Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm a Greased Wheel and Life is My Lubricant

Well, stick a reed in my mouthpiece and blow me like a tuba. That was a test... I know that a tuba doesn't have a reed. Only woodwinds have reeds. Duh... I'm a tuba with a woodwind mouthpiece. Blow me already...  Here I sit, an individual in total anonymity in the epitome of tourista-land, Disney World. You know what? I'm diggin' it. I could get used to this. Right now, my lily-white ass is perched upon a stool at a small bistro table beside a swimming pool. To my left sits a cup of  dwindling Charro Negro ... tequila and Diet Coke, for the uninitiated ... reggae music peppered with 80's classics regale my ears and psyche. Better still, there are no clouds, no snow, no wind and no worries. This is my sanctuary, this is my heaven.

I rediscovered my heaven yesterday while rediscovering Hell ... Hell, being a Disney theme park during Christmas week ... the climax of my visit to hell being the portion of the Great Movie Ride attraction... the moment of passing through the set of the movie 'Alien' and the alien spitting goo into my face from above as the tram passed below. I had no clue that my ex-wife had a seasonal job at Disney... my inner snark is bursting at the seams.

Word of mouth suggested that there were in excess of 57,000 people in this one park. Twelve spoke english, 2000 were not asian and all but three were assholes who left all civility and manners in their rooms at Wilderness Lodge. Now, don't get me wrong ... I like people. I am a people. I only have an aversion to being a victim to 56,997 other people and their individual quirks and mannerisms. All at the same time ...

I'm not perfect, by any means. But, I'm a helluva lot closer to being acceptable to a civilized society that most who broach the gates of a Disney theme park. Mickey Mouse is a mesmerizing sombitch, lemme tell ya. To claim, "Hee Hee! It's the happiest place on earth!" while enduring 180 minute wait times in line for a two-minute ride and commanding $10 for four small Diet Cokes... yeah, that mouse is fuckin' happy alright. Don't even get me started on those individuals pushing strollers and their assumed right of way mentalities or the ones with a fast-food addiction that has caught up to their slowing metabolisms that require that they now pilot the 'blubber buggies'.... hate me if you will... but the truth is a big, fat bitch.

In any case ... the raping of my wallet and dehumanizing of society aside, I'm in a good place. I'll tell ya why ... I'm away from my 'reality' of home and awash in my 'reality' of self. Sometimes it takes nothing more than a change of scenery, a slap in the face, even an overwhelming sense of disdain for one's own feelings of self to bring you back to who you are and what you need in order to grow.

As I sit upon this stool, I reflect upon my thoughts and mindset that I had only a few days ago in my familiar surroundings at home ... blase... routine... complacent. And now, I listen Duane Eddy and his magic guitar and step back into myself... in one brief moment I discard the negativity that has consumed me and see that, yeah, I'm home. Home, being that I'm in my element.

Believe it or not, I did not speak harshly to anyone, even when I was stepped upon by oversized feet ... even as I was purposely rammed in the calves by baby strollers ... I surprised even myself. I simply smirked and possibly grunted ... shit, I must be getting old. Or, maybe, just maybe, I realized that my happy place is in the middle of a throng of chaos. Maybe, just maybe, my chaos is the quiet and compacency of a quiet life ... The conundrum? How the two shall meet ... I'll find that intersection of chaos and meaning, of that I'm certain. I'll return to Virginia and face the 'reality' I left behind but I'll face it with the a mentality I thought I'd abandoned... or a mentality that I thought had abandoned me.

But, I'm not bringing my enlightened ass back to Disney during Christmas week ever again. There is only so much civility and sanity that I can afford to spare ... That squeaky mouse and his goofy cronies got their message across to me ... the happiest place on earth is where you are and who you are. And, if I could kidnap that big-eared bastard I'd take him to Virginia, put him in a duplex in Sterling, VA and have him pay for every lap on the gerbil wheel.

Ok, so maybe that's a stretch. After all, I'm only a man sitting upon a stool at a pool bar... a man with a skewed mind and a disdain for humanity's loss of humanity ...
Blow me ... I'm a tuba.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas ... Redeem Within 30 Days, No Refunds.

"..... and God said, "Honor  thy father and thy mother, .... until one or the other pisseth you off ... until thy feelings are hurt ... "

"Then," saieth the lord, "inflict pain and suffering upon the one who stands before your ideal life ... for you, as a child, are entitled to a painless, unencumbered life of priveledge, free of worry and mental adversity. Those with struggles are but roadblocks to your happiness ..."

So reads the Book of Spoils ...

".... and," saieth the God of all mankind ... "forget the spirit of forgiveness and acceptance ... cast aside the false teachings of those who preach universal peace and uncondtional love .... thou art better than that. Humans fail ... humans make mistakes... and, when humans make mistakes, their love, commitment and emotions wither and die. Those who err are lost and are doomed to Hell."...

So saieth the Lord .... "Only gifts of manna, mammon and Nordstrom can redeem the soul of the Hell-bound ..."

....... I write from a seated position .. ... A mixture of pain, hurt and anger stirs within me. For weeks... no, months, I have contained myself. Not wanting to further alienate my children who consider me to be an embarrassment, an afterthought, a scab on their knees as they grow .... I have censored myself with hope that they would see me as an individual worthy of consideration. These are not toddlers ... my daughter is 20 years old ... my son is 16. Both are old enough to judge for themselves ... to distinguish right from wrong.

No more. No more. I love my kids. I will always love my kids. But these two are fuckin' with the wrong guy.

Here's a holiday story ... I will admit that I hurt my kids. Emotionally ... I left them. No, I left their mother... no, I left my marriage. After my then-wife had emotionally, physically and mentally left me, under duress, I moved on. I never emotionally abandoned my kids. There were many extenuating circumstances that precipatated the separation of their mother and me. no doubt. As a result of my departure, my finances took an extended vacation ... my priorities aligned themselves with a newfound purpose and my affections gravitated towards another woman who should have been their mother in the first place. Hang a mistletoe over the story and warm your cockles on a yule log and you have a dysfunctional Christmas story.

Fast forward ... really. Fast-fucking forward .... let's get to the point, shall we?

Christmas Day, 2010. The moment I awake, I call. First, my daughter. Then, my son. Then, a text to each... just as I do most every day. .................................................................................................... nada. yet, I hope that with every buzz of my phone I get a simple "Merry Christmas" or "love u2" ....

just like every day.... nothing... despite my hopes ..................................................................................................

Today is December 27th.... still no call. No text. Nothing.

That's ok... actually, it's a bit liberating. I can finally claim that I have no children.. and, as such, I have no fault in raising anyone incapable of forgiveness. If I had children who rejected someone due to imperfections of character, I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge my own imperfections in their character.

I'm embarrassed by the children I never had and ashamed of the children that might one day claim me as their own. Let me say that I accept responsibilty for their disdain for me and my newfound individuality.

That said, I didn't raise my children to be judgemental. I am not perfect. As a matter of fact, I'm a fuckup to the 'nth' degree. But, I'm not worthy of such hatred ... such .. such...

... what is the word for being disowned by those you love? Disowned simply for being who you are meant to be, despite the image it casts upon the family name?....

No matter ... my children have washed their hands of me ... the one who possibly best understands who they are. .... No text. No call. I'm sure they prayed at church on Christmas Eve, or on Christmas Day before eating that meal of god-given bounty .... grateful for the gifts they recieved or were about to recieve.

Recieve. Recieved. For my ex-children, 'Give' is not an option.

I'm done ... stick a fork in me. I can't continue to mask the pain of my own children's rejection at the expense of my sanity. It fuckin' hurts ... I may not be perfect but I'm human. The road to acceptance runs both ways... and right now, there is no speed limit.

".... sloweth down,"... saieth the lord... "speed bumps shall cause your camels to stumble and those speed bumps may reside within your homes..." ...

All bets are off ... Jeff shall now speak without hesitation, saieth the lord...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Lesbian, a Gallbladder and the Christmas Spirit ... It's All Clear Now...

The magic of the holiday season, the Christmas season, so to speak, has been absent from my life for quite some time. I'm not talking about the thrill of gift-giving or receiving ... I'm speaking of the mystery that captured my attention as a child. It was more than the excitement of a fat man eating our Ritz crackers after dropping off a load of gifts ... it was knowing that I was simply worthy of a visit from the fat man ... It was then a feeling that I was worthy of acknowledgement, simply for being me... warts and all. A fat kid with an infant's mind who dreamed of being an astronaut. Santa was going to bring to me through a material gift the underlying gift of acceptance. Santa didn't know me personally, but he knew I wasn't a bully, serial killer or cat juggler. Despite all of my misgivings, Santa determined that I was worthy of acceptance and as such, worthy of a visit ... and an Etch-a-Sketch.

Fast forward quite a few years. Here I am, a man who no longer anticipates a visit by the fat man ... a man who no longer feels worthy of a visit from paunchy St. Nick. But here's the thing, St. Nick is a sneaky ol' bugger ...

Why? Ask me again.. Why? ... Pssst.... lemme whisper this to ya... put on your bi-focals and thinkin' caps ... clear your mind and ponder this revelation ... Santa, ol' St. Nick, he is a master of surprise. You think you're gonna get that new Blu-Ray 3D player and 'Avatar' special edition disc and *BAM*! you're hit square in the face with more than animated aliens.

You have no idea what I'm referring to ... that's ok ... tuck this idea into a nook or cranny in your mind, wrap a gift or two and come back ... I'll wait ....

...... fa la la la la ... hmmmmm... chestnuts ..... kiss my mistletoe ... hmmm, hmmmm... la la la la la ....

Are you back? Good for you ... Let me get personal. I grew up in a loving home and have amazing parents, an inspirational sister and memories of joyous Christmas mornings. Despite the losses I've suffered in the last few years, my kids, money, mind ... I still have these people. And Pam. I also have the gift of unconditional love and acceptance ... how do you wrap that shit in a box with double-sided tape?

