Monday, December 26, 2005

Sketch o' the Day ~ The Deal

(Click to make bigger)

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Finish

Ever wonder how much time there really is left?


Saturday, December 24, 2005

Kidnap the Sandy Claws

Warning! This will not lift your holiday spirits, unless they're the kind you've been drinking.

It may surprise you to know that I don't do Christmas. (Or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, etc. or whatever else there is out there...) No, I wasn't raised Jehovah Witness. There was the Grinch, there was Ebenezer, but watch out, here comes Simon.

Allow me to preface with the following.

I'm not sure if I ever surpassed the stage of reveling in childlike thought. Consider the imaginary, the surreal, the fables of long ago and faraway, flight and fancy, and the epic nature that exists in the quest for everything. I believe my mode of creative thought comes from those rawest forms of expression, that of primal scribbles and the most saturated wells of color. Things that uplift and dazzle. Things that are infused with youth. This is what I like and in all things I do, I try to draw some aspect from this manifesto.

Except when it comes to this holiday. I can't do it. I can't see much evidence where the giving exceeds the greed. I am severely jaded.

I could give you the usual rebellious reasons about how it's a commercial vampire, the incongruous religious overtones, or how it just makes people go crazy. But for me, on one random Christmas season, in some depressing state, something changed. I realized that I didn't want to be a part of it all. Suddenly, every year when the decorations go up and the silly holiday tunes go on heavy rotation for the rest of the country, I become the worst person to be around. Christmas does not make me feel young, it's at this time I feel the most like a decrepit adult.

Of all the things that I wish that I was ignorant about, it would be the Christmas season. In the end, my childhood memories of Christmas are not about anything except getting presents. That's it. No overwhelming urge to make nice or propagate peace. But back then, in that very well fed skin, it couldn't have possibly been a bad thing. All I could think about was which Transformer I'd be getting next.

I didn't mind the requisite Christmas Eve service so much because, hey, I was allowed to play with fire in church. There I would sit and patiently stare at that candle and zone out thinking about how in just minutes I could make little creatures out of the drippings and then watch them have their untimely end in the flame. Or try to fuse the wax to my fingertips without too much pain involved. But everybody did that right?

Eventually, attending church at this time of year became another series of stories to be endured instead of embraced. Come to think, the whole thing spurred the beginnings of my questioning of faith, a more mature minded way of thinking and feeling less like a kid.

Then again, there are things that make me think this season always brought out more adult-like qualities. I never believed in Santa Claus to begin with. It made absolutely no sense. Candy makes me ill, I could never get into the grating quality of all those Rankin-Bass Rudolph movies and whenever I hear speeches involving "The magic of Christmas" I am cautious that my eyes don't roll back into my head too far lest I become the subject of public lynching. (The term "magical" applied to anything is nauseating enough. And if you'll pardon the expression but it's really just so, um, gay.)

I'm not outwardly uncivil to those who wish to partake in whatever traditional fare they deem the most endearing. But I don't try to get it anymore. It seems particularly rote, uninspired and fake. In the end, I humor those that need humoring. I will wish you a Merry-Winter-Holiday-Of-Your-Choice but that's about the extent of my participation. Please don't misunderstand, I am sincere in the return sentiment because more than likely it was meant in a spirit of goodwill. That's not the problem. Of all the currents I could be fighting this seems to be the most impossible.

It's tricky being in this position when you have kids. People tell me they do it only for the kids. I don't do it BECAUSE I have kids. I'm not talking about kids who don't have anything. I'm talking about my kids. Average, white, suburban, lower-middle class, hopped up on school cafeteria sugar, in need for all things serialized by mass media kids. Good kids but still not exactly in need of much. If I'm supposed to be a parent, one who guides by example, I would think the smartest thing I could do is to skip all the Christmas crap.

I realized it recently because of the sometimes odd relationship I have with my children. There are a lot of moments I don't feel like the adult at all. I run the risk where I just act like a big brother who's merely been saddled with the task of watching over younger siblings. I'll play the same video games, watch the same movies and get caught up in things usually meant for those in primary school age set. Don't even get me started in the Lego aisle. I can be swayed by the right cool toy in a moment of weakness. So in the end, there are times I wish they were older and I was younger. I want to go back to the place of being naive if only to learn it all over again in a way that perhaps makes it palpable.

But reality kicks idealism in the arse often. I did buy two presents this year that bare my name, one for each monkey, simply because they won't understand why Daddy didn't get them anything. I love them very much. But trying to explain the logic of what's going through my mind, say a concept like altruism, to this kindergartner is right now about as effective as slicing steel with a spork. He wants to know what's in it for him. So Elder Monkey gets a Transformer (duh) and Younger Monkey gets some K'nex.

Sigh. How much you wanna bet I'll be playing with these tomorrow morning...

So then, in my little section of American life, once again Christmas isn't about anything else except getting presents. Maybe that's not all but for now that's all I see. But this year hasn't been so bad. I've learned to turn any spite and sadness into mild yet annoying sarcasm, which has been loads of fun among the usual jolly set. Yes indeed, not many presents for me this year. But really I think that's all I wanted to begin with.

All that being said...please do have a good holiday. Maybe even take a moment to consider the why's. And remember to enjoy the presence of those involved as much as the presents that you receive.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sketch o' the Day ~ Discovery

(Click to see bigger)

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Finish

Haven't done a live sketch for a while, and I'm actually takin' a lunch today. For those who're new or happen to catch this in progress, the image above is updated every 5-10 minutes or so as I'm drawing it.


I found one of my old report cards from elementary school. It said "Has a tendency to frequently daydream." Who me?


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Secret Simon Podcast #005

It was either this or fishball soup.

A letter from "Secret" and Michael from Washington DC have submitted more offerings to the PO Box.

RUN TIME - 12:13
SIZE - 2.8 MB
LINKS - Articulatory Loop


Friday, December 09, 2005

Secret Simon Podcast #004


David from Colorado and Dean from Orlando have temporarily appeased the wrath of the PO Box.

RUN TIME - 12:23
SIZE - 5.9 MB
LINKS - Blueberry Pie blog


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Secret Simon Podcast #003

On any given Tuesday. Smells like monkeys.

LENGTH: 12:17


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Secret Simon Podcast #002

The random ramblings of an out-of-tune piano man. Get in the feedback loop.

LENGTH - 12:49


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Secret Simon Podcast #001


I was feeling uppity so I went and did this thing. Take appropriate precautions and listen up. I'll make it all pretty looking later.

RUN TIME: 9:35

You'll notice to the right there is now a new mode of communication as well. We must feed the PO Box to appease it's wrath. ---->


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

50k and a Yo-Yo

With the help of some very interested person/people who kept visiting today, I've now got over 50,000 hits to this little blog. How'd that happen?

The interesting twist is their ip address is in the very part of the city I live in. Not everyone I know is aware of this place. Actually, only an understanding few that I know in real life would appreciate the value in what is shared here. I briefly got that slight tingly feeling of being "caught", although there's nothing to be caught about...except that I have a sexual appetite like everybody else.

That might freak someone out. But they should get over it. So maybe I'll talk more frankly about things like that, I'm not gettin' any at the moment though that's for damn sure.

Bring it, I say. Come out, come out all you who lurk. To go from extreme drama countered by mind numbing routine is all part of the gig. Somebody ask me a difficult question, I'm overdue for another ride.

Meanwhile, I'm starting to go a bit loopy. My computers are starting to talk back to me so I must press onward...


Monday, November 21, 2005

Just Sick

Greetings. It's late.

Of the last 48 hours I've been at work for 36 of them and slept about 3. I'm starting to smell bad and I need a shower. It's hard to breathe. I've got projectile mucus of varying shades. I'm eating Taco Bell right now because I feel like crap already so what the hell. One of my sons is a liar and the other is a vandal. I'm behind on my deadlines. I realize that I talk to myself quite a lot nowadays. And my poop is blue. Blue I tell you.

But really I'm fine. How are you?


Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Ongline World

As you may have noticed, I've caught the podcast bug lately.

Last Thursday on a whim, I noticed the Ongline Podcast was accepting call-ins via Gizmo, so I gave it a try just out of curiosity.

It was a wonderful conversation with congenial host John Ong and fellow listener Tigger from California. We banter on about coming out and religon and podcasting in general.

In other news, we're going to hear the Elder Monkey sing in his first school concert tonight. I can't believe that it's already time for those kinds of things to happen. I'm sure that the majority of parental units don't equate Kindergarteners warbling en masse with one of the levels of purgatory so I probably won't inflict it upon you.

Or perhaps, considering the uncontrollable ways of monkeys (thanks for that Evan), I just might.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Little Voices

I was just mucking around this evening on the computer because I actually had a little time to muck for once. I'm so glad I save everything. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to bring you this little number recorded earlier this year:

Monkey with Mic


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Secret Simon World Tour

Let's move on to something less brain hemorrhaging, shall we? Because I only have one and I'd like to get as much use out of it before the expiration date.

Someday, I'll get to see other places. But in the mean time I'm content to just hear about it from all you wonderful people.

If you've been paying attention the one thing you do know about me is that I'm in Florida. Before That Guy moved on up to Atlanta (after hearing it whisper sweet nothings in his ear), we were chatting one evening and he noticed that I had put my home state as SL. Where in the world is SL?

