Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I would like to skydive with the "Pussycat Dolls". They would be wearing skimpy bikinis, and we would land at Hef's mansion...We would proceed to the grotto and drink Mojitos and eat "kick-ass" hor-de'-ouvres. I'd like to meet Quentin Tarrantino, Clint Eastwood, Uma Thurman, Steven Hawking, Bob Dylan, and Michael Jordan. I'd visit Australia, Japan, China, Germany, Denmark, France, Holland, and Evil Beaver, California! I'd party at the "Burning Man" festival, fly in the Space Shuttle, Run a sub-three-hour time at the Boston Marathon on Patriot's Day, win a bizarre foods eating contest, have dinner with Mickey Rourke, break the age barrier and win American Idol, at 62! Due to the marvels of modern medicine, I'd like to be able to grow new, wavy hair on my bald head, and walk around without pain. I'd like to live long enough to see our scientists find the secret to eternal life and unlimited joy!

I'd also like to see them find a cure for alcoholism and drug addiction. Then, and only then, would I buy a fifth of good, single-malt scotch, and a bag of primo pot! I'd celebrate my youth and immortality by getting "drunk as a Lord"!

Then I would get bored.

All good things must come to an end. It sure ain't fun hanging around for centuries like some old vampire. I would have done so much "stuff", life wouldn't be fun anymore......We are never fully happy. This is the nature of the human condition. Perfection is impossible, and being perfect wouldn't be fun anyway. If God is Perfect...He must be pretty bummed out!...Hmmmm. At least He doesn't have to die, or make silly lists like me. If He did have to die, I wonder if He'd want to skydive with the Pussycat Dolls?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

THE JOYS OF CYSTIC ACNE...from: "The Journey"...Memoirs of a Southside Chicago Kind of Guy...available on

I couldn't just get zits like normal kids. I would have welcomed blackheads. No, I had giant weeping pockets of pus, which left pockmarks all over my face and body. I looked like a "lunar landscape". All the remedies were tried, applied, and finally denied by me as useless. Prayer, meditation, masturbation, exacerbation, strained relations, no copulation and sweet isolation were a part of my life. All caused by my pizza face.

I wish I had read the great Charles Bukowski, at the time. He might have given me some relief with the knowledge that some other human being, having a creative soul, had also experienced this cruel torture. "Alas", I thought, "I was alone." Bukowski, the skid row poet laureate, who was the owner of the condition know as "Acne Vulgaris", and a more severe drinking problem than I would ever aspire to have, might have comforted me in my teen years. We had much in common. We both made out. We both got laid, we got paid, and as I learned from his writings, we all got "way-layed" in life.

So ye of not-so-fair-complexions, raise your glasses high, and drink to your imperfections! There are greater joys and woes, coming for you around the corner, pizza face!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

HAVE YOU HEARD THE WORD?...from "Chicago Stories": available on

In the 60's I heard that the "Bird" was the word.
The Beatles told me that the word was LOVE.
So did Jesus.
Ginsburg said the word was OM...
or Hare Khrishna.
Have you heard the word?
Word is out the the streets...
that Freddie is dead.
That's what I said.
But who cares?
Maybe Curtis Mayfield.
But now, he's dead too!
Word is, that the stock market is coming back.
What word is significant?
God, war, sex, drugs, enlightenment, cash, security, illness, death, birth, rebirth, insanity?
The word is that it's all in the mind.
Pick the word.
And pay the price.
Pick door #1...door #2...door #3...
The price is right.
Which door is it behind?
Put the words together in the right way.
And you get to spin the wheel of fortune.
If you lose...
You still have your religion, unless you are losing it...
Like R.E.M.
The word of God...The word of love.
John Lennon said he was more famous than Jesus Christ.
His words sure got him in trouble!
His words were true.
Jesus and John Lennon were damned by the people.
They both were crucified for their words.
They both were murdered.
They both said the word was LOVE.
Have you heard the word?
What are YOU going to do with it?


It came to me in a flash...
Reality is a "Montana" state of mind.
Where the birds and the trees...and the big skies
envelope you in their majesty.
Reality ain't in a keyboard, my friends.
Not in an IPOD or a GAMEBOY.
This facebook thing is pernicious, dangerous, addictive,
vain, and time wasting.
Reality isn't how many facebook "so-called-friends" I can accumulate.
I don't want to be like "Predator", collecting skulls for the
walls of my facebook spacecraft.
Reality isn't my flashy new Caddy or eating at all those five-star restaurants.
It isn't measured by my book or art sales.
Reality isn't the notches on my belt, for showgirls I planked in Las Vegas.

Reality is a "Montana" state of mind.
The open range...the fresh air...prairie flowers...faithful dogs...
laughing children...and sweat on my brow from splitting logs.
Reality is eating a hearty breakfast, and laboring for twelve hours.
Reality is over tipping a hard working waitress or bartender.
Reality is putting a greasy chain on a bike for a smiling 8 year old boy.
Reality is hiking with my wife.
Turn off the TV...Read a good book...Have a good cup of coffee.
Keep a "Montana state of mind".
This is reality.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

LOVE...from: "Chicago Stories"...available on

We rise to love.
For all that really matters involves love.
We rise to love, if we truly live.
What else is there in life...
But to be near you?
We rise to love...
If we are faithful and true.
We two, are one.
Under God's view.
We are what is best, if...
We rise to love...
Through all adversity.
Through pain and torment...
Through rejection and illness...
Even the loss of all we own,
We rise to love.
For what has more meaning?
What has more importance?
Not fame or education.
Not wealth or beauty.
Through health, illness, and death...
Love is most important.
Being loved is the most important reward.
The greatest loss is the loss of real love.
So rise up, and love the ones who love you best.
Nurture your love.
Make your industry one of love.
Love freely and openly.
Spread the love around...
Especially to those who would have none of it.
They might rise to your love, for they need it the most.
They have nothing to lose.
You might open their empty hearts.
Some of them will rise to accept your love...
Hear the melody of your special song.
Follow your song of love.
The time to love is now...don't wait...don't be late.
Rise up to love.

