Wednesday, October 31, 2012


"Scare me", said Karen. She tossed her long almond colored hair over her shoulder coyly and giggled. She was dressed up for Halloween as a sexy Goth/Dominatrix/cheerleader. I thought that maybe using the word "dressed up" was too strong a phrase since she really only had some patches of fabric covering her important bits.

"I don't know if I can scare you, but you have raised some very powerful emotions", I said to her with a wink.
"Shut up. Don't be dirty", she said.

She pressed herself close to me and I felt my heart pounding and all the blood leaving my head. I started to stammer as I often do when in the presence of pure beauty. My mind was fluttering with my good fortune for meeting this woman and how lucky I was that she wanted me.

She straightened my Clark Kent neck-tie and gently touched my cheek. She smiled as she looked into my eyes.

"This party should be fun. It's been so long since I've been to a Halloween party at someone's house and not at some stupid bar where you pay twenty dollars to get smashed into herds of horny costumed men", she said while readjusting her garter.
"Yeah, just one horny costumed man is enough these days", I said.

She smiled and struck a sexy pose with her leg up on the bed, "Trick or Treat", she said and she laughed.

That was what I found so fascinating about her. Clearly she knew she was just beautiful. The type of woman that could launch a thousand ships against Troy but she was hilarious about it. Her laughter was a better drug than anything I have ever known. I felt a leaping joy and I knew that I couldn't stand to be without her.

"I'll get your coat and meet you by the door darling. We don't want to be late", I said.
"I just have to put my hair in ponytails. I'll be right there", she said.

I stopped and took her hand in mine and kissed it.
"I love you", I said.

She smiled and took her hand back.
"I love you too".

I went downstairs to the front room closet and took out her winter coat. The temperature was going to be quite chilly and I knew that within an hour after the party started she'd tell me that she was cold. She was always cold. She just never seemed to be able to hold onto any warmth and it brought me great joy to provide it for her on cold nights in bed.

I looked at my watch and realized that we were already running about ten minutes late.
"Baby", I called, "we're running late already".

I didn't hear a response.

"Baby", I called again.

She appeared at the top of the stairs, white as a sheet. I dropped her coat over the back of the couch and hurried up to her.

"What's wrong", I asked.

She pointed toward our bedroom and was shivering.
"There was.. there was... something I...", she said.

I looked toward the bedroom and knew. It had found me. The creature that had tormented me as a child had found me.

"Stay calm and go downstairs", I said. "I'll take a look".
"What was it? What is going on? It was a ghost wasn't it? That ghost you told me about", she asked.
"Go downstairs", I said.

She took my hand and started down the stairs, looking back at me. Her eyes filled with scared tears.

"It'll be okay. I promise", I said. "I'll be right down and we can go to the party and forget all about this".

She didn't believe me and I could tell. I smiled at her and winked. I let her hand go and I made my way into the bedroom. This monster that had been following me since I was a small child. The shadowy creeper that ruined almost every photo of me as cloudy mist over my head. There it was, a dark mass sitting legless on the bed.

"She's great", it grumbled.
"You shut your mouth and get out of here", I said.
"That's no way to speak to an old friend is it", it gurgled.
"I've never been your friend", I said.
"How can you say that after all the fun times we had together? All the nights spent, sitting, plotting, cursing, dreaming of the power. How can you say we weren't friends", it asked.
"You were using me", I said.

The black form moved soundlessly from the bed and rushed forward directly into my face like a blast of cold wind as it had done so many times as I was a child. It bared it's ant-like pincers and hissed.

"I'm not a child anymore", I said.
"Still just as scared though", it mocked. "Are you going to marry that sweet young girl? If you don't I might have to express some interest", it muttered gravely.
"Stay away from her", I said.

I reached for the dresser drawer and pulled out the crucifix given to me by Father Gonzalez and flashed it in front of the monster. It cackled with evil delight.

"I'm far too old for that to work anymore boy", it growled.

The crucifix was torn from my hand and thrown to the other corner of the room. The beast laughed.

"You're hardly a believer anymore", the beast said.
"I do believe", I said.
"No. You don't. I can smell it on you like fat kids smell cake", it chuckled.

There was a knock at the bedroom door. It was Karen.

"Michael, what's going on", she asked.

"Let's open it shall we", said the monster.

I sped to the door and held it shut.
"It's okay Karen. Everything will be fine in a minute", I said.

"Don't lie to her", said the monster.
"I'd never lie to her and it's because of her that you'll be leaving this place, you'll be leaving me and never returning", I said.
"Don't be a fool. She believes in God less than you do. Neither of you can defeat me. I am eternal", the beast said. The room shook with the sound of it's vicious, blood chilling voice.
"Our faith is not shaken. It's our belief in love that will defeat you. After all, what is God if not Love", I said.

The room went still. I turned to the bedroom door and opened it. Karen stood there, brave and beautiful.
"Today we win Karen", I said to her and I took her hand, squeezed it tight and led her into the bedroom.

