Thursday, June 30, 2011

I kick it root down

6:20 this morning
I woke from my snoring
to get myself ready
and hold myself steady.

A 7:00 a.m. cleaning, poking
and scraping, drilling and
chipping following by some
gaping tooth hole filling.

A root canal was the need
for what made my gums bleed.
It sounds wicked and painful but
I’ve had worse and more baneful.

So now I sit in my cube tasting
the foul cement, hating
the bitterness and hoping I can eat.
And that would be… a dream feat.

Now I will digress from this lame poetry,
Writing about dental work is beneath me.

-          Wow, that took me half an hour to scribble out. And it’s terrible. But I hope you enjoy it to some degree my dear reader.

Yes I did have a root canal this morning and it really wasn’t all that bad. I have a great dentist and I’m super happy we got this little problem taken care of. It was my last left sided molar and apparently I need it to mash my food up into swallow size.

I can’t stress it enough; take care of your teeth.

The Fourth of July is being celebrated this weekend and most of my office will be closed tomorrow, unfortunately I will have to be in the office. So I’ll have more on the Fourth tomorrow. Aren’t you excited by that? I hope so.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I have had two late nights in a row and I am now paying for it. In fact, I might even say I’m paying for my insolence just like all the Hollywood villains said I would. I could sleep here at my desk with the greatest of ease, like the flying men on the trapeze.

I did find some comfort last night as I was finally able too meet up with one of my hearts affections for a drink or two last night. Nothing seems to soothe a bothered soul like fine and desired company. It gives me the fuel to keep it going for a little while longer. Perhaps I'll hold off on that whole, "Starting a Cult", thing.

I’m in debt to it though and this sleepy head blues has come to collect. I’ve been so distracted that I’ve hardly been able to focus on today’s piece. It’s kind of all mashed together in my brain box.

I think it’s time for a Coke. I love Coke. It’s my drink of choice. Although like most things I love, I’m certain it’s trying to kill me. Coke is very Hitchcock-ian that way. It builds and builds a long relationship and once you have nothing to fear, “BAM”! It hits you with some debilitating blood disease and the only cure is the blood of a virgin. So then you’re cruising high schools looking for dumb virgins. 

Did I mention that I’m very tired?  

I don’t think I did actually. Yes, I’m really tired but I have a satisfied feeling that it was worth it.  Being out with my friend last night was worth it, not the whole virgin sacrifice thing. Although I could see how that could be tiring too.

Time for that Coke.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It’s getting to me

Dating. Or at least trying to even get a date, is getting to me. I recently decided to try my hand at this whole on-line dating thing (real life dating hasn’t been working out) and signed up for one of the free sites. Face it, I’m not going to spend money on it, I’m too old fashioned for that.

Let’s just say that the whole thing is a terrible scam and wildly annoying. I just don’t get it and it’s just pissing me off.  I don’t know what my expectations were for this on-line experience, I figured that now that the internet has been around for quite a while maybe they got this whole on-line dating thing (or computer dating) figured out. It’d be slick and cool and highly regulated and easy to find someone to spend time with and maybe make out with a little. But no!

I was duped. I was fooled by these claims of dating miracles. It’s all B.S. I was pretty specific on what I am looking for and this dating site hardly comes close to showing me the actual types I’m into. I mean, if your beard is coming in thicker than mine, please reconsider sending me a message. It took all my strength not to vomit all over my own lap.  Plus, not even close to my specific descriptions of what I want.

In fact, I am apparently too picky for their search engines. I mean why even put certain things on the web site as a possibility if not a single one of the subscribers fits into that category. So there are no 5’, 7” blondes with a college education, owning their own car, living alone, with no cats, that enjoys quiet nights in or hanging out at the local pub and working in Chicago? Oh wait there are some, but not to be too harsh, they look like they were run over several times by an ice cream truck and then dropped from space only to get halfway charred by the upper atmosphere. And they all have cats. Is that too harsh?

I’m not a club guy. I’m not a meat market guy. I like meeting people normally, like, “Hi, my name is Michael. What’s yours? Candy? That’s awesome.” Or the even more old fashioned way of relentlessly wearing you down with platitudes of devotion that you eventually break down and settle for me.

Serious, I don’t even know how people actually meet anymore. And when they do meet, being honest with each other so no one feels like they’re just been led on. I don’t know, people. I’m so close to throwing in the towel and joining a cult; or at least starting a cult. Maybe I should devote myself to politics; there are a lot of senators and congressmen getting an awful lot of tail these days.  And those guys are crazy.

Maybe you just have to be a little crazy to meet someone? I take that back, perhaps you have to be A LOT crazy. And maybe I’m just too average and normal. I’m not a muscle bound dipshit or a Harvard professor. I’m just a regular guy trying to pass on his genetic code as defined by evolution.  So yeah, I might be a little impatient.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Time, time, time…

Last night, “Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole”, on the Science Channel really got me thinking. It’s an excellent show for science nerds like me. I am fascinated by physics and quantum math and all that stuff. I can’t actually do any of those complex calculations. Hell, I don’t even know how to use a slide rule and calculus; you might as well be speaking Greek in French to a deaf mute in space. At least the way they present it all on the show makes sense to me.  

