Friday, November 30, 2007

All the children sing...

Jesus loves me this I know

For the Bible tells me so

I am assured the Bible or those who represent such a book would have no reason to falsely represent such a claim thus throwing my little world into disorder and disarray and so will believe any such claim they make no matter how outlandish or absurd it may seem and not challenge any authority figure in any way no matter how wise it might be to do so or despite any evidence to the contrary

Yes, Jesus loves me

Yes, Jesus loves me

Yes, Jesus loves me

Though what bearing that has on reality no one can really explain.

Passion… ate… less…?

Those who know me (yes, you two) know that passion is not something I am short on. I am passionate about writing, acting, creating, cooking, politics, ethics, relationships, and, um, well, WoW…

But I never cease to be amazed by people who have never found their passion. It seems to me there shouldn’t be any searching required; you should be able to find passion in anything. Right now, for instance, in the midst of a particularly foul workday, I am passionate contemplating the nap I would take if I only had the opportunity.

Before Vicky and I met, back when I was on Match, one question I would ask women to get to know them better is about their passions. And I wonder why I got so few responses! Even Vicky gave me a “what the hell are you talking about” kind of response. Since then, I’ve been told, “Not everyone finds their passion like you have, Ken.” But that’s just crazy.

There’s got to be more there. Maybe people are discouraged from opening themselves up to their passion. Maybe they’re so shut down by the tedium of every day life that it’s easier to ignore our passions. I know that most people get off-put when I start getting really into something, which is why I often shut up about my current projects. They give me a look like, “What is your problem?” and that is what’s so weird about it. Passion should not be a problem. It should be encouraged and embraced.

If you don’t know what your passion is, maybe you should open yourself up to whatever passion you feel. It might not be your life’s work but – you never know, do you? – it’s a way of living your life that is open to the passionate and ready for the passionate.

Hell, I could write a whole book on pas…. Yeah, maybe I’ll stop. You get the idea. Have fun.

Wowsie Wow Wow…

Anyone who has lost such a great love would surely understand. The pain. The anguish. The torment. Gone. Gone like yesterday, never to return. Faded into ebony, into pierceless memory.

My great love. I am bereft. Sundered. Knee deep in misery. How could my love just be gone so? How could I live without the sight of my great love?

I am talking about World of Warcraft, of course.

… what? I’ve gone nearly two months without the sooth caress of fine gameplay, the dance of the graphics, the heart-leaping ecstasy of new gear.

Well, guess what? IT’S BACK! World of Warcraft lives again! (The irony, of course, is that I’m writing this from work… god damn it.)

And this wasn’t the result of some smart cookie at Blizzard. NO! Not only would those morons not fix the problem, which originated in their 2.2 patch, they refused to even make the attempt. It was the fault of Wireless-N users, the fault of early adopters for not using old technology. Well, thank you very fucking much! Fortunately, some enterprising player found the fix and posted it on the game forums. Thank God!

So, I’m back. After two months of spending time with my wife and engaging with the world around me – fuck that – I’m back to my beloved game.

Mind the drool.

The Shock Doctrine by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein...

Sounds like a good book.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A jug of wine and yousssss…

Things are getting stressful at work. I’m in management and the real estate market is going through the floor (which is a hint for those keeping track) and my stress is just crazy.

… which is my way of justifying how much wine I drank last night!

Here’s the thing. Jenn – you remember Jenn, right? Jenn puts together a cookbook every year and has graciously invited Vicky and I to contribute a recipe. I didn’t contribute last year because, well, I was still out of work and feeling useless. This year, I’m just as useless, but employed.

For the past few months, whenever Vicky wants me to cook and I’m feeling lazy… um, pretty much whenever I cook, I’ve been doing this thing where I sear a chicken breast or pork chop and then bake it under a thick layer of sauce that is my creation. Vicky really likes it and it’s easy and so Vicky suggested I write it down for the cookbook.

But… write it down? I don’t think she realized what she was saying. Basically, my cooking method is to chop up whatever’s in my hand – basil, tomatoes, shoe horn – and cook it and hope Vicky doesn’t barf. How could I write it down?

Okay, long story short, it wasn’t that hard. I knew, basically, what I did. Even though I varied most of the time, the basic concept was there. So, I made a couple variations, measured everything, wrote everything down, et voila!

As I was cooking, I looked over at our wine rack. Vicky and I are the kind of people who love buying wines, all kinds of wonderful wines – well, all kinds of wonderful Pinot Noirs, at least – but we don’t really drink them. So, we have a few, is what I’m saying. A decision to open one led to ten minutes of trying to decide which one to open. My favorite bottle is our David Bruce 2004 Pinot Noir and we have a couple of bottles, but I like to save that one for more special occasions. Instead, I reached for a bottle of Echelon. Vicky first tasted this at a restaurant in Santa Ana – Memphis, I think – and then I had to have some. We both loved it. The 2005 Pinot Noir hasn’t exactly aged well – but it could just be the bottle or the fact that I didn’t take the time to really enjoy it.

