Wednesday, December 31, 2003


With the New Year barrelling down on us like drunken hippos on crack, I guess it's time for me to talk about resolutions.

Everybody makes resolutions it seems... if you watch a lot of sitcoms, at least... the key here is not to go overboard. Don't resolve to love all peoples, to save the world, to cure cancer. Screw that. Resolve to do something you can do... for a change!

With that in mind, here's my New Year's Resolution: I've had a pair of sneakers now for nearly ten years, nearly a decade. Rosa and I moved into our house in 1995 and I had those shoes. Those shoes saw me through the dying days of my marriage, through my divorce, through loneliness. I've been on walks with them, on stage with them, on drives with them. They're fucking old.

Tonight, I'm throwing those shoes AWAY!!!

... let's see if I can do it.
Shrub's nothing if not consistent...

Well, it appears as though those wacky Repugnicans are at it again. Check out this article to see what (and who) is next on their hitlist:

President George W Bush was sent a public manifesto yesterday by Washington's hawks, demanding regime change in Syria and Iran and a Cuba-style military blockade of North Korea backed by planning for a pre-emptive strike on its nuclear sites.

The manifesto, presented as a "manual for victory" in the war on terror, also calls for Saudi Arabia and France to be treated not as allies but as rivals and possibly enemies.

... oh yeah... we can trust them!

Regime change in '04!!!
The whole dating thing...

Just a quick note for those of you who were shocked out of your chairs at the thought of me having a date last night. Actually, this sticks to my bi-yearly dating schedule very well. It's been around for three years and, with the abberation of dating Rosa earlier this year (which turned out, oh, so FUCKING WELL!)(... but I'm not bitter...), continues with last night's date and Friday's possible date.

... so, stay cool.
Why can't things be simple???

Well, I went out with Karrie last night. Actually, we met for tea and talked for several hours. She's very nice... but... well... (Considering how my words could incriminate me, I'll just say the attraction wasn't there physically.)

As you could probably guess, the incrimination began almost immediately. "You're not attracted to her physically because you want Rosa. You'll only be attracted to Rosa." "You're punishing yourself over the loss of Rosa. You believe you deserve to be alone." "Then, why don't you leave? Huh? It's because you're afraid of loneliness - afraid of being to afraid to stop being alone!" "Note to self: Buy cigarettes!" "You could live alone for the rest of your life and never worry about this again."

This went on the entire drive home - and I did buy cigarettes - and I sat outside and smoked one.

I thought of some of the positives. Hmmm... she's a liberal... she loves nature... she has a good sense of humor...

But she's - And then the negatives... like an inverted pyramid, the biggest one was on top. She's not Rosa. She's a reminder that I'll never have Rosa back.

I lit another cigarette.

Is it my fault I'll never have Rosa back?... well... yes.
Am I to blame for her pushing me away?... well... kinda.
Could I have done anything differently?... um... sure.


But the bottom line is that I'm going to have to survive. Right? I've tried dying; it didn't work. So, if I have to survive, shouldn't I survive as best I can? ... This one took a while to answer... about a half hour.

I picked up the phone and called Karrie and asked her out to dinner on Friday. I'll find out then what I'm going to do. (When in doubt, put it off!)

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Three strikes - holy shit!

Could the "3 Strikes - You're Out" nonsense, er, law put a man in jail for cheating on his driving test?

Yes! It can!
So, think Clinton flaked?

Turns out (check out this link) that Shrub has taken more time off from work (you know, the Presidency) than Clinton did in eight years! Maybe he'd be a better president if he showed up for work now and again...
After nearly four years... have I come to rely upon my loneliness?

In a previous note, I mentioned that I leave some things out of My Side. After such a long weekend, there's quite a bit I've left out. And here's another one...

A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to go out with someone. Her name was Lysa. Regardless of my reasons, I ended up not going. Worse, I ended up pushing her away. I spent a lot of time focusing on the whys and wherefores but, in the end, the thing that stuck was a fear that, after four years of missing Rosa, mourning Rosa, being empty without Rosa, I was just as afraid of losing that as I was of losing Rosa.

That brings us to this week - and, suddenly, two women are interested in me. (You heard it here first!) One of them is very attractive if not especially smart or accomplished. The other is smart and accomplished but she's not pretty like Rosa was pretty. I mention this to show you how, already, my voice of doubt insinuates its way into my brain. The cute one is a Medical Assistant, which Rosa once was. How could I date someone who does what Rosa did? I think, "I don't want to date anyone like Rosa." The other is nothing like Rosa. I think, "I don't want someone so different."

