Friday, February 29, 2008

Our bed is not above Murphy’s Law…

As Tim used to tell me, “Murphy was an Optimist”. (Actually, he had a huge poster on his wall that said that – along with every variation of Murphy’s Law you could want to know.) I was struck by the irony of the law this morning when I received an email about… condoms…

Yes. Condoms. I’m subscribed to a Green email newsletter called Idea Bite. Every day, I’m sent some new way to go green and today’s email was on the subject of condoms. Turns out condoms can be green – no, not just the color – by being made of bio-degradable, vegan (no less) latex and not polyurethane. Of course. That makes sense.

And it’s completely useless information, considering that the last thing I was to do is keep my sperm… um… contained.

I have come to… no, wait, arrived at the realization that Vicky and I are fighting an uphill battle against Murphy’s Law in trying to get pregnant. I promise you, if we were teenagers without jobs who didn’t want to get pregnant we wouldn’t even need to have sex! They say condoms are only 99% effective for just this reason! Because, somehow, sperm and eggs know when your life situation makes it horrible timing to become pregnant, get knocked up, put a bun in the oven, etc., and this is when they do it! Because they have incredible timing and a sense of humor you wouldn’t believe!

Meanwhile, over here, there’s Vicky and me. Employed. Married. Wanting a child. With a house. You know… READY.

I’m thinking the only way it will happen is if I lose my job (again!), we burn down the house, Vicky becomes my sister, and I drop out of high school.

… we’ll work on that this weekend.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Would you believe...

Okay, so after watching Trailer #1, I was sure Steve Carell was sure to disappoint as Agent 86 in the Get Smart movie. But then, after seeing Trailer #2, would you believe he wasn't horribly disappointing?

Would you believe he only stank a little?

Either way, check it out. It's still no CJ7 - WHICH I AM DYING TO SEE - but it does have The Rock stapling something to someone's head.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Elliptical resistance…

So, I’m on the Elliptical at the gym last night. For those who don’t know, the Elliptical is like a stair master, but the steps truck along in an ellipse. The theory, I guess, is that it reduces impact. Whatever!

So, I’m really moving, you know? Just zipping along… um, in place. I’m not holding on to the side railing because I heard that helps work your “core” better. I am an elliptical GOD!

Which is when it was time for me to be taken down a few pegs… dammit…

A trainer brings some new member over and tells her to set the resistance up to three.


And I think, “What the hell is resistance?”

It’s the setting I have at zero.


Mother fuck.

But hey, I’m a man. I’m tough. I can do this.

I set my resistance to one… two… and three… And, for the next thirty minutes, I put my body through the harshest pain since I saw Cloverfield. Worse, actually. It was more like the last time I saw an Adam Sandler film.

I can’t help but wonder: Am I out of shape, fat, or just old?

And do I really want an answer to that question?

Friday, February 22, 2008

The wonderfulness of “thin pants”… or whatever ya calls thems…

Last week, while we were at the outlet mall, I got the coolest pair of cargo pants from Ralph Lauren. I don’t normally (or pretty much ever) shop at Ralph Lauren but, you gotta understand, these are cool pants! What makes them so cool? They are THIN PANTS! THIN PANTS! They make me feel thin!

Sure, they’re 38s but they’re big on me. I feel thin in them! I love them!

Now, I know what you’re going to say and let me stop you there. You’re thinking that “thin pants” are the pants you wear when you’re… you know… thin! Well, I tried to get a consensus via a Google search and it looks like that’s all over the map.

I do have a pair like that, though. In fact, I have two pairs. Two pairs of 36 waist jeans, the coolest jeans in the world, thin-people jeans. (Well, “thin” as I define it, at least.) I used to wear those jeans back when I was acting, the star of stage, screen, and Wendy’s salad bar. (Thanks, Rick!) They are my “I can’t wait until I am thin” jeans.

