Wednesday, January 31, 2007

We are that much closer to the year end goal.

As you may or may not remember K- and I are attempting to move to Paris for the year, beginning August 2007. There is a constant battle in my head about this. It is financially irresponsible to do this but Paris is an incredible city and now is the best time in our lives to do make this move. We also never know when our expiration date will require that we be pulled from the shelves(it would have been much easier to say, 'we might die tomorrow').

I kept the first house I owned and rented it out after I bought my second house. The neighborhood is sketchy and the tenants have not been the cream of the crop but it made some money. Everyone of my tenants have always paid in cash, 35 -$20 bills, I prefer not to think why this is. A few months ago we put the rental house on the market to sell as part of the great liquidation.

The great liquidation involves selling everything big, 2 cars, 2 houses, and putting everything else in storage. It should be noted that we are by no means rich and that after this little adventure is over we we may have some money left for a down payment on a place but there wont be much else.

Someone put an offer on the rental house yesterday, I countered and they accepted. Granted it isn't done until it is signed, which won't be until March 19th, but we ought to make $28,000 after all is said and done. This money will go into the "I have a dream account" The one splurge that I have spoken to K about is buying a laptop for the trip.

Hopefully our residence will sell as quickly but much more profitably. The other hope is that we don't chicken out.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I had this up once before and I took it down because I thought it might violate someone's anonymity- but the more I look at it the less I think it does. I may have a change of heart and delete it again.

Heroin Part 2

D- worked as a waitress. When she got caught cashing stolen checks with her sister she was sent to a drug rehab/ half way house. Her drug of choice is herion, like her sister and her mother.

She told me that waiting tables is a great job for a heroin addict. Cash paid daily. She worked at several restaurants usually getting fired. She told me that she has only had sex with a guy for money once, but I would imagine that if you are a heroin addict its a fine line between dating and whoring.

D- and I used to be very close friends. There was never anything sexual in our relationship but we enjoyed each others company and spent a great deal of time together. It's too hard to keep a friendship up with a drug addict once they begin using again. They are heart breaking. You will continue to do them favors as a friend. Lend them money that you know you wont get back. After a while you realize that you are being used, they no longer consider you a friend, you are just another resource.

The last time I considered myself friends with D- was when I lent her money and she asked me drop her off at the McDonalds on V* Street to score heroin. I dropped her off and told her she'd have to walk back- I didn't want that shit in my car. As I drove away I realized I made a mistake in giving her money and driving her to her dealer. Her choices are hers but it would be on my head if she OD'd. I decided then and there that I couldn't be the friend she needed.

I saw D- a few months ago, she was picking up some prescription at the CVS. She had given birth to a son. Her boyfriend left her, she was talking about having him arrested but it was unclear for what. She didn’t want to engage in conversation with me, I thought it was because she owed me money or because I didn’t bring her cigarettes at the Justice Center like she asked or because she was dope sick and ashamed but I realize now she was probably picking up a prescription under a phony name.

Monday, January 29, 2007

More Things I've Learned

This is really neither here nor there, but Barney Fife is the funniest character on TV. He once referred to Gomer as being " sharp as a bag full of wet mice" Still makes me laugh.
I like to take a non-controversial topic, pretend it is very controversial and fight, to the death, in defending my view, which, I know is everyone else’s view. This makes me look strong without having to use any of that icky confrontation. I realize that just a few weeks ago I mentioned that I was pro-global warming but other than that I keep it safe.

The non-confrontational issue that I am pretending is controversial today is... cell phones. Specifically people who use cell phones anywhere near me. There is a volume and a tenor to the voice when you are talking on a cell phone and it drives me crazy. It is just a little too loud which makes it sound pompous, and a ‘businessy’ tone is used to seal the deal on the self-important bullshit. Cell phones should not be used in bookstores, libraries, movie theaters (you actually have to make a rule like this), restaurants, bathrooms- especially while you are sitting one the TOILET! (last week, at work- I kid you not)

I bring this up for two reasons.
Reason #1: I don’t like to go to the gym but I do because I eat massive amounts of ice cream and cookies. The only thing that I remotely like about the gym is that I can sometimes, sometimes mind you, get into a Zen-like zone. An hour will go by on the tread mill, I’ll be trenched in sweat (the shiny, sexy kind -but of course) and it will have felt like 5 minutes. So today, during my lunch break, I begin to tread upon the mill. There is a guy next to me I give him a slight ‘man nod’ and a grunt of acknowledgement as if to say "I wont piss on your leg, if you don’t piss on mine" and I begin to run. I’m almost in the zone when… his cell phone rings.


“Hello… I’m in at the gym….ok” (hangs up)
There is a cell phone is sitting where his water bottle should be!
5 minutes later it rings again
“Hello…I’m at the gym…ok” (hangs up)

Are people so self important that they think they must be accessible at all times? Maybe a better way to put that is: Do people have such a lack of respect for their own time (not to mention mine) that they feel they can be bothered whenever anyone else feels like bouncing some dumb ass idea off their bucket heads?

