Saturday, September 26, 2009


There are ways to thanks friends. A card, a 12-pack of beer, a ride to the airport. Common place, really. Can getting your own blog entry, which the friend will probably never read, count? We'll see.

We (my family) have the fortune of owning a boat. Not a yacht. A boat. 13 foot whaler, a floating brick. A money pit. But its a boat. And it spit the bit today. The boating season (who knew...there is a boating season) ends shortly up here in New England. If you wait 'til the harbor freezes over, you waited too long to pull your boat. So today was the day to get our third child out of the water. We were all present for the big day, primed for one last family adventure, one last excursion onto the big, bad ocean. And the boat wouldn't start. Nothing. Nada. Zip. We know shit about boats, except ours needs gas, its small, and it costs a lot of money to operate. Money we don't have. But its a boat in a place where having a boat is synonymous with having a house. But it won't run today.

But my friend, he loves boats. Being on the water for him is relaxing. He likes fiddling with cables and gear and massaging cranky boats into life. Me? If I could sink my boat outside the harbor and not get caught, I would do it. So when we tried everything we could think of to get the brick to run (which admittedly isn't too much), we called our friend. Could you give us a tow? I'm quite certain he had a nap all lined up this afternoon, but instead he hauled his ass into his boat and came to the rescue.

No, we were never in danger. No one was gonna get hurt if our boat sat in the water another weekend or three. Realistically, we would have been out five hundred bucks and been anxious until our little hobby was safe on land in our driveway. But he hooked up some lines and tied some knots and spent his whole afternoon bailing us out of a jam. And he was glad to do it.

Above and beyond the call of duty. A day wasted saving his buddy's pride and bank account. And what did he want in return. Not a damn thing. So he's getting a blog entry and a fifth of Maker's Mark. And what did I get? Sure, my boat is in my driveway, for which I'm grateful. But really what I got was affirmation that moving to my new home was the smartest and best thing I've done in years. I got a reminder that friendship isn't about cards or gifts or even witing an essay, but rather about something much less quantifiable. I was reminded today that friendship shows up when you need it the most and expect it the least. Today it showed up and turned a bad situation into a memory.

Thanks R.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


We are a strange group, us humans. If you don't believe me, walk around in public at a mall, visit your kids' school, or watch the news. We are not always bad -- sometimes even good -- but surely and definitely we are a weird species.

Take fashion as an example. For the record, I have two (yes, count 'em) shades of khakis and four different colors of plain shirts to wear to work, so I think I'm eminently qualified to comment on haute couture. I was driving to work the other day, when I saw an amply rear-endowed mother of one bent over in the passenger compartment of her SUV. She was clearly struggling with either the carseat or her kid, who was in turn struggling with having to sit in the car seat. I've been there - not so much fun. I could tell from her body language that she was fried and on the verge of losing it.

But that's not what I noticed first, truth be told. I noticed her gigunda ass. I'm not commentating on the size of her posterior; my own seat cushion ain't so small either. No, in fact I wasn't even "window shopping"... You know, checking out the merchandise without intending to purchase. My wife and I agreed years ago that it wasn't worth fighting over if one of us checking out someone else's goods. Look, don't touch.

No, what attracted my attention was the dazzling bright, hot pink sweats with "UCK!" spelled out in pt. 1024 font across this poor soul's graciously full buttocks. My first thought was, "Uck!" as in gross, but why would someone wear that on their ass? I then realized the passenger door was obscuring the first letter or...gulp!... letters. My next thoughts? "Fuck!" Followed by "Suck!", "Truck!", and finally "Canuck!". But why would a grown woman wear "Fuck" on her ass? Or suck, truck, or Canuck for that matter. There are no good answers to those questions, my friends.

As I pulled up at the light near her house, the full spelling came into view. It read "Luck!" I don't know who should be more embarrassed. Me, for thinking uckfucksucktruckCanuck. Or her, for wearing a neon sign-esque pair of pants with letters so big you could see 'em from the space station, on a butt that could be rented as billboard space. But either way, "Luck!" was not helping her wrestle the car seat and/or rebel two year old into place.

Like I said earlier, we are an odd bunch. And my fashion tip of the day? Wear khakis.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Snap Shot

If one could graph the relationship between intelligence and wisdom, what would we find? I fear that my intelligence drops in direct proportion to gains in personal wisdom. What one might call this an example of a divergent series, I suppose.

I used to be smart but my overall brain power is diminishing in relation to the context of the world I inhabit. While I think my intelligence approaches zero, it will never be nothing. Conversely, I am more wise after each passing experience. My quotient of wisdom may approach infinity, but it will never be infinite.

I miss being smart and sure, while I like my growing perspective. Why can't I have both? Will I be a happy idiot when I get older? The idiot part seems assured.