Stories, Poems and Other Stuff...

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Parent of the Year
(or, making beer money with dad)


CRACK!
I never saw the old man
move that fast.
I mean, one minute he's 
holding a cue, the next
he's hitting this poor mark
with 18 oz of wood
on the side of the head.
That poor guy didn't see
it coming.
Hell, I didn't see it
coming.
"C'mon, we gotta go,"
I tell my dad as he is grabbing the guys money
off the table.
I pull dad along as stunned,
angry,
rednecks 
start to head our way.

Okay, let me tell you, 
I thought I was dead, 
or at best 
left in a coma
if we didn't leave. 
If he weren't my dad
I would have left him.
I  know any other
hustling,
drunk,
septuagenarian
would have died that night.

I pushed the old man
into the Cordoba,
prayed it would 
start. (it did)
We peeled away, 
no headlights in the 
rear view.
"How much did we make?"
I asked.
"$40.00."

The rest of the ride home
was silent.

All I could think was,
"What kind of parent 
hustles pool with his 
kid?"

Parent of the Year
(or, making beer money with dad)


CRACK!
I never saw the old man
move that fast.
I mean, one minute he's 
holding a cue, the next
he's hitting this poor mark
with 18 oz of wood
on the side of the head.
That poor guy didn't see
it coming.
Hell, I didn't see it
coming.
"C'mon, we gotta go,"
I tell my dad as he is grabbing the guys money
off the table.
I pull dad along as stunned,
angry,
rednecks 
start to head our way.

Okay, let me tell you, 
I thought I was dead, 
or at best 
left in a coma
if we didn't leave. 
If he weren't my dad
I would have left him.
I  know any other
hustling,
drunk,
septuagenarian
would have died that night.

I pushed the old man
into the Cordoba,
prayed it would 
start. (it did)
We peeled away, 
no headlights in the 
rear view.
"How much did we make?"
I asked.
"$40.00."

The rest of the ride home
was silent.

All I could think was,
"What kind of parent 
hustles pool with his 
kid?"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Death of Radio

Flipping through the stations
like a radio telescope 
looking for some distant
alien 
noise.
The alien noise is here!
Wrapped in Taylor Swift,
Mouseketeer teen angst, 
or the next American Idol.
Gone are the days
of walking this way,
slow rides in Kashmir
all the while getting
no satisfaction.
Feeling pretty vacant
I look for a free ride
while everyday 
I write the book.

Oh well, 
Pandora it is....

Death of Radio

Flipping through the stations
like a radio telescope 
looking for some distant
alien 
noise.
The alien noise is here!
Wrapped in Taylor Swift,
Mouseketeer teen angst, 
or the next American Idol.
Gone are the days
of walking this way,
slow rides in Kashmir
all the while getting
no satisfaction.
Feeling pretty vacant
I look for a free ride
while everyday 
I write the book.

Oh well, 
Pandora it is....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Round 2



Round 2
has me stuck in memory, 
re-living, past forgotten,
some sort of
psycho analysis,
repressed memory 
therapy.
All these memories,
living just under the surface, 
little friends,
little demons,
little tormentors
scratching under 
the icy surface
of my frozen soul
that is thawing, 
exposing
what I thought drowned.
Danger Thin Ice!
Poetic self help
of a prophecy 
yet unfulfilled. 
Open wounds of
old
scar 
tissue
never healed,
a plastic surgery, 
a Botox injection
to give, once again
an expressionless face 
to pain re-lived,
"Confront your demons!"
I tell myself
while hoping to 
push aside
and get on with it.
Pain never leaves us,
just goes into hiding
until the day we die.
Round 2



Round 2
has me stuck in memory, 
re-living, past forgotten,
some sort of
psycho analysis,
repressed memory 
therapy.
All these memories,
living just under the surface, 
little friends,
little demons,
little tormentors
scratching under 
the icy surface
of my frozen soul
that is thawing, 
exposing
what I thought drowned.
Danger Thin Ice!
Poetic self help
of a prophecy 
yet unfulfilled. 
Open wounds of
old
scar 
tissue
never healed,
a plastic surgery, 
a Botox injection
to give, once again
an expressionless face 
to pain re-lived,
"Confront your demons!"
I tell myself
while hoping to 
push aside
and get on with it.
Pain never leaves us,
just goes into hiding
until the day we die.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Changing the Theme of This

Hi, I am Chuck.

Hi Chuck.

I am a writer, and blogger. I have been very neglectful in my efforts. I have made some changes. I am going to post more, eat less and focus on literary ambitions that have been long dormant.

Welcome to my mind on code.

I leave you with a poem.

Evening in the Hood

Yelling and screaming
from the house
next door.

Ghetto Bird
flying over,
one eye moving
back and forth,
looking for
a thieving rodent,
no doubt.

Turn up the volume,
close the blinds
and pretend
I am
Somewhere else.

Changing the Theme of This

Hi, I am Chuck.

Hi Chuck.

I am a writer, and blogger. I have been very neglectful in my efforts. I have made some changes. I am going to post more, eat less and focus on literary ambitions that have been long dormant.

Welcome to my mind on code.

I leave you with a poem.

Evening in the Hood

Yelling and screaming
from the house
next door.

Ghetto Bird
flying over,
one eye moving
back and forth,
looking for
a thieving rodent,
no doubt.

