Rooks’ 2018 [Year End Blog]


 

INTRO

So, here we are.  Another year has gone past, and time keeps on slipping into the future.  A year, honestly is a long time.  We talk about how minutes, hours and days can drag on for longer than we feel they should… but a year is hundreds of days, thousands of hours and over a half a million minutes.  A year can drag on, can’t it?  But to me, it seems the years are just breezing by.

At every point of your life, you will hear people say “This is the prime of your life” or “these will be the best years of your life.” I thought it was the teenage/high school years.  Then people say it’s your 20’s.  My father just told me tonight that my 30’s are my prime.  Other’s you’ll hear go on about it into the 60’s. I think it suffices to say that, every part of your life can and should be the best time of your life.  Which makes ABSOLUTELY no sense because “best” requires there to be one.  One best.  Like, it kills me when people say “she is one of my best friends.”  Like… bitch how do you have more than one?

Anyway.  Enjoy your life.  Whatever stage of it you’re in is possibly the point to all that.  And for the simple fact that I get to write “My father told me _____ tonight” is such a blessing.  For so many reasons! And I think as I recollect over this years high’s and low’s I want to lean more to focusing on the blessings.  I know, in the past my lengthy year end blog has always had some goodies to read about.  Some drama here, a little sex there… etc.  Well, not saying there won’t be any in this blog I mean, hey… it’s my blog.  There’s bound to be some drama and sex unfortunately.  I could honestly do without both. But do I need to dwell on the fact that all I want is to have an honest woman who gets me, can cook and have a nice booty; but don’t? Do I need to dwell on the fact that my ex-wife and her husband have lost their entire collective minds; using my kids for their little games and shit?  Do I need to dwell on the fact that I apparently keep making the same mistakes, trusting people over and over?  Do I need to dwell on the fact that I think Liberty Mutual should be burned to the received_10159948034495511 ground?Like…every location?  No… No, I don’t.  I never said I won’t mention these things, but I promise not to dwell.

Normally, I wouldn’t mention my kids much… but things have changed, and are ever-changing.  Not that I think The Internet and The World are safer places now, I just feel they’re probably safer than living with their mother! LoL Sorry. But my kids will possibly read these one day.  And since I’ve learned this year that my ex-wife has no issues with lying to my kids’ faces about ANYTHING, I want to leave them something that sheds light on the truth.  Whenever they’re ready for it.  But at the moment, it’s not my right to sit all my kids down and tell them how shitty their mom is… they love her, and they should.  But one day they’re gonna want to know what happened.  And they can come here to find out.

So yeah, where I’ve been, what and whom I’ve done, my kids,  the food, my writing and my resolution.  In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….

Level UP. Ha, gotcha.

Travel:

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Downtown Abha, SaudiA

Saudi Arabia

I started this year off in Saudi Arabia.  [Notice how I’m usually never in America during the new year?] I found myself there after some unfortunate mishaps in 2017.  But I was there to work, and fulfill my duties as a Father, a son and a friend. I thought Kuwaiti’s were notoriously… I don’t wanna say “lazy” but… just not motivated for hard work.  Which, would make me a PERFECT candidate for dual citizenship there btw.  But Saudi’s make Kuwaiti’s look like Employee of the Month material.  These guys… I swear, bring a whole new meaning to the word “slack”. Now, before I go on, I want to say I got mad love for a few of my former Saudi coworkers.  Same for the Kuwaiti’s and Emiratis.  But let’s face it, the Gulf Arab’s aren’t particularly known for their work ethic.  Well, maybe Bahraini’s. After I learned the ropes there, a typical work day was…

0600 – Wake up

0630 – Wake up again

0645 – Make breakfast

0700 – Time to report to work

0715 – Risk life [drive to work]

0730 – Report to Work

0830 – Eat breakfast

0915 – Go hang out with the Saudi soldiers in the office who are most likely drinking chai and eating breakfast still.

1000 – Go hang out in the smoke shack and talk to my kids, or girls on my phone.

1030 – 1130 – Shit break

1200 – Salat.  (When I first got there, I would pray with them because I had just converted to Islam. I soon stopped praying with them after some assclown [think he was a Saudi colonel] told me he was watching me in the bathroom doing my ablutions, and he felt I was doing them out-of-order)

1230 – Lunch

1300 – Pack up

1330 – Leave Work

1345 – Risk life [driving home]

1400 – Gym

1430 – Shower

1500 – nap

1600 – Wake up and realize there’s absolutely nothing to do until bed.

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On top of a UH60, doing a chemical paint removal.

And there you have it.

This is not really an exaggeration.  There were, at times sprinkles of work in there… but for the most part.  Mafi.  Wala. Nada. Zilch. Null. Nothing. Usually when work popped up, they would go grab one of the Filipino guys first [ Ref. O.F.W.: Stories of Foreign Workers. ] Then they would come get us if it got that busy… usually we would ask them what was wrong with their workers… I mean… it IS your country, your aircraft, your job.  We were honestly there to help and to guide… not do their work for them.  But that’s what these companies do.  They take these contracts, under the facade that we’ll be training a foreign entity whether it be a military or a civilian workforce. They work, we teach, until they get bogged down with work. Then and only then [or unless we were truly that bored] would we go work.  Now… this is for my shop.  The mechanics, they were a different story.  Their schedule was about the same until 1300, then the locals would come out of the office barking out jobs as if they didn’t know they needed to be done all day.  So, the mechanics would have to stay late.  Screw that noise.  I dipped.

So, that was a blast. What was even more of a blast was watching ballistic missiles launched from Yemen fly over our heads hopeful to hit someone of importance in Riyadh. War…it’s a gas, isn’t it?

