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    I am in unabashed love with Françoise Hardy and I don’t care who knows it.

    On Blogging, Rashes, And Fear

    I will never get the hang of blogging. Tumblogging, anyway. It’s not that I don’t get it; I just- I fail to apply myself properly to it. It can be done. But I’m not about the- Wait. Lemme take a breathe. I need to submit more original material. I need to take the time for that. After which I need to think about what I’m about and transfer the result to my Tumblog. Everything needs a subject. Especially if it indicates a greater purpose toward some given thing. Technology. Science. Literature. Humor. Whatever you got. You can’t just barf shit out onto the Internet. You can… Thousands do it everyday. More. But there’s nothing precise to anything they offer. After awhile — like immediately — their readers will get bored and jet.

    Stay true to yourself. Keep within that niche. Those interested in your mind will stick around for more. That’s what I keep trying to tell myself. And don’t destroy everything you’ve done thus far if you don’t think it adheres to whatever! Struggling to find your voice is part of your story. You’ll get there. If you keep at it. And not force it.

    I regret it all the time that I’d gone back and deleted everything up to a certain point, to start over. It all winds up in a similar place, anyway. It’ won’t get to where I want it to be until- Until it does.

    Don’t worry about it. And reblogs? They’re good. Stick with what interests you, though. Because ultimately, the subject of your blog is you.

    I’m sweating like a pig. I’d written on my Facebook page, last night, that I’d awaken that morning feeling like someone had tried to tear my cranium off from the base of the neck upward. Tender spot, there. On the left-hand side, with pain along the left side of my head across the ear and to the back of my head to the top. There’s a weird rash just under my left ear; I wonder if I’d been bitten by something. Couldn’t turn my head. Went to bed at like 5 p.m. and slept for around four hours, after which I felt somewhat better. This afternoon, I’m in about the same spot. Slept weirdly — which has been the norm, lately — with weird-ass dreams, couldn’t get comfortable. That’s how a neck gets crooked-up. This rash hasn’t gotten better or worse. It’s just sitting there below my ear, itching. On top of that I’m worried about resuming college in January, getting all that shit together. I haven’t been back since June 1990. In many ways, I feel like the same person who’d left campus, then — in spite of the fact that I’m now 45. I feel like I’d bee the odd old man going back. Though I know that there will be plenty of souls older than me in attendance.

    Worry breeds more worry, I guess. That’s all it does. Whether it’s for going back to school or some wacky rash on your neck or how to maintain a blog. You just do or shrug it off and go on to the thing that needs doing. Somehow, I’m not wired for simple activity like that. I wonder if I wasn’t born chewing at my fingernails. But I know I wasn’t so worried about everything when I was young. It just happened, one day. Something just snapped apart and there I was, quivering like an autumn leaf about to fall onto the ground. Worrying about something I’m meant to do like that. Worrying about nature.

    Bullet Points

    So. Here are a few things I’m dealing with:

    • Ribcage still hurts after the tumor was removed from my chest the April before last.
    • Antiseizure meds make me feel doped-up half the time, put me to sleep the other half.
    • I’m going back to college! But I’m still trying to scrape together the $50 application fee.
    • Vocational Rehabilitation is helping me with college (they say; I confess I’m cloudy on what they’re gonna do for me, exactly). But they can’t get me a waiver for the $50 application fee.
    • I’m worrying about how I’m gonna support myself while going to school. Though tuition and books are said to be taken care of if all goes as it should, that leaves living expenses. I could continue to stay at my sister’s — if it was near a bus line. I could move closer to school, on my own — but how? How do I afford that, disabled? I’ve got an SSDI hearing coming up. Although the state recognizes me as being disabled with a need for assistance from it, although my case worker from Voc Rehab recommended the degree program (Yay!) rather than the few employers willing to work with someone like me because the jobs they offer cannot sustain a person at living level, although the state recognizes that I’ll not be able to work without its assistance, I may yet again be denied Social Security disability benefits. Although the Voc Rehab program is designed to work in conjunction with such benefits. So I’m in school for two to three more years? Maybe four? Without a way to support myself? I’m telling myself not to worry, as I may very likely be able to get work in some capacity at the college itself. Anyway, it’s got me all wound-up. Had a few stress-related seizures as a result. I’m a wreck.
    • I continue to spend my downtime writing, hoping to sell something, enough to pay for a sandwich, here or there. I’m also trying to knock out as many Amazon Mechanical Turk HITs as I can.
    • Too many people in my life aren’t getting what I’m going through. A big thing with me is that I feel everybody’s got to understand me. This is as much a shortcoming of mine as it is anyone else’s. We can only hope that the people in our lives get us, get what we’re going through. In the end, it’s us we have to live with. If we get it, if we get ourselves, if we’re okay with ourselves, if we love ourselves, that’s all we need. The rest we’ll have to take as it comes. Or let it go. Who cares if so-and-so can’t follow along? They’ve got their own things to go through; leave them to their problems, help out if you can. But don’t depend on outside assistance. Go it on your own, I tell myself. Meaning, again, that if somebody’s not getting it, don’t worry about it. Let it slide off your back. Ignore it. It’s not the end of the world.
    • Did I say I feel like shit? It feels like somebody’s detonating hand grenades inside my skull. Constantly. Never lets up.
    • I feel like I’m drunk when I’m out and about, when I’m up and about. Some days are better than others. Some make me feel like puking my guts out. I can’t keep my balance very well. I’m okay most of the time, though. Couldn’t ride a bike if you offered to pay me a million dollars. That hurts. I love riding. And there are so many places to enjoy a ride in this area. Pisses me off. I’ve found a couple of adult “training wheel” get-ups I could attach to the bike. If I had the money. Everything’s about money. But I’d ride that sonofabitch. With those training wheels. I don’t care what anyone might say or snort about it. Let ‘em. I’d be mobile and having fun. I hope. Balance problem might be solved, but I’m no good at judging speed nor distance, anymore. I’m sure I’d be okay, though, if I went slowly at first.
    • Memory is fucked-up. I’ve learned to accept it. But sometimes it really bugs me. I’m constantly forgetting words, how to spell words. Thank God for spell check. Seriously. Thank Him. do.

    That’s probably enough whining for now. I didn’t get around to mentioning the things I’m grateful for. Except for spell check. I’m grateful for a sister and brother-in-law who’ve put me up in their home for two years. I’m grateful for good doctors and nurses and CNAs and physical therapists and psychologists and paramedics and people back in Nevada who tacked my name to prayer boards and always kept me in mind and in heart. It’s easy to forget the important things when you get to bitching about true-enough problems, but the things that really matter will get you through the bullet points above.

