Animal Instincts

Posted by on April 6, 2012 in Animal Instincts with Comments closed |

Are you sick and tired of getting bitched at by your boss? Do you need a couple of weeks off? The next time your boss starts giving you a hard time, start weaving in the characteristics of an animal of your choice into your conversation.

So when the boss says, “Hey, think you can work late tonight?”

Start talking like a cat would if he could speak English and say, “That’d be perrrrrrfect. Just what I always waaannntttted.” (Make sure you roll your tongue to get the full purring effect.)

Or you can start squawking like a parrot and say, “Poly wants a WHAT?! BRAHHH!! Poly wants a WHAT?! BRAHHH!!

This is about the time that he will sense you’re a little insane, but he won’t know what to do. So he’ll probably start to get angry and say something like, “Hey, snap out of it! What the hell’s the matter with you?”

This is when you stand up, put your hands up to your head and make a pair of horns with your fingers. Then start breathing real hard and start stamping like a bull. Then tell him, “You got to the count of three to get the hell out of my office or I’m going to impale your ass!” “1, 2,…2 ½ …3!” Then start running at him.

If he’s halfway sane he’ll start running away. If he doesn’t, change tactics on him, when you get to his side, start panting like a dog. Get down on all fours, wiggle over to him and start sniffing his ass. After that, wrap your arms and legs around him and start humping his leg.

I guarantee that this tactic will almost get you fired. But like any great tactic you have to be willing to carry this through all the way to be effective. Remember this is a war. It’s you against your boss. And if you want to get you a couple of weeks off for rest and relaxation, you have to be willing to bring your A-game. Remember this war cry, “Come strong or don’t come at all.”

So when you get called into the office, there’s a good chance that the boss will be there with the human resource manger, a lawyer and definitely security. They’ll advise you that your services are no longer needed and then they’ll ask security to escort you out of the building. That’s when you’ll have to act quickly.

The script is: “But wait! Why am I being fired? I’m the one who was sexually harassed here! I even played along with it, and now I’m being fired? If anything he’s the one should be fired.”

“What?! What do you mean?” the attorney will ask.

“Well Mr. Johnson asked me to stay late. I heard he’s been asking others to stay late too because he likes them to act out animal sex acts in his office. I was just taking the inevitable ‘bull by the horns’, so to speak. I figured if I’m going to have to act out animal sex acts with my boss in order to save my job, I was going to start first and at least save what little pride I had left. You know? Like a coping technique? I felt at odds with it at first, but I figured if I had to be some other man’s bitch, I was going to at least get the first crack in.”
(By the way, it helps to have plotted with a few co-workers before you get called into the office to help corroborate this story, but this only works if everyone hates the boss too.
If not just say, “I can’t name my sources” when pressed on the issue.)

“WHAT?! He’s FUCKING NUTS!” your boss will protest undoubtedly.

That’s when you hold both hands up in front of your face—top lip lifted to show your upper teeth; fingers pointed outward and say, “Nuts, like a squirrel Mr. Johnson? I heard that’s his way of talking dirty to people,” you say turning to the human resource manager.

“Ok. That’ll be enough of that,” their lawyer will say. Then he’ll ask, “How about you take a couple of weeks off until we can get this figured out, huh? The both of you.”

Ahhhhh…Check and mate. Works everytime.

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Repressed Memory of My First Time

Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Poems, Poetry, Reflections with Comments closed |

I used to steal cigarettes butts
from my step-dad’s ashtray
when I was thirteen and sneak down
to the green mossy sewer
that ran around the soccer fields
by our house for a quick drag.

Twenty years later,
after trying to quit cold-turkey,
then smoking only when I drank,
but never being able to abandon my fix,
I was on a couch getting hypnotized.

You’re relaxed, getting sleepy,
Let me take you back
to your first time.

Outside Grandma’s white kitchen door
where two sleeping dogs were left to lie,
green-painted concrete stairs
led down to a moldy basement
with a leaky air conditioner
underneath an enclosed porch.

