Blogs on blogs

31 08 2007

Why a blog? What’s in it for me? Furthermore, what’s in it for you who read this tripe?

I have so many thoughts and ideas running around in my head all the time and I wish I had the talent to order them and put them in some literary form. I keep saying I need to write a book of my life’s experiences. I suppose that this blog thing is maybe a springboard to something like a book.

I’m such a critic though that I let it get in the way of writing the things that come to me in their raw form. Perhaps I should take to opium binges or a dangerous Wild Turkey habit like some of the great writers of the past. Maybe I’d be able to pump out the occasional House of Usher but just like them, 99% of my writing would likely be pure shit.

Until I find the gumption to put my honesty and vulnerability out there for all to partake of I’m going to sit here poking my stick at the trivialities of life.

If 6 was 9

If the sun refuse to shine,
I don’t mind, I don’t mind,
If the mountains fell in the sea,
let it be, it ain’t me.
Alright, ‘cos I got my own world to look through,
And I ain’t gonna copy you.

Now if 6 turned out to be 9,
I don’t mind, I don’t mind,
Alright, if all the hippies cut off all their hair,
I don’t care, I don’t care.
Dig, ‘cos I got my own world to live through
And I ain’t gonna copy you.

White collared conservative flashing down the street,

Pointing their plastic finger at me.
They’re hoping soon my kind will drop and die,
But I’m gonna wave my freak flag high, high.
Wave on, wave on
Fall mountains, just don’t fall on me
Go ahead on Mr. Business man, you can’t dress like me.
Sing on Brother, play on drummer.

Does knowing the gossip really matter?

27 08 2007

I often see friends allowing themselves to become very upset by gossip and minor drama that, when previously unknown to them affected nothing and meant nothing in their lives. But once they are made aware of the nonsense, and I call it nonsense because it is nonsense I’m talking about, they get their panties in a twist about things over which they have no control and that, in reality, don’t affect their lives one way or another.

First, let’s define gossip lest we disagree on the actual power it has to affect our lives. Gossip is generally defined as being idle discussion. Idleness has no value or merit. Idle means to be still, unproductive, wasteful, it’s worthless. Sure gossip can be damaging but that’s when it becomes slander/libel, and that’s not what we’re talking about here.

I can only speak of these things because I’ve been the subject of some really stupid and unimportant topics of gossip in my life. What do you do, meet it head on and let it consume you? Leave it alone and hope it dies? Let it fester in your bosom like a burning ulcer of anxiety? Or do you laugh at the stupidity of it all and continue to live your life as you were when you had no idea what was going on in the catty minds of the gossipers? What does it matter what they believe anyway? They’re the people who allow the nonsense to occupy their thoughts and hold them back from greater experience anyway. If we play with them then we let them play us. Let them have their fun on their own. Gossip has only as much power as we give it.

Some say ignorance is bliss (one of the stupidest quotes I hear over and over again). I’m not talking about ignorance, I’m talking about ignoring the nonsense. Ignoring unimportant and irrelevant issues may not be blissful but it certainly keeps us from being tied to the trivial silliness that can keep us from moving forward in our lives.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things…
Walt Disney

Who are you feeding?

21 08 2007

This story is as old as time and has been told in many different ways. People like the wisdom of old Indian chiefs and for some reason Cherokee seems to be the preferred tribe when telling tales of wisdom.

And as a side note, word has it that I come from a Cherokee blood line, although my family never kept and genealogical records so I have no idea how much injun I have in me. Evidently I have enough to keep my hairline securely fastened to my forehead…I can only hope I have some of that old Cherokee wisdom in my genes — stereotypes…sheesh.

An old Cherokee was teaching his young grandson about choice. He said to him, “A battle is raging inside me … it is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The old man gave his young grandson a firm stare and said, “This same fight is going on inside of you.”

The child thought for a moment and asked, “Which wolf will win, grandfather?”

The wise old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”

Did the Ripstick break my leg or what it the ground?

