Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Flashback: The End?

I'm starting a new feature today, the Friday Flashback. The plan is to to repost something from my archives. Hopefully, it will be something you haven't read before. Today's entry was originally posted May 13, 2004.

Here we were, after all these months, the nights, the days, the phone calls, the arguments. After so many times of almost ending it, we were finally about to do it. I thought it was for the best, and I'm sure she felt the same. But still, while on the outside my actions and words indicated I was ready to go and that I no longer cared, inside my heart was clinging to her as tightly as it could.

And while initially, the physical body may win that battle. In the long run, the heart will still be holding on, long after she is gone. When I can no longer see her face, hear her voice, smell her perfume, look into her eyes, my heart will still feel her, long for her, remember her, love her.

There is always that moment when you feel like you still have a chance to save it all. And you think that maybe if you just say "I'm sorry" or "I don't want this" or "I love you" that maybe, just maybe, everything will be OK. I mean, is it so bad to apologize even when you don't feel like you were wrong? Is it so wrong to give in and lose one battle in order to save months or years spent building a relationship? No. But it is difficult. It is a hard thing to swallow one's pride. But pride makes a lousy companion.

How did we get here? When did we stop fighting for each other and start fighting against each other? That is the million dollar question. And I have no answer. I suppose that it starts with something small. Some seemingly insignificant moment. Maybe I did not return her "I love you." Or maybe I hung up the phone on her. Or maybe I forgot to call to say I was going to be late.

And once one person stops giving one hundred percent, stops living for the other, it is only a matter of time before the other becomes weary of trying to sustain the relationship alone.

Maybe I could stop it. I probably should stop it. Or at least try. Looking back one day, I know I will see so many times when she was reaching out to me, just begging me to pay attention, to change things, to right the ship. Yet we just sailed on, slowly going down with the ship and acting as if we never saw the treacherous waters raging around us.

And suddenly I remember. I remember the girl I fell in love with. I remember every sweet thing she used to do. I remember us, before we became her and me. And I love her. And so I say it. "Let's not do this. Can't we work this out?" But then her face is strange. Her mind is made up. I can see it without her ever saying a word. It is too late. Her body is there, but she is already gone. And in that instant, my heart sinks to the pit of my stomach. It breaks. My eyes water. I can barely breathe. My life, my world, my best friend, my partner, is gone...

And then the phone rings. And I wake up. All at once I realize it was all a dream. Everything is OK. Wrong number. I hang up and call her. I wake her up. It does not matter. I have to tell her. I tell her I love her twenty times. She has no idea what has gotten into me. But that is OK. She is here. She is wonderful. Life is good. And I am thankful that it was only a dream. And I make a vow to myself to try harder, to do better, so I will never have to face the end.

"And I know that you'd be here right now, if I coulda let you know somehow..."

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Keep your seats, please

Blogging away while wondering why I keep receiving mail-outs from The Scooter Store and a reminder for the Surviving in the 21st Century senior citizens seminar. Perhaps I can drive to the nearest Scooter Store and give them back. Or just cancel my mail.

The weather today was gorgeous. I opened the sunroof, adjusted the rear-view so that I could look at my beard (yeah, that's normal), then drove around listening to cassettes. You just aren't going to find that last sentence anywhere else in the blogosphere, my friends. If you're nice, I'll make you a mix tape. Like many of you I'm sure, days like today make me want to play frisbee. I think that would be one of the best things about being a dog. Playing frisbee. That and not having to work.

However, forgive me if I do seem a bit cantankerous this eve. I'm still not over being submitted to coerced standing ovations Monday night. And having to miss all but ten minutes of 24. I had to attend some chamber of commerce banquet. You know the drill. Every single person who goes up on stage gets a standing ovation. I'm the last person to stand up each time. Because I keep thinking maybe we won't stand up for this one. So I look around to see if anyone isn't standing. Because if just one other person isn't standing, then I won't either. But everyone is. So I give in to peer pressure, sigh very heavily, then act like it's a major chore to stand up and clap. I think maybe I'm developing a few misanthropic tendencies. (I only know that word because it was used to describe Larry David in an article I was reading once.)

