“Write drunk, edit sober”

Apparently Hemingway neither said the above phrase that has been attributed to him, nor did he live it…in spite of his heavy drinking.

While I probably had an adult beverage or three before I fired off the following as an e-mail at 11:55 pm on 6/7/15, I wasn’t drunk when I wrote it. And in re-reading it, apparently I didn’t edit it either. While the e-mail begins with a caveat, it didn’t warn the receipients of the lack of any editing by me.

I did get the subject line right though.

From: Steve Weiss <slw_913@yahoo.com>
Sent: Sunday, June 7, 2015 11:55 PM
Subject: what are you waiting for?

Caveat: some recipients will wonder “why did I get this?” especially those who I communicate with “almost never.” (my bad.) or maybe it will be those at the other end of the communication continuum who will wonder “why me?”

why? just because…

Yesterday was the 11th annual Rock House summer festival in Reeds Spring. This is the 4th one that I have attended…all of them since I moved back to missouri in 2011.

Today is the anniversary of John Crudele losing his long battle with cancer. those 2 days back-to-back last year really had me thinking. same thing again today….thinking about what really is important.

It’s hard to express how important that place in a little town, that event and that man have been to me.

Many reading this have probably never heard of The Rock House, it’s town, or my late friend, coach and mentor. but everyone reading this will have places, events and people who have great meaning to them.
the amount of new music that I have listened to since my first visit to a house concert would take awhile to tabulate. if you like music, find a house concert in your area. go to the next one. or perhaps it’s a concert in the park. whatever the event, you’ll most likely be glad you attended.

check out new music online. I assure you that music is better for you than almost anything you will see on tv. (full disclosure: I do watch tv…selectively. but, come on…”reality tv?” really?)

my life has opened up a lot since that first house concert. at the third one, I heard the front men from a group that is now one of my favorite bands. their music has changed me in a good way.
john was one of the handful of people who were there for me during rough spots. I know that he knew how important he was to me. we got below the surface. at other times the conversations were raucous, bouncing from topic. I miss those talks and I miss him.

I can never talk to JMC again, or hear his voice. I didn’t see him as often as I would’ve liked because of distance. While I do hear his voice in my head often, I will never actually hear it again. The last few times we saw each other were in Oregon, including a tailgate before and after an OSU game with Wisconsin. The “after” was by far the best.
if you like music: listen to more of it. give something new and different a listen. and if you can see it live, do it. (“keep the music live” as Jeanette always says.) it’s amazing how much musical talent there is. (I have none. dammit. except with my ears.)

maybe it’s not music for you, but instead it’s fishing or knitting, tennis or photography. whatever it is, do more of it.

whether it’s a confidant like john, or a long time friend, or even a new acquaintance: find time for them now. make time for yourself. but don’t think doing either of those “tomorrow” is the right answer.

what are you waiting for? enjoy every moment as much as you can, in whatever way is the most enjoyable. for me that includes music and communicating with others in some way.

that’s my spew…a lot longer than I anticipated. especially since I have music to listen to, phone calls to make, walks to take, and someone to hug.

so do you.

take care. keep in touch with people who matter to you. be.


Stop Stealing!

first, a few pieces of background.

1. almost as far back as i can remember, but certainly since my sophomore year in high school in olathe, i have been a fairly religious reader of a daily paper. it has almost always been a morning paper. there have been some times over the years when financial circumstances did not allow for a daily paper. but most of my adult life i have read a paper every day. the daily paper, and the bill for the subscription, were delivered to the same address that the usps had on file for me.

2. that changed in late 2011 when i moved into the abbey apartments in southeast springfield missouri. i was no longer paying for delivery of the daily paper, and it was no longer being delivered to my door. every morning a paper gets delivered to the apartment building. for some idiotic reason, they won’t deliver it to the building’s office since it doesn’t have an apartment number. instead they place it in front of A111, which is just around the corner and no more than 25 feet from the office. it is supposed to be a communal paper, available on one of the tables in the lobby. monday thru saturday, when the office is open, there is also free coffee in the lobby. not great coffee. not a “manly” cup like i prefer. but it is hot and almost black.

