April 02, 2010

Delete that movie

I hate the fact that there was a movie called the Bucket List. Everyone has these grandiose plans of what they want to do before they die. Given enough money, you'd probably even make it. I yearn for simpler things. The one that comes to mind most often is learning how to throw pizza dough. I remeber going to this place called Shakey's Pizza when I was a kid. The booths were red pleather/vinyl and the place was dark past the salad bar. They played old Three Stooges, Charlie Chaplin and other silent films while you ate.

The smell lingers in my mind today. Fresh flour, baking pizza, garlic, pepperoni. I still see the red plastic glass that was filled with real Coke made with real sugar and clear ice cubes that made nice crunchy sounds in my mouth as I chewed them. My mother taught me how to make expanding snakes by scrunching down the paper wrapper on the straw and then dribbling a drop or two of soda (everyone there called it pop) on the paper and it would grow. Cheap parlor trick, I know, but it was one of my favorite parts of pizza night.

The thin aluminum pizza pans for cooking and serving the pizza were stacked high behind the counter. All glass so you could see the guys throwing the dough and making these perfect circles from a lump of dough. They'd toss it in the air and catch it with a gleam in their eye as the kids would squeal, first in horror that he'd miss and then delight when he caught it neatly for another bout of tossing. Waiting in seeming agony for our order to be called. Fighting for the parmesan cheese shaker and then pounding the cheese out of it. The first bite pure ambrosia. The kind of taste that makes you close your eyes for a second or just to take it all in.

I know it's odd that's probably the top thing in my list of things to do, but it's not a high priority yet. I should work on that. I just googled Shakey's and found I could to to Georgia to visit one. I wonder if they are hiring? Perhaps I could just take a class? No worries, I'm getting there.

March 31, 2010

Where am i going?

Rather than tell you what to do, can I offer a suggestion or rather an exercise? Sit down with two sticky pads, two pens/small markers and your wife/husband (get the kids out of the house for at least 2 hours). For 20 minutes, don't look at each others work or talk, just write. One item per sticky. Put down everything you want to do, trips, things you want to own, financial goals, whatever you want, just write it down. Size doesn't matter, you can put Backyard BBQ with wife up to 105 foot yacht on there. No editing, have something that sounds wacky? Write it down. If your hidden dream is to sail around the world in a 30 foot sailboat, put it down. There are no rules here. At the end of 20 minutes (30 if you need more time), you should have a sizable stack of stickies. Now, either on the table or a large clean wall, start laying them out. no categories, no judgements. Just put them out there. Spend about 10 minutes looking at them all - give yourself time to envision yourself in each statement. Pair up like statements where you both wrote the same thing. Then, lay out a rough vertical grid - you don't need lines.

6 months | 1 YR | 2 YR | 3 YR | 4 YR | 5 YR | 5+ YR

If you feel the need to add longer time frames, do so, this is your exercise. Start putting things into columns under what you feel is the right heading. Stack duplicates on top of each other with some showing (different colored pads helps). As you begin to put things into categories of time, you'll probably realize that some things are not possible where they were originally positioned. As you move and position, talk with your wife about these things and why they are important to each other. Are some of the wacky goals really interesting to you? Here is where things get really fun. Start to imagine life with those wacky things. What moves can you make that would bring these things to fruition? Are some of the stickies simply things that help you keep up with the Joneses or are they things you really want as part of your life? What things on your lists lead to different life paths for the family? What surprises are on your partners stickies? What is absent you thought would be there? You'll probably find that some things don't fit anywhere. I'm sure someone smarter than me could figure out a name for this one, but I just put them at the bottom or side and think of them as wishful thinking - in this group, you may just discover your future. Do not just discard them as stupid or impossible.

Anyway, have fun with it and see where it takes you. Remember the old cliché, Life is what happens to other people while you are planning yours. What it really means is live today. When I started my blog, it was to document the trip to Europe if you go back to the beginning of the archive. One thing I talk about there is the idea that I don't want to be old and saying, I wish I had... So far, so good. :-)

If you try the exercise above, let me know how it goes.

March 26, 2010

Bear it or share it?

Sometimes we have all this turmoil in our minds. We feel uneasy, jittery, our minds pace like a caged tiger. If someone asked what we were thinking the answer would be the same. “Nothing.” Really, at that second, everything froze. It is no longer about the rent payment, the car, the dog, your boss, whether or not the Yankees are going to win in four. Like vapor being sucked out a hose, vvvwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiip. It’s gone.

At that moment, it just became about the relationship with the person that asked. Can you tell them something that will ease their mind? Can you make it real? Will it be the truth? “See, there is this stuff I want to protect you from, it’s not pretty, it’s not cute, it’s not friendly. In fact, it’s a bit crunchy, a bit slimy, and probably not a yummy for your mind.” Most of us can’t be that honest with ourselves let alone another person. So we hide behind a plausible story that fits.

The thing is, when you can share the crunchy, the slimy, the non-yummy, it makes the yummy, the soft velvety, smooth to the touch oh, so much better than we imagined. Melting away in the peace of someone’s arms, hearing them breath with their own rhythm. Feeling the warmth of them next to you, soothing away the aches and pains that made the turmoil that was so recently swimming around our brains. Yes, you can share it, the load is less when there are two carrying it.

March 21, 2010

Gimme some more sour M*A*S*H

I don't actively search it out, but MASH is a timeless show. The issues they brought to the screen are just as relevant today as they were when the show was originally on the air. The actors created an intimate look into the lives of their characters based on amazing scripts that just aren't written today. Comedy shows are largely a cliché and rarely if ever bring true issues to public consciousness as MASH did for many years, week after week.

As in real life, comedy and tragedy often fall hand in hand in an episode of MASH. When Henry Blake left the show, Hawkeye suggested he full on kiss Hotlips for a fantastic OMG moment on television followed shortly after with the scene when Radar enters the Operating Room to tell everyone that Lt. Col. Henry Blake's plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan and 'there weren't no survivors' which is as heart wrenching now as it was the first time I saw it 20+ years ago. Even dearly loved shows like Cheers do not elicit the emotional response that MASH could, they never did. Doesn't your throat get a little ache in it, just thinking of Henry's death? If you say no, you either never saw the entire series or you are lying. His character became a part of our lives and when he died, a piece of us went with him. When the casting director replaced him with Sherman Potter, they did the brilliant move of creating an entirely different kind of character, as would happen in real life, people are never replaced with the same entity, and the show created all new plot lines that helped you fall in love with the replacement. Who wouldn't want to spend an afternoon or an evening with a glass of scotch listening to that kindly old man as he reminisced about the old days in the saddle?

I'd beg and plead with Hollywood to bring out a show as funny, touching, heart ache filled as MASH was, but I doubt it could ever happen on the budget of a TV show today. Will Grey's Anatomy have the longevity of a show like MASH? Will I still be interested in Richard's bout with alcoholism as I am in watching Hawkeye Pierce try to quit drinking gin from the still in his tent and the madness that envelops him in the process? Doubtful. Even ER which I watched religiously for years finally lost it's appeal (somewhere around the time they had a helicopter fall on a character) to not only keep me entertained, but to get me thinking. We don't need to go further visually, we need to go further with the story. Dig deep writers and tell it like it is.

March 16, 2010

It's still free

Recently I took some time to reread portions of this blog and it's contents. As usual, I was surprised, annoyed (by typos and grammar errors) and sometimes blown away. More often blown away by the comments of readers than the things I have written. Here is one in particular that I keep rereading.

Each time you write it's as though you have a canvas in front of you, long wooden handled brushes, and many beautiful colors that have been blended together over time.

You paint with so much energy, emotion, and feeling. You pour all of you and all of what you are into what your writing. I feel like you're sitting in front of me, talking to me, sharing yourself.

It's an amazing experience to walk through your gallery. The cost of admission should be much, much more.

If you are a new visitor, take a few minutes to read some of the Favorite Leaks, if you are an old reader popping in to see if there are any new drippings, take a few minutes to drop into the archive and reread some of the stuff that's been forgotten. Since I don't really diary/journal events but rather observations and questions, most of this blog is still 'current'. Either way, enjoy and come back for more.

Bits n bits

Empty vessels fall from deadened fingers to shatter on the cobble. Unheard, uncared for and unwilling to look, the sounds quickly stifled to silence. Shrouded in mist and clouds, we seek the source of echos.

March 04, 2010

Where am i?

Even surrounded by darkness, there is always hope that the light will return. I look for that spark, the catalyst, to return me to the brightness I once saw and felt.

November 25, 2009

The joker

So, the joke's on me. There have been a few constants in my life since I was young. The first being that I wanted to be older. Or to be perceived as older. I wanted respect that matched my intellect. I guess I never realized that respect is earned and my attitude turned most people off. Cocky, arrogant, aloof. All good descriptors for who I was. I remember reading a story when I was a kid and the key phrase - perhaps the title was, "Pride goeth before a fall". Pride makes us do all kinds of non-wondrous things. Things we'll regret later, but feel right at the time. Too often, pride means not asking for help. We walk around trying to make things match our dreams and forget we can reach out to others and get assistance.

The second constant in my life has to be the desire to be less intelligent that I was/am. I failed most of my classes in Jr. High, yet scored in 94+ percentile on standardized tests. I didn't have an ego about it. I instinctively hid it. Smart kids were not popular in school. I was neither an athlete or popular for any reason, but my teachers knew what was going on. Especially once I got to high school. The facade of stupid no longer met with indifference or studied ignorance. It was met head on with deliberate, swift action to rectify my place in the world. The brilliant idea spread that I should be placed in the honors classes. The kid with all the D's and F's should be moved to the exceptional classes where he would surely only meet geeks and freaks. Pure genius.

