2/29/16

Leap Year . . .

Any good scientist (who isn't so naive as to believe that the world is round) can tell you that today isn't so much "special" or "magical" or "different" as it is overdue and needed. In reality our clocks, calendars, and societies NEED Leap Years to stay normal.

You see no matter how much we try to "control" things with our special ideas on time and space we're not actually in "control". We're just sorta trying to stay on top of it. We can and do cram alllll the stuff and appointments and wants and needs into the day and we force the day to last "exactly" 24 hours and have "exactly" 365 days per year. At least now - at one point there were only 360 days in a year and each month had exactly 30 days.

So we take/use that time because we know we have "exactly" this much time so then we presume to do these things because our earth moves in such a way that we rotate "exactly" once every 24 hours and we move around the sun "exactly" once every 365 days.

But we do NOT. We're off by seconds on the rotation (you can scoff at seconds but think about how many car crashes, world records, and other feats of strength, science, and physics are made or broke by a thousandth of a second (or less) and then push that against every day of every year. HUGE things can and do happen in said discrepancies. And the spinning around part? NOT exactly ANYTHING . . . once every 365.2422 days (we're STILL not actually "fixing" it with this extra day every four years).

Who knows - by the time our children's children's children inherit the earth (the flooded, hot disaster it will be) they might decide to add another day to every few years or even another few hours to every year or a few minutes to every day . . . or whatever they might want or need to do feel more in control. But it won't be enough and it won't be right. It'll just be another attempt to fudge the world and control and own it.

So enjoy your quadrennial attempt to remedy the world spinning ever-more out of control. Maybe by 2020 we'll be better prepared for these 24 hours.

2/28/16

Sunday Funday . . .

I'm going to Israel. I don't know when . . . I don't know "why" . . . but I'm going to "G-d's living room".

2/26/16

Hesston Shooting . . .

At least three shot dead. At LEAST a dozen injured (many seriously). At LEAST a reason to know that we have a gun PROBLEM in America. Mass shootings have come closer and closer to home, Wichita.



I've got nothing beyond - for those innocent people killed for simply being at work and the family and friends that will have to carry on without them . . . "May their memory be for a blessing."

2/24/16

Kansas Schools . . .


I refuse to pretend like I'm not TERRIFIED for the future of the state of Kansas. No, no. NOT hyperbole . . . actual fear and terror. Because we're not only making "penny" foolish decisions today on things like how to increase the insured among us or to not rebuild our infrastructure, grow our communities, add real/meaningful jobs and careers, and making everyone feel equal and included (sorry women, Syrians, and those who don't want to just carry guns all day, every day but we're making DOLLAR foolish decisions by screwing (figuratively) our future by screwing (figuratively) our children.

Think this one through, Governor Brownback and your dummy ilk in the Legislature . . .

  • When you refuse to fund our schools at a bare-minimum per pupil standard;
  • When you try to consolidate schools so that it can be 50 or 60 miles from one edge of the district to the other (and hundreds of square miles covered altogether);
  • When you confuse the "savings" of underfunding and over clumping our schools (wow - a potential $100MM/year in savings (but the multi-million annual state legal budget for Kris Kobach's pet projects and senseless endeavors is protected);
  • When you face down an actual school shut down with just an obnoxious, stubborn Governor and an incapable legislature (and $200MM deficit and nowhere to find the $73MM needed to properly fund schools) in the way;
  • When you . . . 
You see my point. But here is the thing, fellow Kansans - there is NOTHING more important for us and our shared future than schools. We must keep them OPEN. We must keep them FUNDED. We must attract and retain great teachers. We must attract, retain, and empower great students. We must have schools that employees and employers want to stick around Kansas for. We must have schools so poor kids can escape the chaos and mess at home for a few hours a day a few days a week. We must have schools to inspire and motivate and excite our children so they might find their passions and be their best. We must have schools for social and cultural reasons. We must have schools so that the system "works".

If we don't have schools that welcome and enrich kids, if we don't have great teachers to guide and mold and motivate them, if we don't have programs and options that entice and delight kids, if we don't have these facilities and professionals and programs that keep employers and employees here, if we don't have all these things we don't get the next generation of jobs and professionals so we don't get taxes and we don't have homeowners and we don't have happy, healthy people, and we can't keep the state moving and growing and being happy and healthy.

