Thursday, July 28, 2011


I am right handed. Born that way, raised that way, will be that way until I die. Sadly my paterfamilias did not realize the potential in having a left handed son that he could turn into a relief pitcher and secure his family's finances for years to come.  I do realize this clever niche market, but since I am legally bound not to procreate, I am going to have to find a stand in child upon which I can make my retirement fund. 

Other than left handed pitchers, or left foot wingers, I would suspect that being left handed in a world made for right handers must suck ass.  About 10% of the world's population is left handed, and I would imagine the other 90% of us (including me) lord over that minority as much as possible. Right handed desks ensure that even as children left handed people are singled out for maltreatment. Kids are cruel, cruel things, and anything one kid does that is different is sure to get them held up as an object of ridicule.

Plus, they get hosed by the word itself, the Latin word sinistra originally meant 'left' but has since changed meaning into sinister or evil. Gauche the French word for left, can mean someone who is socially awkward. Give these poor lefties a break for fuck sake. Since I love to be contrary, and I figure left handers need all the help they can get, I sometimes do things with my left hand in a bit of social protest. When I am playing darts particularly badly with my right hand (which happens quite often), I will switch to my left hand because I can only get better. There are a couple of video games that I now play better left handed than I do right handed.  I drive left handed, and I have attempted to write things left hand with very little success. 

There is an awesome scene in 'The Princess Bride' where Wesley engages in a sword fight with Indigo going back and forth both showing amazing skill. At first, Wesley is using his left hand, and the moment, after being asked by Indigo, why are you smiling, he replies "because I know something you don't know. .  . I'm not left handed' is beyond cool. All this to say that being left hand can be a bitch, but it can also be something that sets you apart, and that you can, if you are clever enough, use to your advantage. Also, after years and years of trying I finally, last evening managed to do something left handed that I had never thought I could.  I will leave it up to your imagination as to what that task was, all I will say is that it made me very happy, then I fell asleep.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Independence Day

(This was supposed to be published yesterday, but I got lazy).

Today is July 23rd, and it is my personal independence day. There is no country in the world that declared their independence on this day, and I guess since there are only 190 odd countries in the world, and 365 days in the year there are some days that will be like that. However, even though I don't share my independence day with anyone one country, I still like to pretend that I have my own independence day like one. I don't set off large amounts of fireworks,no one has written a song for the occasion, nor is any one particular food called for, and I try to celebrate it cautiously.

Because to be independent is to be cautious, you never really know if your self-declared view of your independence is going to be embraced by the rest of the world, or if some bully is going to 'send in the tanks' to get you back in line.  Hopefully, and more likely, the 'world' as it is, isn't really going to be too bothered by your actions, and will just let you be. At least until you start making a nuisance of yourself. And that is the tricky part, how to not become a nuisance. Sitting at home, and minding your own business is one, very dull, way, but even the most curmudgeonly of us are social animals.

And you are going to have to, eventually, go out into the society of nations, and mingle. After all your independent now, and that is cause for a new found confidence, and a new found desire to be 'out there'. One of those first steps in any good independence movement is to get organized. After all, before you weren't strictly in charge of much, and now suddenly you are in charge of everything! That could be a bit 'more than one can bear' if you aren't careful. And you will need to be careful, because now that you are independent, your safety net that you used to rely upon, is gone.  You are your own Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Defense, etc. etc. all rolled into one.

Hopefully, you will be up to the task, for it is quite a task, and it might be one which you are clearly unready, or unsuited for, but you took the leap of independence, and if you fall flat on your face, you have no one but yourself to blame.  That is one of the hidden little things about being independent, all blame is now directly, solely attributed to one person, you.  Of course, things might not have been too much different before independence, which could have been one of the reason for declaring it in the first place. Either way, here you are newly independent, and wondering 'now what?' 

