Thursday, December 13, 2007


I feel as if i am in one, a Gulag that is. Not as cold here, and I am not forced to do physical labour (thankfully). No, the Gulag that I inhabit is not a physical one, but an intellectual one, and in some respects it is self-created. The self-created bit makes it even harder to escape, strange but true. My guards are not stolid large men with murder in their hearts, but sloth and ennui. Guards of my own creation, and right hard buggers to sneak past. This Gulag is not in one spot, not surrounded by barbed wire, or vast expanses of frozen tundra. Being unbounded on any side makes it very difficult to explain to other people. The sadder part is my own role in building it. My job does not challenge me on an intellectual level except maybe once a month (sshhh do not tell my boss). Therefore, it is incumbent upon me to provide my own intellectual challenge, and I am not talking about doing the New York Times daily crossword puzzle. Though I seriously doubt I could finish it, that is not the intellectual challenge I am looking for. Also, I am not trying to compare my intellectual wandering in the desert to the true tens of thousands of victims of the actual Gulag for that I recommend an excellent book by Anne Applebaum. However, I have no concept of that kind of suffering and that kind of evil so perhaps I exaggerate. The larger problem is that I know I am trapped in this intellectual Gulag, I am aware of my guards, I have attempted to, and failed to take their measure, but there does not seem to be one goddamn thing I can do to escape. Books are my best hope, but as I was doing my year end's accounting the other day, and realizing that this year I have read 42 books despair hit me pretty hard. Certainly, all 42 of those books were not hefty tomes of great intellectual import, there was a fair share of "fluff". The problem that became clear to me is that if I were to maintain that reading pace I would need 42 more books to read to get me through to next year when I whine about this in another post. I am sure I could locate 42 books to read with minor effort, but the problem, and the major reason I tremble as my guards make their rounds is I realize that I need to find 42 books worth reading. Not some dribble by the likes of Tom Clancy or John Grishman, but books that are worth my while, books that help me dig that tunnel (ever so slowly) out of this prison my intellectual Gulag. Anyone, anywhere have any suggestions? Careful though the guards shoot to kill.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

pour l'éducation d'autres

Translated from (very poor) French.

Of course I noticed the Bulgarian, I mean how could you miss him? Greasy little bugger with dark, limpid eyes that never seemed to be focused on anything in particular. Dark and swarthy little chap dressed in cheaply made, poorly tailored Eastern European knock-off of Western clothes. The problem was that someone(s) had taken the trouble to hire him, and therefore I was not really in a position (at first) to sidle up to him and ask him his business with me. Since I am not some clever spy-master, it took me a few days of seeing him on the fringes of crowds, or popping up at places where I was to figure out that maybe he was becoming my (thinner) shadow. Racking my hazy memory, and taxing my limited intelligence, I was unable to conceive that anyone, anywhere, would want to have me shadowed. If you are curious about my day to day activities, then you my friend, need a hobby and maybe some therapy. Either way, there he was my shadow. What in the bleeding hell had I done? Who had the nerve to want to know what I was doing? Christ, just ask me if you want to know. No need to go through all this trouble to hire some (clumsy) bastard to trail me around. So, I decided to give the little bugger a peek into my day (see previous post) as you can tell not a lot is going on in my life. I wish I could say that I was being sneaky and giving him a look at a boring day on purpose. Sadly, that is not true, the day he observed is pretty much a slice of my life. Pretty exciting stuff huh? Either way the more I thought about it the more pissed I became. I mean who the hell hired this jackass, and why? However, I really did not consider myself set up to spy on the spy. After all, he is (in theory) a trained professional. Me? Not so much. Also, for some reason it just seemed a bit hypocritical of me to going prying into this fool's life when it offended me for him to snoop into mine. Luckily for me, he was an inept bastard. Apparently, he did not read the Stasi manual about sleep. It is all well and good to question a "subject" (I really enjoyed being called a subject made me feel so very cheap). when he or she first wakes up. You just need to be careful to ascertain IF he or she just woke up. Some people wake up in stages, some people wake up right away, and some people you just are not sure if they are awake yet or not. Certainly, if you have your subject in custody this is not a problem, but if you do not have all hours access to the subject, you should be very careful. It evens the odds a bit, and you have to sleep yourself eventually. All sorts of mischief can be done while you are snoring away the afternoon. Once (or I guess if) your "subject" realizes you are there, things become much more difficult. Granted, they might be terrified in submission, or scared enough to make a critical mistake, but you never know when you run into a clever bastard that might not want to be eliminated. Worst case sceanrio you get someone who wants to be a hero, and decides to make your life an object of their attention. Now, I am certainly not a hero, and from from being a clever bastard (well bastard yes, clever not so much), but, I am not a total fool. Once I wrapped my mind around the concept of secrets I begin to realize we all have them, and it is incumbent upon us to keep them, or tell them as we see fit. This is when I figured that even the Bulgar must have something that he did not want me or anyone else to find out. Since I am aware that one Bulgar does not a Stasi make, I am going to leave it to him (or his handlers) imagination if I was able to find something out that I can use. Ne trahir rien.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


