Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rooftops

Guys that shingle in the rain on a Sunday morning come in two types:
Alcoholics who only care about money...

...and guys that really love their mom.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Step Into The Room

Monday morning.

A brief pause while the ramifications of that soak in...

There, now that you're chock full of all the negativity that those words are loaded down with... consider the following:

This last Monday I stumbled in to work in my usual stupor. A full week and a weekend of gigs behind me, I was less than chipper as I stumped across the parking lot. Half way to the building though I looked up.

Above the asphalt still shrouded in early morning gloom, a seven story edifice rose up in front of me, glowing with the light of dawn. The sun had just crested the horizon and the light of day had crept down the bricks to the level of the granite sills on the first floor. The ship of my consciousness ran aground on an island, warm and inviting. From where I had paused to zip my sweatshirt against the wet chill of a New York September morning I turned and caught the full glory of Sol, painting shining making the very clouds to sing with joy at the start of a new day.

There was a wall of light in front of me, a glowing cliff face behind me, and I stood for a moment on the cool floor of a cathedral. The still of the night air remained, with a soft sound like the echo of a congregation saying, "hush".

This is where I skip the part about God and the beauty of the Universe and perspective and whatnot. Draw your own conclusions. I was in the parking lot. I had a moment there for a couple of seconds. It was like a drink of water for my soul. Then a car door slammed and I went to work.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

End Of An Era

I was just browsing on Effbook before I went to bed the other night and out of the mess popped this eloquent post by my lighting guy. I've never known him to get all wordy before and I must say I was quite impressed. I think there's a blogger in there, struggling to get out. Here is his post, un-edited, in its entirety:

I just looked through my friends profiles on Myspace and it's a weird eerie feeling. Almost as if there was a plague that wiped the world out... I'd say more than half my friends haven't logged into their account in months, some over a year or more. It got me thinking. If the world ended tomorrow, we would all leave behind these pages, these moments in time of our lives.

It's a creepy feeling to see that people have just stopped using the site all together. And all that is left is the last moments, thoughts, and pictures that we shared with each other. It's hard to fathom that people could just drop something they were madly addicted to just like that. Only to be replace with Facebook. It's a weird trend that I never saw coming to be honest.

A year ago, I thought about what it would be like to be 80 years old and how we would all still be using Myspace to keep in touch. How life would be so much different for us than for our Grandparents generation. I thought about how sad it would be to see profiles of our friends still accessible, even long after they have passed on. It would almost be a living/breathing tombstone of some sort that we can stop by and remember the good old times without even leaving our homes.

It's making me feel old. I'm losing trust and faith in intangible things that have controlled my everyday life for the past 7 years. It makes me wonder what will be the next new great thing... I'm excited and saddened at the same time and I'm not exactly 100% sure why...

I asked a few people why that they switched over to completely Facebook over Myspace and the only answer I got was, "that's what everyone else is using now."

If anyone happens to know who the Leader of "Everyone" is, let me know, I have a few other questions for them.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's That Time Again

It's still Summer here. Even though the back to school sales started before my kids were even out of school this year. (Apparently all Wal-Marts cater to the needs of kids in Georgia who start in mid-August.) It's still Summer even though it's fast approaching the official start of Autumn. And it's still Summer even though the radio ads have started for the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

That's right kids, forget the Jewish holidays, Columbus day, Homecoming, Halloween, Thanksgiving and all that crap. It's time to get ready for a ROCKIN' CHRISTMAS!!!

Double-yew... Tee... EFF!

Silent Night By Candle Light



First of all, click the link to the post above to see my brief composition on What Christmas Means To Me. Then leave my faith completely out of it and go look at your calendar. IT'S THE MIDDLE OF BLOODY SEPTEMBER!!! I'm going to stop short of a full on rant because I think you get the point here.

Don't rush me...

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Chicks In Town

We've taken one more step into the crunchy granola world. If you had told me ten years ago that's I'd be growing my own produce, home schooling and raising chickens I would have laughed until I peed. But here I am.

A buddy at work is going through a divorce and is getting rid of his flock so he can sell the house. We got five of them just to give it a whirl. It's not like we're saving a bundle on eggs, even if we get a dozen a week we'll still have to buy three dozen (from our friends who raise chickens) to keep up with demand. But it's a good lesson for the kids and they mostly keep quiet and eat table scraps so what the hay.

After I got the ladies settled in the back yard the kids came out to name them. Miss O named the shiny black one "Princess". Because her world is a largely princess-based affair. J-Man named the big white Brahma "Cloud" because he's a pretty literal fellow when it comes to things of a creative bent that do not involve physical comedy. And lil H-Bomb named one of the black and white Leghorns "Chickenie" (pronounced CHIK-nee) because he's got a thing for chickens and his creativity was overwhelmed by his enthusiasm for all things poultry.

That left the two identical looking Leghorns for The Missus and me to name. I suggested "Salt" and "Peppa" to quickly quell H-Bomb's suggestions of "Toot" and "Poopie" (suddenly he got creative).

So that's our flock. Mostly they stalk around and make subdued chicken noises. They consume our table scraps. They lay no eggs because they're still pretty freaked out. Occasionally they escape and run around the yard. We were afraid the neighbors would be pissed off but they thought it was a hoot. It's fun to watch grown-ups chase a fluffy basketball with gusto and then be afraid to grab it for fear of being pecked. Ahh, farm livin' is the life for me...

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Goin' Green

When I was a kid I used to write away for stuff. Sitting in front of the TV on a Saturday morning I would get bombarded by advertisements. After a few years it sank in that my parents weren't going to buy me everything I saw. But beneath the candy coating there was something more.

