Sunday, December 19, 2010

Waking up

"The 'natural alarm clock' which enables some people to wake up more or less when they want to is caused by a burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin. Researchers say this reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up."

And all this time I thought I was just lucky.  The jokes on me! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Playing chess

I discovered how to play chess tonight with a beer, a snickers, and a half empty pack of cigarettes.  Here's how it goes:

The chessboard consists of the flat area of my desk next to my laptop.  First, unintentionally arrange the snickers so that it occupies the place closest to the laptop.  Then take a drink of the beer and put it down next to the snickers.  The half empty pack of cigarettes should be behind the beer, and partially hidden from view from the vantage point of the chair.

Next, go into the kitchen and put a pot pie in the microwave.  Come back and forget all about how things were arranged and continue watching Starship Troopers.  Take several drinks from the beer and light a cigarette.

When the microwave dings, go get the pot pie.  Come back and arrange a place to the right of the laptop for the pot pie, and then take a drink of the beer.  After you've put the beer back down, fuss over the placement until you've unconsciously moved the beer, snickers, and half empty pack of cigarettes into a new position 120 degrees clockwise to the original settings.  Go for a new cigarette and realize that you still have one smoldering in the ash tray.  The cigarette wins this round.

Stir the pot pie and forget all about the chess game.  Take a bite of the snickers while waiting for the pot pie to cool because you're so hungry.  Take a drink of the beer to wash it down, and realize you're not in the mood for pot pie anymore after the bite of snickers.  Take a drag of the cigarette and remember the game.  Observe where you put the snickers after taking the bite and the beer after taking the drink.  The entire arrangement is now 120 degrees clockwise to the previous setting.  The snickers wins this round.

After forgetting about everything again, take a bite out of the pot pie, discover that it is still too hot, and light a new cigarette.  Watch Starship Troopers for another 8 minutes until you remember the pot pie again.  Pick it up and feel the bottom to see how hot it is, then take another bite and decide that after you've smoked one more cigarette, it should be cool enough.  Put the pot pie down next to the snickers, light a cigarette and smoke it, and completely forget about the pot pie.  After 16 minutes of  watching Starship Troopers, remember the pot pie.  After discovering that it is now a cold soggy mess, note the new arrangement which now includes the pot pie, negating the old 120 degree standard of measurement in favor of the new 90 degree standard.  The pot pie wins this round.

Wonder about this for a while until you have drawn the irrevocable conclusion that not only have you lost the game, but the whole thing is pointless.  Experience an epiphany and decide to blog about it, absolutely positive that the entire experience will translate into an earth shatteringly interesting essay on absolutely nothing.

Publish the blog, read it back to yourself, and realize that you were absolutely right, except for the interesting part.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A dream - prisoner execution

I woke up this morning from a dream that left a musical version of the words "Oh Goddam" running through my head.  These were the last words of the dream character.

The dream character was a sergeant in the army, and he was trying to get two privates to shape up.  He examined their uniforms from top to bottom and was never impressed.  He even found problems with their eyes after close examination.  He peered into the eyes of each soldier, and then dusted them with something irritating.

At that moment their base was invaded by enemy soldiers, and the two privates fled, leaving the sergeant alone in the barracks.  He fled into the head and hid behind a commode.  Two female Japanese soldiers walked in and murmured to each other, until they noticed the sergeant hiding.  They began talking animatedly in that incomprehensible gibberish they use for speech, and then they ran out.  After a few minutes a large, imposing female soldier entered and forced the sergeant out of his hiding place.

She examined him up and down and found him lacking, as he had with the two privates.  She looked closely into his eyes.  She said in English, "They would make good golden ornaments.  Lets shine them up."  She sprayed something in his eyes that caused horrible burning pain, and then produced a cloth and began rubbing them violently.  Then she produced a gun and said, "Well, lets have them."

At that moment, the two privates walked in, dressed in their soldier finery.  They didn't seem to be prisoners, and they watched as the sergeant struggled with the big female Japanese commander.  She was trying to point the gun right between his eyes and he was grappling furiously with her.  The gun went off once, barely missing the sergeants head, and at that moment he began singing those words, over and over.  Then the gun centered on his forehead and went off.  The dream went black and I could hear the fading sounds of the gunshot and a toppling body.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I miss.

I miss Laura.  I've really been missing her a lot lately.  We were roommates in the past, and at one point she was one of my best friends.  The last time I heard from Laura was May of 2003.  She had just moved to Austin and had called me to tell me what had happened to her, as she had just kind of disappeared after she moved out due to a dysfunctional relationship she was trying to escape.  I miss her a lot.  We used to do lots of stuff together... take walks, go to bars, go out to eat, and generally just talk a lot about everything.  I remember the first day she moved in.  I got home from class at the Art Institute and walked into the apartment, and she and her sister were in the kitchen cooking supper.  I remember how great it felt to come home to find the activity of people I cared about in my apartment, the sounds of them talking and laughing as I opened the door, and the smell of food cooking.  It felt like home at that moment, more than it probably ever has since.

I find myself wondering a lot what happened to Laura.  She was in a terrible relationship with a guy off and on during the time we were roommates.  I wonder if they're still together.  When I think about the people in my life who I love who have just disappeared, I feel a deep sadness if I dwell on it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

One of those moods

Mrs. Landers was a health nut, she cooked food in a wok.
Mr. Harris was her boyfriend, and he had a great big
Cock-a-doodle-doodle, the rooster just won't quit.
And I don't want my breakfast, because it tastes like
Shih Tzus make good house pets, they're cuddly and sweet.
Monkeys aren't good to have, because they like to beat their
Meeting in the office, or meeting in the hall.
The boss, he wants to see you, so you can suck his
Balzac was a writer, he lived with Allen Funt.
Mrs. Roberts didn't like him, but that's 'cause she's a
Contaminated water can really make you sick.
Your bladder gets infected, and blood comes out your
Dictate what I'm saying, because it will bring you luck.
And if you all don't like it, I don't give a flying fuck!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

That customer

Posted on facebook by Joshua Woodbury, aka birdcat from the message boards at
im at mcdonalds. i order 12 nuggets, to be told they don't have 12 nuggets. seriously? do i, the customer, have to tell you how to punch in two orders of six nuggets? seriously, wtf?
Well, this kind of hit close to home, because I have to deal with customers like this every day.  Customers who develop an inflated sense of self importance when dealing with a peon behind a register - customers who expect you to know exactly what they want based solely on the effect of their commanding presence - customers who, because of their average IQ's, feel really smart when they walk into a McDonalds.  Customers who piss me off.
My response:
"Speaking from the point of view of one who routinely has to deal with the types of customers that, upon walking into the store where I work, immediately lose half of their information processing capabilities while simultaneously doubling the size of their egos and who then expect me to be both a mind reader, capable of dispensing instant gratification with zero information forthcoming, and a spare cache of free IQ points for handling a constant deluge of baffling mysteries - such as the location of the coffee lids, why the bathroom door is locked, and why we don't carry the Four-Loko anymore - mysteries which continue to clog their increasingly overtaxed logic centers like a backed up port-a-potty at castor oil convention while they maintain a lofty air of self importance which increases in direct proportion to the decline of their own ability to process information cogently... speaking from the point of view of one who is intimately familiar with such phenomena, let me say that I have absolutely zero interest or desire to involve myself with these types of customers beyond the basic levels of requirement, which consist of finding out what they want, putting it in front of them, and taking the money.  Now, concerning the individual who responded to your request for 12 nuggets by stating that they didn't have 12 nuggets... I feel as though I am somewhat familiar with the perspective of this individual, and I think I can speak with some confidence when I postulate that this person was almost certainly capable of acting independently and ringing up two orders of 6 nuggets.  However, he or she most likely just didn't give two flips about doing your thinking for you."
Now, I realize that I've been 'that customer' before, and I'll probably be 'that customer' again.  However, due to the extensive experience I have with occupying the other side of the situation, I am much more aware of it now when I become 'that customer', and I feel chagrined when I find myself slipping so easily into that role.  Oh, and birdcat aka Josh isn't a bad guy.  I've known him for years.  However, we all have a little asshole built in, and we could all do with learning a little humility.
By the way, even though it dealt with real experiences and real feelings, I'm aware of the ludicrous nature of that little essay.  The entire thing was actually meant to be a joke.  Mostly. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

An odd experience at 2:00 am

Ok this is a weird one.  I woke up at 2:00 am last night and suddenly remembered, 'Holy shmolies, the last time I'd been to Bens was early this morning!  I need to go check on his cats!'  So I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes, and bolted out the door.

Wait a second... what's that over there?  A shadow of... somebody skulking behind the car?  The shadow stood up suddenly, as if caught doing something.  I stood there for a few seconds and heard, "What's up man?"

I proceeded down the driveway and got closer to the guy.  Some young dude I don't know, smoking a cigarette.

"How's it going man?" He said.

"Ok," I replied.

"So, what are you doing?"

I stopped.  He's talking to me?  Why is this shadowy stranger making conversation with me?

"Taking a walk," I said.

"Where to?"

Ok, now this guy was starting to creep me out.  His comments seemed nervous and almost forced.  I decided not to tell him where I was going.

"Around," I replied.

A short pause.  We both stood there for a second looking at each other.

"I can't sleep."

? thought I.  I stood there and looked at the guy.  Ok, so he can't sleep.  Am I supposed to do something?  Give him some suggestions?  Offer him one of my anxiety pills?

"Ok, good luck with that," I said, and proceeded towards Ben's.

"Ok, you too man."

