Wednesday, December 12, 2012

buncha savages

Due to privacy concerns, I'm sure it's not likely, but I'd like to get hold of the last person to check out Samurai 7 from the local library. I've just watched all of the first episode while folding some laundry, and I was going to watch episode two while finishing up and figuring out how to avoid doing the really important thing I need to actually be doing.

Early on in the episode the dvd froze a couple of times, but then at a fairly climactic moment it seemed to give up, the player not quite able to get through whatever damage had been done to this poor disc.

I pulled it out and took it to the kitchen sink without really looking at it at first. I rinsed it quickly, thinking it might not need too much cleaning.

And now I want to contact the library and register some sort of complaint about the assbutt that last viewed this dvd. But more importantly, I want to call him/her up and discuss it, because it really looked, from the thumbprint, as though they lifted the disc out of their player with the jelly donut they were eating, rather than waste time putting it down. Keeping in mind this is still just a theory.

None of that contacting this jerk is actually going to happen, so to whoever it was, wherever you are, have some respect for your fellow library users and dvd viewers. At least put the nacho the rest of the way in your mouth before handling public property. Have some respect at least for the institution of the library and the free, week long loan of a dvd. Wipe your hands on your pants if you must, but at least try to find a clean spot.

p.s. spellcheck isn't happy that I'm not capitalizing dvd, but I do what I want.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

please, allow me

I hated to do it at first, not wanting to ruin the lines of my beautiful bike, but my better sense won out in the end, and I bought a rack for my bike. To finish it off I got a decent pair of panniers, and with them I greatly increased my carrying capacity. This was actually several months ago, but it's the build up to my minor gripe about something, so deal with it.

Whether I'm grocery shopping or visiting the library, I always have room now, and I have the option of not always having to have a backpack. That's nice in the summer here in lovely east TN.

But really, the grocery store is the best reason to have these things, and I proved that once again today. I got a few days worth of meals and actually didn't completely fill the panniers. I also didn't need the backpack and didn't drop my bike while turning it to get the bags on or moving it to get myself on.

That's actually a point worth making, because the weight and where it sits on the bike does make it move a little differently, most noticably when you are not on it and moving. That isn't even the point, but maybe I'll talk about it some day.

Because that weight can effect the bike, it's worth it to take a minute in the store and pack the panniers properly. Additionaly, you're at the grocery store spending money on the food your kids will be uninterested in over the course of  the next few days, so you might as well pack it safely.

Meat, cans, beer, bags of flour, these are the kinds of things that you know will go into the bag first and therefore be on the bottom. I stick the meat in a plastic bag in case it somehow leaks. I don't want to have to bother cleaning my panniers that thoroughly until I have to, so I'm not inviting the comingling of chicken and pork in liquid form.

Tonight involved enough produce that all of it went into their own pannier. The rest was meat, a can of beans, and some rice. In addition to all of the above, I always have my giant ulock along, but it fits neatly in the mesh pocket on the outside of either pannier, though it tends to go on the left side as that's the side I carry if I only need one. For what it's worth, I also put the meat on that side tonight so that the lock wouldn't be pressing against any of the produce, the bulk of which was potatoes and a cabbage. And that's why I separated tonight's load as I did.

As mentioned, the bags each have a mesh pocket on the outside which is usually only the lock pocket, but it's nice to have as it came in handy, sorta, tonight. They also each have a large top pocket that can hold a medium broccoli crown. I did stuff them so full once that the broccoli was the last thing, and I laughed to myself at how perfectly it fit that last pocket.

All of that is a set up to today at the grocery store and one of those times when no help would be more helpful. I'm getting good at packing groceries in panniers. Part of that involves knowing what I'm buying and setting up the process as much as possible. It is easiest with the uscan, but once I'm buying that much stuff I start to feel like everyone waiting behind me wishes I'd hurry. I kinda get that at the regular checkout, but not so much if I just do it myself and the bagger fucks off and lets me.

I try to start the process by lining my groceries up so that the scanner operator sends them to me in the order I want them going into the bags. If I can get set up and get the bags open, then if he/she sends them in the order I've put them on the conveyor belt, the system works. Of course I don't want to be an ass, so I don't insist the scanner person follow my set up, but I'm gonna have to just run the bagger off in the future.

"Hey, you don't need to bag those," I say, and I indicate the panniers that I'm moving toward the upper reaches of the shopping cart from where they've been resting out of the way below. Inevitably the bagger is now stumped, completely uncertain of what to do with their life in the present moment. They've just been told, by a customer, that the aid they are employed to provide is not necessary.

They of course never take the hint and want me bagged and gone as soon as possible. That would happen but for their, hopefully, good intentions. He insisted on helping, but he didn't bother with understanding that I didn't want bags, that the bags I had would be sufficient. I did tell him about wanting the meat bagged, which he did, but he then began trying to force things into the mesh pocket, the small mesh pocket that I don't want him putting things in, and not just because it's not the actual main place where that item goes.

Andd I don't want to have to explain wieght issues or balance or which side is up. I just want him to let me do it, and I'm trying to load one while hoping he will stop. I'm going to have to undo anything that he does, and it's going to take longer. In the end I just paid, put everything into the cart as it was and rolled my happy ass out to the foyer, or whatever the room is where all the buggies and the crap for a quarter machines are.

I was then able to very quickly fix the mess Mr. Helpful had made and was soon on my way. I won't discuss now the laws I broke, just minutes from the store as I brazenly pedaled through an intersection, and not across like I was supposed to but right through the middle so the three directions involved were all having to deal with my wanton disregard, and it's actually the best and safest way for me to cross this intersection, though I could arguably go to the next slightly different to cross one.

And I just keep remembering that guy trying to stuff all that stuff into the one pocket. How could he not figure out that what I was doing was right and that what he was doing was so obviously not the right way. Never fucking mind! I'm getting all worked up again. It's actually time to go read some of The Hobbit to The Boy so that he and his brother can go to bed.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


This blog has been around for a few years. In the early years I feel like I wrote some interesting and/or funny things, but I also feel like I parroted a lot of what I was hearing. Also, in my peculiar way, I ranted about things, giving the full weight of my often poorly formed opinion.

It's not that my rants were ever wrong or as if my opinions were not really my own, but I sometimes jump to conclusions, and I don't always weigh all sides. And by weigh all sides I don't mean stop and listen to the crazy people.

Quick rant, if your opinion is drawn on a religious belief I do not hold or from philosophy which I do not happen to agree with then it is not pertinent to me and isn't something I'm going to need or want as part of my personal decision making process. And if we are discussing civil rights, balance and fairness is never achieved by letting personal beliefs negate civil equality.

Having said all that, I feel like I let this whole thing really go shortly after coming out. 2007 was kind of a fucked up year, and I don't know that I've ever told the story of how all this played out. And this brings me to my point.

With so many posts behind me, it's hard sometimes to remember everything I've said. If I let myself go I can talk forever, and I know that in real life I might sometimes repeat myself. I've started to develop a habit, once I've known someone long enough, of reminding them that I may already have told them this story and let me know.

I don't really care that I have this habit, now that I've realized I do, but if I'm going to repeat myself I'd like to think that the story is at least as good each time you hear it or, better yet, better.

Finally we reach the end and the bargain. I'm not going to shut the blog down and start anew, but I am going to let myself sorta start over. From this point forward, if I repeat something from before now I'm going to not even notice. If I run out of shit to say and start repeating from after this point then I will concede defeat.

Monday, December 03, 2012

puzzling poorly

I was about to say I should be out looking for a job, but right now isn't the time you do that in the restaurant biz. You wait till after two so as not to show up in the middle of lunch.

Another problem inherent in me looking for a job is that whole part where I'd rather beat myself to death with a sack of light bulbs. In general I say that about the job search in general, but more specifically is trying to look at jobs available in my area for which I am qualified.

Today is finding me avoiding this whole thing mostly, so tomorrow is going to have to see me actually pound at least a little pavement. There's also an event at Big Brother's school tomorrow evening, so being ready and at Momma's house is a now part of the plan.

The question I need most to answer right now is how I find a job outside of restaurants when I've been working back of house for most of the last twenty years. That's the experience and skill set that I currently have to work with. That's what I know how to do, and it feels like too small a box.

More important on a whole other level is finding a way to support myself and take care of the kids while doing something I actually like doing and feel good about doing.

The idea that is depressing me and causing me to not want to bother at all is the fact that my best bet for finding employment in the very near future, which is what is the most pressing and urgent of needs, is that I visit the restaurants around downtown and find the one that will put me to work within the next week, regardless of how many applications I end up filling out. Also, on my to do list, now that I think about it, create a resume.

But that's not what I want. I don't know how to get to where I want or really even exactly what that looks like. But I do know that I've never really tried to figure all that out. And the more I think backward the closer I get to uncovering the fundamental problem.

So, how do I figure out what exactly I want and what I need/want to do to get there?

Sunday, December 02, 2012

fish free wrap up

Sunday seems like a good day to catch up on my week as well as an easy way to get myself to write something. I'm trying to get back into the habit of writing at least a little bit regularly.

So what was my week like?

I worked last Sunday then rushed home to meet the kids and get them fed. I think I was actually off early and didn't rush, but the previous sounds better.

