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Friday, July 2, 2010

The holiday plan

     It is nearly the Fourth of July…I know you all have plans for the 4th. I want a plan. Hell, kids I NEED a plan. I know I have said there is a difference between wants and needs, but I forgot to include that along with air and water, everyone needs a plan. Life comes at you pretty fast, as Ferris said, so I agree, you have to grab it and that takes a plan.
     After a few daddy pops many things sound much better not just in principle, but in practice. So after a little lubrication I sat down on the party deck and grabbed a legal pad and hatched this Great Idea! So much liquid courage, so little brainpower…
     I need to rob a bank. Not just any bank mind. For example AIG is a good place to start. Or Chase. Robbing a bank, while there are inherent risks does seem to be pretty simple. After all I would just be taking back the money the greedybastards stole from us with their ponzischeme shellgame shenanigans. And they are not that smart…
     If they can’t seem to figure out that if you sell people houses they cannot afford AND overvalue property until the bubble bursts that is bad business, screw them. If you then couple that with hocus-pocus ARM’s so the buyers really cannot afford the house is it any wonder that you MIRACULOUSLY end up with millions in uncollected debt. How is that NOT a good plan? sarcasm ? Then f-them. They deserve a good asshanding, NOT a BAILOUT!!
     I know I will be a modern day Robin Hood. I can borrow my friend Cindy’s beau’s way cool hat and buy one of those goofy black velvet masks, and no-one will know who I am. I will even buy a set of elevator shoes  the ones with goldfish in them so I look taller and dye my hair rainbow colors, just in case I lose that hat. And under the cheap mask, camouflage eye-black, just in case!!!
     I will walk in broad daylight with a Stallonesque armament of guns and ammo. Relax people; I will not have to use them, as the mask and hat will probably scare people into submission. And if you are really worried I will resort to plan Z. I Love plan Z! (Spongebob, the movie)
     For plan Z, I have lots of tools. I bet some of those will be good for breaking into the bank. Or I could just lob a couple bricks thru the window, because there is enough glass in most banks to bury a NYC block. Jus’ sayin’….
     Worried about the alarms? Not me!!! I know how to disarm a home security system, so how tough can it be? We are talking about the guys that brought us the worst economy since the Great Depression, so really, I bet the alarm system is like two cups and a piece of string between two fat, old, partially crippled part-time security guards. Oh and a clogged can of pepper spray. The greedybastards used the money for an adequate alarm system buying a couple Yachts and an all expense paid week at Vegas for about 300 CEO types…
     After my successful coup de baquero (I love pseudo-Sprench) I could use the money for….Use the money for… wait for it…wait for it...
     Loose women…. A Case of Crown…. Buy a Limo….and…. A no-holds-barred road trip to Vegas. In a limo!!! With a bunch of women as hot as a porn-queens ass! That’s what I am talking about!!! Did you get a little carried away there, Bruce?
     On the way I would make a little pit-stop in Indiana. Why a stop in Indiana? The 4th is nothing if something doesn’t blow up. And someone doesn’t loose and eye or arm or something. Mom always said don’t play ball in the house but I am still not really clear on the whole explosives thing. I will have to ask her next time I see her. Carte Blanche until then with the fireworks and stuff…
     Of course I would buy some explosives…Buy some explosives, I like the way that sounds. Then I could blow some stuff up, because nothing says happy birthday America quite like the sound of bombs. Rockets red glare and Bombs bursting in air!!! And people wonder why our nation is so violent? Violence breeds violence…jus’ sayin’…
     Absofuckinglutely NO GD sparklers… WTF is up with that? You can buy sparklers in Michigan but not bombs? Have you ever grabbed a hot end of one of those things? And I am talking about as an adult, because your drunkass did not quite see the orientation of the stick when Libby set it down I know you have as a kid, but I am quite sure you have as an adult as well. Those things are dangerous!
     I would much rather risk getting a mortar in the face, mostly because I am not quite stupid enough to look down the tube after I light it, than ever see a sparkler again…Besides I can always point the tube at the neighbors house…maybe hit that goat statue thingy…and their grass is sooo green that I could not catch it on fire with a sparkler.