The second reason I bring this up is I have to write an essay on cell phones for my French class tonight. Does anyone know how to say “bucket head” in French?

*For my next non-confrontational idea that I like to pretend is controversial segment I will be taking a pretty strong stand against slavery

Saturday, January 27, 2007

K- is traveling to Portland with her mother to homestead this weekend. I don't know if you would call it "homesteading" but that's what it seems like. K-'s mom is ready for a change of scenery- a lifetime in the midwest is too much. K- has always wanted to move. The only thing keeping her in our little corner of the world is her mom. So together they have loaded up the mules to scout out land in the west. This my impression of how much say I'll have in this whole thing.

K-: We are back from our scouting expedition. The land is fertile and so am I. Pack your bags we are moving to Portland.
MidWest: but....
K-: I don't see bags a'packin'. Get a move on- we're burning daylight
Midwest: Ok.

It may be fun to make a move. But first- we will live in Paris for 1 year starting in August.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Our individual stories are massive. It would take volumes to retell them. The amount of luck and fortitude it took between the first vibration in the primordial ooze to the moment where I sit in front of this computer eating a cookie is staggering. It is daunting to consider the impossibility of each individual alive today. It makes me think that I ought to treat myself to nice cookies.

I bought a house 8 years ago. It was in a neighborhood that was going from bad to worse but it was my first house and it was what I could afford. The house had been owned by an older woman who died and was then abandoned for sometime. When I moved in, there was very little remaining, in the shed, behind the house, was the usual clap-trap of unwanted, discarded items. An old sewing machine with foot peddles, beat up chairs, broken lamps and several boxes containing some possessions of the deceased woman. Inside the boxes were rosaries, bibles written in German, old black and white photographs, a diary and letters spanning many years.

These items should have been handed down to the next generation but I suspect there was no one left. The woman that had lived here was the end of her line. She was the last chapter of that family chronicle. As with any well written book, it is sad to reach the end but each story is written with the knowledge that it must, at some time, cease.

We should all remember to treat ourselves to nicer cookies.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

We had a family reunion in Cape Cod last August. We used to go there when we were kids. One year, for some reason, my little brother, my cousin and I were not allowed to go. The reason given was that we were too young. It's unclear why it's possible to be too young to go on vacation but old enough to stay home with a teenage babysitter while your parents and siblings were having fun in the sun.

It is my mom's fear that one of her 6 childen will write a "Mommy Dearest" type book which would essentially blame her for all of our personal failures. Who would do that, you ask? Why, I would -because that's how I roll. Anyway this is a letter I sent to my parents and my siblings before our reunion last year.

Hi Everyone,

Kathleen (sister) called to ask if I remembered what year everyone had gone to Cape Cod, while Kitty, Brendan, and I stayed home. I vaguely remember because Cindy had kittens while you all were gone. I went through my old journals and found a few notes on that time. It was the summer of 1967; Kitty and I were both 3 and Brendan was 1 year old. I was quite the little record keeper of note- my model airplane glue-sniffing phase would enter several years later allowing the other children to catch up with me intellectually.

June 2 1967

I can’t believe it. They actually left -everyone. Kitty, Brendan and I stood staring at the closed front door…silence. There were quick instructions and something about 10 days worth of peanut butter sandwiches in the freezer. If Kitty stands on my shoulders, holding Brendan up, we could reach the freezer- wobbling like a Russian acrobatic trio- performing as though our lives depended upon it, which of course it did. There was a halfhearted assurance that the electric bill had been paid. A few crumpled dollars lay on the table by the door for emergencies.

June 3, 1967

We’ve hired Brendan out as a bottle washer, his nimble little fingers are able to clean inside the bottleneck. He has a lovely little box that he stands on to reach the faucet. There has been some idle chatter that the factory might go down to a 12-hour day. We can only pray. He has become a sullen, stoic child- of course he’s only one.

June 4, 1967

I’m afraid that I’ve picked up a few bad habits hanging out in the street. I spend a lot of time leaning against the wall of Carl’s Deli, smoking cigarettes yelling out,

“So’s yer old man!!”

at anyone that passes. You’d think a 3 year old might have trouble getting smokes, but Carl is pretty cool.

June 5, 1967

Brendan has not been sharing his earnings and has taken up with some ne’er-do-well bottle washers. They refer to themselves as’ the dirty diaper brigade’. It is a tough, little group of monkeys with tiny fists of fury. I mostly try to stay clear of him; he has a temper, especially when he’s on the sugar.

I had to bail Kitty out of jail again… this is getting ridiculous. Our little Fantine (after the haircut) is quite the entrepreneur.

Received a postcard from the Cape.

Beautiful weather, we are tan and happy

Love, Your Parents

It was a lovely card, although my shaking hands made it hard to read. It is June but I’m cold…oh, so cold.

There was more but I’m just going to curl up in a little ball and stay quiet for a while. Looking forward to the reunion, thanks for including me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

There is the motherly advice of making sure you are wearing clean underwear just in case you are in an accident. While we may have scoffed at these words of wisdom when we first heard them, as we get older it seems like sound advice. Forgetting, of course, that if you are in a car accident you will probably empty your bowels anyway-but the spirit of the advice is good.

