Monday, February 28, 2011

Ow, ow, ow, ouch

My neck is killing me. It seems every week I develop a new pain in my neck. It’s a literal pain in my neck and it hurts quite a lot. The odd thing is that it goes away every weekend and then on Monday mornings something snaps and it goes out of whack like a spring shooting out of an old watch. It happened this morning as I was toweling myself after my shower. I was just drying off and, “Pah-boing!” I shouted out in pain. I wonder if the neighbors heard me. I did shout pretty loud. 

I’m not sure why it keeps happening, based on the fact that it seems to come back every week and goes away over the weekend, I’m thinking it is stress. Horrible, horrible stress.  My life for the most part is pretty relaxed, at home anyway. My work life is extremely stress filled and it makes me so sick. Not that my whole home life with without any antagonism. I do have bills to pay and food to buy and a leaking kitchen ceiling. And by the way, the Chinese water torture is very similar to a constant drip dropping into a bucket of water for several hours. It’s maddening. If I was being interrogated last night by let’s say, old KGB agents, I would have spilled everything I know just to get away from that awful dripping. I’m sure that may have added to my sore neck today.

In other news, I can’t believe it’s the last day of February 2011. Didn’t this year just start? It’ll be March tomorrow and soon it’ll be St. Patrick’s Day, then summer will roll through and then another winter, I’ll turn 35 and then 2012 arrives and we’re all incinerated into ash. I suppose I should try to make the best of it. Maybe I’ll meet a nice girl that actually wants to hang out with me and laugh at my silliness or try and save some money to get away from the old rented apartment, maybe see a doctor about this pain in my neck or maybe even get a new job where this pain just goes away.

I don’t know how to end this little piece today. I’ve written three different paragraphs to close this little thing up and nothing was at all good. Okay, four paragraphs now. Usually I try to wrap these things up with something insightful or comical or banal (usually banal) but I’m pretty stuck on this one. All I can think of is “Neck pain blows”. So sometimes following your gut is the best way to go. So then fine.

Neck Pain Blows  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday and the Science fair

Friday spent too much time with Thursday night at the local Weekday Tavern and by the time morning arrived, Friday was already pretty wrecked and Thursday was nowhere to be found. Friday ended up stumbling along the sidewalk in front of his old high school and he was possessed with an urge to see how the old Alma Mater was. It was lucky that it was as early in the morning as there was no one around to see Friday shimmy his way through the lower pane of one of the gymnasium windows. He figured he could drop down lightly onto the bleachers and no one would be the wiser.

He dropped to the floor and landed with a thunderous thud. He groaned on the floor and held his left elbow, which seemed to take the brunt of his weight. He rubbed his elbow and started laughing at his foolishness. He had forgotten that they don’t pull the bleachers out unless a game is going on. He managed to pull himself up off the floor and squint into the darkness of the old gym.

He noticed something wasn’t right, there were lunch tables spread out all through the gym. Friday looked up over his shoulder at the long yellow banner suspended over the gym entrance. In bold blue letters it read, “Freshmen & Sophomore Science Week”.
Friday had landed smack in the middle of the annual science fair.

Friday wandered around each table looking at the various exhibits and found himself pretty impressed. There was your usual Solar System exhibit but it looked nearly museum quality. And some bright kid had made his own little wind tunnel out of Plexiglas and you could see the ribbons of white smoke flowing over a little fuselage. Friday staggered over to a large papier-mâché volcano that occupied a large corner of the gym. He had seen other science fairs and other little volcanos but this one, this one was a world unto itself. It was well painted and had model trees and grasses around its base. There were even little villages out toward what looked like a real sand beach.

This papier-mâché giant was sleeping for now, but it looked like you could plug it in and it would spew some sort of lava and there were speakers hidden in it that would probably simulate the noise. Friday started to feel jealous. He remembered his science fair project. It was hastily prepared and was resoundly mocked. He just wanted to grow some plants with some milk and see what happened. He wasn’t a damn researcher with all kinds of science degree things and crap.  He was just a kid.

As he stood there, weaving back and forth on his drunk toes, the room started to spin. He started to not feel so well. Maybe the fall from the window was worse than he thought. He felt something gurgling in his stomach and before he could move he felt the vomit rushing up to his mouth. Damn Thursday and his insistence they do one more shot before the ditch.  Friday felt the vomit swell up his mouth and his cheeks filled with all sorts of vileness. He started to panic and began frantically looking for a place to eject this putridness. He had no choice and he turned to the volcano and had his own eruption down into it. It was a mighty release but Friday almost immediately felt better.

