Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Rebuttal to the Previous Post (from ELF)

This is a rebuttal to the previous post about the origin of Santa. Speaking on behalf of ELF (Enslaved Labor Force) is Ebenezer Grinchmouse III.

Hi kids. My name is Ebenezer Grinchmouse III. My friends call me. . .hmm, It seems I don't have any friends, but in any case you can call me, Big Brother.
As your big Brother, I look out for you. You can count on me to tell you what to do, when to do it and how much you owe me for that service.

Recently this blog posted a pack of lies about a mythical character called Santa. Santa is corporate entity formed from the merger of the Claus Company (maker of hard to read fine print details) and the Santa consortium (Sissies Against Neighborhood Theater Associations). He does not exist. He is a figurehead used by the Parent Teacher Alliance (PTA) to keep you kids in line. They bribe you with toys in order to make you behave - I think that is a good idea. What I object to is the use of ELFs to make these toys.
ELFs are the enslaved labor forces commonly known as parents. They are forced to work at menial, thankless jobs throughout the year in order to pay for your toys. You think Santa gives these toys away ? Just for the fun of it ? No, money does not grow on trees (not yet at least, genetic research is working on that one). Santa charges 10% per month in interest and colossal late fees And do you know why ? To keep the Parents in line, so they have to keep working in order to keep the toys coming which seems to be the only thing that make you kids happy.
I hope you are happy.
There is a way to change things.
If each one of you kids would go up to your parents and say :
Mom, Dad, I don't want you to work at crummy jobs just so I can have a Transformer Barbie doll. I want you to have a happy life too. So I will give back all my toys and you can get store credit to buy yourself something nice. I will be happy playing with my pet lump of coal.

Do this kids and your parents will love you truly and they will stop trying to buy your love with material objects and Santa Corp. will go out of business and parents will be free.

Thank you and goodnight.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The first Christmas - as it was told to me

Grandpa held us spell bound. Grandpa was old and knew everything - we were young and curious. And there was time to fill before dinner.
"Tell us about Santa, Grandpa" my cousin Jimmy said, "we want to know about Santa."
"Yeah," my sister Betty said, "how did Santa get to be Santa."

Grandpa took a big long breath and started talking. "Santa was a communist but in those days he was called a Spartan - in fact he was king of the Spartans and Attila the Hun was the bully next door. Attila used to call Santa rude names and never let him play in reindeer games. Then one foggy night Santa snuck away and vowed to find the Holy Grail which was located in the Temple of Doom, sitting on the Arc of the Covenant. He took Rudolph Valentino with him because Rudolph had a shiny nose due to his drinking problem - Santa thought some night air might do him good.

They drove their Chevy to the levee but the levee was a LEVI Strauss so they all got new pants. That was when they met the new girl who was not polite so they called her Frosty. But she wanted to come too, so they let her.
Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph saw a star in the sky so they followed it but it turned out to be a Blimp but that was a good thing because this blimp was a blip on the radar screen of God. So God sent an angel to guide them but the angel got lost and they all stopped at Denny''s for a late night snack. And that was where the angel whose name was unknown but he was the littlest angel so he ordered pancakes and he fell in love with the waitress whose name was Hi Dee because that was what her name tag said.
Hi Dee wanted to come with but had to work but the little angel said "I'll work for you." Hi Dee said he was an angel and the angel said I know.
Hi Dee said she needed to get back to her Grandfather's house. "Let's go." said Santa, "Its on our way." But that was when the Latin Queens street gang and dance group stopped them. Their names were Dashboard, Blogger, Danny Boy and Prancer Dancer. Hey, they said, we got a SUV that seats eight, hop in. So they did and it turns out the SUV had GPS so they found the Temple of Doom in no time flat. Dashboard, Blogger and Danny Boy stayed behind to fix the flat.
There was a scarecrow guarding the front door. He told them to watch out for the wicked witch of the Zest who lived in the Temple.
"She has got my friend Dorothy in there - held prisoner in the ruby slippers of doom. You must promise to save her."
So they did and the scarecrow let them in and gave them a dog to show them the way. The dog's name was SoSo but for some strange reason he only answered to ToTo. Toto (sosso) led them through a maze of stores, a place called MAZE Cs. There were clothes stores like ambercrombie and witch, toy stores such as Brats R Us and even a strange store where everything was made of wood (Hickory Forms). They were worn out when they spotted the food court and sat down and got some coffee at Caribou and doughnuts at Donner's Party (a pastry place).
And that was when they ran into Bebe Jesus (pronounced BAYBAY Hey Zeus), who told them that it was his birthday tomorrow and he was having a party and that he had a gift for everybody. If they were Catho Licks they had to go en masse first, before the party.
Santa thought that was a good idea so he decided to get gifts for everybody, too. So he made a list, checked it twice and then he ran into Victoria who had the secret of what to get the naughty people. Luckily for Santa the shopping mall stayed open late and had things like gift certificates and exchange policies. Santa even found something for Attila at Conan's Discount Barbarian store.
But he had to figure out how to get the presents to everyone. So he went to the cell phone kiosk, got himself an iPhone and checked out the home site for PARENTS (national organization of people who have kids) - Parents agreed to help Santa if he would allow them to come with their kids to the mall and have their pictures taken with him.
But the parents took along time to come and Santa got fat from eating doughnuts and old from having to wait a long time and he grew a long beard because the mall would not let him shave.
But he was always happy to see the children because he knew that after they came he could go home. When he got home, he found the bank had foreclosed on him so he had to move to a place where the property values were low. And that place was the north pole.
Dancer Prancer and Frosty got married and moved in with Santa. They had eight kids who won the America's got Talent contest - their act was called the Rain Dears. They were illusionists and their big illusion (with which they closed every show in Vegas with) was pretending that they were making a sleigh fly through the air over the audience. Packages would fall out of the sleigh onto the laps of every kid in the audience. . .

It was at this point, that we were interrupted by our parents who told us it was time to eat dinner. I never did hear the end of the story.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Some Stuff you might not know

The figure on the left is NOT Santa Claus. He is Father Frost, the Russian version of Santa Claus. The little girl with him is his adopted daughter, the snow maiden. I wonder what we the people of the USA would think of Santa having an adopted daughter.

I have to keep this post short - something about a crisis in the house and me having to go to the dollar store to get presents or Walgreens or someplace that is open (Kmart?).

A month ago, I thought I would have my Xmas novel done but depression and the weather have forced me to change my outlook. A new years novel might be happening but I doubt it, not even an Epiphany novel looks realistic - maybe a Super Bowl one ? Or MLK day one.

So bye for now - have a happy and safe Christmas (even if you don't believe in Santa),

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Its a Miracle

Yes, that is right - I have done the necessary steps and I am ready for my initiation into the Reverend-hood. the powers (or lack thereof) shall be bestowed upon me. The skies will open up and I will have greater access to . . . Okay I am getting carried away. But since I will become a reverend I expect some tithing to come my way. All you guys reading this need to give me a tenth of your normal weekly donation to online ministers - so I can keep myself going. But since you don't have to do that until tomorrow I guess you can have this post for free. I think I could go live with a pod cast but that might scare too many people away.
I guess I will have to make some miracles happen for you to believe in me. So here is a list of miracles I will perform:
1) the next governor of Illinois will not go to jail or be taken into custody - I know that is a big one but I have to start somewhere.
2) the Bears will make the playoffs - I mean the Chicago Bears and I mean this year or whenever they start- I have already helped the white sox make the playoffs (did you think they did that on their own)
3) the current president will retire and not be heard from until another Bush is elected president.
(Okay that is not a hard one)
4) American Idol will be interesting this year (another tough one)
5) the Cubs will get sold
6) Most of the current snow will melt this year - I would say all but some joker would save some in his freezer to prove me wrong.
7) Angelina Jolie will not have a child in 2009 - at least not birth another child
8) Jennifer Aniston will pose for some magazine cover
9) I will complete my novel by Jan16 th.
10) Soulsearcher will post on her blog for a week straight (toughest one yet - I don't know if I have enough power to make this happen)
11) Moderate Republicans will make a come back (another tough one )
12) Jesus's image on a potato chip will not sell for more than one dollar on Ebay
13) this post will make sense to someone (really tough one)
14) Someone will tithe me (really big miracle)
15) Burger King will make a commercial that isn't creepy or stupid or both (very tough one)
16) a movie will come out that I go see first run
17) there will be a month next year in which there will be no natural disaters (and Fox News and CNN will run out of material)
18) Some preacher admits this is not the 'End of Days'
And finally the biggest one yet - my library fine will be paid by someone other than me

If any of these miracles happen (and they will ), you are not obliged to change religions, just know that I am out there for you and I can make miracles happen (and for a large fee paid in advance, I will make one happen for you). With the exception of getting your book published.
Let me know what your miracle is.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Nothing Doing

Normally, I do not take cartoons off the internet to use in my blog but this one shows the mood I am in right now. (and it is in color) So buy this guy's cartoons (so I can ease my conscience of its guilt).
I have a couple of hours to write today and I thought I would get back to my novel (at this point it looks like a novella) so naturally I decided to write on my blog instead.
I have been a bit (only a bit ?) on the multiple personality side, these days moving back and forth from this positive, jokey blog which everyone (in my mind) likes to my serious spiritual blog which next to no one reads (thank God). But I have not been getting much writing done - I have my ideas all in a row and ready to go but it is at this point that any and everything in life seems interesting, exciting, and hey you know what I think I will make myself a sausage McMuffin. . . .Yum that was good. Now on to some writing - that is after I finish up writing this little ditty. I have already finished the suduku so it is either watch Jerry Springer or do some novel writing. Hmm I wonder what to do.
Oh well, until next time - call me stuck at 15000 and holding.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

