November 19, 2011

Reflections on Leaves

Our front porch is littered with leaves; a multi-hued memorial to yesterday’s beauty.  Each leaf a singular event, separate yet connected to the whole.  Their color fades with my memory of what was, leaving nothing but a brittle skeleton to remind me that life is short and nothing temporal lasts forever.

I am disquieted . . .

But I am not going to sweep them away.  I like how they look, the natural disarray so contrary to my organized and controlled life.  The desire to write about these leaves has haunted me for days, yet I fear spewing forth mundane and cliché thoughts on depression, decline and death.

The trees let go of their past glory and the leaves fall, though some stubbornly cling to the branches in a futile attempt to resist the changing season.  Yet death is not so much an end as it is a beginning, a step towards metamorphosis; a preparation for rebirth.

Leaves spread along the ground like rose petals on the bridal path . . .

Leaves cushioning the journey like palm branches strewn before the humble king . . .

These leaves represent my memories and I long to be the child who merrily rakes the dead fragments into piles and jumps upon them with joy, a carefree scattering to the wind.

November 12, 2011

An Attempt to Write . . . Something . . .

I like to write.  I want to write.  I don’t write.  These days I find inspiration to be as rare as a periodical not featuring Kim Kardashian though not quite as rare as a decent Presidential candidate. 

Life has wrapped her bony fingers around my neck, thumb securely placed in the hollow of my esophageal track, increasing pressure so slowly that my oxygen-deprived brain has atrophied unaware. 

And Spotify doesn’t seem to hold the answer . . .

Choosing each word is an effort; a sentence forms as painfully as a crowning newborn.  To write a long paragraph would be to endure a lifetime of grief.

Question: How do I find my inspiration again?  Do I need a muse? A therapist?  A young priest and an old priest?

My reverie interrupted by Love of Lesbian singing Los Colores De Una Sombra  . . . the colors of a shadow indeed . . . how fitting . . . Throw me another bone Spotify . . .

Kathleen Norris in her book The Cloister Walk discusses the designation of “despair” as an aspect of the sin of pride.  She states, “I find this designation enormously helpful.  Among other things it defeats my perfectionism, my tendency to give up when I can’t do things ‘just right’.  But if I accept the burden of my despair . . . then I also receive the tools to defeat it.  I have a hope that no modern therapeutic approach can give me.”

To piggyback onto Kathleen’s eloquent words, some days I realize the greatest sin I could commit would be to give up.  So I don’t . . .

Random thought: How do you tell a crazy man he is crazy?  Does he know he’s crazy?  If I were crazy would I know it?  Crazy has compared to what?  Some social norm I had no say in formulating?

Spotify once again saves the day with Cults singing You Know What I Mean:  “Tell me what’s wrong with my brain cuz I’ve seemed to have lost it.”

Took a break from writing to read an article written by mi amigo Louie located here.

Rediscovering thankfulness could be just the ticket . . . After all a wise VeggieTale video once instructed me, “A thankful heart is a happy heart” . . .

Let the quest for thankfulness begin as I take up the sword against the dragons of cynicism, doubt and hopelessness . . . Die you bitches . . .

October 30, 2011

A Time to Reflect?

Sometimes I receive life-coaching from the mundane . . .

The other day I noticed a shiny new Autumn-esque poster at my favorite Starbucks that read, “Fall back in to just a little time to sit and reminisce”.

A few days later I picked up a book entitled, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster. I read a chapter called The Prayer of Examen. The word “Examen” (hence examination) is from the Latin and refers to the tongue, or weight indicator, on a balance scale; thus conveying the idea of an accurate assessment of the true situation.

And then today (and out of the blue) a friend gave me a copy of the book, The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris, a pseudo-memoir about her experiences in a Benedictine monastery.

Hmmmmm . . . perhaps I should consider taking some time out of my day to mediate and reflect on my life . . .

I want to reflect. I want to meditate. I want to find the key that unlocks the door leading to peace of mind. But there’s a problem . . .

I suffer from benzo-induced tinnitus; a constant ringing in my head (ears?) that varies in intensity depending on a variety of factors. And it is consistently at its worst when I am at rest or trying to be at rest, as it were.

I have suffered from this malady for close to two years now and there seems to be no relief in sight. I have learned mainly to ignore it, however it can sometimes make me cranky with those I love the most and it certainly interferes with any attempts to enjoy the “peace and quiet”. Or pray. Or meditate. Or reflect on my life. Or just be . . .

So the burning question in the face of all this is what to do next. I suppose I will take a deep breath and just give it the old college try and see what happens . . . Frustrating to say the least . . .

Or maybe I should just read my new book first and take it from there. Yes, that sounds more plausible. Good planning based on useful information certainly can’t hurt.

August 10, 2011

Adventures In a Taco Bell Drive Thru

It was decided against my better judgment (as per usual) to treat the kids to Taco Bell instead of the superior Del Taco feast. There’s just no accounting for taste . . .

As I get custody of the wife’s H3 on the weekends, I wheeled the mighty rig into the drive thru line, spotted an opening and darted ahead. Unfortunately the incessant chatter emanating from the interior of the vehicle distracted my otherwise stellar focus, resulting in me bringing the H3 to a stop some two car lengths past where one typically places the order.

I mumbled a four letter word . . . “oops” . . .

My first instinct was to back up so I quickly scanned my rearview mirror for obstacles. Lo and behold the driver behind me had noticed my dilemma (presumably aided by the peace and tranquility emanating from the interior of his own vehicle) and had stopped one full car length ahead of the speakers.

I backed up, placed the order then pulled ahead to the pick-up window. Feeling grateful for the courtesy just afforded me I decided to express my thanks in an unusual way.

I paid for my order than told the Taco Bell servant I wanted to pay for the car behind me. She looked surprised and made me repeat my request. She asked me if I was sure and I explained to her what had just happened. She told me the amount. I paid her. She looked pleased. She commented how fun this was and that she would enjoy passing on the good news to her next customer.

I felt good. My wife felt good. My kids felt good. The servant felt good. And the family in the back was about to feel real good. That was quite a return for a few measly bucks.

Our Taco Bell lunch tasted a little better than normal that day . . .

Yay me . . .

August 01, 2011

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I was driving out to work last week when I noticed a woman attempting to push her car off the road near the entrance to the off-ramp.

“She’s pretty strong for a woman,” I thought to myself.  “I wonder if anyone is going to stop and help her.”

I drove by, thoughtfully making sure that I didn’t hit her or her open car door.  But I hadn’t gone very far when that often inconvenient entity I call a conscience began to pester me.

“What if that were your wife?” my conscience asked.  “Wouldn’t you want someone to stop and help her?”

“I’m busy,” I replied with all the reasonableness I could muster.  “Find someone else!”

My conscience tends to not give up so easily and I soon found myself circling back around to see what could be done.  As I got closer I witnessed several truck drivers zoom by without even so much as a drive-by gawking.  Heartless bastards . . . Heartless lucky bastards . . .

Sure enough she was out of gas.  Sure enough she had no gas can.  Sure enough she claimed she had no money.

I took her to the nearest gas station, purchased a gas can and put 2 gallons of gas in it.  She mentioned she was “really thirsty” (actually she looked really thirsty, but in more of a vampire-ish sort of way).

“I’m glad it’s daylight,” I thought as I purchased her a nice, tall, cool, condensation-laced bottle of water.  “I think I left my stake and mallet at home.”

I drove her back to her car and parked directly behind the vehicle, careful to turn on my hazard lights.  I had read stories of people being killed on the highway in similar situations and I didn’t want to end up just another statistic.  (Although when you think about our journey through life, I suppose it is impossible NOT to become some sort of statistic.  I just didn’t want to become THAT kind of statistic . . . You know, one of those . . .)

My gas can at home is several years old and very simple in design; one takes off the cap, inserts the nozzle and pours the contents into whatever receptacle is desired.  Not this gas can.  It was what my Southern-born daddy would call “newfangled.”

After spending about 5 minutes trying to figure out how to tear off the rubber gasket at the end of the nozzle that was impeding the flow of gas, I realized that it was there for a reason.  After further experimentation I discovered that the secret was to grip the lever on the nozzle tightly and pull down, much like chambering a shell in a shotgun Dick Chaney style.

Then I carefully positioned myself by the gas tank which was conveniently located on the driver’s side nearest the traffic (of course it was) and cocked the lever.  Keeping one eye on the traffic, one eye on the vampire and one eye on the task at hand I began to empty the gas into her tank.

Two long minutes and five speeding big rigs later I had dispensed about ¾ of the container.  I asked her to open her trunk, told her there was a little gas left for later and that she could have the can.

That was when she reminded me again that she had no money and still had a long ways to go.  She looked as though she were about to offer something else in trade, but I hadn’t brought my hazmat suit so I quickly offered her a tank of gas to send her on her way.  She graciously accepted and I followed her back to the gas station.

It was then that my conscience decided I still had one more little task left to do.

“Aren’t you going to witness to her?” my conscience sneered with that uppity tone of voice he likes to use when he thinks he’s better than me.

“My actions speak louder than words,” I proudly proclaimed.  Luckily for me my conscience was in an unusually good mood that day because he accepted a compromise.

“Jesus loves you Georgette,” I said with a smile as I waved goodbye.  I called her Georgette because that was her name.

She looked startled, mumbled a thank you and drove away.

I walked back to my car satisfied that I had exhibited enough kindness for one day.  It was then I noticed that in my excitement I had forgotten to turn off my hazard lights.  I pushed down on the button to turn them off but the button wouldn’t stay down.  Somehow I had managed to break the latch.

I fumbled through owner’s manual trying to find the fuse box location and diagram, which of course didn’t match the reality of what was actually there.  A half hour later and with the help of one of my mechanics at work I managed to identify and pull the fuse connected to the flasher.  Unfortunately this also disabled my signal lights.

Finally I found a toothpick, rammed it into the notch with the button pressed down and that is where it rests today because I don’t have the money to get it fixed.

No good deed goes unpunished . . .

July 31, 2011

Top 10 Questions NOT to Ask at the Close of Your Job Interview

I was speaking with our company’s Director of HR this past week and he was complaining about a phone interview he had conducted at 6:30 that morning.  Apparently the candidate had come across as a sycophantic douchebag and it hadn’t helped that the Director was hung over from the night before (as human resources employees are prone to be).

The applicant had ended the interview with an enthusiastic, “This company is such an awesome company and seems like a perfect fit for me . . . And you, Mr. DHR, you are such a smooth interviewer . . . You really have your act together!”

Mr. DHR said he threw up a little in the back of his throat.

Mr. DHR commented that the candidate sounded so happy he wondered what he was actually doing on the other end of the phone.  My retort was that the last thing you want to hear at the end of a job interview are the words, “Was it good for you?”

Thus the inspiration for my top 10 list of questions NOT to ask your potential employer at the close of your job interview . . .

10. Was it good for you?

9. Do you happen to have a crack pipe I can borrow?

8. Do you think this rash is an STD?

7. What’s your policy on Internet porn?

6. Have you heard the one about Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed?

5. Do you cut your own hair?

4. Assuming you can’t help but hire me may I start my vacation now?

3. What’s your policy on nose hair ?

2. What’s your policy on speaking in tongues?

And the number one question NOT to ask your potential employer at the close of your job interview . . .

1.       How long have you been gay?

July 30, 2011

My New Blog

After several months of hiatus I'm feeling inspired to blog again.  I don't know why really . . . Maybe Facebook has betrayed me one too many times (like the whore she is) . . . Or maybe I desire a forum to explain the whacky nature of my status updates . . . Or maybe it's just time . . .

Who cares really . . . I blog because I can . . .

Beginning in the Year of our Lord 2005 and over the space of several years I maintained and published two blogs; Plucky's World and Pixie Dust Faith.  Both blogs have been deleted in my attempt to start fresh; fresh approach, fresh material and a fresh freshy freshness that will hopefully refresh.

For one thing I want to keep this blog as simple as possible.  Simple format, simple look, not theme-ish, not squeamish, no swimming fish eating mouse-bytes, no whacky opinion polls . . . Well maybe we will have whacky opinion polls as I kind of miss them and they were fun after all . . .

What can you expect here?  Why the unexpected of course . . . Would any peruser of my FB page expect otherwise?

Thanks for reading . . . Stay tuned . . .