Friday, November 30, 2012

Kitty takes a whiz

The first installment of a playful series of kids books regarding Kitty's life...?!@?

It was a bright, sunny summer morning, and Kitty had slept longer than usual. The sun had been in the sky for twelve or thirteen minutes, and both of the clock’s hands were on the five. Kitty usually woke everyone up at 3:45am, but this morning she waited until 5:25am, a time that was late enough in the morning that no one would be able to get back to sleep, though they desperately needed it.
Kitty shook herself all over and meowed annoyingly, to let everyone know it was time for her to eat. The man who controlled the food, whom Kitty liked to call Doofus or Doo-dittly-oofus if she was feeling playfully poetic, just lay there in denial, acting as if he were asleep. Kitty made her way to the faux-wood blinds hanging in the window near Doofus’ head and pulled gently on the slat that was directly in line between the morning sun and Doofus’ eyes. When the blinds were pulled away from the window, and a ray of sunlight pierced Doofus’ eyelid, Kitty paused for just a moment, enjoying how tightly Doofus squeezed his eyes shut. Just as he grew accustomed to the sun and started to relax, kitty released the blinds; their faux-wood make-up made them heavy, and they made quite a clatter as they crashed into the window.  
Doofus eyes flew open, and he looked at the clock and quickly processed the information, realizing with a sigh that there would be no more sleep for him today. Kitty smiled, enjoying watching Doofus’ mind realize how screwed he was. Kitty hopped down to the floor, and with a screech-like meow darted behind the mirror leaning against the wall.
Doofus sat up on the edge of the bed, and kitty poked her head out from behind the mirror and screeched again, “For the love of God! Someone please help me!!” she called out, over and over.
Doofus hated that particular tone and swooped down to grab Kitty just as she disappeared behind the mirror again.
“Really? You suck!” Doofus whispered, so as not disturb Mrs. Doofus, who somehow managed to sleep peacefully through it all.
“Screw you then,” Doofus said and sat back down. He was about to lay down again, when he realized that Puppy had quickly moved up and taken over his spot and was now laying on his pillow and licking her privates.
“ You suck too!” Doofus said quietly to Puppy. “I should have left you both at the humane society!” he said and chuckled, pleased that even in the throes of sleep deprivation he was able to come up with such scathing remark. Puppy rolled over, and her tail thumped the pillow rhythmically, the insult soaring by far above her.
Just then Kitty hopped up to the window and reached for the blinds, one eye on Doofus all the while.
Doofus  lashed out and grabbed kitty, only getting one front leg. The other front leg and both back legs ran in place as Kitty tried to get away, launching everything from the night stand onto the floor. Mrs. Doofus made a small noise and rolled over, quickly finding deeper sleep again.
Doofus picked up Kitty and headed to the pantry to feed her. Kitty still had half a bowl of food and began purring in anticipation of eating it.
“Son of a bitch!” Doofus exclaimed. “You already have food…why don’t you come look before you start crying about how tough you have it!”
Kitty stood patiently by her bowl and waited for additional food to be added before she began eating. Doofus was taking his sweet time, so she screeched at him again, “For the love of God, Please help me!”
Doofus added breakfast to the remnants of dinner and turned to walk away, now fully awake. Kitty hopped down and ran after him, darting between his legs and causing him to stumble into the edge of the counter top.
“Really? Now you’re not hungry?”
Kitty sprinted ahead of Doofus and ran into the bathroom. She knew he was way passed sleep now, so if he was headed this way it was to take a whiz. Kitty briefly rued the fact that she was unable to close and lock the door, and then sprang into her litter box. After making a shallow depression in a “clean” patch of litter, Kitty squatted and whizzed. She quickly filled the small depression, and the excess ran out under her rear paws. She clawed at the sides of the box, the nearby wall and a dirty shirt on the floor…anything but the actual litter that was designed specifically for the purpose of covering whiz. As Kitty wandered around in the box, some litter stuck to her urine soaked paws and they looked as if they had been dipped in crumbly blue sprinkles. When she jumped out of the litter box, the sticky litter broke free and scattered across the floor.
Sure enough, Doofus followed her into the bathroom to whiz himself. When he finished and Kitty had danced around and flung litter all about her, Doofus went to the sink to brush his teeth. Kitty quickly sprang back into the box and made a new depression in the litter, and as Doofus bent over the sink just a few feet away, Kitty put her front paws on the edge of the box and stood tall, her business-end centered over the depression. Kitty squeezed and glared at Doofus, and as the foul stench floated up around Doofus and his tooth brush, kitty began to claw at the wall, box and dirty clothes. All the while, the small mountain of dookie lay unearthed and fuming.
Doofus quickly grabbed the litter scoop and covered everything in the box, gagging slightly at both the visual and aromatic presence of both whiz and dookie.
Kitty seemed pleased and darted off toward the pantry, the few remaining pieces of litter flying off her paws as she went. With a look back at Doofus she called out annoyingly, “For the love of god, Please help me!”