3. there have been issues with the paper at the abbey. i’m not talking about the quality of the paper. the paper itself is not the issue, at least not the issue at hand. admittedly, the news-leader is a pretty puny rag and doesn’t compare to the last daily that I paid for: it was called the “st. petersburg times” then….now it’s the “tampa times.” before that i subscribed to the oregonian. both papers are head and shoulders better than the gannet paper that is supposed to be on the table in the lobby of the abbey each day.

the operative word in this case is “supposed.”

during the four years that i’ve lived at the abbey (has it really been that long??), there have been newspaper thieves. sometimes they only take a single section. often, it’s the section that includes the tv listings. sometimes they take just the sports. other times, often on sunday when nobody is in the office, the entire paper gets swiped. on good days, not a page is missing.

in all cases, when a single section or the entire paper is not there: It Pisses Me Off!!

twice i have written anonymous notes to newspaper nappers. the first time was in jan of 2014, and is a story for another day. it was the much longer of the 2 notes.

this particular story is about a christmas eve, 2015 note. it was only 13 words and was written after 2 days when not a single section of the paper made it to a table in the lobby. i wasn’t the only one who was cranky about the daily paper being swiped….there are a number of other residents who are regular readers.

The 12/24/15 Note

after Shelly had gone to bed on Christmas Eve, i composed a short, nasty note…written LARGE. the first line using 66 point type, followed by 3 lines at 54 point, and the last line at 80 point…for emphasis. all lines BOLD, with selective underlining.

after i printed out the single page, i went on the quest to find the scotch tape. several expletives and several minutes later i finally located it. if i had found the tape quicker, what follows would have had a very different ending.

it was just after 11 pm and i had just taped down the 4th corner of my direct and accusatory note when i heard footsteps. i had been caught in the act! if i had found the tape quicker, the 20-something fellow wouldn’t have looked down at the piece of paper in front of apartment A111 and read:

The Daily Paper
It’s for ALL Residents
You Thieving, Inconsiderate

Him: “a paper gets delivered here every morning.”
Me: “i know. that’s why i’m leaving this note.”

Him: “Ok…but a paper gets delivered here every morning.”
Me: “exactly. for the last 2 or 3 days it hasn’t been making into the lobby for residents to read. i’ve lived here awhile and i’ve had it up to here with people stealing the paper.”

Him: “stealing? i’ve just been putting it in my recycling.”

Then it hit me!!

Me (sorta sheepishly): “you live in this apartment?”
He nods.

Me: “did you just move in? and do you leave the apartment early in the morning?”
Him: “yes, this week. i do head out before 7… when i pick it up and toss it.”

Me: “Oh…wow. they never told you that it is the lobby paper?”
Him: “nobody said anything to me about the paper.”
Me: “let me throw this note away…you don’t seem like an asshole!”

the above dialog is not the exact words that we exchanged…but the last 6 are!! it is a conversation that i wish i had on tape. (lately i find myself thinking that fairly often, especially during some of my walk-and-talks.)

so after i rambled for a few minutes, introducing myself to Saeed and shaking his hand, i wished him Merry Christmas. but before i walked away i told him about the news leader’s crazy delivery rules. i told him that i like the people in the office, but that they should have told him that the lobby paper would be delivered in front of his door. i told him that he could just leave it lying there in front of A111 or put it on a table in the lobby. i told him about the paper pilferers. i told him…again…that he didn’t seem like an asshole, and that I felt like one. we both laughed.

as i walked through the lobby and up the stairs, shaking my head and laughing, i might have been thinking: “things happen, that’s all they ever do.” But I’m pretty sure it was this:

Fuck Me!!

Christmas 2015

What follows is my Christmas letter/e-mail:

I hope your 2015 has been a good one. I’m keeping this to one page again this year…  {one page as a word doc…with narrow margins at top, bottom and sides.}

2015 has been a bit of a “different” year for me…some good times and some not so good. even on the not so good days I thought of, and did my best to heed Warren Zevon’s advice: enjoy every bite of every sandwich.