Get to the point, you bastard ... geez ...

There is a friend of mine that went in for a simple outpatient procedure recently ... yesterday. A gallbladder removal. No big deal, really. Except that this friend used to hate me and is my soulmate's best friend. Well, maybe 'hated' is a bit extreme ... but, I wasn't accepted. Not only did I have  quite a few issues, I also had, and have, a penis. You see, this friend is a lesbian, like me. And now, she had a gallbladder-ectomy, like me.

To make a long story short, I consider her one of my best friends. And, I have a feeling that she would say that I'm 'Okay' ... we both want the best for a certain someone ...

But, I digress ... the gift of this season was given to me by a wonderful woman, loopy on morphine and Percoset, being wheeled to my waiting car after being discharged from the hospital ... a weak-kneed example of someone no different than myself. And, the images of the Christmas mysteries of my childhood flooded my mind as 'Carol of the Bells' played on the radio. I watched as this strong-willed, determined woman wobbled as she rose from the wheelchair. All of her vulnerabilities related to my own vulnerabilities. And, for a moment, we were one.

That, to me, is the meaning of life. Unfortunately, most only grasp that meaning once a year, and only for a brief moment. Weakness is universal. The need for acceptance is universal.

What did this teach me? A weak-kneed lesbian accepts me and I, a  weak-minded man with creaky elbows appreciates that acceptance. We are all the same, just different.

Merry Christmakwanzukkah.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another Version of the Creation Story ...

FfffppppPPPPfffFFFtTTTTtttt ... squeak ....

.... and God farted.

And, from that fart was born the Milky Way ... a swirling mass of stars and orbs circling a flaming mass ... certainly you can relate ... peer into the clockwise swirl that disappears into a black hole ... a swirling watery universe that swallows the creation of the day no matter how satisfying that creation was when ingested.

pffdfttttdd.... squirt ... pfft ...

There you are... on a clockwise-spiraling mass destined for the black hole. Clockwise, unless you are in Australia.

Have you put it together yet? Do I need to alienate myself further by drawing the picture?

No? Good.

Goodnight, thanks for reading .....

Why are you still here?... Damn, glutton for punishment, eh? Ok, well. don't hold this against me ... these are my thoughts, no one made you read 'em ...

 The Universe, God, to many, Farted ... and spewed from the sphincter of the almighty were dingleberries ... Holy dingleberries ... Dingleberries that would meld with belly button lint and create a magical planet that would spawn a race of people capable of scratching, picking and discarding everything that felt, smelled and sounded different than what their ass and belly found different.

Pffft ... (silent but deadly) ... and God placed upon his creation a coin. A single token, meant for Adam ... *Biblical annotation - "...and on the third day after creating Eve from the rib of Adam, God created the coin, a means for Adam to enjoy Eve's god-given attributes as she straddled the Tree of life to the tune of  'Thy Baby Hath Posterior'...... and Eve placed the coin upon her belt and gave change, sixpence, to Adam for his loving admiration....."

... and the coin was insufficient, a slug, and Eve admonished Adam as there was a two apple limit in the Garden ....

Pfffttttff ... "a 'do-over'", God said.  "How can I propogate perfection and my own greatness with these two dumbasses? Don't eat the apple... that's all I asked..." Jeeezus ... I need  a cosmic 'Delete' button ...
Oh, well, let's see where this goes.... After all, I gave them an appendix... oops... I think I got the brain part all figured out ..."

..... Fast forward a few millenia ... God has lightened up a bit. Adam lost a rib and sense of self ...

Trial and error ... that's how the God of Adam rolls ... "Apples, what was I thinkin'?," said the Ultimate power of Everything. 'An Apple? Weak. I didn't give humanity a chance ... Oh well, no matter ... my bad. I'm allowed to fuck up... I'm the Ultimate 'Say So,'

...  But Adam  was old ... with sons  who chose to live their own lives ... Spoiled children who witnessed the weaknesses and failures of their father ... and those children were the first to extend the middle finger to the father.

'Damn you, Eve!," has been exclaimed inummerable times since that day in the Garden ... A promised eternity of pleasure and ecstasy derailed by a moment of hunger ...

...Pffftttttsss..PPPPffFFFttt ... Apples are pure fiber.

The moral? God never intended for his creation to fart but he allowed it. Satan, as a serpent, incited a desire for  fruit (apples), which ensured mankind would endure through proper nutrition.

So what that a little fiber moves through the digestive system in a harsh way? That's what we get for eating apples  and nibbling  at banana  leaves ...

Pfffttt ... arrrffttt... Amen.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stickin' it To Ya

Hello ... I'm a stick.. a branch... a twig. I fell off of a bush, or maybe it was a tree.

I hate toes. Toes are stealing my thunder.

You don't know what I'm talking about, do ya? Shit....

Ok, here's the deal ... As a stick, I have a legacy of creating history. I have been plucked from bushes and trees. I have been singled out among twigs and bones for the purpose of drawing lines in the sand. I'm a fuckin' stick.

Here's my beef with you people ... all you do with me and my stick brethren now is snap and burn. We're kindling to you people. If you wanna draw a line in the sand, you use your toe... there's no seriousness.. there's no commitment to a line or a plan drawn in the sand with a toe. C'mon, a toe?

There was a time when an entire future of a civilization was determined by a stick that was carefully chosen by it's heritage, growth, bend-ability and feel. A line in the sand was drawn to indicate growth, advancement of civilization, strength ...

Now? We sticks are overlooked ... how can anyone draw a line without a stick? I'm a metaphor now ... I'm an ideal. I'm an objective point view that can be used to draw an imaginary line.

As a stick, I'm a bit pissed off. I might be a stick, but I'm tangible ... anyone can wrap their hands around me and make a visible line to either be crossed or avoided ... Hell, a stick is real. You can draw a line with me and sign that line with me ...

A toe? A toe is always gonna be attached to your foot but any ol' toe can claim to draw that line ...

I'm open for initial carving ... feels good to an old stick like me... knowing that I'm part of something that lasts. Ya know, weather erases the lines that we sticks draw but we sticks always draw straight and true. Sticks and twigs ... we know what you're thinking ...

Put your shoes on ... toes are stupid.

Don't Read - This Is For Pam - Really, You Won't Get It

….. and “…..” there was a noiseless Big Bang. Noiseless, because in space there is a vacuum and as such there is no sound. But, for sake of argument, there was a Big Bang… a beginning of all that is known.

But what do we know? Before the Big Bang there was an immense energy, a galactic soul that was growing, thriving, unknown and yet confined. Within that growing mass of energy, that soul, were countless billions of souls that were unique, yet connected… Souls borne of a single, simple purpose.. to venture into the universe and experience an existence unencumbered..

And then, pffft… at least in the vacuum … but for effect, there was a million-megaton explosion that rocked the cosmos. And the countless souls scattered … the connected souls parted and ventured into the great unknown at lightyear speeds with no known destination, like a Mexican crossing the Rio Grande.

Fast forward to the present day … to a soul limited by a calendar it is a time billions of years later. Maybe more, maybe less, but unimaginable nonetheless. It’s a long freakin’ time ….

A billion years is but a tic of the second hand on the Atomic Clock. Billions of souls connected by nothing more than shared energy and a desire to separate from the throng are still connected and each a part of the countless billions … Work with me here , I can elaborate later.

But imagine a soul that was torn in half by that noiseless act of creation…. And imagine that that soul meandered through eons of lives not being able to experience wholeness. Imagine the vastness of space standing between the human comprehension of the eons between the Big Noiseless Bang and Right Now and imagine that that span of time is the hole in self… what you are missing in yourself.

That is me. That WAS me … until August 28th, 2007. That is the day that I reconciled with the Big Vacuum Bang… again. Eons, millions, billions, gazillions of years later my minute speck of energy was drawn to a glaring beacon. That beacon was the part of my soul that had been lost at that moment of cosmic explosion. The vast emptiness of space I’d held and tried to plug with vices, experiences, more vices, a few more vices, money, a couple more vices, you get the idea… that emptiness was filled in a moment that consisted of a glance, a smile and acceptance.

Imagine, if you will, storming the beaches of Normandy on D-Day … utter chaos. As you jump from the perceived safety of your boat you encounter a barrage of shells, one of which lands at your feet and separates your legs from your torso… yet you live. Then, imagine that you are carried to safety, able to survive, yet now contemplate a future being unable to live fully without legs.

Now, wake up. An individual is able to live a fulfilling life without limbs. The legless veteran is fortunate to be alive. The soul parted from self is destined to die. A limbless body is just a body … yeah?

August, 2007 is when the Big Bang surgeons saved me from death due to cosmic shelling. To be able to recognize the connection that my incomplete soul has with its missing ¾ is not lost on me. I also recognize that the ¼ soul that I hold is no less necessary for a complete existence that the ¾ soul that she holds for me. We all have a percentage of another’s existence that we hold within us. Unfortunately, that percentage might not be held by the ones that we want or are with. That’s a smack in the face, eh?

Mushy, yeah … but I’m penning this for the one who fills the holes within my soul … the holes that were created for a reason ... the reason being that wholeness is obtained through lack and lack creates an appreciation for wholeness. Yeah, I lack much… I probably always will, at least on this planet, this time around … and I have lost everything, everything that I considered important and worthy of pursuit.

Nah, not really … I’m whole now. Not perfect, but whole. That ray of light that I clung to before the Noiseless Explosion has refracted, reflected and bounced around the cosmos just as my ray of light has done for millennia … Now, her lighthouse beacon has reunited with my penlight and together we can light the cosmos ….

Mushy, yeah. Heartfelt, most definitely. You see, a complete sense of self requires more than self because ‘self’ isn’t alone. The best part of me hates how I let the trash can get overstuffed while at the same time laughs at my lame jokes and tells me I’m handsome first thing in the morning.