Advice that I was never given but will be certain to pass on to my children is to always check the folds of your stomach fat for a ham sandwich. Stories like this make the rounds pretty quickly and can destroy your social and will certainly end any prospects of dating.

Imagine having the EMT paramedics arrive at your apartment to wheel you out in a piano gurney and one of them- the not so discreet one (isn’t that always the case?) reaches into the folds of you fat to get a better grip and pulls out a ham sandwich. I can assure you there will be snickers between the grunts and groans of trying to get you on that gurney and through the door. Or when 6 of your friends come over for the weekly ‘rolling you on your other side to keep the bed sores from developing further' and a ham sandwich falls out. You will no longer be known for anything other than that. The fact that you once urinated for 20 minutes straight or that you had a tumor removed that had grown hair and several teeth will be forgotten along with other such accomplishments. You will only be known as the guy who had a ham sandwich hidden in the rolls of your stomach fat.


We've all had some time to think about it. What's the verdict? Were wax lips really that good of an idea?

It was marketed as a gum. Looking back on it now it wasn't gum, it was wax with red food coloring in it. We chewed on wax and liked it! Is it any wonder that Generation X and Y will never respect us?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

We had two people over on Friday night that K- wanted to fix up. I was less enthusiastic but with our fight earlier in the day I thought it best not to make waves. Choose your battles, a wise woman told me.

It turned out to be a wonderful time. K- made a lovely meal, the fire was blazing and the two actually hit it off.

At 10 o'clock they wanted to go to a bar to hear some music- "good", I thought "have a wonderful time" but alas it turns out we are going to go join them in order to keep them 'comfortable'. I'm less interested in keeping them comfortable and more interested in going to bed.

We went to a place called the Gypsy Hut to hear, what turned out to be, an early 20 something punk screaming into the microphone. There seem to be a lot of mutton chops and Russian fur hats. The men looked even stranger. The place was smokey, I quit smoke 2 years ago and find the smell to be atrocious but the act of smoking still looking good. It's a madonna/ whore thing I have going with cigarettes

The next day, while lieing in bed, K- is talking to her girlfriend, finding out how the rest of the night went. There was a lot of chatter and laughing as I attempted to sleep.

"I'm so glad you like him" K-said into the phone. "Was it a long kiss good night or a quick kiss? Ooooh, I love the long kiss good night. The first six months will be great! but after that..."

The first six months! They just went on their first date last night and already these two had mapped out the first 6 months and of course the slow demise of romance after that. That poor bastard doesn't have stand chance.

Monday, January 22, 2007

We had a book group last Saturday night on The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud. It was my first book club and a very pleasant experience.

One woman was much too enthusiastic about the whole book club concept and wanted to know who had read the book.
"Did you read it?" she demanded from me early on.
"Yes I did -but I don't think a lot of people finished it" I responded, wondering who the hell she was but more than willing to rat people out.
"Oh" she said in a fright, "People have to read the book." She raced around the party looking for the remiss book club members "Did you read it?" she asked an equally confused man I'd never seen before. Their voices trailed off.

"I didn't read it," said Ken and took a drink. He had waited to approach until after she had left.
"I figured as much", I replied.
When I visited Ken's apartment several years ago he had two paperback books on his window sill, there were no other books in the place.
"Did you read all those?" I had asked him, pointing to the two books, he looked at the books and seemed confused as to why they were there and went back to watching golf on TV. Some people aren't readers.

There were 16 people discussing the book which seems like too many, especially when you throw liberal drinking into the mix.

Joe hadn't read the book but that didn't keep him from discussing it, and drunkeenly assault anyone that disagreed with him "9/11 changed everyone!!" he barked at us. It was quiet as we all tried to figure out what in the Sam Hill he was talking about.

Chuck spent most of the night explaining what happened in the book to the prettiest and youngest woman there, K- and Ken's wife, Felicia.
"Does it seem like Chuck is always trying to pick up our wives?" I asked Ken.
"Yup, everytime we get together", Ken responded. We watched for a minute and then went to the kitchen to get more snacks.

K- got tired and wanted to leave.
Joe's wife offered to host the next book club and would let us know the book.
Ken promised to read it but asked that it be at least under 300 pages.
Joe got mad at me, for some reason, and flipped me off

It's funny, many years ago I used to be chased by the police with some of these people now we are discussing books. There were no fights, no tears, no drunken hook-ups. Where have all the good times gone?

Friday, January 19, 2007

My wife and I had a little blow out this morning. I hate fighting with my wife- it makes me shaky inside. The scribble for today is fantasy but our little battle as me not feeling very creative
(Update: Scribble is next post down)

I guess with any fight or disagreement the key is to see it from the other persons perspective- but we are both so busy trying to explain our own perspective that we can't be bothered, which of course leads to a louder and a more confrontational argument.

