Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ragamuffin Confession

For some reason, I've never been into the name "ragamuffin." I know, I know, it's British, and all things British are cool, and Saint Rich Mullins (who should be canonized, really) used it, and there's that worship leader guy with that great blog that I've been meaning to read but never have... And then of course, the Biggie: Brennan Manning's incredible book sits not four feet away from my computer... glaring at me as I type, like I'm the biggest heathen, back-sliden Christian since Amy went secular.

Honestly, it is so lame that I feel so un-Christian, proclaiming that I think Ragamuffin is a corny name. Alas, sometimes a man has to at least be honest with himself, if not with others.

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame people for using it, nor do I think that theeey are corny. Nay, I do not. The symbolism is great. It's just that I've always felt like I just had to like the word because of what it is suppose to represent.


After doing a quick little search, I discovered the real meaning of "Ragamuffin," as opposed to the touchy-feely, "Oliver Twist" version. From Wikipedia:

In the 80's, particularly in West London and Brixton, the word took on a new meaning, that of a dangerous, disaffected, black teenage or young adult male. Ragamuffins or 'Raggas' prided themselves on violently attacking white males, often with knives, frequently on the grounds of fictitious claims of racism. Ragamuffins typically dressed in hooded tops, jeans and Nike or Adidas trainers, and listened to electro and early hip hop music.

Touche Salesman!

Man. What a difference huh? It would be like some British author writing a monumental, inspirational grace-centered book and calling it the "W.A.S.P. Gospel," or, the "KKK Gospel."

Still, with or without the Wikipedia definition, I think I'd still not be into the word. Maybe 'cause it has "Muffin" in it, and/or "rag." All I've ever thought of when someone says it is a dirty, pink-hair'd Strawberry Shortcake character... or a half-eaten blueberry muffin on the side of the road, crusted to a scroungy napkin.

Yet another one of my character flaws.

Pray for me, and don't forget to pray for Amy too.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bono Jovi?

Is it just me, or does Bon Jovi's latest single... can't remember the name... too lazy to look up... I heard it at the theater tonight... anyways, is it just me or is he channeling Bono?

John, John, John. Bon. Jovi. Come on buddy. You wrote Bad Medicine and Livin' on a Prayer. Don't be sinking to imitation. Especially not Bono-tation. First off, you would be finally admitting the defeat of hair band rock and sinking to the "four on the floor-where-the-streets-have-no-name" level of about 1,200 bad wanna-be U2 worship bands worldwide. (Which ironically, was exactly what U2 decided NOT to be when they came to America.)

So get back on that steel horse in a blaze of glory, quit that "wooo hooo-ing" Bono-style nonsense, and make us remember why you guys survived the 80's.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Moving Update and Double Star Sighting.

Amber and I finished unpacking. Well, not really... more like, we finished dumping out the boxes. During our unpacking marathon, a french chick who found her way to our apartment door said that she saw the moving truck, and wanted to know if she could have our boxes. Smart. We should have done that. Boxes cost an arm and a butt cheek up here. I felt highly swindled every time I left the box merchant's store. A homeless man couldn't come close to affording one of those suckers for shelter. Sheesh. Anyways, the French chick came back the second day for a second round of boxes and confessed to me that she can't pronounce my name. She says "Sep" instead of "Seth." I assured her it was a common occurrence. To jump the name hurdle, she said she refers to Amber and I as "September." We thought that was funny.

Amber's folks came into town today and we went out to eat at a rather swanky restaurant on 67th street. In the back of the restaurant, not 20 feet away, sat Liam Neeson. Then next 20 minutes or so were spent trying to covertly snap a shot of Liam whilst he ate. Alas, none could be snapped. I tried a quick one as he walked by our table to exit but I only got the blurr of his nose and his date. Then, not 5 minutes after he left, Regis walked in and sat at the same table in the back. His wife joined him and Amber took up the task of photographing him as he chowed. Again, a failed venture. Oh well. Both Liam and Regis live across the street from the restaurant in a swanky high-rise. I know why these people want to live in NYC. New Yorkers really do leave these people be. At first I thought that everyone else in the restaurant had been living in a cave for the past 20 years as it seemed that no one cared or recognized them. But after they left everyone just buzzed around about it.