Friday had enough of his old school. He wasn’t sure why he even broke in in the first place. He had hated high school, even though he was really popular. Friday went to the emergency exit and pushed on the whammy bar. There was a brief alarm but he didn’t care. He knew it’d go off once the door closed again. Which it did. Friday then stumbled off into the early morning hoping he’d feel better by lunchtime.


Davey Andrews got up early and was dressed for school earlier than any time in his young life. He was at the bus stop and ready to get there. He had hardly been able to sleep he was so excited. It was science fair awards day and he knew he had it in the bag. He and his dad had spent two weekends building Mount Krakatau and today was the day it would come to life and really knock the judges socks off.  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday’s got nothing on me

Today is the last Space Shuttle flight for NASA’s Shuttle Discovery. It has been in operation for nearly three decades and is making its 39th launch at 4:50 pm EST. Of the rest of the Space Shuttles, Endeavour, is currently on for April 19 and shuttle Atlantis is tentatively scheduled to launch during the summer. Of the space shuttles there have been 132 launches. 

Damn, that’s boring.  When did space exploration become so boring? Why are we just building an International Space station? Sure there’s a lot of cool stuff on there, like rainbow detection monitors and earthquake cameras and stuff but why are we there? I thought Space exploration was supposed to be kick ass. The last 30 years have been pretty lackluster, not including the terrible tragedies NASA endured.

The baby-boomers had the moon landing and there was a ton of excitement about that. We’ve watched astronauts grow flies in space. Where are the super scientists creating nuclear powered super engines that can propel human exploration into Buck Roger’s type adventure? And where the hell is my frigging flying car anyway?

Not that I’d be any good at operating a flying car. I’m lucky enough to pilot my 11 year old Saturn on Chicago’s city streets. I’m just saying that Popular Mechanic’s magazine made some pretty bold statement’s years ago and I haven’t seen any results. Of course American’s aren’t ready for flying cars. We can’t even convince people to stop buying gas guzzling monster SUV’s. I suppose as soon and we can equate the flying car with a certain part of the male anatomy we’ll see some progress on that.  “Dang, check out my flying ____!”

I bet you if I had a flying car I’d still be late for work. “Sorry boss, sky traffic was like… terrible, I guess?”

Oh, and the accidents would be terrible. Imagine all the worst driver’s you know careening about the sky haphazardly trying to get to Wal-Mart. All those left turn signals flashing away for no reason. It’d be a nightmare. And let’s face it; American’s just aren’t smart enough for piloting their own sky vehicles. Most would probably believe God was somehow holding them up because there’s no such thing as gravity, just God’s divine will.  Some would probably go Kamikaze on Churches or Mosques or even Planned Parenthood clinics. Really, it would be a horror show.   I’m suddenly glad there are no flying cars.

Back to NASA, I hope the next generation of space vehicles are cool and have the ability to broaden the imaginations of us Earth lubbers. Maybe that would spark a little more interest in Math and Science in American schools. It might also encourage us to look beyond our meager Earthly disagreements and start collectively exploring the universe around us. Imagine what we are capable of when we work together.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wow, job. Lay off me for a minute…

Well Wednesday has decided to be a total douchebag and hasn’t given me the opportunity to really put pen to paper like I so enjoy. So because I have this regular 9-5 job I am forced to deprive you, faithful reader, of our shared pleasure.  If there’s anyone interested in becoming my patron and just letting me write for a living I’d be happy to field any offers.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How much for the Doggie in the Nightmare

My family had a wonderful pet dog years ago. Her name was Kelly and she was a little black labmuttmix of a dog. We had inherited her from several families who could no longer keep her. She was a quite dog, perhaps a little up there in age but still very active. She had a pretty good temperament, although she was a bit whiney at times. But overall she was a really good dog.  One year my sister, father and I went camping and we couldn’t take the dog with. My mother also went out of town so we left Kelly with my Aunt and Uncle. Now I don’t blame them for this but at some point Kelly made her escape from my Aunt and Uncle’s never to be seen again.  That was pretty sad for my sister and I. We never even got to say good-bye.