Now, I opened it with Vicky in mind, so we could share the bottle. By the time I mentioned it to her, however, she’d already opened a beer. (We’re not a family of boozehounds or anything – it was just one of those days.) So… someone had to drink the bottle, right? We laid back on our sofas, watched Desperate Housewives on DVR, got a little toasty… it was nice. I got a buzz; I got the recipe. Now, I’m back at work and writing this.

But it was nice while it lasted.

Christmas in Kenland… 2007...

Christmas is coming, right? That’s why the temp has dipped below 70? To signify… winter…?

I’ve actually done pretty well so far. I’ve purchased presents for the wife, the parents, the in-laws – okay, so Vicky helped. (Yeah, she helped with hers, too!)

Vicky knows what she’s getting this year: a hybrid car. But I’d also like to get out and buy her some cute, girlie things. You know, the kind of stuff husbands buy their wives. Gloves and scarves and other shit we’re told to buy. What I’d like to do is find some cool, hip, green store, like down by the Anti-Mall in Costa Mesa or something. Any ideas?

Project Green Baby – the Update…

Still no baby, but that doesn’t mean I can’t plan.

So, I found this Green Baby Blog. Cool, huh?

Talk about your unanswerables...

Some time ago, I wrote a blog entry asking the difference between snickers and baby ruth, cause they're basically the same thing, right?

Well, that's now been viewed by about a bajillion people worldwide. I don't understand the infectiousness of that one blog entry. But the worst part is NOBODY HAS YET TO TELL ME! Come on, folks of Earth! That's what Comments are for!

... oh well.

(Second runner up was the one about Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal. Go figure.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Day Anna Nicole Died: Other News The Media Ignored...

My buddy (who I've never, um, met) Bob Harris! BUY HIS BOOK!

Fighting loudly in front of a park…

There’s this something I want to mention from last night – and I’m not sure where I’m going with this (but when am I ever?).

I can’t recall if this happened when we first arrived at the dog park or when we were leaving, but I caught sight of this couple out there, out in front of the park, fighting loudly. They weren’t hitting each other, mind you. In fact, there was no physical contact. But there they were, like yapping dogs, both of them in their twenties, both ignorant (at least for the moment) of how temporary this all is…

See, I used to be that guy. The first few years of my relationship with Rosa – God, too many years – I would fight about anything, anywhere, for any reason. Hell, I didn’t need a reason. I had no idea how little time with her I’d have or how the fighting would temper the relationship, beating it thin like a sheet of foil.

And I guess I just want to say: Before you fight, think for a minute. Is it that important? Because you’re only going to know that person for a very short time. You think a decade is long? You think twenty years is an eternity? You’re so fucking wrong, it ain’t funny. Cherish every single moment – you don’t get that many.

That’s what I wanted to tell these kids.

I didn’t.

I wish I had.

Vicky and I fight sometimes. Every time we do, all I can see are missed opportunities and precious minutes ticking by. I hope I fight less now than before. I hope I find forgiveness easier, both to give and to seek.

Because life is far shorter than we realize and there’s no reason to fight in front of a park.

Skin Hunger…

I was losing it at work today – too much going on and nothing to do. This happens. I’ve assigned all of my work out and have nothing to do but wait. I’d already done some writing. I’d hit my major websites. Nothing left but… the void…

Or random surfing.

I found this term, skin hunger. It refers to the essential need we all have to be touched and to touch others. Studies have shown a lack of touch can affect your health horribly - there's a reason puppies and kittens are so nice! There’s something we never talk about; in a society obsessed with sex (substituted with violence), how many of us are deprived of intimacy, even afraid of intimacy? Again, this isn’t sex. It’s just touch.

Vicky and I did a lot of touching last night. (Now, now.) We went to Central Bark, our favorite dog park, with Suki. And we met Jeff there, with Svaha – who I can only describe as his surrogate pet. There was lots of chatting and watching the pooches play. But there was also that intimacy of letting someone within your personal space, physically and otherwise. Just hanging out with someone you like can be so nourishing.

Then, after Vicky and I got to be – and Suki passed out – she needed me for my warmth. I have a steadily high body temperature – you know, hot blooded Frenchman. And she cuddled up to me and we shared a few moments of just skin on skin. Nothing sexual. Just being. And it’s like having your back scratched; it ends far too soon.

We Americans live in such a repressed society. You’ll find others kissing and hugging; so many of us don’t even make eye contact. But it’s hard to deny that it’s a basic need.

Tonight, Vicky and I are going to hit Rubio’s for $1 Taco Tuesday! After writing this, I’m probably going to be all over her.

I’ll take “Saw that One Coming” for $500… or Bush Pushes for Peach in the Middle East…

… well, he has killed more people in the middle east than just about any other president, so I guess that makes him “uniquely qualified”…

Monday, November 26, 2007

Walking in my footsteps…

There are times when this blog is more My Side than One Path. I’ve actually been tempted to reboot My Side but I think I’ve long since lost my login information, even the email address. It’s a thought I play around with and… maybe… later… I might… but not today. For today, just accept this entry as a slice of My Side. I say this because it’s not about my life with Vicky so much; it’s just a Ken thing.