This particular episode of the show was about time. What is time specifically? Is time a perception of the human mind or a real force in the universe? Is time like Newton thought, that it’s always there, beating in the background of space or is it like Einstein thought and time is actually a fourth dimension? Big sciency questions that even the best minds are still trying to piece together. There’s so much about it we don’t know.

What I know about time on a personal level is that it’s short. And it’s getting shorter. Time for humans is finite. In fact, we seem to be programmed to be acutely aware of the passage of time and the rapidity it tends to achieve.

When I was a small boy in church, I felt like it was the longest hour in the world. It just went on and on and it really felt like a four hour ordeal. As I got older, I came to realize that it was only an hour and not very long at all, now (if I go to church) it feels like 15 minutes had passed instead of an hour. In fact, in the mornings before work my time seems to zoom by like a rocket. Eight minutes will vanish as I try to brush my teeth and comb my hair and get out the door to make it to the train on time. If I’m just getting ready for a casual night out, that same eight minutes is an eternity.  Time, then, is relative, it would seem. Relative to how important it is to us, personally.

There are a lot of moments in my life that I wished were longer and certainly some that I wish were a lot shorter. But I don’t think time, real time, actually cares. It’s not something that could care.  As one scientist said, Time is just the universe’s way of keeping everything from happening all at once.

All in all, I suppose all we can do is try to make the best of the time we do have, be it a pulse emanating from the center of the galaxy or a construct of our own minds.

Wow, that was one strong cup of coffee this morning. Zooooom.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Believe it or not

Remember that show, Ripley’s Believe it or not? I’m not talking about the recent version with Dean Cain. I mean the old one with Jack Palance doing the hosting/narration. I bet he wouldn’t believe how many frigging meetings I have to go to. Meetings about nothing.

Seriously, how often can people meet to talk about nothing? So please forgive the brevity of this. I’d love to spend writing an awesome Friday adventure involving jewel thieves and candy escape pods, but I have to go to another meeting instead.

Please enjoy this Friday responsibly. (Also, if you’re a beautiful woman reading this, it’s your duty to support the arts and love me.)

Believe it (deep raspy breathing) or not.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How fast can I do this?

I have another fun Thursday of meetings to attend so I have to try and crank out something insightful and witty in about 23 minutes. I know this usually takes about a minute or so to read but it usually takes me about ½ an hour to 40 minutes to piece an article together and make it somewhat coherent.

I suppose I could just ramble on endlessly about everything that’s going on in my brain. Like how I saw two women on the train today that seriously could have been separated at birth. They weren’t sitting near each other but when they stood up to de-train, I had to look back and forth between them to make sure I wasn’t having a stroke, causing double vision. They didn’t see each other though so it was just strange. I wondered what would have happened if they did see each other. Would they have screamed? Would the fabric of space/time warped?

Or maybe I could complain about the cost of clothes. I went clothes shopping last night to update my summer short sleeve shirt collection and ended up spending far too much. When I looked at the total and the amount of things I bought I started sweating. It was crazy. It’s no wonder I only buy new clothes every 600 years.

I watched one of the best TV shows on the planet last night, NOVA on PBS is still producing some of the best educational or news stories. Last night was all about the tragic Challenger and Columbia disasters and what steps NASA had taken. It was pretty powerful to be brought back to those moments and bear witness to those tragedies all over again. I love NASA and I hate to see them get run down by budgetary concerns. Exploration and science held up for the sake of penny pinching is so depressing.

In On This Day in History news, (thanks again History Channel) June 23, 1987 Tiffany, Tiffany Darwish, was launched into teenage singing phenomenon known as, “Beautiful You: Celebrating the Good Life Shopping Mall Tour ‘87”. Yes, Tiffany gave her first mall performance today. How could this momentous day not be recognized as a Federal Holiday is beyond me?

In real history news though, June 23, 1940 Hitler toured Paris in the wee morning hours stopping only to comment after seeing Napoleon’s tomb, “That was the greatest and finest moment of my life”. He was then heard to say, “Now, I think I’d like to make out with a koala”.

Okay, that’s enough for now, time for a meeting. Sigh.   

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday the Milquetoast Barbarian

Wednesday can often seem so mildly cruel, jammed in the middle of the week like that. Its arrival indicates the incoming week’s end, but then gently pushes you back into your seat to make sure you know that the week is certainly not over yet. I can imagine Wednesday, loin cloth with a bulbous codpiece, ripped and muscular physique, long flowing hair, glasses, braces and a little acne.

He doesn’t carry the typical barbarian sword of medieval imagination, but a long thin epee that he wields like a cautious Zorro. He is very proficient at making the “W” mark on walls and the rear ends of pants but he makes the “w” very small. It’s a perfect “w”, but you really have to get close, almost with a magnifying glass, to see it.  It’s perfect but a nuisance.

