Friday, November 7, 2008

Game Show Ideas for the Sophomoric and Twisted

Game Show Ideas for the Sophomoric and Twisted

I’ve always been disappointed in most game shows for not going quite far enough with the exception of the Fear Factor and let’s face it, I’m just not that amused watching people eating spider eggs by the spoonful. So here is my hurriedly concocted roughed out ideas for game shows.

Pick the Bitch
We bring in couples that have been dating a minimum of one year, a selection of their friends, and a few strangers. We reveal to one of member of the couple that the other is cheating on him or her. The person that has been cheated on, then must pick from a lineup of the friends and strangers the one that their significant other has been fooling around with. Every time they miss on a guess the prize money goes down. For fun and added drama, every once in a while we’ll bring in a couple that has been totally faithful to each other. If they figure out that their partner has been completely faithful to them before they get to the pick-the-bitch stage they get all the money.

How classic would that be? Everyone once in a while a couple that was doing perfectly fine and was perfectly faithful to one another would be brought in and invariably one would go through the entire lineup guessing which one her man was cheating with, only to go through the entire lineup and find out that her man, indeed had been faithful, but since she failed at guessing early that he was faithful and went through the entire lineup unsuccessfully guessing who he was sleeping with, the couple gets sent home with no prize money and a delicious feeling of mistrust and betrayal anyways. I predict high ratings for this one.

How Much is That Doggie in the Blender?

We get a gigantic blender and put someone’s beloved pet in it. Every time the contestant incorrectly answers a trivia question the speed on the blender goes up one notch at a time. If the person successfully gets to the end of the questioning stage and their pet is still alive, then one final stage is left. They can keep their prize money and keep their pet alive or they can exchange their prize money for what is in the briefcase, but if they take the briefcase, the blender activates to puree speed. One final, kick in the nuts, would be that there is a 50/50 chance the briefcase contains $100,000 or more dollars in cash or it has some completely useless prize in it like bellybutton lint from Ernest Borgnine or maybe a commemorative teaspoon from some Grand Canyon tourist stop.

Would you Rather Think of the Newlywed game mixed with Fear Factor. The spouse has to decide what her partner would rather have done to them.
“Mrs. Smegma, do you think your husband would rather be caned, forced to eat maggots, or use his testicle to set off a mouse trap?”

Then the husband would get a chance to pick one for the wife and if he deemed that she picked the worst possible trial for him, then he could either take the high road and give her the easy task or go tit for tat. “Mr. Smegma, do you think your wife would rather shred ten pounds of lettuce with a carrot peeler, eat a pint of Haagen Daas, or be urinated on by seven randomly chosen hobos? What’s that? You are picking the hobos? Excellent choice!”

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Current Playlist

How is it I've made it to the ripe age of 38 and this is the first time I've ever actually listened to this song?

The Asshole Song sung by George Jones

Well I was drivin' down I-95 the other night
Somebody nearly cut me right off the road
I decided it wasn't gonna do any good to get mad
So I wrote a song about him instead
It goes like this...

Were you born an asshole?
Or did you work at it your whole life?
Either way it worked out fine
'cause you're an asshole tonight

Yes you're an A S S H O L E...
And don't you try to blame it on me
You deserve all the credit
You're an asshole tonight

You were an asshole yesterday
You're an asshole tonight
And I've got a feelin'
you'll be an asshole the rest of your life

And I was talkin' to your mother
just the other night
I told her I thought you were an asshole
She said, "Yes. I think you're right."

And all your friends are assholes
'cause you've known them your whole life
And somebody told me
you've got an asshole for a wife

Were you born an asshole?
Or did you work at it your whole life?
Either way it worked out fine
'cause you're an aaaass...hole tonight

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Well, I don't know. Been a lot of turmoil lately. I'm hoping instead of hitting the floor and getting the wind knocked out of me this time that I can just bounce back up, stronger and with more momentum. Spent a few hours puking yesterday. It wasn't from a cold either. It was from stress. That would be a new one on me. That's about what I need these days. Get an ulcer from dealing with more crap than I should have to. Definitely have to toggle my mindset onto a different setting here. Maybe just start forgetting about the house and put more energy into working out and other activities that allow release before I end up a total mess.