Not to take away too much from anything I may write in the future [like a travel blog] about Saudi Arabia, I did want to share just a few pictures of the few things I did while I was there. I mean, there really wasn’t much to do.  Saudi Arabia is just about as fun as a shotgun blast to the fucking face.  Did you know they had their first movie theatre open while I was there?  From what I hear from the locals, only men were allowed but at least they’re trying I guess?  Women were allowed to drive soon after I left.  And even more strides were being made by [mainly] Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of KSA. He really does seem like he wants to bring Saudi up to speed. Mad respect.

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All in all, I had an experience in Saudi.  An overall good one, for me.  Can’t complain. Saw some beautiful mountainous scenery.  Met some cool people.  Spent a lot of time frustrated about how often the shops would close for prayer.  And I’m certain I made the people there realize they need to step their thobe game up.  I regret not getting more

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Here’s another crashed helicopter they don’t bother to clean up.  I’ll bet 1,000 Riyals it’s still there.

made while I was there.  I’m killing the Kandora game!  If you don’t believe me, just google “#kandoraking” or “#kanurdaking”, see who pops up!

I’ve been asked if I would ever return to Saudi Arabia.  I’ve learned to never say never, but I really don’t see any use for me to.  I REALLY wanted to go to Makkah while I was there, so I could experience that, and be an Al Hajj. But alas, it wasn’t in Allah’s plan at the time.  Other than that, I really don’t care to ever return to the self-proclaimed home of Islam.

received_10160050140450511Hong Kong

After my time in Saudi, I went to Hong Kong via Mumbai.  Where a wrong turn on foot in the airport cost Saudia airlines $2000.  It really was their fault though.

Hong Kong was pretty damn cool.  Small of course, but definitely a lot to see and a lot to do.  A lot to learn as well. I went there one because… travel!  Duh!  But, I changed my on-the-way-home trip from Lebanon and France to Hong Kong at the last-minute to meet up with my girlfriend, Mikka.

I have to say, the airport there was the most streamlined-process I have experienced in an airport.  Without being too racially stereotypical but… I expected that.  Plus, with Hong Kong being the major business hub it is, it makes sense 20180209_101538for there not to be a huge hassle at the airport.

I was still a strict vegetarian at the time so my food options were still a little limited.   I started out by getting my fried rice on at a restaurant 20180209_093645near to my hotel.  Oh!  And my hotel was bad ass. Island Pacific Hotel was the name. Of course it was affordable (thanks booking.com!) and it was a solid 4 star experience. I had a fantastic view. The room service was immaculate [like seriously… that lady cleaned the hell out of that room the whole time i was there, even folded my clothes that I left out], the concierge and front desk staff did whatever I asked them and when they said they had a fitness center, they actually had a fitness center!  Not a small ass room with two outdated and most likely broken machines like most hotels in America that are usually ran by a certain group of people whose nationality I won’t mention.

Indian.

ANYWAY! I got a chance to walk around a lot, I went on a ferry ride and learned about Hong Kong a bit.  For such a small place it has a lot going on.  I made my obligatory trip to the Hard Rock Cafe in a very popular part of town called lan kwai fong or simply LKF. Everything was down there.  All the clubs, all the restaurants, all the women, and all the foreign men [aka American/Brits] chasing after them. Definitely a place I would love to visit again. Enjoy a few more pictures!

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20180313_173941Las Vegas

With all the kids happily in-tow, we fly from Oklahoma City after attending my aunt’s wedding to Las Vegas. This was a trip I had spent months preparing for and planning [one wouldn’t guess that by how it went] but the kids learned about it that day.  We showed up at the airport and the kids still didn’t know what was going on.  Getting them on the plane was a challenge.  This is process I’ve been through hundreds of times alone.  But together with children it was really a first for all of us. TSA is pretty nice to kids.  I can’t lie.  Even if they do find a pocket knife in your 13 year olds backpack that she completely forgot it was there. Not sure why her mother’s husband gave it to her but one would think if you give someones kid a weapon you’d at least tell the parent. Oh well, that shit is in TSA heaven now lol!

Like seriously.  Why?  Anywho, my kids are pretty well-behaved still, even though they live with whom they live.  So traveling with them wasn’t an issue.  On the plane, I quickly learned who was made of what.  Jaidyn was absolutely horrified and she’s usually the one who has the nerves of steel!  Aniyah wasn’t too keen on it either.  But she’s afraid of everything.  That’s no surprise.  Olivia wouldn’t admit it, but I don’t think she liked it either, which is why she slept on me both ways even though she had her own seat.  Reilend was excited but tried to come across indifferent as always and Jaixon was Jaixon.  He loved it!

We should all know after reading Perceive a, Las Vegas that I do not like Vegas. But it was different because this was a trip with my kids. It was great. If you want to know more about the trip to Vegas, click here: I’m a Cool Dad.

FOOD

We all know how food and I are.  Food and I took our relationship to the next level this year.  From me starting out in January a fun and fittish and vegetarian 225 pounds, able to do an hour of cardio, over 30 minutes of weights and dance all night, to a surprised and carnivorous and in-pain 281 pounds who can’t even run for 3 minutes and can’t walk very long without lower back pain by the end of November! Don’t worry, I’ve already woken up and gotten back to being me.  I have pinpointed the issue with my extreme inactivity for the majority of this year; I have been gone out-of-town and mostly out of country for the past 10 years!   I became infatuated with the ability to just BE HOME.  I took it to the max and just spent my entire year basically at home, either on the couch, in bed or in the kitchen.  Speaking of in the kitchen, Here is my yearly spread of things I’ve eaten and or created and eaten this year! (I took a break from the circles, I could never get that captions to work right) Enjoy, but of course not as much as I did!