It is my opinion that we are giving way too many standing ovations in this country. A standing ovation used to mean something. You had to save a life. Or win a Nobel Prize. Or score a touchdown. But now? It's like the NBA slam dunk contest. It just doesn't mean what it used to. We're giving standing ovations to every Tom, Dick, and President who walk into a room. It's lost its luster. Like a month-old imitation silver watch that your girlfriend gave you. Like the Super Bowl halftime show.

Let me tell you something. If you get a standing ovation, chances are that, at most, five percent of the people really wanted to stand up. The rest are just thinking "here we go again." If I were getting a standing ovation, I would rather just ten or twenty people stand up. Because at least I'd know they meant it.

Contrast all this with Sunday night, when I went to see Merle Haggard in concert. He put on an excellent show. And I was happy to see that he still played and sang very well. A legend. A songwriting genius. He got several standing ovations. Deservedly so.

And the misanthrope in the balcony didn't even sigh.

"Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear. Beads and Roman sandals won't be seen..."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rumors of my demise

Just a note to say that I'm alive. Haven't been able to post anything for a few days. Things that have been going on have dominated my thoughts. And everything that I've written has been very dark or sounds like self-pity.

When I began this, blogging was just a new, fun thing to try. I never thought it would last this long. I never thought anyone besides my real life friends would begin to read it. I never thought I would get to be fairly popular on here. With more readership came the opportunity to chat with and get to know other bloggers. And while the experience has been initially wonderful, it has opened me up to the danger of others revealing things about me that I'd rather keep private.

As contradictory as this may sound, I am a very private person. Blogging, ideally, allows us to expose as much or as little as we wish about ourselves. Yet it is done in an anonymous and safe way. I wish I had remained anonymous forever. I should have. I can write what I choose to write, and keep to myself those things I deem too personal. But now too many people know too much.

I remarked to someone the other day that now maybe I know in some very small way how celebrities feel. To go thru something very painful and very personal. And then to have it talked about or written about in a completely slanted or dishonest way. Never getting to tell your side of the story. And knowing that even if you did, it won't ever change some people's opinions of you. There are always at least two sides to every story.

You know the old saying "Sticks and stones..." That's not true for me. Words hurt me much more deeply than anything else ever could. And I'm not the kind of person who can fire back with equally malicious things. That's just not me. I'd rather take the blame, the guilt, and suffer. Because I think I deserve it. I'm a very sensitive person. Probably overly sensitive. It just became too personal. And I felt I couldn't take anymore.

So I seriously considered quitting this blog this morning. This was originally going to be a farewell post. But thanks to a friend, I changed it. She told me, "I can't believe you are going to let this defeat you." And she was right. I'm sure I've lost or will lose a few readers. But blogging is the sole reason I've rediscovered my love for writing and desire to write. And I'm not going to throw it away just because of a bad experience and a few hateful comments.

Blogging began as a mostly anonymous thing. And I believe bloggers should have an understanding and mutual respect to keep it that way. That being said, I opened myself up. The blame lies entirely on me. And I accept it. All.

On one final, very important note, I want to say the most heartfelt thank you to the handful of you who have offered your support to me during this. I didn't ask for it. You just gave it. And it literally moves me to tears to think about you right now. You'll never know how much that meant. When I needed it more than you could possibly know, you were there. That will never be forgotten.

Thank you for reading. And I hope to be back to normal blogging tomorrow.

"I'm sorry for the way things are in China. I'm sorry things ain't what they used to be. But more than anything else, I'm sorry for myself. Cos you're not here with me..."

Friday, March 24, 2006

When I grow up

(NOTE: Blogger's word verification seemed to be broken Sunday night and early Monday. I turned off word verification yesterday for awhile. Everything seems to be working properly now. Please let me know if you have problems.)

(This really didn't start out to be some kind of motivational post. And I'm sure you've all heard about my desire to write ad nauseam. Nevertheless...)

