Friday, February 15, 2013



It had been an alright day. Given the circumstances. Day four of 'vacation' spent at my mom and dad's home. Well, now my mom's home now that my dad has unexpectedly gone away. Day four of foraging through my dad's clothing, his career, his hobbies, his seventy-three years of life. It was Valentine's Day. I cooked a good meal for Pam and my mom. Hey, it's what a guy does.

And, within that foraging, I find memories of my own. I'm forty-nine years old now. That's a lot of memories.

In addition, my wife, Pam, and I are helping my mom prepare to move into an assisted-living facility. It's going to be good for her. They have bingo and an ice cream bar. For me, personally, it's a lot to absorb. I'm rewinding memories of my life with both parents in multiple homes, visualizing my mom in an assisted-living facility and donating my deceased dad's clothing to Goodwill after going through each and every item of his clothing. By the way, let's not forget that stability isn't my best friend and I tend to keep my emotions and feelings bottled up like a shaken bottle of Dom Perrignon.


My mom said, "I'm not going to wear my C-Pap mask tonight. I'm congested. It hurts my nose."

I said, "Yes you are. If I have to wear one, so do you. They're all uncomfortable. I didn't come here to wake up one morning to find you didn't wake up because you were uncomfortable."

My mom's response..... "So, it's all about you....."


And suddenly, the week has no real meaning. I'm just here to babysit dogs.
I'm racked with guilt, yet again, as I have been for years.

Really? It's all about me? Because I want you to wake up tomorrow morning? What have I said or dont to cause you to believe that I am so shallow and conceited that I think everything is about me?

And, as my mother, where did this come from so suddenly? I mean, this was completely out of left field.

I don't have a lot to work with. I mean, I've done many things, granted. I've been places, had a couple of kids, I guess. I have a wonderful wife now. But overall, in the grand scheme of things, I ain't all that. So, why the 'it's all about you' diss?

Nothing is about me.



Words are worth a thousand memories.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Rare Excerpt From The Westboro Baptist Church

The following is an excerpt taken from a Westboro Baptist Church addendum to the Living Bible that they supposedly live by on a daily basis.

......... and it was said, "thou will do as thou is told.".... so, it was done that way. .... "when Monitaqa did not do as told, she was made to feel as if she was less than worthy than the other women, and forced to have her tongue pierced and forked and made to live amongst the other women of the flock who often laughed and sang at night as if possessed...."

.........and it was implied, "thou shalt revere a certain way of thinking based upon a certain way of thinking that a certain group of people have been thinking over a vast number of years that is also based upon a teaching that was supposedly handed down by me, your God and leader, the chosen one, way back in a time of sandals and togas....." .... "and man shall follow one man who will know everything. And this man will say all of the right things, know all of the right words and be worthy of respect because of his place in the community.".......

........ and it was implored, "thy God requires each of his followers to donate at least, AT LEAST. ten percent of his or her weekly salary (daily is preferred) to go towards 'the cause'. As a result of the Great Implosion, your Lord lost a great deal of his monetary universal investments and requires each of his remaining creations to contribute towards their survival. *The contribution of funds in no way guarantees the survival of natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, volcanic eruptions, global warming, earthquake or sudden shifts in magnetic polarity.....

....... and Jesus, being who he thought he was, admired Fred Phelps, knowing that one day Fred would descend upon the earth to free mankind of its sins of humanity. So, Jesus, being humble, says that he claimed the seat in heaven next to God knowing fully well that Fred is the being that smacked his galactic paws together and created the Universe. Knowing that Fred, spelled backwards, Derf, is the Source of universal energy that powers each and every atom in this great and colossal creation. .....

......... and..... "Wednesday shalt be KFC night at the covered-dish 'Mommy's Night Out' in the Phelp's  Family Recreational Hall. Potato Bowls are appreciated. Tots are forgiven. .... "So let it be written, so let it be done."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Life can be Harsch. But Harsch Was Good.

I scoff at most of society's views of self awareness. It is amusing how even the smallest slight of tongue can offend. This is a generation of the entitiled, the politically-correct. Heaven forbid someone utter a word that might hurt another's feelings.

Let me relate to you how I overcame the entire 'hurt feelings' phenomenon. It is also how I learned how to overcome and accept criticism, grow as a human being, become a better artist and mutter 'fuck you' under my breath.

I was in college studying graphic arts. At the time, way back in 1983, there were very few schools that offered comprehensive graphic arts programs. I had to choose between going to the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York or staying in North Carolina and going to Randolph Technical College. Let's just say, RTC was close to home. Whether I made the right decision or not I'll never know. But, the decision I made made me into who I am.....

Wait. Perhaps I should think about this for a moment .

In any case, enter Henry Harsch, the lead instructor of the Graphics program. A frenetic man with a lazy eye, glowing talent, crazy beard and passion for constructive criticism.