Me too?  Good luck with what?  My walk?  I kept it in mind not to trip and die.  Lady luck, be with me on my walk.  I got halfway to Malone and remembered, dog noggit, the key!  I turned around and jogged back to the house.  The guy was standing in the driveway.  He saw me coming and skulked over to the light post on the corner.  I went inside, got the key, and came back out.  The guy was gone.

Probably nothing, just some guy outside who couldn't sleep, taking a smoke, and I startled him.  He probably thought he looked kind of shifty, which he did, thus his nervous-seeming reaction, but it was most likely just a harmless situation.  Still... maybe he's an insane stalker who secretly watches my window at night as I sleep.  I hope I don't wake up dead.

Uh... better lock the doors just in case.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Simple pleasures

Garlic cheese sticks, hamburger and bacon pizza, Coke with some Evan Williams, and Netflix on demand movies (thanks to a friend).  Compared to how I felt this morning, everything is ok right now at this moment in time.  Thank you God for simple pleasures.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stupid sleep

I was supposed to go to the liturgy this morning and read.  I couldn't sleep right when I got home, as it was too 'early'.  I wound up actually falling asleep at 2:00 and slept right through my alarm.  I feel rotten.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Paint, what a stupid invention

Today at work they were painting new stripes on the parking lot.  I was out there emptying the trash and I heard "Don't step on the paint!"  I stepped on the paint.  I lifted my foot and inspected the bottom of my boot.  It was covered with yellow paint.  I had left yellow tracks all over the concrete around the trash can and the front door.  I'd also tracked yellow paint all in the store, as I had already stepped in it once without anybody noticing.

The paint guy came up and shook his head.  I said I was sorry multiple times, but he ignored me.  So I proceeded to hop into the store on one foot, with every body watching me, over to the napkin dispenser.  I wiped the paint off of my boot the best I could, and finally said F it and took off my boot and walked around in my sock for a while, until I had time to clean my boot.

I went back outside and the paint guy was kneeling over my footprints, mumbling over and over, "You gotta be kidding me!"  Well, I got a little irritated at that, as I had apologized multiple times.  So I said to the guy, "That's what happens when somebody steps in wet paint," and I turned around and went back into the store.

Later I found the graffiti remover and went outside with a piece of steel wool and made some progress in cleaning up a lot of the footprints.  The paint guy saw this and asked me if I had any more steel wool, and maybe some more of that graffiti remover, and I said, "Here, you can use these," and I left the steel wool and graffiti remover there for him.  I went back into the store and cleaned my boot because I was tired of looking like a retard with one boot and one sock.

After a while I went after the footprints in the store.  As I was on my hands and knees cleaning it up, a customer saw me and said, "Some idiot customer do that?" Uh... "Yeah," I replied.  The customer said, "You'd think whoever it was would have been smart enough to notice the guys out there painting the parking lot and would have watched where he was stepping.  God, some people are idiots."  I guess the general consensus is that I'm an idiot. :p

A couple of hours later I got white paint all over my shirt when I rubbed against the door frame, which had just been painted, as I was trying to squeeze past one of the renovator guys who had set up shop on the floor right there in the doorway.

Toxic fumes

They are renovating the 7-Eleven where I work, and the air is filled with toxic fumes... paint thinner or mineral spirits, I'm guessing.  It smells like rubber cement.  I felt sick all night last night at work.  Anyway, to distract me from the imminent feeling of projectile vomiting, I took notes on customer reactions to the toxic air.

"Oooooh, that smell!" (Sounds like a Lynard Skynard song)

"How can you not get high?" (I dunno, I guess it's the sick part that prevents it)

"That smells good."

"I'll bet you go home with a headache."

"You're getting high for free!" (No I'm not, I'm getting sick for free)

"Smells like permanent marker."

"You guys should charge at the door!"

"It smells like model airplanes in here."

"It's a wonder your head isn't hurting." (It is)

"Whoa, now I'ma gettin' high!"

I think it's interesting that 5 out of 10 comments reference getting high, or that it smelled good.  I guess that demonstrates the demographic of our customers.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reading out loud

This afternoon I was walking to Kroger to grab some fud; my nose buried in a brand new science fiction novel. As I was walking and reading, the urge struck me to start reading out loud - loudly. Not only that, but I also felt compelled to do it in the thickest, crappiest, most obnoxious British accent I could manage.

As I was walking down Panhandle, prattling away all prim and proper, I heard somebody chuckling. I looked to my left and to my horror saw a mom, dad and daughter sitting on their front steps and looking at me with these huge, unabashed grins on their faces. The chuckles were coming from the dad.

Having been discovered red handed indulging in one of those retarded moments that I usually reserve for 'Happy Idiot Alone Time', I had no choice but to continue, as if yammering the contents of my book out loud like a raving lunatic with a bad British accent, for the benefit of the entire neighborhood, was a perfectly normal thing to be doing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Work today

Today a customer wanted some snuff. 

Customer: "Gimme a canah grizzelubinterninecut."
Me: "Huh?  I didn't understand what you said."
Customer: (rolls eyes and points)
Me: (I grab a can of Grizzly Wintergreen fine cut) "Is this it?"
Customer: "Yuh."
Me: "Would you like a receipt?"
Customer: "Nathasubuh." (that means he didn't want a receipt)

Randy came in when he got off work, as usual.  Matius high tailed it to the coffee bar, leaving me to deal with him.  I held my breath and got through it.

Ryan: (emerges from the cooler and approaches me) "Randy was just here, right?"
Me: "Yeah."
Ryan: "You know how I could tell?"
Ash: (I can guess) "How?"
Ryan: "When he opened the door to the cooler to grab his beer, his smell wafted in.  Somebody needs to introduce that guy to a bar of soap."
Chiy: "That Ryan.  Ryan smells.  You sure that not you Ryan?  Matius, that Ryan.  Don let him fool you.  He stink up whole cooler."
Ryan: "Shut up Chiy."

Today I got the Green Card!  That means that an undercover agent tried to buy cigarettes from me and I passed the test!  Not really though.  I didn't even card the guy, but he gave me a green card anyway.  That's twice that's happened to me, that I didn't card the guy but he gave me a green card anyway.  I must be super uber awesome, just like I always suspected.  I was taking a picture of the card with my camera phone and Chiy saw me. 

Chiy: "What that?  Who give you that?"
Me:  "I got the green card.  See? (I proudly show the card to Chiy)
Chiy: "He give you twenty dollar?  He suppose to give you twenty dollar for getting it right."
Me: "No way."
Chiy: "Yes, he din give you twenty dollar?  He suppose to! You get it right, you get twenty dollar!"
Me: "Yeah right Chiy."

Chiy showed me the CO2 tank today, which was covered with frost.

Chiy: "Maintenance come in on Saturday and fix, but it still leaking.  When they come in tonight, you show them guage -" he indicates the guage, which reads half full "- is half down from when he fill.  He suppose to fix but he din.  You get him to fix, or we all choke and die on CO2 leak." (he pats me on the shoulder and walks away chuckling)

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Lesson learned.  Never go to vigil drunk, or even half drunk.  It's best to just stay at home.  That way you only  have one thing to regret.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Last night I dropped my book when I was out walking.  To my surprise, it broke into 3 chunks... the front half (which broke into two pieces) and the back half.  Try to imagine a paperback book breaking into 3 pieces and you will probably be able to imagine my surprise.

My stupid brain

Yesterday as I crossed Oak St. on my way to work, I scanned the 7-Eleven parking lot and didn't see Ryan's car parked in its normal parking space.  I could have sworn that Ryan worked on Wednesday, so I was somewhat surprised when I walked in and saw Ryan there at register 1, checking customers.  After I had clocked in, I walked over there and said, "Hey Ryan, where's your car?" 

His facial expression communicated some surprise, and he said, "It should be there.  I hope it's there, otherwise, it's been stolen." 

Huh? thought I.  I turned around and marched out the door and around to the side of the store where Ryan usually parks, and saw his big white... Impala, or something... parked right there, where it usually is.  Wha...?  Huh...?  There it was!  But I KNOW I didn't see it as I was crossing Oak St., and it's not a hard thing to miss.  Like I said, it's a pretty big car, and Ryan always parks it so that it takes up three parking spaces so as to discourage people from parking next to it.  I guess he doesn't want his sweet ride banged up and scratched.

So I went back inside and had to express my befuddlement.  Actually, I knew exactly what had happened.  My brain had played a trick on me again.  Stupid brain.  What my brain does is this... every now and then, when I expect a particular thing to be in a particular place and I'm actively looking for it in that place, my brain will just erase the object I'm looking for from my vision and I won't see it (kind of like how my brain gets green and orange confused).  It's as simple as that.  It happens all the time... when I'm looking for my keys, my lighter, my phone, my cigarettes, my bracelet, my book, etc.  This time it happened with Ryan's car.  Ha ha, very funny brain.  The joke is always on me.  Stupid brain. 


So I got settled in to register 1 and started checking customers, and an Asian guy wanted to by some smokes.  By the way, I think every single Asian customer who comes into the store smokes Marlboro lights, or a version of Marlboro menthols... usually smooths.  They are all very young and no speakie the Ingles very well, and when I card them they almost always show me a Chinese passport.  Maybe that's just me lumping Asian people into a stereotype because they all look alike to me.

So anywho, like I was saying, an Asian guy walked in yesterday and wanted to try the new Marlboro Skyline cigarettes.  I was about to ring them up when he asked, "Ah they righter?"  

Huh? thought I.  Righter than what?  Righter, as in better than every other brand?  Hell, I dunno, that's a pretty subjective question and probably different for everyone.  Were they... oh, were the LIGHTER.  As in, like Marlboro lights are lighter than Marlboro reds. 