20 08 2007

I was at the park with my kids and saw some young hipster cruising around on a 2 wheeled skateboard. It looked fun, and dangerous and much like something that would possibly snap an ankle. Of course, having been plagued by ankle injuries all my life I had to find a new way to hurt myself and this looked like the perfect device for injury and pain.

I loaded the kids into my tiny little Japanese 4 banger and headed over to the local Kiddie Crack House better known as Toys R Us. There I found something called a Ripstick. I promptly dropped $99.99 on the counter after giving my home phone number to the checker and took everyone home to watch the “how-to” video. It looked pretty easy but I knew it looked much easier than it actually would be to get on top and stay on top. After 4 or 5 attempts I was able to get going about 10 or 15 feet and soon I was cruising around the tennis court. The kids didn’t want to try it, they stuck to the 4 wheels of a skateboard that day.

It didn’t take long and they were rockin’ the Ripstick better than dad…of course I had a broken leg so that helped.

My 8 year old son on the leg snapper

I took it to my office where I rode it on the finished concrete floor in the warehouse. Finished concrete is very slick, turn too tight and BAM! My hands got some pretty major bruises and my knees took some abuse as well.

My girlfriend at the time took a liking to the Ripstick and we went out one night to the local tennis court to ride together. I had been ripping it up (not really but it sounds good) for a couple of hours and decided it was time to dismount, and dismount I did. I went to step off of the thing and the board went left while my body stayed stationary, I lost my balance and all of my weight came down on my left foot. I heard crunching and I felt it too.

I had sprained (and probably broken from time to time) both ankles over and over again, I’m talking countless times, through the years playing basketball. I know a sprain before I even hit the ground. I can tell the moment I hit the ground the severity of the sprain, if I’m going to be able to finish the game, have to sit out a few or if I’m off for a couple of months. Well, this time I hit the ground, grabbed my foot, looked up at my girlfriend and said, “I broke my foot”.

She laughed and said, “Let’s go”.

I said, “I broke my foot, take me to the ER” and let go of it just to show her. It flopped to the side and she believed me.

It’s funny how different a sprain feels from a break. Sprains are extremely painful, the pain just lingers and lingers until you’re reduced to a quivering ball of sobbing jelly. The break was more interesting. It just snapped (much worse than I thought after we saw the xrays) and didn’t really hurt at all. I just kind of thought, “Oh shit, how long is this going to take to heal?.

I crawled about 100 yards to the car and pulled my gimpy ass up into the passenger seat and we went to the hospital. They took me in for xrays and then I waited for the results. The doctor walked in the room and looked at me, looked at my girlfriend, looked around the room, then looked at me again. He said, “Are you Vaughn?”.

I told him that was me and he asked, “How old are you?”.

I thought he was referring to the fact that I was riding a skateboard when he was actually referring to the fact that my xray looked like the ankle of a 65 year old man all riddled with arthritis and bone spurs. When he told me that I said, “You should xray my right ankle. This is my good one.”

He told me it was time for surgery and we scheduled a return trip for the next morning and they gave me some kind of shot in the ass that made all my furniture very comfy then slapped a big ugly boot on my leg to hold it steady for the night.

I went into surgery, they fixed me all up with a titanium plate and 9 screws and 25 staples to hold it closed. I sat in the hospital overnight with a morphine drip and all kinds of monitors hooked to my body as though I was in danger of slipping into cardiac arrest at any moment, drank a lot of ice water and slipped in and out of drug induced sleep.

The recovery sucked, crutches suck, bathing sucked, I couldn’t play with my kids, barely get down the hall to take a wazzer or nuke a burrito and I missed quite a bit of work. After about 4 weeks I was able to get around pretty well and at the 8 week mark the doctor told me I could sleep with the boot off. Being who I am I took that as the green light to dump the boot so I started walking without it.

I was warned by folks that it wasn’t a good idea but today I’m doing fine. I still have pain and a massive scar.