Friday, March 26, 2010


the one i love...
accepts me, after all the evil I have done.
she is beautiful.
i don't deserve her.
i got lucky.
love sometimes hurts.
the pole dancer knows this.
i see them with vacant stares.
dollar bills thrust down...
into private areas...
it's pathetic.
the one i love is a madonna...
a friend,
a whore,
a confessor,
a goddess,
all these things.
I am faithful to her.
She accepts the goodness in me...
the evil,
she loves my mind,
my body,
for she is the one i love.
my madonna,
my whore,
my best friend,
my confessor,
my goddess.
I asked her: "what is guilt?"
she answered: "do you want to dance with me?"
she is my madonna,
my whore,
my best friend,
my goddess,
she is the one i love.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Ride just like a cowboy.
Ride on the thought.
You gotta' show the horse, who's the boss.
Stick those spurs in deep, cowboy!
Make your thoughts race!
YOU are in control now.
Race your horse, until he gets lathered up.
Then gently clean him.
Take care of him.
Brush him.
Talk to him.
Give him water.
Feed him.
Give him an apple.
Give him a couple sugar cubes.
You and "the horse of thought" are one.
Nurture yourselves.
Make sure you know what you are thinking.
Be sure of the clarity.
Don't open your mouth...
without riding the thought, long and hard.
You don't want to sound like an ass.
Don't run your mouth like some kind of "freaking" moron.
Get on that horse!
Sit erect in the saddle.
Make sure you do your research!
Then ride the horse.
You've got to learn it...
to earn it!
It sure ain't easy, being a cowboy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


There's and old saying popular to recovering Alcoholics: "One drink is too many, and a thousand isn't enough!" Being a recovering alcoholic myself, I can totally vouch for this statement. I always tell people I meet, that I drank enough Scotch for three lifetimes. By the grace of the 'Great Spirit' in the sky, I will not put a cocktail to my lips until I am 80 years old! My wife promised me that if I make it to this august age, I will be allowed by her, to resume my drinking career. I think she holds all the cards in this bet! Given my various health problems, neither of us think that I'm going to make it! But, you never know...I might fool her!

I'm going to the gym every day in order to reverse the damaged that I have done to myself, in my youth. I have a lot of reversing to do. It's strange that I am writing this chapter on St. Patrick's day. It's 70 degrees outside! It's a beautiful day! Here I am in my dark basement, drinking a sports drink and not thinking about the tavern. I have to keep the 'creature' of alcohol at bay!

Anyway, I'm hoping to win the bet! I can taste that 25-year-old, single malt scotch right now! Hey, if you're going 'back out there', you might as well do it in style!

Of course, I'm pulling your leg. I cannot drink anymore. Hoisting a cocktail to my lips is certain death for me, and I like living too much! I certainly don't miss the hangovers I used to get. They got progressively worse as my alcoholism progressed. The body doesn't process alcohol too well after a 35 year drinking career. At the age of 53, I gave up all the foolishness!

I sat with some friends of mine last night who are recovering drunks, and they presented me with a little list that I thought was pretty funny. I promised my sober friends that I would put it in this book. Here is that list in all its' glory:


1. Monday
2. Tuesday
3. Wednesday
4. Thursday
5. Friday
6. Saturday
7. Sunday

I laughed heartily, when I saw this list. How true! I always had an excuse to drink every day of the week. By the Grace of God, if I am still alive on May 9th, of 2009, I will be celebrating 6 years of sobriety. Miracles in my life never cease! This old south side boy, is sure grateful to be clean and sober! (Today is March 24th, 2010, I look forward to 7 years on May 9th! I will have 7 years, God willing! Amazing how time flies, one day at a time!...Thank you God!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


When I am a secret agent man, I can have a fast car!
When your a secret agent, you have the best things life has to offer!
You get to have fancy clothes, and heels in your shoes that hide an assortment of dangerous things like: cyanide pills, mini-explosive devices, poison mini-darts, GPS trackers, and a myriad of other "neato" things! All secret agent guys get to wear expensive Tuxedos, and play baccarat with beautiful, sophisticated women at elegant casinos, on the French Riviera. "We" secret agents have tanned, muscled bodies, good looks just like Roman Gods, and we get to make love with beautiful, dangerous women every day of the week! We are drink top-shelf liquor, (shaken not stirred, please!), but we NEVER drink to excess! We need to have razor sharp minds and creative instincts, to deal with what ever issue is at hand. All of us are filthy rich and schooled at the finest Ivy League Universities. We travel all over the world, and speak at least 6 languages.

We do cool things like fencing, Kung Fu, and archery. All of us are masters at weaponry and warfare. We can assemble or dis-assemble anything mechanical, and put it back together in a "jack-split-second"! We all understand world governments and economies. We are masterful at hacking computer systems. None of us are married, because we don't like whining kids or cutting the grass. No secret agent man would ever accept a woman nagging at him to take the garbage out!

We are lone wolves who love excitement, danger, and romance! Ahhh! What a life! None of us ever have to worry about old age, because either we are assasinated or the governments or corporations we work for have us "eliminated" when our reflexes, mental abilities, or eyesight, starts "going south" on us...Gulp!!!!!

I don't want to die at 60! I can still have fun at this age! I guess I don't want to be a secret agent, after all. Shit! There's always something negative, that messes with my daydreams. Oh well! I can watch "Chuck" on TV tonight. I can live vicariously through him. I like the beautiful, blonde, female secret agent he hangs around with on the show, even if she does have crooked teeth. I wonder if she is Eastern European? I wonder if she ever waitressed at Alfie's restaurant? Damn! Now I'm thinking about the blog I wrote, a couple of days ago. I think I may be getting senile. At least I'm not a secret agent...whew!

Monday, March 22, 2010

EATING CONTESTS AND OTHER BIZARRE EVENTS...from: "A Spider in the Corner of my MInd"...available on

A person can generally gauge the decline of a society by its' citizens interests. Ancient Rome is a good example of this truism. Political treachery, debauchery, and last but not least, the mauling of gladiators and slaves in the Coliseum, proliferated in ancient Rome, before its decline. A once great and noble Rome, fell eventually because of a pernicious disintegration of its' moral fiber.

Fast forward, if you will, to America...This is the America we all know and love today. The year is 2010. One totally bizarre spectacle which astounds me, is the eating contest. It baffles me how a young girl, in her early 20's, can stuff 100 hotdogs down her gullet in ten minutes! She only weighs 100 lbs. for goodness sakes! This is an amazing feat of gluttony! In my minds eye, I can see her rushing to the vomitorium, to upchuck her "dogs" after the event!...Yuck! The supporters of this "so-called" sport call it an "Olympic Event". People who are really good at it can earn upwards of a hundred-thousand-bucks a year! People flock to see these well advertised abominations, and what is worse, these events are televised. Gluttony, (one of the Seven Deadly Sins), is on national TV! Way cool! The next thing we are going to see are drunken circus geeks eating live chickens. Naw, that wouldn't fly! More likely, the American viewing audience might prefer live crucifixions. We could really get off on a good old fashioned crucifixion. Now we're talking turkey!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Alfie's is my kinda' restaurant.
All the geezers in my neighborhood go there.
So you know the food is good!
The waitresses are all young women, of Eastern European extraction.
They have killer bodies, with huge breasts and pretty faces.
I guess it must be the hormones they feed the cows in Eastern Europe...
who knows?...Most of the girls who wait the tables have bad teeth, but that's alright by me, considering the rest of the package...A guy can't be choosey at the age of 61!. I had the full slab of ribs yesterday, with french fries and cole slaw.
I'm celebrating my low blood pressure and good cholesterol readings.

It amazes me what gives pleasure to me, at this stage of my life.
A good meal, restaurant coffee, followed by an hour nap is a "little bit of heaven". I used to go out at night at ten-o', drink, and chase women till dawn!...Geez! I sure can't survive that insanity anymore. My wife told me after lunch that she's going to make me go out dancing with her tonight. I doubt it. She's already snoring in her chair and it's three-in-the-afternoon! Taking our afternoon naps assures us that we'll be able to stay awake till ten-o'clock tonight.