I was with Vicky but, for a few moments, I stepped outside of myself… to remember…

And it was in remembering that I came to realize something I’d rather not admit. But I kind of have to – after all, what is a blog if not existential exhibitionism?

Vicky and I spent Saturday evening in Laguna beach and it was our first trip to Laguna outside of those times we were checking out wedding locations – our first date there, if you will. And I’ve been on plenty of dates there. It’s hard not to walk those streets without bumping into myself with someone else.

So many times, Rosa and I used to walk through those shops and eat in those restaurants. I don’t know why this is – call it age, say I’m different now, attribute it to the relationship I have with Vicky – but those trips back then were such a chore for me. I’d grumble and make a fuss about “having to go” with her. There were so many other places I’d rather be, things I’d rather do. It was difficult to have fun and I certainly didn’t help.

Deanna and I had been down there on a few occasions. As Vicky and I passed the park that went out to the beach, I could see Deanna and I walking out there with a blanket. I’d actually forgotten all about this, though the scene made it into my play, Athiests, almost verbatim. She laid out the blanket and we sat down together and when I tried to kiss her, she said something like, “Why would you want to ruin the beauty of the evening with meaningless necking?” I could think of a few reasons.

Vicky and I were going to a place called French 75 for dinner. It wasn’t my first time there. Sherryl and I had gone back in 2002. We’d gone as friends, celebrating (if you will) our mutual loneliness brought on by our divorces. She had paid, taking me for my birthday, and I had gotten a little drunk. (I think it was the evening I had “discovered” my love for martinis.) I’d never been to a French restaurant before and hadn’t realized how much those places charged. In fact, I wasn’t truly educated until Saturday night, over five years later!

Vicky and I went with a $100 gift card. We had martinis and a small appetizer, main course which I had with a glass of wine, and soufflé and coffees and ended up spending another hundred on top of the gift card!

We walked out of there, past the remnants of the Boom Boom Room and down a set of stairs that overlooked the beach. Vicky told me about a garden with rocks that hold the names of people who have died of AIDS but I wasn’t really there. I was, if for but a moment, like a spirit flying above the city, watching my younger selves. I’ve been incredibly lucky and I don’t always recognize that at the time. I’ve had people in my life who have gone out of there way for me, spent their time with me, and even entertained me. Things are often not as bad as we think and better than we imagine.

And it was with this thought in mind that I returned from my brief remembrance to my lovely bride. And I held her and kissed her and told her how much I love her.

Perspective is a rotten thing; it never shows us as good as we’d like to be seen. In my case, I realized how those dark years before Vicky weren’t as dark as I had thought at the time. There was plenty of goodness and companionship and goofiness even if it took several years to really notice it. I’m not blessed because I found Vicky after so many dark years. I am blessed because of how fortunate I’ve been all along. I don’t know if I deserve it but it’s true. I am a lucky guy.

Games people play… Or wish they could play if only Blizzard would get off its shiny, white ASS… but I’m not bitter…

I finished Two Worlds this past weekend. Two World is a great game – so long as you only play it for about ten hours. For me, at least, the ten hour point was when repetition became tedium. All games use repetition, most countering repetition with reward, but Two Worlds used so much that if it was salt I’d be dead right now. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I actually stopped playing it and just went right for the ending. Gamers know there’s a difference between “playing” and “finishing” a game. The ending was, of course, horrible. Two Worlds is junk food, not particularly good, but I enjoyed it as much as I could.

I played it because Blizzard patched a big old “Fuck You” for users of Wireless-N products into World of Warcraft, making it impossible to play. Now, listen, I’m a diehard WoW player but… the thing is Wireless-N works. It kicks ass. So, when Blizzard made it so WoW won’t work with Wireless-N, they made life impossible for me. Worse, their answer to Wireless-N users is “Switch back to Wireless-G”… but G sucked! The choice, then, is to use Wireless-N for everything (except WoW) and enjoy how well it works or to use Wireless-G, have it crash all the time, play some WoW between crashes, live a life saturated in SUCK, and just fucking DEAL! (My PC is in my garage, which is why I need N so badly and why G sucks so hard.)

The sad truth is that I’m just going to have to live without WoW… for a while…

The other sad truth is that playing WoW has changed the way I look at video games. Single player games are boring to me now. I’m used to all the social interaction WoW brings. I keep wanted to get on WoW and tell Sleazer (one of my in-game friends) that I didn’t quit the game, that Blizzard is draining my life into a pool of SUCK!

… but I can’t.

Back to the WII for me…

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Not really looking for an answer here…

What does it say about us as a people that the thing we call pornography is the image of two naked people touching while what we call entertainment is so often the image of death and killing?