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I remember in high school we had to fill out a little questionaire for the prom booklet. One of the questions was where do you see yourself in ten years? I'm not sure what I said. Probably something like married, with a child or one on the way, and probably something about what job I'd have. I tell you what I didn't say. I didn't say that I'd be 33 years old and single and have a blog. But life doesn't always go like we plan.

So what did I want to be when I was young? Well, besides a garbage man, of course. Why do kids want to be garbage men anyway? Or maybe it was just me. I think it's because when you're a kid, that's really one of the only jobs you see and know about. The garbage man. Twice a week. You get to ride on the back of that big truck. And when you're a kid, big trucks are cool. Garbage truck, dump truck, bulldozer, fire engine, etc. Anyway, I'm straying from my point.

Early signs indicated I wanted to be a writer. I've already told you about my first book. Well, probably around the same time, a couple of neighborhood kids and I "published" our own newspaper. The publishing business is hard work. Especially without a printing press. Or a copy machine. Or a typewriter... Or carbon paper. Yes, every issue had to be meticulously copied by hand. It was like we were transcribing the Dead Sea Scrolls or something.

What was in this neighborhood gazette, you might ask? Well, it was a combination of current news, neighborhood social events, and op-ed pieces. But more times than not, it was stuff like "Bone defeated Chad 21-17 in basketball Wednesday. The game was played at the goal in the Vance's driveway." Then we walked around the neighborhood trying to sell it door-to-door for like fifty or seventy-five cents. I think we published two issues. Man, was my hand tired.

Then all thru high school, I always said I wanted to be a journalist. Journalism. That was going to be my major in college. Until I got there and found out how much English was involved. I love to write. But I never cared to learn all the technical correct grammar stuff. Nor did I ever like to read something I was told to read. Only things I wanted to read. So I was scared away from that. Everyone had always said I was great with computers. I pick things up really quickly. So that's what I did. It was something I was able to do. It was something I was good at. But it was never truly what I wanted to be doing. It has taken me all these years to realize that. Or rediscover it. Or not be afraid to admit it.

So my theory is that maybe we know what we want to be from a fairly young age. It was true for me. And in talking to a few people about this in recent days, it was true for them as well. A few of them pursued it. Most haven't. Many people I know are not doing what they really want to do with their life. Maybe they have a comfortable job. Maybe it pays well. But deep down, there's always that unexplored dream.

My question is why? Why didn't they? Why didn't I? After all, I can really only speak for myself. Doubts. Fears. Taking the easy way out. Being satisfied with having a job and getting by. Being intimidated by something that seems so incredibly daunting, like submitting my writing to an editor. I have known what I wanted to do all along. But I let all these things that shouldn't even matter deter me. Even realizing and saying all this means nothing if I do nothing about it. Then, at least I can say I tried. And that's saying a lot.

Life doesn't always go like we plan. But sometimes it goes like we allow.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Are you doing it?
If not, why not?
Happy pondering ;-)

"And if your train's on time, you can get to work by nine. And start your slaving job to get your pay..."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

In a year

In a year
Will you be here
Will I be there
Will we be one
Or still two

Will we look back
On these days
With laughter
Or tears
And regret

Will there be an us
Or others
Will we still talk
Will we still wonder

Will a thousand lonely nights
Seem a million miles away
In a year

"If my heart had wings, I would fly to you and lie beside you as you dream..."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

State of the Blog Address

Congratulations to Pia. She has made the finals of the Koufax Awards in the Best Writing category. Very deservedly so. She has become somewhat of a mentor to me. Unwittingly or not. And a friend. I encourage you to visit the awards site and vote for her blog, Courting Destiny.

I apologize for not blogging much lately. Think I've been stricken with the worst case of writer's block since... that really bad world famous writer's block case of many years ago? Lately, everytime I have sat down to write, the only thing that comes to mind is how there's nothing to write about. I try to pretend I have a writing job and I have to churn out a column by a deadline. But still, nothing. And so, you end up with this scintillating entry.