    Search & Rescue

    The dream world rarely looks as it should. It’s representative of something else. It rolls along too quickly to adhere to proper detail, focusing on some idea rather than how the world ought to be. That shouldn’t be there. I’d never be doing that. But there’s something else happening below the surface that’s hidden in a way that makes it actually in your face like a comedic cream pie, though the humor of it is twisted. The joke’s on you, and it was never meant to be funny. Dozens of people from across my life on horseback in a landscape that’s supposed to be familiar but isn’t, landmarks that are supposed to have been familiar to me since a child that aren’t, and denizens who are supposed to be familiar to me but are, in fact, strange to me. And then a tragedy-

    I don’t have nightmares in the traditional sense. I have dreams that turn out bad, somehow, but continue to play out — at least for a time — until I wake. Like a movie. When I was a kid, they’d often have credits, so no matter how they made me feel, I kind of registered them as being “movies”, so I’d not let them fling me out of sleep into breathlessness and sweat in the middle of the night with confusion running through my head. Not always. By the time I’d awake, I’d have slowly made the transition into consciousness from the dream state and would know that I’d been dreaming, so there was no anxiety in that moment of adjustment between reality and sleep. I would, however — and do — feel something. A kind of sorrow because of the pain and loss I thought I’d experienced before waking. Worry, if it involved someone I knew — until I was certain he or she was okay. And the confusion that comes with sorting all that out with where I found myself putting my feet.

    I won’t often like to talk about these dreams. They’re mine. The represent some manner of fear hold close to my soul. Others couldn’t understand or they’d make a mockery of it, I’m sure. I’ll do no more than admit to a bad dream, usually. As I leave the moment and walk through the waking world, whatever’s had me fades anyway. Though it can leave me in a foul mood. I don’t know why. Maybe I can see the characters who portray real-life people in such dreams as being more than characters but the actual people they portray and think, Yeah, I can see you doing that. If it’s something negative. And hold a grudge against the person they’d portrayed as if guilty of whatever, when it was a shadow’s work. Maybe I can see the event — the possibility of it occurring — being so real that it’s disturbing into the day, in spite of realizing it hadn’t. But it could. I dunno. I do know that when I wake from that shit and into something wonderful, it’s- But I can’t speak of that, either. It’s a fluke. I didn’t see it coming. A reminiscence of something only thought recalled and is it something only treasure? No. She treasures it as well. And all these old feelings bubbled up that I pretend have gone but know constantly they’re not because I feel them all the time, and there’s this and what I’d just been through and put together, the effect is not good for getting back to sleep. Into the night, it becomes less possible to blame it on the bad dream as much as on the warm memory. Which I’m still processing. The latter, I mean. How it came up. And made my heart flutter. And it’s fluttering. It continues to flutter. Like teenager’s.

    Gaffes And Lessons Learned

    I don’t like to lean against my- Condition. Although it does lean heavily on me. It affects me, my decisions, how I act and respond to stimuli. It’s not even the condition but what treats it, a lot of the time. It’s bothered me today (yesterday, now) so much because I allowed it to put my head into a place that is very dangerous: I made observations and judgments based on on those observations while I wasn’t in a clear frame of mind, and- I should’ve known better. I haven’t been keeping abreast of the subject observed, but I just knew I understood it. I didn’t. So I went back, educated myself on it, and I sank into my seat in relief that I was of the right heart, but continued to gnaw at that heart in admission that my reasoning was flawed, that there was more to it than I’d thought, that I-

    I didn’t like to find myself so utterly splayed in such ignorance, though perhaps apparent to few, unless someone were to question me further. Then it would be obvious.

    I’m not that foolish. Am I? To allow this to happen?

    It’s something I’ve berated others for. Arguing a point without understanding its subject. I came out on the right side. But that didn’t change the fact that it was by chance this happened, that I was arguing a point based on stimuli that were themselves not based on fact as much as emotional responses which themselves were based on stimuli from facts that were less fact than something or things manufactured to fit a need within me for them to exist.

    If I were a journalist, I’d have been castigated for it. If it were something I was reporting on in a journalistic nature. And rightly so. But I think I was most bothered by that it made me seem incredibly stupid, if only to myself. If, indeed, I was the only one who noticed. I’m not a stupid person. At least I’d like to believe that. These days, I think I’m pretty damned capable of stupid shit. I have to remind myself that I’ve always been capable of stupid shit — mind-numbingly stupid shit. Shit that would make anyone pause, turn to me, and ask, “Really?" I will forever haunt my own memory with a 5th Grade zinger of a stupid act involving math homework I hadn’t bothered paying attention to our teacher for when he’d announced a certain assignment, one afternoon. Times tables. Math would become a subject in which I was well-skilled in later years, much in thanks to this particular teacher. But I was my own worst enemy — as has always been true, throughout the span of my life. I was well-known for not listening when I should’ve been and when we were given our times tables from zero to twelve, each in multiples of zero to twelve, never received that information. So, at home, that night, I was going completely batshit, cursing Mr. Jeffries for having had assigned us an "impossible" assignment to complete, as- How could anyone be expected to complete all the times tables when numbers, I fumed, were infinite? It was such ridiculous gaffe that even Mr. Jeffries tried his best to keep from laughing in my face when I handed in my homework the next day, “as is”. Meaning that I went as far as I could before I gave up.

    "Well, at least you got ‘em right," he told me upon examination, stifling a chuckle. I’d gone beyond the confines of the exercise, so technically I completed it, though I’d failed to do so as directed. I’m sure it was something he remembered long after he’d forgotten my name, once I’d moved on to high grades and other teachers and fuck-ups.