He’s also very ineffective. He’ll arrive just in time to save the damsel in distress, but he’ll hem and haw in front of the castle gates trying to find a credit card to pay a locksmith to open the lock before realizing the gate was open the whole time. He’ll stand there, scratching his head as Thursday rides out of the castle on his white steed with the fair centerfold type damsel straddled across his lap.

Wednesday wakes up very early but usually drags his way through the morning, not really excited to do much of anything except get in the way of those of us that really need to move fast to make a train, bus or into work.  He’s the one walking very slowly at the head of the rushed crowd, log jamming us into slow moving cattle. He doesn’t realize it of course; he hasn’t had his coffee yet. Plus that loin cloth codpiece makes it hard to move very fast at all; chafes something terrible.

By mid-afternoon, Wednesday really hits his stride by accidentally knocking the clock off the wall. He didn’t mean to do it, but when he picks it up and puts it back he doesn’t realize it set itself an hour earlier than it was. We sit wondering, “I really thought it was two o’clock, felt like two o’clock, but according to that clock, it’s only one. Son of a…”

 Wednesday eventually decides it’s time to go home and maybe since it’s hump day, go out and get some mid-week relaxation going; maybe try to get some gal to help with his algebra hobby. Because the idea of even having sex is repulsive, sex is more of a Friday, Saturday or Sunday thing. Wednesday would much rather make sure you don’t have any either. He’ll make sure to interrupt any story you’re telling to an attractive individual with some inane anecdote about how he once helped an Indian woman look for her lost dog in the rain. It’s an hour and a half long story and they never find that dog.

By then, it’s nearly Thursday’s shift and he’s already got his horse fed and watered and ready to assault the day. Wednesday bids all a goodnight and heads home, only stopping to fix the clock he knocked down earlier so we all go, “11:30? I thought it was 10:30? Damn you Wednesday!!!!”

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crank is more than just a drug

I seem to have quite a pattern emerging in these articles. I seem to swing from great emotional highs to incredible lows. I’ll write all about the positivity in the world and then follow up with how much I wish everything was slightly more flammable. I was trying to figure out why on my train ride in to work this morning.

When it’s hot out I feel uncomfortable and cranky, when it’s really cold out I’m irritable and cranky. When it’s 70 degrees and mild, I’m the sweetest flower you ever did smell.  If I have to drive there, I’m cranky. If I have to walk there, I’m cranky. If there’s no beer, I’m cranky. If she won’t pay any attention to me, I’m cranky.  Holy Christ! I’m a crank!

I’ve turned into a curmudgeon. I’m that old bitter man at the end of the block who yells at everyone for stepping on his lawn, which isn’t in that great shape anyway. And God forbid if a Frisbee lands in his yard, you’ll never see that again. (Although his Frisbee Folk Art is quite impressive) But enough about Frisbee’s!

I’ve got to remember that I’m only six months shy 35 years old. (Oh God, my life is over! Whoever will love me!?!) I’m the new 25 right? I’ve got a long life ahead of me and I should stop being such a crank. Yeah, it seems like that would be easy, but everything annoys me so very much. Seriously, I can hear your eyes scanning the screen and it’s very annoying. Can you please do that a little more quietly? Thanks.

Serious though, I am in need of an attitude adjustment. Sometimes I think the love of a good woman will provide me with the impetus to sally forth with renewed vigor and vitality. But the crank in me yells to sit down and stop shaking the boat, he’s fishing/drinking.  I know he’s got a point though. No one can make me happy but me. And of course anything worth doing is never easy. So choosing to be happy is hard. It’s much easier to complain and moan about the injustices of life than to take an active role in their correction.  

At the core, we must ask ourselves what would make us happy? I usually say money. Then someone says that money can’t buy happiness and then I say, shut-up. It totally can. Anyone living comfortably, with money and a job they enjoy and perhaps a sexy spouse and beautiful kids, they seem pretty god damn awful happy to me.

Actually, I still think that’s it really, “A job they enjoy”. The happiest people I know are super excited about their lives based on the type of work they are doing. Everything that falls into place afterward is gravy. If only I knew how. Then I could stop all this complaining and get on to the whole sexy spouse thing.  

Oooh, what if there was a sexy patron of the arts who read my blog and decided it needed to be published and then I could write for a living and then she’d fall madly in love with me and we’d buy Greece and live life as it was meant to be lived, drunk on wine and sex.

Oh, right, realistic goals. Right. Dang it. Hey, get off my lawn!   

Monday, June 20, 2011

Down to business

Sometimes I’m glad to be at work. It can sometimes stave off the boredom I’m so often filled with. Work provides me with an excuse to be more productive than I am at home. When I am at home, it takes me hours to bring myself to a point where I feel as though I must accomplish some task. I am so lazy.

Some would say my laziness is an extension of depression and cynicism; a real, “why bother”, attitude.  I know that’s a bad way to think and I guess that’s why I’m glad to be in my little cube at work. I mean, I hate going to work, but once I’m there I guess it’s alright. At least it’s something to do.