The part of me that scattered during the Noiseless Bang knows that I’m as much a part of her as she is a part of me. The best part of me corrects me and feeds my inner adult when my outer child is a dumbass and in return, my outer child tells her clinched nerve-addled sphincter to lighten up …

My example is acutely personal. Yet, we all have within us a piece of another … all of us.

I don’t expect anyone to understand what I’m saying … that’s ok. I’m writing this for my better ¾. An early gift this Christmas. I give to her as a gift the full ¼ of my soul that makes her whole just as she has given to me the ¾ that I lacked. It's as if a galactic forensics team found two pellets of cosmic buckshot.

I’ve always love you, Pam. Always have, always will. Now, let’s examine that whole ‘Big Bang’ thing for a while … I think there was leather and latex in there somewhere … hehe … Ciao Bella.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

White Lights and Timers

It's that time of year again when we throw caution to the wind. Christmas. Hannukkah. Kwanzaa. Druid Winter Solstice. So many traditions, so many decorations. It's the one time of year that beckons the inner ego within each of us to 'buy, buy, buy'... to impress upon those we love and those we tolerate that we're capable of out-doing, out-spending and out-loving everyone we know.

Nowhere is this more subtly evident that in the decorations adorning our homes. Call me old-school, old or tacky but memories of multi-colored, egg-shaped bulbs strung together by a lead-covered strand of wire scream 'Christmas!' to me. These were the lights that Snoopy adorned his doghouse with in the eternal holiday classic. These are the lights that the original druids used to light Stonehenge ... bright, lively, festive. Festive.... there's the key word I'm looking for.

Much like the earliest Druid children, in my childhood I would gaze upon the red, green, orange and blue glow of homes during the season of the winter solstice and marvel at the blend of colors. That blend of colors beckoned to me to appreciate something greater than myself and my 'need' for the new fuzzy-headed GI Joe figure. My parents would load me and my goofy sister in the car anytime after Thanksgiving and slowly the glow of the solstice would grow... all in shades of greens and reds and blues ... often twinkling ... little by little, the ride from my house to the local Eckerd Drug store would become more and more illuminated by the colors of the rainbow ... even the electric window candles were red, blue and green ... and the ocassional white.White... white isn't even a color, it's an absence of color.

By the way, shut up. Black isn't the absence of color, if that's what you're thinking. Black is the result of the mixture of ALL colors. Think upon that for a moment.

And then... something happened. Suddenly, Charlie Brown died and took his lights with him. The rainbow was quenched with the glow of tiny white lights. Nets of white lights draped trees and shrubs. It's as if there was a politically-incorrect decision was secretly made that eliminated color from home holiday decorations.

It has been suggested that there was a broken passage in the Dead Sea Scrolls that mentions that 'only lights of the brightest white are allowable when adorning one's abode..." Supposedly, there are clauses within mortgage agreements that stipulate that purchase of a home is contingent upon 'buyer's acceptance of HOA rules that 'Holiday' lights be acceptable (white) and in linear conformity to societal standards."

Basically, it's no fun to load the kids into the car and venture out to marvel at the tackiness or festive lights between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hell, you can't even load a party of drunks, a CD of Weird Al Christmas songs and Carrot Top into a car and feel festive while driving by house after house adorned with white lights and sterile spirit.

Hmmm ... 'sterile spirit' ... the decor of a home acts as a mask for the personality of the ones who decorate. "Will those who drive by consider us 'tacky' or 'cheap' if we don't look classy and neat?"

The dumbing-down and conformity of humanity can be seen this time of year... each time you see perfectly decorated homes and lawns strewn with LED white lights, shrub nets, wreaths on the grills of BMW's and minivans and those 'Look!, I'm in the spirit! Look at Me!' inflateable snowman snowglobes, you see the spirit of ego and not the spirit of the season ...


I like white lights. Pam and I have white lights on our tree. We also have a 15" (that's INCH) Charlie Brown tree with one ornament. That 15" tree represents who we are. The tree with the white lights has an entire strand of burned out lights. ... that also represents who we are. The best part for us is that none of this is on a timer ... we take down the tree with the white lights but the spirit of the Charlie Brown tree stays with us year-round. A rainbow of red, green, blue, orange and yes, a few white lights ... like Stonehenge.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Fred Phelps/Jesus Wikileaks Transcripts

Elizabeth Edwards died this week. She was a woman who surely had faults, as we all do. Yet, she endured betrayal, ridicule, predjudice and scorn simply because she was married to a public figure, John Edwards. I will not elaborate on John Edwards and his indiscretions. This isn't about him, this is about Elizabeth. She not only endured these things, she bested these things despite herself and the animal that ravaged her from within ... An imperfect woman.. no, an imperfect human ... no, an imperfect extension of each of us ... To borrow a phrase from the rider in the front seat of the short bus, Sarah Palin, 'She's You'... and me.

But, sadly, she's not Fred Phelps or any one of his misguided minions. The below noted official memo from the Westboro Baptist Church is  no less imflammatory than hate speech spewed by the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, Mel Gibson or Kanye West ... Take a gander and then partake in my perceived conversation between Jesus and Fred Phelps in regard to this event ... *note: the below memo is not my doing but is real and, sadly, serious.

Okie doke. The following is an unofficial transcript obtained by WikiLeaks that details a conversation between Fred Phelps and his leader, Jesus, son of Tammy and Travis. The Westboro Jesus who was born in a mangy trailer, covered in swaddling sheets, complete with hood and a copy of 'Mein Kampf' and damns those who swill Jim Beam in favor of Jack Daniels and will save everyone who believes that he is the Savior of Dale Earnhardt's soul.

... and we begin ...

Fred: "God? Jesus? You there? I need to speak at ya ... this whore wife of an adulterer died today. Thank you. Can you give me a sign that you snuffed her? I mean, I know that you hate those who stand by sinners, whoremongers, liars and fans of Jeff Gordon. Woot woot."

.. and then, silence.

Fred: "Hey, Jeez ... it's me, Fred. I'm thinkin' that after dinner at the Sizzler, my flock might do a video that shows Liz Edwards as a sinner in Hell ... maybe to the tune by Bow Wow Wow ... you know, "I Want Candy" except we'll spin it into, "I Want Cancer" ... I know you like parody."


Freddy: "Jesus, Jesus ... I always do what you tell me to do. You say 'hate', I hate. You say, 'antagonize', I antagonize. You say, "blow an altar boy', I say I'm not Catholic but I'll finger a schoolgirl ... I'm always here for ya, J-man. But, what are we gonna do about this evil, evil woman that died? I mean, Hell-fire, you sent her death and suffering and damnation, afterall. So, how can I, we, my church, further extol your message of love and acceptance by denouncing her self-perceived strength of spirit?"

... "ahem":... silence...

And then, as if a breeze was blown from the sphincter of God, a voice emerged from behind chords of a banjo ... and the voice said unto Fred the Divine ...

Voice: "Fred, Can ya hear me? It's me, Bob. I like the name 'Bob' because you can say it backwards or forwards and it still says 'Bob'.

Fred: "Jesus? God? Hallelujah! You have shown yourself and affirmed that your church, THE church, here in Kentucky, is right in protesting the death of a life of one who died in trying to live as she proclaimed false hope knowing that she was going to die which in effect is a lie and as such condemns her to damnation and hellfire."

Voice: It's 'Bob'.

Fred: "Oh, Bob. My utmost apologies. I should thrust myself upon a sword or stone myself. But, If I were to do that then who would lead the flock to the promised land of  polygamy, judgementalism and paradise?... the paradise in which women without makeup or hair care products are desireable,.. the paradise that has St. Peter at the gates of Heaven, tearing in trackside tickets complete with an eternal pit pass and handing each of us entering a bucket of chicken wings and a cooler of holy beverages? J-Man, you and I are equal ... Let me bow my head for a moment as you nod to St. Earnhardt ..."

Voice: "Fred ... Fred, Fred, Fred ... first of all, just so ya know ... Dale is downstairs. Yeah, he rubbed too many cars the wrong way. Secondly, Liz ... Miss Edwards ... well, she's written quite an appeal on her own behalf as a result of your damning condemnation. I gotta tell ya Freddy, you might need to hire an attorney ... I hear Lindsay Lohan's and Mel Gibson's counsel might be available ... I might be the judge, jury and executioner but I'm willing to give you your day in court ..."

Fred: "Wait a minute ... Is this you Jesus? I know that sometimes there are people that try to impersonate you... Hold on, wait a second, I have a call from FOX News ... can you hold?"

Voice: "Suuure ... hehe ... (little does Freddy know that I made the call and I own FOX News) ...

....... moments later ....

Fred: "Uhhhh ... sorry 'bout that bro ... Beck wanted to know the details of the protest and bought four tickets. By the way, all monies received for protesting the death and life of those who died while exhibiting unholy faith and strength goes towards the new Family Life center and annual Chicken Pie dinner for the unsaved and unworthy. It's a good thing, trust me. All I personally get from it is a blurb on network news and possibly a blowjob from a parishoner which I know you'll forgive because I'm doing the work of...well, you."

Voice: "I most certainly have a nice spot in mind for your life in eternity, Freddy. Your actions really do accentuate my teachings in a way you'd never fathom. "Fathom" ... there's a word you might want to explore.
"Liz!" "Liz!" ... Hold on a sec, Freddy ....

Voice: "Hey, Liz ... would you reach over St. John and pass me that red Sharpie? yeah... that one ... and if you don't mind, I need that sheet of poster board ... I have an idea for a sign that is gonna make headlines at an upcoming protest ....I'm thinkin' you should be there to speak for me ..."