But these cargo pants are much nicer. They appeal to my vanity by being nice and loose! They make me feel thin! Who cares if they are a fat size – do you have any idea how loose they’ll be after I get down to my “acting weight”? (A weight that is so much thinner that I am now, a weight that I was up until about four years ago, a weight that Vicky totally fucked up by making me happy and shit, that I won’t even bother to tell you cause you just ain’t gonna believe me.)

So, I’ll hit the gym tonight and I’ll lift weights and I’ll run but even if it doesn’t work miracles overnight, I know it will work in time and, until then, I have my thin pants.

Who says I’m shallow?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dear Vicky…

For the past couple of weeks, things have been pretty crazy at Casa Un Sendero. Vicky’s been working her normal crazy hours but when she gets home I’m still working on homework. As a result, we don’t see too much of each other. Last weekend, our big “date night” was only a couple of hours long. This weekend, we’ll be hitting Costco. Ah, romance!

So, I thought that today I would address my blog directly to Vicky. She won’t read it tonight. She won’t be home from work until after 8pm! But she’ll catch it, by and by, and when she does it’ll be here.

So, Vic, this is for you.


… ok, just kidding.

I’ve been accused of being too “sensitive” at times, not manly enough if you know what I mean. So, Vicky’s probably expecting me to mention how I think about her when she’s gone, how much I love her, and how I know we’ll get through this busy period just fine because the strength and power of our love yada yada yada

Which is all true.

But what’s really on my mind is how she could have picked herself up some ice cream without remembering to buy me any. And this recent obsession with blankets – the woman keeps buying blankets! And how it doesn’t matter how tired you are when you get home if you’re going to send me an obscene text message in the middle of the afternoon – stick to your commitments, chick!

There. Now I feel better.

I do miss you, Vic. And I know we’re just going through a busy time. I know it’ll end… you know… in another 20 years…

I’m still just as nuts for you as those days when we were first dating and couldn’t keep our hands off each other. We just had better schedules then.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

First you write the one you think will sell, then you write the good one…

Call it a Ken-ism, but I think it’s a philosophy that can work. Granted, it hasn’t worked, yet, but it helps me stay true to what drives me while thinking of things that might actually sell.

It’s not even my own philosophy. I stole it from somewhere, I’m sure.

First: your money-maker.
Second: your art.

I’ve been following this pretty well for a while.

A couple of years ago, I wrote No More Blue Roses: a Ken book with Ken characters, vile people doing funny things. It was a return to form for me, very “old skool”. Too bad nobody liked it.

I followed that up with Love of Your Life: an honest to God, sincerely told love story. It was my attempt at something new and commercial. Vicky gave it to one of her friend’s reading groups and they later chased me down with pitchforks, because they’re never going to get those hours of their lives back again. Then, when Blanche told me it was the best thing of mine she’d ever read… I was conflicted. Vicky hasn’t read it, yet, but my faith in it has kinda sank.

When I lost my job at IMC, I decided to write something different and completely non-commercial. This was the book on success, Climbing Maya. So far, everyone who reads it… wait, everyone who finishes it, loves it. (Jenn’s been choking it down at an achingly slow pace so I don’t dare guess what she thinks.) I never thought it would sell and I haven’t been disappointed.

I followed that up with my zombie book. Vicky read most of that in one sitting so I guessing it’s as commercial as I figured.

Next, came my fable for adults, Daughter of a One-Armed Man. It is decidedly not commercial. Nobody’s read that one, yet. In fact, I haven’t had a chance to work on the rewrites. (This summer, maybe?)

Then, I started the book I’m writing now, my “serial killer marries into a family of psychos worse than him” book. Very commercial horror/thriller… and I’m almost done. I hit 53,000 words today and I’m aiming short: somewhere between 70-75,000. I’m heading into the final scenes and getting ready to start thinking about what comes next.

What I thought was going to come next was going to be another big departure for me, a globe-trotting spy adventure about a kidnapped model and the nerd who stalks her. (Think Jerry Lewis meets Charlie’s Angels.) It’s a comedy adventure, then, and very commercial. But… here’s the thing, the book I’m writing now is commercial. It’s time to take a break and write something I will enjoy.

