Saturday, March 31, 2007

I’m stumped…

What psychosis must humanity possess that allows it to say it cherishes life, to feel love for cute animals, to nurture and protect creatures while, at the very same time, it kills wantonly, unknowingly, profusely, and rampantly?

Surely, there’s a name for it! There must be!

Ah, if only the extinct could speak!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Not failing at success… I was just resting…

Normality. Who would think it’s so… normal. Aside from the name, I mean. Things just settle back into their routines with such regularity you swear you’ve been eating bran.

So it is with my life. I mean, I have a job again. Vicky and I are still together. We’re picking up where we left off in August. We’re going to refi our house… we’re going to buy the new bed we’ve needed for the past 8-9 months…

And I’ve started working on the book about success again.

Being out of work just screwed up my ability to work – I mean, to write. For some reason, writing regularly keeps me… regular. (There we are with our bran references again.) But I never gave up on the success book. I even told Vicky that I’d be getting back to it.

And back to it I am.

I spent this week rereading what I have, reviewing my research, doing more research, writing some more, and, yes, feeling daunted. I’ll get to each of those points, one at a time.

Can you believe I already have one-third of the book complete? Seriously! One-third! That’s not bad, after all, for giving me some idea what I was shooting for. Oh, I have my complaints. It’s not nearly funny enough. (But I would say that about all of my books. Not one of them is funny enough.) Books on philosophy have got to be funny or you’ll just want to cry. And, on top of that, it is a book about unemployment, alcoholism, and death. This is funny stuff, you know?

I’d already done a crapload of research, not to mention the mountain of survey results, so you can imagine how shocked I was that I hadn’t started! Mind you, only about a tenth of all the research ends up in the book. (After all, who would want to read that?!) But it was in continuing the research that I found the most amazing thing.

Months back, I wrote about “underlying forms”, using the wrong term to refer to Plato. But did you know that “underlying forms” refers to Optimality Theory? It’s a linguistic convention used to create a hierarchy much like that of… Maslow! (Remember me mentioning his “Hierarchy of Needs”?) Without knowing it – to make a long story short – I’m tying together such diverse paths as Kundalini yoga, psychiatry, philosophy, linguistics – and, of course, unemployment, alcoholism, and death – to get at the core of something that touches them all and that nobody thinks of in relation to any… success.

It’s incredibly daunting but, at the same time, a terrific subject for me. You see, as political and passionate I am about current events and ethics – this has nothing at all to do with any of that. So, I don’t have to worry about any of that seeping in. It’s like writing in this nice, little bubble, a safe place where I can be cool with everybody. Nice.

So, two-thirds to go and I’m on my way…

Summer is not out of the question!

And let’s not get started on the name…

Dear Nabisco, c/o Kraft Foods Global, Inc.,

I recently saw this after eating a bag of Cheese Nips:

When writing to us, please enclose the entire package with printed code, or call 1-800-NABISCO, Weekdays.

How dare you not hire me as a writer!

How mother fucking dare you!

Do you even read your shit? I mean, really, do you?! Because you’re giving me the option, when I write, to either enclose the package or call! You certainly aren’t, however much this might be your intention, suggesting that I can either write or call. I’m sorry, that is not what your written message means!

This one was free. Next time, I send a bill.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We are, none of us, as young as we seem – or – Welcome to GenJones!...

You could also call this “Anonymous”…

I’ve always been grateful for the fact that I’m not a Baby Boomer. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hold anything against them. Baby Boomers got to go to Woodstock. Baby Boomers contributed to changing Civil Rights (if they were on the right side). Baby Boomers got to see The Beatles play on Ed Sullivan. Baby Boomers had it good.

But I never wanted to be a Baby Boomer because Baby Boomers are old. And Shrub’s a Boomer. ‘Nuff said.

I always thought I was part of Generation X. What a cool name: X! The unknown! Maya! An entire generation of illusion! Bitchin’!

… But I’m not.

Excuse me?

I’m not.

I took a mental double-take on that one when I found out. I am not a Generation X’er.

Son of a bitch.

