Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And my dentist loves it, too......

Hi. I'm Clemo.
I'm addicted to Candy Corn.

Actually, I'm addicted to many things, but Candy Corn is the most harmless of my addictions. That, and Stephen King. But Candy Corn doesn't either scare the crap out of me, or make me angry for paying good money for badly written crap.

I do, however, get mad when I buy badly manufactured Candy Corn.

I KNOW it has the consistency of sealing wax, and it has enough sugar in one serving to stun a herd of buffalo. In its favor, it looks like corn. Kind of.

That's why Halloween season is one of my favorites; oodles of Candy Corn just laying around stores, ready to jump into my shopping cart.

And the day after Halloween......HALF PRICE CANDY CORN!

What's not to love?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Plavel Trans.

I've been asked the questions a couple of times, and I guess I'll answer it.

The answer is yes. I will be travelling next weekend.

This weekend, I'm going to have dinner with Garrison Keillor. Me and about 500 other people. But I'm near the stage, so I'm hoping to get the Wobegon Nod. They're broadcasting A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION from Bismarck on Halloween, and since I've been wanting to see a performance of the show since I was in graduate school, I'm looking forward to it.

The following weekend, I'm going to walk down Amnesia Avenue with my head held high, and spend quality time with some old friends.

So, to those old friends, I say: from the looks of things, I'll be able to get away, but only for a brief time. I should be able to clear Bismarck by early Friday morning, and be where I need to be by Friday night. And then, I'll have to leave again on Sunday morning.

Right now, I'm on the reserve list, and should the small epidemic of H1N1 spread among my brethren, I may have to adjust my schedule....but for now, let me just say that I'm looking forward to it.


See ya.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Back when I was a man....

One of the continual surprises of my life is the memories that other people have of me.

I don't get to hear about them very often; largely because I'm always pretty sure that I don't WANT to really know about them. You hope, as everybody does, that those memories that people have of you would be of good quality, but you fear that in a previous incarnation of your current personality, you were, in essence, and a***ole.

I'm connected enough with myself to know that I have a***olian tendencies.

I'm a gentleman enough to know when to apologize for it. Sincerely. My own a***olian quality can bring tears to my own eyes.

This is all brought about by a couple of encounters with old friends; old girlfriends, brought back into the sphere by the dreaded Facebook. And I instigated those connections, because I have memories of them that are so dear, they are actually kept in a small, solid gold box on the mantle of my memory.

Memories are often coated with the fairy-dust of forgetfulness, as well; the bad tends to be muted somewhat, in favor of the good. It's the good that shines perhaps the metaphor is better as Bon-Ami, rather than fairy-dust. The Bon-Ami clears away the tarnish, leaving the shine.

I have always been at my best when my heart is full. I don't think that's uncommon, really, at least among the people with which I populate my world. I can't think of a single friend of mine that's phoned it in when the chips were down, or walked away when there was blood or sweat or tears flowing.

One of those people that recently fell back into the Clemorbit has recently shared a story that I find uplifting; and would probably be more uplifting if I wasn't a party in the story....and still more if I could remember it. But, apparently, I had a conscience and sense of right and wrong, even when I was in my "blackout" period.

It goes something like this:

We went at each other like unfriendly cats.

We really had no reason to do so, but it was one of those things; maybe it was a territory thing. Maybe it was that our individual scents reminded us of people who did us wrong in a previous life. Maybe the look in your eye at that particular time made me think that you were a jackass. Maybe you thought I tanked an audition reading we had done together. The initial reason is only prologue.

We did not care for each other.

And our lives revolved around that no-man's land; we went to the same parties, but never in the same room. We went to the same table at lunches, but never the same end, or even the same side. We would acknowledge each other's presence, but in a kind of grudging way that indicated to everybody in the surrounding area that if we were to touch, we could very well annihilate everything around us.

And then, he broke up with her, and she was devastated.

It was the kind of devastation that you try to hide, but like the floodwaters behind the dike, that sadness would seep out through the well-hidden seams of her outward appearance.

And on one particular day, after that breakup, I was walking past an office, and there she was, sitting between two desks, head down.

I walked by.



And walked back.

I didn't say anything; I just sat down next to her. There are times to speak, and times to keep your mouth shut. A broken nose and several chipped teeth have taught me the difference.