We cannot do anything if we don't educate and empower our future. PLEASE get your stuff together, Governor and Legislature (and the voters that keep them in place) and put the right emphasis on our schools and put the right funding behind them.


2/23/16

Graphic Novels . . .

A few months ago I told you about my daughter's love for comics/graphic novels and how I was dipping a toe in the ink pools and was going to give them a shot.

Well, kids, the ink is just fine and I'm neck deep. I've started reading a handful of "books" (I'm an insider now, I have a pull list, I'll say what I want) and, so far, they are wonderful and fun and engaging and charming.

While I'm still not "big" on the superheroes and action figures and all that stuff I do appreciate the art and story telling and beauty - but will point out four of the five below are "optioned" for movies. Ugh.

Anywho - here are a few books (and you'll notice I'm essentially obsessed with Image - probably because my friendly, courteous, informed, and wonderful local comic book store's staff are feeding my beast based on what I tell them I like) that you might check out if you're also curious about these things the smart love and the movie studios keep bastardizing:

5) The Wicked + The Divine - Every 90 years some Gods are made human and are forced to suffer the slings and arrows of mortality but only for two years . . . and then they die. It is a complicated trick to tell the story of these idols made one of us - but not for long.

4) The Fade Out - If Raymond Chandler decided to write pithy dialogue with pretty pictures instead of long, pulpy noir novels he might have come up with this series about 1940s Hollywood and all the dark stuff that (might have) happened there.

3) Chrononauts - Two brilliant scientists/best friends figure out how to jump the space, time continuum. Will they use it for "good" or for "evil" (selfish pursuits)? Yes. Yes they will.

2) Saga - If Archer and Lana had a baby and were on the interstellar run you'd see what this book is about. I'm obsessed with this tale of forbidden love, overlapping story lines, and profanity filled, humor.

1) Huck - It started out strong and has gotten better. Four issues in and I'm counting the DAYS until number five arrives.

Honorable mentions to Chew, Lumberjanes (which is more "for" my daughter but I'm really enjoying these young ladies), Twilight Children (I just have one issue of this one but I'm in to it), Grayson (again - just started it and may be opening up to superheroes et al), and Stuck Rubber Baby (dark, sad, but oddly loving).

2/22/16

Never . . .

So this is how it is going to be, right? The next eight to eighteen to eighty years of my life? My child - in all of her tween wisdom and elaborate, diverse life experience just sorta telling me what the world holds, how it spins, and why it is not flat?

I remember when she was just learning to really talk/communicate. EVERYTHING was a "no". "Do you want ____?" "No." "Put ________ down." "No." "Would you like to practice your colors?" "No." "What about French?" "Non." That lasted about a year. Her mother and I were sure it was a good thing. She was becoming her own person. She had opinions. She was pushing back. She was exploring boundaries. She was consistent. She was stubborn.

That lasted several months/years and it just sorta became the "norm". I can't remember when/how/why it started and I don't, really, remember it truly ending but surely it did. Probably right around the time I started asking "Hey, do you want to go get a snack?" "YES!" Well, here we are, many years older and many years wiser but we're reverting.

The new sensation-that's-sweeping-her-nation is "never". The overly emphatic, overly obtuse, overly naive way to declare yourself apart from something. It is far, far more infuriating than the last round of "Negatory Big Bird" because unlike when she was X months/years old (and you'd challenge her and she'd either acquiesce or give you that smile that made your heart melt (I'm romanticizing the phase, I fear) NOW it is just long, void stares, or overly dramatic, overly sweeping, overly naive explanations of why "never" is the way to go.

  • "I'm never going to swear." "Yeah, sure. O. F*cking. K. That sh*t might last."
  • "I'm never going to have a boyfriend." "From your lips to the poor kid you bring home to meet your obnoxious father's ears."
  • "I'm never moving out of you or mommy's houses." "The day after your 18th birthday you start paying rent - using your birthday money." (that one isn't true)
  • "I'm never going to be mean to a stranger." "Oh, sweetheart."
  • "I'm never learning division." "You won't need to if you were serious about never moving out."
  • "I'm never going to like any music more than 'Pop Star Du Jour'." "A valid point, I still love me some Celine Dion."
You get my point. It is the above and far, far worse. Weird life-long pledges (no booze, no boys, no love, no girls, no pot, no religion, no single-payer health care system, no - wait, what?) that are just begging to not last.

Who knows we might, in another eight or nine years, call down the basement steps to tell her that dinner is ready and have her clarify she's "not hungry" (or some other negative response to a simple engagement) or we might miss the days when every, little, thing is met with "No. Never. Because I'm nearly ten and I KNOW." I doubt it. I don't think I'll EVER miss this phase. But I wouldn't say "never".


2/21/16

Sunday Funday . . .

The great Patti Smith gives gravitas to Rihanna's "Stay". Video and audio quality aren't great but the way it hits your ribs is.

2/17/16

Dear Kanye . . .

Dear Kanye -

I want to start by clarifying that I was a HUGE fan of yours in 2000. Yes. 2000. Your work for Jay-Z's "The Blueprint". You changed and refined and - frankly - revived Mr. Carter's career.

In the four years between that album and the release of "Through the Wire" (still my favorite Kanye track) which you literally recorded through a wired-shut jaw following a near-fatal car crash and the "The College Dropout" album that followed you produced and guested/featured on so many tracks that I was sure you were going to be amazing. And you were. You really, really were.

We got our first glimpse of how brash and vulnerable you could be when you called out then-President George W. Bush's apathy for New Orleans and the black residents of the Ninth Ward. You were shaking. You seemed passionate and scared and uneasy but required to speak up. You were right - then.

You continued to push the envelope and you were creatively listless and you couldn't figure out (from a lay, outside perspective) if you wanted to be a rapper, artist, producer, creator, politician, advocate, provocateur, sex symbol, or a combination/all of the above. And if you had a better voice of sense in your ear you'd have figured it out a decade ago. But then your mother, very tragically, died in 2007 and you just sorta', well, lost me. Your upbeat tribute to Dr. West "Hey Mamma" was the last song of yours I truly loved. Because, like Kobe Bryant after his trip to Colorado, you were never the same in my eyes.

I get that you don't get up in the morning to please me. I'm old. I'm outta touch. I'm not into avant garde anything. I'm not into $500 sweatpants and I'm not into albums that even the artist who releases them describes as an "experiment".

You've lived your life to the fullest and you've loved and lost, loved and won, loved and married, had two children, and made all the friends and enemies, money and award-bait your unquestionable talent and ambition can bridle. I'm happy for you.

I'm officially giving up on you (stop laughing - we both know you don't care but I have to say this). Your inability to let go of a grudge against a woman who's only real offense was winning an award you felt should have gone to your friend Beyonce is difficult to fathom (if you and she were not famous and "entouraged" your treatment of her would have landed you criminal charges for harassment) but your rabid attack of her and claiming her fame is owed to you (she was, to clarify, guilty of winning an award you wanted for your friend to win so she was at least a wee famous already, right? And it is not like you and she share a ton of overlapping audience/fans.).

But that's not all. You claim that if venture capitalists were "serious" about helping the world they would invest in your music/vision instead of schools in Africa. You target a dude who's only real crime was getting high and having a strain of weed that shares your wife's initials and having a child with a woman you once loved. You brought an innocent child into your horrifying, selfish narrative. You claimed to "own" him and that child. How would you react if someone said that about YOUR children?

You mock Michael Jordan's products (then profess your love of/for him). You shout Bill Cosby's innocence from the rooftops (ignoring that he's admitted to drugging women). You flaunt your wealth and then ask for empathy for your debt (which is not "debt" but money spent in pursuit of your dreams - an amount of money very, very few will ever have to spend/squander to begin with . . . thousands drive cabs for years and years to save up $30,000 to get a "medallion"). You plan and negotiate and strategize your every move (down to your airbrushed t-shirts) and you make your own children part of the game. You defend your wife in the same sentence as you disparage people who have done less (or more - depending on the rant) than she ever did to deserve her wealth and fame (to clarify, your wife and her entire family are household names for exonerating a murderer, having sex on tape, and being naked).