Two things: Both Liam and Regis looked sort of sad and they both looked older than what you see on the tube. Liam looked very tired. However, he is still one big dude.

Anywho, off to bible study at the crack-hole of dawn. Good times.

P.S. I love the private deck. LOVE it. A prayer garden it shall become. I also predict many a frothy drink shall be consumed on said deck.


Monday, January 28, 2008

To Be or Not to Be Taught

I practiced that flipping sonata for a month, four to five hours a day, seven days a week. Mozart was my specialty. I got my first full scholarship in college playing a Mozart fantasy. By the time I was doing my Masters in Piano Performance and winning competitions, I had teachers from the Vienna Academy of music telling me that my Mozart was superb, and let me tell you, the Viennese don't lie, espeically about how an American plays Mozart. They own Mozart. If you don't have the "right touch" to play Mozart then they tell you, or laugh at you (in that evil German laugh) and say things like "stick to zie Gershwin, Cowboy."

So when I walked into my teacher's office on a sunny Teusday spring morning to premeire my Mozart Sonata, I expected the normal, lavish praise. Sure, it was a "lesson" and sure, I was technically paying for her to improve my skills: technique, musicality, artistry... but what I really wanted that day was for her to recognize my genius. All week long I had offered other piano students the opportunity to critique my playing and all week long, if they did anything but sing my praises, I wrote them off as a fool.

I waltzed through my teacher's office door, greeted the great Krassimira Jordan who was herself a student of the Great Russian School Virtuosi Emil Gilels, who was a student of Neuhaus, who was a student of Godowsky who was a student the great Franz Liszt, who was a student of Czerny, who was a student of none other than Ludwig Von Beethoven who was very briefly, a student of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself.

So to pump my Mozart-playing-ego further, I could claim a direct line from teacher to student, back to Mozart himself!!! (Which I still think is pretty darn nifty.)

I had studied another set of Mozart Variations with Krassimira and she had highly praised my Artistry. Krassimira had also been the head pianist at the Vienna Acadamey of music before Baylor threw here an insane amount of money and bought her a mansion to come and teach. Krassimira had won the Clara Haskil Award in Europe for her Mozart, the highest award for Mozart artistry.

Krassimira had praised my Mozart variations and it was time for her to praise my Sonata. I waltzed into her office, barely spoke a word, and with arrogant aplomb I soared into the Mozart sonata, swaying to and fro and reveling in my abilities. My fingers soared through scales, up and down the keys acrobatically as I had mastered some of Mozart's most difficult passages. As my fingers struck the last I 6/4-V-I chord progression, I laid my hands in my lap and awaited the expected praise. I turned to her and she was busy jotting down a few notes in my score, which surprised me. Then she shut the score said, very matter of fact, and without the faintest hint of pride:

(Imagine a deep, Slavic accent with rolled r's.) "Seth, you know, that was fine, and I think would have been beautiful if it weren't for the TRACTOR IN YOUR LEFT HAND."

My mouth dropped open, something in me cracked. I couldn't believe my ears. Before I could utter a word, Krassimira went to the piano and proceeded to show me how I was playing, and then showed me how it should be played.

My mouth gaped wider with every magical passage she played. There was no question, hers was better.

With God's grace it only took me fifteen or so minutes to get over the initial ego-pop and I proceeded to move on and drink and apply every word and criticism she could give me.

A few weeks later, I played the Sonata in masterclass for a Van Cliburn competition winner and he loved it. He actually complimented my left hand. When he did, I a quick glance to Krassimira. She silently laughed, stomped her foot, and pointed to herself. I raised my eyebrow, smiled and acknowledged that she was in fact, the wonderful one.

I think that sometimes, we, I, you, need help. Sometimes, we ask for help and all we really want is for people to tell us that we don't need help and that the world is dumb. As an artist, you are never closer to death if you are there. Yes, you can pick and choose what criticism to listen to and which criticism to chunk, but please, if you ask for help, expect it. More than expect it, be sure you want it. There has never been a great artist that did not have a brutal teacher. A teacher that cares more for your talent than they do about your ego. And sometimes, your friends and peers can be your greatest teachers.

