Thursday, June 24, 2010


I had a really horrible dream this morning. It had to do with work. One of my supervisors (him, but not--he had different glasses) was telling me that they were sorry they had to do it, but they had to "let me go." "Let me go where?" I asked him. He smiled all slantedly at me, his girly glasses slipping down his nose, and said something like, "I don't know, but somewhere other than here."

The sense of panic was palpable, both in my dream-me and also in my physical-me.

It didn't help that I'd gotten a speeding ticket yesterday on the Ohio Turnpike; that had been twisting my gut from the time I'd received the citation at 12:10 AM till the time I woke up at 11:00 or so. Now, a speeding ticket is a speeding ticket; it's not a DUI or a DWI or an OUIL or any other of those scary-assed alphabet soups, but, when you have a CDL and your job depends on your having said CDL, you tend to grip a bit about it. Plus there was the fact that I was one MPH less than being 20-over. Listen: I had been driving safely for about six hours--slowing down to 45 through construction zones and slowing gracefully into the up and down curves of the mountains of Maryland and West Virginia--but I had started to get a bit (quite a bit) tired and so I'd stopped at one of those service plazas on the turnpike and had done the responsible thing: stretched my legs, grabbed a coffee and, basically, regained my wits about me. I merged back onto 80-West (easily-done, as there were only about three vehicles in the vicinity) and I gunned the 2010 Malibu around a slower-moving vehicle--I wanted to get home, already--and zipped past a state trooper in the turn-around who already had his bubbles bubbling. Maybe he's after someone else, I thought to myself. Um...nope. I had no idea the speed limit was 65. I'm used to 70, being from Michigan. Said trooper didn't cut me a bit of a break. And? That's his perogotive. I'd have liked a break, but it is what it is.

So, the check is already in the mail to the municipal court near Ravenna, Ohio. I will not fuck with not paying quickly enough and having my license suspended which, in turn, will mean having my job cancelled. $140. I'll handle it. Though the other bills and loan payments are, and have been, piling up, this one's a biggie. As is my insurance. That's a biggie, too. Everything else has to take the back-burner to maintaining "license health."

What a pain in the ass, being financially-idiotic.

Yeah. So is being an irresponsible employee. I took today, Thursday the 24th, off from work mainly because one of our vacationing party was sick in bed all of Tuesday. It would have been a horrific struggle to start driving as originally planned, on Tuesday. So I ordered another night from the hotel and we drove all yesterday, on Wednesday. (God, the days have all just melded into one giant fucked-up slalom race.) Anyway, I called my supervisor at 8:40 on Tuesday night (he was on-call) and requested today, Thursday, off as well. Originally, I was to return to work on Thursday. He granted it, though he asked me if I "even [had] anymore days left." I assured him that I did. 'Cause I do. Anyway, the point is that I have abused the system in the past and was told that any vacation requests would not be granted if they were not called in at least 24 hours in advance. Okay. No problem there. I called the on-call supervisor at 8:40 on Tuesday night, requesting today, Thursday, off. That is about 36 hours in advance...and it was granted. So what am I worried about? Well, I had two of my co-workers call yesterday, while we driving, and I had one of them call me again, today, leaving a message saying that people were freaking out, wondering what they could do with me, wondering, perhaps, if I were stranded in Virginia. Listen: I called and talked to a supervisor and asked him if I would be able to take Thursday off, too. I got the green light and so I did. He could have said no and so I would have had to arrive back in Detroit at four in the morning and go to work at eight. They talk about safety all the time at work. How safe is it to be in a car for sixteen hours, get back in town four hours before the start of the shift and then go to work in a job that requires physical strength and working around five-ton machinery? Doesn't sound safe, does it? But, to me, that is a moot point, as I was granted today, Thursday, off.

