When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be a Rerun

Throughout the history of academic-enforced writing assignments, one of the more tried and true topics doled out in elementary schools is the one that asks children what they want to be when they grow up. “In 200 words or less, describe your dream career. Remember that this will likely define your value to society, determine your friends, your spouse, etc. And pretty soon you’re 54 and living in a studio apartment with a couch you found on the street, wondering if you made the right choices in life, getting buried under a mountain of debt stemming from ballooning student loans and maxed out credit cards, occasionally glancing at the fine print on your life insurance policy for the word ‘suicide’. But, no pressure, children. The point is to just have fun.”

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Carly Donaldson erases ‘I want to be’ and replaces it with ‘I WILL be’ in her career essay, confident that it would solidify her future as a magic ballerina fairy in the land of Gumdrop Island.

The problem with making these requests of children is that maybe 1 in 1000 have an inkling what they want to do as a vocation. For me, the “ideal career” changed almost week to week. Occupations were usually sourced from such professional career sources as Nick-at-Nite or channel 20 on basic cable.

For example… Continue reading “When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be a Rerun”

SHAM or How To Be Cool Like Mike

When anyone meets me for the first time, they see that my build is slight, my hair looks like a Brylcreem ad, my glasses are older than me, and I’m probably humming a song that their grandparents might hear and go, “That song was popular when I was a kid. That’s before your time, isn’t it? Wait, are you Dorian Gray?” In short, I am not someone whose finger is on the pulse of hip culture. Of course, the reason for that is because hip culture filed a restraining order against me, and I’m now unable to get that close to it. It has absolutely nothing to do with my being a huge square. Nope.

So, when someone says to me “You look like Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters” or “You look like the older version of George McFly in Back To The Future”, I know what they mean. What they’re really saying is, “You are clearly the most effortlessly cool person I’ve ever met. Tell me how to be better. Tell me how to be more you-ish and less me-ish.”

As Carl Rathburn soon learned, being more Mike Calahan-ish is more than just wearing glasses. It's not having a chin and shaving your chest with a dull razor.
As Carl Rathburn soon learned, being Mike Calahan-like is more than just wearing glasses. It’s also developing a weaker chin and shaving your chest with a dull razor.

Continue reading “SHAM or How To Be Cool Like Mike”

Tips For The Modern World

Living in a modern world is not necessarily a difficult or insurmountable task. Oh sure, for folks like myself, life is simply a series of easily-achieved goals and back-to-back successes that follow one another like an endless line of Dominos. Does that mean the rest of you can’t try? Of course not. Whether you’re entertaining guests in the walk-in closet your landlord advertised as a studio apartment or home alone because everyone you called is “busy with a, uh, thing,” being an adult in the modern world is easy. It can also make for a better you. And isn’t a better you better than the not-better you that you can be better than?

So, for all of you average Joe’s and Josephine’s, I have compiled a few helpful observations on life in the modern world.

The Joe and Josephine Society of Planterville listen to an introduction by their newest member Gary Garrison.
The Joe and Josephine Society that gathered at JoJo’s Pharmacy in Joeville listen to an introduction by their newest member Gary Garrison.

Continue reading “Tips For The Modern World”

So… Where Was I?

My last post was April of 2015.

However, after a number* of emails asking why I was not posting, how I was and other friendly reaching-out’s, I decided to return and try to engage what is undoubtedly a dedicated readership waiting with bated breath for me to speak directly to their souls via the written word.

After six days of observation, doctors at St. Agnes of Moorehead chalked up Doris as having an acute case of “stummy ache”. What doctors didn’t realize was that Doris was having withdrawal symptoms resulting from not having a B.L.O.G fix in what felt like years. Also, she was addicted to morphine.

I am aware that much has changed with many of my readers, some good and some bad.
Continue reading “So… Where Was I?”

Westward Ho – Part 2: General Custard

<— Part 1 —-<

Instead of driving west into Utah, then up to Idaho, we drove north to Montana in a spontaneous change of plans wholly inspired by a coloring book, Bucky Thompson and the Redskins. As my dad now saw it, we were somehow bound to honor the unspecified deeds of a few or maybe several unnamed individuals of vague and generalized historical significance. When asked where we were driving or to whom we were supposed to feel indebted, my dad would only answer with, “You’ll see,” and a smile that anticipated what was no doubt going to be a big payoff.

Minutes turned into hours and hours turned into…well, more hours. Entertainment was desirable and necessary, but seemed perpetually elusive, like the face of an adult in a Charlie Brown cartoon. 20 Questions, Slug Bug and a game of I Spy that ended with my sister, Michele, hitting me (she got mad because the only things I would ‘spy’ were things inside the car. “Stop picking ‘headrest’. Idiot.”) Eventually, we took to humming the theme songs of television shows.

On some highways, even starting a game of Slug Bug can take several hours
On some highways, even starting a game of Slug Bug can take several hours

By the time my dad and I started in on what my sister termed to be the ‘kajillionth stupid’ rendition in a row of the Bonanza theme, my dad suddenly announced, “Here we are!”

Continue reading “Westward Ho – Part 2: General Custard”

Westward Ho – Part 1: Crappy Souveniers

PREFACE: Much of my childhood was spent on the road, but not in a Beatified, romantic sort of way. Instead, it was simply that we were forced to. Whether transferred, offered a better job or just simply fired, my dad’s job(s) kept the family moving from town to town and state to state, the only constant in our lives being each other and boxes marked Bekins.

When I was in the third grade, my sister and I attended three different schools in three different states thanks to three different moves. The following takes place during move #3 from Colorado to Washington.

***

It seemed as though my dad had become delusional, that he believed he could enact an honest to goodness miracle. How? By attempting to make a 1400-mile drive less oppressive and monotonous–daresay fun–to a 9-year old boy and 14-year old girl.

“Honey, look! We can fit my clubs, your dresses, the dog and still have plenty of room for the children’s many, many tears!”

The suggestion was that my sister, Michele, and I begin collecting knickknacks from any points of interest we passed. We were assured that not only would we “get a kick out of” doing so, but that we would probably end up thanking my dad for helping us begin what could very well become a lifelong hobby. (SPOILER: We never had to thank him.)

Continue reading “Westward Ho – Part 1: Crappy Souveniers”