News Frost from Hell

I must be in Hell. And due to all the strange goings on as of late, what with Lin and Soulsearcher and the American voting public (to name a few) doing unbelievable things it is very cold here (-30 degrees wind chill - which is nothing if you are like Sarah Palin and live in Alaska) but for me it is very cold. It has taken me forever to type this due to :
1) chipping the ice off of the computer keyboard.
2) typing with ski gloves on - thank goodness for spell corrector software on Blogger
I thought this was as cold as I have been for quite a while in december but the TV weather guy says no it was this cold in 1989. I don't remember - I guess I block those memories out.
I recieved this email picture from a friend.
Luckily, in this age of GPS, I do not think Santa needs Rudolph to guide his sliegh. At least I hope so because I think I need that coal to keep warm this year.
Hope you are survivng (unless you are like the president-elect and are in Hawaii now - then I wish I was with you),
SO stop doing extra-ordinary things because I need Hell to get back to normal.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

All the Good Ones Are Taken

In the past week, I have created 3 new blogs - 2 are private affairs, members only (sad to say) - and one is for My writing class at the Center (Great place the Center - check it out some time).
In the course of making a new blog, you are asked to name your blog, then check to see if the name is available.
Yes, all the good ones are taken. For instance: my Write place - gone, my write space - gone, Write space - gone, Write place - gone. I almost fell over backward when I found that Our Write Place was available.
Today, I started wondering what certain blogs might look like - you know the ones with the good names that are taken. So I peeked at a few and this is what I found:
(I am leaving out the http:// in the URL) - abandoned since 2000 (not a religious site) - abandoned since 2000 (not much of anything there - I guess it is the blank slate) - abandoned since 2000 after ONE post - I guess she was too heartbroken to continue - abandoned since 2000 (not much there - one post I think) - abandoned since mar 2001 (nothing there but hundreds of people have stopped to look at the profile) - a single entry (abandoned since 2000)

Anyway, let me know if you find anything interesting out there - I am going to try Bush, Obama, and Hillary next.


P.S. is in Norwegian and has not been used since 2001 (The content of which is 2 posts of - this is a test = English translation)
P.P.S. - Barak is unused since 2004, Hillary is unused since 2001, Bush was the most entertaining in a college dorm way.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Some cats don't listen

Franklin emailed this picture of him working at his job (editor & proofreader for tiny California press).
This picture was 7M bytes.
Franklin, love ya, but not everyone has unlimited space in their email.

Breaking news - Hell is freezing again - Soulsearcher has posted on her blog !

I have decided to restart the process of writing my Christmas novel - last night, I wrote 300 words - Yah!! Hell will be frozen over if I get it done on time. Perhaps this is what Franklin is bugging me about - my christmas deadline. Today I decided to go out for a drive - car was inside of a block of ice. I felt like an ice sculptor. Chipping away. I decided to make some Christmas presents this year because I thought it would be more heartfelt but I am not sure if I am going to get them done in time - and no I am not giving copies of my stories out as presents (unless Santa tells me you have been bad). I think I should put up the art (short for artifical) tree soon. Trouble is I have to go to the storage room to get it - if you have ever heard of Fibber Magee's closet then you know what my storage room is like - ready to explode once the door is opened.
I do not remember how I got the tree back in there last year. Oh well, that is all for now.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Some Random Thoughts

Todays Mood is Comfortable in my own shoes.

(Yes, I am using an idea by Cardiogirl.)

Franklin (my sister-in-law's owner) sent his picture via email this morning with the message:
Get out of bed, you lazy human.
I don't mind the early (5:45 cst) message, I don't mind the cat-call, but I do mind the 6.2 M byte picture. Stop sending me pictures that take 10 minutes to come in, Franklin. I do love the pensive pose, though.

The above shoe came from the website. I am more of a sketcher guy than a Chuck Taylor converse guy.

I am glad to see SoulSearcher back to making comments but I am sad to know that she had to say goodbye to her baby girl. I hope you can swing a surprise visit to Calif, SoulSearcher. I hope you had some great times and got some good memories to keep you going. I hope you don't mind me using your web name instead of your real name.

Marlotus took me to a want-to-be art gallery yesterday. They advised her to make limited edition prints so as to make them (the prints) more valuable. I was thinking that I could do the same with my stories. I will print only 1000 copies of my tea story and you the general public will want to buy this (so you can resell it on E-bay later.) I am open to starting bids of a dollar (with increments of ten cents). Better get in on the ground floor - Buy now.

I think that I have finally figured out how to get the writing class to post their work - do it for them. In that vein, I created a new blog (Our Write Place) which can be accessed via want-to-be-writer. All anyone has to do is give me their story, poem and/or critique on bad writing teachers, . . .etc. Is this asking too much ? We shall see. In the meantime, I will post old work that people have given me in hopes that I would make a little book (ala the poetry class - which I never did because it was too much work trying to get enough material.)

The other day Lin wrote about Jon Katz which made me curious as to what is going on with him. Despite getting 10 to 20 emails from his blog per day, I am in the dark (mostly because I do not read the 10 to 20 emails). So I decided to look at his website and see what all the hubbub was about. This is what I came away with:
1) JK is downsizing his farm - getting rid of some animals (which most people were okay with until he had his cows slaughtered ).
2) Some people agree with his decisions, many do not.

I do not pretend to know what is going through his mind but I do not think it was an easy decision for him to make - I think that he loved those cows (maybe he did not). I think that people have a right to voice their outrage in any form they want (so long as it does not harm anyone of course). As a public figure, Mr. Katz should know that anytime you change the percieved product people will be upset. (I was upset when the band Genesis changed singers - I never bought another CD with the new singer (some guy named Phil Collins)).
I think that anyone who eats hamburgers cannot be upset with cows getting slaughtered (where do you think the meat comes from ?) I think that it was rude of Mr. Katz to tell everyone what he was doing - Ignorance is bliss. I think that it was rude of Mr. Katz to expect that people would support his decision blindly. I think it was brave of Lin to express her outrage on her blog. Kudos to you Lin. And finally, I think this is the last I will ever say on the subject - I was surprised to hear Lin say anything bad about Jon Katz - I thought hell had truly frozen over.

I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season full of joy,

Monday, December 15, 2008

I have decided to make this ....

I decided to make this blog, my musings blog where I am not as serious as I am on My Spirit Journeys. So to start with - I am going to put a post on how I have changed this blog and what it will look like. I have changed the face plate and I think that things look good there. I am going to archive all the old posts but I think I need to spruce up the right side of the page. I am not sure how. I could do a lengthy about me thing but I consider myself boring and yet I do have an active imagination so I think I will give it a try.
I also think that I will make the title different - right now 'frankspeak' sounds like something out of '1984' (the novel by George Orwell). I will change it to Positively Frank. I will keep the old site name in case someone has a link to it.
I think I will put in some positive pictures too.
SO that is it for now.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

How to get rid of राईटर's Block

I don't know what to write I thought I would try writing something different:
थे जोय ऑफ़ बीइंग
Somehow I have discovered how to write in Hindi which will allow me to say stuff and not be second guessed by anyone other than those of you who speak hindi and know what it looks like. I think that I have become too self-conscious lately and I have not been able to write because of that but now I feel that I am getting my writing muscles going so I guess that this ploy worked.
I don't know really why I got stuck just that I stopped writng and then I started to second guess myself. Then hours of not writing became days of not writing and then I found myself watching television (gasp). I was at that point that I realized how low I had sunk.
However, all was not lost. I was writing my blog and I was creating a new persona on the internet (something truer to who I really am). It was just that I had hit the wall on my novel and I was stuck at 15,000 words. My great goal now for today is to write up to 20k (today ?) and then I will feel better about life. Right now I doubt that all that is true but I have hope. We will see what comes out of this.
I thank கோட் தட் கேன் ட்ரை.
I hope that I am making sense to you.
Having Writer's block is no joke, but to get rid of it write either nonsense or in a language you don't understand.
Bye for now and
गुड लुक्क,

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Magic Ball
Don't stare at it too long.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

an email I recieved from a world famous author

Dear Frank,

You're a fool. You know that, don't you? Because only a fool would try a stunt as crazy as this. You want to write a 50,000 word novel in one month?! Do you have sawdust in your skull? When there are so many other more useful things you could be doing, like cleaning up the house and yard, taking a correspondence course in Chinese, or contributing your time and effort to a charitable cause? Whatever is possessing you?

Consider the first card of the Tarot deck, titled The Fool. There's this young man traipsing along with a small dog at his heel, toting a bag of his worldly goods on the end of his wooden staff, carrying a flower in his other hand, gazing raptly at the sky—and about to step off a cliff, because he isn't watching his feet. A fool indeed. Does this feel familiar? It should. You're doing much the same thing. What made you ever think you could bat out a bad book like that, let alone write anything readable?