We sat on a warped pool table,
faded-blue felt ripped years ago,
with dirty clothes piled on top,
out came a red pack of Marlboros
and a silver Zippo.
Cling!

Gas wafted as flint sparkled,
fire danced to the air’s tune,
then the cigarette’s heart began to beat
in the dark and lit up the room,
the lighter snapped shut as
the mushroom-cloud exploded in my face.

Want to try?
What if we get caught?
Don’t worry, I always come here
.

Grabbing the brown speckled filter
with nimble fingers
and holding it pencil-like,
I placed it to my lips
taking a tiny puff,
followed by a roaring cough.

Now you can’t tell on me
or I’ll tell on you.
I’m not going to tell.

Entranced, I expected to see me and
my step-dad’s cigarettes butts,
stolen at age thirteen, sneaking down
to the green mossy sewer
that ran around the soccer fields
by our house for a quick drag.

Instead I saw a seven year-old boy,
sitting in a moldy basement,
by a leaky air-conditioner,
on a warped pool table,
taking his first drag with
his sixteen year-old Aunt.

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Conda’s Still a Bitch

Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Conda, The Biggest Loser with Comments closed |

Well, it’s Wednesday and my mailbox is full for the third week in a row.

No, it’s not stuffed with Viagra ads, or the Nigerian Prince telling me I’ve won $10,000,000. It’s the day after The Biggest Loser.

What does that mean?

Three weeks ago I wrote a post called, “Conda is a Bitch,” and now every Wednesday dozens of people must Google, “Conda is bitch,” and the posts start rolling in.

It’s really cool to know that more people are reading my work than ever before. But it’s not because of something I wrote. It’s because I picked a great title for a post.

One morning after a show that Conda was particularly nasty in, I Googled, “Conda is a bitch,” and nothing popped up. So I wrote a quick article about her and people like her destroying a team. The next day, and now after every Biggest Loser show, people started flooding in.

So now I need to start figuring out what else can I write about that people want to read? Or maybe that would be the tail wagging the dog. Either way, this has been a weird experience.

Thank you for reading, regardless if it was for me, or for Conda.

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On Hiatus

Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized with Comments closed |

I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to be on hiatus from my blog for a little while. The reason is because I’m on a deadline with my editor for my India book. I plan on naming the book, Poking the Sleep Tiger. If you would like to read the first chapter, you can follow the link here.

Thanks for your support, and I will be back shortly.

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51

The Biggest Loser’s Conda is a Bitch

Posted by on February 1, 2012 in The Biggest Loser |

Ok, I admit it. I watch The Biggest Loser. I’ll even admit that sometimes it makes me cry. The people on the show can be so inspirational. But last night’s show really pissed me off. If you don’t watch the show, I’ll give you a very brief update.

One couple on the show, Adrian and Daphne, got sent home on their very first day. They were told that if they lost 50 lbs combined in 30 days, they would be able to come back on the show. Well Daphne lost 25 lbs. and Adrian lost 34 lbs., so they got to come back to the ranch.

As soon as they were placed on their perspective teams, the bitching began.
Two girls on the red team named Conda and Kim, didn’t like Adrian right away. They both felt like he was lying about how much he worked out at home. Then Conda started taking conversations out of context and began spreading rumors about Adrian. She then complained about him constantly to anyone who would listen and was really being a raging, immature bitch.

Why am I explaining all this to you? The reason is because the Condas of the world can destroy a good team. Whether it’s in sports or at work, a Conda will keep people tense and keep the team separated into groups or cliques. This will ultimately destroy the team. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the red team will not be winning this season.

So just for today, if someone starts being negative by gossiping and bitching about other people, please tell them, “Stop being a Conda.”

If they ask, “What does that mean?”

Just respond with, “A girl who’s a gossipy bitch.” And believe me, it will work better if the offender is a guy.

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Jarring the Memory

Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Dirty Little Secret, doctor, essays, memory, moral dilemma with Comments closed |

I was thinking about what it would take to be the world’s greatest essayist, because I’m that much of a dork and devoted to this craft. And it made me realize that besides writing everyday, you’d probably have to have a hell of a lot of writing prompts.