Turn up the volume,
close the blinds
and pretend
I am
Somewhere else.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

10 Things I Noticed While Shopping at Walmart

It is inevitable, if you are middle class, lower class or no class, you are going to shop at Walmart. Sure, you could be a snob and shop at Target (pronounce tarjay in france) but if you live in the midwest, the south, or if you currently live in or have lived in a trailer park you are forced to shop at the House of Walton. Face it, it's cheap, convenient and dare I say again, cheap.

I will make a confession that I would have denied just minutes ago. I find myself at Walmart many times during the week. This usually involves walking through the store as my wife does the serious shopping. In my boredom I have had time to notice some things about Walmart and marketing outside the obvious tube top and price signs.

Now, keep in mind, I notice lots of things all the time. Most of the time I keep it to myself which explains my laughing out loud (LOL for those under 30) while walking around....anywhere. I am easily amused and people amuse me. I say all that to say that I could keep a running list of observations from Walmart alone. That list would be infinite if I were to add Starbucks, any grocery store and Home Depot. So, to keep this list at a acceptable readable length I have narrowed my list to Walmart (works with the title of this article) and only 10 (again, working with the title)

10. Socks at Walmart come resealable packaging. Do socks have a shelf life that warrants a resealable bag? I am not too sure what to do with the bag. Do I keep it to store my unused socks?

9. Great Value branding of everything. O.K. , most everything. I remember a day when you could find more name brand items at Walmart. Now some marketing genius thinks he has to remind me on every aisle that I am getting a “great value”. To said savant I say this: I am shopping at Walmart because I have a genetic predisposition towards being a tightwad. I would not be at Walmart otherwise.

8.I am pretty sure that all Walmart customers are NASCAR loving, American Chopper watching, Dickies wearing lemmings. This is not by choice, but by suggestion. I am pretty sure that Walmart is paid by the companies for exclusive rights to sell their wares. Think I am nuts? Have you ever seen NASCAR at Target?

7. Am I the only one offended by Pepsi's recent Throwback campaign? They have the audacity to use “Made with Real Sugar” and “Limited Time Only” as selling points. Alas, they will be forced by economics to replace the real sugar with high fructose corn syrup and water from the Ganges.

6. Miley Cyrus has way too much merchandise.

5. The “If this restroom is dirty,” switch doesn't really work. I tested this one day. I flipped the switch and stood by the T.V.'s waiting for someone to show up and clean it. I was there for 20 minutes and nobody showed. I think the switch is still on.

4. All the “Rollback” clothing is the size of a two man tent. This would be cool if I were a hip hop dancer, but I am not. It would be equally cool if I were a size requiring a two man tent sized shirt.

3. There is a lot of rotting fruits and vegetables in places where you wouldn't expect to find rotting fruit and vegetables. One time I noticed fruit flies hovering around a garment rack. “This is odd,” I thought. I looked under the rack and saw a rotting peach with a couple of bites taken out of it. I am still unsure as to when the bites occurred. Thinking about it makes me queasy.

2. No matter what time of day it is there are never more than four cash registers open. This can be overcome if you have a child with you to send over to the bank to get free Dixie cups full of popcorn.

1. All Walmart greeters are robots. They move just like any Disney robot I have ever seen. Don't believe me, go to Disneyland and check out the Lincoln robot. Same mannerisms. I am sure it is on Youtube. Check it out. I have a little test for you. The next time you go to Walmart pay attention to how the greeter greets you. Then walk down the aisle along the end of the registers to the exit/entrance and walk around to the exit/entrance you just went through moments before. Not only will you hear the exact same greeting you will notice by the glazed over expression on the greeters face that they did not remember that you just came through. One day I had some time to kill so I walked the big exit entrance circle twenty times. They are robots I tell you!


There you have it. Like I said, I have many more observations. But I have bored you enough for n

10 Things I Noticed While Shopping at Walmart

It is inevitable, if you are middle class, lower class or no class, you are going to shop at Walmart. Sure, you could be a snob and shop at Target (pronounce tarjay in france) but if you live in the midwest, the south, or if you currently live in or have lived in a trailer park you are forced to shop at the House of Walton. Face it, it's cheap, convenient and dare I say again, cheap.

I will make a confession that I would have denied just minutes ago. I find myself at Walmart many times during the week. This usually involves walking through the store as my wife does the serious shopping. In my boredom I have had time to notice some things about Walmart and marketing outside the obvious tube top and price signs.

Now, keep in mind, I notice lots of things all the time. Most of the time I keep it to myself which explains my laughing out loud (LOL for those under 30) while walking around....anywhere. I am easily amused and people amuse me. I say all that to say that I could keep a running list of observations from Walmart alone. That list would be infinite if I were to add Starbucks, any grocery store and Home Depot. So, to keep this list at a acceptable readable length I have narrowed my list to Walmart (works with the title of this article) and only 10 (again, working with the title)

10. Socks at Walmart come resealable packaging. Do socks have a shelf life that warrants a resealable bag? I am not too sure what to do with the bag. Do I keep it to store my unused socks?

9. Great Value branding of everything. O.K. , most everything. I remember a day when you could find more name brand items at Walmart. Now some marketing genius thinks he has to remind me on every aisle that I am getting a “great value”. To said savant I say this: I am shopping at Walmart because I have a genetic predisposition towards being a tightwad. I would not be at Walmart otherwise.

