I’m In A Mood

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Most of my life I have been in a pretty good mood. I always try to see the bright side of life and even in times of strife, there is usually a tinge of happiness to be found. Call it optimism or call it stupidity, I call it a survival mechanism. But even us “glass half full of beer” people can have moments of “fuck my life”. (That’s my new exclamation. Like it?) Here are some resent MRAAHHH’s!

I love NPR. For those who don’t know what NPR is, it stands for News…ahem…National Public Radio and most liberal arts universities have a relay for it on their campus. I particularly enjoy the evening program, “All Things Considered” which along with news, they have stories on topics rarely discussed in the crap we call news on TV. You can be driving in the most desolate areas of the country but in mind, you are in a hospital far off in the Congo or a kitchen in south Bronx listening to a 15 year old girl who raises all her siblings in the midst of gang violence. This program allows us to understand what many choose not to.

But there is a segment that makes me want to jerk the wheel into a goddamn bridge abutment. It is when they allow authors and poets to read their own work. People who write shouldn’t be allowed to read their stuff, especially those who All Things Consider’s, well, consider. You wouldn’t want Stephen King narrating his stories, would you? He’s as close to a human beaver as it comes.

A particular poet/reader had me fidgeting like a day three meth-trip. She spoke so softly I had the radio volume turned all the way up as she over enunciates every single word. I could only liken this to a woman trying to teach a deaf person to read lips by repeating “EGG! MC! MUF FFFF FFF IN!” This made my patients dip so low I took a huge swig of my boiling coffee, completely forgetting I just bought it and still, as I type, I taste only cardboard. Oh! I forgot, you could hear her nose whistle come through loud and clear. Fuck my life!

I know this is petty but still, given the choice between listen to a smug poet read her work from the next room of a recording booth or having a fat guy eat an apple out of anger over a megaphone in a small bathroom, I would choose the latter.

Text messaging is a great invention. Those of you who read this and actually know me in “real life” know that I abuse texting. To me, it is to the point and it leaves out opportunities to be stuck in a conversation about how someone’s dog ate blueberries from the kitchen table and shit a Jackson Pollock on the living room carpet. But there also is a time and place.

Recently I went out to dinner with a friend. She’s a good person but she is also one of those people who have little regard for other people. I guess everything has come easy to her and it doesn’t occur to her that there are other people on the planet. I tolerate her.

Well, about halfway through dinner she gets into a texting battle that lasts the rest of the meal. My phone went off at least six times but I would never think of that disruption at dinner. She just didn’t get that when two people are at dinner and one is on the phone, that makes the other feel bad. And look bad. By the time she was done I had drunk two shots, had three beers and spelled “suck my ass” in peas upside down on my plate of Pad Tai. Like I said, she can’t help being who she is. That’s why I tolerate her.

Nonverbal facial gestures with eyebrows from someone I don’t know makes me want to reply with nonverbal hand gestures with my middle fingers. I was next in line at the bagel shop and when it was my turn the tattooed, pierced, blue haired dude gave me an eyebrow gesture as if to say, “You are next retard”. I didn’t thank him after the transaction. Showed him. Wait a minute…he didn’t thank me!

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Got my car totally fixed! But in the waiting room I had to watch “The View” on their TV. Don’t even get me started and don’t get me wrong, I am all about women and 100% equality but this show actually removed very important brain cells. When the mechanic was finished he asked for a form of payment and I responded, “Yes. Have some.”

If this makes some people angry, I am sorry. I just lied to you. I’m not and I don’t care. Whoopie needed to stay in the 1980’s. I am still disappointed in Ted Danson because that’s gross, man. That officially killed Cheers.

It just hit me that I am a 31 year old guy, living by myself with a cat in Idaho. I am Jon Arbuckle. Fuck my life.

*Back on track with the Fall theme tomorrow folks! I’ll be in a better mood by then. ;)*

The Great Trek: Day 1

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by. – Robert Frost

So last Monday I backed out of the driveway for the last time, put the car in drive and left the neighborhood for the great trek to the Northwest. I passed my favorite coffee shop, my cleaners, the gym and my running track, waving goodbye to each one. There wasn’t even a bit of sadness but rather excitement and tinge of nervousness because well, this is crazy. I left with what I could pack in a 2008 Element, a four day trip ahead, no familiar faces and no home to go to when I get there. I feel like I threw a parachute out of the plane and then jumped. But through adversity comes greatness. Or at least good blog material. I’ll break it down by days.

Day 1!!!!!

So I started off driving straight up I-75 towards Nashville, TN. I would elaborate on the details to be honest, I can’t remember very much about it. And even if I did, you would be so bored I bet it would force you to turn off the computer, tie the chord around your neck and throw it out the window. So for your safety and my reputation as a mediocre blogger, I’ll save you the story. But I did stop by Adams Tennessee to see the infamous Bell Witch site. I’m weird like that.

Yeah, I had to stop there after learning about this odd piece of American history on the History Channel. You have to go to these places with an open mind because nine out of ten times they are a disappointment. This didn’t. I have to say, right when I got off the highway I was spooked out and the many old farm houses and overgrown trees didn’t help. I can’t say that I believe in the ghost stories but when I got out of the car to take a few pictures, I swear I heard whispering all over the place. That was enough to make me get back to 75, most Ricky-Tick. I didn’t even take a photo, that’s how fast my visit was. If anyone is curious, the Bell Witch is in Adams Tennessee, and there is no lodging for at least 20 miles. The site is really tricky to find but when you do, I swear that the experience will hang with you for at least a day. Kind of like watching the movie Seven.

The next stop was my old stomping ground at Ft. Campbell, home of the 101st Air Assault. I have great memories of my brief time here and it just so happened that I needed a haircut. So, I stopped in for the famous $7 “suck-cut”. I’m serious, it’s a haircut that sucks as it cuts because the sheers are connected to a vacuum hose. Well, it’s the best haircut a guy can get for $7. On to St. Louis!

I guess this can be symbolic. It is the “Gateway to the West”, as Dad said when I text him this picture. He has been just beside himself that he couldn’t go on this trip with me but I made sure to keep him informed where I was as he followed at home with his atlas. It would have been great if he came.

I remember I took this picture at hour 8 of the trip because ‘All Things Considered‘ came on NPR. I have to listen to that show on every road trip. It’s tradition, really. If you haven’t heard of it I highly recommend you check it out because that program highlights so many aspects of the world and American culture. Just because my ass is atrophying after one million miles in a car doesn’t mean that my mind has to.

So I finally came to rest in Columbia, Missouri at a Hampton Inn, right across from U of M. At the end of day one I saw GA, TN, KY, IL and now MO. Though I went through many states nothing really note-worthy  happened. My battery was so low I skipped dinner and fell asleep, face down, shoes on, TV blaring Family Guy and computer left on X-Entertainment. Only three more days to go…

Well, that was day one. Later today I’ll post day two and it is full of great stuff including a meeting of a fellow blogger, cows and corn, getting a Heil Hitler salute from a bunch of Nazi bikers, and much much more. I bet you are excited. Huh? Huh? uhhh.

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