The Good:
An excellent spring garden;
A road trip to Jacksonville that allowed me to spend time with a BFF in Atlanta, several days with my dad’s brother as I helped him with dad and his sister’s estate, and some time with Joseph & Caroline;
A road trip to Colorado…loved the deck on the B&B at 10,500 ft and loved strolling the streets of Leadville;
Spent all of September, 33 days in total, in southwest Oregon…took Shelly to Crater Lake, the redwoods, and the southern orygun coast. i’d go to all of them again tomorrow…and the next day;
Dad spent 5 days with me in OR…visited the same places with him as with Shelly. it was a blast;
Saw quite a bit of live music. highlights: Jackson Browne (twice), Elvis Costello, the Rainmakers headlined the summer festival at the Rock House in Reeds Spring;
Listened to lots of music, in B-307 or on roadtrips, some of it from artists I’d either never heard of or listened to before 2015;
Saw some good basketball games, including trips across the state to take Dad to several games;
Had fun posting lots of pictures and chronicling the CO and OR trips on Facebook;
Finally got off the dime and “put myself out there” via a blog.

The Not So Good:
Started the year with Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, i.e. had to have my gallbladder sucked out….but maybe this should be listed as a “good thing”? (there is a karma component…no room to elaborate here.)
Summer garden was pretty lame;
Fall garden was worse…much worse. not a single brussel sprout or turnip;
Lost another person who was near and dear to me…my Mom’s sister, my Aunt Billie. She always made me smile and laugh;
The Who postponed their show in KC…twice! hope they don’t die before I get old…or see them;
Tried to get Springsteen tickets. Struck out. Scalpers didn’t. Scalpers suck.
Spent a few days in the hospital because of blood clots in my lungs of unknown origin…maybe this should have it’s own category, i.e. the good, the not so good, and the Scary Shit!! I don’t like being on HST (hospital standard time).

I did a decent job of keeping the pledges that I made to myself when I got serious about keeping a journal in late 2012: watch less TV…especially less “news” and talking heads; listen to more music; read more; walk more; keep in touch with people that matter; tell the people who you love that you love them.

I can still do better. It would be easier if I could slow down time. The days and weeks and months pass entirely too quickly. It’s one of the things that I always heard that has turned out to be true. Other stuff…not so much.

After 33 days in Oregon I have been thinking a lot about making another move. I have enjoyed living back in Missouri more than I expected to, but my heart is really in Orygun. The geographic diversity is just one of the many things that draws me to OR. Admittedly the weather in September in orygun is typically as good as it gets…anywhere. And it was great this year, especially at Mike&Judy’s outside Merlin. If we do make the move west, it won’t be before mid- to late-2016. There is family in MO to think about, but i’m hearing too many people call me “sir” these days…so time’s a wasting.

When I was on HST one of my friends reminded me of what Frank Sinatra said: “may you live to be 100 and the last voice you hear be mine.” For some of you reading this, if you hear my voice when you’re 100 I will really be an old geezer. So don’t wait….lets chat in 2016. Txt, e-mail and messaging are nice, but they really don’t compare to or replace interactive communication.

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. All the best. Keep in touch. Hug the people you love. Be.


Casedy & Crayons

“For you, being creative isn’t just something to do. It’s an actual survival impulse.” That was Shelly’s horoscope per the local paper one day last week.

That not only applies to Shelly, but also to her oldest grand-child. Eight year old Casedy accompanied us to the Wichita suburbs over the weekend as we visited Shelly’s oldest of three children, and their soon to be 2 year old, Cecily.

The two cousins had some fun together, and Casedy entertained all of us with her creative writing. (If only I could be so creative!!)