As my mind began to wander, I thought of myself when I was eight or nine year’s old living in a single wide trailer in St. Charles, MO. My sister’s best friend at the time was named Joclyn who was a couple of years younger than me.

Joclyn stayed over at our house a lot. When she did, she’d take a bath at our house. The bathroom was at the end of the wood-paneled hallway and when I knew Joclyn was in the tub, I’d knock on the door and tell her I had to pee.

I can’t tell you the exact reason why I would do that, but at nine years old, I’m pretty sure you can see that I was already trying to figure out how to see a girl naked.

As I was thinking about this lost memory, all of a sudden in my mind, I saw my mom standing in our old living room. She was pulling out a Girl Scout cookie order form from behind the bookshelf. Joclyn had hid it there because my sister had sold several hundred boxes of Girl Scout cookies and she didn’t want my sister to win some sort of prize.

My mom went ahead and bought the cookies anyway and sold them to whoever she could. All she had to do was explain that my sister had lost her form and people felt sorry for her and bought them. We didn’t find out about Joclyn hiding the form until several months later when she told her brother David, who then told my mom.

Joclyn also told her bother David that I played doctor with her. Which I did, but I lied about it when he and my mom confronted me about the incident.

It’s crazy what your mind can remember regardless of how long it’s been or how embarrassing the situation was. I guess that’s why we temporarily forget those things until it’s jarred from our memories.

While writing this essay, I realized that writing prompts are not necessarily one of the keys to being a good essayist. (I didn’t have one for this piece.) What you probably need to have more than writing prompts are lots of old memoires to drag out of the closet for the world to see. Then you need to have the balls to write about them like no one’s going to read it, no matter how embarrassing it is. (Which is why I really hate knowing that my mom and grandma read this blog.)

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First Chapter of My India Book

Posted by on January 24, 2012 in India Memoir with Comments closed |

Most of you know that I’ve been working on a memoir about my trip to India for five years now. Well I’m happy to report that I only have two sections left before I pass it on to my editor.

I thought I’d give you a preview of the first chapter. This is going to be long for a blog post, five pages total. So you might not want to read it now. But when you get a chance, take a look at it and tell me what you think.

Intro.
If I could have picked any place in the world to visit, India would have been one of the last places on my list. Who wants to see a Feed the Children commercial in real life? But my wife’s parents are from India. So when they asked me and my wife Tejal if we wanted to go with them, I lied and said, “Yes, of course we want to go.”

Ch. 1

“Well it’s all set. I’m going to India for three weeks. The Colonel approved my two weeks vacation plus he gave me one week leave of absence,” I said to a group of my co-workers working back in the booking area in the St. Charles County jail.

“Wow,” Cpl. Johnson said almost under his breath. “In the 14 years I’ve worked here, I’ve never heard of the Colonel giving a leave of absence for a vacation.”

“Me neither,” replied Crosby, an old-timer who they built the jail around when they opened the place. “How long were you on your knees kissing his ass?”

“Up yours Crosby! You’re just mad because they won’t give you a leave of absence for your broken foot. You old crippled bastard,” I said.

“Well I don’t know why you’d want to go hang out with those towel headed, camel jockeys anyways,” he snapped back. “They all stink! Bastards never take a shower. I smell’em everyday when I walk into the gas station to get my coffee before I come to work. Mother-fuckers need to use some of that deodorant they sell in there, that’s what they need to do.”

“Don’t make me kick your ass Crosby. Besides, I’m going with my wife and her parents for two weddings. Her cousin and her niece are getting married.”

“To each other?” replied Wilson, a smart ass crony of Crosby’s.

“No dumb-ass, two separate weddings,” I said.

“I thought your wife was Indian?” Wilson said.

“She is Indian,” I said looking at him puzzled.

“Then why are you going to India?” he said.

“Because,” pausing to let the information process, “Her. Family. Is. From. India. You fucking idiot!”

“Ohhhhh! I thought she was Indian, like American Indian. You know, feathers, not dots,” Wilson said.