Without going into detail about 'ol Harsch, I learned from him the value of not taking oneself too seriously. Each week we would be given assignments.... life drawings, perspective drawings, mock advertisements, whatever. And, each week, we would pin our assignments to a board in the classroom for both student critique and the ever-dreaded 'Harsh critique'. Peer critique is easy. No one wants to crack on a friend's work too bad. We're all friends. Besides, inevitably, somebody wants to get laid by someone else in the class.... but the Harsh Critique..... that was another story.

From the back of the room strode Henry. Head cocked to the side, eyeing the dynamics of the piece of art pinned to the wall.

"What the hell is this supposed to be?" "The perspective is off!" "This has been done a million times!" "No originality!" "Why did you even decide to come to this program? Did you know that we have auto body classes?"

And the worst? The absolute worst? What sticks with me the most, what made me into a stronger person, although this never happened to me, was seeing him walk to the board, grab someone's work, their long hours, and throw it to the floor, stomp on it with both feet, twist on it like he was Chubby Checker until it was a mangled piece of shredded wheat.

That type of criticism will either make you or break you. Seeing that type of criticism will either piss you off or make you appreciate that there is no perfection, not in anyone, neither the critic nor the receiver of the criticism. Yet, the lesson learned is that life's a hard bitch of a thing.

It's a lesson lost on most of today's society. Oddly enough, in one of my first 'real' jobs, I sold penny stocks for a fly-by-night firm. Do you know how many penny stocks that you have to sell to make a buck? Guess why I don't sell penny stocks and haven't since 1987? Yet, I learned humility selling penny stocks. How? Funny thing.... The manager of the office where I worked looked like a Lou Ferrigno wannabe who drove a pretty sweet 'Vette and sat in his office pruning his eyebrows and brushing his hair most of the day. Yet, every now and then, someone would hit it big in the bullpen and get a decent sale. This is where the humility came in because it happened to me a couple of times.

Woohoo! A sale! Cue the 'Rocky' theme and jump up on the desk in the middle of the bullpen. Pumping the fists as if youv'e just climbed the steps to the art museum in Philadelphia, youve just won the lottery, and won the admiration of your peers while looking like the biggest freaking fool on the planet.

So, in one fell swoop, I've given you humiliation, embarrassment, growth, appreciation, self-awareness and the not so blatant mention that it's good to explore life and avenues that might not fit you but may just interest you.

Life might shit on you from time to time but it's gonna rain eventually and when it does, just stand outside naked and start over. And never take a Harsch too seriously.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Who Is That Guy, Anyway?

Where did Jeff go? The happy guy who always had a joke for everything has seemed to have taken a leave of absence.

Well, at least that's what I'm being told.

First off, 'happy' is a misnomer when it comes to the bipolar mind. Happy is an adjective. Now, I've experienced joy and even have a source of joy, but happiness is elusive and fleeting. So, when Jeff isn't laughing and happy, there must be a problem.

I could read off a laundry list of reasons that my mind isn't playing fair these days. But, I won't. Not that I'm afraid to expose my list, you, the reader, know me better than that if you've been a reader of my blog for any amount of time. No, I choose to not expose myself to the inevitable comments by some who will say, "get over it", "we all have problems", "take your meds", "go to church", yada yada yada......

In short, I choose to not listen to those who don't know me, my mind, my thoughts, my problems, how my bipolar disorder comes into play, how the meds affect the body and mind, how my own spirituality in conjunction with all of the above affects my mind, not to mention the recent events in my life that I'm not sure if I'm dealing with or not, ie, my dad's passing.

So, Jeff isn't the happy camper he was back in early December. Add to all this other crap the fact that I'm rather intuitive and, *kablam* another aspect to the happiness equation is added. I sense change coming. Major change. I don't know what, where, when or how. But I know that a personal change is underway.

I'm not afraid. I'm anxious. A bit nervous. But unafraid. Maybe the change is the key to the happiness. Who knows?

I'm still Jeff. I still bring the funny. I'm just in a cerebral place. Hey, I like it but I don't. But, in the end, I think we'll all love it because whatever this change is is going to make things a lot better not just for me, but for many. I can feel it. There's a reason for the madness. Crazy is sanity for the masses and change is life for the sedentary.

Get ready. Happy Jeff is coming back better than ever. Changed for the better.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I'm Confused, Amazed and Queasy

I just glanced at my stats. Really? Nearly 10,800 people have stumbled upon my ramblings and managed to read what I have written? Amazing. Yes, I do read the comments and I even occasionally comment in return.

What I can't quite comprehend is the following. It's not that I'm not that I'm not appreciative of everyone that takes a moment to read my rants and blatherings. You endure my late-night misspellings, heartbreaks, anger, mind-numbing pain, euphoria, depression, mania, disdain for humanity, religious intolerance... you name it. I even appreciate the negative comments and the self-help comments. Ahhhh.... the self-help comment, those are the best. The advice frome those who know not what the demons who haunt me lay before me minute by minute day by day.

Yet, the thought is sincere, so I let it slide and say a little "Yo' to the universe that hopefully that commenter never has to endure what I was enduring when I wrote that blog.

