Friday, May 28, 2010

And it sets in…

It’s always there, but sits away in the corner.
It sometimes comes out, but for the most part stays in its place.
When it comes out of the shadow though, it isn’t much fun.
I don’t particularly like it, in fact I know I don’t, but what can I do.

I’m not sure how it happens, but it does.
It comes around at the most opportune times, but I don’t ask for it.
I try to clear my mind and move on, but it doesn’t help.
Once it sets in, it’s there, and it stays for a while.

It has a blinding sound, so loud you can hear it over everything else.
It drowns out almost all other sound; it’s deafening.
It’s a strange sound; a sound that I cannot hear.
I know it’s there though, because I feel.

Maybe it’s the sound of feelings.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Those shoes

Those shoes. They sit on the floor, over in the corner, almost out of the way next to the chair. But they’re not; they certainly are in the way.

I look at them each day as I pass between rooms. I look at them, see them sitting there, waiting.

You can tell that they’re begging to be used, begging to be worn. The shoes want to move, they want to get up and go, they want to dance again.

It’s been 14 years since she left. A very long 14 years. Her passing was a shock to the entire community, and most of all a shock to us.

She wore those shoes often. In fact, they were her favorite shoes. I remember the day she brought them home, she was so happy to have finally found them on sale.

After a while it made sense to rearrange the house: clean, move things, pack some of her items away. Those shoes were among her favorites so they stayed out, much like the pictures that hang on the wall – left out as memories, as reminders of what once was, of the way things used to be. Of a life, and of happy times.

Two months ago I packed the shoes away in the attic; I thought it was time. Not that they were a bother, I just thought it was time. I thought I would never see them again.

Three days ago the shoes appeared on the floor: sitting patiently, waiting as they had done for 14 years.

Each day as I pass between rooms, I look at them, see them sitting there, waiting.

And I wonder how they returned.

*Note: Inspired by Magpie Tales, picture:


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A wrinkle…

in time… Is something of an abstract thought.
It helps explain some things, but
it raises more questions which bring us deeper thoughts.

in space… May help us travel through time.
Although, it may be very dangerous, risking our lives,
and should it move, we may not return to our time.

in the sheets… we rarely do not care,
but in the shirt or tie or other clothes,
we iron, with great care.

may not be a thing we yearn to see,
A wrinkle, however may be
exactly what we expect to see.

you see…
can be perceived to be
as good or as bad as it can be.

It matters not what others seem to mind.
It matters most,
the position of our own mind.

…So to me, it’s clear to see,
that a wrinkle can be,
whatever it is we want it to be.

*Note: Inspired by Theme Thursday, topic: Wrinkle


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Little Mosquito

Little mosquito,
Where is it you have flown from?
Your name sounds Spanish

This haiku came from a book that Ms. Amy gave to me yesterday as a gift. Oddly enough, the book is entitled Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum. Ms. Amy is also the one who gave me the zombie mints… the brain flavored ones… Why this haiku is in a book such as this, I’m not sure, but I thoroughly enjoy it.

This haiku brings up two questions in my mind: 1) can blood-sucking insects become zombies? And 2) are mosquitoes from Spain?

To the first: no clue, but my instinct suggests that they can’t. However, it should be noted that if insects such as mosquitoes can carry diseases and transmit said diseases from one person to another, then it stands to reason that a mosquito can at least carry the zombie disease and spread it to others. See here for a quick read from the Zombie Research Society on the topic. Basically it says that while mosquitoes would not be attracted to zombies (because they’re dead, and thus would not feed on them), it may be possible for a mosquito to feed on a person who has recently contracted the zombie disease and is still in the incubation stage, prior to becoming a zombie.

To the second: yes, mosquitoes are from Spain. Well, maybe they’re not from Spain, but their name has a Spanish origin (via

“The Spanish called the mosquitoes "musketas," and the native Hispanic Americans called them "zancudos." "Mosquito" is a Spanish or Portuguese word meaning "little fly" while "zancudos," a Spanish word, means "long-legged." The use of the word "mosquito" is apparently of North American origin and dates back to about 1583.”

Also to note: there are mosquito ringtones and some sort of device to prevent loitering that goes by the name “The Mosquito”.

Who knew such a tiny insect had this much influence… minus its malaria implications of course.


Monday, May 24, 2010

FaceMan. …What?

