Category Archives: dad

A life changed in 30 days

I’ve been meaning to write about this for awhile but kept feeling like I needed more time to grasp any meaning or to analyze what happened but I don’t know if there really is enough time to comprehend entirely the how and the why.  So a little more than a year later here’s my take on what happened to my dad and his wife and how their lives were upended.

You know… it can happen so quickly.   Your life as you know it completely changed; unmistakenly different from it was just the day before.  In the case of my dad and stepmother… 30 days.  It took  exactly 30 days for the transformation of their lives to be different to a point that it will never be what it was before.

In December of 2008, my dad’s wife of 30 years went to visit her brother near Dallas.  An important fact I should note is she has a disease that suppresses her immune system.  As a result she needs to be as careful she can about getting near any one who is sick or should cut herself.

Well she wasn’t as careful as she usually is and something got hold of her in December of ’08 that made her very sick.   The bacteria that attacked her body was strong and Continue reading

what kinda place are we running here

I’m taking a quick break from paying unemployment taxes for the clients we serve to tap this out. As I sit here at my desk I hear the cries of a baby…. little Naomi.

Little Naomi is the four month old daughter of one our accounting clerks, (new mommy) Naomi. And little Naomi is not really crying as much as she is just kinda “talking.”

I walked over to Naomi’s desk, grabbed little Naomi’s toe and said, “hey. There’s a little too much talking and not enough working.” Momma Naomi said she thought she was trying to let people know she needs her diaper changed. I let go of her toe and said, “I don’t think she needs to talk to let us know.” Giggles and laughter ensue.


Back at my desk I hear giggles come from behind me. The Little Man is with me at the office as he is everyday. He’s sitting behind me Continue reading

a retelling

I was visiting with my dad a little last week and he said, “did i ever tell you how my dad died. In three days it will be the anniversary of when he died. He was 22. [dad looks down and somewhat whispers] just 22.”

I’ve heard the story only a few times and I guess for that reason I never really remember all the details. I probably should pay closer attention since he is the reason my name is Julian.

He was an accountant, just like my dad.

He was newly married… only about a year or so and his bride at the time of his death was a mere 18 and a half years old.

He was working at a pharmaceutical company.

It was pretty cold that night. Seems odd to me because in Matamoros which is in the northern part of Mexico right across the border from Brownsville, Texas, I would think it wouldn’t be too terribly cold.

He apparently went back to talk to the chemist about some expenditures or invoices or something. As he was standing in the room, the chemicals that were being mixed reacted in an unexpected way and there was a huge explosion. The chemist died instantly but my grandfather was engulfed in flames. He ran down the stairs and outside into the street. Someone saw him and took off their coat and patted him down to put out the flames. My grandfather was horribly burned and hung on for two days until he passed away.

He was just 22.

Roberto Julian

Jan 10, 1920 – Nov 9, 1942

taking a mental health day OR four!!!

My dad told me yesterday he NEEDED a mental health day. I thought perhaps a whole 30 mental health days might be in order for him however that’s for another post to be tagged “crazy- shit-my-dad-says-and-does-why-is-he-so-mental” :mrgreen:

Being smack dab in the middle of tax season and he an accountant and tax preparer, I can certainly understand how he would feel a need to take a breather.

So, he insists I go with him on this mental health day.
“C’mom… I’m your dad. (he uses that line a lot!) Let’s go do a quick real estate survey.

It was an awesome day down here in the Lone Star State. Perfect day to go check out a little real estate. It’s now almost time to go home.

Living a Christ-like life

My dad is currently single. My stepmom has been out of town since Valentine’s Day and gets back today. So for the past few days my dad has been gorging himself on Heath bite size candy bars, the golf channel, queso dip and Bush lite beer. This is rather detrimental to his health because of diabetes so the stepmom needs to get back quick.

So last night he tells me to go have dinner with him. “C’mon… I’m your dad. Go have some beers with me. Hey… it’s not every day I’m single and get to do this.”

Basically i get guilted into going. It’s like having a Jewish mom who sounds like a man with a Mexican accent talk you into doing something you know you should do but don’t really want to. Continue reading

of my namesake

I just found out that yesterday was my grandfather’s birthday. He was born in 1920 and would have been 88.

He died in November 1942…  two months before my dad was born.