I also worked Monday and Tuesday, didn't get off early, and did rush home. Wednesday I was off, and we've already discussed that night and the beer intake. Let's not stir that dead horse.

The trouble started around this time as well, but I didn't know until Thursday night at work, and didn't know the extent till Friday. I'm not saying anything right now because social media could be my downfall, but I have a week worth of unpaid vacation as of Friday.

I again didn't rush home, but didn't go and drink either, though the thought did cross my mind more than once, and it would generally be my answer to this sort of issue. I guess perhaps I am getting better at this thing.  Instead I washed away my sorrow at the coffee shop with coffee and a house made salted Nutella pop tart.

Then I came home and cleaned up a little bit and didn't really do much else but wait for the kids to show up.

Finally yesterday I hung out with the kids. I wished all day that they felt better so that I could make them get out on bikes with me, but Big Brother has been beset with the worst cough lately. The boys and I are sharing a wonderful cold, though we do all seem to be on the mend. The Boy's worst days were all red eyes and sneezing and itchy throat, while Big Brother just can't seem to beat the cough.

Supper last night was spaghetti and meatballs which I cooked specifically for The Boy knowing that he'd love meatballs. He's mentioned it before, but meatballs take a little advance planning. The sauce was one of the best I've made, and I attribute that to cooking the meatballs in the sauce. Also chicken stock.

And of course he ate everything but the meatballs. He also doesn't eat onions or green peppers, but I make sure not to even put them in his bowl. He said they tasted like meatloaf, and since he doesn't like meatloaf he didn't like the meatballs. You gotta love that kid.

And now it's Sunday. They were up in time for their ride to church, and I am now up as well. I've actually been awake since right before they started stirring, but knowing I didn't have to get up I didn't. Of course once they were gone I realized I wasn't going to fall back asleep at that point, so here I am, two hours later, filling myself with coffee and nicotine. Why can't I do that for a living?

I suppose if I actually keep on top of this blog and throw in some whiskey then I can call myself a writer at some point. Isn't that how it works?

Saturday, December 01, 2012

the mile (two roundtrip)

The route from my apartment to the cigar store is roughly a mile. The route to the cigar store is mostly uphill until the last quarter of the distance, roughly, at which point I lose at least the elevation I just attained if not slightly more. Or maybe less. It's hard to see through the hill and accurately judge.

To be honest, I do start out with a bit of downhill, but that's for about fifteen seconds of adjusting my backpack from however slightly wrong I got it before actually getting on the bike. There is a stop sign at the very bottom of the slight downhill, but from that stop it becomes uphill of varying grades for the most part.

And then I finally reach fifth and the traffic light where I usually do wait for the light. It's usually about to change anyway. The road is rough from here on in, but it's all downhill till the train tracks.

The cigar store is past the intersection, a few more seconds away and still downhill. It's leaving there where it gets annoying. And no I don't smoke cigars, but I do roll my own cigarettes cuz I'm cool like that, and the cigar store is the quickest way to get my smokes.

Now, I don't always mind hills, but heading back up the hill I just came down is one of my least favorite parts of any of my rides. It isn't so hard, really, I just hate it. Also, there's a traffic light halfway up that seems to always catch me, and the cars always want to turn right and aren't always reasonable about such needs in regard to my own need for safety. It's not really that bad either though.

But still I hate the hill. So I often avoid it. I take the bricks up to the viaduct via Jackson and then I'm heading up Gay. I gain the same amount of sky while rolling across a lot less earth, and it should be a tougher climb, but it really isn't. Even riding on the spaced out, uneven bricks isn't so bad.

And it is a longer route back home. It doesn't make sense, but I don't hate it, kinda enjoy it. And I didn't stop for a beer. I could have, and I did think about it, but I needed to get home and make spaghetti and meatballs, which I did.

Which was really good, so good in fact that I'm going to have to figure out what I did with the sauce. Of course The Boy didn't like the meatballs, said they tasted like meatloaf. Like hell they do. They aren't as good as I'd have liked, but they were good, great texture, nice firmness, held together really well, all the things you look for in a meatball, or at least several.

But I'm not even talking about that. I somehow felt proud of myself for making it to and from the cigar in the brief time it took me. I'm not sure now, knowing that it's only about a mile, how I feel about it. Perhaps I've google mapped it wrong, but I don't really care anymore. I'm full of spaghetti that, thanks to modern medicine, isn't making me burp pain. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

gonna learn this thing as many times as it takes

Apparently I can't be trusted around the beer. Yesterday was my day off. Okay, I do have two whole days off this week, but yesterday was the one that I did not have the kids with me at the end of it. They were at Momma's, and because I work a night shift today will be there again tonight, though that has nothing to do with any of this story.

Because I didn't have the kids I was able to go out last night, and before doing so I told myself how good I was going to be.

I kinda have a habit, when I know I won't have the kids, of drinking more than I should. I used to be much worse about it, and having them at my apartment more often has led to me drinking a lot less than I've been used to.

Which is a good thing. I get to bed earlier and sleep better lately, and that's nice. But then I finally get a night to myself and go a little crazy, or stupid, depending on how you look at it. I could agree to either, though there wasn't a lot of craziness last night.

I left my apartment some time between four and five. I debated riding my bike, but I had plenty of time and love the walk between home and downtown, so I walked.

I ran into a couple of coworkers as I reached downtown and allowed them to talk me into loading myself down with stuff that they were moving from car to apartment. That done I hit the pub, ran into some friends and had my first couple of beers as well as a couple slices of pizza from somewhere. Next, as part of my intelligent plan, I ate at the Mexican place and had another couple of beers as well as a shot of tequila. The shot may have been my downfall as tequila has so often been in the past. Perhaps I need to relearn the lesson?

My intelligent plan involves me knowing that I drink too much given the chance. Last night however I thought about it. Yesterday before I even went anywhere I thought about it. I knew/know the thing I do, and I was hoping I'd recognize it before it happened. I planned to spend the whole night out, eating enough and drinking little enough so that I was able to enjoy myself and not be drunken me.

To my credit I didn't do anything horrible, did not treat anyone poorly, did not tell anyone how their band reminded me of things that suck. I didn't even see the band I had hoped to see.

I ended up at a different bar, ate some chicken tenders, drank another couple of beers, started to doze off at the bar, realized I was dozing off at the bar, and came home. I knew I was drunk, and I knew that my night was at an end, and I was sad to realize I'd completely done myself in by nine o'clock.

Yes, I was walking home drunk by nine. My amazing and intelligent plan was never really a plan at all. I drank myself all the way stupid. I did manage to come home and go to bed by a decent time though, and for that I suppose I could be proud. I did also wake up around two this morning, much too thirsty. I drank a few sips of water and laid back down, but as I was turning toward the wall and pulling the covers toward me I realized I needed to be in the bathroom immediately because all that bar food was going to rejoin us on the outside, which it did, and yes, I made it to the bathroom.

As I reread/edit this thing I see "intelligent plan" creeping around as if it was a thing I actually created but didn't follow. I did consider the idea of more of a plan, but it didn't happen. I'm keeping that in mind as I go into the next time I actually get a night out. I have no idea when that will be until I see next week's schedule and compare it to Momma's next week's schedule.

In a sense I'm happy to have gotten the night over with in the way I did. In another sense I'm yet again frustrated by my inability to take my time and ease into a night out. I wasn't out long enough to do anything stupid or piss anyone off. I didn't yell at anyone. I think I covered this part already, pretty thoroughly actually, but I'm being my cheerleader and trying to unfrustrate myself.

Now it's today. I slept in for the first time in weeks, though sleeping in for me these days is ten o'clock. And I was actually up before that. I woke much before that, but I finally got to lay in bed and stretch and luxuriate in my bed and covers and stretch some more. I dozed on and off and didn't even mind when my alarm went off. I don't remember setting it, but I got to hear some of the morning NPR stuff that I immediately forgot. Great ear for news and current events on this guy, let me tell ya.

Now I've had Cheerios and coffee and am currently enjoying some iced tea. I need to get out into the beautiful, sun filled outside. I need to find my panniers and get to the store. I've got plenty of food for a couple more days, but need paper based cleaning products of the bathroom specific variety. I go through a lot more of that stuff lately having the kids around more.

Finally, Mos Def Pandora is my current favorite thing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

keyboard drama

I may, at some point, have mentioned that my computer keyboard was dirty and had sticky keys. In the past couple of weeks I've accidentally typed more periods and J's than anyone could ever need. You should see the bill, though I hope to be able to talk to the letter company about the issue.

You may not remember that I griped about it on Facebook, but I did. A friend commented that keyboards are dishwasher safe. To me that sounds within the realm of possibility. I don't know a lot about computers, like really, though I can manage. You should see my repeated daily attempts to get the damn thing to accept that there is wifi out there for it and acquiring a network address can't really be that hard. But then I don't know what the hell a network address is beyond putting the meanings of the words together and making a guess.

I don't have a dishwasher, so of course I wasn't going that route, and I wasn't entirely sure that she didn't suggest such as a bit of a joke. I mentioned that it doesn't sound impossible that a keyboard could be dishwasher safe, but it also sounds like kind of a load of bullshit.