Does that mean I’m a –

No. I’m not a Boomer, either.

Thank God in all his cock-sucking glory.

… wait a minute. If I’m not a Gen X’er… and I’m not a Baby Boomer… what the hell am I?

You won’t believe me when I tell you – and I know that because I didn’t believe it, either – but there’s a whole generation in between! It’s another “lost generation”. You never hear about them.

Generation… Jones.

… the fuck? Jones?


I don’t believe it.

See, the problem is that, while the Baby Boomer generation stretched from 1942-1964 (putting me safely a year out of reach), Generation X didn’t kick in until a couple of years later. It goes from 1966-1980.

That’s right. That leaves 1965 out in the snodgrass of generations. Mother fucker.

And that’s not all. Generation Jones goes from 1954-1965. That means that 90% of those people (birth rates being equal) are also Baby Boomers! I have to share my fucking generation with a bunch of fucking Boomers! That’s not fair!

I demand a recount!

And what’s all this Jones shit mean, anyway?

“An anonymous generation”, according to Wikipedia. The period in which I was born is known as that… anonymous. But, again, some can claim to be Boomers… but not if you were born in 1965.

Then, you were… anonymous…

Fuckin’ A.

But, at least, I'm not alone. Isn't that right, Ti... I mean, "Anonymous"!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Restoring honor and dignity to the Oval Office since 1992...

Gotta love Bill Mahar!

... yes, you do.

New Rule - Traitors don't get to question my patriotism. What could be less patriotic than constantly screwing things up for America? You know, it's literally hard to keep up with the sheer volume of scandals in the Bush administration. Which is why I like to download the latest scandals right onto my IPod. That way, I can catch up on this week's giant fuck up on my drive into work.

Save Studio 60...

For those of you who love the show, Studio 60, as much as Vicky and I, here's a site for you:

Save Studio 60!

There are a lot of reasons to love this show - well written, topical without being sensationalistic, original, funny, on and on. And, of course, there's the one reason to hate it - they haven't hired me. But don't hold that against them - after all, they won't be able to if they go off the air.

(You hear that, Sorkin! Now, you scratch my back!)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Why Eight US Attorneys Matter…

I’m surprised by the level of confusion surrounding Attorney General (and unofficial Torture-Czar) Gonzales and his firings of eight US attorneys. You’re probably heard that there’s a big uproar. Congress doesn’t like it. Shrub’s saying they were presidential appointees and he should be allowed to fire people he appointed.

The story gets reported through such a myopic lens every time I see it. The importance of the issue has become washed away beneath a tide of talking points and even I was left wondering (mind you, it was nearly 5am and I was on a treadmill), “Why should Congress care if Shrub wants to fire his own people?”

It’s that “why” that everyone is forgetting.

It’s why these people were fired. Some were fired because Shrub’s people wanted them to persecute Democrats, which is wrong. Some were fired because Shrub’s people didn’t want them to prosecute Republicans who had been caught breaking the law (such as in San Diego), which is also wrong.

Why is it wrong?

Because when the justice system no longer serves to determine what is just and, instead, determines who is just about had it, it is no longer a justice system. When the justice system stops serving the law and, instead, serves a monarchical master, it is no longer a justice system. To be blunt, when the justice system becomes one man’s personal vendetta machine, it is no longer a justice system.

We’ve all allowed our rights to be slowly stripped away from us. Unlawful search and seizure. Habeas corpus. Torture. One by one, more and more.

We’ve let them take away our day in court.

Are we also going to allow these evil, greedy, power mad fiends to run off with the court, as well?

That’s why it matters. As late in the day as it is, as much as we’ve allowed them to do to us, it is our chance – and that of Congress – to say, “You’ve had enough. You cannot do this, too.”

Have they no shame, those soulless cockroaches in the White House? No. They don’t.

Thankfully, people are starting to see that.

Soldiers who "Just Say NO"...

(... or "Now these are some troops I can support!")

The (so very not)Right likes to come up with slogans. It's nice to see some of the troops liking this one.

