Thursday, January 27, 2011

Perils of AEC

Its an unavoidable part of adult human life in the good old USA. I will give you the absolute guaranty that if this has not happened to you at least twice already in your life it will happen in the next day or so.
take it to the bank Guaranteed.
By the time you are done reading this brief Public service announcement you will have remembered several times in your life that it has happened and dread (or anticipate happily) your next occurrence
It is such a common thing, so far as of yet unexplained by modern medical science, the changing of the zodiac or the twilight books. (yes, ok, enough)
This is how it happens. You, or someone exactly like you enters a public restroom. With mind intent on what is to come you walk with a purpose to the nearest available stall/cubicle/urinal and in passing your eyes wander over a closed, locked and occupied stall. And it happens. ACCIDENTAL EYE CONTACT.
The persyn sitting inside this paradox of privacy and you lock gazes. Such times test our mettle. Do we look away quickly? Raise Eyebrows in the universal sign of  "really"? Or, smile and mouth the words "peek-a-boo".
If you are a man I would advise against options B and C. Perhaps if you are a women as well. Not being a women I am not versed in the correct etiquette. Possibly a finger wave?
 The conspiratorial glance shared between fellow sufferers at children's birthday parties, the eye roll shared between siblings when one of the feeble minded parents starts to tell yet another anecdote for the umpteenth time, the come hither burning gaze from a member of the opposite sex at a party inviting you to delights best left unmentioned in this blog. These are not, strictly speaking, AED.
Ok, the last one has never happened to me personally but I have friends that swear it has happened to a friend. The one time I thought it was happening to me I had the foresight to turn around and see Gerard Butler  standing behind me.
But all of those can not properly be described as true AEC.
AEC is as common as dirt, it befalls all. Both high and low come under its malignant (or benevolent?) gaze from time to time.
The couple making out in a public place, an innocent glance can become AEC.
A criminal in the backseat of a police cruiser being transported to durance vile, AEC.
The plumber who pulls a wad of WTHs out of your clogged toilet. AEC.
The pretty women at the gym who strains a mite to hard and adds her toot to the symphonic accompaniment, AEC.
The man caught in an obvious leer by the ? leery ? or would that be ? leerer ? AEC.
All in all, it can happen to anyone. anytime. anywhere.
Well, except to this kid.


Its all about the first few words. Grab the reader with that and chances are they will finnish reading what you have written. Even if the rest is munge they will plow through with the hope that the feeling captured in those first few words will repeat.
I read a lot. I mean I READ A LOT. One book a night if I average it out. That's a lot. When I was but a callow youth I made a goal that I would never start a book and not finnish it.
Because of that, and my extreme stubbornness I have read some really horrible books over the years. Some of them were just dumb, some were offensive, a couple were pure and unadulterated crap. The kind of thing that sullies your brain (at least mine) forever.
I have also been rewarded from time to time, by a book that starts out bad, but ends well.
I have learned to Judge books by the covers and publishers, not always a good thing but pretty accurate over time.
I wonder if life is like that?
If it starts out good will it hold enough to interest you to the end?
When does it start?
Do you all of a sudden one day look into a mirror, focus on you, the you that is looking back from the magical depths of the mirror, focus on everything that you are, everything that has formed and shaped and moulded you. Focus on everything your mind can encompass, and say "Once upon a time......."
Start from there.
Works For me.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fear is after