Isn't life just a great adventure? I know most of these last few entries don't make much sense, but sometimes it helps to chuck it all down on "paper" so to speak.

I'll be all right.

That sounded confident didn't it? lol

Right now I just want to work out. That's a good sign. Let's see if I still feel that way after adding another 7 hours to the hour and a half I've already worked.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More mental drippings.

Just how fucked am I still from all that has gone on? Will I ever know the release of being in an absolutely good place ever again? Will I ever be able to relax and say, “This is as it should be.” Will I ever be able to take a deep breath and exhale slowly, luxuriating in the good thoughts, effortlessly relaxing in a cloud of fulfillment?

Or is all that I have been through just waiting around the corner. Waiting to end me. Waiting to take from me everything I have held dear since I was old enough to know what I wanted out of life? Is the monster under the bed of the unknown just sleeping, waiting for me to relax and smile so he can jump on me. Claw me. Rend me flesh from bone. Tear my insides. Laugh at me as the drips of my shattered reality fall from it’s wet lips and jagged teeth.

I don’t know. Never will know until it is too late. And this time, too late may be fatal.

It’s hard for me to accept that no one has paid for what was done to me. What I have gone through…am going through…someone should have been made to pay. Someone should have to hurt for it. But I have better things to do. And someone will pay…in this life or the next. Not by my hand. I am above it. Because I am above it. I win.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Seminar writing.

I've been writing four days a week with my seminar students this year. Not much of anything has come out of it yet though. After absolutely slogging through writing anything at all last week, this fell out today. I'd want to hack at it a little more and I'm not sure it "works" but it's the first thing I've written in weeks that felt even a little worthwhile so I thought I would post it.

Filling jars of emotion and putting them on the shelf.
Why do I save them?
Am I going to use them later like canned tomatoes?
Am I being cruel to them?
Caging them like goldfish in a tiny bowl where they swirl round and round never going anywhere or accomplishing anything.
What should I do with these many mixed emotions.
Should I let them have their run?
If I let them free would they hurt anyone?
If I let them free would they stay with me?
Can I choose which emotions to jar and shelve, or does the very fact of doing so
deaden all my emotions a little at a time.
Caging sorrow, caging remorse, caging self-pity, caging grief, caging distrust, caging rage…can I get rid of those and still enjoy the full pith and height of joy, happiness, and love?

Little neatly labeled jars of emotion. Sealed. Dated. Sit on my shelf.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Iron Industry Museum Field Trip


Iron Industry Museum Field Trip

I'm here to absorb
not record.

I'm here to see
not observe.

I'm here to feel
not memorize.

I glance again at the scavenger hunt the professor gave me and crumple it up into my briefcase. We have a very short time here and I'll be damned if I'll use it trying to take notes on minutiae. Who gives a shit about facts and timelines? I'm more interested in the photos on the walls and the life sized cut outs made from the photos that stand all around me. Look at the faces of those men and women. Different backgrounds and customs, but all their faces show a pioneer determination. Those faces...that's where the stories are. The determination runs through them like it's in their like the ore dust that collects in the very stitchholes of their clothes and the pores of their skin.

I see a display of actual iron ore. I rub one of the ore chunks with my fingers lightly and marvel at how that little bit of contact results in such a mess. The dust is so impossibly fine and trying to rub it away only spreads it more and more.

I stick my whole hand in and rub it back and forth to cover my whole palm and all my fingers in the silky red dust. It feels cool to the touch even here inside the climate controlled museum. My handkerchief doesn't wipe it away. The action only succeeds in pressing the particles deep into the lines and callouses of my hands. The cloth of the handkerchief actually polished the dust to a metallic shine. My hand looks like it's made of red metal.

If I had a larger pile of ore and a shovel I would scoop and scoop until a huge red dust cloud rose around me like blood fog. I'd feel it in my eyes, breathe it into my nose, and taste it in my mouth. I would feel it clinging to my sweating limbs as my muscles ached and labored.

Then I would learn something.

Monday, June 30, 2008


--This is another draft of the "Thus Begins the Writing Project" post on June 18th. I like this version much better.