Your music is still generally interesting (now that you're past your "unlucky in love" phase) and occasionally enthralling. Your talent is still something that if you were not "you" I wouldn't hesitate to listen to and openly adore. I'd sing its praises. I'd try to embrace it or wedge myself into its target audience. I'd really try.

But then you'd Tweet out one more drop of venom and hate toward some target that simply doesn't deserve it and you'd walk away from your role as son, father, husband, artist, provocateur and fall back into your old traps of being angry and disenfranchised besides having just about everything you might, otherwise, want in the world. Your rich, famous, talented, and iconic.

Let that be enough.

Sean


2/16/16

First Dances . . .


You know that moment at every wedding reception when the bride and groom make their way, awkwardly, to the dance floor following some sappy words from the groom (the bride never really pushes this particular issue) and they start swaying to and fro as a slideshow of childhood photos keeps everyone (ideally) distracted and/or there is NOTHING to look at so you just sort of sit and stare at them, awkwardly swaying to and fro, in the middle of the dance floor? 

Yeah. You KNOW that moment. Here's the difference between "you" and "me", though. I spend that four minutes - and the hours leading up to it - obsessing about how horribly bad the song that every bride and groom sway to and fro to is. 

First dances fall into four camps:
  1. The hopelessly trite. The songs that literally state - nail on head, on proverbial nose, etc. - the emotions and moments that lead to a wedding and the dance you're otherwise staring at.
  2. The hopelessly trendy. The wedding song OF THE MOMENT blares and will, forever, date the nuptials far more strongly than the custom etsy photo mattings ever will.
  3. The hopelessly random. No - not a slow, romantic ballad - deeply personal and otherwise disconnected but the bride and groom "get it" (so shut up and stare for four minutes anyway).
  4. The hopelessly awesome. This is the rarest of all the wedding song "birds" and the holy grail of the longest four minutes of every wedding day. Many, many will try. Few, few will make it.
Here are ten songs that fit in at least one of the above camps. You decide which one(s).

A different generation, perhaps . . . 


I mean - it is YOUR day . . . 


Oy vey . . . 


Yeah it does . . . 


Ummm . . . he's STALKING you, Mrs. Him . . . 


Ummmm . . . she's going to let you drown, Jack . . . 


It is groovy . . . 


No you won't - my grandmother is at table two . . . 


Turn around - walk off the dance floor . . . 


"Need" is a weird word . . . 

2/15/16

Old Love . . .

I want to talk to you, dear reader, about something serious and important in life. I know, I know . . . I usually stick to things like my favorite words, why I hate the NFL, and other things that no one could, would, or should ever care about.

But today (TODAY?) will be a little different.

I want to talk to you about old love - specifically some of MY old loves. Now I know, I know - I've done that before but not like this. No-no. Not. Like. This.

I want to acknowledge something very specific in my views on and approach to "love". I want to be ENTIRELY genuine and sincere (which is something I do about 9% of the time in this forum). So we're going to do that today but - first - hit "play" on this . . .


Seriously. Do it. Hit play. It is okay. Nothing "bad" is going to happen to you if you play John Mayer in the background while reading this post. It might even make the moment all the more special. Okay - last joke of the post. You still with me? How's John sounding? You enjoying him?

So here we go. I've loved exactly eight women in my life (familial love (mothers, aunts, grandmothers, daughters, etc.) don't count - I'm talking the sorta love that makes you want to be naked with someone). If you factor that I'm nearly 40 and that I had my first "love attack" when I was 13 (late bloomer in every way) that is six women in 27 years - or about one every 3.3 years. It is worth noting that - with the exception of the first two - I've never only "loved" one woman at a time. Let me clarify.