The ride down was great.
The road was clear and twisty and the traffic light. Only had to stop for road construction once but ever since we whored ourselves out to get the Olympics that's been unending. It was spring and the air was just chilly enough to warrant heavy gloves and a sweater under my jacket.
Weather report was talking about a light storm but aside from a little tiny bit of rain over the summit it was dry and marvelous.
The job went great. I had a small part in a big movie and the Director was great to work with. The other actors were all out of LA but the crew was all local. I had a GREAT time. About midnight one of the sound guys came in and told me about a change in the weather.
Big storm coming in.
I did listen, I really did. But this was a great party and I really did not want to ride 3 hours right then. So I waited. Figured if I left at 5ish I could beat the storm and make the last and twistiest part of the canyon as the sun came up.
The best laid plans.
I left at 5. Put on all the gear I had, borrowed a pair of sweat pants to wear under my riding leathers. It was cold. Really cold. I made it out of town and headed up the canyon in record time, I had in my head this idea that I needed to beat the storm.
It happened really fast. Far less time then it will take you to read this.
Coming around the last corner before the summit I discovered two very unpleasant things simultaneously. Three inches of new snow on the road and a fully loaded semi tractor trailer sliding sideways straight towards me. I was going too fast and not expecting snow. I didn't dare hit the brakes. Two wheels under you on snow can very quickly become catastrophic.
I was slowing to a stop and getting as far to the right as I could. The semi was about 60 feet away and looking to slide right over the top of me.
This is when I discovered the third bad thing.
My boots were frozen solid to my floorboards.
I panicked and started yanking my feet as hard as i could. My left boot was a little looser from shifting and two good yanks broke it free. My right boot might as well have been super glued on. Couldn't even budge it.
I got right next to the guardrail and stopped.
Put my left foot down and looked up.
20 feet, 15 feet, 10.
My life didn't flash. I didn't see a light. I was still yanking on my boot. Thinking if I could break it free I could dive over the rail. A 200 foot slide to the river was looking much better then getting squished.
The very corner, the last two inches, the very barest edge of the bumper on the trailer hit me.
Cut a three inch gash in my vest, scratched my jacket. My boot came free. The semi slid of the road, smashing the barricade into scrap and grinding to a stop 30 feet behind me.
No lesson. No moral. No regrets.
The Film, incidentally. Is playing at Sundance right now.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dr. Doolittle

I speak cat.
I can also understand some dog.
Monkey is just gibberish and I doubt that chickens even have a language. 
I realized this about two years ago when I found Fat Jack with his throat ripped out laying on my porch bleeding out life number two.
I said, "Oh shit, are you OK?" and I very distinctly heard in my head


The odd thing to me at the time was that he sounded just like Barry White.
Since then we have meaningful conversations all the time.
He is pretty wise for a 45lb fur-ball that only has 2, maybe 3 lives left.

We had a very long talk one day after we had rescued him from the cat hoarder. He was telling me about all the other cats in the garage with him. It had never occurred to me that other animals than humans could be racist. But Fat Jack has a deep and abiding hatred for orange cats and long hairs. He couldn't tell me why, and when I pushed him for a reason he just looked at me out of his good eye (the one that shuts) and said "Son, some things is just things" then he farted on me.
He calls me Son when he thinks I have said something dumb.  Let me rephrase that. He calls me Tom seldom and refers to me as Son the rest of the time. It’s quite odd, being addressed by an animal I once punted through the door for yakking half digested dog food all over the carpet on Christmas eve referring to me as "Son". 

