Saying Things

In my life recently I have had some major highs and some major lows. Work is going well. Friendships are helping and happy. Family is doing great. My boys are the most important people in my life and they are awesome in spite of an odd dad. 

There is one thing that is on my mind though. When I mess up I admit my mistakes and try to make amends. Sometimes I do a good job and make the relationship stronger. Other times my screw up is too monumental to overcome. Once in a while I have no clue what happened and whether I am supposed to apologize or not. Those get on my nerves a bit because I don’t want to apologize for something I didn’t do but I also don’t want to hurt someone else when I have done something wrong. That is the catch-22 situation that makes me lose sleep at night.

I am trying to figure out if I am the good guy who occasionally is bad or the bad guy who occasionally is good. All of us are somewhere in the middle. Whether I am good or evil – and honestly it depends on the day – there is one thing that does make me a little crazy. If I hurt someone I want to make amends. What do you do when it is impossible to do that? The only thing that I can think of is to do the best I can and let the other people live with the fact that they don’t want me to make amends. For me that is sad. I hate losing friends but sometimes it just is inevitable.

That brings me to the topic of saying things. I don’t understand why I am often encouraged to say bad things about others. Not agreeing with someone is no reason to say something that will cause them pain. There have been times over the years when people have trusted me with their personal secrets and then when something stressed the relationship they worry that I will betray them. The failing of the friendship shows me that they never really knew me at all. For me it doesn’t matter what is said about me by others. They can have their own opinions. They can have the bad taste to not like me. Others can call me names or call my character into question. That is their right. But I find that the best defense is silence. To quote the wisdom of the 80’s in the words of the Go-Gos, “Our lips are sealed.” Maybe we can learn something from 80’s girl bands after all.

The Wave – Part Three

“We’ve got spirit! Yes we do! We’ve got spirit how ‘bout you?!” Oh those football games as a teenager. We would taunt and tease and torment the other team’s tagalongs to the point we would be saying, “We’ve got more!! We’ve got more!!” Over and over and over again. So it may not have been great writing but what do you expect from a bunch of teenagers who didn’t even know how beer tasted. Honest mom. We didn’t!

As I got older and went to sporting events that had a stadium that actually went all the way around instead of some stands on one side and on the other side were bleachers with lots of splinters for the opposing teams fans that I had absolutely nothing to do with creating no matter what those security camera pictures make it look like I’m doing! When you have a sporting event in the round then things take on a whole new dynamic. You get to make the wave! Yes the wave! Around and around it goes and where it stops better not be in your sections because the other sections will boo you for letting the wave die and the peer pressure of 105,723 screaming fans can be a little intimidating. Basically what happens is that you have to stand up as a group and raise your hands and make some kind of noise. If this is done in sequence it looks like a wave of humanity going all the way around the stadium that creates a cool effect and makes it hard for you to carry on a conversation, eat your hot dog, enjoy you drink or watch the game. But it does look really cool.
There is a funny scene in the movie When Harry Met Sally where Bruno Kirby and Billy Crystal are talking about women and every so often they stand up, raise their arms, and continue their conversation as if nothing happened. That was a movie. It doesn’t happen in real life because you can’t hear a thing when the wave hits. It is like being under water with the rush of noise that takes your breath away.
Please don’t misunderstand. I will gladly cheer for my team. Homeruns and touchdowns will always be greeted by me with a smile or laugh. But I think I’ll stick to those venues where the stadium has the gap that makes it easy for a wave to die so I can enjoy my beer. I’m just funny that way.

The Wave – Part Two

Have you ever considered waving back to a wave at the ocean? I tried it once. Did you know that life guards know the number for the padded ambulances near the beach? I didn’t, but I do now. “No you don’t need a butterfly net. I’ll go quietly.” By the way, those straitjackets are not nearly as comfortable as they look on TV. Instead of waving to the ocean I think you may want to enjoy the ocean waving to you.

There is nothing better than grabbing a boogie board and riding a nice big wave all the way up to shore as you cruise to a stop on the beach with a smile on your face that would look really cool if your suit was not filled up with sand that makes you look like you needed to change your suit due to an accidental movement of the bowels. It is also nice to be further out. Floating. Bobbing. Relaxing. Enjoying. Drowning when a wave goes over your head. The ocean is so fickle, isn’t she? Kind and cruel all at the same time. Sounds like some dates I went on in college. Now that I think of it, one of the girls I dated in college was named Atlantic. I never made that connection until now. Anyway… Those waves can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
Odd isn’t it how something that makes something more valuable is also the something that makes it more dangerous. Let’s look at the condos that are built right on the dunes at the beach. The waves make them very nice to be in. The waves also make them a nightmare when hurricane Maharshallahashbaz comes barreling in. I have always wondered about those buildings. Many of my sand castles have bitten the dust – or the wave – over the years. What are these high rises on the beach built on? There was a song we sang in Sunday school that says the foolish man built his house upon the sand. When the rains came down and the floods came up the house on the sand went smash! Why don’t these places fall over every time it rains?
Maybe I’m a pessimist. Perhaps I don’t understand modern construction techniques. It could be there is some dynamic property to sand that makes it a stable foundation for a 50 floor building that I am unaware of. I think I’m just smart enough to know not to build a building on sand next to water where hurricanes come.

