Stories, Poems and Other Stuff...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My First Car
(Or, Am I Really That Small?)

In 1984 I was 18 years old, living in Southern Indiana with my dad. I had only been there for a little over a year. My dad, originally from that region, moved back there shortly after leaving me outside San Diego, to live in a tent.. –He had done this sort of thing before. Before leaving me in San Diego he left me, my brother and friend in Ensenada, Mexico for a few weeks with nothing more than a case of Squirt soda, a small bit of food, two bottles of tequila and forty dollars to get more food…..five miles away, without a car! I was in need of a change and stability and called my mom and step dad if I could move back with them in Massachusetts. In a couple of days I was on a plane to Boston to a life of relative safety and comfort.

I had only been there for a couple of weeks when my step dad got me a job as a security guard at the now defunct Wang Labs, his employer. What could go wrong?

It was an unarmed position. In retrospect this was a good thing for two reasons: 1. It only paid minimum wage (under $5.00 per hour)   2. At that time in my life I had a bit of an anger problem, the kind that does not mix well with firearms. However, I did have a really cool two way radio and a five pound Detex clock. The latter is a precursor to a man purse with absolutely no marsupial qualities. It did have a paper tape with pre-printed times on it. As a security guard I would walk around a certain route where there were little Detex boxes at specific locations with Detex keys in them. I would take the key, insert it in the clock and turn it to make an impression on the paper tape, thus giving them printed proof that I made the rounds and that everything was safe.

My only goals for this job were to stay awake and earn enough money to buy a car. Coffee and the Detex clock ensured that I would stay awake. Borrowing my mom’s 1980 Dodge Aspen kept me on the savings path.

I had worked for three months and was able to save a thousand dollars, more than enough money to buy a car back then. I found a few cars that I could afford, but didn’t like. I found a Pinto. Not wanting to die a fiery death I passed on that gem—another was a sweet late sixty’s Impala that I drove thirty miles to see only to find out it didn’t have an engine. What I bought was a Maroon, 1976, Chevy Cogsworth Vega. It had a five speed, aluminum engine block and an aftermarket forty watt Craig stereo system. (I blew the speakers out the second day I owned the car blasting Black Flag’s My War) Alas, it was to be a short love affair with General Motors Engineers hurried, cocaine and booze filled answer to produce a sports car known as the Vega. Its namesake, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, didn’t have an effect on this car. 
At the time I thought it was a good car.

The first two weeks I owned the car had a dramatic effect on my weak time management skills. In that time I was late for work at least six times. I had just finished a meeting with my supervisor at the end of my shift, which ended with him giving me my last warning before being fired. So, being the responsible man boy, I went home and did what anyone in my shoes would do: Get ready to go out for the night.

That night I went to a show in or near Boston. I think it was Jerry’s Kids, Gang Green or some band like that. I knew that I would be home late, but working second shift meant that I could sleep until one or two in the afternoon with plenty of time to make it to work at 4.

I got home late as planned, went straight to bed and to sleep. I dreamt of whatever disturbing stuff that eighteen year olds dream of. That night we had an unusual round of thunderstorms that  woke me for only a minute. The transformer behind our house took a hit from a bolt of lightning, knocking out our power and my alarm clock. I do remember hearing an explosion and the later repair crews, but I figured that it was part of my dream and went back to sleep until 4:30pm.

I roll out of bed, head upstairs, start making coffee and hear the front door open. It’s my mom coming home from work. “Early day,” I ask.

“Nope. You not working today?”

Not realizing that she hadn’t come home early I replied, “Getting ready now.”

“Hmm, late start?”

“Why would she ask that?” I thought to myself.

I turned around to look at the only battery operated clock in the house…. 4:45!

“I’m late!”

I rushed downstairs, grabbed the nearest uniform off the floor (the one from the day before, complete with cucumber sauce stains from my Gyro dinner) getting dressed as I ran out the door yelling to my mom, “I may be home early!”

I looked at my watch. It was 4:50. Normally my commute was ten minutes. Of course there is always the traffic issue that plagues Boston and places close to Boston. I could make it there and only be an hour late. Surely my boss would understand and not fire me.

I am flying down the road. My bright and shining star is running great, Henry Rollins is screaming fuzzy nothings over the speakers; I think about love, maybe hate. No, definitely hate. I am thinking about possible excuses for my tardiness, not really paying attention.I am on auto pilot.