It looks like over 3,000 troops deserted last year. I say we support our troops in their efforts not to slaughter a nation that never did anything to us.

Good going, soldiers!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

New Job: Week One…

You’d think, with a title like that, that this would be a continuing feature. It’s not. You don’t want to read about my job every week any more than I want to write about it every week.

But I do want to write about it this week to let you know how things are turning out.

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way. Yes, I get paid hourly and, yes, there’s not a lot of time off. But, you know what? I was treated like an hourly employee the last place I was at, although I was salary, so it’s not that bad.

(I’d like more time off, of course… who wouldn't?)

The thing about this job that kind of has me blown away is the amount of faith people have in me. I’ve met with the Director of Marketing and the Director of Sales a few times and they are sure I’ll do a good job. And the great thing is, it’s not just talk.

So far, this week, I’ve taken charge of designing a new web site and setting up some corporate partnerships. They would never have let me take charge like this at IMC or at Linksys!

The big difference between then and now is that now I have a lot of expectations but not a lot of pressure. At the other places, there was tons of pressure with low expectations. Let me explain. At IMC, I was swamped with work but either very little of it was important (not menial) or I wouldn’t be trusted to do the job on my own. At the new place, they expect me to do things like design web sites and create partnerships but nobody is looking over my shoulder.

I’m treated more like an adult. I like that.

… oh, and I have an office with a window, so…

What is sanity, anyway?…

“What happens in thirty or forty years? Are you going to be a crazy, old man?”

Vicky’s concerned for my sanity the way a mother is concerned her child will break his neck when first riding a bicycle.

So, let me give this to you straight. Yes, after my divorce things were bad. I had a hard time of it. But now, it’s really not so troubling. I find it humorous when I had the odd hallucination. As I said to Vicky, “I just have a different relationship with reality.”

Vicky asked, “What about what people think about you?”

I told her that those who know me know I’m fine. If they don’t, more’s the pity for them.

But I want to talk for a minute about sanity because I can’t help but see a huge cue card that reads “IRONY”. There are people right now who are trying to bring the world to a horrible war… excuse me, another horrible war. They did it with Afghanistan. They did it with Iraq. Now, they’re doing it with Iran. These people are considered sane.

There are people who believe that torture is a good thing. That our nation has every right to act inhumanely towards others just because we can. These, too, are considered sane.

There are people right now who strongly believe that industry should not be regulated and who are just as strongly appalled with their dog is poisoned through tainted food. Again, sane people.

Some people think there is a place where we go after we die, that angels with wings live there, that a big bossman lives there with a rule book filled against which he judges us so that if we do not behave correctly we are sent to a place full of fire and pain and torture and sorrow and filth and anquish – and that he loves you. Sane.

So, please, don’t talk to me about sanity. Comparatively, anything I experience is completely benign.

Challenge: Week.... um....

Okay! I admit it! It's my fault!

Faced with the choice between going to a Weight Watchers's meeting this morning or spending last night celebrating my first week at my new job (more on that later)... I convinced Vicky to be bad. So, we celebrated.

Well, hey! Come on! First week!

I'm sure the "Challenges" will continue soon.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Questions for the Ether...

What do you do if you're actually gay but don't realize it because you're too busy enjoying being heterosexual?

Here’s something I never write about…

It takes an awful lot to be able to see both sides of a story… so when you realize I don’t, just understand that, okay?

Vicky’s birthday is coming up on April 13th (keep those cards and gifts coming!), just as I get started on this new job. Terrific! In fact, I don’t get my first paycheck (which is only half a paycheck – one week’s worth) until a week before. Great! And I had to take a pay cut to get this job, which means that it will be very, very small. Fantastic!

Sounds pretty shitty, doesn’t it?

It gets worse.

I wanted to get Vicky a nice gift but I’m pretty much broke and we really can’t afford too much, which is not conducive to the great, capitalist birthdays she’s used to – her nickname ain’t “Princess” for nothing, folks. (I appreciate condolences; I prefer cash.)

And, yes, it gets worse.

