Archive for the Reflections Category

Why I Don’t Hate you…

Posted in Friends and Family, Masonic Insights, Reflections on February 1, 2017 by Verge

I’m in Houston for 10 days.  I’ve never been to Texas.  I’ve never needed or wanted to go to Texas, but here I am.  I’ve nothing against this state or the people that live in it.  I guess some people from “the North” might think that it’s some kind of terrible “South” state where hate is everywhere.

I’ve yet to had even a sliver of hatred pointed at me.  Me, part of a group of outsiders that have literally invaded their city for two or three weeks.

Over the last few years, I’ve never weighed in on what’s going on in our country, either on my blog, or on Twitter, or especially on Facebook.  I’ve kept my opinions to myself and my close friends, my wife, my family (who I most often disagree with).  I haven’t put out ultimatums to my contacts to “unfriend” me if they don’t agree with me.  Perhaps they unfriended me, but the digital friends that they were, I didn’t notice.

I’ve been a Freemason for a long time.  I’m a brother to all of them.  I don’t hate them, I don’t love them, necessarily, but I am their brother because that is a necessity.  Without a doubt, the most important thing I’ve learned is so simple it’s absurd.  We don’t ever talk about religion.  And we most certainly don’t talk about politics.  Those of you who know me well might find it hypocritical that I was the Chaplain of my Lodge for three years, but my brothers always appreciate my words.

Now, I find myself in an awkward place, both physically and in history. I don’t know what will happen this week, this year, this term, or ever.

Tonight, on my way home from a staff party late in Houston, I encountered a woman who just wanted to get back to her hotel, but couldn’t find her way, and just wanted someone, anyone, to help her.  A friend and I went out of our way to walk her back to her hotel so she was safe.  I’m not asking for a medal.   What I am saying is that I didn’t care about who she voted for, or if she went to church, and she certainly didn’t ask those questions of us.  We helped her because she is a human being .  She’ll forget our names tomorrow, but she won’t forget the help that we gave her.

I don’t care about your political or religious beliefs.  If you’re not willing to be human, and be a decent person to others, than you truly are no “friend” of mine.

Dystopia Issue # 2

Posted in Creative Writing, Friends and Family, Reflections with tags on May 31, 2016 by Verge

Back in the early 90’s, the Internet wasn’t really a “thing” so much.  It still sucked.  Not as bad as the Prodigy days, or the simple BBS days, when there weren’t any GUIs, but just a bunch of people tinkering around and even flirting.  But, you know, no youtube, no facebook, no wordpress.

Back then, I started something called a fanzine.  I mentioned this to Chelsea the other day at work, who is 25, and she had no idea what the hell I was talking about.  But Mike, who IS my age, spun around in his seat and was like, “that’s cool, I remember those, what was your’s called?”  My answer…”Dystopia”.”

So for all the people that are older or younger than me by 15 years or so, a fanzine is basically an analog blog.  It’s not made out of technology.  It’s made out of paper.  It can be about anything, but most of them were about bands.  Maybe an entire genre.  Or maybe a sub culture, like skating, or art, or writing, or punk, or goth, or raves.

In High School, I was in a after school club that focused on creative writing.  And, we did publish that stuff a few times a year, but it was kind of limited.  My writing and English teachers at school were wonderful people.  They were the reasons that every elective I could take for three years,  I took extra English courses.  And then I gave up my study hall to take even more English courses.  I took so many extra electives that I could have graduated in 3 years except that the state wouldn’t allow it.

The writing club was cool, but I wanted to be in charge, so I started my own fanzine.  I asked all the people I was friends with who were artists, or poets, or writers, to share what they had been working on and promised to put it all in my fanzine.  At one point, I had a rival fanzine in the school that was called “Bite Mari,” which was published by these two younger girls, Elysa and Jenn, and even though we were my competition, their’s was pretty bad ass and hilarious.  So I went on to date Elysa, the publisher, for 6 years or so.

My parents have just retired, and are selling their house in New Jersey and moving to Florida.  We’ve been helping clear out the house because it’s already been sold and everything either needs to go to Florida or the kids or in the trash.  I’m not sure exactly how my mother hid so much shit in that house, because it always looked amazing clean and organized, but they hoarded a ton of stuff.  It kind of scares me that that gene is in me somewhere.