I had taken this route on Boston Road in Billerica many times. I coming up to a McDonald’s on my left. I say that the corner is a blind corner, when in actuality it is a pretty straight road at this point. There wasn’t a center turn lane and a few of my friends had accidents that involved rear-ending someone trying to turn left into McDonald’s.

I saw a couple of friends eating outside and yelled a testosterone fueled greeting, “Hey pussies!”

I look forward in just enough time to hit my brakes and suddenly heard the sound of screeching tires (mine) and metal hitting metal at forty five miles an hour. I slammed into the back of a full size Caprice station wagon, wedging my grill and hood underneath his back bumper. I also hit my head on the steering wheel, cutting my head right at my widow’s peak.  

I looked up, sort of dazed and saw the back of the Caprice. It was a rolling billboard for Jesus.

Jesus Loves You!

God Is My Co-Pilot

Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend

In Case Of Rapture, This Car Will Be Unmanned

And so on…

As I collected my thoughts and searched for a cigarette, Uber Christian tapped on my window, “Hey little buddy, you okay?”

First of all, pal, at 5’ 6” and 115lbs, I am not little! And secondly, when did we become friends?

As I got out of my car I noticed that Uber Christian was tall. Like 6’ 3” freakishly tall!

Maybe I am little…..

The conversation that followed was between me, Uber Christian and my friends.

UC: Are you okay?

Me: Yeah, I’m fine.

Friend #1: Hey Charlie, nice driving Mario! Ha!

Me: Shut up douche!

UC: You have a cut on your head (he lays a hand on my head) Father God….

Friend#2: Hey Charlie, doesn’t look like you’re going to burn in Hell now!

Me: Again, shut up douche! (pulling away from Uber Christian) and get your hands off me dick!

UC: In Jesus name, Amen.

This went on for a few more minute, ending with me telling Uber Christian that if he didn’t stop preaching at me I was going to jump up and hit him in the jaw. To which friend #2 yelled, “I don’t think you can jump that high!”

Maybe I am short….

The cops finally showed up, took all our information and called a tow truck. The wrecked shining star became a faded memory of its old self in my mom and step dads back yard, eventually being sold for scrap while I was in the Army fighting the Cold War.

There are a few things I learned from this episode in my life:

1    1.  Vegas aren’t really that cool.
2    2.   A car accident is a good excuse if you are not habitually tardy.
3    3.    I need to pick better friends.
      
      And I may indeed be small.




My First Car
(Or, Am I Really That Small?)

In 1984 I was 18 years old, living in Southern Indiana with my dad. I had only been there for a little over a year. My dad, originally from that region, moved back there shortly after leaving me outside San Diego, to live in a tent.. –He had done this sort of thing before. Before leaving me in San Diego he left me, my brother and friend in Ensenada, Mexico for a few weeks with nothing more than a case of Squirt soda, a small bit of food, two bottles of tequila and forty dollars to get more food…..five miles away, without a car! I was in need of a change and stability and called my mom and step dad if I could move back with them in Massachusetts. In a couple of days I was on a plane to Boston to a life of relative safety and comfort.

I had only been there for a couple of weeks when my step dad got me a job as a security guard at the now defunct Wang Labs, his employer. What could go wrong?

It was an unarmed position. In retrospect this was a good thing for two reasons: 1. It only paid minimum wage (under $5.00 per hour)   2. At that time in my life I had a bit of an anger problem, the kind that does not mix well with firearms. However, I did have a really cool two way radio and a five pound Detex clock. The latter is a precursor to a man purse with absolutely no marsupial qualities. It did have a paper tape with pre-printed times on it. As a security guard I would walk around a certain route where there were little Detex boxes at specific locations with Detex keys in them. I would take the key, insert it in the clock and turn it to make an impression on the paper tape, thus giving them printed proof that I made the rounds and that everything was safe.

My only goals for this job were to stay awake and earn enough money to buy a car. Coffee and the Detex clock ensured that I would stay awake. Borrowing my mom’s 1980 Dodge Aspen kept me on the savings path.

