Monday, August 31, 2009

In the Very Dark places. Temporarily.

I have this fear.

Okay, I have a LOT of fears, but they are usually little fears. I'm not fond of insects. I have a fear of what's IN the dark. And, having been homeless once upon a time, I have a fear of being that again.

I have larger fears; the biggest one being something happening to any of my loved ones.

But the biggest fear? That would be easy to explain, and probably even easier to understand.

I have a fear of winding up like my Mother.

As most of you know, for the last few years, my Mother has been in an assisted care facility, in the throes of the disease named after Alzheimer. She no longer speaks, and rarely makes any discernible noise whatsoever, rarely opens her eyes, and is about two thirds the size of what she once was; and seeing as she was 4'11" to begin with.....dinky.

Now, most of the people who know me, and some of the people who love me, would probably say just about now that the whole "not speaking" thing would serve me well, and they would encourage me to follow the regimen, illness or no. And I could use a nap.

But to lose that ability to creatively think would be death itself. Death without a chance of Heaven.

I've often been chastised for my self-image; self-described as "too much brain and too little looks." And I stand by my assessment, although I thank you for your comments. So, the idea of losing my mind is the largest fear that I have.

I mean, REALLY losing my mind. Not the fake losing my mind I've been doing since '97.

I have to tell you.....every time I forget just a little thing; every time I go to the store and forget an element of the list; every time I lose just a little piece of the museum that is my memory......I break out in a cold sweat and wonder.....

So. You're all under standing orders. If there ever comes a time when I require your services, I will give you all a code phrase, and then you will all draw straws and the short straw will move me to Oregon.

The code phrase will be...."Where's the rest of me?"

And I'll thank you in advance, because I may not be able to do it when you get here.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I've been one poor correspondent, I've been too too hard to find....


Yesterday...or, was it earlier today? I can never be certain. This living life in the dark thing is reallly starting to mess with my senses. Which could lead to an interesting shift in reality; I will keep you posted. Because, as you all well know, reality is dictated by perception.

And don't tell anybody, but for some reason, this morning as I got off work, I thought I would take a quick jaunt into San Luis Obispo for some coffee.

The problem was, San Luis Obispo is about two thousand miles away, and I thought that it was 2005.

I'll keep you posted. But madness may be in the forecast; with humidity.


When I woke up this morning (read, 5 pm) I was greeted by the newest member of the Historiclemo household; a small ball of fur pretending to be a kitten.

Of course, the reason I was up at 5 pm was not because it was time to get up, but because my alarm clock was in the form of one seriously hissing cat. Yes, there is trouble in the ranks; but it's to be expected.

He's a cute little fellow. All small balls of fur pretending to be kittens are cute. And we were well prepared for the arrival.

But, as T. S. Elliot said so well:

The naming of cats is a delicate matter;
It isn't just one of your parlour-type games.

I'm afraid this kitten is going to be stuck with some name like Gizmo, or Fluff, or some such. I think we should take the time to name him.

We made that mistake with the last one. We decided to give him a noble name, and by the time he'd matured, he had at least two others. His given name is Sebastian. His most-often-used name is Baby. His true name is Painintheass. Pronounced "Pain-yass."

Again, as Elliot said,

You may think at first I'm as mad as a Hatter
When I tell you a cat must have three separate names.

Yes, he looks like a Fluff.
And he shows some Gismotic sensibilities.

But honestly.....I think he looks like Winston Churchill.

And I'm holding out.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thus speaketh the Walkin' Man.....

Moving in silent desperation;
Keeping on eye on the holy land.
A hypothetical destination;
Say, who is this walkin' man?

The lyrical strains of James Taylor always reminds me of fall.....

And we're getting to it.

It's been a lean summer up here in the great white north; not very hot (praise God) and downright chilly on some of these days. But here comes fall, faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

I love fall.

The leaves change color very nicely up here.

Corn. Especially the candy kind. I am a fiend for candy corn. I don't know why, and I'll admit to some revulsion, but I can't help it. And don't judge me; it's a minor fixation, and it beats the other fixations I've had in my life by a damn sight.