Voice: "Hey, Freddy? Here's where I want you to go next ... Oops... My bad. You're gonna be there already. Oops again, I just spoiled your surprise ... you're the guest of honor, so to speak. By the way, did you know that Westboro, Kentucky is now the galactic center of the universe and a spiraling black hole rests underneath the altar of your sanctuary? *wink wink* ... Just trying to clue you in ... "

Fred: "I KNEW that I was your chosen one! Can I have your chair at the right hand of God? I mean, Hell...oops, Heck ... You might have raised the dead but I condemned 'em ... so, move over...."

..... And so it is .. so let it be written, so let it be done ... please.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Matter Is More Than Solid ... Blah Blah Blah

"Blah blah blah dee blah dee blah doo dee do umm blah de blah ... yadda yadda yadda blah, ugh, blah" ...

So goes the conversations that most people have with others and with themselves... every day, myself included. "Woe is me ..., " we cry ... "I'm broke ..", "I'm unemployed...", "I'm single..." ... "I'm fat,"... I'm married...", McDonalds gave me cold fries at the drive-thru ..." ... "I have herpes...".. whatever. Blah, blah, blah... yadda, yadda, yadda.

Have you ever been slapped in the face with a forty-pound trout that had already been pinned to a cedar plank? I'm not talking about the fun, sexual foreplay trout-slapping, but the 'snap-out-of-it-you-whining-pissy-bastard' slapping. If not, then you should visit your local supermarket and ask the butcher for a 'Visage Fish' dinner. Or, better yet, make a phone call to someone who can speak fluent "Blah dee blah" yet considers the language as defunct as Aramaic ...

"What the shiznit are you talking about?", you might ask ... (cleaning up the language for my mom)

Fair enough ... being that my train of thought is more a 'Little Engine That Could' than a Thomas the Train mentality, I'll elaborate. I owe it to humanity to either educate or alienate the masses as my destiny has been sealed although it was sealed with watered-down Elmer's glue and not contact cement. ...

Tonight I spoke to a friend. This friend has stepped upon the shore of the River Styx, extended her middle finger and raspberried Cerberus, Hades and any long-toothed fish in that damn river, turned her back, mumbled 'Fuck You, Death," and is now scoffing at nature, life, death and .those who underestimate the human spirit.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I've always heard about the power of the human spirit. Yet, I've never really understood or appreciated what the human spirit is all about. To me, the human spirit is portrayed in a heartwarming story during the holidays ... The Hallmark Holiday Special presentation of "My Daddy Died at Christmas, but Didn't Really Die, Was Addicted  to Everything Bad, Had a Disgusting Life But Always Wanted to Know His Family". You know, real life.

Real life to me is living down my past failures, wanting to make amends with children who can't, or won't understand my personal weaknesses and attempting to be of value, monetarily and emotionally, to someone who accepts me for my mind and spirit and not my numerical value even though that someone could care less about monetary value. Hey, it's my mind, don't try to understand unless you want to be immersed in a decades-long educational journey.

But tonight, a fish on a board slapped me.

Imagine, if you will, being full of promise and dreams. Suddenly, a single unwanted, hatred-filled act of another directed towards you skews those naive thoughts of a seamless future. Then, imagine that a few years later, a failed relationship ... and then ... an attack on your health. Imagine Cancer invades ... again, and again.

Not all is lost ... you meet someone who sees you at your most vulnerable... yet, you're loved and appreciated despite your weakness. How difficult this must be on the one who sees the life in the eyes of one who laughs through the pain and tears.

Imagine that you know this person who never once complains about the sickness and pain of therapy. Imagine for a moment that this person has defied the odds and shouldn't be alive yet, is not only alive, but is living a life more fulfilling than your own..

It sort of takes the sting out of that worry of whether or not your Christmas gift will be appreciated more than another's gift, eh?

My face smells like fish and not in a good way. I've survived dumbass suicide attempts. I've avoided prison rape. I'm still marvelling at broken bones in my fingers. But, I've never faced death. Yeah, ok, my dumbassed-ness attempts to say 'Sayonara' might count as facing death but I've never been smacked with the possibility of death through no fault of my own. I was stupid. I had a deathwish and pushed limits and for some unknown reason those limits pushed back and screamed at me. saying, "Hey, FuckTard! You're not worthy to die yet!". Thank you, cosmos ... thank you because you have kept me kickin' long enough to recognize that my spirit is weak and needs educatin' ...

And so I come to my friend ... I'm at a loss. How can someone who has endured so much pain .... so much sickness... so much  pain, again ... find the words to encourage someone such  as myself? I'm someone who seems to be lacking. I've suffered and lost. Yet, I'm alive. No matter, I feel lack and loss. Yet, this friend who has cheated death and struggles with similar daily struggles as my own grasps life and love and squeezes it by the balls.

I'm not gay but I'd love to squeeze life by the balls, assuming Life is a male.

Let me put this into a personal perspective. I've had money. At one time, not too long ago but in a far, far away place, I would buy and buy and buy .. I would always take advantage of sales on batteries, thong underwear and novelty t-shirts. The staples of a bi-polar mind. Then, one day, my local Hot Topic informed me  that they had sold out of the newest Hasselhoff t-shirt.
Where was my money to go? I already owned the 'More Cowbell' series. I was never into Transformers ... Nordtroms was getting a bit pricey with their shit ... C'mon... I was manic and needed clothes that I'd later sell on eBay for a loss.

Turns out that my worries were without merit ... a manic mind, no matter the limit, will not match the credit limit of the chosen card of the manic mind.

Where are you going with this, Jeff? Long story short ... I'm fucked in the head. I've loved, I've lost. I love passionately and I love uncondtionally. I'm loved uncondtionally. I lack. I want. I need. But I have everything.

My friend has shown me that having everything is nothing but having nothing is everything. A smile and a hug are more powerful than a bottle of aspirin and better on your liver than two Aleve. A laugh takes the place of a glass of wine and an hour of writing about one's pain is more effective than six months of medication.

I won't give up, even when giving up seems easy, because of one person I know that sees surrender as defeat. Loss of things and others is part of life but loss of self is unnatural.

You might know someone who never complains. There is a friend or family member who downplays pain and life's  injustices. Don't try to understand why they do so. Recognize your own fears that plague you. You know, the ones that really pale next to those who offer encouragement despite their own personal travails. I'm not there yet. I can't understand how someone can smile, offer encouragement and laugh at my lame jokes when my biggest problems hold no relevance to "Can I hold on and survive until Christmas?"

I'm starting with my fear of spiders and moving to my fear of acceptance. Spiders don't give two shits about me. I'm good with that. Ya know what? You might not give two shits about me either... I'm okay with that too. Blah dee blah dee blah. What I say means nothing to most but to me, it's yadda yadda yadda.

I'll spread my fingers over my eyes and wink at my friend in recognition of her strength and survival. My own fears of survival as one who is largely unaccepted and misunderstood remain but are lessened a bit due to one who sees life as I see it but approaches it without fear. I want that life, without the pain, but i wonder if that is possible. Blah dee blah dee blah blah blah ...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fairy Tale for the Perceptual

There are times when sentiment takes precedence over logic, when logic takes precedence over heart and when sensibility takes precedence over instinct.

This is a time when none of that shit is coming to mind. Sentiment is weakness, logic is unnatural and sensibility is one half of the human equation and the one half that is usually jaded by the perceived sensibility of society.

That said, take a walk on the thin line of unperceived perception.

A man once walked in Hush Puppies shoes. *Squish Pfft, Squish Pfft*, he ambled along unaware of the musings of his insoles. Ankles, white-clad ankles draped in three-ply cotton thigh Hanes socks that Michael Jordan proclaimed as being the 'Sock of Champions.'

And so this man walked, stride after stride, confident in his knowledge that comfortable shoes and celebrity-endorsed socks would ensure success in anything he was to encounter. Jaywalking? no-brainer. Speed-shopping? A given. Hercules, Charles Atlas and Jack LaLanne be damned ... a mind empowered by comfortable footwear is a powerful tool capable of conquering nations and bringing peace to a world plagued with assholes suffering from angst due to wearing ill-fitting loafers and Johnston & Murphy laced shoes.

As the story goes, the man clad in Hush Puppies stepped upon a curb and reached to press the button to cross an intersection at the same moment as a man in up-and-coming Johnston & Murphy loafers. Yet, the man in loafers was wearing blue cotton socks with a black suit and black shoes. "Fashion faux pas," thought the man in Hush Puppies ... "no black socks?"

The light changed and both were allowed to cross the street ... one man offered the lead to the other due to perceived respect for another and the man that proceeded was summarily struck by a speeding taxi, killing him instantly.

Who died and who suffered from his decision?

Perception is a bitch, eh?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This Will Make No Sense to Anyone But Myself

Questions .... always questions. Never answers. Answers only bring more questions. And the answers aren't answers at all, they only create more questions ...

What else? Why? No shit? Uhhh.. eh?

It doesn't matter what the subject matter might be ... a question remains.

It drives me crazy(er). What is wrong with you? What is wrong with me? Why don't you see the the big picture? Am I missing the big picture?

A mind in motion is questioning everything. It's maddening. I wonder how those who know me and love me endure me when I often shun the superficial, yet meaningful aspects of everyday life in the pursuit of answers to questions that have no relevance to no one but me yet to me hold significance to my own relevance.

Surrounded by a multitude of people and opinions it's as if there is a shield of superficial truth that separates every life's purpose.

Deep shit. 

As I sit and contemplate questions, I'm glancing to my left and gazing upon one who is asleep and content, snoring and grunting. No questions. I'm here and will always be here. There is no question, so she sleeps soundly.

Yet, my mind wonders, 'Why?' It questions... I'm not worthy of love, or devotion, or anything for that matter. Yeah, I try to better myself but I will never be worthy of the love and adoration of such a wonderful soul who can accept me and my scattered mind and distracted thinking.