To psychologically break a suspect, constant questioning is necessary. Continue asking questions even if they are repetitive. Deprive suspect of sleep for a couple of days, all the while asking questions, then let suspect sleep for a very brief period when suspect awakes immediately ask questions, suspects are at their weakest when they first wake up. Stasi instruction manual.

The following is translated from the original Bulgarian.

Report on suspect D by Agent Birov

Per instructions I, Agent K.A. Birov followed suspect D, and created the following report.

9:42 a.m. Suspect awakes, gets out of bed, and goes straight to bathroom, several minutes pass.

9:48 a.m. Suspect staggers out of bathroom, goes downstairs and greets cat.

9:50 a.m. Suspect turns on TV AC Milan 0 Roma 0 Halftime

9:54 a.m. Suspect turns on small handheld device (later investigation proves this to be suspect's cell phone)

10:01 Suspect changes channel Bolton 1 Aston Villa 1 77 minute.

10:17 a.m. Suspect tells cat to "shut up."

10:20 a.m. Suspect cleans his glasses.

10:23 a.m. Bolton 1 Aston Villa 1 Fulltime. Suspect changes channel Roma 0 AC Milan 0 66 min.

10:25 a.m. Suspect enters bathroom. Running water heard, assume Suspect is taking a shower.

10:35 a.m. Suspect exits bathroom, notices score Roma 1 AC Milan 0 says curse word apparently upset that he missed the goal being scored, or is a AC Milan supporter. Suspect puts on socks.

10:45 a.m. Suspect turns on his laptop computer.

10:54 a.m. Suspect pours and eats a bowl of cereal.

11:34 a.m. Suspect calls Liverpool player a "piece of shit" then yells at Steven Gerrad to "get the fuck up." Suspect is apparently not a Liverpool supporter.

11:37 a.m. Suspect urinates

11:52 a.m. Suspect changes channel to ESPN at halftime of Liverpool/Arsenal match.

11:58 a.m. Suspect lets cat inside the house.

12:09 p.m Suspect receives phone call. Conversation appears to be about gambling on American football. (typical of the decadent West) phone call lasts 11 minutes.

12:58 p.m. Suspect urinates

1:28 p.m. Suspect takes a drink of water from water bottle.

1:34 p.m. Suspect lets cat outside tells it to "stay out."

2:12 p.m. Suspect urinates.

2:42 p.m. Suspect makes, and eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

4:55 p.m. Suspect urinates, and then trundles into kitchen to get a drink of water. Takes 3 bites of left over tuna salad.

5:25 p.m. Suspect finishes tuna salad (4 bites), and eats 4 club crackers.

5:47 p.m. Suspect exits bathroom after 7 minutes. Urinated and shaved.

6:09 p.m. Suspect folds and puts aways his laundry.

6:32 p.m. Suspect begins to read, surely some bourgeoisie propaganda.

7:11 Suspect eats dinner.

7:30 p.m. Suspect begins to watch American football game.

9:45 p.m. Suspect goes to bed.

Agent realizes there are gaps in the times mentioned above, during those gaps the Suspect was merely sitting on his couch watching TV. Agent is not sure what the importance of Suspect is to the revolution, but it appears that he lives a rather staid, boring life. Report filed promptly, and further instructions are requested. If further surveillance is deemed necessary please advise. If Suspect is deemed to be expendable, then Agent can eliminate him without trouble.

