Thursday, June 30, 2011

ROMANCE

"Dagny, there are things I would like you to learn to notice. Lights, colors, flowers, music, they are not as negligible as you might think...They are the things that make life beautiful" said Mrs. Taggart. "I want this evening to be very beautiful for you, Dagny. The first ball is the most romantic event of ones life."

{But} At the end of the evening she saw Dagny in a corner of the ballroom, sitting on a balustrade as if it were a fence rail, her legs dangling under the chiffon skirt as if she were dressed in slacks. She was talking to a couple of helpless young men, her face contemptuously empty...

...When Dagny turned Mrs. Taggart saw only puzzled helplessness in her face...
..."Mother, do they think its exactly in reverse?" she asked.
"What?" asked Mrs. Taggart, bewildered.
"The things you were talking about. The lights and the flowers. Do they expect those things to make them romantic, not the other way around?"
"Darling, what do you mean?"
"There wasn't a person there who enjoyed it,"she said, her voice lifeless, "or who felt anything at all. They moved about, and they said the same dull things they say anywhere. I suppose they thought the lights would make it brilliant."
From "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand

From "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We missed the Worlds Record by 5,600 people!

Thats OK, we'll get 'em next year! The World's Biggest Water Balloon fight was a blast! We found out that it takes 8 people 4 hours to fill up about 800 water balloons, and that 100 people can use up 800 water balloons in about 45 seconds. But thats OK becauseit was one the most hilarious 45 seconds I ever had!
I just couldn't stop laughing!
My buddy Mike Stevens came up with the idea back in February, and after a few set backs like finding out you had to have permission to use the local College campus to gather 5,700 people, and that Fire and Police departments needed to be in on it, and that people were going to need to sign Insurance and Lawsuit waivers (what a complicated adverse world we live in), all of which led to several postponements, the big day arrived with a "SPLAT".....but it was a great splat, and there were lots of women in wet t-shirts out there!

Here's to my friends Gina and Kimmy! Aren't they cute?


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DIE HARD

One of the opening scenes in "DIE HARD", the Bruce Willis action drama, came to mind while I was in San Diego. Willis plays a New Jersey cop who just landed at the LA Airport to see a tanned blonde busty woman run to greet her lover, and she jumps onto his waist, grappling her legs about him and giving him a passionate kiss.

Willis shakes his head and mutters under his breath "F'n California", because everyone knows anything goes in California, the land of promiscuity.

My new friend named Twilight, out in San Diego, she's a good Christian girl. Unlike everyone else in California, she is no fornicator. She was telling me about a man she met that wanted her to help him coach a soccer team.
"But I don't know anything about soccer" she had told him
"You don't have to...I'll show you everything you need to know" he replied.
I laughed and said "Yeah, I bet he would!"
She looked at me and said "You don't think he was hitting on me do you?"
"Well, yeah, maybe he was" I say.
"But he is married" she says.
"I don't think that makes much difference to some guys" I laughed back.
'But his wife was standing right there" she says.

And thats when I thought of that scene in "DIE HARD".
"F'n California" I muttered, shaking my head.

THREE A.M.

There is something about the deep night that releases a different you. Its more your own street, your own city, your own world, and you are both more and less in charge of it than in the daylight.




Friday, June 24, 2011

FAST CARS- EASY WOMEN

An article in the Huffington Post says that you should not have sex until you are ready, and that there is a connection between sex-to-soon and divorce.

I was ready in the 9th grade. The urge to mate and drive a car was overwhelming. Finally, I snuck out the parents car one night and went to a window I knew where if you knocked on it a girl would crawl out.
Kind of a "Two birds-One stone" thing.
I thought it would be my lucky night!
But when I got back home, I was still a virgin and every light in the house was on.
I've only been divorced once.

WIKI NO GOOD FOR HOMEWORK?

If the kids can't reference Wikipedia, then they ought to be able to look at my Facebook page where my idiot friends and I  shamelessly flaunt any opinion, make up facts and figures as we go along; misquote, misrepresent and outright lie about the issues we hold dearest to our own true hearts, and will do or say anything as long as it cannot be entirely disproved on the outside chance that someone will see the genius in our arguements and change their mind or confess to knowing nothing about the subject at hand (like thats going to happen); where rhetoric and erudition are bendable and indistinguishable indisputable rights of anyone with a keyboard.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

THE PACKING NAZI

She had a roll of strapping tape she wore like a bracelet on her left wrist. She was there to help my sister Lisa pack for the move from San Diego to Fort Worth.