She squeezed my hand back and I knew that this evil was to be forever defeated. Besides, we had a party to get to.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Adequately Inadequate

I seem to be getting along okay.
I've got some bills I should pay and
maybe I should spend my money
a little more wisely, but ultimately
I'm doing okay.

That guy in the mirror seems to
disagree though. He tells me every
time I look. "You're lazy and fat and
no woman will ever love you", he'll
bark at me while I wash my hands.

I shake my head at him and repeat
that I'm doing okay. I've got a comfy
couch and food to eat. I smoke less
than I did before and I'm walking a
lot more.

"You're a drunk and nobody likes
you. You alienate everybody because
you're a snob", he'll shout from the
bathroom while I'm in the bedroom
trying to put my shoes on.
(It's quite a task in the morning)

I'm polite and nice to everyone and I
usually have a smile on my face. I try
very hard not to lose my temper and I
stay very even keeled.

The mirror me keeps yammering,
"You're boring. You bore me. You bore
everybody", he says while I brush my

I'm peaceful as I can be. I try not to
ruffle any feathers or make people do
things they might not want to do or are
not comfortable doing. I'm relaxed.

"Oh, are you talking? I was so bored",
he'll say. "Go find a wife to listen to
you're boring crap", he'll continue as I
get my coat.

I'll get my keys and head to the door.
"So, I'll see you later tonight", my reflection
"Of course you will", I respond.

Monday, October 29, 2012

So There’s That Then

There are a lot of us living on this planet; a whole mess of people living and working and breathing every second of every day. I find it a little scary. Imagine if you could hear them all, breathing in the night. It would be a howling, mournful wind blowing through the sky. It would be deafening.

I thought of it after I woke up from a Sunday nap and a quick stroll to the corner store to buy some cigarettes and junk food. I got back to my apartment and it was so quiet. Late Sunday morning, the Bears game had yet to start, so it was quiet. I could hear my apartment building though. I could hear all the other people moving about, creaking across their floors or hear some distant pounding noise or even water in the bathroom pipes sloshing around. I could hear doors opening and closing. I could hear faint conversations outside and I realized it wasn’t all that quiet after all.

It made me remember not to be so selfish with my life. Not that I have to give more of myself, but that I have to be more generous with people and their lives. We tend to become very insulated and solitary while pursuing our own activities and sometimes we forget all the other people in the world. We forget about their tragedies, their pains, their joys, their unforgivable sins, their redemption, their regrets.

It’s hard to see them sometimes, even when they are right in front of us on the train or the bus or even as we pass them, fully insulated in our cars. We forget that that we really are all part of the same family. The same bits that created the universe, the trees, the sun is in each and every one of us.

I thought about these people and their silences. I wondered how often other people just sit and listen to the collective humanity and feel a sense of fearful wonderment. I thought about the beautiful women at a Halloween party I went to the night before. I thought about the mess we left behind. I thought about each thing people laughed at, or talked about and wondered what it was about their own lives that made them laugh or not laugh. I wondered why they chose to wear the costume they did. I wondered about each choice they made in their lives to wind up at this particular Halloween party.

I stood in my apartment window for a bit, watching the traffic flow on the streets. I wondered where everybody was going, where they were coming from. I wondered whose path I crossed and how that crossing effected their day; if it had any effect at all. I thought about the people whose life I do want to effect and I wondered if they knew or could feel that want from me.

I turned on my TV to hear the cheers and roars from the crowd gathered for the Bears game and I imagined all those people, breathing together and smiling or booing or yelling. I felt small and large all at once. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

But are the glasses clean?

It started off like any other story involving a blood thirsty bar dishwasher; a machine designed for the cleaning of pint and shot glasses gone on a murderous, gory rampage. It was just so typical of such a machine to turn on its creators and gorge itself on the flesh and bones of human beings.

The damn thing growled, and gurgled and squeaked warnings of vengeance so often that the signs were overlooked. It hissed steam and belched the filthiest of liquids all over the floors. All the signs of dishwasher rabies were there, but no one noticed.  No installation manual or customer support could save the victims of the dishwasher’s mighty, snapping steel jaws.

When the attack came, there was no hope for anyone. All were doomed to suffer the soapy hot water wrath of Dishmanicus the Destroyer. Which it would later be called after holding dominion over the world of man.

Jessica commented on how ornery the dishwasher was being on Thursday night. It was so noisy and just so awkwardly placed that it was hard to get behind the bar with the full rack of dirty glasses and load the machine. The first blow was subtle. Jut a minor hand injury while she was unloading the glasses. It seemed so casual.

“What happened to your hand”, I asked.
“Oh, nothing. I just banged it on the dishwasher is all”, said Jessica. 

With that, Dishmanicus had the first taste of power and was now poised to use it. All the hours spent in the bar, hiding within ear shot of every conversation and strategy and the constant information from the blaring TV’s had been in preparation for this day.

“Now the damn door won’t open”, said Jessica.

She pulled at the door but it wouldn’t budge. Steam started to escape from the edges of the door and out the back as the dishwasher started to shake and shimmy forward. Jessica jumped backwards as the dishwasher lunged toward her.

