Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

We Need a Spine, STAT!!!!

Above: America's finest attempt to resuscitate our world standing

After my latest onslaught of bullshit personal ramblings, self-centered whining, and general blubbering, I figured it was time to try to get back to some small amount of political commentary. And while, the shithouse in Washington has given me plenty of fodder for the small caliber varmint gun that is what’s left of my brain, I cannot help but focus on the bigger, perhaps biggest picture topic which is the future leadership possibilities of our once great nation. In watching the political contortionists that are the current slate of Presidential candidates, I cannot help but cry out, would someone just fucking stand up and lead this country! We need a leader, not someone that is going to kowtow to every special interest group regardless of size and/or relevancy (yes, I’m talking to you Fundamentalists!!!!). We need someone to provide some vision, someone to restore hope in our country. We need new life injected into our public discourse. We need to limit the divisiveness and try to move forward. We need someone who can convince the rest of the world that we are not the self-centered assholes that they think we are. I know some of you are going to be shocked to find out that there are more important issues than whether or not every fertilized egg should be brought into this world, or whether or not the poor and needy should be aided by public funds, or whether or not other countries should be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. Frankly, all of those issues are irrelevant because none of us are going to be around long enough for any of those things to matter if American leadership does not step up and lead this world back from the brink. We need a leader that will stop the say one thing and do another rhetoric that flows from easily the most despicable group of individuals to ever wander the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Our natural resources are a finite resource. We have passed the legitimate point of sustainability in terms of population on this planet. Steps need to be taken to control the population, expand alternative energy options, and control pollution. Sadly, the only country in the world in any position to do this is America. Despite all the goodwill we have wasted over the past seven years, we need to take that leadership role and run with it. If not us, who? If not now, when? (Don’t ever tell me I didn’t learn anything at those bullshit sales conferences…) For the love of God and all things Holy, would someone step up and lead!


I’m looking at you, Barack. Get this done.


Update: Boy, it looks like we're off to a really good start...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Soul Sickness


Look me in the eye
And tell me that I’m satisfied
Were you satisfied?
Look me in the eye
Then, tell me I’m satisfied
And now are you satisfied?

Everything goes
Well, anything goes all of the time
Everything you dream of
Is right in front of you
And everything is a lie (or) and liberty is a lie

-The Replacements ‘Unsatisfied’

It’s fruitless. The way we live our lives is fruitless. We are wrong and we need to change. We are headed in the wrong direction at breakneck speed. My biggest regret in life is that I brought children into this world. Yes, I love them dearly and would do anything for them, but I fear for their future. I fear what the world will be like when (if) they reach old age because the direction our planet is headed is toward uninhabitability. How do I explain this fact to them? What do I tell them when that day comes? How do I explain to them that consumption is wrong and that we need to seek renewable ways to feed ourselves, to heat and cool our homes, to locomote ourselves, basically, to exist? My greatest fear is that they might ask me why; why I made the selfish decision to put them on this earth even though I knew that the place I was bringing them was not a good place. I will not have a valid answer to that question. Because your Mother wanted to is unacceptable. Do I level with them and say, I’m sorry and it was selfish. I did it for a woman I no longer live with and who no longer wants me. Maybe I should just lie and say I did not know any better. Sadly, I knew better. One thing I will do is from this moment forward do all I can to consume less and give back more. To walk when I can, to drive less, to garden more, to eat out less, to educate others, to hold my tongue with less frequency in the face of perceived wrongs, to act rather than think or fret, to care, to love, to spread ideas of sustainability, to convince that there is no tomorrow and that now is the time to act. Maybe that will help me with the guilt and the soul sickness that has so plagued my life.


See this film.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Pretty Girl from the Record Store


With all due respect to the Avett Brothers, isn’t it alright to fall in lust upon first sight? It happened yesterday. Why am I always drawn to the weird ones? This one is part owner of a record store. Talk about a bad situation, I spend enough money on music that I should be placed in rehab or at least the focus of some sort of intervention.

It’s alright, Townser, put the vinyl down and we can talk about things…

Just admit to yourself that you have a problem, it’s the first step…

You really don’t need the entire pre-1985 SST catalog. You are using it as a crutch…

As per usual, we’ll have to wait and see how this one sorts itself out. Call me a pessimist, but I believe I already know the answer to that query.