ME WITH

Here is the section that seemingly people come here to see if I’ve written about them or someone else and as always see if they can figure out who I’ve been laying pipe to.  I have literally had several people tell me “do NOT write about me in your year end blog” or “I hope you don’t put THAT in your little blog.” Then turn around the next year and passive aggressively express to me their disdain for not being mentioned in the fucking blog! This section is and has always been just little tidbits about people who I have happened to have pictures with from THAT CALENDAR YEAR!  [I broke this rule ONE TIME out of the 9 years I’ve been doing this, and that was last year when I went on that rant about my ex wifes shenanigans… we obviously didn’t have any pictures together in 2017 so… I’m sorry.] All these pictures are from this year. 2018.  All the events I speak about happened this year, and if you and I don’t have  picture together, guess what…. you’re not here! It’s nice to know that you actually DO care lol… honestly, but that’s all it is.  You want be on here, snap a picture with me the next time you see me…. and don’t be an asshole. You’ll make it, I promise.

ME WITH – Family

received_1614435545321745DAD

My father is an effing trip!  We all knew he had a sense of humor.  We all knew he was capable of harsh and or direct honesty.  But he has taken all this to new heights recently.  Even before, during our 15+ years of feuding he wouldn’t even say some of these things he says to people now during fights and arguments!  Now.. he is just completely off the chain.  I’ve always said I couldn’t wait to reach his age so I can sa what I want and fart whenever and around whomever I please without repercussion.  Hell, sometimes it’s even cute/adorable.  Even without my fathers ailments and medications his age already buys him the authority to do what he does, in and out of his home.  That’s such a cool thing lol… again, can’t wait.  I don’t like having to hold my farts in.

Behind all the fading short-term memories, and episodes of acute anger or pensiveness IMG-20180802-WA0002he is still the smartest person I know.  Still the wealth of knowledge that I’m very happy to be able to go to whenever I need. I’ve sat across the table from my father to talk so much this year. We talked about the difference between “Holland” and The Netherlands.  One of the few things I have been able to teach HIM in my lifetime.  We’ve talked about some dumb choices I’ve made this year.  We’ve talked about the major differences between a ‘cove’ and a cul-de-sac.  Some of the most insightful and funny conversations to the most meaningless and still funny conversations in my life happened this year, with my dad. And he’s still here, kicking.  After going through some medical procedures in his lifetime I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy… still here, being an awesome dad, granddad, great-granddad and giving my mother absolute hell! LoL

received_10160330223955511MOMMY

She’s a strong ass woman. She would take this picture with me, ignoring all Dad would have to say about the idiots who stop on the shoulder of a highway to take pictures in front of Bluebonnets.  Getting mommy up off the grass after this picture was super fun. But that’s my mommy.  Continually doing shit she knows she shouldn’t be doing just to make someone else happy.  As I look over my life… that’s really been my mother.  Bending over backwards for people.  I mean… she will sure as hell take received_10160067815930511about your ass, but she’ll help you too.  No one can talk about people like my mom either.  I know when a certain part of my body aches, whether it be my leg, or back etc. I try to stay off it.  And you’re up shits creek if you think I’m doing something for you during these times.  Well… those times are daily for my mother.  But you’ll still see her over a stove, or oven cooking my or my fathers, or my kids’ favorite meals.  Or doing 100% of the prep work for her sister’s wedding.  Even threatening to fight any woman who tries to do me any harm.  She truly is a The Warden, and a S.A.C. trained killer.

20180401_123554I think she has really enjoyed having me nearby this year. When I tell people how close I live to my mother I feel like it makes me sound like a dependent titty baby who can’t stand to be too far away from his mother. LoL… that was funny.  I’m literally laughing right now as I write this.  But my mom asked me to move here.  She felt it would help her and dad out as they continue to mature. However, more than anything I think they’ve helped me.  Which was not the plan.  I certainly hope I’ll be able to feel that I’ve been some sort of benefit to her at some point.  Other than to introduce her to awesome restaurants and popping over to give them a laugh or two.

20180727_222417.jpgLeeLee

I know it’s not a good picture.  We couldn’t seem to find any good lighting out there that night in Tulsa.  But just rest assured she is still as beautiful as ever, and I am s pleased as punch to be by her side there, that warm Saturday evening.

Now, for some reason, I just figured out that LeeLee isn’t by any genetic or familial way my sister.  I mean, apparently everyone else knew, even my ex-wife..  But I didn’t.  Ya’ll know I’m slow. I say this to say, LeeLee is my sister.  Don’t care about any of that.  And there is no one who cares about her more than I do.  IMG_23761

She’s also one of those people who you need to have around.  She has a sound mind, and she always has a good word.  She practices what she preaches… and I honestly feel like if someone I trusted told me she did something wrong, I wouldn’t in a million years believe them.  That’s just what she is to me.

Me With – Friends and Acquaintances

We should all know that I put a lot of weight in the difference between “friend” and “acquaintance”.  But for all you new booty’s and forgetful people out there… you and I are NOT friends unless we make it past a falling out.  It’s REALLY easy to be friendly when we not only have a use for one another (ref: It’s Okay to Use People! ) but also things are great!  We are agreeing on things, we haven’t had any fights or arguments…. but a true test of friendship is to make through those times where your sensibilities and opinions do NOT jive.  When you have a falling out over money, or women/guys or WHATEVER.  Disagreements are natural, but if your relationship whatever type it may be, remains in tact over turbulent times… THAT is real.  Otherwise, you’re just an acquaintance.  It’s the difference between a season and a constant. Write that down.

20180210_104734MIKKA ELLA

If I say “my girlfriend” in this blog, or “my ex girlfriend” to you at this point in time whether over the phone or in-person this is whom I’m referring to.  Our exclusive relationship ended in April.  We still talked, she still supported FILIPINA and we mulled around a few options but ultimately figured our lives were headed in separate directions.  And I’m much too impatient. Yes!  No cheating, no lying no major dramatic issues.  We just broke up!

I know it seems like I’m happy about this.  I assure you, received_1747244751992201I’m not.  I, and any man  should/would be lucky to have a woman like Mikka.  She operates in a fashion to where even a guy like me who suspects everything every woman does, didn’t feel the need to suspect her.  So, yes I’m happy we didn’t break up over any craziness.  I’m glad that she proved to me that what I’m hoping to have one day for the first time is possible.