The Dog,  Mr. Henry speaks much less. He has a really high excited sounding voice, and repeats things. "Ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball" (you get the idea) is a pretty common litany.  Another is "water" "food" and other such mundane things. 
Every once in a long while he surprises me.
One morning, he was chanting "Tom! Tom! Tom!" over and over and over until I threw a shoe at him. The next thing I heard was this splashing sound as he projectile shat all over the hall.
When I got up to beat the hell out of him he just looked at me. Sitting there in the hall, surrounded by his own splatter and said, slowly and clearly. Enunciating every word "I tried to get your attention old boy, but you were dead to the world. This mess is a direct result of........”
That’s when I kicked him.
Did I mention he has a high voice? The kind that sounds super excited all the time? I know he drives Fat Jack nuts, but I never thought they really understood each other. I figured that it just sounded like yelps and barks and mewls and odd noises. well, I was wrong.
A few months ago I accidentally drilled through my hand.
 It hurt.
 I was jumping about and trying not to whimper. I sat down to catch my breath and looked over to see both of them, sitting calmly, looking at me.
Mr. Henry (the damn dog) looked over at Fat Jack (the damn cat) and said
 "HEY! did you see THAT!!?" and Fat Jack said, ostentatiously to Henry, but I know he wanted me to hear. "yep, what a dumb-ass"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I cant fly. Or see through walls.
I tried to fly once, actually I threw Justin off the roof first to see if the bushes were soft enough to land in. They weren't.
So I flew down to the mattress after Justin got back from  the hospital.
I have tried my whole life to see through walls, but I cant even manage clothing so walls are pretty much a no go.
I cant run really fast, or hear hardly at all, or even catch bullets. Shit, I cant even DODGE bullets.
I learned pretty early in life that I was not a superhero.
I also am not very smart. So knowing that I wasn't a superhero didn't stop me from trying.
In 9th grade I got the holy hell beat out of me by a teacher. Because I stood up for another kid.
Learned a huge lesson there.
Teachers, for the most part. Are not your friend.
A year after that I got the living tar whaled out of me by a policeman. For refusing to tell him who had thrown a hanky at his car. I didn't tell him, because I didn't know.
Learned a huge lesson there.
Cops, for the most part. Are not your friends.
In high school I had to fight 4 guys at once. Cause the three guys that were with me r-u-n-o-f-t.
HUGE lesson there.
For the most part. Friends are not your friends.
For a superhero, this would have all been cake.
I learn slowly however.
In 9th grade, my 7th grade brother fought two teachers and got slapped down next to me. Because he is my brother.
Learned a life lesson there.
Brothers, for the most part. Are forever.
A year after that, after I had been beat senseless by a policeman. I watched two of my Uncles hold my Dad back while a third calmly explained to the policeman that it was lucky thing for him he was a cop, and why.
Learned a Giant lesson there.
Families can be pretty cool.
In High school, I was left on my own and was feeling sore afraid. Fighting four guys is not fun, when five guys came and rescued me.
Had an epiphany with this one.
Friends, can be as good as Family.

Friday, January 14, 2011

who does that?

Its a damn chicken!
Ok, let me rewind a little.
Earlier today I heard a bit of a ruckus in the front yard. A bit of caterwauling, some small amount of howling and this weird huffing sound. I figured the cats were fighting again. Fat Jack (the cat) would undoubtedly emerge victorious once again and the noise would stop.
But it didn't.
It got louder.
Fat Jack is a big dude, for a cat. He eats small dogs for breakfast and has a platoon of neighborhood toms just waiting for him to use up the last of his nine.
I hope they wait for a long time yet. I like this cat. He is one tough animal.
So I waited with perfect faith in his UFC skills to make the noise abate. It didn't. It not only got louder it started to sound like Fat Jack was tapping out.
So I opened the door.
I held my breath as I did this, I have been surprised in the past by a rabid lap dog, a 40 pound raccoon and once, terrifyingly, by a 13 year old magazine sales girl crying cause she needed to sell ten more subscriptions before she could go home and......
I sort of liked the National Geographic, but the other nine got boring really quick.
So, I opened the door, and slammed it shut.
Did a quick mental inventory and ascertained that I was awake and not currently taking any mind altering substances.
Then I opened the door again. Still there.
Fat Jack was getting his furry big ass handed to him on a plate.
By a chicken.
a chicken.
Once more...
So, I whistled for Mr. Dog thinking that he would go out and have a little chicken dinner.
wrong again.
Mr. Dog made it back inside before the door was even open all the way. The chicken jumped off of Fat Jack and made this sort of huffing sound. Mr. Dog practically turned a somersault trying to get back in the house. I slammed the door in the beak of this foul fowl and looked down. Fat Jack had taken advantage of Mr. Dogs inglorious distraction to make a break for it and was sitting on my chair, licking a split paw and giving me a feline stare down. Mr. Dog was whining by the back door. IBS.
At this point I should have got the shotgun. But owing to a little misunderstanding with the local constabulary, I try not to shoot anything I don't absolutely have too.
So, I opened the door to kick the chicken.
At this point I should undertake to explain that it was not a "chicken" per se, but a "Rooster" the difference being mainly, according to my sources, that a chicken lays eggs. A rooster on the other hand, lays cans of whup-ass!
10 seconds later I was back in the house, breathing heavy and feeling like I had just run a mile in the cats and dogs paws. That Rooster was one scary avian-bird-flu-terror of the southern backwoods escaped from some chicken chain gang on the bayou thug of a feathered fowl.
I called the nice little old lady down the street.
She has a huge nice yard and this summer she rented it out for a wedding. She borrowed a few chickens and a rooster to give the yard that authentic step in livestock poop, farmyard flavor.
I suspected this rooster, was left behind. On purpose.
Two minutes later, she sticks her head out the door and calls "CLUCKY'
a few times. This ferocious hell-bird calmly strutted home.
She named it Clucky.
Fat Jack, Mr. Dog and I just looked at each other.
She named it Clucky.
Who does that?

