Rest In Peace: A Monologue

Four summers ago I went to a Rays game and met you in the gift shop. You were just there, amidst all the others, not really doing anything except catching my eye. And I loved you. I loved the way you managed to both keep me warm and cool. I loved our travels. The first was our trip to Tennessee and I remember it was the first time you had ever seen snow! On top of a mountain, no less- That was a time you kept me warm. Another was on our road trip to New York and remember we stopped in D.C. for a day and I was just pouring sweat all over you, it was so fucking hot? I’m sorry about that, but hey, that was a time you kept me cool. Yeah. From the swamps back home to the… rivers of Minnesota. Where I lost you. Where I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye because in the frenzy, I wasn’t thinking about you. But I did try to find you, hoping you would pop up like a cork, the way our kayak did. But no… you were a hat. You don’t float.

Rest in peace, hat, and I’ll find comfort in knowing you went down on just another adventure.

I want to be happy.

I want to be happy. I want to travel and explore. I want to go to Glacier, Yosemite, and Yellowstone. I want to live in a cabin with no electricity and read and write. I want to write a novel. I want to write more plays. I want to read more plays. I want to read more novels and philosophy. I want to learn about other cultures around the world. I want to wear more hats. I want to work at a bookstore. I want to see more outdoor baseball games. I want to live on my own. I want a clean house. I want to eat healthy. I want balance and harmony in my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual worlds. I want to go to church more and not be pressured to volunteer, just appreciated for showing up. I want to go back to the Smoky Mountains and get in touch with my roots. I want to go to Europe and get in touch with my roots. I want to stay with Little David in England. I want to stay with family in Spain. I want to visit the battlefields of my forefathers in France and Germany and pay my respects. I want my family around. I want to do Mary’s Wedding. I want to visit the Moscow Art Theatre to see where it all began. I want to be more forthcoming. I want to stand up more for what I believe. I want to be able to voice my opinions intelligently and not worry about people on Facebook getting offended. Silence is wrong. I want to make great art that speaks to my generation. I want to do Waiting for Lefty. I want to do Inherit the Wind. I want to Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. I want to learn from the best. I want a dog. I want to travel with just my dog. I want to remember that there is always more money. I want to eat more oranges because they remind me of home. I want to cook more. I want an apple tree. I want to grow a garden. I want to grow tomatoes and collard greens. I want to be respected. I want to respect others. I want to forgive. I want to get used to the cold. I want to go ice fishing. I want to build an igloo. I want to sleep in an igloo. I want to ride a train. I want to walk more. I want to know the different kinds of birds. I want to know the different kinds of trees. I want to memorize a few good jokes. I want to be able to quote Shakespeare. I want to get less drunk in social situations. I want to worry less about things I cannot change. I want a new haircut. I want to grow a beard. I want a leather aviator hat. I want whiter teeth. I want a lot of things that are only possible if I truly put my mind to it. I believe we are our greatest vessels for change and I want to embrace that. I want to run with that. I want, when the winter gets long and lonely, to be able to look back at this list and invigorate myself to cross something off. I want to remember that I am only twenty-three and there is still a lot of life to live. I want to believe that. I know it can all go in the blink of an eye, so this becomes all the more paramount. Achieve it all, but not so fast that you can’t appreciate it. I want to be happy.

Halloween Flick Picks, 2014

I love watching movies, but if there is one time of year when I really cram in the hours it’s October. For the past three years now I have maintained this list and it’s very interesting to see which films I watch for the first time (Scream, American Psycho, The Frighteners) and how many times I revisit old favorites (all the Frankenstein movies, An American Werewolf in London, The Evil Dead series).

I will say, I had hoped to get more Universal classics in but alas, rarely do they play on TV and I do not own them on dvd… yet. It has been too long since I have seen Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein! However, I did get to enjoy Young Frankenstein for the first time in years. And because TV is the main conduit of viewing, I have to give credit to AMC and the “Fear Fest” they play every year. Hence, the numerous Stephen King adaptions as well as all the slasher flicks. Gotta love the awful Halloween sequels… or do you? I don’t know, I wish I had caught the first one instead of Halloween III a million times….