The important part about writing what you love and not just what you think will sell is simple: nobody knows what will sell. You can take a wild guess but, in the end, nobody – not even the experts – really knows. So, you have to balance intuition with the artist within; at least, I think so. Not only does it keep my work diverse, it does something far more important as well. I realized this when I saw some of my brother’s recent video work. He’s gotten into making travel videos and, watching his last one, it was more polished, more professional than anything that came before – and it made me think, “I hope he’s not doing this just to make money.”

You see, it’s easy to make money if you just want to make money, but that is not why we create art. Sure, the money is nice, too. But we become writers and artists and film-makers because of a need that is inside of us, that money can’t touch. You're doing something that you love, passionately. That’s why it’s so important to think of yourself on occasion and create something that is important to you.

So, what comes next? This commercial horror novel gave me the idea – the horror novel is dead. It can’t scare us any more. Swear to Dog. You know why? Because we have created a world that is far scarier on a variety of levels. Serial killers are a joke when compared to the wars we wage. Unstoppable slashers are nothing compared to terrorists. Zombies pale in comparison to our toxic diet. Vampires are nothing against a determined gang. Killer diseases are real. And global warming is the card that trumps them all. The things we do to each other in real life are scarier by far than anything we can imagine.

And, as I mentioned, this book gave me the idea. After all, the serial killer is the good guy – the good guy! My friend, Rob, was offended by that notion but then I asked, “Who’s worse? Someone who kills a few dozen or Dick Cheney, who has killed, tortured, maimed, and wounded thousands upon thousands?” The scope is inescapably huge. Humanity is fucking scary.

You might say that’s pessimistic. After all, Climbing Maya defined success and proved how it is possible. Daughter of a One-Armed Man showed that human beings really are capable of love. Something’s got to balance that. So, there you are – my “fuck you” to the world. And, honestly, it’s been a long time coming.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Stupid food and other observations…

You ever cook something and, when you’re done, think, “That looks stupid.”

Well, that happened to me last night. I made some pasta and a homemade meat sauce for dinner and… it just looked stupid. Not unappetizing, mind you. Just stupid. Stupid food. Food with a wheel missing. I don’t know if you have any idea of what I’m talking about but some food just looks stupid. And you think, “Am I really going to eat that?” Of course, you are. You cooked it; you might as well eat it.

I didn’t mention this to Vicky… but I did see her giving it a few extra looks before she dug in.

I was happy to have Vicky back home. She’d been gone Friday and Saturday night’s, dog-sitting for her brother. I, wisely and surprisingly, had used that time to start working on a PowerPoint presentation for my Kid’s TV class. In two days, I completed 11 slides… and I’m only about a third of the way through – shit! So, the thing I learned the most was just how much MORE work I have to look forward to! I’m so used to writing stories and straight-forward papers that this PowerPoint thing really took me off guard. It’s more like writing sketches, short scenes each with its own artwork or sound effects. So, I spend most of my weekend putting each of my ideas into bite-sized, slide-sized pieces and looking for pictures and sounds that fit. Took for-fucking-ever! Crap!

I did get a little break Saturday night when I drove out to Fontana to take Vicky to dinner. We only see each other for a couple hours each night during the week, so the weekends are crucial to our relationship, which is why even though she was in Fontana we arranged a date. We went out to Logan’s, our favorite roadhouse out there – a real country dive. We love it. Dinner was great and we got to spend a couple of hours together, but then I had to head back home and keep working on the presentation. I took off right away and only realized later what a stupid choice that was: homework over Vicky. Dumbass move!

But Vicky got back early Sunday, and I was happy to ditch the homework. Rather than remain cooped up in the house all day, we drove down to the Carlsbad Outlet Mall (or whatever the name is) to look at Crate&Barrel for a replacement patio umbrella. Turned out, they didn’t have the one we wanted but – so what? It was an opportunity to do something other than go to work or school or do homework! Hell, I loved it! We had sushi and I bought some clothes. It was a good day for me. During the entire drive, we kept the radio on Raw Dog (Uncensored) Comedy, one of our satellite stations and laughed and laughed. Another enjoyable departure from our constant, unending work: humor!