I asked him, "Lighter than what?"  He said, "Gleen pack.  Gleen ones."  He was pointing to the Marlboro menthols. 

I told him that I didn't know if they were lighter than Marlboro menthols, and that the only thing I knew about the Skyline cigarettes was that they were 'lighter' than Marlboro smooths, because a friend of mine had tried them and told me so.  He thought about this for a few seconds, and then asked, "Ah they righter than Camer rights?  Again, I told him that I didn't know, and that the only thing I did know is that they were lighter than Marlboro smooths.  Again the pause for a few seconds, and then, "Ah they righter than Par Mar?"  Again, I told him that I didn't know, and that the only thing I did know... at which point he interrupted me and said, "Ok, ok," and bought the cigarettes.  I wonder if he liked the Skylines.  I'll probably never know.

Then later a guy came into the store with a couple of those huge bottles of Bud Ice.  He started to hand me his debit card, but I'd never seen him before, so I carded him.  Well, his expression just sank and he looked at me as if I'd just kicked his dog.  He sighed, put the debit card down on the counter, and with great deliberation, reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet.  As he dug out his ID, he said, "Man, you've seen my ID before." 

Well, maybe I had seen this guy before, but hell if I remembered him.  So I said, "I get about 500 people a day coming into this store."  I examined his ID and handed it back to him.  He still looked put off.  I swiped his debit card.  "I don't recognize anybody the first 10 times they come in."  He still didn't seem convinced that I wasn't trying to ruin his day.  "I could actually go to jail..."

"Yeah ok, just as long as I get my beer," he said as he rolled his eyes and took back his debit card.  Yeesh.  What was that guy's problem?  When I get carded it always makes my day. 

I really do suck at remembering names and faces, so it usually takes a good dose of personality to make a person stick in my memory.  I can see the guys face in my mind right now.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday vigil

Yesterday I woke up early for Saturday, at about 9:00 am.  I didn't feel like facing the day right away, so I walked to Howdy Doody and picked up a High Gravity lager.  They're 8.1% alcohol, so they have a little kick to them.  I watched South Park all morning and drank my lager, and by 12:30 I was sleepy so I laid me down to have a little nap.  This seems to be becoming a habit for me on Saturdays, getting half drunk in the morning and napping in the afternoon.

I woke up at 4:53 and immediately thought of vigil, which starts at 5:00.  I sat up, bleary eyed and groggy from the buzz I'd just slept through, and my first impulse was to just blow it off.  I would have done it too, if I hadn't picked up my phone and saw a text message waiting for me.  It was from a number I didn't know, and it said:

"Don't forget to go to church."

It had been sent at 3:28 while I was snoozing deeply.  I sighed and cursed inwardly, wondering who it was who had guilt tripped me into going to church.  So, I got up and pulled my hair back, pulled on some shoes, put on my cross, deodorized myself, gargled some mouthwash to get rid of the stale beer breath, grabbed my book and a few cough drops, and headed out the door.

Once I got to church I was glad I went, as I always am when I decide to go to church after struggling with it.  It's the enemy, of course, trying to keep me away from church.  When I got there I venerated the icons, took my place beside Dax, and started singing.

Afterward I read from the psalter while Fr. Justin heard confessions.  Lately I've been the last confession Fr. Justin hears, as was the case last night, and by the time it was my turn it was 9:00.  Afterward, we spent more time just talking than we did on my actual confession.  I enjoy having Fr. Justin all to myself after everyone has left.  He always gives good advice, and he has a way of reassuring me when I think things are a lot worse than they really are.  It was 10:00 by the time I actually started home.

As I was leaving I remembered something that Ryan, a co-worker of mine, said to me once.  He said that since he was Methodist, he didn't have to confess to a priest... he only had to confess to God.  However, where is the opportunity for advice and wisdom from a spiritual father if there is no one to hear your confession?  Any Orthodox Christian will tell you that confession isn't the most enjoyable thing in the world.  It's embarrassing having to relate to someone, in all honesty, your weakest moments and most shameful deeds - but when they say that confession is good for the soul, it really is true.  And not just a private confession to God... but confession to a spiritual father.
I felt good as I walked home.

(By the way, Dax is the one who sent me the church reminder text.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010


It's times like these, when I'm caught in the small hours, that I feel like a prisoner inside myself. That doesn't make a lot of sense though... am I the prison, or the prisoner? Both, I think. I feel despair as a warm, soft hand cupping my face, supporting the dead weight of my head as my tears slowly soak the tangled ends of my hair, gathered in the foreign comfort of open palms. Inside I am so lonely. Outside I can only hope my flawed love serves a fruitful purpose.  I want what's best but it hurts.  I don't want it to hurt anymore.

Lets end this with a picture of a 6 and a half foot man dressed in a black leotard top and frilly tutu with a blond wig and tall black prostitute boots ordering a Whatacatch sandwich at Whataburger. When he ordered it, the cashier looked at him and said, "What A Catch you are!" To which the guy replied, "Who did you think they named the thandwich after, thithter?"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Last night I took another long walk, like I normally do. This past spring when I was horribly sad, I would walk through the apartment complex of a particular person who I missed terribly, late at night, as part of my walking route. I'd always feel comforted for a few minutes as I passed through, knowing that this person who had abruptly disappeared from my life was close by.

I took that same route again last night, searching for comfort in the dark. When I got there, I passed by a couple of people standing in the parking lot and talking. I didn't know who it was until I passed by, and she said, "Hey Ash!" It was a girl I know from work who happens to live in that apartment building.

I stopped and was pleasantly surprised to see her. She had just gotten her car back from the shop and was talking to the guys who had fixed it. We stood outside at midnight and talked for about 15 minutes, and then I wished her a good night and continued my reading walk. I felt much better.

Funny how God offers us comfort from unexpected directions.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Dear God:

What does friendship mean? Does such a thing exist in my life? If so, can it survive, whenever I constantly taint it with my own selfish pride? Is the idea of friendship mutually exclusive to the practice of it, or is that just my own notion? Why is it that when I feel love for someone, I expect something in return? Why can't I be selfless in my love for a friend? Is it just something that I have to figure out, something that will come with time and experience? I want to believe in the truth of selfless love. Is that enough, to want to believe?

Your unworthy servant,

A problem and a solution

So I just left Walgreens with the baddest-ass LED light known to mankind (I recently lost my reading flashlight). I was excited to get it open, of course, so I opened the package and 3 AAA batteries fell to the pavement. I picked them up and tried to put them in the flashlight, but for the life of me I couldn't figure it out. I spent about 10 minutes looking for a battery receptacle on this thing, then finally went back to Walgreens. The cashier would be my tech support.

So, I went back in and explained my dilemma. The tech support guy at the register manhandled the flashlight for about 30 seconds, when suddenly POP! A piece came off, and lo and behold, there was the place for the batteries.

Now, this story may seem trivial and not worth all the hoop-lah, but I truly was baffled as to where to put the batteries. And now I have a new flashlight, a really BRIGHT one... I mean, this thing is emergency bright. I think I might need sunglasses when I read at night...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A dream - tornado

Matt, Chey, mom and I were in a van driving in East Texas. On the horizon, thunderheads were building and lightening was flashing. The lightening storm became more pronounced and the the clouds began to glow an angry red, deep inside where the lightening was being formed. I watched as an extremely bright, glowing blue bolt struck a power plant, and I exclaimed aloud in shock and amazement.

Thick sheets of rain were starting to cascade down from the distant clouds, and as I watched, the sheets began to narrow and form long, slender tornadoes. I counted four of them... three were angled slightly as they trailed down from the clouds, and one stretched across what seemed to be miles almost horizontally until it finally touched the ground. I began to grow alarmed.

We finally arrived home, which was a flimsy trailer. I knew this wouldn't do, and that we would have to find more substantial shelter soon. Mom and Chey went into the house and I stayed on the front steps, calling to Matt to come inside through the howling wind. He had the hatchback of the van open and was digging around for something. The trees were whipping violently and the clouds were roiling all around. I couldn't get Matt to come inside, so I went in, intent on turning on the TV or a radio and finding out exactly where the tornado was, because it seemed very close.

Mom and Chey had the TV on, and there was a newscaster standing under some trees, talking loudly above the noise of the storm into his microphone, trying to ascertain the location of the tornado from his weather man back at the studio. I watched for a while, but when no details were forthcoming, I went into my room to pack some things. When I entered my room, Mandy, the girl from Alaska who I used to say 'hi' to every now and then, was in there. She smiled at me, turned around, and asked me to help her undo her bra. I felt for the clasp through her shirt and found it, and unhooked it, and her bra fell to the floor. She turned around and smiled and said, "No peeking. Now that we're together, no peeking!" I said, "We have to get out of this trailer! The tornado will tear it to pieces!" And with a mischievous smile, she turned and ran from the room.

I stood there kind of stunned for a second, and then I began picking up some clothes and started folding them. I heard mom and Chey yelling for me to come into the kitchen, so I ran in there and saw them watching the TV. The newscaster was still trying to find out where the tornado was, and then the power went out. I panicked for a second and almost bolted, and then the power came back on again just in time to show the tornado hit right where the newscaster was. The trees behind him literally exploded, and bits of detritus flew through the air at deadly speeds. I watched as several of his crew were impaled with sharp pieces of wood, and the screen turned to static.

I ran outside and the tornado was upon us. I knew there was nowhere to run, so I just stood there. It passed very close to us, but didn't make a direct hit. In a few seconds, it was over, and when the dust settled, there were injured people all around me. One of the news crew was standing with his mouth wide open, a long shard of glass stuck in his throat and protruding obscenely. Tears ran down his face as he struggled with it, trying to pull it out. Another man was impaled through the torso by a long branch which protruded from the ground. Other people were standing around and crying.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sci-fi care package

Several months ago while I was in Alaska, before I discovered the library, I made a public plea on facebook for somebody to send me a book! I was just kidding, but then Rae, an old friend from Jr. High, took it seriously and sent me a sci fi package while I was in Alaska. She's a librarian and had some spare books lying around.

One of them was called 'The Fey - The Sacrifice', the first book in a 5 part series. I was wary about starting it, but I had read every other book she sent and this was the only one left, so I read it, knowing that I didn't have the other 4 books.

It turns out that it is one of the best books I've ever read, and I have the other four ordered through Amazon. The second one got here the other day and I'm halfway through it. I can't wait to read all of them.

Thanks Rae, for sending me some spare books. I never would have known this particular enjoyment if it weren't for your consideration. Thanks for being nice. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lookie cookie

Last night I was at the 7-Eleven on University and Malone. I go in there a lot when I'm taking my night walks, and there's a usually a girl working there who I chat with for a few minutes. We were talking about something ignorant that cracked me up. Anyway, as I was leaving, she said "There goes my favorite customer!"

So I was digging through my bag to get my Pepsid AC and lookie what I found! Four M&M cookies had stowed away in there!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another late night walk, and a kitty.

Last night I took another late night walk with my book and flashlight. I walked for about two hours, pretty much all over Denton - my path made kind of a big triangle with the Kroger parking lot, the UNT campus, and the downtown square forming the vertices, and I was coming home from the general direction of Kroger. When I go that route, I usually take a shortcut through the parking lot of the Baptist church on Malone, just south of University. So, as I was walking through the well lit parking lot, I spotted a black and white kitty prowling around the edge of the sidewalk near the bushes. When it saw me, it froze and made as if to kick it into high gear. I approached warily and crouched, held out my hand, and said "Here ki ki meow!"

Well, that cat did kick it into high gear, right towards my outstretched hand. It immediately began meowing loudly as it rubbed its head into my open palm. As I stroked it and scratched it's neck and head, it purred loudly, all the while augmenting the petting process by rubbing its head forcibly against my hand and arm and leg; whatever part of me that was the closest to it. After a minute or two of this, I stood up and the kitty started doing figure 8's around and between my ankles, just rubbing and meowing like there was no tomorrow.

And then the kitty did something I've never seen a kitty do before... a dog, yes. But a kitty...? I stopped petting and scratching the kitty and I stood up. The kitty also stood up, latched onto my thigh with its front claws, and began rubbing its head against my knee! As if to say, "Hey, up there! Yeah, you! Down here! Why did you stop? Pet me! Scratch me!" I had to laugh out loud at the overt friendliness of this kitty.

So, I crouched down and pet the kitty some more, and took some pictures. It wouldn't hold still for very long, so I managed to get four decent ones out of about 20 attempts. After about 10 minutes of this I finally decided that I should probably get home, as it was getting late. However, when I started walking the kitty followed me. As it followed, it would lag behind a little, then take a running leap and latch onto my leg again, actually holding on for a couple of strides! It kept this up for about 50 yards, until we reached the point where the parking lot illumination began to fall off. I kept walking for a bit and then turned around to see what the cat was doing. It was just sitting there on the edge of the light, meowing its little kitty head off. I felt sorry for it, so I approached it again and pet it some more, then I started walking again. It followed me a little way out of the light, then sat on its haunches and started crying again.

I tried to get it to follow me home, but it was afraid to leave the light. I contemplated picking it up and carrying it home, but I thought that might frighten it too, so I left the poor kitty there. I might go back tonight and see if it's still there. If it is, I'll try to carry it home. That kitty is just too friendly not to have around the house.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another late night walk

Last night when I got off work I grabbed my book and flashlight and started walking. My first destination was the square. When I got to the courthouse, there was a group of about 15 kids, probably high school age, standing on the grass between the sidewalk and the courthouse. One had a guitar and was singing "I Dare You To Move" by Switchfoot, and the others were singing along. I remember kind of liking this band, especially that song "Meant To Live".

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves
Somewhere we live inside
Somewhere we live inside

I like that song.

Britney had mentioned something about a friend of hers from her church inviting her downtown to the square to sing after work. Since Switchfoot is a Christian rock band, I thought that maybe this group of people was what her friend was talking about. Anyway, I stood around and watched them for a while, then did a couple more circuits of the courthouse, and left.

Next I found myself walking down Hickory. Now, at night when I'm reading by flashlight, my eyes get adjusted to the bright page and my peripheral vision becomes useless, unless there are streetlights. Walking on the sidewalk is kind of a challenge, because I can't see exactly where I'm going, and I tend to stumble off of the curb quite a bit. So, when it's late and there's no traffic, I usually walk down the middle of the road if I'm in a residential area. I usually don't walk in the middle of the major city streets, but since Hickory is one way, I didn't have to worry about people driving up behind me, so I just walked down the middle of Hickory towards Fry Street and kept an eye out for approaching headlights.

About halfway to Fry Street, I heard somebody yell, "Hey, what are you reading?"

I stopped and saw a couple of guys standing in their front yard. I called to them, "I'm reading a fantasy novel called 'The Fey - The Changeling'. It's the second book in a five part series, and it's really good." I walked over to them and explained the book to them.

"So, do you read a lot?"

"Yeah, all the time. This is kind of a hobby of mine, walking late at night and reading by flashlight."

"Wow, that's a cool hobby. Kind of dangerous though, walking in the middle of the road like that."

"Well, Hickory is one way, so I don't have to worry about anyone coming up behind me, and when I see headlights, I just get out of the road."

"True... why the middle of the road though?"

"Because the sidewalk is too narrow, and I can't see it while I'm reading, and I tend to stumble. Sometimes I don't see a curb coming and I'll fall ass over teakettle."

They laughed. "Hey, what's your name man?"


They introduced themselves... and well, shoot, I already forgot their names. Anyway, I told them that I work at 7-Eleven. They said they'd come by and say 'hey'. They seemed pretty cool; one had dreads and the other was just an average looking college kid. Maybe I'll make new friends.

After that, I headed towards Fry Street. As I was passing Riprocks, I heard, "Hey Ash!" I turned and looked, and there was David! I stopped and we talked for about ten minutes about the old days at 7-Eleven. David had a friend with him, and he said that they were out hitting the bars. He asked me if I wanted to drink with them, but I declined because I really wasn't feeling that good... I've been sick for the past week. I just wanted to continue my walk and read. So, we parted ways with the promise that we'd get together soon and hit the bars.

When I got to Fry Street, I took a left on Fry and headed towards the campus and heard "Hey man, so you're off work now?" What? Everybody is talking to me tonight... I turned, and there was a guy I recognize as a customer from 7-Eleven. He had his van set up on the curb with the side door open, and was selling herbs and pipes and stuff. I approached him and explained again about my late night reading walks. He said, "Do you have a cold man?" My voice is pretty messed up right now, so I guess it's obvious. I told him that I had some kind of bug, and he loaded a pipe up with some kind of herb and said that it was good for opening up the sinus passages and loosening the phlegm. I took the pipe and hit it a couple of times. We stood there and talked while I hit the pipe for a while. It smelled and tasted nice, but I don't know if it actually helped my sinuses.

I gave him a three dollar tip and told him that I'd buy a couple of ounces of it from him the next time I saw him, when I had cash. He said it was $15.00. That sounds like a good deal, and even if it doesn't help with my cold, it's pleasant to smoke, and it actually really relaxed me and made me feel calm and peaceful.

After that I walked around the campus for a while and read some more until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore, then I walked home and hit the sack.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Loud, unwanted sounds

Have you ever noticed how when you sit down on the commode your farts are magnified a hundred fold? This is a dilemma for me. Usually, when I sit down to pee, it's because I don't want to make any kind of sound while doing it. This goes back to my childhood, when I was afraid to make any kind of sound while using the bathroom, out of fear of waking up my dad.

Now I'm a man, and any man worth his salt will never admit that he EVER sits down to pee. But there are instances when this must occur... sometimes you're too drunk to stand up to pee, other times your back hurts because of a kidney infection, and other times you're just too damn lazy to stand up whilst doing it.

So anyway, back to the topic, about how toilets magnify sounds. So, the main reason why I sit down to pee is so that nobody will hear the 'TINKLE TINKLE SPRINKLE SPLINKLE' of the peeing process (this is possible by practicing blind aiming at the inside of the bowl above the water line). But at the same time, when I sit down, my body construes this as... "Ok, time to get rid of some toxic waste, the solid kind! Avast ye mates, man the helm and get ready!"

NO! Says I, to this. And although I am quite successful at consciously regulating bodily functions when the need isn't imminent, my subconscious almost always succeeds in sending a few gas bubbles down the tail pipe. Thus, when I sit down to pee, I almost always find myself battling between the urge to fart and the urge to pee. My subconscious betrays me almost every time. I think my subconscious has a sense of humor. It likes to play practical jokes on me, especially when it knows that the jokes will be LOUD and OBNOXIOUS.

Hey, the joke is on you, subconscious! You are me, and when you make me fart in the commode at 200 decibels, you are playing a joke on YOU TOO!

Take that, me.


I have a theory on sleep, which has most likely been thought of before, like everything else that has already been thought of that doesn't have anything to do with the 12th dimension.  Anyway, the primary reason why we sleep isn't because we need REM, or dreams, or to recharge the brain, or to organize memories, or to clean out the subconscious, or any of that other crap that people are saying.

