Friday, March 29, 2013

It's Just Me

As I look at the date of my last entry I see it's been over a year since I've written anything. I guess maybe I lost interest, or didn't have a lot I wanted to say, or was tired of venting my problems in this forum. At any rate, I've decided to pop in and let my fingers do some walking on this keyboard, for exercise, if nothing else. Even though I've been absent from blogging for awhile, I do the Facebook thing everyday to see what other people are up to. I rarely post there either, just follow what my family and friends - those people who friended you so that you could "chat all the time" then just repost pictures of the same kind of crap that they used to send you before Facebook, and never chat at all - are doing. The big thing that's all the buzz right now is the gay rights and gay marriage thing. Everyone gets on there and expresses their opinion, through some picture or saying that someone else made up and they reposted, so that you'll know where they stand and that if you aren't on the same ground which they stand then you're dead wrong, and evil. Well, this used to be America, a democratic country where people of differing views came together and were able to live side by side, entitled to their own opinions without having someone else's forced upon them. Some of us, I, for one, still believe that democracy should exist in the America we know today. I'm tired of the people I thought were my friends flooding Facebook with their extreme views one way or the other to try to get everyone to agree with them. I would rather read posts about the daily bowel movements of someone's grandmother. But Tim, don't you have an opinion about the issues? Of course I do, and if someone makes a Facebook page devoted to expressing your opinion on certain matters, and if I ever feel like joining in I'll go there, but right now I wish I could log on to FB and not be deluged with people throwing barbs at one another and posting endless points of evidence as "proof" that their opinion is the correct one.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What a Laugh

I've started thinking that maybe I've been turning into a humorless old curmudgeon for the past few years. I just don't find a lot of so-called comedy funny. My wife will show me something that she's seen on Facebook or elsewhere on the internet at which she laughs uncontrollably, but I barely crack a smile. I think I've just figured out why I don't experience humor as much anymore.

I was raised through the sixties and seventies, and much of the family entertainment consisted of watching comedy shows. I was exposed to comedic genius, such as Steve Martin, John Candy, and the old Saturday Night Live show. There were the earlier greats, like Red Skelton, who could make you laugh without drawing even a PG rating and some who weren't quite as well known but carved out their own comedy niche, like Sid Caesar. Benny Hill had me rofl many times with his naughty-for-the-times humor, well before we even knew what rofl meant.
And the movies...where to even start. Vacation, Police Academy, Fast Times at Ridgemont High,Caddyshack, Strange Brew...way too many from the 80's to mention them all.

So, I've discovered that I haven't really lost my sense of humor, it's just that I compare the sex-filled, profanity laden tripe that is most prevelant today with the classics from my younger days. After experiencing so much quality entertainment from those past years I've gotten spoiled...or maybe I've just come to expect more than I should.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Being Un-American Makes Me More American

I guess there's an election this year, or so I gather from all the increased phone calls I'm getting asking me to take a "brief survey" on the state of affairs of one or another of Obama's programs. I have no clue how his health care plan is going to affect me, or whether his plan to rid the U.S. of hatchback cars makes him a Communist or not. Truth is, I never pay attention to the news unless its by accident or something grabs my attention. As a Catholic member of this nation, I should be up in arms about the plan to require insurance coverage for abortion for everyone. Yes, in principle I think its wrong to make organizations pay and provide for something that goes against their beliefs. However, don't try to debate the issue with me because I only know anything about it because it was talked about in church... I haven't researched it like I should be doing, being a Catholic AND an American who has a vote to place for those who agree with my views. Unfortunately, I have no viewpoint on a lot of important issues that I'm sure are out there waiting for someone as wise as me to offer input to sway the masses toward the right decision. The fact is, and I think the same can be said for too many people in this country, I'm becoming someone who settles for whatever happens, feeling that I'm in no position to make a difference. Yes, I do vote at almost every election, but rarely do I study the issues beforehand. Usually, I read the proposal while I'm in the ballot booth and make split second decisions that cause the city to enact a 2% tax on all residents possessing striped running shoes. I think there are a lot of people out there like me, who just don't bother to get informed about anything. But then I've never bothered to check the polls, so I could be wrong.

Monday, October 31, 2011


This has definitely not been one of the best years of my life. I haven't written for a couple of months, and a lot has happened since.The wedding which was supposed to happen a week ago never materialized, as my son's fiance decided that she wasn't ready to commit to something so permanent, leaving him confused and broken hearted. They'd been sharing an apartment since early summer, and now he's moved back home, along with all his stuff, so our house is very cluttered right now.
My wife has to have a biopsy done in a couple of weeks and most probably a hysterectomy. She's understandably nervous, as am I.
The greatest blow by far happened this past weekend, when my nephew's son, a young man destined to take his place among the intellectual leaders of the future, was killed by a supposedly self-inflicted gunshot. You rarely meet anyone as likable and intelligent as he was. His mind was always working. An engineering student, he was known to tear an old engine apart and get it running when he was still a preteen. I'm having trouble accepting his death, and am getting choked up writing about it. What a terrible thing for his family to go through.

