Saturday, August 29, 2009


I have a new post up, but it was written so long ago that it appears as the second post. Still getting used to the mechanics of this, i suppose. Blargle.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Her fingers glided along my arm as she pulled away, her fingers squeezing mine for the briefest moment before she turned and ran down the path, out towards the lamp post. She pulled the bandanna out from her hair as she ran, kicked off her sandals. The rain was coming down harder now, the sound of the droplets hitting the grass drowning out the soft falls of her feet. A thin ribbon of light raced across the sky, revealing our little corner of the world in stark blue contrast. Thunder rolls, and light fades and all i could see was the soft globe of light cast by the lamp, the edges defined by rivulets and sheets of water falling steadily on her now upturned face.

She was swinging around the pole, arms outstretched, her beautiful smile so wide that my stomach could feel her uninhibited joy. My first steps out from the shelter of the gazebo roof seemed cowardly in comparison to her freedom, and i resisted the urge to look up into the fierce cloud cover. Water was streaming down the path now, tugging at my shoes, soaking my feet, feeding a small pond around the base of the lamp. Gradually, imperceptibly, my thoughts were dragged from my water-logged feet to the scene before me, drawn simply the force of its nature.

Water flew everywhere, up and down, around and out. The rain continued to perforate the surface of the puddle in the center of lamplight and the surrounding grass, adding its gentle rhythm to the splashing of her feet. She was dancing. With one hand, she held her skirts, not to keep them dry, but to swing them around in time with her foot falls. The other hand was outstretched, sometimes held classically above her head, sometimes sweeping about her body. She was completely entranced and enchanting, finding the beat of the storm and joining it, both lost and found in the center of its chaos.

I don't know how long she danced or for how long i watched her. The rain obscured the passage of time, all other sounds were drown in the deluge. Eventually, though, she opened her eyes and looked at me. And somehow, miraculously, i think i saw her smile widen.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This is Life

I sighed, waved my empty Gatorade bottle half-heartedly, and bid them all good night. Tired and tired of socializing, i wandered back down the line of doors, into the one in which i was staying, and up to the air mattress. Silence.

Bathroom time, pajamas, resetting. Reclined in "bed", computer in lap, i can relax without concern. Star Trek in one window, Warcraft in another, my friend in my phone, telling me about the new patch, i am at peace. I don't need to try, schmooze, wink, lie. I can channel lightning bolts at elves and laugh at early-90s space drama.

I am making my guild-mates laugh. I am chatting with an ex-girlfriend at the same time. I'm carrying on a conversation with Nate on the phone about the intricacies of arcane raiding. My shaman is dealing more damage than the rest of the Damage Per Second team combined.

Thunder crackles in the halls of the Nexus, ionizing the air and igniting the flesh of our enemies while i listen to the details of the Arcane Mage's proposed 400% mana increase for the last stack of Arcane Blast and i'm whispering a young druid that PMS is not a good excuse. The bizarreness of the situation is lost on me.

Later on, i am a mage wandering the woods of Feralas. Nate has left for the evening, the ex is talking about Kat Von D, i am keeping up a txt conversation with someone who needs me, and Matt returns from the outside world.

Years of practice allow me to read his mood in an instant. The mage is abandoned to die among the trees, the ex is told "brb" and even the friend in my phone is asked to hang on. Star Trek is paused and with it, the rest of my little bubble.

My fingers nimbly roll up two cigarettes, bits of tobacco scattered across the counter top. Matt has grabbed a couple beers and we climb out the window into the sky.

A tiny logic puzzle later and we have both opened our beers and lit our cigarettes, all while keeping one hand to the shingles so as not to fall off the little eave that is our veranda. The hot Georgia night air mixes with the smoke in my chest, only to be washed away by the soothing coolness of my beer. We talk about life and its complications in complex, abstract analogies and examples. Our words, formed by the careful locutions of our lips, flow out to mix with the smoke, blown away with the wind.

Everything is quiet on the roof and life seems to almost be understandable out here under the great Georgia sky.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In Other News, Some Things Still Rock

I've been spending a fair amount of online time at, a humor site that combines a few of my favorite things (lists, geekiness, swearing for emphasis) into an homage to grown-up man-children everywhere. This morning, while reading about The 5 Most Embarrassing Failures in the History of Terrorism, i took particular note of the last image:

At Cracked, they will still take the time to point out that somethings in life are, in fact, still "f**king metal". You know, like dudes kicking terrorists so hard in the junk that their own bodies can't handle just how awesome they are.

This sort of journalism is, of course, appealing on a purely Dumb Boy level, but i like the fact that, in this age of cynicism and sarcastic pretension, its there are some things that can still be pointed to and declared as "awesome". I find this particularly and personally heartening. I will freely admit that everyone (everyone) is an asshole and that almost everything (not everything) sucks, so when someone goes out of their way to remind me that the military can build a weapon to launch a metal slug at 77,000 feet per second, its a nice little reminder that life is still worth paying attention to.