What do we do with the people we hate or Living on one planet…

George overturned a very popular law this week, one that’s one the books in just about every state. The law “banned registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, churches and other areas where children congregate”.

For those paying attention, that’s just about everywhere. In George, sex offenders had nowhere to go. The same is true in every other state where this law is on the books. The Georgia court recognized that if you’re going to tell people “you can’t be here”, you need to give them an option.

Now, I know, I can hear you already – especially Vicky – chanting that familiar mantra “We have to protect the children”. Yes. I know. And I agree with you. But let me finish before you damn me, which I’m sure you will.

The most fascinating thing about this case is that is shines a very harsh light on human nature. Yes, we need to protect our children, but we’re not going to do it by telling every bad influence – from sex offenders to drug dealers to Republicans – “You can’t be here.” This isn’t because we want sex offenders, televangelists, and lawyers near our kids but because it’s only a short-term fix.

Face it, people. We need to look down the road at something long-term.

Hiding sex offenders away isn’t making fewer of them. In fact, they have this show on NBC where they entrap them and interview them – it’s apparently been on for a while but I just saw it for the first time the other night and it creeped me the fuck out. Putting people away, in prisons or slums or gulags, isn’t a long-term plan. It just doesn’t work. We only have so much room on this planet and, after you’ve locked everyone up, you end up being the one who’s trapped.

Eventually, we need to change the system so people don’t want to abuse children, sell drugs, or vote Republican. I don’t know how that will be done but I think recognizing that we can’t just hide them away is a good first step.

… one more thing. This quote caught my eye: "In the meantime, convicted felony sex offenders will be allowed to live next door to day care centers, school bus stops, or anywhere else they choose," the Republican lawmaker said.

Leave it to a Republican to paint the nightmare scenario.

What do we do with these people if we don’t marginalize them? How about this: how about we start working together as communities again? What would the world be like if we took care of our neighborhoods and were informed and maybe – just maybe – reached out to those dirty, nasty, disgusting felons in that spirit of Christian love and brotherhood that the Republican assholes so often taint (a word chosen just so I could use asshole and taint in the same sentence) and let them know that we know and that there are rules and membership in the community is provisional. (That’s why we have laws, after all.)

It’s generally agreed that the acts of sex offenders are inhuman. Perhaps we can make ours human, for a change.

Thankful… ness…

So, it’s early Wednesday morning and I’m sitting in my office. I’m thinking I want to write a blog about what I’m thankful for this year… which I’m sure some of you may consider trite, but I don’t care!

Remember, it was just a year ago that I had been unemployed for three months and we had to lie to Vicky’s parents and tell them I was still working even though the odds of us losing our home were getting higher and higher. (Point of fact: Vicky lied. I didn’t find out she had until after she did. We didn’t really need to lie to her parents, either… Vicky!) Anyway, things were getting worse and didn’t look like they’d get any better. Last year, I was very thankful for Vicky, for her support and being there for me and believing in me.

This year, I have a good job, I’ve done a lot of writing, I’m in pretty good health (surprisingly) – things have really turned around.

I have a lot to be thankful for…. such as ending sentences with prepositions, though I hate to… and, yes, that was ironic… I don’t normally – On with the list!

Thankfulositinessment 2007

I’m thankful for Vicky, who would probably smack me if I didn’t put her first. I am thankful for her understanding and patience and humor and soul… even when she’s a bitch.

I’m thankful for my dad being alive.

I’m thankful for my mom and Keith and Audrey, and how my dad’s illness seems to have woken them about their complacency. It looks like the whole episode is moving them to leave all the past injustices (real and imagined) committed by my dad long behind.

I’m thankful for Richard, who was there in Arizona with smokes.

I’m thankful for Blanche, who is much more than a step-mom to me.

I’m thankful for my new family, Steve, Noriko, and Mike.

I’m thankful for having a job with an office where I can flake and write and do interesting work every day… well, every other day.

I’m thankful for Climbing Maya, which helped me find success while also letting me let go of some things. I’m thankful for Wormfood, the greatest horror novel of all time. I’m thankful for Daughter of a One-Armed Man, which may already be a bit dated but I like it anyway.

I’m thankful for the fine support people at Blizzard, who have worked so hard on Wireless-N compatibility with World of Warcraft… oh wait… no, they SUCK.

I’m thankful that the sleepwalking, hallucinations, nightmares, and other assorted mental weirdnesses have been quiet for a while. Let’s make it another 50 years…

And as self-indulgent as it might sound, I’m thankful for me. People I know tend to have a lot of faith in me, a lot more than I have in myself, but I am not doing too badly so maybe I should believe them on occasion. I hardly ever smoke or drink anymore. I work weights and jog regularly. I eat better. I’m taking care of myself for the first time in a very long time and maybe that comes from finally finding the ability to love myself, if only a little. This body, this mind, this life – I am thankful for that.

Some people say you can’t be thankful without believing in God, so that as an atheist I am somehow not allowed. But when I give thanks, I prefer not to give it to an imaginary being. I give my thanks to Vicky, to my dad and mom and brothers and sister and to Blanche, to Steve, Noriko, and Mike, to my friends, to my books, and even to myself. And why not?

