the past (excerpts)

The present is. The future will be. The past was... but here it is, again.

  • An Afternoon On The Lake

    In death, we all become saints. Great stories are told. Bad memories are forgotten. One might suggest that a whitewashing of a person's life afterward is dishonest. But I don't think so. And I'll tell you why.

    (June  5, 2012)

  • It's Time

    Your calendar is filled but your days are numbered. Do you want to change history? Take a number. Get back in line. When it's your turn, I suggest you use the time wisely.

    (October  9, 2010)

  • Three Moments In Time

    Death in the early afternoon, youthful bliss in the early evening, and a new beginning born from a miserable early morning.

    (June 29, 2010)

  • The Texan's Deal

    I started to reconsider my position when I spotted another pair of officers approaching. The backpacker started to panic. And that's when it happened.

    (March  4, 2010)

  • The Cat Sitter

    The part about dating and the neighbor whose name isn't really Evelyn isn't really what this story is about. Not at all. This story is about the challenges that come with trying to live by the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    (February 23, 2010)

  • Some Things Don't Burn

    Despite what foolish men have said, no one ever died for a flag. Our service men and women fight and die for what the flag represents. I trust that you understand the difference.

    (July  4, 2009)

  • Every Day Is December 26th

    Life is a gift. That's what everyone says, right? Well then tell me what fucking store I get to take my childhood back to because I'd like to make an exchange. "Hi. I'm sorry, but this 1983 isn't my size. It's a bitter, but I'm a happy."

    (December 26, 2008)

  • The World's Most Dangerous Road

    I was a high school kid living as an exchange student in Bolivia. I had a bad photocopy of an even worse map of an old Inca trail and a vague set of instructions that went a little something like this:

    (January 16, 2008)

  • Another One Bites The Dusk

    Oh, thank god for the compact disk! CDs were to be my saving grace. But then, one dark and dreary day in 1994, my CD of Dusk by The THE was stolen. STOLEN! This meant I had to buy it again.

    (August  8, 2007)

  • Of Motivation

    I do this for me, but I've been thrilled and flattered by the number of people who drop by. I appreciate every hit my blog gets. Every comment, every email, every bit of it... I am thankful.

    (March  8, 2007)

  • To Be A Man

    A series of chuckles from down the hall told me that this was a fine time to experiment. I reached into my book-bag in search of something I'd picked up at school that day.

    (March  2, 2007)

  • The Man From #2B

    If only our walls were thicker, I wouldn't have to know.

    (February 20, 2007)

  • House Of Freaks

    Among the many reasons I'll always remember Joe, these are two: A fly, and an amazing band. This post is about both.

    (August 20, 2006)

  • Ghosts

    With the passing of time, memories become ghosts. They lurk in calendars. They live in photo albums. They rattle their chains in the details of stories told. But are they real?

    (May 26, 2006)

  • Grandma's Gifts

    I'll be honest with you, I didn't even know that could be done! I had no idea you could mail a package across two continents, not to mention Central America, without using airmail.

    (March  1, 2006)

  • She Called Me Rob

    When I was a kid, they called me Bob. My father was a Bob, and my step-father was a Bob. I once had a fish named Bob, but needless to say, he didn't last long.

    (February 28, 2006)

  • I Eat Fewer Bananas Due To The Death Of Analog Phones

    It was the spring of 1991, and my college roommate, Jeff, and I were on a banana binge.

    (December 29, 2005)

  • Two Sides, And The Rest

    As I tell the stories that are my life, I realize I'm only telling one side. I'm telling my side. But I'm not foolish enough to assume there isn't another. I also know there's a lot more to the story than what I'm writing.

    (November 22, 2005)

  • Joliet, Illinois

    I imagined a grumpy man. Mean even. He had hate in his heart - or so I imagined. "Why else would he be so distant from his own family?"

    (November 13, 2005)

  • The Guy Down The Hall

    She said that, on those weekend mornings when she stayed with him, they used to lie in bed with the door propped open. She kept her eyes fixed on me as the words left her lips, then she quickly looked away.