And then, came dinnertime. We ate in the dark and watched “Cities of the Underworld” but I could still see the stupid food. And we opened a bottle of cabernet someone had given to us and it sucked out loud.

Overall, not a bad weekend.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Crazy, bachelor weekend…

It’s been a while since I was a bachelor but I’m a pretty swinging guy. I think I can manage it.

Vicky’s going away to dogsit for her brother this weekend. No, I’m not making that up. Dogsit. No shit.

So, I’m going to have the place to myself all weekend long. Yep. All weekend. And, baby, there ain’t no party like a swinging Ken party cause a swinging Ken party don’t stop.

I’ll start the night a little low key. First, I’ll hit the gym and work on the dough-hard body that is what I am. I’ll be pumping all kinds of metal, plastic, or whatever in upwards of 20 or 30 pounds. Then, I’ll have me some dinner. I’m thinking about a little Top Ramen or, maybe, if I’m really in the mood for something crazy, I’ll make myself some pasta with some homemade sauce. Just for yours truly, baby. That’s right. Then, I’ll pop in some vintage moviola shit, something from the 1920’s, maybe a documentary… that’s right, baby. Off da hook.

I’ve got to start working on a presentation I need to do for my Kid’s TV class so after dinner I think I’ll move into my private study, otherwise known as The Garage, and kick it with the PowerPoint. Yes, my and the PP constructigating a little prezentationiz… ness…

I’ll start tomorrow late, cause sleepin in is what the mad bachelor is all about. I’ll wake up at 9:00am and return to the 24-hour Fitne-hiz Centre… which doesn’t open until 9:00am, anyway, a jog… or walk… maybe just stand there looking cool. Then, it’s off to schoolz, cause even the mad, crazy bachelor… doesn’t have his degree, yet. I’ll go watch cartoons and shit, cause it’s a Children’s TV class. I am, like, all up in that mad Children’s TV ass and shit!

But that’s just the start of my day. Then, it’s all about the bitches. Working on that presentation is gonna be a bitch and leveling in WoW will be a bitch, too. But that ain’t all. Shit, no! Cause I gotz the crib to my own bad self! We’re talking all kinds of shit you ain’t even thought about! I’ll kick it on my sofa and watch Bill Moyers and maybe a documentary – that’s right. I ain’t afraid of nothing! Y’all can’t handle this! It’s intenzidatious!

I might even take a run down to the border. That’s right, muthafuckers! The border! You know what they gotz down there! That’s right! Spicy chicken burritos and shit! I’ll eat that with as much hot sauce as I like, mad hot sauce! Shit, I own the Pepto! It’s in my medicine cabinet and everything!

… Anybody got a life I can borrow?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

File this under 4V…

If I tell you today is a special day, will you promise not to assume that it’s just because it’s Valentine’s Day? Oh, sure. It is Valentine’s Day. But that’s not it. There’s more.

This is my fourth Valentine’s Day with Vicky and that makes it special. Seriously. On our first, we were just dating, newly engaged. On our second, we were newlyweds. On our third, we were the struggling couple. The thing that makes today so special is that it’s not special. There’s no big reason to celebrate it, no landmark occasion, and that’s what makes it so important to me.

Vicky and I are now, officially, an old, married couple. (I help satisfy the “old” requirement.) This is when people become complacent and take for granted what a blessing their lives have become.

And what makes this a special day is the fact that we have not.

Granted, I can only speak for myself – Vicky could speak for herself but do you seriously expect her to write? Come on! – but I cherish every day I have with Vicky. I look forward to seeing her when she gets home and going to bed with her at night, even when she’s “too tired.” Emails I get from her lift my day and when I’m having a bad day at work, I look at her picture and feel better. Vicky, in short, is wonderful.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweetheart.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Working with class…

This blog has kind of turned into an ongoing biography of my little family, the story of Vicky and me. With that in mind, I am thinking this morning of something that is dominating my existence: I’m tired.

