shaken, not slurred

You’ve probably wondered to yourself, “Where does Cayman get his inspiration for those ‘Annoyances’ posts he pens from time to time?” It’s a great question with a simple answer. I get it from the every day shit that happens to me. Then I expound on that with even more shit that annoys me. And before I know it, I forgot what I was pissed off about in the first place. Okay, I lie, I never forget what I’m pissed off about. It’s why I can never get married again. Wife number two would brutally murder me inside a week, and the worst part is? She’d be justified.

Just for the record, I know you’re not wondering where I get my inspiration for the annoyances posts from. But I saw an opening and I took it. If you have a problem with that, blame Tom Brady. Or Mr. Vera Farmiga. Both.

Anyways . . here’s a quick snapshot of some of the things that harsh my mellow. Pruned and sculpted into a topiary-like middle finger.

My day begins with The Starbucks Experience- There’s never enough parking, for one thing. They got six million square feet of retail space . . with which to sell coffee . . and four parking spaces. And I refuse to use drive-thru for anything I consume. Drive-thru is such a rude American invention if you ask me. It’s like being invited to dinner and then filling up your tupperware containers and leaving. Besides, I want to see the people who are handling my food.

As I move to the door, a young couple is walking in just ahead of me. They keep moving without holding the door because, yanno, they have a busy day of smoking weed and gaming ahead of them and they can’t spare a precious second. As I wait in line behind a couple of professional milfs and Bonnie and Clyde’s illegitimate great grandchildren, I focus my attention on menu items that range from the ridiculous to the even more ridiculous. That’s when the conversations directly in front of me become cross contaminated and here’s what happens . . . (Milf talk is italicized, Bonnie and Clyde 2K in bold).

“James is going away on business next week and hooking up with that bitch from Urban Outfitters . . . So I figured we could go to Rachel’s because she’s going to be opening her legs, and I really want to try that . . . Oh my God, Kurt is so funny! He asked me if I would give him head, and then we can turn it into a meme . . . 

I hit the road with my seventeen dollar chocolate drink as I throw down some Nick Waterhouse. Life, in the moment, is smoother than a Michael Jordan jump shot. Until the mother of all fuckity sounds tears through my ear drums. A parade of Loud Engines-  Trucks, muscle cars, Nissans . . . I have a mathematical equation that goes like this. The louder your engine is, the smaller your penis size. Whatever you’re trying to prove? Stop it. You’re fucking with my tunes!

Work is my daily reminder that Kwai Chang Caine had the right idea in walking the earth. This person hates that person, who is cutting the knees out from under this other person. Those people are leaving and that person over there is really happy about it. Petty rivalries, mindless intrigue, free water. Believe it or not? This is my happy place. I get along with most peeps, and the ones I don’t get along with? Whatevs. The only thing that really annoys me about all of it is The Soap Opera Dynamic. This is when people believe themselves to be characters in some Shakespearean tragedy. They superimpose their given circumstances into preternatural extensions of an ancient plot thrown down by the Cosmos. As if the Big Bang is a ripple in their chip.

I decide to shop for some groceries before I head home. Food shopping is my happy place. I decide on grilled cheese sandwiches- Brie, artisan bread, raspberry dipping sauce. I’m happy.

Then comes checkout. The self serve lanes are so long that I swear Chris Christie must have something to do with it. My happy place has been murdered by that universal annoyance . . Waiting in line. According to a study somewhere, we spend six months of our lives waiting in line. This is why I don’t judge shoplifters.

On the road again and I don’t make it out of the parking lot before a motorist (I’ll call him asshole) shoves his mini-van in front of me; no doubt to save three seconds on his commute home, after which he’ll most likely sit on his ass and watch cable. Dumb ass drivers used to get me all animated back in the day, and then road rage came along and people started getting shot and I stopped getting all animated. I’ve resorted to a new method in this social media age. When someone pisses me off to the extent that I want to toss up my Nixonian discount salute, I just take a pic of them instead. You’d be amazed at how chill people get when they’re left to wonder if their dumb shit self is gonna go viral. In the off chance they DO shoot me? I’ve got their pic on my phone, so there’s that.

So that’s a snapshot of daily annoyances that provide inspiration for my annoyances posts. And now, a few news items that pissed me off.

