Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Oh-Man

I'm not sure whether I believe in omens or not. Oh sure, some things you can predict using common sense. Like rain for instance. Dark, ominous clouds are an omen that you should take your umbrella. But I try not to read too much into other things.

My mother told me I was born face up. Apparently the normal way to be born is facing down. If you are born face up, you run the risk of drowning in amniotic fluids (or so my mother told me). I think I was born face up because I wanted to see where I was headed instead of where I'd been.

This is not to say I'd want to know exactly what the future holds. That would be like knowing exactly what each of your Christmas presents was. What would be the fun in that. Though my father had this nasty habit of giving me pretty clear hints as to what my present was each year (i.e."Oh we got you a toy camera" when they had got me a Polaroid Swinger camera or "Oh we got you a toy television" when I got a portable black and white television).

Anticipation is a great motivator in life. In my mind, knowing the outcome would be a major buzz kill.

I wouldn't mind hints about what is going to happen (maybe not as blatant as the ones my father gave me about presents). It would be nice getting an idea of what not to do before you blundered into it.

This being said, I don't believe in psychic ability per se. I believe in intuition. But I have no faith in people who do readings for money. Just last week we were at Seattle Center with my brother-in-law's family visiting the Children's Museum (Seattle Center is the site of the 1962 World's Fair). He stepped out for a cigarette and came back in saying some odd woman approached him, stared into his eyes and declared, "You work for the City of Seattle, don't you? Where is the psychic fair being held today?"

Okay, my brother-in-law isn't from Seattle and doesn't work for the City of Seattle. And if this woman was a psychic, why couldn't she "see" where it was being held? It's like that old joke about you not needing an appointment to see a psychic. They should know you are coming.

I think the ability to predict really comes from experience (as long as you have a good memory). Because one thing I've learned in life is that human behaviour is pretty darned predictable. This becomes readily apparent each year around election time. Campaign commercials are full of claims about what the candidate or initiative will do or wont' do. Then newspapers uncover revelations that both sides packed their commercials with lies. And each year people are shocked. Finally, after the election the winners ignore what they promised and the losers disappear into oblvion.

Now that's a predictable prediction.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Degrees of crazy

I'm sure there are people who object to the term, "crazy." I've been in government service too long not to know that if I used the term crazy in an official capacity, I'd get various written complaints about my lack of sensitivity. Then I'd have to write a letter of apology to all of the crazies that I offended (which in itself is kind of crazy, because how could you be offended by the term crazy unless you are).

There are lots worse things to be called than crazy. Whack job, psycho bitch and nut job seem a lot more harsh than crazy. Loony Tunes, touched and wacko are a bit better. But crazy seems to be a more playful term. It's less cold and clinical than bi-polar, schizo or mentally challenged.

Besides, I have never really viewed being crazy as a bad thing. And I mean crazy in a fun, lamp shade on your head type of way, not crazy in a climb a water tower with a high powered weapon kind of way.

Most of the time when I think of crazy I'm referring more to being eccentric or quirky. And I find that an endearing quality. I relate to mildly crazy people more than I do to excessively straight people. But I suppose as with anything, there are varying degrees of crazy. A little bit crazy is better than really crazy.

I think it is easy to tolerate crazy people if you live in a major city. Growing up in Boise, we more or less kept our crazy people in the spare room watching television like my Uncle Ira who thought the Red Chinese were tunneling under the house to get him. Oh, there was this guy who would walk down the middle of Broadway near Boise State University carrying on a rather boisterous conversation with an invisible person. He wore a tiny cowboy hat, horn rim glasses and shorts. He seemed harmless but he stuck out like sore thumb.
Downtown Seattle is Loony Central. I think the Boise guy who talked to invisible people would have found it uncomfortable to live here because of the number of other people trying to talk to his non-existent friends. After living here for 27 years nothing much phases me anymore. Shoot, I even walk down the street babbling. It helps me blend in. And bottom line, sometimes being crazy keeps me sane.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hound of Hell

As a new father, I have been exposed to a lot of new experiences. But no one warned me about the danger of possessed toys.

EM has tons of toys already. Every morning we pull them out of their boxes and she moves from one to another at a rate of about one per every 30 seconds. Every evening, I stuff the toys back into bins. Most of them are benign and go without a fight. But one, the Learning Puppy, will not die.

It seems pleasant enough. EM loves to hug the thing and it sings random songs for her. During the course of a day it begins singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes; Wheels on the bus; the Alphabet Song (and a few I don't recognize) about a hundred of times. The trouble is that it never seems to finish a frickin' song. Sure, it may have an over sensitive sensor or on/off switch that EM keeps triggering that prevents it from finishing a song. But I really think it does it to mess with my head.

And sometimes it just blurts out things when no one is near. I can't tell you how many times it screams out, "Hug me," in it's whiny, dysfunctional voice that appeals to me as much as shaving with a cheese grater. And when I toss the thing in the toy bin at night it says, "Night, night." How does it know? Then as I walk away it screams, "Hug me!" It's like having Glenn Close in the house reprising Fatal Attraction over and over.

If EM didn't love this thing so much, I'd have it buried out on the desert in a heartbeat. But something tells me that even then I'd wake up because of a scratching sound on the door and a voice whining, "Let's sing and play games....HUG ME!"

Die Devil Dog, die!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I've always thought of a blog as a sanctuary of sorts. I come here to rant, vent, gloat, complain or pontificate in what I view as a relatively safe environment. I have been fortunate over the years not to have attracted trolls or other assorted Internet vermin. I suppose it helps that I can delete any offensive comments if necessary. I haven't really had to.

I bring this up because, although I've been burned out at times, I've never really wanted to stop blogging. From an artistic standpoint, it's pretty much the only canvas I have. And from a point, point, I've never really had one so I have never felt like a failure for not making one.

When I started blogging, I didn't have a clue what a blog was. I think that helped me. Because if you don't have expectations, you can't fail to meet them. But in retrospect, I think I actually exceeded my expectations for what a blog could mean to me.

In all honesty, I harbored the fantasy in the beginning that I would be discovered as a writer once my blog caught on. Finally faced with the reality that there are millions of blogs out there, I accepted that being discovered by a few quality people was more gratifying than actually becoming a blip on the radar screen of celebrity.

Blogging has brought me friends who I will likely never meet but who have been warm and supportive beyond many of the friends I have in my every day life. It has brought me new perspectives and ideas. And it has brought me an outlet for sharing.

Bottom line is, I don't think I'll ever stop blogging. The medium may change and the way in which we post or the technology, but I plan to hold onto my sanctuary as long as I have thoughts and can function.

And if there is nothing good on television.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Father Tim-E

Back in January I posted the image above after Tess and I returned from Guatemala after our first visit with EM. It was kind of my way of acknowledging I had become a father without actually telling anyone. It seemed an appropriate image to use on my new blog, Father Tim-E: My adventures in parenting.

And don't get your hopes up. Dizgraceland isn't going away. It will always be the mother ship of fools. I'll just confine my baby pictures to my daddy blog and keep the weird crap here.