And I sat there for an hour, as she put her head on my shoulder and cried.

After that, I walked her home through the Illinois evening, and she talked it out. And I nodded my head, and occasionally asked a question to clarify, and let her vent.

The hug she gave me when we came to her house would have cracked a rib if it had been December instead of September. And she tried something else, but I gently extricated myself from the encounter. Gently. With a kiss on the forehead.

And I walked away.

For the next two years, we still went to the same parties, but still wound up in different rooms. She met a very nice fellow, and turned out to be very happy for the extent of our mutual orbit. But there was no feel-good-movie-of-the-year bond between us.

But apparently, the memory stayed fresh until a few days ago, when she jump started my memory of the event.

And I bask, briefly, in the glow of someone else's memories of me.

One more chit. I may get into Heaven yet.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Dance Again," spake Pablo Cruise......

Stop me if you've heard this one......

There comes a time when you get caught between what it is, and what it was; and it's so dark in that place that you can't even begin to see what it should be.

And it gets almost comfortable in that place; to the point where you can almost stand the complete lack of sensation of any kind.

Immobilized by gravity.

And then, you hear a song.

And that song brings forth first, a grin. And then a laugh. And before you know it, you're dancing across the room.

And you know that as soon as that song ends, you'll be back in the limbo between what is, and what was; and that blindness to what should be will return like an acquaintance that you don't like very much, but can't seem to tell to f**k off.

But the memory of the song will get you through to another day.

And maybe, just maybe.....

Play on.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I can offer naught but my prayers.....

I feel a profound sense of sadness today. And, I wish I were kidding.

For those of you that don't know, I was born just north of Eight Mile road in Detroit. It's not ACTUALLY the city itself, but much of the identity I have come to embody comes from that frustrating and star-crossed city.

It's been a hard year for the City of Detroit.

The mayor indicted and convicted for perjury; and probably getting away with far more.
The lifeblood of the city, Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford taking a hit that may not be recovered from. Ever.
The highest unemployment rates in the country.
A crumbling infrastructure.

And those things that under normal circumstances give the people at the very least hope, those sporting events that in the past have brought a city together, have been a source of disappointment; in some cases, devastatingly so.

The Red Wings giving up a 2-0 series lead to lose in seven.
The Pistons not making the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
The Tigers and their monumental collapse.
And the Lions....sigh.

And now, with the news of three deaths during the Detroit Marathon, I'm wondering what EXACTLY that the Divine has against the residents of my hometown?

So, if you've got the time sometime today, if you could say a little prayer for the people of Detroit, and those families who lost loved ones on that strange and saddening Sunday, I would appreciate it.

And so, I'm sure, would they.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dreams, and realities.

My dreams tend to be repetitious.

And rarely so comfortable as to produce the wish to remain in dreamland.

Now, we all hear the stories of the "Actor's Nightmare." A fellow named Durang wrote an extremely humorous short play surrounding that idea. You know what I'm talking about; even non-actors have this nightmare. You're on a stage, you can't remember rehearsing the play, and yet there you are in front of an audience, unsure of the blocking and completely void of any idea as to the text of the play. And just when you think you've got a handle on it, somebody else comes in and starts a different play.

And most of the time, you're naked.

You don't mind waking up from a dream like that.

My dreams are usually the college dreams; the ones where you can't remember your class schedule, and you continue to blow off a course, knowing that you need THAT particular class in order to graduate. I find myself more often than not walking the halls of some academic building I don't recognize, trying to find a classroom I should have been attending since September, and here it is, finals week.

Waking from that one brings a kind of relief I don't often find in wakefulness.

But sometimes, I do hunt down my diplomas, just to be sure.

Sometimes, in the night, I am visited by the ghosts of friends past; perhaps it's my overindulgence in the works of Charles Dickens, or my affinity for the redemption of the human soul. It's good to see the faces again, and it really hits me in the dead of the night how much I miss those folks.

Alas, usually we wind up talking about something that has nothing to do with anything. I can remember talking to my old friend Ed about horse racing, even though I'm fairly sure that we never attended any such event. At those times, I sure wish the spirits would send a little something about the near future that I could use.

Perhaps if we talk about horse racing, they could send me a winner.

I don't dream so much anymore. On any level. Waking or sleeping. My sleep patterns are becoming more and more unusual, and the fact that I live most of my life in the dark doesn't help matters much.