Here’s hoping you can find something to be thankful for and thankful to – and not kill any Indians… if you can help it… I’m sure they’d appreciate that.

Monday, November 19, 2007


If I told you that the result of my dad’s recovery (thus far) is that I’m flat lining, would you even believe me?

Perhaps I should give you some insight on how my mind works… maybe that would help. Here’s a look at how my mornings usually work:
9 – 9:20. Work
9:20 – 9:35. Write
9:35 – 9:55. Work
9:55 – 10. Write
10 – 10:30. Meeting
10:30 – 10:40. Write
10:40 – 11. Work

This is a sample of the rhythm of my day. Most people usually space out, chat, surf the web or something else in those few minutes before working on things. I write. I can hammer out a page in ten minutes and pick up that thought hours later to put down another page. It’s just how my mind usually works. I’ve become an expert at multi-multi-tasking, working on several projects at once, considering what to put on the blog, thinking about the new book, preparing how I’m going to sell the next one (or attempt to sell it), and on and on… usually.

But that’s all changed and not only do I not know what to do with myself… I don’t care much. Let’s face it, I’ve worked hard this year and have a library of material to sell as a result. (Publishers? Are you listening?) I can afford to take some time off!

I guess it’s just that I’m so unaccustomed to it that makes me concerned.

I had mentally prepared myself for my father’s death. I said my Goodbye. I informed the other side of my family. But then, the doctors started doing their jobs and found what was killing him. At least, we hope so. Now, he’s back home. He’s getting better.

I think I was just at such a heightened state of readiness, waiting for the shock of his death, that even though it didn’t come I’m still recovering. I didn’t feel the impact I’d braced myself for but I think I threw a mental muscle as I braced myself.

So, what am I doing during this period of… well, normality? I’m doing what other people do. I’m spacing out. I’m chatting. The web is my friend. Before too long, things will return to normal and I’ll be pounding out the end of the new book and the beginning of the next.

As strange as it might sound, I’m rather enjoying this. This kind of flat lining ain’t that bad. I hope my dad avoids the other kind for a long, long time.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A bad week…

I’m writing this at about 10am, so the week isn’t over. But let’s consider this an expression of my optimistic spirit that I’m wrapping up this week now.

… where to start?

Well, my dad’s dying. What’s that? Did that get your attention? It got mine. After spending a relaxing day with Vicky, doing a bit of shopping, playing a bit of Wii, I received a call from my brother, Richard, Sunday evening to tell me how dad was fading fast and could die. Not good.

After months of having my employer tell me, “If you need to take time off to take care of your dad, we’ll totally understand,” I did. I woke up at 4am Monday morning, hopped in my car, and started driving. Traffic moved easily at that hour of the morning and I bought a big Monster to wake me up – and it woke me the fuck up! I’m just lucky I have an economical car because it took me to the Arizona border – and cheaper gas! – on just over half a tank. It was still pretty early, traffic was light, and I made good time heading into Arizona. As I entered Phoenix, though, Blanche wasn’t returning my calls. I couldn’t remember the freeway exit and not only was I picturing myself driving to Florida before realizing I’d gone too far, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going on with my dad. Was he in the hospital? Was he dead? I called Vicky for the freeway exit – she’d stayed home to play her new Zelda game – and finally got ahold of Blanche when I tried their home phone instead of their cell. The cell phone was all that had died, thankfully.

But when I walked into their home, I could see how sick my dad was. He’d lost a great deal of weight, which I’d heard about but you just don’t understand something like that until you see it firsthand, and he was confined to a wheelchair. I’m not going to go into too many details but he was clearly failing. He’d made arrangements in the event of his death. He was ready.

And it hit me like a wet fish stuffed with concrete. I was startled. I was hurt. I was very confused.

Then, when he was going to sleep early in the afternoon, Blanche suggested I might want to say Goodbye at that time… just in case…

How do you say Goodbye to your father? Especially one who left you when you were five, with whom no relationship existed until you were in your twenties? Strangely, it’s not even something you think about. You don’t say a lot. I did what I tend to do: I made a little joke. Then, I held him and I felt like someone was cutting out my guts.

But I was handling myself pretty well, considering. Richard flew into town with his son, Hayden, and – thank god – brought smokes. I had my first cig in a while and loved it. Then, my dad astonished us by waking up and Richard and his son got to see him. See, the thing is, none of dad’s doctor’s could find anything that could be, well, killing him. (And, yes, Richard and I were hating said doctors.)

Then, Richard and Blanche and I spent the evening playing with Hayden and catching up. (Richard and I hadn’t seen each other in a year!) By 12:30am, Tuesday morning, we turned in… and I awoke at 3am, which was 4am California time… and I was back on the road. By the time I pulled up in front of my house Tuesday afternoon, I was a zombie.