With a box of crayons and several sheets of paper, each sheet written in the color of the signatory, what follows are Casedy’s creations. Admittedly I have helped a bit with the spelling, but everything that follows is her’s. I like all of them, but the last one is my favorite.


dear casedy,

it’s me purple crayon. i love that i’m your favorite color. but start making sense. stop coloring outside the lines.

yours truly,

purple crayon.


dear casedy,

we need to talk.

everybody knows that I’m the true color of the sun. not yellow. she is mad.

the true color of the sun,

orange crayon.


dear casedy,

everybody knows that i’m the color of the sun.

everybody knows that!

tell orange she’s out of her mind.

the real color of the sun,

yellow crayon


dear casedy,

the blue crayon thinks he is better than me.

please tell him he’s not. then I will be happy.

yours truly,

light blue crayon



tell light blue that he is not more important than me.

then i’ll be happy!!!!

yours truly,

real blue crayon


dear casedy,

why did you peel my paper off?

why casedy.


your naked friend,

green crayon

Ticketmaster is The Devil

Well, that was lots of fun.


I just spent 2 hours and 25 minutes trying to get tickets to see Adele in either Chicago or Denver.

She’s playing 3 nights in the Windy City, so i had three tabs open…one for each night. I didn’t even get a countdown like with Springsteen last week. Just a spinning wheel…an interminable spinning wheel. After 35 minutes of that ugly little wheel, I was able to attempt to place an order. That’s when the fun began….NOT.

I got a phrase that I was to enter to confirm that i was person and not a bot. Sometimes these phrases are hard to read. Not this time…they were easy. But every time, it said my entry didn’t match…and displayed another phrase. In a word: Bullshit!

After numerous failed attempts, with me matching the phrase but being told I hadn’t matched, they hit me with a bunch of images. I was to pick all of the ones that included street signs.

I “passed”…and was promptly told that all seats were gone.

Fuck me!

The seats in Denver were not available thru Ticketmaster. I was hoping this was a good deal, since Ticketmaster is the Devil.

I learned the the ticket ordering system for the Pepsi Center in Denver is Satan’s sibling.

Their system puts you in a queue that “helps you get up-to-the-minute information regarding your event availability while keeping your place in line.” It includes a progress bar with some little guy walking from left to right. Actually, he was walking in place. Glaciers move quicker than this image did.

After 1 hour and 22 minutes I was informed that only single tickets were available. Just for grins I thought I’d try to order a single ticket. I was curious as to what single tickets remained. If they offered me an assigned seat, I would just pass.

No single seats available either.

Last week I checked out Stub Hub as soon as my attempt to get Springsteen tickets was a bust. I didn’t waste my time with that exercise today, as I was pretty sure what my response would be: Scalpers are scum.

And this: Fuck Me!!

It doesn’t smell like Teen Spirit!

Shelly called it. Someone was dead!!

I never expected to live in Missouri, or in an apartment, again. All that changed in 2011. There are lots of things to like about apartment living…i don’t have to mow grass, I just pick up the phone if something is broken or isn’t working, there is coffee and a daily paper in the lobby in the morning, and I don’t get nasty letters from a HOA board because i’m not in compliance with some silly, arcane rule. (HOAs are a story for another time…)

One of the best things about The Abbey, the building where we live, is the layout. Three floors, shaped like an octagon, and a perfect place to walk when it makes sense to avoid walking outside….i.e. it’s too hot, too cold, raining, etc. A lap inside the building is a third of a mile, and there are lots of stairs to climb if i’m so inclined.

Yeah, walking laps inside an apartment building can be monotonous but not nearly as boring as a treadmill. Plus I usually do a walk-and-talk, so i’m killing two birds at once. One of my daily walk-and-talks is always with my 89-year old Dad.

Last Friday, as I was just a minute into my call with Dad I caught a whiff of something. Now I do not have the most sensitive sniffer, but this smell was nasty. It was only noticeable for about 100 feet, in one relatively small part of the 1780 foot long lap. The only way to describe what it smelled like that afternoon: it smelled like ass. Or worse.

I only pass that section once on most of my inside walk-and-talks with Dad, as I take a lap of all three floors and then wrap up the call.