I was never gifted enough to be a rocket scientist, or a quantum mechanics guru. Never quite able to get past the present and really see the future. My future. Grandiose ideas died a swift death on the pedestal of my imagination. Lopped off with an ax of haughty bravado that kept most away and a small few enthralled, I lacked the true imagination to take me to distant realms of idea and foment. So after my accident, I lost a good portion of who I once was. Gone are most of the tricks of language I pursued to make the day more interesting. Much like the stalemates I engineered when playing chess with lesser opponents. Every once in a while, I find a turn of phrase that tickles my fancy and delights my spirit. I move with every intention of writing these down, but invariably, I forget before I can turn and type or find a loose scrap to make them permanent.

Yes, the joke is on me. Not cruel, not punishing, nor ribald or crude. A fragile joke without cause or purpose. To get what the heart desires is perhaps the worst. If there is feeling beyond that, I don't know how to identify it. He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.

August 16, 2009

The violence of silence

I've been in pain for a long time. When people ask me how I'm doing, it's hard not to reach out and touch that place. The one that hurts. I have learned to lie really well. Most of the time anyway. I'm tired of lying. I hurt. OK. I don't want you to say, I'm sorry. I don't wanna say why. I just hurt. It's not going away anytime soon, so I've just accepted the fact that I hurt. I'm sure you've been there before. The long grinding feeling that lurks just so. Popping up like a highwayman when you least expect and when you most wished it wouldn't. Leaving you strapped and naked in the wild with no way to get to safety.

August 15, 2009

Suck it up

'Cuz you're my vampire. The slick needle shines in the light. You pause before you stick it in. Anticipate it. Feel it. Deeper than it needs to go. Slow withdrawal 'til the blood flows. It jets into the glass you hold at my arm. Veins tensed, pulsing with my heart. Dark, oxygen engorged blood flows from me to you. One, two, three, I count in my head. Always the counting. Full. Time for more. And more. And more. One vial, two vials three. I feel my disease. You can have it. My vampire. Smile. You get all you want. Feed on me.

May 23, 2009

First movie

April 22, 2009

Blowing bubbles

I was the first entrepreneur in my school. I was the kid selling gum out of his back pack for 5 times the going rate at 7-11. Of course this was still in the days when 7-11 sold gas. They still have the same logo, but they've long since quit selling fuel. Perhaps they were just being environmentally forward thinking much earlier than the rest of us. The gum of choice was Bubblicious or something like that. It wasn't true to it's name, but it got the job done 'til you sucked all the sugar out of it. This wasn't an idle gig. Some weeks, I pulled in almost as much as the fat lunch lady did in one day. Pretty impressive feat for a youngster.

Of course, if I had to write the business plan for my little endeavor, it would have looked like this.

Buy as much gum as I can carry. Mark gum up 5-10 times original cost. Buy Mt. Dew and Salted nut rolls and play Ms. Pac Man with the profit. Save enough capital to invest in another round of gum. I bet the clerks at 7-11 thought I had the strongest jaw on the face of the earth. Kid buys a hundred packs of gum a week minumum. I never realized there was a wholesale buying opportunity though. My business proved successful and kept me running from the Pac Man monster until I moved onto High School where they had vending machines and my failure to diversify my product lines killed me.

Diversification in my school would have meant the weed, ganga, mary jane, smoke or grass. I have no idea what it's called anymore or even if those names were correct for the time frame I'm writing about. As you can see, I did not diversify and had to get a real job. I can still make the trademark Dairy Queen swirl I'm sure. Not that you could pay me enough to do that job again. From there I moved into the grand world of seafood where I couldn't tell the difference between fish and shrimp. Hey, the shit all looks the same when you bread and fry it. I miss the bubblegum out of the blue back pack days though. Life was simple and I had all the flavors to choose from.

April 08, 2009

Nothing to see here

Today's message kiddies is about understanding whether the grass is really greener on the other side of the fence. It looks so manicured and delightful over there. The sidewalk edged just so and the pretty flowers that brighten up the surroundings are really amazing. It's fresh over there. Must get watered a lot. Everything so neat and perfect.

The grass here has some dandelions in it. A few whispers of bare patches. It hasn't really been mowed in awhile either. OMG is that gopher hole? No need to kill the gopher, just look at the great lawn next door. Perhaps we can just move over there. Oh, and a shiny new lawn mower to top it off. It's sounds so wonderful... the powerful roar of that engine turning the cutting blade. Speaking of the cutting blade, later it will be too late to ask, but is that thing sharp? I can't get hurt over there on beautiful grass can I?

March 30, 2009

Doggy heaven

March 29, 2009

Spare some fluid?

I miss my first car sometimes. A '74 Datsun hatchback. Once upon a time, it was probably fire engine red, but by the time I took delivery of said vehicle for $400 and a stereo, it was a faded pink red color. I never once locked the car even when I parked it in bad neighborhoods. Noone with a sound mind would be interested in stealing it. It certainly had no chick appeal. No promise of the wild throes of passion lay in the back seat. Just an old pair of crutches in the back window that I acquired a few months before in a 'roll the van 3 times' accident that should have left me dead.

The tires were bald. I don't mean bald as in the tread was low. These suckers would have passed for racing slicks (albeit skinny ones). I drove as though the tires were coming off every time I hit the gas. That doesn't mean slow, it means being ready to bail at any point in the drive.

The seats were so bad they were covered with faux sheepskin covers to keep you from losing your manhood on a spring. There was a hole in the exhaust pipe that was covered with a piece of tin that was tied on with bailing wire. That came loose and cost me $10 and $70 for a new muffler when I roared past a motorcycle cop who was offended by the fact that I was poor.

The final push over the edge was the master cylinder pumping brake fluid into the body of the cabin under every time I hit the brake pedal. I drove it to a dealer and worked out a deal on a Volkswagon Fox the next day. It only took 2-3 cans of brake fluid to get me there.

The police wrote me a letter in another state a few months later and told me to come get my abandoned car. I laughed and told them the name of the car dealer that had abandoned it. I wonder where it is now.

Something like this.

March 28, 2009

Listen loud and proud

List 25 albums that made an impact on your life or take you back to another time and place when you hear them. I'm not a big fan of memes, but this one struck a nerve for me.

1. Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind
2. Pink Floyd - The Wall
3. Pink Floyd - Delicate Sound of Thunder
4. R.E.M. - Green
5. Scorpions - Blackout
6. AC/DC - Back in Black
7. Surf Punks - My Beach
8. Scorpions - Savage Amusement
9. Metallica - Kill 'em All
10. Aerosmith - Pump
11. Aldo Nova - Aldo Nova
12. Aisa - Alpha
13. Garth Brooks - No Fences
14. U2 - Joshua Tree
15. Van Halen - 5150
16. Ozzy Osbourne - The Ultimate Sin
17. Def Leppard - Pyromania
18. Dio - Holy Diver
19. Quiet Riot - Metal Health
20. Guns n Roses - Appetite for Destruction
21. Kansas - Two for the Show
22. M.S.G. - Perfect Timing
23. Motley Crue - Shout at the Devil
24. Prince & the Revolution - Purple Rain
25. Loverboy - Get Lucky

Interesting exercise. What really makes this interesting is the fact that since my accident I really don't enjoy music much anymore. I can go days without turning on the stereo in the car and I used to never have it off (or even turned down.) They don't know what causes it, but it's common in people with MBI (Mild Brain Injury - classified by the length of time you were unconscious). I have my moments, but more often than not, I'd opt for silence.

March 08, 2009

Unleash the beast

Sometimes we take so much for granted that you might miss your hand in front of you face. Yep, steady ol' hand. Still there after all these years. You don't give a lot of thanks to your hand, but it's there for you everyday. What about Mr. Thumb? Without opposable thumb, first, second, third and fourth fingers are pretty useless. Kind of like having a condom handy, but no partner to use it with.

Today was a really great day. It started off badly and went straight uphill from there. Odd how that happens sometimes. Usually, you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and you stay there all day. I saw a lot today that I take for granted. I saw smiles and heard laughter that I did not create or propagate. It was simply there for my enjoyment. The sound of someone else making the most of their time. I wonder if they thought about how marvelous they looked or the pleasure they radiated.

I've been mentally checked out for a long time. It's nice to re-engage. To feel fulfilled. Sometimes I feel like the Colorado River. A roaring torrent that surges through the landscape. Then suddenly trapped in a gorge by a monstrous dam I had no idea was looming in front of me. Then suddenly flowing again. Twisting, turning, churning. Here's to roaring torrents in your mind. Let loose. Be human. Be kind.

February 05, 2009

Gimme sum o' that

It's clear to me that bacon is the ultimate food. You can pair it with just about anything after all. Scallops, steak, peanut butter sandwiches... the list is endless. After all, who doesn't crave a little BLT sammich in their life once in awhile? (Hold the mayo please). Yeah, I'm a dry sandwich kinda guy. I only like mayo in deviled eggs, so keep it the eff off my sammich. You want sauce on a bread, italian oil does the trick nicely. But I'm getting off topic of bacon. I like thick bacon, but the fat gets really fatty.

Still not convinced, go into a health nut food store and find a vegan. Ask them what they miss most about the carnivore lifestyle. Bacon. They practically drool when saying the word. "Baaaaycoooon." You know they are salivating just thinking of that nicely cooked smoked wonder that is bacon. The warm sizzle pop sound when it's cooking in it's own reduced fat. I won't even get into the other ham wonders pancetta, and prosciutto. Hungry yet?

