#14 – Random4, or more things I wonder about

Some things you know, some things you don’t know, some things you think you know, some things you know you don’t know, some things you don’t know you don’t know.


These are not all, but these are many of the words I’ve written


fight club
This is how I see the world with too many words stuck in my head


I make no promises that I will not repeat myself from previous “random” posts.

151.  I do not like strawberries but really like strawberry flavor.

152.  I do not speak any other languages, even after 8 years of Spanish class.  Do other languages have so many words that sound the same?  To, two, too.  There, their, they’re.  Your, you’re.  Great, grate.  Right, write.  By, buy, bye.  Minute, minute.  Accept, except.  Know, no.  Why not just make up different words?  Did they run out?

153.  There’s like two or three countries, including the US, that do not use the metric system.  Why is that?  How do you even translate miles into kilometers?  Another case for American exceptionalism?

154.  I use curse words as easily as I breathe and almost no word is out of bounds.  Except the word piss.  It’s too crass.  Pissed off is fine.

155.  My favorite day of the week is Wednesday.

156.  My favorite time of the day is the morning, especially when it’s still dark out.

157.  When I was younger my brother and I watched the hell out of professional wrestling.  I remember being disappointed when I realized it was not real.  I cheered for Hulk Hogan but secretly Andre the Giant was my favorite.  I liked Randy “Macho Man” Savage’s Slim Jim commercials.  Oh yeah!image

158.  Science fiction television shows, movies and books usually portray alien races as homogenous.  Based on Earth, though, I think it’s presumptuous to assume that an entire planet would have beings that all look exactly the same and speak the same language.

159.  I understand that we need money.  But sometimes it perplexes me that a piece of paper can determine a person’s worth and determine their destiny.  Someone has more paper than someone else and that makes them a better person?

160.  You’re own reality is the only reality.

161.  Sometimes I wonder if when I close my eyes everything disappears.  Or if anything even exists before and after I perceive it.  How do you know that when you turn a corner everything behind you doesn’t instantly disappear?  How can you disprove that?  If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it…

162.  Don’t you think that through the eyes of the British that the American colonists were a bunch of treasonous terrorists?

163.  I am a conscientious driver.  I think I realized the other day that I may not be a good driver.  My mind wanders too much and sometimes I have arrived at my destination without completely recalling how I got there. (Side note – I got in a car accident on the very day I received my drivers license.   I probably had it for 2 hours.  Also, I got into a car accident on the very first date I had with my wife.  The first one may or may not have been my fault.  The second one definitely was.)

164.  How many car accidents have you been in?  I’ve been in 4.  Is that a lot?  What’s the average?

165.  My shoes will not stay tied.  I feel like they stayed tied when I was younger.  One time at work I stepped on my shoelace getting up from my desk and fell backwards.  It was one of the defining moments of my working career.  Shoelaces are a big problem in my life and I wear a lot of shoes that don’t have them.  I should probably look into works shoes that stay on with Velcro.

166.  Shockingly, I was curious about something the other day.  I looked up how far it is from the ground to outer space.  How far do you think it is?

167.  Don’t you sometimes feel like you are either the only sane person in an insane world or the only insane person in a sane world?

168.  I play music super loud when no one else is around, especially in the car.  But when I have to stop at a red light I turn it down because I don’t want to be that guy.

169.  It’s about 90-100 miles or 145-161 kilometers from the ground straight up to outer space.  If they could build an inclined road that far up you could drive to space in like two hours max.  I thought it would be a lot higher than that!

170.  I’ve recently decided I don’t like convertible cars.  They don’t seem very practical and I think the roof looks stupid.  Apologizes if you own one – I’m not calling you stupid I’m calling your car stupid.

171.  Aren’t there some turtles and/or tortoises that live for a super long time?   Like hundred(s) of years?  How is that even possible?  Dogs and cats live for what, 15 years but turtles get to live forever?  Why aren’t we getting in on some turtle DNA longevity potion or something?

172.  If you live in an apartment or house that you did not have built or you were not the original owner of, do you ever wonder how many people may have died in your house?  If you don’t, are you now?