Kim Davis- She’s been saved more times than a blind surfer, so rather than give testimony to her ability to overcome her mistakes and carry on, she proselytizes. Never mind that her ten cent sermons are antithetical to what faith is all about. Kim is just the latest phony who believes that we should do as she says and yanno, not as she does. And oh by the way? You’re an elected official with a job to do so you can’t hide behind a fucking amendment that doesn’t exist.

Mike Huckabee- Speaking of phonies, this professional Presidential candidate has never met a divisive issue he couldn’t splice into several more hateful pieces. His Kim Davis rally was predictable, as was his wrestling match with that other ass clown- Ted Cruz- over who would get the ‘honor’ of introducing her to the crowd. Pathetic.

The Miami Dolphins- They’re playing in London this morning, and it’s where I want them to stay if they don’t win. I recently penned a letter to my favorite team. It kinda says it all.

Dear Miami Dolphins, 

Fuck. You.

Draftkings and Fanduel- It’s not ‘fantasy’, it’s gambling. Fantasies won’t destroy your credit rating.

bombAhmed Mohamed- Make a bomb . . get a White House invite? I resent this idea that saying such a thing is xenophobic. With all the shit we’ve gone through as a nation- school shootings to the Boston bombing- how in the fuck is my rationale anti-Muslim? No, my rationale is not wanting to get my shit blown up. Sorry kid, but if I’m taking a multiple choice quiz and there are three possible answers as to what that image is showing and it’s between clock, toaster and bomb? Welp, it’s a fucking bomb.

ESPN- They are the monster that ate itself at this point. Their tendency is to always cut bait or marginalize original thought. Which is why Jason Whitlock doesn’t have his own TV show even though he really should because he’s brilliant. It’s why Olbermann and Simmons were given the boot. The four letter knew these guys were ego driven troublemakers, it’s why they hired them in the first place! And suspending Curt Schilling for stating what is actually true- that Muslim jihadists are akin to the Nazis- was the last straw for me. ESPN hasn’t been about journalistic enterprise for a long time, and that has never been more apparent. I have officially tuned out.

Fall Out Boy- They fucked with Uma AND The Munsters and the end result is audible diarrhea? What happened to music?

Well, that’s enough hilarity for one morning. I’m going for my morning walk with my lovely daughter before I settle back in to watch my Dolphins blow another game while I catch up with some of my favorite bloggers.

Peace, love and annoyances.



August 27th, 2009 was the night I stopped believing in the whole happily ever after thing.

It was a Thursday night and it was raining pretty good when I called her up. She’d left a series of manic texts to which I refused to respond, because I hated feeding into her drama almost as much as I hate arguing in text. Our phone conversation wasn’t so much a lover’s spat as it was a natural disaster. Our two and a half year association had been spiraling into a forgettable ending for months, but somehow you never see the end until you’re busy making it.

Her presence in my life had possessed all the qualities of a dream. There was the hazy glow of a perfect place happening all over me; as if my veins were pumping incandescent light. Still, I always carried a sense of foreboding; the kind of invisible weight that tugs at the back of your brain when you’re cognizant of the fact that you’re swimming through a dream- a finite proposition whose answer is light.

The light of recognition began in flashpoints. A tiff here, a full blown argument there. We never reconciled the matters of little consequence so much as we placated them; as if fearful of the well we were borrowing from, full of old wounds that had never truly healed. We were both damaged and I think we both knew the risks we incurred by living separate lives in separate places when so much wrong was courting our steps into some future semblance of together.

I first came to know her through a story she’d written. She possessed a barbed wire prose that tore at the hem of my deepest, darkest places after which she spilled them into the kind of trouble only a great writer ever gets to claim. And I knew, from the very first thing I ever read of hers, that I was swimming in the deep- both as a writer and as a man.

When we split, I took the phone off the hook, emotionally speaking. It took weeks before I could cry about it, a little longer than that before I completely lost it. I called up a friend and it was somewhere inside a rambling mess of words that I declared my moratorium on the whole happily ever after thing.

His reply was predictable for someone who was working on no sleep and who probably needed a few shots of something friendly just to deal with my shit. He told me it was just the breakup talking. He assured me there would come a day when a different girl from a different place would talk me into a different idea of what tomorrow was going to look like. I knew this was bullshit, so I thanked him for his time and I hung up and I took absolutely nothing from his thoughtful advice.