I remember my dad saying to me years ago: What the hell are you doing, going out so late?" "There's nothing out there, dammit!" I used to tell him that he was an old geezer, and that he had no idea about "what's happening"! He used to just laugh at me, and shake his head negatively, from side to side. Little did I know so many years ago that he was right!...There ain't a damned thing out there, worth staying up for!

Alfie's is located on Roosevelt Road, just West of Main Street, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. They've been in business for over thirty years. If you want to get some great food, at reasonable prices...and you don't mind eating with geezers and their walkers decorated with those funky looking, day-glow, green, tennis balls on the's a great place to dine. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I am still afraid of the cell.
Grown men cry at night.
Each mind holds its' own secret terror.
The punishment usually fits the crime.
We are all prisoners in this cell.
The cell of the mind.

Some fill it with pornography.
Some find Jesus!...Praise the Lord!
Others find hobbies.
We delay the inevitable with sports, drugs,
booze, work, whatever...
anything to distract us from the ultimate truth.
We try to fill the void of our aloneness.
The honest come to the realization that:
we all have to die alone with our secrets.

I sit in my cell...contemplating.
It usually has four walls.
Sometimes there are windows.
The outside me a sense of peace,
openness, freedom.
It is an illusion, what I think I see.
There is no peace, my mind tells me...
only darkness.
The final truth is to be dealt with sooner or later.
I wonder what it is?

This life is a bus stop.
Death is the driver.
My ego must die.
We all go for the ride.
No one brings anything special...
just a worn out shell of what once was,
to the beyond, if there is a beyond.

I am rushed to the hospital.
I wake up.
My family is gathered around my bed.
I hear my heart monitor.
They say their goodbyes.
There is a lot of crying.
My eyes open wide as I exhale.
My last breath gurgles out of me.
It's the death rattle heard by all.
The final gag.
It's the end of the road for me.

I see the tunnel.
At the end of it is a pin prick of light!
Wow!...It's psychedelic in here man!
Then I black out.
I wake up...opening my eyes.
I'm laying in the softest field, of the greenest grass!
I see beautiful snow-capped mountains.
My vision is blurry at first, but some forms come into focus.
On a brand new Harley, sits the most beautiful woman with blonde hair, that I have ever seen! Another new Harley Davidson, Road King, with beautiful bags, sits right next to her! I look at myself. My arms are muscled and tan! There is no drooping skin! I'm wearing these "boss" leather chaps, an expensive leather vest, and beautiful detailed cowboy boots! My stomach is muscled and tan!

The beautiful woman says to me: "C'mon you good lookin' cowboy, we got miles to ride before we get to your graduation party." "I'm your date today." Then she says, "Congratulations, you've made it to heaven!"
My mouth drops open...I get on the bike...I smile like a Cheshire cat, as I ride off toward those beautiful snow-capped mountains.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I will not forget the line of Modigliani, or the presence of Mozart or Bach. I still hear the wail of Alan Ginsberg...These things are so important to me. Sweet candy for my eyes...Soothing melodies for my ears...strong words for my mind. Bukowski got into my head, and hasn't left me. He seems like a brother. Maybe we are related. Maybe we are distant cousins. I feel Tom Waits, Van Morrison, Robert Pirsig, Joseph Campbell, Ed Paschke, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, and oh, so many more.

Here's to all my mentors! I raise my glass high! Hail to thee! To R. Buckminster Fuller, my greatest Donald Racky, who taught me the majesty of the Great Books, and gave me an appreciation for Poetry at the age of seventeen. Here's to Jimmy's Lounge near the University of Chicago, and to Madison and Halsted Streets, where I heard the Blues for the first time. Here's to Pinetop Perkins, Johnny Winter, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters.

I didn't believe it when they said to me: "You'll never regret your Liberal Arts Degree." I thought that my college years were four years of wasted time...Time I could have used more properly in the pursuit of money. Then, slowly I realized that all true wealth comes from one's mind. All the riches of the world come from creating or appreciating knowledge. Education leads an individual to his humanity. Wealth comes and goes. Youth disintegrates into old age. The fires of passion become dying embers. The body ultimately denies every individual. But the mind...yes, the mind has the ability to grow stronger in its wisdom. Lessons learned become more meaningful. Art is more vivid. Music is listened to with keener ears. Books are read with greater understanding, enthusiasm, and attention. The written word flows from the pen, effortlessly.

One's capacity for love, broadens. I am grateful for all of these gifts. So burn on, all great performers in the world of intellect! Let me burn bright, until my light flickers and finally goes out. Then onward into the cosmos may my soul-power, be reconfigured in universal consciousness. I will have no regrets...for I have lived a million lives.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Cotton candy, tilt-a-whirls, ferris wheels, marbles, baseball cards, rubberband guns, red-rover, kite flying, fort building, snow ball fights, chasing little girls with pig tails, hiding cigarettes and other found items...
It's been a wild ride!

High school hi-jinks, rumbles, schlitz malt liquor, cigarettes, sock hops, half-pints tucked in the pockets of cabretta leather jackets, girls with short skirts, black nylons, beehive hairdo's, gene vincent, santo and johnny, elvis presley, roy orbison, the beatles, the rolling stones, the beach boys, basement parties...
It's been a wild ride!

College in the 60's...make love not war, demonstrations, viet-nam, free love, good buds, kegger parties, long hair, granny glasses, hip huggers, appleseed necklaces, peace signs, lincoln park, chicago city police, the whole world is watching, psychedelia, woodstock, angelic hippy babes stoned out of their minds, carressing my body, gonna' change the world...
It's been a wild ride!

working in warehouses, taverns, pizza parlors, restaurants, factories, retail shops, construction jobs, biker bars...all the dirty, stinky, funky, "punch that time-clock kinda' shit nobody else wants to do...
It's been a wild ride!

Art galleries, groupies, fancy nightclubs, travel, book signings, please the crowd, phony smiles, promotions, art agents, literary agents, editors, gallery owners, itemizations, tax statements, stock market reports, re-investments...
It's been a wild ride!

Diseases, illnesses, funeral homes, obituaries, stock market crash, deaths of loved ones, sobriety, hope, forgivness, recommitment, emergence, wisdom...
It's been a wild ride!

Flowers, sunsets, cats, dogs, babies, wife, daughter, family, love, friendship, beauty, compassion, grandchildren, happiness, acceptance...
It's been a wild ride...amen.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


It's spring in my "hood".
We're shooting hoops in the park.
I'm feelin' that sun on my back, once again.
Ole' man winter has had his way, for too long, baby!
The "hawk" is almost gone,
just like Lou Rawls, who sang the same song.
Out come the paper bags, that hold quarts of cold beer.
I can still smell the Chicago hotdogs on Halsted Street!
I see fine girls, moving their fine selves, as they swing down urban sidewalks. Damn!
I smell their perfume.
Spring has sprung!