  1. My First Crush - Unlike the one Mr. Mayer is lamenting as we "speak", my first love was an tween/early teen crushed. Dawn was bright, and funny, and warm in nature. ALL the boys in my class "loved" her so I felt some pseudo obligation to "love" her, too. That lasted for about six weeks. She, you see, had NO interest in loving me. I am not so dense as to fall in the "unrequited" trope of teen angst.
  2. My First Love - I never officially "dated" my first "girlfriend". It is complicated but I spent almost the entirety of my high school/adolescent experience with Melissa. We were always "together" and we went to dances (proms, homecomings, semi-formals, etc.) as dates and we went on dates and held hands. I even kissed her a handful of times. I truly loved her. I think she loved me. But it was not meant to be - we were teens and had different life paths ahead.
  3. My College Love - My very best friends in college were Chris, Bruce, Tom, and Mike. My other best friend was Danielle. My college "love" was Kris(tine). I can't really tell you how or why I "loved" her but I did. Much. We met while in a school play and were in a few other casts together and we hung out and we would occasionally "cuddle" when the cheap beer or bad pot kicked in. She was an actual Connecticut WASP. I was, well, not. 
  4. My First Adult Love - A friend of mine was going to get her masters at Rutgers and we had a going away evening for her. I saw this splendid thing at the far end of the table and could not speak to her. We dated for three months. I could barely speak to her. She was an actual adult - she knew wine and foreign films and loved my puppy-dog-ways. I loved her and she loved that I loved her. She moved to New York City. I spent nearly five more years trying to let her go.
  5. My First Real Love - I dated a woman for a few years who was, all kidding aside, part of an American Dynasty. One of those families that is just rich and you're not entirely sure why or how but you presume that Thurston III (who goes by Russ (or whatever)) was an oil baron. She was unbelievably bright and loving. She was successful on her own. She loved me. She wanted to have a family with me. I was so scared of alllllll that. I broke her heart a little, I regret.
  6. My First Wife - I've talked almost too much about her here (and in every other crevice of my life and communications) but I would be remiss to not point out that there was once a great deal of real and active and powerful love between "her" and "me". I don't know if I ever really "knew" her. I think we were both stretching our legs and selves in our shared time. Maybe if just one of us was going through that we'd have been fine. Alas, we both had to grow and go.
  7. My First Rebound - I have not made any secret of the fact that I dated a wee bit between divorce and debash (following my first stint with debash). It was a splendid and scary time. I was, in many ways, having the "phase" most men go through sometime between the ages of 12 and 25 but I was doing it in my mid-30s and with a job, a car, and a kid. I was blessed to shared that time and be inspired - and renewed. If not for the rebound, there would be no debash.
  8. My Debash - I can't even begin to tell you how much this one means to me. There is no real similarity between her and the others (other than ample bosom - they ALL had the ample bosoms) and that is maybe the point. In her I see everything that I didn't see in her predecessors and everything I was hoping I might find ahead. She is not "better" than the others but she is different and that is, in all honesty, the best part about her (other than her bosom).
So here's the thing . . . eight women. And many of them have stayed with me. I'm still "friends" with almost all of them and I can tell you (relatively) how all of them are doing and what they are up to at this moment in time. The ones I can't tell you about are that way at their request/decision. I get that. I like that they've stayed with me. I like that they've left their mark on me. I like that I still carry feelings and memories and emotions and good tidings. I like that everyone of them still holds a piece of my heart and I hope (truly) that I'm still in their hearts. Love, you see, is forever - even if the number of loves you rack up implies otherwise. 

2/10/16

2016 Goals and Objectives (Update 1) . . .


As promised - a monthly update on my (public) goals and objectives:

2016 PUBLIC GOALS

I'm going to "heat map" these this year (doing great, doing okay, doing poorly)
  1. Be Prepared to Be Married
  2. Eliminate Social Media "Noise"
  3. Become a "Better" Father and Partner to the Women Central to My Life
  4. Eat a Healthier, More-Diverse Collection of Foods
  5. Get More Politically Active
  6. Become a "Better" Jew

2016 PUBLIC OBJECTIVES

  1. Exercise +5 Hours/Week (Current Average = 2.1 hours/week. Womp.)
  2. Read 24 Books (Two books down, two started. On pace.)
  3. Lose 84 Pounds (Not. On. Pace.)
  4. Stream -10 Hours/Week (Current Average = 3.4 hours/week. BOOM.)
  5. Release 24 Podcasts (Episodes) (Way behind.)
  6. Learn +10 Hours/Week (Current Average = 11 hours/week.)
  7. Sleep +7 Hours/Night (Current Average = 6.45 hours/night)
  8. Have 36 New "Experiences" (Four)
  9. Spend +5 Quality Hours/Week "Alone" (Current Average = 12 hours/week)
  10. Have 24 "Date Nights" (Two. One with each woman.)