The next time that I walked through that part of the building was when I called him on Saturday. Same smell, although even stronger. I’m thinking “don’t the people who live in this part of the building smell this shit?”

Sunday afternoon I asked Shelly if she’d take a walk down the hall with me to see what she thought. She is more sensitive than me in every regard, but especially from an olfactory perspective.

As soon as we reached that section of the 3rd floor, she stopped quickly and her facial expression was one of disgust. The smell was indeed quite disgusting.

Then she said it. “I hope somebody is not dead!”


The first thing this morning I stopped by the office and told Dena about the smell. She said the exact same thing as Shelly.

Ninety minutes later I was back from running a few errands. There was an ambulance in front of the building.

Fifteen minutes later there was a knock on my door. It was Dena. She asked me if I’d come with her and talk to the police and tell them what I had told her earlier. We walked to A-313 and the cop came out, still wearing a mask, and interviewed me for 10 minutes.

If you google “smell of death” there are over 68 million results. I skimmed several of them, with titles like “what does death smell like,” “does death have a smell,” and “researchers isolate ‘the human smell of death’.” They refer to a “singular chemical cocktail,” the “putrefying tissue of dead bodies” and a “five chemical cocktail made up of chemicals that are part of a group of molecules called esters, which are also responsible for the strong, sharp smells emitted by fruits like pineapples and raspberries.”

None of the sites really described the smell. The closest on came was this: “The human smell of death, in other words, is a little bit fruity.”

I wouldn’t call it “fruity,” and not just because I love fruit. I eat lots of it.

The smell of death is disgusting. It smells like ass. Dead ass.

May the lady who lived in A-313 rest in peace.

House concerts are Where It’s At!!

Over the past 50 years I have seen lots of live music, in lots of different venues. Smokey bars; baseball parks; 1,500 seat auditoriums with great acoustics; Chuck Berry’s farm; House of Blues in Chicago; The Fabulous Fox and The Schnitzer….and lots of others.

Many venues remain on my bucket list…places I want to see a show. Red Rocks heads the list, followed by (in no particular order): The Fillmore in S.F., The Gorge Amphitheater, The Troubadour in West Hollywood, Stubbs in Austin…and The Ryman Auditorium, just to name a few.

Of all the places I’ve been entertained and mesmerized, I’m not sure that any of them top a wonderful night at a house concert.

“What is a House Concert? A house concert is a chance to experience music in a warm and intimate environment. It’s when someone opens up their home and invites you into their living room to share in a performance by one of their favorite musicians. It’s a chance to meet the performers and get them to sign their CD. A house concert is also a great social evening of friends and neighbors.” (I stole this paragraph…)

I had never heard of house concerts until moving back to MO in 2011. I learned about them from a woman I met on an online dating site. (That was a first time experience in 2011 too…and is another story, for another day.)

Ginger told me about The Rock House in Reeds Spring. It’s the only place I’ve ever seen a house concert so far, and the pilfered paragraph above is a perfect description of a night in the home of Jeanette and Bruce.

Last night, 12/12/15, was a “great social evening of friends” indeed!! Making it even better were Bob Walkenhorst and Jeff Porter. I had never heard of either them before moving back to MO in 2011….but if I had to list my 10 favorite artists for my Desert Island Disks, their music and that of their band, The Rainmakers, would most certainly make the list. They have been around since the mid-80s, and reformed as a band in 2011….Yes!!

Bob & Jeff played the 3rd house concert I attended. The first real ‘date’ for me and Shelly, her first time at The Rock House, and the first time she saw Bob&Jeff, was a year later on October 13, 2012. Every time I’ve seen them, I leave wanting more and find myself listening to them on the way home and after I’m back in the apartment. Last night was no exception…and the CD changer has been nothing but Walkenhorst & Porter so far today.

They started the show last night with one of my many favorites. I’ve always been a “lyrics junkie” and Bob and Jeff have lots of tunes with lyrics that I relate to. Their opener was “Long gone long” which opens like this: “Older than I used to be, younger than I’m gonna be, Fewer things puzzle me than when I was young…”


Bob grew up in the small town of Norborne, MO. I moved around…Springfield, Monett, Flat River…places I received mail while I was living this verse of the “long gone long”:

“Got into a car that night
Drove out past the signal light
Past the city limits, guess it wasn’t that far
Stopped out on a rural route
Gooch got out his .22
Shooting at a freight train that was hauling new cars”

Now, I never shot a 22 at a freight train hauling cars.

In Springfield, I did launch more than a few hedge apples at passing trains….not to mention high arching ones onto select people’s roofs in the late night hours. Living in Monett…same thing. As a college student at Mineral Area College I graduated to throwing rocks at the freight trains, which were in fact hauling cars. But no guns were fired.
Before last night’s show, I made a couple of requests. Jeff wouldn’t promise that they’d play either tune; I understood…they have a lot of material.

The first set went by too fast…some more of my favorites, plus some new tunes.

I was on the front porch chatting with some friends when it was about time for the second set. We decided to sit outside and enjoy the music from the porch. The weather was unbelievably mild for the 12th day of winter! (I adopted meteorological seasons a few years ago, i.e. my winter started 12/1. That’s a story for a different day….)

A few songs into the second set I was thinking “good god, they are really bringing it tonight…if they don’t play my requests who cares? this is one special evening…”

Then Bob said they had a request and he started telling the story behind the song. I knew right away that as much I was enjoying listening from the porch that I had to get inside and look into their faces as they sang “Like Dogs.” I’ll always remember the very first time I heard this song….and I’ll never forget hearing it last night. It was simply Awesome! (I’ve got lots of “first time tunes”…another story for another day.)

There are people I think of whenever I hear the verses of “Like Dogs.” But the first verse always make me think of one particular person:

“You’re the kind of man that seems to leave a trail
Behind him of the friends that used to be so close
But then in some concocted scene they’ve done you wrong
And so you write ’em off and bye bye they are gone
If you don’t like dogs
What do you like?”

From now on the last line of the song will always make me think of Jeff Porter. When I made my request last night he said that he and Bob had talked about an acquaintance of Bob’s who didn’t like dogs. Later Jeff got a call from Bob saying that he used Jeff’s response as the last line of the song.

“You’re gonna wake up some cold night
And howl till your head’s a throbbin’
If you don’t like dogs what’s your fucking problem?”

Amen and amen.

Here are just a few more lyrics from the songs they played last night. They hit home.

“Never been one to look back
Trying to cover my tracks
To regret or undo what I’ve done
Nows not the time to begin”
{from “stay ahead of the wolves”}

“Cause some days are a comedy, others are a crime
But most are masterpieces of a ludicrous design
Ridiculously beautiful, absurdely rich and dense
I’m delirious with fever; it’s finally making sense.”
{from “ridiculosuly beautiful”}

I could list a lot more lyrics, but i’ll close with some from the tune that closed another great night by Bob & Jeff at The Rock House. It’s from another song that I requested, “Overland Hill.” Like “Long gone long”, it makes me think of my past.

“Down Overland Hill she was waiting there
At the bottom for me with a big blank stare
That was open to anything, legal or not….”

Andy Borowitz….well, not really.

Here’s the background to the following: a few e-mails in a thread preceded the e-mail below, starting with some Facebook status posts by Andy Borowitz pasted into my originating message….sent to my friend to give her some laughs as she recuperates.

Primary topic of the thread: terrorism….foreign and domestic, her health, my health.
Auxiliary topics: her TV viewing while recuperating (including TMZ Live), the American Taliban, candidates for POTUS, “radical Islam,” “well-regulated”

the thread was getting too serious, and requiring too much thinking!! so I sent the message below….