“Holy Jesus”, she yelled and climbed up over the bar top to escape the menacing dishwasher.

The bar patrons were shaken from their collective drunkenness, mostly because they thought Jessica was going to dance on the bar to a Shakira song, but they were quickly pulled back to reality when the dishwasher crashed through the underside of the bar and snatched Dr. Gary by the legs just as he was about to suck down another oyster. He screamed and disappeared into the hole punched out by the dishwasher.

“The plug! Get the plug”, I yelled, but was drowned out by the sound of metal grinding across the hard tile floor. I looked around and most of the patrons had fled the bar and were looking in through the window as the dishwasher appeared from around the bar, with one of Dr. Gary’s pant legs still hanging from its door.  It growled and sprayed boiling water at me. I dodged the hot spray and crashed into some tables and chairs. Unfortunately, the guy next to me wasn’t so fast and he screamed as the water melted his face and he went crashing to the ground. He didn’t have to struggle long as the dishwasher was on his writhing body. The dishwasher’s jaws opened like a shark’s mouth and snapped down on his legs. He tried to kick and get free but his thin shoes were no match for the dishwasher’s steel frame.

The dishwasher swallowed half of him and then spit his bloody torso out onto the floor. Blood gushed into the air and fell down like rain. The dishwasher moved toward me but I was able to throw one of the bar stools in its way; stunning it momentarily. I leapt to my right and back behind the bar. I dropped to the ground searching for the cord or outlet or something to stop this dishwasher of death. I discovered that this device wasn’t plugged in. It had become a living thing on its own. And it was fast.

No sooner did I realize that there was no power source the dishwasher had rounded the corner of the bar and was staring me down like a lion waiting in the tall grass to take down a gazelle. I thought it was the end for me and I braced for my death.

Jessica had swung into action and was using the floor mop as a spear and was stabbing at the back of the dishwasher. The dishwasher screamed and tried to turn around but it became wedged between the cooler and the end of the bar. Jessica continued to jab at the machine and it continued to howl.

I got to my feet and hopped back over the bar top. I looked over at Jessica.

“Let’s get out of here, now, while it’s trapped”, I yelled.

Jessica stabbed at the dishwasher one more time, piercing the thin metal at its back and left the mop sticking out, looking like some demented dishwasher ka-bob.  The dishwasher bucked and roared and flopped its metal mouth open and shut. I grabbed Jessica and we ran out the door and into the street just as the police arrived with their guns drawn.

I knew it was too late. The dishwasher was alive on its own and no tool of man was ever going to be the same. 

Yoga Pants

It's a stretch for sure,
a thin fabric covering
the essence of my

Okay, for those of you that read yesterday's "thank you" blog, you get the joke. I also really should have done my laundry.

It's Friday and as you know, I tend to imagine Friday as a beautiful blonde woman stumbling home drunk after a long night of partying. I mean, she's pretty awesome, but her priorities are completely messed up. She never wears yoga pants oddly enough. I usually picture her in some sort of 1940's evening dress. In fact, I think Friday looks a lot like Betty Hutton or Lauren Bacall. Which in turn makes me look like the Tex Avery wolf.

But that's just me. 

Fridays always seem to have so much seething potential under the surface. Sure we have to get through the day, but the night seems like it can go on forever. It's what love songs are made for. If you have a lover of course. If you don't then you're out on the town, drinking, looking for that woman that will completely change your life for the better. Or quite possibly make it worse. You never know with Friday night. 

Historically, Friday night ends up at a 24 hour diner at four o'clock in the morning mumbling something about the genetics of people who are lactose intolerant to Saturday morning, who really just can't give a crap because he's thinking about where Friday is going to sleep and if she's wearing panties. 

Friday doesn't care what Saturday thinks. In fact, she's quite carefree and that's why all the other days seem to hate her. It's probably why she drinks so much. 

I hope she's good to me tonight. I like her company. Maybe I'll convince her to put on some yoga pants. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Two Year Anniversary

This blog piece marks the two year anniversary of A Minute with Michael. This particular piece is the 463 article I have written. I won't say I'm prolific, but that seems like a lot for two years. I do love it so though. (See ladies, I can totally commit).

It has honestly been my real pleasure to write these little stories, poems and nonsensical ravings of a mildly depressed and lonely thirty-something. I hope you dearest reader, whom I love, has enjoyed reading them just as much. I hope some of them have put things in perspective or at least let you peek into the world of my imagination or helped you come to grips with how much you actually don't like me. I welcome all opinions. Unless they are completely baseless and ignorant of course.

These pages have seen my blossoming loves, my bitter disappointments, my moral outrage and the lessons I've learned in this peculiar life's journey. It's really a form of telepathy, my thoughts transferred to a page and then heard in your head as you read it. (GooOOOoooooOO MaaAaaAAaaKkkkkKKeee Meee a SAAaaaNNnDDDWWich...) See. Power of the mind.