Loneliness Revisited


She said I have lots of friends. I said no, I have lots of acquaintances. She said I was parsing. I said what does this have to do with ill tasting garnishes? She said shut up. She was right, I should shut up. But I was right I only have acquaintances. A friend is someone that you can relate your wishes, desires, fears, phobias, and needs to without worries of judgment, negativity, or laughter. An acquaintance is someone at the bar who is happy to see you. Case closed.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hat in Hand

It seemed like forever as I held the door at the county Human Services building. Each crutch step allowed him to progress about three inches. What have I gotten myself into? Of course my first thoughts were about me; typically selfish to a fault. He was muttering about being late because of the time change. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Daylight Savings had started about three weeks ago. He was wearing tattered sweat pants, a heavy flannel shirt, an Elmer Fudd-esque hunting cap with Tom Cruise style Ray Bans placed on the outside of the ear covers. But the thing I noticed most was the smile on his face. It was huge.

The wonder of the human condition, here I am with seemingly everything going for me, the world at my fingertips, so to speak, yet completely miserable. And here is this physically destroyed human being with a soul that shines so brightly it impacts everyone around him. He entered the lobby and continued to thank me as he said hello to all of the people in the waiting room as well as the employees. Suddenly I found myself grinning. I couldn’t help it; it was like some sort of virus and as I looked around the room it seemed to be spreading.

I had arrived at the building with hat in hand in order to apply for assistance in buying a home through the county. Needless to say, as a college educated individual with a post graduate degree I did not feel that great about the whole process. I should be able to take care of this myself, but frankly, I cannot. The nature of my financial situation because of debt load due to a failed business, divorce settlement and current occupation make me eligible for this program, so what the heck? I’m sure there are plenty of folks out there who would not agree with me getting such an opportunity, but they probably would not agree with my gentle friend from the parking lot getting assistance either. Although apprehensive, my appointment went well. I don’t know if I will be accepted into the program or not, but the experience was both humbling and rewarding. The topper was that I had the honor of holding the door for the same man as he exited the building and we continued our conversation about the mysterious loss of an hour. He eventually entered a waiting transport vehicle and I walked to my car with tears streaming down my cheeks. I’m not certain where those tears were born, maybe; just maybe, they were tears of hope for humanity, of hope for renewal, of hope for me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How the Pedal Steel Ruined my Life


I asked my friends how love and happiness
Can get so far apart?

Why do lonely men and women
Want to break each other’s hearts?

-The Star Room Boys

I’m not sure if any truer words have ever been written than the lyrics above by Dave Marr, but I am sure that the pedal steel ruined my life and lyrics like those above fit perfectly with that instrument. Things were going along swimmingly until I heard that sound. You know, the sound of hearts breaking and lives being torn apart. There is something about the mournful wail of the pedal steel that symbolizes hopes dashed and dreams destroyed. One might ask how the soft simple strains of an instrument can cause such destruction, and I would ask in return, have you ever listened to one? The pedal steel just seems to be the instrument of lost innocence and squandered opportunity; two themes that seem to run throughout my life. Yet, being the masochist that I am, I cannot help but listen to that sound over and over. Maybe that is because it helps me understand that there are others out there suffering in a similar manner and have an outlet to express that grief tonally. It would seem to me that being a pedal steel player would be the loneliest most depressing occupation on earth, perhaps I should learn to play.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tailspin


At least I’ve made it this far. At least I’ve gotten to the point where I can recognize it, because it is coming and it feels like it is going to be a bad one. All of the pieces seem to be in alignment. The shorter, colder, sunless days, the miserable holiday season, the desire, no, need to self medicate, the utter hopelessness, the helplessness, the complete misery that is a depressive episode. Everything is gray. I have no desire to try to remove the filter that is affecting all that I say and do. I am done. I am just going to ride this one out. Someone please help, because I’m not sure I can help myself.

Art: Tailspin by Ramon de Graff

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Meaning of Life


Lately, I have been spending a lot of time just trying to figure out what I truly want from life. And more often than not, the concept of happiness comes to the forefront of my mind. How can I achieve it? What are the elements that comprise it? Is it attainable? Does it even exist? Basically, what is it going to take for me to find happiness at some point in my lifetime, to be able to wake up each and every day happy? So my goal is to develop some sort of mathematical/scientific formula to define the concept of happiness despite my ineptitude with math and science.

