Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Legend of the .22

This is a story of gift of love, a family curse, and the bloodshed brought on by the cruel fate of genetic inaptitude. While no lives have been lost, the next chapter of our story has yet to be written.

Two hundred years ago, when dinosaurs still drank Pabst Blue Ribbon beer from cans with removable pull tabs (some time in the early seventies), my father bought a gun. It was a Ruger, six shot, .22 caliber revolver. The gun was to be a gift for my grandfather for Christmas. Legend holds that my grandfather loved this gun. He would spend many a lazy summer afternoon in the back yard, shooting it like a gunfighter. He had a quick draw holster, and would practice ripping it from his belt to shoot outlaws that looked remarkably similar to beer cans and hub caps.

On one fateful day he missed the outlaw due to a snagged pistol and an itchy trigger finger. As he pulled the firearm from its holster, it went off unexpectedly. It was only half way from it's sheath when the bullet left the barrel. The slug entered his leg just below the knee on the right leg. It traveled about six inches through his calf muscle and stopped midway through the shin bone, where it would rest till the end of his days.

Fast forward to the late seventies, about three years beyond my grandfathers death. The weapon had passed back into the hands of my father, who also loved the gun. On a bitterly cold winter night my father walked out the back door of our home with the gun in his hand. We lived in rural Wisconsin, far from the nearest town. There was a great commotion outside that, I am told, was being caused by wolves or wild dogs near the house. My father's intention was to fire the pistol into the air and scare them away. As he stepped from the relative safety of the porch to the icy steps beyond, he slipped and lost his grip on gravity. The gun left his hand as he fell to the ground, spinning wildly through the air. As he tells it, he landed on his back and could see it floating toward the earth above him. He reached out in an effort to catch it as it fell. The revolver fell through his outstretched hand and hit the step. When the butt of the gun connected with the step, a bullet was fired toward the sky. The hot lead passed through his forearm in to the roof above him. It passed between the bones, tearing a tunnel all the way from one side of his arm to the other. All soft tissue damage.

As the story goes, my aunt was called to transport him to the hospital. Being the alcohol fueled former airborne green beret he was, Dad decided that no situation was too dire for nicotine. He made my aunt stop at a gas station so he could buy some cigarettes. He went in to make the purchase with a blood soaked kitchen towel wrapped around his wound and no one had the ambition to call the incident in to the authorities.

Fast forward again, if you will, to the year 1986. I was in junior highschool in southern Illinois. My friends and I were going camping in the forest near our home. We had all the essential gear. A tent, some folding lawn chairs, 12 beers and a jelly jar full of whiskey. The alcohol was all stolen from our parents,a little at a time so they would not notice the loss. I also had a stash of Playboy magazines and cigarettes, along with my father's .22 caliber pistol hidden deep within my backpack. He would have beaten me if he knew I had it. He allowed me to use his guns when supervised; but never alone.

We traveled to our campsite by motorcycle. It was a few miles from the house in small patch of woods. The woods were surrounded by barren plains of coal slag left behind by a long ago coal mine. Once we had set up our camp, we proceeded to flip through the Playboys and smoke our cigarettes. Over beers we discussed all the loose women we had been with, knowing that each of us was lying. We were all unwilling to expose the other's lie for fear of having our own lies exposed.

Eventually the gun was produced for the inspection of my friends. We had all seen and fired weapons. They were quite common in our area. Rare though, was the occasion when a boy could hold one free of adult supervision. We all took turns wearing the holster on our belts. Pulling it from the holster, spinning it on one finger, and shoving it back down into it's pocket was the main trick we employed to entertain ourselves.

We set up a shooting range along a log that had been set on top of a pile of dirt. At chest high, it was perfect. We quickly ran through half of the bullets I had brought. Later, as my friends heated beans and hotdogs, I sat in a lawn chair cleaning the weapon. It wasn't very dirty; but it was decided (by me mostly) that since I had provided most of the contraband for the trip, I would be excused from the more mundane camp chores.

As they cooked and gathered firewood, I grew bored. I thought that it would be funny to see the other guys jump at the sound of a gunshot, so I scanned for a legitimate target. There was one can left on the log at the edge of camp, so I thought it would do just fine. It was a little out of my line of sight. Shooting it would require a bit of stretching. I had to lean back in the chair and over to one side in order to get a clear shot at the can. As I pushed my weight to the limits of my flexibility I could feel the leg of my chair press against a large rock. I pushed hard against it trying to get the can into my sights. At the very moment everything looked lined up, I squeezed slowly on the trigger and felt the leg of my cheap aluminum chair fold in on itself. I fell hard on my side and heard the round leave the pistol. It glanced across the front of my right shin and disappeared into the trees, taking a piece of my shin bone with it.

The wound was quite painful, but superficial. It was severe enough to require medical attention, though I got none. I kept it clean and hidden for almost a week before my parents took notice. I told them that I had caught it on a log while riding my motorcycle. Years later, the story came out at a family gathering. My father was shocked but not surprised by the tale. He himself had done such things as a young boy, and I am not unlike him in many ways.

My wife swears that when the gun is eventually passed on down to me that it will not enter our home without being dismantled first. I am not opposed to this plan, but I am curious to see witch kid gets hit in the head with it. The family curse will not go quietly. If it can't shoot one, it will inflict its scars more passively.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Got drama?

Oh Shazaam. Things are slow today. Been cruising the blogs reading about all the drama in blogland. I found the usual fare of "
Mommies Wrestling", "Mommies boxing", "Kid Burning", and, of course, the less interesting "I'm political". Then I hit pay dirt.

Welcome to the jerry Springer Show!

This is incredible! This poor woman thought she had found Mr. Right, only to hear 'Get her Sparkey!' 13 days into marital bliss. What ever happened to romance? Man, I'll tell you what, if Mrs. Denotsko ever complains about my genetic inability to be romantic, I'm reading this to her, again. I hate to find personal satisfaction in the misery of others; but I feel like the king of normality now. No matter how fucked things seem in my life sometimes, I can always take comfort in the fact that there are people far more disfunctional than me in the world. Come on. You're supposed to be fucking adults.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Rufus Brownleaf

Back in the days when Mrs. Denotsko and I were travelers, we had many opportunities to meet many, many interesting people. Usually, these folks were met in locations frequented by the more nontraditional side of our population. We saw many of these locales, mostly because we were more comfortable surrounded by freaks like ourselves. One of my favorites was Berkeley, California. Having spent much of my youth studying to refine the process of rebellion, I was quite familiar with Berkley's history as a paradise of social protest. It was one of the places I had vowed to visit before death took me, and I was in awe. It was like standing in the middle of Stonehenge, or looking out over Pearl Harbor, or Saint Peter's Basilica. I could hear Mario Savio's voice echo as I walked past Sproul Hall. I stood in quiet reflection as I look ed at the garish tennis courts that had been built in People's Park. It was quite an experience for me.