I'm feeling my manhood spring right along with it!
I'm in a sexual mood.
The old tradition of girl watching has come back.
Men and "almost men", sit on porches passing blunts,
checking out the "booty" and talking shit.
We play baseball, and basketball after work on tavern teams.
It's nice to have a uniform that appears sexy to the neighborhood girls!
We get to be stars every night!
Oh yeah!
Our mundane jobs, or lack of them don't matter, when balmy breezes start blowing. Freshness and love is in the air. There's a manly gait in my step.
I'm smiling every evening now, as I gaze up at the stars.
It was too damned cold in Chicago to look at them in the winter.
Doors are opened in the taverns to let the stale, winter air out.
I see shoots of the crocus.
I see buds on the trees.
Life reaffirms itself every year.
It's not just for the rich people.
It's for you and me!
God, I'm happy to be alive for another spring!
Some of my "crew" haven't been so lucky.
I never forget any of them.
When I slam dunk a good one, I raise my hands to the sky.
It's my tribute to the fallen!...Oh yes!
Spring has sprung.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

FLIES...from "Chicago Stories"...available on

Flies are cunning.
Flies are bold.
Flies are crafty.
Flies are dirty.
They are evil, little beasts.
They feast on feces.
Then they decide to sit on your bologna and cheese sandwich.
It ends up being...
A sandwich ruined by disease.
You wave the damned fly off.
I just returns to sit on your vegetables.
This is the last straw!
You have to get out of your easy chair.
You hunt for the "freaking" newspaper.
You roll it up...not too big...not too small.
You've done this a million times before.
It's the perfect weapon for fly-swatting.
You are a professional fly murderer.
You are a fly serial killer.
You come back to the scene of the crime.
You look at your plate of food and wait.
This fly is cunning, he doesn't return.
He knows you are there.
He's watching you and laughing at you,
With a million little eyes!
He's a sly bastard...that dirty fly!
So you go back to eating your sandwich.
You notice he is on the inside...
Of your wife's new, hundred-dollar lampshade.
He is taunting you.
He is daring you.
Then he disappears once again.
You forget about him.
At nine-in-the-evening, he starts dive-bombing your wife.
You hunt all over the house for the rolled up newspaper.
You chase him...It's a game of survival for him now.
He knows his number is up!
Pretty soon...SPLAT!...You've got him!
The mess is all over,
the screen of your five-thousand-dollar, flat screen TV.
I hate flies.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I'll never forget selling a $1200 painting to a young man and his girlfriend for a hundred bucks, back in 1996...It made me feel wonderful! The snooty Gallery owner told me that, "I'd never show artwork in his gallery, ever again." I never did, and I never regretted it. I went on to bigger and better things. Those kids went on to successful jobs and became major collectors of my work. I received ten times more than I gave away.

I like sending my books to people who are facing adversity, or in need. This simple act of kindness makes me feel good for days. My actions tell me this world ain't all about me! In A.A., I learned the phrase: "If you want to keep it, you have to give it away." I guess what A.A. is talking about is sobriety...but serenity is guaranteed to me, if I do service work. I never regret having visited children's hospitals, or telling my life story in jails, or at substance abuse rehabilitation centers. Just for spending an hour or two of my time, my life gets enriched, exponentially.

Sometimes I think that God allowed me to become an alcoholic, so that I could get sober and carry the message to people who need the help I received from Him. Every time I feel sorry for myself, God puts someone in my path who has it a lot worse than me. Coincidence, you say? I don't think so. It happens to me all the time.

These days, I find myself smiling so much more than I ever have, in my entire life. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a selfish, curmudgeon of an old man! I have a long way to go in the "selflessness" department. A guy I know, (who I think is very wise), said to me that: "He's no longer selfish to the extreme, he's just selfish!" Heeeee!...That sums me up in a nutshell! I believe in my spiritual progress, not perfection. Yep! If I want to keep it, I've got to give it away!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


For survival, keep a dream.
No matter how tough it gets...
Keep your dreams, pure.
Keep it in your heart.
Make sure it's honest.
Devote yourself to your vision.
Make the perfect plan to achieve it.
Doubt is the enemy.
Eliminate the word "can't" from your mind.
Work in ever-increasing increments.
Work with love.
Work harder than you believe is possible.
This is your song.
Devote more and more time to it...Nurture it...
Expect setbacks.
Never give up!
Setbacks are meant to strengthen your resolve.
Don't listen to any negativity.
Be turned on by people who turn you on.
Some people will want you to fail.
Avoid them like the plague.
Have faith in your plan.
If you take time to find the right path...
Your journey to the dream,
Will be less rocky.
When you get close to your dream...
You will see it.
Some of you will taste victory.
Others will taste defeat.
All of you will be winners.
All will be rewarded...
If you are willing to give up everything...
In pursuit of your dream.

from: "Chicago Stories and Other Thoughts from a Working Class Guy"...available on

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Every morning in the spring, I start a ritual of checking the box scores and standing of my beloved Chicago White Sox. I also check the other team in town. They have a nauseating name..."The Cubbies". The anemic, pencil-necked sports fans, who live on the North side of Chicago, lovingly call them by this moniker.

I rarely watch baseball games. They are too slow for me, and I get bored easily. Watching baseball is like watching turtles screwing. I hate the outcomes of these games as well. I yell and cheer for three hours, only to have the "South-side-hitmen get whooped in the final innings of the game. This really pisses me off! I realize that I have just wasted three hours of my life. I could have taken a nap, for crying out loud!

Football has always been more fun. Violence occurs on every play, and I don't care if my Chicago Bears lose, as long as they physically kick the shit out of the opposing team. Modern day baseball players are overpaid and they whine all the time. The "corporates" own all the good seats in the ball park. Guys like me get nose bleeds from sitting in the upper deck or way out in the bleachers. It still costs me a couple-hundred-bucks to bring my gnarly old ass, and a starry- eyed kid out to a ball game.

I make it a rule, never to watch my team if they are doing well. For some odd reason, when I watch the games, I jinx them! Today, I started watching the Cubs and Sox play, in the cross town classic. The game was played in beautiful Wrigley Field. I had my Chicago beef sandwich, a bottle of pop, a bowl of fruit and some veggies on my end table. The screen door was open, a gentle breeze blowing inside the house, to cool me off. The sun was shining. My big ass was snug in my leather lazy boy chair, and my feet were comfortable, being propped up by my favorite pillow. The White Sox took an early lead. My belly was full, and all was well until the seventh inning, when all hell broke loose!

The Cubs hit two back-to-back home runs to tie up the game at 3 a piece...I shut the damned TV set off, and went off mumbling to myself, cleaning up dishes, and tinkering with things in the house, the way old men do. It started raining, so I sat down to write this story. When I finished, I tuned in to the six-o'-clock news. They found a five-foot alligator in the Chicago River, and oh yeah, the Cubs beat the White Sox with a homer in the ninth inning. The final score was 4 to 3. I told yah! Baseball is a waste of time! I can't wait for the Bears pre-season games in August. Baseball sucks!

