Thursday, November 26, 2009

I don't know if using a recycled post is ecologically sound, or just creatively lazy. Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a re-run, but is touched with love. Touch it yourself; it'll rub off.

Thanksgiving is upon us, and it will soon be time for the traditional flying Bullwinkle balloon through the streets of Manhattan, football games (three this year, spaced evenly apart throughout the day) and of course, food to consume until you cannot sit upright and must lie down and prepare for the second helping. And of course, if you've a mind to, you can physically and mentally prepare for the social phenomena that is "The Day After Sales."

Interesting thoughts on the subject of Thanksgiving:

If Ben Franklin had gotten his way, and made the Turkey our National Bird, would we be eating Eagle on Thanksgiving?

I'm curious about stuffing. If it's made on the stove, can it truly be stuffing? And if it's authentic stuffing, why do people who have a phobia about eating things off the floor have no qualms about eating bread out of a turkey's ass?

I do believe that people think that Cranberry sauce is SUPPOSED to look like the can it came out of.

A traditional staple on the North Dakota table is Lefse. I really don't see the excitement. It's a potato tortilla.

Oh, and don't get me started on Lutefisk. Here is the Dictionary definition:

A traditional Scandinavian dish prepared by soaking air-dried cod in a lye solution for several weeks before skinning, boning, and boiling it, a process that gives the dish its characteristic gelatinous consistency.

Yup. I'll have me a big bowl of that.

Somebody asked me yesterday about which wine I would serve with the Turkey. I recommended a white wine, and around our house (although I don't imbibe) we prefer a nice Riesling. I did mention that it would all depend on the way the turkey was cooked. Riesling for a roasted turkey; Beer or Jack Daniels for a deep fried turkey.

It's interesting how many house fires are created by those people deep frying their turkeys. My brother-in-law fried the turkey last year, and he did it marvelously, but I gots to tell you, it looks frightening.

Okay, wrap it up......

To all my friends, their families, my family and their friends, to all that are serving in the desert, and to all that served before that; to the thinkers, and the dreamers, and to those who use their powers for good and not for evil, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, in the hope that through the contemplation of the good, contemplation can become application.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is one of those posts to read and release. Nothing socially relevant here....move on.....

As most of you who follow along regularly know, I am a fan of Disney. I watch Disney Channel programming regularly, because I have always been a fan of cartoons, and I enjoy some of the live action things as well.

Not so much the one about the singer leading the double life; I find it....soulless, somehow.

I was watching something called SONNY WITH A CHANCE....a little trite, not cleverly written, and with the exception of one character, a little over the top with the facial contortion....but I can forgive that.

And then, on came Christina.

I worked with Christina many years ago, in an outdoor drama in Indiana that doesn't exist in it's original form anymore. She was a fresh-faced kid finishing up her degree at some Midwestern University and was more than ready to take on the world.

She played the Mother of one of the characters.

Now, keep in mind that my brain is like a time machine; I can move seamlessly through every moment of my past, and actually put myself RIGHT THERE AT THAT MOMENT, able to feel every nuance of emotion I felt then.....I can actually make it real.

It's not a talent I would recommend to everybody. It can be quite....painful.

Christina is playing a Mother.
Christina is at least a DECADE younger than myself.

And every single moment of my life came crashing onto the shore of my present, and I....was....old.

Now, I have been accused of having an "old soul". I've been accused of that since I was about sixteen years of age. I took many things to heart, I learned many lessons, and through the observation of society I created a philosophy for myself that involved empathy and assistance. Perhaps understanding that protecting other people was a keystone to living a rich life was what drew people to my "old soul".

I don't mind having and "old soul".

I object to being reminded that I'm over a decade older than the fictional Mother of a fictional character on television.


Monday, November 23, 2009

If it's Monday, it must be like Thursday, but without the television schedule....

I've been looking back at some recent posts, and I'm almost embarrassed to see just how morose I've become.

I would say that, if I didn't believe that it could get....even....worser.