Alone in his room he sits. Feet on the floor. Arm's on the rests. Eyes straight ahead. Breathing shallow. In his room he contemplates. Out of the corner of his eyes he sees the blackness that grease-like seeps in through the crevices of his life. Piling up as it oozes from the niches before it tumbles over under the pressure of the increasing dark pushing in behind it.

The piles grow and cascade, grow and cascade as more and more advances inward. Calmly, in his chair the chill warmth of the blackness slowly pools around him then climbs, enveloping his legs and the legs of his chair. Absorbing the pain of wanting to run away. Growing warmer from the anguish.

Unmoving he is increasingly submerged in the ebony. Thinking his thoughts. Being his nothing. He remains seated. The blackness swallows his lap as the magma flow continues. Urges long gone. Extinguished, denied, or unfulfilled.

It laps the armrests. Licks his fingertips. Morasses of regret of things that have slipped through his hands. Regrets of those left untouched. Eyes open. More blackness, less light. It's inexorable. Unblinking, he sits.

It consumes his abdomen and gnaws its way up his chest. The heartaches. The forlornness. The unpatchable cracks. The cavities. It feeds. It caresses. It comforts in its seductive way. It is legion.

It has found its way around him this amniotic dark. How long before it finds its way into
him? Where it will stay. Where it will live until he dies and when they bury him, his carcass will feed it so it can wait, hibernate, and fester until it finds its next host.

He can no longer tell if the ooze is still rising around him or if he is submerging into it. It laps his chin. He wonders briefly if he should stand. It kisses his lips.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mystery pt II


Mystery part II

Okay, so Mystery wasn't here when I got home from the writing institute on Thursday. I figured he either moved on or he went back home. Suddenly on Sunday he was back in the yard. This time he had a collar on him. One of those electric fence collars that are supposed to keep a dog in a yard.

So now what do I do? He obviously doesn't want to be at his real home. He obviously wants to be here. It was one thing to believe this dog had all that matted fur, worms, and was beat up because he had spent an inordinate amount of time wandering in the woods. Now he has a collar. That means he has an owner and probably one nearby.

What owner would let his dog debilitate into the condition this dog was in? Why does this dog choose to be here even if it means fighting his way through an electric fence to get here if he was being treated appropriately at home.

Do I find the owner and ask him if I can have his dog? Do I call the Humane Society?

Questions, questions.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Children's Story

--This is one of those quickwrites again. Somehow in ten minutes I had to work a hedgehog, a can coolie, and a....well we'll see if you can figure out the third object I had to include by the time you finish the story.

Buddha the Cute Little Hedgehog

Buddha the cute little hedgehog was not deserving of his namesake. He was crabby and violent and not at all a calm and happy sort of hedgehog. Buddha was never happy. Esmerelda the Eagle would say, “Hi Buddha!” every morning and Buddha would just harrumph. Sammy the Shrew, would say, “Good morning, Buddha.” and Buddha harrumphed. Sally the Squirrel would say, “Good day, Buddha.” and Buddha just harrump, hump, humphed.

Eventually the other animals got tired of Buddha's unmannerly manners and surly sassiness. They all met in Esmerelda's tree for a meeting to decide what to do bout Buddha's bad attitude.

“Maybe he's just hungry? I don't feel very nice when I'm too hungry.” said Sammy.

“Maybe he's not sleeping well? I get crabby when I don't sleep.” said Sally.

“Maybe he's too cold. I hate being cold, too.” said Esmerelda

So they all decided to do what they could do to try to make Buddha happy.

Sammy brought Buddha a meal fit for a king and the next day, Buddha harump, hump, humphed all day long.

The next day Sally brought Buddha some wonderful down she found from an old pillow hoping it would help Buddha get some rest. The next day Buddha harump, hump, humphed all day long.

Esmerelda brought Buddha an old can coolie and pecked out armholes and a neckhole for Buddha so he could wear it like a shirt. The next day Buddha still harump, hump, humphed all day long.

But the next day, came and something wonderful happened. A cute little boy was walking through the woods. His eyes lit up when he saw what he thought was just the cutest little hedgehog he had ever seen. Then the little boy raised his 30-30 rifle and blew the living hell out of Buddha. There was nothing left of Buddha except a few tufts of bloody fur.