Another friend soon chimed in seconding the safety of the process as I was googling. I saw some suggestions that it could be okay and other general keyboard cleaning suggestions.

My plan, finally, was to remove the keycaps and wash them separately while hosing down the surface of the keyboard beneath them. I have to stop here and mention how truly dirty this damn thing was. I know the sort of group this computer came from, but I don't know which department. Either way, the amount of soft drink remains and hair under the keycaps was just short of revolting. Thankfully, the amount of sugar in soft drinks makes it easily removable with hot water, and the hair washed away alongside the drink, so it seemed as though we were in good shape.

The keycaps dried quickly enough, but the keyboard wanted to be drippy, and I should probably at least have given it a truly reasonable amount of time to dry, but I didn't do that. I did however plug it in too soon and cause something to happen that I can't now explain. Apparently holding down certain keys for five seconds causes the computer to go into some mode that then makes nothing work except an almost ominous beeping sound. It did give me a message on the screen possibly explaining what was happening, but I ignored it. Looking  back . . .

Knowing what my likely culprit was, water still in keyboard due to impatience on my part, I unplugged it and decided to take it apart. Surely I could dry it if I was careful. Most assuredly, I thought.

I was surprised at how little there is inside a keyboard. I don't suppose I'm as surprised with a few days behind me to think about it. I'm also still a bit amazed at human ingenuity and technical achievement. We can be pretty awesome when we want to.

None of that really matters in the end if you've destroyed your keyboard. I can't say that the water didn't do it because it's just as likely that I messed it all up by taking it apart to dry it. I did get it dry, but it still doesn't work.

And you can still operate some things without a keyboard. If you're still signed into sites you can visit, but Facebook with commenting isn't fun for any of us. Youtube with the videos they offer you is pop music that I reject by not listening to commercial radio and by using the search option. Without the internet you're left with Minesweeper unless your mouse also sorta sucks and free cell. I can only take so many of those cards before I flip my shit the rest of the way.

There is yet another keyboard, and I'm once again able to interact with the world using words. Okay, I've got my rather intelligent phone, but seriously, give me the keyboard and big screen so my head doesn't explode. I actually love my phone quite a bit, and more than that I appreciate that tiny, pocket sized computer. But it isn't the same sometimes.

Currently, the keyboard I'm using is from the much older computer, the one Momma and I bought when I first worked at the pub about eight years ago. That computer has been through some issues and is currently refusing to so much as turn on. It's at Momma's waiting for one of us to take the time to remove the hard drive and get someone to help us remove from it what we want.And now, were it to suddenly want to work, there is no keyboard to help tell it what to do.

Such is life, I suppose.

And now I'm looking at this keyboard and realizing how dirty it is. The keycaps are gray, or were gray, though there's a certain brown about them all now. The ones that get tapped the most are, or appear to be, clean on the top. I'm starting to think about . . .

No, seriously, if I just stick to the caps and don't let any water get near the base. And I can do it tomorrow, because I won't be near the computer again till Friday evening so that they will definitely be dry . . . Or I can get really high and get qtips and alcohol and get anal retentive.

Speaking of which, I had no idea Colorado was about to legalize marijuana. Did they keep that quiet to avoid it blowing up their faces, or am I just that out of it? I was probably smoking the day that came up in my feed reader.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

new jacket

Yesterday began with a huge irritant made worse by the person inflicting my woe. I of course added to it with anger taken out on a completely innocent fleece jacket that has been my main jacket for a couple of years.

Funny story about that jacket. It's always been a little snug on me, and like many people, but before many also, I went through a bit of a baggy clothes style. Nirvana was big in those days, but I always preferred Mudhoney. Our clothes were a bit large sometimes with lots of flannel shirts and thrift store pants. So I never wore the jacket and at one point gave it to Momma who then also never wore it. I eventually got it back.

From there I did that whole going into the closet thing I still can't make sense of. My look grew from kinda punk to kinda guy that's getting older and is a little self conscious but still kinda punk. I've nearly always worked in kitchens and have seldom had much of dress code that didn't involve essentially my wardrobe. Even now I wear what I want, though having work shirts from the restaurant and pants I set aside solely as work pants is a new adventure. So I'm permanently jeans and a tshirt dude.

There's also the "motorcycle" jacket, purchased in the early days of Momma's and my relationship from a mall leather goods store. It's still in great shape and I've worn it twice in two years. The unfortunate fleece took its place soon after my accident with the beer and some shots and driving into things. Driving a car and/or walking are fine to do while inside a leather "motorcycle" jacket.

Riding a bicycle is a whole other story. I do know a guy that wears a leather jacket while riding a bike, but the less said about him and his spring loaded bouncemobile the better. Seriously, the bike comes from the biggerst of big boxes and is so awful. I've seen blondes waving from the rear dash of convertibles that were less cushy than this guy's bike. My bike would absolutely suck to ride while wearing the jacket I have. None of that is the point however.

And that's fine. I've learned to layer. I don't want the same level of warmth riding to work in the morning as I will want riding home late in the afternoon, and of course the same for night shifts and the late ride. The fleece was nearly perfect if not as windproof as one might like. It dried well enough if it didn't get too rained on, but sometimes that isn't an option you pick or don't pick, though it did seem to keep the water from you while  riding. And I looked good in it.

I did start to wear it on ocaission soon after coming out. I noticed it, remembered it, tried it on, checked the mirror and wondered where it had been all my life. I seriously love it. I thought about searching for the tiny, broken zipper pieces in the hope that maybe I could super glue it back together. I'm not convinced still that I won't try.

Given that I'm confined to my bike, for the most part, I kinda rely on my layers. I don't have any idea what to expect this winter, though if it's like the last one it will be unseasonably warm and will be behind us more quickly than should be regular. At the same time, given some of the temperatures we're seeing and my general hunch, this winter seems like it could go back to a more normal one.

Regardless, I've replaced the fleece with something made out of some polymer resin goop or some shit. I don't know because I've already stuffed the tags in the recycling. But it is the kind of jacket worn by people who want you to know (or at least think) that they are the kind of people who, when they aren't indoors, can be found outdoors doing stuff in the outdoors. They've also embroidered their logoon the jacket's cardinal directions, breast, sleeves, and back. I hadn't actually noticed that till I got it home, so now I really am going to look like those dudes.

Did I mention that the fleece was actually a women's jacket? Not in that I got it from a woman, because I really don't remember, but it was styled more than a men's jacket, part of the looking good, and not because I look good in women's clothes, though I'm sure I do.

I visited two different stores in my quest to find this jacket, both the sort of stores that sell people stuff to make them look they got outdoors to do their outdoors stuff. The first place had a bunch of ugly purple and blue shit designed to be seen by hunters and other hikers. They were more serious about their outdoors, but I didn't like it. Plus the fact that it used to be a cool restaurant, and the wine racks hold water bottles that can take strafing fire from a fighter jet and still keep you water cold, while the bar where I had my first great mojito looks like The Gap if their customers were also into outdoors.

So I went down the block to the more touristy place and found a lot of possibilities, some of which were even on sale. I tried several on, probably looking odd as I raised my arms, stretched, bent forward, swung my arms slowly. I wanted to mimic somewhat the motions I make on my bike and keep in mind that no matter how pretty something is, if it rides up and leaves my ass in the wind it isn't worth any amount of on sale right now.

I knew I'd found the jacket when I found the jacket. It was marked down slightly and marked as for women. It's also a little more fitted than the men's jackets, and I already felt like I probably at least looked all right in it. I didn't check myself out in the mirror because it just kinda felt gay, but I didn't really need to. Okay, I totally did, but I waited till I got home.

I still haven't worn it on the bike. We had a beautifully sunny day here, and I didn't want to miss any of it. I'd worn a flannel which was just enough. It's big enough to easily fit over layers, but it's not so big that I'm smothered in it. I have worn it outside a couple of times to inhale the fumes of burning plant matter, and so far it seems to work well enough.

And yes, knowing me, someone will ask about my new jacket and I will point to and joke about the nut on my jacket. Yes, old as I am, and that's still my best material.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

broken record-ish

This is Saturday number two that I've had off lately, and I might have another one next week as well. It tends to precede having to work Sunday, though I'm not convinced it's a fair trade. It's of course made worse because brunch, which I hate working.

I love going to brunch. But then who doesn't? And then of course I'm already downtown on a Sunday, what better than to visit the bars I never see during the week? Of course that never happens despite my best intentions. I end up at the pub watching football or where I work hearing from coworkers about their day.

But I get to work tomorrow and rush home to wash dishes and feed the kids leftovers probably. My day off involved bicycle working on yet again, and though most of it was easy and sorta fun, adjusting brakes is my eternal downfall. I can never seem to get them right until after I've messed them up, and by that point getting them right involves riding on them until I can get my friend or the lbs to fix it right.

And so it will be with Big Brother's bike. The brakes are not exactly right but are good enough for now, and I doubt he'll be going too far just yet anyway. However, given my upcoming work schedule and Thanksgiving holiday I'm planning on planning a ride with him, though ride might mean to either of the close lbs for an adjustment.