Last night she visited me in a dream and it was very strange because it was all about her untimely passing. I dreamed that the dog had never run away from my Aunt’s house and she was still living with my mother. She was older and grayer but still the same old wagging tail. In fact there was some sort of party going on at my mother’s house; nothing outrageous but certainly a family affair.  Kelly was happily trotting around all the guests, wagging her tail furiously with all the attention. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at all, except for the fact that something didn’t seem right. I wasn’t aware I was dreaming but I felt something was a little strange.

The dream changed to the following morning after the party and my mother called me to her house. We talked of various things, nothing of consequence until I noticed Kelly wasn’t around. I asked her where the dog was and she said that she must have had too much excitement last night. My mother said she found Kelly dead, in the middle of the kitchen floor. She had already taken care of her though. I remember I started to cry. I didn’t remember crying when we actually lost Kelly in reality, but in the dream I started to bawl.

It was then that it dawned on me that it was a dream. Reality slowly set in and I realized we had lost Kelly years ago and there was no way that my mother had found her dead in the kitchen after having wagged herself to joyous death. I was still sad though. I thought that maybe I never mourned the loss of Kelly and my mind finally let loose on it.

I felt pretty low after I got out of bed. The dream lingered a bit and I could see poor old Kelly running around in my mind. I had a few memories of her flood back and the thought of getting up and going to work seemed tiresome and useless. I was tempted to call into work, saying I was mourning the loss of my dog, 23 years ago. (I’m not sure if it has been 23 years but it sure feels like it.)  I didn’t of course.

I was glad to see our old dog though, even if it was just in my dream. I’m sure she symbolized something but I’d like to think that maybe she stopped by to frolic a bit and just say, “Hey, remember me…bark, bark”.
I guess it wasn't a nightmare so much as it was a powerful emotional release, which for a stoic like me, might be considered nightmarish. I guess there are times when everyone misses their dog.

Monday, February 21, 2011

President’s Day more than just a great mattress sale

I had to do quite a bit of research on this one today. I remember a time in February when there were two holidays’ to celebrate; Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday and George Washington’s Birthday. If you were lucky enough to grow up in Illinois you got both days off from school. (Illinois being the Land of Lincoln of course.) But then, something happened to change all that and it would seem those holidays were combined into one.

That’s not entirely accurate. President’s Day is a day to remember our first President, George Washington. It’s in honor of his actual birthday and is an actual Federal holiday, whereas Lincoln’s Birthday is not an official Federal holiday. It’s not really clear when all this legislation passed to change the name of the day from George Washington’s Birthday to President’s day; some report that President Nixon had a hand in it. But then, it’s hard to say that for certain as there were a lot of hands in the pot.

What I do know is that it was officially created so Federal employees could have a three day weekend. It’s that simple. Sure it’s to honor President Washington and perhaps all Presidents, but really, it’s so Federal employees could have a three day weekend.  Unlike myself, non-federally employed and sitting in my blasted cubicle ruing the minutes I have to sit here till closing time.

I do say that I miss Lincoln’s Birthday as a more recognized holiday. He was cool. Not to say that George Washington wasn’t cool, he was one tough S.O.B. Being an Illinoisan I have a special affinity for Lincoln. He’s the only President whose house I’ve been to in Springfield, IL. Although I’m sure I could take a ride past President Obama’s old digs here in Chicago, but I’m just not all that nostalgic for that quite yet.   

President’s Day does present the opportunity to marvel at the 43 men that have held this nation’s highest civil service job. It’s amazing to think that we’ve only had 43 Presidents. That doesn’t really seem like much and yet they have left an indelible mark on all of us in one way or another. Some marks harder to forget that others, I’m looking at you Harding.

As I think about it, I’m not sure there should even really be a President’s Day considering the President’s actual job is just to sit and protect the Constitution and serve in the best interest of our checks and balance system of government. The Presidency is merely an office to try to rein in Congress and help guide them toward policies that best serve their employers, namely us.  Maybe it should be People’s Day; or at least back to Washington’s Birthday as I have no problem honoring him for all his acts as one of the first Americans. Anyway, if you have a chance, check out our lovely mattress selection.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another busy Friday

I'm starting to get really annoyed with these super busy Friday's. It seems like Friday used to be a real laid back, kick off your shoes and put your feet up kind of day. But lately they've been extremely busy. Almost more busy than a Monday or Tuesday. And that's just intolerable.  So I don't have time, again, to write out another well thought out piece today. I hate it too. More than you know. Stay tuned readers, I'm sure Monday's blog will be awesome.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It’s melty out and in

It’s very hard not to catch the spring fever that’s slowly working its way through our heads. Today has the potential to reach 60 degrees and that should pretty much remove any remaining snow from the 2011 blizzard. I find it pretty amazing that we could have a blizzard at the beginning of February and a heat wave at the end of it. Weather is amazing. Dare I say Neat-oh, even.