8.I am pretty sure that all Walmart customers are NASCAR loving, American Chopper watching, Dickies wearing lemmings. This is not by choice, but by suggestion. I am pretty sure that Walmart is paid by the companies for exclusive rights to sell their wares. Think I am nuts? Have you ever seen NASCAR at Target?

7. Am I the only one offended by Pepsi's recent Throwback campaign? They have the audacity to use “Made with Real Sugar” and “Limited Time Only” as selling points. Alas, they will be forced by economics to replace the real sugar with high fructose corn syrup and water from the Ganges.

6. Miley Cyrus has way too much merchandise.

5. The “If this restroom is dirty,” switch doesn't really work. I tested this one day. I flipped the switch and stood by the T.V.'s waiting for someone to show up and clean it. I was there for 20 minutes and nobody showed. I think the switch is still on.

4. All the “Rollback” clothing is the size of a two man tent. This would be cool if I were a hip hop dancer, but I am not. It would be equally cool if I were a size requiring a two man tent sized shirt.

3. There is a lot of rotting fruits and vegetables in places where you wouldn't expect to find rotting fruit and vegetables. One time I noticed fruit flies hovering around a garment rack. “This is odd,” I thought. I looked under the rack and saw a rotting peach with a couple of bites taken out of it. I am still unsure as to when the bites occurred. Thinking about it makes me queasy.

2. No matter what time of day it is there are never more than four cash registers open. This can be overcome if you have a child with you to send over to the bank to get free Dixie cups full of popcorn.

1. All Walmart greeters are robots. They move just like any Disney robot I have ever seen. Don't believe me, go to Disneyland and check out the Lincoln robot. Same mannerisms. I am sure it is on Youtube. Check it out. I have a little test for you. The next time you go to Walmart pay attention to how the greeter greets you. Then walk down the aisle along the end of the registers to the exit/entrance and walk around to the exit/entrance you just went through moments before. Not only will you hear the exact same greeting you will notice by the glazed over expression on the greeters face that they did not remember that you just came through. One day I had some time to kill so I walked the big exit entrance circle twenty times. They are robots I tell you!


There you have it. Like I said, I have many more observations. But I have bored you enough for n

Monday, October 11, 2010

Writer's Block

Sometimes I think it is hard to stare at a blank screen and try to come up with something, a story, a point of view, inner ramblings, anything that shares what goes on in my head.

This is and isn't one of those hard moments.

Writers throughout history have been plagued from periods of writer's block. I would like to say that I am in that group of writers that have been besieged brain constipation, but I am not. No, my problem is not in my lack of brain regularity, but in my lack of time. You see, life is hindering my desire to progress as a writer. For whatever reason, my wife, children, landlord, utilities companies, garbage man and others require that I have an income in order to either feed them or pay them for services that I need. I could go the way of Thoreau and move to some pond and build a crude log cabin and live off the land. However I am pretty sure that my family wouldn't go for it. Sure I could initially lure them out under the guise of a family camping trip, but by day three they would think somethings up and bail on me and my Euell Gibbons lifestyle.

So I work to make money.

Over the years I have done this in a variety of ways. I started out working in auto parts and as a mechanic. I worked as generator mechanic while in the army and continued working as a mechanic a couple of years after being discharged. During this time I found my voice, so to speak, in writing. I knew that the hard work of being a mechanic was not conducive to writing on a regular basis. So I embarked on a career change. House painter.

I painted for about a year with a friend of mine in and around Chicago. During this time I wrote like a crazy man. I wrote about everyday things that amused me. My problem during this time was my living situation. I had been couch surfing and never really had the ideal place to work on my craft. This resulted in some very incomplete stories that, when in a fit of religious fervor, made it into a fifty five gallon filing cabinet never to be seen again. Sometimes I find myself entertaining the thought of archeologists digging up these discarded papers and I become famous once again (after being famous while alive of course) to a whole new generation of readers.

Ah, megalomania.....

Somehow I made it to Southern Indiana to live with my father, in a cabin, on the Wabash River. This was the start of my Bohemian period. During this time I wrote with such a fervor that at times I was unable to read my scribbles. I also went to college studying radio and television broadcasting. I ended up working at a radio station in Olney Illinois, a town made famous by white squirrels. I think my radio career lasted eight months. I was fired for telling someone that I wasn't paid enough for what they were asking me to do. Back to couch surfing I went.

This period of my life lasted a few years and, after the birth of our first child, I found myself in need of money. I took the first job I could find, working at a group home for developmentally disabled adults. I loved that job. We eventually moved to Champaign Illinois where I took a job at a group home for the mentally ill. It was there that I realized that I like mentally ill people. The job was great, a little demanding time wise, so I was unable to write anything larger that poems during that time, all of which got filed into some landfill.

Eventually I stumbled into plumbing and construction. Since then I have had periodic bursts of writing, even being published on a couple of online magazines. But, I have never reached the pace I would like to see my writing reach. With all of life's tugs I have come to the realization that my form of writer's block has nothing to do with having nothing to write about, but more about economics. My family must eat; they like to live in a modest home; they don't like walking to the grocery store.

I am not saying this in an attempt to garner pity form the few of you who read this blog. However, if anyone reading this feels compelled to finance me for say, six months, while I finish my novel I would not turn you away. Nope, I share all of this to give me hope and lead into what it is that has given me hope as a writer.

