Tag Archives: cranky bastards

To 2014


I’ve noticed I tend to try to be optimistic in my blogs; my instinct is to end them with some sentiment of hopefulness.

What’s interesting is that I’ve also noticed that I’m the opposite when I talk one-on-one with people: I feel the need to be very clear in communicating exactly why something sucks. It’s frustrating, sometimes, because the best-intentioned folks are put in the position of trying to talk me out of that negativity, but from my point of view, their positivity means that I’ve failed to communicate my troubles to them.

When they argue that there’s reason to feel better, I hear it almost as an inadvertent judgment—they think I am failing to see the happy truth, failing to do what needs to be done. To me, I’m very, very aware of truth, at least as it applies in my own brain, but if they can’t see that, then I’m failing to explain it to others.

Introspection does not wear well on me. I am prone to self-loathing spirals.

In saner moments, of course, this is all very self-centered and gross. But the compulsion to communicate rules all in me.

Today there’s been more resignation than compulsion. I was first too tired to care; now I’m too caffeinated to dwell.

Looking back on this time last year, as is obviously the day’s tradition, I’m not sure what conclusions I should draw. I’m afraid not enough has changed. I’m afraid that the things that have changed, that are even now changing, have not done so for the better. I’m afraid that all this might still be true a year hence. I’m afraid the regrets I have, I still have, that predate 2013 still won’t be dissolved by this time next year.

But the day is built on hopefulness. As is the blog. And so there shall be hope. (And good lord in heaven, theis triple-grande mocha is helping.) Happy New Year. Here’s to 2014.

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Leo: Oct. 15, 2013


Showing my affection for the AMI City Pier.

And thus I present an analysis of today’s horoscope, based on the fact that I got to leave work early in order to drink a couple beers at one of my favorite places in the world, accomplishing work stuff and even getting quotes in the process, only to have my car sputter and die on the way home, leaving me stranded in a surprisingly questionable neighborhood for AMI, being eaten by mosquitoes and noseeums, waiting an hour for a tow truck and pondering the probable expense and my already skyrocketing credit card bill.

Horoscope for Leo, Oct. 15, 2013: “This is a time for you Lions to do things in a very basic and practical manner.”

Yes. I don’t really have a choice, but perhaps that’s what you meant.

“It’s essential to focus on building your own self-worth, both financially and psychologically.”

See, here’s where I have a problem. I’m failing to see how I can build my financial self-worth by incurring a horrendous expense. And, frankly, that makes me feel bad, psychologically. Perhaps you’re suggesting that I was on a work excursion, and thus should be compensated for a new transmission? Well, yes, that would make me feel quite clever.

“However, your fires of inspiration may be dying down today as Mars leaves lively Leo to enter efficient Virgo.”

I feel like Katy Perry wrote this part.

“It’s not the end of the road…”

Heh, fucking true story. This happened smack-dab in the middle of the road.

“…but rather a transition into a time when considered actions have more impact than the obvious and noisy ones.”

Did you mean a transmission…? (*rimshot?)

Well, I definitely made some obvious and noisy actions upon going all max-RPMs/no-horsepower on rush-hour Gulf Drive (as did my car)—and yes, those were made to no avail. But, having had time to consider, I…still don’t know what action I should take. I’m-a go look for some tea leaves or a Magic 8-Ball or something. If all else, fails, well…I guess I’ll just see what tomorrow’s horoscope has to say.

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Endless Commentary on the Modern World

In this week’s search for a blog topic, so many issues surfaced—so many “serious” points I wanted to make, all of which would be painful and exhausting to write about, with the awful, ever-present cloud hanging over me, saying, “There’s no guarantee you’re going to communicate your thoughts effectively. And even if you do, nobody has to listen.


“And even if they do listen, there’s always, always more to say.”


There are countless (really, so many) nuances to be addressed the Zimmerman trial and the Rolling Stone cover. There are lingering issues of the language of locker rooms and outrage in general on the internet. And, in every waking moment, there are my own unsteady emotional torrents yanking things around in my head in ways that may or may not relate to everyone else’s reality—brain flotsam.


Everything seems to be a constant, unrelenting source of outrage fueling outrage fueling outrage. It is an outrage feedback loop. It makes me angry, then tired; sympathetic, then frustrated; inspired, then resigned.


And so.


I walked to the beach, in a steady drizzle.


And I made a sandcastle.




Happy Hump Day, everyone. Let’s coast a bit, shall we?


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Arguing with Assholes in My Head

Slightly more obscure source material for this “song”–here’s the original:


Aaaaaand my Monday-inspired madness:


Rage is here, rage is here.

Life is violence and life is beer.

I think the stuff that’s the hardest to cage

Is the rage—I do; don’t you? Bite me.


But there’s one thing that fuels my hostility,

That ruins my shaky civility…


All the world needs a punch—

Not just one, but a bunch—

When I’m arguing with assholes in my head.


Random moments you’ll see

Sudden outbursts from me

When I’m arguing with assholes in my head.


It starts with a moment to ponder my circumstance

And ends with Banana transformed to Ms. Grumpy Pants.