Fall is the pause between what seems to be the frenetic quality of summer, and the depression of winter. It's one of the two times in the course of a year that you can actually see change; it's the seasonal equivalent of the moment just before you doze off, and sleep the sleep of the pure.

That chill in the air is invigorating; it's a taste on your tongue that cannot be matched by ice cream, but creates the same exhilaration.

It's a time for reflection; a time to see where you've been, and where you're going, and in some cases, it's a time to realize that without a major course correction, you're going into the rocks there, Odysseus.

It's a time for new television; but I usually hate new television and stick to new episodes of old television. Old television is like the fall; it's a comfortable blanket, without those silly sleeves.

It's the season where Football, the World Series and Hockey all meet up for a smorgasmaboard of sports yummy-ness. Thank goodness for DVR.

So, as we move into September (and I realize that it's still about a week or so away, I look forward to the sensory gluttony to come.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It pleases me to not.

A lot of strange goings-on betwixt the little grey cells these days.

Okay. I wrote that previous line in the dead of night. And now, the sun is out and the sky is blue, and I can't for the life of me figure out what my original intention was.

I would like to have an intention stick.

Not an intention STICK, mind you; as if I would bang random people about the head and shoulders with my intention STICK. I mean I wish I could have an intention actually ADHERE itself. For a while.

I wonder what it is about the human psyche that allows for the dancing of demons when the sun is gone. And I also wonder how I came so far down this road, only to be stuck living in the times of the dancing demons, and largely asleep when the nourishing rays of the sun chase the blues away.....

My blues are actually more toward the blackish, these days. It's a feeling that I can't.....quite....shake. Even in the good times, they sit in the darker corners and wait. They even have one of those weird number systems, with a big sign that says, "NOW SERVING NUMBER ___".

It's kind of like the kid in Bloom County, with his closet of anxieties.

Except, mine don't limit themselves to the closet.

And they don't look like the Giant Purple Snorklewacker.

They look like me. That other me.

The me nobody likes.

Including me.

My usual weapons of wit, humor and sarcasm (when all else fails) have deserted me. They sent me a brief postcard from someplace called Siesta Key.

I need a vacation.

Parabola is a great word. And under-used.

I'm going now.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Skewed Observations, as usual.

Random thoughts on an early Friday morning:

The latest and greatest of the National debates has given us proof positive that the truth comes in a whisper, and the lie comes in a shout. With trust in the Creator (as Thomas Jefferson would have said), I believe that the lie walks on one leg, and the truth on two legs.

Once again, I have a hope; and it continues to grapple with despair.

After a multi-houred state of meditation, and in the footsteps of Thoreau, I have come to the conclusion that the branch is a mutation of the tree. Growth is positive.

I find it amazing, once again, that in these days of amazing discovery, that we still measure a first down by a ten yard length of chain between two pieces of pipe.

Furthermore, there is nothing so thrilling as a properly executed hit-and-run; and seeing as you'll all probably outlive me, please make sure that somebody mentions that at my memorial service.

Have you ever been so absolutely bored with yourself that the sound of your voice in your own head makes you roll your eyes?

A major sin of my life so far is that I'm so far removed from family that I don't get invited to parties anymore. Make no mistake; I love my family on both sides, but I just haven't been very it....

Every time I see a picture of Karl Rove, I want to bounce a golf ball off of his dome. A golf ball shot out of a cannon.

Good day to you all.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm piggybacking off of all of the other people I read during the course of my day.....

One of my old friends has been talking about libraries lately, and for some reason that surpasses understanding, I had the same visceral response to her vague description of the New York Public Library as I get when I go to the butcher shop and view a reallllly good piece of meat.

Oh, and another friend of mine was talking about her adventures in butchery. No mention of chainsaws as of yet, but knowing her, I wouldn't be a bit surprised.

I like libraries, and I like meat.
My idea of a perfect evening would be eating a steak in the reference section.

Actually, even having a latte in the mystery section of the local Barnes and Noble would be like heaven at this point.