Why do you care about another? Why do you love someone? Why do you dislike someone? Why does someone love you when you don't love yourself? Why can't we all walk naked through the streets without fear of ridicule?


A mind in motion is a mind with questions. A mind in motion questions everything. Opinions aren't questions, opinions are responses to questions posed by individuals who are seeking answers.

Question yourself and answer your questions until you are satisfied with your answer. Don't accept an answer from anyone other than yourself ... 

My answer is snoring and accepts me despite myself. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bedtime Story

Pssst ... wanna hear a story? Are you one of those, and I mean 'those' to be 'human', that like to hear about the travails of others?

If so, let me regale you with a tale that will cause you to embrace your life's insanity as being nothing more than a cosmic game of 'Jeopardy' in which you don't know any of the questions.

The story begins with a man's quest to stand taller than his 5'7" frame and ends with a friend's declaration of fear. ... just so you know, the subject of the story closely resembles me... duh.

As it so happened, this man had somewhere aquired a sheathed bootknife during a particularly lengthy manic episode. Being that bootknives irritated his ankles and really didn't allow this man to feel in control of any perceived confrontation, he decided to carry the three-inch blade in the inner pocket of his leather jacket. No big deal ... except that hubris, tempered steel, mania and Grey Goose vodka are not compatible.

By the way, this man learned a valuable lesson this night ... a plate of cheese fries sitting on a bar being shared by seemingly everyone nearby doesn't necessarily mean that you are entitled to partake in cheese fry goodness. And if, by chance, those cheese fries belong to a group of Marines in civilian clothing .. well, you know where I'm headed with this ...

It was not long after this Cheese Fry encroachment and this man's mania-fueled, Goose-inspired decision to reach for a dull bootknife that this man was described as having a deathwish.

That man has since moved past cheese fries and carrying bootknives. Somehow, he avoided being dismantled that night. I like to believe that charm and humor swayed the keepers of the cheese fries. What sticks with me now is that the man with the deathwish really hasn't changed.

Take a trip to the Dark Side and all fear evaporates. Well, at least for one man who had a 'deathwish'. More of an awakening, I believe.

The story ends without a single physical incident but resounds in memory as a victory of sorts. The bootknife was never unsheathed. Somewhere, somehow, the crazy in the marines connected with the crazy in the man in question and the Universe aligned itself for the greater good.

The idea that the man has a deathwish only caused the man to further explore his limits. What happens after that is an Iliad epic worthy of publication.

The man still has the bootknife as a reminder of craziness personified. The bar in question has since closed. The Marines are hopefully alive and well and can still share a chuckle over the short fucker who stole a cheese fry and proclaimed dominance due to self-perceived macho that a three-inch bootknife provided.

Yet, the deathwish remains. It's in this man and it's in everyone. A deathwish is a necessity, ya dig? Without a deathwish you have no drive to take risks. Granted, risking death by stabbing is a bit extreme. But, as I see it, a life dedicated to simply existing without risk is a far more deadly deathwish.

I'm pretty sure that the man with the deathwish is still alive and kickin' ... Oddly enough, what he wished to die did  die and provided a bit of manure that fertilized new life that emerged from dirt.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The end.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Let Your Inner Alien Explode.

"Whooooo are you? Whooo Whoo, whoo whoo?"

So asketh The Who. You know the tune but have you answered the question?

I'm thinkin', you're either more than you really are or less than you really are. Expectations are a bitch, eh?

I'll go first ... I'm a failure of the utmost degree. I've never lived up to my own expectations. In my mind, I've let everyone down. I've never saved a life. My words are humorous, yet meaningless. My actions have been well-intentioned yet unnoticed and largely unneeded. I've been 'there', but no one knows.

As Sarah Palin might say, "I'm You."

You are a victim of your own expectations ... or, should I say, your perceived expectations, too. Who are you?

Hold on a second... I just noticed a nuance in my self-depracating self-description. Hmmm ... occasionally, my words are humorous. I've been told that every now and then I encourage a chuckle.

Well shit... this may very well contradict my self-impsosed badge of dishonor of being a 'total failure' . How can I fail if I create a smile, a chuckle, a laugh in another?

Well shit. I've failed again. I can't even fail without failing. What can this possibly say about mankind? Did The Who write 'Who Are You?' to warn us about the Mayan Calendar and 2012 Galactic Alignment?

I'm sure that you're in a position that allows you to breathe easily ... you're financially secure, your company requires your input in order to remain stable ... your front yard is green, winterized and secure for whatever mother nature brings ... your friends require your presence at all after-hours functions ... eh ...

Who are you? Like me, you are no one. Yet, you are everyone.

I think it's a bit humorous that we're all dumbasses that think we're smartasses. In short, we're all asses trying to put our cheeks around the greater good and meaning of life which happens to spin clockwise, unless you're in Australia. I'm speaking metaphorically of a toilet, by the way....

I'm gonna stand up and be the no one that everyone recognizes as being the nobody that proclaims his nothingness. I'll be noticed for being nobody and that recogniition will propel me to limited notariety which will accentuate my nothingness that resonates with all of those who relate to my obscurity.

Hey, give it a try ... all it takes is a voice. Unless you're mute, you have a voice. And, if you do happen to be mute then you have thoughts that emanate from your hands, eyes or grunts.

Who Are You? I wanna know ....

What Are You Looking For?

It's 3:31 AM, EST. That pretty much means that no matter what time it is on the planet you are in need of help if you're reading these words.

Congratulations, you're aware and seeking answers, even if they come from me.

Read on ... and, by the way, leave your baggage at the door.

Black Friday ... Mental Health Awareness Day

It was an "Ah Ha!" moment ... one of those realizations that strike at a time when you are searching for answers to life's greatest mysteries.

Hmpf ... I was simply determined to visit my local supermarket to obtain ingredients for a sweet potato casserole ... a dish I'd never attempted to create. My nerves were on high alert. This casserole was going to be sampled by those who might forever judge me as a result of their taste buds.

I was self-absorbed in my mission .. and then, as I entered the parking lot of the supermarket, I glanced to my right. Immediately, my focus shifted to the Coleman tent. A tent ... in front of neighboring Best Buy. Not only was the tent a five-person shelter, it was second in line behind two shivering masses who were huddling beneath a blanket on a bench only inches from the locked doors.

What the fuck have we become? Why would anyone, much less a multitude of people, gather at the entrance of a retail store, hours in advance of their opening?

Unless the retailer offers satisfaction-guaranteed orgasms or your money back with every Blu-Ray purchase there is no reason to camp out at Best Buy. I enjoy walking through Best Buy. There are many, many items that I'd love to own that Best Buy sells. But, if you were to ask me, "Hey, Jefftard, is there anything at Best Buy that you'd pitch a tent and piss in a water bottle in order to save a hundred bucks?" I'd say, "Uhh, nah ... "

Instant gratification has reached an insane level. C'mon people ... we're in a time that people don't have money, jobs and health care. Yet, we're waiting in line to buy gifts? For what? To make an impression on the recipient of said gifts in order to satisfy an inner need to prove oneself?

Hey, let's have a Black Friday sale at the liquor store ... Best Buy, Macy's and Toys R Us would be empty. Buy One Cuervo and get one free ... serves the same purpose ... self-satisfying for both the buyer and recipient.

Don't misunderstand me ... I love the holidays. I still call Christmas, 'Christmas'. What I abhor is the marketing of 'love, caring and appreciation' as an early-morning sale that requires camping in order to proclaim, "Yeah! I got a great fuckin' deal!" Personally, I'd return a gift that came as a result of an extreme bargain-shopping jaunt. Why? Because that gift wasn't obtained with my best interest in mind, it was obtained at the expense and gain of the buyer's sacrifice and expected thanks for his stupidity ... eh, sacrifice.

If you arrived at your favorite retail store today at 3, 4 5, 6 or 7 AM ... I don't dislike you at all. I just think that you might need to re-evaluate your priorities. Who is really getting the best deal? You lost hours of sleep and possibly earth-shattering morning sex. You fought smelly, cranky, obsessed shoppers for bargains and compromised the very values and principles that the holidays are meant to promote. Yet, the retailers who spent $2 for the $40 'Bargain' that you must have as a token gift are wide-awake and thanking you for your dedication to the holiday spirit.

We have people that find within themselves the resolve to 'suffer' through crowds, traffic and understaffed stores. People will trample others in order to grab an over-priced, on-sale flat-screen TV. I don't get it. These are the same people that lament the state of the economy and feel sorry for the unemployed, homeless and uninsured. Are the homeless, uninsured and unemployed on their Christmas lists as they storm the gates?

Again, I ask, "What the fuck?"

Once again, another holiday has become bereft of meaning. Christmas is synonymous with extended store hours, low prices and ego-inspired giving. I'm not a religous man but I do see that Christmas is fast-becoming a glorified Hallmark holiday on par with Valentines Day and Halloween. Buy, buy, buy.

Who are those gifts meant to excite? The recipient or the giver? There's a blurry line ...

As for the campers and the stampeders ... well, you folks are more whacked than I am ... ponder on that for awhile. No discount on the latest gadget at Best Buy will correct your mental ailment.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stuffing and Mixed Yammers

Sometimes I picture Plymouth Rock as a sound system in a muscle car or an animated 'Schoolhouse Rock' anthem. To this day, when I'm directed to picture the first Thanksgiving I picture a long, wooden picnic table. The table is overflowing with all kinds of mouth-watering bounty ... turkey, green bean casserole, biscuits, stuffing ... yeah, all that stuff and a couple dozen pumpkin pies that were brought by the squaws.

On one side of the table sit men in finely-tailored black suits, complete with ruffled shirts and buckled boots. Most are clean-shaven but a few are scoundrels and are scruffy ... even bearded. The scruffy ones squint as they peer across the table at the 'guests'... men dressed in their finery as well ... beaded leather attire complete with hand-crafted accessories meant to exclaim, "Welcome. Our place is your place."

