Wednesday, June 27

N Word Redux

I wanted to comment on a dear friend's blog about his/her use of the word "tard." I realized it wasn't my place to clutter his/her space with my inflammatory opinion, so I'll do it here. If you haven't read my pissed offedness at PC censoring, go here.

To the offended commentor: Who are you to cast aspersions on someone else's words? By your own admission "mentally retarded" is okay, but "tard" is not. Fuck you. You are playing with semantics in an effort to erase something that is offensive to YOU. Thicken your skin a little, for whining out loud, and stop the hypocrisy.

I take Prozac. I freely admit it, although the admission elicits negative presumptions in many quarters. Unlike retards, cripples, PMSers, or fags, my perceived affliction/impairment/abnormality is fair game. You can call me nuts, fruitcake, whackjob, whatever you want. Why? Because I know the truth. I spread that truth by living my life and ignoring John Q. Retard, and by not jamming my my sensibilities down somone's throat.

I don't know the relationship between the parties in question. To me it doesn't matter. I saw past the perceived insult to the story and joke within the experience retold. Anyone who reads my friend's blog with any regularity knows his/her innate goodness and gentleness. He/She can use whatever words he/she wants to make a point. If it offends me, I don't deserve to read it.

You, my blog friend, showed the caring sweetness that is your soul by apologizing, but it was wholly unnecessary.

You, the offended commentor, are a miltant do-gooder pussy. Just to be fair, I visited your blog. I found it trite, syrupy, and mildly offensive to some of MY sensibilities. But it's YOUR space and YOUR words. I would not dare leave my comment advocating my opinions to the contrary, because whatever you espouse is important to you.

Give the rest of us the same courtesy.

I gotcher insult right here.

Monday, June 25

Trust Kingfisher

Never trust:
- a man with a handlebar mustache
- a confused card dealer
- a person who never wears anything other than black
- a young person ordering Jager Bombs
- a barfly with implants
- a male over 12 wearing his baseball cap backwards
- a financially successful pastor
- a cocky cop
- a handsome college professsor
- the person everyone else says is really smart
- a woman who won't tell you her age
- a businessman with a giant cowboy hat
- that jerk with a high clearance 4WD truck, doors 3 feet off the ground, but no mud stains
- a chick with a pierced eyebrow
- anyone with more than 4 tattooes
- that S.O.B. you just don't trust for no specific reason, especially if he has a big truck, 5 tattooes, a backwards baseball cap, a handlebar mustache, and drinks Jager Bombs

Sometimes trust:
- your gut
- your mother
- your dog
- a child's answer
- Grandpa's advice
- your barber
- the bartender
- your enemy
- probability
- a stripper

Always trust:

Saturday, June 23

9 Reincarnated

It used to be called The Nine. Yahoo and others stole my idea, but they got law talkin' guys, I don't.

I like the number 9. Why?

- 10 is so 1990's Letterman.
- 3 is a lucky number. 3 x 3 = 9. Triple lucky.
- 9 is the first odd non-prime.
- I grew up in a family of 6. 6 upside down is 9.
- 9 / 3 = 3. I am first born. 3 + 1 = 4. 4 petals on the California poppy. The California poppy is orange. Orange is my favorite color.
- Three nines downside up is 666, the sign of my Master.
- There are 5 people in my household. I am the oldest of 4 brothers. 5 + 4 = 9.
- Okay, it's all bullshit. I like 9. No reason. Bite me.

Therefore, I present the reincarnation of my favorite number.

9 Bad Things About Me

9. I am not sure that protecting the mentally, physically, or socially impaired is in the best interest of our species.

8. I wish there was a monthly mandatory All Women Go Topless day.

7. Driver's license. Business license. Medical license. Where is the Parenting license?

6. I judge people by a combination of their courtesy, affability, ethnicity, and command of the English language.

5. I'd rather talk my way out of a fight. But push me too far, and I am capable of teaching you the meaning of "seeing red." I have no reservations about wounding, maiming, or killing, including myself, when my rage is unduly provoked.

4. I say I don't care, but I really do.

3. I have had the hots for female cartoon characters. See: Jessica Rabbit and the e-surance chick.

2. I can hold a grudge for a loooooooooooooooooooooooong time.

1. If a weapon existed that would erase humans, and any trace of their existence, without harming anything else, I would use it. Without thought. Without hesitation.

Obligatory tags: my Favorite Fishing Holes at the left.
You may not change the subject, for 9 is sacred. Or profane. I'm not sure which.

Tuesday, June 19

The Answers None Of Us Have

I went to a funeral today.

