Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Value. Heart. Soul. Need.

I was reading recently about a couple that got married in a re-creation of the bridge from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The entire wedding party were in dress uniform, and I believe that the minister was dressed like the President of the United Federation of Planets.

In the pictures, everybody is smiling. Huge big smiles.

And it made me smile, too.

But I began to wonder as to how two people sit down to discuss the beginnings of their lives together, and say, " know what would be cool?"

I'm not judging here; I am a fan of Star Trek in all its incarnations. TV, film, animated series, books, graphic novels, old generation, new generation, space station, delta quadrant....I watched them all. And actually have several props, a tribble, a uniform of my own, and a teddy bear that's been assimilated into the Borg Collective. I made regular trips to the late, lamented Star Trek: The Experience at the Hilton in Vegas.

But I began to ponder the attraction of this story, and how people relate to it so much that they get married in its thematic wake, they have huge conventions every year, and they actually produce things like phasers and tricorders and uniforms that nuts like myself can buy.

I'm really painting myself into the nerd corner, aren't I?

Aside from my penchant for science fiction (and I'm not limited to Roddenberry; I was also fond of Babylon 5, and the works of Asimov, Bradbury, as well as the twin masters of Verne and Wells), I think the whole thing boils down to one simple thing.

We are looking for something better.

In this day and age, when the lines have been smeared a little, and the hats are no longer white and black and the ally we talk to in the morning is in possession of a TNT suppository when the sun goes down, we are desperately in need of heroes.

I would be the most unenlightened fool on the face of the planet if I didn't recognize that our heroes are all around us; I work with more than a few of them. I've seen the work when they didn't think I was watching, and I've seen them work in those shadows that are required in this day and age, but I can tell you it is something to see......

We need our heroes. We need white hats. We need selfless service and hi-yo silver and the man who walks in shadow and knows what evil lurks.

And that's why we are drawn to things like Star Trek, and characters like Horatio Caine and Horatio Hornblower; why we still read Sherlock Holmes and Perry Mason, and we root for Jack McCoy. Why we hope that our leaders take a page from Jed Bartlett; and why we all strive to be Cyrano.

We need justice in our happy endings; we need right to overcome wrong.

And I hope the next leap will be the leap home.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nightscapes and Dreamares.

It happens to me from time to time. Come to find out, it's been happening since before I had the ability to comprehend it.

According to dear old Da, as a child I had a tendency to fall into nightmares while seemingly wide-awake. He tells a story of sitting in a rocking chair, attempting to get me to sleep....

He was pretty sure I was awake at the time.

And then, all of a sudden, every muscle in my body tensed up. I looked over his shoulder, my eyes as wide as saucers.

I screamed, "Here it comes!"

Now, my Father is a logical man. He doesn't believe in things that go bump in the night. But that night, I actually spooked him. He was afraid to look over his shoulder.

He told me that story periodically for many years; usually when I was trying to avoid being embarrassed in front of a girl I was dating. It was his version of "naked baby on a bear-skin rug." I knew the story, and I can vaguely remember the nightmare, although the image I thought I saw that night changes with every thought of it.

What I didn't know was that for awhile, my Father thought I was mentally ill.

Not that it would surprise me. I have quirks that sometimes overcome every logical instinct I have.

Now, everybody has a little OCD in them; my tendencies lean toward not being able to tolerate dirty dishes, and my books have to be alphabetized by author, and sorted by publication year; I can't eat potato chips that are bent and twisted.

But I think there is something more.....because there are periods of time when it all becomes too much.

It starts with an insatiable desire for information of any kind. I will find myself in front of a computer, randomly typing subjects into Wikipedia. Reading history books. Stocking up on documentaries. Ordering books by the metric ton.

I can't turn the brain off.

And then, the flow of information becomes too much to bear, and I feel like I'm going to drown in a sea of a million voices, all asking my opinion.

And that's when the insomnia really begins.

And this happens about every six months.

It's been happening more and more as I've aged; and in the old days, I suppose I could poison myself into a fitful sleep, but those options are no longer open to me. I've tried pills, but they leave me a little groggy, and when I'm groggy I can't enjoy the thrill of my current employment.

I'm hip deep into the phase right now; and it's taken all I can muster just to write these few words; apparently, the thirst for knowledge that leads to drowning in it does not include the sequential sharing of the information.

And it makes me feel slight sad; like a glutton at a banquet when the table is bare. A kind of self-loathing that never seems to stay behind; in the circle that is my life, I know it's gonna come around again.

And sometimes, I just can't bear it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Random quotes to fill time; it's kind of like a mental vamp.

"I'm losing my soul, Didi." -Joe vs The Volcano.

"Millions of people every day are paying thousands to get out of debt." -Random commercial.