You know, its always tense when there is a move coming and packing to be done and some people just aren't built for it. Probably one of the most desirable traits for someone helping you move would be the ability to acquiesce to your wishes concerning your belongings, and to be able to say "OK, Lisa, we won't box up your Goldfish until the last minute even though they really don't need much food or air.".

The Packing Nazi severely lacked in this department. Apparently she had moved herself a considerable number of times, which made sense that maybe she never felt welcome anywhere for any length of time. Inside of a year she had been run out of Baltimore, spent a friendless month in Oregon, and decided that Pleasanton Iowa just wasn't her cup of tea. The people, she said, were too plain.
Along the way she had become a pro-mover and what she lacked in tact she made up for with Gestapo enthusiasm.

For reasons indiscernible to us plain folk, she boxed up the end tables.
She boxed the sugar bowl with the television remote; the computer power cord went with every pair of underwear my sister owned save the ones she was wearing.
We are still looking for toothbrush and make up.

After the battery went down on the computer we lost all the travel information that we would be getting from the computer for a 1300 mile 3 day journey. Its amazing how we rely on these nowadays.

The amazing thing is the way The Packing Nazi just took over. It was a packing Blitzkreig. Lisa pleaded with her not to box little Bella's dog food, the few special breakable items she would personally carry to Fort Worth, and the suitcase Lisa planned to travel with to Fort Worth.

But the Packing Nazi just said:
"Don't you worry. I'll have everything you own packed proper by the end of the day. You look fine without make-up. Your dog is too fat. You can buy new silk roses, you can get a new goldfish.  This stuff is insured right? Who needs panties anyway? I go commando most of the time, its healthier. You just relax and sit back and after I have you packed I'm going to invade Poland!"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

SELF-ACCEPTANCE

I've never posted one of the Narcotics Anonymous daily meditations from "Just For Today" before, but I feel like posting one today.

Accepting life as it is:
 “In our recovery, we find it essential to accept reality. Once we can do this, we do not find it necessary to use drugs in an attempt to change our perceptions.”

Drugs used to buffer us from the full force of life. When we stop using drugs and enter recovery, we find ourselves confronted directly with life. We may experience disappointment, frustration, or anger. Events may not happen the way we want them to. The self-centeredness we cultivated in our addiction has distorted our perceptions of life; it is difficult to let go of our expectations and accept life as it is.

We learn to accept our lives by working the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous. We discover how to change our attitudes and let go of character defects. We no longer need to distort the truth or to run from situations. The more we practice the spiritual principles contained in the steps, the easier it becomes to accept life exactly as it comes to us.

                              ––––=––––
Just for today: I will practice self-acceptance by practicing the Twelve Steps.


There are a lot of things I may never be, there are a lot of thing I may never have, and plenty of mistakes for me to make out there.

But heres the thing...
What I never have to do again is to be deceptive or distort the truth to try to keep myself from guilt and shame, or make myself out to be something I am not..
I can accept myself, the good and bad, and what is always available to me is the opportunity to do whatever the next right thing might be, and to be willing to ask Him to remove from  me my defects of character . I'm really thankful for being able to view the world this way.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

THE PACIFIC

I have a lot more to say about my vacation, but I found this today and I want you to know that having now swam in the Pacific, having been on the edge of land and compared the straight line of the sea to the Arizona badlands, and that the false sense of having somehow been a hero, or that my presence deserves someting other than just another day, that a poem like this has a whole new side to it for me.



The Sun
Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone—
and how it slides again out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance—
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love—
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you as you stand there,
empty-handed—
or have you too
turned from this world—
or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?

~ Mary Oliver



Monday, June 20, 2011

CALIFORNIA GIRLS

They wanted to know:
"Do you always say "Ya'll"?"
"All the time ma'am."
They look at each other, gasping and giggling,  and Debbie says "He said Ma'am!" and they turn back to me and Linda asks "Do you always say ma'am?"
"Yes ma'am"
They are delighted. Apparently this is their first exposure to southern gentility.
Linda asks "What about when you are talking to a man?"
I go into my best Foghorn Leghorn impersonation, you know, the big Rooster from the cartoon...
"Suh! I say, I say, Suh! This heah is a chicken, Suh!"