It's starting to get very lonely out here.

Perhaps it's something I can grow out of.

Or, perhaps the ghosts of the past can give me some advice.

Until then, it's me and the computer and the phone and MSNBC.

Good night and good morning.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A drizzly morning on the frozen prairie.

I don't trust readily.

There have been times in my life when I really wanted to trust that what was being spoken to me was the truth; but, alas, there wasn't enough truthiness in the speaker to justify my casting aside the layers of distrust; and, oddly enough, I find that I was correct in NOT casting aside said layers, for the speaker was lying like a one legged liar in a lying contest.

I have found that anybody that ever called me "talented" was selling something. And, it's still happening.

But I'm not falling for it. I've learned all sorts of lessons, and one of them is, if I was truly talented, I would be working. I'm not working, ergo, no talent for it. Let be be the finale of seem.

Perhaps it's more the truth to say that I never had a head for business. I never could play the game, because I couldn't develop the schmooze as a tool to the overall well-being of my career. I liked conversation on a wide variety of topics, but not about me. I find the topic of me to be quite dull.

The irony is that I spend a lot of time writing here about it.
So, maybe I AM a liar.

Now, I'm going to have to re-think my entire self image.

Hell of a thing to have to do on my one day off.

Perhaps I'll just tell my self image to f**k off and have a sandwich.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Funny how the mind works.....

Single thought on a Sunday morning:

I see a lot of commercials, and before I go any further, I should say that I had all the respect in the world for Billy Mays and his ability to sell anything.

That being said, I was watching a commercial that still contains Billy....I believe the object was the car device that turns your phone into a hands-free device.....and there's a moment when he gets a call that his producer needs him at the studio for a production meeting...and he says, "No problem, I'll be there in twenty minutes...."

Now, my mind goes in the weirdest directions; and in this case, it became Billy as an undead zombie, showing up at the production meeting to eat braaaains.

PA's running around screaming.

Cut to zombie Billy, cleaning up with a little OxyClean.

Yeah. It's probably funnier in my head.

Rosebud's a SLED!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

She said it so much better, but I have two cents to throw in....

I have this friend who recently suffered the loss of her faithful companion, Emily.

I never had the opportunity to meet Emily, but by all accounts, she was a good dog; she treated her owner well: exercised her regularly, made sure she was warm in the wintertime, and generally kept my friend company for a good many years.

Mark Twain once wrote about what he expected when he met St. Peter, and one of the things was that you were to leave your dog outside;

"Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out, and the dog would go in."

My friend was recently writing about how people deal with her particular grief. The people who offer advice have clearly never had a dog as a companion. There's a bond between a dog and his companion (I cannot bring myself to say, "owner,") that goes beyond that of a cat, or a bird, or a lizard.

You can own a lizard. Why you would want to, I have NO IDEA.

I guess I've told you that to tell you this......

My first dog was a poodle named Ginger. It was actually my Mother's dog, she met her, fell in love in the blink of an eye, and named her after the color she swore the dog was. I always thought the dog was white, but that's not a very good name for a dog. Unless that dog winds up as Editor of the Daily Planet.

Ginger was a good dog. She was a tomboy who always resented when my Mother would take her to the groomers and get that weird poodle haircut, complete with ribbon. Ginger hated that, I could tell.

Ginger liked chasing rabbits, and baseballs. So much so that Ginger almost got killed by a swinging baseball bat. She survived it, but had a strange smile after that. Oh, did I mention that I almost beat the bat swinger to death? But that's another story......

The greatest gift that Ginger ever gave me was the ability to cure a stomach ache. When I would suffer from that particular malady, I would often be forced to lie down someplace in the hope that it would go away before I died. Ginger would come up on the bed, and curl up next to my stomach, and the mere touch of the warmth of the dog would be the absolute cure-all.

We were forced to say goodbye to Ginger the summer before my senior year in high school. I went to the vet with her. I've not been able to go to a vet's office since.

That was 1979. There have been other dogs, cats, and various other creatures (but no spiders and lizards), but there's not been another Ginger. In thirty years.

The last thing I'll say here is that I was back to visit my father last January, and he asked me to do a little cleanup of some of the things that remained of my brothers and I around the house. I was going through my younger brother's dresser drawers and came across Ginger's collar.

Cried like a baby.