Seriously. I’m tired. I am working full time, going to school part time, trying to sell several books, writing another book, working out so I can act again in the summer, and trying to find the precious time necessary to play World of Warcraft. And when I write all of that down, my claim extends to this: I’m really tired.

But, of course, that isn’t going to stop me, which brings me to my thought for today (I try to keep myself to one), which is how much that says about Vicky and me. You see, we both share the same kind of sensibility in that regard. Vicky’s not working on books and getting ready to act in the summer. She takes all of that energy and directs it into her job. She takes great care of things at home. And, believe me, she’s tired too.

This isn’t to say that we have a strong work ethic, which I believe we do (he said, writing at work). But that’s not the whole story because even people with a strong work ethic rest now and then. Vicky and I both seem to be driven on. We believe we should do something more.

I wonder what any children we have will turn out like. Will they inherit our drive or will they look at us and say, “You people are just crazy.” In a way, I’m hoping it’s the latter. After all, as someone once asked me, when does it end? How many books am I going to write? When does the drive end?

Hell, someone else said, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

It encourages me to know that Vicky and I are both working towards our goals, that we have the energy and motivation to keep going, and that it’ll probably last the rest of our lives. It also encourages me to know that we have each other to help us rest occasionally, too, because after all you need time to play World of Warcraft.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pre-Valentine Mushiness…

(Warning to diabetics: Stay Away!)

I mentioned our Sunday breakfast over on My Side but there’s something I left out.

Sunday morning, Vicky and I went over to Polly’s for breakfast. It’s become our new place for breakfast. I LUV their cinnamon rolls!

(I just looked at their website and they are SO So-Cal-centric, it’s not funny… so stop laughing…)

The wait to get a table was a monstrous 15-20 minutes. We waited. We sat outside on a little brick wall, in the morning sunshine, and held hands.

This is what it’s all about, folks. Sure, the bad times show if your relationship can stand being tested – but, fuck that! We’ve been tested! But you take those common moments, those bland, beige, every day moments – those are the moments that fill about 70% of your life! And to sit there, with a little warmth, with the woman you love, and just hold her hand… you just feel so grateful that through some accident or miracle or whatever you want to call it, you get to be there, in that place. It’s amazing.

Those are the moments I really love about being with Vicky. Granted, we don’t get nearly as many as I’d like – but that’s what life is about, enjoying the moments you get because you know there may not be a whole lot more, knowing that this moment and the touch of her hand is the miracle of life and appreciating it.

Okay, so then we went in and I ordered one of those huge cinnamon roles with a cream cheese glaze and we got a side of the regular glaze, the sugary kind, and we totally drenched the son of a bitch and ate it up! (I warned you diabetics, didn’t I?)

Monday, February 11, 2008

S A Tur Day…Night…

Vicky is pretty swell. I’ll just start there.

She’s accepted me for all of my faults, and I have a few, for my lunacy, for my baggage – the complete package.

I think I’m gonna keep her.

When it came to meeting Cindy, well, that took some doing. After all, this was the big one, meeting the woman whose kiss had torn my first marriage asunder – if you listen to the rumors. Of course, that’s not exactly what happened. Rosa and I were finished without Cindy’s help; she was just there for the blame. And she kept getting the blame. And the thing is Cindy and I had been friends long before that and I hated leaving her out as “the one friend you don’t ever mention” because, after everything that happened, Cindy and I were friends and that was all.

When Vicky agreed to meet her… I wondered about the catch. What was it? When would Vicky tell me?

Well, here’s the thing. There wasn’t one. Vicky is the kind of person who has to think something over before she agrees, that’s all. That’s the weird thing about her: she often works without ulterior motives and assumes you’ll do the same.

It’s weird but there you are.

