I wrote this in January sometime, and I know it’s long, but I don’t have much to say here and I like writing. Summers usually sucked balls during my childhood given that I had an abundance of time and a lack of things to do with it. I hooked up with schoolmates here and there, but had little friendships to speak of and spent most of the time during the day doing odd jobs that my father assigned me and talking to my dog, Herschel. Herschel was a yellow lab who gained his name during a rare broadcast of a USFL game when a certain College Football superstar ran through an unholy amount of men to score a touchdown and our fat little whimpering puppy scrambled madly across the TV room at Barb’s house. Barb was the woman my mother left my father for, but that’s a different story. At this point, we’d just gotten the puppy and my older brother and I were bandying about all the usual simple and inane puppy names with Barb’s kids when we saw… Read moreHerschel
Since the very first one I experienced, this day has always meant something special to me. My first, 5 years ago, was the first time I’d ever actually sat and hung out with family and friends without it being an occasion centred around somebody or something stressful (birthdays, New Year’s, etc). Low-key and as laid-back as you can get, there was beer, barbecue and Australian Flag Tattoos a-plenty. It may sound silly, but getting to adorn myself with “Australia” stuff meant more to me than the family probably realised. It wasn’t ceremonial, nor really terribly symbolic, but I had a T-shirt and a ballcap (I love my hats) and then a flag tattoo pasted on my cheek, and I couldn’t have felt more patriotic than if someone had draped a flag across my shoulders and started singing “We are Australian”. I sat there at a table full of the native-born (and a pom, if I do remember) in a neighbourhood heavily peopled with castoffs and refugees mostly from Africa and East Asia, and have never felt more welcome in a… Read moreHappy ‘Straya Day Mayte
The following was written 17-09-2007. Living on the side of a hill meant that there was a vast array of possibilities of gravitational fun. Ours was the only house at the end of the lane and our gravel driveway turned to asphalt about a third of the way down. Summer and the dry weather really only meant that you could push your bike up to the top, near my house, and then coast into town going somewhere near light speed. Accidents were frequent and my adolescent instinct was finely tuned to the point of precognition when I saw some random kid perched tentatively at the top of my driveway. Though I’ve never had even a remote urge to follow the path of my physician father, by the time I was 13 I’d patched up many a skinned knee with peroxide and a bandaid. While the riding of supersonic bikes was about all that dry roads had to offer, winter was whole other story completely. It may have really only been sledding, but you could do it almost anywhere on that… Read moreMy Belushi Foot
In recent years I’ve found that my life is more passionate and fulfilling when I’ve got a project or two going on. I don’t mean making a spice rack or cleaning out the back shed, though those are certainly up there, I mean creative pursuits. Sometimes it’s a website, where I’ve put all of the neat SEO Analytics Tools that I’ve built in one spot, or a website that’s a blog comprised of web people making the web a better place. Sometimes it’s learning how to make a cowboy hat, and other times it’s a new pair of medieval boots, that I’ve medievally made to wear in a medievally way. So about the time that we were cleaning up the all the fallout from the Huge Storm in March, a buddy of mine and I had reconnected via Stalkbook, and he’d mentioned that he was actively doing that thing that he and I had talked about, writing books. He’d worked on a few and finally had one that he was trying to get published. I’ll mention at this point that… Read moreWriting Books is hard, who knew?
There’s a curious thing that happens when one is confronted with the intimidating and foreboding task of writing a novel. The first thing I thought of was that it would be a great way to tell a great story. But then I couldn’t think of any stories that would take over 50,000 words to tell. Of course, The Story is the only one that I figured I’d put to paper, for it’s a good one, but then you get into that whole changing the names to protect the innocent thing, and the question of how much truth do you want “out there” about your own relatively recent history is there too. A couple of years ago, when I decided that I wanted to be a writer, I came up with some snatches of my “history” and decided to just be writing those. Stories about my hat, my middle child secretly decimating tomatoes and getting busted, my office job and the train rides to and fro, and any manner of stories from my childhood all came streaming out in a series… Read moreWriting Stories
Woke up way too early this morning, but lovely wife kept monkeys quiet as I went back to bed and slept until almost 9. This is what happened after I curled back up under our huge blankies. ************* As frequently happens, I was playing with a plane, a model of a P-40 Warhawk, that started as a toy and eventually became an actual way for me to fly. It remained in my hands, but I somehow knew that it was the source of my flying abilities as I soared high above the clouds I could feel the wind whipping past my ears as I looked up and realised that I’d put an extra fuselage on the top of the plane. “WHOOPS, good thing it still works…” I thought, before reaching out and smudging a few different clouds into the horizon with my thumb, “they look a bit like storm clouds but they’re not, so I’ll just blend them into the bottom so that the people down below don’t get worried.” As at least a small measure of reality started to… Read moreWith me, flying is really just a controlled fall.