When the boy walked away whistling, Sammy, Sally, and Esmerelda came out of hiding and danced around the pieces of Buddha's still warm corpse and proceeded to live happily ever after.

The moral of the story: Just because you are cute, doesn't mean you aren't still a bastard.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Things to do when you are bored.


Things to do when you are bored:

If you are male, walk through the lingerie department until a salesgirl asks you if you want help. Tell her, “No thank you, just sniffing.” Either that hold up a crotchless pair of anything, tell the salesgirl she is about your mom's size and ask her if she would mind trying them on.

The last hardware store, department store, gift shop that screwed you over on a return or sold you a piece of junk...go in at a random time and just casually walk around moving things from one shelf to another. If you are feeling poetic you can try to work on dramatic juxtaposition of the items. For instance, put a baby basket on a shelf next to the shotgun shells, or put a bra hanging on the same rack as some jumper cables.

Go to a court case, sit way in the back and cough “bullshit” every time some defendant offers an excuse.

Take some light fine wire to the grocery store and subtly wire some of the shopping carts in the cart corral together. Bring a lawn chair and a drink with and umbrella in it and watch the fun.

Walk behind someone in the grocery store and every time they move their cart, make squeaking noises. If that doesn't eventually get them, then follow them and grab all the same items off the shelf that they grab.

Every time you back your cart up go BEEP, BEEP, BEEP really loudly. Go VROOM, VROOM every time you go forward.

Hitchhike on the side of the road. When someone stops just look in the car, say, “Not you.” and wave them on.

Go to a bar and make up drink names one after the other just to perplex the bartender. Can you make me a Squirrelly Nutburton? No? Okay, how about a Crosstown Traffic Jam? No? Okay, then I'll take a Flaming Bag of Ass. The challenge is to continue listing imaginary drink names as long as possible until the bartender catches on and kicks you out.

Walk through a crowded mall and ask random people if they smell smoke. When they say they don't, smile mysteriously and say...Oh, you will, then walk away.

Rinse out a bottle of industrial strength cleanser like Formula 409, fill it with your drink of choice and walk around the Seafood Festival or Art on the Rocks, take a huge swig, shout, “Damn, that'll put hair on your chest.” and offer other strangers a drink.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Seven Year Story

Here is a first chapter of a collaborative effort between my seven year old daughter and myself. This is a first draft and keep in mind, I'm trying to get my daughter interested in the process of writing so yes, it moves a little quickly and I do allow her to compose 50% of the stuff in here so if you choose to bash this one, just keep in mind, she's seven and I'm very protective. If you feel like bashing, bash some of the swill I've put up here in the last couple years.
The bunny
Alanis Jean Harris
Dale James Harris

Chapter One

One day at a beach there was a girl named, Marissa. She was walking along the shoreline
alone as her brother played in the water, and her parents lay on their beach chairs. She was a little scared walking off by herself, but since she knew she wouldn't go in the water alone, she thought would be okay...she was wrong! The trouble wouldn't come from the water at, but the trouble would come from the woods just up the shore. The woods where she heard the noise.

Walking down the beach, Marrisa kept her eyes on the sand as she looked for pretty rocks in the shallow surf. She almost stepped on a pretty shade of blue rock. She thought it was a blue rock, but she managed to keep from putting her weight down on it. Hovering on one foot she slowly moved her foot to one side and there she saw a robin's egg. She saw a path from a tree straight to the robin's egg. She gently picked the egg up and she saw the nest and put the egg carefully back where it belonged.

She was just lowering herself down from peering into the nest when she heard it. The noise!!! The bushes rattled and out of them popped something she wasn't expecting to see. It was a little bunny. It looked like a lot of other bunnies, but this one was just as blue as the robin's egg she had replaced in the nest. The bunny, sat up on its hind legs and looked Marissa right in the eye. It looked like it had something to say.

Marrisa didn't see it at first, but hanging around the neck of the bunny was a small gold charm. “Hi, blue bunny. Don't be scared. Watcha got there little guy?” Then something very unexpected happened.