I recently came across a television show called , No Reservations. This show is based on the travels of a writer named Anthony Bordain who happened to be a chef, who happened to write a book while working as a chef. This guy travels the world writing about common places and local cuisine. What! You mean that it is possible to hold down a job and write? Genius.

I am reminded of the writers that inspired me to write. I think of Jack Kerouac working odd jobs and essentially couch surfing while writing On The Road. I think of Charles Bukowski spending years working for the Post Office before he was able to make any real money as a writer. There are countless other writers that made their living at something else while spending nights and weekends typing away.

I am inspired once again...

Still, I am not opposed to financial backing......

Writer's Block

Sometimes I think it is hard to stare at a blank screen and try to come up with something, a story, a point of view, inner ramblings, anything that shares what goes on in my head.

This is and isn't one of those hard moments.

Writers throughout history have been plagued from periods of writer's block. I would like to say that I am in that group of writers that have been besieged brain constipation, but I am not. No, my problem is not in my lack of brain regularity, but in my lack of time. You see, life is hindering my desire to progress as a writer. For whatever reason, my wife, children, landlord, utilities companies, garbage man and others require that I have an income in order to either feed them or pay them for services that I need. I could go the way of Thoreau and move to some pond and build a crude log cabin and live off the land. However I am pretty sure that my family wouldn't go for it. Sure I could initially lure them out under the guise of a family camping trip, but by day three they would think somethings up and bail on me and my Euell Gibbons lifestyle.

So I work to make money.

Over the years I have done this in a variety of ways. I started out working in auto parts and as a mechanic. I worked as generator mechanic while in the army and continued working as a mechanic a couple of years after being discharged. During this time I found my voice, so to speak, in writing. I knew that the hard work of being a mechanic was not conducive to writing on a regular basis. So I embarked on a career change. House painter.

I painted for about a year with a friend of mine in and around Chicago. During this time I wrote like a crazy man. I wrote about everyday things that amused me. My problem during this time was my living situation. I had been couch surfing and never really had the ideal place to work on my craft. This resulted in some very incomplete stories that, when in a fit of religious fervor, made it into a fifty five gallon filing cabinet never to be seen again. Sometimes I find myself entertaining the thought of archeologists digging up these discarded papers and I become famous once again (after being famous while alive of course) to a whole new generation of readers.

Ah, megalomania.....

Somehow I made it to Southern Indiana to live with my father, in a cabin, on the Wabash River. This was the start of my Bohemian period. During this time I wrote with such a fervor that at times I was unable to read my scribbles. I also went to college studying radio and television broadcasting. I ended up working at a radio station in Olney Illinois, a town made famous by white squirrels. I think my radio career lasted eight months. I was fired for telling someone that I wasn't paid enough for what they were asking me to do. Back to couch surfing I went.

This period of my life lasted a few years and, after the birth of our first child, I found myself in need of money. I took the first job I could find, working at a group home for developmentally disabled adults. I loved that job. We eventually moved to Champaign Illinois where I took a job at a group home for the mentally ill. It was there that I realized that I like mentally ill people. The job was great, a little demanding time wise, so I was unable to write anything larger that poems during that time, all of which got filed into some landfill.

Eventually I stumbled into plumbing and construction. Since then I have had periodic bursts of writing, even being published on a couple of online magazines. But, I have never reached the pace I would like to see my writing reach. With all of life's tugs I have come to the realization that my form of writer's block has nothing to do with having nothing to write about, but more about economics. My family must eat; they like to live in a modest home; they don't like walking to the grocery store.

I am not saying this in an attempt to garner pity form the few of you who read this blog. However, if anyone reading this feels compelled to finance me for say, six months, while I finish my novel I would not turn you away. Nope, I share all of this to give me hope and lead into what it is that has given me hope as a writer.

I recently came across a television show called , No Reservations. This show is based on the travels of a writer named Anthony Bordain who happened to be a chef, who happened to write a book while working as a chef. This guy travels the world writing about common places and local cuisine. What! You mean that it is possible to hold down a job and write? Genius.

I am reminded of the writers that inspired me to write. I think of Jack Kerouac working odd jobs and essentially couch surfing while writing On The Road. I think of Charles Bukowski spending years working for the Post Office before he was able to make any real money as a writer. There are countless other writers that made their living at something else while spending nights and weekends typing away.

I am inspired once again...

Still, I am not opposed to financial backing......

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Generally Speaking

I like broad generalizations because they usually piss people off and it forces them to form a hasty opinion. Usually after vocalizing those opinions they will reflect on what they just said and give even more thought to their opinion and maybe so something other than opine.

All Christians are narrow minded and are going to beat me down for using the word 'piss' in the second sentence along with this sentence, and at least one more time before this generalization is finished. That is fine. But you need to come to terms with a God who allowed a prophet to cook over fecal matter and let this make it into the Old Testament: 1Kings 16:11 “And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, [that] he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.”

It was painfully obvious this week that broad generalizations are alive and well in our world. Saturday marked the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on our country. This week also showed us how the idiots and narrow minded can monopolize the media and create more hostility in an already hostile environment.

Reverend Terry Jones, a pastor of a tiny congregation became the foot in mouth spokesperson for all Christianity this week when he announced that his church was going to have a Quran burning on the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Not only did he make all Christians look like idiots, he snatched Pat Robertson's platform from under his feet. To be fair I do not know what Pat's thoughts on this whole issue are, but I am sure it involves assassins and fiery judgment. Reverend Jones did what most loud mouths do and backed away from his plans after he felt the heat. Now, if Reverend Jones had gone through with it I would have still thought he was an idiot, but I would have admired him for standing by his convictions. Now he's just a weenie idiot.