I had worked for three months and was able to save a thousand dollars, more than enough money to buy a car back then. I found a few cars that I could afford, but didn’t like. I found a Pinto. Not wanting to die a fiery death I passed on that gem—another was a sweet late sixty’s Impala that I drove thirty miles to see only to find out it didn’t have an engine. What I bought was a Maroon, 1976, Chevy Cogsworth Vega. It had a five speed, aluminum engine block and an aftermarket forty watt Craig stereo system. (I blew the speakers out the second day I owned the car blasting Black Flag’s My War) Alas, it was to be a short love affair with General Motors Engineers hurried, cocaine and booze filled answer to produce a sports car known as the Vega. Its namesake, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, didn’t have an effect on this car. 
At the time I thought it was a good car.

The first two weeks I owned the car had a dramatic effect on my weak time management skills. In that time I was late for work at least six times. I had just finished a meeting with my supervisor at the end of my shift, which ended with him giving me my last warning before being fired. So, being the responsible man boy, I went home and did what anyone in my shoes would do: Get ready to go out for the night.

That night I went to a show in or near Boston. I think it was Jerry’s Kids, Gang Green or some band like that. I knew that I would be home late, but working second shift meant that I could sleep until one or two in the afternoon with plenty of time to make it to work at 4.

I got home late as planned, went straight to bed and to sleep. I dreamt of whatever disturbing stuff that eighteen year olds dream of. That night we had an unusual round of thunderstorms that  woke me for only a minute. The transformer behind our house took a hit from a bolt of lightning, knocking out our power and my alarm clock. I do remember hearing an explosion and the later repair crews, but I figured that it was part of my dream and went back to sleep until 4:30pm.

I roll out of bed, head upstairs, start making coffee and hear the front door open. It’s my mom coming home from work. “Early day,” I ask.

“Nope. You not working today?”

Not realizing that she hadn’t come home early I replied, “Getting ready now.”

“Hmm, late start?”

“Why would she ask that?” I thought to myself.

I turned around to look at the only battery operated clock in the house…. 4:45!

“I’m late!”

I rushed downstairs, grabbed the nearest uniform off the floor (the one from the day before, complete with cucumber sauce stains from my Gyro dinner) getting dressed as I ran out the door yelling to my mom, “I may be home early!”

I looked at my watch. It was 4:50. Normally my commute was ten minutes. Of course there is always the traffic issue that plagues Boston and places close to Boston. I could make it there and only be an hour late. Surely my boss would understand and not fire me.

I am flying down the road. My bright and shining star is running great, Henry Rollins is screaming fuzzy nothings over the speakers; I think about love, maybe hate. No, definitely hate. I am thinking about possible excuses for my tardiness, not really paying attention.I am on auto pilot.

I had taken this route on Boston Road in Billerica many times. I coming up to a McDonald’s on my left. I say that the corner is a blind corner, when in actuality it is a pretty straight road at this point. There wasn’t a center turn lane and a few of my friends had accidents that involved rear-ending someone trying to turn left into McDonald’s.

I saw a couple of friends eating outside and yelled a testosterone fueled greeting, “Hey pussies!”

I look forward in just enough time to hit my brakes and suddenly heard the sound of screeching tires (mine) and metal hitting metal at forty five miles an hour. I slammed into the back of a full size Caprice station wagon, wedging my grill and hood underneath his back bumper. I also hit my head on the steering wheel, cutting my head right at my widow’s peak.  

I looked up, sort of dazed and saw the back of the Caprice. It was a rolling billboard for Jesus.

Jesus Loves You!

God Is My Co-Pilot

Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend

In Case Of Rapture, This Car Will Be Unmanned

And so on…

As I collected my thoughts and searched for a cigarette, Uber Christian tapped on my window, “Hey little buddy, you okay?”

First of all, pal, at 5’ 6” and 115lbs, I am not little! And secondly, when did we become friends?

As I got out of my car I noticed that Uber Christian was tall. Like 6’ 3” freakishly tall!

Maybe I am little…..

The conversation that followed was between me, Uber Christian and my friends.

UC: Are you okay?

Me: Yeah, I’m fine.

Friend #1: Hey Charlie, nice driving Mario! Ha!

Me: Shut up douche!

UC: You have a cut on your head (he lays a hand on my head) Father God….

Friend#2: Hey Charlie, doesn’t look like you’re going to burn in Hell now!

Me: Again, shut up douche! (pulling away from Uber Christian) and get your hands off me dick!

UC: In Jesus name, Amen.

This went on for a few more minute, ending with me telling Uber Christian that if he didn’t stop preaching at me I was going to jump up and hit him in the jaw. To which friend #2 yelled, “I don’t think you can jump that high!”

Maybe I am short….