For me, one of the biggest areas of the happiness equation is going to involve the delicate balance between solitude and companionship. I need my alone time. I need time to walk in the woods, to drive through the country, to sit at the end of the bar, to read, to listen, to watch. But I also need someone to share my life with, someone to laugh and cry with, to bitch with, to age with, to love with, to live life with. I used to think I didn’t need anyone else. I was wrong, dreadfully wrong. Unfortunately, the search for that person is the greatest cause of happiness’ polar opposite, despair.

Another part of finding happiness for me is an occupation that I can be passionate about or at the very least have more than a passing interest as to whether I succeed or fail. Money has never been a great motivator for me and maybe that is part of my problem, but I need more out of a job than a paycheck. I used to trade occupational satisfaction for quality of life. That works when you are younger, but now that formula is completely ineffectual.

Nature plays an important role in my definition of happiness. I need access to beautiful places. That place does not have to be the mountains or the beach, but something as simple as a couple of acres of woods, undeveloped prairie, or a glass smooth lake in the early morning. Nature provides the spiritual aspect of my existence, and without it, I tend to become more directionless than usual. There is just something incredibly soothing and reassuring about nature.

Family tends to be one of the more difficult elements of the happiness equation for me. The loss of my own family will stand as the single most devastating event of my life. I miss them dearly while at the same time; seem to understand that maybe the situation was irresolvable and that they are better off without me. On the surface that seems like a very selfish statement as it is irresponsible to bring three human beings into existence and then abandon them, but that surface view does not reflect the reality of the situation which is the simple fact that I was not a good human being around them at that time. It is clich├ęd to state that your family is the only group of people that will stand by you when times are difficult, but I have found that to be true. My parents and extended family have always been there for me to provide support, shelter, advice, etc. Without them, I am not sure I would have made it through some of the darker periods of my life like the drugs, divorce, and depression.

Probably the last major aspect of my personal search for happiness is art. I need music, books, films, paintings, and sculpture; basically anything aesthetically pleasing to my mind or ears or eyes. This is actually the only area of my personal search for happiness that I seem to have under control or at least a good grasp of achieving. Because of my family situation, I have a lot of free time to explore various art forms and do find inspiration from them.

So where does this leave me? As I mentioned earlier, everyone’s happiness equation is going to be different, but I think I have figured out mine. If:
A=art
J=job
C=companionship
N=nature
And
F=family
Then:
(A+J)/(F-N)*C=Life Sucks

Sunday, November 18, 2007

And so it continues...


She told me that she couldn’t. She just couldn’t. I knew it was coming. I tried to keep talking, to keep bringing up things I thought might change a mind already made up. Wasn’t Saturday fun? Oh, let me tell you about this idea I had. I was thinking about this the other day... Of course it was all in vain. One of the seemingly endless string of failures to brace my recent life was about to come to fruition.

Perhaps, I didn’t believe in my heart that she was the one, but I did believe that for the first time in a long time she made me feel things I thought were long since gone. Neglected feelings that I swore I would never allow myself to feel again. Frankly, I wish I had kept that promise because I truly dislike feeling the way I do now and I truly dislike the way it makes me think and act. I told her that I would have no regrets and that the sun would still rise tomorrow. Tritely, I do and it did.

I am remorseful, not angry, not bitter, certainly confused, and more than anything completely crestfallen. Maybe she will be the one to finally teach me the lesson that so many of them have tried to do before her; quit caring, quit being nice, quit putting yourself out there, just quit trying because the negatives fully outweigh the positives. She understands this, she said so herself. So why can’t I? I tried to assure her that there is no such thing as ‘love like the movies’, but somewhere within me I continue to seek it. Say one thing; think another is certainly not a healthy way to go about living.

Formerly, I would have pleaded with her, and then perhaps have been mean and vindictive. Not now. Now I am going to try to work through this. I fully respect her reasons and decision. Unfortunately I do not agree with them. It’s just that it had been so long since I had met anyone like her. I wish I could say, lesson learned, but I know myself too well.

More frustrating, is that I believe there truly was something, some kind of spiritual connection. I cherished our limited time together and hung on her every word. Our conversations would cause me to reassess parts of myself that I had long since forgotten or neglected or not dared visit for fear of what I might find there. She made me feel like I mattered and she made me feel special. No easy feat considering the ashes that I have been trying to rise out of. She made me smile, and she truly brightened my dimly lit soul. It’s much harder to smile now.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Not so fast, Mister!!!!!


I am a mess. I just spent the last three hours driving in the country on a somewhat pointless real estate and nursery junket. I did not sleep last night and my head is reeling. I look like shit, I feel like shit and in my mind, I am shit. I thought the drive would do me good, but I think it just made matters worse. It was beautiful. A beautiful fall day, with reds, browns, yellows, and blues. Especially blues, lots of blues. Being alone in the middle of nowhere used to really do me justice as my head would clear and the thoughts firing through my mind would slow down. Typically, I could make sense of things. Those days seem to be gone. My son is a mess, and I do not know what to do about it. I know for certain that moving back is not the healthy response, but it seems to be the right response. What if I were to keep him longer in the summer? What if I were to seek additional custody? I am sure that she would do her best to crush me and my wishes in an extremely litigious ruthless fashion, so that is probably off the board. What about the progress I have been making? Do I just throw it away? It has taken me a long time to get to this point; can I legitimately just throw it away? I feel so incredibly selfish, so small, and so hypocritical. How am I ever going to justify this? I freely offer advice and pearls of my limited wisdom to friends and acquaintances while at the same time just absolutely floundering in my own ineptitude and inadequacies. If life is this wonderful ride of ups and downs why am I constantly the one with the spins?

Closure?


When she could bring herself to look at me, I could see it in her eyes. Or more aptly, I couldn’t see it in her eyes. There was nothing there; no glimmer, no light, no hope, no cares, nothing. What was once between us seems to be dead, or at least hibernating. Even I, 135 lbs of hate, love, and raw emotion, could not conjure up any intensity toward her. Positive or negative, I just didn’t have the heart. It was not worth it. Surely, my eyes welled as I left them and it hurt as bad or worse as it always does, but nothing towards her. Is this what all the bullshit seers and barstool philosophers mean by “time heals all wounds”? In my mind, time has healed nothing. She put me out. The wounds are just as raw and exposed and painful as they have ever been. It is just that I have lost the will to battle, to care, to put MYSELF out there any more to be abused, disappointed, shot down, diminished, debased, and otherwise ruined emotionally. Am I right in acting this way? Should I give up the fight to reunite the family this easily? Shit, it’s only been around 4 years. I could probably rally for another decade of bitterness, vindictiveness, and self-pity, but who wins with that formula other than the local bar owners and their staff. There are times that I still want to scream her name and I still want her to understand that I am different now, but not to her face. I am comfortable letting those situations play themselves out in what is left of my mind. They hurt just as much there and as an added benefit, I can fantasize that they actually make sense and that she sees my point and that the family is back together, and that the good guys win in the end and that the sun rises tomorrow more brightly than it ever has.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

In which my world is suddenly turned upside down


It wasn’t supposed to happen. I was pretty certain that I would never turn the corner, but I think I have, or at least am in the process of doing just that. This week could go a long way in determining whether or not I will ever recover from the debacle that has been my life in recent years and in particular the relationship with her that no longer exists as I make the annual pilgrimage back to visit them for Halloween. What has changed? I met someone. Frankly, I cannot believe that I just typed those words; I freakin’ met someone. Someone that I can actually find some common ground with, someone that has walked a similar path, someone that listens, someone that communicates, someone different than her. When we met, we both agreed that we could not possibly be in a relationship. Her schedule is insane, and I am insane, hence the fundamental problem. In any case, here we are, seemingly headed in just that direction. We are taking it slowly, painfully slowly at times, but it seems to be right. Actually, what do I know? I could totally be misinterpreting everything as it has been years since I have been in this situation, but if nothing else, it feels right. All I know is that she makes me laugh and she makes me smile and she makes me feel like I haven’t felt in a long, long time.

Update: I was wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Update II: I was right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Scene of the Crime


I felt I was ready. It has been several years since I spent any time here, discounting of course the whirlwind 48 hours last fall for the football draft. Fantasy football draft party is essentially the same as bachelor party, just without a groom. Actually, not to digress, but maybe that is why the draft party has become such a big deal. Men seem to actually enjoy the preparation (i.e. research on the Internets and overpriced yet always wrong magazines) as opposed to selecting china patterns and linen. And the actual event is rarely cause for tears or glad-handing long forgotten relatives. Anywho, I am back in Colorado; a place that is as much a part of me as her or them. Just driving over the eastern state line heightens my mood. Somehow the air is better, the sky clearer. It’s the West, not the Mid West. Needless to say, I miss it tremendously. The problem is the memories. It seems that everywhere I go, she is there.