     When I get to Vegas I will bet it all on black (Passenger 57 ??? But I think the line is always bet on black). Of course, I will win! I will win a bunch! I’m talking billions! My blog, I do what I want! So much that I could afford to drive the limo to Hawaii. Of course I know you can’t drive to Hawaii, because there are no gas stations, but if it were in the Gulf it wouldn’t be a problem, thanks BP…oh and BP don’t think you are not on my radar…
     I would not drive; I would buy a Leer Jet and bring my entourage along. Hell, when I got to the islands I would use my billions to buy Maui. And become the dictator of Maui. Then I would secede from the USA. And declare war on Iran or Canada. Because I can.
     Actually, I would leave my violent ways behind and I would live like a rock star. They would never find me, my disguise was so cool and my plan so fool-proof… Or I could party with Liz and Aaron. Here in Michigan. It’s probably safer that way. Besides I am too man pretty to go to jail…But I can still get drunk and blow some stuff up! Happy birthday USA!! Let’s keep it safe out there…Jeez…sparklers??? Seriously?
Just another day in paradise

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Staring out into space.

     There are many things in life that I could regret. I could spend the remainder of my days searching for the answers to all the questions I got wrong. I could, but I choose not too. That would not really change a thing. I could apologize to so many people that I would have to make that a full-time job. And I really do not need another full-time job. So if I have offended you at anytime, this is my blanket apology. This old dog does not do many new tricks. He does spend a lot of time staring out into space. Yup. And thinkin’
     After I got done grillin’ some chicken kabobs and killin’ a few bad guys while washing down the days events with a cold one, I got to thinkin’ and that leads to blogging. I do spend a lot of time staring out into space. And not only while I am driving. Sometimes I sit on the party deck and stare at the neighbor’s yard. And think. I want to blog....I need to blog...
     I think tonight they were doing some odd Frankenstein-ish experiments on their cats. I could not see in the basement window thru the curtain of flowers and from the odd angle I was sitting on the deck, very well, but there seemed to be a lot of flashing lights and such. I suppose it could have been the television. (Probably just the television…Heywood Banks)
     And I really do not know WTF is up with that goat statue. My wife pointed it out this evening, and for the life of me, with all the hours I have logged in my trance-like stare-fests I have never noticed it before. It could be that they just bought it. It could be. However, I thnk to myself, why would anyone buy such a thing? Jus’ sayin’…
     I could sit around and feel sorry for myself while I am staring into space because I have done some awful mean things and hurt a lot of feelings but where does that get anyone? That kind of stuff usually leads to ending up on the wrong side of a gun, and suicide is never an option for a guy like me. I need to be around to atone for my sins and make up for lost time. Or something like that. I really think that God will sort it out.
      Words are just words. I have been called so many names since I was young. I remember four-eyes, carrot-top, creepy, nerd, geek, jackass, idiot, dumbass to name a few. I really do not feel the sting of the words. They are just words... But because that is my MO, does not mean the rest of the world operates on that plane of existence. They need to. I want them to.
     I stared and sipped on a can of blue and watched Tucker hunt down fireflies. It was really comical. Even after along walk, that pup still has a tone of energy. When I feel down, a dog has usually been there to cheer me up. At the end of a long hard day of making big wood into small wood or swapping out a filthy toilet, coming home to a puppy is like walking into a category five hurricane. In a good way. If there is such a thing.
     The life I have lead has been full of good times and bad, but I realize as I get older that I have not taken full advantage of the blessings I have been given. My kids are both nearly grown. Sometimes I wonder how much more they will need me. Except that kids always seem to need the Bank of Bruce. The problem is that the Bank of Bruce is in worse shape than AIG. And the Bank of Bruce never seemed to get all the right forms filled out to get some of that juicy government Bailout cashola. I could be bitter, but why?
     I make it a point to spend much more time rolling on the floor with Tucker than I ever did with old Browndog or ‘Cino. but they had each other, so they did not need to fight with me. He will grow up eventually and not want to play like that. So I take the time now, to enjoy the romping. Because I want to. 
      Sometimes when I am staring into the wild blue yonder I think I never really spent enough time romping with my kids. I did spend some time with them. But really not enough. It is never enough. And now it is too late to get back any of that time. I say this not with regret, but with sincerity and honesty. I was always too busy trying to make a buck, or finding the next job. Or doing something else. I say this not as a judgment on my fatherhood, but as a fact of life. Too early the things we love are taken from us. We I really should appreciate more and criticize less.