I hope to start writing more regularly, but I've been keeping very busy with school and work and everything else going on. Maybe next time I'll have a more positive tone to my post.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Almost Summer's End

So much has happened this summer that I'm kind of glad to get into a routine of sorts now that school has started for both my son and me. Still one major hurdle to face, and that's the wedding in October of my oldest son. The wedding itself doesn't bother me, but the fact that it's taking place miles outside my usual "comfort zone" has had me on edge all summer. I don't want to have a panic attack and ruin the day for everyone, so I've been trying to stretch my limits and have met with some success, although there's still a ways to go. Actually, even though the thought of driving that far terrifies me most times, there are those other times when I look at the fact that I have been making progress and find it kind of thrilling. I try to build on those times when I can, and hopefully when the day comes I'll be able to enjoy it like I want to.
I also started a new job recently, so there is a big adjustment for that thrown in the mix. The good thing is that with all the school work and learning a new job I don't have a lot of time to let anxiety build about the wedding. Hopefully, in a couple of months things will be almost normal again....whatever that is.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Day Invested

Just a bit of fiction because I had time to kill:

Sometimes you can tell how your whole day is going to go by how your morning starts. After a long night of intermittent sleep the alarm went off just as I was settling into a dream filled state. I groped for the snooze button to try to squeeze in a few more minutes with my pillow when my thumb reminded me that it still had a metal splinter in it that was too tiny to pull out but stuck out far enough to snag on the sheet as I tried to pull it over my head. Trying to ignore the throbbing pain, I closed my eyes only to hear a train blowing it's horn as it went through town. Not the usual two sharp blasts announcing its passage, this morning the conductor seemed to be targeting me and gave two long, slow tugs on the horn that echoed forever in the dim morning light. This was followed by the rumbling of the tracks which I was able to successfully set to rhythm in my head with the hum of the ceiling fan and was almost asleep when the alarm went off again. I drug myself out of bed only to get a charley horse when I turned my leg wrong.

I had to meet my sister for lunch, so my day was going to be interrupted right when I was settling into a groove. I'd been invited with a "You don't mind, right? I mean, you work from home and can leave when you want.". Sure I could, I was only a day trader, and at a time when the stock market could swing one way and wipe out most of my savings, umm... yeah sure I could just leave. I grumbled to myself, but really did look forward to seeing her. My younger sister lived out-of-state and I didn't get to see her much except for the holidays. Her husband Dave was the brother I never had. Outgoing and charismatic, he seemed like a rock star, and his resemblance to Gene Simmons had given me a lot of material to rib him with over the years, all of which he played along with and made visits enjoyable. When they first married I hadn't given them much of a chance to stay together, only because they were so much alike and I'd always heard that opposites attract. Twenty-five years later, they were proving me happily wrong. It was just going to be her today, as she was headed to Chicago on business and had decided to drop down this way to see me.

By eleven o'clock I was well into my day and nervously watching my biggest investment, the big F. Ford Motor Company stock was poised to fall significantly if the safety commission decided that a few incidences with airbags on their F-150's warranted a recall. That decision would be forthcoming at any time, and my mind was occupied with thoughts of selling when the kitchen timer went off, reminding me it was time to get ready for lunch. With my head thumping from a lack of sleep I shaved and showered, getting shampoo in my eye and adding to my achy, dismal day. I still had a little time to keep watch on my stocks before I left, so I sat and waited, hoping to get a clue about the direction the market would take. The only inkling was from the Ford CEO, who sounded positive and thus influenced me to keep my stocks. I looked up to see that it was eleven forty-five already, and hurried out the door.

I was five minutes late when I pulled into Howdie's, the retro fifties diner where I was to meet Samantha. She was in the lobby, leaning against a '57 Chevy that had been cleverly made to look like it had just crashed into the diner, the front half in and the back half sticking out into the sidewalk. "Late again. Why am I not surprised." squinting her eyes menacingly. "Sam, you know if I'd have gotten here on time you would have thought something was wrong with me" I grinned and gave her a hug. The waitress seated us and took our order. I peered at her as she walked away then faced Sam and said "Hey, isn't that what you used to wear?" indicating the waitress's long skirt and saddle shoes. I got my shin kicked and reminded that I was way older than she was. On this day I sure felt it, and even more so now, sitting across from my sister who was only two years younger than me, but looked at least fifteen, with her hair still dark and her face with only the fewest of lines, while my gray hair and roadmap of a face made me look like one of the guys from Grumpy Old Men. Digging into the cheesy fries appetizer I asked her how Dave was doing. An incredibly long pause froze me mid-bite as she said "we're getting a divorce". I felt as if someone had grabbed all my internal organs and gave them a purple nurple. She went on to say that things had changed and so on and so forth and that she wanted to see me today to tell me... I barely heard any of it. My only family in the world was being torn apart. I was losing a brother. I heard something about her seeing another guy, and again my guts got twisted. I wanted to vomit, cry, I wasn't sure which, but all the aches and pains from the day were magnified in those few minutes and I just wished I would have gotten some sleep. I did the best I could to be a big brother for the rest of the lunch and she left seeming to be her same old self. I sat in my car for several minutes trying to let the warm sunshine brighten my day.... yeah, right. On my way home I heard on the radio that Ford was recalling trucks for a faulty airbag. I should have stayed in bed.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Knew You When

It's funny how, in this information age, it can be so difficult to find someone you once knew. I've been looking for friends I haven't seen in years and a lot of them have kept amazingly well hidden despite the vast resources at the disposal of the common Internet user.

When I was younger I met and became friends with people, always thinking in the back of my mind that I'd have them coming in and out of my life from time to time, should we ever lose contact. Now that I'm older I see that a lot of those long-ago encounters will stay forever in the past, logged in my memory as something good, bad, or just an uneventful passing of souls.

The sands of time seem to have buried many of my friends, so deeply that not even the almighty Internet can resurrect them. I'll keep searching though, wondering how the years have changed those people, and wondering whether some of those relationships should stay where they are, forever ensconced in part of me that belongs to another time.