I try to stretch out the timeline from what would happen after a date and it doesn't take too long at all to realize what I'm so afraid of. I think, "You're going to end up hurt." And there you have my bottom line. I've been hurt so bad, I'm afraid of being hurt again. Not just afraid. In losing Rosa, I lost everything - my sanity, my sleep, my friends, and very nearly my life. Could I take that again?

I don't have much time for deliberation. One of these girls, Karrie, has asked me out for tea tonight. I'm so conflicted, I could cut my arm off at the pectorals.

I'll let you know what happens.
You can breathe now - it's safe to eat beef again!

Or is it?

According to Yahoo, and Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, a heap of new regulations are being put in place to make the food we eat (the beef we eat) safe once again!

Here's what they're not telling you. The USDA employes only a handful of meat inspectors to safegaurd the US food supply. There are actually more inspectors for food that is exported than for the food we eat in the states. The vast majority of food is left to the meat packers to inspect on their own - we trust them! The USDA tells Inspectors to give deference to meat companies, stopping production lines Only in certain, rare, circumstances.

The sad truth is that Ms. Veneman's acts are not going to make beef safe to eat because, for at least a generation, it never was safe to eat.

A little knowledge can go a long way, folks. Watch out.
Stories from Arizona - Part One

(Heck if I know if there'll be a part two!)

So, we're at "On the Border" for dinner and Blanche is making all kinds of conversation.

It was at this point that I began thinking about how useless conversation with me really is. I mean, most of my life is written right here for you to read. (Kind of strange, really.) What's the point in talking? In fact, there were several times when I just wanted to say, "Yes, Blanche, that's all in the Blog." And that's so - I don't know what - that I get disgusted with myself.

On the upside, what writing all of this does (if, indeed, anyone reads it) is give me an opportunity to let others speak about themselves. (No matter what either Tim might say!) You know, I'm not so self-absorbed in my real life because I've dealt with it in my Blog. (Mind you, you never hear some of the best bits - I have some discretion!) There are some things I won't talk about because writing about it rids me of that need to talk - the subject then bores me! So, we spent a lot of time talking about Dad and Blanche and their house hunt and their plans, etc.

Everyone gets into a little self-absorption now and then. It's all a matter of when you do it, I guess.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Ben Franklin: Terrorist?

Well, I don't know if you've heard but the FBI has told us just what to look out for - how to spot a terrorist a mile away! Yes, that's right. You guessed it. Almanacs!

That's right! Beware of almanacs! You see someone carrying an almanac, they're probably a terrorist!

I say, fuck the almanac carriers! Look out for people who refer to encyclopedias!

Fear those who use dictionaries!

Kill anyone who thinks!!!!!!
Absolute fucking hell... but a rather nice visit...

After a long break, I'm back to the whole blogging business. The business of blogging, of making a blog, of producing blogness...

This weekend, while long and containing no work, was, surprisingly, a big, fat pile of dogshit. I'm rather irritated at the whole thing, if you must know.

It started Wednesday night (yep, nearly a week ago), when I came home a little early and proceeded to lose my mind. I had nothing to do, you see, and filled each moment with loss. All I could do was sit there and miss Rosa - so, I jumped on the phone, hoping that would help. Not too many folk were home, though. It was Christmas Eve. People were out with loved ones and couldn't be reached or they were staying in with loved ones and didn't want to be reached. The night took forever.

The next day, Christmas, I made it a point to sleep in - after all, I hadn't gone to sleep until very late the previous night, having spent so much time tossing and turning, tortured by the shouting in my head - and made it to my mom's for Christmas dinner just in time for me to leave. I have a really hard time sitting in the same room with Joe, my step-dad. The man obviously hates my mother's children, which - being one of them - offends me.

That night, more screaming in my head, tortured screams from the loss of Rosa, so I decided to sleep in again. Thursday afternoon, I drove out to see my dad and Blanche in Arizona. Though I left early, nothing really compelled me to stay home, I didn't end up in Arizona until around 7pm. Traffic. Heaping mounds of traffic - it was awful. That said, I do want to recommend that every take the 60 east sometime if only to see the immense wind farms. Turbine towers stretch off for miles; it's nearly impossible not to get hypnotized by the things. Though the desert was beautiful, I think Oregon gave me enough of driving. I just wanted to get there.

I pulled up to their house rather late and we went out to dinner at a place called "On the Border". (It's a chain so you might have heard of if.) We got a seat and of course it made sense that, since I was far from home, out of state, the waitress flirted with me. Of course. I couldn't possibly date her! (The logic of my life is a real pain in the ass.)