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I can’t seem to find my voice. Too much going on inside and outside of my head.
I had a great Blog all written in my head today. All about the death of my Boot. I had even managed to add in a bit of shameless product placement and self-promotion. Two of the best reasons that the vain amongst us write blogs.
Being vain I know a little about that.
Alas, my boot is dead.
My blogging voice seems to have become stuck. I need to clear my head. Run a few miles, bike a dozen or so, swim some laps. Something.
I have been reading some great stuff out there, and usually that inspires me to write more and more.
My boot, is dead.
I took the kidduns swimming tonight, saw half a dozen things easily written about. Water aerobics, hairy backs, psychotic mommies, bored lifeguards, wedgies, flossies, snuggies, adults that should wear one piece coveralls to swim in and a plethora of astonishing things. On a normal day I would be laughing even now. Three hours after toweling myself off amidst the hordes of public swimmer types. Reminding myself why I pay for a private gym.
My boot is, dead.
I sit here, looking at the words on the screen and they just blend together. Strings of meaningless symbols that my stunned mind is unable to translate. How do people learn to read another language? Staring at a bunch of abstract shapes until meaning forms in a cartoon cloud over their heads?  Listening to grunts and hoots and hollers while someone points at squiggles on a board and hums at you? What was God thinking when he separated all of the people and split the world. Did she realize the chaos that would result? Why could they not have just left us all alone? We humans screw it all up just fine all by ourselves before we even add in religion.
My. Boot. is. Dead.
This life, past life, future life, it’s all the same. You are not anything right now that you have not become or will become in time. Now is really all we have. Each moment stretching taffy like to the next. The memory of that moment grows thinner and thinner until it snaps back into the big strand. Heaven or hell or pushing a rock with Sisyphus. What matters is now.
My boot is dead.
and he had sole.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tastes Like Channel No. 5 - Live to Ride, Ride to Live

I just wrote a blog about Jobs and living. Nothing really fancy, just a little ramble about the confusion I feel most of us face in the real world.
Then I deleted it.
It would have gotten me fired, Possibly disowned and very likely beaten with a bat. At this point in my career,  I can do without any of those things.
So, a short little moment instead.
I heard my niece call my baby brother Daddy today. It caught me off guard and I reeled a bit. Old age crept up on me and ker-plowied me right in the cerebreal cortex. I felt every single one of my years landing right on my head. All at once.
I have written many things over the years, about aging and life and living. I have tried them all myself at one time or another and yet I find myself addled this day. Wondering if I am actually living or if I am just taking up space that could be used for greater purposes than me.
I just don't know.
I cant step far enough back from life to get a clear view of it. I am always right in the middle of my own life and so absorbed in it. that that I rarely lift my head up to see.
Do this thing for me invisible reader. The next time you find your own self in a car on a sunny clear day. For every stoplight you cease moving at, look up. Look up from the road and the soap operas of those around you and look into the distance. See as far as you can.
How far away those building?
How distant the mountains?
How long do geese fly?
How close the sky?
Look up and see. Look into the distance and imagine your life, open the book of you and turn the pages back a few. Reflect on the blank pages left in the book and think of what you are going to write on them.
I am going to do it.
So should you.

