Thursday, August 28, 2008

Watching Obama

This is a Political Post
Here we are on the verge of the possiblity of change. Whether or not it will happen is still be seen, but in an age where fractional concepts are rife within both parties, what was will no longer be. In any case, on some level. We live in interesting times. It's about to get bumpy. Bumpier.

I watched "the speech" tonight. I'm going to call it that because that's how we looked upon it going in with hope, or if you're a Republican...disdain. Either way it was significant.

You know, In the right light, he even looks presidential.

He had a lot riding on this. If he delivered will only be decided in the future. Now the pundits and talking heads will soon gather and start telling you what you saw and why this was important or that was a stumble, but then this isn't football and most of us don't need that pale imitation of a John Madden in a bad suit quoting talking points explaining to us where the seam is in the allegorical political defense. But the economy is kinda bad and every job counts, so tune in and feel free to go walk the dog or get the laundry started or something.

Now in my opinion (heck, I may as well be the first pundit, it doesn't look that hard...) the man on stage at Invesco field in front of the diorama that did NOT resemble (to me) a Greek temple or the Lincoln memorial, came out like the Chicago politician you knew was hiding under all that smooth. He was still the poise and cool, but he came out swinging using a great deal of that informal masters degree you get from an Illinois political education.

He hit the notes he needed to hit.
- He defined what he means by change.
- He invoked personal responsibility, typically the tool of his opponents.
- He defined what his policies will be if elected.
- He gave arguments against the personal attacks - celebrity and experience.
- He went after his opponent. Straight up Chicago style.

At the end he turned into a preacher- an old country baptist preacher. The cadence in his voice rising as though it were testifying, then his final tones, like so many on the pulpit from my days of youth, his voice falling to almost conversational tones, so you had to pay attention. It's an old trick, but it worked.

Then like a new age Cosby family, his wife and kids joined him on stage completing the picture. For a hot second I wondered where Theo was.

We listened. We've heard him, without the filter of news reporter or pundit. Now, how you feel is how you feel. We wait for the other guy and see what he's got to say, and go from there.

And that's what America is all about. Win. Lose. Or Draw.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Odd Quotes

"But Yogi, the Ranger isn't gonna like it."
- Brooksham "Boo Boo" Holyoake Bear III

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I don't want to win the lottery

A Mental Rehab Post #19
There are thoughts which are connected to other thoughts like we're all six degrees from Kevin Bacon. They don't look like at first, but this matches up to that, and to that, which looks at this and bam, here were are. Strange isn't it?

I really don't want to win the lottery. I occasionally buy a lottery ticket when the prize gets high enough (now that's gall, like $15-20 million just wouldn't be enough) but in reality winning the lottery right now would more than likely be a bad thing. And not why you think.

Now I've read the articles where the people who win end up broke or destitute in few years and I look upon them with wonder. I mean complete and honest freaking wonder. I'd like to believe that if you handed me $30 million cash I'd have a hard time spending it all. Once you get past the initial purchases, exactly what do they spend the money on? House, nice car or two, pay off a bunch of bills, trip or two, and then what? Maybe it's just me.

Don't get me wrong, I know I'm speaking from a lack of experience, but then I have a fairly elaborate plan dealing with lottery winnings which involves trusts, annuities, Brazilian doctors, places where the girls don't speak English, this book I read ten years ago and eventually the phrase "diplomatic immunity." It's a little involved. You hear about these folks and it's like they really thought the money would last forever. It would if you continued to live like you did before you won, but everybody goes and buys everything they ever dreamed about. And then loan all their friends money. And invest in every fly by night idea that comes along. And then wonder why they're broke.

Let me put everybody on notice right now. My family will spread a few bucks around, but the list of hookup folks is maybe five people long and all together non-family gifts won't equal a half million bucks. Ask if you want to, but nobody else sees a dime.

But the real reason I don't want to win the lottery right now is that I already have serious doubts about if the women in life really feel about me. I mean I'm currently suspicious of why women actually like me and I'm relatively broke. I'm guessing a few million errant dollars would only cloud the issue. Hell, I'm guessing a few thousand dollars might cloud the issue. At heart, I am a hopeless romantic. I know that I'll never live in a shack on the beach with a woman who loves me, living off coconut rum and good times. But it would be nice to know that if it came to that, that she'd stay with me. Because she loves me. Really loves me.

The aforementioned Sporty Affair clouds, fogs in and hails the issue.

Everybody wants to be loved. Me included.

Barkeep....two shots of clarity, and not the well brand.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Weekend IN - Stage whatever

Mental Rehab Post #18
There are certain things that are inevitable. Death, taxes and rejection come to mind, but then there are those things that are expected, that you prepare for and yet when they arrive just as you figured, you're still stunned and surprised. This weekend was one of those moments. And all you can do is chalk it up to a loss and keep it moving.

Friday. Well Friday was supposed to be a study night. Get my stuff together, get my mind together and start really studying for this law school thing. Work on my Research project, read through the case work, maybe even get started on the library assignment. I was actually gonna start acting like a real student. Then I got home.

There is nothing quite like walking into your house, and it not feeling like your house anymore. I've lived here a little over a year and other than the first month where someone tried to steal my car had no problems. I'd been lulled into a false sense of security. Friday showed me just how full of shit I was.