Holiday excitement of the bike variety is coming, our local Tour de Lights, which I've already asked off for. Big Brother will want to go as will Momma and The Boy. The Boy still won't ride his bike so much as attempt over and over to position it perfectly. I try to help, but he doesn't want help he doesn't ask for and is more likely to quit if advised. Left to himself he will give himself time to try. Alas it's my nature to guide and advise and make too long stories careen off into what- was-I-talking-about-?-oh-yeah. That's never helpful.

Of course if he doesn't make the christmas ride there's always the spring ride, and by then he's sure to have moved from this crappy bike to his first geared bike. Surely. And hell, maybe by then I'll have stopped talking about bikes all the time.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Based on the quality of our news services these days, I won't be surprised to learn some time tomorrow that Hostess is actually doing just fine.

Given the quality of management basically anywhere, up to and including large frankenfood organizations, I won't be surprised if this is not some elaborate hoax to drive us into a mad Twinkie buying frenzy. I'm thinking New Coke here, and yes, I still believe it was a stunt. It's like Brown Squirrel Furniture going out of business twice a year, and you can still see their ass sitting off I40. Lyin' ass bitches.

But I digress. NPR said it, so it must be true, Hostess is shutting down because their "bakers" went on strike. I do know that it isn't quite that simple.  There's sure to be much more to the story, perhaps even some clever nuance.

I could give a shit. I haven't eaten any of their fine products in quite some time. I do actually have some Reese's cups that I picked up in order to both eat and to spite The Boy. He isn't a sharer of candy, even if it's free, besides the costumed walking around asking for it part. I happened to notice one of my not so guilty pleasures at the local grocer, marked down post Halloween.

I do have a dark chocolate/candied ginger thing that I keep forgetting about, and there are chocolate covered  raisins somewhere. I just don't eat a lot of highly sweetened, shitty food I guess, so I'm trying to imagine the actual affect on me of  there not being  Hostess breads and cakes to continue not purchasing and eating.

And what will the fallout be? Will someone purchase it and continue the operations?  Will America lose a treasured icon and obesity enabler? Will Dr. Wilcox give young Evelyn the bad news? Will I finally get up and get myself a beer?

In closing, I did get myself a beer. It's a New Belgium Snow Day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

baby the bars for the st em of it

I'm taking a break in the middle of accomplishing a bike project. Actually, I'm close to the end, but this last bit is going to be the part that is likely to most try my patience.

Truth be told the bike is probably a tiny bit large for me. I don't have the money to go and get custom fit for a custom bike, though that would be pretty cool if I did. So I'm doing the next best thing, making the bike I have fit as well as possible.

I'm closer to that being a mission accomplished finally after having replaced my old stem with a slightly smaller one. The stem is the part that holds your handlebars, fwiw, You may also hear them referred to as a goose neck.

I did the part where you rip off the old handlebar/grip tape. And I pulled the break levers off. Cleaning the old adhesive off the handlebars is also a thing of the past. The new stem is installed, the handlebars are on it, and the brake levers are reatached. Other than adjusting and tightening the brakes themselves, the last job is to wrap the handlebars in new tape.

Without going into too many specifics, it would be nice if my bike were attached enough to something so that it was still and stable without my having to use my body to make it so. I don't have anything like that, so what I'm left with, in my tiny apartment, is the metal kitchen rack as well as the stripper pole that is part of my kitchen area.

I'll probably lock my bike to the pole and wedge it just so enough. I'm sure I can do it, and I'm also sure it might can wait for tomorrow.  I still need to get the brake/shifter replaced on the mountain bike, and now that I think about it I have to either figure out how to get the grip off and back on or decide to also replace those.  They are old, and I can't imagine paying too horribly much for a pair that is newer and better. I've ridden the mtb lately, and the old grips leave a little something to be desired.

On a related note, the wheel from the bike soon to carry Big Brother is at the lbs getting some spokes on. It should be ready tomorrow. I still need to clean some rust off his handlebars, but shortly after that I'll be doing the second taping job of my life, so perhaps my own bike is practice for his.

Finally, I really wanted sparkly, purple tape to match my saddle. Yes, we cyclists call it a saddle, because it is one. Remind me sometime to tell you about my friend Dutchy. She'd have gotten that joke. As for purple tape, the other lbs found some for eighty bucks. It's leather and from highly regarded saddle maker. I considered my response for exactly no seconds. In fact, I'm certain I uttered the phrase, "Fuck that shit." It definitely sounds like me.

typical wed. anymore

I'm still a night owl. I think my body may just prefer those late night hours that I've essentially given up for the now. I was in bed around midnight last night, hours early for the old me and even now a bit early for me, but I keep reaching this point most nights where I realize that being tired doesn't just go away, that you have to go to sleep.

So I did, and I keep doing it sometimes.

There's this subconscious thing going on in my head telling me I'll miss out on something. I know it's not true, but my body is programmed a certain way, and it isn't always easy undoing that. There's also years of working in restaurants, working such a mix of day and night shifts, too many times when you attempt to force your body to accept four hours of sleep tonight in exchange for up to eight on a night/morning to be determined.

And because today is my day off I could go back to bed. Momma came and took the kids to school, and today is my day off. I could go back to bed, could stretch and luxuriate in the comfort.

Instead I have laundry laundering. There's only the one load, but I'm glad Momma had the quarter I needed to make up the two and a half bucks a wash and dry costs at my apartments, and I'm glad that my single load was exactly a single load. And when that's done there's a shower in my future. After that I have this laundry as well as the last load to fold, and I need to get to last night's dishes before I add more to them. Finally I need to get Momma to be my taxi driver so that I can run some errands. I won't even mention all the bike stuff I need to do. I keep putting that off and could probably turn it into another blog post worthy of my awesome skills, but maybe I won't.

And by eleven o'clock tonight I'll be getting tired. I might be out on the town as I don't have the kids tonight and don't work  tomorrow till the evening. Either way, it'll be cold, and I'll curse it helplessly.

So that's my plan for the day. I've already begun, now I can get to whatever part is next just as soon as I finish the second half of my wake and bake.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

get out in it already

I feel that lazy Sundays are best spent lazily. Also, I still don't have everything I need to do the bike stuff I need to do and won't likely get those things today.

The weather is beautiful, and I really should be out in it. I have been at work or at home with the kids all of this past week, which isn't a bad thing. Sure, I kinda hate the work part, but the with kids part has been fun, and it's been nice having to be around them more often. Momma's new job involves later hours which means a lot of things apart from the kids and stuff.

Anyway, Sunday is happening all around except for at the construction site next door. They didn't get quite as early a start as weekdays and Saturday, but they were up, and so was I, but I was up before they got here.

That's another different thing. While Momma is being up and working later, I've been getting up to wake the boys up for school, and then most days I'm just up a little earlier than usual for work, and for the first time ever I'm setting a personal record for times up on time as well as to work on time.

I should be so proud of myself. Instead I'm really just hoping the construction workers make it an early day and get the fuck on, but I'm sure they're going to get the other half of the roof on instead. Also, from what I can see, there isn't a hot one in the bunch.  There's the obviously boss guy that stays clean and prowls the site who seems like a maybe. Plus, I'm not in a hurry to be the weird guy that stands and stares from the apartments next door.

This post has gotten pointedly disjointed even for me. Did I mention the computer? It's been sitting in a box for a while, sort of a gift from a brother who got it from his employer when they replaced their old system. I finally ran my errands that involved all the random things I need but don't want to have to cram into an already full pannier or backpack. It happens.

Knowing where this computer came from I have to wonder about the overall stickiness of the keys on the keyboard, some more than others.  I can imagine the mouse is just a cheap old mouse that came with the computer and has been through a lot. Mice get that way, but once you get to just how much to press the button it starts to suck less. 

And I bought a usb thing that sometimes gets the wifi my apartments serve up. It may or may not be working now as is its want. I snatch it in little handfuls when I can. I also got underwear and socks, but neither of those are really worth mentioning other than in passing because they were part of the fruitful shopping venture. Fine steel wool was not, however.

Because Big Brother didn't finish his coffee before Grandma came to pick the boys up for church I've just finished the concoction he makes with coffee and sugar. It wasn't really that bad as I could still taste the underlying good coffee flavor beneath the sugar. I actually made a little more coffee than I meant to, the price you sometimes pay using a French press, but the point here is that I dumped the overflow into a pint glass earlier to get it out of the press pot. I can feel it sitting behind me now, waiting for me to come grab it and drink it down.

Beyond the call of the coffee I can almost feel the call of outside and riding a bike to drink a beer on a patio. The two beers I've enjoyed on a patio this week were in the cold of nearly late night and rushed between work and home. Which brings us back to the good parts of responsibility of course, but that isn't a concern for today.

Soon after enjoying a patio I'll return some books to the library and pick up a couple more. Have I mentioned Gore Vidal? Have I mentioned that I'm typically late to things? Yeah, I've discovered him for myself finally. He's been keeping me busy on and off for a couple of months.

So that's my day so far. How are you?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

and there he was

Lately, more often than is really healthy, each day at work is one of those days. I keep feeling as if it's time to walk out, but at my age, and with this economy  . . .