2/9/16

Copper . . .

Let me tell you a little bit about copper. Yes, copper. NOT "copper" as in the 1920s ganster "Now-lissy-heuh-COPPAH." NOT "copper" as in the dog in Fox and the Hound. NOT "copper" as in the BBC drama that I've watched on Netflix so many times. Nope. Copper. As in . . . copper.

Copper, for the unacquainted, is actually sorta' a big deal around here. I mean - sure - it is not the first place medal of metals (that is gold) and it is not the first prize of jewelry (that is, well, gold (and/or platinum)) and it is not the top of the metal food chain (that is not a real thing) and it might even be the lowest rung on the metal ladder (the friggin' PENNY?) but it is, as stated, a pretty big deal.

Here are twenty "fun facts" about copper. I promise you'll enjoy at least six of them - if not, I owe you a penny.

  1. Copper, "Cu" and element 29 on the periodic table, takes its name from the Latin "cuprum" (which is the island Copper was first discovered - we call it Cyprus)
  2. Copper is one of the first (on the periodic table) metals to be found "pure" in nature and is believed to be 50 parts/million in the earth's crust and the largest single "piece" if it ever found (in Michigan in 1857) weighed 420 tonnes (one tonne = 1,000 kilograms/2,204 pounds).
  3. Copper was the first metal used by humans, first metal smelted, first metal molded, and first metal intentionally alloyed with another metal (to form bronze - the third place medal on the list of metals).
  4. Copper is essentially to all living beings and humans have some in their liver, bones, and muscle. Other beings carry it in their blood/blood equivalent.
  5. Some of the oldest musical instruments in the world - percusion and air-carrying - were made of copper (partially or entirely).
  6. Copper is, as metals go, extremely soft/malleable. This makes it an excellent material for sculpting and decorative accessorizing on buildings, etc.
  7. Copper is a favorite for those needing to conduct/carry heat and/or electricity.
  8. Relatively volatile, the value of copper is around $2/pound - about 1/70th the value of silver, and about 1/3,383rd the value of gold. 
  9. Copper is the most sanitary of all the metals (surgical steel is an alloy, folks). It is the only metal that the US EPA recognizes as "antimicrobial". 
  10. The first copper plumbing was used in one of the great pyramids in Egypt. It still, technically, works 5,000 years later.
  11. Copper is 100% recyclable (in raw form or after extraction from alloys) and it is believed that 80% of all copper ever mined is still in "use" today. 
  12. Copper is so bad assed that, in history, there is the Copper Age and then the Bronze Age (which is sorta like Copper Age 2: The Remix).
  13. The Statue of Liberty - covered in copper - is a testament to the metal's fortitude. Well over 100 years of salt water, boat exhaust, sun, rain, wind, cold winters, hot summers, and New York attitude have not even remotely damaged the statue's metal.
  14. Chester Copperpot, y'uns.
  15. Those copper bracelets and compression clothes/braces that people swear by for recovery and arthritis? There is no scientific proof behind them but if they make you feel better - yeah copper! It is worth noting that since the early, early days of copper use people have believed it to be medically beneficial.
  16. Copper is used as a dye for glass and pottery craftsmen/artisans (green and brown hues).
  17. There are thought to be 18,100,000,000,000 pounds (18.1 trillion) of copper on the earth. We've mined only about 13% of that since "we" started digging it up and almost all of it is still in use today - and can be reused tomorrow.
  18. Nickel-silver (which is the basis for just about every piece of cutlery in American kitchens) has copper as its primary ingredient.
  19. Copper is the most colorful of all the metals. It comes (natural form) in dozens of hues from reds to near-black and it, when exposed to air and dozens of other chemicals, will change colors either immediately or over time. 
  20. Copper is purdy.

Let me know if you still think I owe you a penny (which may/not be all that copper to begin with).

2/8/16

Culture Shock . . .