Like I said, I felt I was ready. I took this job largely because I could include Colorado in my territory and have a reason rather than an excuse to visit several times a year. Most of you will be shocked to realize that perhaps I made a bad decision. I am not ready for this. Over the last two days I have retraced footprints left years ago and unfortunately the emotions are as fresh as ever. Our houses that we lived in together. The parks we used to walk to together. The local pub. The local restaurant. Hell, even the dog park brought me to my knees. As great as it is to see old friends and business acquaintances, I fear the reward is completely trumped by the emotional cost. It all just makes me think about what could have been had I made the right choices. The choices that a rational adult would make, not the childish bullshit choices I made. Hell, I could be living amongst my friends with a nice home and a shitload of fantastic worldly goods. Instead I dwell in Mom’s basement with a storage unit full to the gill of boxes that have been neglected for years. I used to have many things and little remorse. Now the opposite is true. Obviously, worldly goods are not the answer, but I can assure you that obscene levels of regret and remorse are not either. Why it took me until now to understand just how good I had it, I will never know. I like to think that there was a reason for it, but as I continue my search, I cannot come up with one, or at least none has revealed itself to me. Maybe tomorrow, but forgive me if I do not hold my breath.

Buy this album.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Da Pain!!! Da Pain!!!


It’s back. I had done my best to ignore it for the past 6 weeks with a sophisticated blend of alcohol, barbituites, and denial. Unfortunately an incident at my son’s school shook me back to reality. Just when I thought I had the bastard conquered, he lunges for my throat. Pain, gotta love it.

I really thought things had been going well. Both jobs are rolling along and I have a great idea for a business. I have been meeting new, interesting people (of both sexes, amazingly…) and have truly started to embrace Kansas City and find my way in its off-beat culture. Yet, somehow I knew it would inevitably begin to crumble.

I could tell by the tone of her voice during the message that there was some sort of problem. I do not typically get the 7:45 a.m. “call me” messages from her. In fact, I do not typically get messages from her anymore at all. As it turns out, my son had been suspended from school for threatening another child. Apparently in this post-Columbine, post-9/11 world that type of behavior is unacceptable. The threats were idle and were nothing more then kids being kids. The suspension was minor. The whole incident was minor, but the effect it had on me would hardly fall into that category.

Somehow I reasoned that this issue had roots in the divorce. That enormous sense of abandonment returned and the gears of remorse, rue, and regret began to turn in my head again. For the first time in 12 months I seriously began to contemplate a return to Ohio. Rather than let this sense of failure as a parent continue to dominate my life and dictate my behavior, why not return and face it head on? It seems so simple; why not just go back so that I do not always have that giant “what if” hanging over me. To any normal, reasonably sane individual the answer would be simple; unfortunately, I am neither normal nor sane hence the difficulties. If I am to return I need to know that she will at least make an effort at reconciliation. I need that for selfish reasons, but I also need it for the most unselfish reason of all—the children.

I am not the same person she divorced. I like to think I have changed for the better and I like to think that she would be able to recognize that in me and I like to think that things could move forward for the sake of the all parties involved. Of course, I also like to think that she is happy to be rid of me and doing better without me; hence, the pain.

On a lighter note, I could always go back to reading imbecilic, myopic ramblings. At least everything is right in the world.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Politics of Hypocrisy: Pro-life, Anti-health


I feel like I should not be surprised anymore regarding news about our current administration. Whether it is the recent disclosure of ‘data’ sheets used by people in the Green Zone to better understand the politicians that they are talking to, or the continued revelations regarding the extreme politicization of the DOJ, I should probably be comfortable with it by now. You know, close my eyes and whistle past the graveyard, but the news this week about the power of the infant formula lobby blew me away. Pro-life, anti-health. Is there any better way to describe the behavior of the Grand Old Hypocrites? Let’s see, every single fucking blastocyst needs to be brought into this world, but once they are here, fuck’em. Let them fend for themselves. Why does the Bush Administration care that the images in a commercial expounding the virtues of breast feeding are thought provoking and hard edged? It is scientific fact that breast feeding is more beneficial to a newborn’s development than formula. Oh wait; I just answered my own question. I forgot about the extreme aversion to science that those who reside in the White House suffer from. It shocks me that the same man who will not allow stem cell research to be federally funded because it destroys ‘life’, is willing to risk the health of said ‘life’ after birth because the formula lobby has deep pockets and considerable power in Washington. The whole situation turns my stomach. Can someone please suggest a nice country looking to accept American ex-pats? I have had it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cold War, Part Deux