January 28, 2009

A little toast

My first piece of toast at home since I was a kid was a bit of a let down. I searched and searched for a fabulous toaster, one that would make perfect toast for Mad Munkey. Not too toasted, not too light. And warmed just enough. My search led me to stores far and wide (ok, a few internet clicks and some time reading reviews). My search led me to the Breville at Williams-Sonoma.

Now, if you just clicked on the link, you are probably aghast at the cost of said toaster. But, read the reviews. This is really the best toaster since sliced bread was developed. Extra wide slots for bread (anyone know where I can buy Texas Bread? those thick slices that make the best French Toast. Anyone?), bagels and even pastries. When you decide to cook the pastry, I want pix of the aftermath. All I can think of is warm fruit goo oozing into parts of my toaster that didn't need or want goo in them.

There is a two and four slice version. I opted for the two. It's smaller and takes up less counter space which I don't have to begin with. The average customer rating is 4.9 out of 5 stars. Sign me up coach. I'm salivating for my toaster already right? But wait, there's more!

The thing is all automatic. You push buttons and magical things happen. The toast lowers itself, a neat cage closes around your bread to keep it evenly spaced on both sides. A 'lift and look' feature and an audible signal indicates your toast is done. But wait, if you order in the next millenia, This toaster also sports a button for 'a little more'. Your bread will be begging for entrance into this amazing brushed stainless steel masterpiece. Your bagels will be clamoring from the freezer to use the 'defrost' function.

That is sexy and all, but at the end of the morning, it's just toast right? So, why was I let down? Perhaps it was the bread, but I'm betting on lack of toaster experience. After all, it's been more than a decade or two since my toast wasn't delivered by a waiter (which has it's own inherent problems lemme tell ya.) Perhaps after a few more trial and errors, I'll find the perfect combination for the perfect toast. Then I can complain that I forgot to buy chunky peanut butter.

January 23, 2009

The god of choo choo

When I was a kid, I lived near a railroad track. You'd think two steel rails supported by oiled wood and held down with thick spikes would quickly bore a young ming in lust with adventure. Not so. The gleaming steel against the red gray quartz bed and the oiled railroad ties was centermost in my childhood forays. Trains go places, you know? I'd watch the train thunder (lumber?) by on a sunny Saturday afternoon and I'd be transported in my like a hobo on an adventure. A modern day Hobbit perhaps? My goods wrapped in a bandanna and tied to a stick (never did figure that one out correctly) and slung over my shoulder like I was in the know.

When I wanted a little excitement, I'd lay pennies or nickels on the tracks for the train to flatten into shining new disks that were smooth as glass. Never a trace of the famous face remained. I don't recall what I did with these tiny treasures, but it was fun to play. I'm sure once or twice I was flush with cash and laid a quarter on the tracks to see what would happen with the copper and silver, but honestly, I don't recall the results of said experiment. Perhaps I was disappointed as we so often are in these times.

The ditches on either side of the tracks became my trenches for warfare with imaginary foes. The culverts under the road were cool caverns on sunny days to hide in. They also became war tunnels for various campaigns I waged with a ragtag army of my imagination. Often wounded with red food coloring blood staining my 'play, play' clothes. White stripes dyed red for bloody bandages replaced the real thing. I ideal of being a 'walking wounded' hero deep set in my mind from civil war books from the library.

At the end of the day, I always triumphed. Returned home from the wars, the victor, to eat dinner under my mothers watchful eye. Those were the days when anything was possible and if I could think it, it came true. Even if it was just in my mind for a short while. Revolutionary fighting the redcoats, Union blue fighting the wild Indians (feather, not dot), Civil war blue fighting the confederate grays, WWI soldier fighting in the trenches on the cold battlefields of France. The war never took more than a day and we never lost. Come to think of it, the enemy though slaughtered never lost either. It was just a day of the same. Cold rations eaten by numb fingers in the twilight. 'cept I never played war in the cold. War is summer game after all.

January 16, 2009

My little secret

I just visited Post Secret after a long hiatus. I thought of a little secret I'm actually willing to share. Don't worry, it's not going to shake the ground you walk on or make your eyes burn with tears that won't fall or even give you a tiny ache in your throat. When I started this blog I was traveling a lot and recorded many amazing adventures about where I had been. During that time, I coined a phrase for myself, "I never want to look back and say, 'I wish I had...'". The simple truth is that I was afraid I would never get to the point of being old enough to look back on my life and say, " I wish I had..."

Now, I wish I could share all the memories I've had. Not just in the last few years, but my life. One of my old roommates asked me to write a book about my life. "I think it would be very interesting," he said. I have moments of perfect clarity sometimes. Windows into what used to be. Places "Where I have been."

The cold night that the guys in my brothers Boy Scout troop took me 'Snipe' hunting and I promptly ditched them and went back to my sleeping bag, My silent snickers at how dumb they were to think I'd believe that there was such a thing as a Snipe. Thinking about the dead deer I'd discovered earlier in the day and wondering how it had died. I paused for a long time on that one. Something about the woods makes the world seem just that much larger.

The beaten earth on the floors of the long unused barn at summer camp. Wandering through and smelling the summer dust mixed with straw bits and forgotten leather cooked over decades of neglect. Beams of dust clouded sunlight through the milky dirty windows that were still left in the weathered frames. The mewing of the kitten that had lost it's group. Watching as it explored the shadows while in the distance I could hear the laughter and cries of the other kids at the camp engaged in the scheduled activities.

See, it's not a fear of not being able to enjoy a memory, but the fear that I won't have enough time to share Where I've been. I've been here, I've been there, I've not been everywhere. Even as broad as my mind is, I can't imagine seeing it all. And if you did, who would you share it with? Really. Think about it for a minute. Are you sharing? Shame shame on you.

January 09, 2009

Random ions

Why do we feel entitled to things? I deserve X.

If you deserved it, you would have it. You'd have worked for it, found it, acquired it and moved it into your space. You aren't entitled to anything. Accept things the way they are or change them yourself. You simply whining "I deserve it" doesn't mean jack sister. As time passes we feel an increasing degree of entitlement.


On the news this morning, I heard the interest rate in the UK is the lowest since 1690. SIXTEEN FREAKING NINETY! That should be better stimulation than Jenna Jameson with a piece of ice in her hand achieves. I wonder where the world markets are really going? So much Consume in our mindsets. Not just in America, but around the world. We are going into a time of being closer in. Less travel, less bigger everything.

It'll be interesting to look back on the decade prior to the meltdown and see exactly what we did that caused all of this. I hear a lot of finger pointing, but overall, we all got greedy. Bottom line. We all want the trappings of success (whatever those might be). We manipulated systems to achieve those things. In the process, we racked up more debt than anytime previously in our history. Individually and collectively. It's time to go back to a cash based system. If you can't afford it, don't buy it. That said, if you have some scratch lying around unused, now is a great time to buy things like art (record low prices). Might as well beautify that home you can't afford to sell for the next decade.

January 08, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness redoux

Today at the deli I was on one side of the register and a coworker and another woman on the other. Even though I was in a hurry, when the cashier tried to ring me up after my co-worker, I stated accurately that the other woman had been there before me. Had I been selfish and let myself be rung up, I'd have missed the mini-drama about to unfold.

I'll spare you the long drawn out details because I want to go to bed, but the woman ended up being $2.31 short to pay for her order. "Do you take credit cards?" NO "Is there a cash machine somewhere?" NO

I chimed in with, "just add mine to hers and I'll pay for both". The woman graciously accepted and wanted to pay me later. Whatever. She gave me the $6 she had and after I paid, she'd worked out a card for me to contact her. "I'll send you an e-mail," I said.

I did. I told her it was my pleasure to help her out of a bind and that if she really felt she needed to repay, that she vow to commit at least 5 Random Acts of Kindness. I figure that's the best ROI I could ever get. Besides, I spent the afternoon smiling because I helped someone in need. Even if a tiny need. Who knows, maybe after she reads my e-mail, she donates $25 to a charity and some researcher uses that $25 for a test that finds a cure for a deadly disease. Or stops IBS, or invents the fountain of youth (OK, now I'm just getting carried away.)

Random Acts of Kindness. Your friendly reminder to make someone else's day and you might just make your own.

January 07, 2009

Saving my mind

A few months ago, I started taking Krill Oil to assist with my cognitive difficulties. We've all heard the benefits of Omega 3 and fish oil. It's not a miracle cure, but most people want every benefit they can get when they can get it. Perhaps a few more hours or days, but they add up don't they? You read that all the time. You lose 5 minutes for every cigarette you smoke [i don't], by inverse logic, you'd gain five for every one you didn't smoke. Doesn't really work that way does it? However, doing what you can to enhance your system must add up somehow. Unless you get hit by the proverbial bus everyone talks about (funny, I've only heard of one person in my whole life being actually hit by a bus - well two, but they were together at the time).

So Krill Oil. The product of something other than whale dreams. More Krill, more krill, more krill. I must eat more krill. A whale can eat it's weight in krill in a single day. Tons in other words. For a creature that is at the very bottom of the food chain and only ranges from 1-5 cm in length, this is impressive indeed that it's been 'discovered'. The fame, the glory. GImme my krill dammit. Don't worry, we are hardly going to wipe them out. there are 500 million tons of krill in the vast oceans. We harvest a mere 110,000 tons annually. We aren't even making a dent in the whales food supply.