The following is an article I wrote for an on-line magazine. It has since run its course and I can now do whatever I want with this story, which although some is true, some is also fiction.
But not much.

I am writing today, finding myself not really worried about rules, the computer takes care of the important stuff. Leaving me free to elucidate my ideas, to clarify and share my memories of the life I am in the process of living.
 I have this memory of an uncle; cigar smoke wreathing his head, bottle of bourbon in his hand. He looks at the wallet I have just handed him. The flying wings logo of “Live to Ride, Ride to Live” cheaply embossed on its fairground leather. He looks at the wallet, then gazes deep into my eyes, his eyes, I have been told, the same silver blue as my own. I feel a momentary discomfort at the thought that my own gaze may be as searching as his. He takes a swallow of rot-gut, cigar rolling to the opposite side of his mouth to make room, his eyes never breaking contact. He hands me back the wallet, takes a deep breath and says, “Yeah, I can see it”. Exhaling the words in a cloud of sweetly scented smoke reminiscent of dreams I didn’t really remember. I was twelve years old, dressed in dork clothes with a dork haircut, wanting desperately to please everyone. Failing in that almost constantly as my desires rarely coincided with those of my parents. I tried so hard to fit in, to belong to the herd. A wolf dressed as a sheep and fooling some. This old wolf, grizzled and worn with grey in his beard and hair, recognized his own. His sparse words were the only encouragement I ever received.
I saw a play once. It was really good. Some French play about a guy with an enormous nose. There was this guy in the play, he wasn’t the main character, I think he was a butcher? Or a baker? Anyway, this guy stood out, the rest of the people on the stage fit there, but this guy, he stood out. I thought long and hard about why. One day it occurred to me. When an actor puts on a costume, he knows it’s not him; he takes it off at the end of the night and returns to his real self. But when a person, any person who plays on the stage of life puts on a costume, if they wear it long enough it becomes them. This guy, playing the baker, wasn’t wearing a costume. He was the baker. He believed it so much that whenever he was on stage the audience believed it too. We were all willingly deceived by his belief. I wondered how many of us do that? Wear a sheep costume for so long that we forget the wolf. My uncle never forgot, he always knew who he was.
He died a few years ago; victim not of his vices, but of the stupidity of others. I sat next to him in a comfortless white room the day before he abandoned his failing body. He told me of all the things he had never done, the places he had never gone, sights he had never seen. The missed chances of a lifetime unloaded on my shoulders in the space of an hour of talk. I learned regret in that hour. I walked out of that room and looked down at myself. Dork clothes, dork haircut, Driving back to work in my safe little car to mingle with the other sheep.  The only reminder of the wolf was the wallet in my back pocket, now smooth and worn from 12 years of hiding. A not so gentle reminder to me as I walked out of that room.
There is a chain on my belt today. It stretches back to my wallet. When the wind is in my hair and a destination in my mind, I think of everything. The choices we make and the consequences that follow. I think of my wife, my patient understanding genius wife. Who didn’t scream or wail or moan when I came home with the motorcycle. I think of my family, all of whom have forgotten the wolf in them entirely. They have worn their costumes for so long that when I see them, I believe it myself. So I travel, I live life. Eyes on the road and my mind a thousand miles away. Sometimes my dreams take me even further. The motorcycle is just a part of a life. Life is just a passing dream, a small town on a long road. Blink too long, and you might miss it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Its a Mystery

For a very long time now I have had a question.

Do you see single shoes on the side of the road? And where oh where, is the other one? How did that shoe get there? and is someone coming back for it?