      That is not to say that they will not have some great memories of our time together. We did spend many a day fishing, coaching soccer, watching movies, and grillin' or dinin’ out. (It is a shame when white trash gets money) We did go on an awesome vacation to see THE MOUSE as well. But I am also not trying to justify my existence either. I did what I could and still try to connect when it is convenient, more so now for them, than for me. I have a lot more time than a young adult and a teenager. I believe they call my life the life of boring old people…
     These are some of the things I think about when I stare out into space. I think of life past and life future. And some times I just think of funny things to write about. Or what I will do when I retire. What are my wants and needs? F- that I rarely think of retirement, but I do daydream a lot.
     One year not so long ago, or was it? We loaded up the family truckster (National Lampoon's Vacation) in late February or early March and my wife and I took them out to the big lake. As we drove to the big lake, we got a little lost and I relayed the Fucawee Tribe story to them. If you do not know about this tribe try to re-pronounce the word until you get the meaning. as in where the fuck are we  Of course I got THE LOOK from my wife but the kids thought it was funny.
     It was a fairly warm for February/March in Michigan. The sun shone like it was making up for lost time. I think it was what the world felt like at the end of the ice age. if you have never seen the big lake in the winter, it is a must see. The ice flows indeed looks like a glacier. It make me wonder how on earth the Titanic could have NOT possibly seen the iceberg in time. but then again i have run into things in my car that are not nearly as big, and it was not nearly as dark...
     There was still a ton of ice on the water. I mean big glacier sized chunks of frozen water. It WAS the ice-age. The Pan in me could not resist charging out onto the big ice flows like a brazen polar bear. Of course my kids (about 14 and 7 or so at that time) followed suit, Like little polar cubs. Even my wife could not resist the awesome pull of the unknown.
     I included a picture of the Big Lake and what it looked like that day. Ok, not reallly. But if you imagine that picture of the lake covered with giant bergs of ice, well, you'd get the picture!
     I then relayed the *not necessarily factual* Inuit tribe story. The Native Americans that crossed the land bridge where called Inuit. There were some members of the tribe that cautioned against doing the crossing because it would lead to death. When they successfully crossed the land bridge the first thing they said was I KNEW IT! Hence the name…It may be and old joke, but they did not know it…They may have laughed... I remember they did.
      This was when our guardian angels appeared. Or an old crotchety, funkilling couple, but whatever…I heard them say something like, “It is too dangerous to take kids out there!” Of course I ignored them. Buzzkillers. Just like the Inuit Tribes crossing the land bridge we clambered on. In no danger whatsoever, because we were the Fucawee tribe of the Inuit’s…“This is ice!” We laughed and frolicked for what seemed like hours but were probably only minutes…
     Things were just peachy until I decided that we should jump from one glacier down about four feet to a lower glacier. I was a bit cautious. I nearly asked Chris, my son to jump, but something told me to test it first. Like the Hulk, I grabbed up a large chunckus of tundra and tossed it to where I was going to jump. SPLOOOOOOSH! Was the sound it made as it plummeted down, thru the thin ice and into the murky depth below. “I KNEW IT!! We both exclaimed! Probably a good thing the *Buzzkillers* guardian angels said something earlier.
     If Chris had jumped in and had been killed, I guess that would be something I would regret, but no blood no foul…Shortly after that we made our way back across the land bridge to the relative safety of the beach. I cherish that day. It was special.
     With the passing of years the needs and wants of each of us change. I have not felt I needed anyone or anything for a long time. That is what divorce does to you. You never want to be hurt again so you put up a wall and pretend it doesn’t hurt. But we all feel pain. Some of us are just better at masking it. And some of us do things to escape the pain. Crown and Coke Most of us have been hurt and some of us never recover. However, wants are not needs. I want to be with my family. I do not need to be with them.