Total cash losses are retail maybe $500-$600 bucks. Repair bill and security upgrades maybe another $500 initially and a $1000 later on. Total comfortable level lost is quite possibly priceless. There is a distinct feeling of helplessness, anger and frustration. The police are nonchalant, as I find out unless you catch them in the act, your priority is way down the list.

So I spend Friday night with a window broken, all the lights on and don't go to sleep until 6:30am. There is little studying done.

Saturday is spent waiting. Waiting for the AT&T dude who actually shows up at 9am. So I'm back on line. Then it's cleaning up house and waiting for the window guy and my new alarm guy. Who don't show up until 3 or 4pm. I spend the day trying to figure how much this is going to cost me, lamenting that I'm not gonna get to kickoff my studying the right way and so I'm half watching football - half studying.

They arrive and fix most of the damage and we talk about getting the upgrades and the fixing other stuff and nobody talks money. Which is both comforting and disturbing. Comforting because I know it's all gonna get done, and disturbing because I'm not gonna be able to say anything about how much anything costs when it's all done. I say all done because they'll be back today to finish up.

That night I force myself to go and get a hamburger. It's like I'd staked out the house as a my fort, and since I will eventually have to leave for some reason, sooner is better than later. Get it over with. I cruise up to Five Guys, get my burger and ride back. Nothing happens while I'm gone.

Later, as it's 2am or so and I'm bored and I'd gone through the usual Neatorama, Fark, and Pixdaus as infinitum so I get stupid and join Facebook. Which I'm gonna be honest looks pretty sad. I'm not really seeing what the big deal is. I make a few friend requests and because I'm curious (and not an internet stalker) because she IS still my "friend", I look and damned if Sporty isn't on there. With a picture of him. And I'm stupid for even looking. So it's stress AND nightmares on Saturday. Woooo.

Sunday is laundry day and still cleaning up. And homework, which I work on sporadically. I realize I'm maybe kinda getting depressed. This for the uninitiated is one of the downsides of living alone, there is no one there to either prop you up or fake it for. One of the symptoms of depression is tiredness and I took two naps during the day so I'm either depressed or the stress is catching up with me. Not good. Study and nap. Study and nap.

I'm so paranoid that when I go to the grocery store I take my laptop and digital camera. This is not good either.

I've done the reading for homework but am gonna leave the projects for after class on Monday. I'll pay for it later but I can't concentrate right this second.

Barkeep...that Maker's I been drinking all weekend and the shotgun under the counter please.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

So I got robbed

Vent post #4
This was less traumatic than I thought it would be, but more of a expected that I guess was inevitable. This is real life. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. And real life isn't always pretty.

So sometime between yesterday and today, I got my virginity taken. No, not that virginity, I lost that two or three weeks ago. My other virginity. No, not that one either. Dirty minded sons of... My home burglary virginity.

Broken window. Alarm destroyed. Missing stuff.

They just finished getting my internet back up and running and I'm waiting on the window and the alarm guy now. Then maybe I'll eat something. Has it been that long?

For the record, you don't realize the difference until you actually go back to the CRT monitor. It's really rather noticeable.

Barkeep...they didn't take the Whiskey? Yeah!

A couple of errant thoughts

Mental Rehab Post #17
This one is kinda stream of consciousness talking half to myself and half to nobody in particular, and I'm hardest on myself. As we all know hindsight is 20/20, it's always what I should have done, what I should have said, what I meant to do. And it never changes. I've been looking for a long time and it hasn't yet.

I wonder how long will it be..

How long before my soul won't be able to recover from the many wounds I've inflicted upon it?
How long before my mind is unable to cope with stress of yet another unrequited love?
How long before my heart just stops...

I look into the mirror and see lonely. I see that special kind of lonely that happens in a crowded room, surrounded by attentive listeners. A lonely that comes when you reach out for a real connection and find nothing, only a collection of empty comments and commercialized dreams. It's tragic and funny, as the you die in a room full of people watching as you pretend not to go, as the whole world pretends it didn't happen because it would mess up their plans. Moment by moment all your hopes and dreams slip away and on the other side of then it will be as though you never existed, that it all has been a fever dream.

I want to cry, but nobody likes a sad clown. And it feels like nobody would care.

Will I be able to put it on again? To hide the me hoping for a real connection and become that character I created to get me through all those lonely hours. Will I be able to make it believable again? It was hard to play before and will be harder now that I've seen the alternative.

I argue with myself, as to why I've stayed silent, why I can't voice what I feel and lay my cards on the table like a grown up. I want to say I've taken the noble way, to spare anyone else ill feelings or disagreeable moments, but the reality it's the cowards turn in hopes that the emotional doomsday ending on the horizon will leave me with something to start over with. A shred of hope that I can imagine into something I can live with while I pretend my reality isn't going to be what it is.

And maybe God has something else for me. But I doubt it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ah, Law School

Mental Rehab Post #16
In clearing out who I am and what I is gonna be, sometimes it's best you concentrate on other things. Sometimes their this post... other times it's stuff that affects lives and property and makes you wonder just how long you got. I mean really, sometimes you sweat the small stuff. Other times you let go. But you always got to think about it.