The first one, the one that has haunted me. Was a child's shoe. It was a blue Buster Brown boot, about a size 13 or 1. It was brand new with brown laces. It was laying on the side of the road. Standing upright, its eyes faced towards oncoming traffic, sentinel like. It seemed almost military in its bearing and it had a patient air about it.
We passed it going 75 and it was gone in a blink.
Why just one? I spent the rest of the trip looking for its mate. Thinking about all of the different scenarios that could end up with that forlorn little boot dying alone and forgotten as millions of unthinking eyes passed.
I have noticed them ever since. The shoes. Always one. always alone.
Shoes are one of those things that except in very rare circumstances, mate for life. So to see a single shoe is always cause for alarm.
Why is it alone? Is it lost? Can you help it find its way?
I have poured over countless ads in hundreds of papers just looking for the words, the clarion call of hope "Lost! Left Shoe, fell from my foot and has vanished.URGENT!! REWARD"
Never. Not once has there ever been a word. Not even for this, the strangest of all missing shoe cases. 50 miles into the wilderness, on foot, with backpacks and food carried on our backs we came upon a strange site. A brand new Clark's loafer. Dead center in the trail. A dress sock neatly rolled up and tucked inside. Its leather was still supple and the tread was crisp. There were no foot prints in the dust leading to or from the shoe. No one was around but my brother and I. We touched it not, but camped that night nearby. I must admit that I checked on it twice that night so great was the mystery. No one returned for the shoe. It was hard, but we left it there the next day. Carried on.
Our return trip took us down the same trail 5 days later. I looked anxiously for the shoe, hoping that it would be gone. Perhaps a set of footprints, one print shod the other not, coming upon the shoe. The joyous tale told in the trail dust. capering and celebrating of a shoeless foot and a shooed foot, the pause, the plop of a backside into the dirt while the shoe was returned to its foot. Prints of two shoes leading off into a happy sunset.
No. It was not to be. The shoe lay exactly as we had found it. The sock was gone, carried off no doubt by some villain of the night. the shoe maintained its vigil, waiting, longing for its foot to return.
If it had been my size I would have worn it home. Alas it was a size small.
For all I know, it rests their still. Eyelets poised, tread tight, leather alert for the telltale stomp, stamp, stomp, stamp of its returning foot....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tired Writing

For me tired writing is something like drunk texting, I say things that I probably should not to people that I most certainly should not say them to.
I am not admitting any sort of horrible thing, mostly because of the fifth amendment, but I have said more then my share of things to people late at night that I have had cause to regret in the morning.
Once, I was up very very late. It was so late that it had actually become early, and I discovered that I had bought a car on E-Bay. The problem with this was two fold. I had not known that I was in the market to buy a car and, it was in upstate new york. It was a 1992 ford thunder bird with about a million miles on it. When I developed enough clarity to actually look at what had happened I discovered that there had been no bidders. Until Me. I had bid against myself driving the price up from .01 cent to 723.00 dollars. All in the last 5 minutes of the listing.
I found myself sitting at the kitchen table then, wondering how I was going to get to upstate new york, where that was exactly, and how I was going to explain it to the wife. The sleep gods smiled on me however. As soon as it became light enough to shoot, I received an email from the guy I had purchased the car from.
He was distraught, because he claimed he was new to e-bay and had failed to set a minimum price and listed the cars under the wrong category he felt he could get a much higher price by re-listing. I was just about to send him back a heartfelt thank you and don't worry about it when I got another email. From the same guy. Telling me that he knew he was voiding the contract, he was very very sorry and would I be willing to take 100.00 dollars for my time?
Of course I would and the check came two days later.
Another time, I had been a few days without sleeping and I was feeling the need to write. Remembering the purchase of the car and realizing that I was in truth very sleepy, I opted for a pen and paper.
I began to write and suddenly this story just poured from my pen to the page. It flowed like a crystal clear stream tumbling freely through vibrant mountain meadows. I wrote for hours. I knew with a certainty that what I was writing was destined for greatness, I could practically hear the money going into my account as I finished of the 14th page of the outline of the next great American novel.
As the sun came up I fell asleep with the happy thoughts of the marvelous story I had just told the world and I coiuld not wait to share it with everyone. I knew this WAS IT!!!!!
I woke that a little later that morning, refreshed and full of the creative joy. I ran downstairs and ran back upstairs. Holding the golden goose in 14 pages of handwritten excellence.
I handed it to the wife, and. From her expression I quickly deduced some little thing was amiss so I snatched the pages from here to see if I had perhaps grossly misspelled the first word.
Much much worse
I had written, for some reason known only to my asleep stupid brain.
14 pages, double sided, single spaced, small little letter Os. Os. Not a story, not an article. 14 pages of OO OOO OO OOOO OOO OOO OOOOO OO.
Tired writing, how the world would have enjoyed that story.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What To Wear?

