Time In A Bottle

Yoko

As the day of celebration inches closer, I am thinking of love, Valentine’s, issues of spring and memories of times long past.  At one time or another, I was considered a pretty romantic devil and knew the words, the moves, the good decisions in life came freely to me. Now I am old gray dog, that just wants to sleep on the front porch and bark at the mailman once a day.

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You Remember When …


DSC00382There is a well worn phrase or title for sure. This morning I had Valentine’s Day and my A-B-C’s on my mind.  I chose this subject matter.

The Valentine’s post can wait.

Here it comes, are you ready?

Warning: Contains nothing, absolutely nothing of literary value. As most of you already know.  My blog’s major thrust today shall be, complaining, guilt and regrets. I will try not to let good writing get in the way.

 You Remember When?”  Continue reading

It’s Not Easy Being A Guy

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Cold here this morning, fog rolled in and we are encased in a gray wet blanket, frozen drizzle is what the weather guessers call it and no sunshine in sight.  Wintertime is a hard time for me, this is the time of the year, when you try and figure out how to get 5’6” of kid to shovel off 4” of snow on the driveway.

thongWhen you sit, locked down in your quiet abode, and try your very best to not lose your mind, or rather, what is left of it.  That desperate time of the year and you check the mirror and say to yourself, “Did I have all this before Christmas?”  

When you look at all of the clothes hanging on the exercise machine and seriously contemplate removing them and “working out.”

Nah … Aint gonna happen.

January almost half-over and suddenly the anxiety attack hits me with the rush of a full grown pit-bull.  I have to get her something for Valentine’s Day, that illegal estrogen enriched holiday celebrated in America, sponsored by the chocolate moguls and those wonderful people who inhabit the cubicles of HallMark Cards.

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Unfortunately despite my best efforts, I haven’t an inkling of what to do about it.  It is not easy being a complicated and often confusing member of the tribe of man, I am far too complex for a quick fix from a trendy Michael Jordan no-tag t-shirt or newly acquired Facebook social status, and a number three size washtub full of newfound friends.

I am a guy … Well, that should be enough right there to explain it.  Face it, I am a guy, and guys, well we do not have a clue. 

We cannot look at you and say something like: “I hope this special day is infused with beauty and light and that all your hopes and dreams crystalize into a loving reality emanating from an equally loving universe.  Keep thinking positive thoughts honey, I know there is a Brand-spankin-New-Prevo in your future …. Oprah was just saying the other day” …. and then I just kind of lose her.

I suppose in MY world it would or should have been different. 

Something like … I remember the first day we met and I laid it out for her.  “I’m a worn-out, emotional wreck who’s incapable of anything resembling warmth, love and intimacy, but I have a lot of money and you’ll never want for anything.  I am a lover, and a fighter, a dirty old boxcar rider …. Hey?  I even have a bus, and I look pretty good in a yellow T-shirt.”

Perhaps this cold, gray, nasty day would be a good time to work on my word skills, the fourteenth will be here before I know it.  And as usual, “I will be lost as a Goose on the whole thing.”

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It’s often not easy being a guy … But someone has to do it.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT

Open Carry:  If you are going to carry an illegal loaded semiautomatic firearm in New York City, it is probably best to not press your luck by trying to beat a $2 subway fare.  Amazing what people will do and then how much time they have to think about it later on …

How about seven years?   

Droning On:  I noted at the bank today the cover of time magazine had a Military Drone on the front cover.  This past weekend CBS had quite a bit of airtime, devoted to the same subject, it appears that they are hot now.  They are being used not just by the military but police departments, national guard units, you name it.  So far this tool for terrorists has only taken out some 59 known bad guys, but has killed something like 34,000 poor citizens who were listed as “collateral damage.”

Mans’ best doing man’s worst … Fly one over my property and I can assure you “it will not come home.”  If it does it will be full of buckshot from my 12 gauge.

Fifty years of James Bond …  It is kind of slow around here, we are currently being snowed upon which is okay, because we could use the moisture.  So I find this cinema love fest on television, “Fifty Years of James Bond” and I am of course, amazed and amused at the same time.  