We are however powering the mind that types these letters to become the words that you read on the screen. You see, when I don't take krill oil, I have a few decent thoughts a day. I have no desire to record these for any kind of posterity either. On the oil, I almost feel like my mind is as it was before I fell down and went boom on my head. Things become clearer, leaps of intuition occur with greater frequency. Look at it like this. The oil from this tiny creature is like the gas and oil pipelines that feeds the furnaces of the entire Northeast all winter. Without them, the region would probably grow dormant. I went three or four days without the oil and the fog rolled in and the frost settled into the dark corners. I haven't found a way to really get the blast furnace going, but I now have hope.

Sing it with me. Long live the Krill. Long live the Krill. OK, maybe you didn't pack your singing lesson voices today. I forgive you.

January 03, 2009

RIP my friend

Putting the Christmas tree to rest today. I feel no ill will toward my green needled friend. It's just his time. He's served his purpose. It's time for him to go. Time to strip his raiment of shiny glass bulbs, brightly colored lights, silver beads (did he go to mardi gras?), and the tilted star on this noggin' that never really sat right. I think that merits a trip to the grave as well. Sorry bud, but if you can't sit straight there isn't much I can do for you.

The pine needle trail is somehow lacking without the white crust of snow to provide contrast. The dull gray sidewalk, just doesn't muster much for my visual system (eyeballs that is). How is it that no matter how careful I am I I get sap on my hands. Sticky, gooey, with that faint fresh smell of the outdoors you lose after the tree has been in your house for a day or two. A quick splash of goo gone and the sap goes into the memory box somewhere in the back of my mind, never to be seen again. Perhaps years from now when I get it on my skin again I'll think of this year and the smile on my face as I wiped it off.

It's the holidays after all. Even the momentary setback of some goo on your hands shouldn't keep the smiles from curious faces. The memories of this tree will fade and hidden for years to come, but his memory will return with a smell, a song or a soft touch. Perhaps the sound of ripping wrapping paper and a delightful shriek over a simple gift inside will trigger the visuals of this christmas past. Perhaps then, I won't still be dreaming of a white christmas.

January 02, 2009


Do mushrooms have any food value other than as a seasoning? Are there articles somewhere on the great effects mushrooms have on your mind (and no, I'm not talking about magic mushrooms). I don't ever recall seeing mushrooms in the food pyramid. Carrots, taters, tomatoes, peas, etc... sure. But where do mushrooms fall? Is there a hidden magical part of the pyramid? The mushroom food group. Perhaps this is where all mystery foods should fall. The mystery food group. Undeniably tasty, but no redeeming value to your nutrition system. Perhaps these fungi are loaded with vitamins or something I'm simply not aware of.

January 01, 2009

Was i there?

A few weeks ago I was watching Four Christmases. There is a scene where the family is going through the photo album and showing pix of her childhood. I've spent many minutes thinking about that scene in the time since seeing the movie. I don't have any pictures of my childhood. No baby pictures, no shots of early birthdays with cake smeared on my face, no pictures of little munkey bundled in snow clothes to braves the slopes of the front yard with a sled in the frigid winter.

No high school prom photos. I didn't go to prom, but that's a whole different story. Even if I had, I wouldn't have the pictures. The earliest photo I have is probably me as a junior in college. A few shots of friends from that time that were given to me. I didn't actually have a camera. I had one for a short while one semester in college because I took a photography class. I didn't take very good technical photos then but the creativity was definitely there. I miss the darkroom and printing my own work.

Getting a digital camera was a huge boon to me. In the last few years, I've accumulated more than 8000 photos in my library. Snap away, it's free. I've traveled far and wide and still have very few photos of myself. I hate seeing myself in pictures. I'm not so concerned I don't have photos of my childhood. I just think it's odd. Most people have baby pix of themselves (at least I think they do).

It's sad to see the demise of the film camera. There is something special about advancing the film wheel manually. The slow whirring grind as the gears inside the camera engage the holes in the sides of the film. The long rewinding of the film into the roll at the end of shooting. The satisfying thunk as it hits the bottom of the film canister. Maybe it's time to get the old manual camera out and into action. Is it self portrait time? Hmmm...

October 31, 2008

Jeezus did it for 12 loaves

I went looking for new apps for my iPhone tonight. I found lot's of cool looking apps, but was completely flabbergasted by the number of Bible apps. I guess in the future it won't be turn to Mark 21:12, but rather Scroll or Tap to Mark 21:12. I had no idea there were so many religious people out there. Or are there? Is is just there are that many people/companies that think they should cash in on the god cash cow?

Moo for Jesus everyone. Louder. I can't hear you. We got your King James, your New Revisionist, your Red Headed Step Child Bible. Bible trivia, Bible scripture of the day. On and on. Moooo. And that be $7.99 billed conveniently to your one-click account courtesy of once again, the Rain Forest in Brazil company. So nice that they've made shopping on the internet ever more easy and convenient for everyone to spend money they don't have.

So, all you bible bangers that were searching for that must have scripture fix and found my blog, Welcome to 'where have i been?' I'm not always sure where I've been or where I'm going. I'm pretty sure it doesn't involve Surrey with Fringe on top or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. For that matter, it's probably not going to involve me getting religion from my phone either. But thank you for devoting so much time and energy to spreading the good word to those who are addicted to it's receipt.

October 28, 2008

Fried puritan

Boil him in Oil! We've all heard the phrase. Now watch the intro to this video. Imagine a man sized 'turkey' and a pot of oil big enough to fry him.

"You boil him, I'm not going to boil him." - Executioner 1
"You chicken, just go drop him in. The king is watching." Executioner 2
"Nope, I saw what happened to Fast Edgar, He went up in flame too. I'm not touching this." Executioner 1

October 27, 2008

RSS feeds killed blogland

I have four viewers on average a week. I know more people read this blog than that, but only four actually visit 'where have i been?' The answer? RSS. I'm guilty of it myself. I haven't been to a blog in ages. Why should I? I get neatly packed messages whenever those I blog stalk post. No longer do I have to put up with ill-chosen templates, white text on black backgrounds (which seriously screws with my eyes). I wonder how this affects the count whores out there. Do they weep at night because no-one loves them anymore? Do they lash out at loved ones due to fears of losing popularity? "You did this to me!" You all come back now, ya' hear?

October 26, 2008

Top 10 revealed

I was browsing the iTunes Movie selection today (which overall is pretty weak in my opinion). I noticed something interesting. Five of the top 10 movie rentals are Comedy. Filling out the rest are one romance (Sex and the City), two thrillers and two dramas. Nice that Horror movies have gotten a new softer nicer moniker with Thriller. Wow, that thriller scared the shite out of me! Yeah, just doesn't have the same ring to it. Although, with the Micahel Jackson connotation lurking int he back of my mind, perhaps Thriller is just the right word.

I digress from my point however. Five comedy films. Right now, people are struggling to smile. They have seen their 401ks go down the toilet. Their stocks hit what we all hope is rock bottom. The upcoming election has become a game of name calling and fraud. Both sides lying throuh their teeth and lilly white smiles trying to be more presidential. Their home values (the rock of retirement) have taken a fast slide toward an ocean that didn't exist two years ago. The words recession, depression, 1929, golden parachutes bang in your ears whenever you turn on the media.

Escapism is where it's at. Let me see something funny. Something that will make me laugh. Let me forget all the BS going on in the world markets and the starving family down the street. Let me forget that thousands of homes in New Orleans remain moldy washed out shells of their former selves, uninhabitable years after Katrina had her rampage. Give me 90 minutes of respite from the bombardment of bad tidings. Give me comedy. At least then, maybe I'll smile.

October 17, 2008

Answer me

I spent a good portion of two weeks writing a 2 paragraph document. This morning someone asked me to recite it from memory (not verbatim, but what it was). I couldn't do it. The idea panicked me like I just saw the car in front of me stop and I know I can't slow down and I'm gonna hit it. I'm sure you are familiar with that giant suck of air and the tensing of your muscles for impact. I haven't figured out a strategy to deal with that yet. People ask me questions I'm not ready for and I got nothing for them. Not even a quick quip from the funny vault. I just go vacant.

How do you tell people that think you are normal that you have a condition which makes you look and sound like an idiot sometimes? I've looked in BI (that's brain injury fi you don't follow well) books and found nothing. There are lots of general rules to help people cope, but not many specifics. Everyone has to learn their own method. I am just now realizing that I need to find one. I'm tired of feeling like a dumbass. I didn't do anything wrong, neither did anyone else. I just don't retain things or process things the same.

At this point, I also have to give kudos to me. Despite being wiped out from the meeting this morning, I went to another one. I was dragging. Physically and mentally. However, I whipped off a series of commentaries that I had to take a momentary pause. I almost looked behind me to see the puppet master who was pulling the strings. I don't recall what I said now, but it was there wide open today in the meeting. You win some, you lose some. I'm fond of saying "it is what it is". Today I wonder how right or wrong I am when I say that.

I'm not a big fan of posting other people's words here, but I want to record these from a book I'm about to finish.

I have been on the outside looking in, and on the inside looking out of the world of a brain-damaged person. I have found that internal and external factors must mesh smoothly in order for the brain-damaged person to reach his fullest potential and cope with his disabilities...
People close to me tell me that I'm easier to live with and work with, now that I'm not the highly self controlled person that I used to be. My emotions are more open and more accessible, partly due to the brain damage that precludes any storing up of emotions, and partly due to the maturational aspects of this whole life-threatening experience. I have come through the crisis of my life with more respect for myself and others.
-Fredrick Linge - clinical psychologist, suffered brain damage after a car accident. He has slowly recovered his facilities.

October 16, 2008

Going down?