With all the positive news coming out of Iraq lately, I fear that this one might slip through the cracks. Coming soon to a theater of war near you, the new, improved, super-duper Cold War Part Deux! It seems the Russians, led by Dear Leader’s BFF, Pooty Poot Poot, have found it necessary to stop compliance with the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. Predictably, the White House was disappointed with the decision citing the little known “we are allowed to, but you are not” clause that applies to all NATO treaties.

So look forward to a surge in the building of bomb shelters, elementary school bomb training exercises, and *dread* an awful spike in the cost of cavier.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Gridlock



With the recent failure of the immigration bill in the Senate and the pending gridlock on virtually every major political issue like abortion, global warming, stem cell research, energy usage, etc. I decided to step back and locate comparisons between the forces in my own heart and mind that seem to create personal gridlock and see if there are any parallels to those that seem to paralyze our government.

The first and most obvious is aversion to change. Even though I am fairly miserable and should be actively seeking change, somehow I talk myself out of it. Whether it is a new career, moving on from the divorce, or seeking new relationships, I just cannot seem to pull the trigger. Our government seems to function the same way; it’s the ‘even though it’s broke, don’t fix it’ philosophy of life and governance. For instance, the health care system in the US is an utter disaster. Doctor’s cannot afford to practice because of malpractice insurance rates, and Dog knows the rest of us can’t afford to use their services or in some cases even pay for insurance.

A close relative of aversion to change is the risk of failure. Hell, I should have no problem with this as I have seemed to master failure in nearly every aspect of my life except drinking (in which I have made the all star team 7 of the last 10 years…). Yet, I continue to take the easy way out, turn down the challenging job, not talk to the hottie who is actually looking at me, etc. Wasn’t it Al Davis who said, “Just coast, baby?” Our duly-elected leaders seem to follow that mantra incessantly. Why try to lead from the front when you can blend in and hopefully gain reelection for perpetuity? Term limits might help our government find its collective spine, but they certainly won’t work for me unless perhaps Mom applies a term limit to her basement.

I think a final reason for this gridlock, and maybe this is over simplification, but perhaps it is just human nature. Why try to be progressive? Why try to be proactive? Why should I try to better my situation when it is so much fun to wallow in misery and despair? Plus it gives you a great reason to drink. Why should we address global warming? Why should we seek alternative means of energy? Why should we seek to advance stem cell research? Oh wait, maybe because we should care about what we have and what those that come behind us will be left to deal with. Perhaps that is a little to progressive for this post though. I should probably just stay in the basement today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another Sucking Day of Suckiness



As I just mentioned to my friend JPW over at AlabamaAssWhuppin' (if you have not been there, GO…he expounds on all things Drive By Truckers, Alabama, and the disaster that is the current leadership of this great country) I promised myself that my next post would be political, not personal. Well, as I have many times before, I am going to compromise my integrity, break a promise to myself, and dwell on personal matters yet again. Today is my middle child’s birthday. She turns seven. And as usual, I am no where to be seen. Yes, my dollars helped pay for her new bike amongst other things, but my eyes, arms, and heart are not any where near the festivities. ACHE. I just ACHE. I want to watch her blow out the candles on her cake, I want to watch her tear open her presents, I want to see the joyous expression on her face, I want to hug her and tell her how proud I am of her. Instead, I will have to settle for a phone call (already made) and a quick video IM session. And as I have mentioned before, I will smile and be excited while simultaneously wanting to sob.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

For Her


I know that I promised another post about what a miserable Dad I am following my recent visit to Ohio and it seems like this might be a way to kill two birds with one stone…

Since the separation and divorce, all holidays seem to hurt. However, this one ranks right up there with Christmas and the kids’ birthdays. The pain is a strange mixture of guilt, longing, and regret that sits right below the surface and fucks with you. It makes it difficult to concentrate or perform basic tasks. Sometimes it even makes it difficult for me to talk; it so consumes my mind.