We returned home and soon went to sleep. When I laid down and closed my eyes, I thought nothing would feel better than some sleep. I began to drift. Suddenly, I found myself at a vacant lot (outside Apple Valley, if you must know) three years ago but I knew what I hadn't known then - that I had lost Rosa forever. As I realized this, the screaming in my head got louder and louder until - I woke with a start. Only a few minutes had passed. I tried going back to sleep but knew I wouldn't be able to so I picked up my book and read - and read - and read until I drifted off sometime after 2:30 am. I awoke soon, it seemed, but a couple of hours had passed. It was 5:12 am and I had awoken from another dream about Rosa - or about losing Rosa. I wasn't going back to sleep. I stayed up and read.

Later, when the folks were up, we went to breakfast. I paid, though Blanche didn't want me to - too bad, Blanche. I had to leave shortly thereafter - I didn't really want to but I wasn't sure I'd be able to keep my mouth shut through my father's right-wing diatribes for much longer!

The ride back was, surprisingly, relaxing. (Then again, maybe it wasn't so surprising. My sleep had been off for days.) I say surprising because the voices still haunted me, just on the periphery of my hearing. This constant stream of word/images that did nothing but emphasize my sense of isolation and loss and put Rosa right at the forefront of my mind. Despite all of that, though, I was able to enjoy the Indian reservations I drove through, the wonderful, diverse scenery, the snow (of all things) as I drove down to San Diego via Interstate 8.

When I reached Tim's that afternoon, I didn't stay long. Tim was in a bad mood (or, at least, he seemed so) and so was I and when he started talking about how fat I was (yes, I've put my weight back on) or getting on my back over a girl I didn't date (though Tim believed I absolutely should have), I was too sensitive to dead with it. I left early in the evening and got home in an awful state. I couldn't concentrate on anything; the voices were so loud. I just sat on my sofa for several hours, suffering through the loss of Rosa. It's been nearly four years and the pain just gets worse every day.

Sunday morning, I cancelled my plans with Sean that afternoon. I hadn't slept the night before and looked awful. I told him I had a bug, which isn't far from the truth. My mental health had gone seriously downhill. Then, at around 5pm, I got up, took a shower, went out, and began to drive. I didn't' know where I was going or what I was doing. I drove on reflex, kind of like sleep-walking. I drove to the desert and out to LA. I didn't think about where I was going or why. I was just so tired, I couldn't fight the impulse to run any more and, once I gave in, I really didn't know where to go.

When I got home, it was late. I didn't get to sleep until nearly 4am.

Don't really know how to close this. I miss Rosa terribly and feel a bitter sense of resentment for what she's done to me. Unlike her, I can't even live a normal life. Yet, I'm seen as the monster and she the helpless victim. After four years of sleepless nights (and much worse), I wonder if it will ever end and if I will ever have a life like normal people or if I'm meant to live in torment.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Oh... so it wasn't Bush's fault...

Once again, Shrub is trying to put the blame for his illegal war off on someone else. Obviously, he's beginning to feel a little heat and is trying not to get burned.

So, once again, Shrub acts irresponsibly (illegally) and we're supposed to let him slide? I don't think so!

Regime change in '04!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Christmas Eve...

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
and all through the house
not a creature was stirring
not even a -

What was that?

Did you hear something?

Billy? Billy? Is that you?

OH MY GOD! Billy! You poured sulfuric acid in your eyes! Oh, fuck! The oozing, Billy! The oozing! I can't hold your eyes in - they're oozing over my fingers!

Margaret, call 911! Margaret? Margaret?! Take that gun out of your mouth! It's not as bad as that! Oh, god - NO! The bullet went right through your head and now my face is covered in brains!

OH GOD!!!!!!

(This message has been brought to you by the LGOC, lonely guys on christmas who are just sick of the fucking holidays. Thank you.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Merry Fucking Christmas to all...

Well, it's another Christmas - another Christmas without Rosa - so, should it come as any surprise to anyone that I'm depressed? Yes, depressed. Not suicidal, mind you but certainly "put your head down wherever you are and let the tears flow" depressed.

When did it start?

I was at Tim's this past weekend and realized that, as relaxed as I was there, my anxiety would increase relative to my proximity to home. (It's kind of like that bathroom law that say the closer you get, the more you need to go!)