"No, no," say the suits ... "We are educated ... welcome to our newly discovered abode. Y'all can stay as long as you know who's land this is ... Oh that? That's a musket ... What does it do? Well, hmmmm ... bring me some whipped cream for this pumpkin pie or I'll show ya. Wha..? No whipped cream? Ok, stand up, musket lessons begin now, inobedient heathen..."

Ok, ok, ok ... so that's not really the story of the first Thanksgiving ... I confess. I plucked this  account from Sarah Palin's newest book.

On to the meat ... the breast meat, so to speak. i'm working with a pickle fork and butter knife to pull the meat from my mind for this blog, so please bear with me. Away we go ...

I was sitting in a Wendy's in Hillsville, Virginia, enjoying Combo 9, large, with a Diet Coke. Across from me sat Pam, who was enjoying a Single with Cheese, no onions, and a side salad. Without warning or premeditation, I got choked up. At first, I considered gristle was the culprit ... grilled chicken can confuse the fast-food workers. No, no ... no gristle. The lump in my throat was emotional. Not the 'Oh. My God. This sandwich is orgasmic' type of emotional. This was different ..

You see, Pam and I were on our way back home after a short jaunt to Charlotte to visit my parents and sister. We'd made this trip before ... the trip was relaxed. Except for a brief, loving exchange of opinions concerning the Palins and FOX News between my dad and myself the trip consisted of good food, company and my own self-depracation.

Yet, as I reached for a fry, I had an overwhelming feeling. I told Pam, "I already miss my parents and sister."

Uh, what? I don't verbalize my feelings. I'm one tough, surviving sombitch. I love my family and I know they love me. I love seeing them and they love seeing me. And, I know all of this .... Oh shit. Is there weakness beneath this shield of pain?

This got me to thinking ... go figure. Midgets .. no, just kidding. Midgets have much to be thankful for but that's an entirely different subject ... no .. I started thinking about hurt, pain and other uplifting things.

I personally shut down a bit when I hear or read 'Happy Thanksgiving!" as it is exclaimed in a cheerful voice or prose. Motivational 'be grateful for' phrases grate me the wrong way because I know that every damn person saying or writing those words, 'Happy Thanksgiving', are doing so not because they are wishing you happiness but because they are hoping that you'll not criticize the dry stuffing too harshly.

What I realized during my Wendy's feast is that what I have is not what I am most thankful for. What I'm most thankful for is what I've lost.

Pride. Materialism. Greed. These are gone. Also gone is the love and adoration of my children. Although I'm not thankful that my children have disowned me, I am grateful that I regained my own purpose and sense of self.  Their disowning me has made me appreciate those who haven't disowned me and those who continue to see promise and potential in a man who struggles to see those qualities in himself.

Hence, the lump in my throat at Wendy's. My dad didn't think less of me because of my anti-tea party rant. My mom commended me on my Taboo rants on Lakota Phillips 'Breaking Taboo' show on http://www.newdissidentradio/ even though her beliefs often contrast my own. My sister? Well, she's more warped than I am, I believe.

Then, I glanced upwards and noticed the laugh lines at the corners of Pam's eyes. The eyes that gaze upon me and my pain... my failures .. the eyes that look at me and say, 'Thank You for loving me.' You see, Pam and her eyes were both borne or my hurt and pain.

This is some deep shit, I understand. But, in a single glance, as I looked into the eyes of a woman who was devouring a Single with Cheese, my pain of loss and self-hatred was diminished a bit. In her eyes I saw my own weakness ... I realized that I need those who need me and that, despite my anger, illness and multitude of faults, I'm not alone after all.

Thanksgiving isn't about celebrating what you have. It's about celebrating what you don't have. It's about celebrating what you lost and then gained. It's a celebration that a loss will result in growth. Be thanksful for what you don't have because the things you've lost are really the treasures that make you wealthy and wise.

Oh yes ... Pam, she is the butterfly that brings fluttering life and joy to my stunted soul. I took a strand of thread and wrapped it around my finger, took her hand and wrapped the other end around her finger and asked her if such a fragile thread would hold us together for a lifetime ....

She said yes.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanks? Selfish Bastard ...

Thanksgiving fast approaches. You wouldn't know it by watching TV ... Hell, Thanksgiving is nothing more than a brief rest stop on the highway to Christmas Town.

"No," you say ... "Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate family, blessings and football." "Thanksgiving is a day to count the many ways in which we have been blessed with love and kindness and family and equality and freedom and blah, blah, blah."

Uh, No. Maybe, if you were a pilgrim fearing for your life .. you offered a bird full of buckshot to someone who's land you inhabited, unwelcomed and feared, promising to not encroach upon that someone's life by professing your own beliefs of humanity's purpose ... well, then, maybe, if you weren't dismissed as different and summarily executed you could execute your own Godliness and claim righteousneous as your own ...

But, let's not talk about the Tea Party ... this is about Thanksgiving. This is a day that makes one pause, bow a head and take into account the many, many blessings that have enriched ones' life during the past year. The trials that matured into lessons .. the losses that matured into riches ... the relationships that blossomed into nourishing, revitalizing soul-enriching  partnerships despite the odds ...

This is Thanksgiving. And, if you can count yourself as one of the chosen above, then, by all means, celebrate. This is your week. Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, is your day. Eat up, fucker. Stand in  a circle with your family, hold hands, and one by one give thanks for one thing that you are thankful for before you attack that 15-lb turkey and dry stuffing.

Sound harsh? probably.... as I was listening to  music tonight I was taken back to an earlier time ... the late 70's ... an era searching for direction ... and my feeble mind connected to a time when family was a word synonymous with 'blanket'. Family surrounded and warmed me ... Ok, ok ... so, I didn't see Thanksgiving as anything more than a  time  to stand in line to scoop mashed potatoes and grab a homemade roll any more than I might now ... But, Thanksgiving was a time to gather with family, gaze at the old folks who smelled like mothballs and wonder who was not gonna be  there next year.

Morbid? Yeah. But, it was family. And, as odd as it may seem, most of American society approached Thanksgiving in much the same way. It was a day to appreciate not the history of the Pilgrims suckering the Indians into a meal in order to steal their land and way of life. Don't worry that the Pilgrims and those that followed smiled and slowly finagled their way into ownership of  a land through offerings of food and wampum ...

Now, as I age and attempt to delay my own mortality, I see that Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that is on the verge of becoming another 'day off' from work. I'm not one that sees Thanksgiving as being as important as say, oh, Arbor Day, but I have fond memories of Thanksgiving Day.

Today, as I was thumbing through the channels, I stumbled upon the Biography Channel. Normally, the Biography Channel is rife with features about quasi-celebrities ... but today the feature story was the Bee Gees.

I love the Bee Gees. The Bee Gees are ingrained in my past as voices that spoke to me when I needed them. I won't elaborate too much, but I can say that one of the most difficult times of my life, in my pre-teen years, was made a bit better by harmony of falsetto voices paired with stomps and heartfelt choruses.

This is my Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving occurs each time I listen to a song that takes me back to a moment that I can remember. My Thanksgiving occurs each time that I receive a text from my mom... my sister... my dad. My Thanksgiving occurs every morning when I turn my head and look into the face of unconditional love, Pam.

Thanksgiving isn't a holiday any longer. Thanksgiving is a a signal that it's time to spend money for Christmas. Thanksgiving has run it's course ... as a holiday it's no more than a meal served after hours of toil and preparation. Thanksgiving isn't thanks giving at all. Thanksgiving is nothing more than a celebration of one's own ability to accommodate those who will critique the turkey as being too dry or the stuffing as being bland.

At the first Thanksgiving the guests of honor, the native Americans, would shrug while the Pilgrim men and women presenting the meal would be grateful if they weren't killed for having lumps in the mashed potatos. Today, we endure a meal and insignificant football games in order to ready ourselves for the rush to the shopping mall the next day. Thanksgiving isn't about thanks at all ... Thanksgiving day is the starting gate and the following midnight is the bell that signals the all-out race to Christmas.

Jesus once said of Thanksgiving, " ....... uhhhhh"..

Jesus didn't know of Thanksgiving.

No one gives Thanks anymore. I'd be willing to bet that on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, most will not  even say 'Thank You' when passed the gravy. It''s expected that the gravy will be passed. Hell, it's your right to have the gravy, eh? You earned it... ...

You're welcome.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Job ... Dude, You Were Screwed

Leave it to me to tune in to a History Channel program with an open mind. History is history, right? Well, in most cases it is ... what has happened has happened and why what has happened is usually explained, yet often the reasons for the makings of history-making are left open to interpretation.

The History Channel is an excellent source of information when it comes to Hitler, any World War, trucking goods over ice-covered Alaskan lakes and determining the value of an autographed KISS concert ticket from 1972 while being low-balled in a Las Vegas pawn shop.

Yet, every now and then, more often 'now' than 'then', the HC delves into spiritual realms. It was during one such program that I was struck with the inspiration to write ... "God Versus Satan". Oh yeah, my kind of program. I pictured Rocky brawling head-to-head with Ivan Drago ... you decide which is God and which is Satan.

As I was drawn further into the show I reflected on the many years of teachings and studying I had plodded through as I sought salvation. I was once an avid student of scripture. As such, I was very often considered the 'go-to' guy for answers to questions of salvation, scripture and sin. Believe it or not, I was as close to being an evangelical, rapture-expectant, Christian with unwavering belief that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God that you can imagine.

To make a long story short ... a switch flipped ... that belief has changed, as have many other beliefs.

Yet, this 'God Vs. Satan" program drew me in. And, as you might imagine, my mind caught contradictions in certain biblical stories that eluded comprehension during my 'holy' years. One such story is recounted below, paraphrased and modernized so that those with that uneasy, 'WTF?' feeling might understand.

