My Lawnmower is a Hoe

When it rains, it pours, and apparently when things break down, they do it in "threes." My furnace decided to call it quits because it lost control, my driver's side window wants to roll down on its own timeline, and my lawnmower is all choked up. I thought my single life afforded me a style that was low maintenance. Now I have a bunch of dramatic machines to contend with. Did the devout Menonites have it right all along? Well, the singles ones at least?

And speaking of manual labor and rough transitions, I did lots of yard work this Sunday. Once things take shape, I hope to post some pictures. Basically, I'm turning my backyard into a fabulous party place! A stone patio, table and furniture, a privacy fence, simple garden areas, and string lights overhead. It'll be sweeeet! This weekend was comprised of lots of edging, digging, herbicidal tendencies... and no mowing! Ol' cranky thing.

And as an off-story, my fiance dodged a bullet today. Serially! She had (what I have coined) a character assassination attempt on her life! Her secretary has put a verbal hit on her, and I won't stand, sit, or dance for it! She basically does the following to my fiance - A) talks smack about her behind her back to others, B) avoids her to not do any work for her, and C) told my fiance to her face she didn't like how she does business! The noive (a la the Cowardly Lion) of this chick!! She better check herself before she wrecks herself because my fiance's gay fiance (me, for those keeping score at home) will lay down the smack on the tarmac. Boom Diggity.

Sleep Tight.

Last night could best be described as A Series of Unconscious Events. Or, How My Brain Likes to Taunt Me Through My Dreams. I had one of those dream-laden nights marked by a series of brief waking up moments. Usually, I sleep through the night, and thus, do not remember my dreams. Anyway, last night my brain was channel surfing through my unconscious mind for an interesting night of viewing. Let's analyze:

I'm conducting an interview for my job, but I drove to this company to interview 8 people at a time. My suit is a tuxedo, but I'm not wearing all of it. The plastic is still over the white shirt (while I'm wearing it), it's not tucked in, I only have on one shoe, it's all a mess, and all the interviewees are there to see me. So with my microphone (yes) I turn it into a comedy routine. Then my co-interviewer starts asking questions, but we had never prepared what questions to ask. And one interviewee heckles us for a bad first question. Then a few additional interviewees show up late. It's a disaster. The entire dream, I have this sinking sense that time is running short.

Then I'm in Vegas with a coworker and my Welsh boss, JP. As we're riding up this escalator, he tells us we must separate because it would be inappropriate for a boss to hang out with his staff. So he ditches us next to this indoor roller coaster ride. We find him later, and he pretends not to recognize us.

Then I'm wearing a yellow hoodie underneath a jean jacket (forgive me), and I'm running to the mall in the rain. I pass this group of students who must be on the school track team. One of them yells to me as we pass, "Hey you look and sound like Skinny Lennox." I know that I've been told this before. Just so you know, in my dream, Skinny Lennox is someone famous, an abstract character I believe, whom, while popular, I am not aware of. I yell back, "So I'm told!" My friend who is magically next to me tells me the Skinny Lennox character is voiced by Madonna. Madonna?? I sound like Madonna!? Perplexed and a bit pissed off, I continue toward the mall.

Inside the mall, I enter this very nice furniture store and feel immediately out of place (remember what I'm wearing). I notice my shoes aren't tied, so I bend down to tie the laces. Meanwhile, everyone is being helped but me. Nearby, an associate approaches a browsing customer and says, "May I help you? Don't be alarmed by my British accent," and in a bemused tone he adds, "I'm not a spy agent of the Empire." Say what?? They laugh and walk off toward some furniture. I'm too self-conscious to look around because I feel so out of place.

Then at my house, I'm starting up the internet to show my dad something. Suddenly, all this gay porn flashes up, and I embarrassingly and quickly try to get rid of it, but it keeps coming back on the screen. I do this horrible job of trying to pretend it isn't there, and all I can say is -- Awkward!

In the same or separate sequence, my dad and I are at my house and this guy walks up to my front window and looks in, like he's scoping out the place. We both stand up to make our presence known and he smiles and walks off. Trying to play the unsuspecting owner, I open the front door and ask if I can help him. He asks this weird question I can't remember that sounds like he made it up. We start discussing something and I open my mailbox to feel around inside. He asks for my address, and I don't want to give it to him. I say, it's here on my mailbox, 1234. He points to the neighboring houses and argues it can't be my number, it's out of sequence. Then I say, "Someone has changed my address!" I feel around again in the mailbox and find a wadded up ball of cash. Stupidly, I exclaim aloud, "Oh, there's money in here." The guy moves closer and demands I give him the money. I thrust it into this hands and he leaves, and in doing so, drops a pencil. I figure I can take it as evidence to the police - they can fingerprint it. But I don't pick it up.