Bruno’s Pizza and the Rush – Day 3, part 1

10 08 2007

On the way home from Seattle I slept, and slept, and then I slept some more when we got home. I think I woke up at 11am the next day, which would be this day I speak of…day three. I was refreshed and ready to rock. This was the day we got to see Rush. Not Limbaugh, not a fraternity initiation but Rush, the band. Geddy, Alex and Neil.

Longview, WA is about 45 miles north of Vancouver, WA so we had a little schleppage to get to the venue but we also have the secret weapon, the time saver, the primo parking spot getter. Lance has a handicap permit hanging from his rear view mirror. He’s not officially handicapped, although if we took him to court they may make it official, but nevertheless, we have the permit. I’m not sure where it came from, he just has it.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself so let’s back up a bit and discuss this insanely delicious pizza we ate before we went to the show. The place is Bruno’s and the pizza is the pizza they will serve in heaven. Thin crust, tiny little thinly sliced pepperonis and whatever else they put on it didn’t matter much because the crust and pepperoni satisfied me like no other pizza before it. I would force feed this to starving Ethiopians if I could. Not much more to say about this pizza other than yum. Wherever you are in this world right now, stop what you are doing and buy passage to Longview, Washington for a taste of Bruno’s pepperoni pizza. Tell them Vaughn sent you. They don’t know me but mention my name. It won’t get you anything but still, tell them I sent you.

After feasting on Bruno’s we went back home for a short rest, the began our journey south to the County of Clark and the amphitheater at the fairgrounds. I grew up going to these fairgrounds so I expected some rinky-dink stage with bleacher seating. I was humbled to see that this venue was one to behold. It seated a good 20,000 peeps including the grass seating area, and the view was amazing, sound was great, the whole thing was incredible. A very nice place to see a show and a nice place to see Rush.

I grew up listening to Rush and was even invited to one of their shows back in 1978 by this cute neighbor girl from across the street. I think I was in the 7th grade and my dad told me I could go. I was a little shy at the time and had never heard Rush so I declined her invitation…and now I’m kicking myself for missing such an opportunity. I do think back however, that if I had gone maybe I would have lost my mind years earlier than I did after being exposed to something as mind expanding as a Rush concert at age 13. Sure, Rush is pretty static and they got little or no soul and Neil Peart couldn’t swing from a rope, even though he attempts it during his solo, but that would have been a mindblower for a kid like me at the time. I don’t know what would have become of me at that point in my life. I know it would have been an epic, life changing experience.

Burned out, broke and bored

9 08 2007

Some days I feel so burned out on life. I sit in my cubicle typing and thinking and answering questions and giving people advice to things that a little common sense might provide to them on their own and I ask myself, “what’s in it for me?” The only answer I can come up with is that I need this salary so I can continue to support my kids. I don’t have much for myself, I live like a pauper (except that I have an empty apartment with borrowed furniture) and my ex-wife gets most of my dough for herself. I’m in debt, I’m bored and I’m tired of all this bullshit.

I’m not depressed. I’m actually quite happy most of the time, it’s just that I don’t see a lot that I look forward to. That’s why I say I’m bored rather than depressed. I can laugh and I can enjoy the moment but the mountain of debt I have and the burden of all this bullshit alimony and child support just takes away my ability to live my life as a single man. How could I ever support another family if I can barely squeak by on my own? That’s what lawyers are for.

We are in litigation right now, I suppose I have that to look forward to. She doesn’t need alimony. She started working after the divorce was final and she brings home more than I pay her in alimony. Do the math, alimony goes bye-bye. Yipee! I’m looking forward to that little bump in salary.

All the things I expected in life have changed. I feel lost sometimes, like I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next because I always expected to be Captain Family Man with a wife and kids by my side at all times. Now I find myself in the single man’s world with a girlfriend and a lot of unknowns about my future. Will I stay with her? Will we move on? Will she break my heart? Will I break hers? Will I get maimed in a horrible knitting accident and live the remainder of my days on plastic tubing, breathing through a hole in my neck? If I were brain dead that might not be such a bad thing. At least then I could probably comprehend my ex’s motivation since we would then have become intellectual equals.

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