Worse, the next day at work I was a zombie who cried a lot. That wasn’t part of the plan! And I hadn’t really slept since Friday night! (Vicky gave me a Monster energy drink Saturday night… blame her…) No sleep Wednesday night made me even more of a zombie on Thursday… but at least I wasn’t crying so much.

The worst was yet to come, however. Wednesday night, my dad had to be taken to the ER and things looked bleak. So, after work on Thursday, I went to tell my mom. See, the thing is, I overheard my dad tell Blanche back on Monday how he wanted to apologize to my mom for… well, for how things had turned out. He’d been carrying that regret with him for about 37 years. I hadn’t known he was capable of that but now I understand that I get my profound sense of guilt from both parents. Swell. But with my dad in the hospital, looking as though he was going to die, he’d never get to tell her. So, I went to tell her… almost… she wasn’t home. Dammit! It was 3:15 and I had to pee! Oh well… I’d wait. I could hold it. It was soon 4… then, 4:15… then, 5:00. My bladder hated me so much it was fundraising for the Republicans. Then, finally, she got home and I told her what I’d been waiting so long to say, “Mom! I need to use your bathroom!”

Priorities, folks.

When I told her about my dad, I was deathly afraid she’d start crying. If she cried, I’d cry – and then, there’d be no stopping it! But she didn’t cry. She held herself together very well. We got through it, together.

And I headed home, worried because I hadn’t heard from Blanche all day.

A voicemail at home, however, cleared that all up. Blanche had called me on the home phone and told me that the doctors might have found out what was making my dad so sick. It’s treatable and he may recover.

Great news! Except now I had to call my mom and say, “Oh… by the way…”

I was going to write about this much sooner but I couldn’t help wonder, “Sure, but what if he gets better? That makes for a stupid story, about a son who says goodbye to his father only to find out he really didn’t need to.” That very well may be the case but, you know what?, that’s okay. I’m okay with that. That’s how life works. Now, I just hope he gets better.

A warning to anyone on the Southern California freeways…

I have Trance playing in my car again… and we know what happens… but isn’t that what they make fenders for???

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Did you see the story about how Santas are no longer allowed to say "Ho Ho Ho"?...

(Don't believe me?)

So, from now on, Santa should only say:

Slut! Slut! Slut!
Bitch! Bitch! Bitch!
Cunt! Cunt! Cunt!

... I swear, I'll do anything to, um, swear...

A wish to throw up on…

As some of you may know, I’m 42 years old. Being 42, I am well beyond the age where I can stay out all night, party like a madman, and really seriously get my drunk on. At 42, you want to go to bed at a good hour, party like a reasonable man, and get your drunk… to the door before he gets to rowdy. Every time I try to get drunk these days, I have one or two drinks and then realize it’s time for bed.


Well, things in my life are rather fuckedly at the moment (more on that later… much later) and if I had my wish, I’d like to be able to sit down this Saturday night with a pitcher or three of martinis, a pack of smokes, and someone equally dedicated to the cause (because drinking alone just sucks) and proceed to get really hammered and stinky.

… and I’d like to be 30… just for the night… until, say, I heave out my guts. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

And the check is in the mail...

The headline reads: Bush promises to rebuild Justice Dept.

And we know it’s true because he’s been so good at rebuilding things he’s broken… like New Orleans… Baghdad… the economy…

Friday, November 09, 2007

Hot Pockets…

In an effort to disclose every last detail of my life, let me tell you that I ate Hot Pockets last night.

They still suck.

Just one survivor left…

You may have heard the news. There’s only one living survivor left from the Titanic. (The Titanic just called to say it was definitely NOT its fault… honest…)

Now, listen, I’m in a bit of a slump. I’m in a bad mood, foul spirits, so you’ll forgive me if I’m a bit cruel… cause that’s easy, after all. But I can’t help but wonder what that must be like. To be the only living survivor.

Were the survivor a guy, it might be fun to say things like, “Unsinkable? She was fucking every guy on the ship!” or totally random things like, “By the end, they all became cannibal zombies and ate the brains of the crew! That’s why it went down, you know? Because of those god-damned Methodists! What? Who are you calling a liar? Were you there? Did you see it? NO!

See, that’s the thing that must be so satisfying, to be the only one who really knows.

But then, you find out that the last remaining survivor of the Titanic was only two months old at the time. What good is that? What do you say then? “I don’t know about the crash but I sucked some serious tit, let me tell you.”

Actually, this has little to do with some two month old – but, one more thing, how sad is it that this woman is only known for being in an accident at two months? Seriously, how sad that the only thing they can say is, “She was on a boat that sank – er, and she was a wonderful person as well, I’m sure…”

Where was I? Oh, right. This isn’t about that.

The thing is, I’ve been sitting here thinking about that whole survivor gig. Is it really all it’s cracked up to be? In all honesty, my first thought goes to the ex-wife and the hell I went through trying to keep myself from being put in a mental ward or committing suicide and, seriously, I don’t need the t-shirt. I think about Sean, who lost his wife over a year ago. I think about Vicky, who lost her grandparents. We are all survivors, in a way.