    Dawn Patrol

    For some reason, starting off the day quickly out of the gate when I’m soon to realize that I could’ve lounged in bed for another few hours pisses me off and that piss runs off into my morning and from it, it drizzles all over my general mood. I’m not a “morning” person. Though I *do* love an early morning. Especially one like this one, after which the rains came down through the night and everything’s that purply-gray dusky look. “Dawny”? The former word works better for my purposes, so I’ll use it. I prefer softer lighting. "Mood" lighting. A kind of lighting that blurs into the darker world around it. “Dusky” isn’t quite dark. There are hints of light from it, from the sky, from the horizon. It colors the clouds that gently roll in front of it. In a storm, skies don’t turn black but purplish-gray — and not a consistent purple-gray but marbled and not static, so there’s a certain life to it. Not that there’s not a certain liveliness to the dawn’s sky; it’s different. Purples upon the ass-end of the blackness of night, themselves lit at *their* ass-ends by the fiery reds and oranges and yellows of the oncoming sun. That’s a grand time to be up, too, I believe. Unfortunately, my body doesn’t agree. Especially since it’s slid into adulthood like a turd out of a dog’s butthole from adolescence into middle age. I know plenty of people who are somehow wired for that “early to bed/early to rise” bullshit. I am not one of them. So you can easily-enough understand how someone who’s routinely up ‘til 3 a.m. for any reason might not be too keen to leap out of bed three hours later or less. I was wired the exact opposite of all those “early” people at birth. I make no apologies for it; it’s how I am.

    I spearheaded the house, this morning, into the kitchen. Starting the hot water pot for my tea, struggling with a dick of a yogurt container that just wouldn’t be opened until I performed a “Psycho shower scene” on it with my spoon. Covered the aftermath in granola. And gazed out the window. Being a desert person, I’ve yet to acclimate myself to the humidity of the Boise area, in spite of having been here for two years, now, exactly. When you add rain, it about kills me. I want to traipse around the place in nothing but a loincloth until my skin stops melting. At night, it’s nearly impossible to sleep through the sweat — even on nights like last’s, in which I strangely (for me) wanted to turn in early. It’s getting easier for me. I remember my first week up here. Needed half a dozen towels just to survive the end of a shower. My hair would be sopped for half the day if I didn’t find some way to bake it dry. A person gets used to this kind of thing. It’s a matter of time.

    My sister came downstairs like a boxful of combat boots. Announced that I needn’t have rolled out of bed so early because my niece would be home for the morning and I’d not have to babysit her little girl until later. These bits of scheduling news are *rarely* shared with me before the fact. I shrugged, being up anyway. Couldn’t undo it. So I retreated to my room and my desk with the morning’s tea, popped the day’s first anticonvulsives into maw, and began my rounds along my favorite corridors of the Interweb. Until the pills took hold and I had to sneak to my bed. “For just a few minutes more.”

    I emerged around 11. Yes — I’m one of "those" people. But I did get to see a rare early morning, today. Although I could’ve slept through it, although I should still be grumbly for that, I’m not. It’s nice to see that old friend, now and then. Not as a guy who feels that “most of the day is shot” if I don’t, as the “early to rise” people in my life swear. Our philosophies will be forever embattled over that one. While they’re off to bed at 7 or 8 p.m., give or take, I’m gasping at them for wasting so much of a beautiful evening that way. I love the blanket night throws over my waking existence and fight it difficult to understand those who can’t. Ironically, when dawn comes and I’m experiencing a rare moment of being there to start a day rather than end one, I see the moment as one of beauty. Instead of utilitarian. I’m not there to “start my day”. I’m there to hope the day never begins, that I never leave that moment in time, moodily lit by my desk lamp and open windowshade. Fuck what comes later.

    The Possibility Of An Answer Slipped You

    A time- and circumstance-proven method of figuring out what’s on my mind is just asking me. One needn’t climb up a mountain to the cave of a guru, hoping he’ll slip you the answer, you don’t have to seek out a loved-one to cross-examine in order to find out my take on one thing or another, this week. My head’s not as nebulous as you fear, nor is my heart; there’s no need to make either any more complicated than they truly are, than their respective composition.

    People like to editorialize- Everything. They really do. Adding value to the world around them, taking value from it. When all it really is- Is no more or less than what it really is. There’s no need to lie in bed for hours, trying to figure out my actions. It’s completely unnecessary to worry yourself for days, weeks, months, or longer about what I may be thinking. Just ask. We’ll talk about it. But you have to allow yourself a conversation. You can’t jump in and tell me what I really mean, what I’m really up to. Just listen. At first. Ask, listen. Let me speak my mind, then you may speak yours and we can address your concerns, whatever they are to whatever situation we’re talking about. In the end, we’ll both gain understanding — me of your concerns, you of the truth. It needn’t be any more complicated than that.

    My One Desired Responsibility

    Ideally, the only thing I want to be responsible for is getting all my shit into the toilet with as little of it on my hands, clothing, bedding, and legs as possible. If I were to give a commencement speech at any graduation ceremony, that would pretty much be it. Take that first bit as advice and enjoy your lives.

    Number 3

    I’ve started writing, again. I mean really doing it. I’m always writing. I’m writing here, I’m writing there, I’m dinking around about some manner of thing. But I haven’t been truly serious about it for a few months. Tipping into three-quarters of a year, now. I have bills to pay, motherfuckers! I can’t just be sitting on my thumbs, waiting for butterflies to flit along, dropping hundred-dollar bills on me as they pass.

    I was working on an anthology at the turn of the year, remember. Called American Stories. Each installment was a short story or novella that could stand on its own. Together, they were — are — to form not just a collection but a greater tale. The first two have already been published on Amazon as ebooks in Kindle format. I’d link to them, here, if Tumblr wasn’t being a cunt about letting me add links, tonight. Search for Graduation Day and The Happy Home and select the result of either that includes my name and there you go.

    Really, Tumblr; you have to get with it on some of these bugs. They’ve been around for awhile.

    Anyway… I’m working on the third installment of American Stories; I’m calling it, tentatively, Title Goes Here. Which I think is a kickass title and in a mighty way, it fits. I hadn’t touched it for months until the other day, when I decided strap it on, once more, and thought it best to read through it first, and- Gad-damn. I’m onto something, there. It really was good. I found a spot to pause months back and just walked away from it.

    How in the hell did I- Why in the hell did I let myself do that? I asked me, giving myself the finger in the bathroom mirror. It’s such a good story. But I have an answer. I reminded myself of it as I sat down and continued reading, making small edits here and adding a paragraph or two there as needed, doing this as I read along, making it to the end — or not “the end”, actually, but the spot at which I’d decided to take a break but had never bothered continuing.