From: Steve Weiss <___@yahoo.com>
To: a friend <—-@yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, December 4, 2015 2:35 PM
Subject: Re: andy borowitz…

too much politics….it’s giving me a headache!!

can’t do anything about it anyway.

but i do have a few minutes of fun each day jerking people’s chain on facebook, and pretty much all of it is politics related. i like to hit people with facts…occasionally i’ll poke and prod. yesterday i was referred to as a libturd. i chuckle thinking about it…all i said was “so that’s what ‘well-regulated’ means, eh?”

i’m a binge watcher…or a binge listener. usually it’s the latter. the latest album by dawes has been playing a lot this week. two songs in particular are my favorite from their latest CD…since i’ve been back in springfield they have become one of my favorite bands.

{the e-mail included links to “things happen” and “i can’t think about it now”…see “Never use a big word…” for active links…}

binge watching usually involves dvds on loan from the library, with shelly here too. (unless we’re house-sitting for someone with netflix or an ‘on-demand’ service.)

i’m a believer in what norman cousins wrote about laughter. i can watch seinfeld repeatedly. ditto andy griffith. we recently binge watched 2 seasons of ‘game of thrones’….not a whole lot of chuckles there.

we started season 1 of “breaking bad” earlier this week. shelly had always turned up her nose when i asked her about it, so i finally went ahead and put it on hold. she didn’t expect it to produce any laughs, but we both find parts of it hilarious. i watched most of the first 2 seasons when I was still in Floriduh, but only an episode here and episode there after moving to mo.

i don’t think i’ve ever watched a complete episode of tmz…but i do stop sometimes when i’m channel surfing and watch snippets.

so this:
stay away from “news.”
watch/do more things that make you laugh.
read when you can.
move around some.
if you’re moving to music it’s even better.
listen to music.
(lots of it for me….)
keep in touch with people that matter to you.
hug ’em when you see them.
tell the ones you love that you do.
(in your case, several of the above apply to your boys…) [Note: the “boys” are her 2 rescue dogs]
be. just be.

take care. get better. hello to —. laugh a lot.



my friend replied: “Ok…well, I love you, and, you make me laugh! Thanks for being my friend.”

from me: “back at you. and thanks for having my back.”

I left something out in the e-mail to my friend:

Life is good. Enjoy every bite of every sandwich.

Be.  Just BE.

“Never use a big word when a little filthy one will do.” ― Johnny Carson

Note: This Document is rated MA (L) and is intended for mature audiences only; it may include coarse or crude language.


When I finally decided to “put myself out there” via this blog, I had to decide on a Title and a tagline. I chose “Things happen” for a Title and “I can’t think about it now” for the tagline. I’ll explain how I decided on those in a minute…

My first choice for a title was: “Fuck me!” I thought there was a good chance that wordpress wouldn’t allow that, so I never even tested it out to see if it would be accepted.

Why “Fuck me!”?

If you have to ask, all I can say is “well…fuck me!”…but I’ll tell you anyway.


A few years ago I tried to get a couple of friends to set up a Cuss Jar Contest. We could never agree on the rules.

My proposed rules had a sliding scale of fines, e.g. all of George Carlin’s 7 words wouldn’t have the same penalty. Shit, piss and tits would only cost you a nickle. The other 4 words would each cost you a quarter. If you wrapped “Jesus Christ” or “God damn”around any variation of “fuck” it would cost you 50 cents. The list of prohibited words wasn’t limited to the famous 7 and the wrapped words.

I proposed that each of us in the contest could pick one word or phrase that didn’t cost us. (This could NOT be one of the ‘wrapped’ phrases…)

I wanted my freebie to be Fuck Me!

We could never agree on the rules, the fine structure, or the concept of a free pass for each of us for a word or phrase. The contest never happened. Fuck Me!

I do use the phrase selectively, oftentimes I’m all alone when it spills out. I do consider the audience when others are around, but there are just so many situations that the phrase seems absolutely appropriate.

E.g. the internet is down and you really need to google something; you fill up the tank and notice that the station across the street is 6 cents a gallon cheaper; you turn the TV on and realize that the show you wanted to watch is just ending; you unpack the groceries and realize that you forgot to get the one thing that you really needed from the store; a guy on the team you’re rooting for misses both free throws in the final minute; you go downstairs to the lobby to read the daily paper and ol’ Darrel, the 92 year old who never learned how to share, just started reading; your friends, who cuss more than you do, won’t agree to a cuss jar contest. Well…Fuck Me!

