Sunday, March 20, 2016

Test Test Test.  March 20th, 2016

Friday, April 19, 2013


Now, wait a minute.  Wasn't the "man in the white hat" the cowboy hero of lore?  Isn't the "man in the white hat" supposed to be a John Wayne type, the uber-stalwart American?  The "good" guy?  The grizzled ruggedly handsome get-it-done-er who takes on the guys in the black hats and saves the day in the nick of time, riding in on his steed Silver, guns a-blazin', rescuing chillun and elderly women and sweeping the blonde-haired beauty with heaving bosoms into his arms as he rides off into the sunset, another good deed done, another day saved?

Fiction, of course.  Pot-boilers.  Spaghetti Westerns.  Real life, of course, doesn't work that way.  Real life is ironic as hell, sometimes.

There is a gargantuan manhunt underway for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, an attack which left scores injured (many "traumatic amputations"--that makes me wince to even type those words) and a few dead.  Boston-area police and SWAT teams and the FIB have already taken out one suspect, and now they are searching for another, the dude in the much-viewed pictures that have circulated on the Internet and have been shared copiously on social media (by the way, when did "social media" become a part of the lexion? seems recent)...the "man in the white hat".

I wonder...I wonder that if this is indeed a terrorist attack, which it assuredly seems to be, and if this youngish guy is part of the Martyr's Brigade or Al-Quyeesha or Muslims for Jihad or whatever the fuck they want to call themselves...I wonder if maybe he chose to wear a white hat on purpose?  I wonder if the white hat has a relevance in and of itself.  Maybe it's a matter of perspective.  Maybe he sees himself as a John Wayne-type.  Maybe he sees himself as a freedom fighter.  Maybe he views us Americans as infidels that must be terrorized and crushed like las cucarachas that we are.  Maybe he wore the white hat as a statement.  Not to get all Project Runway, here, but maybe he accessorized whilst he terrorized....

But, with all that said, if he truly is part of the team that detonated the bomb and maimed innocent people and killed a few, too, and brought us all smackdabback to 9/11?  All that said?  He'd be better off dead.

A flowering red bullet hole, stark contrast to the new white of the hat, would be a nice accessory, too.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I don't think about my dad all that often.  Sometimes he crosses my mind, most times he doesn't.  I hope that I am making him somewhat proud wherever he is.  Through my jack-assedness I am not doing what I used to do for a career, but I am working two jobs--kinda working my ass off (quite literally, actually; I've lost ten pounds and feel trim).  He was always a hard worker; I think he'd appreciate the effort.

So, anyway, I don't think about my dad too much.  But sometimes I pause and think to myself, Damn, he's been gone for more than four years, now, and it kind of hits me in the stomach like a whooooof.

I took an order on the telephone yesterday at the pizza parlor for an address on West Coy Street in Hazel Park.  The manager on duty informed me that that street was out of range and, sure enough, when I looked at the map on the wall, the street was just barely out of our store's delievery range, two streets into the grayed-out area.  What the fuck, I said, I took the order; I'll take the delivery.

My dad grew up on Coy street.  I think he might have grown up on East Coy, but, regardless, it was his childhood street.  I delivered the food--got a thirty-cent tip; whatever, I made  sixty dollars on ten other deliveries--and got back into the car where, on the radio, "Let It Be" by the Beatles was playing.  Whenever I hear that song now, I associate it with my dad--when he was dying of cancer, I wrote a blog and hyperlinked "Let It Be" into it.

So, anyway, being on his childhood street and hearing the song...well, it got to me a bit.  I turned up the song as loud as I could (on the transistor radio dangling from my rearview mirror; don't ask) and allowed myself to be whooooofed.  I allowed myself to think about him and his life and his passing and his work ethic and his legacy.  I allowed myself to let the tears of our loss well in my eyes.  I allowed myself to miss the hell out of him and pray to him that I hope I'm doing all right by him.  I miss the son-of-a-gun; I really do.  He left way too fucking soon.

On the way back to the store, I stopped by the house to wipe my eyes and blow my nose and kiss my girl.  Because, I mean, seriously?  Who the hell wants to walk back into a pizza place with tears in one's eyes?  Pizza's supposed to be fun!

Happy Easter, Daddy B.  I miss you, man.



Saturday, December 08, 2012


Just sittin' and chillin' on a Saturday night, Meegie in the La-Z-Boy, me on the couch, a Madden game paused on the big-screen TV, Naomi preparing to go out, Ollie itching and shaking his head (he's got a stubborn fluid-buildup in his ear; I'm trying home-care, trying to avoid racking up a bill at the vet's)...and Cee-Pee (I call him Cee-Pee; his given name by Meagan is Cutie-Pie) was at the left side of the La-Z-Boy, just doing what cats do: observing the action and living in their own world.

Meagan said something to Oliver as he waddled across the living room, something like, "Poor Piggy [her moniker for Oliver], shaking that fluid in his ear...." and then Cee-Pee went into attack mode, hissing and swatting and clawing at Meagan's left arm.  He buried his claws in her arm and she started to wail and pull away.  It was like he was brawling with another animal, vocal as hell with arms flailing like a cartoon cat-fight.  Meegie pulled away and looked around the room with wide shocked eyes.  "What the hell was tha--?" and then Cee-Pee was on her again, almost climbing into the chair to claw at her.  Naomi's eyes were wide as saucers and Meagan's were clenched in pain.  "Oooooowwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh-ooooooooooowwwwwwwaaaaaahhhhhh," she said, and Cee-Pee darted around to the other side of the chair, the side near the wall.  He lit into her again, this time clawing at her right side and burying his claws in her upper arm.  I arose from the couch, my X-Box controller grasped loosely in my right hand and, in slow-motion, intoned: "Noooooooo, Ceeeeeeeee-Peeeeeeee....  Whhhhhaaaaa tthhhhe fuuuuccccccckkkk?"  And then I lobbed the controller at him, not hard enough to inflict damage on the old deranged pussy, but to knock him off of his attempted matricide.  I pointed at the door.  "Get the fuck out, Cee-Pee," I said, and through the door he sauntered, like he had not a care in the world.

Meagan was shocked, as were we all.  (Except maybe for Oliver; unfortunately, he's seen that side of Cee-Pee before.)  After she got some Neosporin and some hydrogen peroxide on the wounds, she was perusing the Internet, looking for some information on what might make a cat go berzerk like that.  Jealousy, wanting food, territorial squabbles, anger at "owner"...who knows?  He was to be banished for at least the night but, as cats are wont to do, when the front door was momentarily opened a bit later, the gray streaked past the leg and into the house, whereupon he scaled the cat/dog fence in the hallway and escaped into the jungle that is Naomi's room, where he could reasonably be expected to be lost for days.  "Yeah, stay in there, Cutie-Pie," Meagan called after him.  "You stay away."

Cats...who needs 'em?  My joking reference to putting them in burlap bags and dropping them off an overpass onto I-75...remains a joke, of course, but this is what I don't like about cats.  They're always in their own little world, we humans just seem--to me, at least--to be nothing more than an inconvenient food-giver to them.  It seems, often, that cats could just not be bothered with us.  They rule the roost, they seem to say with their cocksure strut.  I know, I know, this is written from the point of view of a dog-person, but this Cee-Pee Explosion didn't help the Cause of the Cats in any way.

Maybe the kid is losing his mind.  He is, after all, thirteen-years-old now.  Or maybe he's just a prick with temper-control issues.  Either way, it was surreal and he better not do it again.


Sunday, November 11, 2012


things get commercialized
what was once singular becomes, now, banal
once upon a time the First Climb to the Waiting Area
was something to be treasured, something to "gear up for"

--now they have ladders--

and still I see Climbers spitting on their palms and rubbing
talc into the Lifelines of their hands
(because it is/was a  Challenge)

--now they have ladders--

and now, in the Waiting Area, I see TVs and couches and
women with babies in papooses on their backs
abercrombieandfitches here and birkenstocks there
and trash in the Area and
Trash on the rocks near the ladder to the
First Climb to the Moon

things get commercialized and
things used to be a Challenge

--now they have ladders--

it reminds me of Everest and
I'll never climb it again

Friday, November 09, 2012


Gotta love those drinking dreams.  (The best part of them is waking up and realizing that I haven't.)

In this one, I was at a banquet of sorts--I think it was a reception for a wedding.  At my feet, under the table in a plastic bag, were two 40s of malt liquor, but I think, at that point, I'd already had a few because I knew I was drunk, but I was playing it off pretty well and nobody had noticed yet.  I excused myself to go to the bathroom and, when I got back to the table, my late father had pulled the bag from underneath the table and was pointing at it wordlessly.

Cut to the next day with me lying on the floor in the living room of some indeterminate house.  My head was throbbing and I knew I wanted More but I also knew that some disappointed person would be coming over with a pill for me to take, a pill that would make me violently ill if I were to take it while intoxicated.  Fuck it, I thought to myself, as I prepared to gain my feet to stumble to the fridge where some booze was surely waiting for me.  I'm a-goan get me some.

The door was squeaking.  The door was Squeaking.  The Door Was Squeaking!


Oliver is upstairs, whining intermittently, telling me, non-drunk me, that he needs to go Outside to empty his bladder.  I'm awake.  It was just a dream.  A dream slashed with shame, but just a dream nonetheless.  My head is throbbing, though, but it's only because I slept with two pillows, a luxury that I just don't need, and a luxury that wreaks havoc on my neck.

Using dreams.  What a cliche.  But they do occur and they do suck.  The Booze Beast flies closest, sometimes, at night, when the Id is awake and watchful and the Consciousness is on vacation.  It's always nice to awaken amid a wild flurry of feathers.  Kinda like a sock-it-to-'im type thing.

Friday, November 02, 2012


Four years ago today, my Dad passed away after a valiant yearlong-or-so battle with metatastic (not-fantastic) Stage-4 cancer that had started in the fluid of the lining of his lungs and then had spread to his bones, his blood, everywhere. Cool. Cancer is way cool.

Though his body atrophied and, at the end, he was frail as a bird, he had an inner strength that I admire to this day. He was damned stoic about his imminent death; the strong silent type.

I miss him.

Sometimes I wonder what he would think about the direction my life took. The way I let booze bust up my existentialism, the way sometimes I just feel like giving up. But I have a streak of stoicism in me, too. Or, at least, bullheadedness and faith. And hope. I think without faith and hope, a human being doesn't have much reason to draw his or her next breath. I, perhaps foolishly, believe that every day is a clean slate. That is a good attribute to have. The trick is believing that axiom.

And I force myself, sometimes, to just believe. What could it hurt?

I miss him. I miss my adult years of seeing him as more than a father, but also as a man, a man who was strong and selflessly provided well for his family and was a responsible hard worker which allowed him to trot the globe after his retirement. I was over at my mom's house today--she's another strong soul--and she had gone through some cards and whatnots of celebrations and parties and shit for my dad. It was kind of a trip down Memory Lane. I remember him not ever really wanting to play Trivial Pursuit, pretty much a B_____ family tradition at get-togethers, electing instead to read a book and do his throat-clearings and his harrumphs. He was always clearing his throat, something I find myself doing quite often, as well. The apple doesn't fall that far from the tree, they say. I'm not sure. I guess I never knew him well enough.

Which sucks. But that happens, sometimes.

The summer before he died (none of this "passed away" or "passed on" bullshit for me; he died) we kids and he went on a trip to Pennsylvania, the homestate of his kin. I can't be sure, but it seemed like he was in constant pain, though it would have taken a crowbar to pry that information out of him. We visited relatives and saw old family haunts and farms and workplaces and I am pretty sure that it gave him some sense of closure. It was well-timed, because in Spetember his health really began to hit the skids and by the beginning of November, 2008, he was dead.

It always angered me that he died just two days before the election of the first black President of the United States, because, A, he despised Cowboy Bush, and B, sfter his retirement as an executive at a Major Three car company, he was a hard-core Democratic volunteer. He'd had loved it. Maybe he's looking down, now, two days before a tighter-than-tight Presidential election, and rolling his dice in the Dem's favor. Whatever. I miss him. But I feel his presence sometimes, too, and it seems to me that he is looking down--or through or into or whatever--and lettin' loose with a few of his two cents. That works for me. I love you, Dad. Peace and love, man.