I also find these empty peanut hulls in my kitchen. Pause: In real life, I've been finding these random peanut shells in my driveway and yard, and I'm not sure how they get there. Continue: But in my dream, they are INSIDE my house. So I suspect someone has found my key and is getting into my house. I have a sense that it's all a mind game - the peanut hulls, the changed address -- someone keeps messing with my house. I try to tell my dad but he downplays it all. LOL- thanks dad!

Then we see these guys breaking into my front door! Yet they were kind enough, before attacking us and looting my home, to finish installing a new screen door. LOL - dreams rock! So they come in to attack us both, and I'm basically a weakling (in real life) so I decide (in my dream) I'm going to fight back with this guy in a sexual way. Yeah, don't EVEN ask. Needless to say, it puts a new spin on the phrase "breaking and entering." So I try all manner of moves to arouse my assailant, of which I'll spare you the embarrassing details.

Finally, I am awakened by an 8:30 a.m. thunderstorm. Seriously, isn't that against the law on a Saturday morning? Give me peace, if not peace of mind.

So that was my long day's journey into night. A lot of it makes sense to the contexts of my life, but I'll spare you those details as well, given this is a long-haul post already. You may recognize several connections if you read a couple of earlier posts. Alas, my Shame-O-Meter red-lined a few paragraphs back, so I'm signing off.

Army out.

Mythology of Life: Time Capsules

Before the invention of recordable media like cave drawings, papyrus, cassettes, and e-mail, there was a silent form of communication that could tell tales of a time buried deep in the historic past, sealed in layers of sediment and concealed from the abrasions of the elements. The time capsule likely had unintentional beginnings in the ruins of a stone city or the tools of a prehistoric culture. In a half life, we can find the general timestamp of its passage through time to the eager present, unearthed by a curious mind.

In more recent times, the creation of the time capsule became less than subtle. Graduating classes, childhood friends, city celebrations, or even a grand experiment of preserving half of recorded history give us reason to stash our parting possessions into a coffee can, beneath a block of downtown, or into a climate controlled vault with the sole purpose that one day it will present itself to an anticipating audience. Perhaps it will be our older selves, our grandchildren, or the post-future Man. Regardless of the recipient, we seal the lid tightly with knowledge that our history, however inconsequential, has just been glazed in a sap that will, with time, encase our memories in amber.

The irony of the time capsule is that it often meets its demise to the very forces of time itself. In the arc of forgetting, the founders live their lives in days and lose track of the magic they conjured. In a sea of soil and ground cover, the time capsule becomes a speck, its exact whereabouts distorted in the flawed channels of memory and the transformation of known landmarks. Without an X to mark the spot, the treasure map is merely an atlas.

And what happens to the lonely capsule who has kept its mouth shut for far too long, anxious to spill its secrets? Like the proverbial tree in the forest, it falls on deaf ears. And if we did stumble upon its protruding edges, crack it open, and scatter its innards like confetti, would we even understand the message? Would it be too many pieces too unrecognizable to make any sense of it all, like a puzzle without a primer or a code without context? Or worse yet, would it elicit little more than a long drawn breath of disappointment, a lowered expectation of your treasure being little else but another's trash?

The flaw of the time capsule is its mundane cargo. Ticket stubs, coins, hats, daily machines, double prints of photos, or other impersonal possessions - what do these items convey? These are a few of my somewhat favorite things? See what I used today or how much a candy bar cost back then? Are we willing to part with what would truly explain who we are - our creations, our thoughts, the sum of our fears, and the lessons we learned through trial and triumph? And would the cargo then cease to be mundane yet somehow transform into the unrelatable and personalized?

All of this begs a pressing question. Who is the time capsule truly intended for? In a rush of blood to the brain, we gather a meager deposit with the romantic belief that it will accrue into treasures for others to discover. But perhaps we truly want to believe that if we contain our wishes and put them aside, they will eventually come true; that one day we will be the genie in the bottle. And finally, we will be released from our self-made prison so that we may be understood, recognized, and thought of fondly in a time and place of our choosing.