I’ve never been very motivated. It’s been the bane of my life; motivation. Teachers always reported to my parents that I was incredibly bright, but lacked motivation. I made the mistake of reading too much Zen crap and Buddhism at a very young age and what I got from it was stoicism and a lack of desire. I took to heart that if one freed them self from the bonds of desire then they would be happy and at peace. Unfulfilled desire is the road to unhappiness. (Maybe I had a little Jedi thrown in there too.) All in all it left me without much in the way of desire. I mean, I want things, but I merely expect them to come to me and if they don’t, then I wasn’t meant to have it. It’s difficult to change one’s way of thinking and actually try to go out and get the things I want. It would take a monumental shift in the way I’ve been thinking for the last 25 years. (I was pretty awesome until I was ten I think)

I see people every day, striving to better themselves through exercise or education or rock climbing or knitting classes and I can’t seem to understand them. I am filled with cynicism when I see them. I think, “Where will all this get them? They’re still going to have to work that crappy job and maybe live in that crappy house? They’re still going to die one day? What’s the point?”

This is a terrible attitude I know. It’s incredibly morose and depressing, especially for a rainy Monday. I should try and be more positive. At least I have a job to go to. At least I do have a roof over my head and I can afford to live there. I may be lonely but I have friends and family. I am rational enough to realize my negativity and know that I have a piss poor attitude. The lesson’s I’ve learned in life have made me this way. It constructed my character and shaped my regrets. (That's a terrible excuse.)

Boy, this didn’t start out so damn depressing. I’m not sure how I got to this point so quickly this Monday morning. I should really take a deep breath and not be such a poop. At least I have this work to do to take my mind off of it for a few hours, instead of wallowing in self-pity and loathing. Plus, I’m sure it’s not much fun for you reader. We should talk about something else. How are you?

That’s good. Sounds exciting. (sigh)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Too much brain for this short page

I’m constantly amazed by the complexities of the human condition. This morning I rode the blue line train downtown and I was really taken aback by the types of people riding with me. Black, white, brown, young, old, smelly, sexy, all different types were sitting or standing together. It was also unusually loud as most of these people were talking to each other at a very intense volume. I was almost annoyed with them all. But I had to tell myself to relax and just enjoy the ride no matter how irritating it was.

I’ve gotten pretty used to my quite life and any time something is loud or frantic I get annoyed. I’ve very much become that old man who comes out onto the porch to yell at the children for laughing. When did I become that guy, instead of someone who laughs at them or even with them?

I’m not always so stodgy though. Usually I can look at the people with a peculiar sense of humor because I realize how seriously they’re taking themselves. And it’s hilarious. I have to remind myself not to take myself so seriously either. (Although I’ve been known to give myself terrible advice)

I know I’ve been complaining lately of being lonely and how my affections seem to go unrewarded (seeing all the beautiful women downtown doesn’t help matters much either. It’s like a drug for me) and I’d like to apologize for that. I haven’t taken any responsibility for my lonely state and have tried to put it in the laps of others to fix and that’s just irresponsible. I know that talented, sexy, smart, classy lassie is out there for me and I have to make a more proactive effort to find her. She’s apparently not going to find me because I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even know she’s looking for me. (But she is)

Friday is normally very relaxed at work and things move at a pretty slow pace. But today has been meeting after meeting after meeting after phone conference after training session. It’s been ridiculous and it makes me want to shoot myself with a vomit gun. Nothing is quite as mundane as hearing the same thing over and over by three of four different people in three of four different ways. I got it. Please just let me do my job.

Weekend, it’s nearly here and I have no idea what I’ll be doing and I like that. I’ll probably try to make it in to The Red Lion as it’s been two weeks since my last visit. Other than that I’ll just be around, looking for some pretty gal to hold my hand for a little while as we ride the train and talk about work.

 As a dear friend says, be good out there people. And I’ll add, For the love of God, be good.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The wrong man

I went through a series of very vivid dreams last night. So vivid in fact that I woke up convinced I was being persecuted by the Media and public opinion. It seems in my dream I had made an inappropriate comment to someone and the next thing I knew I was running from the police and every major media outlet. They had my picture plastered all over TV as someone possibly worse than Hitler and Godzilla wrapped into one evil super-being. I don’t even know what it was that I allegedly said in the dream to stir up such controversy, but it was intense.

I remember calling what I believed to be a responsible network journalist, trying to explain or clear my name. That reporter, maybe Brokaw, was unavailable so I was speaking with one of his aids and she called me a jerk. I was like, “What happened to unbiased reporting?” I had no choice and had to continue to be on the run.

I was hiding in various safe houses owned by what seemed to be cartoonish hillbilly stereotypes; like refrigerators in the front yard and such. I don’t know why they were sympathetic to my cause. At least one of them had a rotary phone I could use. Plus it was hot, like Savannah, Georgia hot.  