With a little time came a new thing. Something that made all the sense in the world. For me. She was beautiful, smart, accomplished and most importantly of all she had her own life going on. She wasn’t looking for happily ever after, she was just looking for happy.

For six years, she was my disco lemonade. She rallied me, she made me see the error of my jaded belief that a love thing should come with sedatives and a match. Her style was Marilyn Monroe meets Irish gangster meets hippie chick, and our meetings in the middle of it all were the kind of sexy goodness that convinced my spirit to figure out the peaceful easy feeling and yanno, dispense with the bitching.

And then May came along and before it ended, so had we. It wasn’t contentious, it wasn’t August 27th, 2009. She had effectively exorcised those demons for me.Our six years worth of together had saved me from myself, and I didn’t even know it was happening until we ended things. Which is why I wouldn’t change a thing from that beginning, that middle or that end.

The only moratorium I considered this time around was to forego any female companionship of the horizontal variety. For the entire summer. I thought it a good idea to abstain from perfume and curls in order to reflect on the last six years. And umm, mission accomplished.

With my Labor Day whites packed in mothballs, perfume and curls rang my bell. Jen is a thirty something girl with the spirit of a twenty something, the experiences of a forty something and the body of a stripper. See? I am a hopeless romantic, as long as you keep the two separated.

She texted me last weekend to ask what my week was looking like and I hit her back with the mundane particulars. Then she asked if I wouldn’t mind helping her move the rest of her things up to her new place in Wilmington. As a man, I’m blessed with the innate ability to find the prospects of sex in the most obscure, pointless exchanges. It’s called having a penis, and really . . I don’t recommend it. So I placed a phone call to confirm things.

“What’s up with your car?”

“I’m gonna load it up, but it’s pretty small. Yours can take the rest.”

“Jen, I have a Volvo . . not a moving van.”

“It’s just the small shit, no biggie.”

“So your offer is this. I help you pack up both our cars . .”

“Yours, mine’ll be packed up.”

“So I get to pack my car . . .”

“Mmm hmm.”

“With your shit?”

“Mmm hmm”

“And then I follow you to Wilmington. On my day off . . .”

“Yup, and I got dinner.”



Of course, I was in before she offered to buy me dinner. I figured it was going to do me a lot of good to get out and do something with a woman. Never mind that moving is right up there with painting the house and having a vasectomy as far as un-sexy activities go. I’m not discriminating, more like pathetic.

We talked on the phone for most of the hour long trek in our separate rides, and it’s where I detected the slightest, sweetest of changes in her tone. Gone was the stubborn residual of a Minnesota upbringing, replaced with this amazing lilt straight out of every single Carly Simon song I’ve ever heard. Her laughter carried fire and her verbs shimmied and her pauses dripped with honey. That’s what three months without curls and perfume does to your imagination. 

Moving her stuff proved to be less painful than I had anticipated, but that’s only because Jen is a hot chica. It took exactly one back and forth before she attracted the attention of a couple of middle school aged boys.

“Need some help?”

“Oh, you guys are so sweet.” She giggled.

She had them blushing like first graders and working like mules, because that’s how a hot chica gets things done. They helped cut our workload in half and after we thanked them on their way, we toasted with a couple of frosty Coronas before heading out.

We held court at Ulysses American Gastropub, a new age public house that lives inside a strip center. We ordered drinks- she went with a pint of Dogfish Head and I tabbed a Brooklyn Porter. It was somewhere between the drinks and our entrees that we figured out what the rest of the evening was going to look like. This is called Christmas Eve for grownups- that gloriously indefinable moment when two people realize their vertically directed rejoinders are plotting a horizontal culmination.

I began drinking her in as we moved through the rest of our meal. The way her caramel eyes danced whenever she broke into laughter. The way her lips moved in silky waves of heaven and hell. And that dirty blonde wisp that fell across her face with more fury than a lightning strike and fuck . .  did I happen to mention it had been three months?

Seriously, I gave up a lot of shit after my blood pressure started reading like a Golden State Warriors box score back in June. I gave up bourbon, I gave up smokes and snacking. I cut back on my beer consumption to such an extent that I have become the very person I used to make fun of. I’ve become a responsible drinker. And while losing the gut was a nice perk, still . . the no curls and perfume thing was beginning to feel a tad excessive. Or is it moronic? Both.

Before I could argue myself out of another round, she pulled the ultimate hot chica move and teased my mouth open with a bite of her filet. This is a term of endearment to which I have no defense. So as I swigged down the last of my Porter, I began looking for the waitress to fetch me another drink.