Snakes and Ladders

So this weekend was the big viewing of Snakes on a Plane, and may I just say, it was as ri-donk-ulous as I had hoped it to be!!

Pre-movie, Aaron and I donned our favorite SoaP shirts, which as it turns out, were inverse colors. Was it fate or just good taste in colors? And was this an omen of things to come?

We hooked up with my fiance, Rasmus, and Smartens at the theater, into which I confiscated my camera. I had hoped for a large cardboard display or even a poster for the movie, but alas, none were in sight. But hey, that's the price you pay for Snakes at a Matinee.

I decided once the movie started that I would try to sneak some pictures! Some of them turned out okay, but sadly, the screen was too dark during the snake shots, so I couldn't get any good ones. The theater was about a third full, but certainly populated with devout and eager fans. We sat in old school boy-girl-boy-girl-boy style. Smartens brought gummy worms (smile).

Thin plot. Bad jokes. Lots of snakes. Samuel L. Jackson yelling all the time and being a bad muthafuckah. And the best part ever, the snake-o-vision! We got to see parts of the flick from the snake POV! Hilarious! The deaths were over the top and quite laugh-out-loud outrageous. Snakes attacking genital areas (either during sexual intercourse or while using the toilet), faces mangled, arms engourged with venom, and the massive boa constrictor that ate a passenger... or at least his head! LOL

Everyone laughed at the bad jokes and cheered at Sam's arrival, ass-kickery, and of course, his out-of-nowhere delivery of "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! I'VE HAD IT WITH THESE MUTHAFUCKIN SNAKES ON THIS MUTHAFUCKIN PLANE!! Right there, worth the price of admission.

It was so wrong that it had to be right. The movie was bad in a good way! And the best part was during the credits, there was this horrible music video, and Samuel L. Jackson makes a cameo appearance, wearing the exact same SoaP shirt I had!! Mind you, there are easily 30 different designs out there.

Afterward, we had a movie debrief at Steak n' Shake, where we proceeded to spoof the movie to no end. Shakes on the Plains (Midwest), Snakes on a Plate (spaghetti), Snake in my Pants (figure that one out yourself), etc.

And hey, don't mock my camera skills for cutting out Rasmus over there <--. They all posed when I was trying to get a shot of the sign overhead... my apologies Rasmatic for half your likeness. Hopefully it was his better half. So that about wraps it up! The experience was enjoyable, the movie delivered as expected, and all I got was this lousy muthafuckin awesome shirt! It was all snakes on a plane.

Men At Work

With all the recent goings-on in my life, this feels like a great time to do some updates that are all about the gents in my life:

Maybe Single Guy has been upgraded to Definitely Single Guy, but with some recent shady behavior on his part, appears to need a patch for his social awkwardness glitch. DSG is a bit self-centered, as I've come to find out. And I'm still quite puzzled by his motives of friendship or moreship. And without a true one-on-one, I haven't had the chance to explore that question. Then he ditched me, which isn't cool. DSG calls to ask if I want to go to the gay dance club. I say yes, call me when you go. I'm still waiting for that call, one week later. You know, everyone forgets, so that's cool. But have the decency to say, my bad, sorry about the ditch. It's reasonable to me. And when he does call, it's like a drive-by calling. "Heywannahangoutokayseeyabye!" Click! I think he's training for a talkathon or something. I'm starting to wonder if he's worth the time. I need a laugher. And he rarely laughs. Dude really needs to de-frazzle.

I called Ambiguously Straight Guy this weekend to hang out. He has class this weekend, so it was a negatory, but he told me "I'm glad you called, I've been thinking about you." Oh, is that so? To hear him on the phone, it sounded like something you say to a person you've dated and kinda lost touch but want to reconnect. He wants to get together this week. Oh yeah, and last week when he dropped by our office to set up a computer, he found yet another excuse to touch me when we were talking. Oh, ASG, you are a mystery.

My British Boss JP asked me to chair the search committee for a couple of new advisors in our office. I was quite thrilled to be approached because I have wanted to chair this committee since I knew we'd open a search. I was on the last committee and loved the process. Now I get to stretch my legs a bit and take on a new responsibility, so that's exciting. Plus I can dust off my human resources education and put it to practical use. Cheers, JP!