The thing is, it’s no great thrill. It’s not as though you don’t want to survive – hey, surviving is part of what we’re here for! – but you kind of wish the title didn’t need to be applied to you. After all, isn’t “survivor” the ultimate back-handed compliment? “Hey! You lost your wife! Your grandparents died! Don’t you feel great?”

“Survivor” is a brand on par with nothing else I can think of. There are cancer survivors who probably just wish they’d never had cancer. There are car crash survivors who, I’m sure, would rather never do that again. I don’t know if the last survivor of the Titanic thinks too much about it – except when people ask what it was like. “I was only two months old! Give me a fucking break!” – but being a survivor is no treat.

It’s like eating a particularly bad meal cooked by someone you love. You don’t want to eat it. In fact, you hate it. Maybe you force a smile and make yummy sounds, telling all the while what a delight it is. Maybe you just grit your teeth and rub your throat to make the food go down. When you’re finished, that’s it. You’ve survived.

And you hope you’ve learned enough not to accept that invitation again.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Waterboardin', USA Video...

Bushie Beach Boys...

Great (White) Northern...

Couldn't help it. Great song, though.

And you’re fat, too…

This morning, I saw an article on MSN called “5 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight”. (MSN folk, read Elements of Style and spell out your numbers below 10… and the word "Why" would help... gahd, that’s irritating!)

Without reading it, I already knew what it said.

1. You’re fat.
2. You’re a fatty fat McFatster.
3. You are so fucking fat.
4. Holy shit, Martha! He’s coming at the children with ketchup.
5. You fat fuck.

So, I immediately composed my own list: Five Reasons I’m Not Reading This List…

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

There goes Date Rape Cereal – part of this complete breakfast…

Okay, so let’s walk through this.

But before we do, let me emphasize that this was made in Australia, which is NOT spelled C-H-I-N-A…

So, this toy manufacturer is making a toy… for kids… made of beads… but the manufacturer doesn’t think there’d be any possibility any child would, oh, try to eat… the beads… in the toy… cause they’re kids… and what kid ever… you know?

But to add insult to just plain bat-shit crazy, they make the candy out of a chemical that the human body just so happens to metabolize as gamma hydroxy butyrate… you know… GHB… Georgia Home Boy… G-Riffick… Cherry Meth… Salty Water… Easy Lay… the stuff usually referred to as a date rape drug!

So, you’re making a child’s toy out of a date rape drug, just the right size for chewing… well, god-damn them liberal, big government regulators, wanting to get all up in a corporation’s right to market date rape toys to children! After all, wasn’t this what the Republican Revolution was meant to stop? (Not date rape toys but corporate regulation.)

Now, call me crazy… I’ll wait… but wouldn’t it be fun to follow extra large shipments of these and see who got them? I’m picturing the old man from Family Guy opening a toy store…

Special Comment on Torture Part 2

For seven years, evil men have worn the cloak of patriotism and we have let them. What will it take for us to stop allowing such evil?

Special Comment on Torture Part 1

What will it take for us to agree on something so fundamentally basic?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Small Wonder…

I just came back from a philosophy class in which 99% of the class, while not denying that the Holocaust ever occurred, refused to admit that it had any relation to our lives. These barely post-pubescent pinheads felt that the Holocaust bares no relation to then because that was other people – GERMANS – doing things to someone else – JEWS.

… is it any wonder we even have to debate the ethics of torture in this country?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Breaking children…

IHOP. Yesterday. Breakfast.

Vicky and I went to IHOP for a couple reasons but, mostly I think, because Vicky knows that pancakes put me in a very happy place. We were waiting for our table out in a little room with very few seats (which always seems to be the case – I don’t know why) when a young woman walked in with (who I am guessing to be) her sister, her mother, and her daughter. This little baby was in a small – what do they call them? – baby carrying case and I got up from my seat so the woman could put her baby down.

This put the baby right next to Vicky – and Vicky is in such a state of maternal energy overload (must get this girl preggers) that she positively gushed over the little, baby girl. She cooed and made this strange, little voice and talked with the mom and had a grand time.

Meanwhile, I thought about having one of our own and every single solitary god damned fucking thing that could go wrong.

At the top of this list, a list I know very well because I’d had time to think about it, is the ever popular “Breaking the Baby.”

Listen, babies are very fragile creatures. You have to be very careful with them. You have to support their neck when you hold them. If you don’t support it just right – if you get it just a little wrong – broken neck and you’ve killed your baby. And, if there’s one thing I know it’s that women get angry when you do that. Breaking babies is bad. It puts you above Michael Jackson and Brittney Spears on a list of all-time worst baby people – because they never broke their kids, you know?

Vicky found out the little angel was only two months old. Two months. And her neck still needed support. That’s eight weeks, 56 days wherein you could break the baby! That’s crazy! So, not wanting to be without the correct info, I asked, “For how long do you need to support their necks?”