My new (seven months) job has placed me smack in the middle of a business family, some with very tight relationships going back 15 years or so. My skills, personality, and outsider status have, so far, proven to be a catalyst for change this company needs. I am respected, I think, despite my "new" ideas, unintended faux pas, and have become an accepted member of this culture. When a long-time employee and respected sales person's spouse died a rather untimely, but not unexpected, death from cancer, the passionate and compassionate circle that is my workplace surrounded the widow. I have not made friends with, nor do I care for, the surviving employee in question. I do not know, have never met, her late husband.

I am, according to our social chieftan and progressive boss, a member of an elite managerial team, the missing leg of a table that has been heretofore unstable. Therefore, despite my begrudged respect in some quarters, I was expected to attend one of the most important and sacred events of someone's life, and by extension, his family, in-laws, and others with whom I am not worthy to participate. To not attend the service would be political suicide.

It was an ignoble endeavor on my part, in what should be a man's most noble day.

I am ashamed.

I drove, alone, to the service. I stood in the long line of friends, family, coworkers, and other well wishers. All of them knew the deceased, or the persons "he is survived by." The congregation was composed of so many, from so many parts of the world he so obviously loved. His grieving widow. His proud younger brother. His in-laws. Step relatives. Black friends. Hispanic friends. Jewish friends. Gay and lesbian friends. Workaday folks dressed in dirty construction uniforms, taking a rare unpaid half day to show their respects. A young man in an ill-fitting suit. A pregnant woman days away from delivery. Like Joseph's coat, the congregation was a beautiful mishmash of everything under God's benevolent gaze.

Except for me. I listened to the simple hymns, simple so that everyone could participate, but I did not know the melodies. I longed to recite the simple prayers, simple so that everyone could participate, but I did not know the words. I stumbled through the congregation's responses to the priest, murmured The Lord's Prayer, the only one I knew by heart. But I did not belong, did not know the Communion of Faith.

Throughout the Catholic funeral mass and Eucharist I did not fully understand, I was the outsider. As an atheist, I could not comprehend the community, the surety, the comfort of faith. I wondered why they believed. I wondered why it was important. I wondered why we fight over it. I marvelled; I cried. I saw comfort in the sharing of belief, of solace in knowing a truth I don't understand. I am ignorant, jealous, unworthy. I am a sinner, if there is such a thing.

I have no answers. I ask for none, for none will suffice. I know only that I am somehow adrift, pondering eternal problems for which my belief, or lack thereof, has no solution. My belief, my understanding, my spririt, are unshaken, yet I find no solace. And I ask and ask and ask and ask, forgetting that is not about me, but about a man I don't know, who has left this world sure in his belief.

I went to a funeral today, and I am ashamed.

Sunday, June 17


Over the Memorial Day weekend, the family and I did some late spring cleaning. My wife and daughter worked on cleaning the garage. My younger son and his friend worked on raking up unwanted gravel, weeds, and lumber from the side yard. I worked on pruning two overgrown trees in the front yard. During our respective assignments we sometimes met at the huge dumpster we rented for the occasion, grousing about our chores, or helping one another, or joining together for a ten minute break of cool water and air conditioning.

At the end of the day we were sore, overheated, tired, slightly scratched and bruised. We spent the evening with hot showers, grilled burgers, video games, television, and lounging with iced soft drinks. My daughter, my son, and his friend were well compensated for their efforts, but the true reward was hard work, discipline, and the sharing of jobs well done with family in our home under our big desert sky. It was the wrong time of year for pruning, but mesquites are hardy and defiant trees. In the weeks since, the open crowns reach upward with renewed vigor, the gardens below bounce toward new sunshine.

No matter the time of year, it is always good to cut away unproductive growth. It makes us hardy and defiant, especially if those who share our lives also share in discarding dead wood.

Wednesday, June 13

The Return

Wordsmiths Unlimited is back. Please visit and contribute. You never know what wonderful thing might jump out of your head until you try. Our first assignment isn't due until June 30, but I just had to get this one out of the way so I can concentrate on my next piece(s).

I found this one quite difficult. I don't like the result, although I would like to explore the theme further at some point. (I tried and rejected half a dozen titles. When I was finished I realized that "The Return" could also apply to Wordsmiths. Weird.) After too much tinkering it's best to put it down. Time either brings new ideas, or allows you to put it down in the veterinary sense.

This is a work of fiction. Copyright © 2007 Bolt, Ink. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of this work may be copied, retransmitted, reposted, duplicated,
or otherwise used without the express written approval of the author.

The Return

“Look, Mom! They’re hatching!” Manuel tugged at her grip.

“Hush, Manny. Stay close. Don’t interfere.”