Linda and Debbie have a very cute way of speaking as well. And they are mighty easy to look at and really were great hostesses and we all hit it off right away. They have been my sister's best friends for number of years.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

SOMEDAY LIKE THE RAIN

I'LL BE BACK HOME AGAIN....
So I had a blast going to San Diego.
I sat next to a chick with dreadlocks on the flight to Denver. She was young and nice and laughed at my joke about where ants go for vacation. I hope she finds someone nice to teach her to fly fish, and then she will get a haircut and have lots of babies.
I watched in wonder the plane in front of us take off, how much exhaust it generates to get people in the air, and then it was my turn and I marveled that not long ago the idea that people could fly was fairly snickered at, but that at this very moment 300 souls would be airborne all at once on the same big bird, and all it would take from a complete standstill was about 10 seconds to get off the ground.
At the airport in Denver I saw two priests that carried their own luggage, and a stout looking fellow in jeans and a stetson with a huge rodeo belt. He was quite an anachronism in that he wore a T-Shirt, a NY Yankees T-Shirt, with "JETER" and the number 2 on the back. He was in line to get a sandwich at a Quizno's. He had a thick spanish accent, and the attendant was from the Ivory Coast. It took some time to get his order.
As I ate my sandwich a young female soldier got in line. She had cammo's on and she looked like she couldn't have been twenty yet, and I'd have liked to have done something bold and patriotic, like hug her or maybe buy her sandwich declaring that "Soldiers don't pay when I'm around" but I let it slide and minded my own business for a change.
The woman that sat next to me from Denver to San Diego wasn't friendly and pretended to read a book and nap.

Once in San Diego I found myself surrounded by Hare' Krisna's; I stopped by a record shop that could have been built by Woody Guthrie (but instead was being mismanaged by the least talkative folkie record salesman there could ever have been), found that I was in a city where you could take a dozen consecutive right hand turns and still not have made a circle; heard about a "packing Nazi", saw poor seals so surrounded by humankind it seemed just cruel, swam in the Pacific; wrestled killed cleaned and ate a Great White shark and boiled his bones to make Cippippippiono; was completely smitten by my sisters 3 friends- Linda Debbie and Nancy; and visited the Del Coronado Hotel, where Marilyn and Tony made the movie "Some Like it Hot" and the ghost of Katie Morgan walks the halls and turns doorknobs.
I saw her you know.

Here's me and Marilyn taking a soak at the Del Coronado Hotel.
More to follow...I had a great time, and my sister is doing well.

Monday, June 13, 2011

THOSE ASSHOLES

I stole a lot of white powdery susbstance once, and it turned out to be Sweet and Low.

ROAD TRIP

I got real exciting news! I am going on my first vacation in 16 years tomorrow. I am flying to San Diego to see my sister Lisa. Or more exactly, to GET my sister Lisa. Her Multiple Sclerosis has kicked in bad enough that she is having trouble taking care of herself. We have rented her an apartment close to me and she is moving home. Me and my kids will be able to take care of her every day. She and I are driving back and on the way we are going to stop at the Grand Canyon and drive through the Painted Desert. If you were here right now I'd tell you all about the grand Canyon in wild eyed amazement; how the Hidatsa Indians say man first emerged from the canyon and that it is like the belly button of the world; and how the scientists tell us that there is a river that has been patiently carving itself through solid rock for 1.6 BILLION YEARS, half the age of the planet itself; and how if you close your eyes, yes, close your eyes, and say 'Painted Desert" ...
Oh, isn't it wonderful?

So that's my exciting news.



Friday, June 10, 2011

THE GREAT ESCAPE

"The small man
Builds cages for everyone
He
Knows.
While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the
Beautiful
Rowdy
Prisoners"

Hafiz, 14th century poet
Photo courtesy of (stolen) from my pal Tijno at Beachcombing.


FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK SARAH PALIN IS TECHNICALLY CORRECT




There is the truth and then there are slogans.

"You can't handle the truth"
That is a slogan.



Wednesday, June 08, 2011

BATESVILLE CASKETS

Some small towns are funny. The rest are just plain scary. I remember being in Batesville Arkansas once; they manufacture caskets there. As you pass by the town square, there are a dozen grizzled old men, retired casket-makers, that give you the hairy eyeball. There is a stop sign there, but its best just to roll right through it. I stopped off at the diner, where the owner needed more information about me than what I would have expected before he could serve me.

'Its not me, " He explained "its the darn Camber of Commerce. They don't want no tourists or college kids classin' up the place."
He told me that it was for that reason he couldn't get anything but frozen peas to serve with his Chicken Fried Steak.
"No fresh vegetables" they had told him "Too delicious, people might come back"
None of it made any sense, even when he asked if I would like to buy his restaurant so he could get out of Batesvlle Arkansas.

It reminded me of a movie I saw long ago, "Outback" with Donald Pleasance. He played a schoolteacher who was stranded in a funny scary small town where they drank every night and everybody played a game with dice and no one could leave until they won the stupid game. Of course Pleasance never won, the movie ends with him sitting in the scorching sun, sucking on the barrel of a rifle and a single bullet in the chamber.