Then, I went to the Cabrillo Playhouse on Sunday for the final Christmas show and was reminded of Rosa and Rosa's baby - or, more appropriately, Rosa's absence and how we never had a baby and never will and I'll always be alone and - AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

After the show, I was given the gift of a personalized Christmas ornament. It was the first time I'd touched a Christmas ornament in four year - literally! It reminded me of the last time I'd touched an ornament. I was with Rosa. We had accumulated a collection of ornaments, all of which had a special meaning, and I - AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

The next day, yesterday, at work, I saw all the Christmas decorations in the new building (we just moved) and thought about how wonderfully Rosa would decorate everything and how special it would - AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

I went home. I could barely sit down. I was so upset I opened a box of Wheat Thins and started eating them until I'd polished off nearly a whole bag - just trying to take my mind off how much I missed Rosa - AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

I went to the gym to get my mind off of things but I'd eaten so many crackers I was bloated. I started burping on the treadmill, which only made me feel worse because I wouldn't be seeing Rosa - AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

I hurried back home. I thought about the days ahead without Rosa. When she was with me, we'd put up the tree, we'd lay beneath it and cuddle, we'd - AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

I bought a pack of cigarettes. I needed to calm down. God, I hate the holidays.

Hope yours are happy ones.
Not that I'm one to give diet tips...

So, I won't.

This article, however, is taken directly from Bruce Campbell's site. And he's always good for a laugh. (And maybe you just might learn a little before you're through. Okay? Hey, hey, hey!)

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Hi, I'm single - FOREVER...

... at least, that's how it seems.

We're entering the fourth year without Rosa. The fourth year technically starts on March 24th, when I asked Rosa for a divorce, but officially begins towards the beginning of the year, when Rosa started telling me to find someone else. (I'll assume you all know the backstory.) So, anyway, four years.

A few weeks ago, I had a run-in with a girl that ended pretty badly. I was left with the thought that I knew what I wanted in a woman and it wasn't much. I wasn't asking for much and this made me feel a little...

But then, I considered the other side. Sure, I wasn't asking for too much from a woman - but what was I asking her NOT to have? What attributes was I avoiding?

Overweight. Unethical. Republican. Greedy. Rude. Dirty. Unambitious. Lazy. Boring. Compassionless. Fast food frequenter. Born again Christian. SUV owner. Animal hater. Diseased. Trendily pierced. Country music lover. Not a reader. Unconcerned. Impolite. (And this was just the start of the list. Oh sure, I'd take some of these traits to a very limited degree - she doesn't have to have the perfect body and she could have voted Republican once... ONCE!)

The problem was that I soon realized how discriminating I was being. I mean, at this rate, I'd only meet a woman on the third Thursday of a month without oysters while the moon lies full in the Hudson Bay... not likely. While I could start eliminating items from that list... did I want to? How desperate was I to be in a relationship? What was I willing to ignore to get laid?

I'll try not to worry about it... after all, today's Thursday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

It's what I do...

My triumphant return to the gym was heralded last night with streamers, trumpeters, and dancing girls. They all left before I got there, though, when they found out I would only be walking on the treadmill... walking... and for only 20 minutes.

Hey, I have to start slowly, right? Tonight, I'll walk and ride the bike. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Anyway, I'll be smoking again this weekend. I'll be stopping by Tim's on the way back from visiting my Dad in Arizona and, if Dad talks about Sadam's capture like I think he will ("You see!? You were wrong! He was captured! He was evil! If he wasn't evil, he wouldn't have been captured!"), I'll need to smoke.

For those of you who haven't seen "Angels in America", shame on thou! Steve, the director who always corrals me into these goofy shows, told me he wanted to direct it and cast me as Roy Cohn. Sure. I won't hold my breath.

Christmas is only eight days away and, to be very honest with you, I'd rather it just disappeared. Honestly. The worst part about Christmas isn't the even, either. It's the harbinger of New Year's Eve. It's the calendar's way of saying, "Hey, lookie Ken! You're alone on Christmas and you're going to be alone on New Year's Eve, too." Fucking calendar. I wish Rosa and I hadn't love Christmas as much as we did, always celebrating it so gleefully. Putting up our tree, making love beneath it, unwrapping gifts on Christmas Eve, wearing the bows, being silly... Now that I've finally begun to learn how to turn down the torture dial, dispensing constant torture over her absence, how do I figure out how to stop missing her so much? How many more years before that ends?

I got a call from Dwight last night, who seemed a bit perturbed over my comment in the last entry about hitting him. I should really take that back. I wouldn't hit him. I'd tie him up and put him in a crate full of spiders until he promised he stop talking about how often he's getting laid and how good his love-life is.... but I wouldn't hit him.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Have yourself a merry little...

Christmas is coming. It's a time of year that causes me a great deal of pain and tonight it kicked in with both feet. Rosa and I had our little traditions we shared every year and now I can't even look at the holiday without crying. With as much progress as I've made, it's still going to be a painful Christmas.