It started with a class project in fifth grade. Each of us had to write away to the chamber of commerce in two states and write a report based on what we received. I don't remember what the first one was but I do remember that Alaska didn't respond so I got off on that one. The seed was planted.

I collected proofs of purchase from the non-sugar, non-red-dye-number-two, non-interesting breakfast cereals my parents stocked the kitchen with. I got stickers, scratch off board games, plastic knick-knacks made in China.

I wrote away for the no purchase necessary to win contests on food products we didn't buy. Game pieces came in the mail. I didn't win. But I did get something in the mail and that was pretty cool. There was no internet, there were no video games at our house, it kept me occupied. I thought about writing to Pueblo, Colorado for pamphlets on subjects I had no earthly interest in. I very nearly wrote away for information on diseases I didn't have. When I found out I had asthma I thought, "Huh, now I can write away for that."

The one that stands out in my mind to this day was toward the end of my writing away days. I was about thirteen and my science teachers were filling me with environmental awareness. GE or the power company or somebody had a commercial on TV about a package on saving energy that you could write away for. So I licked a stamp and made my request.

Four to six weeks later a large-ish padded envelope arrived at my house with no return address on it. Inside was a night light with a photo cell on it. Plug it in, turn out the light, it comes on. It took me two hours to figure out why the hell it had come. I was pretty bummed that it hadn't come with anything else. Not one single shred of information. Apparently the power company was pretty interested in saving trees as well as watts.

I was so perplexed that I wrote away again from my friend's address and four to six weeks later an identical package showed up. Just a light in a padded envelope. No return address. No reading material. Such a perplexing event it was that it took nearly a decade to top it. In college in the dawn of the internet era my friend Milo used his dial-up connection to surf to the No-Doze website and click a button for a free sample. I watched him do it. Three months later a padded envelope showed up at my apartment with my name on it. There was nothing inside but two No-Doze in a single serve packet. I kept them for years.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Don't Care... Really

So it's the first day of school and it really gets you thinking that-

Yeah I don't care... we home school.

And then I heard that President Obama was rolling out a new program for kids similar to the Hitler Youth. Or at least that's what the media seemed to be screaming about on the radio when I drove to work this morning.

Whatever. Don't care. My thoughts on politics are still confined to the narrow belief that politicians should stop screwing me and go eff themselves for a change. Whups, I must have knocked my cup over, there seems to be a puddle of malice on my desk.

And global warming is still going on, or maybe not because I had to wear a sweatshirt to work every morning in July. But that's probably just another facet of global warming, likely the fault of the Republicans, again. (Dang, now there seems to be bile dripping on the floor.)

Oh, and the economy sucks. I know because I heard it on the news. We have to be told when there's a recession on because it's still the Great Depression in Western New York. We pinch pennies, we don't buy big stupid houses that get foreclosed on, we're the working definition of thrifty. Once again, don't care. (We're practically in Canada here anyway, we could secede in a heartbeat if we felt like it. But we don't, we're too busy washing out zip-lock baggies to re-use in our lunches tomorrow.)

But that brings me to the final thought. The thought that got me started on this rant in the first place. I didn't set out to rant about all that stuff, I was only going to illustrate my point with a few instances and it got out of hand. My point is that no matter what way the wicked world goes, God is looking out for me. My needs are met. I'm not getting rich or making any progess at all really, but my family is out of this world and I rest my head on my pillow every night, secure in the knowledge that God will not let us starve on His watch.

And you know thisss.... maaaaaaaaaan!*

* Yes I referenced the movie Friday in a post about my faith.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

This Is The Day

Today is the kind of day that you dream about when you're shoveling the endless drifts in the perpetual darkness of January. It's warm, slightly breezy, I would even go so far as to say balmy. The lawn is mowed, the house is (halfway) clean, the children are out playing.

Now is the time when I most long to interact with my internet community. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not looking to displace the family on a national holiday. Most days though the time I have in my day to read blogs and poke around on Effbook and Tweeter is at the very end when my poor brain cells are screaming for sleep. So here I am, rested, refreshed, and the net is basically dead because everybody is off doing family stuff.

Point taken... where's the pruning shears and the hot dogs!

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Summer Daze

Cheesy title, I know, but I'm about to get a little cheesy here. Summer is slowly drawing to a close. After the longest run of miserably cold summer weather in recent memory we're finally having a nice stretch of it. But even though it's pleasant out, and the trees aren't showing any color yet, there's a certain freshness in the breeze that signals the start of Autumn.

Construction crews are finishing up at schools and the custodians are out sprucing up the grounds for Opening Day. The stores are packed with families loading up with clothes and the ever growing list of supplies their kiddos need for the year to come. My own memories drift back to the joy of a new pack of pencils and a stack of empty notebooks. It must be the writer in me that got excited by the boundless potential in those objects.

But today my memories drift even farther back, to a time when there was no time. My days were measured in mealtimes and bedtimes and there was no schedule other than that. The sunny days spent with my school teacher mother are almost universally of sun drenched sidewalks, leaves, the smell of baking earth and new mown grass.

As I walked down that same sun drenched sidewalk today (I live on the street I grew up on) with little H-Bomb those memories came flooding back so quickly and sharply that I had to draw a breath. Here a whole summer has gone by, consumed with deadlines and late nights and not so much by games and picnics. An ache developed in me that I had to work very hard to push aside so as not to disturb the perfection of those moments.

Carefully, so as not to upset things, I set part of my mind to recording our little walk to the post office. Sun on concrete. Little blond head. Perfect air. Tiny fingers working the key in our mail box. Little shoes going slap, slap, slap. If I remember nothing else of this summer I'll remember the walk I took with my two year old son this morning.

It was a blessed moment.

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