Snapchat-9359197671JENN

I’ve known Jenn for some years now.  She makes me look really good.  If I were to go into a barber shop nd see her amongst a bunch of young or older black men I would definitely not go to her chair.  Well… that was before she cut my hair. This woman is a true hair stylist.  And now that I know better, I would walk Snapchat-1193184971past a brother,an Indian, Turkish even an Egyptian [my best haircuts have been by Egyptians and Turks] to get to her.  Not sure if she does an extra special job on my hair because we’re friends, or if she’s just that good with everyone.

I enjoy her because she’s real and her slick mouth keeps me on my toes.  Overall, I’m glad to have met her.

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ANDREA

This unexpected friendship started in Kansas while I was there for a brief stint for n inspection job.  My first of a few this year.  Andrea, being a Filipino-American… or maybe an American-Filipino, lol… showed an immediate interest in not only myself, but in the novel.  Now, this was one of my goals in writing this book.  To somewhat reconnect any Fil-Ams [Like Cora Calibugan from the book] who may be a little disconnected from their culture.  Now, Andrea has Filipino family here in the states and whatnot, and she doesn’t dislike or shy away from her culture, but she hasn’t be immersed in it. And I don’t believe she’s been to The Philippines in her adult life.

Now, I don’t know if she learned anything from my book, but I know it did excite, entertain and spark her interest even more in her Filipino heritage. I feel that’s no small feat for a 36 year old, brown Texas boy.5b9456420e4a2.image

Andrea really made me fall in EXTREME like with her when she made it her business to use heer hard-earned single-mom money to fly down here to K-Town to help me with my first Barnes an Noble appearance.  After being with and knowing women who use my accomplishments to try to hurt me it’s nice to see a woman who has seemingly nothing to gain from my failure or success, make it her responsibility to help out the way she did.  I will always be grateful for at least that.

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Me With – Kids

So, here’s something new.  This year, in my Vegas blog I kinda opened a window that stayed largely closed to my modest audience for the past fifteen years. Yes, you may have seen a picture of my kids here and there.  Or maybe even a video,that I soon later deleted. I just never felt the need or even wanting to broadcast them in such a fashion.  But this year I’ve decided to, and no, I’m not going to explain why.

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Buffet in Vegas, Spring Break 2018

ANIYAH

So, this gorgeous, sarcastic 5’7″ bundle of joy who is often mistaken for my wife or girlfriend when we are out is my oldest. She used to be my biggest admirer… only to be contended with by her youngest brother Jaixon. It was her…. literally, just her who ended so many of my civilian deployments early.  She would tell me she missed me, or tell me she wanted me to come home in such a manner that led me to do just that.  Whether if it was a good decision or not.

She’s the one who even though now in her teenage years, and hormones and tons of attitude take the place of rationality and logic, wears her heart on her sleeve. These days, when she does choose to share or show her feelings, it can be enlightening, it can be heart wrenching and it can be heart-breaking.

She, like myself is brutally honest.  She is passed that age where it’s cute and not frowned upon because she’s too young to know better.  She definitely knows better.  She simply does not care.  Now, I know she gets this from me, but she’s definitely taking it to another level.

She is mine and my ex wifes first-born… and as we all know, she’s the experiment child.  Every day with her is uncharted territory.  I try my best to tread carefully with her.  With all of them actually.  I know a lot,  but I know nothing about being a teenage girl.  And I know even less about being a teenage girl with divorced parents.  It’s been really hard knowing that things could be so much smoother if her mother didn’t play all these games she plays.  Not speaking to me, and using her husband as a chess piece to cause even more trouble. Aniyah will tell me her mother has talked to me about something which is of importance to Aniyah when her mother knows damn-well she didn’t, and my Baby is looking at ME like “WTH dad?”  It’s happened so much I am seriously tired of looking like the asshole.  Sometimes I just want to tell her… Aniyah, your mother is a cold-hearted, lying, selfish bitch who will use you AND your siblings to make my life hell no matter what happens in the balance.  It’s not my place… and most of all, she wouldn’t believe me anyway! LoL

Funny thing… Aniyah chose to live with me this year for a reason. I don’t even know what it is.  I really don’t bother wondering anymore, I’m just glad that she did. While she’s here, I can hopefully instill in her the importance of school/education, respect, responsibility, timeliness, self-awareness/appearance, pride… you know all the things a parent should teach their kid.  You know… al the things she wasn’t being taught up there. My daughter is brilliant.  But she lacks drive. Yea… she has traits of both me AND her mother.  I won’t bother saying where that one comes from. She has a million ideas a minute, but rarely any will to set out to get them started and see them through.  One of the things I’m trying to work with her on.  Another is… all this boyfriend, and friend nonsense.

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School Spirit Day

As a number of us have realized in our adult life.  Friends suck!  Like… overall, they really do.  Having friends, and the idea of friendship is great!  But overall, they suck.  It’s draining. And it kills me to see her put so much effort into them… and so little into herself.  I am having the hardest time trying to figure out if this is simply a teenage girl thing, or a product of her environment.

Either way… this beautiful, smart, and talented, and oh-so-funny daughter of mine has always been the apple of my eye.  And I really look forward to what she turns out to be.  I’ll always love her dearly, and do my best to keep her protected. And I realize that’s not just from these little fuckboys out here at her school and whatnot… but that’s from any

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First day of High school

and everyone. After a few months ago, when we met in Fort Worth to exchange her for the school year; her mother allowing her husband to jump out of the car trying to fight me in the middle of the street in front of my daughter, GOD and everyone else, I realize… she’s not even safe from her own mother.  Oops… did I say “allow”, I mean encouraged.  After playing the audio back from the recording this of this gorilla talking shit to me for over 6 minutes I realized everything he was screaming about was lies… from her. Poor guy.  Anywho, Babygirl…. you have a lot of challenges to face.  Even ones right here in your own home.  But as I hope I showed you that and every day, I will keep you at the forefront of my decision-making processes.  And no matter how much I just want to plow right through all of our problems, it’s sometimes best to let them… do their best, beat their chest, then be the bigger person in the situation. Make good decisions, Baby.  Make good decisions.