“I want (blank),” Vicky told me. I can’t tell you what she told me… let’s call it… “Samophlange” for all of you WoW-heads. She said, “I want samophlange. It’s a beautiful samophlange and I want it!”

The problem with this, however, was that I wanted to get her (blank). I can’t tell you what I want to get her (she may be reading!)… let’s just call it… “HalyjoOsmet” for reasons unknown.

I can’t get her samophlange because I’d like to get her HalyjoOsmet. I think she’d prefer HalyjoOsmet. I know she’d love HalyjoOsmet. The thing is, I can’t afford both samophlange and HalyjoOsmet. In fact, I can barely afford HalyjoOsmet!

But she kept pushing samophlange into my face. She absolutely had to have samophlange. It got to the point where I didn’t want to buy her anything, let alone samophlange or HalyjoOsmet.

When you are insistent about wanting something, pushy even, it makes it difficult to buy you that something.

Anyway, her birthday isn’t for a few weeks. I’m hoping the samophlange versus HalyjoOsmet dispute comes to some settlement.

There’s no real point to this entry – nothing you can do, unless you can send me enough money for a samophlange – I just figured that, after six months of talking about how wonderful Vicky is, I could be allowed one gripe.

I’ll shut up now… for now…

Billy Boylan Goes Up…

This one is especially for any of my friends from the stage who may still read.

Let’s see if you can figure this one out.

(It’s a dream from last night, btw.)

So, I’m cast in 40 Carats again, reprising my role as Billy Boylan, the ex with the heart of gold. I guess it’s only fitting; after all, I’m about Billy’s age now. And I’m wearing the goatee again. (The goatee’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble – ha na ha na, the goatee’s back!)

The rest of the actors are looking at me as if I was a star! (Which, in a way, I was – the star of my own dream!)

Sherryl’s the director. She played the lead when I was in 40 Carats about a million years ago.

We’re outside of this immense amphitheatre – the thing literally dwarfs the city around it. We’re WAY in the back and, as the show is about to begin, I decide to do a quick line drill in my head. I’ve often done this when I’ve acted (all these past tenses are really bumming me out!). You just drill through your lines in the scene where you’re about to appear.

… Except for one minor thing. I couldn’t remember my first line.

No problem. Grab a script. Open it up. Find that first line!

The script was this enormous stack of papers, phonebook thick, and I started scrolling through.

Sherryl walks up beside me, holding a clipboard and giving me a very expectant, “It’s gonna start soon”, look. (Though the last time I knew of a director being backstage with a clipboard, during a show, was in the fourth grade!)

Now, somewhere in there, I realized I was dreaming. I thought, “Billy Boylan?! Cool! I just have to remember that first line!”

So, off I dived through the script.

And dived.

And dived.

…. I might have dove… it’s early…

Anyway, the script started to literally fall to pieces in my hands – the size of a phonebook! So, I’m trying to hold together this immense stack of papers, trying to find the line, and trying very hard to not wake up because I really wanted to play Billy Boylan again.

When I realized… Billy Boylan did not appear anywhere in the script.

I checked again.


I looked at Sherryl. She smiled back at me.

“I should go,” I thought. “I’m not in this play.”

And I woke up.

… Extra points to you if you don’t say “I think you want to act again.”

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The inevitable dread after speaking…

I’m guessing its residual stress – six months of unemployment will get you some stress, my friends – or the sudden whack to my sleep schedule or the oddity of feeling wanted… either way, I had another funky afternoon.

Someone kept watching me, sneaking peeks just around my office door.

Of course, there was no one there. I was hallucinating it. And the funny thing about hallucinating is that it doesn’t just stop when you realize you’re hallucinating. Oh, no. It keeps going. And it’s just as annoying then, too.

So, for about an hour, I kept looking over my left shoulder to see what it was that was sneaking peaks and, as soon as it did, it would dart back out of view… of course.

But that’s not what this is about.

This is about what happened last night.

“Is this supposed to make me happy?” Vicky asked in response to my story about the raindrops that weren’t there that were falling on my head. It was clear that she wasn’t.