I ended up at Pete’s Monkey Bar (formerly Dulcinea’s 100th Monkey) Saturday night for a few drinks and some live music. I love going to Pete’s, it’s a very comfortable place and I feel at home there – good people, good atmosphere, and good music. I was a little hesitant to go Saturday because Pete’s doesn’t usually post who is playing, and I like to do my research on the bands ahead of time to make sure I’m going to enjoy them. I ended up going anyway, and wow, what an experience.

FaceMan was playing that night. Who (or what) is Faceman? FaceMan is a band with a very interesting gimmick: the singer/lead guy comes walking through the front door after the music has started wearing a silver/grey suit with a contraption on his shoulders which fashions a box around his head that has vents on all sides and spinning lights on top (which he turns on and off throughout the show). Needless to say, I was surprised by what I saw, and honestly, I was a little apprehensive of what was going to follow.

And so the show went on, silver-box-with-spinning-lights-over-some-guy’s-head and all. They also had a special guest, a harmonica player called Medicine who added serious depth to the music – who should always play with Faceman from here on out. Oh, and there were two projector screens near the ceiling, and a silver robot looking thing centered in front (something like you would find on Mystery Science Theater 3000)… with a light that kept changing colors (what I thought to be an eye), and a mouth with fiery-orange teeth… fun right? It was.

You see, the projectors played snippets of video along with the music (think Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and the Wizard of Oz, but with different videos). And although the music and video weren’t in perfect synchronization, it was still pretty damn cool. Every now and then the video would become two eyes, and that’s when you could see it: two eyes, a nose and a mouth of a giant something (see below).

As the music went on and the videos kept changing, it began to make sense… this wasn’t about the band members; Faceman is about the music, the show, and the experience.

FaceMan, I have to hand it to you – you did a great job. Your music was surprisingly good and your gimmick worked very well with the crowd. I definitely look forward to seeing you again.

And Pete – thanks again for another great night. You guys are awesome.

Pete's Monkey Bar:
Pete's on Facebook:


Friday, May 21, 2010

Cats are unique in a strange way, not a normal way.

The subject of cats continue to come up and I don’t know that it’s something new or if it’s always been around and I’ve just never noticed it… But the chatter around the topic of cats, and not in a cute-furry-fluffy way, seems to be gaining ground.

A while back I posted “It’s natural to be wary of a cat… of any kind” and today I see these two posts:

so it wouldn't be all that different
Why Cats Are Not Employed As Doctors

On top of these two posts, I’ve heard conversations and read other stories about cats in non-“I love my pet” ways.

I think the trend is starting to catch on that cats aren’t usual creatures; they’re unique in a strange way, not a normal way.


***UPDATE*** And also, sucking on wool IS NOT NORMAL!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

To combobulate or discombobulate, that is the question.

I was on a conference call today and the gentleman on the other end made a comment about being discombobulated. I’ve heard this word plenty of times in my life and I’m quite familiar with it, in fact, I use it myself at times. But for some reason at the exact moment he said “discombobulated” I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before – where’s combobulate?!?!

Of course the first thing I had to do as soon as I got back to my desk was to do some quick research on discombobulate. It turns out that we don’t say combobulate because there is no combobulate! Sure, we have the anti (discombobulate), but we have no posi (combobulate). It only stands to reason that there should be a posi, especially if there’s and anti!

On with my research: I found this on (I prefer it in this instance over and this from WordPress (turns out that I’m not the only one who has concerns over this word). says that discombobulate is “1825–35, Americanism; fanciful alter. of discompose or discomfort.” Meaning that discombobulate doesn’t have a Latin origin? Which means it doesn’t have a root word? No base to build off of to develop an anti?


So… should we start a movement by regularly using combobulate in our daily lives? I’m on board if you are.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We need to communicate, interact, and embrace.

On the way to work this morning, I had a flashing thought as I saw a middle-age woman turn the corner in her SUV while chatting on the phone:

Humans have an intrinsic desire to communicate.

Cell phones have brought us together in a communicative way. Now, of course, there is the other side of the argument as well: cell phones are causing us to be enclosed within ourselves and within our own little world, even when we’re in the middle of a crowd… essentially forcing us apart from those around us; the building of a virtual wall, if you will.

While the cell phone (as well as the Internet, PC and the like) has increased our worldwide communication, our ability to communicate, and will keep us communicating in ways that were never before possible, at the same time we are losing the “human touch” of communication.