I'm proud to have shared so much of myself with all of you. Even those that no longer like me. I apologize to them furiously as I hope these pages can express how deeply I miss certain friendships and relationships. If anything, these pages have born the burden of my humanity and the expressions of my heart.   I haven't always been right, in fact, sometimes I've been dead wrong. It's been through this experience however that I've learned so much about myself and those that read what I write.

I appreciate those readers that have stuck with me from the beginning and offer colorful observations or criticisms of my subject matter or material. It let's me know that you do care and that means the world to me. I hope it continues.  Always feel free to comment.

I'd like to add a personal note to Lauren who showed how to set this blog up and offered me an outlet for all the craziness in my head. Thanks girl.

On another personal note I'd like to thank the makers of women's Yoga pants. Ladies, they look great on you.

Thank you all again very much and hopefully tomorrow we'll have a wonderful poem about how I should have done laundry instead of going to the bar for my Thursday night libation(s).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Scaredy Pants

I do enjoy the Halloween season just because it brings out the macabre and darkness that lingers in our hearts the rest of the year. Halloween seems to give us the opportunity to rejoice in the dark and the playground of disturbed imagery.

For instance, if I wanted to write about the rotting corpse of some restless hobo now raised from the dead to munch on railroad rats and the hands of children in the middle of summer I'm sure I'd get a lot of strange looks. But in the Halloween season I'm free to describe the filth dripping, mucus smearing, snot sucking, zombie hobo with zero thought of retribution or condescension. I think Halloween gives us licence to entertain our inner psycho. It gives us the opportunity to be a little more crazy. No wonder they have elections around this time of year.

One of my personal favorite Halloween stories involves a young boy out trick or treating with his mother. They had gone from house to house picking up bunches of delicious sugary snacks. The night is winding down and the only house left is the big scary one at the end of the block. Most of the other children ignore it and the parents think a crazy cat woman lives there so they completely avoid it. The rest of the neighborhood provides enough candy to make up for the evil house on the corner.

This young mother however is having too much fun watching her little boy experience the joys of free candy and doesn't stop him when he goes running up the walkway of the giant, somehow perpetually dark house. The mother waits at the end of the walkway as her little man, her only boy and light of her life, rings the doorbell.

A ragged old woman opens the door and the young boy shouts, as he has all night to the delight of the other neighbors, "Trick or Treat". The old woman considers the boy for a moment and responds, "Trick", and pulls the young boy into the house by the front of his Superman costume and the front door slams behind them. The mother screams and runs to the door and starts pounding and pleading for her boy back.

The house responds by growling and lifting the porch up under the mother's feet and heaving her to the sidewalk. The door opens and the child gets spit back out covered with bloody goo and without any of his hard earned candy. The young mother scoops up the stunned boy and runs off screaming into the night and the safety of their own house.

I do like that story and this is the only time of the year it seems I get to tell it. (In the original version I wrote, the child doesn't come back. I must be slipping).

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Horror Show

“It’s supposed to be scary”, said Ray.
“Well, it sort of isn’t. It’s more…annoying”, said Jeff.
“Bah! What do you know about scary. The most decorations you ever put up on your house are a few cardboard pumpkins and a skeleton”, said Ray.

Jeff stepped away from the fence that divided his house from Ray’s. Ray had been up since early in the morning hanging Halloween lights and strobes and speakers for scary sounds to eminate from. Jeff knew this because a recording of a witch’s cackle woke him at about five o’clock. He thought it was part of a dream, until it was quickly followed by the Michael Meyer’s Halloween theme music.  This bizarre alarm clock prompted Jeff to step outside and have a word with his neighbor of 13 years.

“I’m just asking that you not turn any of this stuff on until after like, 8:30 a.m. or something and maybe turn it off by like, 9:00 or 9:30p.m.”, said Jeff.
“Aw, don’t be a halloweenie”, said Ray and then stuck his tongue out at Jeff.

A light drizzle had started to fall as Jeff just shook his head and headed back into his house. Jeff normally liked Ray. He was a stand up guy. He had a lot of great summer bar-be-ques and was really good about keeping the neighborhood in shape. Ray ran the Northfork charity race every spring and encouraged all the other neighbors to participate. He did so by nagging relentlessly, but he usually got everyone to participate. Of course, during the whole race Ray kept ogling Jeff’s wife’s rather ample breasts in her running bra.  Jeff considered this as a deep, evil laughter now burst from a tombstone on the front of Ray’s lawn. Jeff looked back over at Ray who was chuckling to himself.

“That’s it. Ray has got to go”, said Jeff under his breath as he waved at Ray and made a shame on you gesture.

Jeff decided a wiring failure sometime during the night would be the perfect cover up for the fire that would eventually consume Ray and all that stupid crap hanging from his house. Jeff chuckled to himself. He’d never really do it. He didn’t have those kind of balls. It would be something though. Jeff always suspected there was something wrong with Ray anyway and the world might be better off without him. Even if the Northfork Charity Organization might suffer the loss of a few springtime half-ass charity runners.

