Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Father - The Taxpayer (Part Two)

First you need to read this and listen to the clip:

Now that you are familiar with the story, I can begin.

My Father, after months of shying away from leaving me any messages, has once again become furious with the Government. This means comedy gold and I am not one to not capitalize on the craziness of my family members.

So without further ado, I give you Part Two: (remember to turn off the music player first)

A Quote

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."


Thursday, November 06, 2008

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Politics are not my forte. In fact, thinking about all the time spent discussing politics gives me a headache. It’s all the arguing and lunging to get your point heard while not listening to opposing views. The purpose of the conversation gets lost and all that is left is a pile of hurled insults and misplaced intentions. Basically it resembles a Sunday night dinner with your family.

The other night America voted in its first black President, Barack Obama. A huge step forward for equality and a major triumph for the notion that you can be anything you want to be as long as you put in the hard work. People around the world were rejoicing his victory, almost as if his win was somehow their win and I for one was overcome with joy to see such togetherness in a world that is anything but together.

But just as every day must contend with a night, there are people out there who cannot see the forest through the trees and insist on being Debbie Downers. What happened on Tuesday night was monumental and I cannot understand why some people want to tarnish this accomplishment by expressing their disgust over the outcome without at least giving mention to a historic moment, not just in politics, but in our existence as human beings.
It makes me sad.

“Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.”
Ambrose Bierce

Monday, October 20, 2008

Neglect, Do I.

It has been TOO long since I’ve written here. Beyond being busy with other items, I have no excuse why I’ve neglected this blog. At one time I allowed it to be cathartic and it worked better than I ever expected. I get distracted, like a Magpie, and I go off in forty different directions and my focus is shattered. This is my attempt to remain focused in all the areas where my attention is needed the most.

I knew watching all those cartoons as a child would ruin me one day.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

MY Favorite Things: Version: CONDIMENTS

I do not watch Oprah. I swear I don’t. I do however, flick past her show every now and again just to see what/who is on her show. More specifically, I’m hoping to catch her ‘Favorite Things’ episodes. I don’t know why, so don’t ask. If I had to guess, I’d say it is because I have a thing for lists. I’m not admitting to my mental disorder, but I like making lists of no real importance.

Franks Red-Hot Chili & Lime Hot Sauce
If I had to describe this condiment in one word it would be: drinkable. I use it in soups, pastas and tuna melts. I put it on vegetables, onion rings, pizzas and salads. It has a wonderful kick but because of the infusion of lime, it won’t scorch your taste buds and ruin your meal. I’ve been known to keep a bottle in my glove compartment box. You just never know when you’re going to encounter bland food… or when you come across someone who owes you money. Pouring Franks Red-Hot Chili & Lime Hot Sauce into someone’s eye is a great way to persuade them to pay you back.

Organic Ketchup
I know what you’re thinking: “Ketchup is one of your favorite condiments? How incredibly depression era of you.” But I can’t deny my appreciation for what I refer to as “sexy sauce” any longer. Ketchup has always been there for me – like when I was growing up and our Mom would serve us dried up pieces of grey flavorless liver and I’d smother it in my red mistress so I wouldn’t have to look at it. Or when I’d make mashed potato volcanoes and ketchup was there to act as the lava. Hamburgers! Hot Dogs! Fish and Chips! Broccoli! How can we refute the greatness of ketchup when it compliments some of the best food ever created? Viva La Sexy Sauce!

Lemon Pepper
(I realize this is not a condiment, but I figured making a list of my favorite ‘seasonings’ would just be taking this too far.) Because I don’t really use salt, I tend to forget about pepper. Let’s be honest here, pepper is salt’s older, less attractive sibling. If it wasn’t for salt, people probably wouldn’t even know what pepper is. But mingle it with tiny shards of lemon zest and my mouth is inviting everyone to a party. Suddenly pepper just got all kinds of pretty.