I am reminded of that old quote; “In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish'd dove; In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love". - Alfred Lord Tennyson.  Love and spring do seem to go hand in hand. Although almost every long term relationship I’ve ever been in either started in late summer or wintertime. But I’d sure appreciate a springtime romance. I think it’d be neat to start a relationship just as the world was starting a new warmer phase.

I was thinking about relationships on my car ride into work this morning. There was nothing specific that really sparked my thinking on this, perhaps it was merely the presence of a warmer frame of nature. I was thinking about my warming heart and its willingness to escape the long winter hibernation it’s been in. I’ve not looked for love or even a relationship with any real enthusiasm in a very long time and now I find myself quite ready to start again.

Mind you, the cold emotional devastations of the past are never far from my mind and some things are a constant reminder of that love lost but it’s time to put those things into perspective and step out in the warm spring sun. I hope I find someone who’s also on that journey and we find each other at just the right time and everything falls into place, whatever that place may be.  I don’t like to have too many expectations on a relationship. (Other than she wants to spend time with me)

So I’m looking forward to this spring and I really hope something blooms for me. I know that spring is still a little more than a month away but I can’t help the excitement slowly rising in my heart. I also wonder if there's some girl out there feeling the same thing and she'll read this little article and be like, "Oh yes! Someone gets it", and we meet and fall into each other's arms and live happily ever after. Sigh.

Hm, I'm wondering if this melting around my heart is starting to get a little too mushy. Ahem, I’m also looking forward to dismissing baseball as a fool's folly.  Dang baseball. There's a broken heart story for you.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blank Pages

The hardest thing for a writer, especially one that tries to write every day, is the flickering blank page on the computer. It’s hard to constantly fill that blank page with interesting tidbits and anecdotes without looking desperate, whiney or dumb. Sometimes the page can be a vast wasteland yearning to be filled with some magical prose that helps everybody put their lives and wants into perspective. Other times it’s just a place to write about a dog or the weather or anything else that waltzes through my mind.

It’s daunting though, that evil blank page. It sits so silently; offering no encouragement or confidence. It doesn’t judge, but seems to know when what you’ve placed upon it is crap. I think the paper makes you erase things because you can see that it just isn’t hanging on the paper right. It’s almost an aesthetic choice as much as a literary one at times.

Sometimes I just want to fill these pages with ravings about peanut butter sandwiches or monkey powered submarines. Couldn’t you imagine all the submarines at the bottom of the oceans crammed full of naval monkeys? I know I can. I do try and avoid filling these pages with that type of stuff though. I can’t imagine that it’s all that interesting to the reader. If I do get you to think about Monkey submariners for any length of time, however, I do get a strange sense of satisfaction.  Das Bananaboot.

The void that needs to be filled with words is a tough one to fill. Men and women have spent decades and decades trying to cram if full and I’m sure we’ve only managed a light dusting on the floor.  I want to contribute to that dusting but it’s powerfully hard to manage a new way of doing so every day.  I think we’re all a bit over stimulated anyway, what with the immediate access to news, sports, weather, and entertainment. It’s hard to compete with that type of power, especially if one is struggling to come up with something interesting and original to say. I mean, let’s face it; I’m sure I’m not the first writer to describe a monkey powered submarine. (Although I might be the first to mention it twice)

Even though I’ve gotten this far with this piece about the curse of the empty page, I’m still wrestling with how to close it. I mean, have I really said anything here at all? Does it even deserve a closing or a final summation statement which seems to put the whole piece in perspective or offer some wry take on the world of verse?

I’d like it to have some marvelous closing, something that offers some thought on the blank pages we all face every day and have the ability to overcome and move on to the next awkward empty page. Oh wait, there it was. (Now, how to tie that peanut butter sandwich reference in...)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When did it get so busy around here?