Which doesn't say much for my life right now.

But I have always loved books; there is something in the feel, the sound of the page turning; the smell of the book. I'll deal with paperbacks, but the hardcovers are the things I covet most.

The first book I can remember actually buying for myself was called, HOMER PICKLE: THE GREATEST. I was seven. Homer was a young boy who was apparently great at every sport he attempted. He was a great hero. Even with a name like Pickle.

Now, my library is filled with hundreds of sacred tomes. On any given day you can find the works of Asimov, Bradbury, and Clarke, as well as tomes on the lives of Burr, Adams, and Lincoln; several books on Truman, some graphic novels over in the corner (I have a fondness for Batman), oodles of play scripts, as well as biographies of Sellers, Fonda, Booth, Benny, Barnum, Shakespeare, Bacon, Marlowe....and then there's the section that includes published rants by Miller, and a lovely book called The Portable Curmudgeon.

Every day, more books come to live, and I refuse none of them. I go regularly to the library book sale, and give those lovely orphans a new home. The Book of the Month Club is on speed-dial. And then, there's the American Book Exchange, who have become my very good friends.

I like meat, too. Beef. Chicken. Pork. Rare. Fried. Barbecued. Bring it on.

Finally, I would like to say this:

If I owned a football team, and they played the Vikings, I would deem, order and command my defensive line, nay my WHOLE defense to blitz Favre on his first snap. Give up the touchdown, I don't care; take the penalties, I don't care; but remind him that he should have stayed retired the first THREE TIMES.

Welcome back to the NFL, old guy. Try to remember to throw it to the guys in PURPLE this year.

Rambling over.
Good day to you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A brief note from the unexercised brain.

Good morning to you all.

By the look of the clock, it's about 0140, and as Robin Williams is famous for saying, "What's the O stand for? OH MY GOD IT'S EARLY."

Of course, I know some people on the West Coast that haven't gone to bed yet; hell, I know some people on the EAST coast that haven't gone to bed yet, but they are young and still have some spring in their step and some vodka in their liver.

I just paused a bit for some food; I will not attempt to place a label on the meal, I'll just call it food, but for those really curious people, it's an egg salad sandwich with lettuce and tomato on a cibbatta roll. I'm guessing at the spelling of "cibbatta", by the way. Tasty, and unspellable. A few crunchy potato chips, and a diet soda.

Is it just me, or does anybody else think of the old SNL sketch, where dear old Mrs. Loopner brought in her world famous Tang and Egg Salad? And Todd would give Lisa noogies, and all would be well with the world.

I remember when SNL was something to look forward to on a Saturday night. A very good reason to have a party, and certainly something to talk about and mimic well into the next week.

I'm currently watching a re-run of MEET THE PRESS; it's not as consistently funny as the old SNL....but it's worth it just to see panelist Rachel Maddow give people that "are you really that stupid?" look.

I have seen that look a lot. People tend to use it on me in public. And in private. And sometimes, in emails. I should know better than to open attachments.
But I do appreciate a good, "are you really that stupid?" look.

You're giving it to me right now, I suspect.

Friday, August 14, 2009

And there will come, in time, soft words of comfort, and calm will fall like rain upon the barren countryside...

I've been away.

I haven't gone anywhere, mind you, but that doesn't change the fact that I have, for all intents and purposes, been away.

I've needed some time to think, and the overwhelming need to do that has required me to keep my own counsel, and I haven't had the inclination to share. And, I've had nothing to share, really......the thinking takes up a lot of time and energy.

Nah. Really doesn't.

It's just that I've been in a fog as of late, and I couldn't really write through the fog without playing the same old records again. And even though I like to pull down Old Dan's Records now and then, and dance all night to the 78's....well, the music may be okay for me, but it would be boring for you.

What have I been thinking about?


I've been re-reading some American History, and I've been feeling a little sorry that a lot of people seem to think that everything that has happened has been a foregone conclusion. Many times in the young life of this country, we have been on the verge of great calamity; and it was only with the pulling together in a common direction that we've managed to pull the Eagle Fat out of the fire and actually get somewhere.