Krassimira didn't earn any brownie points with me that day, but she did make me a better player. There were a few pianists who told me the same thing that she had about my left hand. After that lesson, I always listened to those people, and considered their criticism as a help, not a threat. Those friends became great assets to me in every aspect of my creativity. I still send them things to critique and desperately await criticism, knowing that it will make me better.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Heimlich Done Right Baby.

I promise not to be one of those people who relive a trauma over and over, milking it for every last drop of sympathy. However, since my near-death experience with chili and crackers, I feel it important to pass on to you all the importance of doing the Heimlich right. See, the poor kid who was standing at the cash register had no clue of what he was doing when he was yanking me about like Bob did to Leo in the great film "What about Bob" and neither did I.

After talking to my friend, Carey, and after reading an email from another friend, Susan, I found out that many times you can do the Heimlich on yourself and dislodge the chunk of chili or hot dog or whatever, without causing a dramatic scene rivaling the funniest moments in film history. Come to find out, the kid who saved my life simply got off a lucky squeeze in all that commotion. (Providential, not lucky.) Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for it, and it was no laughing matter at the time, but if it weren't for the good Lord shifting the kids fist ever-so-slightly down, I'd be playing ping pong with my Grandpa behind the pearly gates instead of typing this here blog in my new apartment.

So here's the deal on Heimlich. It's easy. No heavy lifting involved. Meaning, a young, skinny teenager could do the Heimlich on a large buxom truck driver if he had to. The small son to father metaphor works as well.

Step one: Place yourself behind the Choking victim.

Step two: Place your arms around the victim's waist.

Step three: Make a fist with one hand and place your thumb toward the victim, just above his or her belly button.

Step four: Grab your fist with your other hand.

Step five: Deliver five upward squeeze-thrusts into the abdomen. Make each squeeze-thrust strong enough to dislodge a foreign body. Understand that your thrusts make the diaphragm move air out of the victim's lungs, creating a kind of artificial cough. Keep a firm grip on the victim, since he or she can lose consciousness and fall to the ground if the Heimlich maneuver is not effective. Repeat the Heimlich maneuver until the foreign body is expelled.


If I had a superpower, it would be shocking. Getting shocked, that is. (I'm all about the corny blog openers.) My body is a truly amazing phenom of natural conductivity. (Must be my abs of steel.) It's a tad maddening to tell the truth. I swear to Buddha that I've seen a bolt of static electricity three inches long extend from the tip of my finger to the doorknob. Nothing causes me to spontaneously spew a cuss word faster. It's like I become a cuss-word gunslinger.

Therefore, it has become a habit of mine to touch any and everything with my elbow before I touch it with my hand. Even when I kiss Amber on the lips, I first have to fire a warning shot to her cheek with my nose. If I don't, it feels like I puncture both of our lips with a hot needle. Not the kind of electricity that's romantic. So now I've got this routine that makes me feel a little like some sort of obsessive compulsive weirdo who counts spilled toothpicks and touches everything with his elbow and zaps his wife with his nose like a ritualistic alien Eskimo.

A sense of dread washes over me when I see a long carpeted hallway. I seriously think that I could cause real bodily harm to someone if I ever really charged up my innards with a fast and furious feet-shuffle on the carpet. I am the human taser. In fact... hahaha.... heeheehee... mwuhahahaHAHAHAHAHAHA. Heeeeere kitty kitty kitty.

Heeeeey... maybe I could use my power for good instead of kitty torture! Whenever I see a worker giving a customer bad service, I'll do the power-up shuffle, sneak up behind them and zap their earlobe and scream "How's that for service you inconsiderate turdball!" But then I'd have to fend-off the rest of the restaurant staff, as they would no doubt try and subdue me. I'd be shuffling around, recharging like a fool and would eventually be taken out by a flung beer mug. Kind of a whimpy superpower come to think of it.

Naw... maybe just zap the earlobe and act like I didn't see anything. If only I had one of my friends here to try out the superpower. I think a secret zap to the ear would be just hilarious. Only problem is, I feel the pain as well, sort of like Wolverine. Oh well, it'd be worth it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Charlie Bit Me.

Saw this on Superchurchlady's blog and had to post. Once again, I'm probably the last chap on the internet to see this, but better late than never. Charlie reminds me of me as young lad. I'm still a bit like that now I suppose.

Well, back to the boxes.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Cracker That Almost Killed Me.

Currently, I cough. I'm a little bewildered. Almost kicking the bucket in a soup store, in front of a full restaurant will do that to ya.

I should wait a few hours till I'm coherent enough to tell this here story, but Amber will be home in 20 minutes or so and I don't think I'll have time in the next day or two during the move.

I went to my favorite soup eatin'-hole about an hour ago, the "Soup Stop" on Broadway and 79th. I walked in, stomach a'rumbling. I smiled and rubbed my cold hands as I observed that they were serving my favorite Chicken Chili. The worker was pleasant enough as she poured me a nice hearty bowl. I chose crackers over bread - those little round soup crackers - and sat myself at the table with a nice view of the busy street.

I poured a big nice pile of crackers onto my chili and noticed that there were two crackers that were joined together. You know... how those chalky communion crackers do sometimes. "Well," thought I, "that'll be my first bite by golly." Hungry has heck, I scooped the perfect amount of chili to match the double cracker and slipped the white plastic soup spoon into my mouth. Hot. Hot as fire.

Startled, I took a breath. And down the esophagus the double cracker went.

I don't know how many of you have actually choked, but it is nothing like in the movies. There is no coughing. There is only heaving, and silence. No air. I knew in that split second, that I would be a gonner without help. Not wanting to cause a scene, I thought I'd try a quick drink of my cream soda that was un-opened. (Cream soda is a nice compliment to chili btw) I twisted the top, took a swig and back out on the table half of it poured.

No more proof needed. I stood up, walked directly to the Hispanic cashier and the dramatic scene began.

I pointed to my back and motioned to pound. Luckily, there were some older Latino women working who understood the motions and they told him what to do. He pounded a few times and a little came out but one quick, tiny inhale and I was choking again. The restaurant grew silent and panicky. Everyone was looking. "Call an ambulance!" someone yelled. Another worker went for the phone while my new best friend pounded some more. Nothing. The pounding wasn't getting me anywhere so I tried to motion to try the Heimlich maneuver. He didn't know how to do it at first, and again, the older lady told him what to do and he put his arms around me and started squeezing me.

And as he yanked my body up and down, I thought about my wife. I thought about the ambulance they were calling. I wondered if I could make it without air long enough for the ambulance to get there. "No. Dear Lord, I'm doing that thing... that thing where the life flashes before your eyes... please don't let me die here" mixed with "I can't believe I'm choking on a cracker in front of these people. I could die. I might die. I'm not going to die. Squeeze harder buddy." The squeezing and plunging grew more and more violent until finally the chili and cracker came lose and spewed all over the floor. On the last pump, I think he may have cracked a rib as he was growing more and more scared.

Leaning over, I took my first breath, and coughed. I have never been so thankful for coughing. I felt guilty. I felt terrible for making a mess. I felt horrible for ruining everyone's dinner. I looked up and the guy that saved my life smiled and reached his hand out to me as if we had just accomplished something together, as a team. I wanted to hug the kid as he smiled but I was coughing to hard so I grabbed his hand instead and tried to say thank you. Some sort of rumbly thing resembling thank you came out, followed by an apology. Another woman approached with a glass of water. I apologized to her.

I took a swig.

Safe. Breathing. Alive. Almost choked to death. On a cracker.


Two things: First, never again will I reach for the double cracker at communion. As a matter of fact, any and all crackers will recieve a suspicious and barbed glare before they are consumed. If they are consumed. Second, never again will I gripe about the hispanic workers in my building. Who knows? They might just be my life-saver tomorrow.

Thank you Lord for the guy that saved my life today. Thank you for my wife and for my family and for everything else I've been a big baby about for the past 4 years. Amen.

Those little crackers will now an forever be called, "Choke Crackers." Maybe you guys can find a better name for them.