Dwight called me tonight to tell me that he had the day off, and he got laid, he may get together with his ex-girlfriend, and he got laid, that it wasn't raining, and he got laid, and that he had a weird day... and he got laid. I try to be a good brother - I honestly do... but if he'd been here, I would'a hit him.

Later, I missed Rosa so badly. I thought, "Maybe a quick call."

Instead of calling here, I phoned for help. I called Keith - got his voicemail. Sean - voicemail. Tim - voicemail.

So, I called Rosa.

... I got her voicemail.

Good thing the universe has a sense of humor, huh?
Saddam Shame...

Well, they found Saddam. Yep. Caught him like a rat! Really beat the basta...

Um... so?

No. Really. So?

Let's think for a minute. Has Saddam done anything wrong? Did he build weapons of mass destruction? Did he wage war? Was there any proof of anything?


Shrub says he's going to put Saddam on trial. For what, exactly? This I'd like to see.

Also, a lot of Repugnicans are now saying that they were right to wage war on Iraq because they caught Saddam. What the fuck? Isn't that a lot like saying you were right to break into a house because you got to kill the homeowners? Iraq was still an unprovoked and illegal war no matter what the body count was.

So, welcome back to the show, Saddam. I'm sure they'll get their mileage out of you.
Best Christmas Pageant... Ever...

This is a story I have to begin, well, at the beginning. (I was planning on telling you about my weekend, but you'll get much more than that!) About a month or so ago, Jeff and Steve both called me about a problem they had. Steve was directing a show that he'd cast Jeff in... that Jeff couldn't be in for nearly half the shows! They were asking for my help... because they knew I was a sucker who couldn't say "NO".

The play was The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, a children's play. Now, I like children about as much as I like the color white; on most days, I'm completely ambivalent. But considering that Rosa had just had her baby, and considering how much I've been hurting over it, my first impression was that I would more than hate this show. The last thing I needed was to be reminded of the children I would never have with Rosa.

Maybe this is why I only went to two rehearsals.

But, with the clarity brought on by a week in Oregon (not necessarily something you want to put on a travel brochure), I was able to put in one show two weeks ago and start my full week on Wednesday.

Friday night, I knew I had four more shows ahead of me but that would be it and I would be free, with no more thoughts of children to bother me. It went as any other and I returned Saturday. Saturday, I had everything packed up because I knew I wouldn't be coming back home until Sunday night. Saturday's matinee went well. As we tidied up after the show, I mentioned to Lori, our stage manager, that I would hang out for a few hours, until our evening show. I'd brought my book, so I'd have plenty to do. She said, "No. Why don't you hang out at my place? It would be far more comfortable." She lived down the street - by the beach! How could I say "NO"? (Oh, wait. I can't.)

The shoreline, a short walk from her house, looked wonderful and I thought I might like to talk a bit of a walk. "Go ahead," Lori said. "I have to run some errands but I'll leave the front door unlocked." Leave the door unlocked? How could you consider...? But, then, I realized... here we were in this well-to-do San Clemente neighborhood... we're not in the hood where I grew up. "Ok," I said, and went for a bit of a walk. Afterwards, I returned - the door unlocked - and read for a bit. Lori invited me to stay for dinner - BBQed salmon and potatoes - it was really nice. In fact, it reminded me very much of hanging out at a friend's house whose mom made dinner... when I was 12.

I returned to the theater that night and we had our best show yet. I told Teresa, my leading lady, that I was stealing the laughter. "I'm a laughter magnetic!" You know, I was getting into the whole thing... one day before it would be over.

After the show, I headed down to San Diego. Tim insisted on drinking - I'm surrounded by alcoholics... thank god - and we stayed up until the wee hours talking about the kind of stuff you talk about after several vodka&cokes... you know... stupid shit. (Tim put on 80's music and kept saying, "Remember this song?") I didn't want to wake up the next morning. I was having the coolest dreams - and for me, that's saying something! But I had to get up, which I did at 9am, and slowly, through exhaustion and the slightest hangover, pulled myself together and got myself on the road by noon.

I made it to the theater in time, more or less, for my 1pm calltime. I was tired. I was making silly jokes to try to jar myself awake - yep, they met the real Ken. I told Teresa that I'd call her "Muffin" on stage. Then, about a half-hour before showtime, noise erupted from the boy's dressing room. One of the boys, John, screamed and two parents pointed to me and said, "Go in there." Up until that point, Parents would get involved. Parents! People who had borne children! Breeders! Pro-creators! Not me! What did I know about kids screaming? I was no parent... which really should have been apparent! Apparently, it wasn't. Teresa gave me a look and in I went.

I shut the door behind me.