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

All you have to do is...

In these trying times, when faith in the government and in American ingenuity are waning, the problems we face are apparently much simpler to resolve than the state of things would indicate. If politicians only had the insight that many people I know seem to have. Almost daily, I hear simple fixes for our problems that usually begin with, "All you have to do is..."
To remedy an overwhelming national debt, all you have to do is institute a flat income tax, with no loopholes; everyone pays 10% of what they make. The IRS disappears, because the taxes are taken out of paychecks and turned over to the treasury. No more charitable-contribution-deductions, which for most of us translates directly into no more charitable-contributions. An unexpected benefit might be that people have to face their true feelings regarding charitable acts, resulting in a renewed commitment to helping those who need help...
To stimulate jobs, all you have to do is drug test people on welfare. These freeloaders would lose there funding and be forced to go to work to get money for their next "fix." Easy-peasey, no more welfare-state. An unexpected benefit might be that people earning their own money wouldn't want to give it away so freely, but there is also the distinct possibility that they aren't all drug addicts, and drug testing might not eliminate the program at all and only add great expense.
To bring jobs back to America, all you have to do is stop buying products made in China. Try it, it's not possible. There is really no reason to delve any further into this one to discredit it. They really should celebrate the 4th of July and Lincoln's birthday in China. Imagine celebrating those holidays here in America without China's napkins, plates, utensils, balls and bats or Frisbees, no invitations to send out for your bbq, no grill...what would we do without China? It seems that we're rather ungrateful to the country that's keeping us afloat. OR, maybe we could actually stop shopping at Satan's store (you know the one I mean...they're everywhere) and instead of wanting to only pay 59 cents for a thousand paper plates, we could pay a buck for a hundred made right here in America.

Any social remedy that begins with "All you have to do is...," inevitably leads down a convoluted path that requires the kind of personal sacrifice that we seem to have lost the taste for. When deciding if we can do without a product that a carefully produced ad makes apparent that everyone else has, our introspective rarely goes past step one of the flow chart... 1. Do I want it?

On a lighter note, I saw a t-shirt that said "In dog beers I've only had two."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Team Work

"American deaths in Afghanistan hits 2,000"

     What a headline to start my Sunday morning with. I guess the headline would be too long that reads "They don't want us there, we don't want to be there, people are dying for no reason, nothing has changed why are we still there?"
     The troubling thing is that there is no cause to believe in, no way of looking at our presence in Afghanistan that makes you either patriotic or not. There's a team goal here that most of the team doesn't understand, and it is completely unachievable even if you do get it.
     There was a show on TV about a group of US military explosive experts that had the job of clearing a one mile section of dirt road in Afghanistan, to provide access to a bridge. After 5 days and the loss of many vehicles to explosive devices, the detonator of which was hiding out in nearby dwellings, they had only "cleared" 800 yards of road.
     It's just discouraging to be part of something that you don't believe in, yet there is nothing you can do about it. I feel a letter to my Senators and Representatives coming on...those are always so productive. Maybe if we all told them how we feel? I haven't spoken with anyone who thought we should be in Afghanistan or any other part of the Middle East, so I think the feedback they would receive would be that the people they represent and who elected them want our military to be removed from the Middle East.
     Here's a headline...
"America's presence in countries that would collectively prefer to strap on a continental sized underwear bomb and destroy the US reaches zero."

If Iran developing nuclear weapons threatens world peace, which it does, then the world needs to step up. The US...I mean the UN (including all of its members, even France) needs to protect world peace.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Assembling the pieces

"Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out"

Sometimes I didn't even know I was following a wall, and I wasn't always on the same side of it. Some things that were kept on the other side were limits and some were fears, but either way they were only partially accessible...much like like Wilson on Home Improvements, always partially obscured.

The wall allowed for "what if?" and enjoyable dreams, where denied opportunities were replaced by the delightfully sweet rewards that were showered down on imaginary greatness, as it was finally revealed. Like winning a huge powerball jackpot...almost impossible but wonderful to think about.