Oh you’ll soon find me in

Some secure loony bin

When I’m arguing with assholes in my head.


I’ve gained reputation

For threat’ning castration

Of each aberration

Whom I’ve met.

My imagination

Drifts toward mutilation

For every occasion

I dream I might get.

But it’s not based in any reality;

Just a spiritual abnormality.


So if one day you see

Something maddening me

I’m just arguing with assholes in my head.


And maybe I’ll dream

Of a nice peaceful stream—

Or I’ll argue with assholes in my head.


I’ll fight with them all amid building insanity.

It’s not just a few; it’s the whole of humanity.


My mind will be spinning

As phantoms are winning

The fights I’m creating—

It’s quite irritating—

When I’m arguing with assholes in my head.


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Trading Punches with Tuesday

This week and I have been going back and forth on the score cards. It keeps jabbing me—and occasionally pummeling me, but then I fight back and it turns around and tries to be all nice.


This week is giving me Stockholm syndrome.


McD and I have long considered Tuesday the most evil day of the week. My official theory is that people expect Monday to be so bad that everybody goes out of their way to try to make it better. Then Tuesday comes along, and all the bad shit comes avalanching downhill, hitting the fan, etc. (In actuality, the Tuesday-is-evil theory emerged around the same time we started having weekly department meetings on Tuesdays.)


So, first thing Tuesday, I accidentally dumped my toast over so that it landed—face down, of course—in the driver’s seat I was about to occupy. I commuted with jelly.


McD, having suffered an unfortunate incident with strawberries at about that same time, declared it a day of falling food—an observation fortified when I opened the breakroom refrigerator and sent someone’s ample salad leftovers a-sprawling on the floor. Dammit.


But with each new insult, I felt kind of triumphant at not having a meltdown (as is my wont). My awesome new Target shoes wore bloody holes in my heels; I fixed them with scotch tape. I started to feel crappy, so at lunch I backed my way half-heartedly to the gym and wound up attacking the stairmill for 30 minutes at a higher-than-normal level.


Afterwards, I got Jimmy John’s—extra onions, extra lettuce. I felt resilient.


After work I went to the gas station and Publix and spent too much money on booze and cheese. I could feel the Tuesdayness closing in. So I again took charge: Sitting at a traffic light, uncomfortably close to a relatively young guy asking for change, I decided to go against my natural instinct to avoid eye contact. Instead, I reached into my groceries and offered him a beer. He was amused; I was amused; the cop that drove by at that exact moment was, happily, oblivious. Good times.


As I drove off, a guy pulled up alongside me: “You’d think he at least could’ve closed your gas cap,” he shouted. Dammit.


I had to wait until I got to St. Armands and, for the first time ever, was excited when a large group of right-of-way pedestrians crossed in front of me. I threw the car in park, tore off my seatbelt and lunged out of the car to close the cap—feeling cool and balletic until I banged my shoulder and my ass as I dove back in, and managed to get the car back into drive even though my foot had spazzed in a cramp. Dammit.


The day still felt like kind of a win, and I wanted to write about it when I got home. But the wireless was down. Argh. At which point I gave up on Tuesday.


The real problem is that recently it seems like Wednesdays are becoming more Tuesday-like—like, because our time-measurement systems aren’t quite accurate to the universe, the evilness has drifted over into a different day. Like we need to cut a day out of the week to get it right again. Like Leap Year except…the opposite.


I again went reluctantly to the gym and again banged out a pretty heroic workout on the treadmill and the stairmill. I wanted to wallow in a pasta-and-mushroom-cream-sauce special for lunch, but I got a protein smoothie instead. I fought for my day.


Wednesday afternoon annoyance, but I worked through it. Then I started getting worked up instead. I got caught in the negativity (much of it, admittedly is of my own making). I obsessed. I whined. I discovered a particularly infuriating administrative snafu, at which point McD and I went for our usual mile-long walk, venting all the way, a parade of incredulity and arm waving.


When we got back to the office, Bode unloaded on us his own recent frustrations. Wednesday was a Tuesday for everybody.


I let myself get emotionally spent toward the end of the day, but felt some relieving catharsis afterwards. I again felt resilient when I made grilled cheese and tomato soup, and sat down to eat it on the porch, listening to a lovely steady rain outside and reading The Shipping News.


Then the Bolts lost, the negativity closed in and I lost momentum again.


So here we are on Thursday. Thursdays don’t have any kind of reputation (…yet). I had a quiet morning of decent productivity. But then I popped the button on my trousers, which makes me think this whole week is determined to be difficult. So I took a three-mile walk (although I stepped in a puddle). I ate a salad. I fought for it.


Right now I’m looking forward to stone crabs with the ‘rents this evening, and I’m happy I finally got a blog written—although it’s too long, pretty rambly, and I’m also currently annoyed that my damn phone won’t relinquish my photos. I am trying.


In reality, it’s nice to find the good times, but it’s really damn frustrating to go back and forth like this—to have a brain (not the day, the week, or the universe, really) that won’t sit still in a comfortable spot. But I guess it’s better than spending the whole time on the mat.