“About four months,” Vicky replied.

Four months. That’s 16 weeks! For 112 days (give or take) you could easily become a baby breaker! Holy crap! I could only imagine prisons filled with baby killers who were convicted because someone asked, “Will you hold my baby?” One SNAP later and they’re doing a perp-walk!

Of course, it gets worse. The little girl got bored of waiting, after a while, and started to nibble on her hood – she was wearing this jacket, um, thing with a hood – and that got me to thinking… if their necks are that fragile for four months, what about the rest of their bodies? Can you imagine? You try to put their foot in a bootie – SNAP! You try to slip on a sleeve – SNAP! Babies are nothing but hospital bills and prison sentences waiting to happen!

Meanwhile, people half my age… and less… are having babies with no problem. I am sure Vicky would be happy to point this out. Of course, these young idiots probably have no idea how easily they could be the next person imprisoned for breaking babies!

I’m sure you’re thinking I’m just being paranoid… so let me tell you something truly frightening. Vicky sprained her ankle last week. She was walking. She sprained her ankle… from walking. She was coming into the garage and dropped like a stone. I have a tendency to run into things and trip over things.

Now, seriously, does anyone really think we WON’T break our baby?

I’m beginning to think I should invest in rubber bumpers for when we “baby proof” our house…

Lack of sleep takes its toll...

Or, "My days as a poet/songwriter are very numbered"...
Or, "Jokes only I can find funny"...

my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard
and they are under the impression that their product's quality exceeds that displayed by mine in survey after survey
and this is shown in conclusive double-blind studies conducted by the most reputable marketing firms
such information, however, comes at a premium

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Shows I hate…

Continuing the idea from a previous email, I also got to thinking that I often surround myself with shows I hate. That is to say, I dedicatedly watch TV shows that annoy and bother me.

I can think of four off the top of my head.

Let’s start with Dirty Sexy Money or, what they should have called, Rich Folk Ain’t So Bad. This show started out as a show about a normal guy in the middle of a family of rich lunatics. Is it well written? Yes. Well acted? Try Peter Krause and Donald Sutherland! But come on! The rich people get more likable with every show, like the final seasons of MASH, almost to the point where they’re trying to say “Rich people are just like you and me”. No, they’re not. And this was our chance to mock them. And you blew it.

… but I’ll keep watching.

Next, how about Desperate Housewives or, what they should have called, Women Suck. This is a show about a bunch of women who do nothing but cause problems. They are irritating, bitchy, nosey, vindictive, spiteful… okay, and funny. I’ll give you that. But the characters are totally inconsistent and never learn.

… but I’ll keep watching.

What about Heroes? Have you seen Heroes? Or, what they should have called, Don’t Look At Me. Listen, I’m a comic book geek from the old days but even I am growing tired of waiting four or five or six episodes in a row for something to happen. Can something please, you know, occur??? I mean, I know those nifty special effects cost a bundle but, if I wanted something without effects, shit I’d shoot it!

… but I’ll keep watching.

Granted, none of these are as bad as the supremo supremo of awful television, a show so bad it’s not even “so bad it’s good”… it’s just bad. I’m talking, of course, about Jericho, which they should have called Nuclear War Smuclear War. This is a show about what happens after a nuclear war… a nuclear war in which the bombs do no damage, they just incite people to act like idiots. Seriously. Fallout goes away in days. Crops grow heartily. Machines still run. There’s no radiation. Vicky and I watched last season just to play “spot the complete lack of science – or “Where did the writer ignore his science teacher”. And we’ll probably do that again this season. (Which reminds me – WHAT THE FUCK?)

… so… you know…

The End of the Inclusiveness…

When I told Vicky that we were through with All-Inclusive Resorts, I think my verdict came in a little early for her.

I don’t often lay down the law in my house – anyone who has met Vicky can understand why – but this time I had to.

“No more All Inclusive for us!” I said. “We’re done.”

“Except if we go back to the Bahamas,” she noted. This was her fall-back, compromise, reasonable response.

Screw that. “Nope. No more.”

Here’s the thing. We went down to the RIU in Cabo for six days of All-Inclusive decadence… and it turned out to be a total waste. The best meal we had was off the resort! Besides that, the idea of All-Inclusive just isn’t us any more. AI works great if all you plan to do is eat, drink, smoke, eat, smoke, drink, and smoke… what? I like to smoke. Oh well. The thing is, that’s just not us any more.

I am very happy to say that! That is not us any more!

Even when we ate at the resort, we didn’t gorge ourselves. We ate reasonable meals, and they probably would have been tastier off the resort. We didn’t drink a lot, either. The fact is, AI has become a waste of our time and money.

When we went to Hawaii, we had a great time doing a non-AI vacation. We went to all sorts of different places. Our favorite restaurant was an Asian-Italian Fusion place we never would have experienced at an AI resort.

So, that’s it. We’re done.

Could it be we’re getting healthier? Could it be we’re getting back in the groove of being the people we want to be. Let’s hope so!