    (November  3, 2005)

  • Doctor And The Gringo

    When I returned to the courtyard, I found Jeff beaming. He was surrounded by Bolivian men who appeared to be having the time of their lives. They paid no attention to me, as they were determined to help Jeff teach Doctor to say this magical phrase.

    (October 25, 2005)

  • Bummed Out

    Immediately after Hot 100 was blown up, I spotted a noticeable change around town. In a metro area of more than five million people, that's really saying something.

    (August 16, 2005)

  • The Snake

    Billy was hunched over a large cage at the far side of the wall. The cage had wood sides and a glass top. Since his back was facing me, I couldn't see what he was doing or what he was trying to show me, so I leaned in. And that's when it happened.

    (July 17, 2005)

  • April, 1983

    It was a sunny spring evening in Columbus Georgia. The winter had been wet. We'd even had snow at one point. But today was a sunny day, and all of Columbus seemed to be basking in it. Myself included. But not for long.

    (July  6, 2005)

  • Preface To A Dark Tale

    Years ago, these were the thoughts that haunted me. They followed me around as if taunting me, reminding me of the many reasons I'd never be like all of the other boys. Them, with their perfect families, perfect eyes and perfect lives.

    (July  6, 2005)

  • What Money Can't Buy

    How crazy that hatred of you leads to love of everyone else? It is bizarre, I know, but I tell you this and it is not an exaggeration: you saved me.

    (March 30, 2005)

  • After The Funeral

    My father killed himself on Tuesday, March 8th, 1983. I was eleven years old. This is the story of what happened next.

    (March  8, 2005)

  • Superb Usage Of The Word "Dude," And A Fish

    He was carrying a fish in a plastic bag, half filled with water. He walked right up to the airport security people, plopped the bag with his wet friend on the little ramp that carried it through the x-ray machine. The conversation that followed was a classic.

    (March  1, 2005)

  • Kickball

    The date is March 8th, 1983: It's a sunny morning in Columbus Georgia, and I'm at school. The bell rings. It's time for gym class. CRAP!!!!

    (February  4, 2005)

  • Sneaker

    A rainy night, a cat, a full house and lots of sound-alikes make for a funny, yet sad, story. And it's a true story as well...

    (January 28, 2005)

  • A Holiday To Forget

    Oh god, she's going to have a meltdown. I haven't even had breakfast yet. Not a cup of coffee nor a fucking muffin, and I've got to deal with Ms. Doomandgloom? No.

    (December 23, 2004)

  • The Seventh C

    Jeff let out a ghastly sneeze as his papers scattered. "Awe fuck." He'd been muttering 'C' words under his breath for the last five minutes or so.

    (December 21, 2004)

  • It's A Fucking Rock Pile

    At first, we just sat in silence, as if words required energy we didn't have. Finally, I looked at Jeff and said "That was amazing."

    (November 19, 2004)

  • Winged Migration

    As the years passed, I stopped noticing the changes that autumn brings. I was too preoccupied with changes in my own life - often making winged migrations of my own.

    (November 15, 2004)

  • Your Redneck Past

    Every now and then my childhood creeps back out for a quick hello. and I'm reminded that things haven't always been this way. Today's white-knuckled childhood flashback was inspired by Warner Brothers Studios, which is filming a Dukes Of Hazzard movie as we speak.

    (September 19, 2004)

  • Six Squares

    Most of the seats were already taken by what appeared to be a shellshocked class, so we ended up sitting on opposite sides of the room. As each student walked through the door, the seated students gave a look that said "Turn back! Turrrn BAAACK!!! Too late - it's doom... DOOOOM!!!!"

    (September 16, 2004)

  • Naps And The Loop (Which Should Have Been Titled: "Les, And The Hurricane That Was More")

    The sky was crystal clear on the afternoon of August 2nd as I sat in my apartment pondering what I should do. Hurricane Erin was expected to make landfall within 12 hours, somewhere in central Florida, and I was looking at everything I owned in a half-hearted attempt to decide what was worth saving, and what could be lost to the inevitable flood.