I was running through woods and over fences trying to get away. It was an urban/rural setting where there were homes close together but had big wooded yards. There was someone with me as I was trying to get away but they are forgotten to me now. I was less panicked in this dream however. All in all, I think my dreams were about my innocence and my attempts to prove it to a world that had already judged and sentenced me.

Perhaps they sentenced me to a life of mediocrity and cubicles without hope of proving my worth to the world. I’m sure it’s just a self-indulgent fantasy; an inflated view of my own importance, pure narcissism.

But then again, I remember being quite modest in the dream, as if I was just the wrong man trying to make it in a world gone wacky. Maybe it’s that often, I do feel like the wrong man, or maybe, a man out of time, out of place if you will. I just don’t get it a lot of the time and can’t figure out why so many things have to be so complicated.

I’m likely just over thinking on this matter. It probably meant nothing; as Freud often said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But sometimes, I think it would be pretty cool to be the Right man.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bang your head

There’s nothing as fine as having a few cocktails with friends on a Tuesday night. Of course, only if your friends can keep up with your heroic intake of alcohol. Perhaps I pushed them a little further than I should have last night and while my consequences seem minor, theirs may seem worse. I guess that’s the price you pay when you decide to “rock out” to Van Halen on the jukebox.

I’ve never been a Van Halen fan. I’ve nothing against them personally and I’m sure they’re lovely drug addled rock stars, but I was always more of a punk and a punk I shall forever be. I just can’t bring myself to enjoy Van Halen or any of those types of bands. I can’t even tolerate it on an ironic level; it’s like knives on a chalkboard for me.

So I guess the combination of alcohol and lame rock might have brought out the worst in my drinking companions. It’s my fault for sure and I suppose I shouldn’t have treated them so roughly, but frankly, they asked for it. And if there’s anything I’ve learned; it’s entirely within your power as the individual to say, “No”, especially to Van Halen on the jukebox.

Speaking of banging one’s head, I feel like I’ve been banging my head against the brick wall of female complications. I’ve been sweet, kind, nurturing, fun, pleasant, open, honest and mostly cool and I still can’t seem to get anywhere and that’s really confusing. If it’s confusing to you dear reader, just imagine how I feel. She’s a freaking island and I’ve got no boat.  As Al Green said, “I can't get next to you, babe, can't get next to you.” I think The Temptations might have had the same problem.

Now that’s music to drink and bang you head to.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It’s hard to believe

Jack felt his heart beating in his chest. He was unfamiliar with the feeling as it had been so long since anyone had made it thump so hard. He looked down and could actually see his ribcage rising and falling with each lovesick beat of his heart. He looked back up at her and he smiled. She reached over and took his hand in hers and smiled back. It was everything Jack had been wishing about for the last several years. He looked into her eyes and leaned in for a kiss. A passionate kiss, something he hadn’t done in ages. He was honestly nervous about it. He’d done his fair share of kissing but it didn’t have the same gravity as this particular kiss. It was this kiss he had missed.

Their lips met and there was a spark. Jack could have sworn he saw a bright blue flash and then felt her soft lips pressing gently against his. He relaxed and put his arms around her and pulled her in closer, reaching up and gently caressing her delicate cheek. They were breathing in sync and he could tell that she was just as nervous as he. He put a reassuring hand on the back of her neck soothed her until she seemed to melt against his chest. They fell into an instant routine, as if they had been kissing each other all their lives.

Jack’s mind reeled as he thought about all the great kisses in his life. There was his first kiss of course, but that wasn’t all that great. He actually couldn’t remember the girl’s name or under what circumstances it occurred, but he was pretty sure he had made a big deal of it at the time. He remembered his last real kiss before this one and how sad it was as it had come at the end of a relationship. All the other kisses in the middle, he suddenly couldn’t remember, as this kiss started to overwhelm him.

She had his head cocked off to the right side as she delicately bit and pecked Jack’s lips, playfully rubbing the back of his neck. Jack usually wasn’t all that aroused by a woman touching his neck or ears or anything but this girl; in this girl’s hands he was pure putty. Jack realized he had his eyes closed very tight. He seemed to think that if he opened his eyes and saw this beautiful woman, this woman who wanted him, that this dream would come to an end and he’d wake up in his bed all alone.

Jack opened his eyes and caught her looking at him too. She smiled and Jack smiled back. It was almost involuntary, these two smiling eye smiles. She leaned in and kissed Jack again, softly, deeply and sweetly.

“I think we need a cigarette”, she said and she slowly pulled back.
“I think we should keep kissing”, said Jack.

She smiled and leaned toward the coffee table to get her cigarettes, leaving one hand playfully balanced on Jack’s knee. Jack felt his heart start to thump again and he never wanted that hand to leave his side ever again.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Slow down

As I walked from the train station to work this morning I had kind of a slowdown moment. I didn’t feel my normal urgency to get to the office. I seemed to be strolling. This is very strange behavior for a busy bee downtowner like me. Usually if you don’t keep up with the other bees you’ll get mowed down and ground into pulp. But today, that didn’t seem to happen.