The reason why we need sleep is so that we can divide our lives into days.  Imagine one continuous, conscious life, without any concept of tomorrow.  Life would become unendurable if there wasn't a tomorrow to look forward to.  Everything can change tomorrow, right?  Because it is another day, another chance to get it right.  Now, if there were no such thing as sleep, every problem we have would just continue to build up and up and UP and UP AND UP AND UP!!!  Until we 'splode.

So, in order to prevent the 'sploding from happening, we need to experience oblivion now and again, to get a fresh start and a second chance on things... to have a feeling that we are 'starting anew'.  Tomorrow is always a second chance, no matter that most people have thousands of tomorrows to look forward to.  It's only the 2nd tomorrow that matters, which is every tomorrow.  All of the other things, like dreaming and recharging and all of that hogwash, are just secondary factors to the primary need not to 'splode.

Not to say that 'all of that hogwash' isn't necessary.  It's just a side effect of the main purpose of sleep... to give us another chance.  We all need another chance, right?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Tree Friends!

These always cheer me up! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Yesterday at work, Ryan and I spent about an hour in the cooler. I was constantly having to go grab a napkin to blow my nose. I figured it was just because it was cold in there, but by the time I got home, every time I swallowed my throat hurt.

I didn't actually fall asleep until about 6:00 am because every time I'd shift positions, the greeblies in my sinuses would drain to the other side and my ears would pop.

So I woke up at 10:00 this morning with a head that's completely stuffed up, ears that go from deaf to pain, and the only thing that doesn't hurt when I swallow it is ice cream (thanks Matt, I ate most of your Chocolate Fudge Chunk).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Tonight is kind of chilly. The first chilly night I've experienced since I've been back in Denton. At first I thought it was chilly for September, but then I realized it is October. Remembering that it is October reminded me of two years ago, when I first met Leah. We first started trading MySpace messages in October of '08. That line of thought made me think of how cold it got later that year. I remember one night when Leah was working second shift at 7-Eleven and it was sleeting. I was hanging out with her there, and when she got off work and we tried to get into my car to leave, my car doors had frozen shut. I don't remember why my keys wouldn't work, but Leah and I had to walk halfway to my house with an umbrella protecting us from the sleet to get the spare keys from Matt. That is a memory I will always cherish, us walking together in the cold, sleet falling all around us, huddled up together under that umbrella.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Well, I survived my first day at work at 7-Eleven, again. Chiy is pretty nice, and an alright dude as far as I'm concerned. However, he is one cheap sonofabitch. He wants us to re-use the little plastic gloves for handling hot dogs and taquitos. As in, use one pair all day. And when the hot dogs turn to beef jerky on the roller grill? Why, there's nothing wrong with them. Sell them fuckers! It's an added bonus... beef jerky flavored hot dogs! And the paper towels. We aren't allowed to use paper towels, period. I don't really get that part, but that's basically the case. Third shift are the only ones who are allowed to use paper towels, because they have to clean the 'vision', as Chiy calls the windows. There's a special place where they keep the paper towels, in the back room above the place where wine is stored. Don't touch those towels! They're for third shift!

Oh. And it's perfectly ok to let a pot of coffee sit for hours and hours and hours. I'm guessing the reason for this is so that the decaf will transform into dark mountain with extra caffeine. After all, why throw out perfectly good coffee that improves with age? Chiy saw me dumping a pot that was 3/4 empty and had to pull me aside and give me the 'waste not, want not' talk.

And about the garbage. Chiy saw me emptying the garbage behind the counter near the sink, which was only 3/4 full. He commended me on my initiative, but made it clear that the garbage should only be emptied when it's about to overflow. Saves money on trash bags, you see. Oh, and blue paper towels are to be used ONLY as refills for the paper towel dispensers at the gas tanks, and for no other reason under any circumstance.

Now, about the hot food. As much as I hate to, I have to ask each and every customer, up until 7:00, if they would like two slices of pizza for $2.00. I forgot to do this a couple of times, and Chiy noticed. He walked up to me with a big smile, patted me on the back, and said, "I'll give you a couple of weeks to get the hang of it." The smile did not reach his eyes. I took this to mean, "I'm paying you the big bucks so you will increase my profits, so you better not fuck up! You have two weeks to get your shit together!"

I worked with Brittney today. I remembered everything pretty well, but I still had to ask her to help me every once in a while. It was weird... when I worked at 7-Eleven before, I was the one training her and answering her questions. It was weird having to ask her how to ring up a money order, and where the banana key was, and how to scan a lottery ticket. Still, she was a point of familiarity for me in this imminently familiar yet strangely unknown environment.

For example... I have a new code now, but I kept punching in my old 4 digit code into the register to log on. I did that several times out of sheer habit. I remember when Ryan and I used to race to see who could log in the fastest. I was pretty damn fast back then... it will take me a while to get that fast again with the new code. Also, there used to be a trash can right next to the sink. It's moved a little to the left now, and I found myself trying to throw stuff where the trash can used to be, again, out of sheer habit. The coffee trough was exactly the same though... I made coffee like a pro and didn't flood the coffee trough once. I saw a lot of old familiar customers who were surprised to see me and welcomed me back like we were old friends. The mailman was the most vocal and enthusiastic about my presence there. Made me feel kind of good that a lot of the old regulars recognized me.

So, my responsibilities as the Ass. Manager of 2nd shift are to keep the cooler stocked, mop the floor every two hours or so, keep the coffee trough wiped down, plus-sell pizza to every single customer, and make Chiy lots and lots and lots and lots of money. In a couple of weeks, if I pass the initial muster, Chiy will let me start ordering stuff again. Joy.

So here I am again at Shmevin Eleven. It's actually a little sad being there now, what with all of the good old memories from before... hot dog bun fights, AHHHHHH Terry, payrolling cigarettes for Flower Lady, working with Leah... but life goes on and I'll probably make new memories over the next year or so that I'll be nostalgic about all over again.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The radio

Ugh... hell, I'm awake now, so I might as well write about this.

It's 12:21. About 30 minutes ago, I woke up to an echoing announcers voice coming in from outside. It sounded like some kind of emergency. I couldn't make out what was being said, but it was definitely coming from outside, and echoing off of the hills. Puzzled, I started to become more alert... what the hell is it saying?

Still a little sleep addled, I heard the words 'ground zero'. I sat up and became more awake... what did I just hear? Why is somebody outside announcing... ground zero, over a speaker or something? Is this some kind of public announcement? The voice went on in, what seemed to me, to be frantic tones. A jumped off of the couch and ran to the window. I leaned my head out...

...and it was coming from about two floors up, to the right. Just a radio. Somebody had talk radio on, blaring out the window, echoing off of the mountains, for all of Ketchikan to enjoy. I digested this information for about 5 minutes, and started to get just a TEENY bit peeved, so I leaned out of my own window and yelled, at the top of my voice, when the radio paused, "CAN YOU PLEASE TURN THAT DOWN?"

After about 15 seconds, no change. I tried again. "HEY, YOU WITH THE WINDOW OPEN AND THE RADIO ON, COULD YOU PLEASE TURN THAT DOWN?" Again, no reply. I looked around for something to throw up there, to get their attention. I found a couple of pennies and threw them, but didn't even get close.

YEESH. This called for action, I guess, so I threw on my pants and went on up to the 10th floor. It was either the 10th floor window or the 11th, so I'd try the 10th first. Makes sense, no? So, I listen to the next two doors down from mine, that is... in a relative manner, judging from my floor up to theirs, and heard nothing. I went on up to the 11th floor and did the same. From the first door, I heard music. I was just about to knock, but it wasn't music I'd been hearing, it had been talk. I went to the other door and listened... THERE IT WAS. TALK. Loud talk coming through that door. I knocked. And knocked. And knocked. And knocked.

I was just about to give up and leave, when I suddenly just got furious. Are they ignoring me, or just asleep? Do I have to listen to this all night? I'd already tried shutting my own window; it didn't work. So, I KNOCKED!!!

I heard a stumbling around inside! I stood there, careful to look up at the peep hole so they'd see me. A long time went by, so I thought I'd try actually talking.

"Hello in there!" and I waited for about 15 seconds. I heard somebody mess with the doorknob, and thought it was about to open, but it didn't. So, I said it again:

"Hello in there! Could you please turn your radio down? Either that, or shut your window? It's blaring out over the countryside like a megaphone, and we can hear it two floors down!"

I waited for a while and got no response. Then the radio turned down... and then it went back up, even louder! ARRRRGHH...

"Will you please open the door so I can talk to you?"

I waited some more, about another 30 seconds, with no change in the radio and nobody opening the door. I was at the point of just... disbelief now, or denial or something.

"You aren't even going to open the door so you can hear me? Just turn your radio down, please?"

Then I hear the radio go down abruptly, and a voice from within... "Saheee." I assume this means "Sorry." I at first thought that maybe this lack of communication was due to a language barrier, but the radio had been blaring in the Queens English. I think it was more due to a lack of wanting to open the door, probably because of some long haired freaky looking mustachioed man standing outside at midnight and banging on it like a lunatic.

Anyway, the radio is down now. Hopefully it will stay that way... but I'm up... :p 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh boy.

Maria says she's in love with me. She's only 19, she's a kid... she's horribly depressed. I talked to her last night on the phone for about two hours, trying to figure out a way to cheer her up. A preview of my future counseling sessions, I think. I don't want this poor depressed kid to be in love with me or be heartbroken when I leave. She doesn't even know me, but she's asking me if she can come home with me!

Lord, what do I do about this situation?

Maria, again.

I was across the street just a little while ago, across from the apartment. Looking for alcohol... I was on a mission. Just a short hop to pick up something to drink. A bottle of rum, a 6 pack, something. And some cold medicine, too.