"As good as the Colts were in the first half, that's as bad as they are right now."-Random MNF commentator.

"I make deceptively shallow serving dishes for Chinese restaurants."-Woody Allen, GOD.

"Why did you say "BURMA"?
"I panicked."
-Monty Python.

"Women. Can't live with 'em.....pass the beer nuts."-Norm, CHEERS.

And a hearty good afternoon to you; hope I didn't waste too much of your time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A new Darwinian Theory.

On a very long drive up to the northern part of ND, my mind wandered to the real questions that bound the wide world.....

Where do we come from?

And then, like a Darwinian flash of lightning from the blue sky of the northern part of ND....

We are descended no from the humble ape, but from the noble cartoon.

Before you begin to scoff, I ask you to keep an open mind as I attempt to put my faith in the theory into coherent print.....

First of all, consider the Lord's Prayer:

Our Father, who ART in Heaven,
HAROLD be thy name....

Okay, first of all, take the word ART as the first clue, and a particularly keen one, but when put together with the name Harold....well, it's conclusive. HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON is the new bible for the new age.....a young man who creates the world with a purple crayon. Why purple, you ask? Well, each faith must have its mysteries......

Have I piqued your interest? If so, there will be more to come as I sort through the piles of information, looking for a cartoon Rosetta stone in an attempt to make sense of it all.

Or, it could just be another sign of apocalyptic madness that seems to be enveloping me as of late.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Relative age.

Over on one of those social networking sites, I recently took one of those quizzes.

It was called, "What's your real age?"

There are some things we are not meant to know. But what the hell, let's give it a try.

Answered all the questions, with brutal honesty.

And come to find out, my actual age is 34.

I've actually taken thirteen years off of my real age. Kind of makes me want to go out and get some stuff to take the grey out of my beard. I would leave the grey in my hair, of course, because it's distinguished and I'm not in my twenties anymore; I've earned the grey, I'm going to keep the grey.

But the thing is, there were a few people who had the nerve to be shocked at the results. Now, granted, I've always been a bit of a cynic, and that can make one feel and look older, but since I've moved to this land of fried food in abundance, I've been watching what I eat (except when I'm on vacation) and I stopped smoking almost a year ago....although in my heart I know I'll one day go back to it....because I miss it so......and I go to the gym often why can't I be 34 again?

34 physically.
Aged mentally.
Except where cookies and cartoons are concerned.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We interrupt this program for the following announcement....

This is Pip.
Short for Pipsqueak.

He runs like the wind.
And has a voice that sends shivers down your spine.

Oh, and his pointy ends are becoming very pointy indeed.

Untitled rant. Again.

The things I choose to care about.

Stop me if you've heard this one before; it's gotten to the point where, in lieu of anything original, I'm repeating myself in a kind of strange "who cares?" kind of loop.

Once again, I don't know why I care about the things I care about. It's been brought to my attention that there are many who don't give a crap about what I give a crap about. And I suppose that's fair; there are many things that other people care about that I don't give a crap about.


A simple request:

Could we PLEASE, as a society that fancies itself as being at the forefront of cultural evolution, could we PLEASE act civilized?

I'm reminded of a fellow I used to work with; and make no mistake, I liked this fellow, I found him to be a great conversationalist and a fine leader of men, but he epitomized the very idea that there is no such thing as "getting even."

He was a master of the practical joke; I'm talking old school stuff; the fake spider in the coat pocket, the snake in the locker...the chewing gum that turns your mouth black.....and for some reason, he could actually bring forth laughter through those old school jokes.

Until people decided to "get even."

And it would escalate. It would escalate until it wasn't funny any more. It would become sad and cruel and paranoia inducing. And what started between two people became a team-wide saga that would polarize a company of people into multiple camps, multiple plans, and multiple fronts of this practical warfare.

Does this sound familiar to anybody?

When did the society around me begin running around like a street gang in Compton? When did turning the other cheek become cowardly? When did we become so impatient that the simple act of listening to dissenting opinions become too difficult?

I know the answer.
Thus it has been, and thus it shall always be.

Until somebody says "no more."

Something sticks in my mind, and I'm not sure where it comes from, but I leave you all with this thought:

Never doubt that a small group of determined individuals can change the world.
Because that's the only thing that ever has.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rise again.

I have a difficult time with the images of yesterday.

You see, I was on the other side of the continent at the time, plying my trade in the sunny climes of California, and have only those flickering images on a television screen to echo the collective nightmares of my countrymen.

And then I went to work with an organization that uses the tragedy as a rallying cry.

We'll debate my idiocy at another time, and it'll be a short debate, because I think we're all in agreement. Let's just say that yesterday was a non-stop parade of paranoiac visions, and fearful watchmanship.