“What do you mean?” I asked… probably too innocently.

See, the thing is Vicky doesn’t particularly like it when I hallucinate. In fact, she pretty much hates it. I’m sure she remembers stories of things I did “before” and is afraid of Ken landing in some hospital with cushioned walls.

I probably should be more sensitive about her feelings, too.

But from my perspective, things are fine. After all, I’ve been hallucinating (on and off) for about half a decade now and I’ve been able to manage just fine – AND I’m not getting any visits from my ex-wife! So, things could be worse. And talking about it actually helps me feel like less of a freak!

But, for Vicky, this just started a couple of years ago – and she’s probably wondering when it’s going to stop.

I really don’t know. Yes, I worry, too, but I try to make a game of it. When you consider how badly I was damaged and for how long, a little non-existent rain, someone playing “I spy”, even spotting the living dead on the freeway, it isn’t all bad.

Don't worry, Vic. It’s a long distance from eccentric to loony.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Strangest - Hallucination - Ever...

So, I'm sitting in my office... again...

I'm leaning over my desk, trying to read/trying not to fall asleep...

I feel water drip down on my jacket sleeve - actually, through my jacket sleeve. I don't feel the moisture, just the impact. Then, I feel it on my back. On my sleeve, lower this time. On my back, in a different spot. On my head...

This was kind of strange because I was indoors, on the top floor, and it wasn't raining outside...

Drip. Drip.

And when it landed on my head, it wasn't wet.

Drip, onto my head again. Dry.

It took that long for me to realize that I was hallucinating... rain... indoors...

I did what any normal person (who hallucinates rain indoors) would do. I got up and left!

Thankfully the rain (that I was hallucinating) stopped...

Here's something fun...

So, I was sitting in my office today doing some research... Did I mention I have an office? With a window? Jealous, yet? (Don't be! I had to take a cut in pay.)

Anyway, if you've ever wanted to know everything about your job or what you think you'd like your job to be, head on over to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(This is fun, Ken?)

Actually, yes!

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is especially fun. When you look up writers, you find that we make a lot of money and are in great demand... then again, what do they know?

When you look up actor, it just says "LOL"...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Time to celebrate...

Six months is an awful long time to wait - and that's basically what Vicky did. I scrambled, applying for every job I could (including those I knew I wouldn't get or would hate - I needed an income!). For six months, people would assure me I would get a job soon... and it got boring.

So, last night we celebrated.

It was a small celebration but we loved it.

About five or so months ago, Vicky and I were heading back from a disasterous vacation at our favorite place in the world (or, at least, California) and decided to do some wine tasting along the way. At the last vineyard, we happened across a miracle.

Vicky got her four or eight or seventy-two tastes at the winery - I'd stopped tasting because I had to drive in a straight line (fucking traffic laws!) - when we saw something peculiar... chocolate. I'm sorry, did I say peculiar? I meant "something that stirred the lust in our very bones"! Chocoloate! We luvs the chocolate!

But... hold on... back up... chocolate? At a winery?

"It's for our late harvest zin," the attendent told us.

But Vicky had already gulped down her tastes! And as her eyes welled up, looking at me with a mix of piteousness and chocolate lust, I asked, "I haven't had my tastes yet, could I get a taste of that?"

"Sure," I was told.

Vicky, having been my wife officially for a year, knew that by "my taste" I could only have meant "her taste".

So, let's cut to the chase. Here's the link to the winery - don't worry if the late harvest zin is a little pricey, it's worth it! Get some dark chocolates. Vicky bought a small box of Godiva truffles after we got home and we promised to have them as soon as I got a job. (As I said, six months is a long wait!) You take a bite of chocolate, eat it, and then you wash it down with a sip of wine.

... what's it like?

Well, when Vicky had a taste at the winery... her knees buckled.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Vicky’s not Perfect - or - Payback’s a Bitch…

For those of you who think that I think that Vicky’s perfect… let me set you straight.

She’s been wonderful these past six months. She really helped me get through it.

But let’s not dwell on the past.

