Friday, December 29, 2006

Bones and I were sitting around the coffee shop, not doing much of anything.

Bones: "My kid aint spoke to me in 30 years" Bones began.

Midwest: "That seems kind of extreme, maybe he needs to get over whatever his problem with you is."

Bones: "Nah...I hit him around too many times, he got the right to not talk to me"

There really isn't much to be said after that. He looked genuinely sad. I don't think I'd ever seen remorse in his face. I had a mental picture of him in his prime; thin, wirey and violent- straight razor in his sock, which he still carries. I could imagine all the damage he had done yet all I could see before me was a thin old man, with faded tattoos, staring at his hands, regretting that he hit his son one too many times. He was no longer interested or able to hide the regrets and the loneliness.

Midwest: "The best thing he can do for himselddf is get over it"

Bones: "There are somethings you can never make right, that's just how that is, anyone tell you differently is lying or never did the things I done."

I no longer saw the old man who acquaintance, but a young punk who would have killed me over $20 or a misunderstanding. Bones was right, he should have died, he should never have lived past his prime. His hell is being as feeble and weak as the people he preyed upon.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Change is the topic for today.

I've noticed that I'm having trouble updating the blog. I was so good for the last three months and then I dropped off. My motivation has been renewed by a blog I chanced upon called The Bold Soul.

Resolutions are required for change. There is a part of me that doesn't want anything to do with resolutions. I used to drink like a fish, to the point of physical harm, and I quit. I haven't had a drop of alcohol for 9 years. That, in my book, is a long time between drinks. I smoked for 25 years and quit that 2 years ago. I quit smoking 3 months before visiting the South of France which is insane. (At least I was still drinking when I went to Ireland). So whenever the subject of resolutions comes up I get excited for the change and the planning of it but in the back of my head I think 'shit, I've done enough'.

This year I am making resolutions.
1. I've been working out on weights and walking/jogging 3 times a week for the past two months, I will continue that.
2. I will update my resume and even have a professional resume writer help me.
3. I will stop drinking sodas, granted I only drink diet coke anyway but I can't think its good for me.
4. I will cut my tremendous ice cream consumption to twice a week (down from 7 days a week). Why do I eat an abnormal amount of ice cream a day - because that's how I roll.

That will be enough change for one year.

Obviously the biggest change will be the moving to Paris by August. There is a lot to do to make this happen. I need to stay focused and continue checking off my to 'do list'. When my resolve is in question I can read up on The Bold Soul, who is making her dreams happen.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I have been publishing this blog for 3 months and I'm proud to say that I have not had one visitor. No one has stumbled onto this blog accidentally by searching for raccoons, crack whores, bones, lockdown, UFOs, hillbilly piss, Paris, bank heists, or puzzle rings. These topics were not in vogue over the past three months.

Topics that may be searched in the next three months could be Odessa Street, Petite Anglaise, aprenda, corporate-casual, blogdiggidy, everything is wrong with me or any number of interesting topics. (These, by the way, are some of my favorite blogs)

What if there is a war and no one shows up? What if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it? What if a blog is written and no one reads it? It gets me discouraged but it forces the question why am I writing this- to be read or to make a commitment to write something everyday? The purpose of this little journal is to practice my writing nothing more. I need to remember that when the priorities get out of wack.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Two examples of Christmas Hooliganism

1. Clients send tasty treats to our office for the holidays. I am particularly fond of the Ester Price chocolate covered surprise candies. Someone in my office doesn't like surprises and has poked their finger in half the candies looking for the kind they like. I should mention that that has not kept me from enjoying these tasty, tainted morsels

2. I mentioned a party my friends had last weekend. Someone went to the second floor bathroom and drank an entire bottle of prescription cough syrup with Vicodan.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I had a Social Studies teacher that used to tape wedding announcements from the newspaper to the blackboard. He would tape all the pictures of the ugly people who he felt shouldn't reproduce.

It was funny in a mean way. He'd been a teacher, a very good teacher for 20 plus years. The photos came from the local paper. I once asked him if he was worried that the picture might be a sibling of one of his students thus offending them. "No' he said, "if anyone knows how ugly they are it would be their siblings"

Monday, December 18, 2006

K and I went to a party this past Saturday. Neither of us drink, our heavy partying days are behind us.

We stayed out until 2:00AM. The next morning we both felt hung over and completely out of it the entire day. I'm not certain when the shift took place but I used to love staying up all night, drinking and making noise. I have absolutley no interest in that anymore. I prefer the early mornings to the late nights. It's all part of getting older and priorities shifting.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Here's an actual conversation I had with Bones awhile back.

“Misplaced, I was married to the ugliest white woman in the midwest. Her name was Hatchet Mary. She was called Hatchet Mary because she always carried an axe with her. She saved my ass many times. Whenever some guy wanted to beat the shit out of me because my crocodile mouth was always biting off my than by blue bird ass could handle she would knock over a bar stool and start swinging that ax. She chased more than one man out of the bar. But man believe me when I tell you she was ugly.”

...and with no segue or warning he said, “It was a damn shame when they legalized abortion, me a Mary had quiet a little business going”

The last line startled me. "Damn, Bones you need to warn a guy before you roll there."

He just cackled like an old woman. "Life comes at you like that sometimes"

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It is December 14th and I am, amazingly, finishing up my Christmas shopping. I was looking for one last present last night for my 6 year old nephew and I found the inflatable punching bag clown. These were all the rage when I was a boy. It's funny that it is being sold at The Sharper Image for $10.

The rules of the game are simple, you hit the clown, he will fall down and then bounce back up to be hit again.

A commercial played last year showing a rodeo. A lawyer was let loose in the ring and a cowboy would chase him down on a horse. The lawyer would be lassoed and hog tied while the cowboy was timed. The American Bar Association sued to have this commercial removed.

Is there an American Clown Association? Why aren't they outraged that this clown punching bag is still on the market. Doesn't it promote clown violence? What if it was an inflatable hooker? Children could play pimp, smacking the inflatable whore around until she coughed up some money. They could call it "Where My Money At, biatch!" The American Hooker Association would be all over that one.

These clowns need to get their act together.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I know a lot of people who have had difficult lives. Everyone has a sob story (actually I don’t and I want to keep it that way). Angie goes to watch her son play football every week. She has never missed a game in his entire grade school, junior and high school career. That, in itself, is a warm story- makes you wish all parents were as involved and enthusiastic about their children.

The difference between Angie and the other parents is that her son doesn’t know who she is. She gave him up for adoption 16 years ago. She sits at the top of the bleachers- far away from the other parents. There is no question that her son is better off having grown up with different parents and in a different neighborhood. Still it is sad.

You could probably say a lot of negative things about Angie but you'd have admit that she’s never missed her son’s football game.

*For similar posts click on "People I've Met, Recovery"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The conversation turned to bank robbery. I said that I have always wanted to rob a bank. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, hell I didn’t even want to have a gun, but I always wanted to rob a bank. I think that everyone secretly wants to do that- Jesse James, Bonnie and Clyde, we wouldn’t recognize these names if we all didn’t, deep down inside, want to do what they did.

Bobby V agreed, he’d like to rob a bank. He looked at Bones, who at 80 plus years had very little to lose and lacked morals. "Bones you can drive the get away car". Bones looked indignant, "Hell no I ain’t driving no get away car, I’m going in."

In truth Bones had more nerve than any of us and I have seen him drive, we don’t want him driving the get away car. A 25 mile an hour car chase isn’t needed at this point in my life. He may think Johnny Cash is a pussy and he may have spent a lot of time in jail but he drives like an old lady. I’d never tell him that because the man can hold a resentment and he’d probably drive off and leave me after we held up the bank -of course I’d get away faster waiting for the bus. Still I don’t need Bones as an enemy. I was there when he reached across the table and bitch slapped some 20 year old punk and then threw hot coffee on him for good measure. But then he almost cried when he was barred from the coffee shop for a 30 days. He’s in a weird time in his life angry enough to kick ass but too old to hide the fact that he gets lonely.

I don’t know how old he is. Older than dirt is what he tells me. He could be 80 but he also has had a tough life and might be 70 and just look older. He has a full head of white hair which is always brushed straight back. He is skinny, but that’s not why they call him Bones. He has faded green tattoos. I have never been able to tell what they are tattoos of, it just looks like a green birth marks. He wears over sized clear glasses. His eyes are wet blue.

Monday, December 11, 2006

As I have mentioned, I’m sure. We have been kicking around the idea of selling everything and moving to Paris. There are, obviously, great reasons to do this. Unfortunately, the negatives of this plan seep into my consciousness late at night as I try to sleep.
Quit your job! How very slackerish of you?
Sell your house! What about the investment?
What about retirement? There is nothing more pathetic than an old person without money.

My mind jumps ahead 30 years, me living alone on the street begging for change. I can be heard mumbling to myself something about ‘it wasn’t worth it, it wasn’t worth it.’

I just emailed K a suggestion that we visit Paris this February (crappy weather I assume) and live not as tourists but as residence. I could write and she ould take french classes for two weeks. We would shop for food, cook, visit the library, rent movies, all the things we do at home.

While it would be impossibel to live like actual residence it might give us an idea about what its like, without the romance of vacation.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I have discussed those little moments of serendipity that are gifts. There are also moments that ask you do some serious self-appraisal.

I ran into a woman I knew from 'back in the day'. She's a crackwhore. I don't mean that in a glib way, I just mean she trades sex for crack.

The exchange went like this.