I realized I was strolling at a cross walk. The light turned green and the people around me bolted off the corner like horses out of the gate. I seemed to take a short step after them and wasn’t concerned about staying in front, or in some cases, winning. I used to play that game with other people on the sidewalk. I’d try and see which of us would reach a certain arbitrary point first; maybe who made it to the mailbox or fire hydrant first. The other person, of course, didn’t know they were in a death race with me, but it was enough to keep me moving at a quick step.

Today, I didn’t feel that competitive desire. I didn’t look out over the masses of bees and see them as a group I’d like to race, and beat. I actually felt a kind of sadness at the rush. I saw them all, zooming about, so deeply involved in their own business that I wasn’t sure how many of them actually noticed what a beautiful sunny day it was. I had my hands in my pockets and just seemed to ride the wave of people splashing around me.

I remember thinking to myself, “Thank goodness I’m a writer”, as I watched the people scurry to and fro.  Not that I think I’m better or somehow judging the people, just that I was glad I had the ability to slow it all down and then comment on it later. I sort of chuckled at myself and shook my head, because I’m not really a writer at all. I’m not sure what I do here every day, but at least I’m not rushing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday is for me

Yesterday my face was so terribly swollen that I looked like Quagmire from Family Guy. Today I decided that I wouldn't put myself through such trouble and stayed home from work. I was happily encouraged to do so by most folks I know. And they are right, when you face is swollen due to an abscessed tooth, maybe a day off is what's called for.

Plus it'll really let me catch up on all that nothing I have to do.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Take care of these things

I can’t stress this enough. I went to the dentist today for an ongoing problem I’ve had. (See previous tooth related blog) And it only gets better. I have an abscess that will need antibiotics for two weeks before my dentist can do anything about my teeth.

Take care of your teeth people; I just cannot say it enough. My poor mouth is a war zone and frankly, I’m losing. I don’t know if it’s whiskey and beer or genetics or a combination of the three but my poor teeth are a mess. Make sure you visit your dentist regularly to reinforce your mouth warriors so they don’t get defeated by the evil forces of the Cavity Creeps.

It’s also important to take care of the ones you love and be up front and honest with them. Just like your teeth, a relationship needs proper maintenance and cleaning, sometimes seeing a specialist can help spruce things up. But mostly it’s important not to let things fester. And get all puss-engorged.  Urk. Plus a person’s heart is far more delicate than we like to think so it’s important to check on that every once in a while and make sure it still beats for you.

Follow all this up by taking care of your feet. My feet are a battered and bruised lot and without shoes on I can barely shuffle my way across a room. Once your feet go, it gets really difficult to twirl around the dance floor, believe you me.

I do have to keep this on a bit brief as it’s a bit late for today I’ve got other things I must attend to. I hope that we’ll all remember to try and take care of these things and maybe be a little healthier for it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Well, that’s just rude…

In this age of modern convenience the rules regarding what’s socially acceptable have changed. My biggest pet peeve in this fascinating time we live in is the un-responded to text message. To me, that is the ultimate in modern rudeness. I can completely understand if people are busy and I know it’s not always appropriate to reply right away if you are in a movie theater or church, but seriously, if you’re not busy or not doing the other things, how hard is it to respond?

It took me years to get over the un-responded to e-mail. I’m not actually sure if I am over it but I don’t seem to get as bothered by it. But I do think it is rude not to respond. It’s simply the socially responsible thing to do. We are social animals after all and communicating is fundamental to our existence. So when a message is sent to which there is no reply, it leaves the sender in a lurch, like yelling into a deep, dark cave only there’s no satisfying echo. It leaves the sender feeling empty and alone.

I am pretty good about responding to e-mails and text messages. I may respond a little late, but for the most part I will always respond. Even if it’s to say that I’m too busy at the moment to respond. I think that’s the responsible thing to do and the sender doesn’t feel like they’ve been left out like a picture puzzle piece in the rain.

I simply can’t stand it when I send a message, maybe more than one message, and get no response at all. That drives me crazy. To me it’s the epitome of condescension and disregard, as if to say, I’m too good to respond to this lowly troll’s text message. I just don’t understand why anyone would want to let another person feel like that. It’s quite cruel. (Unless it's some crazy stalker type that won't leave you alone, then it's socially acceptable not to respond)

Please remember that it’s a two way conversation taking place and there’s someone waiting on the other end to hear from you. It’s similar to having a face to face conversation wherein one of the individuals just sits there, staring at you while you wait for a response to something like, “Want to go to the park?” See how crazy creepy that would be?   So respond to your messages and be a part of civil, respectable society. And quit making me feel like a jerk for caring.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Stating the obvious

Clearly it’s hot out. I don’t think it needs to be said, other than a few facts, of course. Today in Chicago marks the first day since 2007 that it’s projected to hit a high temperature of 97 degrees. The heat index indicates it will feel like 103 degrees. To be honest, I’m not sure what a heat index is, after 95 degrees you could just call it hot and that would be enough for me.