The lyrics of a song kept running through my head; and I went searching for a video of it, and I found one; it's not a good one, but it's the only one I could find of the original artist. It begins with a sea story from an old sailor, and ends with a lovely song called THE MARY ELLEN CARTER. I hope you can enjoy it.

It's what I want to share with you today; and it's the thought I will take with me when I go into whatever passes for dreamland these days.

Rise again.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I have something in my eye.

And I think it's a great idea to go silent on this day.

So I will.

But I have something in my eye.

Seems I have something in my eye every year at this time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Have you ever had one of those days, when your eyes feel like two poached eggs stuck into your face, and narcolepsy seems like a pretty decent career plan?

Welcome to my world.

I watch a lot of television these days; though not, apparently, as much as my friend Kizz. She is the keeper of the clicker, as far as I'm concerned, and I tend to rely upon her to keep me up in American Pop Culture.

You see, my interest in Pop Culture tends to fade out around the time that Skynyrd's plane went down.

But I tend to watch USA network a lot. I like that stuff.

But these days, I am forced by my employment to watch a lot of cable news.

Yeah, I know....I've mentioned this already. Sue me.

Most of the people I work with are satisfied with FAUXNews. So, I occasionally watch it. But I favor MSNBC. But I'd like to think I watch with an open mind and a clear eye.

Clear Eye For The Bored Guy.

Anyway, my only opinion I can now base is this: It would be tremendously funny, if it wasn't so scary.

In other news, we have chosen a name for the newest arrival; I have decided to call him Pip. I've been fond of Dickens for a majority of my adult life, and it's short for "Pipsqueak". And when he grows out of it, he becomes just Pip. I have Great Expectations.

He's cute.
But his sharp ends haven't gotten terribly sharp. Yet.

So, to sum up.....

Cute Cat.
Need rest.
Want hot fudge sundae the size of Texas.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day, Waaaay Early.


I'm sure most of your know this, but Labor Day was conceived as a kind of appeasement to the labor unions; but there was always a kind of fear that a Federal Holiday dedicated to the laborers of the nation would be too closely aligned with the same holidays afforded to other laborers in other countries, who celebrated it around the first of May.

I'm sure somebody can blame this on our current President.

I've railed in the past about socialism and communism, and the people that rant about our "move toward that evil light." Frankly, I've gone from irate, to flat out angry, to completely stunned by the McCarthian techniques that make even Karl Rove turn red in embarrassment.

Glenn Beck is an idiot.

He rails like a madman on a street corner, against the coming of the end that only he, apparently, can see. And he typifies, in all of his youthful, born-again, holier-than-thou vitality, everything that has been wrong in this country since the boil festered in '00. He sees not with a perspective of distance, but with a perspective of a schoolyard dispute, where there is no fairness, no sense of good sportsmanship, no such thing as "even." There is only, "ahead."

And once again, I'm reminded of the Witch-hunts of the 50's when McCarthy stood up in a press conference announcing that he had in his hand a list of 186 card-carrying member of the Communist Party working in the United States Government.

Legend has it in the same press conference, he referred to the list as being 186 names, and 218 names, and by the end I'm pretty sure it was 268.

And he was probably holding a copy of his bar tab.

And this country wept and bled for far too long until a few patriots stood up to the little bully, and pointed out that Witches can be nice, and Giants can be good.

Vampires are always evil, though. Bloodsucking garbage eaters. T'was always true.
Tangent. Sorry. I'm just tired of vampires.

Our history is filled with the element of Socialism, that were, at the time, completely acceptable and even lauded in some circles. As I've said before, most honest religions are based on the simple premises of Socialism; all of the humane services, like Goodwill, the Salvation Army or the Red Cross, are based upon these premises. We have labor unions that were once decried as Communist, but are now accepted and even supported by most of the working men and women in this country.

And, at one point in this country, the National Socialist Party was a very strong third party in this country, and continued to be until the Haymarket Riots and the LA Times Bombing brought an end to the positive movement, and the party was labeled as thugs and murderers.

But the world has moved on, and there is a chance for real long as those that have knowledge and have been silent move forward and speak.

The truth is always based upon perspective: Mr. Cheney sleeps well knowing in his heart that he personally kept us safe for 8 years. Mr. Historiclemo sleeps fitfully knowing that Mr. Cheney is also responsible for ignoring the information that could have prevented the thing in the first place, but I'm satisfied with the feeling that his kind will not come again....for another three years, at least....

My hope is that logical discourse is still possible; that hearts and minds remain open to possibilities; that the wise can lead the foolish; and that the wise can see that they are, in fact, the foolish.

My hope also includes oreos.
And milk.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Morning, 0310.