Well, it's Tuesday and already it's a day I pray ends quickly. I have too much to do this morning, meetings etc. It's just a regular old American working stiff mess. So I have no real time to spend on one of my finely crafted blogs today. I know how sad this makes most of you but never fear, I'll come up with something to for tomorrow!

Monday, February 14, 2011

St. Valentine’s Day

I’ve written about the history of St. Valentine’s Day in the past and was quickly told it was extremely dry and people, for the most part, weren’t too concerned with its origins. I however disagree and think it’s very important to know why we celebrate this lover’s holiday.  So I’ll try to keep it brief.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. It was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt around 1415.  I believe it started, “This tower has nothing on MY tower baby”.

I find St. Valentine’s Day very charming. It’s one of the few days of the year when we should pay more attention to loving each other. I don’t mean in the that weirdo hippie way of the late ‘60’s and ‘70’s, or even in a Christian way, but that we are all brothers and sisters in the human race and we should respect and love all of our highly dysfunctional family.

I also find the way it has been taken hostage by greeting card companies and the chocolate industry a little unsettling. At some point they removed the “Saint” part from St. Valentine’s Day because they realized a non-denominational holiday is better business. An opportunity to make a buck on some lovelorn saps of any belief system is preferable to a specific ideology’s money.

But I digress, I’m not a practicing Catholic and I shouldn’t preach about the abandonment of the “Saint” in the holiday. That’s hypocrisy for sure.

I am looking forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day again with a woman I deeply love and respect. I miss that intimacy Valentine’s Day does create and I do long for it in my heart of hearts. I do miss a simple handholding, looking deeply into each other’s eye and feeling a warmth in my stomach and a knowledge that I’ll always feel that when I look at her and she at me.  But then, I’m kind of a romantic I suppose.

I do hope everyone has a wonderful St. Valentine’s Day and feels the love I hope to feel again soon. And hey, I love you.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday, again...

It’s Friday again; the most lovable day of the week. Who doesn’t like Fridays? I mean it’s still a pain that we have to work during the day on Friday but once that five o’clock whistle blows its pure bliss. Of course if you don’t have a job or one that involves the sweet Friday release I am sorry, but for most of us working stiffs, it’s a literal Godsend.

Friday in winter is still not that bad. Even though it’s cold and crappy out, gray even; it’s still not as bad as a Monday on a beautiful summer’s day.  Friday is like a beautiful mountain breeze winding its way through the valley of our souls.  It might seem like I’m waxing a little too poetic about Friday, but I think I’m really just saying what everyone is thinking.

Friday is like that sweet girl you always wanted to talk to but never really had the courage to say anything to. You saw her all the time but every opportunity to introduce yourself was interrupted by something insane, like a car full of clowns pulling up to the curb or a sudden stampede of Bison or something. She was so approachable and easy going but somehow always just out of reach. Friday is a feeling in your gut that’s sort of warm and soothing, like a great cup of coffee on the blustery winter day.  

I might hazard to say that I have a crush on Friday. I mean I’m not in love with her. I’m really more in love with Saturday morning truth being told, but Friday adds something to the mix that I can’t quite put my finger on. She’s seductive and mysterious, not just an open book like Saturday is. Saturday is always filled with plans and activities but Friday, after work, is up for anything. I think that’s what makes her so damn attractive.

I always imagine Friday as a beautiful woman, sitting at the bar, short but tasteful skirt exposing long beautiful legs, an appropriate top to match the skirt that just hints at her bosom but doesn’t show you anything really. She's desire incarnate. She’s got long soft hair, the color of a rosy morning at times and ebony as night at others. She’s ready to smile at you from across the bar and might even buy you a drink. But she’s completely unapproachable, She one of those girls that’s so pretty she’s completely intimidating and that’s why she’s always lonely, and up for anything I suppose. I think Friday is Kathleen Turner from Body Heat. But a little hotter.

Plus Friday brings donuts. Well, in my office anyway. Friday donuts in the morning makes Thursday night’s binge drinking all that more tolerable. I had a bagel. Friday is sweet and kind and I can’t wait to wrap my arms around her and hold her all the way till Saturday morning shows up and kicks Friday out of my bed.  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday is getting away from me Or Thar He Blows

Wow, it's much later than usual to get this blog posted. I really try to get it out there before 10:00 am CST. It's been a very busy morning already. In fact, for a Thursday it's excessively busy. Plus, constantly blowing my nose doesn't help matters. I really don't understand cold medicine. If it's a Nasal Decongestant, shouldn't it decongest your nose and sinuses? Why then, is my head so stuffed and I can't breathe through my nose? I just have to sit here in my cube, working and blowing my nose. It's not all that attractive for my poor co-workers around me. 