And I was glad because not only would I get to hang out with Vicky and Cindy but we’d go to karaoke, too! I got the feeling Vicky wasn’t believing me when I told her that I thought the two would get along but I was telling the truth. They both have very similar senses of humor, similar sensibilities. Sure enough, within moments of meeting, they found things in common and were joking around.

That’s just the first half of the story… the other half… well… it’s karaoke.

One of my early book ideas was for one called “The King of Karaoke”. As with many of my early ideas, I was really excited about it and then it drifted off like something come in on the tides only to be snatched away again. All I was left with was the title. And the title is fitting because, once upon a time, I was a karaoke… well, pretender to the throne, at least. I had a terrific voice and I could sing just about anything.

Notice the past tense.

After the cold I had during December and January – could have been the flu, could have been bronchitis, could have been pneumonia for all I knew – my throat had been thrashed by weeks of furious coughing. I didn’t know if my voice would be up to karaoke.

It wasn’t.

Now, before you laugh yourself into a spasm, let me remind you that I’m going to be auditioning again this summer in the hopes of getting into another show. Well, no singing voice means that musicals are right out. And I like singing. I’ve been in my share of musicals and I’ve fronted for two bands – Ken with no singing voice is like Ken with no fingers (for typing, you see).

No sir, I don’t like it.

So, my resolve against smoking is thusly fortified. I will get my voice back again… or croak trying. (No, I mean like a frog.)

Yes, that means more karaoke. But the upside is that, while Cindy and I used to mock karaoke singers oh so many years ago, now Vicky and Cindy and I can mock together! (Dammit, and I thought I’d make it through this without any threesome references!)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Here’s a sleep problem I don’t often have…

I overslept today.

I overslept yesterday.

I’ve been oversleeping a lot lately.

No… seriously…

This is the strangest thing for me, usually the chronic insomniac, and I don’t know what to do about it. Here’s what happens: My alarm goes off, usually around 5am, I turn it off, and Vicky shakes me awake about 30-45 minutes later. The strange thing is there’s no feeling of going back to sleep. My mind just shuts off!

Vicky says, “You’ve got to stop yourself from going back to sleep.” But the thing is, I don’t even know it’s happening! It’s like this invisible hand knocks me back down again and I have no say in the matter!

Granted, it’s nice to be sleeping. I just wish my brain would decide which way it’s going – are we awake or are we sleeping? Make up your mind!

So, from now on, I’ll be writing letters…

The last thing a man who is trying to knock up his wife wants to hear about is bad sperm quality!

But there it was, an article about how men who use their cell phone a lot get fucked up spunk!

… I wonder if these guys carried their phones in their pants pockets…

Anyway, I think I’ll be cutting back on my cell phone use, just in case. If you need to reach me, there’s always email – there’s the US Postal Service – you could drive on over – send a wire – learn the fine art of semaphores – train carrier pigeons – send up smoke signals…

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Green baby heads…

So, there’s news out now that some baby shampoos contain toxic waste.

Nice, huh?

Listen, I know toxic waste is all around us. I’m not so na├»ve as to believe otherwise. But… seriously… baby shampoo.

I haven’t said this in a while but we really need to start looking at what we’re doing to ourselves a little more critically.

Now, before you start shouting from the rooftops about how much I smoke, I guess I should get this out of the way. It’s been about two months since my last cigarette. And the way things are going, I’m hoping I can keep calling that my last cigarette for a while. Hey, we’ve seen this coming, right? I was doing to two cigarettes a week for a long time there; it just didn’t make sense to keep pretending I was a smoker. So, the drinking, the drugs, the smokes are pretty much a thing of the past. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m a middle-aged guy living a healthy lifestyle.

But enough about me.

What the hell is this about toxic waste in baby shampoo? The article talks about phthalates but there’s also sodium laureth sulfate and dioxane to worry about.

Not4MyHouse has a great list of things to avoid and also brands that you can trust. These aren’t just brands they sell at Henry’s or down at the Co-op, either, so you don’t have to drive all over town.