“Remember what Abuelo says. We can’t help.”

Teresa looked down at the eager little boy clutching her hand, so much like Abuelo, her father. Both of them had the same childlike joy of wild places and wild creatures. She was between the two of them, taught by the elder, teaching the younger.

In her own youth, she had begged Papa to take her on his scheduled excursions to monitor the sea turtles. On successive nights they would sit in silence under a gravid yellow moon as female turtles emerged from the surf. They watched the clumsy mothers heave their tired bodies beyond the tide line. Limbs used for swimming were employed in moving sand against unfamiliar gravity. With grunts and eyes dull from arduous labor the females deposited eggs in shallow pits and gently covered them, their maternal duty done. Papa told her that in the ocean they were friendly and graceful. She tried to imagine them under water, free and happy, as she watched them lumber back to the sea.

“Look, Teresa.” Papa whispered. “Look carefully. This is where the beach of the turtles meets the land of our people. We are their brothers and sisters.” Papa said many others had worked hard to make Playa de las Tortugas a refuge, a place where hotels and nightclubs were forbidden. Because of him, she and everyone who visited could witness the return of the sea turtles answering their ancestral call.

In the days following she felt she would burst from waiting. She pestered Papa with questions of how and when. She would ask “Today?” and he would reply “Perhaps.” Weeks after the nesting, on a summer day of wide skies and glistening sands, she and Papa ambled beneath the tropical sun. Waves had long since erased the zig-zag trails of the nesting mothers. Teresa squeezed Papa’s hand, full of wonder and anticipation.

“Are they going to hatch?” she asked Papa.

Si. Stay still. Let them be.”

Teresa obeyed. By dozens, then hundreds, turtle hatchlings tottered toward the ocean. She watched one wriggle from the sand and pause blinking against the new sun. After a brief rest it wobbled with alternating sweeps of its flippers toward the surf. Before it could reach home, a gull snatched it from the sand and swallowed it whole. The bird’s meal was quick and without mercy.


“No, pequeña. It is the way of things.” Horrified, Teresa cried and hated her father.

Now, looking out on the brilliant deep blue, she thought of Papa’s gentle hand. She held Manny’s tiny fingers. A piece of her son was about to be lost to her, a piece of her lost to him. Abuelo would take possession of both.

“Go, little turtles!” Manuel squealed. She hoped he would not hate her for too long. She hoped he would return, like the turtles, to Playa de las Tortugas.

Saturday, June 9

Put Up Or Shut Up

Stick to your guns, even if you are wrong. Apologize if necessary, learn from your mistake, and make amends, but never say you are sorry for being what you are. Be maligned, ridiculed, questioned, but live with passion and you will never be ignored. Say it. Mean it. Fuck it. Hate yourself later.

I have seen a steady decline in my written ouput, with a corresponding decrease in visitors and my creative self esteem. I didn't know what it was. Possibly it was due to a number of factors. But I do know that without passion all is naught.

Then, thanks to my friend
Tiff, I realized that a workout regimen doesn't work out without a partner. You won't commit to it unless you feel you are letting someone down, or you need to do better than them, or they are kicking your lazy ass off the couch.

Hence, the relaunch of
Wordsmiths Unlimited. Go there. Now.

It is scary to expose your spirit, or air your thoughts, or expose something you think. Contentment is sometimes stagnant. Opinion is sometimes blind. To DARE is, I will argue, the only state worth living. Life is not a trivial exercise. Played right, the minutiae of it can be a lesson and an affirmation. It will be good for me. It could be good for you.

Forward and onward, armed with intellect, fear, and a cautious disregard for the unknown.

Join me. Go there. Now.

Refuse to shut up.

Saturday, June 2


Stress and I are old enemies. We have engaged each other in battles uncounted.

My enemy wears many faces. At times it is the face of a family member, other times it is the face of a coworker, many times it is the unrecognized face of the unkown. More often than not it is the familiar face that stares back at me while I am shaving.

In every battle I have been victorious: smug, raging, defiant. In every battle my enemy vows revenge.

It is inevitable that my enemy will win the endless war we wage.

Just not today.

Friday, June 1

The Dread Pirate Kingfisher

Sometimes a Captain sails his loyal crew into dangerous desert waters
during a squall with 1' waves, icebergs the size of ice cubes,
20 mph winds, 65° weather, vampire ducks, and cheap beer.

Don't we look happy in our safety vests/straight jackets?

From left to right these soaked bilge rats are Captain Kingfisher,
Deckhand Princefisher I, First Mate Queenfisher,
and hapless pleasure cruise passenger Grand Queenfisher.