Jeff checked on his wife who was still sleeping soundlessly in their bed. She was amazing. She could sleep through a war being swallowed by a tidal wave in a tornado, but if their daughter made a peep in the night, Gloria was right there. Now Gloria could sleep since Kathy went off to college. Jeff stopped to wonder what his college aged daughter would be doing for Halloween away at school. He hoped she wasn’t out, dressing like a slutty bee or something. He cringed at the idea.

Kathy was 22 now and the possibility of her going to some party in some revealing outfit was all too possible. Jeff hated the idea, but had to accept the fact that she was a young, determined woman. He went to the kitchen to get his coffee started before heading to his study. He stopped short when he 
heard glass break. It sounded like one of the kitchen door windows. He tensed and moved quickly around the corner and into the spacious kitchen.

 There was blood on the back door and glass on the tile floor. Jeff looked around the room wildly when he say Ray’s back to him sitting at the breakfast table.

“Ray, what the hell man”, yelled Jeff.

Ray didn’t respond. Jeff walked toward him. “Are you okay Ray”, asked Jeff.

Jeff stepped around the right side of the table and gasped. The whole right side of Ray’s face was missing. There were exposed teeth and bone of the upper jaw and Jeff could see part of what looked like Ray’s tongue struggling in a mostly missing mouth. The flesh around Ray’s right eye was shredded and burned black and a yellow puss was dripping from it. Ray somehow turned his head toward Jeff. He made a gutteral growl and collapsed onto the breakfast table. Jeff swooned and felt his knees cease to exist as he fell backwards onto his butt.

A fire truck wailed in the distance. Jeff could hear his wife coming down the stairs from the bedroom.

“Jeff, I think Ray’s house is on fire”, said Gloria as she walked toward the kitchen. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Clatter

I really couldn't sleep last night. The monsters that seem to call the area under my bed were particularly vicious. There was so much noise. It was if the monsters called some ghosts over and had themselves a "keep Michael awake party". Punch was clearly served.

It isn't enough to have jerk asses on their motorcycles blasting down the street and setting off car alarms and rattling windows or to have drunken neighbors stumble up the stairs, and feel the need to shout every stupid thing. They were almost as bad as the unholy wretches conspiring to keep me from sleep.

The ghosts hovered over me while the monsters rattled the radiators and growled. The ghosts taunted me with visions of love only to take it away. It took all my strength to keep my eyes shut and just breath while the specters swirled around me. They were relentless.

The grumbling from under the bed was also a cruel test of grown up-ism. We're not supposed to be afraid of these things, the adult world is scary enough without the harassment of ghouls and goblins poking hot pitchforks at our souls. And yet, these fiends knew my rational fears and amped them up until I finally passed out due to sheer exhaustion.

I hope tonight they leave me alone. I'm sure they partied enough for a while. I hope.  I don't want to have the faceless lover who begged me to hold her and who I promised I wouldn't let go of. I don't want to hear the cleaning of dagger shaped fangs or talons scraping across the floor.

I just want to watch the final Presidential debate and worry about the deeds of real men.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The impossibilities of tiny things

So this is my first attempt to write a blog on my phone. It's so tiny. It's hard to see when the edge of the page will arrive. Ah, just passed it at "the page".

I am pleased it's Friday for certain. It has been a long new week at the new job but exciting all the same. I'm happy to be here even if the lunchtime pickings are slim. I could bring a lunch but that would require me carrying something and frankly, that's not my style.

This blog writing on a Mobil device it very tiring on my thumb. But at least I figured out how to do it. Kudos for me.

I hope to get into a later in the evening habit if writing but breaking my daytime habit is just as hard as jumping from a capsule teathered to some helium balloons 128,000 feet up in the air.


You don't say?

Jumped Hm?

Well, I'm running out of tiny excuses.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Night Writer

This will take some getting used to.
I'm not used to writing things at night.
I've also discovered I can't write

I tried last night to scratch out
a few words and phrases but
due to the cold floor beneath
my feet I just couldn't.

I found myself dwelling too
much on my recent
jealous and arrogant mistakes
and the bareness of this
hardwood floor.

I discovered that while I
may have an openness and
fairness to my mind, my
ability to find perspective
is slightly askew.

As I was barefoot I thought
about something my mother
said about walking a mile in
another person's shoes.

I may be able to understand their
life, but I wear their shoes without
walking and seeing through their
eyes. I think their shoes are cramped
and small and full of holes.

My mother said that wasn't having
perspective because I'm still judging
instead of just experiencing.

It's something that'll keep me up
at night, something to write about,
at night.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nearly Time

My seven year adventure with my current employer is about to come to an end. I've been with this company for seven years and somehow it feels longer. It's amazing to imagine that I started working for this company when I was 28 years old, I had a girlfriend I was living with and was just breaking in my local bar. When I look back at it, the only thing that really has changed is that I don't have a damn girlfriend anymore.

I'm working on that though. (cough)

It's been quite a roller coaster with this company. There were a lot of crazy lows and slightly proud highs. Like the time I busted a group of gypsies that were scamming their way all across the insurance universe. That was a real high point for sure. Then there were the terrible doldrums of the daily rat race grind. A seemingly never ending mountain of repetitive crap hustled across computer screen after computer screen.