Last night, I said to Vicky, “Tomorrow’s my last day of unemployment, so I’m going to sleep in. I don’t want to be woken up. I just want to sleep in.”

This morning, Vicky somehow arranged for two alarm clocks to go off, while she was in the shower. This is particularly remarkable because they were in two different rooms, one of which she wasn’t even in. And she set them to go off while she was in the shower! That takes planning, friends.

I’m thinking that, either consciously or unconsciously, she figured I’ve slept in enough.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The job…

It sure took its sweet time. I mean, I must have gone on at least 50 interviews and applied for hundreds of jobs! My last unemployment check came this week – we’re talking eleventh hour (and forty-seven minutes)!

I’m sure many of you guessed the minute I mentioned I was buying stuff.

Yep, I got a job. Starting on Monday, my title will be Assistant Marketing Manager – Medical Division. Now, while that sounds like a 7-11 employee, I assure you it’s not. It’s not much of a management position, either. Basically, I’ll be writing marketing material and managing collateral production for the medical division of a school.


When Monday comes around, I’ll be joining the rest of you – well, the majority of you – in complaining about my lack of time off. Just try not to remind me I just had six months of it!

Whatever happens, I’ll keep you posted.

Now that our lives are returning to a bit of normalcy, you’d think the little woman would want to get knocked up – ah, but no! Seems as though Vicky, too, is on the hunt for a better job. But, never fear, I'm sure I'll start… um… knocking soon.

I want to be a clone…

Well, I did it.

And I’m not really sure if it’s a good thing.

I mean, I like it and all. I just feel a little… dirty.

I bought an iPod.

Yes, I’m one of them!

But Vicky’s been flaunting hers for over a year now, even after my old one died a sad and premature death by broken volume control about six months ago.

I got the iPod and I got the arm strap. So now I’m another one of those jogging zombies at the gym, plugged in…

… and I kinda like it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Over 2000 days since 9/11…

I want you to sit down for a minute and think about something.

Think about how poorly things were handled after Katrina. Think about the billions Shrub has wasted in senseless wars. Think about the 3000+ American dead in Iraq as opposed to the 2000 or so dead after 9/11. Think about the scandal after scandal that Shrub’s people have perpetuated. Think about the limits imposed by Shrub’s people on your civil rights.

And realize that’s just the beginning.

Now, seriously, which was worse? 9/11? Or Shrub?

Who are the terrorists?

The one about Chacos…

We live in a time when accusations, aspersions against one’s character are usually and expediently as forgotten as last month’s lotto numbers. I’m not so lucky. I tend to take things rather seriously. (Those who have worked with me in comedies could tell you that I take comedy even more seriously.)

And so it was that Vicky and I were out the other night, looking for new sandals. My old ones had gotten, well, old… like wearing a pair of old rat pelts. Either the sandals were rotting or my feet were – actually, it was both. It was time for a new pair! So, Vicky and I went around what used to be called the Orange Mall, from one store to another, looking at sandals.

And all of them – I mean all of them – I looked – all of them were made in China.

About a year ago, when I was speaking out against torture, the accusation was made on this website that by purchasing any electronic device – any electronic device – I supported slave labor and was, therefore, a hypocrite. It didn’t matter it I tried in every way to be a good person; the profligation of electronic components from China made any call for ethical rationality moot.

Now, I don’t believe that for a minute and I didn’t believe the person’s comment. It wasn’t the comment that I took personally but, rather, the thought that the other 2,117 readers last year believed him. The thought that I would be so poorly thought of, along with the idea that this individual could be so thoughtless in his expression, was just sad.

So, I couldn’t buy sandals made in China. I know you think I’m being silly – Vicky sure did – but the thought that anyone might think I’m a hypocrite, especially if I was one knowingly and intentionally, just didn’t sit right. Surely, we could find some sandals made somewhere else…

… right?

… Hello?

… Anybody?

The answer is, surprisingly, NO! Even when we went to REI, we found that all of their sandals were made in China. China, it seems, corners the market on casual feet.

