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Friday, June 25, 2010

take five…

     The sound of crickets and nocturnal meandering has been replaced by the din of traffic, ever present and invasive.
      The scent of nature and wildflowers has been replaced by hot asphalt and exhaust.
      The vibrant color of the flora and fauna has been replaced by red, white, and blue vinyl-sided cardboard box houses in row upon row.
     The silky soft carpet of acres of growth has been replaced by concrete expanses.
     The taste of morning dew in a pristine forest has been replaced by the stale recirculation of conditioned air…
     And yet I would give up none of these five senses or these things because this is still the greatest place on earth to live…good and bad…you take it all or none…Take five and enjoy where ever you are!!!
Jus’ sayin’

Just another day in paradise

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Do something…

Shameless self promotion and a plea…
      We all really just want to do the right thing. I am convinced of that, if not anything else. Inherently humans want to be good. That is the humans that have all the sparkplugs in the braincase firing right. We all have times when we are pushed to do the wrong thing, retaliate or just act in vengeance or out of anger. I get all that, but our race, the HUMAN race, is not inherently evil. I keep telling myself that.
     I know I have a lot fun making fun of my fellow humans. Some people are just begging for it. But the fact is that when something bad happens we pull together. Pearl Harbor, the Twin Towers, the Haitian earthquake, the Tsunami, Katrina…the list is endless. We donate time and money. And then we move on. We live our lives till the next tragedy or cause. We do the right thing when we can.
     My parents instilled in me a blessing of giving of my heart. I may hide it well, but I am a caring individual. Opinionated and gruff at times, but whatever… We took foster kids when I was growing up. Loss is learned harshly when you do this. It is very altruistic. The real payback for the opening your home to a foster child is infinite, but the learning curve is steep and it took years for me to understand that sometimes you do things because you can. Have home will share…
     I was playing with the Tuckerino on the floor on Sunday. It was father’s day and I could do what ever I pleased. I was thinking how lucky I was to have him in my life. I know he will never replace Browndog or Whitedog, but he is not a replacement he is uniquely his own little bundle of puppiness. I thank God for the chance to have him in our lives. He is my sixth rescue dog. He is quickly becoming my all time favorite dog.
     My first rescue dog was Lady Guinevere. I called her Gwen. She was a white boxer. My mom said that the breeders did not like white boxers so they simply euthanized them a t birth, but she knew the breeder and so Gwen came to live with us. She was a great dog.
     My second rescue dog was Hobbes. He was a black lab mix Hobbes showed up at our door one night attached to a young man my ex had befriended. He told us he got this dog and his mom said he could not keep it. Have home will share. He was only a year and a half when he left my life. I lost him in my rather nasty divorce to my first wife, who in turn gave him a way just about the time that I had found a place to live that would accept dogs. I still hate her for that.  I never really got to know if he was a great dog.
     Karma is a powerful force and Hobbes got even with my ex shortly before she kicked me to the curb. He absolutely destroyed her favorite stuffed animal, Whiteybear, and I patched it back together. I never divulged that little secret to her. He also dug up the carpet in the house around that time as well…(in this case i think it would be called pre karma...)
     The third rescue dog was Busker. (He was actually named buster, but I changed his name because he was on the busking trip I took in the van years. He thought it was a cool name too…) when my sister was force to move into a trailer, she was forced to get rid of him. Have home will share…
     He was a lab Shepard mix and was never really quite right. We actually got kicked out of training class, and he blamed me, but really I was behaving just fine. Busker on the other hand was simply not one to follow rules... I had to put him down because he kept biting people. MOST of them probably did not deserve to be bitten, but he may have thought they did. I tried and failed, but I still loved him. It hurts to fail.
     My fourth and fifth rescue dogs were Browndog and Whitedog. They were not so much a rescue as a favor, because my sister-in-law simply did not have time for two puppies. They were the two best dogs I have ever had. And although parents should not have favorites, Browndog was mine. It will be tough for Tucker to trump the old brown –brown… time will tell. He does have a great start, though.
     They play a couple commercial on the television about shelter animals. It is so sad. It tries my belief that humans are inherently good. It makes me sad. I have to change the channel. I have to look away. But we need to stop looking away. (I call them the Used Animal commercials...) 
     The other day driving home from work I saw a cat get hit by a car. No, it was not my car even though I am a dog person I can only joke about killing cats; I could never actually do it. The poor thing pulled itself off the road and up onto the curb. I do not know what happened to it. I attempted to stop, but the traffic was too thick and I did not want to cause an accident or get hit. It was horrific to witness, the struggle of life and death and to be powerless to do anything.
     I am not a man of means. I am barely making it like so many of my fellow humans. We live in the richest country in the world but our poor can’t be fed. We put animals to death because there are too many irresponsible pet owners. I do not want to watch. I want to do something. How can I help? What can I do?
     I decided to blog, because I am an applause junkie. I crave the spotlight, even a small one. But I also do this to help. I do this to bring a smile to someone’s day, to share with my readers the trials and tribulations of the real world. I do this to satisfy my writing bone. I do not do this to make a living, but if I could I would.
     I have decided to make my blog a way to raise money for the Safe Haven Humane Society in Ionia. They are where we got our Tucker. They need your help. All shelters need money. And we can do it without costing us anything but time.
     I have decided to donate at least 50% of any money for the next 12 months I make on this blog to them. The rest of the money will go to paying bills and saving money to help my daughter thru college. After one year, I should know if it will be worthwhile or not…(my goal is $200.00, because I just pulled it outamyass)
     You can help. Read my blog, and click on one link each time. Just one. Takes a couple seconds, unless you still have dial-up. It costs you nothing. I would do it if I could, but the rules (and Busker hates rules) forbid me from clicking my links for cash.
     You can just keep reading, and do nothing and I will not blame you. You can boycott my blog for my shameless self promotion. You can click and help me raise money for a worthy cause. I need to do something. I need to help others have the opportunity to find their Tucker…I need to….do something. And I need your help… do something...