“What’s it like out?”
“I can dig it.”

The dilemma facing most of us is what the hell we should wear to try and keep cool?  Being a regular American male I love it when it’s hot purely for the fact that women tend to show a bit more skin. I am completely addicted to women and this hot weather only serves my addiction. Thank you women, you are beautiful and I suggest you keep it up.  The downside is that I must wear long pants, a collared shirt, dress shoes (which I skipped today) and walk in the shade so I don’t show up to work surfing a wave of my own sweat.

Summer is only good on the weekends. Working on these long summer days is cruel and makes the summer feel like something you once knew, long ago, but now it’s more of a cherished memory. (Unless you're going out every summer night, then my apologies and cheers)

For me, however, summer really only got fun when I was a teenager. I was in a work camp, I mean Day Camp, for a lot of my youthful summers and I hated it and attempted to ditch on several occasions. I just wasn’t a joiner and most of the kids in that camp seemed to be the failed cloning experiments of the cast of The Dirty Dozen. There was something wrong with nearly all of those kids. I remember my camp counselor had terrible burns all over his legs. Another counselor called everyone, "Melvins". It was not fun. I resented being there.

Once I was released from that summer orphanage and was able to hang with my actual school friends it got better. Then the adventures started, mostly consisting of walking around our neighborhood and then stopping at the news stand store to browse comic books for hours. A lot of the time we played over at my friend Matt’s. A lot of games of catch and running around his neighborhood, going to the Sears to cool off in their blissful air conditioning, maybe going to the movies. We managed to fill our days pretty well.

The summers in high school were better though. We were older and truly felt our immortality. We stayed up late on summer nights on Amanda’s porch or walked the train tracks going from one friend’s house to another. Of course, most of us started enjoying alcohol at that point and those summer nights became legendary, almost something of myth, since I can’t remember most of the details now.

Then, we had to grow up and realize there was no summer vacation anymore. Those days were gone and it was time to become a more productive member of adult society. (I’m still not sure what I’ve contributed to at this point.)

I’m not regretful however, I know those past summers were exactly what they were supposed to be and there’s no going back and I’m okay with it. In fact, now that summer has revealed her flame drenched face I’m happy to greet her. If anything, I admire her bravery at wearing that rather revealing tube top dress. Hubba-hubba. Here’s to Summer.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Monday in June

Today for most of us is just a regular old Monday. It’s nothing special or dramatic for sure, mundane even. But 67 years ago, June 6th 1944, was a very different type of day. Today marks the 67th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy by the Allies. The liberation of Europe under Hitler’s control began. My grandfather was part of the third wave assault at Omaha beach so I do have something personal vested in this anniversary.

I often wonder how I would have done, running up that beach, hellfire pouring down from the German positions, my friends exploding all around me, the white beaches stained red from all the blood. I just don’t know what I would have done. I like to think I would have been able to do the job I was sent there to do and with luck, survive.
I feel lucky to survive my regular work day for the most part so I do have a pretty hard time convincing myself that I would have made it across that beach alive.  

My grandfather and his division were in some of the toughest battles of the war. They fought their way through Europe and were even part of The Battle of the Bulge. It was a tough road for certain, but those men and women rolled up their sleeves and did what had to be done. Without all the complaints you hear these days.

I literally got off the phone a moment ago with a claimant who was complaining about damages to a vase in his home by an installer. I said we were not able to verify the damage to his antique Aztec vase, allegedly, caused by our installer, so we were not able to reimburse him for it. I said we’d pay for the damages to the siding of his house as we were responsible for that, but the vase we could not. You would have thought this guy’s children had just been shot in the face with his outrageous reaction to our decision. It’s just a vase for crying out loud. It’s not like your best buddy through all of Basic just got his arms and legs blown off by German artillery. It’s a damn vase.  Grow up and quit whining about it. Take the money we’re giving you for the siding and move on. Sheesh!

That’s the trouble with this country; we’re ridiculous.  We don’t know what we’re capable of because we haven’t been really tested in a long time. America provided 95% of the world’s goods post WWII, now; I don’t even think we make paperclips. We’re so worried about fuel costs, sunscreen, and the Twilight Saga, bird, shark, jellyfish, or cow attacks that we sit on our air conditions asses and complain about a broken vase that probably wasn’t even Aztec because that civilization died out so long ago that any real pottery would be in a museum. Stop being ridiculous and start remembering that the ground you so comfortably sit on was likely covered with the blood of our forefathers. Stop being so smug and have a sense of decency and reverence. Shove the vase up your pompous ass.

Deep breath. Okay, as I was saying, it’s not just a regular Monday (although it’s really starting to feel like it) it’s a day we should remember that once, men did what was asked of them and only wanted to come home as their reward.

General Eisenhower’s Message Sent Just Prior to the Invasion

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!
I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!
Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
-- Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, June 3, 2011

Still for suckers

I want to hold her. I want her to hold me.
I want to feel each breath she takes.
In a bed,
Just big enough for two,
Holding on tight,
All night.