Let me relate to you the story of Job. Job, the man of faith who suffered loss and discourse due to nothing more than having an unwavering faith in his God. Decide for yourself who might be to blame for one man's suffering....

..... "and Satan, the advocate, said unto God.. "Hey, Yah, you gonna give me a shot at proving that you ain't all that and a bag of manna?"
 ... and God said, "look man, I'm gonna tell ya that there ain't nothin' that you can do that is gonna undermine my authority. I made you, by God. I brought you into this world and I can take you out. Who the Hell do you think you are?"
... Satan, stunned, replied, "Ok ... ok... yeah, you made me but you keep on sayin' that you made me in your image which means that, duh, I have in me all the qualities that you have in you, eh? You keep harpin' that you gave your creation on earth your qualities too ... it's in your damn book. Have you even read it? Who was your editor?
... I'll tell ya what, Yah, I'll bet that I can make your most loyal fan on earth look up to the heavens and say, 'What the Fuck!?' I want to mess with Job. He has it all and thanks you for it. Lemme at him."

... "Hmmm ... saieth God. "Lemme contemplate ...."  After considering the mind of the creation, God agreed to the bet. Yet, God had limits ... "You can do what ya wanna do to Job. Kill his animals, his wife, his kids. Destroy his house. Ya know what? Make him wish he was dead. I'll bet you that he will still have faith in Me. Ya know why? Because I'm the 'Big Guy'. I'm bigger and better than you. Go for it."

So, Satan plagued Job with poverty, death, depression, loss. And Job had done nothing more than have faith that he was subservient to his creator, his God. He had no pride. He accepted the circumstances of his life as being given by God. To make a long story short, Job lost everything ... his flocks, his children, his wife. Yet, Job survived.

... and Satan said, "ok, Yah, he didn't cave ... the human spirit is pretty damned strong."

... And, yay, God replied, "You owe me fifty bucks."

The moral of the story? If we, as creatures of God are supposed to live without pride, why is it that a God who considers pride a sin against Him exhibits the ultimate pride by haughitly sacrificing an innocent in order to prove His own supremacy?


Friday, November 19, 2010

Spork Me

There is an individual within these loosely-guarded borders of the United States of America that recently won an award presented by his employer.

I like to image that he was recognized as the 'Spork Salesman of the Year.' Or, possibly this person was singled out as the one who reeled in the most renewals of subscriptions to a magazine. Possibly this person is being recognized as the savior of a company destined for closure.

For the sake of argument, let's focus on the Spork salesman. He's the 'everyman.' The spork is picked up in every KFC. The spork is a staple of society. I am quite certain that ancient Romans had Sporks but the evidence was lost during the Inquisition and the Catholic Church somehow claimed Sporks as a divine inspiration from God during a witch-burning somewhere.

In any case, someone, somewhere has been recognized this month as the fiscal winner of Spork Salesperson of the Year.

Yet, we all look upon our professions as being innsignificant. Does your job enable every single individual you encounter the ability to both spoon and stab a potato for nourishment? Can you claim that by your labor you make possible the nourishment of countless individuals who might otherwise go hungry if it weren't for your strides in providing not only scooping but forking capabilities in mankind's nourishment practices?

Who are we to dismiss the spork? What do you do? Shhhh ... don't ask Republicans, they don't know. it will take a bevy of Spork salesmen going on strike and possibly a boycott of drinking straw manufacturers to have those with our best interests at heart grasp the gravity of the every-day, John Q Public's plight.

Then again, the Spork salesman is simply conforming. His award is a worthy achievement but to what end? A better car or house for himself? A better position within an organization that recognizes Sporks as a means to an end on the bottom line? Maybe his hard work in pushing Sporks to foreign governments will in some way eradicate terrorism and bring peace to mankind through the example of prongs and spoons.

Most likely, Mr. Spork of the Year will be memorialized with a gold-plated emblem attached to wooden trophy embellished with a slightly bigger gold-pated entry on a plaque that reads 'Salesman of the Year". A highlight in the life of one dedicated to making a name for himself yet ironically placed within a box containing others dedicated to also achieving the same goals.

My box has balsa wood walls. I never use Sporks, they make me nervous.

It's a world filled with Spork Salesmen and their product seems easy to use and will cut your gorging time in half. What is your Spork?

Fandom Can Doom the Mighty

It's a fucked up world we live in. Yeah, yeah ... every generation has had someone who has exclaimed the same thought. I'm sure that at some point in our past there was a two-legged, hairy creature that looked upon his peers as they proclaimed to be supremely dominate and thought to himself, "Ugh, uh, moha ugga ugga mwah hegga dig muh fushigannah, ugga ugga Palin."

Yet, the Palins managed to thrive, survive and somehow not melt their igloos for millions of years. As a result of their ability to survive, they have managed to thrive. They can dance. They can fish for trout, or bass or whatever the hell they fish for, in front of brown bears.

But, the Palins are not my focus. The Palins are my neighbors. They are your neighbors. The Palins are media examples of what today's society holds dear. Deeper still, my point is not to diss the Palins. My point is to use the Palins as an example.

Bristol Palin can't wear Latex and dress as a dominatrix worth a damn. Yet, she fumbles her way to another week of Dancing With the Stars.

Levi Johnson is quite possibly the worst baby daddy since your truly, yet he garners magazine covers and notariety for having impregnated a potential recipient of the trophy for dancing dances that no one dances.

Bristol's dad ... well, what the fuck is his name anyway? He's a non-entity.

Bristol's mom ?

People relate to what they see. People relate to what they hear. People relate to what is told to them. As a result, people decide that Bristol can dance. People decide that Levi is scum. People associate themselves with non-dancing, illegitimate, illiterate figureheads simply because they elicit the laziness within the human spirit.

I use the Palins as an example of humanity's lack of purpose. It is easy to cast your vote for the underdog. Everyone wants the underdog to win in the end ... Hell, I'm an underdog. But when the underdog wins simply because he, or she, is different, or pretty, or  can quick-step, then who really wins?

We live in a world dictated by remote control. Face it, morning, noon or night the remote control takes us to what we believe and where we want to go. Media, whether reality TV or news networks, sporting events or shopping channels, dictate how we think and who we are. Put 'em all together and you have a hodgepodge of nothingness that encapsulates today's political climate which screams 'Palin'

Nothingness and easiness personified. All because people listen but don''t hear.

ok, ok ... this is a bit deep and political for such a simple mind as mine . But, what if... ... are you able to think for yourself? Myself, I wanted Hasselhoff to win Dancing With the Stars ... I relate to weakness.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life Lessons Taught By a Spider Named Earl

Once upon a time in a basement far, far away, lived a spider. Like all spiders. he had eight legs, a threatening appearance and a penchant for eliciting terror from those who gazed upon him.

But, this spider had an issue ... this spider was unable to spin a web. Unlike his cousins who hung out at the lightbulbs at night just waiting for dinner to show up on their self-made platters, this spider was only able to scurry after dinner that was either slow, disabled or too dismayed with life to battle for another day of life.

For simplicity, let's call this spider 'Earl'. You see, Earl was born at a disadvantage. His mama was a woman that was raised in a family of 127, the youngest of the sac. She fought her way through childhood by webbing those who dared challenge her. Those males who won her affection were rewarded with eight-legged, hairy-thorax love complete with consensual death by ingestion of the spent male ... all in the name of love and survival of the family name.

Earl was special .. Earl was the only one to emerge from the sac ... Whether by chance or by choice, Earl was a survivor from the moment he stumbled over his many siblings as he entered the world. No matter that Earl's first impressions of the grandiose world that he was entering consisted of visions of food crumbs, a broom and soiled socks. No matter that Earl stepped into the unknown not aware that by simply being a spider he was despised, feared and hated. Earl stepped forward and tested his unstable legs ...

"yeah," ... Earl said to himself ... that is, if spiders talk to themselves ... "this is gonna be ok ... I must have been chosen to do something special ... "

No matter that Earl couldn't spin a web. Earl was a Wolf Spider. Wolf spiders don't spin webs but they have some big-ass teeth. Wolf spiders say, "I might not have all the tools to get what I want but if what I want can't run fast enough and I catch it, it's mine."

So, Earl opened his many eyes and spied an inviting light peeking under a closed door only five thousand steps, or for we bi-peds, two feet from the sac that was his birthplace and all he'd known. There was a whole other world beyond that door ... a future full of hope, whatever hope is to a creature that is reviled.

Earl, confident in himself, quickly crossed the door's barrier and found that he was not alone. As Earl surveyed his newfound freedom he marveled  at the possibilities ... so he can't spin webs, but his feet stick to everything ... no height is off limits. So what that he is small ... he learned that his self-image commands respect.

"Ok", Earl thought to himself .. "I'm not the biggest or the baddest bug on the block, but I'm a survivor. I'm worthy of respect. I have some big-ass teeth. I can't spin a web, but all spiders spin webs, so I'm unique."

With this in mind, a confident Earl considered himself to be not a spider, but an arachnid. A proper name worthy of consideration ... and with a confidence of a Tarantula, Earl ventured towards the baseboards in the far-away kitchen beyond the door from which he'd broached.


"Spiders are scary," the voice from above exclaimed. "Creepy bastards."

And just as quickly as a life is embraced by one so small, that same life is taken by one with no understanding of life beyond oneself.

Eight legs, four legs or two legs ... who creeps you out?

See ya on the other side, Earl. You're an arachnid in my book.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Line Drawn in Sharpie Marker

What do you consider sacred? Family? Values? Freedom? The right to view midget porn in a dark room while dressed in garb from the last Renassance Festival?

If it isn't one of these staples of societal normalcy then it is surely something else. C'mon, ponder on it for a second or two.