The argument was about this blog. I started writing this blog in October 2006. I just wanted to have a place that I would force myself to write 5 days a week. I wasn't going to worry about what I wrote, I just wanted to get in the habit of writing- I didn't even care if it was any good. (although after I got a few comments I started caring) I kept it completely anonymous including the location and names- this gave me, I felt, license to write about conversations I've had which I wouldn't normally discuss. The purpose for the complete anonymity was that I would,in theory, be able to write about anything without having to censor myself. I decided to not write about my wife in any concrete way because I thought it would be in violation of trust to do so, even though it is anonymous.

On to the fight. I mentioned to K that I was writing a blog but that I would prefer that she not read it. I didn't want to have to worry about what I wrote, but I also didn't want the fact that I was doing a blog to be a secret. I would, upon occasion, read a few things to her that I thought were funny but any of the heavy stuff, or things that might be embarrassing to people we both know, I kept quiet about. Last night I noticed that she read it, which began the argument.

Is it wrong to keep a blog quiet from your significant other? Is it unrealistic and unfair to ask them not to read it?

For her it came down to a matter of trust. Why couldn't I trust her with what I wrote- did I think she was going to blab to everyone about the heroin addict. To me it came down to a matter of trust as well, but more along the lines of 'I trust you not to read it'. I compared it to a private journal, and she made the point that its a published blog. I said that while it might be published it is anonymous and if she knows who I'm talking about (I use initials) then it is no longer anonymous. She made the point that we are married and shouldn't have secrets.

It begs the question: Do I have the right to publish specific conversations I have had, even though they are anonymous. I write them not to get them off my chest but because I think they're poignant and they have stuck with me. Is it a violation of trust that I've written about these things? Should I remove them from my blog? Should I have written about this argument?

I don't know- Something for me to ponder this weekend.
What is fantasy?
The first thing that comes to mind is sexual, but I don't think I want to go there. There is a website called M-dwest M@ndy. People end up on my site looking for Miss M@ndy- Mandy doesn't wear a shirt in her blog. I, on the other hand, do. I don't suspect that the men who are looking for M-dwest M@ndy are having their fantasies fulfilled by my blog. M-dwest M@ndy is comfortable with herself, or M-dwest M@ndy is incredibly uncomfortable with herself, I don't know.

Fantasy is creative imagination- I looked it up. Fantasy is a daydream all gussied up. It's a daydream with its shoes shined, its hair combed back and the pantleg breaks, just so, at the shoe.

Daydreams I have.

I dream that I could make a living being creative.
I dream thatI could quit my job.
I dream...
I dream...
I dream...

The line between dreams and living in a fantasy world can be tricky. I can focus so long on a fantasy world that my actual existence will appear dull and common in comparison. I was never so discontent as when I was deep in fantasy- I drank, did drugs and watched a lot of TV to disappear in a fantasy world that could never exist.

When I stopped all of those things, I was left with my world as it truly is- I then had to learn to be content with reality. I still dream, but dreaming without attempting to attain that dream is spiritual suicide.

Men that dream that M-dwest M@ndy is theirs live sad, small, unfulfilled lives.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I don’t know why that guy is in AA. He may be court ordered, he may honestly be trying to quit smoking crack or drinking or whatever his problem is. He just doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would show up voluntarily. Maybe he’s lonely.

Recovery is a great place to meet people and socialize. It's high school with ashtrays and the prom queen is a crack whore. Well... maybe its not like high school at all, but it is a good place to meet people.

I had a lovely evening last night- thank you for asking. I babysat my nephew and niece, ages 8 and 6. We have a very specific routine when I'm in charge. First we laugh at the fact that anyone has put me in charge, then we order Indian Food, Chicken Tikka Masala and an order of Nan. With our delightfully spicy meal we enjoy sparkling repartee. The main topic for discussion last night was how balled up rye bread looks like pooh, which is true. We discussed the practical jokes that could be performed with our new found knowledge.

We then pull out blank pieces of paper and the coloring pencils and begin a story. The stars of our stories are always the same with a few special-guest appearances. My cat Ponette is always in the story and is generally the star. Ponette is the lovable hero who has no morals or foresight. Past stories have included,
Ponette Steals Uncle Misplaced's Car and Goes For A Joy Ride
Ponette Steals Uncle Misplaced's Credit Cards To Score Catnip
Ponette Makes Unauthorized Long Distance Phone Calls.

Ever since Ponette hissed at the youngest for pulling her tail she's been typecast as being morally challenged.

The co-star of this on going nightmare is Pearl, which is their baby pug. Pearl is a cross between a pug, a poodle and a gerbil. Pearl is a gerpugle. The kids have decided that Pearl is the more sensible and ethical of the two animals. Our little 'do-gooder' generally says, "Ponette, don't do that!" or "Ponette, your driving too fast!" You get the picture- typical wet blanket. It's complete bullshit, of course, but what are you going to do- they're children.

The story last night began with Ponette and Pearl walking down the street when they come upon a bunch of beautiful colored helium balloons tied to a store front. Ponette, being the product of fetal alcohol syndrome and a thief, grabs the balloons. Pearl, predictable yells "Ponette don't do that!" Before Ponette can make a clean get away, she begins to float up. Pearl grabs her tail and they both float higher and higher. This is the start of their adventure.