When I started blogging, it was basically a recap of daily events. And an admittedly poorly written one at that. I even put the names of people, places, and events in ALL CAPS. Very distracting revolutionary. If you don't believe me, just check out the November 2003 archives over on the sidebar there. Yep. And now? Well, at least I don't use all caps anymore.

As I often tell people, I blogged in obscurity for well over a year. Comments were as scarce as people willing to go hunting with Dick Cheney. Last March, my blog received 41 comments. Total. For the entire month. I was like the WB of the blogosphere. Then a funny thing happened on the way to blogging oblivion. I began to write more stories. I posted a silly little post last June asking where readers were from. It got 30 comments. My most ever. Then I got 10 comments on my next post. Then six. Then eleven. And on and on.

Not that comments are the only thing that matter. But for me, someone who wants to write, they are very important. Writing isn't like so many other fields or professions. If you and I play tennis, it's easy to determine who won. If we play ten times and you beat me ten times, it's fairly safe to say you're better than me at tennis. If I go bowling and my average score for three games is 200, I would consider myself a good bowler. But writing isn't like that.

Only recently have I begun to realize that not everyone can write. I always figured if I could write something, then everyone could write at least that well. I just assumed that they chose not to. Does that make sense? It never dawned on me that I had any sort of above average ability. Because writing isn't quantifiable. Unless you write a book and it becomes a best seller or something. That's one reason that feedback is of the utmost importance.

Especially since I'm not an accomplished writer. At all. Just the opposite actually. But writing is the one thing I've found that I enjoy that I also believe I can be good at. People tell me I can write. But my confidence is very shaky. I look for reassurance. I crave feedback. You have given that to me. And I could never ever stress enough how thankful I am.

Writer's block is tough. All I ever wanted to do was write. And now. I can't? That's like telling Chuck Woolery he can't host anymore game shows. Then again, if I have writer's block, does that by default mean that I am indeed a writer?

Thinking about it like that makes my inner hairy man smile.

"Dear Sir or Madam will you read my book? It took me years to write it, will you take a look?"

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My inner hairy man

Remember the Cheers episode where Frasier convinces the guys to go on a cross-country road trip in order to get in touch with their inner hairy man? Well, if you don't, this post probably isn't gonna work for you. I'm kidding. Sort of. The inner hairy man is defined as the primal beast that lurks inside all males. Lately, I've been letting mine out. Literally, if not figuratively.

I've been letting my facial hair grow. Haven't shaved since Thursday. First because of the Alabama NCAA tournament pact. Then Bama lost Saturday night. So I was allowed to shave. But I decided I kinda like not shaving. It saves time in the morning. Saves money, since razor blades are now like $10 for a pack of four. Razors are very rare here in America. Apparently. And, I actually like the way it looks thusfar.

It is different, however. I've never not been clean shaven. Except for the infamous Goatee Experiment of 1998. (Or Goatee Disaster, depending on who you talk to, her or me.) That lasted about two months. Tonight, I was eating at one of our "regular" restaurants and the female bartender complimented my newfound roughage. So you know what that means. Goodbye Mach3. Hello scruffy new look?

Never fear ladies. I'm sure that shortly I'll be back to my clean-shaven taut pre-teen Swedish boy image. But for now, I have to do this. It's part of being a man. Who knows, maybe I'll venture out into the wilderness and camp out under the stars this weekend. Or put a new set of plug wires on the car. More likely though, these seedlings you see on my face will be the extent of my search for my inner primal beast.

To wit, I did something this afternoon I bet none of you have ever done. At least not in the past fifteen years. I took a Milli Vanilli cassette out of the tape player in my car and replaced it with a New Kids On The Block cassette. The key factor in buying my car was that it had both a CD and cassette player. And the cassette player is one of those high-tech ones that will seek for the beginning of the next song. I just hope no one who passes me in the car can read lips.

Hmm. If I do go camping, maybe I can take a cassette player. That's still roughing it! It's not like I'm bringing an iPod.