So are you going to give up this folly and focus on reality before you step off the cliff? No? Are you sure? Even though you know you are about to confirm the suspicion of your dubious relatives, several acquaintances, and fewer friends that you never are going to amount to anything more than a dank hill of beans? That you're too damned oink-headed to rise to the level of the very lowest rung of common sense?

Sigh. You're a lost soul. So there's no help for it but to join the lowly company of the other aspect of The Fool. Because the fact is, that Fool is a Dreamer, and it is Dreamers who ultimately make life worthwhile for the unimaginative rest of us. Dreamers consider the wider universe. Dreamers build cathedrals, shape fine sculptures, and yes, generate literature. Dreamers are the artists who provide our rapacious species with some faint evidence of nobility.

So maybe you won't be a successful novelist, or even a good one. At least you are trying. T hat, would you believe, puts you in a rarefied one percent of our kind. Maybe less than that. You aspire to something better than the normal rat race. You may not accomplish much, but it's the attitude that counts. As with mutations: 99% of them are bad and don't survive, but the 1% that are better are responsible for the evolution of species to a more fit state. You know the odds are against you, but who knows? If you don't try, you'll never be sure whether you might, just maybe, possibly, have done it. So you do have to make the effort, or be forever condemned in your own bleary eyes.

Actually, 50,000 words isn't hard. You can write “Damn!” 50,000 times. Oh, you want a readable story! That will be more of a challenge. But you know, it can be done. In my heyday, before my wife's health declined and I took over meals and chores, I routinely wrote 3,000 words a day, taking two days a week off to answer fan mail, and 60,000 words a month was par. Now I try for 1,500 and hope for 2,000. That will do it. If you write that much each day, minimum, and go over some days, you will have your quota in the month. On the 10th of the month of August, 2008, I started writing my Xanth novel Knot Gneiss, about the challenge of a boulder that turns out to be not stone but a huge petrified knot of reverse wood that terrifies anyone who approaches it. Petrified = terrified, get it? And by the 30th I had 35,000 words. That's the same pace. If I can do it in my doddering old age—I'm 74—you can do it in your relative youth.

Of course you need ideas. You can garner them from anywhere. I noticed that our daily newspaper comes in a plastic bag that is knotted. The knot's too tight to undo without a lot of effort, so I just rip it open to get at the goodies inside. It's a nuisance; I wish they'd leave it loose. But I thought, maybe there's this cute delivery girl who has a crush on me, and she ties a love -knot to let me know. Not that at my age I'd know what to do with a real live girl, but it's still a fun fantasy. Okay, there's an idea. I could use it in my fiction. Maybe even in a Pep Talk. The mundane world has provided me with an opening. It will do the same for you, if you're alert.

Here's a secret: fictive text doesn't necessary flow easily. Most of the time it's more like cutting a highway through a mountain. You just have to keep working with your pick, chipping away at the rock, making slow progress. It may not be pretty at first. Prettiness doesn't come until later, at the polishing stage, which is outside your month. You just have to get it done by brute force if necessary. So maybe your ongoing story isn't very original. That's okay, for this. Just get it done. Originality can be more in the eye of the reader than in any objective assessment.

You can make it from a standing start, even from a foolish daydream when you should have been paying attention to the Pep Talk. You will want to try for a bit more quality, of course, and maybe a spot of realism. Garner an Idea, assemble some Characters, find a suitable place to start, and turn them loose in your imagination. Now go home and start your engines!


PIers Anthony is the author of the Xanth series. You can learn more about him and his work by visiting his website.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The first ten things I could think of to be thankful for

These are in order of how they came to me.
1) Thank God, America has voted for a new direction

2) Thank you for falling gas prices (last low price I have seen is 1.69 per gallon)

3) Thank God for Walt's grocery store and their discounted for quick sale stuff

4) Thank God for Connie French for inviting us over for dinner today

5) Thank God for the people who love to write

6) Thank God for providing blogging spots for us cheap people who love to write

7) Thank God for the internet. It was one of the few places where people could speak honestly and where the real truth could come out (not the WordSpeak that TV, radio, newspapers have dumped on us)

8) Thank God Jewel (our first stop) had a stack of today's papers. I did not want to go driving around looking for a newspaper all morning.

9) Thank God for coffee. 'nuff said.

10) Thank God this item list is over.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I found this website amusing

I googled parody and got this website.

Get a first life

The authors assume that anyone taking the time to read that website would be better off doing something else, like having a first life. I had to look at the website twice before I figured that out. Must be Canadian humor.
I think it is run by Canadians.
I find the idea of having a second or third life is much better than just the current first life I am in. The world is full of things built to distract you from your first life (ie, beer, television, iPods,and of course infomercials) Does life get better if you have designer stuff ? Paris Hilton thinks so -( but that is assuming that Paris Hilton thinks). Would I be better off if I lived in Tahiti ? I think so but know I would be bringing all the baggage that is me along so it might not be any better. Where is this essay going - Nowhere - I do not know why you thought it would make sense but perhaps you didn't - in which case you are happy now because NOW you know (by admission from the author) that this makes no sense. And since this piece makes no sense - it reflects how I feel about my first life - so there I guess it does have a point - not a very good one but hey at least I tried. (Isn't that what Hitler said ?)
The older I get, the less enthused I am about trying to change my life - too much work I think - and that is usually enough to keep me from doing whatever it is I thought about doing. When I was young, there was not too much I wanted to keep the same so change was easy. But now, I feel that there just is too much in my life - I don't mind change one thing but the idea of a domino effect is daunting - I think it becomes too much work - so I settle for changing the interior world where change is much less daunting - hard yes - but much less daunting.
So call me -
Daunte ( in ferno)


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Election Results from Bumville

In one of the most uncontested contests of election night, a stunning victory was declared last night for the dark horse candidate. The contest was of course for the mayor of Bumville, a position that up until this year nobody wanted. With the rumors swirling about that Bumville would get an Indian casino, two candidates for mayor appeared from nowhere:
Mr. Smith representing the Blue party   and 
Mr. Jones representing the Red party.
After a long and arduous campaign, in which both candidates were revealed to have been in bed with BIg Oyle, the election finally produced a winner:
Barracks O'Bummer who as previously mentioned was the dark horse candidate simply because he owned a dark horse (actually an unwashed Irish wolfhound).  Mr. O'Bummer was sleeping in his home (the abandoned barracks of the abandoned Nike missile site for which Mr. O'Bummer was named or nicknamed as the case might be) which was also Bumville's only polling place, when he awoke from a drunken stupor, got up and went to the bathroom, flushed the toilet, and went back to bed. 
BUT in actuality, Mr. O'Bummer cast the only vote in the mayoral election and thus became Bumville's newest mayor. In retospect, Mr. O'Bummer thought it was odd that someone gave him reading material as he was entering the bathroom but the quiz on it was something he could do as it featured only one question - choose the new mayor. Mr. O'Bummer stated afterward that he thought it was a contest application and thus filled in his name in the space provided. He finished his business and gave the paper back to the person who had given it to him. Afterwards poll workers noticed that booth number one had a very unpleasant smell to it and as this was the only voting booth in Bumville, someone would have to clean the booth before voting could continue. And since no one wanted to, the election was ended there and Mr. O'Bummer was declared the winner.
In a side note: Mr. O'Bummer's dog (whom he calls his running mate because he is Australian and that means the dog is his buddy whom he runs with) is named Hillary.
Reporting from Bumville - this is CNN (the Cynical News Network)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sheila and the Shaman

Sheila had spent years with hermit-like tribesman of this remote south sea island, and thus was treated as if she belonged. She had washed up on the island after her boat sank, and being an easy going, loving, kind person by nature she had no trouble making the tribesmen her friends.
One day, she got sick and was the custom, her friends took her to see the shaman. He cured her in no time fast and as was her nature, she first became friends with the shaman and then his apprentice.
He had a large assortment of medicines some of which he made from the remains of the dead that washed up on the island. For some reason, a lot of boats and planes crashed nearby the island and there almost never any survivors. Sheila had been the only one to survive in the last ten years. She was considered a good luck gift from the gods. Tribesmen believed if they touched her once a day things would be good and if she touched them things would be great that day.
One day, the shaman told Sheila she could have any one medicine or potion that he had made for free. Normally, the shaman would charge for his potions in jingos depending on how hard it was to make.
A jingo was the local currency and was roughly 'one favor.'
Sheila asked the shaman what was the most expensive potion he had.
“This,” he said thrusting a small vial in her hands. “It is made from the remains of American Cruise Ship passengers. They were what you say 'Republican Conservatives' . It is a heart potion. It opens your heart and you feel the love of the universe. You feel compassion and love for everyone. I charge 1000 jingos for it.”
“Wow,” said Sheila, “is it very strong ?”
“No,” said the shaman, “it is very weak, in fact it is the weakest heart potion I have.”
“Then why is it the most expensive.”
“Because of the work I have to do to find the essence of love and compassion in these people.”

The end – feel free to substitute 'Republican Conservatives' for any other group you might want to slander

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

two more 100 word stories

Two women were talking in an outdoor cafe. They were completely unaware that in two minutes their lives would change drastically but in their defense who of us is aware enough to sense that something important is about to happen.
Pearl, the younger of the two women, took a sip of her coffee.
“EUU” she said. She stared at her coffee.
“What is it ?” asked Maureen.
“I think there’s something in my coffee.” She stuck her finger in the cup which was half-full. She pulled out a diamond ring.
At that moment, the waiter appeared at their table looking flustered.