Fifty years just doesn’t seem possible and then there is the always engaging Double O Seven loading freshly shot pheasants into the back of a truck on a French Chalet and the tag on the tailgate is there plain to see …. California.

Finally something for us old geezers:  Silicone Valley has introduced the first edition of the new baby boomer computer and keyboard.  Supplies are limited at this time.

ATT00001

Change the Batteries – Set it to Vibrate – or just remove it:  A prisoner in a Shri Lanka prison was found to have stuffed a cellphone up his wah-zoo (chocolate speedway) and two “hands free” packs with it (good idea).  Everything was going just fine until someone he had just called … returned his call … which did not amuse his handlers in the least.

New Religious Experience in Texas:  Do you owe money on a car?  Finance company banging on the door, here is a tip.  Crush it.  At the same time, save yourself the drudgery of doing lawn mowing this summer, throw in a couple of lawnmowers for good measure.  The Church of Later Day Saints is alive and well, crushing lawnmowers and cars south of the Red River.

Time is running out:  Well, well, well … Here it is the 13th of the month, and of course, a lot of you guys have done nothing to improve your marital status or the relationship you share with “your significant other” and you are for the most part, dead in the water.

Having procrastinated for literally weeks, you find yourself adrift in an ocean full of sharks, and you suddenly discover YOU are the chum.  Oh-my-gosh, down to just one more day, a scant 24 hour period with which to redeem yourself.  Someone needs to throw you a life vest.

As I am a generous sort, I will give you a hint.  

Take her to someplace she has never been, to a place where she can relax, enjoy a good meal, get some rest.  

Flowers are nice, chocolate will work with some girls, and there is always the occasional choochie-coupon to be redeemed.  But if you want to make her happy, take her somewhere for the holiday, wine and dine her.

It works.  On Valentines Day, I asked mine one year, “Can I kiss you in a place you have never been kissed?” and she looked up at me with those big brown eyes, eyes so wide that a man could get lost in and then she said … Omaha Nebraska?

Now I have to go, Dr. Phil is coming on …. “His Girlfriend has Robbed him Blind.” …. Rebecca says her sister has betrayed her by sleeping with the important men in her life;  Steve says his girlfriend keeps stealing his money.

New.

I am just a sucker for love I suppose.

OOO

Of Life And Of Death

Today you have two posts, one for life and one for death to consider, it is about 1,100 words but you will be able to wade your way thru it.

Of Life

As a small lad, we were required by our teacher to provide everyone in our class a card on Valentine’s Day.  She would give us a list of every kid in class and then we would dutifully (as instructed) fill out a card for each child.  On that “special day” they would be distributed by hand to each desk and passed out.

Unfortunately, the extremely popular boys and girls got loads of cards and some children got few if any.  I always hated that part of the ritual, it seemed so unfair and cruel to me.  I suppose that this is when I first started disliking this holiday.  It could have also been my first exposure to racism at an early age.

Regardless, I just felt it was lopsided and so very unfair. 

Today, as I stand here at the rack in the store and I search in vain for the appropriate card for my Cup Cake I think back to those times and I wonder if it is still the same for a small child in this day and age?

Today was a washout for me on the card. 

I wanted to find a card that had something catchy inside, appropriate for this monumental, noteworthy occasion, and still, at the same time, say it all.  Something like: You are something and someone very special. You really are. No one else in this entire world is like you (except possibly everyone else) and there are so many beautiful things about you. You’re a one of a kind treasure. Uniquely here in this space and time. 

You are here to shine in your own wonderful way, sharing your smile in the best way you can, and remembering all the while that a little light somewhere makes a brighter light somewhere else (try and figure out that one! Hah). You can and you do make a wonderful contribution to this world. You do, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. 

You have qualities within you that many people would love to have, and those who really and truly know you are so glad that they do. You have a big heart and a sensitive soul. You are gifted with thoughts and ways of seeing things that only special people know. You know that life doesn’t always play by the rules, but that in the long run, everything will work out. 