It's often odd the type of work we end up doing in life to try and get along. I think the majority of us never planned to be in the businesses we're involved with. There are a lucky few that are doing exactly what they set out to do from the time they were born and they have some contentment while the rest of use have to slog it through the unrewarding wasteland of middle income and mediocre employment. It isn't easy.

Every so often though there's a bright spot. A moment when life seems to stop being such a complete evil bastard and let's you try something new. It's in this newness we gain some perspective on what we were doing before. It also helps us project forward as we try and comprehend what the next seven years will be like.

I'm not one to focus to much on the future, I think there are just too many variables in life to accurately predict what will happen. I have my aspirations and goals but I am realistic about their eventual completion. Right now I'm thinking about my first day at the new job. I wonder what it will be like, what the desks are like, what kind of computer system they use, will I be able to learn something new after using the same thing for so long. It's a nervous anxiety that courses through my body.

I'm still trying to wrap up some of the things here at "the old place" and every so often someone comes by the ol' cubicle to wish me well. In my mind though, I'm already stacking the wood on the my employment pyre, ready to break out into something new.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Blinding Light

In every life there is
Someone or something
that brightens even the
darkest corners of the

This beacon is reliable
and its significance is often
taken for granted until the
night creeps in and the
light doesn't come on.

Fear fills you, hope leaves
you, and you’re left groping
through the midnight chaos,
struggling to remember the
path you first started.  

You’re left wondering why
you never cherished the light
more completely or thanked
the light for being there while
you stumbled and crashed into the
things you knew were there but
could no longer see.

The weight is unbearable,
the darkness is nearly complete
until the moment you realize
that your light is now illuminating
something new, something better,
something more grand than your
imagination could have ever
conceived and in that realization you
start to see it.

The new pin hole of light emerging
in that dark place, glowing a little
stronger with each passing hour and
day. You have a renewed appreciation
for the light and promise yourself
you’ll not let it fade. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Age of Discovery

Since I got up this morning, listening to the news, and reading the paper over people’s shoulders on the train, I've heard very little mention about it being Columbus Day. It’s almost as if the whole concept of the holiday has been swept away. I find that a bit distressing.

I know there are some people that think Christopher Columbus was responsible for the decimation of the Indigenous population of the early Americas and open the flood gates for plunderers. I've heard some people refer to Columbus as an evil figure in history; a selfish profiteer only out to serve his own greedy interests. In some respects I don’t necessarily disagree, but he certainly wasn't a monster.

Christopher Columbus, like all historical figures, was a man, with all the flaws and foibles of any other person on Earth. His myth eventually grew larger than himself and most people only remembered the myth, however, in recent years (maybe the last 20) a new, realistic portrait of Christopher emerged. With that newer portrait his “discovery” of the new world came under some scrutiny. However, I don’t think we should use that portrait to discredit what Christopher Columbus actually did for the future and the burgeoning Age of Discovery.

Ponce De Leon, Vasco Da Gamma, Ferdinand Magellan, and Christopher Columbus were all part of the exploring for profit fraternity of the age of discovery. Just because they were looking for a little something, something doesn't and shouldn't diminish their adventurous exploits and discoveries. I think that to forget these men and their accomplishments is a detriment to the history of exploration the human race has always pursued.

Christopher Columbus may not have been the first European to reach the Americas, but it was because of him that lasting communication between Europe and the Americas was established. And I think this is what matters over all. It must have been extremely exciting to the population back then to discover that the world they thought they knew was now forever fundamentally changed and there was no going back.

It’s important to be reminded that the exploration of the new world brought people great pride and nurtured a quest for new knowledge and experience. It promoted a release from The Dark Ages and encouraged the Renaissance and a return to the exploration of the human condition. I just don’t want this to be forgotten or swept under the rug like it was ancient history without any bearing on the world today.

We are still exploring, right now there’s a machine on Mars, there’s undersea exploration taking place, parts of world are still being discover that were previously lost to time and it’s all due to our continuing quest to know more about the world and ultimately ourselves.

It is in that vein that I can say that I am entering into a new phase of personal discovery. As my loyal readers know I have bemoaned excessively about my job. Well, as of next week I will have a new job, with a new company and it’s very exciting. It’ll be a new experience for me after seven long years with one company so I think it’s only appropriate that I start in October with a certain excitement for the undiscovered country of personal development.

I will likely not be remembered in history for simply finding new employment, but it will provide me with the spark of new beginnings, something lacking for so very long. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

What Friday Requires

It seems to me there is just enough crazy bound and gagged under the daytime hours of Friday. When that five o’clock whistle finally blows the beast, now unbridled, roars to the surface and goes bat shit crazy. Party music seems to appear from nowhere and dancing Go-Go girls drop down from some mythical disco Valhalla.

In honor of that gurgling and swirling Friday undercurrent I’ve decided that today’s blog will consist of mostly rambling gibberish and complete utter bull plop.

