Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No doubt about it

Doubt, v. - to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe.

This is about doubt. About the disbelief that all you strive to achieve, you never will. That everything you want will never be yours. It’s the feeling that you are neither worthy nor competent enough to achieve, all obstacles painstakingly out of reach. Doubt can spell the end of the road for many, and will prove a daunting roadblock for others. It can envelop you like a cloud, and in the same fashion, blind you to the outside world of hope. It is because of doubt that many never begin to try. Doubt is dreams never pursued, adventures never embarked on, life never lived. Indeed, doubt can cripple a soul like an earthquake can a house, toppling it flat, leaving it bitter, let down, and embarrassed that it once aspired to flourish. Doubt is the daunting winds that keep the ships docked, and the planes grounded. Doubt is the coward’s easy-way-out, his escape from failure, surviving merely to do so without ever realizing what could have been, or perhaps should have. It prevents the creator inside each of us from bringing anything to fruition, halting production before it leaves the drawing room floor. Doubt is the Devil.

Waiting dormant for its moment to strike, doubt will eventually rear its ugly head just in time to shatter hope, and destroy ambition; ever eager to abolish your sense of self worth, doubt can and will hit you where it hurts, penetrating all superfluous levels of your spirit, reaching the core and ceasing it where is stands, leaving it frozen, scared to move forward. So what are we to do about doubt? Is there anything one can do? What has been done? The only answer can be to rise above, to remain steadfast on any endeavor you have embarked on, refusing to let doubt dictate your intended path. There is no set method, nor a guaranteed result, only a goal: to eradicate any sign of doubt in the name of all you believe in. Shed yourself of the skin of distrust and emerge triumphant, undaunted, and eager to succeed. For once you do, you will find you are all the stronger for it, built on a more solid foundation, less permeable to doubts relentless attacks. Now that you have survived the night, you can live the day.

From an external force, doubt can be equally debilitating, for your inner world depends on the approval of those around you, as you feel what is felt unto you. Therefore, if you receive nothing but doubt, you are capable nothing but doubt, it becomes all you know, an ugly constant staining the otherwise beautiful masterpiece that is your soul. Imagine you are working towards running a marathon, something you have aspired to do your whole life; you’ve trained all year for it, tearing up the gym and adjusting your diet accordingly. You have strived and sacrificed for seemingly forever, all in the name of your quest, and finally the day of the race looms. Now imagine, that in these waning moments leading up to the race, your family and friends strike a crushing blow and reveal to you that think it unlikely you will finish, let alone win. Here is your moment to be strong in the face of doubt. A seasoned runner –in fact a skilled participant in any discipline- needs not the reassurance of those around him. The fire inside the confidant man burns bright red, he is not concerned with the opinions of others, his only concern is his goal, the finish line, and there is no doubt in his mind that he will cross it. This man can be you, it can be me, it can be anyone, all it takes is the ability to put your head down and push through. Picture the mule that carries 400 lbs. of luggage and supplies up a steep trail in the snow, without pause he pushes forward, unfazed by the seemingly impossible task; or the alligator who hasn’t eaten in a month, who, near starvation, is found patiently waiting, confident his moment to come, and he will eat. The secret lays in faith, not faith in god or in a divine governing force, but in you, the real governing force. Learn to trust yourself, and you will prove immaterial the skeptical thoughts of others.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Today is a bad day. Not for very serious or life-threatening reasons, but rather a string of more conventional nuances. Let me tell you what happened: First, I couldn’t find my headphones this morning; and no im not some music junkie who scratches his eyebrows off if he doesn’t get his Kanye fix. But you see, life, or more specifically life as lived day by day, is one big chain of events; for every action, a reaction. When I couldn’t find my headphones, my reaction was anger and frustration. Which lead to slamming my hip into the doorknob during a frenzied search. Which lead to jamming my finger in the door of my car. Which lead to spilling hot coffee on myself at the gym. And all of this began yesterday, when I missed court and realized that I have not one, but two unresolved citatations, amounting to a not so grand total of $850. You see, in one grand cosmic joke, when one thing goes wrong, without fail our cruel universe finds it funny to pile on more shit after more shit after more shit. Leaving you, naturally, with a shitty day. Being that it’s only noon, I can only imagine what bumps and bruises await me the rest of the day. Attempting to put it all behind you can occasionally work, but your temper hangs in the balance, held tight by your last nerve. A couple “woo-sah” moments can help, that is, until you knock a glass of water off a table and watch your sanity literally shatter into a hundred pieces. I firmly believe that every part of today will be shit, and there is little I can do to remedy this.

Why do things work the way they do? I’ve read and watched The Secret, and I feel as if I have a decent understanding of the grand scheme of things, however, it seems that an undisputable answer to the question of why still eludes me, and forever will. Example: I returned from work, only to find that my headphones were not indeed lost, but instead my mom had attempted to appropriate them from me. So the initial spark that led me down a rocky road of anger was just a fluke, and my irritation completely unmerited. Now im left to ponder why. I'm inclined not to believe that it was a part of some master plan laid out for me since birth, and that all will be revealed in due time. This seems to good to be true, and certainly has not been up to this point in my life. Instead, I choose to believe that nothing is certain and nothing is guaranteed in this world. But even though I stated earlier that the rest of the day would be shit (and indeed it was), this holds no bearing for tomorrow. Because in it’s own way, the universe will find a way to remind me that it is still on my side, and eventually it will set me back along the correct path, and I will be convinced that this day was but a fluke. However bad, it was just another day amongst many to come, both good and bad. For all I know, tomorrow could be the best day of life. Now that might not seem to make any real sense, but that’s the way the universe likes it, nonsensical and random. You see, there are an unlimited number of possible outcomes for any day, and each outcome stems from the many unique decisions made by the subject in question. So I should say that the universe does not act completely randomly, instead more consequentially. And while it may be impossible to predict or prevent the future, it is possible to curtail it to your desires. Simply know that if you begin your morning wrong, the day that follows will in turn, be wrong. However, the adverse is also true. Start your day with the same emotions that you wish to end it with, and you have successfully tilted the cosmic odds in your favor. Congratulations.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reality Reproach