As I strolled down Columbus today (my favorite street in NYC) I couldn't help but notice... that from the scarf-clad folks passing by to the candid tabloid photos of the stars, people, in general, are looking younger and younger. I've heard people say that 40 is the new 30 and 30 is the new 25, and I must say that I enjoy those comments. But is there a reason?

Then I hear studies about how scientists are learning more and more about aging, stem cell research (the research that doesn't involve an discarded embryo) and so forth... Some say that scientists some day will be able to alter the aging gene so that we could live like those old dudes in the bible - 200, 300, even 700 years.

My question to you, my fine and cherished readers/friends is this: Would you live that long, if say, you could look and feel in your thirties at 100 or 200?

So let's have it. Yes or no and why? If yes, how long? No wrong answers. Just wondering.

(btw, for you non-Lord of the Rings fans, Aragorn is supposed to be 86 years old in this picture. It is talked about only in the extended version of the flick on DVD.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Fist Full of Dollars

It seems like all people want anymore is to be famous. Or at least, maybe, just to be recognized on a large scale, and then left alone.

We dream about it. Oh yes, we do. We secretly dream of throngs and throngs of people, clamoring for our latest offering to mankind - some rare gift of our design that we plucked out of the ether, bathed in our imagination, and for a limited time, are offering in a shrinkrapped package for 12.99 plus shipping and handling.

Even in the CCM industry, people don't "give" their CDs away anymore because they believe people shouldn't pay for the gospel, (Like Keith did) they give them away as a marketing ploy to gain greater popularity, cash and fame.

The result: Bitter Artist Syndrome. Show me an artist that is plagued with task of surmounting the high of their last great success and I'll show you a bitter, afraid, depressed artist. Show me an artist that strives for influence more than he/she strives for the pleasure of creating art, and I'll show you a angry, spiteful, jaded soul who's only solace is in cuddling every given compliment or accolade in his/her sweaty palms until the compliment quickly rots, forcing the cuddling artist to both need and resent the fan who continues to replenish the supply.

People don't write books anymore because they love to write. They write to get published and get famous. People don't write songs anymore because they love music, they write songs to be the next Dylan, to be the next MTV star, to be the next biggass band phenom to hit the stage, to win the next grammy, to win the next Dove award, to get bigtime play on the radio.

Fame does that to you. It makes you want the recognition more than you want the joy of creating and when you finally get it guess what? It's all dogsh##. Don't get mad at me for that last sentence, Paul said it first. "The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I'm tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for... Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life... everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. -Philippians 3:7-11, The Message

This is one of the reasons why reading Seth Godin's blog feels like I'm reading Nietzsche, or Darwin. To survive, you must adapt, influence, and collect the cash. The formula for Darwinian dominance. As my eyeballs devour each paragraph of his philosophies, I am practically wagging my tongue and salivating, wishing I had come up with whatever new thing that I missed and he never misses. But that is at the bottom of why people come to his blog. It's almost an abusive sort of thing. If he is not ahead of you, he is obsolete. If you don't read his blog, and bow to the dollar, you'll be obsolete, poor and (DUM DUM DUMMMMMMMMM (cue diminished chord and timpani roll): A Fundamentalist.

Don't get me wrong, Seth G. is a genius, and I like him, but I wake up every day, and strive to create for exactly the opposite reasons that he preaches. To make money and gain influence is NOT, and should never be at the heart of creation. Sometimes it might inspire you to work harder, but if the love wasn't there in the first place, and by submitting to the goal of cash, fame and influence, you have shackled your wrists and thrown away the key. It is at the heart of why Adam and Eve took a mighty, tragic chomp out of that apple, and it is the vapid, bitter doppelganger of the true freedom of feeling God's pleasure while you do what you love with the gifts you have been given.

Paul never wrote a single letter out of a desperate need for recognition, he wrote them out of a desperate need of the Church to get their act together. He wrote out of an overflowing joy that infused all his training and education with a fire that no dollar or praise could equal.

David never wrote a single song for the purpose of popularity among the Israelites, he wrote them because he was a musician, and because he loved God, or because he was angry with God, or because he was offering comfort to a tormented King. Never, never for a penny or power.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How Much Farther???

Okay, okay. I'm not buying that silver water crap Papa. The gig is up. It's time for you and your tribe to come out of hiding and dwell among us. I know you've been out of limelight for a while now, and you are having a hard time dealing with has-been land but why not come clean so I can finally prove my whole second grade class wrong. And gee, I wonder who your first wife was????? Hmmmm??? Did her first name rhyme with "turf" and her last name rhyme with "fret?" Yeah. I'm on to you buddy. HA! I KNEW you guys were real!

New Place Dagnabbit!

We finally found it. We went through three different Realtors/brokers to get it, but the lease is signed and our sleep is at last peaceful. Our new apartment is over on Sixty-somthing street and near the Lincoln Center! Most importantly, ladies and gentlemen, it has a very attractive deck. (Hopefully, the "Pitching his tents" pastor will never have to utter that last sentence near a church.)

Not only does our new apartment have a deck, it has a... (drum roll)... BEDROOM. That's right, a bedroom. However, we will be using the bedroom area as a much-needed office. (Our couch quickly pulls out into an incredibly comfortable bed- with an inflatable top mattress- for those of you that are wondering the grown up thoughts.) Unfortunately, we still don't have room to amply accommodate a guest, so don't get any ideas... all ye long lost relatives. Oh, I suppose we could cram a bed in there, we are too chinchy to go buy another bed right now... Truth is, the food is just too darn scrumfriggindilliocious in this town to waste our money on an extra bed. Plus, we're used to the pull-out bed. Enough about my bed already.

Another nifty thing about our new apartment is that it has a LARGE open storage compartment above the kitchen. I took one look at that compartment and thought, "Hey, that could easily sleep a tall man." Then I explained to the broker and my wife that "in the next few years, if something goes awry in the world, and the U.S. finds itself in a some kind of world war, and the Wards are forced to offer shelter to a refuge NBA basketball player, we'll be totally set to give the poor, tall dribbler a safe place to rest his weary head and size 12 feet." (You're right, I didn't really say that. And I'm glad I didn't. 'Cause that's what blogs are for: To type your bad jokes, horribly arrogant opinions, and/or dumbest thoughts and call them "writing.")

For now, the cubbyhole above the kitchen will serve as a home for the two guitars and other items that I can't seem to turn loose of. Like my Irish shillelagh.. And my collection of clipped toenails... Did anyone watch that on American Idol last night? That seriously gagged me. And I'm not one to be seriously gagged that easily. The only thing that gags me more is when wives pop their husband's zits. My gag reflex trembles thinking about it.

Back to the non-toenail and zit thoughts... The picture you see is the view from our back deck.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Few Updates

The Cachinator was in the Ward house this evening. We watched the Cowboys get whupped, ate Hint of Lime Tostidos covered with cheap, crappy cheese dip, drank Guinness... root... beer and had a grand ole' time.

Apartment update: Amber (a.k.a. Fancypants) and I found a new apartment and we love it. However, during the apartment application process, I also found out that I am a victim of identity theft. Some cat named "Omar" jacked my social security number to get himself a Sprint phone and charge-up the bill 689 bucks in one month. My credit, which was in the high 700's five months ago, is now in the mid-high 600's. Not good. So now I have to go through that whole wonderful clear-my-credit process. Yippee Skippee. Gee I wish I had a maypole to jump around in childlike glee.

All day I've been fighting off visions of beating the crap out of Omar with a dirty plunger and/or an Irish shillelagh.

iphone review: I love it. I'm not gonna lie, that iphone is one attractive piece of techno-delightfulness. If my iphone were a woman it would be Grace Kelly... (I was going to say Amber, but I'm not sure she wants to be compared to a phone) So, if my iphone is Grace Kelly, that means my old Treo is a big fat, hairy, belching, shirtless, smelly drunk trucker, in a blue-jean thong.

After a week of using my iphone/ipod/calender/email-checker I can't believe I used to hold that big oversized brain-tumor-accelerator-of-a-Treo to my face. The only time I was ever thankful for the Treo was when it kept my face warm in the bitter, bitter frigid wind. But the weather has been uncommonly beautiful lately so even that flaw/one-redeeming-quality is inconsequential.