I ordered coffee. Jen made it two.

All this time and I never considered the idea that moderation and sex could co-exist. Who knew? I mean, I’ve successfully gone rogue on my rogue. Hemingway would be ashamed of me, if he hadn’t shot himself in the head. So, there’s that.

We ended up back at her place where she fired up some tunes and we got down to the Yada Yada of things. Tomorrow wasn’t a part of the negotiations because she’s got her new life to be getting to and I really do like sleeping alone, if only because I’m a pillow hog. Listen, I get it. I’m a lousy salesman as far as this happily ever after thing goes. Maybe there’s no cure for what’s ailing me, and maybe I don’t care in the blessed least.

Alls I know is that I couldn’t help feeling as if August 28th was finally making the scene.





Cubs BallgirlChicago Cubs fans have this ridiculous custom where the fans who inhabit the bleachers toss back home run balls hit by the visiting team. For most of their Post- Model T existence, you were likely to find more live arms in the stands than in the rotation.

It’s one of the reasons I’ve always hated the Cubs. Nowhere other than Chicago would such a system profit. Then again, nowhere other than Chicago would a team be able to gouge its fan base for more than a century without producing a single championship. You could blame it on entrenched parochialism run amok. I blame it on beer and anti-depressants.

In case you weren’t up on your baseball history, the Cubs haven’t won a title since 1908. Back when Civil War veterans were still swapping stories and the Titanic was a rumor. In the time since Tinkers to Evers to Chance, the Yankees have accumulated twenty seven world titles. Elizabeth Taylor was married forty six times and the internet was invented so that people could watch porn in the privacy of their homes.

The Cubs are MLB’s Stonehenge. People flock to see them despite having no real idea as to their reason for being. Because while the rest of the sport attempts to win October, the Cubs simply exist. Players don’t go to the Cubs to win, they go there to announce their retirement from the game. Even the rookies.

And then this year happens and the Washington Generals of the MLB have gone legitimate. What in the name of Jake Arietta are these Cubs doing to their legacy? Didn’t these guys hear about the hundred year war their team successfully waged against the occupation of World Series hardware? Do black cats mean nothing to them? Would they simply shrug if Bartmann were to throw out the first pitch at a postseason game? Thanks Joe Maddon! You’ve screwed up the last sure thing the game of baseball had to offer.

Of course, there’s still a ton of baseball to be played . . which means Jon Lester might run off with Jennifer Garner now that he finally has the chance. Maybe we’ll find out Kris Bryant is a hologram. And maybe Anthony Rizzo is a witness protection program brat who’s about to be hauled back to Arizona for endangering the family pizza business.

I still think the Cubbies are a World Series longshot-despite the spooky symmetry of a Back to the Future 2 prediction that has coincided with winning baseball at Wrigley- but they do have the look of an October squad. And while I have always despised the lovable losers for packaging inept management as a brand, I have to admire the job Theo Epstein has done with a woebegone franchise (again!). I mean, if Theo becomes the architect of World Series winners in Beantown and the Windy City? He will have achieved Jack Bauer status, as in, no more worlds to conquer. What would he do for an encore? Take over the Browns is my best guess.

There is no way of describing the sound that would emanate from the city of Chicago (The South Side notwithstanding) if the Cubs climbed to the top of the baseball mountain, because it hasn’t been experienced in modern times. I mean, think about all those generations who never witnessed such a thing, and all their descendants who resigned themselves to the same fate. This is a baseball population whose worship of next year is equidistant to a Mars landing, and yet they show up anyways. I gotta admit, there is no truer religion than that of a Cubs fan. If the Cubs ever actually won the World Series, it would stand as the greatest evidence of God’s existence.

And if they do it this year? Run the tags on that DeLorean.


Marilyn Manson for President

Seeing as how just about every elected official and Mark Cuban wants them some Oval Office, I asked myself, “Who in the hell would want to be President?” Think about it . . . no matter how good a job you’re doing, half the public hates your guts. Your family has to go deep cover. Your friends have to become expertly versed in the fine art of measured responses. Your hair goes grayer than a Grateful Dead concert tour. You discover that wielding the biggest bat in the global lineup only means that you’re up first on the late night talk shows. I imagine it’s the political equivalent of being married to Kris Jenner.