“Wilson, you’re the poster child for why birth control should be encouraged. Remind me to bitch-slap your mother when I see her.”

That’s how most of the conversations went when I worked at the County jail. You had to be thick-skinned and quick witted in order to survive there. If not they would eat you alive. They, being the Officers of course.

Oh sure, the Inmates could be hell too, but they were nothing compared to other Officers. See we had one thing over most Inmates and that one thing was intelligence. Contrary to popular belief, most criminals are not the geniuses you see on TV. In the criminal world, the people who are in jail are the unsuccessful criminals. When you pick crime as a career path, getting caught and going to jail is like being fired and unemployed in the real world.

Even the best citizens go to jail every once in a while. Some guys get a DWI or maybe get into an argument with their wife and the police get called for being too loud. But these guys learn from their mistakes and don’t do it again.

When you work at a county jail, there’s Inmates that you deal with all the time. They’re the one’s who get arrested, get out, get rearrested again and repeat the process over and over again. These are the guys who were last in line when God was handing out brains. No, it was definitely the Officers you had to worry about more.

Wilson then said, “Hey Wallace, why don’t we keep mamas out of this? And I’ll keep this,” gyrating his hips back and forth, doing pelvic thrusts, “out’cha mama!”

“Wilson, your dick’s so small that if you even showed it to my mama, she’d think you were offering her a little cocktail weenie. She’d probably even ask you where’s the toothpick at?”

“Weak! That was weak Wallace,” Wilson said.

“Not as weak as your wife was last night after I left her ass in your bed,” I said. “By the way, how’s your wife and my two kids doing?”

“Alright now! That shit’s not funny! Don’t start with that wife thing again,” Wilson yelled.

“Oh shut the fuck up!” Crosby jumped in the discussion. “You sensitive little pussy. Grow a dick for God’s sake! You work at a fucking jail! Inmates are going to say shit like that all the time. You better learn to let it roll off you. You don’t see Wallace getting all upset when I tell him he writes like shit do ya?”

“Hey! I thought you like my stories?” I said a little hurt.

“Eh! I just said that so you wouldn’t go off crying like a little girl,” Crosby said.

“Yeah right! I heard you laughing when you read them,” I snapped back.

“I was laughing at you, and how you write like a five year old. My little grand-daughter can write better than you,” Crosby said playfully.

“Crobsy your grand-daughter is forty-five years old and has a law degree; you old crow!”

“Well that’s true,” Crosby said matter-of-factly, “But I’m not lying right? She can write better than you.”

And that’s how we passed the time working in the jail; honing our cut-down skills, each one of us trying to top the other. Swearing and spewing insults like a river, never letting up and never really trying either. It just came naturally. That is if you were a good Officer.

If you weren’t a good Officer you kept things pent up. You used what little power you were given to take things out on the Inmates. You lost you temper constantly. You yelled and screamed at everyone. You were a target for ridicule. And you took your day home with you, which was rule number one for being a good Officer—leave your day at the door when you walk out. Otherwise you’d turn into a cynical, hard, sloppy drunk.

Whether you were a good or bad Officer, most of us wanted to do something else. But for some reason, we couldn’t leave. We were stuck in a trap. Broken in some way. And after 25 years of working in this crazy environment you didn’t want to end up like so may other broken Officers, with your own gun barrel stuck in your mouth. Sucking on the steel right before you blew your brains out, like so many other Officers have done.

But that wasn’t us. That wasn’t our, “little family”. We all had dreams. This was just our, “transition job,” even if we had been there for six years, or twenty six, as in some cases. And we made sure that anyone around our little, “circle of trust,” was like us: fun, thick-skinned, quick witted, unmotivated, unapologetic and not afraid to fight. That was our definition of being a good Officer.

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Happy James Earl Ray Day Everybody!

Posted by on January 17, 2012 in James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King with Comments closed |

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A “friend” of mine on Facebook wrote, “Happy James Earl Ray Day everybody!”

To which I responded with, “They say, ‘Ignorance is bliss,’ and if that’s true, you must be one of the most blissful guys on the planet.”