So there I was, at Safeway, and I couldn't make up my mind... I was thinking, am I going to buy cold medicine, or alcohol? Both? I walked around for a bit, found the cold medicine; picked it up. Cold medicine in hand, doing good so far... but if I buy this, thought I, then I won't have enough for a bottle of rum. This bothered me somewhat.

After a few seconds of careful contemplation, this didn't bother me anymore. Everything will work itself out... that's the thought that ran through my mind at the time. So, I took the cold medicine to the counter and browsed the alcohol section (Safeway has a liquor store built in that sells the straight stuff at all hours, ain't that cool?). Anywho, after a minute or two, I realized that I didn't have enough for both cold medicine and alcohol. Duh, and damn. What's it going to be, cold medicine or alcohol? I let other customers go head of me while I decided.

Ok, that's it. I took the cold medicine back and put it on the shelf. I had decided on alcohol... it seemed wise at the time. BUT, I wasn't gonna buy it at Safeway. Somehow I felt like they didn't deserve my money, since I didn't have enough cash for medicine AND alcohol. I'll take my business elsewhere, thank you, evil corporation, for requiring more money than I have in my pocket. Does that make sense? No, and I understand that. However, I routinely act on information that makes no sense. That's just me, though.

So, thusly armed with a megadose of pride and feeling right about everything, I marched right out of those doors and right into New Town Liquor. It's only right next door. Right there, in fact, in the same building. Just a short jaunt through an indoor hallway, a shortcut through the mall, and there you are. Or, there I am. Take that, Safeway, for not letting me afford beyond my means. But, I didn't go into the liquor store...

Maybe I should digress for a minute. The Safeway and the New Town Liquor store are both in the same building, which happens to be a mall. Yeah, there is an actual mall here in Ketchikan, barely thriving with half of the stores closed, and dark, even on Saturdays. This mall is right across the street from my apartment, and they used to have a Waldenbooks here but it closed in April of this year. The only real bookstore here in Ketchikan. I bought a book the last time I was here in '07, and now it's closed... just like the other half of the mall. I gotta say, when I first arrived here and realized that there was no bookstore; man oh man, not only did I feel a little bit lost, but I was kind of pissed, too. But this was before I discovered the public library...

...anywho, it was only a short march out of the Safeway and into the Mall, and across the Mall Hall was the New Town Liquor store, which was where I intended to go. Only... I didn't go there. Instead, I decided to just loiter there in the Mall Hall. I dunno why I did this, I just did. Call it an act of impulse. A compulsive act. Whatever. So, I decided to delay my liquor purchase on some unexplainable whim. Sorry for the buildup; it probably means nothing in the Great Scheme Of Things Involving Me... but allow me to elucidate anyway.

The Mall still had functional escalators, which is kind of remarkable. I went up the escalator, and on the way up, I looked across at the down escalator directly across from me (which was also functional... in a redundant way), and saw what looked to me to be a very old lady... sunken eye sockets, stringy hair, thin, tiny; going down. I describe this as accurately as I remember it. I didn't think twice about this old lady until I reached the top.

After I had almost forgotten about this, after I had almost relegated it from short term memory into oblivion, after I had stepped off of the escalator, this old lady had suddenly rushed up to me, and was giving me a hug. WTF? thought I. I stepped back and recognized the old lady... and by the way, this next part kind of freaked me out at the time.

It was Maria, the 19 year old girl who I had met about a month ago; the one who had poured out her life story to me while I was at work, the one who had described to me the horrible things that had happened to her. This was the young vibrant girl, full of energy that day, who I had just then (now) seen (had seen, was seeing) as an old, withered lady, going down the escalator as I went up the escalator. This girl is 19 years old - her name is Maria. Why did I see her as an old lady? How did that happen? I just don't understand that at all.

I remembered her confession to me that day - me, a complete stranger - about how she had been horribly raped. There I was, having a random encounter with her, in the mall; not unlike the random encounter in the store that day. This is a young girl, not an old lady; young and pretty and exuberant, and I know her; kind of. It's hard to describe how odd this feels to me, so I won't even try, except to say that it was... is... it feels important, somehow.

Her mom was there, calling to her, to come back down the escalator. Maria ignored her mom and kept hugging me. Then she immediately went into high gear, talking, telling me things about her life since we had last talked, telling me more things, confiding more personal information, a torrent of emotional communication which I tried to keep up with.

We talked about stuff. She told me stuff, I told her stuff. She's very young - so young. What is her life going to be like, I wondered? Will it consist of more pain? Will it get better? What is up with this girl? We talked and walked for a while, there on the upper floor of this dead mall. Suddenly it hit me that she should be with her mom, who most likely is wondering what the hell happened to her daughter, and who is that stranger she ran up to and hugged? The next thing I thought was that I'm leaving here, very soon, and I worried, as I am wont to do. I pulled her into the nearest store, intent on asking the clerk for a pen.

"I'm going to give you my phone number and facebook page, because I'm leaving soon. I'm going back to Texas in a week. Are you on facebook?" I felt really protective of her, in a big way, right then (I still do). I didn't want her out of contact with me in case she needed to talk about something...

Maria, flustered. "No, but I'll make a page."

We wait in line for a few moments, so I can get a pen. The proprietor tries to sell us one, until I make it clear that I only want to borrow, not buy. This little episode passes, and we finally get to the counter after a few moments of weird silence. I procure the pen, and write down my phone number and facebook info.

"Look up my name on facebook, ok? When you make your page?"

"Maria, lets go!" Maria's mom is there, at the top of the escalator, looking at us in the store. She doesn't look happy. She's probably very worried - I sure hope so - about who the hell this guy is, this weird... person whom her daughter is talking to; who she's been walking with on the upper floors of a half deserted mall for the past 10 minutes. I felt embarrassed and guilty.

I give Maria the piece of paper with the info on it.

"Take care." I waved at her. And, "Be careful!" I say as...

...she disappears down the escalator with her mom. She has a mom; a mom who should take care of her. Who is worried about her. A mom who cares about her.

I hang out for a bit, thinking about what just happened.

I also wonder why I alternate between 1st and 3rd person when I write stuff like this.

Past and present tense, rather, I should say. I get my tenses and persons mixed up.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Memories... light the corners of my mind...

Misty water colored memories...

Of The Dark Tower.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The spider

For about 6 months a spider lived in my bathroom windowsill. Every morning I'd walk into the bathroom and the spider would be there, just nestled up in his super complex network of web. It was a pretty big one. Sometimes I'd blow really hard at the spider and it would kind of jiggle it's legs a little, but otherwise it wouldn't move at all.

Every few days or couple of weeks I'd notice one of those mosquito moths or a fly trapped in there with it, so I supposed that it was at least moving enough to eat now and then, but I never saw it move of its own volition. One day I noticed a nice little egg sac in the web. I guess the spider had moved around enough to get pregnant, but otherwise it was always in the same place.

This went on for a few months, this spider and its egg sac. I began to become irritated that this spider was here in my house, living its own little life and even starting a family, and it wasn't paying a lick of rent! But at least it wasn't eating my food...

This irritation grew a little bit every day. It made no sense at all, but there you have it... irritation at a spider for living in my house and not contributing a damn thing. Then one morning I walked into the bathroom and the spider wasn't there anymore, and neither was the egg sac. Damn, what happened to the spider? What happened to the egg sac, for that matter? Did the little buggers hatch and eat the sac? Or did the mama spider finally get tired of absorbing my psychic irritation every day and pack up, egg sac and all, for greener pastures?

Well, I was surprised to find that I actually kind of missed the spider, my morning bathroom companion.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I'm so sick of this shit I could puke coat hangers.

Tired doesn't even come close to describing it. More like wretchedly weary. Worn down to the bone.

Angry, at this situation. Angry at customers. Angry at being here. Too tired to be angry. Anger just dissolves into apathy.

This last week is the worst, just remarkably bad. I know why, of course, but I'm too tired to really give a shit. I don't want to open my mouth and say another word until I'm far away from here. I want to sleep now and wake up at home.

There is danger in being away from the church.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Laundry day

Oh boy, what an emotional day. E.T. is on TV and I'm crying as I watch it, remembering how I was the same age as Elliot when this movie came out. I'm such a crybaby nowadays, anything emotional will set me off.

Oh yeah, laundry... I went out into the hall, careful to wipe my eyes. Right as the door opened, a man and his little son, about 4 years old, stepped up to the elevator. Oh great, here I am all teary eyed and barefoot and now somebody else has to witness it...

So we all get into the elevator. The little boy immediately pipes up. "Where are you going? I'm going down. On the other side. Which side are you going on?" By sides, he means, either the lobby or the basement, as depending on which floor you stop, you wind up on opposite sides of the building. "We're going on THAT side. Where are you going?" I looked down at this little kid.

"I'm going to do laundry."

"Where is your laundry? Why don't you have a bag of laundry?"

"It's already down there. In the washer. I'm going down to dry it."

"How did you get that mustache??"

At this point the father chuckles, the door opens, and they walk out into the lobby. I laughed out loud.

"I grew it!" The doors shut and I could see the little kid looking at me wide eyed, at my mustache, I'm guessing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Do it

Tonight I took a walk. It was my first walk in a few weeks. I've been feeling really down lately; not only depressed but physically ill. It's the enemy fucking with me because the time is getting close to go home where I'll be back in contact with my church. So, it makes sense that the full frontal assault should happen now.