I wonder what he was like.   I know my dad does, too.

time and tide…

Time and tide wait for no man. A friend of mine’s dad used to say that all the time about everything it seemed like. It was a sort of mantra i guess.

Seems as though we heard it often when pokey, slow young boys were dallying on chores or playing with the worms instead of hooking them and tending to the business of fishing.

And so, “time and tide” stuck in my head Continue reading

the circle is tightening

My office got this a few days ago from the Department of Labor because they want to conduct an audit on one of our clients. It’s a list of documents they want to see when they come by and talk with us.

Sucks to be the client. They’re gonna lose some employees. Hell, what am I talkin about… we’re gonna lose some employees.


So there is a new House bill that was introduced on Nov 6th which many believe will easily pass through both houses and is the middle road to Immigration Reform. It uses something called the principle of Attrition Through Enforcement and will give all levels of government the authority to enforce laws already on the books.

My dad had it happen to him already when he went on Monday to renew his driver’s license. They asked for his social security card to make sure it matched his other info. It didn’t match.  The next day he went to the Social Security office to tell them they needed to fix a typographical error that’s prohibiting him from getting his license renewed (not really a typo as much a translation error… George / Jorge). They told him they need to see some form of ID. Catch 22 and now he’s wondering what the hell he’s supposed to do. He even called my aunt down in Brownsville and asked her to check it out and that office is doing the same thing. The circle is tightening.


This is kinda interesting. In reading the whole document it seems as though the conclusion of doing nothing about illegal immigrants costs us a nominal fee… if I read this right, about 200 bucks per household. But if they were all sent back to where they came from it could impact some regions and industries severely. According to the author of this document it is extremely difficult to tell. I pulled this excerpt for your reading enjoyment.

Sending all illegal immigrants home would reduce the U.S. labor force by 5 percent and the low-skilled U.S. labor force (workers with less than a high school education) by 10 percent or more. In 2005, illegal immigrants accounted for 24 percent of workers employed in farming, 17 percent in cleaning, 14 percent in construction, and 12 percent in food preparation. Losing this labor would likely increase prices for many types of non-traded goods and services, increase wages for low-skilled resident labor, decrease incomes of employers that hire these workers, and increase the incomes of taxpayers that pay for the public services these individuals use. The net impact of these changes would be small, although in some regions and industries the dislocation caused by the labor outflow would be considerable.
If, instead, illegal immigrants were allowed to remain in the country and obtain legal residence visas, the economic impact would depend on the rights granted to these individuals.

Well, either way… the squeeze on illegals is starting and what some are saying is in the name of security… to keep the “invasion” at bay. Some people are gonna get caught in the crossfire. It’s my personal opinion that the smokescreen is security but in reality they just want to send all those wetbacks across the big river because we tan better than them. My dad might need to start learning how to swim.

the above quote is commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin.

a really cool reproduction of this correct version of the statement can be purchased here.

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a real man?… me?

My dad got sick last week. Really sick. Don’t know what it was… some sort of upper respiratory, scratchy throat, achy body, my sinuses are gonna explode, somebody please put a bullet in my head kind of sick.

I’m fortunate that I have both my parents on this earth with me still. I don’t talk or visit them as much as I should but it’s comforting nonetheless to have my parents accessible.

But when my dad called me the other day, it sounded like he was choking, like he was gasping for air… like he was…

like he was

… dying.

It was sobering.

I haven’t always gotten along with my dad. In fact, for about two or three years during my college life I would, if asked about him, say he was dead. In retrospect I know deep down I didn’t really consider him dead to me, I was just angry. Over the past 15 years or so, our relationship has healed but even through my most angry stage towards him I always thought he was one of the strongest men I’d ever known. I’ve always thought him to be really street smart… savvy, with an extreme sense of initiative, self-motivation and enterprise. Risk taking… always jumping in with all guns blazing.

At times he is seems loud, boisterous, confident to the point of arrogance.  Despite those ugly character traits there a lot of moments I wish I were just like him.  My mom says I am.  I don’t see it.
There’s a song I know called “Real Men” by a guy named Ken Gaines (he’s a wonderful singer/songwriter from Texas). There’s a line in it that goes, “real men think their fathers never died. No they just can’t seem to tell that man goodbye.”

I guess (according to Ken’s line) I’ve been a real man for some time. There is just no way my dad is ever going to die… no way.