better nudge in the right direction.

Any more than a nudge and it ain’t gonna happen. I’m not looking to change, just improve. Tom 4.9 is 3 days away. Tom 5.0 will be better than ever. I don’t need to rewrite the program at this point, it’s finally been running good. I just need a little software update.

And another cup of coffee.

Happy Monday, my friends. Be atypical all day long.

Incunabulum

I don’t have a ton of time this morning, so I’ll make this brief.

Yesterday, if you missed my entry, I wrote about starting a book. I intend to do that. I’ve spent some time brainstorming the ideas in this book, but the purpose and composition of Tom’s tome is still in the stage of infancy. I’m not quite to genesis yet. I’m pre-genesis. I googled “a word that means before the beginning” and came up with “incunabula.” I’m not sure that’s what I was looking for but it looks fun to say. So, I’m in the incunabulum stage of my book. Go with it.

After writing my blog I went to work. Work is a thing some of us do to earn money to pay our bills. I sell appliances at my workplace, which is a word that means the place where you go to work. I sold a half dozen appliances, which wasn’t quite enough for a Saturday. But it was a really hot Saturday. I just heard Johnny Carson’s audience asking me how hot it was.

“It was so hot today I saw a robin dipping his worm in Nestea.”

That’s an actual Johnny joke; I googled it, too. Sometimes I google nearly as much as I write.

But, it was so hot yesterday we had a big summer outdoor party cancelled and several little pool parties pop up instead. The temperature outside hit 113. Again. I went over to a friend’s place, broke a beer bottle walking in, dived into the pool with two noodles, and laughed my ass off for 5 hours while keeping cool.

I brought noodles because I don’t swim. Well, I can swim, just not well. And I cannot float for anything on my own. That kicking feet and moving arms thing we learn in swim class when we’re young just never took with me. If I have to get from point A to point B in the water I can kick my legs and rotate my arms and turn my head back and forth and probably make it. That’s good. But if I have to stop along the way, and the water is taller than about 6 feet, I’m dead. So I bring noodles. I only do it to keep me alive.

And being alive is my favorite part of life.

Today I’m returning to the same pool, in the same backyard, with the same people, and new supplies of unbroken beer. We have a volunteer to cook eggs and things. It’s church on the road. Maybe I’ll baptize folks since we have the pool and stuff.

In the meantime, I hope you get to spend your morning doing exactly the thing that you want. I hope you love being alive and you’re not too hot, or cold, or hungry, or in pain. I hope you have a job and a workplace, if you want one. I hope you’re about to start a book, or whatever is the equivalent of that in your life. I hope you’re happy.

If not, come down to the pool party and have some eggs and beer. I’ll baptize you. We’ll start again.

This could be your incunabulum. I could be your incunabulary.

Okay, I’ve destroyed enough human language for one day.

Have a great Sunday. 😉

For a Smile

Well, here we are, boys and girls, in the home stretch. Seven days from today I will have typed my last obligatory words and tombeingtom will return to its regularly scheduled format: whenever I please.

Not that I haven’t enjoyed these moments we’ve had together. I actually enjoy stretching for a topic each day, or simply freewriting a blank page for public consumption. I even enjoyed my shining moment yesterday, which was halfway cheating but still followed the letter of the original directive. Plus, it made some of you smile. If I can get someone to smile, every day, I’ve done my job.

Did you smile just then?

Okay, then, I will continue.

The wife and I have been busy getting the house ready for the return of the mother-in-law. Her room has been something of a storage unit since she’s been away, visiting sisters and such, and now we need to store our stuff someplace else. I want to build a storage unit in the backyard, but haven’t pulled that $549 trigger just yet. Money is so much easier to part with than to earn. Perhaps once I get my massive tax cut from the passage of the new health care bill I’ll use some of that windfall to purchase a shed.

Perhaps monkeys will fly out of my ass, too.

Smiling yet?