173.  What if you didn’t have to sleep?  What would you do?  Do you think you’d visit friends and have all these hobbies?  Or would you just end up super bored?

174.  If I were ever to form a band we would be called The Whispering Eyes.  You heard me.

175.  If I won a lottery or somehow became independently wealthy I’d want to hope I’d be very altruistic and charitable.  I know myself well enough to know that I probably would not be.  I do have some great plans, though, and they include tattoos (including a prominent neck tattoo), pets (a bunch of cats for my daughter, at least one goat, and a 009-funny-animal-gifs-jumping-goat[1]Chihuahua for me that I could carry around in a bag or in my pocket), a bunch of cars (including all kinds of small cars like smart cars, a Volkswagen,  whatever Matt Damon was driving in the first Born Identity like a mini-Cooper or whatever.  Also, a Humvee or maybe a retrofitted tank that I could drive on the road.  At least one of the cars would be fitted with the old-time car horns.  Plus, a moped type vehicle like a Vespa that I could put a basket on and drive the Chihuahua around in.  I think the dogs name would be Kiwi, like a dog my wife and I saw in a store in Mexico once that I wanted to steal) and all kinds of crazy hairstyles (including mohawks, dying, stripes, rattails, mullets, whatever.)  I’d have my wife and daughter buy/build any kind of house anywhere they would like but I’m pretty sure I’d live in a tiny house in the yard with Kiwi.

The real Kiwi

I’d also host a party where I would burn all of my suits, dress shirts and pants, khakis, ties, dress shoes and black socks.  You would all be invited.


176.  There is nothing in #175 that I am kidding about.

177.  I like coffee.  I drink it in the morning to help me wake up and start my day.  The longer I drink it during the day, though, the more tired I get.

178.  A guy at work said something was “rock-ass solid” the other day.  I liked it and told him that I was going to steal it as my new motto.  From now on, everything is Rock-Ass Solid.

179.  The Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin is the most ethically diverse place you can go anywhere in Southeastern Wisconsin, which is not otherwise known for its diversity.  I could sit at the mall and watch people walk by all day, especially right outside the Apple store.

180.  I think a good movie would be showing what Forrest Gump did in between the times he was running across the country.  Seems like he must have gotten into all kinds of mischief.image

181.  Polka dots are those dots on clothing or whatever.  I feel like people pronounce those as “pok-a” dots, or at least I do.  Polka is also a kind of dance, and most people pronounce the “l” in polka.  I’m not really sure what a polka dot or a polka dance is and how they are related.

182.  We’ve come to accept a certain amount of “traveling” in NBA professional basketball and I don’t really like it but it is what it is.  They used to call traveling all the time in college basketball but they don’t seem to as much anymore.  I’m not sure why but that bothers me.

183.  The fact is that unless you catch me off guard chances are I’ve practiced what I am going to say to you multiple times in my head before I say it to you, regardless of who you are.

184.  I’ve been listening to a lot of Pandora radio lately.  Sometimes I put on the “Grunge” station.  Sometimes on their “Grunge” station a Metallica (??) song will come on.  At those moments I feel like I’ve missed something entirely, something very important.

185.  I’ve decided to use the word ‘literally’ more, and to use it when referring to things figuratively.

186.  Any temperature over about 65 degrees F or 18 degrees C starts to be too hot for me.

187.  I’m not saying I don’t like sunny days.  I do like when it rains, though, especially a slow drizzly rain on a warm spring day.

188.  Why do 3 of the seasons have one name but one of them have two?  Why don’t we call Spring ‘Grow’ or Summer “Hot” or Winter “Snow’?

189.  Does MTV even exist anymore?  What shows do they show?  Does Kurt Loder still do the news?  I know I could watch any music video I wanted to online these days, but if MTV still showed videos all day I think I would watch.

190.  I’m disappointed in sports figures who have used steroids or other performance enhancing drugs.  I’m fairly confident, though, that if there was enough money on the table for me to gain by taking them I would take them too.