While out at the Gayest Non-Gay Bar with some friends, I noticed this guy working there that I'd seen before serving at a restaurant in town. He basically looks like Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons, but cuter and gayer Lenny Kravitz but thinner and gayer. And he was totally checking me out. I remember him being a bit odd, but the eye contact kept going on, and he is a seemingly available man. Next time I see him, I should strike up a conversation with Sideshow GayBob Thinny Kravitz. I do like the hair!

And this Friday, Aaron will be coming into town for the premiere night of Snakes on A Plane! We both have our T-shirts, and a crew of eager SoaP fans has been assembled. Expect a full debrief with pictures after the event!

** S-minus 4 Days and Counting **

At Times, We're All C3PO

First and foremost, allow me to lay down my operational definition:

C3PO [see-three-pee-oh] adj 1. acting in a manner that is cool, calm, collected, professional, and organized; 2. being fluent in over 6 million forms of chill.

Story of Eventual Connectedness to Above Term:

While catching up on things, my Feyonce and I were watching this TV show about these amateur tornado chasers and their crazy antics. These guys were crazy, kinda like pulling up to a tornado and giving it a hug crazy. So, during one part of the footage, this swirling mass is coming directly at them, and it hasn't touched down completely, but it's hovering about mere feet above the ground, swirling, looking menacing, and naturally, heading directly at them. Then these headlights appear on the other side of the "tornado." I'm like, another group of storm chasers? No, just some car that eventually drives THROUGH the swirling elements and continues past our thrill-joy chasers like it ain't nothin but a thang! We were dumbfounded.

But then I thought, people do grow casual with their weather. New Englanders shrug off three feet of snow, Californians sigh at earthquakes registering below 5.0, Floridians remain seated for Category 2 hurricanes, and in Oklahoma, people drive through fledgling tornadoes. They got places to go, been there, done that. It's fascinating really, how we become so comfortable and practiced with our lives. In this way, we can all be C3PO.

New terms I just coined:
- tornado huggers
- thrill-joy

The Tai Chi of Transition

I've found myself in a strange moment of coincidental and mass changes going on around me.

At work, two co-workers have left for other positions, one is going out on maternity leave, we have an interim advisor starting, and offices are shifting. And that means hiring new staff and training, and all that that entails.

My aunt recently left her horrible employer for a new position. In another office on campus, they were suddenly told that their staff would be divided and the department was fracturing into two separate departments... all details pending. My former manager is leaving her employer for a sweet new job.

Babies born, couples forming and splitting up.

And yet I have remained the same. Sometimes I feel like a future man stashed in cryo-stasis or a cave man locked imprisoned in an ice block. Change brings growth, however good or bad we perceive the differences, and here I am, wanting to be a part of it.
Other times I feel content that things are going well and that my life is relatively in order.

It reminds me of my tai chi lessons, in which one of the forms includes a movement called Palms Pass. With our hands outstretched, they pass each other in a fluid motion, like running your hand across the blades of wild grass. Movement, and I'm in that space between that is motionless.

It's been more of an observation and not a situation that makes me uncomfortable. More so, it reminds me of the randomness of life and how everything can transition seemingly at once. This includes all those wonderful surprises we receive that make us excited and test our faith and resolve.

Sometimes we control the change and sometimes it controls us. Either way, we can strive to be mindful of what the situation means, how we will cope, and what can be learned when palms pass.


While she is my mother, and a mighty fine one at that, in many ways Vick is a lifetime friend to me. Vicki raised Jim and I for several years as a single mother. We had some hard times in this journey, but we worked through it with humor. She showed me that laughter is an important part of life. Even now when I get upset over something trivial, I may stop and laugh at myself. She is a main influence on me being so darned funny nowadays!

Vicki didn't always let me have everything. Sometimes she couldn't afford it, but mostly she knew that having everything wasn't a key to contentment. She taught me the value of priorities, of wanting something and saving for it. She believed I should learn to be independent. As I grew up, Vicki encouraged me to ask my own questions at the store or restaurant. She knew when it was time for me to take on responsibilities.

As a child, I had alopecia, leaving me with little-to-no hair on my head, until about sixth grade. It was difficult sometimes because we moved a lot, so I always had to reintroduce myself. I wanted to cover it up. I felt ashamed for being teased by others, but Vicki taught me not to hide it and to be proud of who I was. I will never forget that.

In kindergarten, Vicki made these peanut butter pumpkins for Halloween. She dressed up in a farmer's outfit and came into class to pass them out. But the A.M. class had eaten the pumpkins by mistake, and I was so upset. She and Miss Bowling asked me to pass out some M&M cookies, and that made me feel better.