The fact here is simple. Do you want to wash your baby in toxic waste?

Then, don’t.

Post Super Tuesday Wednesday… that’s not so super…

I hurried home from work last night. I could wait to sit down in front of the tube and watch… no, not sports. But you knew that, right? No! Yesterday was Super Tuesday! People say it’s like the Super Bowl of politics but, of course, it’s not. The Presidential Election is the Super Bowl of politics. Super Tuesday is unlike any event in sports and, for political junkies, it’s unlike anything. The world stops and waits and watches… and gets filled with pundits making wild guesses. It’s fun!

So, I planted myself… and I watched.

(Vicky had gone away, leaving a space heater on in the house, so I had to interrupt my political geek-gasm to lecture her on Talking Heads songs, but anyway…)

When Vicky returned home, she said, “I guess I’ll go upstairs.” That’s code for “I can’t stand to watch another fucking hour of your political porn!”

But first, we voted! We took our puppy, Suki, on a walk to the polling place and each of us took turns going inside to drop off our absentee ballot. What? It saves a stamp! Then, we walked back and… the race was on! Hour by hour passed as we watched states getting taken from coast to coast. (Yes, I cut school - can you blame me???) We were sad when Obama lost Massachusetts. We laughed when Mittens Romney lost… over and over… We were happy when Obama took more states than Clinton. We were annoyed when Huckleberry’s promise of an American Theocracy won him the south. We were sad when Obama lost California.

But Vicky stayed right in front of the TV and watched the whole thing. I guess I’m having a good influence on her. Even after 9:30 rolled around and I said, “I need to go to bed,” she kept watching. Finally, around 10pm, we shut off the TV, filled to overflowing with SuperBowl leftovers (can one survive off of chips and salsa?) and politics. Ah, bliss.

After learning yesterday about the head of the CIA confessing to using torture, this election meant more than it ever had. (I posted this over on My Side yesterday but wanted you to know as well. Oddly enough, there’s not been a whole lot of crossover of readers from one blog to another. Each has it’s own distinct readership. Understood, you One Path pansies, but this is important.) Listening to the Repugnicans give their speeches, I couldn’t help think about how they are endorsing the use of torture, the violation of the Geneva Convention, as well as basic, human rights. They want that. When Huckleberry endorses his theocracy, it is with the exclusion of Jesus’ law of “Love thine Enemy”. It’s a theocracy, as are all theocracies, based on fascism. When Mittens talks about changing Washington, he’s just talking about getting rid of Democrats, so we’ll hear less about what we’re doing wrong and delude ourselves that we’re right. And whenever McCain talks, I am reminded about how easily he folded over the torture issue, a man who had torture used on him. How better to define “spineless”?

Clinton gave a speech last night filled with facts and figures. Hers is not a campaign designed to inspire but, rather, to say, “I am electable.” Over and over and over again, until we get it. I get it. But that doesn’t make me want to elect her. She’s a far better choice than any Republican; this is true. Then again, so am I. So is my dog. So what.

What Vicky and I were waiting for was to hear Obama speak. If you haven’t listened to him, yet, you surely must. I don’t know how anyone can walk away unaffected, uninspired, by the man. I’ll admit it. I’m a believer. I did not vote for him yesterday but, then, I’m not a Democrat. But I look forward to casting my vote for him in November.

The question remains, of course, if he’ll make it. He lost California and that’s a big prize. What he has to do now is, basically, win everything that remains. Thankfully, it looks like he just may. The remaining primaries come in small groups, two or three states rather than twenty plus, and that’s where Obama works the best. He can go in one at a time and actually have a chance to speak to people and he’ll win. Clinton has said she wants a debate each week from here on in, thinking it will work in her favor. What she’s not figuring is how people will respond when they listen to her and Obama side by side.

It’s still a close race and it will remain that way. That’s fine. Political junkies like me eat that shit up.