As the old saying goes, "There is no future; only the past happening over and over again. Now."

I think if the country weren't so scared, they'd laugh a little.

The country needs a little laugh.

Now and then.


Until then, I'll bide my time with a shrinking pile of books on one side, and a growing pile of pizza boxes on the other side. It's my usual cure for the over-thinks.

And disappointment.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mind Sinus Drip. Mind Sinus. Mindus. Minus. Me.

One of my favorite Arlo Guthrie songs is about a motorcycle, a guitar string, and a pickle. The punchline is, basically, "At that moment, it occurred to me that....I didn't want a pickle."

I know how he feels.

Because in the last couple of days, my mantra has been, " at this moment, it occurs to me that I don't want to think."

Yup. I got Bartleby Syndrome.

And that's when all the weird stuff comes out to play. When I don't want to think. It's like some strange faucet that only operates when you don't want it to. I mean, it's not like I WANT to stop's that I NEED to stop thinking. I'm tired of running theories and printing up lessons and finding holes and such. I want to stop doing it for awhile.

And then the drip, drip, drip begins.

And I have to admit, it's pretty interesting stuff:

I was watching this commercial for some movie that was a remake of ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN. And thus began the idea of the mountain range of Witch Mountain, Watt Mountain, and the Idaho Range.

Do you see where this is going?

It's a veritable "Who's On First" for the 21st Century.

And Idaho.

Drip, drip, drip.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I can't remember what day it is, but I can remember the feel of the air in the summer of '83.....weirrrrrrd.

I woke up this morning, unable to move my head to the right.

After about an hour of therapy (meaning, slowly turning my head back and forth) I was greeting by what seemed like the thunderous cracking sound coming from the vicinity of the right side of my neck.

Instant relief.

Seriously, I almost lit up a cigarette. But I don't smoke anymore.

I did take the Lord's name in vain a couple of times, though.

This incident was the high point of the day, so far.

In other news:

Surprise of surprises, who should query me over on the social networking site but my old friend Michael. I had written about him here a while back (November of '08, I believe) and lo and behold, there he was.

This morning, he flooded my mailbox with a ton of material I had written back when I was younger....I believe I wrote the sketches in the summer of '83, and they were a time machine written on paper. Once I got them printed out, I was able to transport myself back to a typewriter in the outer office of a radio station on West Washington Street in Marquette Michigan. I can even tell you that the paper was a terrible yellow, and this was far before computers were readily available. And the summer was fair, and the summer seemed to last forever, and oh, my GOD were we creative back then.

The radio station is gone, for how long I have no idea, but the building remains. And I have the proof of the creativity in the words on the printed page.

The sketches are about:

A death-row inmate asking for an impossible last meal.

An interview with a professional addict, who apparently can get addicted to anything at the drop of a hat; a chair, a microphone, an interviewer.

An advice to the lovelorn column, written by a trucker from Sarasota.

And I hope that Michael can still find copies of the sketch where the game of "got your nose" goes horribly wrong, or the Evil Mrs. Butterworth.

I am looking forward to hearing all about his life, and catching up after about twenty three years of silence.

In other other news:

Yes, I've committed to a reunion with some old War Buddies in November. This is all contingent upon me being able to get the time off. The wife was very supportive, but shows no intention of joining me on my trip down Amnesia Avenue. I hope for the best; good conversation, good food, and perhaps some karry-okee......and maybe bowling. And to catch up on what the hell has been happening in the last decade or so.

And with that, I'm out of here.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Love note.

Dear Kizz and Zelda:

There are few women in my life, past or present, that do the voodoo that you do.

I can count them on one hand, and not use all the digits.

You both make strong points.

And when I say strong, I mean overwhelming, bruising, and undeniable.

Forces of nature, you are. (Say it in a Yoda voice for best effect.)



I'm committed; if I can get the cards to fall right, I will most assuredly be there.

Because I would really like to see you again.

NOW get off of my ass.