Yes, this hairy man thing is definitely more cosmetic than internal so far.

"I got rice cookin' in the microwave. Got a three-day beard I don't plan to shave. And it's a goofy thing but I just gotta say. Hey I'm doin' alright..."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Ides of March Madness

GroovyChick has started a General Hospital blog. Daily recaps. From someone who knows enough about me to likely keep me from ever becoming President. Scary. I just remembered. I had a dream about Manny Ruiz last night.

Oh, and I've brought back the scoreboard on the sidebar for the NCAA tournament, per request from a super cute chick. (Really, is there anything a cute girl couldn't get me to do? Actually, yes. But we won't talk about that here.) So now we'll all be able to follow the games at work, and watch as Bone's Elite Eight teams slowly fall one by one.

My Elite Eight? Right now it's Duke, West Virginia, Memphis, Gonzaga, UConn, North Carolina, Villanova, and Ohio State. Why no Final Four? I haven't narrowed it down yet. Still have a few hours. To me, this first weekend of the NCAA tournament is maybe the best four days of the year sports-wise. A friend of mine is getting the Direct TV Mega March Madness package. Bama plays at 1:40. Gonna try to leave work early today to go watch the game(s). Oh, and we're doing our usual not-shaving-till-Bama-loses thing. Bone could be bit unkempt!

Speaking of the sidebar, I'm now a flippery fish in the TTLB Ecosystem. (Wonder if I could use that as a pick-up line.) Actually, I think Pablo is pretty excited. I really think I got a good fish. Was over at Mom's the other night and her fish darts around like the fielder on Atari Baseball. Hmm, probably not a high percentage of readers will get that reference. OK, so he darts around like... a disoriented moth? Anyway, Pablo "naps" with me. And when I come home, I can wave from across the room and he'll start getting excited, swimming all around. I think I got a good fish.

Back in high school, a couple of friends and I made a pact. If we were attacked by the Soviets like in Red Dawn, we would... Oh, hang on. Wrong pact. We made a pact to have our prom dates by the Ides of March. The girl I was dating around the first of the year didn't believe in dancing. Who knew! And she hadn't even seen me dance. Now, I can see someone who had seen me dance saying they didn't believe in dancing. That's completely understandable. The next girl I asked was in eighth grade. And her Mom wouldn't let her go. Fortunately, the third girl I asked said yes. She must have been heavily medicated :) Anyway, that's what I think of when I hear the ides of March.

Speaking of Oreos? Why do we even still have single stuff Oreos? Seriously. Ponder this for a bit. I have been. Obviously. Do any of you still prefer single stuffs over double stuffs? I mean, not that there's anything wrong with that. I just have a hard time believing there is still a huge market out there for single stuffs. We have double stuffs. It's been done. They did it. Twice the stuff. It's kinda like regular strength Tylenol. Why? Load me up. Extra strength. Maximum strength. Whatever.

More roundabout confessions from a hydrocodone addict later...

"Some people sleep all alone every night instead of taking a lover to bed. Some people find that it's easier to hate than to wait anymore..."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Golden "Silver" memories?

I heard the music as I began to wake up from an unintentional mid-afternoon nap. As unintentional as taking off your pants and lying down on the bed can be. I thought I recognized it. But as consciousness continued to slowly regain its hold, my mind reasoned, "But it can't be. Who would be showing it at this time of day? What channel did I have it on from the night before?" As I finally managed to open my eyes and turn over, I saw that it was. 90210. And not only that. But the very first episode! On SoapNet, not surprisingly. Of course, I watched it. It's a piece of television history.

BH12, as my friends and I called it. (You'll figure it out.) Wonder why that never caught on. I started watching it because of a girl, not surprisingly. Cindy K. My first love. My first broken heart. You know it had to be a special show for her to put off making out with Bone for an hour every Wednesday night. As fate would have it, Brandon, Brenda, Kelly, and Dylan would still be around long after she was gone. (Although Brenda not much longer.)