It broke down at Chapter Two when it couldn't be decided if they land in a jungle or a forest. There was a lot of screaming and crying but after they calmed me down everything was fine.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I've been googled!

Someone was referred to this site by google. I was very excited. You may remember back when I was trying to get googled on this site. I put a few of the blog names that I've been reading, hoping one of the bloggers that I admire would google themselves and finding their way on my site- not one did.

Who doesn't google themselves? I constantly google myself... well not with the ardor of a 13 year old boy, but I google and I feel no shame in it. Everyone googles themselves, don't they? Even girls, I've been told, will google themselves upon occasion. Now, if you were to walk in while I was googling myself I'm sure we'd both be embarrassed and would discuss everything but googling as you slowly backed out of my office- but really, who doesn't knock first?

When none of the bloggers googled themselves (aren't we saintly) I put in a few sexy words hoping to, at least, lure a few perverts but apparently not sexy enough because no one took the bait- I guess even perverts get tired of googling themselves. One would think that I would feel shame in trying to trick people to read my blog -but I don't. You might even think that I'd be embarrassed that I can't get perverts to look at my blog with the enticements of sexy words, I do. But my google search cherry has been popped. Someone googled a set of words and they were directed to my site.

What were the words? The lyrics to Escape (the Pina Colda song) by Rupert Holmes So thank you Rupert Holmes for being so gently in this, my first time. I hope it wasn't you that googled your own song, but if it was- I understand. (sorry I called it a crappy love song)

So in honor of Mr Holmes here are the entire lryics to Escape the Pina Colada song

I was tired of my lady
We'd been together too long
Like a worn-out recording
Of a favorite song
So while she lay there sleeping
I read the paper in bed
And in the personal columns
There was this letter I read

"If you like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you'd like making love at midnight
In the dunes on the Cape
Then I'm the love that you've looked for
Write to me and escape."

I didn't think about my lady
I know that sounds kind of mean
But me and my old lady
Have fallen into the same old dull routine
So I wrote to the paper
Took out a personal ad
And though I'm nobody's poet
I thought it wasn't half bad

"Yes I like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
I'm not much into health food
I am into champagne
I've got to meet you by tomorrow noon
And cut through all this red-tape
At a bar called O'Malley's
Where we'll plan our escape."

So I waited with high hopes
And she walked in the place
I knew her smile in an instant
I knew the curve of her face
It was my own lovely lady
And she said, "Oh it's you."
Then we laughed for a moment
And I said, "I never knew."

That you like Pina Coladas
Getting caught in the rain
And the feel of the ocean
And the taste of champagne
If you'd like making love at midnight
In the dunes of the Cape
You're the lady I've looked for
Come with me and escape

repeat chorus twice and fade out

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A few useless things I've learned

1.Woman who are 100% heterosexual will look at Angela Jolie and say, "I'd do her"

2.In the gym locker room: The fatter the ass the more likely that fat, bare ass will sit on the bench without a towel.

3. If you want your restaurant meal to arrive, light a cigarette, if you want your boss to walk into your cubical, download porn.

4. Don't admit that global warming seems like a nice idea. Just keep it to yourself, you'll be happier.

5. No self respecting Wiccan would have a "Witches Do It In Circles" bumper sticker on their car (or broom).

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ideas are good, aren't they?

As I thought about this topic I hear myself saying "I have an idea..." and trying to remember what has followed. Its odd that, generally, what follows has not been a good idea. It's similar to saying, "Hey y'all watch this" after drinking too much whiskey. What follows will never be good.

As kids we made little parachutes for our hamsters, Sonny and Cher, and threw them out the 3rd floor window. the beat may go on but, alas, Sonny and Cher did not. That was a bad idea- but we honestly thought it would work and that the hamsters would love it. So maybe the idea was good but the execution was flawed. Deep down inside I still suspect that all hamsters would love to parachute or hang glide given the opportunity. Around the same decade I drank vanilla extract because it smelt yummy. That was also a bad idea but if something smells that good it should taste as good.

When I was in college (good idea) I did a Pete Townsend jump under a door-frame (bad idea). I met Pete Townsend in the south of France and spoke with him (good idea) and I told him about the shaved head and stitches that resulted from copying him (bad idea) He moved away slowly and didn't make eye contact (probably a good idea).

I'm thinking about selling everything, quitting my job and moving to Paris to write for a year (good idea). I'm thinking about selling everything, quitting my job and moving to Paris to write for a year (bad idea).

There aren't good ideas or bad ideas, there are only ideas- the things that come about from mental masturbation*. Whether we chose to act upon these ideas is where the good or bad will enter.

*...and yes using the term 'mental masturbation' was a bad idea but naming our hamsters Sonny and Cher was a worse idea

I have admitted my hidden delight in global warming- being of course a little facetious. There is a touchy subject that I'm not too keen on discussing. I believe the execution of Saddam Hussein was a disgrace.

