Monthly Archives: September 2014

Me Again, Several Shades Later, Having an Amaring moment or three

I started out today as many of late, shaking off the late in the “rest” REM that tries to hug me tight, luring with lucid opportunities to climb to Orion’s Belt or dive to the deepest trench in the Atlantic- reality check- the Pacific is still receiving chemo treatments from Japan.

Throughout my life I have found comfort in articles of clothing: a favorite pair of Umbros (or Sambas for that matter), my Joker Converse from the 1989 Batman film, my soon to be retired on the way to fitting mumuish baseball style Stealy and so on.

During the course of the last three months I have begun pulling out older clothes, hoping to find an article or two that wasn’t mangled by the journey outward.

I unearthed a piece of clothing so central in me that it was jarring to see it- My Ernest Hemingway T-shirt I purchased in the Spring of 1990.

It was not only there, but in remarkable shape, sure, some wear, a few holes, but in wearable shape(my definition).

My sophomore year I had Brother Fred Dihlman for English class. He had me hooked from the first class when he had us diagram the first sentence of To Kill A Mockingbird

When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.

1984 he had a class period where people monitored the classroom from every corner and reported on infractions being committed by people in the class.

He was always trying to get us engaged in literature in ways that were inclusive- numbers together, engrossed in learning.

The only Hemingway assigned that I recall was in essay format. Probably due to this, I was headstrong on reading The Old Man and the Sea on spring break.

While on vacation what did I find but a portait of Ernest on a shirt, marlin surrounding the portrait, with a quote from The Old Man and the Sea. Vacation souvenir acquired.

Literature is what lead me through receiving my expensive advanced piece of paper, sure. But literature has enriched my life beyond measure. It is tattooed to my soul.

This morning was teetering between wallow and centered. As I assembled my clothes for the day I reached far back into the T-shirt section of the deep bottom drawer (Atlantic, again) I pulled Mr. Hemingway and that giant marlin from the back.

I felt the sense of serenity and being I experienced on 10/12/13 waiting for Pearl Jam to start, no misplaced urgency, engaged. I felt calm. They played a stellar opening three, Lowlight sandwiched between two beauties, Pendulum and Sometimes. It was a night that sparked me.

And so I lumbered in. I lead with the best I had. It was enough.


TV- Enemy Mine

Since gaming and online gaming have taken a larger presence in my life my TV viewing typically fell proportionally to my time plugged into other endeavors.

There were periods where I did both side by side. Sports- great for leisurely viewing, Lost- not so much.

As my children age my time for gaming began to shrink, which was a wonderful thing. I do have copious amounts of Marvel Lego time and Thursday night hockey with my brother is becoming a ritual. These are both fine usages of time plugged in to me.

So with this thought in mind I have reduced the addition of TV programing as much as possible. There are things that interest me to a degree, though TV is much like football and many things- True innovation popping up all around? Nope, copy the successful stuff , sell it as ours. Pray to the god of the bottom line.

The largest issue with all this consuming of art, whatever term you may wish, is that it is at the expense of my own creative time.

My wife Marlene became enchanted by Doctor Who either by Netflix or word of mouth. I sm unsure which. While we have had mutual love for shows many times, she has sat through more football and Rush concerts than any woman who could live without either should.

So I would prompt her to put on the Doctor. I even interupted her being lead into Walter White’s web to see where the Weeping Angels would end up next.

Now I am hooked as well, a Whovian of the lowest level, but fully invested due to Peter Capaldi’s take. I love it. Saturday night on the couch, ottoman engaged, consuming allegory of the human condition, at least, that is my take.

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Posted by on 09/28/2014 in Dirt


Broken, but not beaten

It is hard to pinpoint when diabetes actually started damaging my body. From 1993 until 2004 I didn’t see a doctor. I didn’t have insurance, though hindsight and foolishly did have too much pride to even consider Medicaid.

I worked in food for most of that time- a combination of reasons, all poor and not worth the time to delve into. The point is there were plenty of signs.

I made small changes prior to seeing a doctor. The symptoms really started showing up when I moved to a sedintary job. I was moving less, eating more junk food and hiking Coca Cola’s profits. Huzzah!

Then last year I made big changes. I was advised (still am) to give myself a break. In some ways I agree and adjust at times. But I am a hardcase, the Roland Deschain variety, especially with myself. “The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed”. They are both me… and a splash of Eddie Dean.

I pushed my limits on Saturday. It blasted my Sunday, bled into my Monday. Insomnia, grade 10.