This won't be nearly as memorable as when he was Tweeting/DMing pictures of his Anthony Jr. (which was not overly "junior", for the record) but a few years ago when Anthony Weiner was running for mayor of New York City he got in an argument, with a Jew, in a Jewish bakery on the eve of the High Holy Days/Mayoral primary.

The press (sorta) ate it up. Of course everyone had a bent on it but the key takeaways were that the guy seemed to be making a moral statement around marriage and fidelity so why did the former Congressman blanch? Because the guy was also being a goon around the religion and background of Weiner's wife (he dismissed her as an "Arab" (Huma Abedin is Hillary's Clinton's "right hand" and all around bad ass. Her parents (father and mother are both Muslim - it could be presumed she is, too)).

I relive this incident because it is another example of something that happens in places OTHER than Kansas. Kansas is not a place where our religions, our ethics/morals, and our politics motivate us to yell at people in public but when you're not "here" (and are, by extension, "there"). "We" don't do that "here" but "they" do that "there". Make sense?

A better example . . . I pulled into a gas station parking in the DC-suburbs last Sunday to put some air in my rental car's soft, front tire. I pulled up to the air machine (which is generally free here) and it said "See Attendant for Help" so I walked in to the gas station and was greeted to the sounds of yelling between a customer and an employee. It seems the customer wanted to get gas and he felt the prices were unduly high. As we ALL know the best way to protest the pricing model of gasoline is to yell at an hourly employee at a gas station on a Sunday morning so this guy was letting the employee have it. Profanity. Arm swinging. The whole thing.

THIS was decidedly "un-Kansas" (truth be told I wouldn't have done this even when I did live "there" because, well, I'm certain I would be SHOT if I did). Know what else is "un-Kansas"? The employee YELLING back.

Now I don't know how long this was going on but when I walked it it seemed early in the game. The guy was yelling and swearing and the employee barked "You get the f*ck out of here, mother f*cker. You get your f*cking gas at some other f*cking place. If you don't like their prices you take your *ss to another place and another place until you run out of f*cking gas realizing none of us have gas for that price and we're not f*cking going to. Then you'll have no gas, no d*ck (that part made me laugh), and no f*cking brains in your sh*t-filled head. F*ck you."

So they yell for another minute. The guy storms out. I walk up with my sugar free Slurpee (TM abuse in tow - this was an off-brand) and calmly ask "The sign on the air machine says to see you for help filling tires. What's up?" The guy calmly responds "It is out of order. Sorry."

THAT was very Kansan of both of us. THAT is how "it" happens "here".

2/7/16

Sunday Funday . . .

As you prepare to hunker down with ALLLLLL the junk food and become OFFICIALLY part of the problem/enablers/damagers of the quality of human life that IS the NFL, their Super Bowl, and their fans I give you the ONLY part of professional football any one of you SHOULD cheer for.





Go team.

2/4/16

Johnny Football . . .


I don't like Jonathan Paul Manziel for a million reasons (slight hyperbole) but here are the top FIFTEEN (in no particular order):