From: "A Spider In The Corner Of My Mind"....available on

Friday, March 12, 2010


I sat at my kitchen table. I felt sorry for myself. I was fat, alcoholic, and a two-and-a-half pack a day smoker. My wife had left me. My elderly mother sat in the den gazing mindlessly at our TV set. I had two cats, a truck, and a thankless construction job, running heavy equipment. I was 53 years old. I hated what I saw in the mirror, so I avoided looking at myself. Was this all that was left for me, after a life of hard work?

I cleaned up, and decided to go out. I told my mom, I was going to an A.A. meeting. As usual, I made sure she was well-fed, and spent some time with her, so she didn't feel abandoned by me. I kissed her on the cheek, fed the cats, petted them, and then rambled off in my Dodge Ram to the local tavern. I ordered double scotches, knocking them back quickly to get the job done. The bar stunk of disinfectant, smoke and urine. I was relieved to get drunk. Suddenly I felt the acid reflux, and hurried out the door. I fell down the tavern steps, and noticed I had gravel in the bleeding palms of my hands. I stumbled to the edge of the parking lot, and behind some trees, I threw up my dinner and all the alcohol. I went back in and started drinking again. Then I blacked out. The rest is a mystery to me, until I woke up in jail. The cell was dark. Sitting in the corner was a ghostly apparition of myself. Maybe these were what they call delerium tremors, I don't know. I could see the walls on the other side of the figure. He was transparent. He looked to be a sickly, thin, old man. He had a sickly pallor, and a shimmery aura. The color was a gray-blue. It surrounded him like a weird light...something like swamp was eerie. He looked at me with watery eyes and said: "I am your future, if you don't find the way." "You are going to die, young man, if you don't find the light." Before I could utter a response, the apparition disappeared. I sat upright on my cot, as if I was hit by a bolt of lightning.

I was in jail. This wasn't a dream. The next day when I made bond, I had my daughter take me to an alcoholic treatment hospital. I sobered up. After I was released, my wife came back to me. I had what they call in A.A., "a spiritual awakening".

My first day in rehab, when I was alone in my spartan room in the evening, I got on my knees and cried. I prayed to something I did not understand. I said: "I haven't prayed in a very long time, but I know this path I have taken is going to kill me...please help me! me the way!" At that moment, I felt as if a heavy weight was taken from my shoulders. Every day was a baby step toward a new life and a new view of the world. I went to an A.A. meeting every day for 90 days. I learned that all I have is today. I am grateful for every day, my higher power gives to me. I will be sober 7 years on May 9th, of 2010, God willing. I feel that I am a living miracle.

I do not regret my past, because it has given me compassion for others. I am still short in the humility department. On that, I work every day. I don't fear the future. I take care of my body and my mind. I love and am loved, by many people. I figured out a lot of things over these many 24 hour periods. I have regained my ability to read and write. The cloud of anguish, and confusion which enveloped me for 38 years has lifted. I thank God for my life every morning. I pray to be the best guy I can be, every day. I don't procrastinate about things anymore. I decided to become a man of action. I also decided to see more sunrises-and-sunsets, to smell more flowers, to pet more cats-and- dogs, and even enjoy snowy-and-rainy days. I try and dispell all negative thought from myself. Often I fail, but I try hard every day.

I say one prayer every day..."God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change...the courage to change the things I can...and the wisdom to know the difference." This prayer has given me strength in the toughest of times. I envision my God, as a guy with a bill cap, and a fishing pool in his hands. Hey!...Whatever works, eh? I don't fear the ghosts in my life anymore. After all, they are spectors of my imagination. I learn from them. Once I faced my fears, I learned how to set myself free.....Amen.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Women have the magic.
They are more important than men.
Those soft of cheek, lovely creatures...
are the bearers of the fruit of all mankind.
Why don't we call it womankind?
Women are blessed by the ability to carry new life,
in their bellies.
I envy their experience.
The feeling of that entity with them...
growing and kicking...
is so beautiful to me.
The final emergence of the baby after enduring,
the great pain of childbirth, has to be quite a reward.
It must be amazing to the mother, having this little soul...
placed on her chest.
To feel it nursing...drinking her milk...what joy!
To know that she and her little one, will spend the rest of their lives...
I am mystified by the whole process.
I love looking at women.
Their demure smiles, the wisps of their fine hair which falls...
in a way they sometimes dislike.
It is such beauty to my eyes.
I love their dark eyes, their walk, the way they hold their tea cups.
I like to look deep into their souls.
I enjoy how they pretend that I am not there.
I know they see me.
It's alright...I'm not embarrassed.

I love how my wife still looks into my eyes.
I like how she puts her head in the crook of my arm,
on the love seat at night.
I am so lucky that she still loves spite of myself.
I love her passionate embrace.
Time has made her better for me, every year.
I love how our little baby has grown into a beautiful woman.
My daughter is a living miracle.
I am astounded by her grace and intelligence.
She has young, soft skin.
I love the way she carries herself.
More than anything, I am happy she is proud of me.
She still calls me, "Daddy".
I am the protector.
I look forward to the day I get to meet my grand child.
I just hope it's healthy, whether it be a boy or a girl.
But, somehow I hope it's a girl.
I want to experience the magic again!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


A quiet desperation brings them here.
The sun is and humid outside.
The lounge door swings open...It's cool inside.
It smells of perfume and disinfectant.
Hip new sounds are coming from the juke box.
The young women, sit or stand.
Mixing with male customers...they ply their trade.
The men sit, and drink. They smoke cigarettes.
Some laugh...others sit still and sullen.
Some are young...Some are old...
All are here for the same reason, cheap thrills.
Safe, impersonal, self-gratification.
Have the girl of your dreams for five minutes.
You pick her out...Ten bucks, and a five dollar tip...
Only if she makes your dick good and hard.
Drink that booze, and loosen up...
Feed a few bucks into the juke box.
Wait for you lovemaking songs...
Pretend she is yours...
But remember, do not touch.
"She really likes me", becomes their mantra.
Two or three lap dances with this special one...
No cops to worry about.
Never can get a phone number...
Maybe this time.
Leave the bar eighty bucks lighter...
Go home and masturbate...
Thinking of her face, tits, and fine ass...
For as long as you can...remember them.
Masturbate until it all fades into oblivion...
Then back to the bar...for another lap dance.

From: "A Spider In The Corner Of My Mind"...available on


"He was an intelligent man", I heard once Psychiatrist say to the other.
I knew they were talking about me.
Once, I had a photographic memory.
I had great theme writing ability.
I was given grants by the academic machine.
I was a man of culture.
I was well grounded in Design theory, Aesthetics, Metaphysics and Philosophy.

I began to fragment...disassociate...isolate...
I thought, "The Books are the power".
I had the power.
My Professors started noticing my strange behavior.
They noticed my rambling sentences and hebrephrenic dialogue.
I was classified as a borderline schizophrenic with neurosis.
I felt I was superior to everyone.

