The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

investing in my daughters

January31

Saturday night realized the 6th annual Daddy Daughter “My Princess” dance.

I’m chuckling as I tap this post into your collective lives because after all the work Emma Jo and I did practicing “swing” dancing, and a Waltz, she still had more fun standing on my feet and looking up at me with those beautiful blue eyes lit up like gemstones (and, her Princess ring from the event). she’s my little monkey, that one.

this years was the best yet. and, I’m deeply grateful to Woody Faulk and his team, and that includes Shari Wassell, who likely fielded over one thousand questions, for pulling the event off with such panache.

I feel that way for many reasons. but, one that stands-out was the opportunity to define “panache” to my Emma Jo.

she listens to me. and, carefully.

oddly, though, while we were dancing through the evening I found myself thinking about her future. college. that sort of thing. and, Apple, where most of her college (and wedding) money is growing.

meanwhile…

I don’t hink Emma Jo’s hand left my own. not once. and, we talked non-stop the entire evening. the words just seemed to flow one into the other with no real plan. it was just easy banter. however, it’s times like these that I share stories about my own childhood for examples. and, she is also particularly fond of stories about her “Nana” (my own Mother) as relayed to me by Mom and my own Nana.

we took only one quick snack break. but, even the beautiful and towering chocolate fountain possessed a prayer of hope in competing with myself that evening. Emma Jo was much too eager to remain on the dance floor and kick up her heels. I don’t think she stopped smiling, not once. except when she was observing. she is good about doing that. and, of course, that leads to endless questions. so, more on that later.

we got home in good form. it was late for Emma Jo. she was utterly exhausted. and, her feet were sore. but, I did get a sleepy “giggly-giggly” in response to my “home again home again” (that won’t last much longer, will it) she had her warm milk and I got an extra long hug and a squeeze.

later, I was pulled from my own deep slumber when I heard her calling for me around 0530 hours Sunday morning, and that resulted in my crawling into bed with her and smiling into the dark as her little arms relaxed and twitched around my neck and she slipped back to sleep. she snores, just a little bit. but, I’ll not, ever, tease her about that.

Joanne is still sick. more on that later, as well. so, with Haley Anne still at her sleep over, it was Emma Jo and me left to fend for ourselves. we pulled Anastasia off Netflix as we remained in the Princess zone. and, other than me out for a run in the afternoon, the day belonged to just the two of us.

NOTE: Haley Anne was busy being fourteen in-and-through her eighth grade dance. I asked her how that went Sunday late morning. all I got, at first was: “fine”. but, details continue to realize themselves slowly. and, I am very patient. in fact, she just before her own bed time Sunday night she crawled onto the sofa with me. I knew it was meant to be quiet time. she just wanted to be around me. she asked me a question about Mormons. I gave her some of my thinking. but, I know she was more interested in listening to my voice, as opposed to words. and, that was enough to make her sleepy.

mission accomplished.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

the Princesses and the me

January28

I have three Princesses in my immediate family with the girl of my dreams at my side, and two daughters that I’m determined will realize their own.

I coach a good number of princesses in soccer. But, that is different. And, the stuff of other stories. You can always read about those adventures, here.

Haley Anne is preparing for her first big eighth grade dance tomorrow night. This one is clearly different from other less considered events. She has an indoor soccer match that morning with a team that will likely vie for the state championship in the Spring. After the match she has to rush home (and, we’ll be pressed for time) so she can shower and then spend ninety minutes being surrounded by a hand-picked team, alongside her BFF’s (I know they don’t say that any longer) being pampered with the application of makeup, getting their hair coifed (seriously), and having their collective nails manicured.

There are moments when I think that attention to detail might be over the top. You might use the term: “spoiled”. But, it’s also something I can do that allows her to get really excited about things that are actually harmless, but really fun. I understand the planning is half the joy. And, just being thrilled by something is very important in life. My own Mom was a debutante out of old Sacramento. She would have absolutely understood the tradition of the preparation. The prospect of getting roughed-up that morning in a soccer match before the preparations begins has Haley Anne turning her nose up at me. But, she’ll pull it all together. And, I know she’s doing that for me.

It wasn’t so long ago that I was blogging about taking Haley Anne out to buy a pretty dress so we could go to a Father Daughter dance. Or, maybe just have a special evening where I tried to make things magical under simple circumstances like a dinner at a posh restaurant where she could experience what being treated like a lady means.

She’s growing up. And, we both need to be ready. She’ll be leaving me behind all to soon. So, maybe me allowing her to get gussied-up is just a way for me to stay involved.

And, as you know Emma Jo and I have the My Princess Daddy and Daughter Dance that evening as well.

Wednesday night she was playing music on her Mom’s Macbook. I asked her to dance. But, instead she grabbed a soccer ball and insisted on practicing her stops and kicks. She was blissfully unaware that I was holding back some tears and remembering her big sissy was about the same age when she started being a Shocker and thought it was fine when I sang along to the radio while we were in the car.

So, come Saturday night I’ll find myself in two worlds. One foot pivoting my Emma Jo through a Waltz at the Buckhead Intercontinental making damn sure she feels like the very center of the universe. She has a lovely white and black ensemble ready to go. Her silver tipped shoes will match a specially picked handercheif that will be stuffed gallantly in the breast pocket of my coat. The other foot will be tapping to the beat of my heart as Haley Anne, my “formidable defender” takes her own first steps towards a coming of age, but just outside of my protective reach.

I look at them, and I can’t believe what absolutely wonderous creatures Haley Anne and Emma Jo are (and, their own Mother, Joanne). They are so pretty. And, smart. And, perfect. And, silly. And, always four years old in my eyes, stomping in water puddles.

