August 2008


Since I have to work tomorrow (I failed to finish my bathroom remodel project yesterday), I don’t get the standard 3-day weekend that most folks are enjoying. Plus which, I worked Saturday, so today was my only R&R day.

So what’d I do?

Painted the other 3/5 of the house.

Mowed a big-ass yard.

Went to the Edge of the Great Woods (very far away) to visit some friends. Renn and Chachi are good folks, and fed us bratwurst innabun with an assortment of salads. And we got to play with some cool music studio software (real musicians have this kind of stuff, I understand).

Just got home, let out the dog, put away the last of the painting supplies, and showered up. It’s dark now, and while we did just what we wanted to, I’d like to have some more weekend please.

Enjoy your holiday!

What did (or will) you do with your weekend?

Tonight, on the way home from a frustrating day at work (and a Saturday, no less), I saw a kid on a bike that reminded me of someone from my old neighborhood. My house was in a good mid-size-city neighborhood that looked just like Archie Bunker’s – only the houses weren’t so close together. There was a diverse mix of people all around, and all us kids would wander the neighborhood to find things to do. Atari was still a few years from being invented.

One day when I was maybe 9 years old, my friend Steve and I were playing basketball in the driveway, and a couple kids came walking by in the alley behind the garage. The joined our game, and everything was going fine until one of the kids started talking smack (that term hadn’t been invented yet, but that’s what it was). I had no idea what he was talking about or what I did to upset him, but he kept saying he was gonna kick my ass.

In my house, we didn’t talk like that. I had heard the word ‘ass’ before but wasn’t sure where it was. If it was what I thought, then there was no way I wanted to be kicked in it. So I kept my butt turned toward him for the rest of the game, just to be safe.

Another time, I was doing my paper route, minding my own business, and a kid named Punky (I shat you not) came up to me. I said hi, and he said “I’m gonna hit you, kid!”

So he did. After spilling the papers and developing an impressively bloody nose, my fight-or-flight instinct kicked in. I ran home.

My dad heard the story and just shook his head. I found out a decade later that he was that kid in his neighborhood, apparently ready and willing to fight anything for any reason.

Determined not to get beat up again, I walked around with my fists all balled up. Wrong, of course – I found out in high school that you’re not supposed to have your thumb inside.

I can count on one hand all the fights I’ve been in throughout my life, and none have happened in the last 23 years. My neighbor, however, likes talking about all the asses he kicks and how bad a summbitch he is.

They say the best way to win a fight is not to start one. So far, so good.

Tonight I invented a new drink. I dunno what to call it, now taking all suggestions.

Toss in 1 cup vodka, 1 cup pulpy orange juice, 1/2 can of pineapple chunks with juice, a buncha ice cubes, and a splash of sour mix into a blender. Grind until it’s a smoothie.

Oh it’s sooooo good. And it’ll last you all night, or all weekend, to share. Depending on your capacity.

*****

I got wheezy shoes. Today and yesterday, every time I step on my left foot, it wheezes like an asthmatic on a lung blower for half a minute. Then, when I lift my foot, it wheezes in.

Is it age that explains that it took me half a day to figure out the cause of the noise? Maybe half deefness?

I dunno. It’s pizza night, and I’m eatin’ some.

I liked my old blog. It was fun and light and thoughtful, I had a pile of great friends, and I couldn’t wait to write a new post whenever an idea came to me.

It got me into some trouble though. My boss became a regular reader, and that, my friends, was not good. My soon-to-become-ex-wife was also a regular reader, as well as many of her friends. There was no place to express my thoughts without lots of self-editing, simply because I didn’t want to deal with all the bullshiat, questions, assumptions, gossip, and judgments that came of some of my writings.

I tried a secret blog, where I wrote what I was thinking. Some of it was good, but it became too much like therapy – which takes work. Eventually, too many readers were on that site as well and I quit writing there. Eventually I registered another ‘regular’ blog with a new identity, but I don’t post there very often. Being away from the computer all day contributes, but it’s more than that. Something about the community feel of it is missing.

The big move from everything I’d known for my whole life to a new state, new climate, new business, and one amazing woman certainly shook things up. Some days it feels like I’m a tiny pedestrian in a tiny village at the bottom of a snow globe, which has become the favorite toy of a hyperactive booger-dripping toddler. Other days it feels like I’m a pioneer, blazing a new trail for myself. I left behind all my family, friends, coworkers, musicians, and church people to start over from scratch. I never run into old acquaintances, schoolmates, or Michigan State fans around here.

All in all it’s a vast improvement in my circumstances. Sure, there’s lots to miss – but there’s lots to cherish. Balance is the thing – and I’m not very adept at it. I’m swinging to and fro like a drunken bicyclist on a balance beam. You know there’s bound to be a wreck complete with crunching sounds, but you can’t look away.

I do miss the joy of my old blog. But I’m not going to resurrect it, nosireebob. I read Pet Semetary, and know dead things ought to stay dead. This is new, like a newborn kitten or a freshly minted turd that’s still making waves in the bowl.

Perhaps this will help me get my voice back.