It was a Sunday afternoon and I’d found it the rare occasion that I wanted a nap. The baby was sleeping and Wife was happily occupied, so I climbed into bed and turned the TV on to a Disney movie where Bruce Willis was visited by his childhood self. It was cute and comfortable in that Disney way, and I was soon dozing enough to want the television off. I awoke on my side and my first thought as I looked up at the pine headboard was of severe disappointment that my dream wasn’t real. While my life is by no means painful, the realisation that I was still in this life and not in my dream wasn’t pleasant. Instead of feeling depressed or terribly bothered by this, I decided to simply revel in the thoughts and feelings that my dream had given me. In reality, this particular Sunday afternoon was one in which we were to make that long drive North to retrieve our children from their fortnightly visitations with their less-than-noteworthy biological component and his reprehensible parents. In my dream, this was the… Read moreLife Dream
I get reminded as we walk out the front door that the children have been requested to bring flowers of some sort for the services this morning. Her brother is staying home because of a tummy ache, something that I worried may have been a figment of an overactive imagination until he mentioned cramping and attempted to throw up, and until his teacher informed me that she’d sent 2 home already after they’d yakked at school, bringing the tally of gastro-kids to 6. We’re already running late, I’ve got to scare up some flowers and my cowboy boots aren’t the best for walking fast, so all signs are pointing to just taking the car the environmentally-Unfriendly 4 blocks to school. It’s just such a beautiful day though, and I tell her to get her helmet and scooter out while I find the loppers to procure the only full blossom on the rosebushes out front. It’s above my reach, and once its branch has been snipped it tumbles down towards certain doom before settling perfectly on the thorny crook of neighbouring… Read moreAnzac Day
It was one of those nights that had an undercurrent of energy so subtle you can never be quite sure if it was positive or negative. All you really know at the time is that you can feel it, and you don’t even really know that it will eventuate in anything, if anything is coming. You just know you feel… charged. In High School, our source for alcohol was usually Zeke, the freckle-covered red-headed product of the White Trashiest family I knew, before I even knew about White Trash. Zeke worked at the IGA and despite his less-than-stellar IQ, knew how to wangle items that weren’t officially on the inventory books. On this particular night, this included a bottle of champagne and a case of beer that took crappy to the extreme. Todd, myself, and a newish friend named Chris had decided to just cruise the backroads and consume this alcohol, knowing that we would undoubtedly park in a spot to be designated as “celebratory” and pop the champagne, and then use it for those purposes and not necessarily in… Read moreJoliet Sorry.
The kind of week that you’re pretty sure is going to be remembered in specifics for at least a month, and the kind of times that you know you’ll remember forever, are finally over. Over, in the calendar sense only though, and their essence still lingers in the air like a morning fart after an evening of dark beer and barbecued meat. There are only a few kinds of poverty that seek to definitively sap your soul. Surviving them will never leave you unscathed, and the scars left behind will instinctively flare up within seconds of noticing that the bank account has dipped below a certain level while after thumbing through a stack of bills. I’m scarred now. And it hurts. The soothing balm of a promise of cash was short-lived, and in it’s place is a bitterness and numbness that seems to transcend the use of monetary devices of this common culture into a Utopian ideal. As a self-defence mechanism, my mind seems to drift off into a world of make-believe, where we don’t need money to be happy… Read moreBreakfast with Jadey