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One of my school lunch visits

REILEND

This kid right here… my big boy, a TRUE BOY and my biggest opponent. He and I have always had a strange relationship.  We are so much alike it’s not even funny.  He was our NICU baby.  Yes… he was giving us problems right from the start.  He came out, not wanting to breathe right, nor did he want to eat.  He’s grown from that fragile and quite frankly, frightening state to a boy… a young man rather, who stares at girls, talks the loudest, loves video games and eats wings like they’re Pringle’s.

This is the one my children and I unanimously agree is going to be rich and/or famous one day.  He is super talented, very entertaining and much smarter than he likes to put on.  He has always been very cognizant of the rules, but very apt to breaking them if he feels he can get away with it.

His changes are swift.  When you think you have him figured out, he goes and matures on you… in an instant. It’s absolutely amazing.  Throughout his life, he has either been told, or gathers all on his own that I’m harder on him than I am the rest of the kids.  It honestly isn’t my place to say whether I am or not.  If he feels like I am, then apparently I am.  I like to think I’m fair, and the kids get from me what they give.  But as time goes on I am learning to listen to people who may know… listen to someone who is authority on a matter.  Reilend is the authority on how Reilend feels.

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At “Top of the World” restaurant at Stratosphere in Vegas

Those times when he comes to me out of nowhere and bury’s his head in my chest and embraces me I realize he loves me a lot more than he puts on as well.  I love him DEARLY.  And I’m so happy and proud when he texts me and tells me about his day, his report card or about… anything really.  Because I know where he is, communicating with me is NOT encouraged.  I literally watched his mother’s husband try to keep me from having alone time with him. Little does he and Reilends mother know, if they want to drive a wedge between me and the kids, Reilend is the LAST place they need to start lol. That boy and I have an unexplainable and unbreakable bond that brings me to tears every time I think about it. And he may be a mommas boy, but he will always be my son.  My first-born son.

My first-born son says he wants to be a pro-gamer when he grows up.  Not only do I feel that is extremely flimsy for a career choice, I don’t even think they are compensated that well depending on if he’s talking about a competition gamer, a broadcast gamer or a tester. However, if that’s where his passion lies, I want to get him spooled up on being the best. The presents I give him are all for him having what the pros have.  I even bone up on my own gaming skills just to let him know, son… if you can’t beat me, you will NOT beat any of the pro gamers out there.  Just last night I whipped his ass in some Mortal Combat X with Raiden, he was Liu Kang.  He better get his shit together! LoL.

I want to support his dreams, his goals and turn his shenigans and habits into controllable talents to use when he gets older.  Not just laugh along.  My oldest daughter sent me a  video of my son participating in a talent show over the Thanksgiving break.

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The boy is handsome no matter what

He was doing the dance to “Gentleman” by PSY off the likeness from the video game “Just Dance”. Not only was I brought to tears at how out-going, and fearless Reilend had become to do this all by himself… or not how flawlessly he performed that dance routine without looking at a screen. But… Just Dance is OUR THING! That is something I have been doing REGULARLY with our kids our entire lives.  I even have a video of him doing the same exact dance at my house last summer in Temple!  I wasn’t tooting my own horn I was just realizing… PARENTING IS REAL! PARENTING WORKS!  For good or bad, they our taking in everything.  Everything we do, everything we say, and everything we do together!  It’s all being woven into the fabric of who they are going to become!

That’s Reilend.  He has been teaching me so much since the day he was born.

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Daddy – Daughter Dance 2018. [never mind my lazy eye]

JAIDYN

Check out what pure evil, genius looks like.  This girl is by her face, damn-near  splitting image of her mother.  But her confidence, will, intelligence, sense-of-humor, logic, talent and sensibilities mostly come from her last name.  This is the one who during our Saturday cleanups would grab the big yellow rubber gloves from the kitchen and scrub the toilet until it looked brand-new again.

She is more clean and organized than I ever taught her to be.  She’s been beating to the pace of her own drum since the dy she popped out!  Sliding out of he mother, nearly being dropped by the delivery nurse. She waited til the moment was just right, and I was gome for 3 days from working out-of-town and

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Jaidyn in her room sketching

decided… it was time. Jaidyn does not play by anyones rules but her own. Once she gets a hold of what she thinks is right or wrong, she will stick by it. Ardently.

Jaidyn has been loved and adored by every single one of her teachers since she started school.  All the way up to last week when I picked her up, the teachers looked at me in awe of her.  Singing her praises while hugging her tightly as if she were their own child. All this happened at the same time Jaidyn thoughtfully handed each teacher a Chirstmas gift that she bought with her own fucking money!  My daughter… she is frikkin awesome. This is my kid who LOVES school.  Who will separate herself from fun, to go READ or DRAW.  I don’t een need to tell you her last name again.  And usually, when she see’s trouble brewing she’s either the voice of reason, or she will detach herself from the situation.

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Stratosphere in Vegas, with her beautiful smile

Now, Jaidyn is still a kid. She still plays, she still cuts up, she still gets in trouble… I mean, I guess.  I haven’t had to discipline the girl in GOD knows how long. But she definitely is no normal kid.  And although she is still being under some pretty sub-par influences where she currently lives, I am less worried of her greatness being shaded by it.  She hs been convinced that not caring for your hair is “natural”. And a few other nonsensical things but overall… Jaidyn is going to be Jaidyn.  And NO ONE is ever going to tell her that’s wrong. A talented artist, who loves GOD, nature, her big sister, women’s rights but also claims to be able to speak to evil spirits.