Then came the frightening auditory and visual hallucinations.
It was all caused by someone dropping LSD in my beer.
I went over the edge really quickly after this nasty act,
perpetrated by an individual or parties unknown to me.
It was the final blow which caused mental fracture.
Now I knew first hand what the Sociology books meant by "fragmentation of identity".

I entered my private bedroom.
I was home now, yet I felt unsafe.
I was a stranger in this new land.
I kept the room dark and cold...
Air conditioned in the middle of the summer.
I lay there for 2 weeks high on Thorazine.
My friends snuck me quarts of Schlitz beer.
I took ink blot tests, and the Minnesota Multi-Phasic...
all standard fare, which I was familiar with administering myself.
What irony!

I had a Freudian analyst who proved to be my saviour.
I also discovered the father of Psycho-cybernetics, Dr. Maxwell Maltz.
His theories involved a self-taught form of desensitization therapy.
I taught my brain to rethink my situation...I developed new pathways for my synapses to fire.
Good, old, Maxwell Maltz...He must be dead for years.
As I got well, I became committed to Non-Thinking.
I lost the "genius" identity.
I became a human being.

I heard this song by Harry Nilson, (sp?), "Good Morning Starshine".
It made me smile. I emerged. I was finally stupid like everyone else!
I was happy! I found my humanity! Eventually, I lost my identity again.
I then came to the realization that people metamorphose many times in a lifetime. If this is wisdom, I guess I acquired it.
For this realization, I am eternally grateful.

I look forward to growing old, and having many more psychological and physical adventures. I pray I have the luck, and aplomb to make the most of everything which comes my way in life...both good and bad.
Life is beautiful!
I promise myself today, that i will never take life seriously, ever again!
Who am I kidding?
I'm making progress, but I'll never be perfect.

This is reality.
This is the beauty of our journey!
The metamorphosis...the change...the acceptance.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Dear Mom: Thank you for giving me life...For holding me close to you and making me feel safe. Thank you for the great meals you made. Thank you for pretending to fish with me, when I was a little boy. I didn't know that we were fishing in a puddle in the street, in front of the old flat on 65th street, with a stick and a piece of string. Dear Mom, thank you for taking me for walks in the park, and letting me pick berries. Thank you for taking me to the public library at age 9, and getting me my library card. You were the one who taught me the joy of reading and the value of knowledge. You taught me how to bathe, how to pray, what to eat for good health. Mom, you taught me about God and how thankful I should be for all the gifts He has given me. Dear Mom, through your example you taught me humility, patience, love, compassion, and how important it is for me to do my very best, at whatever I do. Dear Mom, thank you for begging the Augustinian fathers to take me into St. Rita High School. You knew we were too poor to pay for this fine education. You humbled yourself to make a better life for me. Thank you Mom, for working so hard at your job, so you could help me pay for my college education. I'm sorry that I spent some of the checks you sent me on beer. Thank you for listening to my tales of woe as I zoomed through my adult life. You listened patiently, even though you had a much harder life than me. Dear Mom, thank you for you patience when you grew old. You knew I didn't mean the things I said to you in frustration and anger. I should have done more for you, with an attitude of love. Dear Mom, thank you for loving me right up to the end of your life. You died in my arms. I will never forget how your eyes filled with an unearthly light. If there is a God, surely you are with Him. Most of all, Mom, thank you for listening to me every night when I say my prayers. You give me the strength to follow your example and love with reckless abandon. This is your greatest gift to me. I love you, Mom.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Arrive early...
Try to bring that blood pressure down.
I know in my evil heart...
that I have been eating too many cookies and potato chips.
I see some gargantuan people in the waiting room.
I feel sorry for them.
I was once a "biggie".
I was alcoholic.
A chain smoker.
A drug user.
All that is done now!
My life is boring.
No booze, no smokes, no drugs...
In the middle of this thought...
I am called into the office.
I stand up too fast.
I feel woozy.
My weight is good.
My blood pressure is 103/63!
Is this too low?
Am I going to die?
The nurse says it is good.
Next comes the smiling doctor with his rubber glove.
I bend over, and endure the insult.
I cough, as he squeezes my balls.
He gives me a sheet for blood tests.
La dee da.
Off to the lab tommorow.
I must fast 12 hours.
Gotta' check that cholesterol.
Gotta' check those prostate numbers.
Gotta' see if anything evil lurks inside me.
I got a referral for physical therapy.
My poor aching legs, need something, dammit!
I am in pain for 3 years now.
I will not succumb to the vicodin addiction.
3 damn mind is going.
I've survived cancer, surgeries on the legs, emphysema...
all kinds of shit!
I'm still here, baby!...yeah!...That's right.
The Golden Years suck!
Thank God I'm still a stud muffin.
I think I will go Cougar hunting tonight.
I'm gonna' be 61.
That means my MILF has to be 80 or older.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Who does not wear a mask?
We humans wear them every day.
Some of us wear the mask of a warrior.
Others wear the mask of a victim.
There are unlimited numbers of masks.
There are protector masks.
There are masks for:
Fairy God Mothers
Limosine Drivers
Ad infinitum...

We change our masks many times in one day.
Sometimes this process becomes extremely difficult.
A normal, calm mind, eventually becomes confused.
The hands and arms become tired,
because they continually have to change the masks.
The synapses begin misfiring.
Bombardment of stimuli, leads to lack of focus.
Reality becomes a house of mirrors.
The wholeness of our humanity evaporates.
We begin to crack.
We break into a million pieces.
We wear more masks to put ourselves back together.
Finally, we give up.
We wear no more masks.
We sit staring mindlessy at some gray wall.
Most people think we are gone.
They think we can't hear, see, speak, or reason.
They are wrong.
We are there.
We are merely, catatonic.
We hear, we see, we reason, we just don't move or speak.
This is our safety.
The final mask of psychosis.
We live in our own world...
Where there is one.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Don't look away, or turn away from death.
Look at the last tortured breaths...
The hesitation...the gurgle...
Then the final exhalation.
Feel the energy leaving the body...
And look hard into the husk of what was...
If you want to be a writer.
Sit in the shittiest bars you can find.
Argue with everyone.
Get into fistfights.
Screw old hookers who need the money.
Take plenty of chances, and buy lottery tickets.
Buy undependable prophylactics...
From urine-soaked tavern bathrooms.
They always break when you use them anyway.
So go without them, take the risk...
Sex is better without them...
If you want to be a writer.
Go to sporting events, like horse races. Observe the human drama!
Go to boxing matches and union meetings.
Seek out criminals, hobos, carnival barkers, and confidence men.
Look for heroin addicts, alcoholics, stockbrokers, attorneys, judges,
Politicians, policemen, cocksuckers...
If you want to be a writer.
Take LSD, PCP, mescaline, heroin, cocaine, quaaludes, antihistamines,
Nectarines, alcohol, phenobarbitol, geritol, ingest it all...
Without question...
Have the balls to use it all...
If you want to be a writer.
Stick English class up your ass...
If you want to be a writer.
Go sniff glue, raise some hell...argue incessantly, might as well...
'Cause academia isn't going to recognize you anyway...
As a bona-fide writer!
The tenured professor in tweed suits, are in cahoots...
To recognize mediocrity!
They all want to stay within safe, structured, accepted, writing principles and procedures...
They use flowery language no one can comprehend.
Impress the critics with your communicative skills by using high-brow language!
Write about the beauty of things...ugh!
If you want to be a writer.

from: Chicago Stories and Other Thoughts from a Working Class Guy...available on

Friday, March 5, 2010


I'll never forget seeing this movie! I was with a nice Catholic girl, named Mary-Jo. She went to Maria High School. She was a Sophomore. I was a Junior, at St. Rita. These were segregated high schools for girls, and boys, respectively. It was a good way for the Catholic Clergy to keep the good boys and girls, separated, moral, upstanding, and academically oriented...or so they thought! The year was 1966. We were at the Double Drive-In movie theatre, on Southwest Highway, near 77th St., on the Southwest side of Chicago.