On the anniversary of the attacks I worked. I was working on a water well in rural Illinois on the day of the attacks. As I was reflecting on the events of that day I came to the realization that, up until that day, I did not really give any thought to Islam, Muslims or terrorists. Yet after that day it seemed that we all had it in our heads that all Muslims are terrorists. All of a sudden we are all experts on this group of people. And all of our assumptions stem from the actions of a few extremists.

We saw this at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic when all of a sudden some extreme fundamentalists claimed that the disease was a gay disease. Again, another broad generalization based on half truths and little fact brought to us by the ill informed lunatics with an agenda of hate.

So, nine years later, are we any less safe? Are we more paranoid? Are convenience stores and taxi cabs blowing up? No... We are all living life, paying bills, raising kids, and getting older. We know more about Muslims now than we did nine years ago. We know that radical fundamentalists are everywhere, in every religion and society, and that they are without question idiots...Will they ever leave us?

Probably not..

I really need to do something about these idiots that are supposedly speaking for me.

Generally Speaking

I like broad generalizations because they usually piss people off and it forces them to form a hasty opinion. Usually after vocalizing those opinions they will reflect on what they just said and give even more thought to their opinion and maybe so something other than opine.

All Christians are narrow minded and are going to beat me down for using the word 'piss' in the second sentence along with this sentence, and at least one more time before this generalization is finished. That is fine. But you need to come to terms with a God who allowed a prophet to cook over fecal matter and let this make it into the Old Testament: 1Kings 16:11 “And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, [that] he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.”

It was painfully obvious this week that broad generalizations are alive and well in our world. Saturday marked the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on our country. This week also showed us how the idiots and narrow minded can monopolize the media and create more hostility in an already hostile environment.

Reverend Terry Jones, a pastor of a tiny congregation became the foot in mouth spokesperson for all Christianity this week when he announced that his church was going to have a Quran burning on the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Not only did he make all Christians look like idiots, he snatched Pat Robertson's platform from under his feet. To be fair I do not know what Pat's thoughts on this whole issue are, but I am sure it involves assassins and fiery judgment. Reverend Jones did what most loud mouths do and backed away from his plans after he felt the heat. Now, if Reverend Jones had gone through with it I would have still thought he was an idiot, but I would have admired him for standing by his convictions. Now he's just a weenie idiot.

On the anniversary of the attacks I worked. I was working on a water well in rural Illinois on the day of the attacks. As I was reflecting on the events of that day I came to the realization that, up until that day, I did not really give any thought to Islam, Muslims or terrorists. Yet after that day it seemed that we all had it in our heads that all Muslims are terrorists. All of a sudden we are all experts on this group of people. And all of our assumptions stem from the actions of a few extremists.

We saw this at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic when all of a sudden some extreme fundamentalists claimed that the disease was a gay disease. Again, another broad generalization based on half truths and little fact brought to us by the ill informed lunatics with an agenda of hate.

So, nine years later, are we any less safe? Are we more paranoid? Are convenience stores and taxi cabs blowing up? No... We are all living life, paying bills, raising kids, and getting older. We know more about Muslims now than we did nine years ago. We know that radical fundamentalists are everywhere, in every religion and society, and that they are without question idiots...Will they ever leave us?

Probably not..

I really need to do something about these idiots that are supposedly speaking for me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Routine

I am going to be a bit vulnerable here giving a bit of insight to how my mind works, and giving ammunition to those who would like to trip me up and see me frustrated. The key to the inner workings of my mind hinges on one thing......routine.

Okay, there it is, I said it. It is out there for the world to see. I like routine. Now, this is not in the, ‘Definitely time for Wapner’ kind of routine....That would be OCD. There is a fine line between having a daily routine and OCD, and I walk that tightrope daily.

For me a typical day starts with waking up five minutes before the alarm clock. I get out of bed and head to the kitchen to make my coffee. This point is pivotal in how my day will be. If I am able to make a pot of coffee easily it will be a good day. If, say, I have to look for filters, or grind coffee, well then, my day is up in the air and if I am to salvage it I will have to work at making it a good day.

The same can be said for taking my morning shower to putting on my shoes and walking out the door.

Now, before someone out there feels the need to tell me to stop being a prima donna and get over it, please don't. It will mess up my routine.

Routine is not a bad thing. Routine makes one more efficient. Say, when you get home you place your wallet, car keys and cell phone in the same place everyday you are following a routine that enables you to leave the house quicker.

I met a guy the other day who happens be a retinal surgeon. If anyone should follow a routine this guy should. After all he is working on eyeballs! Imagine if he approached each procedure differently. What if he started the operation before the pain killing and scrubbing up? What if his approach were spinning a roulette wheel?...hmm, that sounds like a routine, albeit a scary one.

There was a day when I lived a more carefree, where the wind takes you life. Fifteen or so years ago the only routine I had was going to sleep and waking up. Sounds fun, and it was. However, the routine ticking of time dictates that one gets older and grows up. After our first child was born, immediately after, I found that we are all born with the desire for routine. This was made painfully evident when our oldest wanted to eat. He was on a schedule and you better not deviate from that routine.

Some of us try to push the need for routine down, only to have it surface some time later. That bit of denial is even a routine. In denial one has to routinely deny that there is an issue.

I, for one, am embracing my need for routine...I will continue to have my coffee at the same time every morning, place my keys in the same place everyday and walk around my car three times backwards before getting in to drive.

I will not deviate. I will not deviate. I will not deviate.

Routine

I am going to be a bit vulnerable here giving a bit of insight to how my mind works, and giving ammunition to those who would like to trip me up and see me frustrated. The key to the inner workings of my mind hinges on one thing......routine.

Okay, there it is, I said it. It is out there for the world to see. I like routine. Now, this is not in the, ‘Definitely time for Wapner’ kind of routine....That would be OCD. There is a fine line between having a daily routine and OCD, and I walk that tightrope daily.

For me a typical day starts with waking up five minutes before the alarm clock. I get out of bed and head to the kitchen to make my coffee. This point is pivotal in how my day will be. If I am able to make a pot of coffee easily it will be a good day. If, say, I have to look for filters, or grind coffee, well then, my day is up in the air and if I am to salvage it I will have to work at making it a good day.

The same can be said for taking my morning shower to putting on my shoes and walking out the door.

Now, before someone out there feels the need to tell me to stop being a prima donna and get over it, please don't. It will mess up my routine.

Routine is not a bad thing. Routine makes one more efficient. Say, when you get home you place your wallet, car keys and cell phone in the same place everyday you are following a routine that enables you to leave the house quicker.

I met a guy the other day who happens be a retinal surgeon. If anyone should follow a routine this guy should. After all he is working on eyeballs! Imagine if he approached each procedure differently. What if he started the operation before the pain killing and scrubbing up? What if his approach were spinning a roulette wheel?...hmm, that sounds like a routine, albeit a scary one.

There was a day when I lived a more carefree, where the wind takes you life. Fifteen or so years ago the only routine I had was going to sleep and waking up. Sounds fun, and it was. However, the routine ticking of time dictates that one gets older and grows up. After our first child was born, immediately after, I found that we are all born with the desire for routine. This was made painfully evident when our oldest wanted to eat. He was on a schedule and you better not deviate from that routine.

Some of us try to push the need for routine down, only to have it surface some time later. That bit of denial is even a routine. In denial one has to routinely deny that there is an issue.

I, for one, am embracing my need for routine...I will continue to have my coffee at the same time every morning, place my keys in the same place everyday and walk around my car three times backwards before getting in to drive.

I will not deviate. I will not deviate. I will not deviate.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Five Questions with Chuck Scott

*Some days I have lots of time to daydream. This is a result of my daydreaming of being a published novelist/essayist/blogger of great renown. Bertrand Russell once said, "The megalomaniac differs from the narcissist by the fact that he wishes to be powerful rather than charming, and seeks to be feared rather than loved. To this type belong many lunatics and most of the great men of history."

I don't know, I think that I would like to be charming too.

In this megalomaniacal thread of thought I am being interviewed by some writer from Redbook, or maybe O magazine. I can't remember, though I don't really think that I would be on Oprah's Book of the Month reading list.

I think I will start the degaussed video now. ****

Interviewer: I recently had the chance to talk to Chuck Scott, author of, “Broken Stuff and Things” at his trailer on stilts by the river. When I got there I found him eating a banana while staring at the water. I asked him what he was thinking about and his reply was, “Nothin.”

As we sat down in his kitchen to start the interview he made me promise to take a kitten before we started. I really wanted the interview, mostly because I spent all day getting lost on back roads trying to find the engineering anomaly that passes for Mr. Scott's house, so I obliged and am now the proud owner of one inbred cat.

Things that I left out were his frequent bunny trails and the occasional shooting at the neighbors dogs. All in all I found him to be a crank, but a friendly one. He offered me a Pepsi numerous times in spite of me telling him I liked Coke better. To which he would reply, “Oh, sorry, I forgot.”



1.You seem a bit pensive at times. Why do you think that comes out in your writing?

CS: Uh, because to write one must think, ponder, you know, ruminate. I have been wired in such a way that makes me see the funny in the sad and the sad in the funny. Most people only see one or the other. I have ambidextrous thought patterns. It doesn't hurt to see everything through the lens of absurdity.

2.How long have you been writing?

CS: Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in front of a 13” Philco black and white tv with my crayons, paper and a glass of milk. I think that would have been 1969, so I have been writing since I was three. I have good penmanship. Do you want a Pepsi?

3.Why do you write?

CS: If I did not write I would literally explode. No, I would puke up random words strung together in unintelligible sentences. Come to think of it, it would look like my Facebook, or blog.

4.One reading your blog would assume that you don't believe in editing. Do you ever edit?

CS: As little as possible. Can't be bored with the details. Jack Kerouac wrote his novel, On the Road on a continuous roll of paper. Imagine the conversation at the publisher's office the day that arrived. Somehow my little grammar and punctuation mistakes seem dim when compared to a friggin roll of novel.


5.Can you define your writing process?

CS: I try to steal away as little time as possible to hone my craft, and I think it shows. Usually I have an idea and go with it. This faux interview was an idea that I had about fifteen minutes ago. I thunk it and just started writing. I probably wont edit this one either.


Interviewer: One last question. What are you working on right now.

CS: I am writing a novel that involves absurdity, buffoonery, and time travel with a bit of mental illness thrown in.

Interviewer: Sound interesting. When should we expect to see it in bookstores.

CS: Somewhere between when I finish writing it and finding a liquored up publisher.

Interviewer: Thank you for your time.

CS: My pleasure. Do you want a Pepsi?

Five Questions with Chuck Scott

*Some days I have lots of time to daydream. This is a result of my daydreaming of being a published novelist/essayist/blogger of great renown. Bertrand Russell once said, "The megalomaniac differs from the narcissist by the fact that he wishes to be powerful rather than charming, and seeks to be feared rather than loved. To this type belong many lunatics and most of the great men of history."

I don't know, I think that I would like to be charming too.

In this megalomaniacal thread of thought I am being interviewed by some writer from Redbook, or maybe O magazine. I can't remember, though I don't really think that I would be on Oprah's Book of the Month reading list.

I think I will start the degaussed video now. ****

Interviewer: I recently had the chance to talk to Chuck Scott, author of, “Broken Stuff and Things” at his trailer on stilts by the river. When I got there I found him eating a banana while staring at the water. I asked him what he was thinking about and his reply was, “Nothin.”

As we sat down in his kitchen to start the interview he made me promise to take a kitten before we started. I really wanted the interview, mostly because I spent all day getting lost on back roads trying to find the engineering anomaly that passes for Mr. Scott's house, so I obliged and am now the proud owner of one inbred cat.

Things that I left out were his frequent bunny trails and the occasional shooting at the neighbors dogs. All in all I found him to be a crank, but a friendly one. He offered me a Pepsi numerous times in spite of me telling him I liked Coke better. To which he would reply, “Oh, sorry, I forgot.”



1.You seem a bit pensive at times. Why do you think that comes out in your writing?

CS: Uh, because to write one must think, ponder, you know, ruminate. I have been wired in such a way that makes me see the funny in the sad and the sad in the funny. Most people only see one or the other. I have ambidextrous thought patterns. It doesn't hurt to see everything through the lens of absurdity.

2.How long have you been writing?

CS: Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in front of a 13” Philco black and white tv with my crayons, paper and a glass of milk. I think that would have been 1969, so I have been writing since I was three. I have good penmanship. Do you want a Pepsi?

3.Why do you write?

CS: If I did not write I would literally explode. No, I would puke up random words strung together in unintelligible sentences. Come to think of it, it would look like my Facebook, or blog.

4.One reading your blog would assume that you don't believe in editing. Do you ever edit?

CS: As little as possible. Can't be bored with the details. Jack Kerouac wrote his novel, On the Road on a continuous roll of paper. Imagine the conversation at the publisher's office the day that arrived. Somehow my little grammar and punctuation mistakes seem dim when compared to a friggin roll of novel.


5.Can you define your writing process?

CS: I try to steal away as little time as possible to hone my craft, and I think it shows. Usually I have an idea and go with it. This faux interview was an idea that I had about fifteen minutes ago. I thunk it and just started writing. I probably wont edit this one either.


Interviewer: One last question. What are you working on right now.

CS: I am writing a novel that involves absurdity, buffoonery, and time travel with a bit of mental illness thrown in.

Interviewer: Sound interesting. When should we expect to see it in bookstores.

CS: Somewhere between when I finish writing it and finding a liquored up publisher.

Interviewer: Thank you for your time.

CS: My pleasure. Do you want a Pepsi?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

10 Things I Noticed While Shopping at Walmart

It is inevitable, if you are middle class, lower class or no class, you are going to shop at Walmart. Sure, you could be a snob and shop at Target (pronounce tarjay in france) but if you live in the midwest, the south, or if you currently live in or have lived in a trailer park you are forced to shop at the House of Walton. Face it, it's cheap, convenient and dare I say again, cheap.

I will make a confession that I would have denied just minutes ago. I find myself at Walmart many times during the week. This usually involves walking through the store as my wife does the serious shopping. In my boredom I have had time to notice some things about Walmart and marketing outside the obvious tube top and price signs.

Now, keep in mind, I notice lots of things all the time. Most of the time I keep it to myself which explains my laughing out loud (LOL for those under 30) while walking around....anywhere. I am easily amused and people amuse me. I say all that to say that I could keep a running list of observations from Walmart alone. That list would be infinite if I were to add Starbucks, any grocery store and Home Depot. So, to keep this list at a acceptable readable length I have narrowed my list to Walmart (works with the title of this article) and only 10 (again, working with the title)

10. Socks at Walmart come resealable packaging. Do socks have a shelf life that warrants a resealable bag? I am not too sure what to do with the bag. Do I keep it to store my unused socks?

9. Great Value branding of everything. O.K. , most everything. I remember a day when you could find more name brand items at Walmart. Now some marketing genius thinks he has to remind me on every aisle that I am getting a “great value”. To said savant I say this: I am shopping at Walmart because I have a genetic predisposition towards being a tightwad. I would not be at Walmart otherwise.

8.I am pretty sure that all Walmart customers are NASCAR loving, American Chopper watching, Dickies wearing lemmings. This is not by choice, but by suggestion. I am pretty sure that Walmart is paid by the companies for exclusive rights to sell their wares. Think I am nuts? Have you ever seen NASCAR at Target?

7. Am I the only one offended by Pepsi's recent Throwback campaign? They have the audacity to use “Made with Real Sugar” and “Limited Time Only” as selling points. Alas, they will be forced by economics to replace the real sugar with high fructose corn syrup and water from the Ganges.

6. Miley Cyrus has way too much merchandise.

5. The “If this restroom is dirty,” switch doesn't really work. I tested this one day. I flipped the switch and stood by the T.V.'s waiting for someone to show up and clean it. I was there for 20 minutes and nobody showed. I think the switch is still on.

4. All the “Rollback” clothing is the size of a two man tent. This would be cool if I were a hip hop dancer, but I am not. It would be equally cool if I were a size requiring a two man tent sized shirt.
3. There is a lot of rotting fruits and vegetables in places where you wouldn't expect to find rotting fruit and vegetables. One time I noticed fruit flies hovering around a garment rack. “This is odd,” I thought. I looked under the rack and saw a rotting peach with a couple of bites taken out of it. I am still unsure as to when the bites occurred. Thinking about it makes me queasey.

2. No matter what time of day it is there are never more than four cash registers open. This can be overcome if you have a child with you to send over to the bank to get free Dixie cups full of popcorn.

1. All Walmart greeters are robots. They move just like any Disney robot I have ever seen. Don't believe me, go to Disneyland and check out the Lincoln robot. Same mannerisms. I am sure it is on Youtube. Check it out. I have a little test for you. The next time you go to Walmart pay attention to how the greeter greets you. Then walk down the aisle along the end of the registers to the exit/entrance and walk around to the exit/entrance you just went through moments before. Not only will you hear the exact same greeting you will notice by the glazed over expression on the greeters face that they did not remember that you just came through. One day I had some time to kill so I walked the big exit entrance circle twenty times. They are robots I tell you!


There you have it. Like I said, I have many more observations. But I have bored you enough for now.

10 Things I Noticed While Shopping at Walmart

It is inevitable, if you are middle class, lower class or no class, you are going to shop at Walmart. Sure, you could be a snob and shop at Target (pronounce tarjay in france) but if you live in the midwest, the south, or if you currently live in or have lived in a trailer park you are forced to shop at the House of Walton. Face it, it's cheap, convenient and dare I say again, cheap.

I will make a confession that I would have denied just minutes ago. I find myself at Walmart many times during the week. This usually involves walking through the store as my wife does the serious shopping. In my boredom I have had time to notice some things about Walmart and marketing outside the obvious tube top and price signs.

Now, keep in mind, I notice lots of things all the time. Most of the time I keep it to myself which explains my laughing out loud (LOL for those under 30) while walking around....anywhere. I am easily amused and people amuse me. I say all that to say that I could keep a running list of observations from Walmart alone. That list would be infinite if I were to add Starbucks, any grocery store and Home Depot. So, to keep this list at a acceptable readable length I have narrowed my list to Walmart (works with the title of this article) and only 10 (again, working with the title)

10. Socks at Walmart come resealable packaging. Do socks have a shelf life that warrants a resealable bag? I am not too sure what to do with the bag. Do I keep it to store my unused socks?

9. Great Value branding of everything. O.K. , most everything. I remember a day when you could find more name brand items at Walmart. Now some marketing genius thinks he has to remind me on every aisle that I am getting a “great value”. To said savant I say this: I am shopping at Walmart because I have a genetic predisposition towards being a tightwad. I would not be at Walmart otherwise.

8.I am pretty sure that all Walmart customers are NASCAR loving, American Chopper watching, Dickies wearing lemmings. This is not by choice, but by suggestion. I am pretty sure that Walmart is paid by the companies for exclusive rights to sell their wares. Think I am nuts? Have you ever seen NASCAR at Target?

7. Am I the only one offended by Pepsi's recent Throwback campaign? They have the audacity to use “Made with Real Sugar” and “Limited Time Only” as selling points. Alas, they will be forced by economics to replace the real sugar with high fructose corn syrup and water from the Ganges.

6. Miley Cyrus has way too much merchandise.

5. The “If this restroom is dirty,” switch doesn't really work. I tested this one day. I flipped the switch and stood by the T.V.'s waiting for someone to show up and clean it. I was there for 20 minutes and nobody showed. I think the switch is still on.

4. All the “Rollback” clothing is the size of a two man tent. This would be cool if I were a hip hop dancer, but I am not. It would be equally cool if I were a size requiring a two man tent sized shirt.
3. There is a lot of rotting fruits and vegetables in places where you wouldn't expect to find rotting fruit and vegetables. One time I noticed fruit flies hovering around a garment rack. “This is odd,” I thought. I looked under the rack and saw a rotting peach with a couple of bites taken out of it. I am still unsure as to when the bites occurred. Thinking about it makes me queasey.

2. No matter what time of day it is there are never more than four cash registers open. This can be overcome if you have a child with you to send over to the bank to get free Dixie cups full of popcorn.

1. All Walmart greeters are robots. They move just like any Disney robot I have ever seen. Don't believe me, go to Disneyland and check out the Lincoln robot. Same mannerisms. I am sure it is on Youtube. Check it out. I have a little test for you. The next time you go to Walmart pay attention to how the greeter greets you. Then walk down the aisle along the end of the registers to the exit/entrance and walk around to the exit/entrance you just went through moments before. Not only will you hear the exact same greeting you will notice by the glazed over expression on the greeters face that they did not remember that you just came through. One day I had some time to kill so I walked the big exit entrance circle twenty times. They are robots I tell you!


There you have it. Like I said, I have many more observations. But I have bored you enough for now.