I'd love to spend more time dwelling on my sorry state but due to the amount of work I have to do today I cannot. This small paragraph and a half has already taken too long. Hopefully I'll have something delightful to write about on Friday.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cold Front

It’s happened again, I’ve caught another cold. I hate getting a cold. The last cold I had was back toward the end of November and that cough lingered until at least the first few weeks of January. Now, my nose is congested and my head is cloudy. I hate taking cold medicine too because it makes me so loopy.

Who do I blame for this cold resurgence? There must be someone to blame, there always is. I need a scapegoat, a virus ridden scapegoat. I’m pretty diligent about washing my hands and keeping pretty germ free (there’s no way to be 100% germ free, we're human beings after all).  I need to find that illness spreading monster and stomp them out with all the relish of an accordion playing monkey. I think an accordion playing monkey would be quite proud of its ability to play the accordion and thusly play with relish and vigor. Accordion. 

See, cold medicine doesn’t sit very well with me and takes me on tangents of wild imagination and conversation. It also seems to slow my ability to keep a thought in my head. For instance, I will likely forget how it is that I want to end this sentence by the time I get to the end.  Okay, well, maybe not that time but it does cause me to sit idly by as my brain searches for the next word that might help make some sense out of the…um… sentence.

In other cold front news, it’s amazingly cold outside today. It’s a painful cold and when you combine that with the frozen snot in the nasal cavity, you’re in for some rough outside activities. It’s like that every winter I suppose. It’s amazing how quickly each winter passes from one’s memories and is forgotten until the next Arctic blast finds its way into our faces.  It’s almost like last winter never happened and any thought of it is like trying to grasp vapor. However, summer is never far from the minds of Chicagoans and we think about it often as we sit or stand, shivering at bus and train stations.

I’m really looking forward to the big thaw that will eventually find its way to us. I want that open window warmth flowing over me.  I’m extremely tired of the cold and snow. I feel like it’s been winter forever.  I need summer like a kid that loves cake standing outside of an unopened cake shop, nose pressed up against the glass, getting snot all over the window pane; I want it NOW!

And I want this cold virus to run its course very quickly so I can get back to meeting all the beautiful ladies. (Apparently cold medicine makes me think I’m sexy and desirable. Hmm, there might be something to this cold medicine)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday is…um…Tuesday….ah-uh….

Tuesday is a cumquat. How about that? I honestly cannot think of anything to write about today. It is cold out there isn’t it? Rotten cold weather. I’ve had quite enough of that. Yeah. Ummm.....

Well, let’s see what happened on this day in history brought to us by our friends at the History Channel. (You’ve come this far, you might as well go a little further, Jessica. I know as soon as you saw the word History you lost interest. But take a chance hmm…?)

In musical history and something I didn’t know about, sadly on this day Del Shannon committed suicide in 1990. Dell Shannon is best known for his song “Runaway” from 1961. It’s unclear as to why he may have killed himself; there was some talk it was due to some early uses of Prozac. I had no idea he killed himself. How sad. Way to go Tuesday. Let’s see if there’s something a little brighter from this day in history.

In 1587 Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded for her involvement in the plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I.  No, that seems a little too dark as well. What else happened? 1725 Peter the Great died. Although his friends just called him Peter the Meh (accompanied by a wavering hand gesture and a shrug).

In America the D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation opened and was our first feature length motion picture in 1915. While being the first of its kind it was also one of the most racist and offensive movies ever made. Its contribution to movie making can’t be denied but its content is morally questionable. So that’s kind of a draw on the good news/bad news scale.

Did anything positive happen on this day in history? Spud Webb won the dunk contest in 1986. That seems to be one of the only positives in history for February 8th.  Bummer. Well, what about the current news, anything going on today that’s not such a total let down?  No, CNN has nothing worth noting I would consider positive.  So it would seem that Tuesday is kind of a jerk and it’s in our collective best interest to ignore it and just get on to Wednesday.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sleeplessness and other Dilemmas

I couldn’t sleep last night. I was awake until sometime after 3:00 AM. My mind just wouldn’t shut the hell up. I’d start to drift off and a new worry or concern would thrust its ugly face in there and I’d roll over with it weighing on my sleep starved brain. I hate when that happens. I have enough trouble waking up in the morning without being over-tired.