Anyway, today I said fuck that, and felt a little better. Good enough to take one of what used to be my normal walks. So, I started off at about 6:30 with the idea in my mind to do another video blog. My camera kept running out of memory though, which was weird, because there is plenty of memory on my card... so after about three tries at this, I decided to say fuck it, I'm not supposed to do a video blog. So I kept walking.

I got downtown and a woman was walking in my direction. We made eye contact. My usual habit after making eye contact with a passing stranger is to immediately disconnect, but for some reason, I kept the contact until we were face to face, and of course, a conversation became obligatory.

The first thing she asked was 'Say man, you know where I can get some 4:20?' This is nothing new to me. I have 'the look', and people ask me this all the time, as was demonstrated tonight, and as I will now recount. She said 'You look like you might know where to get some'. Like I said. I told her, no, sorry, but I don't smoke weed. And from there, it became this long exchange of stories about our own personal histories of drug abuse, and how getting old is such a surprise.

After exchanging life stories, she asked me what I was going to do when I got home. I told her, 'I want to get into counseling so I can help other addicts like myself'. She smiled the biggest smile and said, 'Yeah man. That's great. Do it, man. Do it.' She walked closer to me and took my hand and stood there, looking me straight in the eye, holding my hand. 'Do it, man. Do it. Do it. Do it. Do it.' She let go of my hand and started to walk away, all the while looking at me as she departed, saying, 'Do it. Do it, man. Do it.'

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cold, wet, and windy

Today is the first really cold day we've had this year in Ketchikan. First off, it's windy, and I do mean WINDY. The scarves on the T-stand outside kept blowing off, and I actually had to pull up the hood of my hoodie so that I wouldn't freeze to death while standing outside taking a smoke break.

And it's cold. Weatherbug says it was 51 degrees, but that's at the airport, across the ocean on the other island. Maybe it's 51 degrees there, but here on the Ketchikan island, it's downright cold. Cold, as in, I really do have to pull my hood up over my head (nevermind that it makes a mess of my hair), tuck in my shirt (to keep the wind from blowing up my tummy :::shiver:::), and pull the sleeves up over my hands so that the wind don't bite them off.

And WET. As we say here in Ketchikan, where they call rain 'liquid sunshine', and the average amount is about 12 feet a year, it's raining sideways. Or more accurately; imagine a 25 degree angle upward from the zero degree horizontal. The rain is following that line, blowing down from the upper right to the lower left. Almost sideways, anyway. Good enough for government work.

So... if there's two things mixed together that I absolutely can't stand, that is... two things mixed together that I HATE, other than peanut butter and mayonnaise, it's cold and wet, both occupying the same place at the same time. And the wind only makes it worse. Let me add that to the list... three things mixed together that I absolutely can't stand. Cold, wet, and WIND. Welcome, wind, to my hate list. Not that I didn't already hate you all by yourself, because you just love to blow my hair around so that it's a bona-fide workout before I go to bed just to get the tangles out, complete with sore shoulders and biceps in the morning. But now, wind, you get to have friends. Cold and wet, meet wind. Wind, meet cold and wet. Misery loves company, so they say.

Speaking of sayings... like my mom used to say, "It's colder than a witches tit in a brass bra outside." Please excuse the crude metaphor, simile, or idiom, whatever it is. But I always thought that was funny, so in order to make the horrible cold wet wind more bearable, I use that crude phrase to describe it because it makes me chuckle. Thanks mom. :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I got them boogies in my nose.
They grows and grows and never goes.
I'd wash them boogies with a hose,
But that don't work it only slows
The growth of boogies in my nose.

Heaven knows I never chose
To have them boogies in my nose.
They there so long it seems they froze,
Way up there where the wind don't blows.
Them boogies nestled in my nose.

I blows and blows and blows and blows,
Then hold the rose under my nose...
But still them boogies never goes.
The snot it never flows no moes
I guess it only goes to shows
That I have boogies in my nose.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The cut of my jib

Somebody came in the store today and said to me, "I like the cut of your jib." What the heck does that mean? thought I. I posted the question on facebook and Fr. Justin replied thusly:

"Cut of your jib: One's general appearance and demeanour.

The jib of a sailing ship is a triangular sail set between the foretopmast head and the jib boom. Some ships had more than one jib sail. Each country had its own style of sail and so the nationality of a sailing ship, and a sailor's consequent opinion of it, could be determined from the jib.

The phrase became used in an idiomatic way during the 19th century."

Well, if that didn't make my pride swell. Somebody likes the cut of my jib. :) But then I imagined myself strung up between the foretopmast head and the jib boom. :p

A dream - injury and justice

I dreamed last night that a woman was lied to and made to give up her ovaries to a scientific experiment. It was displayed on a computer screen... all the parts of a woman's ovaries, but it was all mechanical, with gears and conveyor belts and sliding hydraulic pumps, moving eggs along mechanically constructed fallopian tubes... but there was a point were the eggs were diverted. They fell onto another conveyor belt. Each egg glowed bright blue, and some had partially formed arms and legs. I saw each of these eggs as a potential human as I watched, as a distant observer. They were being deposited into a tank where experiments would be performed, without the knowledge of the woman.

She was drugged, and put into an ambulance, thinking that she had been injured. She kept calling for the one she loved, the one who had talked her into this and lied to her, but he never appeared. She was taken away, and needles were put into her. I cringed when I watched this and had to turn away, as I have a great aversion to needles. Nevermind the horror of what was going on.

Some weeks later, when she was back to her life, she still had no knowledge of what had happened to her. Then the guy she was in love with sent her an e-mail, detailing everything they had done, trying to convince her of the 'good' of it. He was actually trying to justify it. At this point, I was active in the dream. I warned her that this man didn't love her, that he had further designs for her in his experiment.

Later we are all together in her apartment, and the man is there in person, pleading his case. I attacked him with a rod, trying to beat him, but I was subdued. Then we were all underwater, and the man had a knife to my throat. There were several voracious looking fish circling us; they looked like giant piranah, but we couldn't see their teeth. The man drew the knife across my throat, but it was a dull serrated edge, and only drew a little blood. He examined the blade and seemed astonished that I wasn't dead. Then he had the idea to snare one of the fish to finish me off. He caught one, reeled it in, but instead of going for me, it opened its gaping maw, filled with rows of razor sharp teeth, and latched onto the mans face. He screamed in agony, but it was muffled because his screams were going down the throat of the fish. Finally the fish let go, and I saw the mans face, gouged deep with teeth marks. His head was now one mass of yellowish green decay. But the fish hadn't had enough yet... the mans screams were muffled again as the fish once again latched on.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Green Vs. Green

As I stare out the window, I see trees on the mountainside, blowing in the windy rain. The closer trees are a dull bright green (a contradiction in terms, but with no sunlight, there is no other way to describe them). The ones further away are a darker, kind of pine green, behind the closer ones. And even further than that, there is a dark green patch which blends into the black of the farthest point of vision on this mountainside, completely ensconced in shadow. Imagine these layers of green, with the brightest and closest moving the most rapidly... then through layers, with less motion and less green, until you finally reach the black motionless part.

I watch this black part and am annoyed at the interruption of the bright greens and lesser greens as they obstruct my vision of it because of the wind. It is very windy here. Nevertheless, I stare for a long time, losing track of time even, at the blackest part of the green, where it becomes completely black... towards the farthest point away from where I am, over there on the mountain. But still, the closer portions move the most relative to my position and keep obscuring my vision to the point that I start noticing the brighter parts.

The brighter part, superimposed upon the darker, blacker part that I was concentrating on, what with it's movement and all, begins to look like the slavering jaws of a monster which is trying to consume me as I gaze into that black part. I don't know what this means, if it means anything. Probably nothing. Everything doesn't have to be symbolic in my life. But I could have sworn that the rapidly moving bright dull green movement was trying to consume me as I lost myself in the black.


Today I came home early. It was my turn. I was just sitting on the couch, watching 'The Last Samurai'. It's a pretty good movie. I was just going over in my head... is it a good movie, or a great movie? I'd say, just in between good and great.

I was sitting there on the couch, just a few minutes ago. On the left side, against the arm. I looked to my right... what if someone was sitting there? Next to me? Where would that person be? Close, or far away, on the other side?

I imagined that someone sitting close to me. I put my arm along the back of the couch. Where would that person's shoulder be? Right about there. I looked at my hand, imagining it cupping a shoulder. I adjusted it up and down, an inch here, a little bit forward... right about there seemed right.

Their head? Upright, or leaning against my chest? I imagined against my chest. I put my hand where that person's head would be and imagined stroking hair, against my palm, through my fingers. It took a minute or two to get it right, but then I had it. A good vision of what it would be like. Almost a memory.


Last Thursday I began to feel sick about halfway through the day. A pounding headache, chills, and a stomach ache. I've had stabbing stomach pains before, but these weren't like that... more like aching anxiety in my stomach. I walked home and just felt steadily worse and worse as the day progressed. I went to bed early and didn't go in the next day. I looked up the symptoms online, and with no fever to accompany all of that, the most likely cause was stress. Kind of a mild nervous breakdown is what I chalked it up to.

Last night I didn't get drunk, per se, but I was definitely buzzed. I went to bed early again, at about 5:30 (I think I'm still on Texas time). I woke up in the middle of the night with horrible stomach cramps. Again, not like the 'stabbing pains'; lower down in my gut as opposed to my stomach. I lay there for about an hour enduring it, then got up and went to the bathroom. Chaos ensued.

I won't go into the gory details, except that both ends were very active. Horrible. For an hour I was in there, constantly flushing the commode and either sitting and cramping, or curled on the floor with horrible nausea. I finally prayed to God to please, take the pain away, and I promise I'll do better.