The bunny, wiggled it's nose, it's whiskers twitched and the bunny said,”What I've got here, little girl, is a charm. A charmed charm. It lets me talk to humans. I came to talk to you, Marissa.”

“How did you know my name?”

“I was sent by the great hart to fetch you. Follow me.” With those words, the bunny hopped away a few meters, stopped looked back over it's shoulder to see if Marissa would follow and hopped and stopped again waiting for Marissa.

Marissa didn't know what to think. She was scared, but just then she took a step forward. Then another and another she took as a many as she had to till she caught up with the bunny. The bunny went slow enough so Marissa could keep up. It seemed like they went a long way into the woods. Just when Marissa was scared she would never find her way back to the beach, she and the bunny came into a clearing. Standing in the clearing were more animals than Marissa had ever seen outside of the zoo.

There were foxes, bears, more bunnies, countless birds including owls, robins, eagles, pheasants, sparrows, hummingbirds and all sorts of other birds that Marissa had never seen before. In the center of the clearing was a small glassy pond. In the pond floated a wise looking swan, some assorted ducks, and a few ducklings. Around the pond stood yet more animals. Quietly standing in place were badgers, coyotes, skunks, beavers, rodents of all sorts, like field mice, shrews, chipmunks, and moles peeking out of their holes. There were many deer there, too. But the most special deer had yet to make his appearance.

The animals began to divide into two groups, making an opening and then of all things....they began to kneel! The clearing was even more silent than before. Marissa was wondering what in the world was going on. Just as she was about to open her mouth to ask a question, the blue bunny announced, “All hail the great hart!”

From deep in the woods, a majestic looking buck strode forth. He was the biggest buck Marissa had ever seen. He was at least as tall as her dad. He was almost the size of a small horse! On his head, were antlers like any other buck, but not like any other buck, were the colors of those antlers. On the right side of his head, the antlers were a brilliant gold. The antlers on the left side were as red as blood. Striding purposefully over to the blue bunny, the massive deer bent his great head and lifted the charm from the blue bunny's neck with one of the tines of his special horns so he could talk to Marissa.
“Marissa, we have been waiting for you,” his deep voice rolled. He turned his head to the blue bunny. “Good work, (need a name). You have done well.

There is grave trouble afoot, Marissa. We need your help. (end chapter 0ne)

Mystery pt I


About three weeks ago a dog showed up in my yard. Friendly dog and obviously one that was used to being around people. My dog, Sassy, was in heat so it wasn't unusual for dogs from the neighboring fields to come visit during this time.

The dog is and Australian Sheepdog also called a Koolie. Well, I figured the koolie would be here until Sassy wasn't in heat anymore, but another week went by, Sassy hadn't been in heat for days and the koolie was still here. I wasn't polite to him nor did I feed him. If he belonged to one of the neighbors I didn't want him feeling so welcome here that he never went home. I don't mind dogs in my yard at all. In fact I don't chain up my own dog. That's one of the huge benefits of living in the country in my opinion. But the koolie would get right up close and want attention.

Once when I was lying on the ground dropping my lawn tractor deck he lay down right next to me and put his head on my belly. I would push him away and tell him to cut it out, but he seemed nonplussed about my rudeness. Another time I opened the door to go into the house and he just walked right in like he owned the place.

Keep in mind, it's been three weeks and I haven't fed him nor even been civil him nor even taken a good look at him yet. The other night I had some friends over and I invited the koolie in to get their opinion of what I should do and I took my first good look at the dog. His fur was matted beyond what one would even think a neglectful owner would manage. He had scratches, scabs, and wounds all over his body. Apparently my little koolie friend had been living in the woods for quite some time.

My friends agreed that this was a lost dog and more than likely abandoned as Australian Shepherds are noted for their loyalty and just aren't the type of dog to go wandering off and not come back. Paully was talking about adopting him and I thought, “Perfect, as long as he is out of my yard.”

I then got up and go to the bathroom leaving my friends and what was to be Paully's new koolie at the counter. When I got out of the bathroom there was the koolie lying on the floor by the door. Both of my friends were looking at me and chuckling. Paully backpedaled from her earlier words of adoption and told me it was too late. The koolie had already adopted me.