My favorite character? Tough choice, but I'm going with Steve Sanders.
My favorite episode? That's easy. Donna Martin graduates. Of course.

Sticking with the TV theme. A friend of mine IM'd me today saying something to the effect of, "Did you hear the news? Look who's quitting. It's your favorite show. What will you do?" At first, I thought Kiefer might be leaving 24. Since it's Monday and 24 is pretty much on my mind all day anyway. Then I thought maybe Anthony Geary was leaving General Hospital. I'll admit I was beginning to panic. Until my friend sent me the link. Chef Leaving South Park. Whew! Don't scare me like that.

As for 24 tonight... Good twist having Lynn save everyone. And Kim's therapist/boyfriend reminds me a little bit of Kyle Petty. As for the rest of it... who got me started watching this show anyway! If anything ever happens to Chloe or Audrey, I'm gonna lose it.

Finally, I'll leave you with this...

Which Original 90210 Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

"No sex. No drugs. And you were too much into hip hop to be rock and roll. Young David, nobody took you seriously, with good reason! You didn't come into your own until college, and before then, you were just trying to please everyone else. When you did speak up for yourself, it usually helped, though. So you held some purpose."

I'm David Silver! Go ahead. Laugh. Deride if you must. But take it yourself. Let's see what you all get. Ya bunch of Andrea Zuckermans.

Just kidding. See you all at the Peach Pit later.

"I got the green glow under my car. I got the boom boom system you can hear real far..."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Bone likes spicy chicken

Kramer: "You see, I come up with these things. I know they're gold. But nothing happens. You know why?"
Jerry: "No resources, no skill, no talent, no ability, no brains..."
Kramer: "No. No time! It's all these menial tasks. Laundry. Grocery shopping. Coming in here talking to you. Do you have any idea how much time I waste in this apartment?"
Jerry: "I could ballpark it."

Had what I think is the worst migraine I've ever had yesterday. My entire left hand went numb for a few minutes. I've never had numbness with a migraine. Just blind spots, headache, and sometimes queasiness. Anyway, it made me wonder if my fingers being numb for the last week could have been a part of it. Anyone know?

Played cards and shot pool last night. (With real people. Not virtually. It's sad I feel the need to clarify.) Realized that I prefer hanging out with small groups of friends to large groups and bright lights. Anyway, I lost at poker. Won at spades. Won at pool. I think you know where I'm going with this... two out of three ain't bad :)

Picked up a clue about the cute blonde who works at the coffee shop this morning. She has a parking pass for the local high school on her rear-view mirror. So, recapping for those who got here late. She only works on Saturdays. And she has a high school parking pass. That's what we know. Now from that, using my Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction, I have determined that can only mean one thing. She must be a high school teacher. Sweet!

At this moment, I am sitting here at work. Famished. (Pronounced fuh-meesht' in some areas of central Tennessee.) And I will stay that way until I get off. Do you know why? Because the only thing you can get delivered in this town is pizza. Now don't get me wrong, Bone likes pizza. But Bone doesn't want pizza all the time. Sometimes Bone wants Chinese. Bone likes lo mein. But even the Chinese place here doesn't deliver. What Chinese place doesn't deliver! Isn't that like a rule to get your charter? I don't mind going out to get something. But fast food gets old. And, as a bachelor, my cupboard is not always filled with tempting gustatory delights. That brings me to the entire point of this post. A couple of my entreprenurial ideas. Things I've had in the hopper for awhile.

My first idea is a food delivery service. For a small (or not-so-small) fee, we will order, pick up, and deliver a hot, savory meal to your door. You would be able to choose from a wide variety of local restaurants. It would be a bit more costly than going to get it yourself. But the entire concept is based on one simple theory. People are generally lazy. And most will pick convenience over thriftiness.