The first problem with law school is gonna be that everybody is gonna need a nickname.

The new schedule is kicking my ass. Point blank.

I'm supposed to rise at 6am, to get it rolling and out the door by 7am to be in by 8 which means I can breeze out at 5pm and get to class on time. After class I'm "supposed" to hit the library to debrief, then hit the gym and do my miles and some weights then head to the house and (special note) make sure I'm packed to leave BEFORE i turn in around 11 or 11:30.

Three days a week, I'm a warrior.

Did you know getting up at 6am is a lost art?

When I used to do the park I was up at 6am like a shot, out of bed and in the car by 6:15-6:20 to be there on time and rolling. The other morning I saw 5:59am...and promptly went back to sleep. Was it this hard when I started walking? Last night I went to sleep at ...let's see, roughly 9:30pm? Slept on the couch with the XM Jazz station playing in the background till 2am, then got up and went to bed.


I mean really. What is going on here? I moved the alarm clock (I had figured how to hit snooze in my sleep if it's too close) and supposedly when I get vertical I can get moving. Supposedly. Hasn't worked yet.

Maybe a month from now I'll be happy to report I'm getting up at 5:30am and going to the gym first.

That kids, was a joke.

Barkeep. I need a mango-blueberry smoothie with a shot of B12.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Weekend Out - Fifth Stage

Mental Rehab Post #15
Sometimes just the act of writing something down fixes it in my mind, or makes me realize the absurdity of it, or just makes it better. Then I started law school. I'm now a little afraid of what the process will do to my mildly absurd but interesting and creative mind. Personally and professionally. I'm well aware of lawyers continuing on with the degree and never practicing, but I get the impression I'm gonna have to sign on somewhere to seal this deal at the end. And I ain't too sure.

Yeah, it's Wednesday, but I'm busy.

Friday night was supposed to be a home night. Getting my stuff ready, warming up the new laptop (which is ultra primo cool by the way) and getting my mind right for graduate level education. Then Serve (the girl with no nickname from Old School Saturday.) called about that house party. Which house party? The "Flashing Lights" house party. Oh that house party.

So she scooped me up like 10 minutes later and we rode over. I really wasn't in the mood to kick it, but she and I hadn't hung out in like forever. The party was, and you can quote me on this, phat as hell. The drinks was flowing, they had all three levels jumping, and the food was still abundant. I drank, I ate, I danced to the old school music, I hoped my boy didn't take his clothes off like the old days (long story) was nice.

Now I didn't know the host. I'm fairly certain I didn't. I might. He came over, gave me the pound and that half man hug and thanked me for coming, I told him it was a fabulous set. I've thrown a lot of parties, maybe I do know him. Maybe he was just being nice.

Point of fact there is always one uber fine girl at the party. Always one. At this party there were two, dressed like the girls in music videos. The kinda fine that makes you stop in conversation and get that mean mug look on your face like "Damn!" Okay there were three if you count the bartender, who maybe really did know me. I think. A lot of parties, people.

The other really cool feature of this party is that I didn't know every other person. There was a whole new set of folks to meet. Which if you hung out as much as I do...did... is a true rarity. The phrase "the same old crowd, the same old faces" is not a joke in my circle. I've shown up places and knew half the crowd from just being out. Seriously.

Saturday was busy day. I woke up late. Decided not to get my desk until I figured out exactly how much it will cost to fix my window (damn kids. I hope). Went and finally got the books. Yay! Went to brunch with Schmoopy who is having her own issues with family. We talked about a lot of things, somehow getting around to her sex life which was a) a little creepy at first, b) kinda sexy in the end and c) kinda funny all the way through.

I run some errands then get home and my yard man has finished cleaning out that last back corner and made a nasty discovery. No, not gonna say what. It just makes figuring out a fence that much more a priority.

Saturday night I flipped through the books. I half assed studied. No, let me correct that...I quarter assed studied. I found every reason NOT to open them damn books.

Sunday I eighth ass studied in the morning and then watched football and got some more yard work done. I did all my online registrations for all the new services I paid for with school and finally started on the homework which my professor said should take about a half hour.

So three hours later I realize that this might have taken him a half hour, but his is my first time through this puppy and since law school is pretty much a self taught exercise..didn't know that did you... I'm a horrible educator. I'm giving myself horrible reviews.

(By the time I write this it has come to my attention that I hate the new style educational tool of email, as the University gave me a email box I don't check yet and in which the professor has "changed the assignment" so I've been busting my hump for nothing. But that so late in the week I don't know if weekend recap would cover it)

Barkeep...two shots of time with a discipline back.

Friday, August 15, 2008

It just keeps coming and coming and .....

Mental Rehab Post #14
Life is the thing that happens while you're making plans, or so they say. I'm really wishing there was a pause button somewhere so I could stop and take stock of everything that's changed in past 6 months. A whole lot going on, a lot of it outside of my control. It's really testing my 5% theory of unpredictability. Cheesy commentary aside, sometimes it's about feeling you at least had a say in what happens to you.