Ever heard of a funeral home not accepting a families dearly departed because the 'house is full'? Can you imagine. Distraught, trying to understand the loss, how things will be in the future and suddenly, some clammy handed man with pasty white skin in a dark suit is telling you I'm sorry, we have no room for your deceased (I doubt they ever say dead). Where would you go? To whom would you turn? What if just too many people croak one fine sunny Saturday afternoon in the spring. The earth damp from a a morning sprinkle and the smell of freshness in the air. And your dead have no-where to lie. Or is it lay? I never could keep that rule straight in my head.

So, you've got a DB (police vernacular on TV for dead body) and no place to house 'em for a couple of days before you pay an huge fee to buy a casket no one will ever see again and a nice cement tomb for the casket to sit inside 'til grave robbers come in the grand year of our lord 3552 because they want to find out how people lived in the days before transporters and such. Oh, this one had much jewelry. He was surely a king. See the bling laying next to the bones? Hate to tell them it was some rapper gansta wanna be. Don't hate the playah, hate the game.

Back to our funeral home debacle. Where will uncle Howard stay 'til we can say last words and cry over his body? Perhaps the place down the street has room for him? Perhaps not. He died so unexpectedly. No time to to review candidates. No time to do the right thing. Ol' Howie forgot to plan. He didn't prepare and so when the end came on that fine sunny afternoon someone else was left to tend his affairs. How gauche. Really.

Don't forget the coffin shaped cookies. They are divine.

October 15, 2008

Eyes of a void

Do you see me? Does your gaze pass by in the same way it passes over your wife? The way you ignore your son because the next promotion is on the horizon? What must I do to be seen? Slip into the coat with no seams, with buckles just beyond reach? Eternal is the time I struggle in my padded cell trying to spew some fresh morsel of myself. Ripping my spawn too soon for life. Clawed viciously from the synapse of desire. To die bloodless on the floor. Shadows pass over the cyclops orbit encircled by dilated flesh. No sound issues forth. Impotent. No control. I drool and giggle in the darkness. Only I know. Only I. The eyes. They welcome me.

October 14, 2008

True lies

What lies do you tell yourself? Are they small? Are they ginormous?

He's not cheating on me.
The baby's really mine.
I was hungry, I needed the extra half sandwich.
I don't look fat in these pants.
She loves me for my mind.
It really is what you do with it.
I needed it more than the company.
No handicapped person needed that parking space.
I can stop whenever I want.
I know the Browns are going to win.
I don't kiss my boss's ass.
I respect myself.
I don't need anyone.
I'm the only one.
I'll look for a new job next week.
I'm not lonely.
I asked for it.
Change is good for change sake.

It's not really the size of the lie, but the weight it holds over you. Sometimes the tiniest of lies are the biggest things. What you keep from others for their sake. For their protection. Are they things you'd want kept from you?

October 13, 2008

Dain bramage

It's been 15 months since my accident. This is not the kind of moment I'm talking about in my last post, but it's time I talked about it.

Mild brain injury is categorized by whether or not you were unconscious when you hit your head. 15 minutes or less or intermittent unconsciousness classifies as Mild. You don't even have to go unconscious or need to go to the hospital to have a brain injury. You might drive away from an accident thinking you are fine. Later, you might experience symptoms that don't appear to have a direct connection to what happened to you.

I'm finally beginning to accept that my life has changed. That I'm no longer the person I was. This has some drawbacks and some benefits. Drawbacks include ringing ears, headaches, slower thought process, fine motor skills (such as typing) suffer to varying degrees. I notice that I'm less apt in judging the distance a car is down the road and whether I have time to make a turn. To the irritation of other motorists, I often wait for cars that I finally register were much further away or slower than I thought. I told someone the other day, "I'm not stupid, just slower." High level analysis of problems (and even simple math) are difficult for the first time in my life.

How could I possibly benefit from a brain injury? The easiest to point out is that I'm nicer. I'm less driven and that makes me more relaxed. I'm more tolerant of other people's behavior. This isn't something that I noticed until very recently. I also had it verified by people that I volunteered with in my community. People that have met me since the accident don't really notice anything wrong with me. The would classify me as normal. This tag alone is understandably something I have a hard time coping with.

I don't enjoy music as much. I used to never drive anywhere or sit at my desk without music playing. Music helps facilitate the thinking process, or did for me. Now, I often find myself completely turning off the stereo in my car in rush hour traffic. It's just too much noise for me to deal with. Or the volume knob is turned way down so i can barely hear the music. I recently downloaded a Celine Dion song. I told my cognitive/speech therapist and she said it was definitely my injury. lol It was a funny moment, but another illustration of new perspective at the same time.

I started downloading games on my iPhone to use for therapy. One is called Dactyl it's a simple game where there is a grid of bombs. One by one, the fuses are lit and you must tap them out. I've read people score up to 1000. I rarely score higher than 10. My high score is in the 30's. I gave the game to a friend and she scored 54 the 2nd time around. Then she taught me a visual trick to help me improve my play. The game is addictive, but it tires me out quickly. Another game I downloaded is plain old Solitaire. This game is not nearly as easy as I remember. These games are easy to play in short bursts of time and I'm looking for more. If you have a favorite, let me know.

This is not a comprehensive overview, but it's a start. And it's good for me to write it down.

October 12, 2008

Hush. Now. I can't believe.

Our lives are comprised of many moments. Some memorable for pain. Some for tears. Some for joy. Some for celebration. Other moments pass us by before we can even acknowledge that something happened to us. That we saw something that mattered. Something impacted us. It reached into our very core and changed us as a person. From that moment on, we lived a different life than we could have imagined or perhaps even dreamed. Cinematic moments on the big screen are part of our lives. Often, we don't even know those moments are there. It could be months or years before we finally realize the moment occurred. Change irreversible. Incredible. Our lives touched by some force beyond reckoning.

Do you know those moments? Are they too private to share? Too random? Perhaps too odd? Would they make sense to another being? Can you transfer the feeling to another? Have you ever tried? We spend ours lives seeking fulfillment and happiness in others. We spend far too little time focusing those efforts on ourselves. Bringing our insides into the open. Caressing our own souls and freeing them to fly with the winds. Those improbable, impossible moments make our true character. The one we are afraid to show. The one that hides, caged into a reality bound by false pretense. Beaten and hammered, into an object of beauty or an object of ugly.

Do you harbor those moments in your mind as a shield against when times are grey? Wouldn't they spread more light if they were planted and nurtured with others. Growing in new tangents. New directions for others to breathe full of new life.

September 13, 2008

What century is this?

I received and threw away my phone books the other day. Who uses a phone book anymore? Haven't the folks at yellow pages seen the internet? i want something local, I look there. I haven't used a phone book in over 10 years. Yet, I see the big fat book every year. Is this the yellow pages mafia at work? "You'll put an ad in for your plumbing business or we'll wreck your plumbing."

September 12, 2008

Man's best friend

I have an imaginary dog. His name is Brutus. He's the cutest, smartest, fun loving little guy you could ever meet. He's a perfect black and white Boston Terrier. He knows all kinds of tricks that make people laugh. He hides on command. He doesn't eat much. He never slobbers water all over the floor when he drinks. His gas is silent and not the least deadly. He doesn't leave hair all over my clothes. He doesn't snore. He's not much of a watch dog since he never barks, but he wags his little tail/rump when he meets new people. He's always willing to be held in my lap. He likes ice cream cones in summer and his favorite snack is an ice cube. He can run like the wind and seems never to get tired of playing. I guess you could say he's the perfect dog except he's not real. *sigh*

September 07, 2008

Captured moments

The mango juice glistened on her lips. Round and full. I considered kissing her. The thought brought a mischievous smile to my face as I watched her take another bite of the firm fruit. I could taste the nectar of the mango. I licked my lips.

That was this morning. Tonight I'll take flight once again and return from the sunny delight that is Brazil. Away from wild parrots, shy monkey's, and a vibrance of anticipation I can only equate to the feeling a child has as he waits for a circus to begin. Prepare to be mesmerized. That childlike gleam has been in my eye since I arrived. I can only hope it lasts longer than the trip itself.

I took less photos and experienced more this time around. I have some fantastic memories you can't capture in a camera lens. Nor in words. They are tiny movies that play on the screen of my mind. The horse-riding dog, the homeless man sleeping on a Blvd., giving a man rooting in a garbage can for food two dollars without his asking. So surprised that he dropped it. I looked back twenty paces later and he was hurrying away with his garbage bags of possessions in tow. I like to think he ate with the money.

August 07, 2008

Random bits

There has been a dime laying on the floor on my Utility room floor for a good 6 months. I picked it up today. I considered moving it to another tile 6 inches to the right. That would have been in my way though, so instead, I dropped the freaking thing in the 3 liter wine bottle where all the spare change in my house lives. (Big family, you know?)

I have a stuffed pig that I have no idea where it came from. When you squeeze it, it has a mechanical oinker inside that is well, supposed to oink. This one says "Fight Fire". I swear. I don't know why I keep it, but it's a good laugh sometimes to hear a pig say 'Fight Fire". And it's much better than the Devil Ducky I have that lets out a loose wet fart sound when you squeeze it.

Everyone says my place needs a plant, so I bought a bonsai tree. I figure if I can keep it alive 'til Christmas it's a major milestone in my life. The tree I got is nine or ten years old and if I can actually keep it alive, it would live to be 300. It needs to be repotted every year, so I'm thinking its odds of survival ain't so good. The thing drinks about 8 ounces of water a day. For something so small, it's amazingly hungry.

July 22, 2008

Orange crush

DIdja eat? Good. Food in your stomach will keep the pills from making you feel sick. Mickie D's is the best in the morning. Roll right up to the chick standing outside smiling to take your order. How much do they pay her for that smile? Doesn't matter. Pills. Food. Eat. Drink. Slam them. Suck them. Swallow them. Blue, cream white, vibrant colors. They roll around your hand. It shakes a little. Steady. One car length from the sausage, egg and cheese biscuit from heaven. OJ to wash it down and cut the grease in your mouth.

$4.60? Here's $5.10. Gimme my quarters. Click, Click. They still make belt changers? She's standing outside too, but no quick smile to make you feel like you are doing OK. She doesn't get the same, "Have a great day." in a wavering voice you gave the first one. You tried for bright and cheery with the first one. She made you feel human. The second? Well, Fuck her. She can't smile? She can sit in the heat all day for all you care.

Bag, bag, bag. Gimme the effin' bag already. And my juice. The big, tall skinny one. 20 ounces of Florida squeezed perfection. You can smell the tearing of the zest as the orange peel came off. The miniscule citrus spray biting and perfect in your nostrils. Eat. Scratch that, gobble on your biscuit sandwich. The grease on the wrapper coating your face where it touches when you bite. Cheese sticking momentarily on your teeth. Chew. Chew. Chew. Drive. Turn wheel. Harder. There. Stay in your lane. Chew some more. Nice hot egg. Hmmm... needs a little salt and peppa. Glance furtively around. You know you can't lick the wrapper, someone will see. They'll know.

Swallow the pills. Watching the rearview mirror the whole time. Heart pumping. You can see your pulse banging at your wrist. Thud, thud. Again and again.

Relaxed. Moving down the road. You've got time. All the time you have left. Did you see my orange crush?

July 10, 2008

Just a day

It was just a day when I least expected it. It was just a day when I wanted more. It was just a day when I woke up in another place I didn't know. It was just a day when I was smiled at by a child. It was just a day when I felt the raindrops. It was just a day when I last saw my family. I was just a day when I woke up screaming. It was just a day when I saw the sunset. It was just a day when I stumbled. It was just a day when I was lost in Berlin. It was just a day when I let things go. It was just a day when I was broken. It was just a day when I walked away from everyone I knew. It was just a day when I saw the stars. It was just a day when a dog licked my face. It was just a day when the breeze ruffled my hair. It was just a day as I sipped my lemonade. It was just a day when I schrooshed the leaves under my feet. It was just a day when I felt the biting cold. It quit being just a day when I fell in love with you.

June 24, 2008

Do not mock me

Take comfort in the secrets others share with you. You will never know the effort it took someone to bring to the surface a secret and give it to your safe keeping. Some secrets need to be shared. If someone is sharing with you, it means they trust you to nurture and care for something as they would themselves. To protect it as they would themselves. Or perhaps better than they did. The silver lining in trust is the ability to give those things you couldn't bear to give to anyone else. To betray that is to cast that person away. Comfort is your truth when you are told a secret.

June 16, 2008

Along comes a spider

How much do we really need? We live in a world of excess and consumerism. We might even be proud of it. We compete with the Joneses and we eat 'til we are grossly obese. Our drinks are supersized, our debt is even bigger. We live in a world of instant gratification. Instant news, instant humor, instant humiliation (you tube anyone?). Our Coke comes in Classic, Caffeine Free, Cherry, Vanilla, Diet and Zero. Did I miss any? Probably. Who can keep track?

I look around at all I have and I wonder is it enough? Standard philosophy says, "Not by a longshot." I'm starting to remember simpler times though. Times when the 12 inch TV was B&W and if I was lucky, I could hear all the dialog despite a rolling picture that sometimes fuzzed out. White noise was the rule, not the exception. Air conditioning was a treat not a requirement. Summer heat was the time to really play. Winter snows were a time to rejoice for the clean white powder all around. The freshness in the bitter cold of winter.

It's obvious I struggle with the day to day of how much do I need. I've never read Walden, but I think everyone is familiar with the basic tenants of the the book. The idea is to live simply, to be happy, to use what you need, no more. But, I need, I need, I need. Or do i want, want, want? I hear people complain about the price of gas, but turn around and buy a bottle of water that costs about $7 a gallon. Most of it is tap water to boot. Get your greedy fat fingers over to the sink and turn on the spigot. Drink 'til you are full. Then smile because the water is cleaner than any other country in the world.

June 11, 2008

Star phucker

We all dream of being a star. Not the bright shiny thing in the night sky, but rather the one of legend on the front pages of Enquirer or whatever passes for that rag these days. We want glory, lights, cameras, excitement that equal the stature a man feels when he takes those little blue pills that bring on the concert of "Don't Bring me Down" by ELO. By god, we want it big, we want it loud and we want it to last forever.

Don't try to imagine I'm not talking about you. You sing it loud and proud in the car when no-when can hear you. You are center stage baby in a pageant only a mother could love. The amps are cranked and the photographers are fighting for the position to get the one shot of you in the high beams. When the villain in the movie finally gets his cuppenance, it's you that delivers the fatal blow. When the judge delivers the verdict for the plaintiff, you are the American barrister that deftly slid the needle into the prosecutions' balloon.

You are the downtrodden singer in "Turn the Page" albeit a little more edgy with the Metallica version. You know you are the star, yet the world seems to be against you at every turn. No matter how hard you try you can't please everyone all the time. When the news flashes about a hero that saved lives you imagine that you were would do the same no matter what. There is always more glamour in the story than the footage though and you scoff at the praise being heaped on said hero. You could do better. More with less effort. Bigger, bolder and with greater ecstasy.

Mick Jagger with bigger lips and more sass. You'd rock 'em, country boy. Yes, you'd rock them. "Start Me Up. You make a grown man cry." Even the song starts with more promise than it delivers. Yeah, it's a hot little jam, but it's not changing the world. You skirt the edge of Imagine. You could never encompass the vision of Lennon, so you wouldn't even think to try. The notes drift off to quiet silence as you contemplate doing something more with your life. If only it wasn't so damn hard. "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

June 04, 2008

So, it begins

I've been mostly silent here for a long time. Life has intruded, but I'm trying to get back to basics like walking to the store, blogging, eating regularly and better. You know. They usual stuff. The kind of thing many people try to force starting Jan. 2 every year. I'm not forcing anything, but rather taking things I like and trying to promulgate them throughout my life.

I started riding again. 2nd ride of the year. 2nd ride since my accident last Aug. I miss my bike, I miss the repetitive motion that makes me move. The personal challenge to pick my feet up just a little faster through this section. To push that little extra to be stronger. Sweat dripping down my neck from the effort. The cool down period when the ride is over. The sun warm on my face.

I realized today on a drive that I really live in a beautiful place. Not my complex per se, but the area I live. Lush green trees, fairly well maintained, clean. It's pleasant. There isn't graffiti everywhere your eye turns. Building never get that run down that the local gangs (yes, we have them just like everyone else) don't even try. I've been trying harder lately to be nice to people I see and cashiers that ring up my sales. Not sure why. Perhaps I'm just Karma loading. Like carb loading for athletes, but building up good will for those moments I snap and say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

June 03, 2008

Drop the chalupa

Food prices in America are skyrocketing. Well, so is the price of everything else but I'm not sure people are noticing. Some claim it's all George's fault for forcing ethanol (made from corn if you've been living in a cave for the last 30 years) on american consumers. Salvation through corn? Freedom from Middle Eastern oil? Doubtful. However, I must say it's a good excuse to eat more potatoes and shun the corn growers of America. I recall in the 80's we held corn over Russia's head. We won't feed you unless you do what we want.

So, potatoes. Makes good lefse, vodka, french fries (which is good for the lose weight now industry) and potato chips. So, let's hear it for Me. Potato. Let's turn Idaho into the richest state in the union. We always knew Idaho was good for something besides harboring White Supremists. Eat more 'taters people. Let's not forget the lowly tater tot in our equation either.

Pretty soon, the price of gas will be too high to drive our children to school and GASP, the lil' basterts will have to walk just like we did. Did I just say that? Our little fat children in America doing something physical? Yep. Teen heart attacks will skyrocket for a short while, but trust me. This is the true path to America's Salvation. Now, if we could just do something about our educational system.

May 30, 2008

Oh, look at this

I recently hosted a small party in my home. It had to be small because my condo is definitely not McMansion sized. Just because I don't have the den of of a big cat doesn't mean I don't try. I like to think my home is a well designed comfortable space. Original art lives on the walls, a few found objects co-exist with some amazing visual delights that friends have given me over the years. The punctuation is a few designer original pieces of furniture. None of which are extremely priced or valued. The gemstones are a few carefully selected artist adorned seeds from the Amazon.

During the party, conversation turned to a set of drawing Manikins that I painted glossy red and black to fill space and created a visual effect in one corner of the living room. I remember commenting that they made an interesting conversation piece. One of my friends replied that everything in my house was a conversation piece. I took it as a compliment in the moment, but now, a few weeks after the fact, I wonder if perhaps she was really saying that my house is over designed.

April 25, 2008

Ever forward

Some people look at adversity and see only opportunity. A new hill to climb, a new challenge to overcome. It gives them hope of finding their way in the world. I would guess that the previous description is something many would say about me. In an interview recently, I was asked my greatest strength. I accomplish the impossible. I think I've posted about that before and this post isn't about that. I wish I was one of those people that look at adversity and smile. I don't. Really. I look at adversity and say fuck you. Actually, it's probably more on the lines of FUCK YOU. I don't like to lose and I have found myself not trying things because of fearing failure. I fear a lot. More than I ever believed I could. I've written a lot about fear, but it doesn't go away.

