October 30, 2007

Fun size

Fun size candy bars. One isn't enough. 15 is too many.

We see the proliferation of these little fun size bars around halloween every year. Sure you can buy them year around and often see them in office candy bowls year round, but around halloween, they become especially prevalent not just in offices, but around our homes. It's easy to curtail your consumption of these little calorie bombs at the office. I mean who wants to look like a piglet eating a dozen of these in a row 'til you are fully satiated.?

On the home front it's not so easy. You want by the bowl and as though magic occurred, you suddenly have two or three of these in your hand. Fingers working feverishly to unlock the joy hidden inside each tiny wrapper. Then after the first sample you crave them. OK, just two more. Before you know it, you've eaten 15 and your stomach aches and your hands shake from sugar overdose.

Damn the candy companies and their creation of the Fun Size candy bar. One zealous blogger even made a chart. I've always thought great things come in small packages, but in this case I just can't agree that smaller is better.

Prince of wince

It's been almost 3 months since my bike crash. The Dr.s last look at my X-ray's said I should completely healed in a couple of weeks. This sounds great in theory, but in practice, I'm the prince of wince. I wince when I try to get up from bed, I wince when I try to tie my shoes. I won't even get into trying to pick up something heavy. It ain't happening. It's mostly my ribs at this point. They are one of the hardest bones to heal given that we are constantly breathing and keeping them in motion.


October 27, 2007

Leaf play

Skroush, skroush, skroush. The leaves stretch before me in an endless pile. Driven there by the wind current. Broken only by the occasional car next to the curb buried to mid hubcap. A cornucopia of vibrant earth. Each nestled into the right place to create a visual maze I can't follow with my eye. Pale to dark yellows, tans, burnt sienna, rich wine burgundy. All meld together to make my own yellow brick road. There is a welcome warmth on my neck as I look upon my long thin shadow.

The slightly musty smell of the decay rich in my nostrils. The breeze tousles my too long brown hair. I'm overdue for the 'cut'. Somehow I've avoided mothers grinding scissors and the glass bowl she uses to guide her hand. I glance down as my feet emerge from the leaves. My red laced hiking boots and the bottoms of my faded jeans covered with bits of ground leaves. Small scatterings of different colors. Here a bit of vibrant maple leaf, there a smidgeon of oak.

I enter another long pile, my ears enveloped in the luxurious skroush of the leaves against each other. I kick at them and laugh as the more hearty leaves scatter at my touch. Not unlike goldfish in a pond rush away from a dipping hand. They clatter and scrape at the bare street, grasping for a hold. A look behind shows my disruption of natures pattern. The furrows in the long piles and the bursts of color dotting the street where I have spread them in my enthusiasm. It doesn't move me from my path. The draw of the skroush is something that comes only once a year.

October 25, 2007

To protect and serve?

I got cut off by a cop in traffic the other day. He was entering a 4 lane (my direction) road from a tributary. He had a Yield Sign. I had my signal on to enter his lane long before arriving at the junction which means if he looked, he saw my blinker. Did he yield for me to enter the lane? Nope. I almost hit another car in front of me trying to look and see what he was doing. I've never had the urge to flip someone off so bad and not do it.

A few blocks further down the road, the lane merges into another lane shortly after an intersection. He went through the intersection and without turning on his blinker cut off yet another car to merge in.

Now, this makes me wonder WTF? It's not like there was a donut shop in his direction of travel. Nor were his emergency lights active. The Police Officer was just being a prick. It's not like he has places to go and people to do. He's a cop. His job is to be in his car 8 hours a day and stop felons or would be felons from executing crime. It's a sad state out there folks, when a police officer is willing to nearly cause accidents because he is king of the road.

October 23, 2007


I found the following typed sometime this week, but obviously unfinished...

For the last few months I feel like things have been running at break-neck speed. Today, I had the opportunity to slow down time in my own mind. There is no rush. I will get where I'm going and I need not stress over it. This is not to say that I lack focus or desire to accomplish. We need goals to reach for and challenges in our paths. Stagnation is a dangerous beast that is best not left to it's own devices. It grows quickly like mold. Tough to eradicate as well. Strong cleansers are required indeed.

October 19, 2007

Live coma

Bleary eyed I sit peering at the screen. Fingers miss the proper keys as I fumble within my sluggish synapses for the right words to convey. The only sounds the forced air blowing softly through the vents. The soft clack of the key's as I type. Beneath my eyelids dry eyes like desert sands yearn for the oasis of sleep. Fragments of waking dreams flicker through my thoughts like rocks skipping over the water only to sink with a final, sudden thunk. Insidious as fire. Alluring yet false. Am I really here?