Friday, October 12, 2007


As Tidy says we live in a shithole of a town. King Willie the mayor blathers on about crime being down 6.5%. Well, I can tell you that is a load o crap, but that isn't the point of this blog. The point of this entry is that I would like to report a robbery. It seems that God has been robbed right here in Memphis, right next to the Criminal Justice Center no less. You see, there is a church right next to the Criminal Justice Center (where I work), and they have this pithy little glass display case out front. This case has a letter board that always contains some holier than thou bullshit message about how god is good, great, and beautiful. Well, it seems the church fathers decided to put up a display about tithes. Some message about giving to the lord (he needs the money). This message was accompanied by a little display of a small glass containing small change. This change was mostly pennies, but I guess there were some nickles and dimes in there as well. I say were because as I was walking to work today I noticed (I really wish I had taken a picture) that someone had thrown a brick through the side of the case, and made off with the small change. Priceless. So I would like to report a crime, God has been robbed, and I hope we are able to provide him a line-up so he can identify the bastard who did it. Since it is a Lutheran churh, I am desperately looking for a note from some Catholic claiming responsibility, and calling them splitters.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Of Pain

Since today, so far, has been my first real pain free day in a week, I decided to celebrate by blogging. The pain I have been afflicted with is not life-threatening, or the type that make other people admire me for suffering it. It is just simple, mind-numbing, average pain that just happens to localized to a extremely sensitive spot for the male of the species. Yes pain below the naval academy is not a lot of fun. Every time I took a whiz I burst into a verse of "O sweet mystery of life at last I've found you." That was to keep from crying or otherwise acting like a girl even though I was seeing bright lights from the pain. Anyhoo, it got me thinking on the nature of pain. I tried the Stoic approach, and tried to imagine the pain being in A body, not necessarily MY body. Well that does not work when your johnson is on fire with pain. Maybe those Stoic fellows did not experience urinary pain, but let me tell you trying to "push" it out to some ideal version of a body does not work. Of course there is always the John Wayne approach of being too tough to show pain. That works for about 15 mins of intense bathroom agony. Then you realize John Wayne was ACTING, newsflash you're not acting, you're feeling. Don't get me wrong I am not an advocate of pain pills, I think people rely on them way too much. I think that feeling pain at least makes you realize you are alive. The more intense the pain, the more intense the feeling of being alive. However, I guess there are limits, and I would not pretend to think that my week of fever and "private parts" pain came anywhere near reaching them. Nor, would I attempt to compare my pain with people who are really sick with things like cancer. All I know is that now that my pain is mostly gone, I am pretty happy about it, but there is a part of me that misses it in some weird sort of way.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity

The Second Coming

WB Yeates

Of course this is only the first stanza, I steal, but I steal with purpose. The second stanza did not suit my purpose, therefore it remains undisturbed. The centre for my purposes is, in fact, me. I am not quite sure I can hold. I am not sure I want to hold. Everything seems broken, and I am not sure if anyone speaks my particular brand of English. However, I do not want your sympathy. I probably do not deserve it anyway. This collapse of the centre is, for the most part, self-inflicted. This wound may never heal. So good night to the street sweepers, the night watchmen, and the gate-keepers.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Long time, no post. It is a pretty sad thing that I cannot manage to post more than one thing a month. Makes me wonder how the hell all those writers managed to crank out such massive amounts of writings. Guess they did not have ESPN, and ESPN 2, and Monday Night Football to drain their time away. Also, a real job sometimes gets in the way. Plus they were probably a lot smarter than me. Anyway, I will try to do better in the future. However, today's post is about something a little different. One fine day as I sat around with my thumb up my ass it suddenly occurred to me that I have started being harder on other people than I am on myself. Needless to say, this was a disturbing realization. I am pretty sure that it is the first step on the road to becoming a hypocrite. Suddenly, other people's faults are more obvious? It seems that I think I have been appointed the overseer of how people should act. This is not something I am proud of, and it must be stopped. I have profound defects, and I am the last person that should be pointing out the "defects" of others. While it is true that I do not suffer fools gladly, I should at least not let them know that I believe them to be a fool. These people are (for the most part) humans just like me. They live, breathe, dream, lie, cheat, and steal just like the rest of us. To appoint myself as some sort of "pope of behaviour" is absurd. The house I live in isn't even made of glass, I certainly should not be tossing stones. Besides, I should probably be using the time I spend/waste being hyper-critical of others to attempt to fix my own faults. Trust me, there are many faults to fix, and it will be a full-time repair job. Hopefully, the old saw about realzing you have a problem is the first step to solving the problem. So to all of the people I have being a huge braying jackass to about this (and there are a lot), and especially to the one or two that bother to read this blog, mea culpa, I apologize.