    I’d lost a creative edge, then. I won’t say “writer’s block”, because that’s not what it was. Some don’t believe in it, anyway. I’m not sure if I do or not. What happens with me is that- I’m still battling that problem in which my mind vacates, comes back for awhile, takes off for awhile longer. I don’t blame this on epilepsy, rather the medication I take to keep seizures away. The drawback is that it puts my head in a fog. It dopes me up. Not in the manner some Beat Generation guy might find helpful when trying to write some masterpiece, either. Instead, it’s “test pattern” time. If even that. I’m not bitching. It comes and goes and right now, it’s gone. At least from that part of my mind in which creativity lives. ‘Round the turn of the year, though, it took an immediate holiday. Along with the rest of America. Bought it’s Christmas tree, hung its stocking, but never came back to work after New Year’s Day. If I recall rightly, I may have expected to be done with “Number 3” by the end of October or November, one of the two. I can’t remember at the snap of a finger when I’d finished the installment before it. Either way, I’d planned on completing the next a month later and it should’ve happened before Christmas. It didn’t. I wasn’t too bent-up about it at first, but as the year turned and days turned to weeks and months and here we are, I’ve found myself pretty worried about getting this shit done. For one thing, there’s the getting it done. It needs to see the light. Not just the third installment, but the anthology itself. As a whole. But most importantly — and some may gasp at this but I don’t give a fuck if they do or not — I needs the monies. I don’t even know if I’ll end up selling this dog. I’ll certainly not find out by doing anything but work on it, you know?

    I keep thinking that I may have posted something similar to this earlier in the season. Maybe even in the spring. Or while still in the middle of last winter. I can guarantee you that things weren’t as promising for me or for this project then as is true now. I’ve been working on it, finally. It’s been going well. I couldn’t honestly give you a completion date; I’m not exactly sure how this thing’s gonna end. I could have dozens more pages before that happens, or it could happen tomorrow. However and whenever it decides to come together, it’ll come together. At which point it’ll get published and it’s on to "Number 4".

    Where I’m At

    I’m in the process of a huge life change. It’s exciting, it’s worrisome as all hell. It’s me, rifling through my philosophy, through philosophies I admire, through those I shun, trying to figure out who I am. I don’t even know what my blog is. It changes over the months, it stagnates, it’s stripped down or redone and I start over and end up here, anyway, so what the fuck?

    Where I’m headed is into something more like who I’m supposed to be than at any previous time in my life. There’s the unfortunate fact that I so wish I was doing this as a younger man. Twenty years younger. At least. But I’m not. It’s not only okay but it’s gonna have to be okay, because it’s a state of being that I nor anyone but God cannot change. I’m beginning anew in middle age, part of me an old man, the other always the boy. I suppose I’ll always be that boy. But it’s okay. Because it’s progress. It’s- The most wondrous of adventures. It’s me, returning to college — but rather than picking up where I’d left off, I’m zipping into a direction that speaks and sings to me. It’s less practical as it’s preparatory to a calling. And it- It’s all me. It’s about me. There’s no one to impress beyond myself. Which will take me further than anything’s taken me before. If anyone needs to be impressed with me and anything I’m capable of, it’s conceived there. Which-

    This, my world, is magnificent.

    The Forest Through The Trees

    I like living in a place that’s close to forests and rivers and lakes and shit. I’m a native desert person. The forests where I’m from are- They’re not as they are here in Idaho. Which isn’t a bad thing. I like the desert, the Great Basin, for what it is. I think many do. Which helps, as it’s kind of silly to go there and be upset with it because it doesn’t match your expectations. It’s not “Mountain West” lush. There are few rivers, the streams are intermittent and seasonal, the forests – outside the Sierra – are made up of trees larger trees laugh at or maybe they’re not trees at all but juniper bushes. And there’s the sage and wildflowers. But there’s something special about the outdoors of Nevada. Maybe you’d have to be of Nevada to appreciate that. Or, like those who’d intended on passing through or who’d found themselves there somewhat against their will but ended up remaining, you have to have had fallen in love with the place. My grandfather told me a story of an old hermit he’d met while parked for coffee while driving trucks, years ago. The hermit had originally come from the East Coast, somewhere. Maine, I think. During the Second World War, he’d either joined or been drafted into the Army Air Corps – I don’t really know – and was put on a train for Northern Nevada to an airbase just north of Reno named Stead. At war’s end, this guy was given his discharge orders and told to get on a train back to his home of record. He didn’t want to go, however. Told my grandfather that he’d asked to stay in Nevada. He loved the place. The Army wouldn’t have it. Put him on the train, anyway. So, when he got back to the East Coast, he grabbed a bicycle and pedaled back to Nevada! Ending up in some shack outside of Luning, on U.S. 95 south of Hawthorne, where the Navy had its sprawling ammunition dump. The dump’s still there. Administered by the Army, now. But the old man? Who knows. He prospected from his shack for minerals, precious metals. Nuggets, you know. Lived off of nuggets. Amongst rusted heaps of ancient cars and machinery. In an old tin-and-wood shack. As all like him have. I thought I may have caught a glimpse of him on a news report almost a decade later. But he can’t still be around.

    I remember sitting in an old car or truck with my grandpa, other one – whatever he could get his hands on to take him from one place to the next at the time – and passing that sign that read “Entering [Whatever] National Forest” and my soul would leap happily out of my body and back in, again, and- Just that sign. That “National Forest” sign. Even now it’s- It’s one of the most beautiful sights to me. Soon followed by that scent. That- In Nevada, it was a mixture of sage and juniper and pine and, if there was a thunderstorm passing over, the scent of rain. Most of it wouldn’t even hit the ground. What did was enough to take the dust off the rocks and wildflowers below and color the world around us in brilliant strokes of blues and greens and yellows and purples, orange and red and gold and cool gray. Shit, I can’t even begin to describe the scenes I recall. Huge valleys of sage, hillside defunct mining camps rusting and rotting into the earth from which they’d sprouted ages before my time, ruins of long-abandoned homesteads and deceased little towns, some left as if the people who’d once lived in them just got up from their dinner tables and walk away in the evening, leaving houses full of furniture and kitchens full of provisions tins to decay into the years. Dirt roads leading up from the sage into the juniper and into the pines of higher altitudes that continued to fight the desert for claim to the ground from which they grew, yellow and brown and a dull olive, dirt and stone and brush. Under that blue sky.

    Idaho is more diverse. Similar to its neighboring state to the south in places. But, as one travels further north, water – even in a time of drought – seems plentiful beyond the imagination of a desert person and the trees are tall and the vegetation dense and the wildlife within its forests varied and plentiful and- It’s all relatively close by! To the Boise area, where I live. Some communities are right inside of it. This amazes me.