You understand that you and your actions are capable of turning anything around, and that joys once lost can always be found. There is a resolve and an inner reserve of strength in you that few ever get to see. You have so many treasures within, those you’re only beginning to deserve, and all the ones you’re already aware of. Never forget what a true treasure in life you are. That special person in the mirror may not always get to hear all the compliments you so sweetly deserve, that you are so worthy of, such an abundance of friendship, joy, and love. 

But I could not find “the card” that said that, so here it is …  I take one piece of plain paper, and I write:  I am so glad you are my friend … Happy Valentine’s Day my dear, you complete my world.  I then place two one hundred dollar bills in a little red envelope, leave it on the kitchen table and go out to the shop to work on our bus.

That is the way love works when you are old and comfortable with each other.  It aint a box of chocolate but it gets the job done.

OOO

And Of Death

All this week, I have been down with a hard hitting cold, a dry cough, it shakes you to the bone kinda thing.  It has more or less beaten me down to a point, where I just sit in the chair and silently wish it would go away.  Consequently I have been reading quite a lot and television has taken a huge slice of my life here lately.  I have had a lot of time to look at this Whitney Houston thing and one part of it leaps out at my consciousness.

Whitney like a lot of people before her, died alone, in her bathtub and she went out early (by most standards) and now everyone is coming out to say how much it is that “they loved her,” that they “are going to miss her,” and all sort of platitudes fill the airwaves daily.  Everyone it seems wants a piece of her now infamous 15 minutes of fame.

It struck me as odd, that if they had all been there beside her BEFORE ALL OF THIS that perhaps she might not be gone now.  It seems to me that everyone is so quick to step up to the plate and confess their admiration and devotion to the Diva now that she is no longer alive.  Is for the most part, unashamedly tacky in most respects and outright shallow.

That is pretty sad.

But if you stop and think about it, it is pretty standard fare for Hollywood which has a profound tendency to worry about the horse after it has left the barn.

How many times have you read or heard of a Hollywood celebrity dying all alone in their expensive apartment or their bedroom of their mansion.  No friends, no acquaintances, just the grim reaper and an appointment in time for their companion on the last ride out of town.

The ride to the top must be exhilarating and often short, but the road down, is a long and tortuous journey full of pitfalls and disappointment.  Such  a tragic end to a stellar career and the finish of what appears to be at face value, a short sad lonely life.

Strange, all of her movies and her CD’s are leaping off the shelves, another phenomenon of all this, morbid fascination with the star and her work.  As for me, all I can think of is the girl flat ran out of time.

OOO

[#1178]

Back To Romance

Valentine’s Day is one day out, best get your hinny down to the store and find a suitable card (or convince the dog you need the house more than HE does).

I yearn to journey to a time so very long ago,
A time of misguided youth
Of long lazy summer days
A blanket of little white lies
And whispered simple truths.

Back to a time of simplicity
When life was but a joy
So care free
Uncluttered with obligations
When my vigor and strength
Remained with me all day
A time of few responsibilities.

Back to a time
When I was trim and fit
My arms taught as iron
Back straight and lean
A time now almost obscured and forgotten
A time that somehow sadly escapes me.

Sad truth is
The doctor says I smoke too much
That I am carrying excess
Weight upon my frame
My belly is hanging over the belt
And sometimes
I have trouble hearing the words
My sweet little woman has to say.

For the years are catching me
Fate somehow has my name
I will never, never again
Relive those days
As I search the lines upon my face
As my beard slowly turns grey.

So I trudge on
Day by day
Shouldering the load
I have been appointed to carry
Filling my plate to the brim
Eating too much
Lifting my glass
Drinking to be merry.

Now in the late hours of the night
I steal back to romance
Back to the years of my misguided youth
A time of little white lies
And whispered simple truths

And in the background
The fiddler of time is softly playing
But I am too fat, too tired,
To hear the tune for by one more short dance
Here it is he find me
Sitting in my easy chair
Sadly wishing I had it all back
My misguided youth
Yearning to be back to Romance.

OOO

[#1174]

Say Ah ….