Why is time Irish? “O’clock”. I’ve often wondered about that. It’s like;
“Meet Mr. O’Malley, Mr. O’Hanlon, Mr. O’Hagan and Mr. O’clock. Yes, we will have a drink. But not too much for Mr. O’clock, he’s got an early morning.”

I mean most of the best clocks were made by the Swiss right, so why is time Irish? Weird.

I’m not sure what I should do tonight. I wish I had a cuddle buddy to while away the evening hours on the couch with watching TV and smoking. I will likely wind up at the local bar, drinking my face off and going home alone and ever more depressed about my uncuddled life. I suppose I could do something different, meet some beautiful Star Trek nerd, somewhere….

Friday is a partier though. She’s just out to have a good time and mess you up for the whole weekend. She’s always hiking up her skirt and tempting you to Lambada with her, to the death.
Of course she never puts her drink down. I've seen Friday on roller coasters, sipping calmly on her Pina Colada, and then screaming about how she freaking loves roller coasters and boy bands.
She makes you love her and when you wake up in the morning, she’s always gone.

Friday requires a good lunch though. She needs burritos, or giant salads, or pasta with lots of bread. She might have a energy drink or a Gatorade to keep her spirits up. She usually gets an early start with Thursday, but that’s a different story. She’s at work but not working. She’s just wondering about what kind of crazy mischief she can get into tonight.

Friday never wants to hurt anybody as far as I can tell. Just break a few hearts and maybe wound a little pride is all she is capable of. She sure likes to tear the night a new one though. She’ll rip right into it, screaming her brains out about who said what when she said what she said about who she said it to. It’s amazing.

So get Friday a drink but don’t let her suck you into her crazy. She wants you to get super crazy with her so Saturday doesn't get any real attention. She’s very jealous.    Be delicate with her because she’ll turn on you in an instant and become a roid rage jock ready to wipe the floor with you and then dance with your remaining intestines like a hula-hoop.

Speaking of intestines, I think I might need a few chili dogs. Friday commands it.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Trying

“Life”, he said, “is about choices.”
I nodded and said I agree.
“I’ve made some poor choices”, he said.
I didn’t motion or make any
sign of agreement.
“I left my wife, my son, my job
for nothing. Nothing”, he said.
I tried to edge away when I realized
how much this man smelled like

“I wanted it all. Women, money,
Good drugs, threeways, guns, power.
All of it”, he said.
I looked around the train car for
another empty seat. None. I was trapped.

“I used the same condom for three
weeks”, he said as if it were some
sort of a punch line to a joke I’ve
never heard.  He laughed and laughed.

His laughter sounded like it was
cancerous. And his rotting teeth were
the cause.  I tried to look at the news
paper, but he kept at it.

“I had a BMW’, he said, “Drove it
into the river”. He adjusted himself
very casually and I wished the train seat
was ten times larger.

“At least I tried it all. Yes sir, I tried”, he said.
He excused himself and got up from
his seat. “Yup, tried it all”, he said again.
I thought he winked at me.

The train came to the next stop and
he exited, taking the piss smell with him
and I wondered what I would have to try
to wind up as seasoned as him.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Debates

This is a late blog for me as I have been pondering the complexities of American government. Tonight we bear witness to one of the tried and true traditions of Democracy in action, The Debate.  I think it's very important to watch and listen and really try to have an open mind regarding the messages of both Presidential candidates.

The United States is a very complex country. It's vast. It's filled with so many different people and some very different opinions, which as an American, is pretty awesome. I'm quite proud of it. I just hope the people that watch the debates tonight do so with an open mind. I've run across far too many closed minded people lately who are very politically charged but don't seem to take a few minutes to understand what is really at the heart of political leadership.

First things first, in these United States of America, real power lies with Congress. The President does not have the power to just make up laws like a king and enforce them upon the people. The President may suggest legislation to Congress and it is then up to scrutiny and revision by the members of both houses. If it's properly vetted and is legislation that will work toward the betterment of our Country, then congress will ratify it and make it a law. The President does have a veto power, which can be over turned by a 3/4 vote in Congress. So let's just be clear about how laws are made and put into action.

The role of the President is as the lynch pin of the checks and balances system between the legislative branches of Government. The President cannot arbitrarily just raise taxes or take away any rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Any changes to government must be ratified by Congress, as representatives of the people. The President does not run America. We run America through our elected officials.

As the Leader of the People of the United States of America, the President must be a diplomat, a businessman, a peace maker, and a tireless beacon of hope for the downtrodden. He/she is the face of America to the world. The duty of the President is spelled out in the oath of office, "To uphold the Constitution".

I think the most important thing a President can do is to be an example to the people he leads. The President must have the interests of the people in his heart with every decision and action. We all know that you can't please everyone in this vast Country. As a leader however, you have to show that anything is possible as long as the American people work together. That working together includes listening to what the candidates have to say and weighing it against our own sense of right and wrong.

I'll share with you a great quote from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson in a letter from May 19, 1821.
"A free government is a complicated piece of machinery, the nice and exact adjustment of whose springs, wheels and weights, is not yet well comprehended by the artists of the age, and still less by the people."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Up There

“Did you freaking see that”, exclaimed the guy next to me.