OK, here we go, time for a full-blown rant. I typically try not to do this, but very few things bother me as much as Reality shows. I hate slow drivers, slow walkers, the obvious, stupid people, bad reception, idiot waiters, and being asked “credit or debit,” but not nearly as much as I hate Ax-Men. And in fact, more than I hate ax men, I hate that there's also a show called American loggers. Which for all intents and purposes, is exactly the same thing. I hate that people like these shows and actually sign up to go on them, knowing that only disgrace can follow. I don’t care nearly enough about catching crabs in order for me to tune in every week, let alone for a second and third season. However, someone must, because everywhere I turn im bombarded by “Fresh Meat,” or “Celebrity Apprentice.” Fuck off. I mean literally I can stroll down the guide on my T.V. and find about thirty different reality shows at any time of the day, all equally unreal, that all suck in the exact same way. We watch some terribly scripted melodrama play out, then get the play-by-play in the form of a confessional from all involved parties, as if I need some retard to break down for me why he pulled the dumb sluts hair. I also like to point out that the only formula for making a reality show, is to employ Murphy’s Law, you know: “anything that can go wrong will go wrong,” because truly, shit is always fucked in those shows. Im supposedly watching the best loggers in the business, but it seems as if they can’t get their act together for two minutes. If your pussy of a son doesn’t deserve to be out there loggin’ with the big boys, then send his bitch ass home, don't cry about it to the confessional camera, while you wait for him to grow a pair. But inevitably, by the end of the episode, the same son who was as useless as tits on a bull, pulls through and shows his true colors as a logger; all is saved and production can continue on without a hitch, until next week that is, when I predict of one the generators will go out, threatening to tank the entire business, but due to some last minute heroics, all is saved. Its almost to the point where I’d rather they start the episode from the end, and then proceed to show us how everything turned to such shit. I mean, It’s not like we don't know what was going to happen anyways, because if you’ve seen one reality show, you’ve seen em’ all. This goes as far as to say, that taking an episode of “Keeping up With the Kardashians,” and applying the same plot arc, you’ve seen an episode of “the bachelor.” It’s the same old bullshit, day in and day out. In fact, the networks know its bullshit, but they still put it on, because some amongst us want to see real housewives, as apposed to fake ones. As always, someone will attempt to vouch for one of these garbage programs and say, “oh but this one isn’t like the others, it’s actually good, have you even seen it?” Holy fuck! No I have not seen it, and I don’t need to. I have no desire to watch how disgraceful a person can be to his or her own race, let alone man kind as a whole. With each new show that comes out pushing the “trash” limit way past it’s previous resting point, we end up with a disgusting picture how tasteless we are as a people. We yearn to see fights in bars and blow-ups on the job site. Why, because our own lives aren’t shitty enough? Must be, because we choose to watch the epitome of trash make her mother proud by doing challenges in an attempt to win the heart of a bi-sexual Asian midget with big tits. This must really make some feel good on the inside, to know that your not that person; and I see the merit in that, I just feel like the same way Barry Bonds is a bad look for baseball, Snooki, and any “real” person like here, is a bad look for man kind. Imagine what Europe would say…

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Your awkward is showing...

What is awkward, what makes a situation awkward, and perhaps most importantly, are you an awkward person to be around? Some common forms of awkwardness, are: extended pauses (or to some, silence in general), calling someone the wrong a name, which is accompanied by the even more awkward attempt to explain why you have no clue who your talking to; or my personal favorite, the botched handshake, which is that dreadful tango performed by two guys trying to figure out how to shake one an others hand. And while it’s true that each individual has their own personal awkward moments that they experience in a variety of ways, for the most part, awkward is awkward, and it sucks.

First allow me to explain the handshake conundrum. The scene is as such: Someone you know is approaching in the distance whom not only are you decently acquainted with, but you are most likely going to have to talk to; and before there's talking, there’s greeting. With your peer approaching at a break-neck speed, you need to move quickly to guess which form of handshake you think he’s likely to employ. However, regardless of any prior knowledge you think you have regarding this individuals greeting preferences, there’s will inevitably be terrible confusion surrounding the whole ordeal. Is it going to be a classic handshake, or are you going to take back to 02’, and “pound it.” You could even go for a more complex sort of palm-slide-to-snap sort of deal. Perhaps even a “bring it in…” type man-embrace. With so possible outcomes, the uncertainty is the real killer; you’re never sure what’s coming, and your attempt to read the persons body language typically results in painful failure. But alas, eventually someone must take charge (it’s never me…) and just go for it, in hope that the other will follow suit. However, the reason this is one of the most awkward moments known to man, is that it never goes according to plan. One person dives in for a mafia inspired man hug, while the more germ conscious amongst us tend to opt for the pound. Now, the hugger is left to wonder why he was rejected in his attempt at male unity, and the pounder has to delicately choose how he proceeds, so as to not further offend the hugger. This will typically sour your conversation, and leave you wishing you had never bumped into this person in the first place. Next we have the delightful situation in which, during a greeting, you accidentally greet the wrong person.

So low and behold you are standing in the middle of Borders minding your own business, and you hear your name called. Whirling around, you realize who called you, because he/she is staring right at you. However familiar the face corresponding to the voice might be, there is zero chance in hell that you know the name. A unique déjà vu sets in while you search your soul for the name. “Is it Jeff? Jordan? No Jack! Wait no…” Or maybe it doesn’t really start with a J, even though you’re positive it does. What makes it worse still, is that he clearly knows your name. So what do you do now? Is there any suggested course of action? While typically only used to delay the inevitable, I do believe there is one useful tactic: instead of responding with “Hey (insert name here)!” You simply leave out the name, extend the “Heeeeeyyyyy…” and move swiftly into conversation. Who knows, ask the right questions, and halfway through the conversation you might remember their name, allowing you to deliver a solid goodbye. The only problem is that not knowing someone’s name is so insanely awkward, that you can barely form sentences, let alone revealing questions. Once they’ve realized that you’re not on first or last name basic, they feel worse than you. Furthermore, it’s your fault; so in the end you still feel, and appear, like an ass. So by this point you would assume that if you’ve gotten past the handshake and you knew whom you were talking too, then the rest of the conversation is a breeze, right? Wrong.

Perhaps the most traditional form awkward can take. It is experience by everyone, everywhere, and it can end a relationship before it even begins. I'm talking about, of course, the awkward pause; the most gut wrenching, thumb fiddling event to take place on this planet. Even when conversation seems to be flowing freely, one strange statement can come along and bring the whole thing to screeching halt. Adversely, an awkward pause can occur before the conversation even takes off. Anytime small talk fails to turn into real talk, it dwindles to no talk at all, leaving both parties in silent agony until someone issues an overly polite goodbye. However, my favorite type of awkward pause is when you begin talking about a certain someone just in time for him or her to walk in. Frozen like a one winged bird who cant fly south for the winter, you will forever have to live with the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not she heard you talking about how much of a whore she is, or what a dick James can be. There's no time limit on an awkward pause, someone could make a clever remark and re-right the ship, or the S.S. Awkward could continue to sail on for a couple agonizing minutes.

Armed now with a couple examples of awkward, I wish I could tell you that you’re better off, and that you will avoid any awkward moments; but you wont, and you’re not. The truth is that awkward will find you no matter where you hide, no matter who you are, without fail. It is an inescapable part of life. Sadly we often find that no matter how alike we truly are, as humans we are destined to occasionally feel uncomfortable around each other. Moreover, we live in a world filled with topics, and a pop-culture machine that tells us which ones to talk about, but we still can’t find any common ground. But the truth is, this is neither good or bad, it just is what it is. Because as long as we have the urge to interact with each other from time to time, awkward will always be there, waiting to rear it’s ugly head.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Feelin' Right, Right Now

I am writing this right now at 6:51 on Easter Sunday. I have eaten about 6 lbs. of food, and I’m half-heartedly watching the women’s final four game, between UConn and Baylor. I am in my bed, but I have not yet taken off my clothes, and by the looks of things, it might be a while. With the sound of rain in the background lulling me further into a comatose state, I doubt that I will get up for the rest of the night. Every breath is a deep one, and all my senses have been lessened to a virtual inexistence. My eyes heavy, and my motions slow; I can hardly be considered conscious, but I’m happy. In fact, there is very little that could improve my mood, for at this moment, I am exactly where I want to be. Perhaps it would be nice to have someone to share it with, but currently im fine by myself. It’s as if im dreaming while awake, constantly drifting back and forth between the real world, and the lucid reality hidden behind my eyelids. In a moment like this, writing is easy. The words flow through my body, from my mind to my fingers, with the greatest of ease. Like the appendages of Mozart, my hands move freely without question and without hesitation, every word is felt, and not feared; believed, and not questioned. I can allow myself to just simply be, without contemplating my own ontological existence, and questioning my every action. It may seem as if this feeling might be easy to come by, and for some it may be; but as I sit here now and write this, I can honestly tell you it’s the best I’ve felt in months. If perfect were a reality, and not just an indefinable idea, this would be the closest I could get. You see this is a superlative kind of feeling, characterized by a Zen-like kind of calm we can only hope to achieve. We know it exists, for we have felt it before, but when we attempt to recreate this mood, it eludes us every time. We are left disappointed and perturbed, wondering why we cant live every second in this surreal realm, why we cant relax. But I do not fret; in fact, I think it would be impossible right now to worry about anything. I might throw a movie on in a bit, and allow myself to drift away into a deep sleep. Hopefully I don't fall asleep to fast however, because then I will have missed out. I will have failed to soak up every moment of bliss, as to saturate my soul with this current frame of mind, in hope that it might roll over into tomorrow. For I am smart enough to know that this feeling doesn’t come around too often, so cherish it. Consider that you’re like me, and you see a world that appears to be resoundingly negative. You attempt to relish any moment you experience surrounded by positive; and hold on to it for as long as you can, because there's no telling when you’ll be feeling this good again.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Shower

Let me take you to my special place, my comfort zone. A place that I hope we all go, where I can really “turn my swag on.” It’s not the club, or any bar in the Marina. Nor is it a restaurant or some sort of gathering place. It’s the upstairs shower in my house. Since 10, when I decided that bathing wasn’t really the devil, that same shower has been my haven. The ultimate privacy allowing me to act out any fantastical scenario I choose. Dodging an onslaught of bullets or arrows that makes the stream of water, boxing my own shadow cast against the tiled walls; the shower is my arena, and for about 45 minutes a day, I am the master of it.

I have a strict routine when it comes to my showers. Unless rushed, I will allow the shower to heat up for about 10 minutes while I listen to music in my headphones. Often jumping up and down to the beat, I allow the room to get to near steam room moisture levels, so that I am sweaty before I get in. This makes that first splash of water on your back as rewarding as the piss you take after drinking 32 oz. of soda, and watching The Lord of the Rings in the theatre; nearly orgasmic.

Surrounded by the fundamentally purifying water, whatever dirt you might be carrying is literally, or figuratively, washed away. For the time being, the outside world is but a secondary issue, to be filtered through the never-ending stream of water. What’s more pressing is which song to sing at the top your lungs, or which 2 step to practice. Will it be Ben E. Kings, Stand by me, or is Break Your Heart by Taio Cruz and Luda? Either way, the waters warm, and the acoustics are just right, and as far as your concerned, Michael Buble wishes he could sing like you.

To top it all off, the magic doesn’t end once you get out. Instead, you exit with a rejuvenated aura about you, ready to take on your day, or sink into your sheets for a smooth slumber after the day’s worth of grime has been eradicated. To many, including myself, the shower is often the best part of our day. Perpetually worried by a world of who, what, when, where, and why, the shower offers many there only escape from it all. A Fortress of Solitude for the everyday Superman, a shower is once of the few things in life so enjoyable, that it causes us to sing out loud in consummate bliss.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Gym

Where can 50 men hang out naked with each other and not be gay? No, not Japan. The gym. Where can we walk around drenched in a pool of sweat, and not be embarrassed? No, not Alabama. The gym. Indeed, a lot of unusual things are completely normal at the gym. Grunting as if you were trying to scare off a bear that wondered into your campsite goes on without any notice. Except by me. With mirrors just about everywhere possible, the gym is the ideal place to do some serious people watching. Whether it is the guy in front of me doing chest presses whose forehead vein seems ready to rupture at the drop of a dime, or the man who is lifting little more than his fists worth of weight, but is still seemingly in excruciating pain, I take notice. In between sets of curls and lunges, I scan my surroundings with keen usage of my peripheral vision. Not to judge, but so I know what im dealing with, because the gym gets plenty of repeat business.

A usual will be a usual. Gym rats and newly inspired alike, all flock to their local 24, Bally’s, or a more prestigious private club, some day in and day out. If you become a usual, you know who will be there at certain hours, or maybe, when to dodge that middle aged man who is semi fit, but overly helpful. Friendships are easily formed at the gym. You allow someone to use a machine before you, or offer to spot a struggling lifter, and you’ve formed a bond; you’ve made a gym pal. This special brand of friends, are not really friends. You will never invite them anywhere, and likely will never speak outside of the gym walls, but inside, you are brothers. It’s possible that you will learn about their family life, because the locker room seems to be a favorite spot for old men to brag about their children and grandchildren. It’s basically naked men, sharing stories with each other about the debacle that was their granddaughter’s recital. Otherwise, talking sports with whatever semi knowledge they might possess. “Did you see Kobe? Oh man!” Yes, I saw him, but I don't want to talk about him with you while you have no pants on, so cover up and get back to me.

Overall, the gym is a good place. It does seem that people are happy to be there, or at least juiced that they got off their Judge Judy watching ass and took the first step towards a healthy lifestyle. People in the gym seem to respect each other. The fat ones are envious of the fit, and the fit ones proud of the fat. Either way, everyone’s there for the essentially the same thing, to get ripped, more or less. Whether you are maintaining your form, or toning up your abs for the beach this summer, you’re out in the open with it. There are no illusions in the gym; people are there for fitness, and little else. This creates a strong common ground, and always supplies a topic of conversation. So the next time you find yourself bored, looking for some light socializing, head to the gym. Open at all hours, to anyone: big, small, skinny, fat. So lace up your Nikes, and just do it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Payday

Today is payday, which is the most important of all days. Coming along every other Friday, managing to outshine the first Friday tenfold. Nothing special happens on payday except, well, getting paid. I now have the legal tender required to spend to my hearts content, till the materialist in me has had its fill, which typically lasts until about Monday, when I begin again. You see, my money works in a viscous 2-week cycle: I get paid, spend 80% by the end of the weekend, then I budget the rest like I just got thrown off welfare and my 3 kids go to private school. I don't make much in the first place (which is why I started writing) and I tend to lean towards expensive pieces of clothing. That’s all it is too, clothes, clothes, and more clothes (hats & accessories too). I have 2 closets and a dresser full, as well as an entire floor, an ottoman, and 2 chairs completely covered with fine cottons, denims, and hats. Being that I quit smoking about a month and a half ago, it is now my only addiction.

Steadfast, I lunge myself towards the overly priced things that surround us. Consumers are being consumed by a whirlwind of advertising and marketing, as well as the constant pressure to fit into our overly branded society. I can’t just be pleased that I have an Iphone, for it needs to have a gold case on it, in order to maintain my trendy status. But alas it cant just be any case, it needs to be INCASE brand, or else… Or else what? Nothing, really. If my case weren’t the name brand I wanted, the world wouldn’t split down the middle and cease to spin. Even less dramatically, I would probably still have a decent looking case. Many of you have not fallen victim to the same disease as me, and are unsympathetic to those who feel the need to shroud themselves in a sea of belongings, but I can tell you this: it is a sickness. I cannot do knock-off, I will not buy imitations, and I will never own anything generic, much to the dismay of my checking account. I wish I were one of those individuals who hated people like me. Someone who stands firm against name brands and never falls for precise marketing. Able to like Nas, without having to buy Crooks & Castles. Someone who is fine with wearing what’s affordable instead of what’s in style. The bottom line is: every time I go on the internet, after the mandatory facebook check, I head straight to karmaloop.com to check if there's any new arrivals, then over to ecapcity.com to do the same. I doubt I’ll ever truly give up my passion for flashin, but I think someday I will slow my roll, and learn to save a little. Or I’ll just get super rich and never have to worry about money

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What a beautiful night.

A beautiful night can entail many things: a dazzling sunset, in it’s magnificent glory, easing you into night with a brilliant show of color and light; a calm, soothing breeze, capable of lulling us into a sweet submission; or that 7:30 temperature, which, by then, has cooled off just enough from the scorching heat of the day, yet is still comfortable and pleasant, requiring, at max, maybe a light sweatshirt if you choose to watch the sunset at a beach somewhere.

Tonight is a beautiful night, and while it may only be March, tonight serves as a reminder, a heads up if you will, that summer, or at least summer weather, is right around the corner. It is a signal that we can slowly begin to take off our pea coats and sweatpants, and replace them with tank tops and shorts. We can expect more rain, im sure, but the umbrella is beginning to fear the day when it begins its annual hiatus. A new season, a new wardrobe; accompanied by a new demeanor.

With summer, comes heat; with heat, comes happiness. So syllogistically speaking, with summer comes happiness. Good vibes and good times are commonplace, and cruelty and bitterness are things of the past. They are cold emotions. It’s now time for warm emotions, such as love and happiness, to take charge, and guide us through the hot summer nights. We sip on Coronas, eat BBQ chicken, and watch some of the good old American pastime, Baseball. Branded with a permanent smile that wont leave until mid October, nothing seems to matter except pleasure; the problems that plagued us in December and January, seem irrelevant and inconsequential in July and August. There's no nagging cough, no runny nose, and the flu isn’t going around. Were not angry that it’s going to rain, or irked that the suns not out. No one is sick, no one is upset, everyone is just happy.

Winter has its appeal, Autumn has its fans, and Spring is a close second, but Summer reigns supreme as the King of all Seasons; the Sultan of the Solstices. For a few sweet months, we gladly leave our inhibitions at home with our raincoat and umbrellas, where they belong. We are allowed to feel good and not feel guilty about it, encouraged to live to the fullest. We do not just survive, but we thrive. We flourish under the sun, wholeheartedly living up to our potential as social beings. In summer, beautiful days turn into beautiful nights, which in turn, make for beautiful dreams, leading us to beautiful things.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Oh shit, get down!

INT. TANFORAN MALL – NIGHTIME (TUESDAY)

After raiding the Surf City squeeze samples a good nine times, Charles Thorton and Marcus Benson are window-shopping near Hollister. Charles spots a familiar face off in the distance.

CHARLES

Oh Shit!!

MARCUS

What man?

C

Fuckin Ben man! We gotta turn around!

M

The fuck you talking about, were goin to Shoe Palace.

C

No were not. Look! Ben is over there man. He can’t see me. I don't want to talk to him and shit.

M

Oh god… are you fucking kidding me? Seriously?

C

Serious as cancer bro, we gotta bail!

Just as they were about to take evasive maneuvers (serpentine running patterns and such) Ben turns right at them and locks on. On approach, Ben appears ready to play some verbal ping-pong.

BEN

Oh Shiiiiiiittt! Charles and Marcus, my dudes… Whoa… damn… Its been a minute…

I don't think I have to finish this scene. You get the point. Obviously, fake names were used in a fake situation, yet it’s oh-so real. Seeing someone you don't want to see is amongst the most maddening of events that can occur during your day. It’s a millennia old problem, an inconvenience experienced all throughout history. You can never be sure who’s going to pop up where. We live in a world, where virtually anyone can be anywhere, at any moment; I'm told it’s quite small… You could be minding your own business in Target, and within the blink of an eye, you are fielding questions about “what you been up to?” and “what school do you go to?” from the kid who left halfway through 7th grade. As if what I’ve been up to still has anything to do with him. Almost as if you even liked this person half as much as they think you do. I'm not talking about your friends or family, or anyone else who isn’t a hindrance to run into; im talking about the person who you know, wantsto run into you. I'm talking about the kid from your sophomore English class who thought you were Jesus Christ incarnate, while you were only mildly entertained by his uber-nerdy antics. The type of person who could possibly be the subject of one a personal inside joke, which only you know the punch line to. However you may be acquainted with this person, you don’t want to talk to him/her; you’re not acquainted like that. On another page entirely, they nonchalantly overstep the line separating a nod, accompanied by a what’s up; from a to-the-side, one on one. Sitting patiently, these human landmines are scattered all over any given public setting, waiting to slaughter an unsuspecting victim. Murder weapon: conversation. It’s an unfortunate fate for those who entered Target to get only white-tees and wife-beaters, but instead, got 5-minutes of conversation so awkward you walk away with cramps. To avoid this problem we will go to great lengths. I have seen grown men pull their hood up over their head and stare at the ground, waiting for verbal confirmation that the threat has passed. I’ve been known to go the long way to avoid a possible run-in with one of these individuals. I'm not sure what to collectively call this group of people, because I think everyone is one of these people, depending on whom you’re asking. I don't care who you are, or how highly you regard yourself, someone doesn’t want to run into you in the mall.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Someone Else' Trash...

I went to a garage sale today; looking to better myself, looking to get rich off the resale of cheap shit.

The goal: buy as high quality of items as possible, for as little a price as possible.

The plan: to show up with an ample stack of ones, and start makin it rain like April showers; just to see some May flowers.

The easy part about this is of course, the low price part. With every item priced to go, $10 does a lot of damage at your local basement bazaar. The hard part? Items of quality. Seeing not a single price tag my pocket change can’t get the best of, one doesn’t expect to find much of outstanding quality. No truer an observation has ever been made. Upon entrance, the aroma of useless shit smacks you in the face, like the random girl you just met, and decided to invite to party with you in the club bathroom. After a promising craigslist ad, and an hour drive early morning to Scotts Valley, I was mesmerized at the astounding amount of complete garbage. Uninterested in a not one, but two VHS copies of the original BATMAN, nor an eclectic smattering of various paperback works by the likes of Dean Koontz, James Patterson, or Michael Crichton; I was left with little to thumb through. Interestingly enough, the people responsible for this makeshift goodwill, claimed to be sending all of the profits to Mexico, to build a house. Wonderful, now because I have a conscience, I must buy something, lest my soul burn in hell for denying some expecting Mexican family shelter. A shelter, of course, that will be constructed with the lofty profits that im sure were risen today, by this self-less family of righteous morals, and outstanding goodwill. Bullshit. If I too had 15 Van Heusen wool sweaters from the Desert Storm era, and the full catalog of KIDZ BOP taking up wanted space in my home; I would also go out of my way, to inform the unsuspecting public that the proceeds from today’s useless shit sale, will be building a girls learning center in Mozambique, all $200 of it.

So what did I come away with? Well, an interesting collection of items to say the least. After sifting though bullshit for about 20 minutes, I manage to find some children’s dirt biking pants that seemed to be of high quality. Upon using my Iphone to search eBay for an accurate resale value, and with a price $2, I deemed them a steal. Next: a skim board. Another eBay search; another steal at their $5 dollar asking price. Lastly, I found some children’s field hockey equipment priced at $3 that couldn’t possibly sell for any less (apparently, once their kid decided to give up a life of “bro” sports and turn to video games like the rest of the countries youth, they decided $10 dollars would be an appropriate asking price for the remnants of their sons dreams gone awry.) After paying my due, I was on my way; my plan to turn a nickel into a dime, one step away from completion. I cant say that I had an experience to match the saying about one mans trash, but I can say I came away with something. Which im sure was the real goal of the homeowners: to not fail miserably, to sell nothing and have to move all that nonsense back inside, but instead, to at least sell something, which they did.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Safeway is America

In a nutshell… As well as in a coke can, an egg carton, a gallon of neon pink Tampico, a can of Tuna, and a box of Lucky Charms. Safeway is America in the same way that California is America; it has a little bit of everything; something for everyone, so much for anyone. Abundant and plenty are the basic necessities, readily available, for a price of course. Anyone walking in hungry can walk out 1 crucial step towards to fed. Safeway is America in the way that HDTV is America: Possible for some here, Impossible to all, for most of the world. People go to their local Safeway, to fuel their own personal American dream. All with similar ideals, but vastly different outcomes. We go in with a shopping list of eggs and milk, and come out with Peeps, a People Magazine, and a Rockstar. What did you go to Safeway for?

I went to Safeway, to get 33.8 oz. of delicious sparkling water, for less than a pack of gum. Encouraged to buy multiple, although not required, in order to take advantage of the saving. I went, because, like most things in America, saving is simple at Safeway, one need’s only to enter a phone number, to watch the price you though you were going to pay, disappear like your local Dodge dealership; in order to reveal your new, and improved, savings price. If you’re like me, you can assume your mom has shopped at Safeway more than once in her life, so your home phone number will do just fine. The catch to Safeway, though, is that I also ended up with some deodorant. As well as some face-wash, a random decision to give AXE another shot, and some of that special “man soap”. I suppose I had never really wandered down that aisle, since Safeway’s brother-in-law Target, gets my personal hygiene business. But I was truly in the dark, regarding the non-food element of Safeway. The magazines I knew about, always the magazines--- Been there since the dawn of man, they are there exclusively for the husbands and 9-yr olds who have already found the Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies and gushers, and will now just sit out the monotonous produce and condiments shopping with the newest Sports Illustrated or GAMEPRO; maybe to rejoin the mother figure, when she should be making her way through the frozen foods section. Anyways… as always, I spent the majority of my time, in the deodorant section. With the competition being neck and neck between brands, I feel each needs some time for investigation. Eventually, I think back to whose current marketing campaign is better, and since Method Man and Redman aren’t indorsing the “power-stripe” anymore, I went for the Old Spice. Swagger, naturally, sold at Safeway.

We should get back to get back to the waters for a minute, because they, to me, define Safeway pretty well, or at least the divide therein: The divide between name brand and generic. This is as predominant a divide in America, as the divide between red and blue. The haves opt for the name brand Vitamin Waters, while the have-nots (and the supersavers) opt for the 69-cent waters that will quench the thirst of an entire family. The haves: the Simply Orange, orange juice. The Have-nots: the radioactive orange Tampico. For every walk of life, a juice… So America.

I, personally, go for the waters. Available at a price so low, it can only happen in America, where mass replication, is as everyday a process, as fielding rice in China. They come in unique 33.8 oz. bottles, which, to my knowledge, are used for nothing else. No other liquid on this planet is contained the way that my Cranberry Raspberry “Clear” is. One of the flavors is Apple Fritter (a pie-ish baked good, if im correct?) another is Key Lime. Of course, you still get the “wild cherry”, which of course, is as apposed to the un-wild ones, which spend their Friday nights at home, playing Xbox 360, or watching old episodes of Weeds on Megavideo.

But I digress, my point here, is that the labels in a grocery store can define America. The generic de-facto flavors, and the over-romanticized brand name product-lines; read like a novel. A sad tale of the nation built on the hope to build a good life; being whored out, at a cheap price, wowed and controlled by fancy titles, and brands. Materialism is a crime, which I myself am guilty of in the 1st degree. In my mind, Cheese is cheese, and milk is milk. The same way, a shirt, could be just a shirt; or shoes, just shoes; it’s just not that simple anymore. America is the top cop that’s been undercover for too far long, and is in desperate need of a way out, but there's one problem: were in too deep. Beginning to lose our true identity to who we’ve been pretending to be; we’ve lost touch with the world around us. Questions have been raised as to the sincerity of our word; people are talking. Sleeping with one eye open, and checking our backs every chance we get, we can’t shake the feeling that something is about to give.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I can do school all by myself.

If I may, allow me to let me the scene. It’s 9 o’clock in the morning, on any Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, only catch it, it’s a year and a half ago. It’s been about three months since I barely graduated high school. The leaves are turning brown, and the skies grey. I won’t call if fall, and I won’t call if autumn, because to me, only two seasons exist: School season and Non-School season. Seeing as im feeling like shit, it must be school season So that puts me in class at City College, taking Political Science and Psychology with the masses, right? Wrong. Where was I? Barnes & Nobles. What was I doing? Well, my own version of what I would have been doing at school, learning.

For about 4 months, I skipped class three days a week and went to Barnes & Nobles in the Tanforan mall for 3 hours to participate in a study group consisting, of well, myself. Armed with the necessary supplies: notebook, pen, and a calculator; I would grab some coffee, a table, and a book on a subject of my choosing, and I would learn. I don’t need a teacher to explain to me what they’re reading out of a book, I can do that myself. In fact, when I do it, there isn’t 50 kids all learning at a different level (usually lower than me), most of which are so lost they can barely survive 5 minutes without making the teacher halt, reverse, and restart her train of thought. In Barnes & Nobles, there's no idiot in the back asking questions about something I’ve understood seemingly since birth. Instead there's an old man in the chair across from me, perfectly content reading about dogs, and just as content, not bothering me. Furthermore, the teacher, aware of the lack of intelligence in her class, has curtailed her lecture to compensate for the slower amongst us. My condolences to the slower amongst us, and while im sure that driving in the slow lane of the mind is not necessarily a choice, and you have every right to an education, just not on my time. In my class, there's no waiting; there's no homework, no mid-term, and no finals, and your reading the closest thing to an essay. I learned what I wanted, when I wanted. I won’t lie; some days were spent fantasizing about G5 jets and Bentleys, which coincidentally, Barnes & Nobles has a book for. However, if I had an urge to learn about Metaphysics, I asked one of the many staff to point me towards where that knowledge might be found, and I was on my way to higher understanding. When I wanted to learn the principle theories of Socialism, I knew the appropriate text was lurking somewhere in one of the many isles--- so I found it, and I read it. For me, Barnes & Noble worked is a way perfectly described by Apples infamous slogan for the Iphone’s app store (with a twist): Let’s say you need to know more about international marketing? There's a book for that. Lets say you want to find a list of former Russian Czars, there's a book for that. Or lets say, all you want, is to know which rapper earned the most money in 2008, well there’s a book for that (well Forbes is a magazine, but you get the point). Anything I wanted to learn was instantly accessible to me, a vast world of knowledge and wisdom, at my fingertips. I read the Art of war, the Tao Te Ching, and portions of the Jewish Kabbalah. I learned the psychology of pop culture, as well as the difference between prototypes and archetypes. I read arguments for both nature and nurture, and I learned the definition of “cogito ergo sum,” which translates to: I think, therefore I am. Truer words have never been spoken.

Self-awareness can be philosophically summed up as “I think, therefore I exist, as a being that thinks.” I came to the realization, that no matter what, I was a thinking being; whether contained by a classroom, or set free to contemplate, on my own accord, any topic I choose. I exist in a world created by my own thoughts, not the one dictated and lectured to me by an underpaid professor, forced to water-down his lesson plan to compensate for idiots.

I do, although, understand (or at least get) the importance of school, more specifically, the importance of the piece of paper you receive after 4 years of school. It’s possible, maybe even probable, that I might have just taken the wrong classes, been stuck with the wrong teachers, or enrolled at the wrong institution. Maybe I didn’t give it long enough, or I went in with the wrong attitude and was doomed was the start. I could just be lazy. I’ll never be sure, but what I am sure of, is that neither my attendance record, nor my classroom participation will define me. I am defined by my own actions and thoughts, my own world. I am not the man who gets taught, I am the man who teaches himself.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Flyin Solo

I have others things I have to write (if you think you can act hit me up) I'll be back with a normal post tomorrow, but today im just gonna leave you with a poem, Hope you like it:


Flying Solo

I’d love to travel past the stars

Past the moon and way past mars

To the end of all we know

Just for fun and not for show


I’d love to travel across the seas

Willing victim of the ocean breeze

Sailing through the day and night

In good faith and not in spite


I’d love to fly above the clouds

Free of ties and loose from vows

By myself amongst the blue

Just for me and not for you


I’d love to go so that I may

Learn to live a basic way

To find my path all on my own

To understand without being shown


Well P.S.

I finished what else i needed to write so.... its kinda long, but its a short story that i might turn into a screenplay for episode one of a show. It will be a lot funnier once its a show, i just kinda had to establish whats going on, a chapter 1 if you will. As with anything, let me know what you think.



Late

Arthur Wilkes woke up at 8:30 on Tuesday morning. He is supposed to be at work in 15 minutes, and works 30 minutes away. Clearly, he will be late again. His performance is extremely well, but he’s been late too many times in the past couple months. His boss has been acting strange lately, so he can’t afford to be too late. He rushes to his closet to throw on some clothes. Typically very well put together, he reaches for the first unwrinkled shirt he can find, and throws on the same slacks he wore the day before. Conveniently, he had forgot to take his keys and wallet out of his pants so, skipping brushing his teeth, he puts on his shoes and is out the door. Speeding absent-mindedly down a very narrow road, Arthur is unaware of how fast he is going. From underneath a parked car, a cat jolts into the middle of the road. He swerves hard to the right, and then makes a move back to the left. He dodges the cat and looks back to confirm…

BOOM! He slams on the brakes! He runs out of his car to check what he’s hit, within seconds he realizes that its a man, and its clear that he’s dead. He drops to his knees and begins to shiver violently. However, he does not remain in this state for long. After a moment, his adrenaline kicks in; He may have just killed a man, but he needs to get to work. If he doesn't show up today he will be fired, and he has rent due on Friday, and a car note that needs to be taken care of; he closes the trunk, and speeds off to work.

Upon arriving at work, everything seems oddly silent. Everywhere he looks, is another bitter stare. Uncomfortable, he hurries to his desk. Finally with a moment to think, he franticly races through possible ways to deal with his situation. He realizes now that he cannot turn himself in now; Even though it was really an accident, he had taken the body and fled the scene; no one would believe his story. All of a sudden, he realized the magnitude of what he'd done, he begins to feel terrible and is soon completely overtaken with grief. He spent the next hour or so perplexed and in his own world of pain. Abruptly, his boss calls his name from across the room, and tells him to come to his office. Feeling as if his nervousness is visible from space, he takes a few deep breaths and heads forward, to await his fate.

"Arthur, you may not have noticed, but for sometime now, we have been paying very close attention to you,” says his boss, even though is had been painfully obvious that they had been closely watching him for about a month now.

"Basically, I have one question for you Arthur. Do you like your job here?"

Arthur froze. Images flashed through his head of the lifeless body lying there on the side of the road. Beginning to spiral back into a state of agonizing guilt, he could only think to blurt out one thing.

"I killed a man on my way to work today sir!" He proclaimed, feeling a sense of relief as soon as the words left his mouth. His boss sat silently for a moment, appearing to give thought to Arthur’s peculiar statement.

"That’s all I need to hear… You’re going to be the new VP of sales Arthur." He had clearly not taken Arthur seriously, but instead, had mistaken his deadly confession, as dedication to his trade.

"Frankly, we like you. Your actions, and certainly, your *ahem* choice of words, may seem a bit cavalier to others; but here up top, we think it is just the thing we need to push sales further"

The rest of the conversation played out like a blur. It ended with him shaking his boss’s hand and being escorted to his new office. Sitting down at his new desk and his new chair, a mental image of him shaking hands with the devil kept popping into his head. He hadn't asked for his boss to mistake his words, but nor could he blame him. He was a very good worker, he insisted to himself. There were never any problems besides showing up a little late every once in a while. He presumed, that since he wasn't, in fact, a murderer, that his boss just assumed he was making a dark joke (which he occasionally did). Murderer no, but a killer? He had killed a man, and for about 3 hours now, he had been covering it up. He decided that he needed to think about what to do in the peace and quiet of his house, and since he was the newly appointed Vice President of sales, he could come and go as he pleased.

He had intentionally parked his car in the back of the lot, to avoid people perhaps smelling the body, so he was slightly winded by the time he got to his car. He opened the door and got in; throwing his head back and fiercely grabbing the wheel, he let out a scream:

"AHHHHHH!"

"Would you keep it down!" sounded an unidentified voice.

He whirled around to check who it was. His eyes swelled and his nerves tensed as if he had been punched in the gut. He was staring at the man he had run over that morning. He felt his stomach drop so hard, he figured he could find it in china, should he ever need it again. Immobilized and trembling with fear, he managed to muster a pathetic offering:

"Your…Your not real! Your not really there! Its impossible, im hallucinating!" he said madly, still shaking like he had just dove into ice water to impress a girl.

"Well that depends really. On what your definition of real is,"

All of a sudden, he teleported to the passenger seat of the car.

"I mean, are numbers real? You can’t grab number, you can’t talk or interact with them, but Im willing to bet you would feel comfortable agreeing with me that they exist, correct. Furthermore, even if I weren't real and you were hallucinating, which I can assure you your not, I’d still be here, with you, right now."

Still quite afraid, but slowly coming to his senses, Arthur forcefully rubbed his eyes, attempting to rub away this talking reminder of his sins.

"I'll just be here I guess… waiting for you to calm down, man up, and drive us home." said the ghost sarcastically. "Im not going to kill you or anything! On the contrary, I'm actually quite all right with this. Didn't really have much going on for me, so I suppose this is pretty much an improvement." Finally coming to grips with the situation, Arthur spoke,

"So, let me attempt to wrap my head around what’s going on here. If im correct, and please feel free to stop me at any time, you are dead, and happy about it..."

The ghost nodded, Arthur went on.

"Okay, so you also seem to be haunting me? Am I correct"

"You are Sir!" gleefully responded the ghost.

"But you’re not mad at me? Like enough to kill me or anything?"

"No, not at all sir!"

"Well, in that case, what would you like me to do with your body? Its the least I can do for you…"

"I think you should bury me in your backyard." answered the ghost.

After some thought, he decided that a backyard burial would be the most logical idea, and the least suspicious. Plus, the ghost insisted that no one would be coming to look for him, nor would his disappearance raise any red flags anywhere. The idea of having a dead body in his backyard, let alone that of the man he killed, was not exactly sitting well with Arthur, but, he had began to feel, that nothing from here on out, ever would.

He put the keys in the inanition and started the engine.

"So what’s your name? For what its worth im sorry, you seem like a good guy to Me." apologetically offered Arthur.

"Mike. Mike Isner. And no worries, like I said, I was actually not such a good guy. All this floating around, and teleporting is a hell of a lot more fun than anything I had chance to do alive."

"Well in that case, feel free to teleport and float at my house whenever you want"

Arthur drove home, with Mike riding shotgun, occasionally he would teleport to the backseat all of a sudden, as if out of sheer boredom. When they got to the house, Arthur pulled the latch to release the trunk. He got out and grabbed the body. For the rest of day, he chatted with mike, as he dug a grave. When completed they both felt compelled to hold an impromptu funeral.

"Well, traditionally, the killer would probably be the last person speaking at the victims funeral, but today has been anything but traditional, and it seems almost appropriate. To say I knew you well, Mike Isner, would be a bald-faced lie. But any man who can forgive his killer the same day he was killed, couldn't have been to bad a man."

This almost seemed to choke Mike up, who to this point, had been fairly emotionless. He smiled at Arthur as if to confirm once more, that all was indeed forgiven.

"Im sorry Mike… I know its lame, but that really all I got. Feel free to hang out here if you want every now and then." said Arthur.

"Well, Art! I might just take you up on that offer!"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Whats so funny?

It depends on how old you are. Nothing in your life will change more than your sense of humor as you age. Surely nothing I found funny at 6 will be very laughable at 75. Nor do many teenagers laugh at their parent’s jokes. And while I can’t actually remember my first real laugh, I can pretty much pinpoint what it must have been about.

If we say, for the sake of discussion, that I was 5 when I had my first near-death laughing experience, than it could only have been about 1 thing… farts. There is nothing on earth funnier than a magnitude 9.0 buttquake in the eyes of a 5 year old. The less convenient the location, the more hilarious it is; a fart in the backseat of your moms car, a stinker in the classroom, and a fart on the schoolyard are all absolute gut-busters to a kindergartner. The fart will always have a place in our comedic hearts, but it starts to weaken around 7, when a new monster rears its head. It’s hard to remember exactly why we did, what we did, when we were younger. Especially what we joked about. I'm not sure when as a little boy; you decide that butts and pee-pees are the funniest thing on the planet, but around 7-8 years old, nothing kills you quite like peeing all over the bathroom wall.

Somewhere around 10, a discovery is made: sarcasm, and your voice is getting just slightly lower to allow the proper tone. Talk to any 10 year old and within nearly seconds, you will have heard: “I bet you will!” and “You do that!” numerous times. Oddly enough, these occasionally hurt. The worst part is the laugh, the kind of laugh that explodes in your face, like a dumb hick lighting off fireworks. This is the laugh that you can imagine the devil wants us all keep forever. Rapid and shrill, piercing through your head like nails on a chalkboard. When juxtaposed against a little body, the tremendous laugh can really shake you.

‘Fuck you, you bitch!”

Ah yes… Swearing…

Now were talking. As kids turn to pre-teens, they cast away what used to be the ultimate ban, embrace yesterday’s taboo, and begin swearing. Whenever they have free time, it’s spent f’n and hoe’n. They have yet to learn how to place a proper fuck though, or perfectly time a shit; instead they blurt 4 or 5 “potty-words” in succession and say, literally, fuck making sense. They also are quite mean around this age too. So unless you’re a teacher, parent, or cop, you’re going to get a healthy plate of “fuck you”, served cold with a side of “suck it, fag!” However crude, these brats are starting to get the hang of it.

Now were big high schoolers. It’s the beginning of the academic end for a good majority of us. Many are here to progress and propel themselves forward, and many are here to slowly waste away in the back of class, waiting for the bell; but some, known as class-clowns, come to entertain. Neither bored nor enthused in any subject, instead, the budding funny man uses the classroom as his first audience. Labeled disruptive and un-focused on progress reports and report cards. The bane of a substitute teachers existence and the thorn in the side of administration; these “clowns” only goal is to keep the class laughing and off subject, much to the dismay of teachers. The one who might be caught “fake moaning” during lecture or silent reading. Often able to be found in front of the class, “thinking about his behavior.” The kid who everyone thinks might possibly have THE smartest ass.

Somehow, we’ve come from giggling about flatchulence, and worked our way though wiener jokes. We learned how to talk back, and have mastered the art of distraction. We’ve been through a life of relatively little responsibility, and laughed about it as often as possibly. As we grew, our point of reference changed, and so have our jokes; however, funny has always been funny, and always will be. From the moment we formulated out first notion of what’s going on, we’ve wished we could just laugh all day. Some of us have wished to make others laugh. A different age, a different crowd, with every New Year, a new delivery style. Remarkably, your sense of humor will evolve with you, and hopefully, never leave you. The saddest place someone can be in the world is a place where they can’t take a glance, and see funny all around them. Because it’s there…

Monday, March 8, 2010

Emergency

“Okay Mr. Waters, if someone calls for you can I tell them know you’re here?”

That’s how it begins. It’s officially now an emergency. Not only because I'm in the Emergency Room, not because my left ankle has swollen to a formidable kankle, but because there's a strong possibility I will be here for at least 3 hours. Okay now thinking back to the clerks question: “Okay Mr. Waters, if someone calls for you can I tell them know you’re here?” You may, but not to inform them that I am hurt, but that I will be missing dinner.

I signed in, they slapped a plastic bracelet on my arm; credited with, not one, but two United States patents, likely for the unique form of plastic found exclusively in hospitals, perhaps the tricky little clasp. Now I sit. In a room that grows exponentially less comfortable the more people that fill it. Each with their own problem, their own illness, their own emergency. Each seemingly more sick than the last. All of them are excited to see a new face in the crowd. Most of them clearly old enough to get matinee prices all day at the theatre; their blank faces almost seem to say, “but he's so young?” It’s the kind of place that as soon as you sit down, you want to leave. It’s humid, with a thick cloud of unease cast over it. It smells as if they’ve only attempted to mask the sweaty, musky aroma with disinfectant. It’s similarly ineffective to spraying cologne in place of a shower, after you’ve had a day of intense physical labor. Surveying the room, I realize that the political argument on the T.V. in the background, almost narrates the scene. A heated discussion concerning the current heath care reform, specifically, where and how the money will be spent. I realize that I'm looking at it. I’m staring into the faces representing the entire issue. Sitting in the room long enough to hear mention of a leaking penis and multiple cases of overly-loose stool, I begin to wonder if a sprained ankle is going to cut it, or, at some point, will a nurse come and just tell me to go suck it up.

People come, people go. Each a new walking target for my amateur medical speculation. I don't care to write about what happens after they call your name, because contrary to my arrogant belief; doctors and nurses are actually very good at their jobs. I will, however, tell you how you leave: the same way you came in, through the same sickly humid staging area. Everyone get their moment here, for as you walk back through the door, you are an object of envy from for all those who have just arrived. Appearing cured, you attract a special look from there waiting eyes. After your brief observation, your gone, just like that, emergency over.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

In the Land of Milk and Honey

Lets talk about clothes. What about em? I'm not sure, definitely not what hot and what not. This isn’t about street wear or high fashion, or anyone invested or involved in either. No, I’d rather talk about the unfashionable, the unfly, and the anti-hip. The ones, who, like the rest of us, are required to cover up; but for reasons undisclosed, chose to do so in a highly uncomplimentary manner. You know the ones, the dude who swears up and down the block, while his face turns purple, that he has multiple of a certain outfit, because he's been called out for wearing the same black Carhartt sweatshirt, Brett Favre jeans, and pair of boots for the last 3 years; Or the guy who sports cotton sweatpants in shades of gunmetal otherwise unseen on planet earth.

You’ll typically encounter the same arguments; if he's not choking on his own Adams apple trying to explain his clone-trooperesc wardrobe, he’s probably telling you, “I just don't give a shit!’ Oh yeah? As happy as I am for you that you think you’ve escaped the pop-culture trap that has taken control of the world; I don’t believe you. In fact, for your sake, I don’t want to believe you. Let me just go ahead and say it, you should give a shit. Everyone else does. Are we materialistic? Sure. Maybe even a lot bit shallow. Just let me tell you though, you think your flying first class on Humble Airlines, flight 101, cause you dress like the Unabomber, but your not. Your inability to relate to the world unfolding around you does not place you on a moral high ground. Nor does “not giving a shit…” In fact, while your busy fielding what I’m sure has been years and years of dirty looks and inquiries into your unpalatable sense for flair, I just bought what I saw everyone else buy and got the hell on. After time you can even begin to get ahead of it all. Start to learn what was cool, apply it to what currently is cool, and you might possibly ascertain a hot lead on what might take over the street corners, mini-malls, and nightclubs in the near future.

Now what about your final excuse for making public appearances in clothes intended for pregnant or nursing mothers of 5? It has something to do with comfort, correct? The classic, “I wear what feels good” is the most common retort offered by these classy individuals. I cant begin to imagine what’s going on inside of that Snow fox emblazoned crew neck, that makes it worlds more comfortable than any other coat. Effectively eliminating all somewhat contemporary pieces from contention. Ironically enough, “it feels good” is also the most common remark uttered from shop-a-holics maxed out, overdrawn lips. Because feeling good is the name of the game, and if it doesn’t feel good to be recognized for a statement made effective by uniquely designed t-shirts, or rare salvaged denim; than it will at least feel good to not stand out as the guy who cant decipher the difference between, “I work on a farm to support my family” clothes, and everyday fashion. Trust Me.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sundays' for the Birds

I woke up on a Saturday that felt like a Sunday.

You know, that familiar laziness that only Sunday can offer. Where even though you might have planned to spend your day doing something productive, at least a good half will be spent in bed lethargically rolling around, waiting for the right moment to rise. Breakfast gets served around 1:30, lunch fades into nothingness, and dinner is spent wallowing in self-pity about your dreaded return to work tomorrow. Which really is the game changer, an “x-factor” if you will. The relaxation potential for Sunday would be off the charts, if it weren’t for the looming air of responsibility. The way I see it, every Sunday is an ode to the last day of summer vacation as a kid. Played out in the same half-hearted style, riding your bike through the still air, awaiting your inevitable doom. Attempting to squeeze every bit of pleasure out of an overall pleasure less day. Nostalgia sets in over what might have been, what else could have been done, anguishing over every wasted minute. The wishes that you could just skip whatever tomorrow brings and do it over rings through your head like an express train passing by your stop. You never even got a chance to get off.

But here is what’s special about today. It may feel like Sunday, but I’m surrounded with constant reminders that it is indeed, still only Saturday. Now I have taken a position of power on the flow of the week. Commandeered that Express train. For you see, I have the seen the future. I have seen it, and I can feel it. I know what tomorrow brings and I know that I cannot afford to waste any time today, or I will inevitably regret it. In a way, it would be nice to wake up feeling “sundayish” everyday. To get that extra spark of motivation needed to really seize the day. Because tomorrow brings no more responsibility than today, and I have plenty of time to accomplish anything I set out to do. On this Saturday that feel like a Sunday, the sky’s the limit. No hesitation, no boundaries. I’ve had breakfast, and I’m already thinking about an early lunch. So today, I will not be lazy, lethargic, or listless. I will not waste away in despair awaiting a redundant workweek. I will allow Sunday to serve as an example of wrong, so as to only do right. Since I know what’s at the end of the tunnel I can illuminate the whole path.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Storm of the Century



So i hear theres gonna be a big storm comin through soon…

You know, the news of a brewing storm always gets me a lil hot. The idea that a torrential downpour could ensue at any moment, while we still have to go about our civil duties, is gut-wrenching. That any plans you may have had for the day, might turn into swimming with your work clothes on. The word spreads like a rumor of a new best buy being built in your area. You hear about it from someone who heard it from someone else, who heard it from someone else, who of course heard it from his sister, who actually watches the news. She of course, HATES the weatherman… Coz everyone hates the weatherman.

Regardless of region, the local weatherman takes more shit than a 15 yr. old pregnant asian girl. I mean, i understand that your upset about wearing a skirt and flip-flops today, instead of your sweatpants and fake uggs, but give the guy a break. He's just calling it as he sees it. He sees a bunch of red and blue lines and what looks like clouds and makes a guess. You gotta give it to him though. Through all the harassment he endures he remains the smiliest man on the set, genuinely giddy about northern winds and low lying clouds. So even if you do feel betrayed by the outcast of the news crew, i say, blame the doppler, not the dumb ass reading it.

But i think thats what i like about storms… the uncertainty, the intrigue. Cause by 11:30, everyones heard that a low-pressure front is supposedly ready to beat down your block with gail force winds. But everyone's skeptical. You'll here: "well the weatherman's been WRONG BEFORE!!" while everyones looks to sky, squints their eyes, and decides whether or not its gonna happen. Because it typically seems like it could happen. You know, grey skies, some wind, and a bunch of pissed off attitudes. "EHHH shit!! i wish it would just start already and get it over with!! so its not raining when i drive home!!" My favorite is the guy whose breaking down the shades of grey to determine the moisture levels in the clouds, thus enabling him to pinpoint the epicenter of the possible rainfall, "yea you see, those over there are much darker, which means more water. the wind is blowing at about, id say, 30 m.p.h... i recommend you grab your coat…" Indeed everyone has their two cents to throw in on the possible outdoor activity buster on the horizon; but whether in the end it happens or not, an equal amount of people will tell you, with ample conviction, how they "KNEW it was/wasn't gonna rain…"

Now another reason i like storms is because i respect those who are "storm-ready" and i'm not talking about a flashlight or two and a can of tuna. Im talking about the people who have a fucking costco in their basement! the same people who might have a couple "y2k kits" laying around! Now if you've never met one of these ever-ready individuals, just wait: one day you will be at a dinner-party and you'll be asked to retrieve some more chairs from the basement. You'll go down there, grab some chairs, and upon turning around… BAM!! 5 tents, 6 rechargeable lamps, 2 wind-up radios, 50 gallons of water, and 4000 cans of spam. As well as a smattering of various hunting supplies.

Now this man might be your grandfather. He might be your weird uncle. Possibly your lesbian neighbor, or the local black guy. He might be your best-friend or someone you know from the gym. He might be the absolute LAST person you enjoy spending time with; but one day when a storm comes that even George Clooney ain't fuckin with… Your gonna be glad you know him.