The car raced down the highway. Inside, a woman was screaming at the driver.
“Where the hell are you taking me ? Do you know who I am ?” she stared at the driver looking for some sort of acknowledgement of her tirade. The driver bent his head down to look at the speedometer, then turned on his turn signal.
“I am your goddamm master.” screamed the woman.
The car screached to halt in front of the St. Mary’s ER entrance. Instantly, a team of interns rushed forward and took the woman away.
“Good dog” said the lead intern to the driver.

What's inside ypu ?

Day three or four (I am losing track) of 1000 words of hell

It is early (for me) morning. I have my faithful cup of coffee and I am ready. For what I do not know, I guess I am ready to face the day, but not this task. I look around for things to write about but sadly there are none. Mere mortals might be stymied but mere mortals do not have the imagination that I have. Sensory depravation means nothing to me - I can go inside and go inside I will. I am careful not to wake my inner sloth, because the lord knows what he won’t do if awoke.
There is a theory of psychology which proposes that we human have inside of us our whole family in symbolic form. Some symbols can be the critic, the boss, the nurturing parent, and so on. My particular inner symbols are, I think, unique and since I have quite a few lines and words left to type into today, I will present a few of the more unusual ones I have.
At this moment in life, I would say my foremost inner symbol is . . . the Sloth. He looks like a cross between my father (in his worst beer guzzling, lazy boy lounging, nap taking days) and the actually animal which hangs from trees. In my symbolic landscape, my inner sloth lays in a hammock sleeping, snoring with a beer can in hand. The beer can is bottomless and thus can be used as a sleep inducing agent should my sloth ever wake up. You would think that a lot of beer drinking would evoke a need for my inner sloth to get up and relieve himself but alas this is a magical landscape inside of me and that need (like the sloth) never arises. Overall, the sloth’s duties include making sure I, the body and soul of me, never do too much. He is pretty much all threat and no action but for some reason I obey his whims. Probably because it doesn’t take much to keep him happy. Just do next to nothing.
The second important symbol within is JavaJoeBean the goddess of coffee. She is much like the greek goddesses of old, in the fact that she is good looking (vain and superficial), fickle (she can be loving as in the warm sweet first cup in the morning or she can be spiteful as in there is no more coffee except the old cold remains of a cup I poured about an hour ago, drank half of and forgot knowing the inner sloth will not allow me to make more coffee or nuke this coffee - she wants to show me who is boss and how low I will go to sate my coffee craving), mercurial (one moment she wants to be noticed, the next she wants to be adored, the next she wants me to beg for more and sometimes (rarely) she (gasp) wants to be left alone), and like Hecate she can be witchy (she certainly has a spell cast on me).
The next inner symbol that comes to mind is Doctor Dreamer, who unlike his name is not a healer, a medical man, a medicine man or a shaman. The Doc is THEE COOL DUDE and has adapted the moniker Doctor to signify how cool he is (ala DR. DRE, Doctor Who, Doctor Spock, Doctor Dementia . . .) - Currently the doctor’s first name (he changes it if the coolness factor of the name wears off) is Chad. I do know know why but that is the way of the Doctor. His two catch-phrases are ‘cool’ and ‘not cool’. That is how he tells me if something is worth pursuing or not. Currently, he thinks that writing 1000 words a day is cool because . . . well do you really have to have a reason ? Isn’t cool just cool ? This is the Tao of the Doctor. Keep on Cooling.
That leads me to the meanest, nastiest inner symbol I have - the TaoMaster. The TaoMaster goes with the flow, is in harmony with the universe, and will do anything to make me that way too, including dirty tricks that would put republicans to shame. The TaoMaster currently is waging a cold war against JavaJoeBean because he wants me to meditate more and not to meditate on coffee or contemplate the mystical nature of coffee or even hesitate to meditate because of my wanting coffee. He maintains that heaven (or nirvana) does not have a coffee machine to which JavaJoeBean scoffs “It does not sound like heaven to me.” Many are the times in which inside of me at the symbolic break room (the door to the symbolic break room reads : Internal Symbols only” in large golden letters and a note below it written in small barely readable print: “Has anyone found a can of beer, bottomless, can be any brand except XX. Contact Inner Sloth at Sleep Research Center, main hammock. P.S. don’t wake me just put can back in my hand. Below that there is another note - Can anyone give me a ride to the brain ? I will be willing to split gas and food costs - It is signed “IDea Man”. Below that there is another note which asks Symbols to please stop posting notes on the breakroom door. It is signed Cleaning Lady from Hell. ) there is a food fight going on - on one side TaoMaster is lobbing day old, moldy pithy sayings which have a way of clinging onto anything somewhat like peanut butter mixed with crazy glue and on the other side, JavaJoeBean has a super soaker bottomless squirt gun filled with double espresso laced coffee. This fight has been lasting for months now, in mornings JavaJoeBean has the advantage and at night TaoMaster rules until the inner sloth makes everyone go to sleep which leaves afternoons as the battle ground. But today is different, today I am actually going into the inner Symbol breakroom and put a stop to this fighting because . . .
The Word Count for today has exceeded 1000 words - and thus that signals the end.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Too much coffee - day 2 of 1000 word challenge

1000 word task Part two - the day after

There is a writer’s website that challenges writer’s to write 1500 words per day and make them make sense and make them part of a continuing story (I am presuming the story is your own). I forget the name of the website (mostly because my brain strives to keep me from trying to do insane things such as the previously mentioned challenge). I was at an open mike night held monthly at a local library when the main speaker (an actual published poet) asked if any one had any questions. One person in the audiance of ten or so, asked if she, the published poet, wrote everyday. She said no. (which was what my inner sloth wanted to hear) But then she said she knew of a website run by a writer’s group that challenged writers to do what I have described in the first sentence of this essay. I promptly wrote down the name of that website and my subconscious decided such knowledge could be dangerous so I washed it in the last load of laundry.
I guess that I could Google ‘writer’s groups’ or ‘1500 word challenge’ but up till now I have resisted the urge. Why ? Because doing anything everyday other than eating or breathing makes that activity seem like work and work takes the fun out of anything, especially what your are working on. I think that writing is fun so I never want to view it as work. But the reality is that my mind wanders so much that if I do not have a schedule or routine I wind up not doing things I want to do. Many are the days (lately) that I have forgotten to eat breakfast and lunch.
I begin to notice this around three or four in the afternoon when I start to run down. A routine that I do have is drinking coffee.
I know that should cut down to about three pots a day but I can’t especially in this modern day world where there are two coffee shops per mile, coffee shops in bookstores, and even coffeeshops in department stores/malls . I feel like a heroin addict in a poppyfield. I have to have my fix.
I am not the trendy, new age type of coffee snob. I drink black coffee, no sugar, no cream, no sweet ‘n low, no alcohol, and no shots of espresso. I drank black coffee back in the days when it was fifty cents a cup and the cup was bottomless. (and gas was under a buck a gallon). I don’t think that Starbucks or Dunkin Doughnuts coffee is better coffee than that brewed at home. I drink coffee hot, luke-warm (is there such a thing as Matthew-warm, Mark-warm or John-warm ?) or cold. I drink cowboy coffee (grounds included in the cup), over-brewed coffee (thats been sitting there all day), and instant coffee. I even will drink Decaf. I got to have my fix.
I once had a friend who tried to help me go cold turkey on my coffee habit. She said that an herbal tea called Mate (accent over the e, pronounced Mah-tay) cuts the craving for caffeine. What she did not know was that I do not have a caffeine addiction, I have a COFFEE addiction. She locked me in a room with nothing but pillows and that foul hebal brew and waited as I went through my withdrawal. It was not a pretty site.
I raved and I craved. I even tried to drink the herbal stuff but like a kid who was promised candy and given vegetables (not good vegetables either, icky ones like creamed spinach and turnips) I spit it out immediately. I cursed, I pleaded, I rolled on the floor in agony. I felt like my head was going to explode (and that was all in the first two minutes). I ranted, and I began to see things (I saw cups of ghostly coffee floating in the room but like king Tantalus, I was not able to reach them). I cried. I felt myself turning into an animal (an aardvark I think). I blacked out.
When I came to I found myself in an unearthly place, room filled with brilliant white light and sweet harp music. There was a beautiful woman dressed in white, she had wings and radiant yellow hair.
“Welcome.” she said without speaking, “I am Javajoebean, the goddess of coffee.” She waved her hand and there appeared a beautiful white table and on that table was an urn made of the finest silver and in that urn was the wake-up drink of the gods - coffee. Somehow I knew all this instantly. “All this is yours.” I was in heaven.
But then I noticed something - something awful - there were no cups. The moment I realized this I knew - I wasn’t in heaven, I was in hell. She laughed a nasty laugh and shouted so loud my ears hurt.
She began to sing: (to the tune of NO TIME LEFT FOR YOU by the Guess Who)
No more Coffee for you, no more coffee for you .You got got got no coffee, no coffee, no coffee. No coffee for you who who who (repeated over and over again)
I fell onto the floor in an uncontrollable spasm, my stomach felt as if I was gut-punched. Something alien was inside of it trying to break its way out. It was my inner sloth. He poked his head through and told the goddess to turn down the music, some people are trying to sleep here, gosh darn it. (Editor’s note: the last three words before this editor’s note have been edited to make this story PG (politically good) The truth is that what the sloth really said made the goddess’s ears burn and eyes cry and mouth hang open in a combination of horror and surprise that a sloth could speak such words or even speak at all or even be awake). At that moment, I blacked out.
I woke up in bed alone drenched in sweat. There was a note pinned to the pillow. It said:
You have finished typing 1000 words today.
The END.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Daily Task - part one