     Want to be liked and need to be liked are entirely different. As an applause junkie you would think that I NEED to be liked, but I do not. I WANT to be liked. But if you do not like me, oh well, your loss. Seriously, your loss. Jus’ sayin’…
     I want to do more things with my loved ones. I want to spend more time appreciating them. I do not need to. That NEED word sounds like work. Want to sounds like much more fun. I want a million dollars. I do not need a million dollars. It would change my life yes, but I do not NEED it…
     I need to breathe, eat, drink water, and a little scotch..  I do not want those things; I NEED them. I want to be happy, I want to feel love, and I want to love. I do not need these things, I WANT them. I will die alone. Not that I mean I will not be surrounded by loved ones, because they WILL all out live me, but no one will die for me. I will have to answer for my transgressions, no one else. They can choose to be there with me. If I can figure out how to have someone die in my place, then I will also die very rich and a LONG LONG LONG time from now…Staring out into space and thinkin…
Just another day in paradise

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shoes of all sizes….

     Never underestimate the power of incoherent thought. I know it sounds like a simple concept, but really it is very, very difficult to grasp. like Chicago Math. If it were easy, then there would be fewer vagaries of perception. People seem to think that what ever they believe is the only rational thought, when in reality, the lines between black and white are really grey and shades of grey. If you travel far enough the left you are really extreme right…jus’ sayin’
     You never really understand the other person until you walk a mile in their shoes. In most cases it would only take a couple of steps or at least a bit of empathy and a couple steps to appreciate the particulars of their paradigm. In many instances we do not really take the time to understand where the other individual is coming from We may not want to wear their shoes, for even a minute. We make snap judgments and are quick to shut out the door on meaningful dialog.
     There are many types of shoes in this world and not all of them will fit you or me. The best you can do is try to fit into the other’s shoes occasionally, to see what on earth were they thinking…. Looking at their shoes is a start. Baby Steps! (From What About Bob starring Richard Dreyfus and Bill Murray)
     The other day I was working Woodland Mall. It was raining, if you can imagine it raining lately. I pulled up to the loading zone and smoked a cigarette while killing some badguys and waited for the cloudburst to subside. When the rain let up I hopped out of the truck and proceeded to unload the lumber.
     I was not more than a couple of steps out of my truck, walking in my beat-up work Nikes when some self-important mallmanagernazi pushing some trash shouted, “Hey! You can’t park there! Your blocking the dumpster!” to which I replied, “F- you! Mallstaupo managerboy!” “I will be out of the way in a couple minutes.” I was clearly not blocking the dumpster, as you can see in the picture I took with my *Mind’s Eye* imagining device.
     I used the NEW mind-meld cable that I recently purchased to replace the mind meld cable I left on the front seat in a locked car, in the hot sun, which melted just like those wax Sinclair Dinosaurs that your dad TOLD you not to leave on the seat of the car, because it would melt. Yeah, just like that…

     Maybe that guy was having a bad day. Maybe his boss just uncorked on him. Maybe. I don’t know, but I doubt it. Maybe he is just a member of the braying jackassery… Maybe…I do know his wingtips looked too uncomfortable to wear while I build a bunch of shelves…He may have a very good reason to commit jackassery. I will probably never know. But I should cut him some slack, for I do not know what it is like to wear his shoes.
     BTW…I hate wingtips…I would probably not do well walking in his shoes. Maybe he hates his shoes as well. We all battle the black cloud that is depression; some of us just relish walking in that cloud, because it is what we are used to. I prefer the silver lining, however it is sometimes hard to find. It can be like a word search that was made by a kindergartner. You know there may be something there but it is hidden by a lack of coherency.
     I was out driving the other day and I saw a couple in their car BOTH talking on their cell phones. From their appearance they were probably both wearing Birkenstocks. They may have had very important business thing so discuss on their trip to wherever, but I doubt it. They were probably taking to friends about which bar to hook up later.
     Or they were making plans for their upcoming wedding…fools… Most likely they were talking to each other, and not cuz it is funny and cute, but because they were so self absorbed they forgot they were in the car together. I really wish I could see their shoes…
     “I see you are very judgmental, Grasshopper.” Did I forget to mention that they were driving in the left lane at about 60 mph causing everyone else to go around them in the right lane? No. OK, they were, and that is when I decided to stop trying to wear their Birks, and give them the business. See how easy it is to jump to conclusions? Thank God I was wearing a sturdy pair of cross-trainers!!!