Well the gloves came off with that comment and we went straight to texting each other.

He basically asked me, “What’s your problem?”

I said, “I just wrote what I felt at the time. There is so much history there. And there’s a certain connotation behind what you wrote, that I felt I needed to say that.”

We went back and forth a few times, but I know I hurt his feelings calling him out in public, so I apologized for that. But here’s the thing, this person is very close to me and his comment hurt me on so many levels that I know his twenty three year old mind didn’t understand.

To me, it seemed that he was celebrating the assassination of the most celebrated civil rights leader in American history—instead of celebrating his life and work. I know for him it was just a joke. But it wasn’t funny to me.

I remember being about twelve or thirteen years old the first time I heard someone say to me, “Ignorance is bliss.” But I thought it was a compliment.

I remember being about fifteen or sixteen the next time I heard the phrase and I told the person, “I know when people say that it’s not really a compliment. But I don’t know why unless you tell me.”

I don’t really remember what the particular situation was about. But what I do remember is once the person explained it to me, my perspective changed and I had a paradigm shift. Once you see someone else’s point of view and it resonates deep within you, and you see why your original thoughts were wrong, you can’t go back to believing in what you did before.

I know I didn’t explain myself this well while we were texting back and forth. But I hope he gets the message now. And I hope he has a paradigm shift of his own.

Feel free to comment: Have you ever had to call someone you really cared about out in public? Or have you ever had a paradigm shift of your own that you’d like to share?

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How Can I Focus

Posted by on January 13, 2012 in Focus with Comments closed |

How can I focus one thing when I have so much I want to do? What makes it really hard is I have even more stuff that I don’t want to do, but have to.

Right now I’m working a full-time job as law enforcement trainer. I also have three websites that I’m messing around with—all with different topics and goals. On top of that, I’m trying to finish editing the last three chapters of my book that I’ve been working on for almost five years. (Which is way too long to work on any topic that’s not a PhD dissertation.)

Let’s not forget that I’m married and have a two year old, which I love, but still…

Oh, and I almost forgot, I also have a rental house that’s been unoccupied for the last three months because my tenants destroyed it and it’s being rehabbed right now…and on and on and on…

So how do you choose what you want to focus on?

I am very good at starting things before other things are finished. I like to say I have a creative mind, but when projects don’t get finished, what have I really accomplished?

So this month I’m setting two goals. The first is to get my house rentable. The second goal, to finish my edits for my book so I can get it sent off to my editor. That’s it, nothing else. And once those two things are done, I can start moving on to another project.

Have you stretched yourself too thin lately? Did you make a New Year’s Resolution that you have already dropped the ball on?

It’s a new year, but we are far enough into it for you to have fallen back into old habits. If you have, let this be your wakeup call. Take it from me; you don’t want to be working on the same project five New Year Resolutions from now.

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Happy New Year 2012

Posted by on January 1, 2012 in 2012 with Comments closed |

As I’ve gotten older, I have started to realize that maybe my elders are on to something. Some of the sayings that they say are starting to make sense now.

For instance, my Grandma has always said, “Don’t do anything on the first of the year that you don’t want to do all year long.”

Since writing is one of the things I’d like to do all year long, I thought I’d write a quick post.

2011 was one of the roughest years I’ve ever had, financially anyway. But I plan on changing that this year. My wife accepted a new job that I hope works out for her.

I plan on getting my book published this year. I’m two weeks away from my self-imposed deadline of finishing my final draft before I send it off to my new editor. I also plan on working with a Internet marketing coach this year to help get one of my three websites off the ground.

I know that my Grandma is right. Doing something that you want to do on the first of the year is a good start for the rest of the New Year. Now I have just 364 more days to go. (Actually, it’s 365 more days this year because it’s a leap year.) I guess that means I’ll have to do this writing thing again tomorrow.

Good luck to you on whatever your new endeavors are for 2012. Take it day by day and work on whatever you want consistently this year and I’m sure by this time next year, you’ll be well on your way.

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