The pain immediately began to fade. It was almost like that a time at vigil one night when my stomach started to cramp, and I prayed to God to take away the pain, and He did. This time I made a promise though... that I would do better.

These last few weeks have been the most stress I've ever felt in my life, I think. Even worse than when I was on drugs. I've never really experienced stress to the point where it just wreaks havoc on me physically. I've been away from church, I miss my friends and family, I'm trying to deal with a broken heart, I'm drinking constantly, and I'm depressed and just not happy being here. The novelty has definitely worn off. I don't like this nervous breakdown crap.

Only three more weeks.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Little guy

A guy was perusing the gloves right outside the door about 30 minutes ago. Strapped to his back was a wide-eyed toddler, probably just under a year old. A real cutie. He gazed at me with those wide, brown eyes, not a hint of self consciousness at all. What an age... I lose the staring contest every time when I'm confronted with that wondrous gaze of the innocent.

I played peek-a-boo with him like I used to with Marcos. That brought a smile to his little face, and he reached out his arm toward me as the guy he was strapped to started to walk away. I reached back, and was just able to brush his tiny little hand with my fingers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I came home today with another stomach ache. I hate it when this happens. Luckily we had some great business right before it kicked in. We had a crap day yesterday... and I had just put Pinback into Ed's mp3 player, so I played Pinback all day yesterday.

This morning Ed said, "So, we know better than to play Pinback again." He's superstitious... all kinds of things influence sales to him. Where the racks are positioned, how many games of chess or solitaire he's won on the computer, and what music is playing.

So, when he dissed Pinback... well, I just seen red. So, the day started out really slow and it sucked for about three hours, and I thought to myself.... self, if the day is going to suck, I'm going to at least hear some Pinback. So, I started it up and five minutes later, BAM we got hammered and sold two coats and 4 scarves and a hat. About $3500. Of course, it was the Pinback we were playing. The cruise ship passengers today just happened to have really good taste. How can you not spend a few grand when Pinback is playing, getting your endorphins pumping?

Unfortunately, right after that the stomach cramps started, so I walked home.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The movie about the Uruguayan rugby team that crashed in the Andes in 1974. This movie plays on HBO a lot here.

I started out watching Futurama and drinking beer, having a dandy time on my day off. And after the third beer I remembered my prayers, that I didn't say them. And there I was, half drunk on an empty stomach, and I suddenly felt awful. Such guilt. The enemy... but it's my own damn fault.

I switched on the TV and Alive is on. I can't help but watch this movie every time it comes on. It never fails to make me cry. The prayers they say, in the midst of such despair and dashed hopes, along with such courage it took to survive for more than a year in the freezing mountains.

God was with them.


There is a scene where one of the survivors, just after an avalanche that killed many of them, is sitting on top of the packed snow above the buried wreckage and smiling. Others climb out and the one sitting says, "Do you feel it? God is everywhere today."

I looked at the mountains on the TV screen. They were beautiful... I turned my glance to the window. I saw the mountains outside. They were beautiful too... but obscured somehow. Glass. The window was shut. I shut the window...

Night Time

I sleep on the couch regularly because Ed snores. The couch is lined up along the wall, with a big window, about 3'X4' positioned right there at the end. I usually sleep with the blinds closed, because there are houses on the hill with lights that are kind of bright. However, last night I just plopped down and snoozed with the window wide open.

I woke up during the small hours, lying on my back. When I opened my eyes, I was looking directly out the window. I caught my breath... four stars, remarkably bright, were positioned in an M shape, with the two bottom points of the M spread out to the left and right. It was an almost perfect formation, and being only half awake, at first I thought it was a formation UFO's. I'm always scanning the skies for those things, since I've seen a couple of unexplainable things in the sky on a few occasions. My eyes were already dark adapted from being asleep, and there were just hundreds of stars all around these ones... for they were stars, I realized after about 15 seconds. I was seeing the handle of the big dipper. Brighter than I'd ever seen it. I lay there and stared at the dazzling sky for about 15 minutes before falling asleep again.

Monday, August 16, 2010


So here I am, at home, drinking a beer and watching this movie, something funny on TV starring whats his face and that other whats his face. I'm surfing the net at the same time, reading about lost technologies and... well anyway, so Scott and I are sitting here and suddenly the door opens and this occurs:

Ed: Hey HEY hey, loooook what I GOT!

(Scott and Elias turn around and are presented with a shopping cart, full of groceries, right there in the apartment. Nine floors up, that is.)

Elias: Jesus H - (Elias shuts up, chagrined at this unfortunate yet habitual outburst, and then busts out laughing)

Scott: What, what? (Scott can't see from his chair)

Elias: Ed, what the fuck? There's a shopping cart in the apartment!

Ed: Hey, what was I supposed to do? I couldn't carry 'em all!

(All balls out laughter ensues)

Elias: Ok folks, I'm gonna go for smokes. Anybody need anything?

Ed: Yeah, could you return the shopping cart?

(All out laughter ceases abruptly. Elias reluctantly pushes the cart into the hall, amidst his own muttered protests, into the elevator, down the basement hall, all the while the subject of many curious stares, out into the parking lot, amongst many more curious stares, and across the street back to Safeway. A cop observes this unorthodox crossing of the street with a curious stare. Elias is not happy. The cop turns the other way. Elias is returns home, relieved and exhausted.)

Ed: Look at the size of this fish!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

An interrupted blog

It's such a beautiful day here in Alaska. The forecast is for about three more beautiful days. Hang on...

"Hi folks. Welcome to Ketchikan. What can I help you find?"
"No thanks, we're just looking... Thanks."

Ok back to my blog. Hang on...
"Hi folks..."

Ok, this requires a different format, if people are going to keep walking in the door:

Elias: (He spies two people walking into the door, interrupting his blog writing. It is a very VERY old man with a huge smile and gleaming white dentures, with his wife, very similar in age, but minus the smile) Hi folks. Welcome to Alaska!

Old man: Answer me a question here, son. You're a furrier, right? Well answer me this. I've got a question for ya. (The old man with the gleaming white smile approaches the $25,000 chinchilla coat) How much is this coat right here? Right here, son?

Elias: (This is an easy question, and Elias is ready.) That coat, sir, retails for $25,000 dollars. (He says this proudly and with the confidence of knowing that this is, in fact, the correct answer.)

Old man: Hey HEY now, but look at these pelts. These are glued together, right?

Elias: (He thinks for a second... are they glued? No, they're sewn. He's seen a hundred mink coats, the pelts let out and sewn. But chinchilla? Are they glued or sewn? Sewn of course, who would glue furs together? That's absurd!) These pelts are sewn together sir, by professional furriers in Chatsworth, California.

Old man: No, hear me now, these are glued. Glued and sewn! (He says this with the brightest smile, a smile that would blind a bat.)

Elias: Well sir... (glued and sewn? Surely not. I'm the furrier, who is this guy? But then again, he is very old and most likely wise... maybe he knows something I don't? No, stick to your guns! They're SEWN!) Sir, I assure you that we use no glue in our manufacturing process. Yes, we are manufacturers. We make these goods! These are chinchilla pelts sir, the finest pelts when it comes to fur, and the most expensive. I assure you we would not subject such goods to glue. We sew these. And by the way, this $25,000 dollar coat is on sale for only $12,500. And that's before the 10% discount! Why, you could walk out the door with this coat for a mere $10,000!

Old man: (The old man has moved on to the rex rabbit coat, apparently oblivious to all of the previous expounding by Elias) This is the finest fox I've ever felt!

Elias: Sir, that is rex rabbit.

Old man: What's that?

Elias: Rex rabbit sir. It's in the same family as the chinchilla. Not like your domestic rabbit, the kind you probably saw 40 years ago. Those shed. These don't shed... it's a much more dense, durable fur. Almost like chinchilla.

Old man: So Rex is still alive, is he? Well I'll be damned!

Elias: (Rex? Ok, either this old man is senile or he's messing with me.) Yes sir, Rex is alive and well. He supplies us with these rex rabbit coats! Alive and kicking, sir.

Old man: Well, that's about what I figured! (He and his silent wife head towards the door) Still alive, eh? Well don't that beat all!

Elias: Yes sir, it'll take more than a couple of world wars to do in Rex!

Old man: (laughs) Well, I thought so! Have a good day there, ok?

Elias: And you enjoy the rest of your cruise sir!

Old man: Now hang on there, son. Do you have any... starts with a B...

Elias: Beaver?

Old man: Nah, not beaver...

Elias: Broadtail?

Old man: Nah, not that either... lets see, starts with a B...

Elias: (what else starts with a B?) Uh... fitch?

Old man: EXXXX-Actly! Fitch! So, do you have any of that?

Elias: Actually, right there at the door, sir, that coat is mink with fitch inserts.

Old man: (examines the coat intently for a few seconds) So it is! Fitch, right there! See, honey? (he motions towards his wife, indicating the coat. She remains silent) Fitch! Well I'll be.

Elias: Yes sir, fitch. Mink with fitch inserts.

Old man: (walking out the door) Well, I thought so! Ok, we're off! Come on honey.

Elias: Enjoy the rest of your cruise!

Ok, back to the blog. By the way, what did you folks (assuming anyone is reading this) think of that? Quite an encounter, huh? Kind of fun, yeah? Alright, now I've forgotten what I was originally going to blog about. But that's enough, I think.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A realization

Why do I worry? Why am I depressed? Why do I despair? These are useless feelings. I just realized that in the midst of worry, sadness and despair, I can be happy because God is with me. This feeling will probably fade, but it's at moments like this when God talks to me that strengthen my faith, and gives me hope that eventually everything really will be ok, just as God promised me.