I traded love for pennies,
Sold my soul for less;
Lost my ideals in that long tunnel of time.
I've turned inside out, around-and-about
And back and then...
I found myself right back where I started again.
-Jim Croce, "Age"

I was recently interviewed in order to be deemed worthy of.....okay, there's only so much I can say here, but let's just say I was interviewed in order to be granted advanced access to certain......files. It's all very interesting and weird, and frankly I would sleep better if i didn't have to worry about such things, but it's my lot in life and I'll live with it like I've lived with every other twist and turn that's come up on this road.

Run-on sentences can be your friend.

It was the interview itself that made me consider the road itself. And how long and winding it's been. You know, when I listened to McCartney sing that song so many years ago, in the arrogance of youth, I thought the old Beatle was full of sh*t. Now, with the arrogance of age....except my long and winding road doesn't have a haunting melody or millions of dollars of residuals connected with it.

The thing in the interview that set my off was the question of employment. The situation is unique in this employment, because you literally have to be able to track your own movements, going back a decade. And in that time, in fact, since I graduated from college (the first time), and actually since my second year of college, I've only been unemployed for......three months. And those were the months that required my focus on moving all of our worldlies from West to North.

You'd think it would have been harder to tell them all about the theatre jobs; two months here, six months there.....but no, they were reallllly interested in the three months of unemployment. And why I decided to stop working. And whether I got fired, or quit. And how I paid for my life in those three whole months.

It was easier to pay for those three months of unemployment than it was to pay for most of the almost three-decades of employment.

Some things are evident:

I never really suffered fools gladly; it has become abundantly clear that in my youth I at least made the attempt. Now, my mantra seems to be, "the hell with it."

Three months in twenty six years. If I spread those out, it comes to, I think (I'm very bad with numbers), three days of vacation a year. Owch.

I was a go-getter in my youth; I could easily go from a job on one end of the country, and whip my way to the other side for another job with no long term effect. NOW.....I need a vacation just to get through your average MONDAY.

I need to re-think my relationship with time.

Other than that, I'm good.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Through the magic of Sirius Radio.....

My Mariner is magic.

It drives like a dream in a snowstorm, it has climate control so I don't have to fiddle with the fan constantly in summer and winter, it plays my Ipod, and through the wonders of Bluetooth, I can talk to people through my radio, apparently.

But the Sirius Radio is the best.

My playlist includes a Comedy station, Radio Classics (The Shadow and Jack Benny have continued to be my favorites), and various specialty music channels.

Which lead me to today's time travel story.

I was running a few errands; you know the kind...the stuff that you wished you didn't have to do, the adult stuff that usually includes handing over a portion of your annual income to somebody for something you wish you didn't have to have done, but what the hell, it's all a part of growing up. And off I went...

Usually, I have it on the Radio Classics channel, but today I decided to run the errands with the sounds of the 1970's as my soundtrack.

Now, before you run down the music of the 70's, remember that the decade was ten years long, and the music didn't start to suck in that decade until around 1977. At least, that's what this Motown boy thinks. And I think Bob Seger and Ted Nugent will back me up....and if not, then the Smokey Robinson and the Miracles will go all Supremes on your ass.

So, it's ironic that the time travel device for the morning was The Bee Gees.

Don't get me wrong; I was not a friend of Disco back in the day. I was a card carrying, t-shirt wearing member of DREAD; which stood for Detroit Rockers Engaged in the Abolition of Disco. The truth was, there was nothing interesting about the music itself; it was like music for the remedial dancer. Much like the music today: who gives a crap about the lyric, as long as you have the beat handed to you on a silver platter, and you can thinly disguise public sex acts as choreography.

Hey, the first dance I ever learned was the Jitterbug. I've always been a snob and a prude and a purist. Sticks and stones my break my bones, but please don't throw them.

The music argument is a side issue, though. The truth is, the song that came on was Too Much Heaven. And I can admit that I wasn't crazy about the song when it came out the first time.....too repetitious, annoying vocals, etc.

But Tammy liked it.
And I liked dancing with Tammy.

And as I went down the street, dwelling upon the issues of adulthood, I was basking in the memory of childhood.

A darkened basement on a October Friday night. The cares of the school week over, the weekend ahead. An impromptu party that began with a bonfire, and ended up in a dance with Tammy. A tiny redheaded girl with green eyes, a brilliant smile, a laugh that I enjoyed like crack cocaine. And perhaps, the first girl I ever really danced with.

Very few things in adulthood can compete with the inebriation of a moment like that.

When I arrived at my destination in the here and now, I was grinning like a fool without a care in the world.

And again, as is so often in my memory-soaked life, the echo triumphs over the voice!