There were too many thoughts all competing for my attention, worries about work in the morning and how much of an ass I likely made of myself over the weekend. That’s enough to keep anybody from the sleep depot and the sleepy train. Choo-Choo-Snore.

I was most displeased with the loss of my glove. I hate losing things. It makes me very upset and now my poor old glove is lost somewhere out in the world, all alone, separated from its brother for the first time. It makes me sad and then slightly angry at myself for having lost it. It makes me feel irresponsible and think, “How could I ever have children, I can’t keep track of a damn glove”.  I loved that glove too, we had a lot of adventures together and he’ll be sorely missed. I’m not sure how to break the news to the glove I still have. He’s not going to take it very well I don’t think.

I once lost a baseball hat for a whole year at some college party in Southern Illinois, I think. It was one of my favorite hats, a beat up old Cubs hat that I had carefully crafted and colored and made my own. I fell asleep at some point at this party and when my friend woke me up to go I just got up and left the hat. I didn’t even realize it wasn’t on my head. I was so bummed that I had forgotten the hat and I was sure I’d never see it again. But luckily, one of the people at the party realized I had forgotten it and a year later she gave it back to me. I was overjoyed and I still have that hat to this day.  I don’t wear it anymore but I can still look at it and feel amazement that it made its way back to me.

It’s no wonder I can’t sleep, I’m too worried about the inanimate objects in my life. I know they aren’t alive but I still seem to give them some level of personification. I think the furniture talks to each other when no one is around. I know that’s impossible and really know that doesn’t happen, but there is some childlike wonder that wishes it were true. 

I was worried as I tossed and turned last night that today would be an extremely busy day and lo and behold, it is. I received an obscene amount of work this morning and I’m filled with dread at the amount of long, boring and likely aggravating conversations I will have to have today. Sometimes I do wish the desk would come to life and do the job for me.

“Who may I say is calling?”
“This is Mister, Uh..Mister, Mister Desk, yes, my name is Mr. Desk.”

Good Boy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I guess there’s some kind of game

I guess there’s some kind of Uber Container game this weekend. I know it has something to do with Football, but I just can’t quite put my finger on it. Hmmm……

Of course I am fully aware of the upcoming Super Bowl game with the loathsome Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  I’m a Chicagoan and a true blue Bears fan so I just can’t get all that excited. It seems like an ordinary Sunday to me and I should do my laundry. I feel no gravitational force puling me toward Denver or any TV specifically to watch the game. It’s just not all that important to me.

I’d much rather play the game of love. The game of love baby, the game of la la la la love. – Thank you Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, Game Of Love, lyrics.  (The Mindbenders; man that’s such a cool name for a band.)  That always pops into my head when I think of The Big Game. Seriously, what’s a bigger game than the one between two human hearts? And I’m not talking about organ transplant hop-scotch.

Perhaps it’s not appropriate to call love a game. It’s usually some pretty serious business and it requires more protection than most footballers wear. When you think of games one thinks of out maneuvering your opponent and winning, but I don’t think love is really like that. I think love is something two people work on together without competing and both parties have the same goal. I guess I’d be more inclined to say dating is a game, but love is the trophy.

Dating. Now there’s a true sport; millions of players with millions of stories all about their various conquests, victories and failures. I’m surprised there aren’t more dating reality shoes on television. (Who could ever forget the glory years of Blind Date. Oh, that Pop Up commentary was sooooo funny) I think most dating shows on TV revolve around some wealthy bachelor or lonely, aging rock star. I don’t really watch that stuff though. My own dating reality is far more compelling.

Could you imagine a Super Bowl where the two combatants were a couple that had been dating for eight months and were now at the apex of the next stage of their relationship? Would The Black Eyed Peas play that halftime? You bet your sweet bippy they would. Corporate sponsors would be lining up to paste their names and products all over the couples serious conversation about where this “thing” is going. I can totally hear the commentary from Al Michaels and the sage relationship advice he’d dole out from the broadcast booth. And just imagine no mention of Brett Favre.