There are some bright spots in the mist, however. I'm very fond of food, and this is the season that food becomes a primary focus in my existence. Poultry in copious amounts both roasted and deep fried is good for the soul. I also begin my yearly attempt at burying my loved ones in baked goods. Oh, and there's this little store in Vermont that will invariably send me several hundred dollars worth of candy.

I get these little bags of licorice that looks like coal for my nieces and nephews. I like to think that it's an incentive to be better in the coming year. Besides, last year the parents of all those nieces and nephews (technically, they are my GRAND nieces and nephews, their parents being my nieces and nephews, but that makes me feel older than I actually am, so live with the discrepancy) were all willing to take my life over the fact that I gave the children FLYING SCREAMING MONKEYS!


I especially love that you have to CAPITALIZE it. For EMPHASIS.

Now, the drawbacks. The mist, so to speak.

'Tis the season for the wackos to come out of the woodwork.
'Tis the season for the weather to change, which makes my job harder; I've just come up with a communication plan for extreme weather, and I can't wait to try it out, but at the same time, I'm not.
'Tis the season where I miss my family just a little more than usual.

So, yin and yang.

Oh, and by the way.....I've been tobacco free for a year. So, my life insurance is now affordable, rather than almost not affordable.

Still have that cholesterol issue, though.
But, according to everything I've read, you do HAVE to die of something.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nine Years On....

It was a Monday, back in '00.
A sunny day on the West Coast, not too chilly for late November.
The drive up the coast to Morro Bay was lovely, to a little chapel behind a nice bookstore just off the main street.
About 20 invited guests.
Eric Sandeen, my best friend of old, was the best man.
He still is the best man, by the way.
Judy, my wife's sister, was the honor guard. We had a hard time...she wouldn't except Matron, and she laughed at Maid. So, we made her guard.
Chris came up from L.A., and he brought as a surprise, Brian, whom I hadn't seen in almost a decade.
Shed a tear at that.
In a manly way.
The ceremony was non-denominational.
And quick.
I think.
Can't remember much of it, except that the minister had only one leg.

When we arrived home, there was cake, and champagne, and a couple score of people to help celebrate, which we did until the wee hours.
Remember, my day started at 5am, so the wee hours were pm.
We had a dinner of take out.
I think it was steak. Roast Beast. Something.

Surrounded by a family of hers, and an adopted family of actors, taking a break from the opening of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.
My family couldn't make the trip.
It was MONDAY, fahcryinoutloud.

And as the sun set on the day, I thought to myself...
"Can a day go better than that?"

The answer is.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some of it's magic...

Many years ago, I sang this song to a girl named Emily.
The song spoke to me in my youth; and it speaks to me in my age.
I hope Emily is well.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How can I stop feeling it?

I was watching Rachel Maddow.

I love Rachel Maddow.

She reminds me of my friend Regina.

But tonight, Rachel Maddow scared the crap out of me.

She did a story on this phrase that's showing up on bumperstickers, and t-shirts, and teddy bears: Pray for Obama: Psalm 109.8

Now, before you all start running for your King James, here it is.

Psalm 109.8 says, "May his days be few; may another take his office."

Okay, there's nothing I can write here that does justice to the horror that this level of crazy inspires in my soul; anything I can possibly come up with would pale in comparison to what comes in Psalm 109.9:

"May his children be Fatherless; and his wife a widow."

Out of.

I don't want to live in this country anymore. It's become dark, and mean-sprited, and xenophobic, and Canada is only 150 miles away. And I'm sure they'd welcome me with open arms, eh?

Monday, November 16, 2009

And in the dark of the night, it comes to me...

I always wondered what the rules were; and a Knight of the Realm was kind enough to provide me with the rules to live by.......

Live to serve King and Country.
Live one's life so that it is worthy of respect and honor.
Live for freedom, justice and all that is good.

Never attack an unarmed foe.
Never use a weapon on an opponent not equal to the attack.
Never attack from behind.

Avoid lying to your fellow man.
Avoid cheating.
Avoid torture.

Administer justice.
Protect the innocent.

Exhibit self control.
Show respect to authority.

Respect women.

Exhibit Courage in word and deed.
Defend the weak and innocent.
Fight with honor.
Avenge the wronged.