Friday, August 10, 2007


The Which Looney Tune Are You Test
Your Score: Yosemite Sam!
You scored 85 Aggression, 28 Sophistication, and 28 Optimism!
A low-down, ruff, tough, and mean varmint, your aggressive energy, vulgar attitude, and cynical outlook make you one mean SOB when angered. Little scares you, much annoys you, and a pin-drop can set you off. This is not all bad however, your anti-social adventuring spirit leads you to blaze trails other fear to tread. You could really find your place on the frontiers of civilization daring to take the risks others would only dream of and reaping rewards they can only envy. For good or bad, you'll never back down from a fight. You might want to think about medication or therapy however...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dear Doctor K

Dear Doctor K,

Thank you so very much for the gentle prostate exam, even though it took your office three days to call me back and schedule an appointment, it was time well spent. I mean it just gave me three more days to think something serious just might be wrong with me. It gave me a chance to reflect on mortality. Notice I did not say MY mortality, I was reflecting on someones mortality other than mine, I will leave it to your imagination to guess who's. Anyhoo, I would also like to thank you for telling me the first test I had to undergo was useless. Nothing like enduring an hour of humiliation, and pain (and missing work to boot) for no good reason. I appreciate the kind and gentle way you requested me to drop trou and bend over. The exam itself was a pure delight. What little innocence I had was lost that day, and for that you will always be special to me. I also greatly appreciate the next test you sent me to as well. Having to drink a thick, milky, substance that tasted like cat piss was an experience I will just HAVE to write in my diary. The over talkative tech performing the test was also an added bonus. Finally, last but certainly NOT least. I would love to express my gratitude for you getting my test results the next day, calling me back, and then NOT telling me the results. That was just top notch, letting my overactive imagination run away with me while one of your Nazi minions explained to me that you would be off of work the next two days, and I could come in and "see you" on the day you came back was fan-fucking-tastic. I certainly did NOT wish to hear my test results any sooner, after all I am only a mere mortal not a god-like Adonis in a fancy white coat. How could I be made to possibly understand all those big words contained in my test results. Without a doubt I really want to drive the 15-20 miles to your office just to have you read something to me, and then schedule ANOTHER bloody test. Which of course would require another drive to East Bumble. Certainly all these office visits are libre are they not? You would not think of charging my insurance for just a little hand holding chat, would you? I certainly am in love with the idea of NOT knowing what, if anything, is wrong with me until it is convenient for you to tell me. After all, it is your world the rest of us we are just paying rent. I can not help but think all of this unpleasantness could have been avoided somehow if maybe you treated me like a functioning, intelligent, human being capable of understanding the basic functions of the human body. Because, and let me be clear on the point Doctor, I am a intelligent, functioning human being, and I understand more about the human body MY human body that you realize. Never make THAT mistake again, and maybe your children will love you a little more. So it is with very little sadness, and no tears that I have to inform you, Doc, that your special, god-like services are no longer required by me. That's right Doc, to use a tired, old Donald Trump phrase "You're fired!"

P.S. Finally, I want to leave you with an example of how you made me feel. Stay with me and pay attention because I think it will help you gain a better understanding of the non-gods of the world. Let's turn the tables, and pretend YOU dear Doctor had to come see ME at MY job. For the uneducated I am a prosecutor. If you are seeing me you are either a victim (something I cannot imagine a godlike fellow such as yourself ever being), or you are in a spot of trouble. For our purposes let's say you are the latter. Picture yourself arrested and drug downtown to the Criminal Justice Center. No one will tell you anything as to why this has happened, they just say you need to see someone. Sadly for you, that someone is me. Now I am a nice, fat, jolly, guy and when they escort you in to see me I tell you this Well, Doctor K, you have committed a crime, and we are going to charge you with it, and I know what it is, and what sort of punishment it carries, and if you will ever see the light of day again. I am sure that makes you feel a little scared, but maybe this will help. Today is Thursday. I want you to go home to your family, and tell them that you will know what crime you are going to be charged with and the possible punishment/jailtime you face, and all the other ramifications on your future sometime MONDAY afternoon. Now you try to have a nice day and weekend. I hope your family dinners aren't too awkward.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bad Day