As a general rule, it is actually people who normally remind me that things are still ok on the mortal coil. You know those jerks that walk around so full of themselves and obliviously taking a crap all over everything you hold dear? Yeh, turns out those folks will still surprise you and do something wonderful every now and again.

Pay attention. There's still a lot of cool stuff out there and a couple pretty awesome people. And if you know any of those people, don't forget to tell them you love them every now and again.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Georgia is for Others

I love a good road trip. Hell, a bad road trip is still better than the average work day. There's just something fulfilling about throwing a bunch of supplies and whatnot into a bag and setting out your door for distant locales. It satisfies, in a sadly safe way, the occasional bout of wanderlust that i suspect plagues most males from time to time.

This week i find myself in Georgia visiting a very dear friend of mine from high school, Matt Grajcar. He had moved down south of the Mason Dixon line about a year ago from the New York Metro (read: New Jersey) stomping grounds of our youth. Technically there was a four-year matriculation in Rochester in between NJ and GA, but my frostbitten toes still haven't forgiven my for spending a year up there, so i don't like to talk about it much.

As Matt's sister pointed out, the sky is enormous here. Everything just feels so spread out, almost stretched. You can drive for 15 minutes through northern New Jersey and pass through five or six different towns. Here, you'll never leave the city of Canton, though i couldn't for the life of me point out where exactly the town center is. Its as if the surrounding countryside had been populated to the point where they needed to put down some arbitrary boundaries and call it a new town. We'll call it Canton because otherwise we wouldn't know how to refer to this expanse of road in between Atlanta and North Bumblefuk.

The heat is oppressive. My immune system is quite strong, but my constitution is compromised by an inability to regulate temperature very readily. I overheat quickly and easily, and while my relatively ineffective sweat glands are a blessing in social situations, they are not up to the task of protecting me from the sun which feels all to close for my comfort. I swear the thing looks bigger down here.

The rain keeps me sane and hale. The clouds come up quickly out of nowhere, obscuring vast amounts of sky in a matter of minutes and pouring down a gentle layer of static over the life of sleepy Georgia. The patrons in my little coffee shop hunker down and wait for it to pass, tic-tacking on their laptops or murmuring over their game of Rummy. I alone venture into the vibrant precipitation, luxuriating in the soothing pattern of sensation over my shoulders and neck.

Then the bastard sun busts in like a bouncer breaking up a fight shoos the clouds on their way.

I think he's watching me. And i'm sure he doesn't like me.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I quit smoking. A week ago, actually. I did this for two reasons, the first being that i'd developed a cough after a bout of flu (H1N1?!) a while back that just seemed to linger on forever. Thinking that perhaps my few years of regular smoke inhalation might be the culprit of the cough's continual presence, i prescribed myself at least one week of pure, unadulterated air. The second reason is much more dastardly.

You see, i've long been aware of the hazards of smoking. My mother - whose supernatural sense of smell can pick up four parts per million of cigarette smoke on your clothes from a week ago - has never excused this long-abandoned habit of her youth and raised her children accordingly. My grandmother has smoked a pack of Virginia Slims a day for the past 50 or so years. I spent 2nd through 12th grade in a conservative homeschooling group, completely devoid of any of the stereotypical, after-school-program antagonists that most parents fear so hard. Smoking has never been "cool" to me and i never tried it due to social pressure or a desire to fit in. I smoke because i enjoy smoking.

I say this as a preface to my assertion that i am not, and have never been, addicted to nicotine. I enjoy a cigarette in much the same way i used to enjoy a clove or a cigar. But since i smoke "cancer-sticks" instead of a good cuban, most people just flat out don't believe me. So to all of you who patronizingly told me that i was addicted and clearly too far deep into denial to recognize it, i present my past cold turkey, smoke-free week as evidence to the contrary and kindly ask you to commence shoving it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, i'm going to go roll up some premium tobacco in a little bit of paper, light it on fire, and inhale the delicious results.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Domino's Debacle (or Spit Shakes)

It is hard in this age to appropriately express one's ire towards vendors whom we feel have mistreated us. Outside of frivolous litigation, the strongest display of dissatisfaction is to simply no longer patronize the establishment or vendor in question and advise all your friends to do likewise. For example, after several years of unsatisfactory visits to various Friendly's restaurants, a good friend of mine and i decided to remedy the situation by swearing to never set foot in one again.

So we spat in our hands and shook on it. That was about three years ago and neither one of us have set foot in a Friendly's since.

Now i have another business to add to the List of Shunned Stores. Domino's (frakking) Pizza.

I've actually always had a bit of a soft spot for Domino's. Despite the sub-par flavor and disappointing diameter of their pies, when i was growing up, they were the only pizza place in town that could cater to my brother's life-threatening milk allergy. This is probably part of what made my last experience with them so traumatizing: it tasted like betrayal.