And then, after I started to discuss this problem with the salesman, he pulled out the Chacos. Made in Colorado by an environmentally-conscious company – they exist? – they seemed to be everything I wanted. But, were they comfortable?

Damn, yes! Strangely, they’re a little heavy, but I figure that’s like getting a little workout when you’re relaxing – bonus!

Then, we saw the price… and I paid $72 for a little peace of mind. Oh well. It was worth it.

I can’t know that everything I have has been made by the most reputable of companies. I can only try my best to make sure this is the case. It’s the trying that counts. I can only pity those who would argue that the difficulty makes it not worth the while.

(Those readers who know about the news I have – just be patient. It’s coming. Relax.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Some things you can't just throw away...

I'm sitting here, at my desk, cleaning things a bit before I go to bed. (Truth be told, it's too bloody hot to sleep!)

Before we got married, Vicky and I were looking for quotes we could incorporate into the marriage. We found a lot of good ones but, in the end, didn't use any of them. Now, as I clean out old emails, I found this one I sent to Vic. Little did we know how appropriate it would have been...

Thus we see that the all-important thing is not killing or giving life, drinking or not drinking, living in the town or the country, being lucky or unlucky, winning or losing. It is how we win, how we lose, how we live or die; finally, how we choose. We walk, and our religion is shown (even to the dullest and most insensitive person), in how we walk. Living in this world means choosing, and the way we choose to walk is infallibly and perfectly expressed in the walk itself.

—R. H. Blyth

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Rose by any other name…

I make it a point not to mention her in this blog… though you probably wouldn’t know it, seeing as how I have over a dozen times since we started. This is supposed to be about the life that Vicky and I share together. So, you’ll forgive me if I do, because it is, and we should because we do also.


I found it by accident. You probably won’t believe that but it’s true. Her MySpace page (the last resort for the pedophile and the sexually-repressed twelve-year-old) doesn’t even bear her name. Not only is last name different, so is the first. She took her gay lover’s last name and as for the first…

I’m lazy. Just try to swallow that. Instead of saying complete names, I often fall into the horrible habit of shortening them. I call Vicky “Vic”. I call Tim… well, “Tim”. And I used to call my first wife “Rose”. I guess it stuck, because that’s what she’s calling herself on the MySpace page.

Yep. There she was, in a picture so idyllic Normal Rockwell couldn’t have painted a better one were he hopped up on X. Oh, sure. She may be completely in denial but that’s not the point. And I didn’t realize that until I spent the entire day dwelling on it.

Does it matter that her gay lover is, well, gay? Or that her motto to have no regrets is abominable considering all the things she has done that are regrettable? Or that she spouts the importance of friendship, a woman who turned her back on her oldest friend when she died? Not really.

It was easy for me to think that’s what this was all about. But, honestly, that’s a different life. If she’s in denial, that’s her business. Frankly, I hope she lives a happy and full life. All that really concerned me was how seeing her face again affected me. And it did affect me, I’m not going to lie and say it didn’t. I don’t think I’ll ever fully shake the loss I experienced.

So, I sat and I thought about it.

Here’s what I decided.

She’s in Oregon now and I wish her the best. My life really has changed since I lost her because, somehow, so have I. The chains that once tied her to me are like gossamer, and as quickly as I stumbled on her MySpace page, I was able to close it down.

But, more importantly, I realized something that has been with me all along. I learned a lot of lessons from “Rose”, and they made me more able to be a better husband with “Vic”. And I looked at the pictures on that MySpace page, pictures of her taken only months or weeks ago, and I realized – as I always do – that I never held her enough, that I never kissed her enough, that I never showed her how much I loved nearly as much as I could.

There’s nothing I can do about that now. But I know someone who deserves my devotion so much more, and I should never forget what it feels like to lose the woman you love – it reminds me how important it is that I show Vicky how much I love her and hold her and kiss her every day.

One day, like it or not, I’ll lose Vicky. All I can do is try to make it as far in the future as possible, and make sure that in all the days between I show her how loved she is.