The answer to that puzzler is not going to make itself readily apparent, nor will the United Nations be of much help. They can offer advice, but you always have to ask for a translation, and you have to look at the state of the country offering advice. Are they telling you to do things that they are obviously unwilling or unable to do themselves? If so, then perhaps their advice, freely given, and well intended as it might be, might be something you have to take with a whole bucket of salt.  Finally, you have to try to remember the mistakes that made you dependent in the first place, and to try to avoid repeating them. After all, losing what was so hard to obtain would just be awful, and you don't want to subjugate yourself to that type of pasting again. As the wise man said, those who fail to learn from their mistakes, are doomed to repeat them, and you don't want to count yourself amongst the doomed, do you?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Last Bastion

Patriotism is the last bastion of a scoundrel----- Samuel Johnson, and Lisa Simpson

Today the country of my birth the grand old USA play Japan in the Women's World Cup final. I will not be watching, nor do I have a rooting interest in the game. As I have mentioned numerous times on this blog, I am a fan of Sweden. That means all of their teams no matter what sport, and no matter how awful they may be at it.  This disloyalty to the nation of my birth has caused me to branded a traitor, and I have gotten quite a bit of stick about it. I grow weary of it.

To set the record straight I became a Sweden fan in 1994 when they finished third in the World Cup held in America. It was also the beginning of my obsessive man love for Henrik Larsson. I have held by that choice for almost 17 years, and I am not going to abandon it anytime soon.  I watched us fail to qualify for the 1998 World Cup, the 2010 World Cup, and watched us get blasted out of the 2002 World Cup by Senegal at what was 3 a.m. to me, I watched us lose to the stinking Germans in the 2006 World Cup, and I am hopeful of our qualification for the 2012 Euros, and the 2014 World Cup as well.  They are my team, they will remain my team, and the fact, which I had nothing to do with by the way, that I was born in the United States will not change that. 

I do not now, or have ever possessed the ability to pull up stakes and move to Sweden. If I did, it is possible I would. However, I think you can still root for whatever team you choose. Call me crazy but I thought that was one of those 'individual freedoms' Americans like to bang on about. An accident of birth should not trump calm reflection, and personal choice. I will not root against America (except for when they play Sweden), but there is nothing in my makeup that makes me want to root for them.  I like to think this makes me the type of person who has the courage of his convictions, but it seems into today's jingoistic climate it makes me something akin to Quisling. So be it.

I have spurned several invitations to 'come to the pub, and watch the game' for several reasons. One, my team played, and won their game yesterday, two the place will be packed, and three it will be packed with 'fly by night, only root for the US when they are winning' type of fans. I was at the pub when Sweden lost to Japan, and I had to suffer one or two particularly obnoxious American fans that just wanted to talk to me (while I was wearing a Swedish jersey) about the American team. New flash genius, I give fuck all about the US team period, and I CERTAINLY give fuck all about them when Sweden is playing, and when Sweden are losing I can get murderous.

This brings me to the main reason for my absence at the pub, I have the common decency not to go out in public and root against the US, for given the way I have been hazed lately, that is surely what I would do.  I am not watching the game, and really do not care who wins. I am sure the US will win, and we will be bombarded by how they are the greatest team in the history of the sport, and they should all receive the keys to the kingdom Sure they are good, they are the number one ranked team in the world, which in my opinion, means maybe they SHOULD win.  Sweden finished third, and that makes me proud, it is probably about as best as we were ever going to do, and therefore I accept that. I accept my traitor status, but I also remember one thing.  Sweden 2 USA 1. 

Friday, July 15, 2011


The chubby, cheerful fellow depicted above is Happy Dwarf of Snow White fame.  Notice the grin, notice the girth, I often wonder does one equal the other?  We have another fat guy who goes by the name of Santa Claus who is also pictured as rotund, and jolly. Does fat equal jolly? Or is that just how we like to think? We live in a society that bombards us with adverts for food.  Billboards, TV commercials, radio spots, and all sorts of other media sources slam us with pictures and words about delicious, appetizing food.  We are fast (food) becoming a nation of lard butts. Our individual daily calorie intake would feed a small nation for a week.