And believe it or not, since I got my iphone and switched to the family plan we've lowered our bill by 150 smackers a month!!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Facebook too hard. Me too lazy, or too dumb.

I get a message or two per day from people who post stuff on my superwall, funwall, fartwall, superduper-pooper wall. I get vampire bites, werewolf hugs, snowballs; the list goes on. Don't get me wrong, I think it's sweet, and I'm glad to be liked... but I always feel a bit like the guy who showed up to the costume party and forgot to wear a costume. Or the kid in the children's choir who is doing the choreography opposite of the rest of the choir.

For instance, someone just posted something on my "funwall," whatever the heck that is, and I clicked on it so see what they wrote. Facebook immediately sent me to a place to sign up for the funwall. Huh? How can someone leave a message on my funwall when I haven't signed up for it. See, it's little things like that. I don't know, it feels a little like playing dress-up or dolls. Myspace was confusing enough, Facebook seems a little like a cyber Rubik cube and apparently, I am color-blind this stage in my oldmandom.

Help Me Hillary

I can't believe how interested I am in the primaries. (Meaning: I have actually been clicking on the links when I seem them instead of the latest Britney flesh-bombs.) I suppose there hasn't been such an array of diversity, from political to cultural, since... never. I mean, even ole' Shaun Groves has found himself a candidate. And that is a miracle.

So with that being said, someone help me out here.

I just can't vote for Hillary.

I'm trying to figure out why. I've already gone through the obvious ones: Woman, Married to Bill, blah blah. And yes, those things invariably play some part in my decision process but overall, I am ashamed to say that I am hopelessly mediocre when it comes to knowing the issues and what each candidate really stands for. But don't give me that "You just wouldn't vote for a chick" line. I would soooo vote for a woman. I'd vote for my mom in a heartbeat. She's funny, intelligent, (always wins at scrabble and trivia pursuit) incomparably astute when it comes to knowing how the mind of man works, and she's not about to be run over but anyone, man or woman. If you knew my dad then you'd know that my mom could be no pushover. She'd kick royal rump as Mrs. Presidentella. (What are we going to call Hillary and Bill if she gets elected? Mrs. President and ... First Man? First Mate? First Dude? I prefer First Goofus.)

Anyways, that's why I am not ruling ole' Crock-tears-Jesus-helped-me-not-kill-Bill Hillary out altogether. I'm willing to give her a shot if anyone has some redeeming words to speak on her behalf.

In other news... I just found out that Obama's middle name is Hussein. It would be a twisted irony if the leader of the free world's middle name matching Saddam's last.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

M.B.E. Diet

Ever get the feeling that you are getting fat, fatter or fattest? Guess what? According to my new diet, it's all in your mind people... According to… Sorry, before I go any further, I just have to vent...

I mean, I know feeling fat is just a "feeling" and all, but why does the feeling reeeeally have to feel especially poignant around the belt area. I’m fully aware that it's all a figment of my imagination and my abs are as rock solid as they were at 19, and that jean waistline imprint on my flesh is really just a trick of light and shadow... At least that's what the Mary Baker Eddy Diet tells me.

I'm sorry, I was hoping to tell you all about my new favorite diet, the Christian Science Diet, and how you can gorge all day long, and how as long as you stay sinless and believe you won't get fat, you won't... But I just can't deny that I'm starting to feel something resembling a flesh muffler below my chin every time look down.

I suppose if the Christian Science Diet bombs, and if my underwear continues to turn my legs blue, I'll try that new Hallelujah diet. However, I can't see how Hallelujah will be in my vocabulary without my Mary Baker Eddy triple deluxe cheeseburgers.

Fresh Dust

Today the pounding began anew. It's time to move. No doubt about it. I can't endure another hour of hammering. I know there are children in other countries that don't have hammers and that would love to have a house and a hammer in the morning and in the evening and all over this land... but when the dust drips on my Mac, I draws me a line.

We are moving out. That's all there is to it. Down the street, into a box, youth hostel, dumpster... whatever. Just out. This landlord has been ridiculous. There has been a stop work order on our building for the past month and we've had peace but the eye of the noise and debris storm has past and I am once again awakened to the buzz saw and the gentle melodies of Mexican mariachi music.

It must end.