So, we went out for sushi tonight, and I rubbed her back. We came home and I kissed her. We went upstairs and… well, you can’t do that enough, either.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

This is not to say they haven't been doing a good job...

... but I'm also reminded why I'm not a Democrat.

(I'm Green.)

It looks like the Democrats in the House are forming an exploratory committee into global warming. Well, ain't that dandy! It's about time somebody looked into this whole -


Didn't we all agree that Katrina was enough?

... calm down... calm down... breathe... just breathe...

oil lobbyists are allowed to give money to Democrats too...

A word on Lionel Stander…

Most of my readers won’t know who Lionel Stander is. Few are going to care. That’s just how it works out. But just try to read it, and when I get to words like “talkie” or “Capra” or even “Hart to Hart”… maybe, take a shot.

See the thing is I knew who Lionel Stander was all along. And I liked him. But my perception of him as a bit player made me ignore him in a way, which was too bad.

He’s the guy who gave the impassioned appeal to Longfellow Deeds in Frank Capra’s “Mr. Deeds Goes To Town”. There he was, working with Frank Capra, opposite of Gary Cooper. Wild. I always liked him in that movie. Next to Cooper, he’s probably the best thing about it.

But I didn’t feel like writing about him until the other day when I was watching one of Harold Lloyd’s talkies, “The Milky Way”. Lloyd plays a na├»ve milkman who gets duped into being a boxer who may ultimately have to take a fall. Yes, that plot: innocent gets duped into doing something against his values. The first time I tried to watch it, I couldn’t because I could see where it was going. Then, yesterday, I tried to watch it again and I put aside my assumptions and, sure enough, it didn’t go anywhere near there!

Stander plays a guy named Spider, a lovable goof – but Lloyd was such a nice guy in real life, I don’t think he liked anything other than lovable goofs in his films. And Stander is pretty damned funny! I didn’t think I’d be laughing out loud to something from the 1930’s.

So, I came over to my computer and IMDB’d the guy… and I was surprised. Not only had Stander been quite an actor, appearing in over 100 films, but the longevity! He was working from the 1930’s to the 1990’s!

And that’s not the best part. Stander was subpoenaed by the very first House Un-American Activities Committee. Stander was a communist and unapologetically so. He was one of the guys thrown under the bus by such un-American bastards as Ronald Reagan, back in the day. (Yes, turncoats and hypocrites are often elected to office.)

Blacklisted, the guy worked his way back up, appearing in Scorsese and Polanski pictures, by and by.

But the worst part for me is how the palooka ended his life: as Max on TV’s Hart to Hart, a below-mediocre crime drama about the wealthy and beautiful beating the mean and ugly. Yeah… reality TV. Stander played the unapologetically unbeautiful one. Thank you, Stander.

In a quote he gave about the show, he said, “I'm in a television program that is always among the top 20, that's shown in 67 countries in the world, helping lobotomize the entire world". He knew it wasn’t art. He liked the paycheck. And, as a guy who’d worked as long and as hard, who could blame him.

And then, he died at age 86.

I don’t really know why I’m writing about Lionel Stander except that he was one of those actors just on the fringes who could make a dull scene come to life. He never really got his due – he got much less. But he brings a smile to my face when I watch some old movies (God knows I’d never watch reruns of Hart to Hart) and for that I am grateful.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Because American Concentration Camps were such a great idea the first time around...

Believe it or not, I thought the idea of locking up a whole lot of innocent people for no reason but their heritage was a rotten idea long before I married a half-Japanese woman. (Yes, I'm talking about the Japanese internment in WWII... not the internment of blacks since then...)

That said, the people on the right seem to still think it's a great idea. Michelle Malkin, this hideous woman, has written In Defense of Internment. She thinks it would be a good idea to lock up a whole lot of innocent people of middle-eastern descent... you know, for fun.

The real terrorists aren't just brown and poor, folks.

Challenge: Week 6...

Okay, so not much of a challenge because, well, I've been sick.

I'm feeling better now but I wasn't much up for making all the people at the WW meeting sick, ya know?

So, we'll have to wait until this weekend.

Stay tuned, fat fans!