    I feel like that old prospector from Maine my grandfather told me about. Deposited into this new land and- I’ve fallen in love.

    One of the things I’ve taken to Idaho about is how it reminds me of something I recall from my childhood. Something I can’t put into words. It’s-

    I dunno.

    I went with family to the Payette National Forest, last weekend. Walked a trail, looked about the campground. Then just sat down to enjoy the trees. The smell of the air. The breeze on my face. Everybody else wanted to explore some more but we only had the afternoon and I’d explored enough; I just wanted to soak it in. I’ll explore another day, I told myself. That afternoon, I’d enjoy the forest through the trees. There’ll be other afternoons. Other opportunities to see more. Because I’m close-enough to those opportunities to partake in them, now.


    Overpowering July

    July’s been a mildly overpowering month for me. What does that even mean? “Mildly overpowering”? To have been nudged at the elbow by a slightly-built elderly lady? There’s no “mild” about being overpowered; either you are or you aren’t. It’s like getting mildly kicked in the face by a mule. If there’s been something mild to it all, I’ve not been overpowered. I’ve been, rather, nudged at the elbow by a slightly-built elderly summer month. I really have. I turned, took notice, and realized that July was happening to me in a manner causing me thought and feeling. Perhaps, though, somewhat greater than in the mild. But it’s yet to flip my ass over onto my back and knock the wind from me. That’s “overpowering”.

    Wait. There was that time in which I lost my footing, going down from our campsite to the edge of the river, and landed on back across the huge rocks lining the shore. With a great “SONOFABITCH!!!” as I was certain I’d broken my spine. That was certainly overpowering. But only for a few minutes. I surprisingly never went into an epileptic fit triggered by the sharp pain, although I was close. I managed to walk it off and within minutes was navigating the same downslope to the river’s edge.

    I’d not been fishing since the Bicentennial. No lie. 1976. Almost exactly the time of our 200th summer as this one. The Fourth Of July. I was a little boy. With my sister Amy and our grandpa. Setting off fireworks bought at the corner market as soon as the sun went down. We began this trip – she, her husband, their son, and daughter’s little girl – by stopping off at the huge fireworks warehouse east of Boise. We’d not set the booty off until returning to the city, but still I felt conspicuously guilty, as there were brushfires happening all over and there we were, purchasing enough ordnance to blow up a small city.

    They bought all that shit! I’m just here for the ride.”

    I confess a slightened interest in fireworks since turning into a middle-aged prude. When I was in elementary school, I had no problem in setting half the countryside on fire, just to fend off a dozen small green plastic army men. Afterall, it was either them or me. As a 45-year-old man without testicles, I worry – as I said – about brushfires and bothering the neighbors and scaring their cats and accidentally burning down my great-niece’s red wagon with an amount of explosives that would normally have the FBI knocking at one’s door. I’ve had better things to worry about. Like getting back to work. Which I’ve been unaccustomed to since August of 2011. I’ve fought off seizures and cancer since then. A suicide attempt as well. I shrug at the latter. Sue me. I felt useless and burdensome and my head’s not exactly been in the best shape, so you can’t blame it for taking me down that road. I’ve been trying to write, fighting for Social Security benefits. But what I’d really like to have happen, right now, is to land a job. I’ve worked since I was a kid in high school, but for a few months here and there throughout my college years. Come the summertime, I always had work. I had good credit. There was money for rent and I ate thriftily. When others depended on their parents, I funded myself. Grants and loans went for tuition; what I lived on was what I earned. I’ve always been proud of that. That I could stand on my own, walk on my own through life. Not being able to do that has been tough. But I found out about the state’s vocational rehabilitation program for the disabled and applied. The 60-day waiting period during which medical records and such are gathered ends next week. I’ve been a mixture of excited and anxious for the next step to begin. What if I can’t do it? Of course I can do it! Don’t worry, me. But I do. Will I be able to support myself? Will I be able to handle the work? Will I enjoy it? These are things that are silly to worry about, as I’ll not know until I’ve got my feet in it. June was filled with the hand-wringing ecstasy of the thought of getting back out there, on my own (I currently live with my sister Amy and her family). Into July, I’ve been worrying if it can be pulled off. I’ve had an increased number of epileptic auras and just the other night, a seizure in my sleep. You know if you’ve had a seizure in your sleep, in case you were wondering, by how you know what it feels like to have had one of who knows how many throughout life. You don’t need a spotter to tell you that you were doing the Epileptic Bop in the wee hours when it’s far from being your first dance. An aura is kind of like a pre-seizure. It’s a seizure in and of itself. It’s often a foreshadow of something bigger. I usually smell phantom smoke. Like Bette Davis’ ghost in in the corner of the room, lighting up a pack of Lucky Strikes. Nobody in the house smokes – including me – and it smells like there’s a Big Tobacco convention going on in my head. And that’s where it is – in my head. There is no smoke. This weekend, I lost my equilibrium and had a massive headache. A day or two later (I honestly can’t remember which day it was, now, because it has a habit of fucking with your memory), I had a grand mal/tonic-clonic in the night and awoke feeling like I was channeling Keith Richards’ hangover. And few things piss me off more than feeling like that without having had a wonderfully debauched evening beforehand to show for it. And there’s the Zimmerman trial.

    As I read on Twitter, the other night, wouldn’t it have been a nice thing if George Zimmerman had stopped and asked Trayvon Martin if he needed a ride home, instead? He didn’t. And the result didn’t leave me feeling sorry for George Zimmerman in the least.


    Fishing And Wanderlust

    The family is headed out for a multi-day camping trip, starting tomorrow morning. My sister Amy’s family, that is. With whom I live. There will be fishing – which I haven’t partaken in since the Bicentennial, also the last time I spent an outdoor outing with my Grandpa Sandy, with whom fishing and camping were once exclusively done. Always fun times, as he was more of an explorer at heart than I am. Though I’ve gotta remind you, if you don’t already know and aren’t yet finished groaning at the me being an explorer at heart comment, that I’m claiming this to be true at heart. Not reality. If by “reality” we’re talking about me zipping all over the countryside, back and front, at the faintest of opportunities. Time was, I couldn’t wait to get out of the house and onto the road and from there, off of it. Into the desert. Into the forest. Into the wild. Hiking trails, discovering ruins of mining camps and abandoned homesteads and ghost towns and rusting hulks of ancient construction equipment that I’ve discussed with others yet no one else can recall them let alone help me place them on a map. Skeletons of antique automobiles and horse-drawn wagons. Broken wheels, their tracks still visible if you want to believe it, though the tracks have been dug-through by tires over the years, tires from vehicles across the decades, from newer wagons and carriages to Model “T”s and heavier trucks and Jeeps and Chevys and Dodges and motorcycles to the end of the 20th Century into this one – though elderly prospectors more knowledgeable than us swore that, yes, “those are wagon tracks, boys!” And why argue? Why keep ourselves away from the magic of- Myth. The mythos of the Old West. That cut through not only the cities and counties and outback of the land we made home but through ourselves.