October 08, 2007

Keep your eye on the ball

We had a big game the next day. Knights of Pythias did. We had the best uniforms in teen baseball. Black with yellow gold letters PYTHIAS across the front. The first shirt I ever wore that wasn't made out cotton. We also had the highest batting average in our league and the worst record. I was in 7th grade or would be. I was also one of our worst players. I was there because T wanted me to play. We'd walk halfway across town to attend games. Our coach was a nice guy. A fat, beer drinkin', laughing, good old boy. He used to buy us pizza and soda after games at the Village Inn. Trekking from the games in a beat up monster station wagon with the equipment bag tossed in the back. I wonder now if he wasn't doing prescribed community service, but perhaps he just wanted to give something back.

I couldn't hit, I couldn't run fast, but I loved that summer I played ball. My glove was one of T's hand me down's until I got my own. I always preferred his. He had seven or eight brothers and I remember that soft, tan faded leather, made for a boy's hand. The pocket sized just perfect for the smooth white ball with red stitching. The slap it made as you snagged a ball out of thin air a smile all it's own. We played catch for hours in the private school yard across from our houses. I perfected looping side-arm throws that summer.

T almost got me perfected in hitting the ball too. He was our pitcher and probably our best player. I was accepted because I was with him. The b-seed, the one that never fit in. Everyone got to play though. I never sat the bench. Right field. Probably the safest place to put a kid that isn't very athletic. T could play any position, but if he wasn't pitching, he was usually at short calling out the plays to the rest of the team. Despite my worry about his arm being rested he threw soft pitch after soft pitch to me right over the plate. I hit some of them. One might have even gotten to the outfield in a real diamond. They never did in the games. I wasn't a power hitter even when I did connect with the ball.

I had flat sneakers that left strange waffle and circle patterns in the dust around home plate. T and most of the rest of the team had cleats. I started the season wanting to win the coaches most improved player award (a new baseball bat). I coveted a new bat. I tried hard, but I don't think I improved much. It wasn't from lack of trying or T's insistence that I could do it.

I never scored a run that whole summer. I made it to third once. The third-base coach yelled for me to go. It wasn't to be. I ended up in a run down trying to get home and was tagged out. I ended the season knowing I would never be back. I haven't hit a ball since then. I still have a ball though. Every time I see it nesting in the closet box like some ancient weather worn egg, I hear the satisfying slap of it hitting a glove. I can almost feel the soft tug on my wrist as it bends with the weight of the ball and glove. Gleaming PYTHIAS on my chest.

October 07, 2007

All i wanted was a pepsi

When I was a 9th grader (final year of Junior High), I started hanging out with J who lived a few blocks away and was a Jr. in High School. We had similar taste in music and girls. It was the 80's and hacky-sack was all the rage. We'd play for hours on end. Then we'd go inside his old house and listen to music in his basement bedroom. On the way, he'd often stop and grab a Pepsi from the fridge. He'd swig part of the soda and then grab his mother's scotch bottle if she wasn't home and add a healthy pour to the can. A little swirl and he was headed down the stairs. If he'd done it too often, the scotch bottle often hit the kitchen sink for a little additional volume. I always wondered how he didn't get caught.

Then again, maybe she knew and didn't care. I'd seen the left over roaches in the ashtrays in the living room. I don't think his mother was the roll your own cigarette type. A little pot now and then probably helped her though the week. J never offered me a Pepsi, leaded or unleaded, and I never thought it was odd. I just wanted to escape into his black-lit postered bedroom. The Human League - Fascination was a in constant rotation, J also introduced me to the Surf Punks. His influence led me to be the first kid in my school to wear parachute pants too. I can still hear the swish sound they made when I walked. All the 'neat' zippers and pockets. Add a Bonzai shirt or Chams and I was set to go. Too cool for school.

He dated a girl from yet another school for awhile. C was wild. She lived with her grandparents. I remember J's excitement as he told me she was on the pill. I think she was a 9th grader too. She had a Luv truck painted pale yellow. The three of us used to drive around listening to Metallica when they were still underground. "Bass solo take one," and Clif Burton would rip from the tinny speakers with a mind boggling sound. We'd never heard anything like it.

I remember her calling me after J and her broke up. "We're friends right?" yes. "Would you like to be closer friends?" What a conundrum. Stick by J's side or go out with his Ex? It took me all of about 5 seconds to say yes. I wasn't about to pass up a cute girl chasing me, and I was being offered the keys to the kingdom. By god, I was gonna turn the key and kick down the door. We met the next day with one of her friends (who I'd briefly had a fling with in J's basement bedroom) in a local school yard. It was summer, so we could hang out and not get into trouble. I remember grabbing her ass, but we never kissed and I didn't kick down the door 'til years later. Perhaps I had bout of conscience. I don't recall.

I have a Surf Punks CD burned in my iTunes. When I hear random tracks from it, I always wonder if J is still sipping Pepsi's with scotch from a can.

October 04, 2007

What's in a title?

Would you take your dream job, if it had the title of garbageman? Ditch-digger? Dish-Washer? Does it matter what other people think about what you do for a living? If you could live your passion everyday and fulfill a dream, would you sacrifice the title? Would you be able to have the same dignity regardless of what other people think? Is the power within ourselves or within other people to define who we are and the value we hold?