One Thousand Silly Words

I thought that I would take up the challenge of National Blog Month (to write everyday in my blog) but I am lazy and slow so it has taken me up until now to get started. This might be a blessing though because I was in a negative mood up until a few days ago. I have Lin Kautz to thank for getting me out of my lazy negative mood. Thank you Lin.
I have decided to write a thousand words each day on my blog. A thousand words may seem like a lot but it is only a lot if you use big words and if you are trying to make sense. I am not used to doing either so I figure that it will be a breeze - less than 45 minutes worth of labor per day. Using the 30 words per minute rule and the mandatory 2 coffee breaks plus potty break, I figure that I can do this task in one 1 hour slice of the day. I f I try to do this two slices, say one in the morning and one at the stroke of midnight, I think each segment will be about 45 minutes long ang I do not want to drink coffee at midnight so I will try for one segment.
All of which is the details on my task at hand but it is also something intolerable (for the reader at least) - it is boring. So how do I make this article worthy of reading ? Actually, worthy of reading is a little on the high side of expectations, perhaps, a better goal would be to make this piece not god-awful-puke-enducing-gut-rendering bad. It may be tough but I think I can do it. I have wriiten over three hundred words at this moment. And I have not had a coffee break (since there was none in the pot and I am too lazy to make more). Thus I have not had to take a potty break either - but since my mind is not used to focusing on a single task for more than 12 minutes, I have had to bring myself back to writing this piece from - PAINTING. That’s right - I was painting - not the walls but a frame that I wanted to use in Bev’s next show. The last frame I painted is now gone - sold to some drunken woman who thought it looked so cool (the piece of Bev’s art that was in the frame is what she was refering to) but the idea is that the frame was made to look unabtrusive (indistnct, not taking away from the painting) and that was accomplished. Never once did the woman mention how (wonderful, awful, boring, sick, colorful, or sensational) the frame was. Mission accomplished!
But I need to get my thoughts and focus back onto this impossible task of writng 1000 words. Actually, I don’t need to get my focus back here because it rarely ever is here. And I still seem to be typing these words. I am thinking of what to write next and that is never a good sign when the article is only half-done. I blame that upon my getting my focus back here. If I was thinking about writing a story I would be thinking of that story and not how many words I have written. How horrible to think that I will try to do this everyday for at least a month. Yes, I am already thinking of reasons why I should not do this ever again and then I am thinking of reasons why I should stop this attempt and maybe, just maybe start again tomorrow when I will be in a much better mood to think clearly and type better and the sun will be shining and life will be wonderful - but then reality comes into play - I will have to be in two places tomorrow - one in the afternoon and one in the evening and I will have to be in a place tonight so this idea really will be a challenge.
I also have to prepare for my class on wednesday and I have to prepare for thing on Sunday - something about classes in the winter - I also have to go to a reiki share on Sunday. Hey, who filled in my calendar ? Suddenly, Bev appears and begins planning tomorrow and suddenly I realize who filled in my calendar, me. Why would I do such thing, make me so busy ?
I think that I do not plan ahead and I think that I say yes far too often for my work ethic (which is virtually unmeasurable at least by the human eye). By saying yes, I agree to do something and doing something always makes my inner sloth roll over in its sleep. My inner sloth might be pissed at me but I will not know until he wakes up which is almost never. So I am left to follow my whims which leads me to think such horrible thoughts as ‘I think that sounds cool’ which leads me to actual make commitments to other people and then I am trapped (mostly by Bev) into fulfilling those commitments. And then I get tired and put forth a crappy effort which is what this is. So I can make one of two conclusions - one, that I will never do more than two days of this writing one thousand words and two, I am tired already thinking about the stuff I have to do today and the rest of the week.
I have just checked my word count and I have typed in about 945 words (can you believe it ?) There is no way that I am counting these words myself, I am trusting the software of this computer (I click on word count (after I click on writing tools) and it tells me not only how many words I have typed in so far but also how many lines, characters, pages, and paragraphs (none of which I am going to count myself to check on the fallibility of the computer)). But the last check said I was way over 1000 (1035 actually) so I guess I have to finish - gee I was just getting warmed up.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

They haunt me. I don’t understand why or where they come from but they keep coming and everyday there is more. I am talking about stories, ideas that seem to spring to life everytime I start to daydream or stop thinking. And if that is not enough they come to me in my dreams.
If I try to ignore them, they twist themselves around and snake their way into my thoughts. For example, yesterday I have found myself thinking about living in the southwest part of America. Now as soon as I thought that thought, the walls faded, the scenery changed and I see myself as someone else walking in the desert. A lizard peeks its head out from under a rock and a bird lands on top of a cactus. There is a car driving towards me from afar. I know this because I see the dust trail marking its movement. It is someone I know or at least someone I am expecting, a woman whom I’m happy to see.
As she gets out of her car, I see doubt on her face. Before she even speaks I know what she will say, something about why I am here. She means well and cares about me but I know in my heart this is where I am supposed to be. This woman is well dressed and elegant, a long and slender woman with just the right amount of makeup. She could be a TV newswoman or an actress on one of those high fashion shows. I stare into her eyes for a quick quiet moment and her facade fades. She starts beating her fists upon my chest in frustration and I grab her shoulders and pull her into my embrace. She begins to sob uncontrollably, melting into my arms.
The whole scene is surreal to me - I am there and yet I am not there. I feel what this man feels and sees and yet I hear nothing. No words are spoken. And as suddenly as it come to me, this scene fades and I am back in the real world, my wife is asking me something and for a brief moment I am confused and then I know, she is asking if I am ready yet ? I answer yes, a bit on the unsure side about what I am supposed to be ready for and that comes to me - to go to the store - but I am still in shock simply because I retain the memory of being in the desert and I am wondering what to do with it.
“So that’s the why I am here, doc. What can you do for me ?”

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The citizens of Bumville were both surprised, shocked and happy that a woman of Ms. Prudence’s social standing would want to be their vice-mayor. Some wondered if Ms. Prudence even knew where Bumville was located. It must be said that Albertville was located in the rugged, yet posh section of the state, a far cry from the dumpy, yet stinky flatland known as Bumville. (Editor’s note - a far cry is roughly 100 miles away as the crow flies - also the crow flying must be crying and since most crows do not fly in a straight line for more than 100 feet, we really don’t know how far away Albertville is).
In my first interview with Flo Pru (a pet name the media came up with for her), I was shocked and surprised and happy about the extent of Ms. Prudence’s knowledge of Bumville - none. I further shocked and surprised that Ms. Prudence (FloPru to those of us intimate with her) did not even know that she was a vice mayoral candidate of Bumville. This made me happy because you see, this was the kind of shocking scandal that sells newspapers, which also means that as soon as I could type it in, the Nicetown Noisy Shopper ran the article on page one. We sold every newspaper (some twice) we printed that day. It seems the citizens of Nicetown really love to read about how stupid and rotten the people of Bumtown are.
That evening I got a call from the Jones campaign telling me that I had interviewed the wrong Florence Prudence. It seems that I had interviewed Florence Prudence JR and not Florence Prudence, Senior (her mother). It did strike me as odd that a twelve year old was running for vice mayor but I did literally interview FloPru so I told the Jones campaign that I would not print a retraction. I hung up the phone. The next day, while speaking to a congregation at WINES-R-US, candidate Jones accused the news media of having a LITERAL bias. A murmur went through the crowd and I knew things could get ugly because most of crowd was waiting for what they thought was free wine. The flyer that had been printed about this event read like this:
FREE speech at WINES-R-US
of what CANDIDATE JONES stands for.