To quote R.E.M. its been a bad, please don't take a picture. The problem with this particular day is that it started out pretty much like every other day starts. Get up, get my ass ready for work, go to work, blah blah blah. Perhaps that is where the day went bad. The fact that it is just like every five days out of seven in my life. This is Sarte's Nausea come to life, and staring back at me from the mirror as I struggle to get the right contact into the right eye. Certain things in my life have stopped, others are just pottering along heedless of anything else, and others are raging out of my control. Problem is, I cannot tell which is which. What has stopped? What is out of my control? Mostly, it feels like it is all out of my control, and that is very disturbing. Some things in life are just not meant to be. What these things are I have no real idea. Perhaps we all get our reward in the end. Maybe we get what we deserve (I, for one, certainly hope I do not get what I deserve). The days run together like small streams into a large river off they go, and not much can stop them. One follows the other like B follows A. Then again maybe that is the point, maybe days are supposed to all run together into a great big blur that at the end you call your life.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Tomorrow dear readers, Is the 38th anniversary of my birth. Lucky me. To have made it through 38 whole years. Well, not really. I was born into a rich country, but a poor family. Either way I did not have to suffer too badly to make it this far so all is well I suppose. Anyhoo, that is not the point of this post (if this post does, in fact, have a point). I just watched Billy Wilder's The Lost Weekend starring Ray Milland (who won an best actor Oscar for his role). A lovely film about an alcoholic. Seems this one was based on a book by a Charles Jackson, and is semi-autobiographical. The reason for the main character's drinking is changed from the book from a homosexual fling to writer's bloc. Which is part of my point. It seems my production on my blog is down due to writer's bloc (again). One of my problems is that I keep having brilliant (at least to me) ideas as I am about to fall asleep, and promptly forgetting them the next day. This has happened more than once, and is rather disturbing. Perhaps I should have pen and paper at my bedside to write these idea down. However, lucky for me Mr. Wilder helped with an idea. Seems our main character is the "hiding booze from the family" type. Going to great lengths to hide his rye from his brother, and his poor girlfriend. One of the downfalls of this type of drinker is that sometimes they get so drunk they forget where the next bottle is hidden (which happens in the film in a very dramatic fashion). The main character needs a drink to help him get over his writer's bloc. Trouble is, one drink just is not enough, and after the bottle is gone, so is the ability to write. A vicious circle, a perfect circle, the beginning is the end, and the end is the beginning. This is the drinker's dilemma just needing that one drink to solve whatever problem they are facing, but the first one just tastes so bloody good it is a shame to stop at one. If one helps me relax, and think more clearly, then two or three should allow me to solve not only my problems, but the problems of my friends, neighbors, hell the whole world! Next thing you know, you are sobbing your life away, or desperatly trying to get the key into the keyhole at what you hope is your house. For me this is the worse kind of drunk you can be. The dishonest one, hell let the world know that you aren't a drinker you are a drunk by doing it in the light of day (or at least the half-light of a pub). Besides, most of us have the drunk relative that we do not talk about in polite company so we are wise to the hiding it thing. At least our boy Mr. Milland admits to being a drunk when he is confronted. What a stand up guy. Like no one could tell by the way you act. We all have problem's be it writer's block, bad debts, bad relationships, or bad breathe, and we all deal with them the best we can. The trick is to deal with them, and sometimes that sucks, and sometimes it hurts, and sometimes it does not seem to help, but you never know until you try. Maybe the problem is not as hard as you thought, maybe the solution is as plain as the nose on your face. Who knows maybe the problem can be solved merely by watching a good, old, Billy Wilder film. Personally, I have been in the bottom of several bottles, and only found out, much to my dismay that the problems I was trying to solve were still there in the morning, and that they had been made worse by the raging hangover I had obtained in trying to solve them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Think of all the half completed conversations we have all had in our lifetimes. Maybe the phone goes dead, maybe her father comes home, maybe someone interrupts your story/chat with one of their own (I find this the most common), maybe the person just does not care to hear the ending, maybe you were to meet a person somewhere and arrive ten minutes late to be told "damn you just missed them," or maybe the conversation is going so badly that you just give up. Ever wonder if things would be different/better/worse if you had finished those conversations? Think even further afield how many emails have you missed? How many phone calls? Letters? Instant Messages? smoke signals? All of those ways of communicating with other humans on the planet certainly leave a space for lost missives that must be huge. It is like the Dead Letter Office (though they are now called a Mail Recovery Centers) on a huge scale. Aren't all the new ways to keep in touch that have been invented over the last hundred or so years also ways to MISS communicating with people as well. You would never hear Caeaser complain about Brutus not returning his email.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I Want to Know