Did I just hear a collective “Ewww” ? In Greek mythology this under-rated culinary wonder was worth its weight in gold, so who are we to say it sucks? Take some creamy horseradish, add freshly chopped parsley and spread it on the top of a piece of gorgeous salmon and bake it. If the end result doesn’t change your mind… well then YOU suck.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Splendor in the Grass

The young punks who’ve started to gather after school in the trails near my place – think I’m an idiot. They think I don’t know what they are hiding in the tiny tin box clutched in one of their hands. As I walk past I hear panic laced whispers and I notice a collective stiffening of their lanky malodorous bodies. Fear makes you smell bad. I’m amused they feel the need to hide the fact they’re about to spark a joint OUT IN THE OPEN. Yes, it is true, pot really does make you stupid… until you smoke it… then you are hands down the smartest mofo on the planet

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I recently learned my high school creative writing teacher drank himself to death. The man responsible for setting me on this long remarkable path of writing, became a victim of the ugliness. Reflecting on the past, I realize now he was battling those demons for a great many years. When I was 14 I didn’t know his bright red bloated nose was a screaming indication of disease. I’m having flashbacks to those times I went to see him after school and he seemed distressed, sad. But like so many teenagers, I wasn’t equipped with compassion for anyone outside of my circle of friends, especially not for a teacher. I can recall his exuberant highs (he was animated and inspiring) and frightening lows (he became dark, indignant… unnerving). These vicious mood swings took place during class and I just chalked it up to him trying to get through to a bunch of snot nosed know-it-alls. There was a story playing out right in front of me and I couldn’t see it.

A few years back, at my sister’s wedding reception, the Dad of one of her friends was there and he just so happened to be a former teacher of mine. He was good friends with my creative writing teacher and when I asked how he was doing his eyes dropped and in a bare whisper he said, “Not well”. I was told of his many years of drowning himself in alcohol, failed personal life and the feeling he had about his teaching career – he felt he hadn’t been an inspiration to anyone and no one would remember him. It broke my heart, smashed it actually because there are not too many days when I sit down to write that I don’t think about him. He is the gasoline to the flame that flickers inside me – my fire starter.

Mr. K – I won’t let you down. I swear.

Monday, May 05, 2008

You're Never Too Old to Swing Baby.

My parents still live in the same house where I grew up. This house is a two minute jaunt from my old elementary school and the other day I took their dog for a walk there. Their dog is a spirited soul whose only concern is that you throw the tennis ball… constantly… and forever. She is a working breed crossed with a demon breed and her relentless demanding behavior, while sometimes cute, can be draining. In between rounds of firing off her tennis ball, I took a seat on the playground swing set… and would you believe it, I started to swing.
I pumped my short stumpy legs and before I knew it, I was flying without a care. Even though the crisp sound of cutting through the air tickled my ears, I was filled with silence. At that moment I was free of obligations and stress, free of opinions and labels and free of everything that makes me… not me. If it hadn’t been for the sassy yelps of my parent’s dog, reminding me that my life isn’t ever truly my own, I’d probably still be swinging.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I Can't Sleep...

I’ve always been a strange sleeper. I was able to out last all my babysitters and it wasn’t odd for my parents to return home after a night out to find the babysitter asleep on the couch and me watching Johnny Carson – at the age of four. I once got into the medicine cabinet when I was six and drank a bottle of Phenigran. My Mother called poison control and they said not to worry, I’d probably just sleep a good 10 – 14 hours. Wrong. I was up for 24 hours straight. One night the house across the lane from us caught on fire and lit up the night sky, bringing a fleet of fire engines, but I slept through the entire thing. In my teenage years I was a sleep walker. In my 20’s I suffered from sleep apnea and was told on many occasions that I talk and laugh hysterically in my time of slumber. Now, in my 30’s, I’m dealing with insomnia – something I’ve dealt with before, but not for 11 weeks in a row.