Within, there were three boys. Trevor, who I guessed was the oldest one and who I didn't like from the beginning because, when I was his age, I was far geekier than that with my bottle-bottom glasses and wiry hair. Jerk, I thought. Matthew, the kid who played my son, Charlie. For his age, whatever that is, he's a pretty solid little actor and a nice kid. I hoped he'd be on my side. John, the kid was sitting on a countertop, crying. Oh no, I thought. One of those. He reminded me of myself at his age, maybe eight, far, far too sensitive. I cleared my throat. "Okay. Look guys. You gotta help me. Now, the parents sent me in to settle you down but I'm not a parent. I'm like you guys... but bigger. Now, if I don't do what they said, they're all gonna be mad at me. It'll be my butt. So, could you help me out and chill?" Sounded good. Sounded like something from a movie.

John's crying grew worse. "I hate it when people say mean things about me."

Trevor: "We were only trying to help."

Matt: "That's why they call it 'criticism'."

Shit. Wrong movie, I guess.

I looked at Trevor and Matt. "I said, Chill," I said in my most adult voice, not one I use very often. I turned to John. He was really upset. I put my hands on his shoulder and said, "Look, I know what you're going through. Anybody whose ever been on stage knows what you're going through." I had no idea what he was going through. "But you gotta pull it together. We got a show to do." Then, he started telling me about all the things he hated and how upset he was and... well, he started to sound a lot like this Blog, actually. Here was a kid who was crying out to be heard. I remember! I was once his age, the kid who got picked on... you know, cause he was a dork... and I remember! Wasn't anybody listening to this kid? That was half the problem. I remember wishing nothing more in the world than to be listened to... which, I guess turned me into a writer. I wanted to take John's father and beat him with a bat. (Except I'd seen his father... and he could hurt me.)

Lori poked her head in. "You got everything under control," she asked.

"I will," I answered. Still, there was a long way to go. Being an adult wasn't helping. I had to think fast... like a kid! I asked them about the Lord of the Rings movies, if they'd seen them. We talked about Spiderman, X-Men, Hulk and, thankfully, it was soon showtime.

I'd never been more happy to see adults.

The play commenced. There's a place towards the beginning where I had the line, "Could you spare some supper. I haven't had a square meal in three days." It's a throw-away line. Stupid, really. Then, I realized what the play was missing was a little Dickensian character. So, I got on my knees and said, "'Scuse me, mum. Could ya spare a lit'le suppa? I hav'n't had a squa' meal in fffreee days!" This always got the audience roaring... or, at least, helped work the stick out of their butts. This scene starts when I'm behind a door and Teresa opens it for me. So, there I was behind the door. I put on my best beggar face... and then I realized I was being watched by about four or five little girls - all a'giggle. Great, I thought. I have a following.

Kids love silliness... and I am rather known for that, I guess.

Later, I ad-libbed a bit of business with Matthew (um, Charlie, I mean). The audience didn't get it - they were an insolent bunch that day - but it was so fun watching his face light up at the idea of a bit of improv.

Near the end of the show, Charlie (er, Matthew), and I switch robes - actually he gives me mine... it's a long story - and, as always, Stan (one of the other adult actors) helped me into it. It wasn't the first time that I was struck by his kind, gentle, unassuming, humble nature. You don't meet many actors like that... or many people. Several of the parents thanked me for my work in the show as I walked into the wings for my last scene. What a nice bunch of people!

But I couldn't finish the play without one surprise.

I walked out on the stage.

Teresa said, "You're not going to wear your bathrobe, are you?"

I replied, "Why not, muffin?"

Teresa laughed and snorted.

My work was done.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

This is what I call ecoterrorism...

There's been a lot of talk about "ecoterrorists". Those nasty ecoterrorists! Oh, they'll sabotage innocent oil companies and land developers! Those rotten, nasty ecoterrorists!


What is an "ecoterrorist", anyway? The World Reference Library defines it as "someone who uses violence in order to acheive environmentalist aims". Sound like someone who is trying to defend the planet to me, someone who is trying to defend life! I mean, who's worse? The so-called ecoterrorist or the conglomerate who logs old growth forests? The fictional ecoterrorist or the oil company that kills a shoreline? The imaginary ecoterrorist or the developer who destroys a wetland? The bottom line is: what do you value - life or money?

But isn't it nice that we've let the uber-right steal our language from us so we think of the person defending life itself as a terrorist!

Now, if you want to see ecoterrorism, I'll show you ecoterrorism! But, before I do, let's redefine our terms. Ecoterrorism would be more accurately defined as someone who violently destroys the environment - like an oil company, DOW chemicals, the Republicans!