I could go on and on. But I won’t. Here’s how I settled on a Title and tagline for my blog.

I listen to lots of music. My favorite songs and/or artists are often chocen primarily because of the lyrics; sometimes it’s because of the line from American Bandstand: “it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.” (Nevermind that I don’t dance….).

Sometimes a song will get stuck in my head, often because of the lyrics or the beat…or both, and I listen to it again and again. The past 10 days or so, a couple of songs from Dawes’ latest album “All your favorite bands” have been on repeat, the first one more for the lyrics and the second one more for the beat, but a bit of both for each tune.

The first song is titled “Things Happen.” (Duh….what else would it be. Fuck me!)

“Let’s make a list of all the things the world has put you through
Let’s raise a glass to all the people you’re not speaking to
I don’t know what else that you wanted me to say to you
Things happen
That’s all they ever do”


Maybe these lyrics stick with me because of one especially narcissistic person from my past, who has a growing list of people he’s not speaking to because they won’t join his pity party…and kiss his ring. But most likely it’s because of the song’s lyrics and existential perspective…I like the beat too!

Three guesses as to the title of the second tune. (And don’t force me to use a “wrapped” expletive!!)

“If you’re just asking for a reason
Reasons are everywhere you look…
…It’s just that time just keeps on slipping through my fingers
But I can’t think about it now”

This song doesn’t make me think about anyone in particular….other than myself. But it does make me think…and get up on my feet.

Those two songs just seemed to have happened for me at the right time.


When Shelly and I were discussing Titles for my blog we laughed until we almost cried at the idea of calling it “Fuck me!” And we even decided how each post should end if that had been the title. Yep…you got it.

Fuck Me!


I have mastered the art of procrastination. I have been practicing the art itself for most of my life. This piece is a prime example of my level of mastery: writing a blog has been on my to-do list ever since I heard the word “weblog” in the late 90’s. When you couple my expertise at procrastinating with my almost complete lack of self-discipline, the fact that I ever get anything done that requires effort is very surprising. It only took me about 17 years to finally start blogging by beginning to write this…but will I even finish and “publish” it? Will it be my opening blog entry, or just another document in a folder on my laptop?

When one considers what I did for a living for most of the time that I was a W-2 guy, and that once upon a time I had people close to me who thought I was a serious Type A personality, my well-developed skill at procrastinating doesn’t seem to fit.

I had a moderately successful career in the tax division of what at the time was the largest accounting firm in the world. I spent the first half of that tenure in a practice office with it’s long hours, many deliverables and deadline upon deadline. The last half was in the firm’s tax software business…with more of the same, i.e. hours, deadlines and deliverables….in spades. I seemed to thrive under pressure, often times of my own creation because of the delay in getting started.

I have tried several times over the past 40 years to write a journal. I’ve started one half-a-dozen times. My most recent attempt started 36 months ago, and so far I have managed to write something almost every day. Sometimes it’s brief and boring, i.e. my mundane daily events. Oftentimes it includes copies of texts, sent and received. Other journal entries might be copies of e-mails.

This blog thing doesn’t have any personal sense of urgency. I don’t have to do it. I don’t need to do it. I’m not getting paid to do it.

I’m not even sure that I should do it. There are lots of things that I want to write about that might upset friends and family. I’m thinking that they know more about my life and my lifestyle than they acknowledge. I’m thinking that they know more about my thinking, and how it differs from theirs, than they want to believe. I’m thinking that opening up could be hurtful to some people. But maybe not. I guess we’ll never know unless I move forward, huh?

Will I be able to do that? To put myself out there via other musings. That’s the question?

Maybe I will be able to summon the same discipline and the same approach here that I finally have been able to accomplish with journaling.

Time will tell. Speaking of time…elapsed time since I started this document and the day I posted it online: 11 months, give or take several days. I really do have this procrastinating down pat don’t I?