But really, 10,800? It's not a huge number but to me it's astounding because when I started Yelps From The Closet I started it solely for me. I started it as a place to express myself. Think of it as a therapist's office. I was the therapist and the patient. Yelps was my sanctuary. No, Yelps IS my sanctuary.

I've used this place to rail against religion. Heartily. I always will. Early on, this forum was my sanctuary for venting during my divorce. I used it for whole-heartily unloading my venom against my ex-wife and her seemingly vitriolic, uncaring, materialistic personality.

I've used Yelps to personally attack my own children, rightfully so, at times, for disowing not only me for divorcing their mother but for disowning their grandparents at the times that they were needed most.

In short, This is my personal place. This is a very personal place that I recognize as a publicly recognized forum. And that's ok. That's ok because Through my joys and pains, my laughter and tears I hope to bring hope and smiles to at least one person who reads through the misspellings.

This has been one of the hardest weeks that I can remember. Not including the week that my dad passed away. You may or may not understand. Unless you can understand the idea of having experienced everything and having nothing else left to experience, feeling trapped within a steel box with no way out, thinking that today brought as much excitement as yesterday, and the day before, etc, and tomorrow promises the same, and the worst, the very worst.... you don't laugh at a midget in a half-tank top....

I called in an emergency session with the Doc. Somethin' ain't right. I always laugh at midgets. And I don't like feeling trapped. I'm a free-spirit. Always have been. You should know this. You read my Yelps.

Why you read my Yelps, I don't know. I'm glad that you do. I hope that I do some good. I go through a lot of shit. My life is a bit of a cosmic maelstrom. It's a helluva ride but you puke when it's over. The difference with my Maelstrom is, I'll hold your hair.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Westboro or Amish?

It all starts with webbed fingers and hairy underarms. Oy. Soon follows a barn and perfectly tatted doilies and, if you're of the proper ilk, a headgear worthy of a queen.

This isn't you'r normal America. This is the land of handcrafted sleighbeds and barns that can withstand Armageddon. This is Amish country. This is is also a place that makes the religion of Westboro Baptist Church look like kindergarten compared to today's Notre Dame football program.

Doubt me? Then watch the debacle called 'Amish Mafia'.  Personally, I root for a killing at the end of each episode of 'Amish Mafia' just so there will be a picketing at the funeral by the fucktards of the WBC. I would pay money to be at that picketing, just to be on the front lines. Face it, dumbass versus dumbass. It would be just as exhilarating as being on Capitol Hill during a gun control debate, or as worthy of note as being in a debate of who is the better driver, Dale Jr. or Jimmie Johnson.

The Westboro Baptist Church has one thing going for it in it's universal stupidity. It's over-the-top in it's thinking and it doesn't hesitate in going the extra mile in showing, saying and doing, no matter how over the top the antics may be, to make a point, no matter how wrong the point the point is.

Don't get me wrong. If you've read any of my past blogs about these backwards-thinking hateful toejam-sucking degenerates, you know how I feel about them, but I give them props for working the system. They can even carry a Michael Jackson tune and I bet two quarters to a wooden nickel that one of the bastards can moonwalk.

But the Amish Mafia? Levi? The leader? This is a guy who is a guy who doesn't call out a guy to slash tires. He sends out a guy with a guy with a hacksaw to saw in half a buggy wheel because some guy sold a jar of apple butter on the side of road and took away two bucks from an Amish family who needed a new set of clothes pins. Levi looks like a guy who just came from JC Penney's bedding section after a day of White Sale madness.

Religion at it's craziness. Yet at the heart of Levi's Mafia madness is a man with tattoos. Heaven forbid. And a few guys who occasionally curse. God must be furious. I'm sure Fast Five Freddy Phelps and his WBC ilk have spraypainted signs at the ready and a caravan pointed towards Pennsylvania, aimed directly towards Levi and his Mafia.

Religion is hitting a new low. I didn't think it could think it could get any lower. Well, maybe I did. The first time I had had serious doubts was way back when Jim Bakker did the deed with Jessica Hahn. Then Jessica Hahn became, well, woof. And, I thought, ok, religion ain't all that. Then, Jimmy Swaggart, oh god, if he could get it, anyone can, Jimmy Swaggart, he faltered in the same way, but with no Jessica Hahn.

The seeds had been planted. Not that religion led to sex, although the Bible did teach that lesson... but that power, especially power through religion, leads to all sorts of inappropriate acts of self. Left on it's on, the mind will always drift to the dark side. Not that the dark side is always bad, but the dark side unattended is gonna always attract the dark side of other unattended dark sides.

That is how the entire Westboro Baptist Church was formed. Maybe not in in the beginning, but ultimately. Same with Congress.

And so it will be with the Amish Mafia. Ultimately, they will own a Clydesdale. Game over. Next, a 4-wheel-drive buggy. No one will be safe. Oh yeah, Levi will cut himself shaving and incur a scar. A scarfaced Amish man. No barn-raising man north of Maryland will be safe.

Why is this all happening? Religion. The greatest man-man hindrance to harmonious living that mankind has ever encountered.

However, as a result of some's adherence to godly quality, you can get some damn good furniture.