Never abandon a friend, ally, or noble cause.

Die with valor.

Always keep one's word of honor.
Always maintain one's principles.
Never betray a confidence or comrade.

Respect life and freedom.

Die with honor.

Exhibit manners.

Loyalty to King, country, and honor.
Loyalty to one's friends and those who lay their trust in thee.

Go thou, and do likewise.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Ballad of John and OH NO!

My much missed friends continue to drive the nails into the coffin of my self-image by posting photographs of our recent get together in the wilds of WI.

I don't begrudge them the photos, mind you; the rest of the photos (the ones minus me) are a welcome break from the realities of my current predicaments. It was a great weekend (read: DAY) and I have not laughed so hard or so long for a long hard while. It's nice that they captured all the singing, cake and sandwich eating, running through the forest in my four wheeler, "does that fire look on-purpose to you?" glory.

But it depressed me to see the chin. And the bald spot. And the other multitude of sins.

And yet, I ate a lot of cake.

So, lately I've been pretty miserable. I'm not sure as to the exact cause, but I will attribute it to a decided lack of interest in anything. I understand that they produce narcotics to mitigate this feeling, but you know me and drugs.....if you manufacture, I will imbibe. And then, proceed right to addiction, and I've been down that road and although the weather started lovely and the landscape was..well, pretty cool.....I did not, as they say, stick the dismount.

I would rather be miserable and in charge than happy and hooked.
I gotta be me.

My point is.
And I DO have one.

I was dragging my morbid and tired old body home this morning, at around the time you are were getting out of bed, and I was thinking that sleeping is the only real hobby I have anymore, and how that can't be good.....

And the radio begins to play Journey.
Don't. Stop. Believin'.

And all of a sudden, I'm in 116 Gries Hall in Marquette, Mi, it's 1981, and we're singin' at the top of our lungs, in proper harmony, and Steve Perry sings so high I think the top of my head is going to fly off of my body......

And emotional memory kicks in, and I'm smiling like an idiot, swaying to the music, got the sunroof open and the tune cranked up to eleven. And it's cold, and it's morning, and after this song is over, I'm going to smile until I forget, but for RIGHT NOW, RIGHT THIS FREAKIN' MINUTE, I've got a 34 inch waist, a full head of hair, theatre is more than a distant memory, and I'm living for this ONE moment.

And I begin to think about golf.
And how, in golf, you can suck out loud for seventeen holes; you can put the ball everywhere but in the cup, and the only thing you're thinking about is tying your clubs to the railroad tracks, and taking up knitting.
But on the eighteenth fairway, you take out a three iron, and you hit the ball so well it winds up nine inches from the cup. A perfect layup shot.
And you think, "if I could put three of those shots together, I could par a hole."
And then, "If I could put a couple of par holes together, I could, perhaps, go pro."

And it's going to be that one three iron shot that brings you back to the god forsaken game next week at the same time. Just for the hope of it.

If I can have one minute of this week where I don't think about how the years are spilling out before me like some hopeless brick road.....

Sing on!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Biding my time, sans tobacco and wine....

In November of 2007, I began writing here. It was actually on the 10th, but Anniversaries tend to escape me; except for my wedding anniversary, which escaped me once, but a well-placed comment (written on a two-by-four) amended that particular flaw.

I began writing here after living through my first set of seasons in the North Country; it wasn't really that I was unprepared for the seasons, having cut my teeth in the Mitten, but I did find that I was missing something, somehow.

It began with dreams, actually; I began having dreams where I woke up crying. And this went of for several days. And a few friends of mine suggested that it was because I was mourning the death of my creativity. So, I began to write here, in an effort to give my creative side an outlet.

Most of the time, in my humble opinion, I missed the mark.

I told you I was humble.

There are some things I have written that I'm proud of; I would occasionally create a sonnet that makes sense and is structurally sound; I couple lines of dialogue that didn't make me cringe; support for friends; explanations for the obvious.

But mostly, and lately mostly, it's been a struggle just to sit down at the computer and pretend that the words are there.

So, little by little, it has become more and more about less and less.

