September 17, 2004. That was the very last day that I worked for the late Musicland Group in their Sam Goody division. It was not a "small step," but a "giant leap" into the unknown, the second major risk I'd taken in the early 2000s - the type of dice roll you only take when you can, and for me, a chance I was only able to take thanks to the support of my wife - the same girl that encouraged me to take another drastic measure just a few years prior. The bottom of my "voluntary resignation" form read like this...
It has been said that those who are typically anti-authority often make the best leaders. In general, a leader finds it hard to follow, and may wind up being deemed "anti-authority," when in reality - they're just meant to lead the charge. Or, so I like to think - me, a 37-ish year-old man who may have been tagged the "anti" on more than a few occasions, and years later has sometimes become the "authority" that he once may have been perceived to be against. One has to have tact while plotting a rise... but when does this type of ying-yang behavior begin? Perhaps it's in kindergarten, and believe me when I tell you that kindergarteners have no tact.
It's 4:26am as I type this - here, I sit in a Cleveland hotel room, thinking of my family and how I actually got here in the first place. I do what I do both for and because of my family. Little did I know that becoming a father would become a source of so much adventure (personal and professional), and that it would all make for the best gig in the world (being a Dad) - one filled with little side gigs like the one I'm on today. I'm in Ohio as a Brand Ambassador for Step2 - one of the biggest American toymakers there is - and it's all because of one special girl... and the two special girls that we created together. Fifteen years ago today... August 7, 1999, my wife and I were married. It was just two years prior that we'd gone on our first date - and a mere three months after that when we'd become engaged. Then, on August 7, 2009... our 10th Wedding Anniversary, I became "The Rock Father" when our first daughter, Adalyn, was born. Today, our first little girl turns five!
It was probably around 11:30pm on the night of January 27, 1994. There I was, a seventeen-year-old headbanging television host, standing in the midst of unexpected destruction - the aftermath of a concert which should've never taken place in this particular venue, The Adler Theatre in Davenport, Iowa. Whoever decided that it was a good idea to hold a rock show featuring WHITE ZOMBIE, PRONG and THE OBSESSED in a seated, classical theater with no standing room was undoubtedly in deep trouble - and I was right there in the middle of it - looking up from the ground floor as a faint cloud of dust could be seen still rising into the lights from above. To one side there were security guards and theater staff, bewildered by what had happened. On the other, a group of Police Officers equally puzzled. Directly next to me and a friend were members of the evening's headline act, WHITE ZOMBIE. But Rob wasn't there.
My wife and I were driving south on I-94 outside of Chicago in November of 2008. We were on our way to a Thanksgiving gathering that was happening pre-Thanksgiving, and she turned to me very quickly and said "I think you knocked me up." That was the moment that I first realized that I'd soon become a Father for the very first time. The weight of things didn't really hit me, but I remember smiling ear-to-ear and just thinking, "OK - let's do this!" She was afraid that I'd be unhappy about the news - especially because just the night before... I'd been on the phone with my Mom, who was shopping at Target with a couple of my Step Brother's kids - and as they were acting out and being naughty - I made some quip about "not having kids." Funny thing is, I've always been good with kids - but there's also definitely an "old me" versus who I've become. On August 7, 2009 - our 10th Wedding Anniversary - our first daughter, Addie, was born. We liked it so much, that we prepped a sequel, and were back at the hospital two years ago TODAY - June 15, 2012, for the release of Little Finley!
Ah yes, "This Sign of the Horns." Whether you view it as a "nod to the goat," "metal fingers," "rock fingers," or even an "homage to the beast," one thing is certain - the horns go together with rock and roll - and metal - like peanut butter and chocolate. Many, like myself, have adopted the horns as a sign of approval, a friendly gesture to signal that "all is well," or even in the chosen phrase of Pharrell Williams, that you're simply "happy." But they need to be done right. A misplaced thumb can easily shift the horns into "I Love You" territory (sign language) or into the Spider-man web-shooter realm. One thing that everyone can agree on? That throwing up the horns just makes everything better... especially pictures! You see, I have a long-standing habit of tossing up the horns on virtual film, so when another "stay-at-home-dad" started getting coverage on sites like Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post for throwing up the horns in photos of his baby, I heartily approved. But then, being a guy known as "The Rock Father," everyone and their brother started hitting me with the link. "Have you seen..." Yes, I've seen it, and it's been shared and re-shared dozens of times around groups that I've joined, and websites that I frequent. There is nothing innovative about throwing up the horns, nothing unique... but it is special. It just makes the world a better place, and whether its a "Metal Dad," a "Rock Father," or anyone else for that matter, horns are a good thing. That said, I decided to go back, just into 2013, and pull photos mostly from my Instagram account, to show just how the horns can make any picture better.