How's this for ecoterrorism? According to the article, global warming killed 150,000 people in 2000 and the death toll could double again in the next 30 years if current trends are not reversed. Now, that's what I call ecoterrorism.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Look who's NOT talking...

I sent an email to Rosa yesterday. I know. I know. I shouldn't have but I did and there's no going back.

I received an immediate reply.

Rosa has blocked my email address.

I was stunned for a moment. I couldn't believe it. But there it was. You think she's trying to tell me something?

I guess that's the way it is. She wants nothing to do with me and that includes hearing from me. She's cut herself off. She's cut me off.

Didn't really expect that.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Conjectures on a woman... part 2...

What would it be like to meet someone with a great spirit?...

What would it be like to meet someone who made me laugh?...

Hitting work...

Let me tell you a story about my morning, the morning I very nearly hit work...

I was rushing into work this morning, rushing in as I do every morning. Gotta hurry up so I can be miserable. I rush in every morning because when I'm at home I have only one speed - 87 years old. I move like an 87 year old. The alarm goes off and I'm 90. I pound the snooze bar that goes off in the shortest ten minutes ever recorded. I turn off the alarm and get out and I'm 89 and I stagger to the bathroom. I brush my teeth and try to will my eyes slightly more opened and I step carefully into the shower. I step carefully because I remember the last time I tripped over that raised side around the shower; once I forget it, I'll do it again. I step in and turn on the water and I'm 88. I take my shower, allowing extra time for the shower to pound my shoulders, a feeling close to heaven, and I step out. I get dressed, grab some breakfast, sit down on the sofa to eat it and I'm 87.

... It's about this time that I realize I'm running terribly late. So, my 87 year old body hurries as fast as it can and gets to the car. Once I'm in the car, once I don't have to walk around, don't have to get up, don't have to do anything but drive, I can close my eyes and speed towards work and it's about that time that time retreats and I'm 38 again... and I'm wishing it would retreat just a bit more for crying out loud.

I drive as fast as I can to work. This is usually about ten miles an hour since I'm on the freeway. I exit the freeway and I take the route from there and I pull into work. All this time from the freeway, I'm trying to win back some time so I won't be late. I whip into the parking lot and zip into an empty spot.

This morning as I did this, I realized I was zipping extra fast and I put on my brakes and stopped - just short of the building - and angel's wing short of the building - any closer and I split atoms - any closer and I start a chain reaction that could destroy the world. Just think what a reputation that would bring!

My heart leaps in my chest and I realize how close I came to actually hitting the building, actually running my car into my place of employment. I don't think about how lucky I was not to. I don't think about how I shouldn't drive so fast into the lot. I don't think about the last time the brakes on my car failed me and how that should have taught me a lesson. I think, instead, "Honestly, Ken. What would you say to someone if you had done that?"

Who put that there?!

The building just pulled out in front of me!

I park in the same spot every day - someone moved the building!

I get out of my car and I look at the space between it and the building and I think, "Moron."

Monday, December 08, 2003

Conjectures on a woman...

What would it be like to meet someone who liked me and for me to like her?

What would it be like to have someone attracted to me to whom I was attracted?

And so the play begins...

I had my first performance for this play on Saturday. It went rather well. The kids were great and we got along famously. Better still, I got plenty of laughs.

Just one more week of this!

Tim also came by this weekend and we made our regular attempts at gluttony, cirrhosis, and cancer. We're just full of pluck! (Now, I'm back to working out and taking care of myself - BORING!)

Can you believe how fast Christmas is coming? What's wrong with our calendar makers, anyway?!

Friday, December 05, 2003

It's just another Fuckin' Friday... (for the Bangles)

Well, here we are, coming out the business end of another work week, wondering what we'll do with our weekend.

My weekend will be a busy mix of misery and fun.

Tonight is the Linksys Christmas Party and, rather than show my "can't get a date" ass there for hours of being a third wheel amongst married and otherwised coupled people, I'll be going to the theater for a brush up on the part before my first performance tomorrow night.

About the dating thing. Here's the deal. Ready? There are two ladies here... attractive... both of them say they'd never date a nerd or a geek and won't so much as say, "Hi," to me, which I figure puts me beneath nerds and geeks. Lovely. Well, I overheard both of them say today that they didn't have a date for tonight. Apparently, their standards are so high, they'd rather be alone than with a nerd of a geek or even acknowledge my existence... what the fuck?!

Tim's coming up this weekend, just in time for my depression. I was doing better last night, shooting pool with Sean, kicking Sean's ass (!), but today I'm under a cloud.