So here the newly names Mystery lies on the floor with my daughter napping next to her. I'm glad he is here and wondering how I am going to afford getting him fixed and getting him his shots. Loyalty is far to scarce a characteristic in the world for me to go throwing it away. I'll put an ad in the paper on the off chance that whoever lost him wants him back, but I'm not too worried that is going to happen. Mystery found me for a reason. Now let's see where this new path takes us.

WP Pt 3


Okay it's been over a week since the first class and the only entry into my writing log has been the smoothing out of something that happened in class. I have no creative energy right now it seems. 'too many real world issues to deal with. Whine cry wah blah. So I've finally determined that if I can't wrtie well or can't write creatively, I'm going to start by just writing period.
What comes next is pretty much stream of consciousness pablum.

Wings just scored a goal....uh oh
franzen took a sucker punch in the face. Why do teams have to get dirty like that when they are getting their asses handed to them?

Been a real up and down emotional time lately. The more I know the less I know. House, life, work all out of control right now. I'll get a handle on the work stuff in the coming week. I'll get a handle on the home stuff in the next two weeks. The emotional stuff I've been working on for a year. The more things change in that regard the more confused I get. How come I feel like I get wiser every day in matters of work and in matters of work and self, but iin matters of the heart I just get stupider and stupider?

I feel so much love and so much hate sometimes within split seconds of each other. Maybe even at the same time. I want to die. I want to live. I want to be better. I want to live a “normal” day without being a “normal” person.

I want time to ride. I want time to read. I want energy to think. I should probably quit whining.

Writing Project Flotsam Pt 2

Warning: I haven't had time to edit or proof most of this writing project stuff. A lot of it is simply journaling, free thought and etc. Maybe I'll feel like painting some of these turds later, but not right now.

Marathon Writing pt 2: Presque Isle

I'm sitting on a rock facing the ore dock as a freighter is slowly making it's way in to unload. To the left of the docks is the Superior Dome. First of all, great name. Isn't there anybody more imaginitive that could come up with a better name. I know it is unofficially called the Yooper Dome, but I'm not sure I like that either.

Damn thing looks like a UFO landed. Does anybody think that is a cool looking building from the outside? It's covered in a gray tarp FFS. It's like that neighbor that is going to put siding on his house in 2001 and in 2008 he still has the Tyvek up.

Left of me are rocks from the lake. I wonder how many years they had to take on their journey for the tides to finally bring them to the beach. Were they already there and the erosion just exposed them to the light?

Right of me are more lake rocks, followed by sand with many gulls flying over the masts of multiple boats in the harbor.

Oh, black smoke is really pumping from the freighter now. They must be throttling something back or they are starting some machinery that helps them get rid of their load. It's trickled back to white smoke now so I'm betting they started some piece of machinery that I can't see. I had a diesel Ford Tempo once used to make black smoke like that when I started it and then as the engine warmed up the smoke would fade to gray and then white then to an invisible exhaust.

I had a lot of fun with that car in high school. The thing got almost forty miles to the gallon long before forty miles to the gallon was hip or cool.

To call it a sluggish car is an understatement though. It was a manually shifted five speed and if you wanted to pass someone you had to slingshot around them. You had to fade way back from the car in front of you, downshift and hammer the accelerator when you anticipated the road in front of you would be clear enough and straight enough to pass. If by the time you were nosing the other guy's bumper and the road ahead turned out not to be clear, you had to fade back and try again next time. It was rusty and red and really physically unappealing. I had two choices in high school. Let the the kids make fun of me for what I drove or embrace the vehicle for the awkward, ungainly, ball of shortcomings it was.

I would pull up to stoplight and rev my engine next to some really hot Mustang or Trans Am and offer to race for pinks. They would look at me and laugh. Only the truly dopey old people or the ones that took themselves too seriously didn't get the joke which only made me think they were the joke. I mean that car might be able to peel out if I threw it in reverse, got it up to 35 then dropped it back into first and that's still a maybe. I tend to think that tactic just would have broken something in the driveline though.

Then when I was asked to drive to a party I would arch my eyebrows and tell people which ones I thought were good enough and which ones didn't deserve to ride in my Tempo. That was usually accompanied by some eyebrow arching and a sarcastic mulling frown.