Of course I'm not going to walk out, but I've now worked at this place longer than at any other restaurant. There are so many other restaurants around where I work, the neighborhood in which I would prefer to stay, and there are so many things out there I could be cooking.

It isn't as grand as all that of course, but we do okay. The problem is that I  don't really think I want to work at any of them. Of course there's the training and settling in period, a time I've come to dread. It's that time when you feel like you haven't got it all down yet, and you still don't know the servers by name for the most part. The managers are all displaying their personalities, but you don't know them yet, so sometimes you just don't know what to expect.  You also need to be doing your damnedest in the kitchen, because you are being judged until you truly prove yourself.

I can handle all of that, though lately my ego has taken some hits, and there's that age thing again. I still feel sometimes as if I can whip anybody's ass in that kitchen. I can work harder and longer than any of them. I can lift more than any of them. I can chop and slice faster and more perfectly than any of them. I can even wash dishes faster.

Of course none of them make noises when they lift a case of number ten cans. They don't get almost stuck because they bent over to reach down into the cooler. And most of them will leave by the time they graduate and get "real" jobs.

But more importantly, as I reach whatever point I'm reaching, I have to ask myself how much longer I can reasonably expect to work as I am now, and when I can't do it anymore, what next? As of now there are no answers to either question, but as the need to at least consider the first seems to grow nearer, the second becomes the more worrisome of the two.

What it all comes back around to in the end is that I need to start investing in the lottery again. That thing seems like a pretty good deal, make a few million dollars then sit back and watch the awesome, fun times start rolling in. Plan B is to marry for money, but that's not happening in this state any time soon, so I won't push it to A status just yet.

I suppose there are other options, perhaps some even intelligent. Perhaps I'll think along those lines instead, or I could accept that I'm going to die with either a sautee pan or a knife in my hand, and the only reason people will know that something is wrong is that too many seconds have passed without me saying something hilarious and intelligent with just the heaviest slather of cynicism and ennui.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

the sound of construction

I should be getting ready for work in order to get there as early as I'd like, but my shopping trip earlier was mostly fruitful, and I'm using an actual computer for at least now. Maybe later I'll tell you the story, but right this moment I'm listening to Descendents via a cd which is only remarkable if you already know that I've been without a cd player for a while.

I love that I can use my phone to listen to Pandora, but what's the point of all those cd's when your player quits on you? Of course I still have cassettes, and that machine ain't broken. I can only imagine how much music is going to change as well as the ways we'll be able to access and listen to it in the future.

None of that's really the point. That it was a firewall issue once I called dude down to help me with my connectivity issues isn't the point either, but it did happen and was in fact a firewall issue.  Sometimes it's just that simple.

The only point I might have is that it's nice to have more than my phone to use the same services to connect to the world. And won't the kids have a blast tomorrow morning when they wake up and we can do stuff.  Big Brother will get to see his facebook page for reals. The Boy can something else I'm sure.  That is certainly part of the point. I suppose we can now sit at the dining table and watch videos and stuff.

Yes, it's at the table, the table where we eat. This is where it fits until something better comes along. And to celebrate our Benton's bacon baked potatoes tomorrow night we'll watch something mindless while eating. That just really feels good to say.

Getting back to my shopping trip I have to admit to not finding any fine steel wool. I need it to remove some handlebar rust, though I did get cleaning products and internet thing, so that's good. That was never the point either, but for such a rambling and mindless post it was as good an entrance as any other I came up with.  I'm settling however for nothing with which to close.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

sunday funday

Sunday is the day to rest, to relax, to go out and drink while the sun still shines. I can't pretend to be immune to the call of Sunday funday, and too often I'm found back at the pub.

Yes, I know I ended Saturday night here, drinking the same IPA I'm drinking now. Yes, I know it's never going to be the best idea, but dammit, it's tradition by now, and you can't argue with tradition. If you could I'd be able to get married by now.

Today, however, is also Fathers Day, so I don't plan to spend all of it drinking at the bar. I'm sure to get to Momma's house at some point. I'm certain I'll see the kids. I've also already agreed to possibly help Momma clean her "new" bike. I can't actually guarantee that last part will happen today, but it does need to happen.

If bike shops opened on Sundays I'd have swung by the LBS to check out the thin brushes they sell to clean between your cogs. Her bike seriously needs a good scrub and lube.

My own bike could use some attention, not the least of which should be devoted to figuring out my rear dérailleur. It's not that it doesn't work, it does work as well as it can, but it needs to be adjusted. I can only use my three largest cogs, and that isn't usually much of an issue, but if it isn't working properly then it is likely causing damage. Maybe not, but I'm really good at ignoring those often unnoticed things that get in and under and cause damage when you aren't paying attention. Or maybe I just break things through neglect. Though it bears mentioning that this post isn't about that.

Honestly there really isn't any point to this post. I'm just talking to hear my own voice, but it's been a while since I was able to do this here, so it's nice to just ramble with no object.

If you haven't yet, you should try Sweetwater IPA. Their more popular beer may be the 420, which is a good beer, but I do love the hoppiness of the IPA. I'm kind of a hop head that way. I like them big and flowery and in the back of the mouthful. For what it's worth, Sweetwater Brewing Company is based in Atlanta and nay not be available in your neck of the woods. If you happen upon their beer do yourself a favor and grab some. Whichever beer you get will probably be pretty damn tasty.

Maybe after all that the point of this post is a plug for a regional brewery. It wouldn't be the first time I didn't know what I was talking about till I finished talking.

Right now I'm going to get the fuck on. I've got coworkers to join, to commiserate with. We'll probably discuss our job and how we so hate most customers and why servers are such horrible people.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I would absolutely love to show you my new laptop. Alas I likely can't do so as you are there, and I am here. It just won't be happening today.

At least a couple of different times in the past few months I tried posting from my phone, and it worked well enough, but mostly it was just a pain in my ass. I gave up. I threw in the towel.

But now I have a fancy, new laptop, and when I have internets I can post posts. How awesome is that?

This post will contain nothing cool. I won't be ranting or proclaiming my love for anything. Hell, even this laptop hasn't quite convinced me yet, but I do love it a little bit already, and if you're patient I'll tell you more than you want to know about it, eventually.

For now just praise imaginary sky beings that I'm back.

 sort of

Monday, April 23, 2012

Beer on the porch

"I'll never be that thirsty," she said, looking as if she could smell the stink coming off the beer.

I followed her gaze to the beer, the cans moist and with bits of ice still clinging to the edges.

Looking past the four beers, still joined at the neck by a series of plastic loops, looking betwen the spokes of the bicycles locked to the porch rail, to the end of the driveway. I sat slumped back in the low, green folding chair she'd bought from the ValuTown just down the street.

I have no idea why there were four cheap beers sitting there at the end of the driveway. I'd seen them as I walked back up the street, returning from Ol' Pappy's liquor store with a bottle of rum and some ginger beer. Of course I grabbed them.

A car sped past as I tried to imagine not noticing I'd dropped my beer at the end of a driveway or putting it down for a moment then forgetting. How do you get four cheap beers this far up the hill and then give them up?

"Of course you won't," I said. I ripped one of the cans away from his family and pushed the rest back toward the bicycles. "You see beer and judge whether or not you'd like to drink one of whatever it is based on all sorts of internal judgements. I dont care. When it's sitting there I just see beer that nobody drank yet.

"And dammit! Dont get drunk. The truck's only there till seven." To this I tipped the beer back.

"What time is it now?" The beer tasted awful of course.

"Just now five."

"Aw shit, baby. Ain't nobody gonna eat up all the tacos before we get there. Drink a beer and relax. Thats what Mondays are for." 

Monday, April 16, 2012


Minutes ago I was on hold, my phone jammed between my shoulder and my ear. I appreciated, for a moment, a nice old fashioned telephone handset, the graceful curve of the handle between the ear piece and mouth piece was just the right size to be easily held against the ear by the shoulder.

I also miss the days when the college courses and mini degree seemed like good ideas. Life was great at the time. I loved my job, felt respected, was making money.

Who could have expected the looming Bush we were about to get with those heady days of Clinton such a powerful memory. I really never saw it tht way then.

I was a youngish father certain of so much yet so deep in the closet that it almost doesn't figure in this tale. But even so, I can't help but wonder what other decisions would have existed for me and how I might have decided differently.

I'm in a fair amount of debt based on decisions I made when I was only allowing myself certain options. I was completely unable to imagine the me that is now. I was sure of where my life was headed, and at the time I needed it to go that way. It didn't of course, and in many ways I'm still dealing with those facts and realities.

Did I mention it isn't all bad? Momma and the kids and the dogs are all great, and I love them one and all. I like Knoxville and have some great friends here. I'm reasonably good at my work.

There isn't really much to do right now but rant, and I really don't want to do that. I rant too much, and that's why I'm home now and not at work making money. It's not a long story,but I'm already tired of pecking at this tiny keyboard.

Really my point is that I never should have gone into this debt. The education I was able to get is not without value, but life has negated much of it, and much of it directly involves what I think I'd like to get away from.  Any educational benefit derived was in learning certain bits of math in a more formal setting as well as being forced to look at business from outside the narrow concerns of my own world of the kitchen.