Well, Simonland, of course.

So, even if you never comment, validate your existence by sending a teeny tiny shoutout on the new nifty-neato map thing called Frappr!

I heard about this on the My Gay Life podcast so go pay him some love also. Is it just me or are there a lot of gay podcasters in Chicago?


Monday, October 24, 2005

An Imperfect Number

I sat in my car this morning trying to warm up after several attempts of fighting fierce winds and icy rain at 6AM pushing sandbags out of the way to get into the back door that would not open. I tried my key over and over again and the door would not open. For ten minutes this went on. My shoes and shirt were soaked through. And finally the door gave way to the deserted warehouse of the early morning. Half of the employees didn't show up until after lunchtime because of the storm. And I discovered that I could have used my key in the new front door after all.

Tonight is the first cold night we've had this season. I need a blanket.


Seven years ago this month, I started working working at this place of employment. Not gainfully, and there certainly aren't ladders to be climbed, but I'm still employed nonetheless. Seven years ago, I moved into this house I call home. In the distance from here to there during those seven years, I just hit over 100,000 miles on my car. Seven is such an odd number to leave things at. Some cultures hold it as a perfect number, although to me it seems rather an imperfect.

Seven years ago today, I remember sitting on a balcony overlooking the beach at dusk feeling a coolness of the same sort. The hotel was a surprise for her. We really had no money for a honeymoon but I pulled some strings. There was another wedding happening on the beach outside our room. When I came to find her she was standing by the door she was ready to go in. I believe I fumbled with the lock to that door as well. We both caught colds after crashing from the stress of finally getting married that night. But we were happy to be together.

Later in the evening, not being wise in the ways of expensive hotels that had such amenities we had forgotten to put up the Do Not Disturb sign on the door. When we heard the door suddenly open and a voice in a droll and unflinching tone, that had obviously seen all this before, asked if we'd like turn down service. I was guessing that's for the bed. And so we sat there naked in the bed, giving her an awkward "No thanks," and couldn't help but burst in laughter after the visitor had made her equally abrupt exit.


Seven years later, tonight, we sit and hold hands for a while. I know she is thinking about it. The monkeys are asleep. The Elder Monkey coughs, a reminder of his current illness. The TV is showing sitcoms and dramas but it all just turns into noise after a while. That familiar question arises, what are you thinking, what am I thinking? We remember the date. We conclude there is no anger, only tired minds. It's late and time for me to go home.

To she, I hope to be her confidante and a comfortable fellow human being until we are ripe and mewling in old age. To she, who is mama to my monkeys, I will do my best to not let them too close to the sun. To she, who I burdened with my name, I will always ask for forgiveness.

As I sit here trying desperately to see through a salty blur in my eyes, with a slight fever and only a few thoughts that are worth anything...I hear the cough. I speak nothing. I'm hungry. I eat chocolate and drink tea and I'm sure it makes my head hurts. Wet socks make my feet itch. I have a lot of work to do that I won't get to. My tummy hurts. I miss people. I take a deep breath.

These are not complaints by the way. Merely observations. I can do nothing more at this point. Although I'm done with slippery doorknobs and will use the front door from now on.

Why we do the things we do will forever be my riddle, sonnet, humor and curse mashed together in a perplexing and unbreakable thread. Ask me again in another seven years.


PS. Now that I have read this again after some sleep it occured to me that I must give off an impression that I'm backtracking or not dealing with all that has happened very well, which couldn't be farther from the truth. I am in fact moving on, I just want to be sure the relationships I have change in a good way. There are times that I do feel guilty though and sometimes reflections can get my apologies.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A New Week At Work! Thundercats, Ho!

I've just gone to the little boys room to discover I have Oliver-Twist-Meets-Mad-Scientist hair. Normally I wouldn't notice, but being that I've been up for some hours already and figuring that even without the aid of any product, bed-head usually would have subsided by now and that nobody really even blinked... I am reminded that anywhere else coworkers might awkwardly glance at random five inch spikes and indicate some kind of reservation to the unprofessional. Or wonder what I was doing with a ruler in the bathroom. (Well I had to know how high we were talking here...)

To give you an idea of the general mindset of the people I work with, this was sent around from the boss first thing this morning. It's highly probable, however, that it's not safe for your workplace...: Puberty Explained

Here's hoping your week has at least one hair-raising yet life affirming moment. Hair not required.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Somewhere Inbetween

You know, my biggest obstacle in writing is that sometimes the precedent I set is overly drenched with emotion and insight that the words are too sincere for my own good. Write, delete, write, delete, write, delete, delete. Eventually even the best ingredients will go bland when overcooked. Most of the time what you get to read is something that takes me less than half an hour to write. It's one of those principles that you don't learn about in art school, but figure out on your own later, that usually your first thought is the best thought. It's something I can do much easier with the sketches but not so easy for me with the arrangement of words.

And so, I haven't had many interesting first thoughts lately, nor the time to sort out what needs to go in the pot. So until I can settle down and figure out my mind about everything thats been goin' down lately, here are a few banal bits that have kept me distracted enough to know that I at least haven't lost my peripheral vision. :

* Podcasts I was never interested in talk radio...on the radio. It must be because it's on the radio. I can't stop listening to podcasts. People give me a blank stare when I try to talk about what they are. Radio for control freaks? Blathering souls with sound equipment? Really it's nothing more than an audio file with a fancy name. However, like anything else on this addictive thing dubbed the internet, go discover them at your own risk. Podcast Alley is a good place to explore. (And since I have a feeling I have a lot of gay readers out there, you can check out qPodder.)

* Funny Linky - Here's a quickie for you. The Pretty Boys Club. Literally, it'll probably only take you less than a minute to ogle at the banter and fine male specimens, but my, what an enjoyable minute it is. And if you haven't ever noticed, I like to list new blogs that catch my eye at the top of the list in the sidebar over there ----->

* check dis scally lad owt - Speaking of British boys, this isn't one that I read, but for a while I was getting hits from Gay Scally Lad, an explicit and linguistically challenging escapade of extremely horny Brit boys. This isn't the first time a gay sex site has linked me and while it is sorta flattering in a weird way, I often wonder...WHY exactly? Wouldn't any random bloke looking to get their jollies off more than likely be confused to land in my rather tame corner after, for example, just reading about"...this str8 scally woz alwayz gettin his kit off an now u can see all his fit body, an he's got a massiv cock!" It's just all that indelible sexual repression that's subconsciously oozing out of my writing. That's the ticket. UPDATE: Upon further inspection they've recently come to their senses and removed me from their links. I can't help but chuckle a bit.

* I've been periodically gathering up all the various scraps of art that are longing to be rescued from folders deep in the heart of my hard drive. Hopefully with bigger things in mind. Here actually is a sketch that will never see print again, a victim of the Great iMac Crash of 2004. Damned to be lo-resolution for eternity, it may as well enjoy a home here.

* OK so I lied, I remember now that "first thought, best thought" is indeed something I learned in art school. From a talk that Alan Ginsberg gave. Go figure. Don't worry there's more sketches and real life drama on the way.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sketch o' the Day ~ Conjurer

If you'll excuse me I seem to be expactorating mass amounts of color at the moment. I'll have to check and see if someone set the dial to 11.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Sketch o' the Day ~ Luminescient

No time for words these days. So we sketch.

Update: for your convenience (actually more for my convenience) you can see all past sketches grouped nice and tidy in the bar to your right. Wasn't that nice of me? ---->


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Moving Right Along

There's been a lot of moving lately.

Some have recently moved (Twenty-Sum, Hot Toddy), some far distances (Wayward Puppy, Josh & Josh), some in the process of moving (ThatGuy, Traveling Spotlight) and some will more than likely be moving soon (Faustus, Blueberry Pie). Then there are those that are always on the move (Matt) and those who have the longing to relocate (Sardonic Bomb).

To all of you I express my sincere sympathy as the process of moving can very well suck big donkey balls. (That's the nicest thing I could think to say about that.)

I myself will be staying put, barring natural disasters or human acts of stupidity, somewhere along the lines of "a long ass time". Also because I don't want to have to think about moving things like a piano. Oh, and also because I'll be paying on this house for said "long ass time".

Katrina, of course, has put me in purge mode, getting rid of unnecessary crap to make things a bit more...portable. I haven't ever had to evacuate since we are on the highest ground around here, but I don't see the raging storms calming down anytime soon. We've been very lucky but I don't put much stock in that.

I think you dear readers may be a little confused as to my living situation. I seem to have to explain it a lot to those I talk to. As for me, I never moved, I still live in the same house. C and the boys moved out months ago, but merely down a couple blocks and across the street, to reside with Grandma & Grandpa. Hence I see them just about every day.

It was up in the air for a very long time, should I move closer to work, should I get a job closer to the boys, will I be able to eat after paying rent, child support & too much debt, should I just live in my car, etc. So, I got a hefty home loan to take care of the mortgage and most of our accumulated debt, put it in my name. I'm glad to do it. It means we are back at more of a clean slate financially, schools and jobs are in place, and we seem to be in a stable routine again. All of which are good things.

But you know, I don't really want to move. Even when I had a reason to, I didn't want to. I'd like to visit some new places of course, so I don't become such a cracker that I just snap in two from being stale. For the most part I think I have it alright down here.

Regardless, my place of employment is still a good 45 minutes away. It's a conundrum. I'll do what I have to, of course, but I despise using all that gas. Not because of the current prices, either. It's always been a play on my conscience since I've owned a car that I should just learn to ride a bike and stop supporting that whole massive aspect of consumerism. I could ride the bus but that would take many hours a day. Sometimes practicality has to rule over efficiency.

Work is moving, which is why I bring all this up. Only down the road from where they are now, so no change in drive for me really. This weekend in fact. And we aren't just talking about a few offices, we have a whole warehouse full of stuff. We are a small company but not that small. Being on salary has it's downfalls of course. This is the second time we've moved our base of operations so by the third time we'll be pros and should just start a moving company.

Monkey News:

C got a beta fish yesterday. Upon questioning of resident monkeys, Elder Monkey decided on Oscar (I'm sure this couldn't have ANYTHING to do with what I affectionately dub "That Other Fish Movie") and Younger Monkey declared that it's name be Christmas (Younger Monkey). Thus, Oscar Christmas, or as I shall be calling it, the OC, has found a new home. May it live a long fishy life. C also had to do some mysterious research last night. This may be leading towards their adoption of a four legged creature, but I'll report on that if it happens. It appears Grandma is now on board but convincing Grandpa is another matter.

These are the things that wake me up on a Sunday morning.

UPDATE: And now there is lice. Ye gods.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Kindergarten 101

Monkey, the Elder, doesn't tell us much about school. It's the curse of trying to be an involved parent I suppose. We know that he gets on a bus that takes him somewhere and that he brings home a notebook that the teacher signs everyday to give his progress. All it has in it, everyday without fail, is a smiley face. Upon inquiry, he doesn't seem to have any knowledge of what occurred in the preceding hours.

By all accounts he could be testing top secret devices in a classified underground lair. Which, you know, if that's the case, I understand, mums the word. He did reveal to us the other day that only kids can be spies. Grown ups are too old to be spies. It would explain why he's so completely dirty when I pick him up sometimes, and not to give in under interrogation...

Last night was his Kindergarten open house. Although he'd never admit to it apparently he does indeed attend class everyday and interacts with a whole bevy of other monkeys and enjoys it.

His teacher, Mrs. M, is a very kind lady with a droll tone of voice, who can't come in for 7AM conferences and resembles Karen Carpenter if she consumed food. The room was adorned with all the trappings for a full day of books and toys and crayons. Dear lord, that's a lot of tadpoles. So, generally, it's much like my office at work, except we have dogs instead of tadpoles and they have their own bathroom.

Somewhere in there, the new principal, the assistant principal (I think) and the PTA recruiter all made appearances. They all fit elementary school stereotypes to a fault, all being jovial and with over-annunciated flare. "We love your children! Please love me, too! Join the PTA!"

One thing that has never changed, there is something awry with all school administrators hair. Pretty much always. The assistant principal had seemed to have an entire water park mountain slide on the left side of her head. And some of the office employees have some interesting do's as well. It must be a dress code thing.

Was all that too mean? I'm just tellin' it like it is...I'm just a hippie in need of a haircut.

What else. He can write his name, yay! He has a few problems with the lower case "a", it looks more like a "q" and hence his name turns into something given by the Jedi Council. Numbers, shapes, and all that stuff are a cinch. He knows around 30 letters of the alphabet. Words are starting to emerge. Day begins at 7:45, lunch at 10:10 in the morning, which is a bit insane, but then they get out at 1:45. He gets Music on Wednesdays and Art on Fridays, and PE the other three days.

Nap time is turning into Daydream time. Enjoy that while you can little mister.

When they do some assessment testing very soon, he'll need to be able to relay the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears from memory. While that is a good thing, as there was a time when he wouldn't go to sleep without that particular tale being told, I'm worried he might have picked up some of the creative liberties that C and I may have inadvertently introduced to make it more interesting. They probably aren't looking to find Goldilocks ending up as a conglomerate CEO and the target of contract hits from the three ninja Kodiaks. Or something. It was a while ago, give me some slack.

I don't remember anything of consequence before the third grade so I often wonder how much of this he'll retain. All the better to keep it documented and filed away for future embarrassm--, um, reference.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Here Dwells the Vampire Manatees

It's good to have inside jokes. For me and my wife C, those inane pieces of information that know one else gets are in steady supply. I could tell you all about how we came up with the concept of the crazed vampire manatees, in their speedboats seeking vengeance, but I think that's best left to wandering minds.

Actually, I couldn't tell you. But somewhere in there was something about chocolate super spy laxatives. Inside jokes are all about being happenstance and not so much the end result, anyways.

Our relationship is the weirdest thing I've ever personally heard or read about. I'm talking about when I write it all down and read it again later. When I go back and see the ways that we interact and interact now. The hows and wheres and whens all conspire with each other and try in vain to give way to the whys. It all seems so random sometimes.

I think that I like being by myself. Maybe.

Today, I woke up at 10, went back to bed, floundered around in my underwear, played a mindless but entertaining video game, tried to get to the gym, listened to music way too loudly, sipped on warm Gatorade until the wavering heat of the afternoon started to tell me it was much, much nicer outside.

Gatorade always makes me think about when I was young and pathetically ill. That was the only time Gatorade was ever in the house. I drink it more often now without an accompanying ailment, however the Lemon-Lime flavor always brings flashbacks of fever and phlegm.

The video game of choice was Alien Hominid. It's probably the most violent and carpal tunnel inducing game that I own. Even though there a setting to turn off the gore, I don't let the monkeys play this one. Come get me you FBI mofos I can take your heat. And your spaceships. Bring it.

I'm stuck right now, in Area 51 against an electric wielding foe. It's what I get for trying the Medium difficulty setting.

I could blame all this behavior on the strangely mild but ominous stomach flu type thing that has been plaguing me this weekend. Or the lack of other beings in the house to answer to. But I know better. Even though my responsibility to be present has somewhat been lessened, I find myself down the street in my wife's presence still more than anyone else. This weekend we were pretty much sick together, switching off to who was feeling better with toxic burps, diarrhea and keeping the monkeys from playing dodgeball with kitchen utensils.

She asked me a bit ago when I fell out of love with her. There's a kicker of a question if I ever heard one. I couldn't answer her. Because I don't know. I should know but I don't. Maybe I never did. Maybe it's always been a different kind of love. Perhaps I'm just a madman.

So then I don't talk about it. If ever you have a conversation with me and I am silent, it's because I like you and I'm trying to think of the best words to put together but there just aren't any that are suitable. It drives her crazy. She says I need to communicate better with those that I may wish to have any kind of relationship with. Easier said than done. Except in my case it's easier done than said, though. Sans the easier part.

Even with all this freedom, I feel all the passion draining out of my life slowly. My confusions about social interaction are turning me slightly asexual. Lately, I haven't the desire to be with anyone in the palm-sweating romantical type fashion. I don't want to seek out dates or debaucherous nights on the town. I mean, I do, but I don't. You know?

No, I imagine some of you don't know.

But then, she doesn't either. She's familiar, she's what I know about my experience with love. She's a safe haven. She's comfortable. She's a friend beyond obligation. I wish that I could be what she needs in all respects. I just want to be able to please people. That is all.

Currently it's my turn to be nauseous. Time to go drink some more Gatorade and go to bed.


Friday, September 09, 2005

Quoth the Monkey

Elder Monkey goes outside to wait for the bus: "This morning smells like dog."

Mom, a bit perplexed: "What?"

Elder Monkey: "You know, it's like dog. There's this boy in my class who smells like dog."

Mom, a bit aghast: "Did you tell him that?"

Elder Monkey: "Yeah."

Mom, a bit more aghast: "Why?"

Elder Monkey: "Cause he smells like DOG."

Apparently the dog in question was not just a dog but a Doooooooooog, spoken, I am sure, complete with the swoopy, dialect, dramatic eyes, hands, and head tilt. I swear, he's a teenager trapped in a five-year olds body.

Like when talking about his impending trip to see March of the Penguins this afternoon, he will so get on your case if you call it "that Penguin movie."

"Daddy, it's March of the Penguins." (Insert silent sigh that so says "Why do I always have to correct you people.") I'll be awaiting his review this evening.

This has been the comedic highlight of my week. Up there with my wife's description of that sequel to Silence of the Lambs wherein she will never again be able to watch Ray Liotta without giving new meaning to the term the term brain food. Sorry if that's a spoiler to anyone but really, there aught to be an extra warning on movies that involve eating one's own brain.

I'm pretty sure it doesn't make you smarter but go ahead let me know how that works out for you.


Monday, August 29, 2005

Stormy Thoughts

Dear New Orleans,

I am so truly sorry for sending the the hurricane in your direction. I know it's selfish and caused millions of dollars worth of damage but after your relatives barreled through last summer, I was under strict instructions by higher powers (the mother of my children) to make sure my son had his birthday party this year without interference. Please know that I wasn't aiming for you specifically it was just more of a general deflection in self defense. I'd send you some leftover cake but I'm thinking you aren't in the mood for remnants of a party about now.

Overall he had a great day birthday and really he would have run circles around you anyway.


Every time there is a hurricane lately I think about how Storm from the X-Men has the most improbable powers. I mean, that's just not fair. If you control the can basically manipulate the physical universe. Of course that arch-villain Magneto can do that too I suppose. I think I just can't relate with mutants who seem more godlike in their abilities as opposed to those with powers limited to use of their bodies. Although, since being a mere human, I'll never be able to bamf, snikt, phoom or blink energy out of my various orifices anyway. But I digress.

I'm just glad I'm not in her shoes, because first of all I don't think I'd make a good looking drag queen in silver white hair but I'd also be under this self-imposed obligation 24/7 to make sure everyone on the planet isn't dying from tsunamis, heat waves or ice storms. Who's got time to be in a movie when you're off making sure people don't get lifted off to Oz with the cows.

Although it would have been nice to have her around about now. Please don't think I'm making light of the situation, the folly of this mere mortal mind simply takes over sometimes.

I could see it now, Ororo vs. Katrina bitch slapping it out in the Gulf of Mexico. I'm not talking about wispy Halle-Berry-Storm here, more like Grace-Jones-mohawk-leather Storm that should be able to just look at you and you understand that "Sure I could pelt your ass with hailstones but I'd rather drive my nine-inch high heels in your rectum if you don't git. Ho."

While I'm on the topic of forces of destruction, I called home tonight to see how Younger Monkey did back at school today after last week's flying train fiasco. All seemed well, his fellow classmates spared his wrath. Which makes me able to sleep at night. And hopefully he as well.

The scene from ace reporter Elder Monkey over at Kindergarten Action News, informs us that a girl at lunch threw up all her chicken nuggets. These are the things he chooses to tell us about. We aren't sure if he still has a substitute teacher but, by god, we know about the vomit. I need a Cerebro-like device so I can sit at my command station here at work and psychically scan his mind, like Professor X.

Except, see I do have mutant abilities, I can make my brain freeze whenever I drink a smoothie too fast. I wonder if frozen brains absorb the flavor of whatever you're drinking. I can see it now, return of the Zombie Ice-Cream Man, Get your icey pop brains on a stick! Now in the new whipped, soft serve variety! I'll have mango-peach, please.

All the mutants I want to be have bad hair (or in this case no hair). Don't even get me started on the flea and mange issues that Beast must have going on. Although I must say I've had Wolverine's hair on more than one occasion, so I feel for the follically challenged Canuck. And retractable claws might come in handy but I'm afraid I'd kill myself while picking my nose. Who am I kidding, I'm pretty sure every gay man wants to be Colossus anyway...

Right, so since this turned into a ridiculous X-Men comparison, whose role would you fill? I've been out of the loop so try not to confuse me with talk about characters past say 1995.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Brotherly Love

In an unprecedented move last night C and I left the kids at home and ventured out to an actual movie theater. It was nice to spend time with her without the kids like old times. Anyways, we saw The Brothers Grimm.

Because I am an awful geek I haven't seen many Terry Gilliam movies in order to give it a satisfactory comparison. But generally I enjoyed it. It took me a little bit to get into it realizing this was a comedy as well as the obvious horror elements. I'd have to say I didn't see much development in the characters which didn't make them all that initially appealing to me. But I have a feeling that given it's roots firmly planted in twisting fairy tales it was the point to play on those established archetypes instead.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Terry's animation sensibilities and whiffs of Monty Python as well. Because I had some training in animation I now can't watch any movie that has significant visual worth without dissecting it a bit. The animation, interestingly enough, was rather stilted but I think it worked magnificently. Like stop-motion style Clash of the Titans meets Roger Rabbit. Forest trees like spiders, a wolf that flies, and there was a smashing scene involving a gingerbread man made of mud stealing someone else's facial features. Among other things. Fantastic.

Some parents will take their kids to see any old thing nowadays but I think the audience was mildly confused. Maybe they were expecting a more straight forward action/adventure romp as there were a lot of really young children present. It's a spin on folk lore but certainly not another Shrek. Thank goodness for that, though. I think only a few people besides myself found the odd humor throughout it, well, humorous. This isn't one for small monkeys unless you don't mind them seeing mutilated bodies falling from the sky. And stuff.

Speaking of which, I really liked the interaction between the brothers because I can see them as older versions of my boys it's not even funny.

And not that I dwell on these things but in this movie...I could so easily crush on Heath Ledger over Matt Damon any day. Some might get annoyed with his character's mumbling antics but I thought he was very cute. Maybe I'm just a sucker for a bumbling hero with a british accent. (Although shouldn't they have been German in this flick?)

Oh and I saw a full trailer for the Corpse Bride which made me smile when I wasn't looking. All of the sudden I'm going to the movies again. Elder Monkey really wants to see this but I think I may need to see it first.

In completely off topic awful movie news, I was listening to Keith and the Girl this week and they were talking about an upcoming movie called Snakes on a Plane. It's about deadly snakes...that get loose...on an airborne plane. And it has Sam Jackson in it. Um, yeah.

Based on this information someone really needs to give me some money to make a movie. It would be intricate, epic, beautiful and way too complicated for it's own good and end up going way over budget. I'd eventually scrap it because I wouldn't want to undergo the massive public scrutiny. Donations are now being accepted.


Friday, August 26, 2005

Crime and Punishment

Gack. My wife just called. Apparently the younger monkey has been sent home from pre-school today for throwing a train at a girl's noggin and causing a major welt.

This is not good. The last few weeks, in fact, he's been increasingly violent all around. He's kicking and hitting and biting when he doesn't get his way. There's been no sudden change in routine that I can ascertain and yet he's listening less and less. I've always been under the impression that he might be a bit, um, challenged and unfortunately it seems he's heading that way.

When she went to go pick him up, he was seemingly sorry for what he did, (he did something similar yesterday) but I've never seen evidence where he's actively learning from it. Right, I know, he's three and a boy. He doesn't get it yet. They can wake up tomorrow and the universe has reset itself. The only change i can think of is that the Elder Monkey is not around at school anymore. I know that they get away with a lot more rough and tumble around each other than when other kids are around. They are testing their limits and I'm sure those limits are strained in public places.

I was raised in two different households, one being rooted in Christian fundamental ideas, the other in a more free thinking environment but not without it's own share of discipline. For my dad, it was par for the course to give spankings. I was far more afraid to do wrong in my mom's house where the punishment wasn't as severe. I would get get a seething stare and much less inclination to repeat that action again. I wasn't a problem child at all but still, you know what I'm talking about.

For me there is big debate over whether spankings work. In this monkey's case, am I supposed to teach violence is wrong by using a violent act to do it with? Does that make any sense? Especially in a mind that doesn't even seem to care what punishment is all about? Wouldn't that just instill a tendency that will become much worse as he ages? But then again, he doesn't want to listen until you without a kind of physical involvement.

I won't give spankings. I'll admit once or twice I have but it was such an emotionally gut wrenching experience it must be a last resort if at all. I'm not a child psychologist or an expert parent by any means but I do know that every child is different and will require attention in different ways. In his case, I don't see this monkey willingly submitting his posterior without a physical fight. I know life is not all peaches and cream but that can't be the way that it is.

I fear that the Time Out chair will be in use far too much. Although Time Out doesn't seem to work with him yet the way it does with the Elder Monkey. I think he LIKES Time Out. He'll sit and babble to himself, play with himself, stand on his head, etc. You can take toys away for a while but that doesn't work either. And then there are the times he just will laugh at you when you get angry. I don't recommend having children to people with anger management issues. It takes an iron will but not an iron fist.

Another thing that is starting to really irk me is how much junk food they seem to get that I have no control over. And even at that, even if they did get all organic, non-processed whatever, it's the sugar that I'm most worried about now. It has to be affecting some mental processes somewhere. And it's daily. I'm assured that they don't get fed it but I think that's a load of crap. The snacks during school, the desserts at home, even at church there is always some kind of super-glazed doughnut to appease. (On a really awful note, I can't think of any other reason I was looking forward to church when I was young than the free food...) Both monkeys have SO MUCH ENERGY already and so it's like feeding coal to the oncoming steam train. Even once a week is too much in my estimation. Friday is always "party night" and I'm sure they'll be getting another dose of grease laden, hydrogenated soy-based, high fructose processed goodies rapidly prepared by minimum wage employees, because hey, they want it.

I hate talking about all this because I sound like such a dictator. I can't win in this modern urban setting though. I totally get why some people homeschool their kids. And then there's that unsettling notion that I've caused this with all the change in my situation in the last year. I don't live with them and I know that divorce has an effect on kids. I'm not sure if this is a manifestation of me not being around as much.

I am at a loss. I work very hard not repeat what I feel were the mistakes of my childhood that I forget they have their own brains that will totally turn into something unique. They look like us but they aren't us. I so wish I could find some evidence somewhere that breaks this down, but the search gives conflicting reports on matters of discipline. I guess all parents run on part instinct, part trial and error. The values we instill are a good base but it's easy to forget that some things are not universal.

We are taking him to some developmental testing to see if there is anything that can help now before he gets into real public school. In the meantime the game of patience has begun. You can send me any scientific studies you want but actually I think I answered my own questions on where I stand by writing all this out. For now.

Let's save the spankings and the sugar highs for the consenting grown-ups, shall we...


Thursday, August 25, 2005

I Should Know Better By Now

Personally, I think it was the monkeys that brought it home. But they don't act sick when they are sick so it's hard to tell. Or it could've been the food I ate a couple days ago that I told myself I wouldn't eat again the last time I had it. It's that curse of being a creature of habit.

So now I'm here at home with some kind of allergy/lack of sleep/bacteria related sinus infection/cold/pity party. But I'm feeling immensely better already after sleeping most of the day away so maybe I just needed some hibernation.

I certainly didn't have much during the night. Someone called at around midnight and didn't leave a message. I could have stumbled around for the phone but it was one of those instances where I couldn't tell if I was imagining the ringing sound in a dream. And then this morning I saw some strange number had called my cell in the middle of the night. So I did have a slight case of sweaty insomnia because of it.

The culprit that triggered this could have been the Demon Bowl I found in the fridge. There had been an odor strengthening with each passing day that penetrated even those things in tightly sealed containers. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I had just cleaned everything out recently, but even the box of baking soda seemed to have reached it's threshold for absorbing this stink.

And then I found it. Hidden away in the depths of the freezer in that one spot you never look, behind the random plastic bag and ice pack that never gets used. I couldn't even tell what it was anymore, it had freezer-burned a lot and strangely the smell wasn't as strong in it's immediate proximity. But once it came out of the freezer..good god almighty. I've seen some wicked food in my day but this had rotted to a state that any troll might be glad to call it's own brew. Even this morning after a day of exorcising the foul being I could sense a tinge of it's former existence in the air.

That said, it could be the water, too. I thought maybe I was reacting to the water the last few months...I have a water purifier that filters all the water in the house and, surprise, it wasn't working properly. Don't know how that happened. I mean, really, what moron would be so foolish to mess with something that cost a whole lot of money and could adversely affect your health if you screw it up. Oh, right, that would be me...

One thing about being home sick during the day is that I remember all those things I was supposed to do months ago. So I finally called the Water People who sent a very nice Water Guy to come fix the Water Machine. I had put it off so long because if it was just a matter of flipping some switch is that really worth a $99 service call? Well, yes, in fact it is. In my lack of talent for anything involving gears and motors, I had actually broken the timer thingy trying to reset it. But now, thanks to Water Guy, in a day or two I'll have happy water again that doesn't seem like I'm swallowing rusty nails. (Not that I was silly enough to actually DRINK the water during all this.) Yay!

Then again it might be the weather. There's a big ol' storm meandering about. Last year we didn't have a birthday party for Younger Monkey as we were in the midst of hurricanes. And whenever we'd reschedule it another one would come. So this Sunday we were going to have his party and guess who's not invited? Her name is Katrina. Poor Monkey. Looks like I may be hibernating again this weekend if we get all that nastiness.

Notice how all of this is a diversionary tactic so I don't mention at all that I could very possibly just be working too much?


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Because all well oiled machines need a good lube.

I'm overwhelmed. Come back on September 1st. I'm sure we have months really just as an excuse to mentally hit the restart switch again every 30 days or so.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now...

Apparently, people have these things called vacations wherein rest is paramount and work somehow flickers off into the distance. Hypothetically, if I was to take one of these mythical endeavors, say sometime around the last week of September... where would I go?

a. Austin (The ACL Music Festival looks like a hell of a thing...)
b. Washington DC (SPX sounds like fun, plus there's dinosaur bones nearby...)
c. San Francisco (Because it's a land far, far away, plus it seems that Duncan is playing there that week...)
d. Boston (My mom grew up there and I hear that leaves actually CHANGE COLOR in the fall...)
e. Atlanta (Keep it close to home and visit my sistah...)
f. Las Vegas (Because it's the place that's furthest away from anywhere I would intentionally go...)
g. Insert other place here that is not Florida. (I'm so open to suggestions that it hurts...)
h. Just stay home and save the cash for something more worthwhile.

Is it sad that I'm not kidding about the last one?

I'd put Tokyo on the list but alas, it seems it requires more money than god to get there and back again. I'm not interested in going to New York by myself. I don't like the cold, I've never seen snow but I think I can get by with pictures. And camping. That's just right out.

So, I dunno. This is all of contingent upon if I still have a brain left after August is through. I'm also taking applications for any kind souls *wink wink* who'd like to put up (with) a wandering blogger for a few days or so. I'm good at being invisible... :P


Monday, August 15, 2005

But I'm Not Dead Yet....

I can't think.

Indeed, I admit, I am at work at this very moment wasting precious time in my own little world instead of working. I also admit that the work I was/am/will be doing today is churning out incredible pieces of crap because I can't concentrate. Let's call this a break to regain my focus.

Upon writing that last paragraph I just realized that incredible if you dissect it, doesn't seem like it should ever be used as a compliment, even if it applies to things that are. It would mean to denounce credit, without believability, without a purpose. Even the best works of fiction maintain some level of credibility to them. I never thought about that before. So I don't think I want to be incredible. (UPDATE: Perhaps in my ill thinking I meant incredulous instead of incredible?)

Don't get me wrong, I've still been attempting to write or talk or draw everyday. But I've turned into a rambling fool as of late. It's been more like a daily tsunami of thoughts, all it leaves is a mess to be cleaned up in it's wake and I'd rather sit up on the high ground for now. It's all random sentences and unfinished, unrelated thoughts. I start it, I look at it. I could post it but then I reread it and...what's the point again?

I've had the monkeys a lot these past few weeks. (I just looked at "monkies" and couldn't figure out why it was spelled wrong. I seem to be distracted by spelling today.) So, I guess, let me recap:

After the week at work with the monkies (damn it, I did it again) wherein not much was accomplished work-wise, I spent the next week waking up at 4am staying until the late hours, intending to get weeks worth of future work accomplished, trying to keep awake without the aid of caffeine, cigarettes OR chocolate milk although I think the chocolate milk might tend to make one sleepier instead and anyway I don't have any of those vices and don't intend to start now. I also intended to document my sons first week at Kindergarten but it's like pulling teeth trying to get anything out of what he DOES all day. So far it seems that he gets to defend himself from a rowdy band of bullies but I can't tell if he's making it up. I thought that wasn't supposed to come until later... I also intended to still make it to the gym more than once a week as it's my saving grace.

Hm. It seems intentions have run amok.

So now, it's August 15 and here we are today. The halfway point for the month. The day when things happen for some. And ok, I'll just say it, the day I add another digit to that all-too-progressive-thinking number that began when some molecules and atoms decided they needed to form the thing that has now become my physical manifestation. Get it? See, hopefully you've read through that and just don't really care because the sentence was so long. Because that's what I do. I take the ridiculous distracting routes, the ones that explore the unnecessary details and things that take no time at all turn into years.

And in the good or bad, I don't like recognition that is beyond my control. What was I saying again?

As for the rest of this month, its running hot all around: work, home, weather, emotions, etc. etc. etc. But no hot men in sight as far as I'm aware of. But...that's ok for now. We finally straightened out the money technicalities and therefore should be filing a divorce soon which means, lo and behold, I should be a single fella again shortly. There are two more immediate birthdays I'll be expected to recognize, including my wife's and that of a monkey who will be 4 and has still yet to show interest in not crapping his shorts and I'm hoping beyond hope that I don't absent-mindedly just work right through them. We'll be moving my place of work to a mortifyingly smaller space and get to cram a warehouse thrice it's size into it's confines. And I'll be working more than humanly possible to finish some newly self-imposed deadlines. And I think there are hurricanes a brewin'.

On top of all that, I'm aching beyond belief to start a new creative endeavor that does not require any integral significance to anyone but myself. Something that doesn't involve marketing. If you know me, you know that I don't hate anything. No really, I don't. But I loathe marketing. Selling anything really. I don't mind the barter system. I'll just trade ya, how about that? My services gladly rendered for food and shelter. You give me what you think it's worth, but I can't stand producing "product" that sits on a retail store shelf to be fondled, passed over or consumed like junk food. I don't want the greenbacks, the simoleons, the beans, the moolah, whatever you call them, it's all a green eyed monster to me. OK, maybe I only despise the voice that's saying "The fate of this thing depends on your ability to sell it," then springing to life and smashing my skull with a sledgehammer.

Oh, if you want to know, I'm 28 now.

If anyone is looking for me I'll be passed out on the couch during lunch absorbing my food through a feeding tube.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

To My Knowledge I Have Never Taken Steroids

OK so, I turn around to check on Monkey No. 2, who is so intently watching his movie that at any moment I'm afraid he may pull a Mike TeeVee on me, and somehow he has twisted half of his shirt and reinserted his arm so that he resembles a wandering warrior urchin ready to kick butt and steal the blueberries out of your muffin. Or else. Rubber lizard sidekick sold separately.

I am so very tired.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Monkey Wrenches, Part Duh

It's 4am and I'm awake.

Monkeys are sleepin' over again. But it's not their fault I can't sleep.

I'd do a sketch but I forgot my tablet at work. I think. I hope its there. I do this all the time. I'll find it sitting next to my brain.

I think I'm allergic to the air conditioner. Yes, I've cleaned out the filters. Can one be allergic to water? Sometimes I think I'm allergic to the water here, as well. I take a shower but that just makes me sneeze more. The fits of burning in my eyes and rubbing my throat raw trying to clear it seem to be random though. Perhaps dust or mold or maybe the humidity or maybe some crickets working overtime. Most nights I am perfectly fine. But, I'd say when most of the natural elements (air, water, earth) are in cahoots with each other it doesn't bode well for a night of slumber.

It also costs a lot to run the air conditioner. I don't really run it when I'm alone but I can't very well have roasted kidlets in the morning. A good nights rest is one of the best things to make sure children turn out healthy and happy. Right. And here I am at the buttcrack of morning up and awake....

Guess I left yesterday's post rather abruptly, but just take what's there and set it on repeat and you get the picture. However, I can add, when you think it's too quiet:

a) Monkey has shed all his clothing save diaper and sneakers.
b) Monkey has climbed on your desk and is about to tatoo himself with a sharpie.
c) Monkey has made his way to the door and is about to attempt escape plan No. 135.

This week is basically non-existant already. Preschool is out this week in preparation for a new school year. Everybody works, so that leaves the boys with me since I can get away with bringing them to my place of employment if need be.

I may as well have taken the week off, since as you can see I was entirely too productive yesterday, but there's stuff at work I gotta be around for even if only for a few minutes. I could easily work from home, but I feel strange doing that. It's like I need the place-that's-not-home-but-don't-want-to-call-my-job to validate my paycheck. It's hard to explain.

Responsibility is not something I ever planned on. I may run into some road rage with it pretty soon.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Monkey Wrenches

Last night the boys stayed over for the first time since they moved out. I think I got about...hmmm, did I sleep? I'm not exactly sure. We all had to sure my bed since they don't have one. And thus the day begins.

5:50 Kick all monkeys out of the bed.

6:17 All monkeys strapped in their seats and packed up for a fun day with dad.

7:00 Arrive at work.

7:30 Make some quick munchies and sit monkeys down for a showing of Treasure Planet. Should be good to go for at least an hour or so right?

7:40 Hear GB tromping upstairs as fast as he can. Which means he's climbed the stairs. Threats of time-out ensue.

7:41 Tromping ensues once again. GB gets to stay with me now in my office.

7:47 Turn on hypnotic iTunes visualizer with music. Yay iTunes!

8:00 Well that lasted about ten minutes... GB don't play with the phone.

8:02 GB stop headbutting my arm and now oh crap what did you make me press to make my screen go dark.

8:06 There was Play-doh in the bucket of toys. Hurray for Play-Doh!

8:14 Hooray for rubber bands! Kinda.

8:27 Put the phone down. Now. Put the phone down. Now.

8:34 GB, give me the scissors!

8:38 Out of the ether a tower of 7-Eleven Double Gulp tumbler cups..go tumbling.

10:12 Boingy boingy boingy...Meemo? Meemo? Daddy daddy, meemo? Finding Nemo goes in, bouncing monkey is tamed for the moment.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

How Not To Eat Lunch

I sit looking straight ahead.

His mouth was moving and the expressions on his face meander about to remind me where I got them from. Those somewhat overly pronounced gestures with my hands when I speak about something in detail? That's him. The resigned lines around my eyes that try to produce a smile when there is no reason to? Him again. The way I speak in glee one moment only to have it betray me because of foolish indecision later? Strike three. I'm out.

The topic is about sound. The anatomy of noise. The waveforms and the levels that are assembled midair and translated through the mechanisms of our auditory receptors. For him, a musician of thirty years in the making yet still desperately trying to crack the eggshell, this is good meat. And I provide my attention as well as can be expected. Ironically, those particular thoughts flow through my one ear and out the other. It's normal par for the course whenever I meet with him one on one.

I try to pay attention, with all my might I try. He would say something about how his computer isn't working properly, I would drift off to the coke machine to my left. He would talk about his inability to work with what he has because everything goes out of date so quickly and a delicious fellow walks by with my gaze in tow to take his place in my peripheral vision to the right.

And then a pause. And another. With each pause the distance eats and grows. I'm at the next table, out the door, down the street, in a field far away, in a city on the West Coast, in Milan, in Osaka, at the bottom of the deep blue Trench. If I wait long enough you can come join me on the moon where I hear they've got a wonderfully sharp cheddar.

I wish I could say I'm happy to be around him. I wish I could say that his exhausted face and failing body are something that I will overcome and in turn will help him overcome. But, I am so similar to him its like a hypnosis of fate. Sorrow is a stain that is hard to wash out. I sink into his eyes even more, trying to discern if there is much left to be hopeful for.

We do not speak of decisions that have been made, point fingers on how things are different and how it makes him sad. We travel around the conversation to points of where things are happening and at what time we should make sure to arrive and what in order they will happen... We speak only of details.

My father makes me extremely tired. I have the fewest words to say to him than anyone else that shares my blood. It feels as though each word is a hundred times heavier than what any nonchalant phrase might be.

I sit there and decide it's time to get back to work since lunch has been eaten and disposed of.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Secret Simon Says No. 4

Listen up.

How many licks does it take to get to the center of the bottle of cheese-wiz?

Regarding what was said before...


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sketch o' the Day ~ Scratchwork

As a kid I always used to pretend I had a pen that could paint with light and make gigantic creations out of thin air. Who knew I'd actually do it someday.

Here's the progression for those interested:

(Click on each to make bigger.)


Saturday, July 16, 2005

Your Presence Is Required, But Not Your Presents.

Today my mom and sis gave me my birthday present. My birthday isn't until next month sometime, as is my wife's. But mom thought it only fitting for me to unwrap it now, since my wife got hers today in the form of that new book that people waited until the witching hour yesterday to get a hold of. Crazy muggles.

Today, however, is my sister's actual birthday (and I'm gettin' the present, how does that work?). She live's in the far away land of north Georgia, going to college, so I don't get to see her all that often. She's got a boyfriend and a three legged kitty and a wacky aunt in residence now so she seems happy and I'm always happy to see her happy. Go read her blog. She rocks.

Anyways, I received two wonderful anthology graphic novels called Flight. It's beautiful and marvelous! I haven't gotten comics in ages. Thus I haven't read them in ages either. I'm going to force myself to sit down and get lost for awhile reading this during the nightly thunderstorm. I enjoy well crafted and unexpected things like this.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Birthdays and Christmas used to excite me immensely. I loved getting presents. I was all about the "Next Big Commercial Franchise Aimed At My Young American Peer Group". But even, then only one thing at a time, as I was still picky. I left Peter Pan in the dust somewhere along the line because whenever these times roll around now, I get intensely annoyed instead. "I don't need anything." "Please don't get me anything." "No, REALLY, I don't want more stuff in my overabundant house of crap!" Where some are just being polite, I actually mean it. It's simple. there are better things to be thinking about than frivloities. Unless it's integral to my survival, it causes some strife with some unnamed parties.

People, as they should, just ignore me and give me stuff all the same. Because of this, it's frustrating to buy me presents since I don't have a geek lust for much anymore. And by much I mean absolutely nothing. When I was young it was so easy. I was pretty exclusively into Transformers. Then later it was all about Disney movies. Then give me anything about Japanese culture. When I was really young and broke, I even had a rubber ball collection somewhere in there just to be collecting something. I'm sure many of you have been there but the names and dates are just different. These days I'm lucky if I qualify merely as an NPR geek since I listen to it on the way to work.

The San Diego ComicCon is taking place this weekend. At one point I would have rearranged my life to get to go to something like that. I had the potential to be a comic book geek in a BIG way. I had a good chance at being a pop music geek when I began working in a music store. I was on the verge of being an anime geek. I could still qualify as Nintendo geek but I don't think I care enough anymore about it. I might be a Mac geek, but in the end it's really just a computer that works well for me and I could easily change if something better were presented to me. All of these things have sadly fallen by the wayside or became mundane force of habit. I know about things but I don't really KNOW about them like I used to.

Besides, how many devout geeks of that sort does the world really need anyway? I'd like to be the unknowing geek in the shadows that strikes without warning...

Don't get me wrong, even though it can eat away your funds and time, being a geek is a great thing. My mom is such a comic book geek and she loves it. I work with a guru among otaku, he would be a hermit otherwise. So as much as I don't understand the massive attachment to Star Wars or Desperate Housewives or Harry Potter or whatever, I see the zeal with which some wait in long lines the night before a new installment or have something to root for if an award is being offered. Or drone on endlessly if only for the hope of gaining some new recruits. And it's because they genuinely enjoy it. Maybe unlike them, I just don't like to share my mass media. At least with fellow know-it-alls. What doesn't make me a snob is that I realize there are indeed others who enjoy these things more than I. It is their life.

Perhaps when something gets the word "icon" slapped onto it, it becomes more...impersonal. Come to think of it, even some things that are more of a niche instead of a phenomenon fall victim. Like when you know of this local band that, "Oh my god, I so relate to what they are singing about and the music is so original and inspiring and the lead singer is so cute!" Get two or more of these people together in the same room and watch the war ensue over who is the bigger fan. Of course, I've been to maybe three concerts in my lifetime, but I think you get the idea.

I apologize, this post was pretty upbeat to start with, but now I'm realizing that I have nothing that I get remotely excited about. Being a geek should be fun! I don't have cable so I don't watch any TV at home, it's very rare that I'll intentionally watch a movie unless it's just on. I don't do books or music or video games or clothes or religion or name it. Nothing seems to have impact or mystery. And going out to do anything? Please. I'd need to be bound and forced at gunpoint.

I suppose it's fair to lump blogging in as being geekish. But just like my computer, blogs are more like a method or means. I could easily just write all this down in a paper journal. Surely though, it's effective as a tool to aid in promoting the geeky qualities in the right hands instead of being the sole end product to consume. Maybe I'd rather be onstage performing rather than merely an audience member. I'd rather be the giver than the receiver, not so much for praise but just for the sake of doing it. But then maybe I'm just some sad bloke who wants so badly for the world to recognize him but doesn't really want to do anything about it. Who knows.

I always thought I'd have some kind of fantastical, colorful things surrounding my life, but it seems the lights have gone out. I miss being a geek about something. I know I have the capability, I do get sucked into the spectacle if it's presence is bold enough. I'll readily admit to watching American Idol last season; knowing who was who and wondering which neophyte was the next the be booted off by the show producers, oops I mean, voted off by the public. I would love to be social again (Er...or would that be, "for once"). To have that giddy glee when talking to friends about what's hot or not, however banal it is. Those with opinions are certainly unwarranted sometimes. But it must be nice to have a genuine knowledge about something to actually articulate an opinion instead of just giving notice that "Well, I heard it was..."

This is partially why I offered my latest proposition. To try and get talking again. Maybe that is why I blog these days. You notice I don't talk about politics or post reviews of movies, etc. The fact is I simply don't play well with others face to face these days. I don't have anything to talk about without feeling like I'll step on your toes and you'll run away. It gets rather stilted and awkwardly silent in person. Chatting online, sending emails, even on the phone is easier than that paralyzing notion of meeting in person. I could do it once before and now it's almost evaporated.

I believe I said before the blog was as close to "out" as I would get. Sadly, it's now become as close to "social" as I am.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain

Yes, I'm posting another audio post, but hear me out, it involves some audience participation.

Secret Simon Says... No. 3

So, in an attempt to make this blog a bit less...uh..self indulgent, I'd like to hear from all you fellow bloggers out there. If you feel so inclined and would like to be interviewed for a quick (but not necessarily painless) 10-15 minutes for a future audio post here by yours truly, let me know.

email: darksymon {at} yahoo {dot} com
AIM: Signalite
yahoo: darksymon


Thursday, July 07, 2005

I'm Coming For You Next Noxema Girl

Facial hair has never been something to brag about among the men in my clan. It's very slow to come in and at when it does, it's quite pathetic and scraggly. With the exception of some not so impressive sideburns, I try to keep it squeaky clean, otherwise I just look (and feel) like a beast who should be in hibernation. The amount of hair on my chin seems to be porportional to my energy level, the more that's there the lazier I am. Recently though, maybe just because I'm getting older, my stubble has gone into overdrive and I have to shave almost every day.

I don't know why but I've been getting these major pimples lately. I'm not talking about a rash of random red bumps. It's like the ones in high school that emerged after I ate an entire TripleXL pizza. Or something called the Chocolate Bandito from Chi-Chi's Mexican restaurant. They are of the blaringly-obvious, couldn't-hide-it-with-makeup-even-if-the-light-was-dim, nerve-altering, hurt-filled ilk. If I hooked my face up to a seismograph I think they'd have to alert FEMA and issue an evacuation.

For me they've always been connected to food. Since I don't eat junk food anymore I'm not sure what's causing them. Maybe it's stress? Or perhaps I just drink too many smoothies to make things less stressful.

Because of this recent insurgence of increased stubble production and unruly activity under my skin, it's been a bit...tricky shaving as of late.

They (being the newly formed mountains of pain) seem to keep only to the areas on my face where I shave. When they emerge I don't shave for a few days hoping they'll just subside like they usually do. It hurts like hell to shave when they are around and I don't want to accidentally entice any fresh wounds. Or would that be flesh wounds? Pardon my Engrish.

However, thanks to the new and improved Faster-Harder-More! attitude my follicles have adopted, a hair or two will inevitably start burrowing up through the core of each dermal anomaly. I had a couple yesterday that were driving me close to certifiable. Piercing and gyrating from the inside out, the hairs irritate these invaders that have made their home where a fine goatee should be instead, to the point I want to take my face to the nearest electric cheese grater and let it have it's way with me.

I couldn't take it anymore. Since it being desperate times and all, I switched out my razor fitting it with a shiny new blade and with the skill of a faux-samurai I began to attack. They never stood a chance. There was bloodshed. There was pus. You could hear something akin to violins screeching in the bathroom. In the end, I slightly resembled an extra in a student-grade vampire film until I could get enough toilet paper to patch it up. Then it was more like a zombie flick. It did take while for it to stop leaking.

Yeah, it's a bit gross, but I find if I'm going to be a whiny bitch I may as well revel in it. I could go on about my earwax debacle but I think maybe you've probably had enough of my bodily functions for one post.

On to the next ailment!


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Would Ya Like To Take Survey?

Introspective thoughts or pretentious babble?

You decide.

If you get gobbledygook when you click on the link, try right-clicking to download the file.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Father's Be Good To Your Daughters...and Sons

Of all the things I wish to be proud of this month, there is no doubt I am proud to be a papa. I often wonder if my own dad is proud of me.

I hadn't planned on really getting anything for my dad. Not because I don't love him, but simply because I often don't even give things like Christmas or birthday presents. Besides, being extremely broke, it's hard to get something for someone who may not appreciate it...

Consider this: We gave him the movie Finding Forrester for a present one year on DVD. He did watch it, decided it had too much bad language or didn't really mesh with his beliefs or maybe he just plain didn't like it. Which I didn't really understand, but it's fine, whatever. However, in his true neurotic fashion, he thought it best that he should just...give it back to get it out of his house. My wife has always had a hard time dealing with him because of things like this. To me it was unsurprising and I've tried to explain his behavior. But to some souls, to return a present that you just don't like to the giver, seems more the sure-fire method of being intentionally insulting. He didn't quite get that. Way to boost my wife's self esteem there, dad. A lot of retail stores won't even take it back because someone "didn't like it."

So, I wasn't going to push myself into getting a gift. I did plan long ago on making a mix CD for him. The trick with him, is that I can't give him things raucous, experimental, angsty or with anything remotely resembling distortion, since he's an old dog now and simply wouldn't dig all that noise. I know that's awful to say. It's also sad because he's the one who instilled in me the diverse musical catalogue that existed outside of pop radio. Symphonies, jazz, folk, odd vocal music, and exotic instruments from far off lands. Since then, I've been on an ongoing quest to please that harshest of music critics. Eternally jotting mental notes about juxtapositions regarding rhythms and harmonies and sonic curiosities that are intriguing but not out of his own audible spectrum.

This comes from his college endeavor to become a band director. With more than enough credits and a semester to go under his belt, he become overwhelmed and never finished. (Proof that history does indeed repeat itself.) He's way too talented in music theory as well, he'd often break the curve in the class. I remember my attempted piano lessons with him were often given up when I really didn't care what a major fifth was and I just wanted to play Gershwin and Shostakovich pieces with all those notes that made the score seem like it had the severe chicken pox. He plays the piano, guitar, trumpet and those things he didn't know he could pick up and figure out. He once made a poster advertising musician for hire "anything but the bagpipes." He even wrote a song for me and my sister. If I can find the words someday I'll post the lyrics.

Back to the task at hand, at least this way there's no reason for giving me a mix CD back since, I already own all the music in order to make the mix. But then I never got around to putting it together. The problem (read excuse) is, just about every bit of music I own is at work right now. Work is 45 minutes away, it's Sunday morning, I only have dialup at home so I don't have enough time to download mp3s of things I already had in mind, etc. But lying in bed this morning, feeling lethargic, lonely and particularly drained from the heat, I got a bug in my ear that started dragging me out of the bed, whipped me onto the floor and body checked me into the CD rack. Lo and behold, there was a stack that I brought home and forgot about until now.

I don't believe in signs. But alright, fine then, I took the challenge. And somehow, even though my selections were thoroughly limited and not close to what was on my mental list, I came up with an intersection of our musical tastes that was exactly what I was looking for. It seems that all the best things I come up with are at the last minute. Like down-to-the-wire, gun-in-my-back, do-it-or-I-breaka-you-face, last minute. So with it, I made a tray card that doubled as a Father's Day card, complete with a few original sketches and the following note:

Dear Dad,

Of all the things
I have learned from you,
I appreciate your instilling the power of music
on this planet,
and in my life.

Here are some songs that I hope you will enjoy as much as I do.

Happy Dad's Day

Love, Me

The Playlist:
Sunrise - Norah Jones
Man In The Long Black Coat - Joan Osborne
Weather Channel - Sheryl Crow
Time and Good Fortune - Duncan Sheik
Emaline - Ben Folds
No Surprises - Radiohead
Beauty Mark - Rufus Wainwright
Cry Me A River - Diana Krall
Humble Me - Norah Jones
Truth - Neil Finn
Angel Standing By - Jewel
Tiny Dancer - Ben Folds
Requiescat - Duncan Sheik
Dinner At Eight - Rufus Wainwright

True it's not really upbeat or all that obscure but I'm satisfied with it. So who knows, if he doesn't give it back, perhaps I'll make him another, we'll see how it goes. He did light up when he found out the doodles I was making at breakfast this morning were for him and not the waitress.


As for me and my monkeys?

It was a good time today. My wife and boys got me a mini George Foreman grill (probably the most dad-like gift I've ever gotten). And homemade cards attached to some odd monuments consisting of a mirror set in plaster that wasn't quite dry yet and a photo of each monkey in the center. Monkey No. 2 gave his to me via training for the Olympic discus throw but somehow it didn't break. And my elder Monkey ordered that I remain with him the rest of the day instead of going to work. I so desperately needed to go to work this weekend. But I didn't. Which I'll be paying for soon I imagine. But at this moment I'm not caring all that much.

We ended up all going to a karaoke party at a British pub later in the evening, with my wife's family. I'm still sick and both my ears are blocked so I wasn't going to sing fearing I'd end up mumbling incoherently. But afterwards I got compliments about sounding like John Mayer, who indeed still mumbles but in a positive way. Strangely, I think I like karaoke.

Oh, the lives we lead and their many strange treasures.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Stand Tall, Stand Proud..But Not In Public

This is apparently how we celebrate diversity and gay pride in my neighborhood.

Commission Bans County From Recognizing Gay Pride
Library's gay pride display taken down

Somebody get out the duct tape before I say something I'll regret later...


Monday, June 13, 2005

Three Days...

...of rain that doesn't cool you down, wind that doesn't make you feel free, no exercise, no sketches, no high school reunion, two sickly monkeys on your back and a massive, mindbending headache equals one Super-Indecisive Sorry-Ass Sloth-like Simon. I think it's my natural state.

I really have no inspiration or inclination to wake up and go to work tomorrow. Or I guess that's now technically later this morning.

But it will not beat me. I won't let it this time.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sketch o' the Day ~ Lost Boy No. 9

The monkeys are sick tonight. I wish I could be there with them...


Sketch o' the Day ~ Lost Boy No. 8

Since yesterday was a bust, I'm doubling up today. Hope you don't mind.


Superfluous Notions

The last two days I've been served up, bowled over and sent down the roller coaster without a restraining device by every single emotion that I think exists.

"How are ya today? Can I get you a little humor to start your day? You take it dark and bitter I assume? Today's special is anxiety marinated in fear and sickness. You can have them make it with irony but it costs extra. Would you like a little spit with that anger? Yes, we have unlimited refills of determination. If this table has too many people I can move you to a table for one. Some sugar in your sweet embarrassed smile? Did you save room for that instance of melancholy? It's got just the right amount of unbridled joy to spice it up. Shall I get your jacket and those couple of tears for you... Sir, you forgot your satisfaction on the way out the door! Guess I'll keep it since he didn't leave a tip. Cheap ass."

I accidentally left the light on in the living room last night. It was a night of dreams and trying hard to breathe. Dreams about conversations with this boy and that girl and that other boy, attending school, old lives, dead lives, places I've yet to be, catching gigantic insects flying far away, giving a kiss to my own scraped knee.

My dreams of men don't ever include sex. In fact, I rarely dream about sex or men for that matter. I did for the first time recently but I don't think I should let on who that was with. Last night, however, included dreams of making love to my wife. I kept waking up every half hour thinking I was late for something. Or wondering if she had come home yet. Then I remembered, I always left the light on for my wife when she worked 'til the early morning. And so she could sleep. Otherwise she'd wake up with terrified fits that someone was in the house.

The only way I can sleep now is in complete darkness.

I didn't take a shower this morning. I just wanted to get out of the house. I kinda stink since I sweat so much last night. If that doesn't drive off the inquisitive minds, today shall be a day of blaring loud, fast, and high music that will hopefully make my throat raw by the time I'm done. Then at least I'll have an excuse to not physically talk to anyone.


Yesterday, I spent the day with my wife. She took the day off so we could straighten out things with the house. It was a day alone without monkeys, without grandparents, without friends, without unwanted opinions thrown our way. Our cell phones didn't seem to ring all day. We didn't get anything accomplished in regards to the house, but it still seemed like a well spent day. It was as though time had stood still all day. Our dynamic has changed. We want to be around each other more now than ever before. I wonder if it must be possible to care for someone too intently.

People don't know or see the wonderfully vivid side of her that is a wild child in disguise. My secret side is boring compared to the complexities that keep me drawn to her. We still finish each others sentences. Old habits take their time to die, and some linger for an eternity. I have a flurry of visions that living like this the rest of my days would bring contentment.

The notions of coupling and relationships come crashing into my perplexities of what a family should be. Does marraige have to be there to define a family? For certain, I believe there are times when blood and law is nothing and proximity is everything. Being able to create an environment can have everything to do with the people that exist in it. In the last few years, I was not part of the bright house that it could have been. My wife told me that there were times that she wished I wouldn't come home. I would sit, stare and rot. She was living with a carcass. After my confessions, those last few weeks we all lived together before they moved out were more enjoyable than difficult. My spark had returned and I could return more than a yes or no response. I wanted to be there. I still work more than I should but now I make the effort to kick myself out more often than not, just for that hour with the monkeys before their bedtime.

I can't speak for her. I can only know what she expresses. She's going to have trust issues for ever after with anyone she gets close to. She's also still very attached to me.

Is it out of place, these ideas of wanting only to be comfortable with the people you live with and a desire to provide that comfort in return? Is it unwarranted that it supersede the mutual survival game or sexual prerogative. It may sound defeatist, it may sound illogical, but I'd give up my sex drive in an instant in order to put us all under the same roof again. Of all the complications in my world, sex seems to be the single most disruptive factor.

Being an average human male near the end of his third decade, it's not going to disappear. And I am undoubtedly gay. The erupting desire to kiss and touch and embrace and hump the living daylights out of some surly piece of masculinity is far to big for it's box and is scratching down the door to get out. With no girls in sight. Which I'd say that makes me completely normal.

I long to be abnormal. I'm homesick in my own house. I severely miss my family. All of them. Whoever they may be.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Sketch o' the Day ~ Lost Boy No. 7

And then there are times when anything I want to actually say in words would just piss off the rest of the world or get me in deep dookie with people I love. I want to be everyone's friend. I'm delusional like that.


Monday, June 06, 2005

Sketch o' the Day ~ Lost Boy No. 6

You know when the best time to go to the gym is? About 5 in the morning. For some reason I got up at that time this morning and ran a few miles on the treadmill. I contemplated jogging around the neighborhood except I'm not sure which neighbors have dogs and shotguns before sunrise.


Sunday, June 05, 2005

Sketch o' the Day ~ Lost Boy No. 5

Tonight we took the monkeys to go see Madagascar. I really, really tried to like it, since I want to like most things animated. I kind of wretched when the giraffe ate a urinal cake out of a New York City bathroom. Somehow, I was only slightly amused and a little disturbed at the American Beauty parody, where the lion wallowed in a bed of steaks and they were falling from the sky on top of him. I also kept waiting for it to get to...something, make some kind of point. When it came to I wanted to go back to the brainless movie it started out as. It seemed like a very expensive and much too long TV special. For all it's rather extensive slapstick, even Monkey No. 2 was bored with it.

This at least, gets the Elder Monkey off our case to go see Star Wars so I won't have to explain to him why it's not OK to chop off your brothers limbs and such. He came up to me the other day, waving his fists wildly, making "fzshooom fzzzsheerm" noises and proclaimed "I'm Darth Vader." (Keep in mind this child has never seen any of the Star Wars films.) I ask him why he wants to be Darth Vader. "Because he's eeeeeeevil." Yes, I see. I have created demon spawn. Must be from my side of the family. Fzshoom. A few minutes later Monkey No. 2 goes running by the door with a pool noodle desperately trying to defend himself. I'm not sure who won that one...Now Monkey No. 1 has moved on to droids and R2-D2 is his hero. Which certainly makes more sense since he's always liked robots better than humans anyways.

Going to the movie today, I recalled a time that I wanted to make those pictures on the screen for the world to view. My dream job when I was in the seventh grade, was to be an animator. I went to college for a short while, to learn the ropes of computer animation. I even aspired to maybe someday get a useless master's degree in animation history (or you could call it being a professional student). But it wasn't meant to be I think. Since then, however, it has been a requirement for me to see any animated film, no matter how horrid, to try and assess it's place in the history of the art form. This probably categorizes me as a nerd.

I would love to make a film for my kids. I'm not talking about something as contemptible as a "children's film", but something for my kids. I thought of this , partly because I heard an interview with Maurice Sendak this weekend. He emphasized that he doesn't write books for children because he doesn't know how and that once you let go of that stigma the best stuff comes to fruition. He's also 76 and he still has the gumption to write and express and create. Which told the nagging impresario in me that I need to get my butt in gear otherwise it maybe for my grandkids. I was also thrilled and amused that he called the modern day Mickey Mouse a whore on national radio. Whew, now I don't have to.

I am, of course, trying to raise next generation nerds, asking the monkey's WHY they liked what they saw. I told them I'll be expecting their 2-page, double spaced, critical analysis by bedtime. Somehow they snuck by wihout handing it in. Must have been a Jedi mind trick...