One of my all time favorite movies is Fight Club and it is from this movie I take a direct quote: “With insomnia, nothing is real. Everything is far away. Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy.” And to this I add – with insomnia you live on a different level than everyone else. I don’t mean on a greater level or an inferior level… I just mean on an unfamiliar level. You see things differently… you see things that are not there… you see things that would frighten others. You feel dizzy all the time and wonder how it is you haven’t collapsed. Everything in your vision is blurry and closing your eyes hurts, it burns. Routine takes over and you find yourself arriving places not knowing how it is you ended up there. It’s scary to wake up from being awake and realizing you’re somewhere you weren’t 20 minutes ago… AND you drove there.

I’ve counted sheep. I’ve exercised. I’ve taken a hot bath before bed. I’ve done the warm milk trick. I’ve tried relaxing my body from the toes up. I’ve tried natural cures, chemical cures and I’ve tried illegal cures. I’ve read, listened to music and watched boring TV. I’ve tried chanting, meditation and near suffocation with a pillow. Nothing is working. I’ve been taking Melotonin supplements to help increase actual sleep time (because my body doesn’t produce enough of it) but one of the side effects is vivid nightmares. I’m prone to nightmares anyway, so the Melotonin is just making them worse. I don’t know how many more times I have to watch people being brutally murdered in my dreams before I begin to question the dark corners of my soul.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

To Be Honest With You...

I can write, but not for you
I can dream, but you won't be there
I can speak, but have no words you can hear.
At you I look through glasses hazy
because you burn so brightly.
To you I give what I can and
withold what I can't
Because of you I'm falling,
getting up,
falling again.
I'm not this, I'm that.
I'm not right, I'm wrong.
I'm not there and
you'll never be here.

To be honest with you,
I've done this all before.
To be honest with you,
I won't do it again.

Monday, March 31, 2008

In Response To: "Why don't you update your blog more often?"

You try concentrating with this thing looking at you while at the computer:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Can't Believe I Am Saying This...

So I’m sitting here listening to Britney Spear’s new single, from her recent Blackout CD (no I did not buy it… shame on you!) called “Piece of Me”. It’s over produced and I’m pretty sure it’s not her real voice. It’s clear what it is about: everyone wants a piece of her. Her every move is watched and scrutinized and put on TV or in magazines. This song says she knows exactly what the media is doing to her and doesn’t care what any of us think about her. In fact, you could say, maybe Britney has played us all and is now letting us in on the joke. The more I listen to it, the more I come to realize that I have never liked her or her music… until she went bat shit crazy. Her self destruction is increasing her appeal for me. Not until she fell from the public pedestal did I ever consider her an artist or a person I could enjoy. I mean come on, have you heard “I’m a Slave for You”? *GAGS*

I still think she needs to take a year off and get healthy, and by that I mean get the hell out of Los Angeles because the paparazzi is going to get her killed one of these days. Have you seen the way they swarm her car? Just imagine trying to run out to the store to get some tampons - not only would it take you an hour, it would be front page news the next day: “Jane Smith has her period!”
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I really like this song… and I am cheering her on to come back and make everyone eat their words. If she can come back and reinvent herself after shaving her head, attacking people with umbrellas, talking in an English accent and losing her kids…I bet you Madonna will start talking to her again.

Oh and for those people who bitch about the fact she’s dropped her kids a few times: who the hell hasn’t? Fucking stone throwers…
And how many of you sat on your Mom or Dad’s lap when you were young while they were driving the car? Yeah… you know you did. There just weren’t
50 cameras there to document it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Forest Through The Trees

People are always talking about their artistic influences or their favorite artists:
“Oh that Matisse fellow, he really floats my boat.”
“Why I just can’t say enough about Jackson Pollock. The man was genius!”
“Van Gogh is the shit.”

I’ve never felt I had an artistic influence. I’ve never felt I needed one, but now I realize I’ve always had one but was just too blind to see it.
My artistic influence is Ansel Adams. His photographs, in one word, are EPIC. To try and describe them any further would be a disservice. I’ve always been drawn to the black and white and the story within a landscape. I’ve always had a secret obsession (bordering on compulsion) with shapes and forms and texture. Landscape photographs speak to me. I’ve never known the importance of identifying with a true artist till now. Finally I understand why people wish to covet pieces of artwork. It connects you to the feeling you get every time you see it.