I think that we all long for that “human touch” sometimes, and find that we often times seek it through the technology around us… only to find that it’s not there. Yes we’re fulfilling our need to communicate with one another, albeit verbally, but we’re missing the “human touch” of communication, the full form of communication – the kind of communication that you can feel.

Technology has done wonders for mankind and will certainly continue along that path, but to what cost? It may be a stretch, but think about the possibility of the person tens or hundreds of years from now who turns on a screen within their home, has everything at their fingertips, and never has to leave home… Science-fiction entertainment or not, this person is still a hermit. Someone who does not interact with society (and some would argue that screen-to-screen or voice-to-voice only communication is not interaction with society) is probably not the type of people we long to become. The science and technology is exciting; the thought of this as reality is not.

I think we need to be careful, not cautious, of the implications of technology. Yet, I am in no way suggesting that we stop or hinder technological development out of fear that we may lose touch with society and grab on to an artificial world; I am simply saying, like Ms. Amy has proposed, that we put down our phones, interact with the world around us, embrace technology, but also embrace those around us.

Imagine the world we may create if we simply embraced those around us…


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Like a warm shot of Jager… or is it deer-flavored alcohol?

This morning on the drive to work, Cane came on the radio (Sirius Octane 20 to be exact) and started on about how a band commented in December that they were done with their hiatus and going in the studio, but turned around in January and said “not quite yet.” He went on to compare the feeling he got from that news to an instance of when you order a shot of Jager, only to find it’s warm as you drink it.

That’s a serious kind of disappointment I hadn’t recognized previously.

I never thought of it before, but he has a good point: ordering a shot of Jager, drinking it, and realizing it’s warm when it’s too late is probably one of the worst feelings you can have at a bar. I can’t say it’s on par with losing a bar fight, but it’s definitely up there.

Segueing to another subject while staying on topic: it’s best to have too much fun. Or at least aim to have too much fun; if you aim for that, you’re bound to have just enough. I can’t say that I have ever had too much fun in my life. I’ve done some pretty stupid things that were a lot of fun, done some things that were supposed to be fun but turned out pretty stupid, and I’ve done plenty of things that were legitimately fun. I don’t think there was ever a time, though, when I had too much fun. Sure, I’ve wanted more fun, but never any less fun. I think it’s best to aim for too much fun – at least you’re trying!

It’s interesting how Jager can be a catalyst to having either too much fun, or no fun at all depending on your perspective of the evening. It’s also interesting how a lot of people despise the drink while others flock to it with open arms.

My father told me on Sunday that he enjoys a shot or two of Schnapps now and then. He probably told me what kind of Schnapps, but I immediately dismissed his taste, verbally scolded him, and urged him to purchase a bottle of Jager. I even spelled it out for him, told him the color of the bottle, and informed him that there is a deer on the label.

What’s up with that deer anyway? I don’t think Jager tastes like deer. Do you?

…According to Snopes, Jagermeister does not contain deer blood, thankfully. But apparently there has been some concern. addresses the blood question

Regarding the significance of the Jager logo:

And also for additional history regarding the US phenomenon of Jager and its official website



Friday, May 14, 2010

Shinedown and vanilla, an unfortunate combination.

Last night after happy hour I went to the Ogden Theatre for the Shinedown and Sick Puppies show. Unfortunately, I arrived too late and missed Sick Puppies. I wanted to see them, and I’m sure they performed well; they’re up and coming, so I would expect such a band to put forth their best effort.

I got to the show a song or two into Shinedown’s set. As soon as I walked through the door after getting my ID checked I knew it wasn’t going to be a great show. I walked up to the front, tried to find my friend but couldn’t, and found a place to watch the show not too far from the stage. I stood there and listened as Brent and the band sang their usual songs and played their usual music. Their usual music… It was the same music I had listened to all day at work in preparation for the show. Except while at work the quality was much better.

I stood and listened to 3 songs. I watched the band on stage put on their usual, normal show… the same show they put on the last time they were in town after their recent album release, last year. The same carnival-talking-in-between-songs-in-that-carnival-host-kind-of-voice show. Yes, it was old. And no, it wasn’t fun anymore. At that point I realized that this show was not for me. It was a plain vanilla rock show performed by a plain vanilla rock band.