Idea number two is Bone's Hetero Haberdashery.* The world's first clothing store especially for hetero guys. (Although Sears has some pretty good stuff.) Upon entering, each male will be assisted by an attractive female. This Hetero Outfit and Raiment Expert will accompany him around the store, offering suggestions and advice on purchases. She'll ask questions like, "Do you have any slightly flared jeans in like a dark dioxide wash, slightly crinkled at the hips? Those would really look good with this shirt." This way, all guys could be well-dressed. And it would be achieved in only the most hetero of ways.

Think of it as sort of the Hooters of men's clothing.

I can see it now. The Hetero Haberdashery Hotties 16-month calendar. Oh this is gonna be big!

* - © 2006 Kramerica Industries. A tiny little division of Sosyampum Hearts. All rights reserved. (Anyone know how to make that little "tm" trademark thingy?)

"I can see a new horizon, underneath the blazing sky. I'll be where the eagle's flyin' higher and higher..."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My first book

When I was quite young, ten or eleven maybe, I decided to write a book. It was a war story. More of an epic really. And by epic, I mean short story. Think Combat meets GI Joe.

I don't remember much about the book. Not surprisingly. It was never published. I do remember there were like three main characters. In one chapter they had gotten separated from their company. And one of them got killed. I titled that chapter, "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad."

The dialogue went something like this:
"Where's Murphy?"
"He didn't make it, sir."
"Well, two out of three ain't bad."
"This is nothing to joke about!"
"Relax, Henderson. He was just trying to lighten the mood."

Umm... yeah. I also tried to illustrate the book. Whatever you may think of my writing-- good, bad, or indifferent. Let there be no doubt. I am not an illustrator. That's probably the main reason it never got published. Well, that and the fact that I never finished it. Cause let's face it, my dialogue was impeccable.

I also had a short-lived rap career. Long before Eminem. Even before Vanilla Ice. The year was 1987. The Beastie Boys "Fight For Your Right" was huge. So in Home Ec, (hey, it was either pay to take VoAg or take Home Ec for free) DNC, Hollywood, and I wrote raps. Is that the correct terminology? We busted lyrics. Composed def jams. There. That's better. We had one of those Bic four-color pens. So we were able to color-code each of our parts in each rap. It was pretty high-tech. Unfortunately, I don't remember any of these early classics of the genre. I just remember using the words juice, jammy, and girlies a lot.

And yes, in case you're wondering, I can truthfully make the following declaration: My name is Bone. And I have sewn a pair of Jam shorts. And worn them. In public.

I knew what the girlies liked.

"I'm like a lemon to a lime. A lime to a lemon. Sippin' def ale with all the fine women..."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Deep Inside

Past darkened rooms
Reserved for long lost lovers
At the end of a long hallway
Littered with broken pieces
Never repaired
In the deepest
Most hidden part
I never stopped hoping
Never stopped believing
Despite the sideways smile
The lonesome eyes
The scars
The regret
In that most secret of places
I never gave up hope
When luck and logic
And all odds told me to
I think I always knew
That you existed
And in the midst
Of those raging waters
On that ocean of doubt
There always remained
An island of hope
An island of dreams

"Storms are raging on a rolling sea. Down the highway of regret. The winds of change are blowing wild and free. But you ain't seen nothin' like me yet..."

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Daily Affirmation

My friend Pia, at Courting Destiny, has been nominated for not one, but two blog awards. Best writing and best non-professional blog. She is an exceptional writer and a better friend. And it only takes a few seconds to stop by and vote. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get Pia to endorse the following post as non-offensive.

Have been typing with one and a half hands all day. The outside of my left hand went numb last night. No matter how much I stretch it, shake it, massage my arm, it won't go away. Thought it would be fine when I woke up. It's not. I hope it's not lupus.

My mother was looking at an issue of the National Enquirer when I was over there a couple of months ago. It had a feature article on famous people who were either gay or rumored to be. Mom was just reading them off out loud. Very matter-of-factly. "Oh, Hilary Clinton. You know, I never would have thought that."