    As I grew older, the desire for travel ceased to bite into me as it had – in spite of a natural wanderlust. Something I say was inherited from my grandfather, though perhaps by example rather than blood, as I’ve always known that he was not my- Not my grandfather through birth. Yet mine nonetheless. More than a grandfather but a father, too. Which hurts my dad. But I don’t say this now to hurt the man. He wasn’t there. For his reasons. I’m not judging him for his absence. I understand and accept that absence. In that absence, Sandy – my Grandpa Sandy – raised me as his own. His boy. Which I implore anyone to accept as a blessing to me. I was granted a dad, really. When my own couldn’t be there. When his life prevented it in however- However such things are.

    I wasn’t as graceful in- In describing all this as I’m trying to be, right now. I was not very long ago somewhat vicious, in fact. Something I’ve apologized to my father for within the past year and that I must- I have to- It must be made clear that there’s- I have no desire to cast bad-

    I’m having trouble finding the words that best suit what needs saying. Conveying. Saying, conveying…

    The winding and twisting of two-lane roads through the interiors of Western lands, though beautiful and begging for my attention, makes me feel like vomiting into the windshield or the back of the head in front of me. Dismounting, my legs are wobbly and my bearing’s off. But the scenes and scents and sounds and- All of it. All of it but for the ride to get there, though I wish that were different, reminds me of what was left behind me so long ago, when I was still a boy. The wanderlust. The simple being out in the out.

    I do not expect to be the ultimate fisherman at first cast over the next few days. Nor do I expect to be a good student of fishing. I pick things ups easily if interested. If not, they’ll remain beyond me and I’m okay with that because others are proficient at the art of pulling fish out the water and I know enough of these people to make sure that I’m well-fed. But I imagine I could, if allowed a pole and the time, do well-enough to feed myself and I’m not worried. I’m just out to enjoy myself; that’s all that matters. Although… In recalling that fishing trip on the 4th of July in 1976… I’m not entirely convinced. That day, I got one bite. It got away. And a pair of Navy jets buzzed us, scaring the shit out of me, causing me to leap into the water. My grandfather got a laugh out of that. After doing worse. And that night, we lit fireworks, ensuring that no one on the reservoir did well, either. I dunno. Maybe it improved things for everybody who kept trying. Wipers dig sparklers, according to sources on the Internet who make stuff like that up.


    Lil’ Wayne, Fathers’ Day, And One’s Ever-Changing Ideology

    Oh, Lil’ Wayne. I wished you the best when you were dying in that hospital bed, overcome with epileptic seizures, because I’m an epileptic myself. I know what coming out of that tunnel feels like. Then I find out you’d been sucking down something you call “syrup”. Do I have that right?

    I hate sticking up for people, only to realize that they- That I should’ve just pretended not to notice them and kept on walking.

    I don’t even know his work. I’m familiar with him, because- Well… Look at him. He’s pretty distinctive. I used to sort through magazines to sell on the rack we had at work when I was still with the market back in Nevada and the “Hip Hop” periodicals would come up and- Really? You like that look? Whatever, dude. Of course, the same could’ve been said of me if he were going through issues of lame-ass white middle-aged guys and saw me, there. “Really, dude? You like that look?” I like a lot of things that contribute to my look. Bacon, Coca-Cola, maple syrup. The “holy trinity” of fat men across the country. You could – and should – wedge beer in there, somewhere. As an honorable mention, as not all of us drink. Or as often as we’d like. So it must, at least, be kept as a backup, coming in at a close fourth. I have no verifiable data on this, on rankings and preferences; it’s all based on opinion. Your trinity may be different, but I’m assuming just as inviting. “Cheeseburgers, whiskey, macaroni and cheese.” Or “fried eggs, hashbrowns, Snickers candy bars”. It’s really just three of any of the best things we can think of, coming up at random like items on the reels of a lardy, delicious slot machine. There are no losers. Until our arteries completely solidify and our families are praying for us at our bedsides like I was praying for Lil’ Wayne at my computer terminal to come out of his coma.

    Fuck Lil’ Wayne,” a friend of mine snarled.

    “What?” I gasped. “Don’t you know what he’s going through?”

    “Don’t you know why he’s in the hospital?”

    I really hadn’t. I knew nothing of the guy, other than that he was a “Hip Hop” artist and that he was “fighting for his life”.

    “He did it to himself!” my friend hissed. Explained the “syrup” thing to me – the beverage he regularly concocted to get high. She has a seizure disorder as well. Reports to tend to stay away from shit that might help bring one on. Like the abuse of cough medication. Or cocaine. Or anything else considered illicit. “I don’t feel sorry for him. I mean, I don’t wanna see him dead… But… It’s his fault.”

    I don’t even know any of his tunes.

    Now the guy’s stomping all over the flag and-

    Whatever, man. You’re making a helluva bed to lie in.

    I try not to be too judgmental of others. Because I can be extremely judgmental. Arriving at conclusions of people based on the most superficial of things. Hatefully tearing people apart for things that maybe are beyond their control. But… If you’re tearing yourself apart…

    Fuck Lil’ Wayne.”

    So. Fathers’ Day happened. If you know me, you know that I was brought up by my maternal grandparents until I was seven. My grandmother died, that year. That summer. A few weeks after her forty-forth birthday. Which was just a few days after my mine. And always around Mothers’ Day. She sometimes treated us to a mutual gift. When I turned five, she took me to get a puppy. He was ours. He represented the bond we shared as well as a celebration of my birth, her birth, and a day to celebrate all mothers.

