Tag Archives: family

Lifetime Habit

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Do you know what you’re made of?

I don’t mean physically – like your composition. No, what I’m talking about are those experiences from your life that made you the way you are today. You know, like when someone says a certain thing to you – be that “get out of my hair”, or “what lovely eyes you have”.

What shapes the ways we respond to what others say to us?

Is it our original programming; that version of software that came pre-installed in our between-the-ears hard drive? Or is it the way we were conditioned by parents, teachers and life’s hard knocks?

A combination of both?

Here’s why I ask: There are things I’d like to change about myself. I can hear what you’re thinking now: “But John, you’re super great, at writing and probably many other things, so why change?” And trust me, I get your point – but there are still things about me I might want to modify a smidge.

Like how I argue.

Loretta: This ought to be interesting… Continue reading

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He ain’t heavy…

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In honor of National Brother Day I thought I’d write about my brother, Brian.

Brian is two years younger than me, and two inches taller (which doesn’t seem right, but whatever) and is really one of the best guys I know. He’s always ready to help, and is cool under pressure which – if you had a childhood like ours – was a vital skill.

And by “childhood like ours” I don’t mean to imply our childhood wasn’t good, or healthy or loving. It was those things. But it was also dangerous, and daring, and exciting – mostly because we made it that way.

Here’s the sort of stuff I’m talking about:

Our parents were born in Ireland – and because they were they liked to go to Irish events to comingle with other Irish immigrants and do Irishy stuff.

One Saturday when I was about 12 and Brian 10, they piled us in the station wagon and took us to an Irish dancing competition at a local middle school (think Riverdance for 7th graders) so that we could watch the children of other Irish immigrants bounce up and down to really fast Celtic music.

Whatever. Continue reading

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Stormy Sea

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Do you have a memory that has stayed with you over the years?

You know the kind – it’s sort of like an unanswered question that lives in the back of your mind – and every now and then, maybe every month or two – or even every year or two – it resurfaces. It comes back because it’s a puzzle you haven’t solved yet. And if there’s anything that makes us uncomfortable, it’s an unanswered question. Well I’ve got one of those – and I’ve had it since 1989.

It won’t go away because it concerns the death of a man. Continue reading

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Traditional

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Monterey was beautiful last Monday.

I know because I was there with my new wife, Loretta, to throw a bouquet of flowers into the ocean. And while that seems a curious thing to do, it’s actually a tradition. Here’s what I mean: Continue reading

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Sabatino’s Review

The latest book review is in…

Thanks to the amazing Sabatino!

Review (as posted on hotcupoflove.com):

In the fall of 2011 my wife left me.

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Little did I know that around that same time, a man from across the country was struggling with the same demons I was encountering in my own life.  Being men, and naturally wired to view relationships a certain way, we both set out to fix what had now come undone the best way we thought we knew how- online dating, though, this is where our paths deviate.

That man was John P. Gavin, and while I was attempting to tirelessly solve the rubik’s cube that I had hoped would reveal some secret understanding of how women view relationships, he was busy living it, documenting it, and putting it in to practice.  John’s book, Online Dating Sucks…but it’s how I fell in love, chronicles his journey from divorce, to dating, and eventually falling in love all the while serving as a Rosetta Stone for women looking to decode the male psyche.

To say this book challenged the way I view my own pursuit of a partner would be an understatement.  John lays out the differences between men and women, bearing no excuse for the natural progression in which our genders approach love, dating, relationships, and marriage. His in-depth and often inward analysis weaves a delicate web, bridging a chasm left void from centuries of disconnect, and unhinging conventional wisdoms, now outdated.

In Online Dating Sucks…but it’s how I fell in love, John allows his readers to spy on his dating adventures and missteps, allowing access to his personal life as he vulnerably relives the experiences that brought him to this enlightened state of love. Oh, and the woman that could finally reel him in? That’s Loretta, who John now proudly boasts as his girlfriend.

Get an inside look at how the opposite sex thinks and acts when searching for a soul mate. Learn simple rules for dating and how to avoid the pitfalls relationships often fall victim to.  Read one man’s journey from a life shattering divorce, to finding the only one who could capture his heart- and for goodness sakes, be fearless in your search for love.

Online dating sucks, but its how John found Loretta.

(Read more on Sabatino’s site hotcupoflove.com)

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No Comment

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Somebody asked me recently how it is that I can recall, in detail, the events from my life that I write about.

It struck me as an interesting question because I can’t imagine not being able to recall them – I swear it feels like some of them happened just a few days ago.

I don’t know why that is, or how I’m different from others, or whether I’m really that different at all – but stories from my past play out on what seems like a screen in my mind. I can see all the players, and I can see all the events. I can even sometimes look closely and see stuff I missed before.

Is it like that for you? Continue reading

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Amazing Grace

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When I was 10 my aunt came to live with us.

That may not seem like a big deal, but since my family is from Ireland it meant she had to travel about five thousand miles to do so.

The reason she came out was that Mom was having a baby. And since Mom already had three kids, and Dad was, well, Dad, she was going to need some assistance with my new sister. So Aunt Bridget came to live with us and help out for about a year or so. Continue reading

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Gone, Home

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Are you home?

If so, is it a place? I mean is it a location – one you can find on a map? I used to think so – which is what we learn as we grow up. The word “home” is pretty much synonymous with “house” when we’re kids. The two terms bring the same images to mind. When we think “home” we see our room, and our bike in the garage, and the roses mom planted out front we walk by every day and, well, you get the picture. Continue reading

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I’m a Really Good Dad

I like to think of myself as a good dad.

I try to do the right things when it comes to my two sons. I try to protect them where needed, and let them learn the hard lessons first hand when possible. I give them good advice – or as good as I can come up with on the spot – and try to be there when they need a helping hand, or maybe just a sympathetic ear.

I am now actually a pretty good father, but I have to admit that it took me a while to get here – 19 and 21 years to be exact. Those are the ages of my boys, and when those numbers were smaller I, well, wasn’t quite the skilled parent I am now. In fact there was a time when I wasn’t too smooth at this gig at all. Continue reading

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What will you build today?

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When my Dad first came to America from Ireland he didn’t yet know how to build a life here.

He was a farm boy from a poor family in Ireland who saw America as the promise land, based on the stories he’d heard about how good life here was from the US Army Soldiers stationed near his village. It was just after World War II and his Uncle Walter, who lived in California after emigrating from Ireland himself, had sponsored Dad’s entry into the country.

Part of the sponsorship agreement was that the new immigrant had to find a means to support himself – and soon – or run the risk of being sent back home. But because it was the years just after the war, when a lot of GI’s were still returning home and re-entering the work force, jobs were scarce.

So Dad had to get resourceful. Continue reading

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