This morning I am reminded of that old saying, “Life begins at forty.”  Ever heard that one?  Well, it is not exactly true, life doesn’t begin at forty … maintenance begins at forty!  Had to do the checkup thing this week with my doctor and it appears that my numbers are not all that good.  I am kind of used to it, if you want to know the truth, at my age, I kind of expect it.  But this time, they are not only bad, they are worse than bad, they are not good at all.  So this means, that I have to start exercising again.

It seems that my body has made a friend of fat, it no longer burns it, but rather openly invites it in and provides it a home.  I find myself metabolically challenged and do not seem to be ridding myself of this harmful substance, but storing it.  So I have to start walking, I have to start riding the bike, I have to quit bellying up to the salad bar with the big boys and make some changes.

You know you have health issues, but if you are like me, like most men, you just blow it off and continue on.  I would say on the whole women are more responsive to medical advice than men.  If a woman steps up on a scale and see’s numbers she doesn’t like, it is tantamount to the end of the world!  Now a guy, he steps onto the scale, and it says to him, “Only one person on the scale at a time” well, that isn’t a big deal, he just says to himself, “I will come back later.”

I could do as I always do, con myself into believing that this isn’t my problem, when it surely is.  I used to do that all the time, I gained 35 lbs when I stopped smoking and I used to conveniently use that for my excuse, but that was some 15 years ago, plenty of time to have shed the weight in the meantime.

Are you still smoking?

If you have not stopped or quit, you should.  A typical smoker who refuses or fails to give up has a roughly 15% risk of lung cancer over their lifetime. But with two copies of the genetic variant, this rises to 23%.  In contrast, someone who has smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in their entire life has a less-than-1% chance of developing the disease.  As I have stated, I gave them up about fifteen years ago, and the other day I happened to notice a pack of Marlboro’s was $5.50 per pack.  Unbelievable, someone owes me about $28,000.00!

Smoking will kill ya …. No joke.

A woman goes into a drugstore and walks up to the pharmacist and says, “I need something to give to my husband to kill him.  Cyanide, some kind of poison.”  The druggist is flabbergasted, he cannot believe that she actually has said this to him.

“Listen lady, I cannot give you something to kill your husband.  First it is illegal, second, I would lose my job, third, my good standing in the community would be jeopardized.  I just cannot do it.”

So she looks at him and says, “Look at these, and hands him a handful of photographs of the druggists’ wife and her husband in bed together at the local motel.”

He looks at them for a while, and then looks up and says … “Oh, this is different, I didn’t know that you had a prescription.”

No good huh?  Well whadya expect for free?

I did notice something interesting the day after Valentine’s Day.  I was over at the store, and in the section where they sell the cards, I noticed one very peculiar thing.  All of the cards for the women, my wife, my girlfriend, all of them were gone, all of the female card selections were exhausted because of the holiday.

On the other hand, all of the masculine cards, the one for the boyfriend and the husband, well, there were ample supplies of them to be had.  Proof positive, it is a woman’s holiday.

I read something interesting the other day and I thought I might share this with you before closing.

Young adults can discern another person’s attitude toward sexual relationships just by looking at his or her face, according to a British study of 700 heterosexual volunteers.  The Durham University-led study also found that men generally prefer women who they believe are open to short-term sexual relationships, while women generally prefer men who they perceive to be potentially suitable for a long-term relationship.

The study participants looked at photographs of faces of members of the opposite sex (all in their early 20s) and were asked to judge their attractiveness and sexual attitudes. Their judgments were compared with the actual attitudes and behaviors of the people in the photos.

As it turned out, 72 percent of the 153 volunteers in the first study sample correctly identified sexual attitudes from photos more than 50 percent of the time.  Out of curiosity, I took several pictures of myself, showed them to the wife, explained the survey or test to her, she agreed to participate.

Handing the pictures to her at the kitchen table, she quickly went thru the stack, studying each one and repeating out loud … “NO .. NO… NO … NO-WAY!  DEFINITELY NOT.”

Oh well, so much for science … Back to the drawing board.

OOO