When I asked a girl out I would often list the Tempo as one of my strengths and reasons why she should date me. “Zee-ro to 55 in about a minute and a half given a good tailwind and a slight downhill slope. You need that kind of excitement,” I would tell the girl. That would get a smile. I lived for the smile from a pretty girl. Lived and died.

Because I endorsed my embarassmentmobile, it became a running joke. Not the bad kind of “I'm ripping on you joke”, but the good kind that everybody was in on with me. Soon the other kids were asking to ride in my car and telling me what a sweet ride I had.

Thus Begins the Writing Project

The next several posts will come from a writing project I am doing this summer. Enjoy or revile as you will.

Updated 06/19/08


--this is a rehashing of a bud of an idea starting during the first class.

In my chair I sit. In my room I contemplate. Out of the corner of my eye I see the blackness that grease-like seeps out through the crevices of my life, piling up as it oozes from the niches before it tumbles over under the pressure of the increasing dark pushing in behind it. The piles grow and cascade, grow and cascade as more and more finds its way around into my room. Calmly, in my chair the chill warmth of the blackness slowly climbs, enveloping my legs and the legs of my chair. Absorbing the memories of knee surgeries and the pain of wanting to run away.

Unmoving I am increasingly submerged in the ebony. Thinking my thoughts. Being my nothing. I remain seated. The blackness swallows my lap as the magma flow continues. Urges long gone. Extinquished, denied, or fulfilled.

It licks my fingertips resting on the arms of my chair. Morasses of regret of things that have slipped through my hands. Regrets of those left untouched. More blackness, less light. It's inexorable. Unblinking, stil I sit.

It consumes my abdomen and gnaws its way up my chest. The heartaches. The forlornness. The unpatchable cracks. Still it feeds.

It has found its way around me. How long before it finds its way into me where it will stay. Where it will live until I die and when they bury me, my carcass will feed it so it can wait, hibernate, and grow until it finds its next host. I can no longer tell if the ooze is still rising around me or if I am sinking into it. It laps my chin. I wonder if I should stand.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spending My Time

As a teacher, one of my favorite classroom rants is on the topic of hurting others for the sake of hurting others.

Once in a while I'll hear someone discussing how a turtle was crossing the road so a student swerved his car off to the side of the road in order to crush the turtle.

This is apparently great entertainment for some. My ensuing classroom rant goes on and on discussing just how warped it is for some people to derive pleasure via the pain of other living creatures whether those creatures happen to be lower mammalian life forms or other human beings.

As usual, some get what I'm talking about and others just give me blank stares as I venture off into the statistics regarding how highly correlated cruelty to animals is with people who beat their spouses or become serial killers and all that good stuff.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a tree hugger. I eat meat. I don't have a problem with hunters or farmers so don't include me in that radical fringe PETA groupthink or anything.

Of course, cruelty to others is not something exclusive to high school students. I've run into plenty of adults who seem to derive pleasure from being cruel to other humans as well. Just simply ignoring the complete lack of moral development someone who calls himself an adult must have in order to find nothing better to do with his time than to try to create pain and havoc in a fellow human's life...that type of thinking is so foreign to unrecognizable as anything that could possibly serve to better one's self...I don't know. I guess it just amazes me.

Why would someone get up in the morning and decide they need to cause an innocent person pain or discomfort? Our time on this earth is so very short and we have so little time to try to achieve higher levels of thinking and achieve some sort of inner peace so we can grow as individuals and grow spiritually. Is it really that hard to recognize that time spent on such petty endeavors that are soley practiced in order to make someone else's life less enjoyable does nothing, but set us back on our moral and emotional development?

I have hurt people in the past. There's no doubt about that. Never intentionally. Not that intent necessarily gives me a pass on the amount of blame I should take for my actions, but unless outrightly attacked by someone else, I honestly cannot remember the last time I tried to inflict any kind of pain on another individual. I don't see the point in doing it. I don't see what I gain from doing it, so I don't do it. I try very hard not to engage in thought processes and actions that do nothing to advance me as an individual, a father, a brother, a son...etc.