I just got back from passing through a town like this, where the cashiers at the grocery look at you funny and say "From out of town aren't you?" and its not a question at all. As you pass through the town square there are grizzled old men that don't bother to look up from playing domino's, they know you are there, they knew you were there since before you left the grocery store. You wave at the one who does look up, but he just stares right through you as you pass. Later at the lake there is an eerie quiet and there are no fish, or fisherman, its just you on the lake and you feel a million eyes watching you.
It doesn't surprise you one bit when you find your car battery doesn't work, or when the local deputy shows up at dusk with a bottle of whiskey and a set of dice.

The next time you pass by a big 18 wheeler full of coffins, take a look at the tags.
I bet its from Batesville.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

MY CAMPING TRIP

My son and I went camping at a friends private lake this weekend.
His wife said to me:

"We had a man come out and get all the gators out of that lake a couple years ago. He got 23. He said he thinks he got them all, but I wouldn't swim in it if I were you."
I said "Okay then. Thats good enough for me"

Thursday, June 02, 2011

REMINISCING

I had Holli in the booth right beside me.
She looked especially cute, so I started humming the first bars. She looked at me, and when I could tell she could recognize the song, I slid closer to her and began singing:
 "Friday night it was late I was walking you home we got down to the gate..."
 and you know the rest of that first verse, but what you may not realize is that by the time I got to the part: "would it turn out right?" I had, just by looking into Holli's eyes, a pretty fair idea on just how the night might turn out!
And unless she is backing away in horror, if you continue, this song can turn the momentum for you at any verse!
"...and I was dreaming of the night..."
All you have to do is sing sweet as you can and flutter your eyes at the right parts and the next thing you know she has her head on your shoulder and is singing along with you and you have your hand on her leg and Glenn Millers Band blowin' that slide trombone and there's dancin' in the dark and hurry don't be late when we're alone, and the best part about it is the worst that can happen is she doesn't take you serious at all but thinks you are sweet and silly and you just had a great time being a goof and have to slide back over to your side of the booth.
Because that is what I saw looking into Holli's eyes.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

ABOUT ME

I was leaving the tennis courts Saturday . I got on my old pair of shitty tennis shoes, some cut-off britches, and a dirty old T-shirt. I have the cheapest racket you can get down at Wal-Mart , and a hand me down cap that says "Eat Me" on it. . Anyway, I'm not going to tell you about me. I'm going to tell you about the guy I saw.


He was about my age, in slightly better shape (OK, lots better) and he was out for a run. He had on a running outfit, one that looked like it ought to be on the cover of a magazine. He had some kind of French running shoes on, and a hat that probably came from Spain. His sunglasses probably cost what I make in a week. He's at the corner, running in place waiting for traffic to pass. He has that weird glow where you just know everything he touches turns to gold.

And my mind starts to drift, the way it sometimes does. I can see this guy, after his jog. He is in the driveway waxing his car, probably a BMW because BMW owners are always so well dressed. He's waxing his car, and he checks the oil and he is spotless. Then he goes in the house and sits at a big mahogany desk and pays a few bills. He has likely not paid a bill late, not since college at least. After he pays a few bills, he will go online, to that E-Trade thing and make a deal or two and pocket a cool Ten-Thousand. Then he will clean his kitchen and take some laundry to the Dry Cleaners before going to his kids soccer practice, after which he will take the entire team out for snow cones. When he gets home from that, he will marinate some steaks and start planning for the Memorial Day swim party.

This guy hasn't stopped since seven o'clock this morning, and after dinner tonight he and his wife will go dancing and when he gets home he will set the alarm after he takes out the trash, his family and castle secure.

I think all this inside of 15 seconds, the green light flashes go, the billionaire steps off the curb, and we both get on with out lives.

Now you might think I feel envious of this guy. But I don't. I almost feel sorry for him. That kind of life surely sounds like hell to me. But have come to understand that that is part of what is wrong with me. If had wanted just a little bit to have that kind of life things would maybe be a lot different.

Because this is how my Saturday morning goes:
I get up and my son and I play tennis in blown out shoes and a cheap-ass racket. Then we go to the Buttermilk Cafe for a Denver omelet with egg whites and multi-grain pancakes with sugar free syrup.. The waitresses all know us there. Then I go to a meeting and share my experience strength and hope. If I don't do anything else the rest of the day that's just fine with me. That right there is about all this addict can handle.
Everything else is gravy.
Life is good.

OVERACHIEVER

I have now surpassed, in five months, last years blogging output for the whole year.
And I did it without Perfomance Enhancing Blogging Drugs.
I plan to keep posting whether I have anything to post or not. The worst is yet to come, and knowing this is what keeps me going.