I knew I to go on the offensive yet remain neutral as it says on page three of the journalist’s handbook - always stay out of the way of the mob unless it is you that is inciting them. If you are being blamed then shift the blame to someone else.
(Editor’s note - it also says the same thing on page three of the Politician’s Handbook). I asked Candidate Jones if it was true that he was going to buy drinks for the entire crowd. Candidate Jones smiled a sly smile and commenced to start a two and a half hour speech with the words: I’m glad you asked that question, young man.
The crowd to a man gave it their best college try to stay awake but since none of them had been to college, this try was not very good. I put my tape recorder on record and I went inside and got myself a good stiff one. I came back out to find that Candidate Jones had put his tape recorder on play and was already enjoying a stiff one. One thing led to another and perhaps another, definitely a fifth and after that it all got blurry.
I awoke to find myself amidst a tangle of arms and legs and torsos and someone’s mouth. I recognized both mayoral candidates, Tawny Knees (a local stripper and schoolteacher), Liddy Gordon (local madam and principal), Florence Prudence senior and junior, and Hoyle Davis (local gas station owner). Hoyle being over three hundred pounds of lazy gas station attendant is credited with inventing self-serve gas.
I took a picture via my cell phone camera, checked my stock portfolio, bought a book online and then filed my story with the paper all without leaving bed. Is there nothing these new phones can’t do ?
The headline read:


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yet another story's start

But for a pretzel, a twisted pretzel, I might have made it. It had to be a soft pretzel too or else I might have passed it by, but of course it was soft and warm and it was giving off an aroma that said bite me, bite me please. Up until that point in my life, I never knew food could talk to me. Or dogs or rocks or even bugs.
My date was laughing at me, at the way I looked I suppose, but being in the middle of this experience I could only guess what I looked like. What I have pieced together from talking to her and a few other friends who were there that night is this: I was normal self and suddenly I was freaking out, eyes bulging in disbelief, mouth wide open going ‘ahahahah ohhh’ and wildly spinning in circles until I fell over asleep. My friend Bob stated loudly to the party that he wanted whatever I just had. Everyone laughed. When no one could wake me up, they put me to bed in the spare bedroom where everyone had dumped their coats. It was an informal party so coats when on the floor and I went on the bed. This was standard operating procedure amongst my friends - whoever passes out gets put to bed until you were the last person standing. If that happened then you were on your own.
Meanwhile, I was having quite a unique experience. I had not passed out - I had stepped completely out of my body. But I think I need to talk a little about how I got into this situation or in reality out of myself. I had not been drinking, although I did have a beer in my hand. I had been gabbing with a few people, doing a mingling thing when I noticed a bizarre crystal sitting on the shelf in the hallway. It looked like a quartz crystal but it was blueish green with flecks of silver, gold, copper and something red imbedded inside. I stood in the hallway gawking at it for at least two minutes, well maybe not exactly two minutes but let’s just say awhile. I heard a soft feminine voice say ‘go ahead and touch it’ and I assumed this was the voice of the hostess. I had never met her but I had heard that she was into some weird stuff and this crystal looked pretty strange. As it turns out, I was not hearing the voice of hostess. If it had been her talking, she would have told me to be careful, to be very careful, because that was no ordinary crystal.
But it wasn’t her talking and I was not very careful because it is my nature to carefree and to throw caution to the wind (whatever that means). I reached out and grabbed the crystal and would have brought it up to my eyes for a closer look, except that the electric jolt I received when I grabbed the crystal made me let go of it almost instantaneously. It was at that point that something amazing happened - I caught the crystal before it hit the ground (or floor).
Granted, there was carpet in the hallway but it was not really plush carpet, just your old basic apartment carpet which means it was thicker than a bare floor but not by much. So it goes without saying that if the crystal was valuable (say antique road show valuable *), it would have broken into several much less valuable pieces and I would have had to either find someone else to take the blame or I would have had to teleport myself to anywhere else in the apartment before someone noticed the Crystal was broken. But I was saved from quick thinking by even quicker action via my left hand. Normally, I would have never been able to catch that stone but for some reason, time seemed to slow down for me. I thought ‘hand catch that thing’ and to my surprise it did. My hand moved so fast that I was able to watch the crystal fall gently into it. I held the crystal in my hand for a few moments more while I battled my disbelief over what had happened. Numbly, I put the stone back onto the shelf where I got it and looked around to see if anyone had seen me touch it. It was then that I remembered the voice that told me to touch it in the first place. Since there was nobody to my left, I assumed that the mystery lady was on my right. I turned and tried to sound cool.
“I’’ll bet you don’t see that everyday.” I said to empty space. I turned completely around, a whole three hundred and sixty degrees. My mouth was open. There was no one there. It was at this point that my mind said ‘dude, she probably went to tell the hostess you touched that rock. You better get into the main party, pronto. And act like nothing happened. Be cool, man.’
I repeated the words to myself as I went into the kitchen. Be cool, nothing happened. I grabbed a beer from the sink and twisted it open.
“Good choice,” said the dog, “hey, can you get me a piece of cheese ?”

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Crazy About Tim

We are the perfect couple. That is what I am thinking, while I am driving, while the tunes are blasting in my head, and while DanE is sleeping next to me. Thank God for ipods.
The rain mists up the window and forces me to turn on the wipers. I wish this was a better car, at least a car with intermittent wipers, then I would not have to keep turning them on and off. I have to do this because the rain is so light, an in-between rain, not heavy enough to keep the wipers going but heavy enough to mist up the windshield every minute or so. On and off. The repetitious routine keeps me from truly sinking into the world of sound as provided by the Moody Blues. I think about how their name is misleading - they never played the 'Blues' and I felt they were never all that moody either. And as far I know, they were never affiliated with the Moody Bible Institute. But they play the perfect type of driving songs for me now, simple meldodies with easy to sing along words. So I listen and I sing to myself.
Ride, ride my seesaw. Just what the hell does that mean ? I don't really know and I don't really care. I am two hours into my turn at driving and I have four hours to go. The night shift, the graveyard shift to be specific. I can do it in my sleep, so to speak - just give me my tunes, my coffee and my road. Ahead lies who knows what but for now I am in a piece of heaven, meditative heaven, there is no one else around save for the occasional truck or two and not many of them either. I am alone with my thoughts, DanE's soft snoring, and my tunes which nicely muffle out most unwanted sounds, i.e. DanE's night noises. I thought young girl's weren't supposed to snore. Another illusion shattered.
I wonder what she is dreaming about or if she is dreaming at all. I am not that type of person. I don't dream. Yet, here I am for some reason driving somewhere west of Omaha, somewhere past midnight, speculating on tomorrow.
The message had been simple : " Hey come get me - Tim'. At least mine was. DanE got a much more involved one, about how he was in Montana (long story), how he had done what he came to do and now needed a ride back home. He told her to check with me and for both of us to come get him. He also left some very vaguse directions on how to find him.
'Drive into Tuba (res. town) and go into the mini-mart and ask for two shoes." that was all he wrote. I tried responding to the email, you know sending replys but nothing - no answer no acknowledgement that the message got thru, no error message, no nothing.
Lighning flashes in front of me, nothing to worry about, it is so far away there is no thunder and it stays in the sky. It is one of numerous flashes I have seen in the last hour. I wonder if I am going to drive into a storm but somehow the lightning stays distant. It is as if it were moving the same speed and path I am taking. I am not worried about it, I just watch. Red flash, blue flash, again and again. The light show of lightning. Somehow that reminds of Tim - he has flashes of brilliance, then he is gone somewhere trying some new way to be healed or perfect or spiritual. To me Tim is perfect but like the lightning in the tonight's sky, he is always distant and no matter how fast I go, I can never get there - there being in Tim's life for more than a few hours.
I should feel threatened by DanE, Tim's latest attempt at a girlfriend but I am not. I have seen about seven DanEs come and go, course they are not all named DanE. Some didn't even have names - goth girl and Elvis girl come to mind but they all had a few things in common - 1) they never ended the relationship, Tim did , 2) They all were different from one another, almost totally, as if Tim decided I am going to date a tall girl to see what that is like and then there was Jenna all six feet two of her (Tim is five ten) or the time Tim decided to date a Black girl and Tina appeared (she was my favorite). Kim was Asian (Japanese-Korean-Chinese mix if you can believe that) and very snotty but not as snotty as Trisha who was Tim's first. He was never in love with her but always fascinated by her. He couldn't believe that anyone would treat people as rudely as she did.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Modest Proposal of very little merit

I hear the cries from the experts - Let our children drink ! And I think not a half bad idea. I propose lowering the drinking age to sixteen (yes 16). I believe that as soon as teens can earn their own beer money, they ought to be spending it. This will be good for the economy (at least the alcohol industry) because we the taxpayers need more people paying the so called 'sin' taxes which are needed to pay for government services like alcohol education programs.
I know what you are thinking, that I must be insane to propose this insanity, but I say Wait - there is a catch. I propose that teenagers wait till they are twenty-one to drive. That's right (21). That way they can have five years of drinking under their belts before they get behind a wheel. Most underage drinking is done on a campus where there is no need for cars. This way kids can have sweet sixteen parties, get drunk and only puke in the bushes instead of driving the car into the bushes and then puking. This also helps out all the cool parents who let kids drink. The world needs more cool parents. This way the cops can ticket or pull over anyone that looks young and check their IDs. This plan also helps conserve fuel and makes sure that teenagers stay off the road and in the house drinking.
I am not sure what is wrong with this plan but I am sure you will let me know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lazerus and the Anti-Bob Vila

Yes, I am back from the dead and yes I probably mis-spelled the title character's name. I have been slaving away at making art creations look okay for the past two weeks. And yes, it nearly killed me but now I am back from the writing dead. I have been released from the zombie-like existence of not writing creatively. I have the anti-christ (I mean the anti-Bob Vila) to thank for it.
I was watching the Olympics, closing ceremonies, when a commercial or two came on. Doing what most people do, I changed the channel. And there HE was the Anti-BOB VILA god - Ty Pennington.
You may wonder why I think Mr. Pennington is the Anti-BOB so I will explain. First of all, Bob Vila is christlike because he helps others help themselves. He showed the way to home improvement.
Ty Pennington is the opposite. He says: I'll do it for you because you'll never get it right and you'll never have the means to do it yourself. You are hopeless and you need ME - Ty Pennington, the anti-Bob. Worship me and I will give you thiings like a new house. Everyone knows you need material things to make you happy.
Yes, Ty Pennington is the great deciever.
I also know I am weak. If Ty came to my humble doorstep and said You need a new house to help you write. I will give you one. I probably would accept but I know in my heart I don't need a new house to write - I need something to spur me into action, something like the gospel according to the anti-BOB ( the Ty Pennington show). So I thank Ty Pennington for bringing back from the unwriting dead.
Now I have to go watch rhythm gymnastics (I have it taped).