What to wear everyday? Every morning I wake up and wonder what shall cover my nakedness for the next several hours. When I was younger it was very easy, whatever was clean got put on, or, if I was late, whatever was on the floor closest to the bed. As an adult (in age only) I have found that there are certain expectations from other adults and the public in general on what I should wear.
I ignore all of them.
I wear canvas pants. You know, work pants. The kind that have rivets and can stand up to just about anything. I used to wear jeans but my lifestyle destroys them. When you are the perennial fall guy and Gods very own comedy sketch jeans just don't cut it.
See, once I had to crawl into an upside car through broken glass because the splendid law enforcement individual was a little too large to fit through the opening. In her defense, she had a bullet proof vest on and the car was partially squished, but still. Anyways, I had my canvas work pants on, double fronted carhartts with the rivets. My arms and back and stomach were covered with glass splinters, took the wife two hours to find them all. Not one splinter in my legs. However tough they used to be, modern Jeans wouldn't have made it.
I like jackets. I have two suit jackets that I wear from time to time when its not too cold. One of them is wool and the other is camel. Ever since I got them I have had a burning desire to know how, exactly, do you shear a camel? I have some jackets that are lightweight and some coats for when its cold and leather for when I ride my motorcycle. Its pretty simple.
I wear steel toed work boots. And grown up shoes.
I have this crazy idea that once you are out of high school the only time you should wear athletic shoes is when you are actually participating that moment in said athletics. Basketball shoes while playing basketball, indoor soccer shoes while playing indoor soccer, running shoes while running. Special dispensation is given to skaters and Rappers, Skaters because they could conceivably jump on a board and grind a rail at any moment, and Rappers because absolutely anything else looks ridiculous with those baggy pants.
Grown up shoes, look good. When you wear grown up shoes it tells the world that you are
A: A grown up
B: A gainfully employed individual
C: Actually thinking about what you are wearing
D: Not a rapper
Steel toed boots have a special place in my heart, because they saved my toes. Several times, and having broken and smashed my toes before I have a great appreciation for whole, healthy toes. Also, when you kick someone wearing kid shoes it hurts you as much as it hurts them, but with steel toes, all the pain is given to the recipient of the kick. Trust me, this is a good thing.
I wear plain T-shirts. No logos. I am not a prostitute for any brand. I see people walking around as living billboards for things; and I truly wonder if they understand that they paid money to give free advertising to (put your logo here).
I also wear race t-shirts. You know, the t-shirt that you get when you finish the race, which is actually the only rule for those shirts. You must FINNISH the race before you put on the t-shirt. After the day of the race anyone can wear it.
They make great night shirts for the chilluns.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Its a storm