Just another day in paradise

Sunday, June 20, 2010

If it fits…

In honor of fathers everywhere, and the guys in my guypack, happy FATHERS DAY!!!

   We live in a disposable society. We throw it out and get new. We move thruout our environment with little regard to what we waste. Well, that is until a few years ago, then we suddenly started to embrace the recycling and re-using of things. Our society is still wasteful, but at least we are trying. We should never throw out things that still fit.
     I have had a lot of nicknames. Not quite as many as I have had jobs, but a lot. And many were given to me at jobs. Some I have come up with but most have been bestowed upon me by others. It is fair to give a nickname to someone. It is right to give a nickname to someone. At least for guys it is…however sometimes a nickname does not stick, even if it fits…and we throw it out…
     I do not hear women give each other a nickname as much as men. I am not privy to the world of girl/girl relationships, other than what I have had e-mailed to me from some of my less couth members of my guypack, but suffice to say, my wife never calls her friends up and asks, “What up Cookie?” Hell, some days I forget Cookie’s real name. (Not really, David…)
     We also never refer to each other as Jackass, dirtbag, dumbass, or any other not nice things… I cannot speak for all guys, but I do not think that I know women really like to call each other nicknames…which are different than flirtatious pet names. Somehow I fail to find my wife calling me jackass very flirtatious, but oh well…like I said, some names just fit…
     *Norman the speel checjlker* is gonna have a field day with this one, as the reformat of the c drive wiped out his memory of *Brucisms* …sorry my friend…not really…
     The guypack that I run with is very adept at handing out some very apropos monikers. Some of the nicks are Cookie, VoHo, VanVick, Porn Fairy, Freeman Jim, Lardass, and lucky Pierre. While Lucky Pierre is often a sexually derogatory moniker, in this case I think it has more to do with a certain beret…Not really sure, but that is my take at the present.
     When I was young, my father called me Bruce the Moose. Any of you that read *Boys Life* may remember that cartoon. It was an ironic nick, however, because while I was Bruce, I was hardly a moose. Small and skinny is not really a moose type attribute. I was more like Bruce the Mongoose…
     As I got older I was in the market for a more appropriate nick. My father, at a family night at Brann’s Steakhouse suggested BJ. Like BJ Honeycutt, of M*A*S*H fame, one of his favorite shows, but I was not so sure. My sister two years my elder said, “That is short for Blow Job!” needless to say the mood deflated, and the dinner conversation went from light and fluffy talk of new nicks for Bruce to a scolding of mammoth proportions. That nick never stuck. I still kind of chuckle about that but not as much as this other time…
     Again we were at a restaurant having a family dinner. Big fun and all that. My father asks my sis why she is not trying harder to make the Honor Roll. Notice there is no mention of me making the honor roll. My parents had pretty much decided I was an underachiever and would never aspire to such a lofty goal. I just wanted to get done with school.
     Then my sister drops this turd in the punchbowl. “I don’t want to hang out with all those Pricks!” I am fighting back the laughter, but I also can see Mount Pissedofffather ready to blow. Pricks, I guess is an unacceptable term to my father. Granted this is way back in the mid seventies, but still. However, we are talking about the guy that grew up in Brooklyn….maybe he had a different standard set for his daughter. Seriously? Pricks? I could understand lobbing the f-bomb…
     I think that I have been called a Prick a time or two but it has never stuck as a nickname. The next nick I picked up was BEJ (pronounced BEEJuh…The uh is nearly silent.) NOT BJ…but dangerously close…Most of the running crowd I hung with had an initial fetish, I guess, because many of us were called by our initials.
     It was during this stretch of my life, my father, however, called me Brenda because of my long hair. More correctly he called me Brender, because he had a Brooklyn accent and the “a” was pronounced “er”. He really had a field day when I came home with an earring shortly after graduation. “So, Brender, do you really want to be a girl?”