Who knows what next year will bring? I sure hope it brings John Carpenter’s The Thing and Abbott and Costello and definitely the original Carrie over the remake (twice…)

Frankenstein (1931)

American Psycho (2000)

The Wolf Man (1941)

Young Frankenstein (1974)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The Frighteners (1996)

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Cujo (1983)

Misery (1990)

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

Carrie (2013)

Scream 4 (2011)

The Evil Dead (1981)

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

All those and then the classic Goosebump episodes of “The Haunted Mask” and “A Night in Terror Tower” (1995) as well as parts of Halloween II (1980), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

1980s (7) 1940s (3) 1990s (3) 2010s (2) 1930s (1) 1970s (1)  2000s (1) 

*So some more fun facts: It appears as if the 1980s is once again the winner but by a larger margin than normal. Usually the ’30s and ’40s give the decade of the slasher flicks a run for its money and there is way more disparity between the decades this year. Very spread out, very even. Also, far less science fiction in years past… hmm, I feel this could change any given year.

You’re What’s Wrong with the World: A Monologue

No, I’m not mad that you dumped me and left me for someone else. That shit happens every day to everyday people. What pisses me the hell off is the realization that the trust and love I held sacred for over three years was wasted on a superficial person with no desire to really live. How many times did I urge you to move out of your parent’s house and you said you can’t afford to. Fuck that, my brother ekes out a living in Brooklyn as a foodrunner. You live in Orlando with a salaried position and health insurance. It’s because you’re scared. Which is OK! Just admit it to yourself.  It’s OK to not know, I sure as hell don’t, but own up to it and don’t mask it with expensive clothes and fake tans. That kind of self-deception reads like bullshit painted on a wall. Like if Picasso actually used a bulls shit to paint Guernica. It stinks. And you don’t even get that reference, do you? I am so glad it ended as ugly as it did because now I know the world is full of mendacity (lying and liers) and I accept it. But I’ll be damned if I let it affect me. So be gone. Good riddance to you and your willful ignorance. Oh, and the tan? The clothes? In the long run shit gives you cancer and nobody cares.

Another Open Ended Adventure of A and B

A. Did you bring it?

B. I brought… some things? What do you mean?

A. Last week you called me out on Facebook.

B. Oh…

A. Now you remember.

B. Look, dude…

A. Shut the fuck up. Why would you say something like that?

B. I didn’t mean what you think.

A. Subtext, motherfucker.

B. I deleted it!

A. Not before she saw it!

B. No…

A. Yeah.

B. Shit. Did she? Did you guys…?

A. Must be nice, huh?

B. What?

A. All yours now.

B. Whoa… A, that had nothing to do with it.

A. True though, isn’t it?

B. I just want you to know that has nothing to do with it.

A. Just say you’re sorry.

B. I’m sorry.

A. Now get out of my life.

B. I’m sorry.

The Open Ended Adventures of A and B

A: Did you bring it?

B: What?

A: The thing.

B. Maybe.

A. What’s that supposed to mean?

B. What. It means maybe. Maybe it’s in the car. But I don’t know.

A. Fucking shit.

They go to the car. 