He was hung for genocide- the killing of 148 Shiites. Was he a murderer? Probably- but then again if government official can be executed for murders committed in the name of their country, God, etc most official would be up on the gallows(think Bush here).

I believe, and I have no numbers to back this up, that most American think that Saddam Hussien was responsile for 9/11 and therefore deserved to day. I think that most Americans don't give a flying fuck about the 148 shiites.

The secret shame for today (being Catholic I have many) is that as Saddam stood with a noose around his neck and his executioners taunting him, I felt sorry for him. It is a sorry state indeed when they can actually make you feel sorry for a man like Saddam Hussein.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I've been kicking around a couple new goals I want to work toward.

I'm not certain if I mentioned that I started working out and jogging ever since the crackwhore made disparaging remarks about my weight. I've been going to the gym for the past 9 weeks, trying to tone up my body and lose the love handles, increase energy, you know all that shite. After I jogged 1 mile for the first time since junior high and then I then a few weeks later I got up to 2 miles it occurred to me that it might be possible to run a 5K race. After I finished laughing at the thought of me in a race I googled "how to run a 5k race" and this week I began training. I don't think I'll tell K- about this plan, it seems like more of a personal goal and I'd rather do this in my own quiet manner (also I can bail on the idea as soon as it gets too hard).

So every Monday I'm going to run down the last weeks training goals for the week. I shoule by early April be able ot run 5K which is 3.1 miles (thank you google). Afterwards I will begin drinking, smoking and snorting cocaine.
I'm 42 and I still think it would be cool to be a spy or a bank robber- is this suspended adolescence or is it normal daydreaming?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The New York times has their top 10 list of books for 2006. 5 fiction 5 non fiction.

I finished Special Topics In Calamity Physics last week. It took all of 3 days to read because it is that good and that suspenseful. I would suggest not doing as I did and read the story slowly. There is a lot going on and you will miss some of the finer details because you want to find out what happened. Slow down, and enjoy.

If you are as petty and bitter as I, there is a subplot that will go through your mind as you read. You will look at the author on the back cover and you will say, aloud. "She wrote this when she was 27!!!!" You will then want to hate her but you can't help but notice that she is also quite attractive (K- pointed this out as it would have been suicide for me to) "You think so?" I said to K, squinting my eyes as I look at the picture to see what she sees. "I suppose" I say dismissively. "Nicely played" I think to myself but accidentally say out loud.

So she wrote a best seller at 27 and is good looking so she's probably a bitch. It would appear from her acknowledgement that she is also a very nice person.

Despite all that Marisha Pesslar has going against her I enjoyed the book.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I began level two of my French class last night. I have to admit its pretty disheartening. I certainly don't expect to speak even remotely well at this point but I can't see ever being able to communicate on even a basic level. I've always considered myself a patient person but when it comes to my ability to learn I have never been patient or optimistic. I think I would be diagnosed with a learning disability if I were in school now. It just means I need to work a little harder than the others and I'm ok with that (actually I'm not ok with that but I'm trying to be more positive, New Years resolution and shit).

Its so easy for me to psych myself out of attaining a goal. On my first day of French class, my teacher said that 'learning French has always been considered difficult, that is not true. That is a myth.' I don't know if what she said was true or not but I appreciated her smashing our (my) preconceived notions. If you think French is too hard to learn then it will be. Self-fulfilling prophecy is such a bitch.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Chasing Jim Morrison’s Bathtub

Misplaced:(In faltering French) I would like to take a bath in your bathtub. I would like to take a bath in your bathtub, may I?

There is no easy way to ask this question of a complete stranger. I’m not even sure where the idea came from. It was a joke at first. Find the bathtub that Jim Morrison died in, ship it to the west coast, set up a little gazebo around it, place it in an area with a beautiful view and charge people money to take a bath where Jim Morrison died. For a sum of money they could get stoned and watch the sunset as they bathed in Jim’s memory. It was not about the memorializing Jim Morrison- it was about cash and, of course, I was just joking.

The more I thought of this little joke the more interested I became. Where is that bathtub? I searched “Jim Morrison’s bathtub” on the Internet and found nothing. I read biographies. The tub is always mentioned as the place he died but then it disappears in history.

It should be relatively easy to locate the tub, right? Jim died in the bathtub at No. 17 Rue Beautreillis (The Marais) Paris, France. No problem -right?

“I would like to take a bath in your tub, may I?”

Like any good, red-blooded American boy I idealized Jim Morrison- the angst, the poetry and especially the chicks. My friends and I would sing "Light My Fire” in stoned revelry. My buddy's senior year quote was supposed to read “trade in your hours for a handful of dimes” but his handwriting was so atrocious that what was printed “Trade in your hours for a handful of dinner” which, has the same anti-bourgeoisie sentiment so it hardly mattered. We would have started wearing leather pants if it didn’t mean we would have gotten our leather clad asses kicked. The midwest is no place for the fashion forward. the midwest couldn't understand cannot understand the poet that road "ride the snake, he's old and his skin is cold" We got it, well…actually we didn’t, but in high school it was easy to assign meaning to crap. All of us dreamed of becoming writers probably based on Jim Morrison. Of course, looking back on it, The Lizard King was less of a writer and more a charismatic stoner. Had we realized that we would have aspired to be charismatic stoners and left the non-lucrative career of writing to others. There’s money in the 20-yard stare, and a cat like strut on stage. There are girls in lines such as ‘ride the snake, he’s old and his skin is cold”, there’s money in the bathtub that Jim Morrison died in. My bank account would overflow much like the water that spilled over the sides of the tub as an overweight Jim slid into the bath.