    What this has to do with Fathers’ Day, I don’t know. It meant something when I started typing it, though. So I think on it. And what I’ve quickly come up with was that- What I always do when I think of the woman’s death: she died almost exactly a year younger than I am now. There’s also this: I can’t bring up the same imagery, the same feeling I had for her when I access thoughts of a day meant to celebrate my father. Which, over the years, has produced- I’m considering my reactions. Over the years. To Fathers’ Day. To the idea of my dad. And what both mean to me. Or don’t mean. It’s a struggle. It is as I type this. Because, in the beginning, he wasn’t there. He was a myth, someone who only existed in tales told to a very little boy meant to bring happiness. To a little boy who wanted to idolize his father like all boys want to when they’re little guys. Then there was reality. When he was revealed to me and the truth of him shattered the myth. Mostly in ways that weren’t at all fair to him. About three years later, I got to spend an extended length of time with him and we didn’t mix well at all. I continued to recall a more naturally-conservative way of life with my grandparents, “natural” in that their lives were of another time and thus was mine for living with them and for having lived with them, heavily-influenced by it and those lives. His was covered in hair and filled with marijuana smoke. And as the world moved into the 1980s and halfway through, I found myself on the conservative side and no way pleased with his lifestyle choices. But there was a side of me that wasn’t satisfied with conservativism, a side that whenever it-

    I dip my head. It’s difficult for me to find the right words for the struggle I’ve always felt going on within me, throughout most of my life. My heart knows what is right. The freedom of self-expression is right. The freedom to live without pain is right. The freedom to be who you were born to be is right. The freedom to live – to live – is right. Among scores of others I or anyone can name. This doesn’t mean I still wasn’t sensitive to lives lived in ways apart from what I was accustomed to… What it does mean and did mean is that it tore at something within me each time I noticed someone disallowed from living as he or she was- Just “was”. And that whenever I came across something or someone who would prevent that… It sickened me.

    I embraced liberal beliefs. The right to an individual to choose his or her path, to make his or her own decisions about what to do with life and body. And I was enlightened to a family tale that some continue to dispute that when my grandmother was on her deathbed, she was provided with weed. To make her final days and nights just a little bit more comfortable. I began to support marijuana for medical use. But a lifetime of indoctrination still made it hard for me to accept its complete legalization. It took years for me to support it. I examined the effects it would have on society, on economy. And found that it promises more good than arm.

    “In moderation,” I added to myself. When used for traditional purposes. Even though my intake of bacon could hardly be called “moderate” and has without a doubt caused me more harm than taking up pot ever could.

    It’s not for me. In spite of all the suggestions I try it as an alternative to my epilepsy medication. In thinking about it and marijuana in general, I discovered that maybe the greatest reason for the rift between my father and me was because of- It. Which… Seems – is – ridiculous. Especially when, as the years have gone by, I’ve come to an understanding as to why the use of marijuana was so important to my dad. In spite of the fact that I knew there was a hole in his belly since I was almost ten.

    Came by it by accident. By trying to rough-house with him.

    I hadn’t known. Hadn’t known it was even there. Let alone how much it was hurting him.

    I wouldn’t know that it was not only doing that but constantly eating away at him until years ahead. When I finally knew how it got there. And was old-enough to also know that as I got older, the more I knew would mean an equal amount of stuff I could never know.

    There were years of dysfunction between the two of us to come. It couldn’t all be blamed on weed. There were things said both ways that cut worse than switchblades. And, in spite of my nascent liberal mind, there was a hatred of how he- Was. His lifestyle. Drugs and lies. Lies and lifestyle constructed around drugs. The obtaining of drugs. Which also wasn’t all weed. But there was also a man in there, somewhere. I wasn’t seeing him. I was still comparing what I did see to the myth that was visible only in my mind as a child. The myth of a man that never was. There was more to the truth of the man in the man I wasn’t seeing than in either the myth or the character he portrayed. A myth as well.

    I’m still trying to let that man inside. At the same time, he struggles to get to know the man who is his son. A man who is no longer a little boy a thousand miles away or more. A boy who also was a myth. Who struggles with his own mythos. And the truth of himself.

    Fathers’ Day was always a cringe-worthy day for me to get beyond. When my friends were celebrating their dads, I made excuses. Or went into detail. About why I abstained. It’s tough for a kid who’s always had their dad around to get it, to understand why you don’t. It’s worse to have to go through explaining it. I just ducked past it when I could. As an adult, it wasn’t as much of a problem. An obvious one, anyway. The day still came, remained celebrated. It’s never gone by as an empty date on the calendar. It’s always been- A loaded vacancy.

    He’s been trying. Trying to be a presence. If across the Internet. I’ve been trying, too. I know it hurts him when he realizes the pain I’ve gone through in my life. He knows I’m sorry for the pain I drew upon him, unleashing anger and vengeance when they were all I had to give him. He didn’t get us a puppy, this Fathers’ Day. But we did manage to allow ourselves patience. Understanding. A presence in each other’s lives. That’s a lot. Considering where we’ve been.

    I’m an ideological mess. Politically, spiritually, I’ve been back and forth across the spectrum and in between and even left to wonder if I shouldn’t just leap off that axis onto a second.

    I follow my heart, then my head. Advice from the outside comes along in third. Probably a distant third. What others have to say about my beliefs- I take heed. But I don’t give them control of me. At best, I listen. I research. If there’s something to what I’m getting out of it, I’ll incorporate it into my belief system. Otherwise, keep trying or get the fuck off my doorstep.

    If you want to know what I’m about, it can be summed up as follows: do what you do, let me do what I do, let your neighbors do their thing, be righteous to each other and to yourself, keep learning, never forget that you can’t possibly know it all, and share what you know with the world – but don’t force it. There’s more, obviously. It’s a summation. Anyway, it explains at its element how I could possibly allow myself to be both someone who supports-

    Hah. I don’t even wanna fucking go there. I loathe being a disagreement factory. But, yes, there are hugely contrarian things about me, about my ideology. About how I take things on the personal level. Which isn’t about what I think you should do. These are things I embrace for me. Do your own thing. Just be responsible to yourself for your choices. Be responsible for those choices. Be answerable to yourself. This is beyond whichever deity you claim belief in. Or might. If you believe in any deity. Never do something or choose not to do it because a book or a god or a juju man or a bunch of chicken bones advices it. If it doesn’t come from your soul, it ain’t right. Be true to yourself. The rest follows.

    Life’s a school. You’re always learning. Teaching yourself. Getting shit wrong, getting it right. Because of this, your outlook is bound to change over the length of it. The way you label things. How you accept things. Things you’ve hated become things you love. Things you love become things for which you have no feeling. And those things become whatever chance lays down. Based on chance. Based on consideration. Sometimes conflicting with how you think you should feel about them, based on who you thought you were. But we change as frequently as our ideology does in this school. Sometimes slower than our ideology, sometimes faster. But we’re never stagnant. Unless we’re dead.