Fuck it.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003


So, I'm at rehearsal last night. It's my second rehearsal before performing - damn, I love taking advantage of Steve! I go through the play without a hitch - though there are some deadly pauses between my cues and when I say my lines, but oh well - and we get to the end.

At the end of this "show within a show", there's a scene that takes place after where we all congratulate each other. Pat on the back. "Good job." Blah. Blah. Blah. Now, I don't act with these kids - actually, no one does. They don't act! - so I don't know what to say. It's a lot of, "Great job, Big Guy." "See you at the bar later on." "Anyone got a smoke?"

Okay, I don't ask for a smoke. The point is that when Teresa (the mom) or Jeff (the other dad) do it, you can see this familial sense about them - as if they really were a mom and dad. That's probably because they really are a mom and dad! (No child between them, though.) Me? I'm like the oldest kid there. I don't know what I'm doing. So, my blabbering continues: "You were awesome, dude." "Which way to the can?"

But last night, one kid walked right up to me. It was Charlie. Well, actually, it was the kid who plays Charlie. And what a kid he is! I kid you not - this kid can act. First sign of this was when I noticed he always answered to the name "Charlie". (The joke would SO be on me if his real name was Charlie.) He buys into it, you know? It's not pretend for him. As I believe is the case with most talented actors, no matter the age, they believe in what's going on, they're invested, it's real.

So, last night, he walks up to me. "Great job, Charlie," I say. He answers, "Thanks, Dad." and I give him a hug.

What was that, I wonder for half a second. Simply, I was invested in the role. I was his dad.

That thought doesn't last, though. A voice in my head says, "But you're just acting. You'll never be a father. You'll never have a child. Rosa has a child. You don't. You lost your chance."

Shut up, I tell it. I don't need that right now.

"You're just acting. This isn't real."

It's all I get.

... It's all I get.

"All I get" is fading from my ears as I walk off stage. All I get? Well, shit. Then, I haven't done too bad a job. I mean, I'm working with these kids pretty well, playing around with them. Not once has my family fought or suffered. We're doing pretty well. If it's all I get, I've done a pretty good job with it.

The next scene called for me to walk out... kind of meander, actually. We're cleaning up after the play. There's cookies off-stage. Well, if we were really cleaning up, wouldn't we also clean up the snacks?

I grab a cookie and walk out. "Well, I guess that's everything," I say through a bite of chocolate chip.

Yep, that's who I'd be if I was a father. I'd eat cookies. I'd joke around. I'd probably forget my lines sometimes. And I'd always remember to say, "Great job."

I lost a lot when I lost Rosa and, perhaps, I'm starting to realize that she lost a lot as well. The question that still sits in my head is - I realize it. She doesn't. Who's better off?
Today's lesson in Double-Speak...

Today, Shrub signed the "Healthy Forest Restoration Act". This Act allows timber companies to chop down our forests.

... let's run through that again in case you missed it the first time.

Today, Shrub signed the "Healthy Forest Restoration Act". This Act allows timber companies to chop down our forests.


Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Conundrum #583...

Do you laugh or cry?

Terrifying, isn't it?
Blocking writers...

Writer's block. That's what they call it.

I'm blocked so bad, I feel like a colonoscopy! (Having one, not being one... metaphorically... or forget it...)

I'm supposed to write a commercial at work - nothing.
I'm trying to write this year's Thanksgiving trip - nothing.
I tried to sign my name - NOTHING!

I'm blocked!... (I'm sure I could conjecture many reasons why... but my folks might read this...)

Monday, December 01, 2003

A Ring to It...

I'm back. For those of you wondering how my trip went, look for "Thanksgiving 2003", coming soon. (Did you want one?)

While I was gone, I found myself thinking of my wedding ring.

After Rosa and I split up, I didn't know what to do with my ring. Should I pawn it? Should I sacrifice it to the sea? (After all, it was a penny pitched into the sea that brought Rosa to me...) Not knowing what to do, I kept it hidden away in my sock drawer where I would occasionally look at it and ponder...

Well, a few weeks ago, I had the strangest dream. I dreamed (pay attention) that I was sleepwalking and I did something with my ring. I didn't remember the dream when I awoke and didn't recall it for a while. When I did, I couldn't be sure if I had actually sleepwalked, if I had dreamed that I'd sleepwalked, or if I'd confused everything. Surely, my ring was safe.

Then, while on vacation, I thought about some of the bizarre things I had done while sleepwalking: hiding things away, bringing all my bedding to the creek... It was entirely possible I had done something to the ring.

Upon returning, I looked... and it was gone. I don't know where it is. I probably never will.

And so I'm welcomed home...