But it doesn't sound good. It doesn't seem good. I called the same supervisor, intent upon updating him that I was back in town, and all was good and I'd see everyone on Friday. I had to leave that on his voice-mail; he didn't answer. He didn't answer, but, then again, I had called around their lunch-time. I know I don't like to get interrupted while I'm eating. Who knows? I'll see what's up tomorrow. I think I covered my ass...but who knows? Maybe there's some kind of unspoken rule to which I am not privy.

All that to say: This is exhausting.

On the plus-side: I had a great time in Virginia Beach. I would not mind living there. The cost of living is lower, plus one always has the beach and the ocean, right? I would worry that if I were to go down there to live, I would turn into a beach bum--literally. I hung out with a few, while I was there.

Then again? I worry about everything.

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Have you had that moment? That moment in which what you were looking for had no place in the upstairs, the downstairs, the basement, the freezer, the fridge, the bathroom, the porch?


I've had that occurence and I had it again.

(But then you find it in....)

It is simply amazing. It really is.

(You find it in the broad open?...)


I woke up early this Sunday morning to take a piss and maybe pinch out some of the unhealthy foodstuff I injested yesterday. I let the dogs out (Ollie'd been lying on the new couch--he'd get his) and I pulled a smoke from the pack and went and did my business. I got out of the bathroom after a particularly stinging shit and I let the dogs in, letting Lou lounge in the basement/kitchen stairs and Ollie--because he had slept on the couch and pissed in the dining room--in the pen in the basement.

Because I wasn't quite ready to go back to bed (and also because my stomach/tummy was still gurgling) I turned on the TV and flicked and chicked until I came across a guy named Joel Osteen. Joel Osteen. I'd heard of him before. I'd seen him before. Slick-haired and squinty-eyed, bright white teeth and superfluous.

Haley Joel Osment, right? That dude? The kid with the sixth sense?

Yes. No. Maybe.

They look kindred, sure. But Haley and Joel ain't no Osmonds. Haley's his own man and Joel is Yaweh's.

But, hey, truth be told? Joel Osteen is a hell of a speaker, a preacher, a harbinger of good news, a modern-day...prophet?

I know, I know. Right. Like that butt-smear knows a God-damned thing. He's in it only for the money. He's (assuredly) got nice cars and nice homes. He's married to an attractive woman, yet he still (perhaps) sleeps around.

Yes, but....

Maybe, but....

But I know this: I have watched the guy before, and every time I do, he brings-a me to tears-a with my own shame and hope and love of God and love of uplifting stories. Am I an easy mark? Perhaps. But I have got to give it to the man: he's good.

Here's the point: The whole time I was watching Osteen, I was intermittenly looking for a smoke, for my pack--17 if there were one. I could not find my pack. I smoked a butt from the ashtray and watched and listened (teared up) to Osteen's imploring of the audience to get up off their asses and to do what the Bible warrants. Simply put: Just do it. He didn't use those three words (they belong to Nike, see) but he definitely told us--in a most-pleasing manner--to pursue our dreams.

I know. Just another charlatan, preaching in the name of the Lord.

Maybe not.

I suppose I was unduly impressed by the man, and my searches for my pack-of-smokes fell to the backfield in my mind. The guy is hypnotic, is all I'm saying. I looked, a bit, during the broadcast, but never found the pack of Camel Wides. And, then, the show was over. (I cut it off before I could see J.O. imploring me to send cash or "get on my knees" or, basically, follow him as Savior.

I got up, let Ollie out of his downstairs prison, took a piss, and walked back into the living room to see my pack-o-smokes sitting right there, on the table behind my TV-watching armchair--right there in the wide-fucking-open.

It gave me shivers, 'cause I had looked there. The pack and lighter were on a bed of sea shells from Vag Beach...but I still shoulda seen them.

It made me think that, if Osteen were the man of God that he claims to be, could God not, perhaps, be trying to tell me something?

(And the Sun just poked out from the clouds....)

I'm not a fan of evangelists, but I recognize talent when I see it.