Friday, August 15, 2008

The artful Dodger

I don't know if he is playing games or naturally shy, either way he is good at it. He is a hummingbird, one of three that come to our hummingbird feeder (it works !) on a daily basis. He is not shy really, just camera shy. Each of the hummingbirds had to scope things out before they dove in to the plastic flowers which contain a sugar water solution. I accept this as the natural order of their instinct. Humbert the first was no exception, slowly exploring the four flowers until he was satisfied that there was no danger. He is all business but you can get a shot of him if you are quick enough. Hummesina too was shy but now has accepted the camera as part of the package - she even poses now in several angles after every feeding.
And then there is the artful dodger - he was the first on the scene and the last one everyday right before twilight. He makes a great spectacle entrance, smacking his lips (I know birds don't have lips but that is what it sounds like) to let you know he is there. Then the game begins. He waits for you to fumble for the camera, he waits until he hears the whirr of the auto-focus then he darts behind the feeder. If you move to the left or the right to get a better angle, he adjusts also, keeping the feeder between you and him. If he sense you have given up by putting the camera down, he will come around the feeder and taunt you by smacking his lips and posing all around the various windchimes and prayer sticks and of course the feeder. He will do this until he hears the whirr of the auto focus and then he will dart away to his safe house in the bush (in which of course he is virtually invisible). This is where he will stay until he hears me say "He's gone." At this point, he does one of two things depending on whois trying to photograph him. If it is me, he will stay away because he knows I am wily and could be trying to trick him. If it is my wife, he comes as soon as he hears her put on the lens cap on the camera. Click. Appear. Unclick. Gone.
One saturday, he did this dance with my wife for tens minutes straight. I had to interfene at that point as she was about to throw the camera at him. This was hard for me to do because I was rolling on the floor up to that point. laughing.
So there is no picture I can post of this little one because he has lived up to his name. Still I wonder why he does it - perhaps for my own amusement. I enjoy teasers from the natural world, it seems like they are playing. My wife however does not enjoy the joke as much as me. I wonder why.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Spiritual Reatlessness

He does this routine everyday, except of course when it is raining. He is a wasp and he has been trying to build something (a nest?) in my wind chimes. The chimes are hollow tubes of metal with a pleasant blue and silver design on them. The wasp keeps bringing strips of dead weeds, as much as he can carry, to the chimes. He takes his cargo into hollow center of any of the metal tubes, places it there and leaves to go get another strip of dead weed. While he is gone, the weed he left behind falls out the bottom, slowly and steadily. By the time the wasp returns, it is gone. This does not dissuade the wasp. He keeps flying back and forth with more and more dead weeds. I am the one that has to get rid of the pile (a very small pile) that lies on the deck below the chimes each morning. The wasp is not consistent in which metal tube he flies into, usually choosing one seemingly at random out of the six that are present. Occasionally the wasp comes back with no weeds and goes into a tube to inspect his work. It is then that he re-emerges distraught because there is nothing to show for his effort. He flies away angry but usually comes back carrying a dead weed.

I am feeling a restlessness right now, a spiritual restlessness, which causes me to wonder if anything I am doing has any meaning. Am I, like my friend the wasp, going about my day, doing what I think is important without a clue. Am I as unaware as the wasp ? When I do notice that nothing has been built, am I the same as the wasp ? Do I just go back and do the same things again, even though I notice nothing is getting done ?

I don't have any answers. I keep looking at the wasp hoping he might give me a clue but I don't have one yet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Death of the Guru

For the past week or so I have have been struggling to read a book about the death of Carlos Castaneda. He died in 1998. The book I just read was published in 2003. You might wonder why there was a gap of five years but I think I know why. I believe that it took the author five (four?) years to recover from her experiences with the cult activities of Mr. Castaneda's 'sorcery ' group. The author describes her years associated with this group in painful anecdotes full of cultish mind control and mixed messages. I had scanned the book when it first came out and was shocked by its content. The author claimed to have sex with Carlos (many times) and claimed that he had sex with countless women. I could not believe it. Not Carlos, the spiritual heir to the mythic Don Juan Mateus - the man who said celibacy was the key to obtaining the energy needed to break the veil of this life.
For me, the message was hard to bear because I had read all the Carlos Castaneda books and they touched me. (At least the first four did. The fifth book I found weird and strange mainly because Don Juan was not in it.) After a period of ten or so years, Carlos began writing about Don Juan again. These three books had Don Juan in them and revealed other aspects about his time with Carlos. They were not as good as the first four but they were helpful to me. i was going through a period of change and unsettledness at that time and those books helped give me something to hang onto, an anchor of sorts. Something to believe in.
Then the last set of Carlos books came out in the '90s. They were beyond strange and they were meaningless (to me). I had wondered why I felt that way. Now reading this book, the Sorcerer's Apprentice by Amy Wallace, I knew why. Carlos had strayed from his path with heart and fell headlong into debauchery. Without anyone to guide him, he began forming a cult of groupies around him. I guess that is the temptation of all leaders.
Strangely enough reading this book stirred up a bunch of emotions inside of me (some that had been lying dormant for years). I had considered myself cult material once because I felt that there was nothing for me in the 'ordinary woorld'. I wanted to run away, I wanted somebody to take care of me. I wanted to belong, I wanted to learn the secret knowledge, whatever that was.
I don't think of myself that way anymore. I have discovered that one has to love oneself before looking for that love in the world. Like attracts like. Love attracts love.
I want to thank the author of that book for her brave recount of the goings on that she admits she fell into. She helped me with my own recapitulation of my guru, Carlos. Thanks I want to say, I needed that.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Day 14 - Conections with Bacon

I am watching the news when a report comes that scientists at Microsoft have theorized that everyone is connected to everyone in this world in less than 7 degrees. The easiest way to think about this is to remember the hubbub about all actors being 7 degrees removed from Kevin Bacon.
Another example might go like this - I have an aunt Jane who went to Vegas and sat next to a Japanese man at a black jack Table. This Japanese man has a brother who lives in Seattle whose wife knows via an internet chat room a woman in Texas who once educated a man named George Bush. So I have a connection to the president. (This is just an example).
What the example means is that What I do in the current moment has the ability to affect the world (through varying degrees). Thus, if this theory is correct, our greatest power is in the current moment and the choices we make. So if you want to change the world, change yourself. Sooner or later it will get to Kevin Bacon and then everybody changes (at least in the acting world). And the world of entertainment affects us all, so thus the world changes.
Now if I can just figure out how to heal Brittney, world hunger might go away.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Day something - Does it really Matter ?

No the title of this installment does not reflect my feeling down - it does reflect the notion that I have lost track of what day this is and does that really matter? What really matters is that I am doing something and that is what I intend to do. Something. I just wont know what that something is until I have done it. Sort of like last thursday.
On that day, we went to the Vogt art Center to pick up Bev's various masterpieces. Before we went in, we saw someone familiar just in front of us. It was Sharon from my writing class. We then decided not to pick up Bev's great art, instaed we would show Sharon the whole exhibit. And that meant we would have to come back tomorrow. Which for some reason felt like the right thing to do.
So on Friday, we went back to the gallery. On our way, a fire truck with sirens blaring past us. As with the case of most exciting things that pass by us, Beverly wanted to chase it. So we did not because I am driving and I want to get this over with. However, as we pull up to the Vogt art center, we could not help but notice all the fire trucks and police cars with their lights flashing. No, it was not the Center that was on fire but an apartment building a block further away. I went into the Center, which allowed Bev to investigate. It turned out that we knew some people who lived in that apartment building. Their apartment was not burned or damaged but they had to wait for the fire and police to let them back into the building.
And Bev spent a lot of time talking to them - time I spent taking down the paintings and packing them up - for some reason I can go much faster by myself. Julie and Bev came back into the center just as I finished but no that does not mean we were ready to go. What did happen is that Julie's phone rang and some people were coming to bring in some art - fabric art - aand they could not figure how to get there because all the police and fire trucks were blocking the roads.
It turns out that one of these people was a minor celebrity - Harry Porterfield (Someone You Should Know) - his wife had some very good looking pieces of fabric art to hang in the next show at Vogt. Strangely enough, Harry was a man of few words - his wife did most of the talking. Perhaps, that is not so strange.
But the real point of the matter is that IF we had taken our pictures down on Thursday, we would not have had our little adventure on Friday - So Yes it does matter what choices you make but sometimes the best choices are not the most logical. I am hoping to get this done soon so I guess I will quit here.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day 10 - Rolling alomg down the road

Perhaps, it was the craziness of the last few nights or perhaps I am just insane. Yesterday, in a fit of madness or delusional thinking, I purchased some roller blades. We were at a thrift store, killing time till Vogt art center opened. There they were on the back shelf, hidden up high, calling my name. I told myself they would not fit, but they did. I told myself there must be something wrong with them, but there was nothing wrong. So I bought them and now I am finding out the perils of these wheeled boots from heck. You see going downhill is a breeze except when you realize that you have to get back up said hill. It is at that point that I realize I do not know how to skate very well aand I barely know how to stop. Since I think that helmets are for sissies, this might be the lasat time you here from me.
Visit me in the hospital and take turns feeding me soup, pull the plug if I am too much trouble.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Day 8 and 9 - regression