My brother, father, and a few of our friends were helping my dad's mom (Nana) move into a new mature-living community. After filling a 16-foot U-Haul to the door with furniture and boxes, seven men and a little old lady were tired and hungry and wanted some pizza. A few of us were actually hunkered down in the truck waiting for a sudden cloudburst to slow down when my cell rang. My father was calling from inside the apartment, asking me to call Domino's and get us some lunch. Fine, i think, not my favorite activity, but what the hell.

Red Flag #1: All Domino's orders are now handled at a central location: they're corporate headquarters in Mid-West Town, Middle of Nowhere, USA. The woman took my order (two large pizzas and a medium, no cheese pizza), and asked the address for delivery. I gave it to her and was told the bill came to $38-something and to expect it in a half hour. Aright! all seems well. Twenty minutes later, however, the woman calls back saying that the two closest branches did not offer delivery (Red Flag #2). Ok, no problem, just connect me to the branch in my hometown - no more than 15 minutes from where we were - and i'll give them the address. This she does and i repeat the address to the woman at the actual store in which the pizzas will be made. She gives me another ETA and i hang up, satisfied.

Then my phone rings. Once again, it is a woman from Domino's telling me that (Red Flag #3) they cannot deliver our lunch, this time because our location is outside of their delivery area. Now, i am distinctly anti-conflict by nature, but the likelihood of me being dissuaded is inversely proportional to the amount of difficulty presented me. At this point, i WILL have my pizza, so i tell the woman that i will come pick the pizza up myself, only, would you please add sausage to half of the plain pie, because my Nana will cry otherwise. She agrees and i hop in the car and head out.

A couple of items retrieved from Nana's old place, i arrive at the Domino's expecting to pay the mentally-figured sum of approximately $38 ($38 - delivery fee of about $2, plus about $2 for the sausage). Red Flag #4, the woman, who is alone in the store, pleasantly informs me that i owe $42-something.

"I'm sorry, was the sausage $4?" I asked?

"No..." She responded, slightly confused. I asked her if she took off the delivery fee. She responded in the affirmative, and i told politely explained to her my difficulty in justifying this bill to the one i was expecting. Either realizing she was caught in cheating me or simply (and accurately) deciding that it was wise to get me out of the store as fast as possible, she managed to mysteriously knock $5 off my bill and i finally forked over two $20s for my hard-fought pizza.

It is as she is handing me my change that she tells me that, "had you gotten the third pizza as a large, they would have been $5 each".

"I really didn't need to hear that right now," i said, jaw clenched.

And that is why i am never going to give Domino's any of my money ever again.

At Least I'm Changing Constantly

Humans hate change. Humans are constantly changing. These are two of the inescapable truths involved in life--the so-called "human experience". There are so many factors effecting who you are as a person that just cataloging them all would take up all of your time, let alone attempting to be aware of how they contribute to your personality. Even if you wanted to remain exactly who you are right now and were aware of the effects of social climate, family dynamics, aging, media influences, etc, it would be impossible to resist such influences as brain chemistry (which can be altered by approximately 60-gazillion things, including an iron bar being shot through your face and brain, a la Phineas Gage). Fortunately, its such gradual, subtle experience that a life-long change doesn't usually impact our lives in any detrimental way; its just something of which everyone should be aware.

Despite the acrid cynicism i have picked up over the years, for some reason i am still a hopeless and incurable romantic. I don't believe in such fables as Soul Mates or Love-at-First-Sight, but i still find the form and function of love to be such a thing of beauty that it is worth pursuing at almost all cost. My head and my heart are not really on speaking terms because of this outlook, but that's just the way i'm put together. Love is one of those interesting little phenomenon that i will most likely be wondering about for my entire life, and its got plenty of facets to keep me guessing for decades to come.

This brings me to these words which i found scrawled in my moleskine, most likely hurriedly penned down on a train before i forgot them: The nature and minutiae of your love for another must evolve as regularly as we, as human beings, change, lest we find ourselves in love with someone who no longer exists.
This is my simple explanation for why people so often fall out of love with each other. Young people, who are in a constant and violent state of emotional fluctuation, fall in and out of love regularly. Older folks, by contrast, have neared the end of their changes and are usually set in their relationship status (or are in a relatively stable state).

Get to know who your lover is; then, never stop.

State of the Nature of This Blog Address

Hello and welcome to my 'blog, oh ye tired and weary 'net travelers. I don't know how you found yourself here or what you looking for, but it is my sincerest hope that you gain something from my words that you did not have prior to visiting this page.

Ok, that was a load of crap. I'm writing this because i love writing and people keep telling me to start a 'blog. If i actually keep up with this project, you'll most likely see everything from abstract musings to my own peculiar brand of poetry. If you like what you see, awesome! i hope you'll leave a comment so that i know i put a smile on your face (or whatever). If there's nothing for you here, don't worry, i really won't give a rip; i'm gonna keep writing.

So let's have some fun, readers. I don't know what to make of this, but here's to finding out. Cheers.