The cops finally showed up, took all our information and called a tow truck. The wrecked shining star became a faded memory of its old self in my mom and step dads back yard, eventually being sold for scrap while I was in the Army fighting the Cold War.

There are a few things I learned from this episode in my life:

1    1.  Vegas aren’t really that cool.
2    2.   A car accident is a good excuse if you are not habitually tardy.
3    3.    I need to pick better friends.
      
      And I may indeed be small.




Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sound Bites


sound bites
for
sound minds......
lonely?
sad?
depressed?
at 4am
watching T.V., 
who isn't?

sound bites 
for 
insomniacs.....
can't sleep?
restless?
anxious?
at 4:30 am
watching T.V.,
who isn't?

-Get over it-
-Go to bed-
Sound Bites


sound bites
for
sound minds......
lonely?
sad?
depressed?
at 4am
watching T.V., 
who isn't?

sound bites 
for 
insomniacs.....
can't sleep?
restless?
anxious?
at 4:30 am
watching T.V.,
who isn't?

-Get over it-
-Go to bed-
Republic Reverie

America,
land of contradiction,
land of two distinctions:
corpulent poor, 
Walmart Superstores....

America,
land of the free,
land of greed and luxury,
hidden slums,
homeless bums....

America,
in God you trust,
spurious religious freedom,
master mammon,
covert avarice....

America,
you feed your needs,
the third world bleeds,
patriotic lemmings,
love (or) leave....
Republic Reverie

America,
land of contradiction,
land of two distinctions:
corpulent poor, 
Walmart Superstores....

America,
land of the free,
land of greed and luxury,
hidden slums,
homeless bums....

America,
in God you trust,
spurious religious freedom,
master mammon,
covert avarice....

America,
you feed your needs,
the third world bleeds,
patriotic lemmings,
love (or) leave....

Wednesday, February 13, 2013



As I watched the State of the Union Address the other day I couldn't help but notice that John Boehner had the most sour face resembling that of a four year old who is not getting their way. A few words of advice for you Mr Boehner:

1. Try a smile once in a while.. You have a look that screams sore loser. 

2. Try and respect the office of the President, and your office for that matter. Nobody likes a sore loser. 

3. Quit trying to undermine the President and actually do something other than complain about the other guy's policy and or leadership. you are not being a very good leader pudding head...

4.  Try shutting up.. My momma used to say, if ya can't say something nice, shut up...

5. Never wear that pink tie again..



Now, with that out of the way, let's get down to business.




"House Speaker John Boehner shot down President Obama’s State of the Union proposal for a minimum wage increase on Wednesday – calling the plan a job killer.
"When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it,” Boehner told reporters Wednesday morning. “At a time when the American people are still asking the question, 'Where are the jobs?' why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?"

Read more:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/boehner-shoots-minimum-wage-hike-article-1.1263163#ixzz2Kprv1y4L









Like everyone else, I want more money. Poor people want more money too, as do teenagers, recent ex-cons and single parents entering the workforce because their spouse decided to leave after 15 years of marriage leaving them to enter the workforce without any real work skills. The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. With the cost of things going up, it is not uncommon for one working for minimum wage to work the better half of an hour for a gallon of milk. The proposed increase to the minimum wage is only a $1.25 per hour increase. Put yourself into a low wage earners shoes and you too can say, "Oh boy! now I can get a couple of cans of tuna!"

Like many politicians, Mr Boehner is woefully out of touch with how the working folk live. My guess, he is worried about having to pay his housekeeper more. Okay, I am not sure if he has a housekeeper, for all I know he farms that out to illegal aliens. 

Taken from the richest.org:

 American politician,businessman and current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives,John Andrew Boehner has a  net worth of $2.7 million as of 2012, dropping from $2.1 million to $1.7 million



It is my guess that John's recent drop in income has him worried who will clean his pool, house or cook his meals. Again, not sure if he has these luxuries, but if I had that much scratch I would, and I would certainly pay them more than $9.00 an hour!


For your stance on this issue, along with many others, and your general nasty disposition I am awarding you with the Political Douche Bag Award.. 









As I watched the State of the Union Address the other day I couldn't help but notice that John Boehner had the most sour face resembling that of a four year old who is not getting their way. A few words of advice for you Mr Boehner:

1. Try a smile once in a while.. You have a look that screams sore loser. 

2. Try and respect the office of the President, and your office for that matter. Nobody likes a sore loser. 

3. Quit trying to undermine the President and actually do something other than complain about the other guy's policy and or leadership. you are not being a very good leader pudding head...