I can't imagine the amount of money I owe is anywhere close in value to what little benefit I may have gained. It's frustratingto know that I did agre to this and can not reasonably refuse to fulfill my obligation, but it really does feel like I've been somehow taken advantage of. It also feels like getting fronted a bag then smoking it all before you actually pay or it.

One of the dangers of those old handsets was also a drawback to the shoulder hold. Kids today will never know the joy of the plastice handle meeting no resistance on the fabric of your shirt as it scooted free. The pressure of the hold propelling it away from you mid conversation. They'll never delight in catching the cord and drawing the phone back, barely missing a moment of the conversation.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

work in progress

It really is just a coffe cup, but right now, in this moment, it feels like a symbol of how I manage to fuck things up.

Earlier today Momma picked me up from my apartment so that I could go to her house to hang out with the kids and more importantly help continue the everday training that comes with a new puppy.

I had laundry to bring as well as my recycling to dump in her bin, and I brought a couple of empty boxes that can go in her basement and not clutter my rather cozy home place.

Shortly before she arrived I'd made myself a cup of coffee which was in the cup she'd gotten for me a couple of years ago. I loved that cup, thrown by another friend who does some really fun pottery. The cup was somewhat special both as a gift from Momma and as a piece created by a friend. It's worth mentioning the coffe as it was roasted by another friend and is really good stuff.

I set my coffee on the trunk of the car as I brought my load out and placed it in the car, the load making three trips carrying stuff followed by one to turn off the light and lock the door. Then I joined Momma as she spoke for a moment with a friend and neighbor at my apartments.

As soon as we arived at Momma's I dumped the recycling into her cart (curbside, single stream ftw) and brought in the laundry and boxes. Then I thought of my coffee and realized immediately that it was gone, but more importatly the cup is now very likely no longer a cup but a few shards laying on the ground. 

And right now, in his moment, it adds itself to a list of my failures, a list my brain makes and keeps up to date, a list that is likely full of things I could not have done differently, things that were never my fault, little unimportant things that don't effect anything but my mood.

But that's how my brain works too often, and I've given it some fuel by drinking two nights that should have been spent otherwise. Instead of remembering the work toward changing the habit that is the goal I focus on a failure. It's kinda how I roll.

But I'm working on that too.

I'll finish by adding that the above was written several hours ago. I didn't post then as it needed editing, and I wasn't willing to do it then. Since then I've hung out with the kids, cooked supper, enjoyed a Coke float and some popcorn, and watched a movie. I was also able, quite a while ago, to put my minor loss in perspective.

I've also thought more about the entire issue which is a combination of things, two of which involve depression and drinking and my proneness (is that a word?) to both. It should also be noted that my dismal financial situation and my unhealthy approach to it was a bit of a trigger.

I know what needs to happen, and the beginning part is to go back to not drinking as much, which I did well with for a while, in a sense. And I know that the beer itself isn't the issue. The problem is that I pour so much of it into myself when I do drink. So the question eventually has to become, can I drink reaonably, or do I need to consider more drastic measures?

I really don't want to not be able to drink a beer when I want, so how do I not want so much?

Friday, March 02, 2012

everywhere a dog

The storm is getting closer. The thunder isn't yet quite overhead, but it's certainly on its way. I'm standing outside enjoying the lightning display while waiting for a puppy to do his business.

I probably ought to take my bike off the car. Locked to the porch has to be at least a little better than all the way out in the rain and related nonsense.

And now I turn to see the puppy in full on mode so must assume my job in the back yard is complete.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

another test

Reading from your end you likely can't tell that I'm testing out yet another Blogger replacement app. I didnt like Google's Blogger app when I first tried it, and I havent been overly enthusiastic about the two apps I've trid so far.

So far this one hasnt caught a couple of mistakes the last one would have automatically fixed, but the ui is more attractive. Sadly, I could be likely to just get used to the app based on the pretty.

It isn't that it isn't working, but it doesn't add apostrophes or capitalize "I" when I just put in the lower case version. I could get used to having to do a little work if other facets prove worth keeping.

Before I decide though I have to post a few more times. I need to road test this with more than just this crappy excuse for a post. Right this moment I dont have anything better to offer, so this is what you get.

Realy what I need is to cook up one of my rants. I haven't gone off on any fools lately, and there are plenty out there.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


If I were able to use my pc to write this I could justice to the form. Had I but the internets flowing I would do the searching for you and give links to tbe books and author bios. You would not want for the wealth of info I would provide.

Alas sucks to be you. I'm doing it near the pc but am relegated to phone blogging still, so any googling that proves necessary is your responsibility.

And now since you asked so nicely and because it's been so long, let's talk of books.

Let us not just look at books in general, but let's focus on the stack of books before me, four from the library and one borrowed from a coworker, which are the five books I've most recently read.

We begin with the one I havent quite finished yet, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, by Sherman Alexie. It's a fairly depressing read at times, to be quite honest, which is the reason I put it off. The stories are mostly about drunk indians on the reservation. But then you continue reading and the stories pull you in. They aren't stories of winning against all odds or beating the demon drink. Sometimes they are about succumbing. But even in the sadness is beauty. There is also a sadness for the wrongness of it all. I would recommend this book.

We'll get Christopher Moore out of the way next. I thoroughly enjoyed A Dirty Job, but it was one of those guilty pleasures. I'm not against fun and easily read books, but lately I've gravitated toward more earnest type stuff.

The main character in the story loses his wife soon after she delivers their daughter, and through some accident of fate he stumbses upon the guy who came for her soul. The next few years are a whirlwind of bad forces gaining power because our hero is too busy missing clues. I'm looking forward to more by this author.

Moving on we can discuss The Folding Starr by Alan Hollinghurst. I must say first that I did enjoy the book and in the end only care for Luc out of all the characters. Don't really think of it as Death in Venice, but there are some similarities, older lech falls for young boy, but our Tadzio is a little older and more aware of the world around him, though it doesn't seem to do him much good in the end. I did enjoy the book, though in spite of some discomfort brought on by the protagonist. Will revisit the author.

Another light read was Andromeda Klein, and this one came from the teen shelves. I have admitted to this often enough, but I love well written juvenile and teen and young adult fiction. I even love well written kids books. I'm a sucker for good writing, and the author here, Frank Portman is one of my favorite writers. He has only written one other book. But he's the athor of some of he greatest pop punk songs ever written as Dr. Frank, along with his band The Mr. T Experience.

Google them. Thank me later.

But back to the story. Andromeda Klein is a teenage witch with enough problems. Her best and possibly only friend may be dead, but she may also be trying to send her some sort of message. Her boyfriend is gone but suddenly she's getting texts from his id on her phone. It's also possible that her new friends don't have her best interests at heart. Her parents aren't really helping much as they also have problems to deal with. Okay, so it also isn't really up high on the serious scale, but it's a really great story, and I say that as more than just a fan. I do enjoy Frank Portman's play with language and words, and I enjoy his sometimes silly, sometimes frank humor. Ha! See what I did there?

Finally we get to Jean Genet. I'm still not sure how to take this guy, so unsure that I stopped at the library for mere moments today to grab another of his books. Actually I needed to get some dvd's back before they started costing me, but while there I grabbed a book.

Miracle of the Rose isn't the Jean Genet book that is considered his greatest, but it was banned enough in the US once upon a time. He celebrates the worst of humanity in the form of a man in jail for killing a child and then the only prison guard who ever treated him well. But more important is the sub plot. It isn't so much a sub plot. A book needs a plot to have someting as simple as a sub plot, but for lack of a better word right now let's go with that.

Being gay is what I took away from the book. And being gay in the late forties and early fifties was so much different than what I'm used to in the nows. The Jean in the book seemed to except that being gay made him a pervert and possibly a kind of monster. It's hard to imagine having so little support for something so inherent to oneself, to imagine knowing that your orientation was inevitable and that you were a pariah because of this thing.

At the same time only gay men can realy know this exact version of the feeling, and all too often we still feel the stigma and the disdain and even the hatred.

But read the book. Your mileage may vary. I know I haven't described it worth a damn, but don't let that stop you. I really would have given a better synopsis/review, but I don't know that I can.

I've begun another Jean Genet book, Querelle, and I expect more moral ambiguity. I'm also looking for some little bit of the history of gay men. This book was first published right around the time we started thinking about not apologizing and hiding so much. Now we need to work more on acceptance of both ourselves and others like us.

To be quite honest, I'm sure I will soon need more lighter reading. I can only throw so much at my brain before it needs a day off. The lighter fare I've mentiond here is good for that, and any good fiction can be good exercise, but I alo love a book that asks for a little work in return.

And now I have to ask, what are you reading?

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Do Georgia fans stil ask, how bout them dawgs? I may have mentioned it a few times last fall when our local boys failed to best the team from Athens, and it may hve been somwhat alcohol fueled.

None of that is really the point, and neither dog representing either of the above teams is represented by my family and our doggie family.

The dogs all live with Momma, and two of the three are more hers in that she picked them herself. Or we could say that one of the three was part of the family since the old days, the in-the-closet time. She is now ten years old and is a small, black mix of unknown breeds.