The Wild Angels featured Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra. The movie was about wild bikers from San Bernadino, California. It was a rockin' movie to see in those days! It featured gang fights, sex, booze, marijuana, murder, a biker funeral and all kinds of altercations with "the man". By today's standard it is pretty lame, definitely laughable. But it is camp! The dialogue has me in in pain, but I think in spite of the bad script and acting, the movie is still pretty damned cool!

Me and Mary-Jo had a twelve-pack of Budweiser in cans, and our cigarettes. She had ratted hair, a tight skirt, black nylons and heels, and a blouse that showed a set of ample breasts a teenaged boy would die for! I went through the various stages boys have to go through to get at them! First I popped open a beer with my "church key"...(a can opener). I needed to loosen her up, and as they say, "candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker". We didn't have pop-tops back then in aluminum cans, but we didn't mind. The ritual was more manly, I think!...ha! I yawned, raising my arms, and placed my right arm around her shoulders. Then I softly started kissing her neck and ear. I then started stroking her knees and thighs. I could hear her breathing heavy and getting hot! Finally, the french kissing began, and VOILA!!!...I started "feeling her up!" Oh! It was wonderful!

Wild bikers, violence, sex, cigarettes, and making out in my 62' Ford Galaxie was heaven. You can catch the Wild Angels movie if you have Comcast, "On Demand". Check it out! I really got a kick out of it tonight! I feel sorry for teenagers today. The Drive-In movie theatres are all but non-existent. We always went there or to Marquette Park to "make-out", or "cop-a-feel".

I wanted Debbie, my wife, to sit next to me in the love seat in our den, to check out this movie. She rolled her eyes at me and said: "You are really juvenile!" I guess she didn't want to make out with me. Maybe she was afraid I'd try to "cop-a-feel"!


What do I absorb? Do I absorb cancer producing agents from my Splenda? I love Splenda! When I put it in my coffee every morning, I wince with fear till that first sip...Ahhhhhh! Then I put my fears aside, and cast my fate to the wind. It's worth the risk, that damn coffee tastes so good and sweet! Then I proceed to the gym, supposedly to get healthy. I smell the cleaning agents they use in the towels. Hmmmm....wonder if these cause Cancer? I pull the cap from my vitamin drink and wonder, "do I absorb noxious chemicals from the recycled plastic along with all those wonderful vitamins? Hmmmm.

I stopped showering at the gym...I read an article which claims that humid gym shower rooms are breeding grounds for strange fungi which cluster in the shower heads and on the floors. No one would want to absorb that stuff! I towel off, and throw on some clean sweats so I don't get my car seats wet. Once at home, I immediately throw all my wet gear into the washing machine. I make sure to use the "green" type laundry detergent without phosphates, which pollute our drinking water, and prevent eczema on my tender, old-man skin. I take a shower and apply a variety of things to safeguard myself. Antifungals, dry skin lotions, analgesics for my arthritic knees, under arm deodorant...(Old Spice, which every man's Dad used...its the stick type, which doesn't put dangerous hydrocarbons in the atmosphere), and after shave lotion. I absorb alot of stuff after my shower, see? When I microwave my veggies for lunch, I am afraid they might absorb the carcinogens from the plastic envelope which they are contained in...hmmm...Who cares!...They taste yummie! I try not to peer into the microwave oven's door, as my package goes 'round-and-'round. I read somewhere that microwaves can cause brain tumors. I sure don't want to absorb those microwaves! I sit at the computer screen and the television for about 5 hours a day. I wonder if I am absorbing dangerous things, through my eyeballs? Plus, there is always the risk of brain tumors from using my cell phone. Thank God, I rarely use that damned modern convenience.

I try to absorb knowledge by reading, networking, and exposing myself to new ideas. When I think about it, life is all about absorption and elimination. I enjoy a good "elimination" every morning, after I drink my tainted coffee! I hope that when my time is up on earth, and I am eliminated, that I can be absorbed into a heaven with 30-year-old, single malt Scotch, thousands of beautiful young women, and just me! Can you fella's out there absorb that mental picture? I sure can!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


For three bucks, a person can still see a current, full-length, feature-film on the big screen. There are reasons however, that the movie show comes so cheap! The seats in the theatre are dilapidated, and caved in from 300-lb. popcorn eaters who have been sitting in them for the last thirty-years. The floors in this type of movie theatre, are rarely mopped. Your shoes stick to the floor, like flies stick to fly-paper. Women bring their screaming brats to these cheapie shows. There are a lot of people with NASCAR t-shirts, and missing teeth, sitting right in front of you. They always talk during the movie, and usually smell like whiskey. The screen has a hole in it the size of a tennis ball, which distracts me every time I am there. Our feature film always seems to be shown in the #4 viewing room, where this holey screen exists. The movie reels are beat up, by the time they make it to these cheap shows. The kids at the concession stand, always burn the popcorn, and I have to fight for breath, due to the smoke from burning oil, which attacks my emphysemic lungs. The air-conditioning is set real high, so that the theatre owner saves money on his electric bill. Usually, I am hot, sweaty, and disgruntled, when I leave the "cheapie" movie house.

My wife, Debbie loves these theatres. i can't figure her out. I hate crowds and waiting in line. I'd rather rent two movies for two bucks, order a pizza, and stay in the comfort of my own home. I can always pause the movie, when I need to "tinkle" in my bathroom. Plus, I don't have to worry about anyone smashing into my new sedan in the parking lot. At home, I can fart and burp at will, and take my socks off. I can't scratch my balls and sit in my underwear at the movie show. For me, the best way to see a movie, is in total comfort. I'm trying to convince my wife to let me purchase a nice 60" flat screen TV with all the bells and whistles. I can add a nice surround sound system to it. I'd like the sounds to pulsate through my body with so much force, that if I had a pacemaker, it would never need a new battery! Now, that's what I call a total movie viewing experience! I can buy 3 remote controls, I don't understand, Tivo, 969 channels I don't use, all the extra movie options, pornography stations, games, and every single sporting event known to mankind, which shows and re-shows the events, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

As long as I can order carry-out food, I never have to leave my den, ever again... except to go to work out at the gym, or to the Funeral Home, if somebody I know happens to die and screw up my viewing schedule. Just think of the gas money I will save! When I ramble on like this, my wife looks at me incredulously and walks away, shaking her head in disgust. She doesn't get it. Women are certainly strange creatures. Oh well. Pass the popcorn.

from: "A Spider in the Corner of My Mind"....available on

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


This year I decided that my new heros were all those blue-haired, little, old ladies I see in shopping malls. They shuffle along pushing walkers with those "funky-assed" green, day-glow tennis balls on the legs.