I live in Utah. In a valley that sits at 5400 feet above sea level. The valley (like most valleys) is surrounded by Mountains.
It snows here.
Every winter.
This may come as a shock to you. If it does thats ok, I understand. It has actually been brought to my attention that there are places in the world where it does not snow at all, ever. Other places exist in this world that get a lot more snow then Utah.
Every year since years were invented it has snowed in Utah. Before there was even a Utah it was snowing here and long after we become one nation under the great spaghetti monster in the sky it will snow here.
Having mentioned this it is only fair to point out that snowfall by year varies. Sometimes we get a little bit early in the year and sometimes the deluge comes late. Depending entirely on misunderstood global phenomena such as Don King's hair, El Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria and the truly great mysteries of the universe such as the popularity of the twilight books (ok, i will stop) we will either get a lot of snow or just a skiff. However this is Utah.
It snows Here
Every Year.
It just goes to show how jaded and bored most people are with life when the news stations start predicting a veritable snowppacolypse every time we get cloud cover. Twice this year they have inflamed public opinion to the point that certain foolishly run workplaces actually cut the workday short a few hours so that all of the righteous could make it home in time to hug and kiss their families before the rapture. In a bizarre twist of fate it has seemed to me that only the people who roar home whilst skillfully driving blind in a blizzard on an ice laden road filled with the returning hordes of drones are righteous, or; possibly cool enough to drive the ubiquitous F350 Crew Cab that looks like the love child of a Tonka truck on steroids and The Nightmare that keeps John Mayer awake and drooling green love lyrics.
How does the Prius do in the snow? I wonder.
Besides, this is Utah.
It snows here.
Every year.
The last time I checked there were 365 days in every year. In Utah every single one of those years is going to have at least two seasons. Sometimes it will have as many as four and once in a very great while it will have six. Mud and Flood being added to Spring, Summer Fall and Winter. Utah does have some year round residents. Of the approximately 200,000 year round residents of Utah with a drivers license issued in this very state, how come all but six of them forget that it snows here?
In Utah
Every year.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ten Million monkeys typing

There are a lot of words in the English language. I have not counted them all but from the massive amount of online research I spent the last three minutes doing I surmise that there are anywhere from 20,000 to one million or more of them. Apparently there are some people out there that have spent their allotted time in the counting of the words that make up the ever growing, changing and flexing morass of words that I use to communicate with. Wow. I think I could probably come up with something more worth-while for them to do.
That being said; It's a big pile of words to chose from whenever you start writing something. Honestly though I believe that most writers, myself included, only utilize a very small percentage of the tools at their disposal. For example, I would use the Twilight rolls. I don't refer to them as books because in my opinion all they are good for is slightly stiff toilet paper. Making that point I would venture to guess that the writer of the twilight rolls only used about 567 words rearranged approximatively 5 billion times to flesh out her "stories" of the unrequited love of various supernatural and merely mortal characters.
Had she used more than that, increasing her vocabulary to say, 1000 different words used about 2 billion different ways I may have actually been able to read it without my eyeballs bleeding.
I am jealous.
The main difference between me and her is hard to define. Outside of the very obvious gender and size differences we could be remarkably similar. We were both raised in a very strict religious culture, both married, both attended college and obtained "higher education" and both of us are writers. She being, admittedly far more popular than I shall ever be. All of this aside what is the difference?
Having read one of her books to the severe detriment of my ocular capacitors I would have to give that a very firm "HELL NO"
Life Experience?
Again the above. I actually knew what the point of sneaking into a girls bedroom was and Really, although I never actually met a vampire or werewolf in the flesh I did read Anne Rice, who, if you are going to go for the supernatural lives of the really cool undead and other lycanthropish types, kicks Steph's ass all over the literary world.
Self Confidence?
Thou hast hit upon it. I just don't have the blind self confidence she does. I read what I write and I am reminded with every word that monkeys typing could reproduce Shakespeare if we gave them enough time, bananas and a typewriter or 6. Although I have always wondered why they didn't just give the primates a computer and MS Word?
I realize that the only way to build confidence is one of two ways. Believe in the crap you write so much that despite what all critics and the vast majority of learned folk in the world think and or say you just keep pushing forward until someone, somewhere, finds your niche market and actually sells a few billion of your words to the eternal detriment of the human race as a whole.
Write so well that the critics, naysayers and family members that may or may not have the cumulative IQ of a shaved polar bear actually enjoy reading what you write.
I am going to practice until I fall into the second category. Or perhaps I will just be so prolific that I will get an honorable mention in the little blue book of "at least he tried"
Either way, expect to see a fair number of blog entries from me this year. Feel free to laugh, cry or be disgusted. For the very brave, or large, or those of you trained in some murderous martial art that I don't know, feel free to be critical.
Happy new year.