I grew up in a household where the National Enquirer was part of the weekly shopping list. And Mom pretty much thought everyone was gay. Except for me and Willie Nelson. Allow me to insert here that I despise tabloids. As for gay people, I have a two-pronged theory. If you're a guy and you're gay, I figure that's one less guy a girl can choose instead of me. If you're a girl and you're gay, I figure there's a possibility I might see you kissing another girl at some point in the future. And let's face it...

Friday afternoon, I called to schedule a massage. I haven't had one since well before Christmas. The lady said that they are renovating. Remodeling. Under investigation. Something. And they won't be offering massages for at least three months. Not good.

Fortunately, that night at Applebee's, I ran into a friend who works at another spa in town. Our conversation had a very auspicious beginning. She told me that they offer massages for ten bucks less than I have been paying. And, she assured me that a female would be doing the massaging. Which is the most important thing, after all. Good enough. End of conversation. Except that it wasn't.

She had been drinking a bit. And it was like a light bulb had just gone off in her head. She turns to J-mo and I and says quite loudly, "You two should come in and get pedicures together!"

What the--?! I almost cursed! Uhhh, no. Guys do not get pedicures together. We don't go into dressing rooms together. We don't go to the bathroom together. And we don't get together after one of us has gone thru a bad breakup to cry, eat ice cream, and dance with each other while watching Lifetime. I just want to make sure we're all clear on that.

Guys go to football games together. We work on cars together, and pretend we know what we're talking about. We go golfing together. And fishing together. But even then, talking is kept to a minimum.

I've been asked if I'm homophobic. I like to think of it more as homonoid (homo + paranoid). A friend coined that word. I borrowed it. I just prefer not to get into certain situations which might make me appear to be something that I am not. Hi, my name is Bone, and I suffer from homonoia. If I were Larry David, I would have the perfect line with which to end this post. And I would do that now. Unfortunately...

I do think that I could perhaps become the Stuart Smalley of heterocity. Let's face it. We've all been in situations that left us feeling awkward and uncomfortable. Accidentally touch hands with another guy. There's almost nothing worse than that. The mid-section of your well-groomed male hair stylist comes to rest snuggly against your arm. Or an attractive girl announces to everyone at the bar that you and your well-dressed male friend should come in and get a "pedi" together.

In times like these, I think we could all use a little positive hetero affirmation. So place your hand on your mouse and repeat after me:

I'm good enough.
I'm straight enough.
And doggone it, women like me.

"Here come the hotstepper. I'm the lyrical gangster. Dial emergency number. Still love you like that..."

Thursday, March 02, 2006

My momma told me so

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)

When I was little, my mother had me convinced that she was fourteen years old. And I believed her. And would argue vehemently with uncles, aunts, and anyone else who tried to tell me different. Here I was like nine years old. Fully convinced that my Mommy, the woman who bore me, was five years my elder. Several years passed without it ever occurring to me that she wasn't ever getting any older. At some point, probably around the time I was ten or eleven, my knowledge of the world caught up with my mad 'rithmetic skills. And a bit of childhood innocence was lost.

Mom told me other things I believed, too. Apparently.

Today, Mom was asked to come and read a book to a group elementary school students, as part of Read Across America Day. She read Horton Hatches The Egg. While there, she ran into a longtime friend, who is secretary at the school. My Mom's friend, we'll call her Bev, relayed this story to Mom about a young Bone. Mom then relayed said story to me.

When I was three, we started to a new church. Bev was my teacher. My first day in class she was going around the room, pointing out pictures of Bible characters, and asking each kid to name them. When it was my turn, she pointed to a picture of Jesus walking on the water.

"Bone, do you know who this is?"
"Bear Bryant," I replied confidenty and without hesitation.
Well, along with being a little confused, she said she never liked to tell her kids they were wrong. So she tried again.
"Here, look again. Now who is this man walking on the water?"
"That's Bear Bryant. My momma said he's the only person who can walk on water."

That helps to explains so much. And yet another piece of the puzzle falls into place. Happy Thursday!

"From Carolina down to Georgia, smell the jasmine and magnolia. Sleepy sweet home Alabama, roll Tide roll..."