A. Well?

B. Let me see. (Rooting around in the car) Hey!

A. Do you have it??

B. Look!

A. It’s a pen.

B. Yeah, one of those anti-gravity pens they take into space.

A. That’s not it!

B. But I though I lost it! Astronauts, man.

A. Look for the fucking thing!

B. All right, all right…

A. Anything?

B. No, I checked everywhere.

A. Damn…

B. Sorry…

A. Not your fault. Just would’ve been nice to have by now.

B. Yeah… I can make you one if you like.

A. You can make me one of those?

B. Sure! Wait… One of those these?

A. B!

B. Sorry, I have a bad habit of getting peoples hopes up.

A. Ugh…

B. Want my pen instead?

A. Does it really work?

B. Look for yourself.

A. This is pretty cool.

B. Right? Got it at Goodwill.

A. What??

B. Astronaut Goodwill.

The Majesty of Calmness

“The Majesty of Calmness”
From Self Control, Its Kingship and Majesty, 1905
By William George Jordan
Calmness is the rarest quality in human life. It is the poise of a great nature, in harmony with itself and its ideals. It is the moral atmosphere of a life self-reliant and self-controlled. Calmness is singleness of purpose, absolute confidence, and conscious power—ready to be focused in an instant to meet any crisis. The Sphinx is not a true type of calmness—petrifaction is not calmness; it is death, the silencing of all the energies; while no one lives his life more fully, more intensely and more consciously than the man who is calm.The Fatalist is not calm. He is the coward slave of his environment, hopelessly surrendering to his present condition, recklessly indifferent to his future. He accepts his life as a rudderless ship, drifting on the ocean of time. He has no compass, no chart, no known port to which he is sailing. His self-confessed inferiority to all nature is shown in his existence of constant surrender. It is not—calmness.Theman who is calm has his course in life clearly marked on his chart. His hand is ever on the helm. Storm, fog, night, tempest, danger, hidden reefs— he is ever prepared and ready for them. He is made calm and serene by the realization that in these crises of his voyage he needs a clear mind and a cool head; that he has naught to do but to do each day the best he can by the light he has; that he will never flinch nor falter for a moment; that, though he may have to tack and leave his course for a time, he will never drift, he will get back into the true channel, he will keep ever headed toward his harbor. When he will reach it, how he will reach it matters not to him. He rests in calmness, knowing he has done his best. If his best seem to be overthrown or over-ruled, then he must still bow his head—in calmness. To no man is permitted to know the future of his life, the finality. God commits to man ever only new beginnings, new wisdom, and new days to use to the best of his knowledge.

Calmness comes ever from within. It is the peace and restfulness of the depths of our nature. The fury of storm and of wind agitate only the surface of the sea; they can penetrate only two or three hundred feet—below that is the calm, unruffled deep. To be ready for the great crises of life we must learn serenity in our daily living. Calmness is the crown of self-control.

When the worries and cares of the day fret you, and begin to wear upon you, and you chafe under the friction—be calm. Stop, rest for a moment, and let calmness and peace assert themselves. If you let these irritating outside influences get the better of you, you are confessing your inferiority to them, by permitting them to dominate you. Study the disturbing elements, each by itself, bring all the will-power of your nature to bear upon them, and you will find that they will, one by one, melt into nothingness, like vapors fading before the sun. The glow of calmness that will then pervade your mind, the tingling sensation of an inflow of new strength, may be to you the beginning of the revelation of the supreme calmness that is possible for you. Then, in some great hour of your life, when you stand face to face with some awful trial, when the structure of your ambition and life-work crumbles in a moment, you will be brave. You can then fold your arms calmly, look out undismayed and undaunted upon the ashes of your hope, upon the wreck of what you have faithfully built, and with brave heart and unfaltering voice you may say: “So let it be—I will build again.”

When the tongue of malice and slander, the persecution of inferiority, tempts you for just a moment to retaliate, when for an instant you forget yourself so far as to hunger for revenge—be calm. When the grey heron is pursued by its enemy, the eagle, it does not run to escape; it remains calm, takes a dignified stand, and waits quietly, facing the enemy unmoved. With the terrific force with which the eagle makes its attack, the boasted king of birds is often impaled and run through on the quiet, lance-like bill of the heron. The means that man takes to kill another’s character becomes suicide of his own

When man has developed the spirit of Calmness until it becomes so absolutely part of him that his very presence radiates it, he has made great progress in life. Calmness cannot be acquired of itself and by itself; it must come as the culmination of a series of virtues. What the world needs and what individuals need is a higher standard of living, a great realizing sense of the privilege and dignity of life, a higher and nobler conception of individuality.

With this great sense of calmness permeating an individual, man becomes able to retire more into himself, away from the noise, the confusion and strife of the world, which come to his ears only as faint, far-off rumblings, or as the tumult of the life of a city heard only as a buzzing hum by the man in a balloon.

The man who is calm does not selfishly isolate himself from the world, for he is intensely interested in all that concerns the welfare of humanity. His calmness is but a Holy of Holies into which he can retire from the world to get strength to live in the world. He realizes that the full glory of individuality, the crowning of his self-control is—the majesty of calmness.