Though Momma picked the next two dogs for herself I still accept my parentage duties. The first is just over three and was the runt of a litter of long haired chihuahuas. He is light brown with great white accents. The new guy is only almost eight weeks old now, and he already is almost twice the size of the smallest dog and close enough to our older girl in weight while already seming to tower over her a little.

This dog is near enough seventeen pounds according to the friend from whom he came. She found the mother on a local interstate, missing fur and emaciated and also, our friend learned soon enough, pregnant. The mom is also obviously a German shepherd, while the father is of course a mystery.

Looking at his big lovable face and his paws that are nearly half as big my hand gives you ideas of a father. We're thinking lab or pit bull as possible, but we can't really know. Either could be a great mix.

The humans in the family have all fallen for this growing beast of a dog, though the dogs are taking their time. They didn't seem to get the memo about the pack expansion, and they haven't quite decided how to take the news.

Our old lady seems concerned that she's going to miss out on something. She seems to know her place is secure, but that damn chihuahua is always a concern and often enough a pain in the ass for no obvious reason.

Of course the chihuahua is being exactly a chihuahua about it. He's the boss, and you better recognize his place in line. Of course he isn't the boss and is made to realize and forced to accept this often enough, but he'll be damned if any dog gets his place in the pack. He can't know that this usurper will soon be too big for the cute and cuddly place that only a darling little bit of a chihuahua can fill.

My own getting a dog is still a ways off. I would love to have a dog but don't really feel that my life at the.moment is any place for a dog. Perhaps soon enough I'll have figured some things out, but for now I have plenty to worry about helping the newest brute learn what "outside!" really means in doggish.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

huffing and puffing

The wind has been kind of a bitch the last few days. It sems like whichever direction I pedal the wind figures out how to get around in front of me and push me in the face.

I wonder if I would mind as much if it were ever behind me helping, or maybe I just don't recognize it when it helps. I'm sure I'd know, so of course it never does.

Once in a while when it isn't in my face it sneaks up to wallop me on either side, and it usually gets me just enough to make me notice but not enough to really run me off the road or knock me over. It ain't for lack of trying on the wind's part. It's after me.

Yesterday the wind was attacking, but other than the threat of rain the weather was awesome. It was so warm and nice when I got lucky and didn't have to battle my unseen foe. Today the weather is cooler, but the wind turned cold. It couldn't get me through brute force, so it teamed up with its partner.

And now I'm at the pub enjoying a Dig pale ale, collecting my strength for the ride down the street for tobacco. My face isn't quite as wind blown feeling, and my hands are warm again. Perhaps vanity will piss off and let me pull a hat down over my head and hair. My hair isn't cold, but it looks fairly okay, and I hate to mess with it.

I'm looking forward to nice weather over the weekend. And while I work all day Saturday I'm off Sunday. Perhaps it's time to head south to the close mountain bike trail. Chances are the wind will folllow me, and chances are it will catch me unaware and thow me into a tree.

Did I mention that the wind is after me?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

schools night

Tonight was conference night at The Boy's school. Momma was at work, and Big Brother stayed after school to watch a movie. More on that later.

I have to brag about The Boy. In our town kids begin their standardized testing in third grade, so The Boy has that to look forward to. They've recently taken a practice test, and apparently The Boy is the smartest kid in his class. While that may not really be what his teacher said, what she did say was that the only thing she could really think of would be for him to read out loud more often.  It's on the test.

Apparently when he reads aloud he seems to read at third grade level, but his teacher knows he does better reading by himself.

I love that he's reading. He took his own time about it and only consented to read when he started school. Keep in mind that both boys were homeschooled up till January 2011, and while I'm not going into that right now, to many of the people at school he seemed to start from a disadvantage.

And it wasn't that he wasn't reading then,he just wasn't at school standard level. We never really pushed it much, but we did always provided enough help and maybe some coaxing. But he was approaching it and being given some time to get to it. And he was figuring it out.

Our other example, Big Brother, with much the same offers of help and much the same, if not more, coaxing, very rapidly figured out reading almost entirely on his own. 

From the elementary we went to the middle school to meet Big Brother. His school was hosting a group from the local university. It was kind of like a science fair for grownups trying to lure in the kids. The different booths all had something to do with alternative energy, mainly biofuel. We built plant cells and looked at switch grass and used both light and wind to power cars.

We also had chicken sandwiches. I didn't have any hot sauce, and I'm not convinced suggesting they provide some next time would be polite.

His teachers all seem to like him well enough, and his grades are fine.  But he doesnt seem to really like school, and he makes me miss homeschooling. I really wish we were still able to do it.

We did have a fun night hanging out, and we also have some beans and dirt. The beans are supposed to sprout, and the dirt is of course for planting. Tonight wasn't all biofuel apparently, and assuming these guys sprout they will very likely go in the ground soon enough.

Totally off topic, but our daffodils started blooming about a week ago, months early, all over town.

And now I'm at Momma's house waiting for her to get off work so I can go home. I borrowed her car to tote us around and have to pick her up and give the car back.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

had bitten the dust

The shoes really could have ben retired, and they once had been. They came out of retirement with the cold weather and a rainy spell.

As a rule I tend to wear my shoes plumb out. That's the correct wording where I live, by the way. And yet another pair has finaly become too destroyed to wear.

Because I make bad shoe purchases sometimes, I have a backup pair, a pair of Nike indoor soccer shoes in which I've never played soccer indoors. Because I so seldom wear them they are in very good condition. They are a bit wider than the shoes I'm having to part with but still fit in my toe clips, so I can ride my bike.

The shoes I'm having to part with have parted with themselves. The sole on the right shoe was, till a few short hours ago, still mostly attached, though I had noticed that hold becoming more tenuous lately.

Indoor soccer shoes will never again be on my shoping list. I don't hate hem, and I did in fact choose them intentionally as some sort of fashion statement. They do have nice lines, but they aren't especially comfortable and don't have great traction. I should imagine they'd be better in some sort of soccer setting, though outside and on real grass is not that setting. I did try them there and can be quite frank about this.

Perhaps a trip to Target is in order. Or perhaps I will accept these damn shoes as my fate for the time being. I could certainly stand not to spend money on shoes at the moment, and I do have a few miles left in them after all.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

ugh doesnt even

As of recently enough I have second job. Starting next week I will be picking up a couple of nights at the pub. It's been one of my favorite places to drink a beer, and I did work there many years ago.

When I worked there I didn't even have a kitchen. I used the end of the bar and set up a panini grill. I made great use of that grill. I actually sold a fair amount of food in what was, at least at the time, a fairly brilliant idea and great menu.

I won't discuss any of what they're up to right now. I plan to both hate and love working some there, and I won't be working more than one night a week at the main job. I do hope not to lose any hours at the main. I have plenty of availability, I've just narrowed it a little.

I also haven't had a drink since Sunday. I'm not quitting drinking, but I'm still kinda pissed at myself. I blew more money than I needed and wanted, though I did then come home and did laundry and took a shower. That's worth something.

But I'm still unhappy with the evening, and I've known for a while that Sunday continues to be my downfall. I never have much in the way of plans, so I sit at the pub and slowly pickle my liver. And though I did take my nearly long ride, I did also proceed to let a quick beer turn into several. I even watched most of that damn football game.

And since I did a bad job of cutting myself off Sunday I've cut myself off til Saturday, which isn't to say I get to be an idiot if I just wait long enough. And I've already made plans Sunday to help a friend get ready to move. My long ride can easily be to her house, so I accomplish a pair of good things.

And today, my day off, I sort of did stuff. I ran a couple of errands and essentially confirmed I was taking the new old job by giving the current manager the new availability. I hope to go in tomorrow and see the new schedule, but I doubt he's finished with it yet. Can't possibly get it on the wall more than two days before it begins.

But that's a general restaurant rant, and tonight's post is all about kissing my own ass, and I'm pretty sure I covered that, so I'm out.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

something cold

Really what I need are some ear muffs. I would also like a hat made for cycling, one with ear flaps, because it's my ears that get the worst of it. But then I wouldn't need ear muffs.

I have a toboggan (it's a knit hat in the south) that tends to keep my head warm, but my cycling position means that the hat gets pushed up the back of my head and half way up my ears. At stops I can pul it back down, but as soon as I lean forward...

And I don't really have the money for that now. None of that nor the clear lens glasses that I'd like to think would keep the wind out of my eyes. The wind makes my eyes water, so my night rides involve tears running down my cheeks. I can dry with my gloves, but they just leak again and again.

Of course right this moment I'm warm and comfortable. I've ridden my ride for the night, the square to home, and it really isn't a very long ride.

I even have a nice, hot cup of coffee in front of me to help. The heater is roaring like a fire place that blows hot air instead of burning wood for heat. I'm listening to NPR so the classical music can make me smart and cultured. Actually it's becase the college station has shit for a signal over much of the town, but I don't dislike classical music.

And I do realize that I'm using the word classical as an umbrella term for numerous genres and subgenres. I don't really care so long as no one starts singing. None of that is even the point though.

There isn't a point at all. I just wanted to complain right at first, then my coffee was ready, and the smoke calmed me down as the chill lifted. Suddenly I didn't have that gripe, and from there this whole post just fell apart.