I then did something that I’ve never done in my life. Probably because I enjoy most music and appreciate live performance, and live music of most kinds tend to be tolerable even if you don’t listen to that music in your daily life. It also helps when the performance is an event – a show where the crowd is in it and the vibe is in the air.

Last night was not one of those nights. Last night I walked out on a show.

Of course, Facebook and Twitter heard a comment or two about it… and of course I had responses of surprise from those who weren’t there. I also had a response from my friend who was there, that “they were REALLY good… [and] what I saw of Sick Puppies was awesome.” I appreciate her opinion, and I’ll just leave it at that.

So, what do I have to say to Shinedown? Take some time off from the road, get back in the studio, write some new music, get a new gimmick, and come back when you’re fresh and ready to really rock the crowd. You probably need it, and you probably know that. So, please, do yourselves a favor and take a break. Come back when you’re ready for another tour. I’ll be there when you’re in town.


Monday, May 10, 2010

30 Seconds To Mars: Shaping the musician’s mind

~The following was written shortly after the 30 Seconds To Mars show at The Fillmore in Denver, CO on Saturday May 8, 2010~

Some people won't get it, but I do. Tonight’s show changed lives. I don't know that 30STM knows it, but they have shaped a small part of tomorrow’s musicians. Tonight, 30 Seconds To Mars brought the crowd on stage, literally. They brought people of all ages onto the stage; the ultimate showcasing of their fans. Wow, what a feeling! I remember going to club shows when I was young... We were so close that we could touch the stage, and sometimes even the band as they played! Moments like that have made a lasting impression on my life, and may have even impacted me in small ways, causing me to become who I am today. I remember it being absolutely awesome; I still think it is…

Tonight’s 30 Seconds To Mars show was awe-inspiring.

I can only imagine if I were a teenager again, like those standing on stage at The Fillmore before a sold-out crowd, or like those witnessing their peers as they were invited on stage by a band they all adore... I can only imagine if I were on stage with them! Wow, what a memory, what an impression that would be! What an impression that was…

I firmly believe that acts like this are what shape minds and futures. Whether they realize it or not, 30STM has surely instilled a sense of adventure, of determination, and of creativity in at least a few of the minds both on stage and in the crowd tonight; a sense to follow their dreams and become a musician… or maybe even a rock star.

Thank you, 30 Seconds To Mars; you truly are great.


Friday, May 7, 2010

30STM and The Moment

Going to see 30 Seconds To Mars this evening and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been waiting to see them since their first album which was released in 2002. I’m not sure why I hadn’t seen them on their initial touring of that album, or their second album in 2005 for that matter. I assume it had something to do with living in the middle of the New Mexican desert at the time… yeah, that was probably it. I’m sure I could have gone to Albuquerque or El Paso for a show, but I didn’t have any concert-going friends at that time, and I wasn’t nearly as outgoing as I am today. Sad, I know…

But now, I’m perfectly fine going to a show by myself. In fact, it’s looking like that’s what I’ll be doing this evening.

Early on this year, I went and bought 2 tickets to every concert that sounded good at the time, which to this day totals 15 dates for 2010. Some of the months are jam-packed while others have a week or two without shows. I’ve never seen so many shows in one year and I’m pretty excited about it! You see, I love music and live shows, so this is really working out.

I think it’s a waste to miss a band you really want to see; you should always try to make it work. I’ve missed quite a few shows over the years for whatever reason that seemed good at the time, but now I look back and regret not doing everything I could to get to the show.

Music is so liberating, even for only the time you’re listening to it. Concerts tend to soothe my soul, and for a small period during I get a sense that all is well and good. I call this The Moment: it’s a special time; a realization that man is good, or at least these men are good, and that all is alright. It’s a feeling of being one with something natural… a sense of connection with your surroundings… a connection with the people around… a true bond between music and soul.

The Moment is one of those feelings you don’t get very often, if ever in today’s negative-news culture. Because of that, I cherish The Moment and look forward to it. And while I never look for The Moment, it always seems to appear at just the right time, if for only a couple seconds.

You may know what I’m talking about… I doubt that I’m the only one who is moved by the music’s vibes.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A call to action

I firmly believe that we should walk on the same side of a hall as we would drive on the road. It only makes sense to do that! Doing otherwise leads to significant confusion, close-call crashes, and instability in the marketplace AND the workplace. I don’t enjoy turning a corner only to find that someone is coming up on “my” side of the hallway, just a few feet away, forcing both of us to divert our paths in order to avert disaster. That’s just awkward. I don’t like it, and neither should you!