     After this little incident I ended up at the zoo. It was last Saturday. Well, not the actual zoo but I went to Meijer, and it was a zoo. 10,000,000 SUVS and mini-vans all driving as if their shoes don’t stink…
     All I wanted to do was buy a battery for the fishing boat. Simple enough, you would think, but not so much. I survived the jungle that is the parking lot and shoed my way into the store, where the cattle chaos was a maelstrom of multi-shoed indifference. When I finally found the damn batteries, after several near shopping cart collisions, I grabbed one and huffed to the check out, only to find that the check out guy did not know the proper procedure to give me the discounted price for having an exchange battery. He had no Idea what the “core charge” was…idiot
     I could not see his shoes, as they were hidden by the cash stand, but maybe they were uncomfortable. He sent me to the service counter. The little old lady there looked at me like I was speaking Swahili and sent me back to the battery department. She was probably wearing simple black flats, but I could not see them. Maybe she had on stiletto f-me pumps and thought that 75 was the new cougar…I do not know.
     I trundled back to the auto department. I searched for a call button or an associate to help me. Finally I found a auto person. The fat overweight girl there had to call the service department to find the proper procedure. She was wearing black walking shoes that were a bit aged. However, she was kind and courteous. I could wear her shoes. She then sent me back to the cashier.
    I try to look at the shoe possibilities. Just do your job. I try to understand the complexities. Just learn your job. How tough can it be? Granted there are like a bazillion product at a Meijer, but seriously? In the end no one died from the added 20 or so minutes I was wandering around the store trying to buy a battery. But really what were they all thinking? You cannot empathize if you cannot understand.
    There are lots of reasons that no one knows the procedure. It all comes down to understanding.idiots*No I understand that they are ignorant of the procedure  they have a tough job. seriously, it is not so tough do not act like I am an inconvenience. instead of saying those things I smile and say, “That’s ok I really have nothing else to do today.”
     In my third wait in line for one simple product I glance at the tabloid stand. why would anyone buy these magazines? It dawns on me that you should never date anyone you work with. Well, at least that is the core understanding I get from looking at all the movie stars that date and get married and then break up. I do not think I would like to walk in their shoes either.
     I think to myself, while the glam life style may look cool and all, my somewhat chaotic albeit mildly boring day –to-day is just fine by me. I can always change into a newer pair of shoes. God knows I have way too many pairs, I have lost count. *Damn! Bruce you are becoming Imelda Marcos compared to when I met Roxy, and I had a pair of work boots, a pair of boat shoes, a pair of clean Nikes, and sandals. And I thought that was a bit extreme. Seriously, 4 PAIRS of shoes? Conspicuous consumer American PIG!
     Then I glance at a magazine called Life made simple. Riiight. This tripe is 246 pages of ads, and advice to make it simple. What are they thinking? I fail to see the coherency in their spiel. I cannot wear those shoes! I have a great way to make it simple. Do less stuff. Make more time for yourself and family. Do not book 30 hours in a 24 hour day. But really most of all, don’t waste your time reading on how to make it simple. If you don’t know how, wasting time reading about how to simplify by adding to time spent by reading about simplifying seems like some kind of acid induced Chicago Math…
    Apparently, all the news you really need is in the check out aisle. Tabloids are just the same as the Trending Now blurb on yahoo. I learn more about what is HOT and what is NOT in the few trips per week to the grocery and by looking at the trending now blurb. I must also say that I am not really too interested. Well, that is until I become a trending now from this blog. And again assume the role of Mr. mildly famous.. Then I may care, but who then will want to walk in my shoes?
     As I am exiting the store I see a rather fat, obese, slob large guy. I read the shirt he is wearing. It says something about healthy kids and exercise. I am baffled. hey fatso, if you want to help kids loose weight start with yourself maybe his kids are fat. Hey Lardass, Twinkies are NOT a food group I really do not understand, but I try. What is he thinking? You should never argue with a crazy mi-mi-mi-mi-mind* (Billy Joel) I chuckle and walk away. I really could not walk in his shoes either…I may not be the thin guy I was 15 years ago, so I can empathize a wee bit…jus’ sayin’
     The problem with people is they want to be right. They know the paradigm they follow is the right path. They are unwilling to shift the paradigm. No matter how incoherent it may seem to you or me. While I will continue to look at other peoples incoherent shoes, maybe it is only *Baby Steps,* I reserve the right to look at other people’s shoes and while I may even buy into new shoes; I can keep walking in my shoes cheap and aged as they are.
Just another day in paradise