    Fuck Lil’ Wayne.”

    Reports flooded Twitter that he was dead. No – alive. Alive but almost dead. Alert and communicative. Dead. Alive.

    Fuck Lil’ Wayne.”

    You know, it’s true – I don’t know one thing he sings. Or whatever he does. What does he do? I’m old; I don’t know these things. I stopped following music when Genesis broke up. Who is Lil’ Wayne? This week, I know he’s standing on the U.S. flag and having to explain that.

    Who in the fuck is Lil’ Wayne?

    Fuck Lil’ Wayne.


    Bringing Home The Bacon And Deep-Fried Ants

    My great-niece is into rocks, these days. And ants. As well as dogs. She fantasizes about mounds of dogs she can leap into and pet. She pretends she’s a dog, enveloping herself within the character so deeply that she believes she’s a dog, taking her dinner plate and dropping it to the floor when nobody’s looking so she can eat off it on all fours, growling as she does so. She pours water in a bowl and drinks from it sloppily, slurping liquid from it into her mouth – then moves her tongue around her lips as she’s seen dogs do before trying to scratch the back of her head with her foot. But rocks came first. And never went away. They’ve found a resurgence in importance to her, though, lately. Walking around the block can take all night, as she must stop and collect a sample of every rock she discovers. And while doing this, she somehow developed a fascination with ants, as they crawled about the rocks that interested her. She’s never been into bugs. Hates them, in fact. Ants, however, changed at least some of that hate to love. Except for the ones with “bad attitudes”, as she says. She claims to be able to discern an ant’s attitude by looking at one, moving her face close to the ground where it’s doing its business. If it’s not moved from a single spot and is moving its head around a lot and a couple of its legs, it’s showing signs of having a bad attitude, she says, and will avoid that one. Certainly if it’s large. It’s a troublemaker. A bully. Best to find another ant.

    She’s into painting the rocks she finds, now. She never tires of it. She will paint a rock, set it down to dry, paint another one. So forth. Until the sun goes down. Until she runs out of paint. Or rocks. Which cannot happen, as she knows that all she needs to do is force you to take her around the block, again. Which could be an hour-long trip. Full of argument as to what rocks are fair game. She cannot, for instance, raid the yards of others. She doesn’t understand why not, as her teenage uncle, when he takes her on rock raids, never minds, being a kid himself. Such rules to a kid seem ridiculous. It’s a rock. It’s two. Who cares about a couple of rocks?

    The people who’ve collected them for their landscaping. Look at the rocks she’s got an eye for, now. They started out as pebbles. She prefers the smooth ones. The sparkly ones. Ones that look like eggs. But they’re growing. They’ve gotten to be pretty big. They need effort to retrieve. Sometimes a toy shovel. Gardening implements. To a little girl, they’re about the size of bowling balls to an adult. They’re big. And they need rescuing. And painting. There’s never enough paint. And never enough rocks.

    I’m thinking of convincing her that a good idea might be to return them to where she’d found them after she’s painted them. Like Easter eggs. She’s already made a “rock/Easter egg” connection, thanks to painting them. Especially the egg-shaped ones. It’ll be like a job for her. Something to keep us busy in the summer months when we can’t get to the waterpark.

    I remain frustrated, job-wise. Although work is coming. This round of fighting for Social Security disability is nearing an end – but so may be a need for it, if all goes well, as vocational rehabilitation has begun processing my request for employment for those with disabilities. Within the next sixty days, they will look through my medical records and then we’ll take what I’m interested in and match it with employers who are willing to work with the disabled. These employers also get a tax break for participating, I believe. And, with me working, the state and federal governments aren’t chucking out dollars, so it’s a “win” all around. The wait is doing a lot to do me in, however. The epilepsy medication is taking care of the rest. My dosage was raised a couple of months ago, which took care of the seizures I was having, but it’s left me-

    There’s no real stoic way to explain my situation. It’s either the seizures or the pills messing me up, and few want to hire someone who’s either prone to a lot of downtime or who might cause a serious mistake and/or accident because of his condition. Or both. The vocational rehabilitation program hopes to get me around that. As do I. I’ve was working for the better part of thirty years – a straight twenty-one for the same company I left in 2011, where I’d held a management position since 1997. Having a scrambled brain and no income has really fucked me up. Obviously, since it moved me to attempt suicide last year, citing “not wanting to be a burden, any longer”.

    I need bacon. But… A guy like me would be better-off working for it. Would rather be working for it.

    Nobody wants to go for the bacon in this house. Officially, we’re all on diets. I’ve been only semi-committal when it comes to counting the calories. I’m not at all good at such things when my life’s not chugging forward in an optimal manner. Which is rare. But, even if all’s going relatively well – or at least “okay” – I prefer comfort food. Fast food. Fun-time activities that include a lot of eating and drinking. Not necessarily alcoholic beverages – especially since they tend to screw with my epilepsy meds. However, the neurologist permits the occasional, moderate lapse, and I like it to be a nice, frothy, cold beer. Maybe even a fruity, foo-foo drink. Is it spelled “foo-foo” or “fufu” or does it even matter? Don’t make me google it, tonight. Anyway, I’m not having fun unless I’m eating or drinking as well as doing whatever else it is that goes along with the eating and drinking. Sorry. Part of me is sad that I’m built like a melted turd. But I don’t believe I can be happy if my life is led like I’m being punished by the Gestapo while training to fight Ivan Drago.

    I like to eat. I like to imbibe the dread tankard, now and then. Even if it’s not that, I like a sweet, bubbly Coke. Don’t hiss at me for it. You’ve brainwashed yourself away from it as a means to an end. You needed to because you’d rather lose the weight and that’s okay. That’s your thing. Good on you. Now, give me a fucking Coke. And the biggest hot dog you can find. Topped with another hot dog. With everything on it. On the side, I want some seasoned curly fries. Or tots. And I want you to cover it all with batter and dunk it in a deep-fryer and bring it to me, covered in gravy. I want it covered in gravy – not you. But I wouldn’t hate you if you gave the gravy thing a shot.

    I wonder what deep-fried ants taste like, covered in gravy. The ones with the bad attitudes.

    See, when you count calories, you think of shit like that. Nobody ever thought of deep-frying butter and candy bars until they were forced into a diet. Very dangerous, diets. I recommend avoiding them.


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