As we kicked around Telegraph Avenue, enjoying the freedom that our lifestyle afforded us, we were in our element. We just hung out, and drank, got high with all the locals. As we sat in a bar, looking out the window at the local wildlife, a crazy old man kept putting himself into the center of our vision. He was making faces at us, and sticking his tongue out. He had a very warm personality, despite his bizarre behavior. We waved to him and he came inside to our table. He introduced himself as Rufus Brownleaf, and pulled up a chair. When a girl at the next table heard the name he claimed as his own, she called him a liar, and said his real name. After which he assailed her with a flurry of obscenities and curses upon her offspring. She only laughed at him and went back to her friends.

We spent a few hours listening to Rufus' views and philosophies on life and modern culture. He was fairly well educated, and I could tell that he had spent a lot of time thinking about things. He always referred to money as Exxon Coupons, and said he worshiped at the Temple of the Arches every other morning. We were well into our conversations before I realized the Temple of the Arches was MacDonald's. Rufus walked with a very pronounced limp and held his head cocked to the left. He said it was a result of a car accident in the mid 60's that had also claimed his mother's life. He was a young man at the time, and moved to Berkeley and had been living there ever since. He called the disability check he received monthly tit money from Uncle Sam's bosom.

As the evening wore on, Rufus invited us back to his apartment for the night. He was well aware that we had no place to stay and was willing to share anything he had. It was obvious that he really loved the fact that we all listened to his ramblings with out judgment. We loaded up into the van and headed for his secret lair. He lived on Telegraph Avenue; but way down in Oakland because it helped stretch his tit money a little farther. As we pulled up outside his building, he gave us the safety briefing. "Lock the doors, don't talk to anyone, you don't have any money, don't come outside without me."

He lived in the basement of a rundown row house. The front lawn and porch was littered with gangbangers, hookers, and trash. I'm pretty sure that if one looked close enough, it was also probably a collection point for empty bullet casings, crack vials, and used condoms. We immediately became the only thing worth looking at for the locals. Rufus escorted us around the house where we entered through a stairwell that led down to the basement. We didn't come back out till daylight had chased the neighbors inside.

We sat and listened to Rufus tell us about the things he had seen. He read to us from some of the thousands of books that were stacked around his home, and very graciously enjoyed our habit of almost nonstop pot smoking. We all stayed awake long into the night. After Rufus had slipped away to get some sleep, our friend Todd entertained us by doing silly dances. He had a sweater tied around his waist and swung the arms of it like little legs. Charlie Chaplain could not have had more skill.

The next morning, we left Rufus. As always, we promised to return to visit; but we never did. We lived our lives day by day, and the day never came. We never made it back to Berkeley. I have thought about that night with Rufus many, many times since that summer. It's strange to think that you could learn so much from a stranger in such a short time. There have been many times in my life that the thought of Rufus, and the life he lived, brought total contentment to me. He had nothing, and lived richer that anyone I have ever known.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Pub Is Open

I was getting pretty bored with the way my blog was looking lately. On a whim, I posted an appeal to the reading public for help. I asked if anyone would be willing to give my site a makeover in trade for a favor. Any favor at all. I even mentioned some of the possibilities.

I was expecting to get hit by every kind of freak imaginable. I would, if I had the know-how, have jumped on the chance to earn a favor. The possibilities of "THE FAVOR" are far underestimated in today's society. In times of integrity, a man's promise of "I owe you one" meant just that. You could expect to be repaid for your kindness, plus extra. You might not get an evening in the loft with a man's wife for that cold beer or help fixing a flat; but you knew he would repay you in time. This is what I was offering to any takers. Build me a new blog and I will humiliate myself for your amusement. No takers.

I was offered a make over in exchange for a link, and a makeover just to be nice. I'm sure she enjoys the challenge, and having a few spokespersons are handy if you choose to make money doing it for money later. In the end I got this great Irish Pub style template AND my wife got a makeover too, and Jerzey Girl got some great word-of-mouth advertising and a couple of loyal new friends.

Jerzey Girl did one hell of a job on both blogs. All I said was that I wanted my site to look like an Irish Pub, and she did the rest. I know she recently started working on her new project, Reality Graphix. So, if you suck at design like I do, she may be willing to get the job done for ya.

A Nice Guy with a Nice Mission

Was bouncing between blogs this morning and hit this guys site which linked to this guys site. I recently found out that his effort could directly benefit my life and family. Let's help him out.

Wow. My shortest post ever.

Monday, August 22, 2005

I'm Not Funny

Why didn't some one tell me? I was looking at the blog, or glob as it has become lately, and realized it has gotten quite boring in my misguided effort to shorten my posts. No more I say! I will not sacrifice the meat of the story for a few starchy potatoes. Who cares if every person that lands here reads it, or just keeps clicking. The story must be told in its truest form or not be told at all. If you feel like reading, you are always welcome. Without further discussion...Here is a long post.

I used to do drugs. I used to do A LOT of drugs. I would do any drug, in any quantity, in any setting without fear or paranoia. It was my special talent. I did drugs in Hunter S. Thomson, William Burroughs, Jim Morrison proportions. When people who knew me met me on the street, I would occasionally hear, "what's up man? Why aren't you high?" My ultimate goal was to someday be a "veteran", as I called those guys who could name any drug by its scientific nomenclature, tell you the recommended dosage, and point you to a person in possession of said drug. That being said, this is the story of an acid trip I once had in the swamps of Florida.

I was in the
Ocala National Forest in central Florida for a Rainbow Gathering. For those of you who have never experienced 'A Gathering', it is a month long gathering of hippies in a national forest. They are usually in the same place at the same time every year. The rainbows avoid money when gathered and prefer instead, a barter system. Everyone eats at communal kitchens funded by food stamps and the good will of others.

I was first introduced to the rainbows at the age of 12 or so. I was out ripping up the countryside on my dirt bike when I came across this grizzled old hippy dude wandering the gravel roads in the
Shawnee National Forest near my home. He was far from a paved road, and looked like he was carrying everything he owned on his back. When asked, he told me he was looking for a gathering in the forest. He said the way was marked with bits of cloth tied to trees on the roadsides. I rode ahead and helped him find the way; but this is all another story for another day.

So......I was in the
Ocala National Forest in Florida. I had traveled there with my friend, Chris, two weeks earlier. Chris had a cousin that had been attacked by a shark or some other predator. Having heard the story many times, he had developed a extreme fear of being eaten by one of the countless alligators roaming around the swamp we were camped in. Sometimes a camper could hear them rustle through the tall grass just a few yards from camp. Every day some poor clueless hippy was out calling for a dog that would never be seen again, due to becoming gator lunch. I thought it was all good fun, and Chris eventually grew tired of my taunting him. I would rub sticks across his ankle while he slept, just to see him jump awake, screaming for his life. I even put a chunk of roadkill near the door to his tent and unzipped it while he was out. He refused to go into his tent until a trusted friend, not me, went in to check for reptiles. He finally had had enough, and went home to Illinois. I was alone in the camp.

There were dozens of other camps within sight of mine; but there was no direct route to them. The swamp was made up of a patchwork of pine Forrest, and dry grass expanses that would turn into soggy swamp without notice. The only way to navigate around was on the established trail. If you got off the trails, you would end up waist deep in muck before traveling far.

One night, I was out doing my usual routine; wandering from camp to camp getting high and drinking bad herbal tea. At one camp or another, someone had fed me a good healthy dose of hallucinogenic mushrooms and a few hits of acid laced Cool-Aid to wash them down. Nothing unusual for me. Another night in the woods.

During my wandering from camp to camp, nature called. My mind not being along for the walk, I left the trail to fertilize the trees. Not wanting to advertise my position, I also turned off my flashlight. Once the job was done, I was ready to hit the trail again. My flashlight was nowhere to be found. Given what I had just dropped on the ground near me, I didn't feel around too thoroughly in my search. I figured that it was just another crutch I didn't need. Again, my mind was not along for the walk.

I headed for the path. Apparently I walked out the wrong side of the woods. My path had been hugging the treeline when I left it, but now it wasn't. I walked in a very deliberate zig-zag pattern along the edge of the woods in an effort to find the path. It was not there. I could see two dozen camp fires from where I stood, so I knew I wasn't lost. Each camp had a trail leading out of it, so logic told me that if I could make my way to a camp I would find a path.

I started out heading for the closest fire. I was close enough that I could make out people standing around in its circle of light. Almost immediately, my foot plunged into swamp muck, and I was turned around. I tried going back to the woods to follow the edge around. As I walked along the edge of the woods, it became clear that I was going away from the other camps. OK. Getting a little freaked out now. I tried to cross the grass field again. Again I was stopped by swamp.

I could here rustling noises in the distance now. I called out to one of the camps in an effort to get someone to come get me. Hearing voices yell on the wind is not a cause for concern in these woods. They just yelled back with "Yeah!" "Party!" Having no flashlight, I could not signal to them. More noises. I headed for the trees. Once at the trees, I had about 15 meters between me and the swamp. I hoped this would be far enough that I would have some warning before I was eaten.

I walked the treeline for what seemed like hours. By walking either direction, I was traveling away from the other camps. How had it come to this? I could here the alligators calling to each other now. A low frog-like rumbling, groaning noise that sometimes came from all directions. To say that I was fast approaching terror would not be stretching the truth. I could hear them closer now, moving in the grass. They were out of the water. I moved into the woods to look for safety.

The woods were composed of small pines. The biggest tree there was only six or eight inches in diameter. All were poles. They all traveled straight up, the lowest branches not less that fifteen feet above the ground. Not the best for climbing, so I just sat at the base of one for awhile. I could not focus on anything. My vision was plagued by endless starburst explosions and pinwheels spinning around my head throwing off vivid trails of color. There was no moon to light the horizon, so the lightshow in my eyeballs was not distracted by things like distance and depth. I could not see anything. My head was just as cluttered. It raced from thought to thought without even asking me if I wanted to come along for the ride. By the time I was aware of the fact that I was contemplating citrus fruit, my brain had moved right along to the physics of the Frisbee. I had no way to judge time, so it raced and stopped at the same time. I could not, with any real assurance, be sure what year it was at this time.

The noises around me were ever present. They were even closer now. I could almost make out individual footsteps as they approached. I could hear the coldblooded hiss escaping from the alligator's mouth as it crept toward me. The only place to go was up. I stood and hugged the tree, wrapping my legs around its base. I started to climb the flagpole of a tree with the intent of reaching the top and staying there till morning. As I climbed, I could feel the rough bark of the tree biting into my arms and legs. This was pain far more tolerable than the bite of reptiles, so I continued to climb. Apparently due to poor tree selection, I could not climb high enough to reach the lowest branches. After what seemed like an eternity of scraping my way up the trunk of the tree, I still hadn't reached the safety of the branches. I was well above the ground though. When I looked down, I only saw the pinwheels and fireworks.

The night lasted a century. I clung to the tree for hours, hearing the carnage unfold beneath me. During the night there had been a horrible massacre at the base of the tree. I heard what I assumed was a small deer or goat ripped to pieces by the gators. I knew it would have been me if I had not climbed above their reach. I only needed to wait till daylight and the gators would retreat back to the cover of the swamp and I could go back to my camp. Just hang on till dawn.

As the sky started to show signs of the sun, I was still clinging to life. I had been staring toward the sky for hours. Finally, it started to gather light. It lightened so slowly that I at first didn't notice the trees silhouetted against it. It was a welcome sight. My arms and legs were numb from the ordeal. I waited for more light before I would begin my decent to the ground. The last thing I wanted to do was climb right down into the mouth of a waiting alligator. As the sun lit the far eastern sky, some of its light spilled through the tree canopy. Still I waited. It took a very long time before enough light had found its way through the tree tops for me to see. As my surroundings became more and more clear, it became obvious to me that I was only ten inches off the ground. I had been right there all night, clinging to the tree for my life. I was less than a foot above the carnage I had imagined the night before. The tree beneath my arms and legs was almost stripped of bark, above me the bark was unscarred.

I released my grip on the tree and lied on the ground at it's base for a long time. I replayed they nights events in my head to get a grip on what I was seeing. As I left the safety of the trees I found the path, right where I had left it. My flashlight was still sitting at the edge of the woods, beside a pile of my crap. The dry grass between the path and the swamp was trampled and criss-crossed with my wandering footsteps. No signs of an alligator. WTF?

I went back to camp to sleep.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A Makeover

I would like to re-do the old blog here. It's pretty damn boring to look upon, isn't it? While I don't have much money or ambition, I do have time to donate and I'm not afraid of personal shame. So if anyone out there in blogland is interested in trading blog design skills for a favor, give me a holler.

You give me a new look, and I give you the favor of your choosing. Want me to wash your car? Bring it to Germany. Want a picture of yours truly in lingerie? It can be arranged. Want me to dedicate a week of blog posts to your greatness? You fucking rock and I'll tell the world.

Use your imagination in choosing the favor, because I sure don't have any spare cash.

I want my blog to look like an Irish Pub.
Think dark beer and green carpet.
Any takers?

The Decorators

My sister and I decided that the dog house in our back yard was just too drab. I was probably 5 or 6 years old. She felt sorry for our dog, and decided that we should paint the dog house. We looked in the garage and found a couple of cans of spraypaint.

When we started, the dog seemed excited about the project; but as the fumes from the paint found their way his direction, he made himself scarce. Unfortunately for the dog, the only colors available were silver and gold. The whole project soon became quite ugly. It didn't take long to finish painting the doghouse and ourselves. WOW! We were great artists.

We then moved our attention to the interior. It would look fabulous when we were done. We crawled inside and began to paint. The fumes hung heavily in the unventilated doghouse...........ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

The next thing I remember was my father pulling us across the lawn by our feet. He sprayed us thoroughly with the garden hose to try to revive us and clean us and punish us all in one action. He was terrified that we had poisoned ourselves with the paint fumes.

We recovered fine, and our dog loved the new look. His house glistened in the sun like a foil covered spaceship.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Cube

Bill had been a doorman at the Watson building for 30 years. He had seen all that Chicago had to offer, and was glad to be retiring. The last day on the job was something he had been counting down to for the last fifteen years or so. Today was that day. He intended to walk the long way home today, through the park and down Michigan Avenue. He would enjoy that walk immensly.

"Good afternoon Mrs. Denotsko." he said as she left the building with her children.

"Hi Bill. Last day huh. I hope you and your wife enjoy your time off."

"Oh, we definitely will Mrs. D." he lied.

His wife was a shrew. He hated her. He had been fantasizing about putting he dismembered body in the freezer for years. Why couldn't he have married a woman like Mrs. D? She was all he wanted. He felt his soul burn when he thought about that dipshit she was stuck with. That ass was on vacation for the first time in ten years, and was upstairs in the apartment. Why was she going out alone with the kids? He should have taken her to the tropics. He watched her with the pain of love missed as she walked toward the park with her children. Why did he have go home to that witch every night? Why was his life so empty?

Upstairs, Mr. D. Was working. What had brought him to this? It seemed that he would be able to relax on his time off; but here he was. This thing had been perfectly arranged a month ago, and now it was chaos. His compulsive nature would not allow him to put it down.

He was two hours into the task now. Had he even made any progress? Not by the looks of things. He thought that looking at it from different angles would help; but it was a mess from every side. It wasn't even possible to scrap it and start from the beginning. He needed coffee.

From the kitchen, he could see it through the doorway. This thing was going to make him have a breakdown. Why was he wasting his vacation like this? Why can't he just let it go? The more he hovered over the project, the more it ate at him. There was no escaping the grip it had on him. She had told him to let it go or she would leave without him, and she did. He didn't even know where she went.

Turning his back on it, he looked out the window. It was a long way down to the street below. Sixteen stories of mystery cubicles is what Bill had once called this building. And this was the worst one. Bill once told him that in his time at the door, three men had plunged to their deaths from this very window. What could make a man do that? He leaned out and watched the traffic creep by, imagining the trip down. It made him turn away from the window in fright. What was that thought that had flashed for a second? Had he considered jumping? He could see himself standing on the ledge, leaning out until gravity took hold. Breathing in the cool wind as he fell through it.

He almost sprinted back into his office. He had to finish this thing and get on with his life. He could do it if he just focused on one side at a time. That was the only way to get this done.

Time moved slowly as he worked. He could not get the image he saw at the window out of his brain. He found himself making excuses to go to the kitchen. The window was closed now; but he could open it easily with just one hand. Would anyone even care if he did it? The impact would definitely not go unnoticed. How could it? It's the kind of thing that would do damage. What would it do to a passing car? Just then, the decision was made. His family wouldn't even notice the loss.

Bill was counting the minutes now. Forty-seven minutes till the last of his days. He was across the street now having a smoke with Frank from the Parker building. As he eyed the building that had paid for his home and put two kids through rehab, he could see what looked like Jake Denotsko standing in his window.

"What the fuck is he doing?" he mumbled to the wind.

That was when the fall began. Bill could see the silhouette against the clouds reflecting off the windows. It was really moving fast. Too fast to comprehend. The fall took two seconds till impact. When the falling body hit the pavement, pieces were thrown hundreds of feet. The little colored cubes flew like popcorn as it exploded.

On the wind, Bill could barely hear a scream. The voice was shrieking what sounded like " Burn in hell Rubic's Cube!"
I've been working out of town a lot this week. It's a nice drive.
Stopped by the wind mills the other day to take some pictures. It's pretty quiet up on that hill.
The only sound you hear is the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of the bades above your head.
I need to stop and smell the roses more often. Sometimes I forget that shit just isn't so important. Who cares, I've got time to kill and I'm willing to kill it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

This is, as usual, is a long ass story. If you don't feel like reading it, Shut up and leave.

The Brain, the Twitch, and the Urge to Disrobe

If you frequent Mrs. Denotsko's page, you read this story. If you don't, read this story. It's one I have, for lack of a better word, avoided telling. Not because it's painful or depressing; but I fear sympathy. People are not all that much unlike lemmings. One snags his eyelid with a fishhook, and everybody wants to say 'Oh how horrible it must feel!', 'Is there anything I can do to help?', 'Please do try to be strong. Have faith that God will watch over you.'

Gimme a fucking break! On the inside, you are all are saying (even though you won't admit it to anyone, let alone yourself) ' What a sorry fucker.', 'Sure am glad I didn't win that coin toss.', 'WOW! Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy (that's not me)' I am a product of circumstance. Just like all of you, I say the same shit. Pity me not. My only regret is that I have only but one life to.... Fuck it. Just read the story. As usual, if you're short on time, come back when you have more. I'm one long winded sumbitch.

As Mrs. Denotsko said,(told you to read it, now your lost) I have MS. I won't go into some shit asking you to start a chain letter for me or sell baked goods at WalMart or collect little pull tabs from your Bud cans to buy me another minute of life. I'm here to tell the funny side of things.

My neurologist, we'll call him Dr. Fleischer because that's his name, suggested I start taking weekly intramuscular shots as a preventive treatment. I'm not big on needles; but I'm even not bigger on being numb on one side, so I decided it wouldn't kill me. Before I continue, let me say that as one who has been there, never decide something 'won't kill' you till all the facts are in. He warned me that the side effects of the shot could be unpleasant. He said to expect sore achy muscles and flu-like crapiness. He suggested that I take over the counter pain relievers before and after the shot to combat feeling shitty.

My wife and I were both a little shy to stab a long piece of steel into my thigh, so we enlisted the help of a friend of a friend to do it. She was a nurse in the OB/GYN clinic at the hospital I work in. About an hour after the shot, I started to feel the sore muscles. The dull ache slowly built into what I can only describe as pain. I decided it was time to take a break from the job I was working on, and went outside with a friend to have a smoke. By the end of the smoke, I had decided it was time to take a break from work altogether. By the time I had walked the entire length of the hospital back to the shop, my supervisor decided it was time to go to the E.R. My muscles were steadily getting stiffer. They would clench and release, clench and release. Giving the impression of a semi-slow speed seizure. My skin hurt. Have you ever had too much to drink and fallen into bed with your clothes still on? The next morning, when you took your shoes and socks off, the little hairs on your ankles hurt; or maybe you wore a pony tail in your hair too long, and felt the pain of your hair follicles returning to their proper alignment. Imagine that over your entire body. It hurt to wear clothes.

Once in the E.R., I was tossed onto a table and hooked to various bits of computerized hardware. As the machines beeped, and the nurses took blood pressure and temperature readings, the doctor wanted to ask a few questions. I told him in my very best every muscle in my body is stiff then not stiff English that I was recently diagnosed with MS and had taken a shot prescribed by my neurologist. I'm told this took about 45 minutes with the stuttering and twitching. He asked where I went for the shot. I told him OB/GYN. He looked confused, so I let someone else explain it.

They gave me a lot of different shots in an effort to stop the twitching. Finally a drug used to treat Parkinson's Disease stopped the worst of it. I was quite drugged by this point and have been told that I called everyone who talked to me Fucker. I have no recollection of this and doubt the credibility of the fuckers who say such things. I went home and slept for a day and was back at work.

Dr. Fleischer was puzzled by my reaction to the drug. He said that as far as he knew, no one had ever reacted that way to it. After a week or two he proposed that, just for the sake of science, we try again. He was not totally convinced that my reaction was the result of the shot. If it happened again, then we would know. Having suffered a near complete blackout of the last shot experience, I was game to try again. What the fuck. It's not like it would kill me.

The plan for shot two was simple. I come to work, take the shot, if anything happened, I would call the doc and meet him in the ER. This shot took longer to really take hold of me. I knew what to expect and fought it with all my might. I hurt sooooo much; but I refused to admit defeat. I would not go to the ER again. I walked and paced the floor for hours. I could beat this shit. I did too. I eventually quit cramping and twitching. I eventually slept. Except that this time, I remembered it.

What follows is the E-mail I sent to my neurologist regarding the second shot.


I just want to let you know that I will not be taking that shot again. I was not twitching or convulsing like last time; but only by sheer force of will and intense concentration. I guess I was a little in denial about how bad it was the first time, what with all the stuff being pumped into me in the ER. This is some bad stuff. Ive been around and seen some stuff in my life. Ive wrecked cars, bikes, motorcycles, skateboards.fallen out of a moving speedboat, jumped into Lake Michigan in sub-freezing weather. Ive fallen 2 stories onto the hood of a truck. Ive even been shot. None of it compares with that shot.

I suppose taking this vile potion could, in the long run, save me from some degree of incapacitation from a potentially debilitating condition which I may or may not develop at some point in the future; but I cant stand that every week on a maybe. I think I will just put on some rose colored glasses and think happy thoughts. Maybe its not MS. If it is, it might not be so bad. Ive always thought it would be cool to know how to read Braille. I can have wheelchair races with my kids and get a job delivering groceries to first floor apartments. Think about how nice it would be to always have a parking space reserved for you right outside the store. There doing amazing thing in robotics now days. Perhaps I can have an exoskeleton made that will keep me mobile for decades into the future.

If you would like, we can try one of the other medications.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Let People Think What They Think They Want to Think About Thinks They Want to Think About

Sometimes it's cool to just let folks assume things. In the spring of 2003, I was assigned to a PATRIOT missile battery in Germany. We were scheduled to deploy to Turkey at the end of March. The rumor was that we would convoy through Turkey and enter northern Iraq to provide air defense for the northern region. The rest of my unit left for Turkey around a week before I did. My commander had made the decision to leave me back temporarily due to the scheduled C-section birth of my son on April 1st. This was a tough decision for him, because I was the only person qualified to do my job. If something was to happen to prevent my arrival, he would surely had to answer a lot of questions. Missiles wouldn't fly without me running the radios that told them where to go.

My mother-in-law made the journey to Germany to be with my family after I left, so they were in good hands. Just a day after Mrs. Denotsko was released from the hospital, I was on a military chartered flight to Turkey. While I was in limbo waiting for my travel orders, a shipment of classified documents and electronics components had arrived. I was asked by my commander to transport them to him when I came. I carried the items in a locked, metal case like you see drug dealers use on Miami Vice. I looked cool.

I was traveling with two officers from one of our sister batteries who took themselves way too seriously. Myself being one of little rank, I was at the mercy of their paranoia. While I was the only one qualified and authorized to act as a courier of such materials, they felt it was their duty to tell me how to do it. I was made to use plastic zip ties to attach my case to my wrist, so if we were captured by one of the other 250 Americans we were traveling with, they would have to cut the zip ties to see my chaffed arm. They acted like I had the key to world domination in that case, and if it was to be lost, all hope would go with it.

Once we arrived at the airbase in Turkey, they forgot all about me and my doomsday device and split. Guess I wasn't interesting to them any more. I was informed that the plane's final destination was to be Saudi Arabia or someplace, and my luggage was checked all the way. I could come back in a day or two to pick it up, or get back on the plane and ride to the end. Then they would bring me and my luggage back. My commander was definitely not happy about this turn of events. Not at all. He had been informed that we could possibly be sent to Iraq in as little as 24 hours. He needed me, and I would be needing all my gear.

He went through about 5 levels of Air Force chain of command raising hell about the situation. The next thing I knew, we were sitting on a little
conveyer belt truck that was traveling at a very uncomfortable speed across the flightline toward the plane I had just recently exited. The plane had been on it's way to the take off runway and was halted. After we had caught up with the plane, the side door to the cargo bay was opened and the conveyor was raised to it. I cut the zip ties and handed my case to the commander. I then walked up the ramp with three airman into the cargohold to find my bags.

Once in the plane, I got some very nervous glances. I was not in uniform, and had spent about 36 hours at the airport before the flight, so I was looking pretty scruffy. The airmen seemed to jump at anything I said. I suggested that we start the search on the left side of the plane, and work our way to the right. They jumped into the task like they had a rifle at their backs and would be shot if they moved too slowly. I tried to make conversation, but they just gave brief 1 or 2 word responses. I could hear the pilot revving the engines as if to tell us to hurry up.

The search was long and hot. After about a half hour of me talking out loud to myself, they started to loosen up a bit. The first guy asked me what I had in my bag that was so damn important. I said 'nothing special' and kept digging. Now that the subject had been hit, they all had questions. What are you? Why is that captain down there holding your case? What's in the case? Are you special Ops? Are you with the CIA? Are you with Delta Force? Why are they holding this plane just for you? What's in the bags?
I never answered any of the questions. I just kept looking and let them draw their own conclusions. We eventually found my shit and left the plane.

We were never given clearance to enter Iraq, so we stayed on the airbase in Turkey for the duration of our deployment. Over the next month, I'm pretty sure I saw the airmen from the plane again. I was a the chow hall waiting for my food and noticed some young guys in the corner eyeing me with an odd look of awe in their eyes. When I looked in their direction, they shifted their gaze away nervously.

Not once did I say anything to lead these guys in any direction. It's funny how people will tell themselves what they want to hear. Now, a few years later, I like to think these guys are back home telling the story. I hope in their version, I'm 6 foot 9 and bristling with weapons. Looking for a bag of grenades and ammo. AHHHH the delusion of recollection.

Your Assignment....Should You Choose to Accept It.

I was asked by Mrs. Denotsko to send this along. I guess it's like tag; but I don't really know who to tag. With my incredible lack of friends in mind, I challenge you to ask this of strangers. Throughout the course of your days next week, challenge perfect strangers with random questions about themselves. Post their answers here, or on your blog with a link in the comments section here.I'm sure that with a little creativity and good timing, we can have some fun.

"Hey Man, where were you exactly 5 years ago this very minute?" to random guy at the urinal.

"So, what are your hobbies?" to Dr. Benway the gynecologist during pelvic exam.

You get the idea.

I was living in southern Illinois working a crappy job, smoking a lot, and waiting for our first born to get here.

I was in Georgia learning how to ba MULTICHANNEL TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS OPERATOR/MAINTAINER at the US Army Signal School.

I was in Texas learning biomedical equipment repair. Much better job.

Sat in the woods drinking coffee and yelling 'BANG BANG' and watching a bunch of sadly pathetic paper pushers pretend that they are in a convoy that's being attacked. Damn, that was good coffee.

As little as possible.

Bullshitting people. Making them believe absurd stuff and laughing at them after I admit that I'm just fucking with them.
Shocking people with electricity.

I'm lucky if I can play a radio and remember my address. I don't have the dedication to memorize songs.

5 THINGS I WOULD DO WITH $100,000,000
I would hook up a lot of friends and family.
I would have one hell of a garage to build shit in.
I would use my money to discredit, shame, and destroy a lot of shitty assholes.
I would travel a lot.
I would probably smoke a lot of pot.

South America

I am too nice to some people out of pity. (BAD)
I am too mean to some people out of disgust.(BAD)
I don't let my emotions control my behavior.(?)
I don't care about money.(GOOD)
I get bored quickly. (?)

I like to ....This is just like the I ENJOY item above, so I'll skip it.

A suit in daily life.
Things that have a popular logo, just for the logo.
A burqa.
A tupe'.
Tight pants.

The Brady Bunch
Kids in the Hall.
The Trailer Park Boys.
The Daily Show

A Clockwork Orange
Runaway Train
The Shawshank redemption
Fight Club
Blackhawk Down

Ed Rosenthal
Jack Black
A survivor of some fucked up situation like lost at sea, or trapped in a collapsed mine, etc.
An astronaut
Me at age 10.

My family

motorized skateboard
that's about it

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

What Da Hell?

Would I be wrong if I found this sexy?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Always Keep it professional ( C.Y.O.A. )


In my profession, it is absolutely imperative that your customers trust you. I mean, who wants to let someone they don't trust to fix medical equipment that could one day be used on them? There are a lot of times that someone brings me a machine and says " It won't turn on." Just for me to show them the power switch, and flip it on in front of them; thus breathing life into said apparatus right before their eyes. It's my job to make them feel incompetent and establish my superiority at every opportunity.

So, when they see an opportunity to make me look stupid, they jump on it like crazed weasels. I am in a position to look like an idiot every day. The mark of an expert is the ability to disguise these occurrences with clever conversation and creative wording. I am expected to be an expert technician on everything from an electrocardiograph to an infusion pump to a dental chair to a 5 foot long flexible scope used to look up peoples' asses.( I forget what those things are called :) )

Two weeks ago, an ECG machine was presented to me. UNIT WILL NOT PRINT is the only thing listed on the work order. Easy enough. I first consult the service manual. No help there. I take it apart, looking for the obvious. No loose dangling wires or fried components. OK. Another tech says that the paper in the machine doesn't look right. Sure enough it's the wrong paper. I think to myself, 'What a dumbass. This guy brought this all the way down here because he's too stupid to pick up the right paper. My god! He probably uses this thing every day, and he puts the wrong paper in it.'

I walked down to cardiology to see a friend about getting the correct paper so I can go back to the dumbass and act superior. I put in the paper to prepare for the roast. It still won't print. Damn it. Thought I was gonna have an easy one. Time to try something else. Most complicated mechanisms come with pretty detailed troubleshooting texts. Not this one. It is absolutely no help to a technician. I tried various things flying blind with no resolve.

Finally I just said screw it and ordered a new print head. When the $160.00 printhead arrives, I install it and still no printing. I stood at this machine for hours, randomly changing software configurations in a lame attempt to fix this thing. By now, two weeks have gone by.

Today I decided that it would be best if I just sent it back to the manufacturer for repair. I hate doing this. It is very hard for me to admit that an inanimate object can defeat me. There must be something I have missed. Something. Somewhere. I was standing in front of this demon box, still trying to use Jedi mind powers to somehow figure it out, when my friend from cardiology stops by on other business. I know he uses these things every day, maybe he knows some amazingly secret software menu that I haven't found yet that will make it print. He tried a couple of things with no luck. Then he says, "What's this? You've got the paper in backwards."


Sure enough, he flipped it around and hit the print button, and out spewed a near endless stream of zigging and zagging ECG lines. I can deal with this. My only problem now is what do I put in my notes. When servicing medical equipment, one must keep detailed notes describing every action performed. These notes are kept for the life of the equipment. Later down the road, if the equipment fries someone's grandmother, they can look to see if it was repaired correctly. I have to word my work order notes so everyone down the line that will read them will know that I am not in union with the dumbasses of the world. I don't need the added stress of being known as the guy who worked on an ECG for 2 weeks at the rate of $60.oo an hour just to flip the paper around in the end.

* 09 Aug 05 To correct fault, performed paper realignment operation. Once paper was realigned, paper edge sensor was receiving correct signal from processor and printing operations were executed without error. Unit is now fully operational.*

Monday, August 08, 2005


I made a banner for Blogexplosion the other day. Today I noticed something funny about it. The first person to see it and tell me whats wrong with it will get a link to their blog from mine. Yeah, I know. I'm cheap.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ten Thousand Upsidedown Screaming Yacking Trees

My wife and I used to travel a lot back in the day. We were really just a couple of punker misfits going from city to city with all those stinking hippies you see at Dead shows. We picked up hitchhikers, and in turn, were picked up while hitchhiking. It was the way things went. Sometimes we just sat waiting to be picked up. Sometimes we just kicked around killing time.

We spent a lot of time in Seattle during the fall of '94. We were 4 then Mrs. D. and myself, Nathan, and Todd. We also had a kitten that we had found. Todd had dubbed it Ten Thousand Upsidedown Screaming Yacking Trees, Kitty-Kitty for short. His theory was that a cat would not come when called, no matter what you called it.

Nathan owned the van we were riding in. He was WAY into the hippie thing. He had lost his shoes sometime back, and had taken to walking around in a tie-dyed skirt and no shoes. When we hadn't seized control of the tape player with Nine Inch Nails or Danzig, he would play Crosby, Stills and Nash tapes till he cried in silent apathy for long lost crushes on nameless hippie girls.

Todd, on the other hand was Texas. We had picked him up in Albuquerque a few weeks earlier. He loved alcohol, Pantera, and hating Nathan. He was a tornado of energy and sarcasm that rarely slowed down. He reminded me of Jim Carey on amphetamines and an IV drip of sugar water after 10 days with no sleep. He was my long lost brother-I-never-had.

One of the scheduled events for this trip to Seattle was Nathan's appointment with the object of his childhood fantasies. The girl/woman/chick/whatever that had been his baby sitter 10 years earlier. She was a few years older than him, and in college I think. They were both now in a position to visit each other outside of the business relationship. If you know what I mean.

As was the plan, we met her and some of her friends at this upitty kind of bar in the University District. The kind of place where upwardly mobile student would meet for cocktails and deep philosophical discussions about such issues as the plight of the homeless and the starving masses in Africa. After which they would retire back to their dormrooms and film 'Girls Gone Wild' videos, stepping over the homeless, starving masses in disgust along the way.

We were a vision. Four oddball people that lived in a van; unbathed and unconcerned with all that mattered to the crowd gathered in this bar. As we entered I'm sure there was an audible gasp from those nearest the door. We always had some kind of scent wafting off of us; well, at least I always did. She, Candi or Tami or some name with an 'i' dotted with a cute little heartat the end, was the typical cheerleader chick. All her friends were a little too full of themselves, and would attempt to punctuate the conversation with condescending comments that were stated in a way that was intended to make them funny.

We had no money, so 'i' girl and her Mtv entourage paid for all the beer. We were all just there for the free beer, so the conversational jousting match was not taken very seriously on our side. After a little while, the GQ crowd was not enjoying the party so much; and their comments steadily increased in venom content. Which Todd, Mrs. D. and I found very entertaining. Nathan, however became increasingly uncomfortable with our behavior. He was crawling under his skin. This was probably his only chance in the last and next five years to get some, and he was having to deal with a three man cockblock.

After her friends tired of us mocking everything they held holy, they excused themselves. We followed the girl to her friends house in the burbs and continued to ingest free alcohol. Her friend lived in his parent's basement with his girlfriend. They were great people and enjoyed watching Nathan squirm as much as we did. The basement was great. There was a room to the side with saloon doors and arcade games inside. After the friend and his girlfriend retired for the night, and Nathan and the girl disappeared, Todd, Mrs. D. and I continued to drink and laugh. Todd would swagger thorough the saloon doors while whistling the music from The Good the Bad and the Ugly, and we would scream with laughter.

Nathan was afraid that if we kept going, we would get us all kicked out, so he came down and said we had to go sleep in the van. Mrs. D. and I obliged and went to sleep off the vodka. Alone in the van, we tried unsuccessfully to consummate the evening. Having drank too much, it was surely a funny thing to see. I only remember apologizing and falling into a pile of blankets.

As the sun rose into the sky, the van interior got warm enough to wake us. As was always the case after drinking, I awoke having not moved from the position I laid down in. It took a few minutes for me to get my brain fully awake. The first thing I noticed was the stiff little corpse of Ten Thousand Upsidedown Screaming Yacking Trees (Kitty-Kitty for short) pressed into the pile of blankets I was sleeping on.

The only explanation that makes sense to me, even now over 10 years later, is that my wife's cruel sadistic nature took hold of her in her drunkenness. She sometimes falls victim to her dark side and does things like stuff fluffy kittens under the limp body of innocent drunk guys, just to make them feel guilty the next morning. I have learned to deal with such things. I always forgive her in hopes that my charity will someday make her realize the error of her ways. God I'm like Gandhi. Mother Teresa doesn't have shit on me. Can an atheist be sainted?

Oh yeah, we buried the cat.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

There has been some discussion of my
sleep habits on the internet lately. In an effort to expand on the issue, my wife and I will both be telling the same story today. I will tell it from my perspective, and she will tell her side. You, the reader, will have the task of deciding who's side you can relate to the most. I will understand if, due to sympathy for her, you think I'm a schmuck. That seems to be the way these things go. I only ask that you consider my side.

I used to work nights. I would get off around 3:00 in the A.M. despite my near sainthood, I had a tendency to drink 2 to 12 beers with my work associates after work. Keep in mind that this was not inconsiderate, or immature behavior for a married father of two; but rather a display of concern for my coworkers. I would hate to think that they might be sitting alone drinking. I only did this 4 or 5 nights a week, and I was always home by noon.

On one occasion, I had consumed a
little too much alcohol. I came home, an fell into a deep sleep cuddled against my wife. I was cold that night, so I was spooned tight against her in an effort to capture some of her body heat. I really love Mrs. Denotsko, and I know that she loves me. This was my happy place.

As I slept the sleep of the truly sleepy sleeper, I began to dream the dreams of the drunk. What does every drunk really want?
McDonald's french fries. So here I was, dreaming of french fries. I was standing in line at McD's, waiting for my food. They taste so good when I finally get them. MMmmmmm.

In my dream I am engaged in normal waking activities like waiting, eating, drinking long, cold drinks from my soda, and eventually sensing that my bladder was full. I made my way to the bathroom. Once inside, I saw the most amazing thing. I saw a tree rising through the roof, creating a huge canopy over the open ceiling. I could make out little flashes of blue through the leaves as a gentle wind sighed past. There were no sinks or toilets or urinals; just this magnificent tree in the center of the room. All the other men in the room were contentedly pissing on the tree. It was like what urinals in heaven must be like. Every man would rather piss on living vegetation than cold porcelain.

As I approached the tree to give it a little bit of life sustaining urine, I saw that all the guys were leering at me. I saw frightening lust in their eyes, and I was scared. Had my heaven spun into a wild hell of homosexuals fighting for position to see my penis as I stood next to the tree? They all craned their necks in an effort to see what I was packing. I had no choice but to lean forward against the tree in an effort to shield my package from their unmoving gaze. I leaned in until my chest rested on the tree, and my cupped hands blocked their vision. Something inside told me to find another latrine, but I really had to go.

As I stood there feeling the sharp, unforgiving bark of the tree dig into the soft skin of my face and chest, I couldn't piss. I could feel the walls of my bladder stretching to the point of explosion, but could not open the valve. The fags were watching me too closely. I was.....well....pee shy. I closed my eyes and concentrated on waterfalls, sprinklers, dripping faucets....

Finally, relief came. I could feel my bladder start to relax, and in my head, the dripping faucet exploded into a busted water main. It flooded my mind with visions of sailboats on the open seas, mermaids swimming through an ocean of my urine smiling at me in its warm embrace.

I felt my jaw being violently forced sideways. The fags were attacking me. They were pounding me for my secretive lack of a display. They punched me in the face repeatedly while screaming "What the fuck are you doing?! You stupid mother fucker!"

Why was this happening to me? All I wanted was to piss in peace. I felt the repeated blows to my skull and could do nothing, still trying to protect my penis from observation. I pressed harder against the tree. Still they attacked without mercy.

I was pulled from my slumber by Mrs. Denotsko's elbow crushing into my nose. What was this? Had she joined the navy? Rarely had I heard such language come from here lips. Was there a burglar? Was the house on fire?

"What the hell is your problem? Your pissing on my back you bastard!"

"No I'm not! Get the fuck out of the bathroom! Stop hitting me!"

I felt her grasp my arm and force my hand down under the blanket. I felt the warm ocean that I had seen the mermaids frolicking in. Had I really wet the bed?

BAMMM! Another elbow hit my face. Another. I was still pissing. In my sleep, a kickstand had extended beneath me and it was now shooting a hot yellow stream up my wife's back as she shoved me from the bed.

Once on the floor, the flood subsided and cold reality set in. I was attacked for a simple misunderstanding. Could my wife really be that harsh and unforgiving over such a small thing? It could happen to anyone.

I spent many a night alone for my misstep. Eventually the amnesia of time took hold, and she forgave me; but sometimes I think she's watching me while I sleep.

She's just waiting for another chance to beat me up.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Hi Ho, Hi Ho

I have always worked. I can remember when I was a little kid, going to work with my dad. Always hearing about how when I was older I would work. It seemed like such a cool concept; you get up early, go to work, and someone gives you money to blow shit up. My dad did demolition then. Later I discovered that only a few people get to blow shit up....but work was a cool thing anyway.

When I was 11, my dad had motorcycles. He had a big cruiser, and an old James Dean style Triumph, and he had a big, mean, knarly, rip the flesh from your ass if you took off too fast motocross bike. I loved this death machine. I would beg Dad to let me ride on the back. It had no foot pegs for a passenger, so I had to hang on for my life with my legs sticking out srtaight in front of me like jousting lances. The only thing in the universe I wanted was a dirtbike. He used to take me to the motorcycle shop and let me sit on all the new dirtbikes, always asking which one I liked best. I knew that in a few months I would be getting a dirtbike for my birthday, and the hills would cower in feer of my boyhood manliness as I tore them to shreds on my scream machine.

On the day of my birth +12 years, I came home from school, knowing the party was about to start. As I entered the yard, I could see my pop sitting on the porch, in the swing, still trying to get rid of unwanted beer by drinking as much as possible before dinner. I think it made mom's cooking a little more edible too. He smiled as I approached knowing what I was expecting. He stood and met me at the steps.

"Walk with me." he said.

As we walked, I was pretty quiet. We were going towards the garage. It took all I had to keep from sprinting all the way there.

"It's your birthday, right? How old are you now? 17?"

"No Dad, I'm only 12"

"Only 12? Twelve's not so bad. I've been thinking about your birthday lately. I think you are almost a man now; and it's time you got a real man's present for a change instead of toys and shit."

Holy shit, I was gonna explode! There were only two things in the world that he told me I was too young for. His dirtbike, and firearms. I knew I was getting one of them today. It didn't matter which one. Mom would hate either. Niether could be clasified in the 'Toys and Shit' catagory.

"It was too big to wrap, so I put it in the garage."

POW! I was moving before he could finish. My feet didn't touch the ground for those last 25 yards.

"Yes! Yes! Yes! I got a dirtbike! I got a dirtbike!" I sounded like one of those old ladies on The Price is Right. So excited that I could only say one thing repeatedly, and not totally concerned with bladder control.

As I hit the garage door I tripped. I fell through the door moving so fast that I slid passed something green under a big red bow, and into a stack of boxes. I didn't even have time to see what the present was before I was passed it. As I was crawling back toward the door, I saw my present, and I saw my dads face.

He was grinning one of the biggest grins I've ever seen. It would be a long time before he would get that much pleasure from seeing my face. He was truly getting near orgasmic satisfaction from giving me this present.

Under the red bow was a gift that I would get a lot of use from. It would be the instrument that fueled many, many teenage wanderings. It was a lawnmower. The oldschool kind, with no motor. It only had spinning, human powered blades. Attached with tape was a list of people that he had contacted and were willing pay me for lawn service. Beside it was a pair of work boots. Steel toes.

I wished I had a gun. I would have shot him right in his big, beer fueled, grining face. BOOM. Dead, right there in the garage, beside that fucking lawnmower. I was pissed.

"I figure by the end of next summer, if you really work hard, you can save enough money to buy that dirtbike you want so bad."

I turned and walked to my room. I don't think I spoke to him for a week or two. Eventually, the old lady next door saw me in the yard and asked when I was coming to mow her yard.

"I'm not going to be mowing it Grace. Call Dad. He'll mow it for you." and I walked away.

Later that day, Dad came to my room and handed me $20. "I forgot to give you this for mowing our lawn last week. Good job. If you wnat some more, Your mom has some flowers to plant."

The next day I mowed Grace's lawn for another $25, and the yard down the road for $35 more. $75 dollars in one week was pretty amazing for a twelve year old.

By sixteen, I owned a riding lawn mower, two power push mowers, weed wackers, edgers, hedge trimmer..... I was like Hugh Hefner. I ALWAYS had a pocket full of cash and a tank full of gas. I owned a car and a motorcycle . With money like that, it's no wonder I was always in trouble.

Even when I was hitchhiking around the country later on, I always found work to do. I guess Dad had a lesson for me to learn. I am not afraid to work. The first word my kids learn to spell is J.O.B. and I always tell them money doesn't matter. What good is it if you are only concerned with making it, and never have time to enjoy it.

The pleasure is in the job....not the check.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I'll Sue Your Ass!

Have you ever wished you could sue stupid people just for being stupid? I wish I could sue people to get back all the life they suck from me by wasting my time. Take 10 minutes of my life; guess what, I'm taking 10 of yours +2 more just for making me chase you down.

I hate people who are so oblivious to their own existence that they stare into space while the clerk at the counter asks for more money because they are trying to buy $13.45 worth of stuff and with a $10 bill. The clerks can be just as bad sometimes. Ever stood at a counter trying to pay for something while the bitch behind it spends 5 minutes helping some dumbass comparison shop the cigarette lighters?

"this one is 95 cents, this one is $1.25, this one is $!.49."
"How much is the blue one?"
"this one?"
" No, the dark blue one behind the red one to the left of the Big stallion Condoms."
"$1.25 plus tax."
"OK. I'll take that one. Go a head and give me a pack of those condoms too." says the 96 pound goon.
"that'll be $5.79 please."
"Oh shit. I forgot my wallet in the car. Can you wait one minute?"


Even better is the guy who stops in the middle of the street to chat with the guy driving toward him window to window. The whole time you sit and wait 25 feet from your destination; and he always acts like you're a big, floppy dick for honking at him and wanting past.

Fuck I hate humans.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I suck

I had the most incredible story to tell. I got to sit in on a fantastic surgery today. I had it all typed up for you to read and somehow deleted the whole fucking thing. I SUCK! Sorry, I don't have the heart to re-do it. Trust me. It was fucking cool.