Needless to say, I miss her. She carried and gave birth to three of my children. Her sacrifices are immeasurable. She is an amazing mother. Her capacity to understand the needs, desires, and actions of our children baffles me. Often when we were together and I wanted to run through the streets of our neighborhood screaming, naked, and possibly on fire because of the chaos involved with having three small children, she would just sit simply as if in the eye of the storm and resolve every issue, kiss every scrape, and correct every perceived wrong between whichever factions might be warring at that particular moment.

I’ve heard some say that that particular capacity of mothering is a natural instinct. I disagree. Spend time at any Wal-Mart on any given day and you will see plenty of mothers who lack that skill. They take the course of least resistance whether it is smacking the crap out of little Ruprecht or appeasing him with whatever toy/piece of junk has caught his eye that moment. She is different. There is an unbelievable calm within her. Maybe she should have gone into the counseling profession, perhaps professional golf, or medicine. She certainly would have been great in an E.R. I am thankful that she wanted to be a mom because I know that as bad as a father as I am, she makes up for it by being the mother and woman that she is. I stand in awe.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I'll have the burrito and a side of meth...



Well, I have made another trip across the heartland to visit my children (don’t worry, I will have a post up soon explaining why I am perhaps the worst father in America) and the thing that really hit me is the impact that meth is having on our country. I stopped to camp near the town of Marshall, Illinois and ventured into town to grab a bite to eat before crashing for the evening.

As far as I can tell, Marshall is a typical small Midwestern town with an agricultural based economy. The trees that line the main road have yellow ribbons tied around them and there are numerous signs thanking local kids for their service in our armed forces. The local diner had maybe a dozen patrons on one side while there seemed to be some sort of Elks/Oddfellows type meeting going on in the other half of the restaurant. I sat down at the counter and was greeted by a rather large young women (don’t get me started on the obesity problem we have…wait, meth cures obesity…hmmmm) who told me it was her first night and to bear with her. No problem. I immediately noticed the other waitress who was on break and sat totaling her checks a couple of stools down from me. She bore all the signs of meth addiction; the lesions, nubby teeth, a jaw seemingly working on 4 packs of Big League Chew, and of course the saucer eyes. I pegged her for a tweaker immediately and tried to enjoy the craptacular salad that I had been served.

Eventually, the meeting from the other side of the restaurant broke for the evening and all these 50, 60 and 70-something salt-of-the-earth, Midwestern males stood in line to pay their tabs. Watching the meth addled waitress attempt to take care of these guys was simultaneously humorous and heart wrenching.

Do not misunderstand me here, I like drugs. I think they can be fantastic and have been known to ingest as many as humanly possible on some occasions, but meth sucks. It is not fun. It is not euphoric. It does not open your mind. It is fucking evil. And it seems to be taking over our country. Sadly upon returning to Mom’s basement I went out to dinner with some friends in our generic wealthy suburban enclave to have another tweaker wait on us. I know the service industry can be brutal, but is meth necessary? How about a nice line of the yeo? Or perhaps a little reefer?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Uncle Dick's Excellent Adventure


There has been much speculation on the intertubes regarding Uncle Dick’s performance during Bush’s presser yesterday. Well, speculate no more. Townser has got it all figured out. I have heard from an anonymous source inside the administration (is there any other kind?) that Uncle Dick has been searching for some new members to join the coalition of the (un)willing in our imperialistic battle to take over the world, er, export democracy to Iraq/Iran/Syria and every non-democratic society. And the winner is….



With the Knights that say "Ni" on our side we cannot be stopped...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm taking my ball and going home...


I sincerely hoped that the President would act a little more mature than my 8-year-old when he addressed the public regarding the hearings over the Attorney firings, but I knew that would never happen. Good God, we are being Governed/Ruled/Shit-upon by a giant baby. He has gotten his way throughout his life and just expects everyone to roll over at his command. The sorriest thing about this is that I am sure my dear Democratic Congress will bow down to Emperor Bush. Someone, anyone, please grow a spine.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Box of Pain


