Bricks and Musings   
Bricks & Musings 2008
General Writer Spouting off

    There is always something to comment about and nothing is off the table. Sometimes, I just gotta get up on my little soapbox and pour my heart out. It is always interesting to look back at what I've written in the past. Feel free to comment.

The Tarheel Writer - On the Web since 24 February 2003. Celebrating 20 Years on the Internet!
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Saturday, August 25, 2008 - 1:48AM, with misty rain and 56 degrees
    It's like watching a movie. Reading a really good story is like watching a movie. Of course, you'd never just get up and walk out of a theater, especially when such a good movie is playing out in front of your eyes. It's the same with a good story. I don't want to stop. I want to know what happens next! So I find myself here at almost 2 o'clock in the morning reading a story that I just can't stop reading. Hehehe ... I guess that's the sign of a very good author. Now, back to the plot!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 12:48AM, with mostly cloudy skies and 68 degrees
    Which one of the crazy gods blessed my neighbor with a son with an absolutely heavenly body? And he has the balls to strut around his backyard in only cut off shorts! I'm slipping on drool here! Quick, somebody get him a shirt! No, quick, somebody rip those shorts off! Drool. This kid, well, young man, afterall, he's going to graduate school, is built like a brick shit house and has the face of an angel. [shudders]
    While the scenery next door certainly keeps me interested, my main extracurricular activity has been rebuilding the deck on the house with my brother. We're doubling the size, moving the hot tub (which contains a whole lot of very good memories) and adding a water feature. It's quite the project considering it's been pushing 100 degrees. Tomorrow promises to be a bit cooler, so maybe I can hammer a few nails without sweat dropping onto my glasses. Wish me good luck.

Sunday, June 29, 2008 - 12:58AM, with clear skies and 70 degrees
    I guess the sobering thought is that when people younger than you die, that makes your own demise more real. In the last few months, and particularily in the last few days, the thought has come home to roost. First, several years ago, my former lover and good friend Van died, then a few years ago, my best friend Mike died, then my Uncle Jim died, then Mike's uncle Otto died about a year ago, then my friend Kurt died at the age of 49 just a few months ago. Then, my friend Eric, at the tender age of 40 died just two days ago. What the fuck is going on?!? I don't understand. First, I think to myself, why am I still alive? Why did all these wonderful people die and not me? They had so much potential. Why them and not me? That explaination is way beyond me. Perhaps they were put on this earth to teach me something? Perhaps their lives were meant to influence me in some way? But the fact remains that I am not the only one affected by their deaths. Is some great cosmic force (God?) trying to teach me something? I don't know. I do realize that their deaths have impacted me in a profound way.
    From each person that died before their time (ie, read, younger than me), I have learned something. It might have been one of those life lessons or it might have been something so simplistic that I have yet to let it register. I honestly don't know. All I do realize is that I am permitted to be here a bit longer. That realization keeps me pushing ... pushing to make a difference in the lives of the people who read this. So, reader, make a difference in someone's life. Rent the movie "Pass It On." Leave this life knowing that what you did made a difference. The people I've lost made a difference in my life. I can only humbly hope that, just maybe, what I write here on this website can make a difference in your life.

Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 2:47AM, with mostly cloudy skies and 58 degrees
    My neighbors are certainly interesting. They have two sons ... one still in college and one just graduated. The one just graduated is preparing to enter Harvard Law School ... and he is hot as a fresh fucked fox in a forest fire. The kid has the audacity to prance around in his backyard in just a pair of cut off shorts. Does he realize the danger he's putting me in? I'm liable to slip on all the drool and break something!
    On another note, I've had the opportunity to spend a little time on the sailboat. I find it interesting how my mind changes modes when I'm on board. Having spent way more than ten years in the confines of a 37.5 foot sailboat, I find my imagination to be set free ... relaxed ... and inquisitive. The time I spend there refreshes my day to day thoughts. I look forward to spending more time there ... when it's a lot cooler.

Saturday, May 31, 2008 - 10:45PM, with fair skies and 74 degrees
    I read an article in the newspaper today that quite literally shocked me. It was written by General William S. Wallace, commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Virginia. He is the commander responsible for recruiting, training and educating U.S. Army soldiers. According to the commander, only 28 percent of the 17-24-year-old population qualify to be in the Army. The other 72 percent fail to meet minimum standards on education, character and health. Only 28 percent! My God! What the fuck are they teaching in schools these days? How to take an EOG test and not how to think for yourself? Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of good teachers and even some really great teachers, but somehow our education system is failing ... miserably. Only 28 percent! When I was a kid, you could be dumb as a stump and still get admitted to the Army. Only 28 percent! I really is a sad situation. Kids have to learn in trailers, run down facilities, no air conditioning, horrid food and we, as a nation, expect them to excel while we fight school bonds tooth and nail. Somebody needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

Monday, March 24, 2008 - 1:45AM, with cloudy skies and 45 degrees
    Easter is a time for rebirth ... revelations ... and memories that will forever be etched into your brain. Yesterday was such a day. My grandsons, now 3 and 4, soon to be 4 and 5 came to the house for lunch, dying Easter eggs and then of course, hunting for them. They are at that age when potty training is an important part of their lives. I have praised my daughter and son-in-law for their success ... however; I had not experienced it first hand, until yesterday. Both of them had to pee. That was no problem, but then the youngest had to go again. Well, it was more than a pee. "I think I pooped," he said. Well, the smell alone was a dead giveaway. Now the big question. "Have you learned to wipe yet?" I tentatively asked. "No, you better do it," he answered without a care in the world. So I wiped my grandson's butt. Now I want you to realize that it has been quite some time since I've had to tend to the "needs" of someone that age. I've changed more diapers with toxic green alien slime that I care to recall, accompanied by the smell that descriptive terminology brings to your nose, but as I said, it's been a while. Things went off without a hitch, but I am sure that Easter 2008 will always bring that memory to mind.
    During the Easter service at church, I heard "The Holy City" performed by an old family friend. I have memories of my paternal grandmother banging away at her piano and singing that song when I was just a mere 3 or 4 year old. She was deaf as a post and always sang off-key, but the memory of her singing that song is forever etched into my mind.
    I find it interesting, the things that get etched into our minds. Those strange memories we recall with crystal clarity are memories we wonder why we remember so clearly. It's strange how the mind works ... insignificant memories recalled instantly without having to really think about them ... my parents' dog getting run over by the milkman and me sharing the news immediately followed by "can we get a collie?" Split pea soup served in my elementary cafeteria ... you could shove your spoon into the bowl and pick the whole thing up. Playing softball in front of the house with the manhole cover being home plate. I guess these memories, as insignificant as they may be, make up who we are today. So when those memories come, I'll embrace them as a part of me. Happy Easter!

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