The Wave – Part One

There are all kinds of waves out there these days. There are the waves of the hands that say, “Hi there! How are you today? You look very nice in your lime green jogging suit. Where can I get one in chartreuse?” There are the waves at the ocean that are both friendly boosts to the body surfer and heinous hell to the condos on the beach during a tropical storm. Then there is the wave at the sporting event that makes me stand up every time it comes around so that I cannot enjoy my beer, braut, candy, popcorn, nachos with jalapenos and all the other food that would make my cardiologist have a cardiac catastrophe. Let’s look at how these waves play a part in life.
While driving the other day I took the opportunity to be the nice guy and let someone in traffic. This is something I do frequently because it is the right thing to do. You are driving along and see someone trying to get over and your heart goes out to the other poor individual who is not a fortunate as you who is traveling a high rate of speed with the wind blowing through your hair. You slow down to allow them the totally undeserved grace to enter your lane of traffic at great personal risk due to the 63,487 people who are riding your bumper wanting to get where they are going as fast as possible even though it is not your fault they left late. They enter your lane of traffic and all the thanks you require is the wave. You know the one I’m talking about. It is just a little hand in the air that doesn’t even have to move back and forth – even though it would be nice. That is all it takes. Doesn’t it feel great when you see that sign of gratitude? Doesn’t it make you wanna help another person who is struggling the way you were? Doesn’t it give you that warm feeling inside that is not unlike the feeling you get after eating a double beef burrito from Taco Bell?
But woe to you ungrateful person who does not have the courtesy to raise a hand in thanks to your unknown benefactor.  There are some things that are beyond contempt. The list includes puppy beaters, people who rob grandmas, charity fund embezzlers, politicians and people who won’t take the time it takes to raise a hand in thanks after I let them in traffic! Yes I do have issues but that is not the point. I agree wholeheartedly with that great philosopher, Jeff Foxworthy, who said that for people who fail to give you the wave it should be perfectly legal to get up under them, get them loose, and put them into the wall. I like the way he thinks. Personally I’m a little more passive aggressive than Jeff. My preference is following them to their destination and putting a note on their windshield while they are in Wal-Mart that says, “May all your hard drives be filled with nothing but Another One Rides the Bus by Weird Al, may your milk go sour, may your sour cream turn sweet, may your children date people just like you were at that age, and may the fleas of a thousand alpacas infest your arms pits. Next time wave when someone lets you in traffic.” But that is just me.
There are other waves out there but I just don’t feel like writing about them because this is what was on my mind when I first wanted to write about waves. Now I need to think about oceans for the next post. Hmmmm… have you ever waved back at the ocean?

Oh Look! A Chicken!

One of my friends stopped by the other day to tell me about a t-shirt that made them think of me. It said, “They say I have attention deficit disorder, but they just don’t understand. Oh look! A Chicken!” After I laughed about it and had to admit to my own funny failing, it was time to look at why I am the way I am.
I was ADD before we even had a name for it. Sitting still casually in class was not quite painful; but it did ache like one of those spots on the heal of your foot that you can’t quite scratch but really want to and know that if you take your shoe off everyone will know and even a few will pass out from the noxious fumes wafting up from your Reeboks. I can vaguely remember times when I was sitting there half-listening to the teacher and other half was wondering why that bug wanted in the window and would it find a way in through the little hole in the screen that I put there when I threw a pen at a moth the other day. But that was so long ago that it doesn’t really play a role in today. I mean, last week doesn’t count does it?
The more I look at the tiny toddlers in the pre-school a basic explanation for ADD comes to mind. ADD people don’t want to grow up. I have heard it said that growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional. Personally, I don’t really want to grow up. Think of all the fun we get to have if we stay child-like. Playing with Tinker Toys one second, using an easy bake oven the next, and then swinging on an adult’s arms after that, is not only acceptable it is commendable. Why can’t I do that? I love to play with Tinker Toys. It has nothing to do with the fact that I asked for Tinker toys for my birthday and got these new fangled Legos that were supposed to be even better than Tinker Toys which I never, ever got as a child and bought for my children so they would not have the same emotional trauma that I had to live with for 26 years before I had a set of my…I mean theirs. But I digress. (ADD, go figure.)
Do you have to be ADD to be creative? Some people would say no. I would have to agree with them; however, it does help. Imagine sitting at the word processor, working your fingers down to the manicure, trying to come up with a story or anecdote or even a story about anecdotes and not being ADD. You would sit down and write it out very thoroughly and thoughtfully, making the most precise and detailed outline that the world has ever seen. That might work. Now imagine sitting down to write the same story with no basic plan, purpose, or porpoise (you never know when a dolphin will come in handy) and then letting your mind wander from sea mammals to sea turtles to turtles you have seen to scenes from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to “I was a Teenage Werewolf” to Scooby Do episodes that had werewolves and so on. The first story might have a slightly better structure; but the second one sure does flow in some interesting directions.
There is also a theory that has existed for about 12 seconds at the time of this writing that suggests that all people have ADD. Some of us have it naturally while others merely need an alcoholic beverage to bring out their hidden ADD nature. Consider how you feel while wandering through Larry Miller’s 5 stages of drinking. The more beers that enter your system, the less focused you become. I personally believe that a four beer minimum is required for a so-called “normal” person to achieve the levels of ADD that some of have thanks to genetics, mother nature, or the blessing from God to look at the world all at once instead of the narrow-minded, cold-sober, resplendently repressed, one little thing at a time that you normal people like to think is…well…normal.
Whether you are normal or ADD or ADHD or MOUSE, one think is clear: ADD people have a lot more fun jumping around and getting into troub…Oh look! A chicken!

Have You Ever…

  • Have you ever wanted to ask totally attractive total strangers to dinner and then wondered about the restraining order?
  • Have you ever driven the wrong way down a one way just to see what happens?
  • Have you ever wondered what happens to all the missing socks?
  • Have you ever listened to Mozart and then Metallica to see if auditory whiplash is possible?
  • Have you ever been chased by a rabid wildebeest through the Galleria? (Why am I the only one that ever happens to?)
  • Have you ever had dream that you are dancing with bikini clad kangaroos through the Everglades?
  • Have you ever walked over what you thought was slowsand only to find out it was quicksand?
  • Have you ever gone for a swim in tapioca?
  • Have you ever sprained your tongue while saying, “rubber baby buggy bumpers” five times fast?
  • Have you ever slipped on a banana peel and fallen into an alternate universe where they use chicken wings for currency and everyone wears tuxedos?
  • Have you ever wanted to drink caffeine and move at hyperspeed like Hammy in Over the Hedge?
  • Have you ever sorted your breakfast cereal by color instead of by fiber content?
  • Have you ever asked why men have nipples?
  • Have you ever watched a cartoon and thought, “I could make that work?”
  • Have you ever read a blog and wondered if the writer needs therapy?

Underwear Under Where?

The time has come to discuss a topic that is near and dear to many men out there. The debate has raged for years about the best and brightest. The emotions run high and there is no reasoning with either side of this divisive and controversial issue. As a rule I try to avoid topics that can lead to disharmony but the time has come for both sides to meet in brotherly love and find a way to get along even though there is no possibility of finding a middle ground. The topic is of course the age old question of boxers or briefs?
I would like to start by saying that I have both kinds in my drawer and wear both. I am truly unbiased and impartial. So that being said, let’s look at boxers. Well, not look. We are going to talk about them. If you are looking at them I don’t want to know. And stop it! You’re supposed to be reading this blog. Ok. We will all wait while you look. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Are you done? Waiting. Waiting. Ok. Now on to boxers.
The benefit of the boxers is the freedom they instill on the wearer. They give the illusion of going commando without actually going commando. If you don’t know what that means then may I recommend Googling it? There is also the advantage that you don’t look like – and here I am quoting that great philosopher Chris Titus – a mutant four-year-old. You look like a man who knows how to wear underwear. You look like a man who is going places and doing things. You look like a man who may hurt himself if he tried to jog in those things. You look like a man with confidence in himself as he stands tall and proud looking absolutely nothing like the guy on the underwear box.
Now the tighty whitey’s are another story entirely. You ladies out there must admit that even thought they make us look like we are just now getting to wear big boy pants that they do serve the purpose for which they were intended. That purpose is to keep your pants and your gluteus maximus (or minimus if you work out) separated so no harm will befall the slacks to create a pantalone problem. They also make us realize that women are not the only ones who discover that support can be beautiful.
All this leads us to the inevitable conclusion that there is a best and brightest and it is time to accept that boxer briefs are the way to go.