Last night, around 9 in the evening, I was ready for bed. I had put in a long day of yard chores and house organizing, and finished it up with beers and BBQ. I let the dogs out for a minute, after checking the perimeter for skunks. They did their business and went back inside. It was 103 degrees and the sun was setting behind the distant mountain peaks. I couldn’t help myself.

Realizing that 103 at 9 pm was rare, I decided to indulge in one last beer and a poignant moment alone on the deck. I’m glad I did. Everything in life makes sense when you can take a moment for yourself and indulge in the pleasures of a cold beverage, a big deck, a summer evening, and a beautiful view.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I don’t know what I’ll say in this space. What I do know is that I’m happy to be alive. I’m enjoying every magical moment of this thing called life. I hope you are, too.

And I hope, somehow, I made you smile.

Have a magical day, folks. 😊

My Shining Moment

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All.

Work.

And.

No.

Play.

Makes.

Tom.

A.

Dull.

Boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

😎

My Own Health

I’ve been considering my own health a lot lately. Maybe it’s because of my friend’s recent battle for life, at a young and vigorous age. A battle he is still fighting, by the way. A battle he is winning, by all accounts, but with a long road ahead. Every day I hope there is some way I can help him.

Maybe it’s the loss of a great-aunt. Her name was Nadine, and her funeral was yesterday. I was telling my sister, via text, that I don’t remember if I ever met her and Uncle Vern or if I’d just heard about them. Probably somebody in the family knows the truth about that. Families and extended families can be huge, and being the youngest of 7 probably means I met many of the family elders when I was very young. I’m not very young anymore. I hope Nadine rests in peace.

Maybe it’s because I’m becoming physically aware of my own advance in time. Things hurt more when I move about. Mostly in the legs. The way the legs used to hurt when I played 5 AM basketball three times a week in 2012 for 6 months. They often feel like I played basketball yesterday. Maybe I’m not stretching enough. I can still touch my toes when I stretch, though, so that’s a thing. Heck, I can still touch my heels, most days.

But, still.

In 12 days I’ll be a year away from half a century old.

There should be some sort of daily countdown for that, right? Like The Twelve Days of Christmas, only geared to someone I know better. The Twelve Days of Thomas. Oh, I could bore the hell out of all of you with that.

🎶🎶“On the First Day of Thomas, my good friend sent to me … a Resistance link and #LockHimUp meme.”🎶🎶

No, I won’t bore you with that. As fun as it might be to do twelve of them, I won’t do that.

Unless I run out of ideas tomorrow.

In thirteen days I’ll be 50. I say that, because I have this quirky little thing I’ve done since I was first sentient. The day after I turn one age, I start referring to myself as the next. I do this because (a) I’m still a weird little shit like I was back then, and (b) it prepares me mentally for what comes next. I never fear the age I become on the age I become it because I’ve prepared myself for it for a year.

Told ya it was quirky.

More or less, I’m prepared to be 50, mentally. Or 49, for now. I don’t feel it mentally because, in my mind, I’m still a stupid kid. Honestly, if I could go back in time now and answer that dumb question we all get asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’d answer “a stupid kid.” I never want to grow out of the age of wonder. I never want to stop playing superheroes. I never wanna grow up.

But I’m going to have to, pretty soon. I’m going to have to make a doctor’s appointment and go see if, physically, I’m about to be a 50-year old man. I last saw a doctor in 2010. I was the picture of perfect health then. I’ve carried that knowledge with me for 7 years. There is no reason to expect that has changed. No reason at all.

Except age. I guess even superheroes get older.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about my health lately. I need to acknowledge some things about the body and about reality and go see what an expert has to say. They’ll probably give me some good advice like “cut out red meat,” “stop drinking so much beer,” and “get more exercise.” Hell, I tell me that. I probably won’t follow any of it until I have to. Kids can be so stubborn.