Misplaced: "Hey Crackwhore how have you been?"
Crackwhore: "Misplaced! What's shakin'? Man it's been a long time- you got your haircut I hardly recognized you."
Misplaced: "Yea it has been awhile, good to see you."
Crackwhore: "...and you gained a lot of weight"
Misplaced: "huh?"
Crackwhore: "Weight... you gained a lot of weight"

I think its safe to say that when a crackwhore suggests that you've let yourself go, you've probably let yourself go.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Raccoon War
Part 4

It was a sunny day when I ascended the stairs. It was quiet, almost too quiet, somewhere, far off, a dog barked. With a colander balanced on my head, a pair of goggles and a yellow broom handle I prepared for battle. As my head rose slowly into the loft my eyes could not adjust to the darkness fast enough. The broom handle was prepared to swing at anything- I understand civilian casualties. In the thick of ‘the shit’ a squirrel might have been up there nursing a young squirrelette while waving a white flag and I would have bludgeoned it.

My eyes adjusted finally and I could make out the contents of the loft. Several old lamps and a 1920’s sewing machine were stored in the corner and in the middle of the room was a large pile of dung. Years of shit. At the top of the pile were fresh green pellets of rodent poison in the shape of raccoon crap. I truly was knee deep in the shit but the raccoons were gone.

The raccoons had given up and fled. A warm glow of victory filled me and kept me, for the moment, from feeling foolish.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Raccoon War
Part 3

In retrospect it would have been more prudent to hire someone to catch and dispose of the raccoons. It’s relatively cheap and it wouldn’t have dragged on for years. For some reason this never occurred to me and with all of the people I consulted no one suggested it. This brings me to the realization that I need to befriend a smarter crowd but that is neither here nor there.

My plan of attack had 3 phases.

Phase #1 Sicken the raccoons. There were several boxes of green pelletted rodent poison in the basement. I knew this wouldn’t kill them but a nasty tummy ache was just the thing to show them they were up against a pretty tough character.

Phase #2 Make a lot of noise. (This, I agree was lame but it put off #3) This, I hoped, would make them very jumpy from lack of sleep thereby making their judgment poor. Of course it might just make them cranky and there is nothing more dangerous than a cranky raccoon with an upset stomach

Phase #3 Climb up the stairs to the loft and confront them.

I was hoping the first 2 phases would make the third obsolete. For several weeks I left little pellets of green death scattered around the shed and threw rocks against the walls of the loft. My neighbors began to get nervous and stopped making direct eye contact with me. “Raccoons…gotta get rid of the raccoons,” I ranted incoherently to them.

Finally phase #3 had to implemented- it couldn’t be put off any longer. As you climb the stairs to the loft your head is exposed first. Presumably the raccoons were well aware of this Achilles’ heel, what they hadn’t anticipated was that I was not above putting a colander on my head, swimming goggles to protect my eyes and wielding a broom handle.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Raccoon War
Part 2
The shed behind my house was built in 1895. It is a large building with a loft that has been used for storage and a workroom for over 100 years. With time the wood has begun to rot and the roof sag. Raccoons have made their home in the loft for, what I imagine to be, many years. Generation after generation has lived in the loft. The first raccoon off the boat from the motherland probably set up a little raccoon shop here and spoke in a delightful little brogue. “Top of the mornin’ to ya gov’nor,” he might say- just before he sticks you with a sharpened spoon.

It has been my policy, based on fear, to ignore the inhabitants of my shed. But after a few years of this uneasy detente I decided to attack. I would take back the shed.

I consulted with Bones who offered to come over and “shoot the motherfuckers dead.” I declined doubting, foolishly, that Bones even had a gun. I found out a few years later that Bones did, in fact, have a gun. The old men at the coffee bar made fun of my attack plans, but these were couch quarterbacks. They didn’t know what it was like to be in the shit. Of course they had all been to Vietnam but that didn’t count. Besides I didn’t need advice on how to lose. (I kept that little gem to myself)

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Raccoon War
Part 1
I have always considered myself very tolerant of animals. I don’t necessarily enjoy their company or their long drawn out stories but I leave them alone and they generally reciprocate. It’s an unspoken agreement we have which has served us both well for many years.

There is one animal that I simply don’t trust it and that is the raccoon. I’d like to have a better reason for my mistrust of this animal something along the line of ‘A coon once kilt my pappy’ but really I just think they are icky. They have little black monkey hands with the dexterity to open garbage cans, peel a grape or detonate a bomb. Nash, a woman who loves raccoons, made the point that they are highly intelligent creatures. I agree with her but their intelligence is part of the problem. With their prehensile little fingers getting into all manner of mischief coupled with high intelligence keeps me up at night. What would a very smart animal with fingers that actually work and the ability to get into you house do to while you sleep? Rearrange the furniture? Alphabetize the CD collection. Choose a lovely sea foam paint sample for your living room? I think not. Raccoons are sinister little crack heads waiting to sell your DVD collection and, if they could, have you turn tricks for them on the corner. Still think raccoons are cute? Imagine one of them screaming in your face “Where my peanuts at, biatch!” Not so cute anymore. I had ignored the fact that this bad element was living in the loft of my shed.