But it’s more than just a horse race, let’s not forget. When the issues are as clear as they presently are, it’s about far more. It’s about whether we support torture or not. The Republicans are on record supporting it. With the housing crisis started by lack of regulation (bad loans didn’t start from too much), it’s about if we want more families to lose their homes. It’s about if we care. It’s about whether we support wars of aggression and oil companies raping the environment and our wallets and a disregard of our fundamental ideals in the form of the Constitution for political gain. That’s what the Republicans have gone on record to support.

In the face of that, we need more than proof of electability in the person of someone who votes for war in Iraq and war in Iran, in the person of someone who has said she’ll ignore the election rules, in the person of someone who plays political games. In the face of that, we need more than games. We need a person who will inspire us to live up to our ideals, who won’t stand for wars of aggression, and who has gone on record against the oil lobbyists.

Obama’s got a long road ahead of him, but that’s part of what makes this fun to watch.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Yes We Can

Our nation craves someone who can give them more than a common enemy, paint by numbers terror, and unlimited tax cuts for the rich. We want someone who can take us out of these dark times, someone who can turn the lights back on and sweep away the cobwebs that have covered our untended freedom. We want hope.

A Tale of Two Sammiches…

Well, it was supposed to be two. Then, at the last minute, Vicky changed it to three. Three sammiches for our Super Bowl party.

Not surprisingly, we had enough food for our guests – these were three two-foot long sammiches – but what we didn’t realize was that we’d have enough food for our guests… the neighborhood… and the teams playing! I mean, shit! We had a ton of food!

… As a result, we’ll be having sammiches for dinner.

… I’ll have sammiches at lunch.

… I had sammiches for breakfast.

Mother fuck.

After the game, we cranked up the Wii and rocked out with Guitar Hero III. Even Julie joined in – a new addict to fill our army of nerds. I finished the game on Easy, which is to say it’s played with only three of the five frets. When I moved to Medium, I had to play with four frets and twice as fast.

But I’m sure that wasn’t what woke me up in the middle of the night.

I woke up at about midnight… downstairs… in my jeans and hoodie and with my slippers on – sleepwalking is a bitch. And then, I was wide awake cause, you know, sleepwalking is a bitch. I had no desire to watch a movie or play a video game – not even Guitar Hero III – so I surfed the old Internet(s) for a while. I ended up on My Space, where my primary goal is to NOT look at Rosa’s page, which I didn’t. But I think I looked at every other page. And then, I ended up on Classmates. Vicky gave me her login info a while back and I thought it might be fun to see the folks I went to school with, to see how much they’ve changed. My old pal, Eugene Davis, from elementary school looks about as exactly the same as possible, which is saying something considering the passage of 60-70 years. I found out my name is displayed incorrectly, par for the course in my life.

Then, I found Teresa Alaniz. My first love. Yep, there she was in a picture with (I assumed) her son. Wow. The years had certainly changed her but there was something there that made her unmistakably her.

And I thought, maybe I would sleep better if I expunged the lifetime of sins I carry around, all the wrongs I’ve done from Rosa all the way back to… well, Teresa. It isn’t likely anything could ever be resolved with Rosa; she did some horrible things in our divorce as well. But Teresa… I imagined myself starting on a road of forgiveness, starting with her, sitting in a diner, having lunch, explaining to her how bad I felt about everything I’d done… and then…

“Ken, it’s been about a quarter of a century. Everyone else forgot about what you did a long time ago. You might not be able to let it go but she obviously let it go. Give it up.”

I thought that and realized I had a point. After all, there’s a reason I long ago established a very firm rule about not doing anything during those early mornings when I’d been sleepwalking. I shut down the computer, walked back upstairs and struggled to get Suki off my side of the bed. Beside me, Vicky snored… on and on… Payback, I figured.

It took me a long time to finally get to sleep. It was the sammiches, I figured.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Green for your Valentine…

Vicky sent this to me and I figure it’s the perfect time to give them to you. Consider it the reminder your S.O. is to nice to provide…

Organic Flowers!

Petty Pet Luvin!

Booze from the Pooch!

… I should’a stopped at the flowers, huh?