I want to know right from wrong,
I want to know "who wrote this song,"
I want to know why people lie,
I want to know why my pets have to die,
I want to know do willows really weep,
I want to know why do people make promises they can not keep,
I want to know the time
I want to know if I can borrow a dime,
I want to know how it feels to be king
I want to know if it is alright for me to sing
I want to know why history repeats
I want to know if i should take the leap
I want to know if guilty people sleep
I want to know if I sow what do I reap,
I want to know how to love
I want to look down on my life from above
I want to know is this all there is
I want to know why I feel the need to keep forcing this post by rhyming
I want to know how to make ends meet
I want to know the cause and nature of my own death
I want to know what certain people are thinking
I want to know all the answers
I want to know the question
I want to know how to do higher math
I want to know why

Saturday, April 14, 2007


A very wise man once told me "Control your emotions or they will be your downfall." Another fellow traveller told me that "one of the only things you can control is your emotions, when other people start to control your emotions, they control you." Well, besides the fact that it seems I know a LOT of wise men, these two pieces of advice have always been guiding principles in my life. I understand that following these ideas has led to me being seen as a bit of a cold fish at times. It just seems to me that people who allow others to control their emotions are not being honest with themselves. This is why I do not truly hate anyone (well besides Oliver Cromwell, and Will Ferrell but that is another story). I believe that to hate someone allows them to control your emotions. If someone you hate walks into the room your mood is instantly affected, and not for the better. Jaws may clench, unkind words are muttered, and fists even may be clenched. All because some moron walked into the room. Indifference is a much more effective tool. If you have an enemies list, let them know that if they were to fall off the face of the planet tomorrow, your life would be virtually unaffected. Truth is emotions are tricky things to control, and sometimes in the attempt to control you merely repress, or worse you send the wrong signal. It may be that humans just can not control emotions, maybe they are what truly makes us human, and maybe they will lead to our downfall. Perhaps, there is nothing you can do to stop it, no matter how hard you try.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

William Butler Yeats

Pretty uplifting eh?

Thursday, April 05, 2007


I am not a joiner, I do not "join" with other people to form large masses of people intent upon some collective "mission." I come from a state that is nicknamed the Volunteer State, but I personally do not think it applies directly to me. I have always been suspicious of crowds (or herds as I prefer to call them), they never seem to know exactly where they are going or who is in charge. Now, I am not so cool and collected to believe that I know where I am going, but at least (when I am alone), I know who is in charge, and therefore who to blame and hold responsible when I go the wrong way. I suppose it boils now to a matter of control. In a herd, you forfeit a certain degree of control to receive the protection of the collective herd, and the benefit (to some at least), of not having to make a command decision. This is all well and good for some people, but for me it just does not work. I am too much of a cynic to hand over immediate control of my fate to some jackass whom I know could not find his/her ass with both hands, a troop of boy scouts, a GPS system, and a copy of Grey's Anatomy. Do not get me wrong, I have difficulty getting my crap together too, but I try to realize that it makes me a poor candidate to be put in charge. Groups make me nervous. Especially if planted in the group I have been asked to join is some bungler that I really can not stand. What possessed them to think, for even the briefest of moments, that I would join the group in the first place, and it beggars belief to think I would join a group with some horse's ass that I can not stand. The major problem with my lack of joining is that one gets labeled as a "non-team player." Horror, how could anyone not want to join our team? No matter that we are a group of donkeys that has no clue what is happening, how could someone refuse to join us? These are the tough questions that I have to face. Being the gentle person that I am, I usually make up some lame excuse that allows my presence to be elsewhere, and scuttle off to the safety of my local. However, realization has dawned that I am being intellectually dishonest, and in some respects, unfair to both myself and the group that asked me to join. I suppose if I were a stronger person I would rudely tell the clutch of morons to bugger off. If I were a nicer person I would politely refuse, but promise "next time" I would gladly join their group. If I were a more politically motivated person I would join the group, plaster a fake smile on my face, and sing and dance to the tune that they called. However, being the person I am, I just darkly mutter a excuse, and toddle off to bet on baseball.