So… Saturday is going to be all about being a Princess at the Cork household.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

It’s time for a Princess to Dance!

January20

“Gentlemen, when the clock strikes seven o’clock on Saturday, January 29th the land of Princess-Ville awakens and the celebration begins. This night will be like no other as the great protectors called “knights in shining armour” whisk their Princess into a night of wonderment. This evening will be for you and your special Princess – your daughter, granddaughter, niece or the little girl who just makes your heart melt.”

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Register, here: http://sites.boosterthon.com/myprincessdance. Do it!

emma jo cork is a princessIf you ask me, and many of you will, I’ll tell you to bring your date to a night filled with fun and all things “Princess”. To be sure, more details will follow after completing your online reservation.  Woody and company will  look forward to creating a special evening just for you.

My Emma Jo and I make this for an annual event. And, few other things generate as much excitement with her. This past Saturday we found ourselves at Macy’s picking out the “pretty dress”.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

dads and Daughters: example

January29

The following is a note from Drew Tilghman.  He puts together a Blog titled The Sojournaler.

This was in response to my Blog Post The Dark Monkey.

“…thanks for posting so transparently about your daughter, Haley Anne. I have two daughters, nine and seven years old. Just before your blog was posted, I opened up gmail accounts for both of my daughters. I did so because my older daughter has a friend in her school who has one, and my daughter wanted to be able to write emails back and forth with her. I thought it harmless enough and of course I had to do for my younger daughter what I was doing for my older daughter. I told them both that they could only email when I am with them and that they had to pass all “friends” by me. 

We spent the rest of that day, laying on my bed next to one another, emailing and chatting with one another. For the moment, it was a little bit of heaven. The three of us communicating in written words what we could have merely said to one another’s face. I had this deep unrest, though. I knew that they were not ready for the email accounts. So I told myself, and my girls, that there would be strict constraints here. I knew, deep down, that they were not ready.

Then I read your blog. Again, thanks for your transparency. The reality of this culture is a forceful one. Our daughters’ innocence and modesty are at stake. I have revoked my girls’ accounts, and amazingly they understand. It is good to have other fathers who are open and honest about their love for their children. We love so imperfectly, but we love. I hope and pray that our daughters will see that and trust that love. It is this love, ultimately, that will guide our daughters into a full maturity that we have so desperately prayed they will discover.” – Drew Tilghman

After a brief exchange, he followed up with:

“p.s. thanks for having the balls to say some of the things you say.”

Then, he hauls-off and challenges me to go one step further and talk/reveal/discuss/ example my thoughts and feelings.

…Dude.

Fine.

So…

I have been thinking about Drew’s response – and, the terrific feedback I get from so many others that follow my Blog; and, the things I do with my life.

I may well have the coolest job in the world.  I hang out all day telling men how to make better decisions in their lives.

I have this nagging suspicion that it’s all luck.  All the time.

And, for the record, I wait for something awful to happen.

Ever vigilant.

In any event, those that care about this Blog (approaching 30 visitors a day); listen to me speak; and, call me friend – understand that I am a Contrarian (not just from an investment point-of-view); a Jeffersonian /1; a Heterodox;  and, (possibly) annoyingly tortured and transparent.

I spend a lot of time on my Figgerin’ Spot sorting all of this out and (trying) making sense of my role and place in this world (often running and cycling endless miles). Remember, I am the guy that is distressed by evolving rules of grammar AND the global economy AND 2012 (and, my roll as a soccer coach for my Fusion Shockers!).

NOTE: I feel (okay… I am convinced) like this constant state of evaluation is critical in being an (successful) earthly father.

If you ask my own Haley Anne and Emma Jo what their Daddy does, they will likely say:

“Daddy helps people.”

ANTHER NOTE:  It works; I just tested it on Emma Jo to make sure (there were witnesses).

How cool is that (*how cliche is that*)?

I think the key here is transparency.

Haley Anne and Emma Jo have observed men approach me and thank me for helping; advising; and, being in their lives.

They also understand we live with abundance (and, being permitted to be grateful comes with a cost).

However, I also let them know that I struggle with the blackness in the hearts of men; my own penchant to work and train an enormous amount of hours; and, constant self evaluation.

My primary mission in life is to REFLECT and REPRESENT /2.

It’s never easy for me; I will never be good enough.

I don’t want this to be just about Faith.  Because God knows I struggle with that.

I am not perfect.  I certainly want to be.  I want to be ideally imperfect for them so they can watch me fight the good fight and learn to be true.  To be good citizens – and, objective.  

I try hard every hour of every day. 

They can stumble, and I am right there to right them with love and compassion – and, example.  

They see the trial and triumph etched in my face and my heart.  Some times my tears.

The point I want to make is that I believe my daughters observe my struggle; see the result; and understand that character is tested and forged every day.

God gave me daughters because he trusts me (or, perhaps not).  So, their role (today) is to remind me daily that I must earn their trust and faith.

By the way, God has a great sense of humor… In light of how I lived much of my life prior to being married, it’s a knee slapper he gave me daughters.

Maybe it’s a stretch in terms of relevancy – however, let’s thrown down “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley.

But, certainly “Open My Eyes” by Buckcherry (be open-minded about this song).  Here is the acoustic version. But, go download it on iTunes.

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daddys girlAnd, for balance go read Daddy’s Girl /3 by Garrison Keillor to your daughter – no matter her age.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_________________________

 

 

1/ There are many parallels with Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.

2/ See “Image”.

3/ I swear, this is my 4th favorite book.

What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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