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Six Seconds of Solace

Thursday, August 28, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

I got some sad news today.  It happens.  Hell, if you turn on the news at any given point in the day right now, you'll get a pretty heavy dose of tragically depressing news.  If you aren't getting that coverage by the way, and I'm primarily talking about Ferguson here (though the Middle East and ISIS are closing fast), you are watching the wrong news.  That's just a little unsolicited advise.

Many of you know I'm writing a book.  If you didn't before, you do now.  Its genre is comedic non-fiction. This detail is important because as someone invested in his everyday funniness, getting bummed out in the morning does not facilitate a productive work day.  So, off to Facebook I went to find just the right flavor of cheeriness.  I found this:

This Vine Of A Tiny Piglet Prancing Through Grass Will Be The Best 6 Seconds Of Your Day

Check it out.

Badminton is Neither "Bad," nor a "Mint," nor is it "On" anything . . . Discuss!

Friday, August 22, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

Badminton is neither "bad," nor a "mint" nor is it "on" anything. Discuss!  Somehow this lawn game turned gym class requirement has followed me like the rope climb on my travels around the world.


The first time I was introduced to "slow tennis" was after we completed the handball curriculum in middle school.  Even at 13, I could tell that the school staff was reaching to find every possible non-contact activity that involved competition, a ball, and a lack of expensive equipment.  With one long-ass net stretched across the entirety of the gym and replacing the handball wall, we instantly transformed the gymnasium into six badminton arenas.

It should be mentioned that most young teens are not intrinsically motivated to play badminton.  While it is way better than the wrestling mats, the only real enjoyment our immature minds could foresee was saying the word "birdie" a lot. Flippin the birdie. Birdie on a wire. Bye Bye Birdie . . . And when we grew tired of saying that, we started in on "shuttlecock."  That usual got us til the end of the first class.

The Shortest Summer of All

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | 1 Comment(s)


When I was a kid I rode the sun in order to lasso the moon.  The dandelions were fireworks and building blocks and fabric for clothing.  A moth was a dream I once had and we flew and flew and flew.  Its wings like cotton sheets, billowing my slumber and plastering my screen door like wallpaper. 

At seven I learned that reptile skin all looks the same, but it can feel very different, and that the bottom of the pond squishes through toes like cocoa through a sieve.  I was constantly moving upward, my soles only briefly making contact with low hanging branches as I used them to springboard toward my higher destination.  

My skinny extremities would float like a water-bug, barely breaking the surface tension as my mind grew weightless wings that carried my body away on the prevailing wind.  I knew all the plants by color and size, and if I never heard of a rhododendron I would still love my purple puff-balls just as much.  Maybe more.

Seven o'clock cartoons were on too late in the morning.  I was up 30 minutes earlier to make sure my parents didn't miss them.  The afternoon existed, and it was outdoors with the balls and the trees and the friendships.  Dusk only served to mourn the loss of play. I always ran out of day before I ran out of adventure.  Every time.

Parallel Parking Privilege

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

There are two parking spaces along the curb just outside the coffee shop.  In the summer, the establishment sets up small tables and chairs so people can sip their lattes while enjoying a warm summer's day.  You also get a front seat for any parking dilemma that might occur at street level, a mere 6 feet away.

In today's episode a woman in her late 40's or early 50's was getting into her Audi station wagon with her two female companions after exiting the coffee shop.  Their car was parked in the space furthest forward.

Meanwhile, smiley-McParallel-parks-for-no-reason has slid his sporty BMW into the rear space, only to decide that he wasn't close enough to the curb (he's totally close enough to the curb) and thereby began procedures to re-parallel park his vehicle to get those final 3 inches of flush wheel to curb goodness.  It was all pretty ridiculous, and when he glanced directly at me, sitting with my coffee looking back at him, all I could do was return his ernest smile and give him a thumbs-up meant to communicate that the parking fiasco he has found himself in will last only as long as he decides to keep the engine running.

Mercifully, he turned the ignition key and his car audibly exhaled from the stress of over parking.  As the OCD parker, a guy in his 50's, exited his vehicle he crossed paths with the woman leaving and struck up a quick conversation.  It turned out to be glorious:

Here we just call this car a "Prius"

Slow Fisting the News: Drinking Water Edition

Monday, August 4, 2014 | 1 Comment(s)

I love these news reports more than all others.  I actually light up when I see headlines such as the one that lined the top of my nbcnews.com screen today:  "Drink Up? Toledo Mayor Says Water Now Safe After Scare"

Check it out.

This news report makes my insides go "yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes."

Why you ask?  Because this is the absolute ultimate "put your money where your mouth is" situation for a public figure.  More accurately, it is the perfect "put your mouth where your rhetoric is" situation.

"Hey mister Toledo Mayor.  How you doin? Cool cool. What's that? The water which you recently called toxic and asked just under a half-million people to avoid drinking or bathing in is now, like, totally safe.  That's cool. That's cool.  Here's the thing though Mr. Mayor.  I'm still freaked the fuck out.  You know, about the toxic, potentially poisonous, water that recently had our whole county in a clusterfuck to visit relatives.  Soooooooo, if you wouldn't mind . . . hows about stopping by the house this Wednesday and just downing a glass or two from my tap.  You know, just to be sure.  What's that? Not enough time to come to everybody's house.  Understandable, understandable.  How about we pick one lower-middle class household at random, and you can do a mini-press conference there, showing everybody how safe the water is now by chugging a liter of it on camera for all Toledoans to see! It will be a public relations coup!  Unless that is . . . you're reluctant to drink up?  You're not scared to drink the water you just declared safe right? Cause . . . that would be pretty screwed up.  A public relations nightmare."

"Looks like it's time to put your mouth where your mouth is and drink up or shut up."