     I just laughed it off, cuz I was cool like that what with the long hair, the leather jacket and the diamond stud earring…and it was a real diamond…yeah RIIGHT, at Claire’s Boutique for $15.00 including the piercing? Maybe but I doubt it. Hey, maybe Brender did fit, but what guy really wants to be called that?
     After high school I got a job at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour and I started working in the fountain. Many of my high school cohorts had worked there thru the years, but I was always the rebel or maybe just a little slow…I went to work there long after most had departed on to college. Not Me. I needed a full-time job, because as I could not figure out what I wanted to do…That is a nice way of saying, as I mentioned before, that I wanted to be a slacker more than anything. Farrell’s helped a bit by providing an income and a not so stressful fullish time job... It was cool but I had to work sans earring…
     The fountain guys let me start at the dipping station number 4, where the hand dipped shakes and malts were made. I really kind of hate shakes and malts to this day, but I did learn a valuable skill. I could REALLY scoop ice cream. I was pretty fast and it looks great on a resume. I got tons of Job offers from listing THAT skill…
     After all the experienced guys left, it was me and the newbie’s, so it was not hard to convince these newbie’s that I was special. I could have called myself Dr. Nitro, but J. D. has that honor. And we left him in the freezer kind of half conscious, after doing a dozen whip cans…jus sayin’….
     I decided to call myself Dr. Fountain. I was the best dipper there, and had seniority, so….and I did scoop a volcano, 30 scoops of ice cream, in like 58 seconds once, and that is pretty fast. Just for the record, it did look fairly decent as well…I even had a nametag that said Dr. Fountain. I was cool…For a really big nerd…as I look back, I had very little cool but a lot of arrogance why I will never know… (Oh, we all know why, you f-ing applause junkie!!!) It fit for a while, but all good things must pass…
     Farrell’s is where I met my first wife, Jill…I do not remember what we had for nicknames. It is amazing that as much as we were in love, although it was long ago, that I cannot remember much of our flirtatious banter...I think when we divorced my nick was asshole, but I am not sure. I KNOW hers was “the Bitch…”
     As I moved on to the Chi-chi’s years I was nicknamed Brucella. But there was also Dougella and Jessella and Tyrone. Nobody called Tyrone Tyroneella, we called him Big T. In typical 80’s machismo, we all did not want to have *Sugar in out tank*…hence the stigma of adding the girlish *Ella* suffix to insinuate feminism. Sometimes names only fit with the crowd your in at the time. While I never embraced this nick, I lived with it for the two years I worked with those guys.
     The Chi-Chi’s thing ended badly, as did my marriage, and so I found myself working at Schelde’s, where for the first time in my adult life I grew a beard. As I was growing the beard I was given the nickname scruffy. I still like that one. Maybe my all time favorite nick. And it fit. I am still scruffy, just trapped in a moderately clean-cut face.
     I am Scruffy. I do not deny it. I tuck in a shirt and 3 nano-seconds later it looks like a just ran a marathon minus the sweat. I put on a dress shirt and any spec of filth finds me like I am a giant blob of *Enddust*. I do not try to be scruffy, I just am. It is hard to be both scruffy and man pretty, but I am… I do not know how else to describe it. I hate to shave, I wear dress clothes like they are a prison uniform and do not like to be clean cut. This does not mean I cannot do it, I am happier as a scruffy guy.
     During Wintercamp, I am Boman. I am Boman because that is the name on the second-hand camouflage shirt I bought at Bert’s Surplus, way back when. Lately I have been called Brucellini…and B-dog…but still and all the all time favorite nick is Scruffy…it just fits… and if something fits, you never want to throw it out.
Just another day in paradise