Once the command goes out to "tear down the wall!" and all of the unjust repression and constraints are removed, the lines of expectations and reality mix, and things are not so clear..."Wilson!"
As a kid in high school, Pink Floyd tapped into my teenage angst, and the wall was a protective barrier..."hey teacher, leave those kids alone!" As long as things were unfair, then there was always a reason why you had to protect yourself.

The other day someone very wise told me that it was great that I finally got to do something I loved...
What? I reached all around me and couldn't find even one brick from the wall...dammit, where are the self imposed limits when you need them? What do I love? Ohhhh, this was going to hurt. I was simply running from something, hoping that the where-to would resolve itself along the way.

Robert Frost makes it sound so innocent..."What was I walling in or walling out?"
Really? Can't anything just be easy. Now I have to figure out the endgame, because I have reached the point where the moves make no sense and cost a lot of money without a purpose.
Small pieces, small pieces, small pieces...
Okay, who am I?

Saturday, July 14, 2012


     It’s always something small that carries subtle enough meaning to get deep in my head and slowly start retrieving little memories and assembling them into feelings that eat at me silently. When the moment comes where I remember the subtle prodding that started it all, I’m always amazed at the complex path my mind took in recognizing the importance of that small moment. What ultimately became dreams of the west coast and a longing to be nearer my kids and the days when we were all together started with an innocent request.

     Some friends came over recently with their two young kids, like they have many times. I always dig out the video games and search for batteries to replace the ones that slowly died since the last time the kids were over and used the games. And then a very serious, earnest request came when I failed to find enough fresh batteries to power more than one controller. “You know how you can never find enough batteries? Before we come over again, can you buy a big pack of batteries?”

     That was weeks ago, and as I sat here drinking my coffee this morning that request went through my head again.

     When my kids left home, they took the need for batteries with them. There are so many things that kids keep alive with their presence….what a void their absence creates. There is a definite peace and sense of completeness that the old days are wrapped in. Life goes on and finds new direction, and everything is unknown and unfamiliar again. As thrilling as that can be, it can also be very stressful and trying.

     Sometimes it would be nice to just be the guy again who always had a box of batteries and was ridiculed while losing at video games...

“You’re so old dad.”
"Aw, come here and give me a hug you little rascal."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Peace and the Underwear Bomb

It seems that the terrorists of the world have perfected the underwear bomb, and the martyrs are lining up to step into a pair. How is it possible that the world will ever be okay when there are those who are willing to wear explosive tighty whities? Who wears exploding underwear? It seems like a self-loathing way to end it all, a throw back to the ancient belief that sex equals sin...the ultimate dichotomy; the human race can't continue without reproduction, and sexuality is the expression of sin.
It takes a twisted sort of bravery to wear doomsday briefs...the first thing wearing an underwear bomb takes is cajones, followed by the rest of your privates.
I'm so tired of people inflicting harm on others in the name of a cause that supposedly has faith in God at its center. Really? Christians, Pagans and Muslims have been slaughtering each other to no avail since before the crusades, but here we are in 2012 sporting the recently perfected underwear bomb.
I think we should cast those willing to wear an underwear bomb into a lake, and if they don't drown they are guilty and should wear an underwear bomb into the forest. The obvious question is if no innocents are killed by an underwear bomb in the forest, does it make a sound?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Sky Lightens, Just as it Did Yesterday

If you hold your hand out in front of you at arms length and look down over the top of it, it looks as though your fingers are all cut off at the knuckle. It's more effective with one eye closed. When it looks like your fingers are gone, it's much easier to imagine how you would get by without them; life would definitely be different, but you would adapt.

When I tried to imagine retiring and not having the stable life I have had for so long, there was no way to simulate the loss of the glue that held our family together since I was 24. And for my last moments at work, I imagined that certain things would be significant and meaningful...symbolic.

I thought the final time that I passed through the turnstile, that always seemed to shake violently closed behind me as I entered work each morning, would possibly bring a tear to my eye as it shook to a stop, this last time with me on the outside; but I'm not sure it even made a noise as I left. I got in my car, drove away and didn't look back. I thought of pulling over near the freeway for one last look at the mammoth building I had worked in, but I decided that it felt like an empty gesture, and I put on my turn signal and drove down into traffic.

The whole thing just ended, and the only meaningful moments were, surprisingly, when I logged off of my computer for the last time, windows chiming as the screen went dark, and after I went through the turnstile for the last time and realized that I couldn't go back into the secured area if I wanted to.

My life looks different than I imagined it would, and until this morning I didn't really understand...I am poor. People keep asking me how retirement is, and I keep saying I'm not really retired, because my life is going to get a lot tougher. The truth is, I am retired and now able to do exactly what I want to do...grow up.