But I'm a patient man. And yes, I can hear you laughing at the thought. I can wait until the moments become words and the words become phrases and perhaps, just perhaps I can get something together that spans more than the size of this particular post.

Until then.....I'm saving up my creative pennies.

And going into my little dance.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Here, There, and Everywhere.....

I just came from a place.

There's no way I can point to it on a map; because even though this place I went to was on this physical plane of existence (and for those of you who weren't there, and for those of you who are so tremendously curious that this narrative could not possibly continue without the knowledge of the pinpoint on the map, it was a little town between St. Paul MN, and Madison, WI.) I can only consider the physical address to be a doorway, so to speak.

For what was beyond that doorway encompassed all space, and all time.

It is very rare you actually get a chance to travel back in time to good places.

There is so much to transmit based upon that brief sixteen hour tour. Suffice it to say that when I arrived, I was embraced; I ate far too much food, and fed my starving soul with a healthy dose of chicken soup and laughter that rocked Valhalla, and made the Gods themselves jealous.

Oh, and I did my impressions of Joe Cocker and Bob Dylan.

I found my inner Rock Star.

I discovered the sister I never had bakes a wondrous cake.

My other brother can cook something other than pizza.

That my tall brother is moving in with another sister of my past; and his sunglasses make him look like Bono.

And my southern sister can make me laugh so hard, I have to stand next to a table; for sitting down would have caused me to rupture something, and standing up would be nearly impossible; hence, the table.

We made phone calls; we heard voices from the past. We talked about books, and movies, and work, and not. We skirted around the issues of the past unpleasant; resolved some feelings; and did I mention the weather was lovely?

I may never stop smiling.

Such a thing to be cursed with......HA!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Are they closet doors, or Home Depot Origami?

I wonder why you never notice the lack of doors until you actually put up doors.

It's true.

I was putting up some closet doors this morning....

Okay, perhaps I should start at the beginning.

The choosing of closet doors is, apparently, a delicate matter. It isn't just one of your holiday games, as T.S. Elliot would later write. There are an almost infinite number of configurations to the actual closet door. There are two fold, three fold, sliding, mirrored, unmirrored, plain, louvered, moulded, plastic, wood, plastic wood, solid, foam core, shimmy shimmy cocoa bop.

I kind of felt like the Robin Williams character in MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON, fainting in anxiety at the amount of choices of coffee he was presented at the A&P.

I didn't faint.
I will admit to some respiratory arrest, however.

What if I choose....unwisely?
Will the guardian of closet doors make my face melt?

Okay, so I chose some closet doors. And I stuffed them into my car (which I thought was actually a large car, until I had to put something into it...but that's a story for another time) and brought them home...did the three cat two step to try to get them inside the house, which is up the stairs and down the stairs, and through two doors and oh, DAMN I stepped on something that meows......

Long story short.
Too late!
You never realize how many of your opening don't have doors until you spend some time putting up doors on one of your openings.

This story was funnier in my head.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And apparently,

I've already blown it.

You see, that's the trouble with my schedule; I live at night, and one little bump (like a change of clocks that nobody really notices because they're asleep, but those of us that work at night feel it keenly) screws up the internal clock so's I don't know just what day it is.

So, I posted twice on the first, and none on the second.

It's enough to tick me off on a Tuesday morning.

I'm assuming it IS Tuesday.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Random thought early Monday, is anybody awake to read this crap?

In the government, to Err is human, to forgive is not our policy.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

There is a great need for sarcasm font.

As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

Was learning cursive really necessary?

"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

Bad decisions make good stories.

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

And with that......

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Annnnnnd....we're OFF! And, we're also writing.....

Is it November already?

Ahhhhhh, crap.

Last year, I got involved in something called Nablapomo, or Polloloco, or something; it translates into getting creative people to commit to creativity for an entire month. And last year, I managed to write every day for a month.

Last year, I worked normal, human hours.

This year, I work Vampire hours.

And yes, like a Vampire, it sucks.

So, I'm not too sure if I'll be able to keep up the pace.

But, I'll try.

Consider this Day 1.