So I’mma bring some “What It Is” flavor to the Boss job known as President of the United States. Here’s a look at what a Cayman Thorn administration might look like.

First things first- Hire that guy from the Dos Equis commercials to be my Press Secretary.

Stripper pole in the Lincoln Bedroom- It’s in keeping . Seriously, more wild shit has happened in the Southeast corner of the White House than the sassy E.L. James could pen in five novels. Besides, I’m not gonna put a stripper pole in the Oval Office since that would offend my Vice President.

Vice President Vera Farmiga- I would give her executive powers beyond anything a VP has been enlisted with. She could do whatever she wanted to do, whenever she wanted to do it, as many times as she wanted to do it . . over and over and over again. Okay, where was I?

Pontiac FirebirdThe official bird of the USA- The Pontiac Firebird.

Selfies will be outlawed. If you own a selfie stick, you will be given a grace period in which you can turn it in with no questions asked . . .

Fire the Joint Chiefs and bring in The Expendables- Missions would take ninety minutes, all enemy combatants would be eliminated, zero casualties for us, but plenty of scotch and cigars!

Raid Kim Jong-un’s fridge and distribute the contents to the poor people of North Korea. If the fat fuck has a problem with it, see above. 

Legalize marijuana in all 49 states AND Texas- Admittedly, I was on the fence since I don’t smoke it. But then I read where Morgan Freeman takes it for his fibromyalgia and so now I’m on board. I can’t go against my Surgeon General, after all. And oh by the way, Morgan Freeman will serve double duty as my designated speaker at ALL State of the Union addresses. Michael Buffer will introduce him.

(This chica is my drug czar ’cause I’m changing the job description and Charlo doesn’t care about burning bridges, so long as there’s a quality payoff.)

Ronda Rousey heads up my security detail- If you can get to me, then you’re already dead . . so there’s that.

Until Iran stops calling for the annihilation of its enemies, we will only allow them to enrich flour. Which they can use to make cakes, to send to their enemies. And if their enemies don’t drop dead, then we negotiate further. Baby steps.

Jerry Jones has to pay royalties for the phrase “America’s Team”- It works retroactively, so according to my calculations, he’s gonna owe Uncle Sam about nineteen and a half trillion bucks. Bad news for Cowboys fans, but good news for America since that cancels out the national debt AND buys every American a Big Mac. And if you’re a vegetarian? Keep up the good work.

Declare war on China/Or shut down every Wal-Mart in the USA (Either/Or). . . 

Shit Just Got RealFree one way airfare for every asshole born in this country who wants to be a jihadist- But you can’t come back here, unless you want to be blown into M&M’s. That’s the deal. Enjoy goat jerky, living in caves and running for your life.

The Rose Garden will be expanded to include a Beer Garden- Press conferences daily. Cover charge applies.

I’d be paying closer attention to Germany’s impressive global biceps, because I don’t feel like playing the “What’s the worst that could happen?” game with these peeps . . . ever, again. 

Keep Jack Bauer on speed dial- Because I don’t believe Kiefer Sutherland is a real person. Not for one minute . . .

Pardon Tom Brady- And then give him the Medal of Freedom for having to deal with a tool like Roger Goodell.

Deport Donald Trump- Of course it wouldn’t stick, but it would be funny as shit while it lasted.

Stop declaring war on inanimate objects- The dirty little secret about ‘wars on stuff like drugs and terror is this. Alls it does is increase the budgets of federal agencies with little to no oversight in the tradeoff. Declaring ‘war’ on something sounds really tough, but in reality it achieves bupkis. I vow that I will declare war only on people and places if push comes to shove. I will never declare war on things. Except for emoji’s, which I consider to be a national security threat.

When terrorists strike in another part of the world, I go there personally as a show of strength and support. We can’t just say ‘We’re all in this together’ when it comes to taking on these bastards, we have to show it. 

If you’re a state funded institution, you’re not gonna waste our time with lectures on ‘micro-aggression’. You. Just. Aren’t. 

Every chance I get, I’m asking Mariah Carey to sing us this song. Preferably with me in attendance . . . just saying. 

In the event (when) a scandal engulfs my administration, I promise to be completely transparent. Okay, more like invisible. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll just blame . . .shit, I don’t know . . Windows 10? 