So, they’ve been going through the piles of memories, and sorting them into boxes for each of us kids.  Mine contained a copy of Issue number #2 of “Dystopia.”  So, for what it’s worth (which is apparently $1), I give you the now, newly improved, totally digital, Blog version of Dystopia.  Thanks to all the people that helped me and had fun with me back in High School.  We always made it interesting somehow, and there was only so much cough medicine us kids could drink together to amuse ourselves.  Cheers!

covercover insidepage 1page 2page 3page 4page 5page 6page 7page 8page 9page 10page 11page 12page 13page 14page 15back cover

If and when I find the other issues of my fanzine, I’ll post them here as well.  I know I have them all, buried in my attic somewhere, to discover when I start to sort through my old memories.

Rivers and Bruises

Posted in Daily Pictures, Friends and Family, Good Times, Reflections on August 20, 2015 by Verge

Today, during a lull in work, while attempting to solve a puzzle which has nothing to do with life at all, I received a horrible message, which at first I thought must have been an attempt at sarcastic humor, but was instead  a very brutal kick in the side from reality.

And as I lost track of my thoughts, and tried to curb my tears in public, I pretended to search for the answers to clues in the newspaper instead of the ones in life that can never be answered.  Why him?  Why now?  How is this fair?  Or, what is the five letter word for “bluish-greens?”

I still vaguely feel the blow to my left kidney I received when I fell down in the river two weeks ago.  But bruises heal.  We get up, and move on and pretend that it doesn’t hurt quite as much as our insides truly tell us.

I’ll travel back up the river and attemp the journey again.   We won’t always make it to the end of our adventure at the same time, but for parts of it, we’ll drift downstream over calm and turbulent waters the same, together.  And that, in the end, are the parts worth remembering.

richandme

Rest In Peace, Rich. You taught me much more about life than you could have ever taught me about how to brew beer.

Tree Removal

Posted in Daily Pictures, Reflections on August 1, 2015 by Verge

The storm that tore through our neighborhood a month ago left more than enough damage.  Trees that had been hearty for longer than I’ve been alive were broken like twigs and stayed, half crooked, not yet wanting to fall down, and barely holding onto life.

Time had come to put the whole thing to rest.  They were lifted over my house, while neighbors watched, or yelled, or threatened to sue me.  Chopped up and gone, the time has come to clean up and rebuild.

Things in life won’t last forever.  Even the most amazing things…die.  In their place, we will plant a willow tree.  In ten years, if we’re here or not, we’ll visit it to see if it’s replaced the shade those trees once lent us, and provides a trunk to strap a hammock onto.

sitcom philosophy

Posted in Reflections on July 12, 2015 by Verge

we need to remember what’s important in life…

Friends, waffles, and work,

or waffles, friends, work.  It doesn’t matter.

but work is third.

Black Ice

Posted in Creative Writing, Reflections with tags on January 22, 2015 by Verge

It was supposed to be routine by the twentieth week

But I stayed late to help a friend who had to be up all night

and didn’t leave until the mist had frozen solid

on the asphalt and highways that pave my way home.

And as I nearly took a fall on the way to my car,

I realized it would be a tough ride on me tonight.

I tried my best to drive slowly, and made some bad moves;

In retrospect I had driven far too fast.

I was lucky to get the chances to recover

and tried to keep my eyes open and on the road.

Sometimes it takes much longer than you want

to get to the places you desire

but if you don’t pay attention to invisible ice

you may never arrive.

 

All Apologies (eh, it was late)

Posted in Creative Writing, Friends and Family, Reflections with tags on January 6, 2015 by Verge

what if the world were ending

in flames and fire and wrath,

could we ever come to forgive one another…

would we still be enemies in death?

they tell you there’s too much to live for

when you’re drowning under water

and then tell others there’s dignity in death

when a cause or war is what you’ve died for.

and families split, and friends are betrayed

in the worst of times that haunt us

and apologies are often not

enough to help to heal us.

but what if the world and all of us

were coming to the end,

would we find it in our souls

to just let old wounds mend?

%d bloggers like this: