Saturday, December 05, 2009

AND THE WAVES IS CHOPPY

I don't know what I'm going to write, but I am going to write. I need to. I'm bursting. I just got done reading my sister's blog from the first day of December and, I have to say, I have not recently read more emotive writing. I was leaking from my peepers and my nose was jammed with the requisite mucus.

[It is called crying, Adam.]

I'm wearing Dad's Adidas fishing/safari hat right now. It is a blue hat, 360-degree-rimmed, with brass holes and the logo on the front. I clipped it from my Mom's house, when I was over there to help my 66-year-old mother, with a pulled hammy and a pre-operational knee, bring the Christmas "stuff" down from the attic.

I only mention my mother's physical maladies because I am glued with guilt over the fact that, though I live only 15 minutes from her house, I am an intermittent visitor, at best. Conjoin that with this: She visits her mother in the nursing home every damned day. Who is more selfless?

No. Don't answer that.

Anyway, like I said earlier, I don't know what I want to write about. I think I have given you readers a snippet of what is on my mind, but there is a virtual iceberg beneath.

And the waves is choppy. And the waves is cold. Frigid. Brr....

Okay, here's a metaphor for you all: Right now, I feel like the Titanic, two days before her maiden voyage. The ship appears tip-top, she's had many people compliment her on her physical appearance, she's said to be bullet-proof and ten feet tall, but is hapless, is helpless, is doomed to smi-zash into that iceberg.

And the waves is choppy. And the water is cold. Frigid. Brr....

But. Like I said, I was at my mother's house today. and she said that she'd sent me an email about an--in my opinion--an overly-optimistic fellow. From what I gleaned from her conversation (I was hung-over as fuck) was that the said dude "made a choice every day" to be happy, to think positively.) Besides being an obvious writer--narcissistic, selfish, ego-maniacal, I am also, at this point, I think, clinically depressed. I slop around in my doom and gloom and, somehow, feel...better.

But, what my mom was saying was that this guy--this guy in a forwarded email which I have not yet read--this guy gave himself no leeway at all to feel sorry for himself, to, as I said, slop around in his doom and gloom. The guy fell two or three stories, I heard, and he survived. And, though he was a pin-cushion for, well, pins and epoxy and whatnot, he maintained his sunny outlook.

I say, "How?!"

People are different, obviously. Some people, who seemingly have it good, are constantly miserable. Others, who have not, are happy and buoyant. What gives?

I call it Faith. I think it is Faith. Hope. I think it is Hope, too. I think that some people just have a built-in neuron to maintain a happy face, throughout whatever may come their way.

And, others, myself definitely included, have a built-in neuron to see the glass as half-empty.

Now, neither faction asked for this mindset. It is just the way they were built. Who the hell would ask to live in gloom and doom and shadows and rainstorms? ("I would," says the masochist.) But, seriously? Who would want to put on a sad face every fucking day? ("I would," says the masochist. "And, also? Can you pass me that red ball-gag? I'm getting too much oxygen, right now. Kthnx.")

I have heard someone, before, implore another to "get off the pity-pot." Why?

I'll answer. This, this, is why: Because life is short and life is beautiful and life deserves--no--needs to be explored and sometimes one has to fake it till he makes it and sometimes one has to grin and bear it and sometimes one has to angle on to a better life and sometimes one has to row up the river with only one oar and sometimes one has to leap before he looks and sometimes one has to revel in his talents and avoid his peccadilloes and sometimes one has to forget/forgive the Past and not approach the Future and sit, instead, in the Now and sometimes one has to just remember this: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference

Truer words were never spoken.

The very first word brightens me. God. Though I may take His name in vain--often--and though I may violate the Commandments and Seven Deadly Sins multiple times a day (as most human beings do), I feel--I know--this: God is the Creator, God is the Father and God is the Way to salvation. It is just what I feel, what I know, what I believe. Shoot me.

No. Don't.

So. Shit. Hmmmm. So I started this soul-gutting by stating that I miss my dad. I do. I still do. I always will. But, through the process of writing, I worked some shit out. On your time. In your ear. In your eye.

Said shit is this: Life.

Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad. But, you know what? It's mostly good--sometimes great--and the bad times? Look in a mirror. If you have a computer with which you can navigate the Internet, you're probably doing, at best, okay. Life could be sooooo much worse.

But, hell, Life is so much more. I'll give some unsolicited ass-vice: Get laid. It'll brighten your day.

More ass-vice: Volunteer. It'll make you feel good.

Ass-vice: Find your Center. How? Fuck! I don't know! Just find it.

AV: Every day, make a list--be it mental or pen to paper--about the things, people, events, thoughts, animals for which you are thankful. Thankfulness helps the heart. It broadens it; it enlivens it; it makes one's heart swell. Plus? Plus, it gives the thankful person a rush of dopamine and norapinephrine and serotonin. The best drugs ever made; thank God.

And I thank God.

Peace.

Friday, November 20, 2009

ELEVEN-TWENTY/TWO-THOUSAND-NINE

My sister turned 40 today.

Alexis.

Forty.

My! How Time doeth fly! Right? Heck.

Heck, I remember being 10 and Alexis being 14, at the house on Smith. Even at that age, she was showing brilliant flashes of artistic brilliance. (I know. "Brilliant" in its forms, twice. Read on.)

Alexis has always been an artist. Poetry, painting, colored-penciled drawings, prose, short stories, sculpture, artistry of musical instruments--she can pick up an instrument and make sense out of it. Piano, dulcemer, guitar, drums....

So. She turned 40 today. It is her birthday.

I say to her, "Happy birthday!" And I grin like the Cheshire Cat. Because I feel that way. I love the girl. She is an inspiration to me. She truly is. Is.

We have not always seen eye-to-eye and I think I know the reason: We are far too similar in many aspects of our personalities.

But, the fact remains that I love her and I miss her--miss her. She lives in Duluth-fucking-Minnesota, a fourteen-hour drive away. That's far. I am without vacation daze at work....

***

Meagan intervenes (and I type)....

For Alexis's birthday, Meeg came up with the idea of 40 things (for the years accumulated)--randomly chosen from the dictionary, in alphabetical order--that we'd like to give her for her 40th birthday.

And it so goes:

We give her 40 adorable anoles.

We give her 39 blue blankets.

We give her 38 cute cat calanders.

We give her 37 doozies.

We give her 36 ethos...um. Um.

We give her 35 forklifts. Damn. Much work to do, huh?

We give her 34 germy gerbils. (Annie and Nikki.)

We give her 33 heterosexuals. (Back down, Sean.) ;-)

We give her 32 insomniatic nights. Sorry. That's the way the page unfolded.

We give her 31 jowls.

We give her 30 Karmas. (Peace, my sister.)

We give her 29 lifeboats.

We give her 28 malamutes. (You wanted a dog, right?)

We give her 27 Norsemen. (Sean?! Back off, man! It's just an alphabetic exercise.)

We give her 26 obsidian rocks.

We give her 25 precious pandas. (And China is pisssssssed.)

We give her 24 Quakers. (Enjoy your oatmeal, sis.) =0)

We give her 23 rest areas.

We give her 22 sitars. (Be the Beatles, uh?)

We give her 21 tender tendrils.

We give her 20 umbilical cords.

We give her 19 Vermeers. (He's a famous Dutch painter. She got 19 of his works for her life-changing 40th birthday!)

We give her 18 weathercocks. (Whence does the wind blow?)

We give her 17 xenophobes.

We give her 16 Yuppies. (And she will hate that gift.)

We give her 15 zoologists.

---

[We start back at "A" for the remainder of the 14 years.]

We give her 14 apostles. (Meagan and I will round the 12 out to 14.)

We give her 13 bibs. (Red Lobstah, anyone?)

We give her 12 comedians.

We give her 11 deja vus.

We give her 10 entertaining entrepreneurs.

We give her 09 forests.

We give her 08 guest workers, a foreigner permitted to work in a country on a temporary basis.

We give her 07 howitzers. (Aim carefully. Please?)

We give her 06 ideals.

We give her 05 jackals. (Sorry.)

We give her 04 Korean Krishnas.

We give her 03 lobotomies.

We give her 02 megaliths. (Think...Stonehenge.)

We give her 01 neophyte. (Meegie says, "Have fun with that!")

And, for zero, we give her the Love of Language; we give her the Mastery of Mastication.

Chew on, dear sis, chew on.

Love you,

Adam and Meegie. =0)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

THANKSGIVING? LET'S...

Hey, it's only November 12th, but Thanksgiving is coming up soon; it's just around the proverbial corner. I figured that I would--in no particualr order--write about some things for which I am thankful.

* I should word this one carefully (one never knows who is reading) but I am thankful that, sometimes, a split-second decision grants one documentation in the stead of a boot to the ass, out the door.

* I am thankful for my immediate family, my Mom and my Gramma and my sisters and my late Dad, and my "other" family, my Meegie and her/our Naomi--from all, love does show and flow and Grow.

* I am thankful for my dogs--they're always there for me; and it is up to me to reciprocate.

* I am thankful for my job. In this economy..? I shan't even finish that thought, lest it germinate, come to fruition. Thankful for a good wage and--generally--good co-workers. Even though I am not the best at, well, anything at that job, I still have it, and it pays a good wage, and I actually find it stimulating, sometimes.

* I am thankful for my strong body. I mean, seriously, the shit I have put it through? And the heart still ticks? And the lungs still fill? And the bwane still works? That says something about Divine Engineering, doesn't it? I am kind of at a loss to explain how this is. But, actually, maybe I already have--D.E.: Divine Engineering. I am 36 years old. 36.76666666, to be somewhat-exact. This ain't a kid's body, anymore. (It may be a kid's mind, but I digress.) God makes many bodies. Tall, short, fat, thin.... Doomed to die young, doomed to die at age 93. I am only 36 years old--perhaps I should not count the farm fowl before they crack through their egg--but I feel thankful that, until this point at least, God has made me a Seiko--I take a licking and keep on ticking.

* I am thankful for the Internet. Because, that way? I can spew, from my fingertips, misplaced hubris.

* I am thankful for sports.

* I am thankful that the world does not have to revolve around liquor, spirits, or beers. The world is a much bigger place, keemie-sabo. (Spelled wrong, on purpose, kemo sabe means "wet bush" in some other language--perhaps Navajo?)

* I am thankful that my brain still has the capacity for Denial. (See above.)

* I am thankful that many people love their cats. I, however, am not one of those people. Cats? Never been a fanatic. But...cats can be cute.

* I am thankful that my car still runs, though through shoddy maintainence.

* I am thankful that my mother instilled in me the love of the Creative and that my dad instilled in me the love of the Ethic of Work.

* I am thankful that I was granted a gift from God to love words. They've lulled me to sleep, they've been exclamations of pain and worth and love and greed and hurt and acceptance and unabashed Hope.... Words are Lifeblood, sometimes. And I thank God that I love them and understand them and use them as I can.

* I am thankful that...the List could go on and on and on.

Thanks.


Friday, November 06, 2009

MEEGIE, MY MASTER MECHANIC

So...here was the situation: my 2002 Ford Focus's left headlamp had burned out. Yesterday, I walked out the door, after work, armed with a screwdriver, ready to make things right...make things...illuminated.

Now, the catch.

You either have to be a rocket scientist (or Meagan) to change the damned lightbulb. I know, I know...how tough could it be? Well.

Like I said, yesterday, I walked out of my door, armed with a screwy, thinking--obviously!--that to change a lightbulb is child's play.

The 2002 Ford Focus is a bitch when it comes to changing bulbs. First of all, it isn't the old-skool way of lighting one's way. You have to pull off a "weather protective" shield--easy--but then you have to, basically, free the burned-out bulb from its shackles by touch alone. It is so inconveniently-situated, it is ridiculous. It's basically upside-down and blind lightbulb-changing.

Some fools on the Internet suggested using a mirror. Hum.

(They were right.)

But I couldn't hack it. I tried (briefly) and then I said fuggit, I'll take it to the Ford dealership, where they would charge me from between $50 and $70 to "get 'er done."

I happened to mention to Meegie that my plan was such, and she blew a gasket.

"Fuck that!" she ejaculated. "No, no way. Uh-uh. That's bullshit."

I said, "But, Meagan, I can't do it. I'll just fuck it up."

"Then I'll do it," she said. And she got off the couch and slipped into her slippers and lit out the door.

I sat there, looking blankly at the front window, thinking to myself, If she does it, again, I may have to become a eunuch. You see, earlier, before I had brought up the imminent rape of myself by the Ford dealership, I had been running water for the dishes. The dishes! And, later, I will pop Ping-Pong balls....

And, when I say, "If she does it again..." it means that she is very very very good at figuring things out. I? I tend to say fuggit and meekly hand my money to the greasemonkeys. Or the geeks. Or the Men-Who-Can-Do-It-All.

Fast-forward.

Meagan took a mirror and a flashlight out to the car. I walked out a minute later to find her fingering the lightbulb encasement.

"It's got a clasp," she said. "I just have to figure out how to unlatch it."

I mentally shook my head. No fucking way. It's impossible. It's bullshit, is what it is. Aloud, I said, "So, how do you want me to hold the flashlight?"

"Wait a minute," she said. "I think I know how to do this."

You have a snowball's chance in Hades of doing this, I thought. I did not think she could do it...again.

Long story.

Short.

She did it. She figured out the Hell-Clasp and she extracted the dead bulb and she figured out how to install the new one and connect it to the wires, and--then!--she figured out how to re-clasp the motherfucking worst idea for a car headlight bulb ever.

(She is reading over my shoulder. She wants me to let y'all know that I had mentioned that, maybe, we should get the bulb in its place before she hooked up the wires. I was just thinking, hell, the clasp is the hardest part. We need no distractions, like wires.)

Yeah.

I'm a boob. I was completely ready to hand $50 to $70 over to Ford mechanics who'd probably have snickered at their rotund snookering of my dumb ass. But! Because of my love, Meegie, I have not to pay for a...listen now...a lightbulb change.

I'm here. I have a dish towel over my shoulder. I am washing dirty dishes. Perhaps, later, I will show you my....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

THE CAMERA VORTEX AND SIGNIFICANT DATES

My house is a camera vortex, a camera maelstrom, if you please. I--we--have lost two within the last two months. A camera a month; we're battin' a thousand.

The thing is, we know the optical refractors/savers are here, in the house, somewhere. The other thing is, we can't find them. They're both Canons. One, the original one I had, was a $300 camera a couple of years ago; the other, a red Canon, is a $100 POS that I bought about, oh, a couple of months ago, if that. They both took shots.

And that is the real traged--sorry part of this yarn. The images that was cap'chud is goan.

Gone for all eternity...untill we find the stupid cameras.

(At least Meagan found the rocks that she collected from Martian City. Um...Marine City, Michigan.)

***

On to significant dates.

My Daddy, Robert, God bless bless bless bless his soul, passed away, died, a year ago two days from now. Tomorrow, my sister and my Mom and I are going to have a Dad Remembrance Day. I love him; I miss him; I want him not to be gone. I am not one--seriously--to whine and caterwaul and carry on, shit, but I miss him. He left faaaaaaaaaaaar too early. (Not his design; His.)

And so I may tell myself that this is a part of life and that "the show must go on," but I miss my dad. I miss him. I love him. I miss him. I lovingly miss him.

A year ago, I was fresh out of rehab--not like it helped a damn--and I came out into a situation of seeing a Power Figure sick and dying. It rocked me. I had been in denial. I hadn't dealt with the significance of the situation. (I don't know, actually, if I have, yet.)

When a son sees his Booming Father shrunken and ailing, it tends to--fuck, at least for me--it made me see the world in a different light. I think it is the loss of the so-called safety net that really gets to a kid.

I am 36. I am not a kid. I am a man. (And I should be more successful.)

The point is, though, when I saw my dad dying, it sent a shiver through my bones. (Apropos, considering it is Halloween.) I saw Death. Death is ugly. Death is shit. Death is Pain. Death is diapers. Death is waiting in a line for one's number to be called. Death is always busy.

On the plus side, Death relieves a human being (and all other beings) from pain. From strife. From chaos and anarchy. Death is the great equalizer. All go to the Promised Land.

The thing that pisses me off, though, is that I wanted my father around longer. Am I a brat, throwing Lincoln Logs at God? Maybe. 'Cause, seriously, God knows best. Shit, even if you're a non-believer, Time knows best.

Who are we to question pre-determination? Who are we to question Fate?

Tomorrow, my sisters and my Mom and I will remember my dad. I remember him every day.

As we all do.

But I tend towards the dark side. I remember his pain, his paralysis, his thrushed breath, his neotonical mouthing of mashed pills in apple sauce. I remember all these images in vivid detail.

I have a photocopy of a picture of my dad that my sister Alexis painted. It is stunningly photographic. In it, Robert Raymond sits, his coffee in his right hand, his glasses perched down on his nose, his eyes winking, his shoulders broad, eyebrows tilted in just his way. I look at that picture often. I gain strength from it. I glean some of--a small percentage--of the strength that my father had... up and through his final day.

I have never met a stronger man.

It took universal malignancies to bring him to his knees. And, even then, he was stoic. He was strong. I can't even imagine the psychic and physical pains he was enduring. Yet he stayed. He stayed. He stayed Strong.

Almost a year ago, I bid farewell to my dad.

And now I say hello.

=0)

Peace, Dad. I love you. I miss you. You're always--always--in my heart.

Peace.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

SATURDAY MUSINGS

It is around noon on October the 17th, a Saturday. I am downstairs in the comfortable leather La-Z-Boy and Meagan is upstairs, rearranging the bedroom. I shifted it around on Thursday, but my fine woman was not a fan of how I'd done it. So now she is putting her female slant on the project. I had rearranged it so that our feet wouldn't be right up against the window. It's getting chillier, you know. She wants to surprise me with the results. I'd wanted to help her--had been prepared to help her--but she's all about the pleasant surprises. I'll like it any way she ends up shifting it. I'm easy that way.

Exciting blog post, huh?

***

It gets more exciting.

Kind of.

Well...not really.

As I walked out through the kitchen to let the dogs back in, I noticed that someone had called my phone and left a message. The number, as I looked at it, was instantly familiar. My doctor's office. What the hell would they be calling me on a Saturday for? I wondered to myself. I listened to the message and the girl on the other end chirpily informed me that it was Doctor H___'s office calling and could I please call them back at my earliest convenience.

I gotta be honest: Morbid thoughts were floating through my head. Why would they call on a Saturday if it were not important, perhaps even life-changing? Thoughts of the Big C or the Hiv or failing kidneys or high liver counts zinged about my head. That's silly, I told myself, I have just been there a month ago and got blood work done and the results came back with a big check-mark through "Normal." Still, though, I wasn't quite at ease as I called the number back.

Hell, they aren't even open on Saturdays.

I got the chirpy girl and she put me on hold. I waited for about two minutes, thinking death-thoughts and/or being stuck with a medical bill that my insurance would not cover and then I hung up and called back.

"Yeah," I said, "This is Adam; I was on hold earlier? Can you tell me, please, what the call was about?"

"Oh, yes, Adam...um, you're due for your tetanus shot. We need you to come in. When would be good for you?"

Tetanus shot? Ahhhhhh.... A load was lifted. Fricking tetanus shot. And there I'd been, thinking the worst. Ah well, that's the way the Adamnator's mind works, sometimes. I scheduled an appointment for Thursday at 5:15 and hung up, life still intact.

***

So, in summary, just another Saturday. I saw Meagan's finished work upstairs and I am duly impressed. My rearrangement was sophomoric, hers looked professionally-done. She's got the bed up against the opposite wall and the desk in the corner near the window with the computer and the TV atop. Her dresser is at her side of the bed and mine is at mine. She's got me lying on the side closer to the window, which is just fine. I am hot-blooded (check it and see).

I am very pleased with the finished product, and I love my girl and never want her to leave me for warmer climates (such as Virginia Beach). But, as some sage poet once uttered, Love is like a little bird, held in a hand. Squeeze not tightly, or you may crush it. Hold not too loosely, or it may fly away. But, you know, true love is loving someone enough so that one does not oppress the other with chains of the heart. I, in no way, want my love to pedal off into the sunset. I want her here, with me, forever. I, too, want her not to be miserable. Do you see the quandary? Time will unfold, as it always does, and questions will be answered, as they most-often are.

In tetanus-related news, I did some E-searching and I discovered that, yeah, maybe a tetanus shot is not a bad idea. I'd rather not have my back bent like a Beckham free shot. I'd rather have my jaw unlocked and I'd prefer not to be a helpless victim of spasms, ones which contract and crunch and bunch my muscles and skeletal structure into shapes that belong more in the family Homo Pretzelalius than the family Homo Sapiens.

I work in dirt. I get cuts and scrapes. I could step on a rusty nail. A little prevention goes a long way, you know?


Sunday, October 11, 2009

IN PROGRESS, WORK

"The first thing we do, we kill all the lawyers."

I looked at Bill. "The Bard, nice. Whatever. What you meant to say was, 'First thing, we kill all the zombies.'"

He looked at me blankly. He opened his case to his .45. Dribble drooped from his lower lip.

***

Man, it'd been quick. Exponential. From a few bleeps about "Cannibals in Sandusky?" to mass chaos. It was exponential. We all learned quick.

***

I'd had this friend Chuck, Charles, since I was seven. He and I grew older and we drifted apart, as friends so-often do. We stopped hanging out when we were, like, 15 or so. He'd started smoking and drinking--at 15!!!--and I still hit the books. We were like grease and water. In the halls we still said hello to each other, but it was low-class teenage bullshit. We'd spaced. I knew it; he knew it. Man....

This is difficult. I hope you--whoever the fuck you are--knows that it was tough to see him that day. After the Alarm-Sec-2009-09.

I do not like zombies. I hate their slack-jawed expressions and I hate the omnipresent fact that they want to kill me and eat my brain.

I'm just not down with that.

Charlie the zombie.

Fuck.

There is no room for error with these fucks. They scratch you, you die an agonizing death. They bite you? You die an agonizing death. They eat you? You're fucked.

Whatever. Charles came after me. It was after all the government's shut-downs and shit. But, yeah, he still was hungry.

He had knocked at my door. He'd still had the modicum of Humanity in his diseased networks.

"Chuck. Not home," I said as I parted the curtains on the door. "Zee-Chuck. Go bite someone else."

He hammered his head in to the door and--goddamn if--his head didn't

Saturday, October 03, 2009

WHY DO PEOPLE CHOOSE PETS?

First of all, companionship. And then you also have funny pictures to take. And you also have a warm dog on a cold night, nestled up against your feet.

But, the thing I have been realizing these last few weeks, is that they are not there forever.

***

I kissed his graying snout. I snuffled his ears. I said, "Louie, please...be immortal." I don't want to be the one to tell him that, yes, his time is up. (He is still well-healthy; just graying. But, still....)

***

I had a childhood dog named Merlyn. My mom named him and he became a central part of the family's formative years. Through junior high and high school and then--for the older siblings--the moves-out, Merlyn was always there. Being the youngest of three, I was there for the dog's--the beloved dog's--transition into the Otherworld. It was tough, no kidding, to see one's Constant Companion go through the rigors of old age.

He was the dog I used to tackle in the living room, right? Doggie Team of Kansas, I used to call him as I swept him up in a bear-hug and lay him on the floor. Doggie Team of Kansas...who thinks of that shit?! I did.

Merlyn, a big-ole-snouted Lab-mix, got older and creakier. My sisters were off, out of the house, doing the things they needed to be doing. I was--and am--the baby of the litter. I was still at home and I witnessed Merlyn's fall from dignity. "Look at Merlyn," my mom used to say, "he is so regal." And? He was.

But carbon-based lifeforms get older. They eventually die.

Merlyn lost control of his bladder. He lost control of his bowels. He lost control of his hind legs. He got skinny; he got fragile. At the end, I'd sooner drive a hot knife through my eye than treat Merlyn with anything less than kid-gloves.

The last day of Mer-Burr's life, Mom and I drove him to the North Main Animal Hospital. There is a Burger King right next door and we pulled through the drive-through and ordered a chocolate shake. "Here, Mer," my mom said, tears tugging at her cheek, "have some of this." She proffered the lid-off chocolate shake and Merlyn lapped eagerly. (At that point I thought to myself that he looked pretty healthy; were we not, perhaps, jumping the gun? No. We were not.)

Merlyn had his Last Dinner and, yes, I feel guilty about that.

But what is a pet-owner to do?! There comes a--horrible--time in which one must make the correct decision for the benefit of all involved. It is a pros and cons game. It is a balancing act. How much pain should either side endure before it is time to call a halt to the action? It. Is. Heartbreaking.

If you've had a pet, you know what I mean.

Woooooossssssssssssssh....
Back to Louie. I have known the kid since he was born--I saw him birthed. December 23rd, 2003. So, in a couple of months, he'll be six years old. Six in Dog, with his breed, is like 52. Yikes. Was he not just that little puppy, all ears, looking up at me with unbesmirched eyes? Wasn't he just that agile teenager dodging the raindrops?

Was he the life-preserver when I lit the fireworks in my bedroom when I was 13 or was Merlyn?

Sometimes, I get them mixed up.

And there is a reason for that. Both were big dogs, dogs you could get your arms around--and both had deep wells of permanent optimism and loyalty. And--of course--both had deep brown eyes that spoke of intelligence and pride-pack and love.

They're both much-loved.

Fuck.

But it makes me think. I know Mer--er, Louie--has a few or six years left. But, the graying muzzle? The graying face? That makes me uncomfortable.

Listen: Lou has been with me for coming on six years. He has been with me in three different homes and with six-or-so women. He is Constant Companion. He is my buddy.

But--God damn--I do not want to have to put him in his grave.

***

flowers, colors bloom
we humans do love our dogs
flowers bloom Dog-love

***

This--that--is for you both, MerBurr and Lou. Dig on it.

Peace.

Friday, October 02, 2009

DA BUMBLEBEE MEMOIRS--ABRIDGED

My dear sister Melissa had a birthday yesterday. She turned 38. Wha?! 38?! Jesus, it seems like just yesterday we were hanging out at MSU, she 19 and I 18, both going green-and-white. Hell, it just seems like a week ago that she and Alexis and I sat on the back porch, on the long bench, eating PB & Js and Campbell's Bean With Bacon soup as we looked out at the back yard, dust motes floating through the sun slanting the trees.

Time sure flies, huh?

We all get older, yet we maintain our general default settings. Hers is Helper and hers is Caring and hers is Selfless and hers is Sweet. Sweet as honey.

Happy Birthday, Bumblebee Missy. We all love you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

POST 420--WORDS

Life can throw curveballs. Life can be boring and can suck. But! Life is life.

You have to take the good with the bad.

If you read this blog at all, you know with what I struggle. Sometimes, it kicks my ass. Recently, it has done just that.

But, you know? I still have humor in my heart. I still have love on my lips. Will these attributes stay forever? Sure they will. I have to make a major change, though. Can I do it? I can. Will I do it? I must.

I have been off of work for the past two days (daze)--unpaid--with a "stomach issue." I have peeved people off and--generally, generously--I have been but a bump on a log.

I sense a lot of wasted potential, here. (That was sarcasm.)

Do y'all get sick of hearing this drivel? I know I do. I also know that you three or four readers, too, get sick of hearing this drivel.

I'm trying to feel optimistic. I am trying to feel good about myself. Sometimes, it is hard gosh-damned work.

But, as I mentioned above, I *do* have Faith. I *do* have Love in my life and Laughter behind my lips. I just...do. No matter how much I allow myself to beat myself into the ground, I maintain hope and faith.

I know--*know*--I have work to do. Much, much work.

But I have faith in God and, plus, I have faith in myself.

I will not allow my downturns, my failings, my uber-pecadillos, to drag me down. I just won't.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

HAPPY THOUGHTS


Let's think happy thoughts, shall we?


I am a complete human being. I have all my fingers and toes and I have two eyes and a mouth and two ears. That alone should make me happy. But I also have this: a beautiful girlfriend and her snappy daughter and I have a mom who loves me unconditionally and I have two sisters and their husbands--I love them, too, them B-I-Ls--and I have a grandmother who, though her health is failing, still registers in my mind at least four times a week.


I am gainfully-employed and I make a pretty good wage. I have dogs.... Did I mention them? No, I didn't. I have two dogs: Ollie and Louie. Louie is the sage one, the handsome one, and Ollie is the bumpkin, but I love them both just for who they are. (Don't ever tell me that animals ain't got no souls.) Who they are is: Companionship, Love, Soft, Furry, Regal, Hilarious.... I could go on.


Happy thoughts.


And but the Happy Train gets derailed.


How long would you allow a visitor to mangle your Happy Life? Would you allow a gargantuan smelly motherfucker to slop through your home and overturn the furniture? Would you let the Jabba the Hut motherfucker access to your most precious dreams and desires? Would you be surprised if the (invited) guest crapped all over them?


I see Alcoholism personified as a greasy yellow-brown-green tub of lard. I see the A as a being who cannot fit through doorways, yet still, somehow, gains entrance. I reckon I see A as a vampire: it sucks, it swallows, it comes back for more. And more and more. And more. And more of my lifeblood till nothing is left and I am discarded as an empty shell. Are those happy thoughts? Naw. Are they realistic thoughts? Oh, completely.


My days, recently, have consisted of me going to work, second-guessing myself the whole day as I try to locate the gas mains and gas services that our contractors could not find, and then coming home and sitting in the comfortable La-Z-Boy armchair that I snatched from my dead uncle's estate and cracking.... Beers. Cracking beers. I did not mean to imply that my mind was cracking, though it most-assuredly is. I am somewhat flibberdashed.


To make matters worse, I got over-buzzed last night and said a mean thing to my lover's daughter. I called her a bitch. And I called her stupid. But I put it together, out of my mouth, so that it came out flawlessly, and ten times more vicious. Is that who I am? I have always seen myself as a peaceful, affable guy. Has Jabba the Hut robbed me of even that?! I would not be surprised.


So...I sit here, at home (nobody-home), on a vacation-excused workday, pondering. Pontificating.


Losing.


Losing a lot.


Losing, perhaps, my sanity. My girl. Her daughter. My sense of well-being. My self-love. Lost. Losing my finances, as beer is not free. Losing my physical and mental health. Losing my dogs' loyalty and pack-respect. Losing the ability to care about dishes in the sink and Ollie's piss-circle in the dining room, right next to his bowl. I am losing the verve for life. The Verve for Life...what's that, again?


It is out there. I know it is.


It will take work, hard work, to regain that verve. It will take me admitting to myself that this shit cannot continue. It'll take me looking at myself in the mirror and admitting to myself that I...have...lost...It.
"It" is intangible. You don't recognize when you have it, but when it is lacking or, God forbid, gone, you realize what you have lost. The Verve is strong, but I'm not.


Like I wrote above, this'll take some hard work. I have a lot of halving to do. A lot o' scalpel work. I need to slice Jabba outta my mind. I need to send him a heave-ho. (Where his over-packed greasy body will slice-splatter on the curb of Harwood Avenue.)

And, yes, I am alllllll talk. I can't imagine a week without alcohol. I can't even, seriously, imagine this day without the Beast in my life.

As the minutes turn to hours and the hours turn to days (daze) and the days turn to weeks and months and years...well, I see myself, ten years from now, no family, dogs dead, no job, no welcome income, sitting in the ratty chair of a hotel room, bemoaning my fate.

Am I over-emotional? Yes, to a certain degree, I am over-emotional. Does that mitigate, in any way, the danger in which I now find myself embroiled? Naw. It is what it is; it is what I have written.

Happy thoughts.

Happy thoughts.

Fucking Happy thoughts....

I have met my soul-mate and I have two blessed dogs and I am gainfully-employed and I live in a nice area and I have a loving supportive fam dambly and I am in relatively good health and I enjoy playing sports and I am at peace, most of the time, and I have comfortable furniture and a nice television set and a kick-ass laptop computer and.... Need I go on?

No. Didn't think so.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A LOUIE HAIKU--AND AN EXPLANATION

vacuums, louie--stop
it is NOT a destroyer
don't bite it; it cleans

Lou likes to attack the vacuum on the odd occasion it is used. He jabs at it and bites at it and, basically, it is Dog vs. Machine. I had taped his reaction today to Meagan's vacuuming, but then I tried to edit my camera video.... I was not overly-pleased with my sack-eyed countenance. Having never edited a video on the camera, instead of cutting out my bleary face and leaving the good stuff, I cut out the good stuff and left my bleary face. Oh well. Life is a lesson, right?

I fucked up and Jimmy cracked corn. Regarding both scenarios, I don't care. So I decided to include said video. It was MUCH funnier before I tried to go all Producer on its ass.

Postscript--In the end, though, the full video was still available on the camera. So I uploaded it. Please, pay no attention to my so-called "sack-eyed countenance" and, instead, love my boyo, Louie

Sunday, August 09, 2009

MY XBOX 360 DIED

It is flashing the three-quadrant red lights of death. And I am bummed out about it.

The next one I get will not sit on a shelf right next to a window. XBOXs do not do well in the sunlight. They tend to fry. I think that is what might have happened. I have had the console for about two years. One would think that they'd have more of a lifespan than that.

Fuck it. It is what it is. The gaming system is dead. I may get another one sometime soon. I may not. It is a crapshoot.

But I am bummed....

Friday, August 07, 2009

THE LAST ONE SUCKED

It fucking sucked.

The post--though it was an impromptu "yarn"--made me {or the author, the narrator} look like a complete boob. Complete.

I had second thoughts about the picture. The pikshur. That pikshur made me look like an uncomprehending ass. I remember sitting for the picture. My expression was done for effect. For the Slingblade effect. I think I nailed it.

This is the thing about blogs: They are verbal--binary--diarrhea. They slop loud and hard and then they are flushed away. I would like to flush the last post away, but...no. I wrote it.

I wrote it.

I'll agree with the last post on one issue: TV sucks ass. It also sucks out bwanes. {Brains.} TV makes a person flooooooooooooooo-oh through four damned hours. Where did the Time go?!

It went in the Beast's belly. I am Him.

I am the Beast.

--goodnightnow--

IMPROMPTU YARN

He needs to hear it. He's all bottled up. His cap ain't snapped, and so he sits in carbonated Silence.

He works by night and sleeps by day and he can't get enough of daytime talk-shows.

Double-crossed bulls-eyes.

"Fuck this shit," he says to his dog. His dog raises his head. He is a goodboy. He is solid. He is Friend.

"You and me, Lassie," the man says, "we'll bust the god-damned motherfucking safe wide the fuck open. You and me, boy." And the man turns to his Irish coffee, brewed right, brewed strong. "We--you and I--we could turn this city upside-down, if we wanted to. Do we? Lassie?"

The dog snorted and returned to his nether regions.

"You and me," the man mumbled. His eyelids grew heavy and so he let them rest on his cheekbones. Behind his eyes, he saw a cacaphony of Bliss, colors left to the describer. Behind his eyes, he saw televisions being crushed and he saw a Humanity creating their own entertainment.

Lassie farted.

And...? It stunk.

The dog was not impressed, nor was the writer, the yarner, the fakir. (Fake.)

And the Talent wheedled down the road. Went bye-bye. Said adios. Gone.

--gone--

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

HONESTLY? IT AIN'T ALWAYS THE BEST POLICY

So, today, I had to go to get my biennial DOT/CDL physical. Not so bad. A few pokes and prods, a couple of gropes and coughs, and a back stretch and a toe-touch. (I put my palms flat on the floor; not that the doctor cared a whit.)

Here is where I fucked up: When you come in, they have you fill out a form that asks the patient for pertinent information and then has a section in which the patient checks yes or no to a virtual laundry list of physical and mental maladies. You know the bit: "Yes or no, have you experienced or are you experiencing any of the following health conditions...." The conditions included but were not limited to: heart attack, stroke, cancer,, liver disease, kidney disease, neurological conditions, back aches, headaches, blurred vision, sleep disorders, tummy disorders, broken bones, busted fingers and toes, diabetes, anxiety issues, depression issues, club foot.... Okay, the "club foot" condition was not listed. I checked yes for "Sleep disorders, daytime sleepiness" and I checked the box for "Digestive conditions." My reasoning was that, yes, I take Prilosec for GERD and I am often tired during the day. I did not mean to imply that I fall asleep at the drop of a hat; I did not mean to imply that I am a sufferer of narcolepsy. Hell, in the job in which I work, I have many times worked for 16+ hours straight and--may I add?--that when some of my co-workers were waxing poetic on how tired they were, I was still a virtual exclamation point.

Below the yes and no boxes, there was a space to explain the yes(s). I wrote for the sleepiness that I should "go to bed earlier," and, next to the tummy issues, I wrote that I "take Prilosec."

Good enough, huh? Now just sign the card, Doc, and gimme my CDL medical card.

The doctor asked about the tummy issues and I told him that I have GERD, acid reflux, and that I take the appropriate medications. He then asked me what other prescriptions I had. Full disclosure, right? He is a doctor and I am not ashamed. I said, "I take half of a pill of Xanax in the morning, too." It were as if the world had canted on its axis. "Xanax?! What strength?" I told him I didn't really recall off-hand--I know now that it is .25 milligrams--and then he went into a spiel about how Xanax is on the list of controlled substances, the list of habit-forming drugs, and that it is a no-no in the DOT/CDL world.

Right away, Doctor V_____ became Sherlock Holmes. With a flourish, he swept into a tweed overcoat and slopped a tweed cap on his bald cranium and brandished a magnifying glass at me. (His eye looked fucking huge, man.) He went on to postulate that my "daytime sleepiness" was in direct correlation to my half-pill of morning Xanax. He told me what I told you above and he said that-- Hold on. Before this exchange, he exited the room and came back with a printout, a sheet of paper, that asked the answerer to rate, on a scale of one to four, how likely he or she would be to fall asleep during or after these seemingly-innocuous activities: After lunch (without alcohol), as a passenger in a one-hour car trip, dozing on a Saturday afternoon, talking with someone.... No, Doc, I am not a narcoleptic. I answered zeroes for everything except for the dozing on the couch on a Saturday afternoon, and, for that, I slashed a one, maybe once in awhile I would fall asleep. The doctor didn't know--and why would he? I've only had contact with him twice before--that my mind will not shut down unless it's completely dark and quiet and I am tired. That's it. And my body'll not take the initiative, no way. I don't wink out at the drop of a Holmes hat, Sherlock.

He came back into the room after I had filled out that garbage narcolepsy test and then he told that he could not, would not, sign off on my CDL medical card until I visited my PCP--and, no, that is not a drug. Primary Care Physician. I was less than pleased, but I basically kept it to myself. I told him that half a .25 Xanax in no way made me sleepy during the day, that perhaps I was sleepy because I stay up too late and don't get good quality sleep and that I don't even take the Xanax daily--just every once in awhile--but he swished his floppy magnifying glass at me and chortled, "Look at the list! Look at the list!" and I could only shake my head.

Hey, Doc, maybe I am tired because the job I do is physically-demanding. Maybe I am tired because I don't eat healthily enough and maybe the cigarettes don't exactly prime a person for Adonis-hood. Maybe I am tired because I am stressed about the new job responsibilities I have, staking/locating mains and high pressure mains and gas services for the ongoing construction jobs whilst I have only had about a week-and-a-half of true field work. Maybe I am just--like 75-fucking-percent of the population--tired during the day once in awhile. There was no place to add--and I didn't feel that I had to add--that my "daytime sleepiness" was not an everyday thing, that, sometimes, I feel like a million bucks.

So...I called right away to my PCP's office and managed to garner a 4:45 appointment. (I took 10 minutes of unpaid time to ensure that I got there on time. I ended up waiting forty-five minutes in the waiting room and spending twenty clams on my co-pay. Nice.)

My doctor read the literature that the other medical professional sent along with me and told me that it was crap, that they couldn't withhold like that. And I quote: A driver may use such a substance or drug, if the substance or drug is prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner who is familiar with the driver's medical history and assigned duties; and has advised the driver that the prescribed substance or drug will not adversely affect the driver's ability to safely operate a commercial vehicle. End-fucking-quote. That section of the J.J. Keller (and associates!) goes on to solidify the fact that methadone does not fall under this exception and I am left wondering just how in the hell a half of a .25 milligram Xanax calls, as neighbors, methadone and narcotics and amphetamines. How? Yes, it can be and is a habit-forming drug. It can definitely be addictive. It's kind of like super-Valium. But the amount I take--and, no, I use it not for recreation but rather as a morning mood lifter with my coffee--does not make me, a one hundred eighty-seven pound man, a sleeping sack of potatoes. It simply does not.

My doctor wrote and signed a letter stating that the evil drug would not impair my abilities to perform my duties, and I am set to take said letter, along with the above stipulations (which I highlighted on the paper), back to Doctor V______ tomorrow. Doctor V______ does not stand for "Victory."

It's crap. This is crap. I have already been subjected to about eight "random" drug tests this year. And, yes, this is a fate that I brought upon myself (again by being honest and trying to be a good guy and do what had to be done). But it is a fate that I brought upon myself. But, this?! This is just bullshit. They haven't heard of anxiety issues before? Every morning, I wake up with a knot in my guts. The reasons are multiple: I am embarrassed by what others at work think of me, I crave a smoke, I am worried about doing my job duties to the best of my abilities...I am just a worrywort. I always have been, since as long as I can remember. I already piss into a cup and blow into a device whenever they ask me. And now, when I am honest on a standardized piece of paper, they're going to nail me to the wall? Fuck that.

I'll take that letter in tomorrow and pleasantly present it to the doctor. "It's a prescription, sir, and it is perfectly legal, " I'll say. He still will maintain the power. He can sign or decline. But maybe he will feel better, once he feels that his ass is covered.

It is amazing, though. The field in which I work holds many people who like to tie one on. It holds many who work seventeen, eighteen hours before coming home to roost. Do you think? Do you think that they feel like spring chickens when they come back in to work? Hell, no. They probably feel wasted. And they are, physically. It's a demanding job. I'm sure more people than me have felt "daytime sleepiness." But! Most of my--if not all of my--co-workers would have checked "no" indefinitely. As I should have. But I was being honest.

Shame on me.

Friday, July 31, 2009

ITCHES, AND THE DOGS THEY LEFT BEHIND

I have a couple of dogs. One is Lou and the other is Oliver the Beagle. Louie is a Boxer/Pit Bull-mix and Ollie is a pedigree. Ollie has a thick coat and Lou is thin-coated, sparsely-covered.

Ollie is fat and Lou is tall and gangly.

They share the same space. They sleep on "their" couch. They spend every waking moment with each other.

Louie is sleeping right now. Oliver is biting at his feet, his legs. Scratching at his ears, his shoulders, his flanks, his underbelly, his jaw.

They share the same space. They live with each other.

In a vacuum, if I viewed Oliver's histrionics, I would assume that the boyo had fleas. In a vacuum, I see Lou unabashedly lounging on the couch. What am I to believe?

I have never seen a flea. I have never seen a "hopper."

Does Ollie do it for attention? No. He itches. Badly. It actually hurts me to see him carrying on so. I am 99.8% certain that Oliver is not flea-infested. [As I type this, Lou lounges on the couch.] I think Ol may have skin dermatitis, or something like that. Skin allergies. He itches. I looked up on-line a homeopathic remedy to a dog driving himself and his human compatriots NUTZ by incessant scratching. There was an elixir to which peeps had sworn: In a spray bottle, mix one-third baby oil, one-third water and one-third Listerine and then douse the canine with the spray. Rub it in. Vigorously. For a thicker-haired doggy like a Beagle, make sure you double-douse and double-rub. With Love.

Because it sucks to see a family member suffering. And Ollie is--most assuredly.

Tonight, if the supplies arrive, I will spray the cute motherfucker and try to alleviate his itchiness. Within the next twenty-four hours, I hope that his malaise will be lifted. It is his burden to bear; Louie is as snug as a bug in a rug. If there were fleas, would they both not be affected? Yes, methinks.

Ollie: Better daze, man.

Lou: Keep yon sleep, brudder.

...To Be Continued....

Friday, July 24, 2009

AN AW-NOBODY-SAW-THIS MOMENT

I have written about disc golf before. You may or may not know this, but I like to play the game and I have the lefty stroke to prove it. It revealed itself earlier today.

Walking from the front room to the kitchen, I took off my sweaty floppy baseball cap and sighted the far chair in the dining room, about 18 or 20 feet away.

I visualized success and let fly from my left hand. The cap floated serenely through the air (in the space of about a second) and--BAM!--landed safely on the back of the chair.

The dork I am, I may have pumped my fist and monosyllabically grunted, "Yeah! Boom!"

I am easily pleased.

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, July 13, 2009

WORK IN PROGRESS

Where do I start? From which point do I begin?

Let's haiku it, shall we?

start the deadening
let loose of ideals and Hope
sit and sit and drink

Uplifting, huh?! =o)

There comes a time in one's life--and I have not yet reached said point--in which the individual comes to his or her senses. He or she realizes that the trodden path (mashed down by multiple scores of addicts and alkies) is not the path upon which he or she wants to tread. The path is filled with jabberwockies and noodalzins. (And you never want to meet a noodalzin in a dark alley--they have sharp claws and even sharper teeth.)

See, here is the thing: I can look at myself and I can appreciate the strength that I possess. Thick arms, strong shoulders, strong neck, rippled quads. I am proud of my body (though I have lost 15 pounds recently and worry about the Big C--lol). I'm proud of my body, but I'm not proud of my brain. Sure, I am intelligent and creative, but--seriously--who gives a rip? I lack mental strength. I lack that genome that tells an individual that enough is enough. To borrow a phrase from a much-beloved individual: "Enough already." Enough.

There is much psychic pain in addiction. Whole shiploads of it. Self-hatred, shame, physical malaise, self-doubt...I could go on. But I'll stop.

Yesterday, I went golfing for the first time this year. I hadn't swung a club in a year. No driving range; no nothing. I stepped up to the first tee, BAL at about .15, and I stroked the five-wood right down the center of the fairway. No practice swings, no nothing. I just stepped up, gripped it and ripped it. It reminded me of that one time when I went with a friend to a Pistons game and we were allowed to shoot a free throw before the game. I was tanked. Other people stepped to the free throw line and air-balled their shots. I asked the escort if I could shoot from the three-point line. "Sure, go ahead," he said. I dribbled three times and, like a free throw, kept my feet firmly planted on the Palace floor. Swish. Nothing but net.

Nothing but net. I was sloshed, yet I swished the free throw-three.

And, yesterday, with the first drive of the season: nothing but fairway.

And that saddens me. Most people with the BAL of me would have swung and missed at the ball, air-balled the basketball shot. It saddens me because it tells me--firmly--that my tolerance for alcohol is intolerable. I can do a lot of things when I'm fucked up, fucking excluded.

It sucks. It sucks for scores of reasons, but it really sucks that Life takes a backseat to the brew.

I know I need to stop, I know I want to stop, but, at this point, drink by side, stopping is the furthest thing from my Soul. My Soul says "more" and I acquiesce.

And so it goes. Right?

I am not writing this to get advice. I'm not writing this as a call for help. I am simply writing this. To those who read this, you might get a tear in your eye. Or you might not. You may get angry. Fine. Feed on it. You may read this and say, "Shit. Same ole thing." And that is your perogative.

I just had to purge these thoughts and emotions. I had to get them out. I'm tippin' the scale, here. I am reaching a breaking point. But I don't fully give a damn. Alcohol is a snake, for sure.

Alcohol is a snake. For sure.

God helps those who help themselves. I know that and I believe that. Seriously, I am not looking for sympathy. I ain't looking for a hug or a coddle.

It simply boggles my mind how insidious alcoholism can be. It is baffling. It is powerful. It is a pain in the ass. From you, it'll strip every strata of your life. I'm nonplussed. It--the beer, the drink--pulls me strongly.

How many times does one have to go to rehab? Once should be enough, right? The second time I was in there, there was a fellow patient who'd been rehabbed 17 motherfucking times. When they wheeled him in on a gurney, he looked emaciated and near death. Perhaps he was. After three days of abstinence and good fatty foods, he looked a hundred percent better. Chris, I think his name was. 17 motherfucking times?! You gotta be kidding me. No. 17 times.

I remember I had thought to myself, well, I'll never be like that! Really, Adam? Are you sure?

No. No, I'm not sure. I am far from sure. This demon rivals the fallen Michael. Even when I am not tossing two or sixteen back, the demons are gibbering in my ear. "Have one, A. It's fine. Everyone does it. You need to relax. You need to getcho buzz on. Have three, have 2900, I don't care. Just have some. You deserve it. It's the weekend. It's the middle of the week and you've had a hard day. Drink up. Drink! It tastes good. It's snappy. It's cool. You're a writer; all writers worth their salt drink like fish. You can control it just fine. You can have a six and call it quits; I know you can!"

The demons can suck my balls. They're always promising but never delivering.

But. And I'll still tip the beer can or bottle. It's what I do; it is who I am. Damn.

Damn.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

SATURDAY, JULY 11TH

Now, I love playing fantasy football just as much as anyone. It is exciting and it makes interesting games that one might rather not watch. I scour the Web pages and I get "professional" information sent to my in-box. I love football. Fantasy leagues just make the game better.

But...I ask you: Is July 11th too early for the league at work to start collecting dinero? I mean, criminy, Kickoff Weekend is at the beginning of September. That is, by my calculations, almost two full months away!

Never mind, I guess. I bought in to the football fever. I purchased my first fantasy football mag of the year a couple of daze ago. It'll be outdated within the month, but, hell, I just like reading about the men in tight pants. Who wear helmets (sometimes purple). Who crash into each other at high speeds and, sometimes, knock each other unconscious. The game itself is a walking hard-on. The only places you'll find more testosterone are prisons and Rosie O'Donnell barbeques.

I like the fact that a Lion is highly-touted. Cal Johnson, receiver, is ranked (early, yes, but still...) number three out of the entire league at his position. And--hell, yes--he is the only Lion that I'd feel comfortable drafting. The dude is a stud. He puts up stud-like numbers (80, 1300, 10); the numbers are made even more impressive by the fact that he played on the worst team, record-wise (0-16), in NFL history.

Here is the thing about the Detroit Lions and their fans: It is a love/hate relationship and, damned near every year in recent history, they have been the Lucy to us Charlie Browns. "Here, Chuck, kick the football. I'll hold it this time." And we Chucks grimace and then shrug and wind up for a booming kick. Lucy Lion always pulls the ball away, just as our collective foot is about to make contact, and we are sent somersaulting through the air. We land hard. The wind is knocked out of us. And Lucy Lion snickers and says, "Okay, that was a joke. This time I'll hold it for you, Chuck." And we gear up--though we know we are fools--for another kick.

Sigh.

The last couple of years, I've not bought in to the pundits', the "experts'," theories about the Detroit Lions. I'm sick of somersaulting. They have to prove it to me. They have to prove that they have turned the proverbial corner. Matt Millen is back in the booth--where he belonged all along--and we have a new coach and coaching staff and they (the Lions' brass) are saying all the right things but, as Morgan Freeman said in "Seven" as he was contemplating opening the box within which Gwen's beautiful golden-haired head held residence, "I don't know...God...I just don't know."

It could be a bomb. Morgan didn 't know, and I don't know, either.
I don't know. I would love to have faith that they'd reach seven wins...but I just don't know. I doubt it, actually. They have made some off-season moves, sure, but how in the hell do you plug seventy million holes on the team in one off-season? Quick answer: You don't.

In his eight- or nine-year tenure, Matt Millen fucked this team up beyond repair. Put that way, Matty is akin to G. W. Bush(fucker). It'll take years to climb out of the mess, the quagmire, the morass. At best, I expect four wins out of this club.

Then again, they are the Lions. I think they get off on being contrarians. You think, expect, them to do one thing and they do the exact opposite. Forgetting last year (0-16), that is all they have ever done: Lose to the teams they should beat and beat the teams to which they should lose. If you are ever stupid enough to bet on a Lions game, bet contrary to your gut. You are guaranteed to win! =o)

Okay. I admit it. I am getting football fever. There should be a pill for that....

CLICK AND LISTEN

This song gets me every time. Sarah McLachlin has the voice of an angel. The lyrics stick to me.

But, it is more than that. There is some kind of internal barometer that says, yes, exactly. Call me a pussy if you want to. I won't care. I understand beauty when I hear/see it.

And this song/sonstress are Beauty.

[If you're not touched the first time, well, play it again.]
Postscript: Bobby B., Dean, Grandad, Uncle Rod, Grampa Burr___, Nana: they're all guardian angels. I thank them all.

FASHION IRREGULARITY

Have you all ever walked into a living room, shirtless, wearing but underwear and a single sock?

Well, I just did. Imagine how it'd have been had it been a swing-shinny! :-O

Just. Rambled. On.

HERE'S A HAPPY QUOTE...

"Naw, wait, Meagan. We can't do that. If we switch positions on the canoe, we're gonna spill; I don't wanna fuck up my camera. And my phone."

She looked at me and then laughed.

My main thought had been--on that July Fourth weekend, in the canoe--that I provide the power to surge. When the time had come to direct us back to the launch area, I had wanted to be The Propeller. With my back to the shore, I had thought that we were fucked. Meeg'd have to row us back in. Otherwise, what? We shift seats? And risk being Persons Overboard? Helllll, no.

And then Meagan laughed. I realized what I had said.

A truly "Blonde Moment."

***

I am...City Boy. Hear me roar.

Meow.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED?

Oh, but you must! It's a kick-ass game. It's like golf (obviously) but it is played with flying discs, heavier and smaller than your average Frisbee. There are different styles of discs--some more malleable than others. Putting discs, mid-range discs and driving discs. Each disc maintains a different trajectory. Some hook like motherfuckers and others are more stable--these fly straighter to the basket.


I have been playing for about fifteen years now. It is a great way to get outside and get some exercise and have loads of fun. If you haven't tried it, do! You'll get hooked, just like I did a decade-and-a-half ago.

[Yes, I am getting paid by Innova to write this. :-P]

Friday, June 26, 2009

IN THREES...

Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and the King of Pop.

Damn. It always seems to work that way, doesn't it?

McMahon was 86 and Farrah had cancer, but Michael Jackson? He was only 50 or so. He left the life as strangely as he led it, apparently. My thoughts are that the stressors of his life (the fame, the fall from grace) finally had their way with his body. But, who knows?

It is strange, though, how the Trifecta of Famous Deaths always seems to be dead-on.

Um. No pun intended?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

REMBRANCES AND CHANGES OF SEASON

June 21st. Fathers' Day. June 21st. The first day of Summer.

It has been about seven-and-a-half months since my father passed away. I haven't thought about him every day, but, often, when I have felt like I were in a hole from which I could not extricate myself, the memory of Robert Raymond came to my mind and I found myself digging deeper within myself to "make Dad proud." (Or, at least, to not embarrass Dad.)

Dad is in another realm, now. He lives here on Earth only through memories and objects of his that just scream Daddy B. His safari hat, for instance. Every time I look at that damned thing (hell, every time I think about that thing) I tear up. He always wore it a jaunty angle and the hat was him. Sunglasses beneath the brim, his big beard beneath the glasses. It is then when I miss the hell out of him; and it is then when the final weeks of his life come smacking me back in the head with a clarifying jangle. I remember his final days and I remember the sense of impotence that I--we all--felt. I wanted to hasten his exit Stage Left, yet I didn't want him to leave. No one should have to leave this life, this transition station, in that way. In all actuality, his was a quick exit. He was really only in a helpless state for about two weeks. Yeah, I can say that. "Only" two weeks. Try living it, Adam. Where each minute seems like an hour. Where some limbs are paralyzed and to speak is a Siphyean chore. But.

Let's remember the good times, shall we? I tend to sink readily--almost greedily--into gloom and doom and dark shadows.

Growing up, Dad was always the strong bear of a man. Seen from a little kid's perspective, he was larger than life. Big booming voice, super-wide shoulders, big bushy black beard. Thick muscled forearms. A ubiquitous glint in his eyes. He was a mischievous guy, he was a playful guy; he kept us three kids entertained. And he worked hard. He worked his ass off. An engineer at Chrysler, he would come home during the week for the dinner hour and then shoot off to his second business, a yarn and loom shop. He'd put in about five or six hours there--business was definitely not always booming--and then he'd come home and go to sleep and then start it up all over again the next day. I'd like to say that I got my sense of hard work from my father, but, no. I'm a little lazy, sometimes. When I'm at work, sure, I bust my ass. But I have not nearly the drive my dad had. And that's okay. I'm fine with that. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own pace to life. My dad's was hyperkenetic...until he retired. And then he was off to globe-trotting. Kenya, India, China, Vietnam.

I miss him, sure. It's a part of life, sure. But, today, on Fathers' Day, I just want to send a shout out to Bobby B., wherever he is. I miss you, Dad, I love you, Dad, and you'll always be the number one dad in my life. I just hope that I can live up to what you did. I love you, father.

--Adam

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

We get spoiled as adults, I think. Though life can be tough (and often is a bee-yotch), I think that we take for granted the luxuries of life. Take, for instance, the automobile. Most of us have cars, as adults. It is only when they're on the fritz that we truly understand how much of a privilege, how much of a luxury, car ownership is.

My brake lights have been staying on, when the car is in any gear other than Park, for about a month, now. I--and my co-worker--tried installing a new brake switch today and, when that didn't solve the quandary, I drove my little Focus hatchback to the garage after work and dropped it off. I told the uber-sun-touched woman behind the desk what the problem was and then I commenced to hoof it to my house. The garage is located at Nine-and-a-half and Hilton and I live two blocks east of Ten-and-a-half and Hilton. A little more than a mile away. My backpack was slung over my left shoulder and my red plastic Coleman lunchbox was in my right hand.

Now, I used to walk to and from when I was in grade school. 'Twas about a mile from my house. There and back. Two miles a day.

To have never had is far better than to have had and then lost.

Exercise excluded, I think the difference between walking when you're a kid and walking when you're an adult is that you've been conditioned, as a "grown-up", to go from Point A to Point B in as little time as possible. As a kid, you just haven't been initiated into the Kar Klub and so you know not what could be.

Slow it down. Walk it. Right? Well, no. Not really. Actually, I like being able to climb into a wheeled machine and go from Point A to Point B in eight minutes rather than thirty.

But, here's the rub: I like walking, once in a while. The world slows down. I'm not in such a rush. I see things that I'd never have seen had I been behind the wheel. I guess this is kind of akin to taking rural highways on trips rather than bulleting along on the super expressways. You see more of Life.

I'm sorry. I'm taking a simple walk from the garage and turning it into some kind of life experience. It truly wasn't all that. But...it made me think. It stretched my mind, a bit. I didn't see anything special. Nothing to write home about. Though what I saw was Ordinary, seen through a different perspective, it became Extraordinary. [Just a brief interjection, here: "Extraordinary" seems like a misnomer. If something is "extraordinary" would that not mean that it were "ordinary" jacked up; would it not be "ordinary" on steroids? If so, why would that be a superlative? Wouldn't it mean that whatever was just as ordinary, if not more ordinary, as ordinary could be?]

Anyway, things are seen differently through a walker's eyes. Blurs of pedestrians become three-dimensional people. Dogs on the sidewalk become, perhaps, threats instead of four-legged sidewalk canterers. A house's landscaping can be appraised at a more moderate pace. It's actually kind of cool.

This really wasn't meant to be a kind of slow-down-and-smell-the-roses type of post, but I guess it turned into just that.

JUNE 16TH, 2009, 1:00 AM

I just haven't felt much like writing, lately. I don't know...it's just one of those things. My verve for writing will come back to me.

In other news, June 16th was/is my mom and dad's anniversary. I forget how many years they were together. I think it was, like, 45 years, or something. This will be the first time in almost half a century that my mom will be apart from my dad on their anniversary date. She's a tough one, my mom. She's quite emotional, but she also keeps her feelings to herself. If that sounds contradictory, well, I guess it is.

She's going to Port Huron tomorrow, to the trailer, to spend some time by the water. I have the feeling that she won't be by herself. Memories can be almost tangible, sometimes. Dad will be with her.

I wish her a peaceful, loving, time.

Monday, June 01, 2009

FOR MEEGIE

For Meagan Elizabeth.

This:

Queen.

Freddy had it kicking, on this one.

Enjoy, babe.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

THE TWILIGHT ZONE--MY 400TH POST

This is my 400th post. I have spent about three years on this spit. And I love it. I love to write, I love to blog. Sometimes, thoughts don't come easily to me. On those days, I don't post. Those days have been frequent, of late. I just don't have too much to say. I think my mother may have told me once: "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything."

I mean, seriously, what could I write about? No one wants to hear of the struggles of an alcoholically-minded dude. Who the fuck wants to hear of pain and suffering? I could write about my job, but that has been boring me lately. I go to work, I put in my eight hours, and then I go home. I could write, maybe, about hobbies, but I have none. The dogs are boring me, too. (And Ollie, he of the weak bladder, is flat-out pissing me off.)

What does one write of when one is merely existing?

...

...

Exactly.

I just watched a Twilight Zone episode in which the protagonist ran down and killed a young boy named--of course--Timmy, and, after the fact, his life was turned upside-down. His conscience was killing him. And his car was possessed. (I think S. King may have seen this episode; I think that Christine may have been thunk up after seeing this show.) His car honked, his car blasted its lights, his car, actually, in the end, drove itself to the point at which the dude fell down on the rain-slicked streets and the car zoomed towards him and then...stopped. Its tires were mere inches from the guy's head. The passenger door opened and--I wouldn't have!--the guy got in and the possessed car drove him to the local cop-shop.

The man got out and walked into the police ossifer shack and Rod Serling intoned something like, "A man's conscience is the staff with which he walks. A man's conscience is the value by which one must live. But, sometimes, the Twilight Zone is one's conscience. In the Twilight Zone."

I watched the episode and I just got to thinking. I miss them daze. Late 50s, early 60s. I wasn't born, of course, but those days seemed easier. You have the guy and his wife sleeping in seperate single beds (but how did they fuck?) you have the cars made of metal and chrome rather than plastic and bubble gum, you have cops as friendly peace-keepers....

I just enjoy the Twilight Zone. The episodes are good. They are parables, of sorts. They make you think and they make you want to be a better person. Black-and-white litmus tests. The time period in which we suck breaths is too frenetic. We need to slow down.

We need to watch a b-and-w classics. We need to slow down and appreciate what we have. And, yes, I am mainly telling myself this.

May you have Peace in your lives.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

WATER AND BARLEY AND HOPS--OH MY!

The bottle is winning. It is kicking my ass. Hard. It is an old-school ass-whipping.

Beer, vodka, wine...whatever. As long as it is an alcoholic beverage, I am down with it. I am down with it and it brings me down. So damned down. So damned low.

It is far from fun, anymore.

It is a motherfucking disease. It has to be. Why else would I continue to pour this poison down my throat? Why else would I put work and love on the back burners? Why?

Why?!

My name is Adam and I am a blistering alcoholic. Just fucking blistering. Mad burning flames surround my yearning, my want, for alcoholic beverages. I have the tool box that I need to combat this evil life-sapper, yet I shove that tool box into the shed; I cover it with a tarp and forget that I ever had it at all.

I'll tell you this: This is not living. This is shit. The fear, the pain, the hurt, the melancholic meanderings day after day after day...it completely sucks.

When I do not drink, life, sometimes, gets very fucking boring. But what is worse? Boredom or this ever-tightening noose of alcoholism? I'll take the noose for a thousand, Alex. That--this--is much much worse.

The bottle is kicking my ass. It's really not even a fair fight anymore. And it can--and will--only get worse. Unless I can find some spine. Unless I seek help, go to meetings, take Antabuse, drag my nuts out from my ass and man the fuck up.

Being bitten by the bottle-bug is a tragedy. Alcoholism is tragic. I consider myself a pretty special person. I have much love to impart to the world. But I'm burying it underneath this fucking monster addiction. If I continue down this road of self-destruction I will lose all that matters to me. Fuck. Lose it? No, I'll give it away.

I am not prepared to take a dump on what I hold dear. I am neither ready nor willing to throw it all away.

I'm. Not.

Tell that to the bottle, Adam. Tell it to the bottle.

Words are words, man. That's all they are. I need to see Action. Blistering Alcoholic Boy? It is faaar past time to nut up, to sack up, and take motherfucking bull by the horns. Or by the balls, as it were.

This is my life. Mine. Life is *so* much more God-damned beautiful and fulfilling than waking and cracking a beer-top and smothering oneself with the "nectar of the gods."

Enough! Enough with the Dionysian Lethargy.

I talk a mean game, don't I?

Some days, I hardly even know what day of the week it is. Is today Wednesday? No. It's Tuesday, right?

I feel the tears welling up. I am in so much fucking pain, right now.

But I have Faith. I have Faith that I'll emerge from the other side of this self-made maelstrom a stronger individual. I do have Faith.

And that counts a whole hell of a lot, damn it.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

WERDZ

I was just having a conversation with my lover, Meeg, about the words Faith and Hope.

I see it this way: Faith is the unwavering knowledge that things will work out just fine. Scenario: a guy is in a liquor store that is getting knocked over--bullets are blazing--and he has the Faith that he'll get out of it unscathed. He does not Hope for good health; he has Faith that he'll be okay.

Same scenario: guy in the middle of a liquor store robbery. He Hopes that he'll be okay. He Hopes that the crossfire won't knock 'im in the noggin. He Hopes that a .44 bullet will shear through a can of Campbell's instead of churning his head into soup.

Which is stronger? Faith? Hope?

I don't need the dickshunhairy to answer the question. It is a landslide victory. Hope is Faith's bat-boy. Hope? Stand back for the power-hitter--Faith.

Hope, to me, seems, ineffectual. Hope, to me, seems wishy-warshy. You ain't gotta Hope; you've just got to have Faith. Hope wears Faith's hand-me-down clothes. Hope is Faith's little brother, little sister.

Faith knows that the world will be okay, eventually. Hope wishes so but then shrugs and clicks the TV remote, looking for the last American Idol re-spin.

Faith is the mortar that solidifies the Wall of Being. Hope is the groundwater that destroys the Being.

Raise yourself up into Faith. Believe. In whatever. Just--believe.


Friday, May 01, 2009

A ROMP AROUND THE MAYPOLE?

Happy Friday, everyone. Happy May 1st. It is May Day. Why? What does May Day stand for? I'd look it up, but I am lazy, I guess. All I know about May Day is that, in some parts of the world, people gather in the village square, 'round a tall pole to which ribbons are affixed, and they walk slowly around the pole, the ribbons clutched in their sweaty palms. Or...something like that. Why? I haven't the foggiest notion. And, then, I do believe, they reverse the direction! Egads.

I may put my little ole spin (no pun intended) on the oh-so sacrosanct May Day tradition: I think I will walk circles around my warshing machine. Yes, my warshing machine is "on the fritz," as they say. The spin cycle is...troubled. The motor is runnin', but the tub ain't spinnin'. Oy vey.

I have looked online and I am prepared to open the lid (after unplugging the beast) to see if, mayhaps, something--a bra, a sock, a clump of dirt, a rhesus monkey--is stuck somewhere in there. My bet is on the monkey. Those damned animals are nuisances! Just ask India.

Anyway, may your day be bright, may your footsteps be light, and may your monkeys not be tight.

In the warshing machine.