I get it. I've always gotten it. And those who DON'T get it are missing something vital.

Hugs to you, my friend.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's not as bad as you would think. Unless you're prone to thinking bad things. Oh, CRAP, I'm screwed......

It was a long night, children; filled with quiet and chaos, rain and snow. I was a locust short of a plague.

To my mind, things in my life either have to slow the f**k down, or speed the f**k up. I'm too tired at this point to decide on THAT course of action.

I haven't got any perspective right now. I don't have a point of view. I've been living with someone elses point of view, and the sad part is that I don't seem to know that person who has projected that point of view.

Rudderless is only good for the young, or young at heart.

I am neither.

And haven't been for quite. Some. Time.

But it's getting to the point where I am going to disappoint somebody. And again, I'm not sure whom I am going to disappoint, but I'm very sure that it's going to happen.

And I haven't the strength, patience, or days left in this silly game to try and figure it out, or take the lashes of consequence, or even continue writing this particular sentence.

Okay, I finished the sentence, but I'm NOT spell checking.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Full of Empty.

Random thoughts:

I knew that the Tigers would break my heart; what pisses me off is that they actually forced an EXTRA GAME in order to do it.

(insert classic Historiclemo grumble here)

The Lions finally had to give up that one-game winning streak. Ah, it was a glorious day last week, though. If only the party could have lasted longer.

(insert classic Historiclemo resigned sigh here)

Sometimes, the only thing you can do is send good thoughts.

(insert classic Historiclemo scrunching-up of the face, sending thoughts)

It's come to that time of year again; when I go to work in the dark and I go home in the dark, as well. There's an upside to that: I don't need to know where my sunglasses are.

(insert cool Historiclemo photo of sunglasses here)

I hope you are all well today; it's raining, and the possibility of snow before the middle of the week is 80%.

I've got my tickets to see THE PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION here in Bizzytown on Halloween, and I hope to get to meet Garrison Keillor...I sprung for the floor seats.

Is it wrong to dream of planet sized cookies?

If it isn't, can I have one?

And finally, every time the weather turns to cold and rainy, I can't help thinking back to those halcyon days, standing on the shore of Lake Superior; thinking about the future, both immediate and far-flung; smiling to myself at the silliness of standing on the shore during a howling gale; and looking forward to the warmth of the tavern.

I'm smiling juuuuuuust thinking about it.

Love to you all.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Resistance is Futile, Christopher Robin!

We are Borg.
Pooh will be assimilated.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Little victories, little joys.

Raining and cold today; perfect weather to stay inside with a cuppa joe and some old Beatles albums. With a little BNL thrown in to bring me nearer to the 21st Century.

I was up early. With three cats (the older two have taught the younger one some very bad habits: "See here, Kid, if you punch him with your paw right in the kisser around 0530, he will get up. He can't help himself.") They have me well trained, indeed.

Yeah, I wandered down the library for the semi-annual Friends of the Library Book Sale. I love book sales, and would attend when even if it meant getting up out of a deathbed.

Well, not MY deathbed, but A deathbed.

Why would I be in somebody else's deathbed? Mind your own business.

The city library in Evansville, Indiana always did a great book sale. It was two days long, and they would take over the mall, set up table after table after table of books in the halls of the mall (mallhall) and set 'em up. I have to admit it was like Filene's Basement, but the things you would find.....amazing. What some people consider a toss away, I consider a treasure.

This year, I found first editions of Patricia Cornwell's first novel featuring her Kay Scarpetta character. Made the trip worthwhile. Some people just don't know what they're giving away.

A first edition of PT Barnum's Autobiography for a dime.

Jeepers Creepers.

Found a couple of other things to replace paperbacks in the library....eighteen pounds of books for nine dollars. Heaven is a place with Vonnegut and McMurtry, Twain and Asimov, Laurie King and Mario Puzo.

What I find funny is that Rowling sold like a billion books, and yet you don't seem to see many at the tables. Guess people just hold on to those.

Change of subject.

ESPN writes that, "It's October 1st, and the Tigers control the AL Central." This bothers me, because to my mind, they don't. They're up three with four to play. If they win today, it's a done deal until they visit NY in the middle of next week. THEN it's over. But the magic number is 2, and they can still break my heart.

Okay, gotta go. NEVER IS ENOUGH is playing and I need to dance in my library.