I wrote something earlier today that struck me with an odd clarity. Tomorrow is not Today. Pretty simple. And so not. The map of the paths in my life are so utterly tangled I barely see the one I'm on. So closely intertwined that I can hop from one to the next with seeming agility and ease. Or is it confusion and lack of attention? Perhaps that is what drives those that look at adversity and smile. It's an easy path to see. Focus on that goal. Rage is perhaps your friend then. Drive and energy pushed from within in a narrow bridge that allows no obstacles.

April 24, 2008


At dinner tonight I had a baked potato. I reflected back to when i was a child and my mother invariably ate my potato skin. Ewww... the nasty brown part that sat in the earth. We peel carrots because the skins are not appealing. Yet the potato looms large on the childs plate. Ever larger and knotted. Moled and pocked with eyes and dark bits we can't be sure aren't lingering earth rather than smooth and clean. As I ate my potato I wondered how many potato skins I would steal from my future child. I relish those skins now. The white part of the potato is great for fries and mashed potatoes, but it's the baked potato skin that makes me smile at dinner. I hear the distant laughter of a child saying, "Daddy, you can steal my potato skin." and later the faux cry to her mother. "Mommy, daddy stole my potato skin." The mock horror hiding the lilting laugh in the cherubic face. A strange thought for me to have. It leaves me with a wondering smile.

April 18, 2008

Intestinal fortitude

So, I was wondering where the phrase Intestinal Fortitude came from.

Was it on early seafaring vessels and used to describe a man that could keep from going for days on end in bad weather?

Was it an award for a man in the military? PVT Raines didn't even Sh!t his pants when he charged the machine gun nest head on. (Modified by a good officer to read: PVT Raines showed extreme Intestinal Fortitude when he charged the machine gun nest head on. A true inspiration to the men behind him.

Or was it a newspaper article on mexican food? After hours of eating hot chilies and tortillas Juan showed great intestinal fortitude by not crapping his pants and achieving the burning ring of fire.

Turns out the phrase is just over 90 years old. Cited in the New Republic Circa 1915: Many [New] Jersey parsons have a lot more intestinal fortitude than some of their smug parishioners.

Go figure it's got a religious source.

April 11, 2008

Word of the day


1 : with a side-glance : obliquely
2 : with disapproval or distrust : scornfully

I've always loved this word. I don't think I've ever had a chance to use it. Too bad.

I keep trying to figure out where my obsession with words comes from. I never liked reading books 'til one day I read something in school (or from the library) and suddenly entire worlds were opened to me that I never imagined.

I looked askance at the man. Not even realizing I was blind.

April 09, 2008

My candy bar is old

You ever notice on a candy bar that the wrapper says Freshness Guaranteed or something to that effect? Better yet, it wants you to retain the wrapper and any unused product to ask questions or send in for a replacement candy bar. If there is caramel that dripped out of the bar still in the wrapper and a light smear of chocolate next to it does that count as part of the bar? Can I still get my replacement even though in my hunger I snarfed the bar to satiate my squealing stomach?

One of my favorites is the ButterFinger candy bar. Not to eat (well sometimes), but the filling in a ButterFinger quickly coalesces into a hardened mass that you end up breaking off. Rare indeed is the fresh bar that easily crumbles as your teeth sink into the chocolate exterior.

Has anyone ever tried to send back a bad candy bar? What did you get in response? A coupon for a free bar? A replacement? An apology letter for the sub-standard product you attempted to consume from the vending machine? Inquiring minds want to know.

March 18, 2008

Shine boy

Shoe shine boy. Well, it's not really a shoe shine boy anymore is it? I have three places I get my shoes shined. Or three guys that do it. One is a hispanic guy that doesn't speak english 'til you ask for change. He doesn't like giving change for a $10 on a $6 shine. Honestly, he's not quite worth the $6 to begin with, but you have to give a tip. Right?

The other two are Doc and John. They alternate at the stand that I usually go to. Doc is probably 65 and shines shoes like no other. Efficient, professional, chatty if you want, silent if you prefer. A nice guy that takes immense pride in his work. He probably makes more in a year than I do. He has very regular clients who drop off shoes by the sackful. Think I'm kidding? Shoes are an investment to be taken care of, not tossed aside after a year. (my dad's philosophy is to toss them - he buys one pair a year) John isn't quite as good, but he works hard at doing a good job. Sweat beads on his brow as he puts the elbow grease into his work.

I used to shine my boots in the army to the point they looked like glass. I was a true adept. I used every technique in the arsenal to get that perfect shine. In bright sun, it hurt your eyes to look at them. I used a lighter to melt the Kiwi, I used alcohol as a light finisher to smooth out the shine. I used to get crap from my platoon in front of the formation, "hey, Munkey, you need to shine your boots." They hated standing there in the afternoon sun trying to look forward and I had mirrors on my feet.

Having done that for years, I loath shining shoes. Having shiny shoes isn't something to take pride in for me. It's not about shiney my shoes are, but that they look kept and neat. That the leather is healthy. I feel like the shoe shine is a throw back to generations past though. Times when we didn't live in a throw-away society. When things were built to last and hand-made meant quality, not expense.

March 17, 2008

It's magic

I once lived a life where I had all the answers. Never was there a problem, never was there strife. I ate regularly, I slept, I never wept. Well, that really hasn't changed much. I eat, I sleep, I still don't weep. What has changed is that I don't know so much anymore. I am no longer the master of my universe. Too many other factors are in play to control anything. I've lost so much of my sense of wonder.

I saw a guy named Kevin Carrol speak once. He was talking to several thousand creatives at a conference. Kevin's former job was Catalyst at Nike. He helped people perform better. Could there be any better job than that? What do you do for a living? I help people go further. Slam dunk. In the course of his speech, Kevin pulled many things from a box on stage. One was a bottle with the word MAGIC embossed on it. OK, it's a glass bottle. It's empty...

...or was it? If he pulled the bottle out with a group of children they all would have believed there was magic in that bottle. Even with an audience of creatives, people whose job is make the imaginary real, no-one believed the bottle held magic. Children take what they see at face value. They don't have references to all kinds of reasons why the bottle can't hold magic. Adults aren't so free. We know about physics and laws of science and that Santa Claus isn't real.

I wonder if the life I had where I knew all the answers if I'd have felt like the bottle held magic. This comes from a person that believes in magic. Believes I can make it rain. Believes I can talk to someone thousands of miles away with no modern communication device. When I beheld the bottle I did not catch my breath. I didn't believe in the magic before me. I'm still sorry for that. Anyone know where I can recapture that feeling? The belief in what is there in front of me?

March 15, 2008

It's that time

I always wanted to be a modern cowboy. Well, not the kind that rides horses and drives an F-350 to the bar on Saturday night. The rugged, can do, dependable man. The one that would get the job done no matter what it took or what the risk was. Not a pretty boy, rugged, rough and perhaps scarred a time or two.

When I was young, I often saw a Cutty Sark add in Men's Magazines. Man in a stuffed chair, fireplace, crystal cradled in his hand. I never desired the scotch, but I desired the mans domain feeling that ad provoked. It's probably one of the biggest influencing ads I've ever seen. I don't know if it sold Cutty Sark or not, but it sold me on a lifestyle I wanted and still want.

Simple times. End of day sitting down to enjoy a moments peace. A respite from the rigors of our daily lives. We get so wrapped up in the minutia of living and getting things done, we often forget to just be. The idea that we must always be in motion. Doing, accomplishing, acquiring. What about taking time to enjoy what you have? Surely the race to be successful doesn't mean you can't slow down.

Back to being a cowboy, At night, after cookie made dinner and the fire crept low, the cowboy might pull out a harmonica and gaze into the fire as cowboy music wafted over the herd with the smell of smoke. I'm betting at those times, the cowboy felt most at ease. Feet stretched out. The rustle of the herd in the distance. Snap, crackle of the fire.

February 27, 2008

Dark roads

A motto I've had in life for the last 20 years is: Nothing good without something bad. Nothing bad without something good.

You can walk dark roads, but only if you have a light at your side. You've faced darkness, but dawn always comes. Never has the sun failed to rise on my life. It may not feel like that during hard times, but those times only make you stronger to help others when they are in turmoil.

February 17, 2008


Around 5 pm

A growing deep crimson pool. My arm unmoving. Bits of sand and uneven gravel cling to skin in front of my eyes. Waves of pain. Tattoo pressed into the pool and road.


"It hurts, I have to move."

"NO," she says.

"It hurts, please." It's a whimper. Or maybe even in my mind.



My clothes are cut away. I'm naked. Still in the road. The air is cool on my groin.


"I'm gonna do a proctol exam," she says.

"I don't think either of us is gonna like that," I reply.

I definitely don't.


"Why didn't you call us from the scene?" Helicopter crew.

"You weren't available." Someone from ER.

"We are moving you to XYZ hospital," He says.


"You are bleeding inside your skull, they have a better trauma center there."

Oh. This is neither strange to me or frightening. I hurt too much to really care.


Many people pick me up. Questions from every direction. Fast. "What is the date today?" I don't know. I've never been so frustrated. "It's later than the first. It's not the 18th. Can you ask me something else?"

"No, what is the date?"

"I don't know. I'm sorry."

"It's OK."

It's not OK. I can't fucking remember what day it is. WHY? First time I've been scared in a long long time.

Someone manipulates my legs and hips.

"Can I move my legs?" I've been on the board for probably 2-3 hours.

"He wants to move his legs...", a nurse calls toward my feet.

"Go ahead." A deep caring voice responds.

I slowly lift my legs and feet. Pulling them closer to my body. I think. "Did they move?" I can't see anything.

"Well, if you can do that, you don't need me." I sense this Dr. leaving.

More hands lift me. The board is removed. Feels so good to have the pressure off the back of my head.


