June 3, 2012

And Here’s To You, Mrs. Robinson

Good morning and greetings, cap, gown and tassle fans. Well, it’s June and diplomas are in the air. I’ve never looked forward to this ceremonial experience as it meant the end of the high school days for my favorite son. He is matriculating on to UC Santa Barbara, and if I weren’t unpaid for this blog, I would give up four years salary to join him in South Beach.

His graduation from Pacific Collegiate School was last Friday, which brought to an end twelve years of his education at the site of the former Natural Bridges elementary school. Yes, time has flown by and in the words of author Harvey McKay, “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”

So what is it about time? Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care? Does anything fly by faster with the exception of LeBron James or Russell Westbrook in the open court? I believe it was either Jerry Garcia or Spanish philosopher Blatasar Gracian that said, “All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that.”

The most important thing we don’t know in life is how much time we have. Or if the home team is going to cover the spread. But it seems no matter how much time you have, it still flies by faster than a 747. The only place where it would seem that time isn’t in a hurry is in prison, or as businessman Malcom Forbes once said, “There is never enough time, unless you’re serving it.”

Writer Robert Orben said, “Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator.” I remember Jason as a small child growing up in southern California. He loved playing with any kind of ball, and spent his preschool years hitting jumpers and whacking line drives down on the strand in Hermosa Beach.

The South Bay is the birthplace of beach volleyball, and it definitely rubbed off on him, as last week he was once again named a first team, all-SCCAL selection as an outside hitter. For a hitter, it’s all about the spectacular kills. To paraphrase author Tom Robbins, “There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, and the only thing worth killing happens on the volleyball court.”

So this is a child that I started thinking about missing back when he was just eleven years old. Just the thought of him one day leaving was not my favorite thought of the day. So I tried to savor my time with him and not to sob uncontrollably in his presence. As either Frank Sinatra or author Kay Lyons once said, “Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have – so spend it wisely.”

So Jason’s high school years have gone by in a blur. Fortunately, it included a host of basketball games and volleyball matches, where as a parent, I truly got to enjoy the talents of my child. I don’t get to see him acing math, science or English tests, but I’ve haven’t missed many no-look passes or jump float ace serves. I won’t say I lived semi-vicariously through him-it was totally vicarious all the way on the athletic front.

Not too many things are greater than watching your child excel at sports or the stock market. This decade as his parent and sometimes coach has been beyond priceless. Or as Jimi Hendrix or poet Carl Sandburg once told me, “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”

Either sportscaster Jim Rome or author Jim Rohn once said, ““Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” My favorite inventor, Ben Franklin once remarked that “Lost time is never found again.” French composer Louis Hector Berlioz said that “Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.” Stay thirsty, my friends.

But my favorite sayings about time comes from author H. Jackson Brown, Jr. “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein and Mel Brooks.” Or in the words of Lili Von Schtupp from Blazing Saddles, “Hello, handsome, is that a ten-gallon hat or are you just enjoying the show?

So I”ve got a few more months of at-home fun with my son, who penned his college essay about the first time he beat me playing one-on-one. Then he’ll be heading down to his oceanfront dorm with the two full court basketball courts and sand volleyball court. I’m going to miss him but to see how excited he is about the next chapter in his life makes it more than okay. After all, he’s just down the coast, not at the University of Kiev. And while he’s doing neuroscience research, I’ll be researching the new fall shows on the networks. Busy, busy, busy.

Now the fun really starts, as I get to focus all my attention on my soon-to-be sweet fifteen-year-old daughter. We are going to be doing some major father-daughter bonding, which I know for her, will be a dream come true. Let the games begin.

So in honor of my National Honor Society son heading to the Honors Program at Santa Barbara, I thought some roses would be appropriate. It’s too bad these pictures aren’t scratch and sniff, as they smell lovelier than success. But remember what author Henry David Thoreau said about these beauties. “Truths and roses have thorns about them.” That’s why I always like to thistle while I work.

On to the late night. “This Facebook fiasco is one of the biggest clusterf**ks ever on Wall Street. Regular people got screwed and the banks and the insiders did okay. Or as Mitt Romney calls it, ‘The American Dream.’ Mitt Romney was attacking Obama about our failing education system. He has a point. We are graduating millions of people in this country who are so lacking in basic analytical skills, they are considering voting for Mitt Romney. As George Bush once said, ‘Our kids is not learning.’” –Bill Maher

“Mitt Romney has begun vetting his vice presidential candidates. This is a tough thing because they want to appeal to the Republican base. They want a strong conservative there, but someone who will not upstage Mitt Romney. So the search is on for a strong conservative in a coma. “Mitt Romney is trying to get the Latino vote … He maintains he’s always had a great relationship with the Latinos in his life, as long as they don’t wake him up with the leaf blower.” –Bill Maher

“Former President Bill Clinton posed for pictures with his arms around two women, both of whom turned out to be famous porn stars. See, this is why we miss Clinton. He was like a president and a Secret Service agent all rolled into one. A Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA hunt for Osama bin Laden has been convicted of high treason in Pakistan. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison for helping us. Think how much worse the sentence would have been if Pakistan wasn’t our ally.” –Jay Leno

“First lady Michelle Obama said that if she could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be Beyoncé. Of course it got awkward when Barack was like, ‘I’m ame!’”–Jimmy Fallon “Next week Mitt Romney will campaign in Las Vegas with Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich. Did somebody say ‘The Hangover, Part III?’” –Jimmy Fallon

So that’s our first blast for June 2012. Enjoy the conference finals and we’ll catch you putting up one of the most amazing performances in NBA playoff history. Aloha, mahalo and later, Rajon Rondo fans.

5 Comments »

  1. Sounds like the end of one very successful era in parenting for you with some exciting times ahead. Have you thought about moving to Santa Barbara – I hear they have pretty nice sunrises and sunsets there too. Wherever you do go I will always follow as any blog that quotes Blatasar Gracian and Lili Von Schtupp in the same post is required reading for me. And by the way, photo number 6 is a real beaut – thanks for the fine work.

    Comment by Kevin Garnett — June 4, 2012 @ 8:46 am

  2. how about that Ray Allen?

    Comment by Sky — June 4, 2012 @ 9:08 am

  3. Congratulations to Jason and to the proud parents.
    He is really a stellar citizen in this world. We all look forward to seeing him thrive and grow
    and making his mark on this world.

    Good luck with that upcoming”bonding time.” just sayin:)

    LOVE THE ROSES! so beautiful. thorns and all.

    -Your all time favorite sister in law

    Comment by Wendi GIlbert — June 4, 2012 @ 11:29 am

  4. Congratuations to Jason and his parents and Amy too! Wishing you the very best at UC Santa Barbara.

    Comment by Babs — June 4, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

  5. This column was just what I needed. Thanks for not wasting all my time. Time.

    Comment by Rick Ocasek — June 6, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

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