That’s my daughter, ya’ll.

 

 

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Talk about a beautiful smile.  This is Jaixon in his master bedroom at our old apartment.  He usually chose for us to have dinner in his room while watching Teen Titans Go

JAIXON

My youngest son.  Who would often contest that he is basically my only kid.  LoL!  He has taken an ownership of me like no one else on earth.  His siblings and I often joke about how he has nothing going on for him but his looks.  Let’s say that were true, he has a pretty good life ahead of him.  Jaixon has always been strangely aware of how good-looking he is.  He knows it… he shows it… he even plays off it.  Now, I’m not saying this is just because his last name is ROOKS but…. his last name IS Rooks.

Jaixon is a very passionate little boy.  That passion turns into anger quickly.   And for some as precious and kind-hearted as he is… it’s absolutely adorable to see him lose his temper like he does lol.  But it is a problem that I plan on continuing to work on with him.  It gets him in trouble in school sometimes of course so… gotta get that nipped.

Jaixon spoke all year of how glad he was to be living with me.  A decision he made

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Strat Cafe, Vegas

immediately years ago when his mother and I told him of our impending divorce.  Even during the summer he spoke of all  the things he and I would get into and his plans for his room and whatnot.  On our way back from our Summer break together he wanted to know if he could just stay with me until school started instead of going back with his mom for two weeks and returning for the school year.  Not only did his mother railroad that wish of  his, but somehow within 5 minutes of being alone with him coaxed him into saying he wanted to live with her for the year.  I didn’t argue…  All these kids, sooner hopefully than later will become privy to their mothers’ manipulation tactics.  Still love her and respect her… but just KNOW who and what she is.  And start to make decisions that are best for themselves… not her.  Just like my oldest did all on her own this summer.

Everyone who knows him knows that he would if faced with the choice, drop his mother off a cliff to save me.  Not to say he doesn’t love his mother… because he does, but… this one is mine.  She knows it.  And seeing the things she did last year,and this summer shows that it eats her up inside.  It’s kinda sad.

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End-of-School award ceremony… though I live two hours away, I was the only parent of his in attendance that day.

Jaixon loves his siblings, but he looked me in my eyes and told me how he loved spending after school with me laying on the floor listening to inc. more than pretty much anything.  I did too.

Jaixon shares my love nd passion for cars.  So much so, he can name them pretty much flawlessly.  Even some cars I don’t even know about.  When at a loss of things to talk about, it’s usually what he will bring up, if not something involving video games  “Hey dad, what if you had a Koenigsegg Regara?” “Hey, Dad!  What if someone just gave you a Pagani Huayra?”

He’s such a sweet boy.  Probably the best cuddler on earth, and he really does make girls of all ages swoon.  Definitely a future ladies man. Let’s just hope he uses his powers for good.

20180310_101311OLIVIA

Last, but definitely not least, Olivia.  My last born.  My youngest daughter, and beauty incarnate.  She is, EVERYTHING. Everyone loves Olivia.  And I always say, she brings joy to everyone she comes across.  There’s just something about her.

Being that she has me for a father, absolutely ADORES her mother AND has four older siblings with completely different personalities influencing her on a daily basis; Olivia is probably going to be the most well-rounded person on earth.  Of all time. She’s beautiful, sweet, sassy, smart, witty, brave at times, and her confidence is on 1,000,000,000. Yeah… trillion.

And it should be. I men.. there really isn’t too much else to say about her.  She does hae a nasty eczema condition that doesn’t seem to be improving much.  She spends very little time with me, so my efforts are going to be inconsequential.  What she needs is someone constantly working to make it better, before she ruins her skin [the scratching] for good. If her mother would actually coparent with me, we could work together to get it kicked. But… yea.

She is the only kid I wasn’t in the birthing suite for.  I hate myself for that.  I was on my way back from Afghanistan when she decided to come out.  I got pictures of her… I thought she looked like a squid.  LoL.  When I tell her that she gets SO SAD! Seeing her sad is pretty pitiful too.  But she knows I’m just joking. She loves to play with kids her age once she gets to know them, which doesn’t take long. But she is usually not afraid to speak to an adult.  And not just on  four-year old level.  She honestly behaves a lot older than she is more often than not.  Yet another expert cuddler. And just.. so innocent, I don’t want her phased by all this nonsense going on. Life is going to be hard enough. Why does she need two feuding parents for the next 14 years?  I ask her mother that often. What can you do?

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All I know is, I loves me some Olivia.  She makes my day perfect just being around. I know she doest the same for her mother. I’ll be trying, every day to make things right for you.

My kids… they’re everything to me. Though I don’t dote over them as if they are all I have going on my life, I do worry about them the most.  I don’t understand people who try to live through their children.  Like… you had your life.  You’ve made your mistakes… help them have a BETTER LIFE/FUTURE than you! When will people understand that being a parent is about raising responsible adults?  I’m trying ya’ll.  But it’s like a gotdamn game of tug-o-war. I really envy all the two-parent households who have their shit together… and even moreso, the single parents who have a co-parent who decided to just disappear instead of staying around and making things worse.  Like… where do I sign up for that at lol? But seriously, Ill keep praying that things come around.  And if they don’t, I’ll keep pulling at this rope.  Alone, for the rest of my life if I have to.