  1. He's 23 years old and still insists everyone calls him "Johnny". Jonathans should stop being "Johnny" long before making their first millions.
  2. Manziel was first arrested as a freshman in college - for a public altercation after a friend of his used a racial slur to address a 47-year-old stranger. He had THREE fake IDs on him at the time of his arrest (and presented one to the arresting officer)
  3. Manziel overslept and left the "Manning Passing Academy" (a super-elite circle jerk for quarterbacks and the men who make money managing their careers) and nothing. happened.
  4. He sold autographs, as an NCAA athlete. Many, many players have lost their scholarships for letting boosters buy them tattoos. What was Mr. Manziel's punishment? He had to sit the first half of a meaningless game against Rice (the school vs. the starch).
  5. He does this "thing" with his fingers where he's rubbing money and he does it at people. In a taunting way. And he thinks it validates him.
  6. Johnathan was drafted 22nd in the 1st round of the 2014 NFL draft. He plays football for a living. I can dislike him for that. I shouldn't . . . but I can/do.
  7. He's not a "good" professional football player. I'm sure the incessant hangovers don't help but in two, full seasons in the league a few key stats include: 14 starts, five interceptions and seven touchdowns, and a career "passer rating" of 79.4. What does that mean? Context . . . the average passer rating, league-wide, in 2015 was 91.0. He's that much worse that mediocre.
  8. During his rookie season he got in a group brawl/mele at 2:30 AM because a man approached his "crew" in his apartment building. No arrest.
  9. He's an alcoholic with the resources and means to battle the illness. I don't dislike him for the addiction - I dislike him because he only has to "work" 25 weeks a year (maximum) and he's a millionaire on his own and many, many times over by family tradition. He could get himself healthy but - instead - he makes money signs with his fingers.
  10. He is so inaccurate as a thrower he missed the head of a man he was throwing a water bottle at - while an adult/professional athlete at a charity golf tournament. No arrest.
  11. Manziel drank in the afternoon (during the season), drove his drunk girlfriend home - hit her (by his own admission) on the way, got pulled over, admitted drinking and hitting a woman, got to drive the rest of the way home. No arrest. FIND ME a guy making minimum wage who gets to do that.
  12. In the wee, small hours of the morning of the last game of his second season Manziel was (allegedly) in Vegas. In a wig. And sunglasses. He never showed up for a doctor's visit in Cleveland and his employer could not get ahold of him.
  13. A few weeks later Manziel is said to have hit his girlfriend several times, drove drunk/high (?), and hit her some more. Oh - he threatened to kill her and himself, too. No arrest. 
  14. There is a picture of him floating around a pool on a huge, inflatable swan. That's CLEARLY a reason you can dislike someone. CLEARLY.
  15. Despite all this he is STILL gainfully (and lucratively) employed and he has other employers openly interested in his "talents" and they are willing to pay him MORE to come work for them. That is something we can all agree is dislike-able. 

Now - let's be clear - Mr. Manziel is an employee of the National Football League and its (not really a) subsidiary, the Cleveland Browns. I hate them for a million reasons, the only ones that matter being that they let this young man stay on their payroll, act as he does, endanger himself and others, and don't blink an eye because - well - money. And let me remind every one of you (with the Super Bowl just days away) that if you watch the NFL you are officially (not hyperbole) part of the problem. You are an enabler to the league, its teams, and its players - like Mr. Manziel. Enjoy the "big game".

2/3/16

Creep . . .

So I'm on a business trip (DC suburbs - it is always great to get back) and I, as I'm want to do, have been taking advantage of the fantastic in-room and in-lobby gym AND complimentary laundering of gym clothes at the EVEN Hotels Rockville and doing a little sweating in the AM.

It is very nice to get down there early in the AM and have a little space to (typically) to myself. But yesterday morning was . . . wellllll . . . different.

I walked in the gym at about 6:15 and I was on the treadmill (walking warm-up) and I heard the door open and saw someone come in over my shoulder. No worries. "Free country", right? Right.

So I continue to walk and I notice that the person who came in is a woman. No worries. I'm perfectly comfortable with women around.

She sets herself up on a weight bench and she - well - doesn't do much else. She's just sorta sitting there. Again - free country, right? Right.

I get my mile in (fun fact - I can walk a mile at about the same pace as I "run" three or more miles) and I head off the treadmill and make my way for one of the aforementioned weight benches. She's still sitting there. Just. Sitting. There. Free country . . .

THEN I notice something odd. She's sorta watching me (free country (is this getting old?)) so I flash her the patented Sean Amore "hey now/how YOU doin'" smile and grunt a "Hello." And she does the most absurd thing I've maybe ever seen/heard a woman say to a man (not to be sexist) and, frankly, even a man say to a woman NOT in an "adult film" on VHS in the 80s. She went full "creep".



This woman, festooned in spandex and, I might say, rather attractive (in the way I find women attractive - which is "generally"/"almost always" (I'm kidding - I've been violated and am acting out)) is apparently feeling her proverbial oats in a hotel gym at 6:15 AM ET and she looks me dead in my windows to the soul and says (with eerie calm):

"I love a man who uses and moves his body while staying in a hotel." 

Then she looks at me and honest-to-it (speaking of 80s porn cheese) LICKS HER LIPS in a circular fashion and pops a cheek bone: