Monday, June 23, 2008

We'll miss you, Carlin

It did not come as a shock but I was still saddened to hear on Sunday that George Carlin is no longer with us. Sure, he was funny, but a lot of people make a living being funny. Carlin was just himself, and it just so happened that a lot of people found him funny so he made his living doing it. I get the idea he would have just done his own thing whether he got paid to do it, or not.

As I understand it, Carlin got his start as a straight, suit-and-tie joketeller type comedian in the late 50s (?). As the 60s and the social changes of the time gathered momentum, he reached a whole other audience that liked to be made to think and laugh, and wanted to hear more than just jokes. By the early 70s he gained notoriety for saying things about society that had been off-limits to funnymen before that time...well, had been Lenny Bruce, and he got himself all but blacklisted. Carlin got himself arrested and his act eventually got heard by the U.S. Supreme Court for obscenity. Were I a comic, I don't know if I would take that as a warning or a compliment, but Carlin never hid his pride for making history.

But this ought not be interpreted as a historical retrospective on Carlin's career....besides, I wasn't old enough to get his brand of humor until the late 70s, but once I was, I liked that he used what he saw and heard people doing and saying to make us laugh. And that is what I will miss about him. His onstage approach, such as it was, is closely linked to my own sense of humor...taking in the way people are and choosing to remember what makes me laugh above all else.

For those who have not heard the Carlin TV bit that landed him in the proverbial hot water, of for those like me that still find it funny even after so many times, here it is, along with a detailed breakdown of seven words that to this day still can't be uttered on regular TV.

The following is a verbatim transcript of "Filthy Words" (the George Carlin monologue at issue in the Supreme Court case of FCC v. Pacifica Foundation) prepared by the Federal Communications Commission:
Aruba-du, ruba-tu, ruba-tu. I was thinking about the curse words and the swear words, the cuss words and the words that you can't say, that you're not supposed to say all the time, ['cause] words or people into words want to hear your words. Some guys like to record your words and sell them back to you if they can, (laughter) listen in on the telephone, write down what words you say. A guy who used to be in Washington knew that his phone was tapped, used to answer, Fuck Hoover, yes, go ahead. (laughter) Okay, I was thinking one night about the words you couldn't say on the public, ah, airwaves, um, the ones you definitely wouldn't say, ever, [']cause I heard a lady say bitch one night on television, and it was cool like she was talking about, you know, ah, well, the bitch is the first one to notice that in the litter Johnie right (murmur) Right. And, uh, bastard you can say, and hell and damn so I have to figure out which ones you couldn't and ever and it came down to seven but the list is open to amendment, and in fact, has been changed, uh, by now, ha, a lot of people pointed things out to me, and I noticed some myself. The original seven words were, shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. Those are the ones that will curve your spine, grow hair on your hands and (laughter) maybe, even bring us, God help us, peace without honor (laughter) um, and a bourbon. (laughter) And now the first thing that we noticed was that word fuck was really repeated in there because the word motherfucker is a compound word and it's another form of the word fuck. (laughter) You want to be a purist it doesn't really -- it can't be on the list of basic words. Also, cocksucker is a compound word and neither half of that is really dirty. The word -- the half sucker that's merely suggestive (laughter) and the word cock is a half-way dirty word, 50% dirty -- dirty half the time, depending on what you mean by it. (laughter) Uh, remember when you first heard it, like in 6th grade, you used to giggle. And the cock crowed three times, heh (laughter) the cock -- three times. It's in the Bible, cock in the Bible. (laughter) And the first time you heard about a cock-fight, remember -- What? Huh? naw. It ain't that, are you stupid? man. (laughter, clapping) It's chickens, you know, (laughter) Then you have the four letter words from the old Anglo-Saxon fame. Uh, shit and fuck. The word shit, uh, is an interesting kind of word in that the middle class has never really accepted it and approved it. They use it like, crazy but it's not really okay. It's still a rude, dirty, old kind of gushy word. (laughter) They don't like that, but they say it, like, they say it like, a lady now in a middle-class home, you'll hear most of the time she says it as an expletive, you know, it's out of her mouth before she knows. She says, Oh shit oh shit, (laughter) oh shit. If she drops something, Oh, the shit hurt the broccoli. Shit. Thank you. (footsteps fading away) (papers ruffling)
Read it! (from audience)
Shit! (laughter) I won the Grammy, man, for the comedy album. Isn't that groovy? (clapping, whistling) (murmur) That's true. Thank you. Thank you man. Yeah. (murmur) (continuous clapping) Thank you man. Thank you. Thank you very much, man. Thank, no, (end of continuous clapping) for that and for the Grammy, man, [']cause (laughter) that's based on people liking it man, yeh, that's ah, that's okay man. (laughter) Let's let that go, man. I got my Grammy. I can let my hair hang down now, shit. (laughter) Ha! So! Now the word shit is okay for the man. At work you can say it like crazy. Mostly figuratively, Get that shit out of here, will ya? I don't want to see that shit anymore. I can't cut that shit, buddy. I've had that shit up to here. I think you're full of shit myself. (laughter) He don't know shit from Shinola. (laughter) you know that? (laughter) Always wondered how the Shinola people feel about that (laughter) Hi, I'm the new man from Shinola. (laughter) Hi, how are ya? Nice to see ya. (laughter) How are ya? (laughter) Boy, I don't know whether to shit or wind my watch. (laughter) Guess, I'll shit on my watch. (laughter) Oh, the shit is going to hit de fan. (laughter) Built like a brick shit-house. (laughter) Up, he's up shit's creek. (laughter) He's had it. (laughter) He hit me, I'm sorry. (laughter) Hot shit, holy shit, tough shit, eat shit, (laughter) shit-eating grin. Uh, whoever thought of that was ill. (murmur laughter) He had a shit-eating grin! He had a what? (laughter) Shit on a stick. (laughter) Shit in a handbag. I always like that. He ain't worth shit in a handbag. (laughter) Shitty. He acted real shitty. (laughter) You know what I mean? (laughter) I got the money back, but a real shitty attitude. Heh, he had a shit-fit. (laughter) Wow! Shit-fit. Whew! Glad I wasn't there. (murmur, laughter) All the animals -- Bull shit, horse shit, cow shit, rat shit, bat shit. (laughter) First time I heard bat shit, I really came apart. A guy in Oklahoma, Boggs, said it, man. Aw! Bat shit. (laughter) Vera reminded me of that last night, ah (murmur). Snake shit, slicker than owl shit. (laughter) Get your shit together. Shit or get off the pot. (laughter) I got a shit-load full of them. (laughter) I got a shit-pot full, all right. Shit-head, shit-heel, shit in your heart, shit for brains, (laughter) shit-face, heh (laughter) I always try to think how that could have originated; the first guy that said that. Somebody got drunk and fell in some shit, you know. (laughter) Hey, I'm shit-face. (laughter) Shitface, today. (laughter) Anyway, enough of that shit. (laughter) The big one, the word fuck that's the one that hangs them up the most. [']Cause in a lot of cases that's the very act that hangs them up the most. So, it's natural that the word would, uh, have the same effect. It's a great word, fuck, nice word, easy word, cute word, kind of. Easy word to say. One syllable, short u. (laughter) Fuck. (Murmur) You know, it's easy. Starts with a nice soft sound fuh ends with a kuh. Right? (laughter) A little something for everyone. Fuck (laughter) Good word. Kind of a proud word, too. Who are you? I am FUCK. (laughter) FUCK OF THE MOUNTAIN. (laughter) Tune in again next week to FUCK OF THE MOUNTAIN. (laughter) It's an interesting word too, [']cause it's got a double kind of a life -- personality -- dual, you know, whatever the right phrase is. It leads a double life, the word fuck. First of all, it means, sometimes, most of the time, fuck. What does it mean? It means to make love. Right? We're going to make love, yeh, we're going to fuck, yeh, we're going to fuck, yeh, we're going to make love. (laughter) we're really going to fuck, yeah, we're going to make love. Right? And it also means the beginning of life, it's the act that begins life, so there's the word hanging around with words like love, and life, and yet on the other hand, it's also a word that we really use to hurt each other with, man. It's a heavy. It's one that you have toward the end of the argument. (laughter) Right? (laughter) You finally can't make out. Oh, fuck you man. I said, fuck you. (laughter, murmur) Stupid fuck. (laughter) Fuck you and everybody that looks like you. (laughter) man. It would be nice to change the movies that we already have and substitute the word fuck for the word kill, wherever we could, and some of those movie cliches would change a little bit. Madfuckers still on the loose. Stop me before I fuck again. Fuck the ump, fuck the ump, fuck the ump, fuck the ump, fuck the ump. Easy on the clutch Bill, you'll fuck that engine again. (laughter) The other shit one was, I don't give a shit. Like it's worth something, you know? (laughter) I don't give a shit. Hey, well, I don't take no shit, (laughter) you know what I mean? You know why I don't take no shit? (laughter) [']Cause I don't give a shit. (laughter) If I give a shit, I would have to pack shit. (laughter) But I don't pack no shit cause I don't give a shit. (laughter) You wouldn't shit me, would you? (laughter) That's a joke when you're a kid with a worm looking out the bird's ass. You wouldn't shit me, would you? (laughter) It's an eight-year-old joke but a good one. (laughter) The additions to the list. I found three more words that had to be put on the list of words you could never say on television, and they were fart, turd and twat, those three. (laughter) Fart, we talked about, it's harmless It's like tits, it's a cutie word, no problem. Turd, you can't say but who wants to, you know? (laughter) The subject never comes up on the panel so I'm not worried about that one. Now the word twat is an interesting word. Twat! Yeh, right in the twat. (laughter) Twat is an interesting word because it's the only one I know of, the only slang word applying to the, a part of the sexual anatomy that doesn't have another meaning to it. Like, ah, snatch, box and pussy all have other meanings, man. Even in a Walt Disney movie, you can say, We're going to snatch that pussy and put him in a box and bring him on the airplane. (murmur, laughter) Everybody loves it. The twat stands alone, man, as it should. And two-way words. Ah, ass is okay providing you're riding into town on a religious feast day. (laughter) You can't say, up your ass. (laughter) You can say, stuff it! (murmur) There are certain things you can say its weird but you can just come so close. Before I cut, I, uh, want to, ah, thank you for listening to my words, man, fellow, uh space travelers. Thank you man for tonight and thank you also. (clapping whistling)

The Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV
by George Carlin

I love words. I thank you for hearing my words. I want to tell you something about words that I think is important. They're my work, they're my play, they're my passion.

Words are all we have, really. We have thoughts but thoughts are fluid, then we assign a word to a thought and we're stuck with that word for that thought, so be careful with words. I like to think that the same words that hurt can heal, it is a matter of how you pick them.

There are some people that are not into all the words.
There are some that would have you not use certain words. There are 400,000 words in the English language and there are 7 of them you can't say on television. What a ratio that is. 399,993 to 7. They must really be bad. They'd have to be outrageous to be separated from a group that large. All of you over here, you 7, Bad Words. That's what they told us they were, remember? "That's a bad word!" No bad words, bad thoughts, bad intentions, and words.

You know the 7, don't you, that you can't say on television? "Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits" Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that'll infect your soul, curve your spine, and keep the country from winning the war. "Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, CockSucker, MotherFucker, and Tits" Wow! ...and Tits doesn't even belong on the list. That is such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname, right? "Hey, Tits, come here, man. Hey Tits, meet Toots. Toots, Tits. Tits, Toots." It sounds like a snack, doesn't it? Yes, I know, it is a snack. I don't mean your sexist snack. I mean New Nabisco Tits!, and new Cheese Tits, Corn Tits, Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits, Onion Tits, Tater Tits. "Betcha Can't Eat Just One."

That's true. I usually switch off. But I mean, that word does not belong on the list. Actually none of the words belong on the list, but you can understand why some of them are there. I'm not
completely insensitive to people's feelings. I can understand why some of those words got on the list, like Cocksucker and Motherfucker. Those are heavyweight words. There is a lot going on
there. Besides the literal translation and the emotional feeling. I mean, they're just busy words. There's a lot of syllables to contend with. And those Ks, those are aggressive sounds. They just jump out at you like "cocksucker, motherfucker. cocksucker, motherfucker." It's like an assault on you.

We mentioned Shit earlier, and 2 of the other 4-letter Anglo-Saxon words are Piss and Cunt, which go together of course. A little accidental humor there. The reason that Piss and Cunt are on the list is because a long time ago, there were certain ladies that said "Those are the 2 I am not going to say. I don't mind Fuck and Shit but 'P' and 'C' are out.", which led to such stupid sentences as "Okay you fuckers, I'm going to tinkle now." And, of course, the word Fuck. I don't really, well that's more accidental humor, I don't wanna get into that now because I think it takes to long. But I do mean that. I think the word Fuck is a very important word. It is the beginning of life, yet it is a word we use to hurt one another quite often.

People much wiser than I am said, "I'd rather have my son watch a film with 2 people making love than 2 people trying to kill one another. I, of course, can agree. It is a great sentence. I wish I knew who said it first. I agree with that but I like to take it a step further. I'd like to substitute the word Fuck for the word Kill in all of those movie cliches we grew up with. "Okay, Sheriff, we're gonna Fuck you now, but we're gonna Fuck you slow." So maybe next year I'll have a whole fuckin' ramp on the N word.

I hope so. Those are the 7 you can never say on television, under any circumstances. You just cannot say them ever ever ever. Not even clinically. You cannot weave them in on the panel with Doc, and Ed, and Johnny. I mean, it is just impossible. Forget those 7. They're out.

But there are some 2-way words, those double-meaning words. Remember the ones you giggled at in sixth grade? "...And the cock CROWED 3 times" "Hey, tha cock CROWED 3 times. ha ha ha ha. Hey, it's in the Bible. ha ha ha ha. There are some 2-way words, like it is okay for Curt Gowdy to say "Roberto Clemente has 2 balls on him.", but he can't say "I think he hurt his balls on that play, Tony. Don't you? He's holding them. He must've hurt them, by God."

And the other 2-way word that goes with that one is Prick. It's okay if it happens to your finger. You can prick your finger but don't finger your prick. No, no.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quitting smoking

As I write I am finishing off what will be my last pack of cigarettes.

First thing in the morning I am going straight to the the pharmacy where a package of Nicotrol Inhaler will be waiting for me. I know it will work because I have used it before, and because I am as thoroughly disgusted with smoking as I ever have been.

I first dabbled in smoking in high school, but it was not until college, when I came across a coupon for a free pack of Camel Lights, that I was hooked. That went on until February 2000, when I got to thinking, I was getting too old to be smoking anymore, and I didn't really like it that much anyway, so I tried the inhaler. It worked, and I was glad.

But last year, over the course of getting divorced and being in less-than-good company, I slipped. I figured, I could just smoke while I partied that one night, and nothing would happen. And rush of pleasurable brain chemicals was brief, but once I remembered the way it felt sneaking a smoke in high school.

I knew I was wrong about being able to just have a few cigarettes when the seven-years-dormant nicotine craving came back with a vengeance the next morning. Before I knew it, I was at the store buying a pack. I was hooked once more, and too distracted to be reminded of what a nasty habit smoking is, what a twisted, dissatisfying waste of money it is, how stupid it is. It was in the back of my mind, sure, but I guess the prominence of other problems in my life at the time let me ignore all that.

But now that my problems are manageable, my eyes are once more wide open to the fact that there ain't anything good about smoking. I don't like the way being a nicotine junkie makes me feel weak, I don't like having to buy cigarettes, I don't like the way they smell, I don't like anything about smoking.

I have considered the possibility that I could meet someone new, and they might like everything about me, but figuratively cross me off their potential friend list just because I smoke. Let there be no misunderstanding: I am quitting for MYSELF, and that is the only reason I need. But if quitting smoking turns out to open up new set of possibilities for me, then so be it!

And of course there are two more very precious reasons to quit...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Haircut boy lives!

Spent time today with my barber and although it had been awhile since I saw him last, I am going to make a point to not let so much time pass before the next time.

My barber is one of a dying breed, literally. He's what I consider the "old man and a chair" type barber that is getting hard to find these days. In the early 1990s he did take steps toward becoming a modern salon, such as adding a head sink, use of conditioner and selling hair care products, but the reasons I see him have have remained unchanged.

He does a damn good job, for one. You can walk in there, never having seen him before, tell him give me a good haircut, and leave with what very likely is the best haircut you've ever had. I found that out because that is what I told him at the tail-end of my wannabe hippy days/daze and I walked out of there feeling better and dare I say, dignified.

Another is, he takes his time and only sees one person at a time. No codgers hanging out not getting a haircut, no TV, the phone hardly ever rings, it's just you and him. He isn't cheap, but is reasonable. When I pay him, I always think of a sign I saw years ago in front of a different salon: "We fix $6 haircuts--$10."

I also like seeing my barber for more personal reasons, such as the fact that he's originally from my town, knows a lot of the same people I know, is aware of what is going on in town, and even though there have been times when I went a year or more without a haircut, he remembers what we talked about last time and what we didn't talk about. Today, he asked about my mother, my dad and my brother. But even though I am pretty sure he knows I got my ass divorced a little while ago, he said not one word about it. Not that I would have minded him asking, but the fact that he didn't bring it up speaks volumes about the kind of person he is.

Now that haircut boy lives again, I'll just hafta shoot a new profile pic...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A gas rant

Although for all my adult life we as Americans have been able to practically ignore the price of gasoline as it affects our daily lives, we can't do it any more, can we? $4 a gallon has a way of getting our attention whether we like it or not. And while I don't like it either, I am not going to bitch about it, not just because I can't do anything about it, but also because we knew this day was coming.

But thinking back, we ought to have known this day was coming since the so-called Arab oil embargo of 1973. As retaliation for our nation's support of Israel, Arab nations drastically reduced their crude oil shipments to remind us of the power they had (and still have) over us because we built our economy on cheap gas. Sure, some of us responded by buying Ford Pintos, Chevy Vegas, and introduced ourselves to Datsun and Toyota, but before long, the crisis passed and most of us went right back to driving Oldsmobuicks. But the oil-rich nations knew they had us, and they did not forget it.

I am not quite old enough to really remember the 1973 oil embargo firsthand, but I can remember the next time we got bent over the gas pump, in 1979 and 1980. The nation was beset by inflation at the time, which oil states saw as a perfect opportunity to remind us how dependent we were on them. Again we were shocked at the price of gas, and bitched loudly, but other than some gas stations selling gas by the liter to ease the harsh reality, and a brief return to more fuel-efficient cars, we did nothing about it.

Their experience with piece-of-shit American cars, and their memories of being bent over at the pump influenced my parents to buy a Honda Accord in 1985. It got 40 miles to the gallon, never broke down, and is fondly remembered by my mother as her most favorite car ever. Around that same time, more and more of our nation's drivers were also discovering the joys of owning a fuel-efficient, well-built import.

I was driving the time the next time gas prices got our attention, but it was in a good way. When I graduated high school in 1985, gas was well over $1 a gallon. In 1987, the price one point that year, I distinctly remember paying 74 cents a gallon to fill the 10.5 gallon tank of my Volkswagen that year. Compared with inflated prices of everything else up to that time, that made gas about as cheap as it ever had been. In the years that passed, gas went up, back down, up again, on and on. But the one constant was that the price of fuel was not a concern for anyone who could afford a car.

That scenario continued unabated clear through to the late 1990s, when a phenomenon I still don't fully understand took hold of the car-buying public. The so-called sport-utility vehicle, which had been around for 25 or 30 years, gained popularity as a sensible choice of transportation. I heard it from so many people I know who had/still have one: it has so much room! it's so comfortable! I like sitting up high while I drive, it's big and I feel safer! Nobody seemed to care that SUVs got crappy gas mileage, being trucks with more steel and interior. Meanwhile sales of smaller, more sensible cars languished, even though they still suited the realistic transportation needs of the vast majority of drivers.

The next chorus of gas price bitching I remember was around the time when Hurricane Katrina disrupted the Southeast's fuel supply system. Admittedly, that was a temporary situation, but it turned out to be a wakeup call that nobody wanted to answer until now. Also around that time, the gas-electric car finally started being bought in number, but not really enough to make much difference. People's opinions were usually something like: yeah, it's good on gas, but it's kinda funny looking, it's small, and I just wouldn't want to be seen driving something like that. But now we are at the point where not so many of us can afford to buy a car based on how it looks or how we see it as an extension of our persona, and guess what? If you want one of those hybrids, you have stand in line to get one, and pay whatever price the dealer thinks they can get.

There are people who think that gas prices will eventually come back down, and based on the last 35 years of history, prices probably will come down some. But since our economy and society is still based on cheap gas, isn't it about time we quit bitching and did something about it once and for all?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Videos, again

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) Savor the sex scene which opens this one (featuring Marisa Tomei and Phillip Seymour Hoffman) because it's about all the happiness you'll see. The plot is built around a robbery gone wrong, apparent from the second scene, but just how wrong, you'll not know until it's over. Got the Oscar for best screenplay, and it's not hard to see why. Four stars out of four.

Charlie Wilson's War (2007) A carousing but socially-aware Texas Congressman (Tom Hanks) is unable to ignore the 1980 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and uses his connections to get something done about it. The lead character is likable (hey it is a Tom Hanks role!) and solid performances from supporting cast members Julia Roberts and Phillip Seymour Hoffman bolster him and the plot to keep the story from being a documentary or seeming preachy. Three stars.

Friday, June 6, 2008

How my garden grows

Ever since I was a little kid I have been involved in growing a garden. There was a time in my 20s when I was too cool and too busy to be gardening, but not long after I bought my house 10 years ago I got back into gardening and have not looked back.

Tomatoes are the main crop, and what many find funny is, I don't even like them that much! I mean, I like them all right on a sandwich, or chopped and added to a stew or pot of spaghetti, and they go quite well with Mexican food. But there are a whole lot of folks who like tomatoes way more than me. So part of it is that I just like growing stuff! And let me tell you, the dark alluvial soil in back yard will grow the SHIT out of some tomatoes.

I have always liked doing nice things for the people around me, so my passion for gardening means that a bunch of people get loaded down with very fresh ripe tomatoes starting in early-to-mid July. Some of those people I know; others I don't, but each and every time I give, I get to see them smile because they just got something for free that can't be bought. I take tomatoes to the folks at the senior citizens' center my grandmother visits, and when I come, she makes sure to exclaim to several people loading up, "He's my grandson, you know!" Other times, especially when the crop is at its heaviest, I give two or three to my pizza delivery customers if they say yes when I ask if they like tomatoes (most do). It's one thing to be glad to get you pizza, and quite another to get something you weren't expected. Their smiles have been known to put an end to otherwise crappy night on the job for me. Sometimes, on subsequent deliveries to the same folks weeks of months later, they remark how much they liked those tomatoes, did I grow them, or "Hey! You're the guy that brings tomatoes!"

Several times over the years I've had people say I should sell tomatoes. I always tell them it just wouldn't be the same.

The third week of April this year I put out 48 plants, evenly divided between the Celebrity and Better Boy varieties. Celebrity is a newer hybrid variety with good tasting medium-sized fruits, and it resists nematodes and most every blight and wilt that afflicts other varities. Better Boy is a tried-and-true older hybrid variety that makes medium to large fruits with very good flavor. Also it is an indeterminate variety, which means it keeps growing and blooming until cold weather kills the plants. Where I live, translates to fresh tomatoes until Halloween!

Elsewhere in the yard, I have 14 hot pepper plants (12 jalapenoes and 2 habaneros) two white seedless grape vines, 5 plum trees, one big blueberry bush and several wee ones (those were just planted last year) some thornless blackberries, and a few raspberries. My children will eat every last one of the berries, and I always let them!

New this year is a stand of gourds, 'birdhouse' gourds to be exact, for which I used posts and reinforcing wire to erect a trellis. I am not sure what I am going to do with the gourds come harvest time, a few birdhouses I guess?? Crafters love them for decorating and a painting medium, so I've read, so perhaps I'll let them dry out and try and sell some on ebay? Ever since I went out last year and picked up a trash bag full of pine cones (the great big longleaf pine cones) put those on ebay and sold them to a very grateful woman in Missouri, I have been curious about what else that costs me nothing has somebody looking for it. After all there was the time a dude in Colorado paid me money for 24 empty beer bottles, but I did have to buy those first.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Showing off my kids

Those with children will agree, there is no excuse needed to show off pictures. So I'll not try and make up one! Here's Griffin and Carlie, first from last weekend, then there's other pics in various developmental stages.

Here goes!

This is to start the new blog of Rob Strickland...I had one elsewhere and will get things going by transferring the content here (I hope) Those wondering about my nick should know that while many think it something dirty, it's really a joke about the carpet in my bedroom when I was in first grade...tall shag carpet.

Those who have read me before, it's good you found the new one; those who haven't read me, well, now you can!

I have always liked expressing myself in writing, and I don't expect that to ever change. But just as much, I like hearing from people, too, about anything from the sublime to the ridiculous.

I don't have a cell phone

I guess I am just about the only person my age I know who doesn't have a cell phone. And I don't want one.

When exchanging contact info with friends and people I have just met, they reflexively ask what the number to my cell is...and I tell them there is none. Often that statement is met with near-disbelief, and other times it gets me a look they probably reserve for second-class citizens. But sometimes they ask, "Why don't you have one?'

I tell them one reason is, that I have noticed when I am with a friend who has a cell, many if not most of the calls they get are from someone they don't want to talk to. "But Rob," the reply usually goes, "you can just not answer if you don't want to talk." But to me, seeing someone calling when I don't feel like talking is just as much aggravation as actually having to talk. And besides that, they just keep calling back if the person doesn't answer.

Another reason I don't have a cell is that I just don't need one. I have a phone at my house and when I am not there, callers can leave me a message. I don't buy the notion that everyone has to be accessible and/or able to call anytime. Which usually is met with, "But Rob, what if your car breaks down, or what if you need to call somebody while you're away from home?"

From age 17 to 34, I owned several old VW Beetles, and while I loved driving them, they were old and breaking down/getting stranded was just part of relying on them as my main mode of transportation. That part of being a Bug man I did not like, but you know what? I was never stranded for long, because I always caught a ride for help, or walked to a store or public phone and called someone, or more than a few times, just walked to the nearest house and asked to use their phone. I met some very nice people that way.

And how many people have you known that got a cell "for emergencies" and wound up using it all the damn time, for everything BUT emergencies, then bitched about the bill?

The most personal reason I don't have a cell phone is one not easily described, but one to which every cell user I know can relate to one degree or another. There is a sense of freedom and quiet that comes with being out and about, that time is MINE. And I'll not be robbed of it by somebody calling, wanting to know did I watch My Name is Earl last night.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Nothing in particular

Apr 28, 2008 8:41 pm43 Views
Don't like to go more than a month without posting SOMETHING, and since I've not been spurred lately with any particular motivation or line of thought, I'll keep the blog going best I can.

Highlight of the past month was a trip south to meet someone with whom I shared a point of view online, and sure enough, it extended in person. I just was glad to get out of the house with a purpose, and the affirmation of able to relate well with someone new was treat unto itself.

Around the house since last I posted, I got all 48 of my tomato plants, and 21 pepper plants, put out and mulched just in time for the spring rains. They'll make a near-insane amount of produce until it frosts, which I give away to all my friends and family, the folks at the senior citizens center my grandmother visits, and to my pizza delivery customers. It makes me grin to see someone gladder to get three or four absolutely fresh Better Boy and/or Celebrity tomatoes, than they were their pizza. The folks at the senior citizens center, eyes glowing like a little kid's at Christmas, tell me I'll be blessed, and I believe them.

To feed and nurture my off-kilter sense of humor I have remained a faithful online reader of The Onion. Even after all these years it still cracks me up, every time. One of these days I'm going to break down and get some T-shirts from them, featuring jokes that not everybody gets. In particular I like the one that proclaims, in cursive script, "I'm getting pretty good at masturbating." Perhaps I could wear it when I shoot a new profile pic?

The so-called 'economic stimulus' check will be arriving soon, and since it's my patriotic duty to spend it, I will...I have had my eye on a Canon digital Rebel camera so that's probably where it will go. I still have the film Rebel from my days at the newspaper, complete with the Canon 28-80 lens I added back when I couldn't really afford it. The new camera can use it and the flash I already have, which is nice, although it presents a dilemma. A digital Rebel, body only, goes for about $500 online...or I can trudge to Wal-Mart, spend that same $500 and get the camera complete with a big zoom lens. I guess more for your money is a nice problem to have.

Oh well...perhaps not the most interesting or thought-provoking blog post, but ye few readers can't say I didn't try LOL.

More on video

Mar 24, 2008 4:07 pm76 Views
Gone Baby Gone (2007) A little girl is abducted from her less-than-perfect mama and swept away into the shadows of Boston. While that's bad enough, private investigators brought in to find her discover that it's worse. Suspense, emotion, action and vilification...a lot going on here. Three stars.

The Assassination of Jesse James (2007) A long, drawn-out look at the end of the America's most legendary criminal, portrayed this time by Brad Pitt. Based a book from 24 years ago, this film has traditional Western action, with a slow-burning plot, and a brooding score by Nick Cave.Three stars, with half a star deducted for the movie being about 30 minutes longer than it needed to be.

The Brave One (2007) A talk radio host (Jodie Foster) is found by trouble and revisits her trauma upon those who have it coming. Her case winds up in the hands of a detective (Terence Howard) who knows more than he'll let on.I first saw this type revenge tale in 1972's Death Wish, and the plot has a few holes in it, but was still a good watch and not completely predictable. Plus, it's a lot more interesting watching Foster as the lead instead of Charles Bronson.Two and a half stars.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007) I started out laughing at a subculture I never knew existed: those obsessed with who has the top score at Donkey Kong. But before long, I was drawn into the evolving human drama this documentary portrays.It took me back to high school, when video games were the hottest thing going, and reminded me of being too preoccupied back then to go chasing after girls!Three stars, with quarters burning a hole in my pocket.

Video picks

Mar 12, 2008 3:25 pm85 Views
Some of these have been out for a while, but seeing as how movies on video are what passes for entertainment around my house, I thought I might as well parlay my rentals into even more entertainment on here.

Into the Wild (2007) The story of Chris McCandless, a college graduate who took it upon himself to look for himself, and look for America, making his way hitching and working his way to Alaska. I knew how this would end, having read about this cat in 1992, when I also happened to be in Alaska. But it was still a great story, since it told all he went through getting there...idealism, realism, and everything in between. The best segment, to me, was the shortest, in which he spends time with Hal Holdbrook's character in Death Valley. Four stars out of check this one out.

1408 (2007) A writer who makes his living penning accounts of the paranormal, in which he stridently disbelieves, is put to the test in a NYC hotel room that is just plain evil. Good combination of effects, suspense and action, and better-than-average adaptation of the Stephen King book. Three stars.

Stardust (2007) Normally I tire quickly of this type fantasy film, but based on the good review from Ebert and Roeper, I went for it, and I was glad I did. Good witches, bad witches, fairies, heroes, villains, God, the devil...will existence be saved or snuffed? Packed with movie stars, too, so this one is great even if you don't believe in any of that kind of fantasy crap. Three stars.

Michael Clayton (2007) This story, built around self-conscious lawyer played by George Clooney, pretty much has it all when it comes to big business doing as it likes in pursuit on the almighty dollar. That type story has been told onscreen countless times, but I was never sure quite what was going to happen with this one, right up to the very last scene. If you like drama, you won't want to miss this one. Four stars.

American Gangster (2007) Based on the true story of a street criminal (Denzel Washington) who notches up his aspirations and violence to the highest level, eventually drawing the attention of an honest but troubled cop (Russell Crowe) in late 60s Harlem. It would be hard to imagine two better-characterized leads, since you get back-stories showing the good and bad sides of them both. Four stars.

Things We Lost in the Fire (2007) A look at the cover says this one is about characters played by Halle Berry and Benecio Del Toro, and it is, but he overshadows her from the start. Her family is visited by tragedy, apparent from the start since the story is told out-of-sequence. With time it's made clear that he has trouble of his own making, and needs help getting out of it. Things do get better, but nobody gets to live happily ever after. Three stars (with one star deducted for the at-times-overwrought performance by Berry.)

No Country for Old Men (2007) The Coen brothers first got my attention with Barton Fink and hooked me with Fargo so I knew this one was going to be good. It did take Best Picture, after all.But after watching, I struggle for a description. It probably is the best movie of 2007, but what it's best at, would be hard to say.A satchel of found dirty money in the Texas desert gets things going, and when the closest character to a hero tries to do right, the plot is thrown into overdrive. And you won't see the ending coming. Four stars, though you might want to bathe after watching.

Wild horses

Mar 3, 2008 5:55 am106 Views
In the midst of converting from VHS to DVD more of my collection of live music from TV, from 1994 came Gavin Rossdale (voice of the band Bush, spouse of Gwen Stefani) covering a Rolling Stones song on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. I've been a Stones fan since I strayed from my parents' record collection, so I've heard the original version about 1,047 times. But the cover brought out a whole other aspect of the song; he rendered it so that all the overtones of longing, regret and letting go were brought home to me at once.

First verse--longing
Second verse--regret
Third verse (note it's the shortest)--letting go
I even wrote down the guitar music to it, knowing full well I've only myself as an audience for now. the past, I have seen and not quite understood the point of others' use of lyrics in a blog post...but I get it now.

Wild Horses (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards 1971)
Childhood living is easy to do
The things that you wanted, I bought them for you
Graceless lady, you know who I am
You know I can't let you slide from my hand
Wild horses couldn't drive me away
Wild, wild horses couldn't drive me away

I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you've decided to show me the same
No sweeping exits or offstage lights
Can make me feel better or treat you unkind
Wild horses couldn't drive me away
Wild, wild horses couldn't drive me away

Faith has been broken, tears must be cried
Let's do some living after we die
Wild wild horses couldn't drag me away
Wild, wild wild horses we'll ride them someday


Mar 3, 2008 3:53 am114 Views
It was all right the first couple of times, but it wasn't long before shaving my face got to be a figurative pain in the ass.

First welcomed as a rite of passage into male adulthood, putting a razor onto my shaving-creamed face and gently dragging it around until my face was smooth quickly got to be drag, literally."Yeah, I guess", I told those who said I looked better with a fresh shave. In my younger days, I saw shaving as a silly bow to generally accepted social preferences. Later, it was a concession made in the name of looking my best. Nowadays, I shave just enough to keep from looking homeless. In the near future, I envision keeping on shaving to look younger. Then there is the fact that the longest-lived gray hairs all live on my face, and they are multiplying. I need a shave right now, as a matter of fact.

So what kind of rap can I get, regarding preferences of a man's shaven face? And for anyone who was drawn in by the subject line...yeah just my face. Trimmed elsewhere for all-day comfort and proper ventilation in hot weather. Although, other thoughts on shaving are welcome.

Sherri Jackson, Robin Meade, talk dirty to me!

Feb 19, 2008 8:27 am118 Views
All right, I am big into the news, so who better to pine for babes who read the news? First for me is Sherri Jackson she is an on-air personality for WIAT 42 in Birmingham and DAMN she is hot...I have been watching her for years and she just stays hot as hell...I don't usually get 'that way' over black girls but Sherry would catch my eye even if she was purple, for crying out loud. It doesn't say it on her bio, but Sherri can also sing the blues like you wouldn't believe.

Reigning over cable news babe-land is Robin Meade, the good morning sunshine on CNN, who reached me by getting knocked up and staying on TV looking hot the whole time. Just this very morning, I sighed over her her glowy smile and shinily shaven legs, knowing she's a mama...ahhhhh. Oh well, no particular point to this post, other than to call attention to a couple of news babes I dig.

p.s. whatever happened to Rudi Bakhtiar?

Do's and Don'ts for the Perfect Date

Feb 9, 2008 1:04 am147 Views
OK, I'll just go on and admit that I stole this from a female profile full of things I really liked reading. It gave me a reason to believe! My additions and comments are in bold. Feel free to add your own comments or other interjections as you see fit.

Dos And Don'ts For The Perfect Date

1. It's okay to suggest a drink instead of dinner for a first date. She dreads a boring four-course ordeal, too.
Having been out of the dating world for, oh, 13 or 14 years, that revelation is a RELIEF.

2. Call her by early evening on Monday to confirm a Tuesday get-together. (Weekends aren't for first dates.)
Agree on both.

3. Leave your home and work numbers. No home number and she'll assume you have a wife or girlfriend.
I'll give you my home number because hardly anyone calls me! And you'd call my work number only if you wanted to order pizza LOL

4. If you want to keep the plans a surprise, at least clue her in as to what to wear. You do not want an overdressed, overstressed woman navigating the Talladega pits in high heels.
I positively LOVE surprising a date with my date plans. Gets me excited, just thinking about the ways I could demonstrate my coolness to someone who doesn't yet know me that well. But having been in the pits at Talladega Superspeedway for my old job, I can say that not only would she not have any trouble navigating, she'd be lavished with attention.

5. Yes, she'll notice if the date location you've chosen is conveniently around the block from your place.
Well yeah, sure. But if she digs you, will it really matter?

6. Don't assume that just because you're out with a beautiful woman, she knows how pretty she looks -- she wants to hear it from you.
Mmmm, that borders on dirty talk to me. Telling a date how hot she looks is foreplay for foreplay, so to speak.

7. Ask if she's too cold or too warm, and if changing the temperature is in your power, fix it.
Men love being masters of their domain.

8. Men judge women according to whether they can picture having sex with them; women judge men by whether they can imagine kissing them. White teeth, fresh breath, and unchapped lips make her more apt to pucker up.
Agreed. There's a much more intimate and explicit extension of this logic but I'll leave it to the more imaginative dirty minds.

9. Do not ask her, "So, what kind of music do you like?" The last 25 guys asked that. Be original.
Not even I have been out of the dating world long enough to forget that originality is tantamount to an aphrodisiac.

10. She loves when you insist on ordering dessert. Sharing = extra sexy.
Isn't that kind of move in some cutesy Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie??? LOL But I'll keep it in mind.

11. Tip well: Grab the check, mentally divide the bill by 10, double that number, and throw down the tip. Do it quickly but casually. Believe me, she'll be watching.
Since I work for tips, this one is instinctive and I don't care if she is watching, or not.

12. If she touches your arm, she's interested; if she touches your leg, she's interested tonight. soon can I line up THAT kind of date???

13. When in doubt, hold her hand.
I wonder if that still holds true when either or both daters are 40, but I'll take your word for it.

14. Very small protective gestures go a long way and show her you're a gentleman: Offer your arm as she's stepping from a curb, direct her away from shards of broken glass aka Say Anything. She'll notice if you wait until she's safely in her car or house before you leave. Wait the extra 90 seconds, and next time you might be going in with her.
Would pistol-whipping the asshole guy who grabs her ass or catcalls her be a little much? JUST KIDDING!!!!

15. She expects you to know her eye color after the first date.
If a man doesn't know her eye color, it's a safe bet he isn't interested in a second date.

16. Women need momentum -- without it, they lose interest or wonder if you have. Momentum = a minimum of one date a week, plus a couple of phone calls in between.
Again, I have not forgotten that despite anything they say or do, women like to know they are at or near the center of a man's universe. Otherwise they are easily gravitated elsewhere.

17. She knows that when you invite her over for a homemade meal or to watch a movie, it's code for "tonight is hook-up night." Don't play this card any earlier than date three.
I get off on making a woman dinner while she watches, and I love the feeling that comes with showing her a great movie she's never heard of. And that is true even if that's as far as things go. But I really appreciate the heads-up! LOL

18. A Friday or Saturday night is required by date four. Otherwise, she'll wonder who else you're seeing.
I'll hafta take your word on that one.

19. Rule of Groping: If anything happens that couldn't be shown on prime-time TV, call her the next day. Otherwise, she'll feel cheap and used.
I've been hip to this one since high school, with a slight twist: If y'all did anything to get you hard, and her wet, you better treat her like it went all the way.

20. Don't say, "I'll call you," if you have no intention to. She'd prefer that you say nothing at all.
What kind of shit-ass dude do you think I am??? LOL

Can't help but

Feb 9, 2008 12:05 am137 Views
I know that I hurt from being divorced...but...I am already willing to risk getting hurt again for the chance of being happy again.

There's no doubt I tell more than I should about myself and my feelings to people I have never met...but...I do it anyway because I want it known who I am and why I am.

I am aware of the fact I could leave out a lot about myself, that I could present myself in a calculated way, that I could tell people what I know they want to hear and have a stack of sex-ploits to talk about....but...I would rather be me and hope for the best.

I know of men my age who delight in playing emotional games in order to get laid, and that they don't have to put a lot of effort into it...but...I am not put together that way.

I have always read and been told that there are women who appreciate and desire a man who thinks and acts with a sense of moral right...but...I have yet to ever meet any of them.

Let me see your ID

Feb 2, 2008 3:23 pm143 Views
Buying my usual post-work package of adult beverages last night at the grocery store I use every day, a new teenish girl was running the register and she asked me for my ID! I was at first incredulous, then felt myself glow when I realized that she was serious. I brought out my wallet and said, aw you made my night, girl, I have 20 years to spare being old enough to buy beer, but I felt like kissing her on the MOUTH. lol I realize the store clerks are trained to ask for ID when a customer appears under 30, but still! That means she actually thought I wasn't 30! I went home feeling like I was hot shit.Is there any other small pleasure that could make a person feel better than that? If there is I want to know about it!

Getting my ass divorced

Jan 31, 2008 2:29 pm202 Views
Spent the morning at the courthouse settling up and getting divorced. My ex filed last April so it was about time this got over with...and now it is. Now I'm waiting for the reality to sick in. Here I am posting about it, but I would SO much rather be explaining my situation up close to someone else, if you know what I mean.

Tell me about your Internet meets

Jan 16, 2008 12:14 am170 Views
For no particular reason I wonder tonight, what stories ye few blog readers may have to tell about meeting people you 'met' over the Internet. More specifically...I mean, tell me about how things have gone, meeting in persons with whom who first made contact online.

I want to hear whatever y'all have to say, the good meets where the person was everything you hoped; the creep-outs where the person had all the personality of the cushion of your computer chair; and the ho-hum, just-kinda-there meets. Now I know about the vagaries of the human condition and how interpersonal relationships vary with the personalities involved, and all that. What I want to hear about is, how has it gone for you, meeting people online? Is it any better or worse than meeting the old-timey ways? Were you better off trying to 'get to know' somebody online? Or would you have done just as well half-drunk, hitting on an attractive someone in a bar? Did you find someone online with whom you could click? Or would things have gone just as good (or bad) being fixed up by friends or meeting at a party?

I attach no particular meaningful insight to this post; I was just wondering.

Me and Alaska

Dec 29, 2007 12:34 am165 Views
As I am lucky enough to have chatted with a couple more folks lately, as always I feel compelled to share what I feel like makes/has made me the way I am. One thing that keeps coming up is Alaska and the time I spent there. So, I'll put it out there for anybody who wants to read to make myself more apparent, and hey, I STILL dig talking about that place and time, so much so that, it doesn't make me feel like an old fucker the way it usually does when I recall being young and cool.

Spring 1988:As a college junior at Samford University, I met a girl who was from Valdez, Alaska. This little town of about 2500 people was where the Alaska pipeline ended, and on the ocean, I learned.In addition to her being my first 'real' girlfriend, the stories about life up there positively mesmerized me.My first job when I was 16 was working at a grocery store. My girl said that was a hard job for the Valdez Market to keep filled in summer.

Being head over heels in LOVE, and lured by the promise of $8 hour pay (a shitpile of $ for stocking shelves and running a register back then) I went with her when the semester ended. Once she was back home, and I was 3,000 miles away from mine, in 5 or 6 weeks my girl decided she wasn't so much in need of a boyfriend, after all. I had purchased a round-trip ticket, and despite my predictable emotional response to being dumped, I fought back with resolve and determination to make the most of the rest of the summer.

They liked me at the store, which made things bearable. I worked 10 at night to 6 in the morning, and pretty much had things to myself, working the way I wanted to get stuff done, such as filling grocery orders for fishing vessels, merchant vessels, and oil tankers in port, one of which included T/V Exxon Valdez. My experience at my job made me a couple of buddies at work, one twice my age, the other younger than me, but both were way, way ahead of me in the Fun-Having Department. At that point in my wanna-be hippie life, I thought it fun to get high on weed once in a while, in a casual stoner kind of way.

Back then, weed was LEGAL in Alaska, which did not take long for me to discover. Not only was it legal, the pot was of extraordinarily high quality, every single time--'dirt weed' did not exist there. So, I found out that getting high and staying high all day on just a little tiny bit of weed was a pretty fucking cool way to be. And yes, since it's daylight from 4:30 in the morning to about 10:30 at night...what the hell, I'll have me a beer too!By the time my return flight date arrived, I was pretty damn close to being happy and quite well-rounded.Then school got started back, and I got deep into my history studies with good grades to show for it...always did well at classes I loved. Having been told by professors whom I respected that my history and political science major would do little in the way of making me a living, I took their advice, and changed my major to secondary education with the aim of making my way as a history teacher.When social opportunities became available... I was equally well-adjusted. It was quite the revelation to learn that yes, indeed, there were girls around who liked partying with guys like me, and hooking up with no intention of it going any further than that!!! A year before, I would have argued to no end that I was too serious about giving my heart about the woman of my dreams yada yada yada...funny how getting dumped 3000 miles from home will get a man over that point of view, isn't it? Baptist preachers got to send their children to Samford it soon became apparent that a sufficiently-motivated young man could have his choice of preacher's daughters willing to defy all they had been taught, any night of the week! That discovery greatly accelerated my sexual self-actualization...for example, over the course of a semester, I met and eventually dated each of three sisters whose names were Faith, Hope and Charity....but that's another story for another post LOL

March 15, 1989...I promptly used my income tax refund check to buy another plane ticket for summer in Valdez, by myself this time, knowing a whole hell of a lot more than I did the first time.March 24, 1989..with its captain passed-out drunk after visiting the bar across from the grocery store at which I worked...tanker vessel Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound just a few miles west of Valdez, spilling millions of barrels of crude oil, as most of ye few blog readers can remember seeing on the news.I called the store where I had already been promised my summer job back, and asked if they still needed me. They said YES, please come back, we can't keep help since everyone in town is out working the spill, so we'll pay you $12 an hour instead of $8, and can you get here any sooner?Thus began one of the most hedonistic blurs in all my days. I camped out for 4 months of summer due to the lack of housing...population of town jumped up to about 8,000 after the spill. So I lived rent-free, didn't have and didn't need a car, no utility bills, and the store's deli fed me 3 meals a day as a perk.

The bar across the street from the store closed at 6 AM, the same time we clocked out, and reopened at 7 AM, which gave us time to eat deli chow and smoke funny looking cigarettes on the parking bench in front of the store, waiting for the bar to open.Jobs on the spill started at $16.60 an hour, for those with a valid Social Security number and a pulse, working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week with a week off every three weeks. Those with any sort of skill or trade whatsoever could earn to 5 to 7 times that rate of pay.

Cocaine, while never my thing, flooded town beyond belief. At the store, we could not keep in stock baking soda and Chore Boy scrub pads...this being right before crack hit, folks had to cook their own freebase, I was told.Every other type of craziness associated with way too many people with way too much money also flooded town. I was still the wannabe hippy pothead in all this, but I tasted crazy time once in a while. Bought a lot of drinks for people I did not know, just because they bought me a drink first.

There was the one night a big fat dude sent over shots of Yukon Jack, grinning like a possum, so after a while we sent the waitress back over to him and his friends with a couple pitchers, along with a joint rolled full of Matanuska Thunderfuck. They grinned some more and next thing we knew, all of us were standing out back puffing down and talking about what had us busy, what we were doing there, etc. The big dude said he and his buds had a band, and had just gotten a record deal, and were visiting Alaska to celebrate. Sure man, that's cool, what kinda music do you play? Blues, I guess, depending on who you ask...but we are just here to have a killer time right now and DAMN that is some kickass pot where did you get that yada yada yada....before dude and his friends left they gave me a tape with handwritten labels, sure enough it said blues.It was not until spring 1990 that I finally dug out that tape and checked the other side of the said Blues Traveler...hmmm well that's was another year before I actually 'heard' of those dudes I'd met and puffed down with.

Summer of 89 got gone with the blur still roaring by, I had to get back to Samford and give them all my not-so-hard-earned cash. It lasted a year or so, coinciding with me deciding that I did not want be a school teacher in the spring of 1990.

Stayed stoned and bored and slinging pizzas until 1992, when one of my equally stoned and bored good friends said he wanted to go to Valdez that summer. I'd known Mike since 89, and had told him how cool Valdez was, and he had spent summer of 1990 there by himself. He had it in his blood, too.The two of us and a friend of mine from Pell City who intended to move to Seattle drove his Toyota pickup from Pell City to Dallas to Denver to Seattle that May. Made it on 9 tanks of gas (3 tanks per dude) Mike and I flew on to Valdez, where we camped out and started work: him at a tourist hotel restaurant; me at a cannery full of 'fish-hippies' until he got me hired on at the place he worked. Met a 5'10" waitress from Arizona who worked there, she had a BF so I got stuck in The Friend Zone, still chased her, wrote her after getting back to Alabama, was shocked one day to open a reply letter from her saying that even though she was technically engaged, she was going back for another summer working in Valdez WITHOUT her BF to put him to the test...the next day I bought by plane ticket to get back up there for the summer of 1993. Once there, the two of us got to be better friends, but still just friends, me being respectful and well-mannered.

The first of July, a skinny redhead from Minnesota with a filthy mouth and very nice breasts turned up for her second summer at the hotel, working as a housekeeper. With the waitress unavailable beyond the Friend Zone, and the redhead not shy about going after something she liked, it was not long before my head was TURNED. We started dating a few weeks after she got there, and two weeks after officially becoming An Item, moved in together at my room in employee housing. I made up for time I wasted pining for the unavailable waitress; my new love put me to good use helping her forget all about every asshole BF she'd ever had.

Summer once more drew to its end. She went back to Minnesota in November; I stayed in Valdez until January having by that time secured other types of work at the hotel, and deciding it was time to go on and finish my degree at Samford come spring semester, get a real job and start living a straight life with this incredible redhead.

March 1994...she came to Alabama to live with me. I hesitated in my dedication to finish my degree, and to this day, there it still stands, I guess, lacking 9 hours of student teaching.She worked at a dental clinic, fell in love with my family, enrolled in nursing school with my encouragement. She took to it very well; and even though we lived apart at times, our love kept growing and we married in 1998. She graduated in 2000 and promptly started work as a registered nurse.All right, that pretty much concludes the Alaska portion of my life...for now???

After my divorce ends however it is going to end, with my kids being bound unto whomever they will be very well could not take much thinking, or more than the one time asking, for me to end up back in Alaska. I have not forgotten how to make my own way very very far from home, and know how to take another on a trip that will change the way their lives look.....

Getting my ass divorced

Dec 26, 2007 3:22 pm161 Views
After the wife filed on me April 25 , I finally have a date in divorce court Jan. 31. She wanted to take everything, and take our kids, and suffice it to say....I refused to go along with that proposition.

I don't write to get bogged down talking details, though. I am overpaying a fat-ass lawyer to worry about all that stuff. What motivates me is simple: getting this divorce shit OVER WITH.Yeah, it will mean that I can start over, that I can put myself back into the world of dating, that I am officially available. But in spite of what people have been telling me, about how good a taste of freedom will be, I can't help looking past getting laid, and getting on with LIFE.

Don't get me wrong, oh ye few blog readers. I want to find women who are in the same boat I am, so to speak, emotionally and relationship-wise, to unleash a pent-up store of hormones and passion, to please and be pleased, and all of that which I have missed SO much.But even more than that, I want to find someone who just wants to be treated right, in every way imaginable.

So...are my expectations too high in the face of my impending divorce? Anyone who needs more info before offering input...I will answer any questions here as best I can.

The Wreck

The Wreck
Nov 25, 2007 11:43 am183 Views
Out of the all the things that have ever happened to me, The Wreck follows only the birth of my son and daughter, and getting married and divorced, on the "what makes me who I am," list.

On September 30, 2001, my best friend Mark and I were on our way back home from a day canoeing Talladega Creek. I was driving my 1972 VW, with the canoe on top. In a sharp curve, at about 50 mph, we were struck head-on by a 1985 Honda Prelude driven by a drunk deaf woman. My car went airborne and landed off the road. I do not remember any of the details; I know only what I have been told and what I have been able to piece together in the time since.

The outcome was predictably calamitous: Mark was killed outright, and I was grievously injured but for some reason, left alive with a traumatic head injury, broken neck, seven broken ribs, pelvis broken in two places, collapsed lung and many, many cuts and abrasions.

One of the witnesses of The Wreck was a college professor who not only knew first aid, but taught it. He rushed over, checked us both, and saw me choking on my own blood and gasping for air. He ever-so-slightly eased my head back, enough to let me breathe but not enough to make me into a quadriplegic. To this day I marvel not only at the fact he not only wanted to help, but that he knew what he was doing.

Soon enough, local EMTs arrived; I have been told that I attempted to fight them off and resist being helped. But quickly I was transported to Citizens Hospital, where a physician summoned a Lifesaver helicopter, which took me a specialized trauma unit at a Birmingham hospital.From there it was a two-week stay in the Neurological Intensive Care Unit.

My broken neck was immobilized with a halo, I was fed by tube, and got air through another tube in my neck. Later, I was moved to a standard room, where I remained until mid-November. From there, I went to a rehabilitation hospital, where I remained until I was finally discharged Dec. 7.

Well, this is hardly the standard fodder for these blogs, that's for sure! But I felt like anybody who has even the slightest interest in me ought to know all that about me, and this seemed like the best place to get it told.All right...I don't plan on making this blog a place for me to get all serious and heavy, honest!