4.  Try shutting up.. My momma used to say, if ya can't say something nice, shut up...

5. Never wear that pink tie again..



Now, with that out of the way, let's get down to business.




"House Speaker John Boehner shot down President Obama’s State of the Union proposal for a minimum wage increase on Wednesday – calling the plan a job killer.
"When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it,” Boehner told reporters Wednesday morning. “At a time when the American people are still asking the question, 'Where are the jobs?' why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?"

Read more:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/boehner-shoots-minimum-wage-hike-article-1.1263163#ixzz2Kprv1y4L









Like everyone else, I want more money. Poor people want more money too, as do teenagers, recent ex-cons and single parents entering the workforce because their spouse decided to leave after 15 years of marriage leaving them to enter the workforce without any real work skills. The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. With the cost of things going up, it is not uncommon for one working for minimum wage to work the better half of an hour for a gallon of milk. The proposed increase to the minimum wage is only a $1.25 per hour increase. Put yourself into a low wage earners shoes and you too can say, "Oh boy! now I can get a couple of cans of tuna!"

Like many politicians, Mr Boehner is woefully out of touch with how the working folk live. My guess, he is worried about having to pay his housekeeper more. Okay, I am not sure if he has a housekeeper, for all I know he farms that out to illegal aliens. 

Taken from the richest.org:

 American politician,businessman and current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives,John Andrew Boehner has a  net worth of $2.7 million as of 2012, dropping from $2.1 million to $1.7 million



It is my guess that John's recent drop in income has him worried who will clean his pool, house or cook his meals. Again, not sure if he has these luxuries, but if I had that much scratch I would, and I would certainly pay them more than $9.00 an hour!


For your stance on this issue, along with many others, and your general nasty disposition I am awarding you with the Political Douche Bag Award.. 







Saturday, January 19, 2013

It's quite a juggling act lately between work, writing and I am sure there should be a third thing here since I have never seen anyone juggle two things, but I am not recalling it at this moment. Give me a sentence or two and something should come to mind.

I have been trying to take some time to read what I consider classics.. which consists of anything by Vonnegut or Bukowski and now I find myself with one more ball in the circus act, Hunter Thompson. I am reading a collection of letters, Fear and Loathing in America, right now, and I must say that I feel a bit of a voyeur. Oh well, nothing I can do about it right now. It may be that mutated American inbreeding that makes me want to subscribe to the National Enquirer and follow ambulances to car wrecks on 435 that keeps me reading these letters. Hey! There's my third ball!

So I plug away on this writing gig thing that ensures that I am still in need of a day job. I have actually been writing with pen and paper and will eventually type it out. There is a method to my madness in this, meaning: In typing my written words I am able to edit on the fly. I have eliminated one of very few, if any, edits in hopes of actually having a finished product ready for self publication, or dare I say, an offer of money, a personal jet, assault weapon and microwave popcorn.---I will supply the microwave---

So off I go, for now, to eat, drink a bit of Jamesons, read and write. I will also do whatever menial task my lovely wife asks of me...


It's quite a juggling act lately between work, writing and I am sure there should be a third thing here since I have never seen anyone juggle two things, but I am not recalling it at this moment. Give me a sentence or two and something should come to mind.

I have been trying to take some time to read what I consider classics.. which consists of anything by Vonnegut or Bukowski and now I find myself with one more ball in the circus act, Hunter Thompson. I am reading a collection of letters, Fear and Loathing in America, right now, and I must say that I feel a bit of a voyeur. Oh well, nothing I can do about it right now. It may be that mutated American inbreeding that makes me want to subscribe to the National Enquirer and follow ambulances to car wrecks on 435 that keeps me reading these letters. Hey! There's my third ball!

So I plug away on this writing gig thing that ensures that I am still in need of a day job. I have actually been writing with pen and paper and will eventually type it out. There is a method to my madness in this, meaning: In typing my written words I am able to edit on the fly. I have eliminated one of very few, if any, edits in hopes of actually having a finished product ready for self publication, or dare I say, an offer of money, a personal jet, assault weapon and microwave popcorn.---I will supply the microwave---

So off I go, for now, to eat, drink a bit of Jamesons, read and write. I will also do whatever menial task my lovely wife asks of me...


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.