I really can't apologize enough. I really feel like I should get on to writing something truly awe inspiring. If you'll only give me a minute I'll get right to it. I'm sure I have a delightful nugget of grand eloquence just waiting to get at my thumbs.

P.s. I'm also sorry about not labelling my posts. I haven't bothered to figure that out, and this app doesn't seem to have found them.

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Friday, February 03, 2012


New Belgium's new spring seasonal is called Dig and is a pale ale. Lately I can't seem to get enough hops.

It isn't as boldly hoppy as Sweetwater's IPA, but then it shouldn't be. It does have a nice hop quality about it assuming you aren't in it for a hop asault.

Admittedly I was kinda looking for more of the upfront and in your face hoppiness, so my first taste feels like a bit of a letdown. But let's not leave it there. 

Dig is a good beer. The more subdued hop flavor gives a more balanced approach to the flower. One can taste more of what it's fullly capable of. And if you taste  each sip you find each one showcases the hops a little differently, or maybe I'm giving the beer time to win me over and noticing the nuance.

And remembering that honesty thing I might have mentioned I can honestly say that enjoying beer in a sensible way feels really nice. When you average binge drinking more nights than not you get to where you don't really notice the things you realy like about beer. You get to where any old beer will do.

But then you start to wake yourself up and decide to stop drinking like a frat boy. It's still a thing I'm working on, and it's nice to be able to notice and consider the use of hops again.

The first Dig is already history. Was it that good, or did I just chug my first beer of the night much too quickly? Honestly, it's a little of both. I'll drink one more to test the theory, but then it's off to bed.

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

wouldnt have guesed

My whole point I was trying to make in that last post is that I'm not even a bit sure what it is I'm supposed to be doing.  When I was in the closet I was so used to lying that I did it without even thinking about it.

I'm not doing that any more, and I sometimes still don't know how to talk to people without the lies of the closet. Honesty has made it hard to blog. But I want to and need to and need to be honest.

Maybe that's the hard part I wasn't willing to be able to recognize, that I used to lie a lot.

Truth-I'm closer to forty than I want to admit. I have two sons, thirteen and eight years old as of now, though one is closer to nine, while the other is going to be taller than me within a couple of years if not sooner.

I accept that I'm gay and am happy with that. I'm not really doing anything about it, not having sex for the most part. I'm not averse to getting busy, but I have figured out that I'm not happy with hooking up or random sex. Knowing that one of us will be rushing out the door soon after the deed is done leaves a bit of something to be desired. So I'm not doing that.

I'm under paid at my job and will probably always be, and I'm too old for the job. I can't do it forever but don't really feel like I've got any skill set that would take me into a better job.

There is some growing need in me, a feeling that I need to do something if only I could figure out what that is. I need to create something big.

Getting back into something like a habit writing this damn blog feels like the begining of moving myself forward. I do miss writing, and I definitely miss the feeling of knowing people are reading and sometimes commenting.

And now I feel like I've circled this thing enough. It's time to shit or get off the pot. Or maybe I'll just sit here a minute more to make sure I'm done.

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My boss let me borrow his Willie Nelson cd. He has more, but the one he brought to work is obviously from a gas station somewhere between here and elsewhere on an exit from I40. I don't fault the cd its beginnings because it's a great bunch of tracks, Willie Nelson and other singers doing random songs.

I'm also thinking about my blog. I'm trying to post again, and even though I have to use my phone I'm bound to get the hang of it. Even though my mouth runsover with words, and even though the mouth has to speak through the thumbs . . .

I started the blog to air my own whatever when I was the stay-at-home-dad and homeschooler. Now I'm the working again father of the same kids who now attend public school and who now also have a mostly openly gay dad.

I say mostly openly because I'm not as out as I could be at their schools. But then it hasn't really come up. They probably assume Momma and I are together because at least half the time they see either of us they see both.

And blogging over the past couple of years has been, at least in my mind, somewhat fraught with perils. That those perils are all either imagined or non-problem-thinging hasn't seemed to get through to me.

So I've not blogged too often, and I've had a great excuse. Honestly I've always got great excuses.

I've written this same post any number of times, but I'm not sure how often I posted it. I want to hink that most posts about posting were left in the drafts-to-be-deleted bin. Not this one of course.

You're welcome to wonder how any of the preceeding relates to each other, and you'd be welcome to. The song on the cd with Dolly and Willie is on right now, and I kind of wish you'd just let me listen.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

momma's hill

I rode up Momma's hill today in third gear. That's a first for me I think, though I may have done it accidentaly once before.

Tomorrow is bike maintainence day, so maybe I'll straighten out that rear derailer finally, but until I do I don't have my first or seventh gears available.

I also need to wipe him down, clean off the last of the mud from when I rode where I shouldn't have, and the chain is in dire need of oil.

But back to my gearing, and this is just me bragging, but I've been riding in eighth gear for the most part lately until very recently. I'm now in ninth!

I have twelve available gears on my bike. Really I only have ten because of that whole derailer thing I've already mentioned. Of those ten I use only one for the vast majority of my riding. There are some hills that require a smaller high gear and some that make you go really low. But for the most part I don't really change gears a whole lot.

For me to now be more comfortable in the slightly higher gear can only further prove my own personal greatness.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Back when

Our hospital visit lasted just over a week, though while there we were being warned to expect Big Brother to be there for at least two weeks. Treating him with antibiotics ran the two weeks, but we were able to finish that at home. Remind me to tell you sometime about the grenades. Slices of brain would also be a good story from the stay.

And now it's been nearly four weeks since the ordal began, and I'm still taken aback at the suddeness of it all, from his becoming so damn sick to being back to normal.

Similar episodes have a way of sometimes causing some of us to ask those questions, life, the universe, and everything sort of questions.

For many it's a combination of a test of faith as well as a proof of the faith in the existence of a supreme being.

I didn't really go either of those directions for the most part. The whole thing did cause me to think, but more than anything I felt the need to question myself. I had to look at some of the value sytems I've allowed to run the state, and I've had to admit that I haven't been doing the best job.

In truth I've known all of this. This is why I finally made resolutions to start the year when it was still new. And I failed within a week. And then extenuating circumstances gave me something else to think about for a while.

As for great questions of life and the eternal mysteries I have to say that my resolution I've done best with is to make a big cut in overall alcohol intake, and aren't these questions best discussed over a series of pints? I feel like my priorities are letting me down right when I've gotten some good ones.

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Not quite certain

When I promised more regular posting I wasn't lying or didn't intend to. I was certain I'd have that laptop working and would have time and would get stuff moving. It didn't quite work out that easily, and I blame the laptop.

It didn't work worth shit is what I'm going to say about it. It's old and didn't like to stay on the connection I had at the hospital and doesn't have a usb port that fits modernity.

And now weeks have passed and we're back to the daily grind and I'm no better about posting than ever. So I downloaded a new app

That might help me post more.

I tried posting from regular ol' blogger, but then I remembered why I gave up on that so long ago. It looks neat and clean on my screen but sucks as far as the parts that are supposed to do what you tell them. And I looked up the actual google app for blogger and remembered hating it too. I even found the old app that I also didn't like and installed so long ago.

Will this new app be the thing to get my game back, or will it give me yet another excuse to not post?

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Monday, January 09, 2012

a return of sorts

It's been just over four months since the last time I posted, and that also means that I haven't been near a computer that wasn't my phone for nearly four months.  My phone is mostly a good enough computer, but I've let the blog wither rather than attempt to post from the tiny keyboard.  I don't care how easy Swype makes texting and tweeting, I'm not going to deal with a blog post.  And if you had any idea what sort of beast I become at the editing stage you'd understand.

I imagine most anyone that visits here is a Facebook friend, so you're likely aware that I'm likely posting from the hospital, East Tennessee Children's Hospital to be exact. And if you are aware of that then you probably know at least a bit of what's been happening in my life recently.

Before I go too much into that I'm going to wander around some of the things that are on my mind right now.   Being able to get back to the blog is a new and exciting thing and something I've been wanting and wishing for. I truly miss my episodes of getting to air my brain out.  I miss the writing of course, but I also miss when I had a bit of readership and, dare I say, a fanbase.

I can't go too much farther into this post without thanking the lovely young lady who  loaned us her laptop and the whole Wolf family for being great friends/family to me and my family.  I'm not sure how long we'll actually be at the hospital, but I may have the laptop and the time to fire off a few posts.  One of my hopes for 2012 is to regain regular computer access and to revive the clutter filled desk, or lap as the case may be.

A lot has happened in the last five (or so) days, and I have a lot to process.  My brain is filled with thinking about things, and I've got several directions I'd like to move toward and write about.  As long as I can get online with more than my phone I plan to delve into all this, and I'm sure I'll have the time.

This post is mostly for me to get back into the habit and for any reader to have an introduction into what to expect over the next few days.  Big Brother is likely to be cooped up for at least a few days, and Momma and I will be taking turns being here.  I'll easily have so time to fill.

For now I'll post this so that I can walk outside and take care of my dirty habit.  I might even get myself a caffeinated beverage.  I won't be sleeping anytime soon, and the time that I might get some sleep  will be a busy time for Big Brother, and I'll be awake for that.  Eventually we will all be away from the hospital, and I'll get back to normal sleeping then.