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The First Day I met Layla and Sierra

LAYLA & SIERRA

If you spoke to me anytime this year before December, you knew I had acquired two new children in my life.  This happened because an ex-friend of mine whom I had known for over 8 years now wanted more than anything for me to be in her children’s lives.  She was a friend, a single mother and we hd toyed with the idea for years.  And when I say toyed, I literally mean we played and joked about it over email and texts.  It was never a serious thought until this summer.  I was moving, her lease was up and she told me she could easily make just as much money as I did. Which… is actually kinda true.  She, can actually esily make a little more money than I do.  I’ve seen her do it.  So, with my little book money, my little savings and her huge paychecks, we decide that we could make it so I could stay at homme parent while I watch her children for a year; while she TRAVEL NURSED. TRAVEL.  She knew the heart I have for children, and the disdain I have for true absentee fathers. She also knew I wanted to be home with Aniyah and freed up to work on Takeda Jin. I formulated a FANTASTIC plan for everyone to get what they needed they wanted. My daughter was fine, the girls were fine, and I was fine.  Their

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Jaixon, Sierra and Olivia at my dads house.

mother was out doing what she loved and supposedly working on some much-needed self-improvement.

I was teaching the girls some things they needed to be taught and at the same time, giving them something they’ve always been missing.  A Dad. I did everything they needed.  Clothed, bathed, fed, nursed, played, disciplined and taught. We were good. I sent pictures and videos to their mother daily, and they talked on the phone almost nightly.  Things were going swimmingly.  And here’s where I will summarize. She ended up presenting that things would be better and more cost-effective if she worked here locally, lived here and whatnot, ultimately allowing her true intentions to show which were force me into being her property, her man, her husband, and entrap me into doing all the things SHE wanted and ultimately ended with two broken fingers, a restraining order and two little girls wondering where their Daddy is…. again.

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After grocery shopping, this lady in the checkout counter gave all the girls money because they’re so cute I guess.

I wrote this section like this because that’s literally how abrupt and unexpected this was. Being somewhat experienced in having to rid myself of crazy white bitches, I had to move quickly.  And get this situation handled before it made things worse for me and my children.

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Layla, LeeLee and Olivia at the family reunion, Tulsa, OK. Summer 2018

My thing is… WHY?  Your children were in a better situation than they had EVER been. They had a man who would be there for them, FOREVER.  You had to go get greedy.  And try to force something that I flat-out TOLD YOU would NOT happen. So… let’s just go ahead and say this is my fault. I once gin allowed someone in my life who claimed they wanted my help, and could help me in return.  Bd thing is, I don’t feel I got fucked here.  I’m FINE.  I really am.  I always am, alhamdillah.  He fingers will eventually heal, and some unsuspecting hospital will undoubtedly intrust her crazy ass with people’s lives again [if I decide not to report all these HIPAA violations she left here at my house to the Health Administration.] But these two little girls.  Ones that are already at an EXTREME disadvantage, because one, their mother is  total fucking psycho. Which, I’m sure my ex-wife would look at me and say “duh, dumbass”. Here I am thinking people can change for the better… TWO, they’re little mixed girls. THREE, their father, from what I understand is a drug addict who wants nothing to do with them. FOUR, now they’re dealing with abandonment issues all over again.  And for what?  Definitely not my willingness to be there for them.  But for some little girls dream to MAKE ME want to be with her.  Using her children. I mean… that really takes the cake.

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Something I used to do with my kiddos when they were younger, felt it would’ve been funny to do it with seven lol.

I’m sorry, girls.  I really did try my best. Love you and miss you.

 

WriterRLR

While I was in Saudi Arabia, I had made plans to make this a great literary year for me.  I can’t say it wasn’t.  There were many “firsts”.  Let’s get write to it. [See what I did there?]

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No… this wasn’t how the entire day went LMAO.  That was the joke of the picture, I showed up about 45 minutes early to get set up.  Needless to say, I was a little excited. And half sleep because my youngest sons birthday party ws the night before… we got a little crazy in the pool at the Hilton lol

My first Half Price Books book signing.  Scratch that… this was MY FIRST BOOK SIGNING, at the flagship location of HPB in Dallas, Tx.! I have attended book fairs and festivals before.  The year prior, we all know I launched FILIPINA at the Manila International Book Fair.  I sold and signed books there, but this

as an author, book signing event just for me in a national book store.  This was new. This was big. I’ll never forget that and absolutely love HPB for extending these opportunities to authors who are serious about their craft and product.

Then there was my second author event, book signing at one of the Austin, Tx. locations.  South Lamar Blvd. to be exact. This is my home town, so I had a lot of friends show up for support.  I really appreciate all the friends and book readers fo showing up!

Afterwards, I attended an event called “WordFest 2.0” put on by the Writers Organization ‘Round Dallas. I was invited to be a guest speaker for two different topics.  “The Big Ask” and Biggest Mistakes Indie Authors Make.  I started out with a joke saying I was

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definitely a subject matter expert on the latter topic.  The panel discussion was fantastic.  It was fun to be up there with other writers answering questions and whatnot.  But the workshop was scary because it was JUST ME.  Which is why I have absolutely no footage of it.  I was sweating bullets, trying to make sure I ws informative, engaging and not making a fool of myself.  No time for selfies.

Then, after a super-fun summer with my kids, I got back to it and made some more history for myself with my first author event/book signing at Barnes and Noble. This was20180907_183223 pretty major for me as well, I mean… it’s Barnes and Noble.  Pretty much THE name in Bookselling. Not to say HPB doesn’t have any criteria for one to host a book signing, but since B&N is buying the books for the book signing, the requirements are more rigorous.  It took pretty much all year to get this event arranged. The manager of these functions, Rick and I worked together pretty much throughout the year making sure this event went well.

I would say it did. Had a modest turn out.  Sold most of the books, got interviewed by the local paper and met some pretty cool people as usual!

Both Half Price Books and Barnes and Noble were very good to me.  They treated me great upon arrival and made announcements every so often to let the customers know I was in the house.  It was great! Hell, Barnes and Noble even had their cafe manager come by and tell me whatever I wanted was on the house.  Never had that kind of treatment before.  Not in America anyway.