On July 3, 1971 at the age of 27 Jim Morrison was found dead in the bathtub of apparent heart failure. When I was 15 years old I didn’t think twice about how young he was when he died- 27 is almost dead anyway. As I got older and surpassed his age of death it seemed kind of wimpy that he died at such a young age. ‘He smoked and drank too much,’ people will say. ‘Who doesn’t?’, I would respond. I smoked and drank too much for years and I managed to take a bath without dieing.

My friend Kevin is convinced that Morrison died doing Pamela Courson’s (Jim's girlfriend) heroin. The theory is that Jim went into shock and someone threw him in the bathtub to wake him up. I’m not sure about the whole ‘take a bath as an antidote to heroine overdose' but then again you don’t need to be have a medical license to date a rebel poet (although, apparently it would have been helpful). After he died, according to Kevin, everyone panicked, they got their stories straight, and left poor Pamela Courson holding the bag, as it were.

In my French class I explain what I want to learn from my teacher. I explain this after class because I’m embarrassed. I don’t want to know how to order a cafĂ© cream. I only want to know how to ask someone if I can take a bath in their bathtub. I have a list of phrases that I need to be able to say in french. I have tried to account for every possibility.

Is this where Jim Morrison died?
Do you still have the bathtub?
No? Where is it?
Yes, may I see it?
May I bath in it?
No need to call the police
I’m a fan
Please don’t push me
You hit hard for a French man
I did not vote for George Bush one or two
Come on baby light my fire (this would be my tag line before I start kicking ass)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Kiss

I fell in love 3 years ago.

I saw this woman at a function and was absolutely smitten. She, of course, was dating a fine looking man and they appeared happy but that didn't stop me from admiring her from afar.

We had mutual friends and would see each other upon occasion, at parties, coffee houses etc. When she and her boyfriend broke up I could not get the nerve to ask her out. She was just too beautiful and funny.

One evening we met with a few people at a restaurant. She and I spoke the entire evening. There is that moment, at the end of the evening, when you are certain that there is mutual attraction. I walked her to her car, I was nervous but was determined to kiss her at least on the cheek. As I bent in to kiss her she did the same but somehow our arms got interlaced in a weird manner, I went to kiss her cheek and she went for my lips. The bottom line is that are first kiss resembled more of a head lock than anything romantic.

We were married two years later. We kissed on the beach of Cape Cod to seal our union. A perfect, loving kiss.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Very unseasonably warm. Friday evening it is 65 degrees, unheard of in January. Global warming, global warming! Everyone is panicked, no one seems to enjoy the little serendipity. I don’t think its global warming, I think its just a mild winter.

If it in fact is the result of global warming then I have a guilty enjoyment of the warming trend. My little corner of the Midwest may on day become prime beach front property.
‘Honey, kids, grab your suits and pile in the car -we’re going to the Midwest for a little fun in the sun’
I was going through some of the posts I've written and they are pretty depressing. So to the two people who read these posts(Storm in Rosewood and Anonymous) if you are still around- I apologize, but thank you for the comments.

For the past few months I've been thinking about my life and the people I've known and the tragic cases are the ones that stand out. Perhaps one of my resolutions should be to focus myself of the positive stories and less on the depressing ones.

To me Bones is not depressing. I have always loved talking to him and I've gotten a kick out of the two of us becoming friends. Two more unlikely people you will not meet.

The sisters J- and D- are sad cases, especially because they will both be dead in short order unless they pull themselves together. The saddest thing about them is that I don't know if they can get it together.

Mandy Lee, the one who saw the UFO, married a crooked cop and is now separated and has a restraining order against the, now, ex-cop.

It's a strange conglomeration of people that I know and before I can be too judgmental I have to remember that I have my own problem. We know each other because water will seek its own level. I hope it doesn't sound as though I am talking down about these acquaintances, that isn't my intention.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Heroin Part 1

I see her enough on the corner that if she isn’t there I notice, at the exit off the highway. You’ve probably noticed her, but didn’t give her too much thought except to think to yourself, 'Get a job. Who’d live that way'. It would be easier to actually work. She looks miserable/ ugly/ like stone/ staring directly ahead of her, not looking directly at anyone. If you want to give her money you’d have to call out to her because she’s not looking at you.

I knew her right after she got out of jail for forgery. She and her sister were cashing stolen check and they got caught. She was sent to State Reform for Women. They were forging the checks to buy heroin back in ‘95. That’s her thing. That’s what makes her face so itchy that she scratches it raw. When she got out of prison she had been off heroin and was trying to stay clean,that's when I met her. You wouldn’t know it to look at her today, but she’s actually a very intelligent, funny person with an incredible knowledge and appreciation for music.