When I finally woke up to the screams of my son (his stethascope slapped his smile away) I had achieved four hours of mostly uninterupted sleep.

I took my Mother in Law home, put Ben down for a nap and drew some dish water.

After the dishes, to the Ottoman to fold laundry, then write. Which I did.

Because someone has an infirmity that isn’t signaled by a boil on their nose does not mean they do not suffer.

On my end, I find the improvement, however incremental, inspiring. I learn. I move on. I move up. I ascend.

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Posted by on 09/22/2014 in Dirt


Wisdom, no not quite.

With giving up the NFL I decreed that I would use that time that football swallowed and repurpose them in a positive and forward manner . Working on the house /property, writing more- along those lines. More kid time is always okay, but I default there. This is about improving their lives in other ways. And of course by extension , that could and should also be good for me.

So I crushed it Saturday. Like a preening power hitter when he hits a ball in the sweet spot, Saturday was a smashing success .

But I overdid it. To the point I slept poorly, ached, nausea, pain.

Still I tried to dive into Sunday only to pull back. This is a day to run a few loads of laundry, eat well and be. So I did.

I wish everyone had a best friend like mine. She gets it. She assures me it is fine. It is too. Not what I ordered, though a hand plenty would kill for. Hit me with that cold coffee. My full house fulfills me.

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Posted by on 09/21/2014 in Dirt


You, you oughta know!

I had a day that reminded me how present empathy is in my life. I believe that mine is well developed due to my close relationship with my twin, Rob.

Empathy is in that area of humanity where people either buy in or believe it is a bunch of hooey.

I know my experiences and my limited research prove to me that not only such a thing exists, but my aptitude is well developed.

I credit first my twin brother, Rob, as without our connection I can’t imagine anything but stunted empathy. It was no Tomax and Xamot thing, but I was invested in emotional twists and turns. Perhaps that lead to some frustration, the depth of the connection.

I have it with my wife, though not exactly the same. It is beautiful in its own way and she allows for my heart to take the paths it needs to follow (I need to give my gloves away to the homeless whenever I see them gloveless) and also when I am entering moron empath territory (I think I should help resolve so and so’s domestic issues).

I feel it serves me well in my job, though it is obviously limited by legalities. Plenty of times they can see in my eyes that I care, but they need to do right to resolve the issue. When they don’t I am still pressing my calmness toward them.

I think it has its challenges. After much thought I believe my uncanny knack for saying the absolute wrong thing to someone without knowing it would be an issue. I will edit an example in later, though I do believe it is related, at least.

For the longest time I was flustered by others inability to share. It comes natural from growing up sharing everything, just about.

I was pondering all this today and happened upon Alanis Morrisette’s post on Facebook that her power word is empathy. She lamented its demise, as it is surely related to our move toward unbridled self importance. I imagine on the whole history will not be kind to this period.

Let’s start caring fully for those around us. I feel this way:

Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone. – KV


Posted by on 09/18/2014 in Dirt


The nerve of some people and ourselves

I have some sort of nerve condition that causes chronic discomfort often paired with a nice ’74 pain. It was labeled diabetic neuropathy, have a nice day. I have known I was diabetic since mid 2008. I did very little to alter my approach to life, save starting on metformin.

For the last 2 1/2 years I’ve experienced my symptoms balloon from foot and ankle burning and pain up to just past my knee. It has also cropped up in my arms now, all this despite significant alterations to my life style.

It affects every aspect of my life. Some days greatly, others less so. It has been a journey full of potholes, lessons and painful realizations- this may in fact (and probably is) be the shape I live the rest of my life in.

It is not written starkly on my gait, body or otherwise for the most part. But it is there, like an imaginary bully, ready to take my legs out from under me. It is the Lucy to my Charlie Brown.

It is easy to say from these shoes that Nothing as it Seems, as often as not.

So be kind to others, eh? The lines on a face or a cane , walker or scooter may be a road map of information, though beneath the crust is an unknown. In that unknown much suffering can and does exist.

I wish I couldn’t attest to that.

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Posted by on 09/17/2014 in Dirt


Ideas galore for this found time

– committing more time to writing and developing ideas. They can stay in their notebook even. But it would be a beneficial exercise.

– add more exercise to my healthy move. It has to be low impact. I killed myself getting to work on time today. Three large traffic snarls. So it goes. If you have access to the Police Cameras near the Buffalo News there is humorous footage of what I call a run .

– work on the house. I defer to the kids all other times. Now I have close to ten hours a week to put to better use.

– write some more

– heal

– love

– live

I am mine.

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Posted by on 09/10/2014 in Dirt