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10 Short Letters from Me



Dear Mr. Ford Explorer on Gulf Drive,

Thank you for not hitting me as I rode my bike back from Publix. In return, I offer you this observation: I should not be able to smell your cologne outside of your car.


The Bicyclist with a Bourbon Bottle Sticking Out of Her Backpack




Dear friends,

I’ve decided I shall throw a party in celebration of the completion of the puzzle I’m working on. No need to worry about disturbing the vacationneighbors; it’s going to be fucking June before I get this shit done.


Until then,

Sad, Sad Puzzle Lady






Dear Alex Trebek and the peacocks,


SHUT. UP. You pompous, preening, stupidly vocal bird-brains. ARGH.




Person Who Shouts at Animals and the TV



P.S. If you run in front of my car again, I’m not braking. For any of you.







Seriously. SIX WEEKS.






To the Angry German pedestrian on St. Armands:

To answer your question, although it seems it should have been apparent, no, I am not going to stop for you. First and foremost, you were not near enough to the road warrant stopping; had I glided right through, you would not have had to break stride, as I would have been past the crosswalk already. Secondly, I regret that I had to stop on the crosswalk in your presence, but you see, I’d just gotten cut off by a motherfucking horse-drawn carriage that did not yield appropriately. I thought you might have noticed that, being a horse’s ass yourself.

Still, I was in the process of offering you a conciliatory wave when you threw your arms up in the air and began expressing your assholeishness in a vocal manner. This, and not any innate character flaw on my part, is why I told you to fuck off.



Auf wiedersehen,

Frau F-Bomb



P.S. Way to stand in the middle of the road and yell at me like a crazy old fart as I drove off. I hope that horse shit on you.






Dear IRS,

I know we’ve had our differences, but…I love you. It’s not about the money.

Except, well, actually, it is, yeah. But that doesn’t make my love any less real.



Thanks for the refund,

Broke lady






Oh CJ,

Honey. No. Stop licking the floor.







Dear Awesome People Behind the Counters of Various Downtown Sarasota Businesses (You Know Who You Are),

You are awesome. Everybody thinks so. We talk about it all the time. You greet us so warmly—many of you even remember our names—offer us the best service, make small talk without being cheesy about it. You even forgive us when we come up short, or say things like “Just get us next time” when we try to pay for a $1 soda with a credit card.

You are a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. And on sunshiny days? Forget about it. We appreciate ya.

Keep being awesome,

Hammer and friends






To the current vacationneighbors:

Please do not be alarmed that I listened to the Lawrence Wright Scientology interview on NPR and then immediately listened to it again on the interwebs. I simply appreciate public radio. Do not report this, or you will be declared a Potential Trouble Source.

Ta-ta for now,

Operating Thetan




Hey, Lady at the Gym,

The stairmill is less effective if you prop yourself up on the handrail so your legs aren’t bearing any weight. Why not get some parallel bars and stay home? Just sayin’.



The Sweatmonster Next to You



P.S. I know it’s a locker room, but…just…stop being naked.



Dear orchid,

Please don’t die. I don’t know what you want. Open up to me.  I’ve tried being there for you. I’ve tried giving you your space. Nothing makes you happy. Believe me when I tell you that you’re a very special flower. Please. Let’s work on this together.


Your Confused Life Partner

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The Christmas Temp-Job Poem

Looking back, this 10-year-old poem takes a rather harsh look at a post-college temp gig (mostly I don’t hold nearly so much disdain for my coworkers as I apparently did then). But the fact that I wrote this on the job, in my cubicle, is still a work-slacking triumph that stirs pride for my snotty 22-year-old self.

T’was the month before Christmas and I sold my soul
To [redacted]’s data-entry and filing patrol.
The folders were nestled all snug in their drawers
While I entered numbers for all 90 stores.

Stars of David were hung in the kitchen with care,
In rebellion against all the Christmas crap there.
And no one quite knew just who’d had the balls
To write things in Hebrew when decking the halls.

In my cubicle, nestled amongst all the crap,
I’d just settled in for my mid-morning nap,
And lulled by the sounds of those suckers still typing,
I dreamed better jobs in the sleep I was swiping.

And so in the pose of ideal corporate tool,
I awoke in my gathering puddle of drool
When what by my nearsighted eyes should be seen
But errors galore on my IBM screen?

Then up from saliva I sprang with a splash
And heaving computer parts into the trash,
I hopped o’er the cubicle and gave out a yell,
“I’m through with this temp-working boring-ass hell!

“I’ve had it with all of your corporate crap,
Your forms and your filing, your Christmassy pap,
Illiterate workers and mind-numbing work.
It’s time to ask Santa to bring you a clerk

“Who’ll make all the copies and beg you for more,
Who won’t Judaize your Christmas décor.
Call me lazy or stupid or mean or a snob,
But I’m jingle fed up with this holiday job!”

Then floating about me, invoices in shreds
Came snowflaking down upon all of their heads;
In the wake of my tirade a calm so serene
O’er my redneck-filled Chanukah Wonderland scene.

Then I fled from the building in holiday cheer
For I knew the true meaning of Christmas that year.
So now, with my heart set in festive enjoyment,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all unemployment!

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