Instead, it’s up early
And alone.
Off to work to
the embrace of a cold
desk and chair.

I’m sure she’s sleeping,
dreaming of shoes,
While I toil and trouble
in this cube.

She’s half covered
with covers, arm up
under her head,
A bare shoulder
exposed to the morning
As she rests.
Each breath taken through
soft lips. A testament
to her gentle beauty.

I’d be there if I could. I want
her to want me there.

But I’m a worker bee sucker.
And suckers


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Don’t take what isn’t yours

It’s a fairly simple message. If it doesn’t belong to you, don’t take it. My poor sister suffered a break in and burglary yesterday and she lost quite a lot of items. Mind you they are mostly just things and can be replaced, but the memory value is irreplaceable. Plus the emotional violation of having strangers rifle though all of your belongings is sickening. All the things you carefully organized and put away then strewn about the room without a care or consideration by some dirty habitual masturbator.

Because that’s what I imagine, a dirty, meth-head, acne ridden, troll who is constantly playing with himself; a stupid, greasy, mother fucker who is probably too stupid to read the instructions on a bottle of shampoo. It fills me with a lot of anger. Obviously.

I’m glad to have been raised with a rather strict moral code. I made my youthful mistakes regarding taking things that weren’t mine. I was in grammar school at the time and was punished so severely the very idea of ever taking something that didn’t belong to me again makes me want to vomit. I won’t even pick up a dollar off the street because it doesn’t belong to me.

As a human being, I feel so ashamed of these criminals that robbed my sister. It must be terrible not to have any compassion for other people or their possessions. Everything my sister worked for and saved for gone in a morning, without a trace or clue from anyone in her building or neighborhood. No one saw a thing. I always find that so amazing. It’s hard to miss two people walking down the street carrying a clothes hamper and a 42” TV and wearing gardening gloves. Nothing strange about that I guess.   They must have been using their invisible potion.  Damn, totally robbed by Wizards. That frigging stinks.

But the bottom line, no one cares. I am sick of living in a world where no one feels they have to take responsibility for their own actions. Out of work? Need Drugs? Can’t pay the bookie? Just steal someone else’s shit. Screw that. It’s a failure of social morality and a culture of looking the other way. Well, stop it. Let’s get back to the golden rule, do unto others as you would have done to you. It’s that simple. Don’t take things that don’t belong to you. Earn the things you want in life and if you can’t achieve them; then live with it and move on. Piss off.

 I hope these burglars get smashed between two, speeding, out of control castration buses. (Yes, I hope the buses castrate them) I hope they live but are so severely injured they need to rely on the kindness of others to stay alive. And one day, they die, slowly and painfully because someone broke into their room and stole their oxygen tanks and medication. I want to see the tears in their eyes as life ebbs from their rotting, stinking, diseased bodies. Hell is too good for those that steal, murder or rape. Drop them in the desert and let the blistering sand and heat erase them from the world and memory.

All in all, don’t take what isn’t yours. I can’t believe it has to be said. It’s just so simple. Now go out there and be a good person. Or else.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thousand pound head

I had a terrible time trying to get to sleep last night. My head was smushed up against my pillow and I felt as though my head weighed hundreds of pounds. I was just uncomfortable and felt somehow out of place. I thought perhaps I’ve been sleeping sitting up on the couch too often to know what it’s like to lay down to sleep, but then, that’s a foolish thought. I sleep in the bed more often than on the couch.

My mind was racing too quickly to shut down. I was obsessively playing out scenarios in my head that are far too unlikely to ever occur. My thoughts mostly involved a young lady I might have what feels like a schoolboy crush on. I was playing out all the scenarios of dating her and building a relationship, then marriage, then more kids, then a yard, cook-outs with the neighbors, visiting grandma, looking at her when I’m old and admiring how she managed to stay just as beautiful as the day I met her.

So you could see how I might have a hard time sleeping with that racing through my brain. I was then caught up in thinking about all the negatives that might occur in the previously said girl situation. That got my mind reeling with the possible arguments and financial troubles and tears and long nights spent at a bar wondering how I let the relationship get to such a low point and then getting into a fight with some old boyfriend of hers because he called the bar, “lewd” without knowing what, “lewd” actually meant.

So I tossed and turned and wrestled with my thousand pound head unable to find any comfort or solace in my brain. Around 1:00 in the morning I got up and had a cigarette, hoping to clear my head a bit and relax just enough to allow myself to slow down and get some sleep. I know it’s ridiculous to spin the wheels of the mind around so many possibilities. It’s silly to worry about since there are no guarantees about anything in life. I know I can imagine millions of possibilities and it’s more than likely absolutely none of them would come into being.

But still, I eventually fell asleep still thinking about her and I have no memory of my dreams, but I woke up thinking about her. I immediately doubted that she had done the same. At least my head no longer weighed so much. A shower and another day in the office was what I had to look forward to. Then I’ll go home, do some dishes, sit on the couch and resist the temptation to drown my racing mind in unfulfilled fantasy.