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Twenty years ago, if someone would’ve told me I would be having book signings at major book stores, people asking for inscriptions and photos; that a book/books that I wrote would be in stores, libraries and homes all around the world I would be impressed with myself, but it would be an overwhelming truth to swallow right away.  What can I say?  It wouldn’t have been unbelievable, but it would’ve been shocking nonetheless. Just last week, I got call from the library circuit in Newport News, Virginia, informing me they were going to be adding FILIPINA to the catalog!  News like this STILL EXCITES me!  Even though I have hd books in libraries for 4 years now! It will never get old.  It will never be a lacklustre or mundane fact that my literature, my stories, my work is someplace new. I again want to thank everyone who bought copies of FILIPINA from Book-A-Holic in Kansas, everyone who has checked any of my books out from libraries, everyone who has sent in a book selfie or published a review… it never goes unnoticed and even though these are still modest followings and I feel like these details and events are huge milestones.

My year as a blogger was not-so-impressive.  I did manage to crank out about 11 blogs, when there should’ve been 13 including this one. But fail is a fail.  I allowed B.S. from the few special individuals get in the way of things I said I would do.  That ain’t right! LoL

All I can say is, I’ll try harder next year. Monthly blogs… how the h ell hard could that be? Really?

RESOLUTION

OKAY, as you can see I have tried my damnedest to keep this as short as possible. Most of my year and blogs are between 10,000 and 11,000 words.  I promise to try to keep it under that in this one! LoL [9,158 right now.]

Every year I say what my new years resolution is.  Because I believe in them.  I like them.  I’m not a ‘new year, new me’ type of person, but I do believe in goal-setting.  And using January 1st is a great node to use for it.  I mean… anytime is a great time for positive change, but it is a good way to gaage the process and a hard date to look forward to making such a change.

Last years resolution was to get back to the basics.  I think I went a little overboard with “Basic”.LoL.  I will try to continue that this year, and also KEEP MOVING FORWARD. That’s this years resolution.  Something that we all kinda do in our own little way.  But I 20181011_075921mean it.  Always, just move forward. Ex wanna act stupid.  Move forward. Contract gets cancelled, move forward. Tired from your workout, screw it, KEEP MOVING FORWARD. I’m pretty good at this, and I want to keep it going.  I’m almost FORTY yall!  I hve no time to be screwing around with any nonsense.  I have no time to be fighting in the streets lol, no time to be getting ghosted by randoms, no time to be dwelling on b.s.!

As always, I hope I haven’t taken up too much of your time. I hope we can survive another year without destroying all of mankind.  My very own life, I think is a reflection of everything that can be right and wrong with the world.  Every day before school, I tell my daughter “Make good decisions”. But the world… it has such a skewed vision of what “good” is.  We are living in a world where there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.  And it’s dangerous.  It’s saddening. This do-whatever-you-want society we live in these days is going to be the deth of all of us I’m afraid. Would it hurt for us to still have some standards?

 

Anywho, thanks for reading. PLEASE drop a comment below,let me know you were here and let me know what you think, or even tell me a little about YOUR year!

If you are a book-reader,get your ass down to Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble [nd B&N.com] nd order one or all of my books!

 

Scream at me,

Rooks

http://www.WriterRLR.com

Happy New Year_

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22 thoughts on “Rooks’ 2018 [Year End Blog]

  1. sans rival says:

    the Creator will give you the best year you always wanted,thats for sure….Remember that God will give the best for the Best…great blog!!!

    Like

  2. Climmie Rooks says:

    Robert you just never stop amazing me. God will not put more on you than you can handle. Keep your eyes on the prize. He may not be there when you want Him but He is always on time. You’re a wonderful father, son, brother and friend and I thank God for you being YOU!

    Your kids know who you are and each and everyone of them have so much of you in them and nothing I suspect will every change that. Just to sit back and hear them say “daddy” put it all into it’s proper place. There is so much love in their actions when they are around you. You know each of them so well. You got this.

    Great blog keep up the great work!!!

    Like

  3. Brandi says:

    You are such a wonderful dad and it shows not only in your daily actions with your children when you get them, but also in the words you use to describe them and your relationship with them. Even though it’s hard right now, it won’t always be. KEEP MOVING FORWARD… looking backwards just slows you down. 2019 will have wonderful things for you, trust that He has you and will give you EVERYTHING YOU DESERVE!

    Like

  4. Farrah says:

    Rooks,

    It’s always intriguing to read your YEB and see what you’ve been up to. Although we had a significant falling out yet again this year and I swore I couldn’t deal with you anymore, here I am. Can you please let me know what kind of spell you have me under? 😉 By your definition of ‘friendship’, I’d say we should nearly be at the BFAAF stage lol

    When I read what you wrote about your father and spending time with him, I smiled. I’m so very happy to know your relationship with him has been rekindled. The long lasting parking garage conversation we had in Vegas tends to come to mind every time I read about your father.

    The way your words flow as your wrote about your children is truly beautiful. Their uniqueness and your never ending love for them is clearly evident.

    You make a good point when you mention we must keep on going despite all the bad and wrong in the world. Surely, if the few keep shining their light through the cracks of all the bad, eventually good will prevail. Maybe?

    Oh, Rooks. You have been and always will be a character. There must be some reason we’re still in each other lives another year later. Perhaps there’s not. I’m anxious to see what 2019 holds.

    Continue to focus on the positives and controlling what you can control. “Let the rest go down the drain. After all, no one can get you down, like you.” A wise fellow once wrote that gut wrenching truth.

    Keep living, loving, and writing,

    Me and Autumn love you always. 💘

    Like

  5. Mary says:

    Another great blog. I see always said I support your writings cause you are a great writer and father I’m glad to see you and your kids are doing great now. As you say moving forward is the best advice one can give to yourself. Learn from your mistakes move on and grow from it lesson learned as they say. Very happy you and your father are rekindling your relationship as well. Wish you the best in writings. Family. And a great bountiful prosperous new year. Great blog.

    Like

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