As soon as I’m done here I’ll go research general practitioners in my network. When I was young I never thought I’d write that phrase. I’m not that young, anymore. I need to make an effort, see what’s going on inside, make some corrections. It makes good sense. It’s what we do when we get older.

I have to think about my own health.

It’s about time.

So Cool to Be Cool

Yesterday was one long, hot day.

The foreman arrived promptly at 8 o’clock, as promised. His crew, and my new air conditioner, headed to Palo Cedro on a paperwork snafu. That was corrected in short order. The guys were all congenial, but not talkative. They were professional. They got to work.

My job was to stay out of the way and occasionally offer cold beverages. I did both well. The crew preferred the water they had brought to my offer of Dasanis. The joke to grab them beers was politely and professionally turned down. Each time. I’m persistently ludicrous like that.

I wandered around all morning with clippers in my hand, trimming hedges and shrubs. I did some weeding. The area on the far side of the house, away from the workers, got the mowing treatment. I ran some laundry, folded some clothes and towels, and cleaned the kitchen counters. Any other cleaning was superfluous due to the mess they were still going to make.

Those chores were all complete by noon.

I visited the boys, Moxie and Ludo, frequently. They were trapped alone in the bedroom until about 3 in the afternoon, confused by all the sounds. After 3 I had to keep them out of the house, in the sun or shade, while all the duct work was completed in each room. I got a good shoulder and face burn from that activity. I kept cool with beer.

It was a long, hot day. Just after lunchtime the foreman predicted a 3 o’clock finish; they were well ahead of schedule. The next two hours were painful ones for him, I could see that on his face. Things went wrong. They often do. Between the hours of 3 and 5 he passed me several times, always displaying apologetic anguish. Each time I assured him he was doing great. He was. Things happen.

Just after 5, another major mishap. Two guys left. Another showed. The company owner came by for an assessment. They decided to push through. I concurred vehemently.

The vans pulled away, just after dusk. I would estimate it was pretty close to 9 o’clock. They have a small job to complete this morning before final inspection. For me, it was a long, hot day of doing mostly nothing. For the air conditioning crew it was a long, hot day of battling Murphy.

But even though anything that could go wrong, did, they kept it together. They completed their mission. I am eternally grateful that they did.

I haven’t slept that well in weeks.

It’s cool to be cool again. 😎

Other Things To Do Today

Yesterday was a longer one, by daily standards, so today I’ll keep it light.

I’m at the halfway point. I’ve found that, with a little effort, I have a topic or two to talk about every day. Maybe it’s something lighthearted (Church), sentimental (Married to Mary Poppins), sympathetic (For My Friend), introspective (Building A Better Tom), or important to all mankind (The Future is Unwritten). But it’s something. Every day.

Today I have a day in. I have so many things to do around the house. I could spend a week in and not get caught up. Homes do that to us. They own us. But the air-conditioning crew is coming to put in a new unit, and the expectation is an all-day job. I’ll catch up on some things, keep the boys company. But, dammit, I want to make some time for some reading, too. Maybe I could finish David Brooks’ Road to Character today, and start something new. I want to re-read every entry I’ve ever done for tombeingtom.com. I want to get some perspective on my writing. I’d like to dabble some more in fiction.

The problem with modern life is that we are all so busy, all the time. The things we want to do get trumped by the things we have to do. Unless you’re so passionate about something that nothing will stand between you and the doing of it, you’re left with a long list of stuff you’d like to do but always put off. I’m always putting stuff off.

I could spend the entire day making a list of things I’d like to do today.

But, instead, I’ll keep this entry brief and get to tackling things on a list I haven’t made yet. After that, I’ll start on chores. The A/C guys will be here around 8. I need to be ready.

It’s gonna be a long day of waiting.

But this part is over. Go spend your Thursday putting things off now, if you can. If you’re lucky enough to have that one thing you can’t wait to do, do it. Otherwise, take some time for yourself.

You’re a cool human; you’ve earned it. 😉