Staying off heroin was too difficult for her.

Now She just looks like marred stone. Her face is emotionless as she stares straight ahead. She’s not begging, she is standing there, if you want to give her money fine, but she wont ask you for it directly. She has a sign, "hungry and homeless". She hasn’t eaten and looks too skinny, but I don’t think she’s hungry. She’s a junky, she’s not hungry. she also isn't homeless. She lives at ****. It’s a new address it seems like she’s always lived downtown.

When I knew her she had a job working at the Salvation Army sorting clothes, her mom got her the job but her mom isn’t doing much better than she.

J- is her name, she’s been arrested 6 times for panhandling always by the same cop. You’d think Officer M- would just let it ride after awhile, but he keeps ticketing her. Its an $80 ticket, yet she keeps going to the exit off the highway with her sign and her face of stone.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I was listening to an oldies station on the way home when I heard Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes. I've heard this song hundreds of times but I never listened to the words. The only lyrics I knew were "If you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain la la la." That's it, so I'm listening to the song and I'm getting somewhat horrified by what I hear.

The basic idea of the song is this guy is bitching about his girlfriend or wife and he's reading the personal ads in bed (while she sleeps next to him mind you). He comes upon this personal ad asking if he likes pina colodas, getting caught in the rain, making love at midnight on the dunes of the cape. So he's thinking to himself, yea, I like those things and the "old lady's" kind of a drag. So he answers the personals saying yes to all of the above and that he indeed does want to escape. He answers the ad saying that he wants to 'escape' Which is a euphemism for cheating on his wife/girlfriend. He tells her to meet him at a skanky old bar named O'Malley's where they can discuss this 'escape' over beernuts and lukewarm Old Style (he claims to be into Champagne but I think we've established that he's a liar.

He's waiting for his 'escape' at that bar and probably wondering if he should have showered beforehand when he sees his new lady friend walk in.
And who do you suppose it is? It's his girlfriend/wife.
Why? Because she placed the ad looking for her own little 'escape'
And what do they do? They laugh.
Why? Because its so funny.
Why is it funny? I don't know but I suspect that they are laughing about the fact that it turned out they are both lieing cheats with some nasty ass diseases that can't wait to fuck around on the other one. It's funny because they deserve each other.

I can't claim to be much of a romantic but this is a crappy love song.

"If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
If you're not into yoga, if you have half-a-brain.
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
You're the love that I've looked for, come with me, and escape."

Monday, January 01, 2007

The celebration of the New Year looked like it was going to be a quiet affair. At the last minute our friend Demetrius called and said we were invited to his families celebration.

We had gone the previous year and had a great time but I got the sense that his brother didn’t want non-family there. I could appreciate that but it didn’t keep me from giving Demetrius shit about it. When he called to invite us I even told him not to worry about it but K jumped in, “Hell, no we will be there” she said.

The alternative other than going to bed early was going to what is called an Alco-thon. These are parties, meetings and other social events that are thrown around the clock during some of the festive holidays- especially Christmas and New Years. They are good and important functions for people who are concerned about their ability to not drink or use drugs over the holidays. In most moderately sized cities including my little corner of the Midwest have these sober events scheduled. I’ve gone to these in the past and they are invaluable to someone pulling his life together. But it has been my experience that a good portion of the conversations revolves around how much fun everyone is having without liquor, which is a nice sentiment but it doesn’t stop. Generally someone will comment about how much more fun they are having without being drunk on New Years than the ever had being drunk ( I would argue this first point vehemently). This comment is said so often that it begins to feel as though they are trying to convince themselves that it’s true. At some point the competition begins. Each person in the conversation will try to out do the others in their drinking war stories of the past. If someone was arrested for drunk and disorderly someone else will have been arrested for beating up a cop another for setting fire to a house until someone has to ‘win’ by admitting that they were charged with being drunk and disorderly while setting fire to a cop. I agree that it is better for some people to not drink. But spending the evening comparing old scars seems no more fun then getting new scars.

So instead we celebrated a Greek New Year. For this occasion a cake is prepared called a Vasilopita. It is a delicious cake with a wonderful taste of orange. It is cut in a very specific manner, each slice is cut with a particular individual in mind. The first slice is cut for Jesus, the second for the Virgin Mary, the third for the house, the fourth for the man of the house, the fifth for the woman of the house, the children, the grandmother etc. At this point I begin looking at the cake slowly disappearing and I do some quick mental math to be certain there will be enough cake for yours truly. A coin is baked in the cake, whoever gets this coin will have good luck for the year. Demetrius’ wife got the coin two years ago and her mother died the next month, which shows you how effective the coin is.

Demetrius’ mother got the coin this year and we all cried foul because she placed the coin, baked the cake, directed the slicing of the cake and we are all ungrateful non-Greeks. It was a wonderful affair and a blessed way to bring in a new year.