Friday, March 30, 2007


As you lay there in bed and see the day's events replay themselves like a bad movie in your head, do you wonder what part you were playing? Were you the hero (sigh), the anti-hero, the villain, or just some two-bit character actor woodenly going through the motions in a performance that would make the critics howl like the Hound of the Baskervilles? As the moments of the day glide pass do you stop to point out your mistakes? Do you even realize you made them? Do you wonder if maybe the script you had was different from the script the other people in your little drama are working from? Maybe we all have different scripts, and that is the problem. Perhaps we are looking through the wrong camera lens, but I truly wonder if we can adjust that lens. Can we step out of life so boring, and look at the lives of the other actor's? Wonder how it feels to be them? To see yourself through the lens of the drama in which they are the lead actor, and you are just a member of the supporting cast. Then the problem arises that if, just if, you could tear yourself away from behind your camera, which I believe is next to impossible. Could you stand to focus through their lens at yourself? Could your performance stand the bright lights? Remember the camera adds ten pounds, and your voice is going to sound a little different (do i really sound like a soprano?) because it is no longer traveling through your facial bones to reach you. Of course you risk the horrible realization that through their lens you are a troll, a braying jackass, an insenstive boor, an incompent boob, or worst of all that your part has been cut from the script without you knowing about it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

In Sickness

So for the last three days, thanks to some intensely painful dental surgery, I have been missing work and laying (or, it is lying? no matter I have done both) about with a fever that sometimes lasted about 5 hours. In my feverish state I had quite a few "thoughts" some of them were in Portuguese, which is unfortunate since I do not speak Portuguese. Some of them were about splitting the atom, I just need a particle accelerator which I can almost picture the building of, and I am there. Also, for some reason Marcel Proust put in an apperance, now you know you are feverish when Marcel Proust shows up, lucky for me a) he did not say anything and b) an 800 page biography of him awaits me on my to read list. Perhaps that will help me get to the bottom of his apperance. As I lay there and watced the floatsm of my thoughts drift past, a few more murderous thoughts did turn themselves towards perhaps killing the butcher/dentist that had put me in such a terrible situation. See, he had extracted a tooth about 8 months ago, and suddenly one day last week the "hole" was bothering me. Off I go to my regular dentist, and then to a root canal specialist only to be sent back to the bastard that started it all. Now, I do not like doctors, and by extenstion dentists. I feel they have a bit of a "god" complex, and being an atheist I do not care for it at all. I mean maybe there is some supreme being but I am pretty sure it is not some goofy white guy with glass in a white coat with his name sewn on the front in case he forgets it, and maybe this god does like to take really sharp instruments and shove them half way down people's throats all the while asking them questions that require more than just a grunt in response. I just wanted to say "look Scooter if you take that instrument of torture out of my mouth, I will be happy to engage you in conversation, until then just hurry the hell up because I can FEEL everything you are doing to me." The good news to all of this is simple, if I live, which is right now about a 50-50 proposition, I have managed to think of a few more interesting ideas to post about. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


This little tale is a short peek into my so-called professional life. I often tell people that I see stuff that you could not make up because no one would believe it was true. I think this story falls into that category. Remember kids, names are changed to protect the foolish, and do not try this at home. Our story starts months ago when our anti-hero Frank allegedly commits a crime. Frank is convinced he is not guilty, and demands a trial before a jury of his peers. This is when our hero i.e. ME enters the story. I wasn't as convinced that Frank was not guilty, and was more than happen to allow him to move his case forward towards jury trial. I would not be the one handling it, so what did I care. Perhaps my boon companion Sneaky Pete would. Either way Frank changes his mind about the allure of a jury trial. Needless to say a chance to slough off my work on someone else has been denied, and it is all Frank's fault. So, I react with my usually calm demeanor and tell Frank's attorney to tell Frank to screw himself. Lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth later. Frank's attorney and I work out a settlement that requires Frank to go to a counseling center before entering his (now)guilty plea. Frank misses appointment one, causing my neck veins to bulge, but being a soft touch I allow Frank to try again. Now this is the part I could not make up. Frank was due in court today after making his appointment. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Frankie poo had missed his appointment a second time. As I contemplated bringing the pain to Frank and his world his attorney told me his "excuse", and it was a whopper.
It seems Frank had in fact committed another petty crime in another local jurisdiction, and been in jail for about the last two weeks. His crime was not anything that would warrant a two week jail sentence, so I was already starting to chuckle about Frank's lack of luck when the story gets much worse (for Frank that is). It seems that near the end of his sentence the cowboys in the jail he was serving his time checked Frank's life out. They found what they believed to be a warrant out for his arrest in a town near Nashville, TN. It seems a fellow with the same last name but with a slightly different first name Franck had a warrant. Being the brilliant lawmen they were, the police sent Frank away to this small town about 3 hours away to "sort it all out." Here is the good part, it seems the warrant was NOT for Frank after all but for someone else (duh no kidding DIFFERENT first name). Frank was released by the police of this small town when this mistake was cleared up. One small problem, Frank was, and still is it seems, 3 long hours from home with no money, no car, and not knowing anyone in town. His family has had to pass the hat around to send Frank bus fare home, and he had not made it back in time for his court appearance today, and had missed his second appointment. After wiping away the tears, and being shushed for the wild peals of my laughter ringing out in the court room. I graciously granted Frank's attorney's request for another reset date. Stating that a story like that is too wild to be a lie, but admonishing Frank's attorney that the only excuse I will accept for his next failure to appear for his court date and/or counseling appointment is that Frank has been abducted by aliens, and anally probed. I also requested that the results of the probe be attached to any document Frank's attorney would like to file on his behalf. This is a typical day in my life, too funny for words eh?