I have to get in touch with Bill Clinton, ’cause I want him to put together an exploratory committee for my possible run. It gets him out of Hilary’s hair for a while, and it’ll catch me up with the gentleman’s clubs on the Eastern seaboard.

God Bless America. For reals.

(Hey, here’s my campaign song. For the moment . . .)








Mars, Venus and Caitlyn

I have to begin with a heartfelt thank you (Yes, I can be heartfelt) to all my peeps out there who reached out and sent good wishes my way. I am reminded all the time as to what a great thing technology is, if only because it allows you to interact with people you otherwise would have never gotten to know. As for me? Still kicking, on my third specialist in a month. The BP isn’t budging so we’ve been looking into possible reasons for this. I keep telling the doctors that it’s because I’m developing super powers and my mortal body is rejecting my organic technology . . . to which they replied with another referral, this time to a psychiatrist. I’m game, as long as she’s hot.  

And now on with the show.

Today’s post is all about the girls. Or guys. Both? Of course, I’m talking about Caitlyn Jenner, the most hyped set of heels since Angelina Jolie made her big screen debut in that movie about the model whose title I can’t recall because I just kept watching the lesbian scene, over and over again. Oh wait, I think the name of the movie was Gia, and I highly recommend it even if I have no blessed idea how the rest of the flick goes.

Caitlyn Jenner is a fascinating case study. Think about it, we’re talking about a world class, gold medal winning Olympian during the Ford administration who lived with a secret for nearly forty years. He was a Wheaties cover boy, the ultimate man’s man . . . in our eyes. We had no idea as to the daily struggle Bruce Jenner was involved in every single day from the time he became a household name to that Vanity Fair cover. If you wrote up that script, you’d end up with more slammed doors than a Mormon Church salesman.

Admittedly, I made light of Bruce Jenner’s estrogen-centric personality many times over the years. I once wrote that Bruce Jenner was a closet NOW member, which only goes to show that Nostradamus and George Carlin must be in my family tree. Of course I was being irreverent in my observation; basing it entirely on Jenner’s submissive deference to the patriarchal Kris Jenner. I like cheap laughs and I cannot lie. Soooo, now that he has become she, I’m not going to construct a pretense that I like Caitlyn. Because really, if I believed Bruce to be a self absorbed weenie whose fame allowed him a pass, why would I change my opinion just because she started wearing heels?

That said, I do applaud her courage. It’s a hell of a thing to live a life you don’t really feel, and it’s a hell of an accomplishment to come at us with the truth two thirds of the way through a testosterone injected narrative, and to do it on a stage, in front of scores of athletes- most of whom share a rather narrow viewpoint when it comes to matters of gender and preference. I didn’t see her speech only because I refuse to watch the ESPY’S- an awards show whose very existence is yet another sign of the impending apocalypse. But Jenner nailed it from all accounts, and good for her.

Caitlyn Jenner is the rare exception to the rule in that she possesses the ability to be a symbol- a real deal one- for change. Symbols rarely have the ability to gestate. Typically, they behave very much like a supernova in that they burn brightly and then explode into a million tiny pieces before the meaning can foster a movement. In most instances all we’re left with is pixie dust and the mostly unrealistic wishes they engender. Caitlyn Jenner- for all the warts of her predecessor- has a chance to stick. Does this mean she’s going to morph from a media whore into a stoic figure? Fat chance. And it doesn’t matter, because all that’s really gonna matter are the actions taken in moving this gender discussion forward. You gotta start somewhere and she’s doing that.

Of course, being the childishly adorable mutt that I am, I can’t help but to wonder about things that have absolutely nothing to do with the big picture quality of this moment. Like, what would my name be if I were a woman?

Mia. Definitely Mia. It’s succinct, cute and versatile. You can see Mia becoming a doctor or a stripper. Hell, she could work her way through school as a stripper, after which she dons the white suit. Whereas Margaret is strictly PhD and Dallas should be written in glitter- Mia can be both, after which she writes a tome and becomes a talk show host. It’s the dream, right?

As far as accoutrements go, I would be a HUGE Coach fan. My collection wouldn’t rival Kardashian, don’t be silly, but it would probably result in divorce papers once I bankrupt my first hubby- who would also be a doctor (We met when I was stripping.) Skirts would be my thing. I’m a dude who’s pushing fifty and I am fed up with pants as it is. Skirts would grant me the presupposition that I was a classy dame whilst hiding the truth of the matter- that I’m just a slut who’s always ready to hike ’em up and get it on.