    (September  3, 2004)

  • Sully & Pavlov

    Pavlov rang a bell. Sully smacked my studio door while running down the hall. The effect was pretty much the same really, though Pavlov's dog wasn't legally obligated to pollute. Or was he?

    (August 26, 2004)

  • Good Luck Florida!

    You've got some crazy ass dimpled chadding can't drive tanning their way to melanoma hell people in your state, but I've got my fingers crossed for each and every one of them.

    (August 12, 2004)

  • Youth, And My Sore Ass

    My ass hurts. And it's a beautiful feeling because it signals progress... Progress with an ouch, but progress nonetheless.

    (August 10, 2004)

  • Making The Grade

    My favorite college project story is far less brilliant than FedEx or Pitchformula, but highly effective nonetheless. Ahhh, I remember it like it was just ten years ago...

    (August  9, 2004)

  • The Eternal Optimist

    "You know the old saying about the glass being half empty or half full? Well, my glass is twice as big as it needs to be because I've got more on the way." She grinned a spectacular smile that told me she got the joke, and that she knew I wasn't kidding.

    (August  3, 2004)

  • I Walked In On Them

    No, this wasn't meant for me to see. I was becoming a man of the world, living in two cities at the same time. Surely this gave me a broader perspective than most. It's not as if I was some sort of six year old...

    (August  2, 2004)

  • Water

    "Go with your uncle Fred to keep him out of trouble. Make sure he doesn't stay out too long. You know how he gets when he's on the boat." Little did she know that I was becoming part of the reason he'd be gone so long.

    (July 30, 2004)

  • The Ring

    "If I had a ring..." I began, not really having a roadmap for the words I wanted to say. I reached into my jacket as if fetching something from a pocket deep inside, and I continued. "If I had a ring... and I asked you..."

    (July 26, 2004)

  • My Way Out

    I was 11 years old and somehow supposed to understand the undoing of a man in his 30's as he was laid into the ground during snow flurries in March, 1983. Pennsylvania was cold that morning, but surely I felt colder.

    (July 20, 2004)

  • Minutes And Memories

    Darkness doesn't cloak Portland until after nine these days - but I'm not fooled. We've already reached the time of year when we lose a minute of daylight each evening. It's the first sign of things to come...

    (July  6, 2004)

  • Two Years

    What better way to remind myself of the many reasons I moved to Portland? Two years ago, I was interviewing for a job I really didn't want in Philadelphia - returning to a life in Dallas Texas that I really didn't want either.

    (July  5, 2004)

  • Who Da Ho?

    He of many names thought my theory of little sense was full of lots of crap. To prove it, he and his lovely one-named-fiance took me for a drive.

    (June 22, 2004)

  • The Switch

    If there's one thing I've learned about traveling in the third world, it's this: When there's a sign posted in a language not native to the country you're in, you'd damn well better read it.

    (June 21, 2004)

  • The House That Beer Built

    The upstairs was a huge space carpeted in throw rugs and divided by walls of cloth stapled to the ceiling. It's hilarious to think about it now, but as a child it was all I knew. Isn't every grandmother's home just like this?

    (May 25, 2004)

  • She Was The Virgin 'When'...

    Nevermind that the Babylonians thought up the whole virgin-birth deal long before the Christians got around to it... and nevermind that Mary wasn't a virgin - just a virgin when you-know-who was conceived...

    (April 17, 2004)

  • The Morning Of March 8th, 1983

    I was probably the last person to see him alive, and I remember it well. I got out of bed for who knows what reason... getting out of bed at 2am wasn't something I did when I was little.

    (April  6, 2004)

  • You, My Love, Are Chicago In The Spring

    Its lakeshore begging for company and its museums with so much to show gazing eyes. You are a cafe on Michigan Avenue. You are a part of everyone and everyone is a part of you...

    (March 18, 2004)

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