Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Friggin New Year....

I feel hungover absent alcohol. My head's in a the last hour of a mescaline odyssey... the door to any perception is closing. 2010, soon to be last year, was like living through a Grimm Fairy Tale. A witch ran for the United States Senate...truth is even stranger than that might suggest. The Mad Hatter's Tea Party took root and grew, like my head feels, across the land...and, once built, the people came, carrying large weapons to show they can...people that would smile if they could share wealth yelled commie! at our leader and demanded no change to their crappy health care. The Republican House got  a boner...sorry, Boehner, and, Mr. Boner...Where are the friggin jobs??!! Okay, I'm takin a breath. I think I made him cry. And I'm thinkin...if 2010 was this much of a trip...what the hell will we wake up to in the morning? Sometimes I wish God was real....

Monday, December 27, 2010

Breaking News!!

Breaking News! An unusual report from the Mid East states that Pontius Pilate, who has not yet been born, will try and order the crucifixion of the newly born infant, Jesus Christ, who will be executed on Good Friday, April 22nd, 2011. Sources tell us the infant will have become an adult and will rise from the dead within 3 days. Also, something about saving the Shroud....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas, etc.

In what world is a holiday greeting considered politically incorrect? I can only suppose that Christians are behind the nasty movement against the use of "Happy Holidays"...trying to make said users feel ungodly somehow. But, there are other people on Earth I would like to send greetings to. Like Jews and Muslims and Hindus and atheists and agnostics and even Republicans. So with a wide brush I say "Happy Holidays" to everyone, and if you have no holiday to celebrate, share one of ours.   

Sunday, December 19, 2010

4 Dead... Lives Changed and Ruined

Come out and play, Terry.... It's time to fill the silence with truth. The word "closure" sucks, but you can make some happen. Come out and play, Terry....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Everyone seems very upset about the SECRETS that Julian Assange has allowed to be published on the WikiLeaks website.  Michael Moore is asking a few intriguing questions on his website, like, what if we had such a tool when our government lied to us saying the North Vietnamese had fired on a U.S. Ship in August of 1964. Or, perhaps the events of September 11th, 2001 could have been avoided or been different had a WikiLeaks warned us of how the FBI and fellow agencies were ignoring what their own agents were saying. I suggest we will all someday require diapers...some Depends like tool to prevent our own leaks. And, although we do not praise the Depends generation for its weaknesses, we can see the merit in its use.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Where's my goddamn gun?

Well, there they go again. Trying to make it easier to bring guns along just about anywhere...bars, restaurants, sporting events. Ohio SB 239 and 247 look good to pass, with the Neanderthals running Ohio now. I have a fuzzy memory of a time when gun control was thought to be sensible and Ohio had a few progressive people left. We must be shooting for last place among states again. Check out the NRA's website for their latest rants: 

Monday, December 6, 2010


I used to think that, as I grew older, fewer things would amaze me. It is true that fewer things frighten me...fear is reduced by proximity to death, but I can still be amazed. The American people amaze me. Two years after they put the first black man in the White House - other than the chef - they may be on the verge of convincing an Alaskan Governor, one who just up and quit the job, the star of a reality show, a woman with a big gun, to run for President in 2012. Amazing. And as we speak, the Congress is arguing the merits of allowing the richest people on Earth to keep tax cuts they don't need - cuts that, if continued, will hurt the economy, while they hold off on help for the unemployed. Amazing. And the American people vote these people into office. Amazing. I plan to try to curb my amazement. Also to lose weight. Artemus Ward said it best: "Why is this thus? What is the reason for this thusness?" WTF?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'm Andy Rooney....

Did you ever wonder why, when piles of snow melt, it doesn't look like milk running off the curb and into a river of milk in the street?

I love the saying, "I don't give a rat's ass," to suggest you really don't care about something. It helps me avoid the conversation to explain "I could not care less," to someone that will never get it and forever says "I could care less." However, if I do care about something, should I have a pocket full of rat's asses just in case?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stirring in the Bullpen