I keep a big box of pain in my bedroom. I am not exactly sure why, but I do. Inside the box there are about 250 rolls of film from my life with her. I decided that I needed to have the box. She kept it in her closet in Ohio, but as I was driving the kids back there this summer, I decided that I wanted the box in order to ‘sort and split up’ its contents. Realistically, my desire to possess the box was some sort of grasp for a piece of her and of our life together. Unrealistically, it was going to make everything better or at least let me begin to move on. Of course, I was very wrong. Most of the three of you who read this blog, know me, or at least understand the extent of my ‘knuckleheadism’, but this one is even a head scratcher for me. Every few weeks I awake determined to conquer the box. It certainly does not look too imposing from the outside; high grade corrugated cardboard, some sort of picture of a high-end electronic piece of stereo equipment, Chinese writing, and packing tape. The inside is an entirely different story. Each little package contains a complete roller coaster of emotions. Even the ‘bong art’ from my college days elicits some sort of nostalgic yearn for better times. There are friends long lost, places I barely remember, beautiful places I remember differently, and there is her. She permeates the box. Sometimes I think I might even smell a little of her from her hippie days, but more likely it is just an olfactory hallucination (I heard that those can happen…). I guess what strikes me most about the content of the box is its sheer beauty. There are many beautiful young people, and even more beautiful places. It makes me long for the American West. The Tetons, Southern Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, that abandoned railroad trestle in Felt, Idaho, Yosemite, San Francisco, Breckenridge, Fairplay, believe me I could go on. But more than anything it makes me long for her, the life we had together, the children I left behind. Maybe the next time I drive to Ohio, I will pick the thing up and throw it in the back of my wagon and give it all back to her. More than likely, I will keep it and continue to stare at it daily, and continue to hurt.

Why I can't stand Krauthammer. Reason #658974125


Let me see if I have this straight; in Charles Krauthammer’s world, lying under oath about oral sex is a crime and an impeachable offense, while lying under oath to protect your boss regarding an attempt to discredit an administration critic and someone who might hinder our march to Iraq is alright. I might be wrong, but they are both still about perjury, are they not? Krauthammer is doing every American a disservice by trivializing the conviction of Scooter Libby. Yes, Libby may have been low-hanging fruit, but his actions leading up to his conviction are clearly indicative of just how extreme this administration can be when it comes to getting what they want. In this case, what they wanted was war with Iraq, and they got it. Here we sit 4 years later, mired in the Middle East, countless lives have been lost or shattered and for what? Independence for the Iraqi’s? Vindication for a man angry about a supposed assassination attempt on his father? Oil?



As for Krauthammer’s claim that the jury convicted solely on the testimony of Tim Russert, this is simply not true. Several of the jurors have spoken out saying that of all the testimony they heard, Russert’s was the least important. Krauthammer’s cherry picking of the witness’s testimony reminds me of a certain administrations cherry picking of evidence, but I digress. Krauthammer is right about one thing, Libby will certainly be pardoned. The question is whether it will be before or after the 2008 election. My guess is that it will be the latter.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Practice Obstinance


I was thinking about a good friend of mine the other day because he always causes me to question my approach to life. He is so sure of his personal actions and political beliefs that anyone who questions him is immediately viewed as not only wrong, but ignorant. When I am around him, sometimes I just have to step back and marvel because to him everything is black and white. There is no grey in his world. I mean when is it that self confidence and bravado turn into buffoonery? Seriously, is unwillingness to change, or face reality a positive trait? In looking at the political climate in America, the apparent answer is yes.

Yes, my friend is one of those few remaining individuals that is still certain that WMD’s are going to be found in Iraq despite all the evidence to the contrary. He believes that human impact on global warming is a fallacy. He believes that we are involved in the Middle East to export “stability” because that is what we do although I personally thought we were more into exporting oil from the Middle East than stability to the region. He continues to rail against the liberal media despite the huge media empires controlled by conservatives Rupert Murdoch and Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Sadly, there are many others that march in lockstep to this same political drumbeat. I have decided to call the whole process the “Practice Obstinance” platform. Unfortunately for most of us, our President is the leader of this “Obstinance” movement.

The mouthpiece of this fantastic little band of merrymakers has got to be none other then Sir Rush the not so Brave Hearted with his faithful sidekick Malkin the Malevolent. Across the airwaves and thru the Internets our brave heroes continue to take bullheadedness and shortsightedness to near record levels on a daily basis. Why face reality when you can create your own!

Frankly, I will not be joining this movement; however, I will be starting my own movement to “Practice Abstinence from Obstinance”. I am committed to do virtually everything in my power to promote obstinance while continuing to abstain from all obstinate behavior as well as obstinately abstaining from all obstinacies. Hopefully this Populist style movement will be well received or at the very least serve as a wake up call to those not joining the rest of us in the reality based community.