I got a lot on my mind lately. Dredging up that memory from college was eye opening to say the least, and my realization how it has affected me was a revelation. Not to say that realizing why I do some of the things I do will make me not do them, but it will make think about my actions more. Introspection shouldn't be a bad experience, unless you've forgotten more about who you are than you know now. I think I forgot a lot on purpose.

But things are in flux. Almost too many.

"Storm" by il nastro di mobius

School - It's amazing how much and how little the school experience has changed. Everything is electronic and yet it's as though we're all still doing it on paper. The ease of doing everything online is stymied by the concept of systems failing to update, antiquated back systems and the stress of trying to do all of it part time. But my books did come in.

Work - It's as though I work with unbalanced circus monkeys afflicted with ADD. And it's not going to get better.

House - The pleasure of ownership is still currently only JUST outweighing the problems of having. There as so many little things that still need to be done, and when you get one thing done the next looms so large. My house still feels like it's temporary, like I'm only staying there until my real life starts. It's a feeling I have about my life as well.

My New Social Situation - Hello oblivion. Be there in a minute. Everyone I know says that law school is all consuming. That's just great. Peachy. Wooooo. Can't wait. Bassids.

My Folks - The people who were adults when I was kid are...getting old. My dad always jokes that considering "it is better than the alternative." And I'm getting concerned.

Bills - I would be an American not named Gates, Buffett or Kennedy. I have bills.

Football - Dammit Jessica, the Cowboys need get to Tampa this season. I know it's all love and belt buckles with you and Tony but we don't need them distractions in the NFC east. This is where Champions are born. That and I so want to go see the old stadium just one time and the new stadium when it's done.

Sporty - Still dreaming about her. Still thinking about her. Still love her. And I always will.

My Health - There are some things that hurt that probably shouldn't. And I need to get back in the gym something terrible

My Friends - much like my family, my friends are changing growing and well, getting on with life. Some are having real problems which make mine esoteric by comparison. And I think about them all the time. Friends are the family you get to pick.

The Future - With so many things in flux, so many changes, so many plans that right now I feel like I'm not me, like I'm living my life for other people, not doing the things I want to do. It is not a pleasant feeling. I like shaving. And since so much fell apart in the past few's like a spilled my drink on that piece of paper with the secret of life.

Six months ago I had a plan. I had a dream. I had at least a pathway. And now I'm just kinda going through the motions to get to wherever the next step is. True, Law School probably isn't the easiest step, and not really my first, second or even fifteenth choice of career...but I then what I do now wasn't even on the list. But like I'm drafting for my Superbowl team, it's the best available option right now. I'd hoped to have a little side project off the ground before I started, but things are in such flux. Still I'm going to need make some changes...fundamental changes... so that I have at least the illusion of the semblance of control.

Barkeep. A little bit of a dream...mix in some being too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thoughts I hadn't thought in a while

Mental Rehab Post #13
This one speaks for itself. Lucky number thirteen. I think I been thinking too much lately and so in thinking I started looking at moments I may have damaged my karma, and seeing what I did to put stuff like this behind me. Why this? Why me? People say I have that kinda face makes them want to say things, tell me things. Some say I'm a great listener. Almost makes me want to get punched in the mouth.

Let me say this...Self examination is a beast.

I've been searching my soul, my memories and history for clues as to why I am laconic, passive and less than aggressive when it comes to women. True, the original debacle left scars that I'm still putting metaphorical cocoa butter on today, but I've lived a long life, and I've been playing Joe Cool for a long time. So there had to be something else.

Recently I remembered one of those mental bombs I've glossed over, but still know is there.

It was college, and the fall was alive with the possibility of the future. And new freshmen. There is nothing quite like a cute little college freshmen girl out of her parents grasp for the first time and looking for a little low to moderate trouble to prove to herself she's really free. And as the walking personification of low to moderate trouble at that time, I was in my element. Without getting graphic: Good times, good times.

Back then was when I created pretty much the same setup I have enjoyed for many years after: a small female crew of regulars (3-4) that were willing to hang out and kept it lively. Your baseline group if you will. We for the most part shared the same major, they already hung out together and we were "cool guys" to hang out with. So again...good times, good times.

Out of this little original crew though, one soon fell off. So one afternoon I run into her and ask what's up. She'd been a lively girl and at the time, though I couldn't tell it then, she was different, although none of her girls had said anything. Okay, at the time I was interested in her as more than a "little buddy" but she was digging my running partner at the time. Or so I thought.

As we sat there, our conversation wobbly at best I could tell she had something on her mind. Even then I was as I am now, a hedonist at heart, but as it had been remarked even at a young age, my problem was that I "honestly gave a damn" and cared about people. I have that kinda vibe. So when she looked at me and told me that my running partner had raped her I

I'll never forget the look on her face when she said it. The flint in her eye. The tenor and tone of her voice.

It was one of those movie moments where the good guy realizes he's been working for the wrong side only this time the script wasn't going to end well. It's not something you can fix.

I didn't take the information well at the time, I mean, I tried to tell her she was mistaken. For those reading this let me advise that is probably not the way to go when someone tells you something like this. There a few moments of hysterics. We got past that. She explained what happened. It not only sounded sounded like our usual modis operandi. And I was getting an up close and personal of the other point of view when things didn't go good.

As I said before..I gave a damn. And so I was changed.

Under no circumstances did I ever want to be a guy that did that. Now don't get me wrong, I've done some things in my time, but I guess that unconscious memory has been why I gravitate towards blatant or aggressive women so there is little chance of error. I once met a girl for the first time on the couch in my living room who then invited herself to bed with me. As I said..little chance of error. And over the course of my life it's taken some of the initial aggressive out of me for fear of a "misunderstanding."

That said once we get past the preliminaries, and we're both SURE.... I'm as dominant and aggressive as that jerk you can't stand, only smoother and more fun about it. But I don't ever want to be that guy. Ever ever. To a nice guy, uncertainty is a motherfucker.

Barkeep. I think I need to buy a round for all the ladies.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vacation? What is this vay-cay-shun you speak of?

Mental Rehab Post # 12
Been thinking and thinking, and realizing some truths and other things I've either been faking myself out on didn't want to recognize, which may be the same thing. It's one of them situations where I've suddenly got a major change coming up, and another that just past, so my thoughts are kinda tangled and falling out of their assigned positions. Seeing what happens.

I've never taken a vacation as an adult.

When I say that, I have a very specific set of meanings. Well, first I haven't been on an actual vacation of any kind in more than seven years. Not anywhere just for the sake of going. No place. The two jobs I've had in that timespan either didn't pay enough and/or demanded way too much of my time. (A rough estimate is 72 vacay days lost since I've been at this last firm.) And in the time prior to that, when I say as an "adult" you are unknowingly acutely aware of what I mean in regards to a vacation. You and/or a companion will a) travel and then b) get a hotel room and c) enjoy the event (concert, festival, beach, etc, whatever).

For the past seven or so years the A in that little scenario has been missing. Before that the B wasn't an option. It is a wholly pathetic state of affairs. And I used to read magazines Conde Nast Traveler, Travel and Leisure and Caribbean Travel and Life along with the resort brochures religiously. I studied cruise ship design and sketched out driving routes and figured out train schedules across half of Europe. On my "Bucket List" there is so much travel it's ridiculous. But a trip outside the perimeter is a hassle at this point.

In the years before now, even on those rare occasions I did travel, it was still "college style." You know, where my accommodations were a floor, couch, or mattress at somebody's house. Or worse, an adult lite version where eight or nine people shared accommodations normally shared by two or four. It was a fun concept until you realized that if you weren't the first in the bed you were on the floor. So it was the illusion of adult travel, but was in reality ultra nice college tripping.

And now with law school looming and the post education schedule new lawyers must embrace, a real vacation may be at best another six or ten years away. That sounds wonderful doesn't it? And as I now have no one to travel with there is little to no reason to break that chain so I don't see a vacation happening anytime soon.

How did you survive all that time you ask?

I used to have some spectacular weekends. That and I don't think even I understood how much I got out of my weekly breaks with Sporty till they were gone.

And the band played on...

Barkeep...a little hot chocolate, with the marshmellows...yeah..

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Weekend Out - Fourth Stage

Mental Rehab Post #11
This probably should have been more aptly named the last weekend out, as least for a while as until I get this foolishness under control at law school, I'm on a really short leash. I thought I was getting some things under control, but I still got a lot of work to do inside. And school stress ain't helping. You'll see. But I'm gonna do my best to keep it moving and what happens is what happens.

It was shaping up to be a big night. I had a birthday get together down at this spot called the Pearl Bar and Bistro down by Greenbriar Mall, the pictures look good and so the crowd should be nice. Then a house party down near the Ted, and maybe even *gasp* working A/C when I get home.

I get home and my uncle, who owns his own heating and air company (I know, like why is this just now occurring you ask?) is hard at work. He'd been there the night before and said he was 70% done. So I figure he'd be done by 8pm and I'm out the door.

Oh the best laid plans.

So it's midnight, we're sitting in the kitchen - him, his assistant and I - monitoring his work while he has a few cold ones. Five hours. I can't complain, I have actual working AC now...but this was the last weekend before law school. Actually the one of the two last good nights, because I have homework - law school means you start day one, none of that we're going over the syllabus and aren't all glad to be here crap. But it was twelve thirty when my uncle pulled out out of the drive. I could have driven over to the house party all late, but I'm trying not to do that anymore.

So Friday was a bust. And since I've got the BLSA thing on Saturday, no late night hang out.

Saturday...The BLSA thing. The Black Law Student's Association has it's 1st year academic "retreat", which is really us getting together for a quick meeting. Most of the group is from my Prep class, so it's nice to see a few familiar faces. Some of it's a rehash of the Prep class, some of it's new so it's worth getting up and getting out.

Then out the blue Sporty texts me to let me know Bernie Mac passed. The world just got a little bit less funny.

I bail out of the "retreat" early because I have some errands to finish as next week starts the time consuming crunch that is education. Actually the consuming crunch starts on Sunday because I still have to write out my brief and do the reading. So I knock out a thing or two, and my RP calls up to remind about Saturday's cookout. Cookouts.

I roll out to Douglasville and am supposed to run up to Dallas, GA but never make it. The set out in Douglasville is so nice I don't want to leave. It's maybe 40 people, the music is straight old school, the food is straight and by my count there are more women than men. Nice.

I HAVE to note this. This one woman. Cute face, but she had the kind of body that, when she walks out of the room every guy looks at another guy with that "did you just see that?" look on his face, as though if he can't confirm what he just saw with another guy he'll swear he was dreaming. She got up to get water and the room got quiet. Yes, we're all dogs, even the hurt ones. Pure breeds too. She gave me a couple of glances too.

But I have this peculiar thing my mind is doing now. I imagine Sporty everywhere. If I see a woman with a nice outfit on, I see Sporty in it. Don't know what's going on. Nice dress? Seeing Sporty. Cute blouse? Seeing Sporty. That supremely fine chick? Saw Sporty. chick? Seeing Sporty looking happily with child. That's kinda creepy isn't it? Putting it mildly. I figure as long as that's happening I probably should limit my interaction with new women.

So after we'd all eaten, had a few drinks, talked noise about the Falcons and the card games have started, I call it a night. I hope my co-workers at the second party ain't too mad at me for missing yet another gathering.

Sunday was a bust. Apparently the idea of actually having the text books available for the students is both an old school concept and an undergraduate idea. All the university book stores are closed (with school just around the corner?) and Barnes and Noble, Borders and the rest don't carry it in stock. It has to be ordered...say around seven days for shipping. Amazon is out of stock completely.

So I figure I'm starting the first day in the hole. I rode down and visit my uncle and end up watching half of Hunt for Red October, which by the way is an excellent movie, while he talks and my aunt keeps offering food. Didn't get a chance to go even price desks, so I'm not going cheap this time I'm getting what I want. The glass one from Office Depot. Fuck it.

Then I hear on the radio Issac Hayes has died while working out. I'm now asking all black male entertainers over 45 to go to the doctor today. Hell, women too.

So I read up on all the stuff they sent me and I start seeing a pattern. The I re-read again. I suddenly feel better because all the pre-stuff isn't for the night time part time students. I'm not in the hole, yet. At least not the stuff for day one. Still gotta get my books, then I'll feel better.


I got the laptop, the printouts and everything so it looks like I'm ready. Well, almost ready. I got what I can and we'll see about the rest.

Maybe. I forgot to set the alarm last night. Already running behind.

And on a separate note, I have A/C. And it's too cold. I don't like it.

Barkeep...A Red Bull with whatever that root is that makes your mind work better.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

How to Insult a Guy

Vent Post #3
I've been venting a lot lately. Yes, for me, three times is a lot. I've been called the "whatever man" and "the sane" one for so long I'm not sure if I have these other feelings. So yeah, I'm still just talking to myself until I'm tired of listening to me. It's not gonna fix anything and probably won't make me feel better. And I repeat, there are NO answers here...and in this case I don't think I'm even trying to find some. You won't either. Don't try.

You want to know how to insult a guy? Tell him that he's a great guy.


I get told I'm a great guy lots of times a day. I get told I'm a great guy for somebody else.

See? See what I did there?

It's a backhanded compliment with a sneer. I know to the person speaking it you might even mean well, but to the person receiving this it's the same as punch to the gut. No, it's actually worse, because you can be angry at a punch to the gut and maybe punch back, and to this you just kinda feel withered inside. It ranks right up there with "I'm sorry" in the pantheon of most useless phrases in the English language.

I sound bitter you say? I should. But tone doesn't discount truth.

If I'm so great, then why don't they (the assaulting person) want to be with me? There is obviously something wrong. I'd prefer to hear what I can improve to be more desirable than to be given babble and baby kudos. I understand tact and sensitivity, but if we get to the point where we're even having that conversation...and implied knowledge of who I am... then honesty is more appreciated.

Actual help is always more important than mutually masturbatory encouragement. If there is an issue you as the woman is aware of, then improving or assisting with improvement would only be appreciated.

And you'd be surprised how many other guys feel the same way.

I'll serve myself from the home bar.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

This Person We're Going to Marry One Day

Vent Post #2
It's really just me yelling into the electronic darkness again because I'm not really looking for an answer, I'm just talking to myself until I'm tired of listening to me. There are no answers here...and in this case I don't think I'm even trying to find some. If I happen to step on a metaphorical toe, it might means your mental feet aren't where you thought they were.

Now this person we're going to marry, we're going to share with them our hopes and dreams, our fears and triumphs, our colds and upset stomachs. This person is going see us at our best and at our worst, we're going to eat and get drunk with them, go to church and sin with them, talk for hours about life, bullshit and things we still want to do. They're going to look out for us, we're going to look out for them and the whole nine.

In other words they'll have to be your friend. Your best friend.

And you'll fuck them too.

This is an epiphany. Can you see the light?

What this means is that most of us have to make a mental leap that we're not prepared for, - we'll have to combine friend and lover. And I know most of us aren't ready for it, because I've recently heard the idea of sleeping with your friend as THE "fatal mistake" and other thinking along those lines. But the truth of it is, because so many in the past 20 years or so mentally have separated the images of both the divorce rates have skyrocketed.

There are some other mitigating factors - economic changes, loss of the stigma of divorce, etc, but the basic concept that happens even before you get to that point, is that the people getting married tend to love each other...but don't actually like each other.

How can you love someone...but not like them?

Or can you sleep with someone and not like them?

A lot of men, and lately the women have joined in as well, think from below the waistline. They "fall" for the person that turns them on sexually. And overlook the bad qualities, the warning signs, the screaming facts that blare at them that this person, while cute and sexy (or handsome, etc), should be avoided at all costs. Or realistically, utilized as ONLY a quick Okay maybe twice, but that's it.

A young lady once described it to me as there are "men you like, men you love and men you lust after...and rarely if ever does a woman find them all in the same man." I didn't see the wisdom in that statement until recently.

But what happens in practice is that people try to work it out. Poor naive peoples. Although they share little beyond the bedroom, they attempt to make this "love" of sorts work because good sex makes the brain go sleepy time now. Marriage does not magically change who you are. But you try. You find out that you're a day person, they're a night person. You save, they spend. You believe in having a job, house, car...they hustle. You have an education, they have a hard time reading street signs like STOP and LANE ENDS. Lack of respect, humiliation, no support, disturbing habits, etc, but they're just oh so fine naked and oiled up...aren't they?

Which is good, or at least okay for a while. Until real bills and real problems show up. Or kids get involved. And then it gets messy. And ugly. And maybe you end up standing in a cornfield at three am holding a suitcase, a bag of chicken nuggets, a bible and small dog named "Chi Chi" wondering if that thing they do with their tongue really is worth all this. And you realize that maybe what you need is someone who understands a friend. And whereas you can shape your sexual urges and desires to some extent, real life bends for no man or woman.

It would be great, heck even easier, if we could make the person we sleep with our friend. But since our mind wasn't on anything of substance when we chose that person (no, the idea that they're sexy doesn't count as substance) and as most women will only grudgingly admit, finding someone you actually like and making friends is a hell of lot harder than picking someone to get naked with. Turning Mr. or Ms. Hey-you-good-morning into someone you can have a substantive conversation with takes mega millions winner luck and an act of God. It is a real head knocker.

In the course of the relationship - this lifetime relationship - you'll be lovers, friends, business partners, roommates, confidantes...etc. Too many of us stop at the first item and think the rest...all of them ..will just fall into place.

Yeah. Right.

So what is my suggestion?

Grow up, get your mind right, and tell your friend that you've got the baby oil, they need to bring the handcuffs. You might find somebody you can live with. Forever.

Think about it. Realistically they were on short time anyway, because things change once you find "the one".

Barkeep - What do you got for someone feeling philosophical?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Man of the People?

This is a political post.
I don't do many of these, my views on politics are particularly slanted towards people who don't live by the mantra of free market and no taxes until something goes wrong, in which case they then scream and cry that the government needs to do something. I find it just a wee bit hypocritical. I only going to discuss politics when something catches my eye.

The latest concept of Republican's versus the Democrats has the GOP attempting to paint it's opponent in the general election, Mr. Obama, as elitist and out of touch with America.

This is after they realized they really couldn't play the race card.
This is after they realized talk of his lack of experience wasn't getting the desired effect.
This is after claiming he didn't sweat while working out must mean he's the anti-Christ.

I only semi made that last one up.

So how do you make a man who was raised by a single mother and his grandparents, worked as a community organizer, who's former job specialized in civil rights and neighborhood development and who still goes to his kids soccer games appear elitist?

Especially when compared to a man who's family was wealthy (his father and grandfather both admirals, not swabbies), who in his second marriage attached to a still wealthier family who gave him a cushy job and from there he moved directly to the Congress?

Don't ask me how, but they've done it before. Remember Dubya as someone you'd like to have a beer with? I mean really. Was that all it took? His family is the like an off-Brand Kennedy clan. I'm still wondering exactly how that happened. Twice.

Call me crazy, but how about a President who actually acts like a President? Someone who doesn't make up his mind before he has all the information, and isn't afraid to alter the plan if the circumstances change. Sometimes you need to make a change. Maybe someone who realizes that a lot of people aren't all for him and that they need to be respected as well. You know, act kinda like the rest of America and most of humanity when leading us?

So exactly how does a man who has pretty much lived outside the bounds of normal life - Military to cushy family job to politics - come across as a "regular" guy? Against a guy who actually went out and got a job - law professor based on his work in law school?

Here's a tip. Look at the shoes.

Here's Obama.

Well worn. Used. Practical.

And I understand McCain has been wearing black calfskin Salvatore Ferragamo ‘Pregiato’ Moccasins. Really really nice shoes.

Do I begrudge the guy for wearing nice shoes? He's an old guy, he needs good shoes. But then as most of us can't spend that much on shoes, even really good ones that will last years, who really fits more in the "above the crowd" slot?

Barkeep. Gimmie a little honesty with a dash of daring. No ice.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Weekend Out - Third Stage

Mental Rehab Post #10
Still not that crazy about weekends. Long periods of being alone...I hate being alone...combined with my own irrational and self deprecating thoughts and loads of bad television do not a fun time make. Someone asked what are you doing about being alone once, but that implies a friend or love can just be acquired or had like a garden rake or trip to the mall. Maybe for some, but for me it ain't that easy. Just like I don't want to be used, I'm not gonna just use somebody to make me feel better. Which brings me back to maybe I'm just too much of a nice guy?

Friday. So Friday I'm to attend a going away drop in for a departing co-worker. In a bad economy, in a more or less economic resistant business sector, it's apparently so "culturally bad" here my fellow employees still flee into the darkness rather stay at what is fast returning to the "plantation". A relatively safe and still hiring plantation, but a plantation nonetheless.

That's what I first called it when I got there, where I noted that among the throngs of employees that in a company roughly 60% African American that there was no non-white management on any level. Any level. But that the African Americans seemed to have the key responsibilities. But this place paid better than my old company, and I do enjoy eating AND paying bills. They have a few now...five years later, but there are still some shenanigans afoot.

So Friday to celebrate her departure we all revisited an old haunt that three years ago was overwhelmed with business every Friday night: the venerable Dave and Busters in Marietta. Why that stopped is story for another day. I hadn't been in ages. But I showed up as I hadn't been to a in some way company related function in probably the same amount of time, and I didn't want to look too anti-social. Looking back on that evening, anti-social might not have been my worst option.

First, I'm a little beyond D&B's right now. Anyplace that serves alcohol at a bar and allows other people's kids is already questionable in my book, and since the little ones seemed to racing around with reckless abandon, I wasn't really feeling it. So that's why I stopped coming to this place. Oh-kay then, right. My co-workers had taken a spot on the Midway Bar, and had begun sipping and chatting in earnest. I joined them in a slightly more subdued fashion.

There were in my opinion three highlights:
A) A woman bought me a drink. It doesn't seem like much, but from the land of freebies and hookups, somebody going into their pocket to get me is kind of a big deal. Especially a woman. That's a short list.
B) A brief conversation momentarily excited me, then scared me and then oddly comforted me. No, no details.
C) Somebody had to take the tipsy one home, and that doesn't mean me.

The tipsy one. So one of the every growing party, maybe some twenty folks strong, gets a little tipsy. Okay a lot tipsy. At one point she suggested one of the guys just "grab some ass" to get his point across, then bent over so he could get a good handful. She proclaimed her love for a number of gentlemen in a loud boisterous voice. A lot of hugs were given. One or two lively conversations were sparked. Then we decided perhaps it was time for her to go, but nobody was really ready to "go there." Someone suggested I should take her home. The look on my face at the very suggestion elicted a round of hearty laughter. I suggested that so as to not appear improper, that a couple should bear the duty. The statement "she's not our type" only now comes to memory. Funny statement.

So we all looked at one another as she danced about the bar area, attempting to steal drinks when the bar stopped serving her. Draftees were engaged. A few rounds of "not only no, but hell no" were heard. I made suggestion we take up money for cab fare and a few extra dollars as payment for the entertainment provided. That was voted down. The person who lived across the street from tipsy girl declined to take her home. It was implored that in her current state only a woman could be trusted with the action. The women thought we were nuts. The manager suggested that she be escorted out.

I'll end this by saying that today at work she appears none the worse for wear.

Saturday. Well I was supposed to do so much on Saturday. I had no groceries so I was supposed to take care of that, then some housewares, then clean up, then some computer work, then this cookout. My total travels on Saturday equaled a trip to the gas station.

Well, I wasted most of the day on cartoons and self pity. Then just as thinking about planning to start getting around to maybe doing something the rains came. And came. And shortly after that, the power went out. No big, it never stays out that long so I chill. The storm actually helps out with the heat, I get a chance to do some uninterrupted law school reading and burn some of my cool scented candles.

So then party time comes around, the home alarm is on a battery, so I'm like what the hell, let's go see what's up. Slim calls and says the lights are on at her spot and she got people falling through as well as my other function. So yeah, get out and see some folks.

The thing about living in an area "in transition" is that it's an area "in transition." In most neighborhoods, during a blackout folks stay home. In my neighborhood, somebody decided lighting firecrackers would be most ripping. Somebody else decided to have what was apparently a cookout. Music and hollering and all that. I'm like whatever, so I cold shower, get dressed and roll out. As I turned off my street I was surprised to see groups of folks wandering in the dark. Multiple groups. In pitch black streets out wandering. Just wandering.

It was right about then that I decided that maybe I should just find the first place with the lights on, get a drink and head on back to the house. Chill. Till the lights came back on. They didn't jump back on till one in the morning. Candles looked nice though. So Saturday was a bust mostly.

was even more wasted. Okay, I bought a new watch and did the grocery shopping, got the grass cut and saw a touch of the city, but I did it alone. That and I'm still spotting places I hadn't seen before and in my mind going "we need to pop in there and check that out" right before reality hits me. Then I got my football appetizer the Hall of Fame Game on NBC, which just happened to showcase Sporty's favorite team.

Gee, thanks God for all these reminders. I fucked up. I know this. You can ease up anytime.

It's been a minute and everyday it seems a little harder rather than a little easier. Suddenly Law School and it's all consuming concept doesn't seem so bad, as it at least it should speed the process to getting to whatever's next. Or make it all I think about in the few free hours I have. We'll find out shortly.

Barkeep...I dunno, something brown.