Vicki is a fan among my friends. I kid her that she steals my friends from me! Vicki finds it easy to relate with other people and she carries conversations without effort. She has an energy and a smile that is welcoming.

Vicki and I used to wrestle. She'd pin me down and tickle me or otherwise 'torture' me in some motherly way. And don't think she hasn't stopped doing this just because I am an adult. Vicki is relentless! She also used to listen to music in the living room on headphones and sing off key. Really off key! She later claimed it was on purpose, but Gemini (Jim and I) have another theory...

At Christmas, Vicki started a tradition of hiding presents around the house and writing clues for our scavenger hunt. She started this when I was in fourth grade and the tradition continues. While she may not realize it, I get some of my creativity from her. She has an organizational sense, a desire to shakes things up and be inventive, that define her creative nature.

It is no surprise I got my independent spirit and extraverted tendencies from Vicki. And maybe a little stubbornness too, but I won't tell her that. As Lola would say, we can both be bull-headed and contrary. I say to Lola, it takes one to know one! And though we may quarrel at times or have a clash of wills, I will never forget the lessons Vicki taught me, the love that she expressed, or the belief she has in me to be a wonderful person. Takes one to know one.

My Alter Id

If you've read this blog for a spell, you know that I have been locked in a farcical duel with Mutha Nature. We just don't see eye to hurricane eye...

And speaking of which, there's tropical storm Chris. Hey, I finally have my monikered comeuppance, right? I'll be almost famous, yeah? Well, notsomuch. I began to realize by the headlines that this was just another way that Mutha is thumbing her nose at me! I've deluded myself to believe she is mocking my life through this weathered phenomenon.

Chris is a mere tropical storm that showed potential to be a hurricane, but lacked the motivation and force to carry it through. Now Chris has sunk into a depression!

- "...Chris weakened into a depression on Friday morning..."

- "...[Chris may] strengthen again but wouldn't go much farther than that."

- "There were no reports of major damage elsewhere in the Caribbean from Chris..."

Okay, so the last one doesn't fit, but I'm sure I could tease out a metaphor if I had the motivation. Oh, that makes me depressed...

But seriously, I've concerned myself because I actually lost a pound. I know people fluctuate, but if you've seen me eat, you'd wonder how I even maintain my weight. Is it stress? Perhaps. I'm a worrywort by nature. And I do believe I've been sustained many years by the ebb and flow of energy that I like to think of as a healthy bipolar condition, a cyclothymia. Maybe this is my tropical depression season? Of course, it doesn't help that I'm taking offense to the climate, even in a joking way. Freud would have some things to say about that.

So maybe this story is a true metaphor I see in myself. It's time to remotivate myself, build up my energy, and cause some major hurricane-style damage... to an all-you-can-eat buffett!

Hush Hush.

I got a top secret black box in the mail. It was from MINI and for my eyes only. So I thought I'd breach protocol a bit and sneak some clandestine photos to you, my dear readers.

Notice the witty humor on the box. I feel obliged to give you some of those responses, but because you are my trusted inner circle, I'd rather give you a peek inside. So we'll forego the cloak and dagger, and open the black box together.

Hmm. It's a book entitled "a dizzying look at the awesomeness of small." Those funny lot over at MINI spreading the cause of literacy, eh? Maybe, not. Upon further inspection, I notice it's quite light in the load, suspiciously so. Perhaps a clever ruse? Let's crack the cover, break the spine, and browse its pages with a fine-toothed eye... or however it goes.

Nine chapters. Succinct. Less is more, quick to the point, all that jazz. And a forward by the good doctor and author... what's this, though? Another puzzling discover is made when the page turns... laced with forboden... and gold leaf. No, not really, that.

But there is a secret compartment! Not since "Shawshenk Redemption!" Oops, kind of a plot killer. Pay it no mind, just go see the movie already. By now the suspense was killing me. MINI was sending me some hush hush information by means of the tricks and tools of the spycraft trade - deception. My forefinger brushed the cardboard flap before it wedged itself further into the slot, pulling the little door open with unabated anticipation, and like a time capsule anxious to spill its secrets, the 'book' revealed what MINI had intended for my eyes only. And that, my dear readers, is the end of this post.

Oh come off it. You want to know what's inside, ditch your boring car and buy a MINI.