I’ll finally be able to admit that yes! I have fat days!

I would be all about hoop earrings and tramp stamps and cranberry lipstick (cranberry matches my mood, I read it in Cosmo). I would start a Vera Farmiga fan page that became so popular it gained me an audience with Her. Best case scenario involves me achieving bestie status- which I can only assume involves pillow fights, eating S’mores in lingerie and hours long tickle fights that end in slow motion kissing sessions (I know it’s predictable, but if Gloria Steinem taught this boy anything, it’s to dream big, dammit!).

The truth is, I don’t care whether I come back as a man or a woman in my next life. I just hope I have the courage and the voice that Caitlyn displayed in her speech. It’s pretty ironic, in that she might end up having more balls than Bruce ever did.

Too soon?

For the better part of the last month, I couldn’t do this.

I sat down on Sunday, June 14th and I tried to write a blogpost on my forty eight hour adventure through time that began with a routine six month checkup and went off road from there. I rambled on to the tune of a couple thousand words that proved messier than Picasso’s sketch pad. After which I cried. Sobbed was more like it.

Before I go further, you can chill. I’m not dying. Whatever’s ailing me isn’t likely to be life threatening. A sobering testimony to the fragility of this thing called life? Yeah, it’s been that. Inside the last several weeks I’ve had an ultrasound, a CAT scan, an echocardiogram, an electrocardiogram (Admittedly, I didn’t know the diff before now). I’ve had more blood work done than a vampire on commision, not to mention a couple of new doctors who continue to poke and prod me for answers. I halfway expect them to start sending me Hallmark cards if these relationships go any further. Or at least flowers . . to which I’m partial to sunflowers if they’re reading this.

My official diagnosis is hypertension- the gift that keeps on bitching. Unofficially, I consider this period of my life to be a huge pain in the ass. It’s been months since I had a decent night’s sleep, or since I could have a drink (the kind that puts hair on body parts) without suffering through a headache from Hades. I’ve moved through several different BP meds with little change in my elevated levels.

It’s wait and see.

Soooo, my blogless existence hasn’t been the result of a lack of trying. That Sunday morning attempt last month, the one that ended in a great big bawl of delete was followed with a few more attempts at a post. Each and every one of them was more incoherent and rambling than the last. Until I decided to right my brain before I took another shot. Because I wanted to post something and I wanted to make some kind of sense. And most of all, because I wanted to let you all know that I think about you. And I appreciate you. And yes, you all are something I look forward to.

The irony of these last couple weeks is that I have been gravitating to all the things I look forward to. In between work and dates with doctors, I’ve been taking advantage of the moments. Hugs have become akin to breathing. Saying I love you carries the same effect as an adrenaline shot. Travailing the big ideas is one thing, but trespassing into the simple moments of a day is what makes you realize how amazing life truly is.

That original post involved a trip to the ER and the perspective you gain when you have absolutely no control over what is happening to your body. I wrote the post as if an epitaph to the ordeal, rather than what it was- my introduction to a different way of living. Because the truth of the matter is that I’m still not certain as to what is really going on. All I really know, for absolute certainty, is that I will never . .and I mean ever take my health for granted. It’s not cliched to admit this, but that whole thing about health being the most important thing? Alls I would add is this- your health? It’s the only thing.

Over the last several weeks, the material worries have been marginalized into a little corner. It’s what happens when you do an inventory; you peel away the meaningless and you cull those moments I was talking about earlier. The complicated world you find yourself walking through suddenly becomes a simple piece of work. You become the author of the book you’re writing with each waking day, and so the words you pen with everything you do matter. Lots.

Naturally, I’ve done a lot of thinking recently. My search for answers to the things going on inside my body has led me into this metaphysical journey that has proven to be a merciful oasis when my spirit gets tired. I think back to a time when I was five years old and my world went black and I think back to a time in 2001 when I spent a sleepless night in a hospital room after surgery to remove cancerous growths. Life was trying like hell to beat me down and in both instances, I kept my balance well enough to keep moving forward. Because that’s the whole thing. As beautiful a thing as this life can be, it has an ugly side that will kill you long before the lights go out. It’s easy to feel as if life has become too arduous, that it’s easier to just give up. And to this very real and dark place, my advice to you is this.


I was reminded of just how great a thing this life can be yesterday. A day that began with me rescuing a shrieking coworker from, of all things, a grasshopper. I scooped up the little guy and moved him outside, after which I contemplated the karmic exchange rate of such a thing. Grasshoppers are a mystical embodiment of the time and space we encompass seeing as how they can only move forward; a trait we all aspire to, really.

It took all of a day to receive my answer. As my daughter and me were trying- unsuccessfully- to cram a couple of steel frame chairs I’d just purchased into my car and I was cursing up the fact that I’d sold my truck by using words that very much rhymed with fuck.

“Do you live close by?”

The voice came from a girl inside a Rav4 who was passing by. I replied dumbly with “Yeah”, after which she parked in the space next to mine and offered to load it up and follow me home.

Who does that?! Hadn’t she heard that the world is going to hell in a handbasket that was made in China? Where did she come off doing something so fool as a random act of kindness? Especially on a night when storm clouds were moving in fast and they were lugging tornado warnings along with them. I mean . . . who does that?!

This woman, that’s who. A young mother with rings under her eyes, dressed in the workaday clothes of a job that never ends. She opened the back and she moved her stroller and we loaded up the chairs and she followed me home and she refused the ten spot I offered and then we shook hands and then she left and shortly thereafter, as if by some cosmic production, the curtain fell and then so did the rain.

If not for this woman, I would have been schlepping the chairs back into the store after a losing battle with my compact. After which I would have been driving through a storm whilst cursing the fates, despite my newly found perspective inside a trying month.

And that’s where the morning came into my head, and that grasshopper. That beautiful little grasshopper I had delivered to safety. Payback. Just like that. I had granted him the ability to keep moving forward inside the plush grass and weeping trees, and in return, he let me know, “Hey dude, I got your back.”

My advice to you all is simpler than Simon. Keep moving forward. Pay attention to the moments. Be thankful for the smallest favors and always remember to pay them back in kind. It’s all you’re promised, and it’s really all you can ask. I have to go for now, because I’m weeping all over again. I notice that I’m more sentimental than usual of late. I’ll be hitting you back when I get home tonight, but I wanted to post something that ended in publish rather than delete. If you happen upon a grasshopper, feel free to introduce yourself.

Trust me on this.

ToewsThe Chicago Blackhawks started doing business back in 1926, which happens to be the same year Pontiac and Route 66 were born. The Tampa Bay Lightning started doing business in 1992, which happens to be the same year Euro Disney and Mall of America were born.

Two weeks ago, those were the only facts I needed. I had little use for any professional hockey team coming out of a football state. Never mind that the Lightning actually won a Stanley Cup back in 2004 and never mind that they finished with the best record in the league this season. As far as I was concerned, the only peeps who were going to get away with rooting for the Bolts in these finals were the ones born in the Post-Clintonian Era.

I had my ‘Hawks winning this series in five games, easy. It took all of twenty minutes of Game 1 to change my mind. Because the Lightning had more game than Bob Barker, and it was apparent from the first drop of the puck. They ran a fast break offense . . . in hockey. They went six games deep- in spite of all the injuries- and they played the lights out of every faceoff, every period, every game. They didn’t shrink inside the moment, they grew up.

Which only makes this Chicago win that much sweeter. To beat a club that was every bit its equal for much of this series, and to close out the series at home for the first time since 1938? That’s what I’m talking ’bout.

Make no mistake, last night was Game 7 for the Blackhawks. Because if this series went back to Tampa tomorrow night, well . . . I love my team and I’m never, ever gonna count them out, but it would have been like letting Joe Frazier get one more round. Never a good idea.

So now the Blackhawks have three Stanleys in the past six years, and I’m not gonna bother myself with the semantics of all this dynasty chatter. Alls I know is that Chicago is the new Hockey Town (Take that Detroit!) and that my team knows how to close the toughest deals. The chances of Chitown getting back this way again are looking mighty friendly at the moment. They have two of the best players in the world, they have a goalie who will always carry a chip on his shoulder, they have youth, and they have a coach who is working up his Hall of Fame resume with each new summer party.

None of that matters once next season rolls around. Injuries, departures and clubs like the Tampa Bay Lightning are gonna have plenty to say about what happens next year. Which is why Chitown- as great a sports town as I’ve ever seen- is gonna stay chill all dog day summer long. Because they’ve got the best damn answer to any sports argument you can muster.

We win.




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