He was pointing toward the crowded city sidewalk and then up toward the sky.

“That frigging guy just flew”, he shouted.
“I didn't see that”, I said.
“I swear to God there was a guy walking along in the crowd and when he stepped up onto the curb he just frigging flew up into the air”, shouted this guy.

I looked the guy over and he seemed pretty respectable. He was wearing a light trench coat, dark suit underneath and clean shoes. You can always tell a lot about people by the condition of their shoes. It was something I’d just held onto ever since reading Sherlock Holmes.

“No. I really didn't see that”, I said.
“Amazing, just amazing”, said the guy.

He started stopping other people on the street asking them if they had seen the flying man. Most of the passers-by ignored him completely or just quickly told him they didn't see it and they kept walking, heads down and focused on their digital devices in their hands.

I walked to my building and up to my office. It was there I found my co-workers huddled around the TV in the break room. It seemed there was an asteroid hurtling toward Earth and there was no way for the planet to mount an effective defense. According to the announcers there was only three hours of life left on Earth.  I dropped into a chair and thought about all the things I never got to do. I never saw the Pyramids, I never had children, I never got to own a house, how could the world be coming to an end?

There was a powerful flash and rumble past the window. It seemed to rattle the whole framework of the building. I just caught a glimpse of it. It was in the shape of a man.

“Did you just see that”, I shouted.

I turned to my co-workers who were still running about or crying or staring at the TV.

“Something, something just shot past the window. I think… I think it was a man”, I said.
“Oh God, are people jumping out the windows”, asked Jennifer from Accounting.
“No. He was, flying past me, like, he was level with the windows, maybe rising”, I said.

Jennifer looked at me as if I had completely lost my mind. Maybe I had. Maybe that guy on the street earlier had gotten my hopes up that a real superhero was in our midst and was going to try and save us all. I felt the hope in my stomach. I tried to crane my neck up and see if I could get a better view of the sky. It was darkening with thick gray clouds.

The anchorman on the TV suddenly came to life; there was something in his voice, excitement.

“Ladies and gentleman what you’re about to see will… I can’t explain it. We go now to footage of what appears to be a man, flying up towards the asteroid at incredible speed. This footage is from NASA and they are at a loss to explain the phenomenon”.

A grainy and blurry video came on the TV screen and you could barely make out the form of a man, flying up towards the asteroid. It looked like his right arm was out ahead of him and there was a cape fluttering behind him. The video played again and again with the anchorman commenting.

“We appear to be witnessing a miracle ladies and gentlemen. When all hope was lost it appears there was someone to come forward and save us. I can only hope this man, this flying man, will be an icon of good and help bring about global peace. I only… I’m getting word from NASA now and… it seems… it can’t be… Son of a bitch”.

The room was perfectly quiet as we all waited to find out what had happened. Had we been saved? Had this man saved the human race? The TV feed stopped and a test pattern appeared. A few people screamed. The skies continued to darken outside.

“That guy just left I bet”, said Harold.
“No. No. He couldn't”, cried Laura.
“It’s over”, said Sam.

The TV flickered and a new picture came on. It was a strange face. Not the anchorman, certainly not a human face.

“You are the infestation. You will be eradicated. Your hero is dead”.

The TV cut to black. The room erupted in panic. Chairs went through windows. Things suddenly seemed to be on fire. There was an explosion outside and it shook the foundation of the building. Everyone went screaming toward an exit. I tried to stay where I was. I still had hope.

I looked out the window toward where the explosion came from. Rising from the crater was the flying man I saw earlier. He dusted himself off as he rose, back into the air. He saw me looking and waved. I didn't know what else to do so I waved back. He smiled and turned his attention back up and launched himself skyward at an incredible speed. I stood there, waving.

There was a loud boom. I think it was a sonic boom. I’d never heard one in person really so I couldn't be sure. I looked up at the sky. Some of my co-workers came to the window and looked up. There seemed to be a pause to the panic and chaos.

“I saw him. He was still alive”, I said.

There was a bright flash in the sky above us and the gathering clouds dissipated. A glow, brighter than the sun flashed over the sky and then quickly dimmed. There was a powerful concussive wave that followed that shook every building and car and person. I felt Jennifer holding onto me, which was nice because I always thought she was pretty cute.  The sky cleared and streaks of debris could be seen burning up along the surface of the atmosphere.    

There was a great cheer coming from somewhere down below.

“He did it”, I said, “We’re saved”.

I looked at Jennifer and she looked at me.

“What are you doing for lunch”, I asked.
Jennifer smiled and held me close.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Reward

After seven long years
and an immeasurable
amount of sweat and
frustrated nights I've finally
made my move.

It was a long time coming
as most of you know
and in a short time I'll start
something new.

The reaction to this moment
has been less than good
from the seven year holder
of my time.

Petty and rude,
condescending and mean,
ridiculous and snotty.
Like I'm leaving them
bleeding on the
battlefield to die on
the spears of our

You'd think it'd
be different.
But then, I tend to
over think things