So as football season winds down with their big game, I hope I have an opportunity to get into a serious game and win the cheesy, yet somehow meaningful, Heart Trophy and proudly display it on the mantle as my girl and I smile at each other and know we both won the best game of all. – Presented by Goya.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I’ve been trying very hard to keep a positive attitude in these writings. I noticed that for a while there I was just mired in the muck and mud of everyday doldrums. But today I feel it’s okay to get a little down and say how much I hate you.

Not “you” specifically, the general you, the royal you, I suppose. I can’t stand you and your whole operation. Whatever you’ve got going on there I find it terribly irritating and I would like you to stop and go somewhere where no one can see or hear you. Like Space. Go to space.

Yes, after the wonderful joy of a lazy snow day and the return of every day-ness I find myself really displeased with most things. Work for one; if I get one more claim where people fell down because of snow or ice I swear I might take a hostage.  If you were too stupid to go outside during a blizzard then you have no right to claim any injury. I really hate you people.

I can’t understand why my ride into work this morning took an hour and ten minutes. I mean, I guess I can understand that everything came to a standstill yesterday because of the snow…… no, wait, I was still able to dig my own car out and take care of a couple of things. Why weren’t snow plows and salt trucks out on the Eden’s? I’m pretty sure it stopped snowing at around noon yesterday so, what’s the deal? Arrrrggggg!

I’m slowly decompressing from the Hulk like rage I feel inside. I think I actually started to turn green there for a few moments. Okay, deep breaths and I need to stop shaking my leg. Relax and take it easy. It’s not all that bad. I suppose it’s good that I am alive and no one is trying to kill me. That I know of.

Okay, I’ll try to put this back on a positive spin. I have to accept the fact that people in general are as dumb as a bag of wet rags and they have no ability to control their thoughts or actions. I have to accept that being lonely is just part of your thirties, unless you’re married and have children (sniff). I have to accept that I made myself a damn fine cup of coffee this morning. Mmm.

I have to accept that things don’t always work out the way we wish and life will go on whether we want it to or not. Another deep breath. Okay, I don’t hate you but I’m highly suspect of what you’ve got going on.  Deeper breath. Okay, let’s do this crap and get it over with.  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The snow must go on… if only in my dreams

I thought I should try and stay away from the snow topic this morning but that just doesn’t seem likely. It’s on everyone’s mind. I have a feeling however that the Blizzard of 2011 will not be all that powerful and will only result in two to four inches of snow, in Chicago anyway. I’m sure outlying areas will see significantly more snow but I think the city will be mostly spared.  (Prove me wrong Old Man Winter, prove me wrong!) I’d love a snow day for sure.

I think the last snow day I had was in 1997, Chicago got hit with a pretty significant snowfall that January. According to the Chicago Tribune archives it was around January 10, 1997 that we had that last really heavy snow. I remember it only because I was sitting, looking out the window, extremely excited I didn’t have to go to work. I was filled with the joy only children feel when school is cancelled due to snow. I had a Catholic school education and that school didn’t close for any reason. So I don’t think we had much of any snow days when I was in school. Trudging through mountains of snow to school was apparently some sort of Catholic penance.  So not to have to go to work due to excessive snowfall was like a miracle.

But that was the last time, 13 years ago was the last time I had a snow day. That’s so amazing to me. Meanwhile if Louisianan gets half an inch the whole state shuts down for three days, Lucky Cajuns.

How would I spend my snow day, if such an event would come to pass? I’d probably go back to bed after I got the call from my boss that the office was closed. Then I suppose I get up around the crack of eleven and look out the window and stretch. I might suit up and take a step towards digging my car out. I might bug my neighbor a bit, asking her if she wanted to go play in the snow. (Fingers crossed) It’s been a long time since I played in the snow. I would consider the construction of a massive fortification and declare war on all whom trespass and unleash a hell of snowballs and boiling oil. Okay, maybe not the oil.  Then, after getting too cold to continue to play I would go back inside and probably make some hot chocolate and relax in front of the warming glow of the television. I might open a bottle of wine after that and look out the window, marveling at nature’s beautiful winter fury.

I’d go to sleep happy that I’d had an opportunity to have some snow fun, but slowly rue the fact that it was over and I’d have to get back to the real world and my job. Snow days can be cruel like that in the end I suppose.  But again, we might only get a few inches and all those snow day dreams will have to remain just that.