I'm nowhere near perfect, but it does occur to me that if more people on this earth spent more time in self-reflection and less time trying to lash out at others for real or perceived wrongs...or, in some cases, because the other has what he wants or, in other cases, for no reason whatsoever...well, this would just be a much better damn place to live wouldn't it?

I just don't know why it is so hard for people to "get" that.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Consoling or Rolling

Firstly, I would like to thank a random comment from a dear old friend for the title of this entry. In an email last night she told me, "You won't know if you should be consoling me, or rolling on the ground in laughter." Hence the title. I won't name her here, but I want to give her credit so I will mention it in a code so impenetrable, that not even the CIA's best could figure it out. ankthay ouyay, ereShay.

Well the last couple months like the couple before have been eventful. I was reintroduced to the world of dating. Wow, was that soooo very not cool.

At first it was a welcome distraction from what I saw as the sewage of my life. There was not a moment that I could stop feeling bad things and experiencing bad thoughts except when I was out and "aboot" as our Canadian neighbors like to say. You do know that Canada is going to take over the world some day right?

So over the course of the last six months of my life I have doubled the total amount of time I spent in bars over the last decade in an attempt to be social. Yes, I know. You are thinking, "That can't be good for you." Eh, it was either meeting friends and dates in bars or sitting at home trying to dream up new mental scenarios about what my wife and her boyfriend have been doing for the past year or so while I was at home taking care of the kid. I'll tell you what, if we can't waterboard terrorists for information we should seriously consider telling them their wives have been having sex with one of the most disgusting people on the planet...Bill O'Reilly for instance, and then let them go. Just tell them if they want to know the name and address of the offending outside partner, they'll have to come back and tell us where the nukes are or where Osama is located or whatever we want. I think it would work.

Anyhow, I decided to see what a slightly overweight, middle aged, lower middle class, but witty guy like myself would be worth on the open market. The good news is it was more than I thought. The bad part is I wasn't as ready for the market as I thought I was.

After sifting through a couple of the crazies, I did find two fantastic women. When I discovered myself getting cold feet as the relationship grew with the first one I unhesitatingly cut things off in as honest and forthright a manner as I possibly could. I told her I moved to Jamaica. In walks, this second amazing woman. Just as equally beautiful, smart, and competent as the first. Again, I had to cut it off. I did give her my Jamaican address though.

So without going into details, when the first relationship ended I thought, "Man, she's great, but I'm not feeling as intensely about it as she is." So I figured the spark wasn't there and I would just move on before things got serious. After much the same thing happened with the second one, I realized...all together now...It wasn't them. It was me.

I want to slice my veins open with a rusty carrot peeler just for saying that, but it was true. I've known no person who was more of a one woman at a time guy than me. None. I thought I was ready to dance and romance in the rubble of my marriage, but I wasn't and I ended up hurting some perfectly nice, innocent people who simply didn't need my shit.

Now I am in that waiting zone. Don't know if I should move forward. Don't know if I should step back. Don't know if I should start shopping for huts in Jamaica. Just gotta let time slide by and hopefully the answers will come to me. I just hope the answers get to me before the circus midgets do. Freakin' circus midgets...mumble, rumble, rassen, frassen.

P.S. Antidepressants: A counselor friend of mine suggested I get on a mild antidepressant for the short term to get me through the next year or so of agony. She didn't seem to think that the gallon of vodka a week was working for me all that well. I tried xanax for the anxiety attacks I was getting. That worked, but the problem was I liked it too well. I had to get off that stuff before I started sprinkling it on my toast in the morning.

The lexapro had no discernible affects. I was still having far too many dark thoughts. Try to imagine Rosie O'Donnell and Al Franken in the lead roles of the most disgusting porn film you have ever seen and you'll know just how disturbing the images in my head were at that time.

On came the Welbutrin. That seemed good at first. I was getting through my days better without the urge to lick a nine volt battery just to get my mind off things. However, after a while, the mood swings just about ended me. I would either be so deliriously happy, I would break into tears or I would be so inconsolably sad that I would break into tears. Nice. Now I am clean and dealing with shit as it comes the good old fashioned way, with a gallon of vodka a week.

Hey, it was good enough for my forefathers.