Once you reach a certain age, getting up in the morning becomes an Olympic event! If you are lucky enough to survive and claim your senior citizen status, it becomes probable that you will face more pain and adversity than an NFL quarterback! You won't care, because the mission now is to wake up vertically in the morning; rather than to be found by your wife in the horizontal position.

Your tongue will be hanging out, like that deer you shot in Vienna, Illinois, when you went on that hunting trip with your drunken buddies, years ago. Much of my day consists of reading the obituaries, watching the weather channel, and making countless numbers of phone calls to other geezers to discuss various diseases, hospitals, and locations of funeral homes. Older people visit endless numbers of departed friends and enemies in these funeral homes. We get fat, because we eat a lot of pastries and sandwiches there! Many of us finish our day by watching The Wheel of Fortune, while we eat a large bowl of Premium ice cream. This ice cream advances the clogging of our arteries. The closest we get to pornography is Vanna White. Some of us fall asleep in our chairs before 9 p.m., watching banal episodes of Murder She Wrote, on the Hallmark Channel.

(I've given up the control of the TV clicker to my wife). I will never see Rambo movies again! These are the so called "Golden Years", dudes! I think they suck!

God willing, I hope I make it to 61. A man has to hope for the best!

from: "The Journey...Memoirs of a South Side Chicago kind of guy"...available on

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


My buddy has a 30-ft. sailboat moored in Holland Michigan.
I was invited a couple of summers ago, to go with him for a relaxing week of sailing. Visions of beautiful skies and pristine horizons, filled my mind...I imagined smelling fresh air and frolicking on deck with young girls in thongs and band aids for bikini tops. "Yes, I want to go!", was my immediate response to his query.

We arrived at his slip after a relaxing drive from Chicago...We stopped at 4-Winds Casino in New Buffalo for a few hours...and we both won a couple hundred bucks playing Roulette. Not a bad start! The weather in Michigan was gorgeous...Mid 70's and low humidities. I marveled at the beautiful sailing vessels as we walked down the concrete pier to his station. I looked forward to seeing his sailboat...I pictured a fancy job, with state of the art radio, TV, fancy bar, kitchen, gold handled bathroom know?...the whole 9 yards! My jaw dropped when I saw this bucket of blood...What a bucket of scum! He said: "Welcome home!"...My heart sank down to my feet. Then he continues, "It ain't much, but it's seaworthy."...Like this is supposed to make me feel better. He continues..."I brought you up here Rich, so yah could help me with the diesel engine, my electrical system and the bilge pump. I spent 8 hours with a flashlight in my mouth and a crescent wrench in my grubby, greasy hands, changing fuel filters, lines, battery cables, and electrical wires and connections. Some of the time, my friend had to hold me by my ankles, so I wouldn't fall into the mucky bilge depths, as I repaired his stinking engine! I worked like a dog for 2 days. My legs felt like toothaches. His cabin stunk of diesel fumes, and I gasped for breath at night, sleeping intermittently because of my emphysema. Part of my nocturnal activity was slapping spiders away from my face...I think they liked my beard. The old boat was filled with spiders and egg sacs.

Before bed, we sat there telling old stories, while we watched an out-of-focus black and white TV set with a 12-inch screen. My buddy said, "Maybe you can help me hook it to the cable tommorow, Rich!" "Then we can work on sewing the holes in my sails, and fixing the emergency radio."

Some fun, eh? After this sailing adventure week, I heard Christopher Cross singing his famous song, "Sailing", while I was waxing my truck in our garage. My wife looked really strangely at me, when I grabbed my portable radio, and threw it as far as I could, into the cul-de-sac in front of our house. I know my maniacal laughter really frightened her, as I saw the damned thing explode into a million pieces...Fuck sailing.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Dad was not a mean drunk most of the time.
Sometimes, he fell asleep with his head in the plate of bacon and eggs that my mom served him in the morning. As a child, I clinically observed him.
I noticed he was oblivious to the Chesterfield Regular cigarette burning his brown, nicotine stained, index finger. He continued to snore, with his head resting on the table. I often wondered if he realized all the pain he was causing himself, and others. He seemed oblivious to the realities of his situation.

He turned down an executive position that my grandpa had procured for him at Armour Company. My father opted for a lifetime of bartending. He bragged to all who would listen, that he was a professional mixologist. One time, I saw him mindlessly shit in his pants. It was a terrible thing for a little boy to see. He burned both matresses and hearts. Sometimes, when he was lucky at the racetrack or at poker games played in the back rooms of nefarious bar rooms, I could persuade Dad to take me to Comiskey Park. This is the old home of the Chicago White Sox. I took his big hand in mine and looked up to him. He rubbed my head the way that dads do with their little boys. We took a cab to the ballpark. He was always too drunk to drive.

He bought me hotdogs, pop, and peanuts. We took the bus back home. I endured the embarrassment of people looking at us. My father snored loudly, with his head hanging. He woke up with a start as the bus hit each stop. Diabetes and alcoholism finally had its say. He died with his head on the kitchen table, while the smoke from his "cig" traveled up like a little soul.

from: "The Journey...Memoirs of a South Side Chicago kind of guy"...available on


It was a fearful time!
I feared the black-hooded nun who looked like the Grim Reaper.
I felt as if my balls were in a wine press.
My nun's sadistic smile broadens with each painful turn of the hideous crank!
I endure shame and tears.
It's just Mom, me, and the evil nun.
Dad was gone, tending bar.
He loomed dangerously, in my future.

My religion book had sideline notes, I had written...
blaspheming Jesus and all His Saints.
"Sinful" artwork depicted holy men and women as beatniks and prostitutes.
Cigarettes were dangling from their mouths, and their hands gripped whiskey bottles. "Didn't Jesus love the sinners?"
In my defense, my heart silently screamed this logic.

The sweet nun presented a showcase of confiscated items from inside my humble desk. We all looked at the pornography, rubber band guns, matches, cigarettes, condoms...all the things little boys love, but cannot share with the "big people". My mom coldly stared at me as she whisked me out of the office, roughly dragging me by my arm into the streets. I cried a stream of "alligator tears" to save my ass! All Mom said to me for the rest of that evening was, "Wait till your father gets home!" The verdict was in! The minutes were hours now. My execution was only hours away.

from: "The Journey...Memoirs of a South Side Chicago kind of guy."...available on