Stirring in the Bullpen
by Michael Lawless

            I guess I just hadn't thought it through. It seemed simple enough…baseball field…grass. But, here I was, at Jacob's Field, an Urban Baseball Cathedral in the heart of Cleveland, dad’s birthplace, with my dad in my pocket, and I still had to find a place to put him.
There was no problem at first. He wanted to be cremated and he wanted his ashes spread on Lake Erie. Dad loved the lake. He lived his last years in a 12th floor condo on Lake Ave. We would sit on his balcony some nights and watch the boats, all lit up, lights twinkling. Mom left him a while back- too much booze, too much pain. And, he’d lived the better part of thirty years in Chicago, away from mom, my two sisters, and myself. At first, he lived on the streets, grabbing food and sometimes a smile from the Salvation Army. Years later, he was back on his feet and taking care of his dad at the end. Gramps had an apartment on Lakeshore Boulevard overlooking another lake. When he died, and dad had nothing left in Chicago, we asked him to come home. He did, and I soon took over the same role he had played with his father.
            He loved the Tribe. We’d seen the last game at the old Municipal Stadium, and, in only the few times he was able to get to Jacob's Field, he had fallen in love with the park. At his funeral, after talking to old friends of his we never knew, my sisters and I came to feel that part of him that loved baseball and that part belonged at the Jake.
            The day was September 16th, his birthday and over a month since he had died. We planned on a late morning ceremony at Lakewood Park. We hiked down the path to the pier and all the way to the end where you can stand on the rocks and see the downtown buildings shining in the bright September sun. It was perfect. Just a couple of runners on the path that seemed to want to avoid us. We had the place to ourselves, which was good. We’d learned that there might be a legal concern with dumping anything into the lake-even your father.
            The ceremony was memorable, even moving. My wife, my sisters, their husbands, and myself each read what we thought were appropriate words in his memory and pictures were taken. Then, a moment of truth came when we had to open the black plastic container where dad now resided. This would be the first time any of us saw the results of our father’s cremation. The ashes were placed into a plastic bag inside the black plastic container. I opened the bag and pulled a sandwich baggie out of my breast pocket. I reached into the container's bag and grabbed a handful of dad and moved him gently into the baggie. Human ashes are strangely crystalline, not like, say, cigarette ashes, but somewhere between road salt and kitty litter. Just very different. I rolled him up, sealed the baggie, and tucked him away in the pocket of my jeans. Then, I poured the remaining ashes into the lake in front of us. The lake was calm, but I had assumed that the waves would quickly disperse dad among the rocks and to the bottom. The ashes seemed to flow back and forth and, like a cloud, maintained a shape just below the surface. I am not known for being overly spiritual, but he seemed with us. We hung around for some time, not saying much, just watching the cloud- dad, slowly sink. Then we said our goodbyes and left the park.
            My wife and I had tickets to the Tribe game that afternoon. So, we hopped in the car and headed for the Jake. The whole thing gave me the feeling like when you were a kid and tried to get away with something secret. We parked at the Madison Rapid Station and gave dad his last trip on R.T.A. I really thought there would be no problem finding a grassy area for dad at a ballpark. Like I said…baseball field…grass. But once in, I realized for the first time that the asphalt warning track ran the entire circumference of the field. And the grass was a good 8 to 10 feet from the closest railings. I had to figure this out. We found our seats and I planted my wife so I could keep looking and she could grab something to eat (and appear innocent).
            After about half an hour, it became plain that the only grass I would be able to get near enough to was in the bullpen. The game was just starting and, as always then, the ballpark was jammed. I knew dad would haunt me if I put him in the visitor's pen, and, who knew, his presence might inspire our pitchers. So, I chose our bullpen.
            An aisle parts the lower stands from the picnic area behind the pen and ends at a railing. Looking down over the railing at the rear of the pen, I saw green grass and knew this was it. I slowly pulled the baggie from my pocket and hung it out over the railing. I unrolled the bag and, knowing again that I didn't want to have to explain what I was doing, I quickly shook dad down toward the grass. But, all at once, it was windy. And again, dad was like a cloud. He started slowly down and then, with a jerk, a gust moved the cloud toward the back of several fan's heads in the lower stands to my left. Just as it seemed that I would be explaining to strangers why my father was in their hair, I felt another gust and the cloud, dad, went up and out and over the bullpen and then shot straight down into the grass. It was like at the lake. He seemed with me, and whole.
            Years later, I think of him whenever I'm near the lake, or at the ballpark, or watching the Tribe on the tube. He's now part of my hometown, and his. And if our pitchers in the bullpen see dust stirring out of the corner of their eyes, and the hairs rise on the back of their necks, I know it's just dad's way of saying, "Throw strikes!"

(Copyright 1998)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bottom Feeders

They are the sheepshead among us. They target those drowning in debt, the unemployed, the injured. Somehow they decide to try to suck the last bit of life from their target with promises to wipe out their debt, get them that impossible career, make them rich by suing whoever injured them. May a bigger bottom feeder suck them up.