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Winter is my favourite season. I like the cold (once I get used to it). I like to see the trees naked as it were stripped of their leaves and standing forlornly in the cold winter air. Winter give me hope. Hope that even though the streets are dark and folding out mysteriously one day they will be brighter and warmer. It is kind of a negative hope I suppose. Hope that winter is here so therefore spring is sure to follow. Besides we need to hold onto hope, who knows when it might be the last thing we have. There is a great beauty in desolation, you just have to look for it a little harder, and things that are harder to find are all the more beautiful for the effort you put forth in finding them. Of course winter can be a harsh mistress, mistakes made in winter have a tendency to hurt a little more. The cold will do that to you. It will make things sting a little more than usual. Pain felt in winter is some serious stuff. Studies prove that nice weather i.e. lovely spring days put people in a better mood. That rarely happens in winter. Winter is mature. A serious season for serious things to happen. Winter makes you walk a very thin line. Makes you wonder if you are right or not. Leaves you thinking it is a long, cold, lonely walk back to the car or the apartment. Winter makes you want to climb out of life so boring and take the time to make other people's heart your home. Gasping for air, and seeing your breathe. Winter is a delicate balance vulnerable, sad, delicate, and all knowing.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Grieve Spain

It appears my readings have lead me to the Spanish Civil War (don't ask, I really can't say how I got there either). Anyway, I have picked up a rather hefty tome written by a fellow named Hugh Thomas (1100 pages or so), seems to be the definitive work blah blah. Now, I was a history major, and a history graduate student so I got the pleasure of reading a lot of hefty tomes. The reason for this post is simple while reading this history I get to read a lot about the major actors of the Spanish Civil War. One in particular struck a chord. Seems there was this fellow named Miguel Primo de Rivera, a military chap who was a veteran of Spain's Rif Wars in Morocco. After that lovely experience he manages to "climb to the top of that greasy pole" and become dictator of Spain from 1923 to 1930. These were turbulent years in Spain, and Primo de Rivera did his best I suppose, but was unable to solve the problems that were to embroil Spain in Civil War six years later. The point is this; here is this man who led a major country during and extremely volitate time for 7 years, and he warrants about three paragraphs in Mr. Thomas' book. This is not an indictment of Mr. Thomas, he has a big story to tell, but merely a statement on being obscure. This guy a major player in world politics warrants three paragraphs. His life reduced to three paragraphs ending with he "died alone in a Paris hotel possibly of diabetes, no one knows for sure his exact cause of death." Presumably, this man had a family, people that loved him maybe a wife that bore him children, or maybe he didn't the history does say. Pretty sure the fellow had enemies, people that did not care what he died of just so long as he died. Once again, I can't be sure the history is silent. Then again isn't history generally silent as to the majority of us? I certainly will not be becoming a leader of men anytime soon, will not risk my life for King and Country, be decorated or elected to any sort of high office. History will not pause for breathe over my life, or for the majority of our lives. These sweeping histories bring "actors" onto the stage, and kill them off with impunity. Entire lives reduced to paragraphs (if the person is lucky, if not he might just get a sentence or a passing mention in a footnote). Even being reduced to a footnote of history or consigned to the dustbin of history is more than the great majority of us will ever achieve. She/He lived, breathed, felt things, tried their best, and died. Thus, we are written out of history.