CT's & X-rays. Laying on a gurney in a hallway. People pass by. "Can you get me out of here?" I ask a passing orderly or nurse.


At 12 am a pre-pubescent looking boy comes in to suture my head. He doesn't say much.

At 1:30, I realize I am still lying in my own blood. I stop another orderly. "Can someone clean me up? And move me to a room?" The sheets are changed with me still in the bed. The waves of pain almost make me blackout. I'm on a serious dose of morphine and it doesn't even cut it.

At 3:30 am I'm moved to an ICU. I'm washed by two nurses. It doesn't even occur to me that I have a catheter hanging out of me. They start two new IVs and give me a morphine pump. "Whenever you think about it, you hit that button 3 times. Don't wait 'til it hurts," one of them tells me. "Try to sleep." I give that my best shot, but I just drift in and out. Whenever I start to sleep the pain jolts me awake.

February 01, 2008

The raise

When I was in High School I worked at a fast food restaurant that shall not be named. After a prolonged illness, I was summarily fired. I was devastated. This was my first job. I made real money. I bought my clothes and food with that money. I immediately began putting my resume in at every place I could think of in town. I struck out more than a few times. Most didn't even give me a callback.

Then I got the magical call. We'd like to interview you. WooHoo. Somehow, I managed to get the job. The base salary (a pittance) was more than I had made at the previous job and I was happy. I was also clueless how to do the job. I did my best to master it and eventually found my rhythm. I made new friends and enjoyed the work. It was busy and hard. I found myself exhausted at the end of the night. I figured this is what life is about. You work hard, you earn money to pay for things you need. The fact that I was a HS student didn't really factor in for me. I needed money.

I was there for a long time and one day my manager called me into the office. The GM was also there. Uh-oh. I thought out the night. Had I done something wrong. Had I pinched a waitress when I shouldn't have? "When you started this job, we had serious concerns that you could do it." Shit, I'm about to get canned. What am I gonna do? "However, you've learned the job and you've been doing a great job. You've become an asset to the store. So we are going to increase your hourly wage by seventy-five cents."

I just stared. Not Fired. Not Fired. Wait. Raise? Seventy-Five cents? I'd never dreamed of making this much money. Much less getting a raise for a job at a restaurant. I don't remember much of the rest of the conversation, but I know I earned that money. Sometimes good things happen without asking for them. Rather than feeling entitled all the time, perhaps we just need to put our noses to the grindstone and work. Food for thought.

January 25, 2008


deep down inside
where you fear to look
where you fear to tread
your own soul devours
born of necessity and pain
tears the fabric you hold dear
thoughts ripped asunder
flailing obliviously
unclench your fists tomorrow
grasp the thin fabric
of sweet sanity

January 23, 2008

Dixie chick?

Dixie cans and fryin' pans
Twirled away in a twister
Don't be callin' her sister
She's a country gal
Inhabiting those honkytonks
her feet are clad in cowboy boots
She wears her jeans to the dancin' line
Heel, toe don't you know
Beware her wrath all down the path
She won't be home on Friday night
So don't be callin' all hot for a date

January 19, 2008

In a nutshell

Blogs I thought of Writing this week and didn't.

I had quite an internal dialog on what kind of person it would take to be an executioner or a torturer. I was thinking about the Salem witch hunts and the mass of killings in europe. Once upon a time we have executed people by burning them, breaking them on a wheel (this involves chaining them to a wagon wheel and breaking their limbs), placing them in Iron Maiden's, and many other ways. Hanging was particularly popular, but if the rope is too short, then the person dies a slow painful death of strangulation up to an hour long. Too long a rope and the head pops off (this is what happened to Saddam Hussein's brother. Anyway, this blog didn't get written for various reasons.

What else did I pass up. Oh, back to toothpaste I finally opened the new tube of 'citrus sparkle crest'. It was ORANGE. WTF? I guess I should have been clued in since a third of the package is orange, but really. Not what I was expecting. As for the taste, they won't be winning any prizes with this stuff. I'm not quite sure what ass tastes like, but imagine it then cross with oranges and you might have an idea of the flavor of this stuff. I'm giving it one more try and then it's going in the proverbial trash.

Then there was the FUCKTARD drivers that seem to inhabit my area of the world. Let's see, it snowed (is snowing) and the roads are icey and slick. FTs think they can go as fast as they want 'because I have 4 wheel drive'. Said FT didn't bother to think that his/her brakes aren't going to have quite the same effect as 4-wheel drive when they try to stop and drive up my ass. Here endeth the rant on that.

What else? One of my favorite wine makers in California, HESS came out with a new wine. It only has their name in fine print on the back of the bottle. This in and of itself should clue you in to what is inside. To top it off, it comes with a screw-top. At $5.99 a bottle, it's not quite 2 buck chuck, but it's close. And to make it clear it's not a great wine, the label reads something to the effect that it's great with pizza, bbq, etc... yep. Giving the low-class the low-down on what to eat with your wine is a surefire winner.

Those are just a few of my bloggy thoughts this week that didn't quite reach fruition. Thanks for playing and dont' forget to share with the other kids in the class.

January 12, 2008

One fine day

A man's man. Corvette collector, pipe smoker, meat packing plant employee. John was 'the corvette guy'. He collected them. Quite a thing to collect, corvettes. His wife left him according to the neighborhood women's gossip I eavesdropped on because he loved his cars more than he loved her. I'll admit, as a young child, I loved seeing his '55 or '56 red and white convertible gliding up the street in the parades. I still couldn't grasp him loving his cars more than his wife. Years later I know there must have been other things, but I'm not here to talk about relationships today.

The backyard of his house, just down my ally turned into a monster garage over the course of a few weeks one summer. 6 cars fit in the shine to automative perfection. As I reflect back on that garage today, I wonder just how he got a building permit for such an ugly structure, but he stored his favorite babies in that garage. He had more than 20 other corvettes stashed away somewhere else.

There was a white birch tree perched in his front yard. A large beautiful tree that dominated the neighborhood with it's unique look. White bark gleaming in the evenings when we'd sit outside and watch the sun go to bed for the night. I'd often smell John before I'd see him on those nights. He had a routine of walking the neighborhood sidewalk with his pipe. You could smell the perfect scent of pipe tobacco from a few hundred yards away. A distinct masculine smell that went with his rugged good looks and 70's mustache.

January 09, 2008


Humans seek perfection. We are always looking for the perfect thing or experience. From a flawless diamond to a perfectly cooked steak. We run the gamut. We look for perfection in others, in ourselves. We never find that perfection because it doesn't exist. Nature doesn't build perfect things. Nothing in nature is truly symmetrical.

Perhaps that is where perfection lies. In imperfect things. Taking joy in the simple pleasure that can be found without looking too hard. Simple pleasures abound in our lives. The sound of laughter (perhaps the one perfect thing because it's a reflex.) A cool breeze stirring our hair. Soft snowflakes drifting out of the sky. Waves crashing on the beach.

January 08, 2008


an idyllic dream.
on mists of memories.
by tomorrow.

January 06, 2008

Are we there yet?

I'm not a patient man. I hate standing in lines, I like to provide immediate feedback when something pisses me off and when i'm working on a project, i like it finished sooner than it could possibly be accomplished. Of course most of us don't like standing in lines. It's loathsome. There is nothing to do unless you are a crackberry addict. Perhaps that's why they are so popular. Finally, people have something to do that doesn't intrude on others people's sensibilities.

I purchased a new humidor after my little vacation to Brazil. You'd think hey, open the box add water to the humidor and place your cigars therein and you are done. Nooooo. You have to season the damn thing. This entails water voodoo to get the relative humidity level to 70%. It can take a very long time. There are methods to cheat the system, but of course your humidor may suffer consequences later.

So, I sit and wait. I go look at the humidity level every time I go near the box. Is it 70% and stable yet? Nope. I had it over 80% last night, but this morning, we are solid on 68%. More waiting. Is there a line I can go stand in to make time move faster? Sigh

January 04, 2008

Bless my fangs

Have you looked at toothpaste lately? I mean really looked? I was at the grocer yesterday doing a little shopping and remembered I was getting low in the tube at home. I wandered over to the pharmacy section and found the toothpaste section. About 15 feet long and 4-5 feet high. When I was a kid and Crest was fighting the Cavity Creeps with their tooth walled city there were roughly three kinds of toothpaste, Crest, Colgate and Aim (?). I'm sure Pepsodent has been around awhile, but Arm & Hammer didn't make toothpaste back then. Nor did half the other name brands I saw.

OK, so getting past the major manufacturers, then you have the sub brands. Whitening this, cavity that and flavors. Vanilla toothpaste? WTF? I'm gonna wanna eat every time I brush my teeth. Isn't that kind of self defeating? I mean seriously, I'd spend the day between the kitchen feeding my face and the bathroom brushing my fangs. (No Bufffalo, I didn't steal this from you, but I was delighted to hear you say fangs instead of teeth).

Back to sub brands, the Crest website shows 12 categories of toothpaste and each category then has sub brands. The liquid Gels Category has 12 brands listed including Spiderman. Then at the bottom, there is a link to the actual Gel Toothpastes which has 11 more brands. How am I supposed to choose the right toothpaste for me?

I don't have a lot of brand loyalty when it comes to toothpaste, I generally like something with a swirl of gel in it, but I couldn't find one yesterday. The basics seem to have disappeared from the shelves. I think I ended up with something with Listerine added to it. Great, now I don't need the mouthwash step anymore. Can we get any lazier as a society? Gimme some basic toothpaste that fights cavities and keeps my occasional cigar smoking, wine drinking teeth semi white without the need for invasive dental efforts and I'm good. Anyone else with me on this bandwagon?