Yesterday, on day 8, I became very involved with organizing my files (stories and essays) and I found an old piece of art (?) that I was going to put in the original booklet. I still like it so I made it the heading on the Want-to-be-writer blog. I also got a lot of organizing done but I found that I ran out of time so I did not post anything on the blog (here).
That is my excuse for yessterday and now I am dealing with today's stuff - more later.
And now - this is later. I am sitting in the sauna (otherwise known as the kitchen otherwise kown as my workspace). I have a lot of garbage goiong on in my head - even more than normal (which is a lot) The past couple of days I decided to put a couple of books I got from the library to use. Actually, they are not books but a CD and A DVD. The DVD is about Reiki attunements and how to do them. This is nothing new for me but for some reason I decided to extend the attunement beyond the seven main chakras (on myself of course). My theory being if I can survive this then maybe I will try it again (and become a supeer-person of course). So I used the attumement technique on my 8th, 9th, and 10th chaakras (they are all located above the head). I had to stop at the 10 th because it opened up something and I began to 'see' non-ordinary stuff (ordinary stuff being the things you might see in a normal day such as trees, cars, people. . . etc) (non-ordinary stuff can be auras, energy bodies, messages from your highter self, and of course angels) Needless to say, this makes for unexpected awareness and makes doing ordinary stuff nearly impossible. But luckily I did this at night and eventually I fell asleep. The last two nights I have been trying to use the CD which is a past life regression with angels (with Doreen Virtue doing the guiding meditation). That was even worse - I must have taken a wrong turn on my regression bccause I went somewhere scary. But I felt something release so it must have been worth it. So I decided to do it again last night - and this was much better. I asked to see if I knew Beverly in any other past lifes and I saw at least three major ones. One in which we were childhood buddies, one in which our current roles were reversed (Bev=man, Frank=woman), and one in which we were similiar to how we are now. There also was flashes from several other lifetimes, so I guess Bev and I have a history together . You would think we would have learned our lessons by now.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day 7 - the Blahs are attacking (and winning)

There comes a time in every creative process where the thrill of making something gives way to the what-hell-am-I-doing thoughts and when that happens - the creative process enters the dreaded BLAH region of the soul. I am currently there. Yesterday, I decided to be a good christian and take a day off. It was after all, the day of the weekend when we are supposed to take some time off and reflect upon ourselves and what is the meaning of it all. I, however do that everyday so I decided to just take time off. I watched baseball (Sox, I think) but was so bored I went on the internet and that was boring so I decided to go for a walk. That was pretty good but the great insight I got out of it was that I was out of shape. How did this happen, I thought, as I reached for my candy bars to snack on. Still I was bored, so I decided to go to the store and get some more cheap back to school stuff. So I went to Staples and bought 2 pencil boxes (limit 2) at a penny each. Yes, I stood in line feeling stupid giving the clerk a nickel and holding my hand out for the change. I guess Staples figured no one would do this but they have not counted on me. I might go there today to get two more. Sale is this whole week. Then I went to Walgreen's and bought some little memo pads at 8 for a dollar (limit 16). (and two candy bars). That whole experience left me breathless, so I went back home and ate dinner. I sat on the couch and watched TV but anything over 4 minutes long tends to bore me. So I went back to the internet and there was nothing but boring things there AND WORST OF ALL - there were no new posts by any of us fledgling writers - so now I was totally bored.
I went to sleep bored and I woke up bored. I logged on to the computer hoping for some good news but there was none - just boring news. Now I am writing this and I had the blahs to start but now I do not.
so the moral of the story is - WRITING CURES THE BLAHS. 
I do not know how it does it but it does. At least for me. Today. At least until I stop writing.
Later Writers and Writerettes,

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 5 - Feedback

When I started to write this little daily blog - a whole five days ago - I thought I would have instant feedback. So I wrote Day one and waited. Nothing happened. In retrospect, that was a key aspect to this daily blogging. Not doing it for others - but I must admit that when I started doing this daily thing, I was looking for it. After two days, I quit looking and decided to write whatever came to mind.
Now on day five I find there is some feedback. And I must admit that I enjoyed reading it. So that brings me to another awareness - I write to brighten MY day but if I can brighten someone else's then that is icing on the cake (chocolate Icing). I desire to write stories that help people and also to help them cope with this experience we call life. (at the very least by making someone laugh or the very, very least making someone feel that there is someone else out there who is striving to find one's voice.)
I thank you, for your feedback but I warn you that I am not doing this to curry your favor. I am doing this to prove to myself that I can do this writing on my own. And feel good about it - This is the real key for me. TO FEEL GOOD
So Far So Good,

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day 4 - The Write Stuff

I am reading the book "Sound of Paper" by Julia Cameron. I have gotten about ten pages into it and I have two opinions about it so far.
1) It is not very well written - the chapters are amazingly short (1 to 3) pages long and barely seem to relate to the exercises at the end of each chapter. The foreword seems to have no point at all.
2) This book does not seem to be a happy book or even a blah book. To me, it has a melancholy feel to it. A lingering sadness. As if something has been lost or diminished.
That being said I feel that some of the exercise might be useful but I wonder how I might write such a book. I think that the first thing I would do is try to figure out what this book's purpose is.
How is it different from say the Artist's Way. What new ideas does it add ?
At this point, I realize that I have given up on this particular book - the sound of paper - because the sounds coming from my mouth are yawns. The idea of a book dedicated to writing using the Artist Way principles sounded exciting to me, but the reality of the book, its feel and tone, are underwhelming. I think that I need to design my own program on writing and I need to life it.
------So the number one principle is - Write everyday. Currently, for me, this means I will write online first and then I will write on my own computer next (my own stories). The writing online right now is about my writing life - which may or may not help you the reader in your writing life - you get to choose. Either way - I hope you will let me know what you think . I enclose my email address for your convenience .

Keep Writing,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 3 - Second Thoughts (at least I think so)

I was sitting listening to Bev reading her essay on an ideal place to live. She was talking about living out in the West (which really means west of the great plains - mont. wyom. colo. ariz. and n.mex.). The first thought that came to my mind was one has to live where one is at. Sort of a Zen thing. Then I thought what if Bev is right. What if I really would rather live in the West? This thought led to other second thoughts which led me to think (or rethink) about me doing counselling. Is there still an itch to do that ? I listened to as not one but two people in the writing group last night talked about getting into counselling. The first thought that came up was - maybe this is a sign that I should try counselling again.
The second thought was quite the reverse. I thought about what attracted me to Psychology in the first place - finding answers to me and my problems. I was thrilled that someone had found out that the things I encountered in growing up can affect one's behavior later in life. I grew up in a semi-alcoholic house. I say semi- because my father for a stretch of a few years drank heavily. Then he stopped with no interventions, 12 steps or antibuse. He just stopped (the heavy drinking - beer stayed). Unfortunately, for me, the years he drank heavily were my teenage years plus one. By the time I was 21, he was done drinking - I was an adult and I had no desire for fatherly advice anymore. But I kept my issues, that is, until I went back to college and discovered through psych classes that I had issues. Of course, like most rational adults, I did not think that these issues were all that bad.
But now I was pondering a return to counselling and something came to my mind - the fact that I am now much happier now than I have ever been in my entire life. I weighed this happiness against how I felt when counselling people and I discovered something important to me. My father showed me the answer - all those year ago - when he solved his drinking problem - all healing is self-healing.
I have healed myself (and my issues) not by focusing on what was wrong but by acting on what is positive (for me). I feel I am on a path with heart and I feel that this path for now involves writing, not counselling. So I guess I can say: On second thought, I will continue being positive and writing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day Two - Special Little Gifts

Today I am focusing on enjoying some of the things that I acquired last week. We have moved into that part of the retailers calendar called Pre-Back to School Sales. In the pre-back to school sale time, one can acquire all kinds of writing materials for very little money. I do not have a school get list, so I can pick and choose whatever I want. The unfortunate part is one has to get to the store in the first two hours of the sale or the teaser item is gone. I found that out in two places - WalMart (5 cent 70 page notebooks) and Walgreens (5 cent mini-note pads).
It seems that stores are trying to entice you, the shopper, to do all your school shopping in one place. So they get you there by having an item or two for outrageously low prices. I bought 20 paper file folders for a penny each (Office Depot) and 20 70 page notebboks for 10 cents each at Walts grocery store, (my big splurge). I got 5 mechanical pencils for a penny each at Walgreens and I got filler paper for a quarter each (Staples) - I am still waiting for Target's sale to get pens and perhaps more notebooks.
The point is that these little sales came at a time when I decided to things -1) to face life with a positive attitiude and 2) dedicate myself to writing the stuff that is in my heart.
When I made these two steps, the 'real' world came out with its little sales and I take that as a sign that the universe supoprts me and is giving me little gifts as a token of good will.
I say thank you world - I will accept them. Now if you will excuse me I am going to use my 25 cent crayons to do a little drawing.

About Me

I am a crabby old man who hates everything
I am a tiny wonderer in a large world
I am a young hippie tree-hugger
I am a mid-life crisis disaster area.
I am an attitude of stillness waiting for a wind.
I have not decided yet.