Imagine that you are standing shoulder to shoulder in a line of nameless, faceless people. A short, stout man strides with purpose to a podium and asks, "Those of you who consider _______ (insert your sacred item here) to be sacred, step forward. You will be first mocked, have your eyebrows shaved, be anally probed by a man named Cletus and then killed because you refused to say 'Thank You' afterwards."

What belief of yours would fill in the blank?

It's a deep-as-shit question, I know. But, it's one we all should ask of ourselves every day. I have my answer for the blank. Actually, I have a couple of answers I'd spout at the short man ... The simple fact that I answer at all is my first answer.

What is your answer? Think about it because your answer defines you.

That new outfit .. the latest tech toy... the botox .. they don't seem to matter as much right now, do they?

A Real-Time Discussion With Myself With an OK Ending

:::: YaaaawwwnN :::  What tha ...? Crap, it's tomorrow already. There goes my daily goal of drifting off to sleep before the crack of tomorrow .. midnight. Well, I'm nothing if not consistent in my self-destructive body clock maintenance.

"Hey, you .... quitcherbitchen. Who says sleepin' has to be done in the dark? Pantywaist ... You know your mind kicks into gear sometime around 11:30PM and jumps from 1st gear to 6th gear ... like a Harley Superglide ... until roughly 3:30 AM. Why fight it?

I figured it'd be you. You're the caution to my wind and I'm throwin' you like rice at a wedding. We're compadres, you and I ... without me, you're a motivational slug and without you, I'm destined for meaningless obscurity. Meaningless obscurity is a shitload worse than plain 'ol obscurity, by the way.

"Wah, wah, wah ... always rationalizing, you are. Why can't you just accept that you are a Dodo of a different feather and grab life by the nads despite the time of day? Hell, man ... time isn't anything more than a means to judge one's progress, kapiche?... The 'suits' live in eight-hour increments ... you don't. You exist minute by minute. Time is irrelevant and you know it. But, if your shallow ass wants to really set your life to an imagined clock then, right now, in Japan, it's mid-morning tomorrow. So there, Sapporro and Sushi, Jefe-san .. Better?"

You're a smartass, aren't I? I'm thinkin' that somewhere there is a psychiatrist that would readily accept a patient that criticizes himself as a smartass by making smartass comments about his inner smartass's comments. I'm thinkin' that maybe I'd be a good subject for an up-and-coming mentalist. I can't pay, of course, but I would readily accept payment in some sort of clinical study program that would ensure that the shrink garners awards and accolades after curing my twisted mind. I'd need to have some sort of client/doctor pre-nup in place, though, since the odds are 7:1 that no cure will be discovered and the well-meaning doctor will end up sharing a room with me dressed in matching baby-blue pajamas at the county 'happy farm.'

"You're a dumbass ... no self-respecting shrink is gonna go crazy after evaluating you ... You really have a problem thinking that you're such a freakin' nutjob. Dick."

Uhhh , 'scuse me, me .. did I say that the good doctor went crazy? Noooo ... the good doctor ultimately gets it and is committed to the 'happy farm' because every one else is crazy and I'm sane. When he or she concedes his or her own perceived sanity and becomes enlightentened then he or she will be tossed into the pile of belittled outcasts. It is then that the good doctor and myself will share applesauce cups and make macaroni art that will speak to the unenlightened masses through their subconscious minds. Sheesh ... I'm not a nutjob, douchebag. You and I together, along with the squad sleeping in the closet at this late hour, each hold a piece of the universal 'Jumble' puzzle. When we all get together for a few moments once or twice a day we plainly see that what those in the world consider 'absurd' and 'crazy' are really the shiznit .. we see the anti-crazy .. the reality .. the truth. And, ya know what, my maniacal frontal lobe? Those who read this will disagree and call us crazy again. Many will, at least ... because we are misunderstood and considered to be 'off the deep end.' I happen to like the deep end. Diving into the shallow end'll hurt and paralyze ya ... Yeah, the deep end is good.

"Jefe Pene, you make a point ... but, it's now 2:00AM. Nobody makes points at 2:00AM unless the point involves a bar, a hot, inebriated redhead and your insistence that by utilizing your new "Male Sensory Breathalyzer" device that you have patented and carry in your pants, she will awake manana sans headache and with no recollection of embarrassment."

You see, me... you .. us ... this is why I have a love/hate relationship with you. You point out my faults and, without firing another neuron, allow me to see those faults as positives and jump ahead .. to pounce on life like an Ethiopian on a cracker.

"Ok, I'm the edgy one and even I see that that 'cracker' comment is gonna set someone off ... You and I are very much alike even though we live on opposite sides of the brain .. I don't travel back to your pineal gland too often but you sure as hell frequent my frontal lobe dressed in a fake mustache and leather chaps. I'm thinkin' that I might show up in the daylight hours if you figure out how to set the alarm ... There's hope for you .. no, us, all of us, yet. Dick.

Yeah, ok. I'm open to the idea of a peaceful coexistence. Just don't stand in the way of my ability to watch 'The Young and the Restless" at 12:30 each day. Billy Abbott is my bro-mate. Insane, I know.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Nirvana in a Hideous Color

Here 'tis ... the desk.

Heavy, all wood, original hardware with a matching wooden chair that has a cloth seat embroidered with flowers. The desk is obviously painted ... an odd brownish-greenish hue with intermittent gray streaks that expose the fact that it was painted with a large-bristle Fuller brush. The desktop is shielded from harm by a quarter-inch plate of glass that was most likely blown by hand by an artisan in Old Salem in North Carolina many, many years ago.

Yet, as unsightly as the color might be ... as painful as it is to posture myself upon the cushionless chair ... I would not and will not change a thing. No paint .. no padding ... no new trendy harware for the drawers.

This hunk of wood will forever remain unsightly and uncomfortable ... as long as I'm kickin', at least. This desk is my sanctuary. I sit in the ass-numbing chair and glance to my left and I can see my soulmate slumbering. I move my gaze slightly right and I can peruse the treasured black globe that my mother and her brother used to imagine their own travels. I glance to the right and see the camera that captures my own travels on that globe. I close my eyes and I see my mother ... pencil in hand, becoming the woman I most admire. I squint my eyes more tightly and I see my grandmother, smiling, standing beside me as I express my self here while sitting at the desk that she also used as she ingrained herself into my conscious and soul. A lot to be seen while in this chair ...

The drawers on the desk are largely empy save for the very things that inspire hope in my soul ... a sketch pad .. drawing pencils .. my crystals. The remaining drawers are empty but I can imagine that those who sat here before me, both alive and gone, and waiting for me to fill those drawers with the spoils of my talents.

For too long this piece of furniture sat in a garage as an unsightly, insignificant reminder of what others saw as beautiful and worthy of use. Now, it sits with me as an unsightly reminder of who I am and what I'm capable of becoming. There is much inspiration oozing from the squeaking wooden drawers and hanndles ... voices calling out to remember what is important and to not change a thing ...

My ass hurts though.

Jesse Jackson ... I ain't Black Either.

The following is a fictional, yet most-likely realistic account of a conversation with media whore ... uhh... minority voice ... Jesse jackson. Please feel free to read these words in your best Jesse accent, or, if you prefer, the accent of PeeWee Herman ...

"Uhhhh ... excuuuse me there, Solenoid... uhh... SolarRay ... what is it again? Oh yes, SOUL-a-Dad. You black, ain't ya girl? Ohhh Hells nahhh.. you ain't black! You know how I know you ain't black? 'Cause you got the skin fade like Michael Jackson. Now, Michael, he WAS black. He had a black mama and a black daddy and a shitload of black brothas and sistas. PLUS, his name was 'Jackson'. Now, that's a black name. O'Brien? Girlfriend, you're Irish, or Scottish or somethin'... but there ain't no black person on this planet named 'O'Brien'. Soooo... uhh... as the good book says, "To thine own self be true." I read that when I was marchin' with the good Dr. King. "

"You know Dr. King, dontcha? No? Oh, that's right, you're too young and half white which makes you biased towards the plight of the black race. Your mama probably remembers Dr. King. Look here... I have a picture of him standing on a balcony of a motel .. see him there? That's him back there. Yeah, yeah, that me beside him. I'm imPOtent ... uh huh ... I'm black so I have a right to tell you that you ain't really black ... "

"Yeah, girrrl ... You mama is black but yo daddy is 'the man'. Just having the 'Man's' blood in you means that you can't relate to the plight of the negro. Yeah, I said negro. I'm down wit the vernacular. I'm old-school."

"Listen, quasi-honky ... your daddy probably watched your mama to make the bed, change your diapers and cook dinner. Your mama probably acted like she enjoyed changing your diaper and feedin' your gray ass .. but, lister here, giiirrrl ... she was all the while picturing your diaper as a cotton bush and your daddy was the 'massa' ... "

"This ain't no 21st century or nothin' ... there ain't no equality. And, you ain't black. Matter of fact, you ain't white, neither. You're just a pretty face that is on TV. We have that in common, except that I ain't pretty. Come to think of it, I ain't black, either ... I'm a voice. Yeah, yeah girl... that's right. I'm a voice that screams, "Remember that my great-great-great pappy paved the roads that your posin' white ass rode in to work on."

"I, Jesse, have to call out the black folks who ain't humanly black ... the ones like you who try to live without remembering that we are a minority and we are treated like slaves whether we see it or not. The ones who can't understand that the 'Man' is suckering the black folks into a false sense of security by allowing us to think that we are equal. Oh, hells nah .. we ain't equal and I ain't gonn a let anyone forget that we're at war .. a race war."

"Solenoid, give it up, giirrrrlll. Or, at least change your name to 'Levitra' or 'Urethra'. You can even use the surname 'Jackson'. And damn, girlfriend, kink that hair ... if you gonna be a black girl, be a black girl. Represent, girlfriend."

... So saieth Jesse, as I interpret his idiocy ... judge for yourself ..