Turn the TV off and turn on Aussa, her writing is fucking brilliant. Hacker, Ninja, Hooker, Spy! Some Mistakes are too good not Share!
A Recap of The Things I didn’t do this week…
First and foremost, let’s get this straight! I did not cure cancer this week – not that I had any expectation of doing so nor do I possess the mental acuity to achieve such profundity. Moving on, although perhaps in no better of a direction, I did not find Jimmy Hoffa or Ambrose Bierce – again, not specifically on my radar, but I keep an eye open (even if my wife frequently questions my peripheral vision as she tries to keep me from sticking my foot in my mouth.) Other things that were seemingly out of my grasp this week include: saving the starving children (anywhere,) starting a homeless shelter (they’re often very smelly,) visiting the sick and infirmed in hospitals (again smelly, and the last thing I need is another cold,) starting a dot com (it’s not the 90’s anymore,) seeing 12 years a Slave (which is probably the most grievous thing on my list.) I didn’t send a rover to Mars or Pluto. I didn’t make Jedi – something I really believe I was meant to be. I didn’t earn my black belt, but then again I don’t practice any martial arts. I did not walk on water or turn water in to wine or serve myself as food, which totally puts to rest the idea of me being the reincarnation of Jesus to bed. I did not, despite the constant rumors, stabilize a wormhole. I suppose I could have set my sights on something more attainable and tried harder to keep up with the dishes or done the laundry. I could have emptied the garbage before it was overflowing on to the floor. My shoes are constantly gathering in mountains at the base of the couch, and there really is only so many times you can shake-clean and cologne-fresh your underwear. Listen, I was busy.
There are just so many things that pop up over the course of a day, like waking up, and going to a job. Frankly, it’s astonishing I did anything this week! I mean, when that alarm goes off in the morning and I have sit up to get out of bed, that is one hell of an accomplishment, and don’t get me started on taking a shower or brushing my teeth; I might as well go back to bed after all that activity; but I persevere.
The list of all of the things that I didn’t do is quite long, and I’m feeling rather down on myself. There are people out there winning Nobel prizes, going for Olympic gold, and teaching bears to ride bikes. There are kids out there apparently digging wells and bringing clean water to 3rd world cultures, overachievers. Meanwhile, I’m here typing on this keyboard, ignoring the pile of dog crap petrifying in the corner of the room just trying to avoid and dodge the soccer ball, dinosaurs, Hot Wheels cars strewn about the unvacuumed carpet – another thing I didn’t do this week.
Somewhere today some very intelligent kids are asking for their pony, their Ferrari, their unicorn, their “insert the thing your parents said you can have when hell freezes over.” Being squarely planted in the Midwest among the cornfields and back roads of rural America, I figured what the hell, why not go for a walk. My trek into the subarctic -16*F (-40*F+ windchill) proved to be an exercise in nature’s beauty and holy shit is it cold!
I assembled the required clothing for a jaunt into the tundra: shorts, wind-resistant track pants, subzero-overall bibs, double sweatshirt (1 moisture wicking,) jacket – windproof, winter jacket – bigger and still wind-resistant, cotton socks (best I could do,) Timberland waterproof insulated winter boots, double gloves, double hat (one hunter style with ear flaps,) a scarf to wrap and tie around head, and leave a small eye slit. I was ready, and I was more than excited about the prospect of trudging through the frozen wasteland of my subdivision. I was not disappointed.
I pointed my compass towards the open farm fields and watched the snow devils whip and whirl across the fields, my eye slit allowing just enough wind to pierce and sting the tiny bits of cheek that remained exposed. The power of the weather is amazing, and while I was fully prepared, and have experienced similar colds in my life; it was another reminder of our place in this great big ball of existence.
When I was in my early to mid twenties I recall similar days to today, dressed in similar garb, walking under the “L” tracks to Coffee of Chicago on Clark and Buckingham from my apartment at Freemont and Sherridan. Late at night as I closed down the shop and walked north along Clark I remember a street void of traffic, if just for 5 minutes; I laid down in the middle of Clark and made a snow angel, got up and proceeded to some local watering hole and drank away my chills.
I’m an older wiser version of that person now; I don’t get drunk at the local watering hole, and I don’t lay down in the middle of the street to make a snow angel. As a forty year old father and husband I do put on a ridiculous amount of clothing and head out into the extreme weather, just to check it out, because I’m still a kid, I’m still curious just to be curious, and I want to continue making my stupid stories in life.
It would be easy to stay inside and say, it’s fucking cold. I don’t particularly like that idea of life. I want to know/remember what it feels like, looks like, smells like, as experience and life washes over my skin and still causes a little stinging sensation. I want my kids to know that experience is what life is about, even at the smallest level. We learn by doing, not by listening. We make memories by being a part of something, not being passive to it, and we stay young by doing the stupid shit that we are too old to do, knowing that we are never too old to do anything.
Clearly this blogger has figured out the unifying theory of everything and just letting it out in small doses.
It has been 2014 for four days now. Not much seems to have changed, the only noticeable difference is my newfound inability to properly date a single thing. Don’t worry about me, though. I should have adjusted by mid-October.
In all of the excitement of the new year, I missed a very important piece of information. According the United Nations, the preeminent source for all things nationy, 2014 is the International Year of Family Farming and Crystallography.
As a very important blogger, I feel it is my social duty to inform and educate. I didn’t just start this to provide giggles and guffaws to the unwashed masses. I like to think of myself as the NPR of blogs. Yes, this means when you read my writing, it should be done in a docile soothing tone. In the interest of education, I would like to take a minute to discuss the…
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8:15 AM. Down the hall I hear my son laughing; a minute ago he walked past the kitchen table, as I was TV parenting, and said he had to go potty – he had the “pad” in tow. After several minutes of giggling to what I know was an open door to the bathroom, I sat my coffee cup down, pulled my fingers from my archaic keyboard, and tiptoed over to peer down the hall and see my boy standing buck naked in front of the toilet playing the “pad,” and no this is not an euphemism. I hear myself say his name, and give him a look that says, “OMG, I can’t believe what I’m seeing, because it’s like I’m looking in the mirror.” That’s when I realize, we all do it.
They follow us everywhere, our smart phones, iPads, Tabs, and dozens of other handheld devices, even (especially?) to the bathroom. Unlike my son I close the door; but add 35 years to him, a little less giggling, and that’s me – drawers down finishing a Facebook post, playing WWF, smashing my head against my phone as I contemplate buying a cheat for that level of Candy Crush I’ve been stuck on for a week or laughing at Grumpy Cat and his exploits of being the Andy Rooney of felis catus. How much longer am I in the bathroom now? Is my cranky colon due to my unwillingness to part with my virtual world? Have cases of extreme hemorrhoids gone up since this technology became so mobile? Is this a disgusting topic? Have I asked too many rhetorical questions? We all do it, right?
I think I’ll send my kids to college for proctology or audiology. Between $200 Beats headphones making Swiss cheese of eardrums, and toilet seats causing broken butt holes, there’s a goldmine of possibilities. What about a redesign of the toilet seat? Heavy padding? Memory foam? A Sleep Number for your anus? An ergonomically designed seat to cradle and relieve pressure from the sphincter? (Dear patent office, I am calling dibs on these ideas!)
We really are addicted to these handheld devices, and frankly many of us, especially the generations growing up never knowing a time they didn’t exist, get anxious (hell, they lose their shit) when they don’t have them on their person. Listen, I fall asleep with it, and sometimes roll over on it (occasionally kissing it) – which I know is causing my internal organs to melt; but I did manage to through my mid twenties without the aid of these devices. I went to college without a cellphone, when AOL was king, and the ping-wang-cachsssshhh-ga-bing-ga-bing of Al Gore’s internet wasn’t anything but a big chat room, and I had to go to the library to get information. What’s this all mean?
I don’t know, but it won’t get better. Soon enough all white collar workers will work from home in a virtual office, and I’ll send TPS reports from my Golden Throne 2000 (patent pending.) The next generation of college grads will tune into iTune University for their practicums and lectures. They will wire themselves into the internet, which will simply be Facebook, and conduct business in they way they’re comfortable with, leaving the grey haired white skin suits to gather dust at conference tables and business meetings. The farms and open spaces will be owned by Amazon and feature shipping centers where the rest of us, who don’t work the way they work, pack UPS trucks with all of life’s necessities. The Matrix will no longer be viewed for entertainment value, if it ever was, and will be a blueprint for future generations. And when I get home I will still take a deuce and see what I Fucking Love Science has to say today. That’s all from this side of the frontal lobe; and as always, be kind to each other, we’re all we’ve got!
Good morning and happy Thursday to you all or should I say, happy post snowicane. It certainly was annoying, I mean the news coverage that is, of the snow totals or lack there of in some areas and the piles accumulating in others. It was maybe 5 inches out here; but from what I gather, other areas not too far away from me got corn-holed by old man winter. So the winter break of this teacher is winding down and the anxiety of going back to school is already taking hold. You see, I’m really good at not having to go to work everyday. I love being at home, hanging with my kids, reading, playing, working out at a non-five-in-the-morning hour, and thinking about shit to write – the more I do it, the more I want to do it. Damn job (which I availed myself to yesterday in deep gratitude.) Ring-Ring, this was the sound of a phone ringing 20 years ago, and now just a retro-ring on some forty-something’s phone. My wife just called and broke the news that my son still has an ear infection, with added pusstual glands, and is now on his 3rd course of antibiotics – awesome. You know how much he has complained? Yup, none. Oh wait, in the morning he has said, “my throat hurts.” Drinks water, feels fine, doesn’t say boo. Does this kid not feel pain? I mean my daughter doesn’t, unless she sees blood – then a scratch needs gauze and elevation, and she can’t do shit the rest of the day without copious whining about risking re-injury. Day two of the news year, and I’m ready to be grateful for winning the lottery – I’ve practiced my humble speech, and am ready to start my charity work for the Gods blessing me with the honor of being a multi-million dollar lottery jackpot winner. Well, that’s all from this very random side of the frontal lobe. Remember, be kind to each other, we’re all we’ve got!
Let’s face it, 2014 has no other choice than be amazing; it starts on hump day!!! Okay, that’s the first and last time I will use this overplayed, albeit it initially hilarious, turn of phrase/commercial/idiom in 2014 – it should be retroized in about 5 years (seeing as the cycle to get to retro spins faster and faster year by year.) The snow is falling, I’ve had 3/4 of a pot of coffee, and I’ve played Crash Drive 2 for my son, played crash drive too on the floor with Hot Wheels and Tonka trucks. We are now in a lull; he’s got tornado videos going on the pad, wife is scrolling Facebook, and I’m hammering out these words. Life is good. I am curious as to how many people made New Year’s resolutions that A) They don’t remember making, B) Have already broken or C) Have made in the past and have no plans on keeping this year or any year, they just needed to save face in front of some friends at a party. I rarely make resolutions, mainly because I don’t keep them; however, I am entering year 3 of being physically fit and tobacco free – which all things considered is a lifetime of resolutions. Frankly, new year, new day, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just an opportunity to write the wrong year on a bevy of different forms and papers; I’d say checks, but who the hell writes a check anymore. I’d like to start the year off with the appropriate level of gratitude it deserves – I am grateful for my job; it’s great to be employed w/ health benefits and to work around the amazing professionals in my building – I have a level of security that very few can claim. I am grateful for my struggles; they teach me about what is important in my life (even when I don’t want to learn a lesson.) Well, boy-wonder is eating oatmeal, struggling through the fact that he has another cold – he’s been sick since before Thanksgiving, on two courses of antibiotics, and I’m not ready to call for another round. Please don’t bring up eating or sleeping – he eats amazing, and sleeps average (could be better.) My brain is saying it’s time for a nap, there will be no workout today, and hopefully the day will get better than the Rachael Ray show that’s on our TV (but how could it really, it’s Rachael Ray.) That’s all from this side of the frontal lobe; as always, be kind to each other, we’re all we’ve got!