Of course, maybe this is a good thing, maybe if we all become a bit chubby, like Santa or Happy Dwarf then we will be jolly, smiling, laughing people as well. It will also make our heart doctors very wealthy people, as if they aren't already. Sadly, I have experience in this field, and I can promise you that fat does NOT equal jolly. Despite most villains being depicted as thin, brooding types,  (ever seen or read about too many fat villains?). I am here to proclaim that fat people can be brooding as well. In fact, I have recently been called a brooding type by more than one person. Happy Dwarf is a two dimensional character. He has the width all right, but he lacks depth, and it is depths that allow true characters to bloom.

Maybe Happy is just happy who knows? All we ever see him doing is smiling or laughing. Maybe he is truly a happy fellow. I am inclined to think that is not true, I (being the brooding type) think that Happy just doesn't think too much about life, and therefore his happiness is based upon a 'let's not think too much about stuff because it will distress me' philosophy that I can not embrace.  Brooding doesn't usually make for jovial (look up where the word jovial comes from,and you will see jovial equal fat/large) companions. Brooding is usually best done alone, you might be in a room full of people, but if you are brooding you are alone. Conversation with a man getting his brood on is desultory at best, at worse it could earn you a punch in the mouth, or a verbal slash from which you stagger away bleeding YOUR happiness all over the ground. 

Perhaps all of us fat bastards just eat so much as a way of coping with our own personal demons. I am pretty sure life looks a lot better after a big plate of smothered tots, and about 90 beers (if you can see at all that is).  Beer, the most wonderful thing in the world, is just empty calories after all, but it does, upon occasion, have the effect of making even fat people jolly. However, it always poses the risk of making a brooding fat guy, just that much more of a brooder.  It is a 50/50 shot as to what effect the alcohol will have, but life is, at its core, a zero sum game, and I guess, given that knowledge, 50/50 is about as good as it is going to get.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Logic Dictates

I have a decision facing me, or rather staring me in face (and has been for a while), but I am, or rather have been trying to avoid it. However, like most distasteful things, it can not be ignored forever, and today is the day to stand up, face this decision, and move on with my life.

It is a tough decision, or else I would have made it by now. It seems that postponing the decision doesn't really help a whole lot, and just makes the 'paying the piper day' just more difficult. It is a decision that I HAVE to make, not one that I want to make. Therein lies the rub. The (small) feeling part of me, and despite my best attempts, I do still have feelings, really doesn't want to make this decision. Which is understandable, since it will be the feeling part of me that is going to suffer the pain. Of course, there is a theory that states that it serves me right. If you don't want to have your feelings hurt, then just don't have fucking feelings. Good, sound, logical theory, and I try my best (which is rarely good enough) to follow the theory at all times. 

Sadly, though the feeling part of me decided to take a turn at the wheel, and here I am having to make a decision that will hurt my feelings. That is what happens when logic turns its back even for a second, the feeling part takes over, and runs us aground.  Of course, feeling part of me, the one who created this shipwreck, is useless in a crisis, and just rushes about wringing his hands and generally acting like a twit.  Logical me, the real me, the me I want to be has to climb on board, and attempt to keep the 'ship of me' from sinking.

Unfortunately flawed as well, because logical me isn't all logic. Logical me has one really big flaw, and that is he has a temper. I am not sure if anger is a feeling, an emotion, or both, but it is rarely logical. Logical me carries this temper/anger around on his sleeve, it is not hard to see, and it is very close to the surface. Sometimes logical me lets his temper go, and the results are not pretty to see. However, when the logical part of me tries hard enough that temper/anger he wears like a badge of honour is cold. It is when he goes cold inside that logical me becomes the animal I need him to be.  Because 'feeling' me is going to get us hurt, and hurt badly. Logical me is not a fan of feeling me, and one day logical me is going to sort feeling me out for good.

However, until that glorious day arrives, logical me will just have to cleanse the wounds dealt by feeling me the best he can. The problem is, that logical me isn't feeling me, he uses gasoline to cleanse wounds, strikes a match, and watches it all burn to the ground.  The glee he feels in this inferno is obvious, and I sometimes wonder if feeling me realizes the damage he is doing to us both with the flames start to take hold. I doubt feeling me is that smart, and logical me doesn't give a shit, so here I am a rag, and some gasoline, I have the feeling this decision is about to make it very hot in here.