This a call to action! Rally your family, your friends, your coworkers, and strangers! Let’s put an end to wrong-side walking!

The next time you see someone walking on the wrong side of a hallway, stop them and say “Hey! No more wrong-side walking!”

I propose we continue our paths down the correct side of the hallway, playing chicken until THEY flinch! And if you happen to turn a corner to find someone on your side of the hall only a few feet away… STAND YOUR GROUND! Slap them! Push them! Step on their toes! Shake them until they understand, and yell: “NO MORE WRONG-SIDE WALKING!”

Society will improve from this.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Chicagoland, Karma, Lightning, and Good

I flew to Chicagoland for the weekend last Friday. I had a great time: visited great friends, ate great food, drank great drinks, and did some pretty cool things: cheese castles, White Castles, Italian delis, Wisconsin, island-themed bar, Food Network-caliber pizza, Chicago dogs and the like. I’m already looking forward to my next trip (unplanned at current, but it might be in 3 or 4 months). I flew back on Sunday, midday. Security was a cinch and I was at my gate a little under 2 hours early.

I was assigned a middle-of-three seat in the aircraft, a seat that I wasn’t fond of. I had planned on checking in early online, changing it to a window seat, and moving on with my day. I didn’t check in early, my seat stayed the same, and I went on with my day. I contemplated going to the ticketing agent and attempting to change my seat from there, as I’ve heard people can have success going that route. After much contemplation, I decided that I would suck it up, deal with the middle-of-three seat, try not to fall asleep, and move on with my day.

Not too long before we started boarding the aircraft, my name was called over the intercom. I thought I was getting bumped from the flight, and went up to the ticketing agent. She asked if I was traveling alone, and said she was going to do me a favor: give me a window seat. She asked if I would mind, thanked me, I thanked her and told her I appreciated it, and I went on with my day. I called a friend, spoke about karma, and how I had wanted to initially change my seat, but opted out in order to remain simple and un-needy.

I was in the last group to board. Right before the group was called, they called me over the intercom again. I thought for sure this time was the time I get bumped from the flight. I walked up to the ticketing agent, she thanked me for my patience, expressed some sort of gratitude (for what, I don’t know), and said she was doing me another favor: she upgraded me to first class.

I couldn’t help but to think of how this series of seemingly small events may have been the specific verification of karma’s existence in life – one of those few defining moments we often seek for proof, confirmation, understanding, and validation.

Or, perhaps it was simply a series of random events, similar to lightning striking the same place twice.

Or at worst, perhaps it was simply just one person doing something nice for a total stranger.

I probably don’t mind which one it turns out to be; I like what each option implies.


Never eat something with zombie in the name

As a general rule, it’s best to never eat something with zombie in the name… a couple (pretty bad) things could result:

1) if you eat something with zombie in the name, you may actually turn into a zombie. This typically isn’t a good thing since people don’t usually want zombies hanging around trying to eat brains. Granted, it may be cool to be a zombie for a while, but that’s not an everlasting state of existence. Plus, it seems like a waste of time since it’s only a matter of time before someone chops your head off… or blows you up… or sets the house on fire that you happen to be searching for brains in, at which time you would be set on fire. You probably won’t “die” at that point since they haven’t chopped your head off yet, but you’re still on fire… and you’re essentially a walking torch… I retract my prior statement of this being a waste of time.

2) if you eat something with zombie in the name, it might actually taste like zombie. This arguably is as worse as, or worse than, eating something with zombie in the name and turning into a zombie. Case in point: a coworker thought it a good idea to buy some zombie brain mints on her recent trip and bring them back for me. While I appreciate the gesture and enjoy a good novelty candy now and then, especially a good mint, what she offered up was certainly not a mint by any measure. I suspect the company that makes these mints raises and harvests zombies for their various parts, somehow juices their brains, and puts said juice into said “mints”. Needless to say, the mints taste the way you would expect zombie brains to taste – horrible. Horrible to start, so horrible you can’t finish, and a horrible aftertaste that doesn’t go away.

Of course I couldn’t keep these to myself, so I tried to convince a few coworkers to eat a “mint” for a good laugh.

For some reason they weren’t interested.

They probably knew better judging by the name…