191.  We all have sold out at least a little bit, haven’t we?

192.  What are the rules for flying the American Flag at half-mast when someone or someones have died?  Who decides?  How long?  I’m sure there are rules.

193.  In the book and movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” Willy Wonka tells the children that the “strawberries taste like strawberries.  The snozzberries taste like snozzberries.”  All of the guests try the edible wallpaper.  It has only been within the past year that I learned what a “snozzberry” is and I have not been able to see the movie in the same way ever since.2ns5r0y[1]

194.  I think you can admire or even “worship” brave and heroic actions.  But if you have idols or hero worship of a person you will invariably be disappointed.

195.  I think the US prides itself on the idea of individualism, but at the end of the day we want everyone to be the same.

196.  Sometimes I think we’d all be better off if we were the same.  The problem would be whose sameness would we pick to be?

197.  In Star Wars, A New Hope the Empire blows up Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderaan as a way of getting her to reveal where the rebel base was located and to test out their new Death Star.  So Princess Leia is one of the, if not the sole survivor of an entire plant and people.  Imagine if you were the last person alive after a fascist space regime blew up the Earth.  Anyone you ever knew from your relatives to your 1st grade teacher to the dude that bags your groceries at the store would have died.  All history and culture and animal species unique to Earth would be gone in an instant.  Leia seems sad for a moment.  Cut to a few scenes later when Han and Luke are rescuing her and she’s cracking wise with both of them and is pretty feisty for the rest of the movie and the rest of the series.  I feel tumblr_m69afkg3mu1qbw7q9o1_r1_250[1]like the blowing up of your home planet would break a person entirely.  At the very least it would upset them a little more.  Maybe it’s just me, though.

198.  You know a lot of stuff and are probably right a lot of the time.  But if you think you are right all of the time you are kind of an asshole.

199.  Listen.  This whole Donald Trump thing is definitely something, disturbing and revealing.  I’m not 100% sure it’s real, though.  Maybe Donald Trump is the greatest imageperformance artist of all time and we’re being punked.  If so I say bravo, Mr. Trump, bravo.

200.  For reasons, I would now like to be referred to as Mr. Awesome.  Literally.




#15 – Byron4, or Hybrid Theory

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#13 – Eula and Mel, or Lilacs in the Spring


Look in the mirror.  What do you see?

When my wife and I moved into our house on 78th St in the (414) there was an elderly couple who lived next door, Mel and Eula.

Mel was a WWII vet.  He liked to sit in his backyard in a lawn chair with his shirt off whenever it was warm out.  He loved the sun, and it didn’t matter how hot it was.

He was in his 80’s when we moved to the block and was already in pretty bad shape.  He couldn’t walk much without a walker.  Sometimes he used two canes to get around.

He and I didn’t talk too much.  When I was in the yard doing yard work and he was out sunning himself was usually when we’d chat.  He liked to tell me about the war sometimes, or about how the neighborhood used to be, stuff like that.

He died a few years after we moved in.  My wife and I went to the wake.  There is a funeral parlor at the end of 78th St. on Burleigh St. which is a fairly busy main street in this area of the 414.  There were not a lot of people at the wake, at least not when we were there.  Seems most people they knew either died or moved from the neighborhood long ago, including their two kids, grown with kids of their own and living in other states.  I’ll assume they came to the funeral but did not recall seeing either of them.

Mel was Mel.  Well meaning but a little crabby and a little gruff.

Eula was a super nice lady.  Eula was always on the go.  Eula was active.

I don’t recall exactly how long Eula lived after Mel died but it was a good 5 or 6 years.

She had a cat.  She would put the cat on a thin cat leash so the cat could be outside for awhile during the day.  Sometimes she’d walk the cat around the yard on the red cat leash.  My wife and I thought that was funny and the three of us would laugh about the cat on the leash.

I’d help her out where I could.  Little stuff mostly.  I’d shovel or rake her walk or lawn when I could.  I’d help her move things around her house or help her bring groceries in.  It was always a bit surreal when I was inside her house because it had nearly the same exact layout as our house.  Our houses were mirror images of the other.

Mel had liked to make model WWII fighter airplanes.  My brother and I liked to make models when we were young.  There was a toy store we went to that had all kinds of stuff we liked, including model sets.  We made cars and planes and all different models.  The ones we made were usually made of plastic.  I liked the ones you had to use the glue for.  The snap on ones they came out with later were a little too cheaply made and not as challenging.

Mel’s models were cool – solid and detailed.  He had hung them in the basement of their house.  Eula never took them down after Mel died and the few times I was in the basement I liked looking at them.  They were a squadron in fight, off to battle.  I should have asked her if I could have had one.  She would have given me one.  I’m sure they ended up in the trash somewhere.

I know that Eula was alive for 2 or 3 years after my daughter was born.  I know at least once she has us over during the Christmas season.  We just had cookies and hot chocolate or whatever.  It wasn’t a big deal but I know Eula liked the company.  My daughter is 11 now.  She doesn’t really remember Eula that much now but she liked her back then.  She would always talk to Eula when we’d see her and tell her stuff about school or whatever was going on.  We were just neighbors hanging out.


Last weekend my daughter and I were at the mall.  We came home and parked in front of the house.  As we pulled up I noticed an elderly woman walking down the block.  She got to the front of our house and stood there looking at it as I parked the car.  My daughter and I sat in the car for a moment and watched her.  After that moment the woman turned around and walked to the end of the block.  We gathered our stuff from the mall and got out of the car.  As we did the woman was already walking back towards us.

I could tell she needed something.  We walked towards her and I asked her if she was ok.  She said she lived on 79th St.  but could not find it and did not recognize anything.  She looked and was definitely confused.

I sent my daughter inside and told the woman I would help her get home.  I asked her where she lived and she said she was not sure but would recognize it when she saw it.  I asked about her family and if there was someone I could call.  I asked her how long she had lived in the neighborhood.  She didn’t have an answer for any of the questions, and I could tell she was frustrated that she didn’t.

We got as far as the alley between 78th and 79th streets.  She said she recognized the alley but not really which house it was.  She said she was going to plant a big plant in the backyard in the spring so she would have an easier time recognizing where she lived.  I offered to walk her down the alley to her house but she insisted it was ok now that we had found 79th St.  I let her go.  I should have gone with her anyway, I think.  I hope she got home.


Eula and Mell had planted a big lilac bush in their back yard towards the back right by the alley.  It was there when we moved in.  I love that bush.  Lilacs smell so good when they bloom and the alley by our garage smelled so good when it did.  It seems to me that lilac flowers do not last very long, though, and after a few weeks they die off.

The new neighbors are nice.  They are younger with two young daughters.  We don’t talk much except hellos when we see each other in the yard.  I do wish they took better care of the lilac bush.  Its in pretty bad shape and only a few of the flowers bloom in the spring now.  I should have dug it up and planted it in our yard after Eula died and before her daughter sold the house.


I don’t know why I didn’t ask the lost woman her name.  It was not Eula, though I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t think it was her for one short moment.  I don’t believe in a lot of things.  I usually believe in things I can see, hear, taste, touch.  Everything else is suspect.  I do wonder about a lot of things and I have a lot of questions and I try not to assume that what I believe is always necessarily right.

I recognized something in the woman’s face.   That’s it.  I tend to assign meaning to things where there is none.  It’s not even a very good story.  I’m sure it was nothing really.  But maybe it was something.

Look in the mirror. What do you see?  I see me, but I can’t really see me.  We’re all just meat robots walking around lost.  But aren’t we more than the sum of that meat?  Are we just a collection of neurons firing away in a preordained order that makes the meat move around?  Or are we more than that?  If you couldn’t see yourself in the mirror, wouldn’t you still be there, standing in front of it?

I don’t have a word for it.  Some people call it a soul.  I don’t know that I believe in that.  But I have a lot of questions and I do wonder about it.  It’s not really a big deal and I assign meaning to things that do not have any.  But it’s something, isn’t it?

#14 – Random4, or more things I wonder about

Read more "#13 – Eula and Mel, or Lilacs in the Spring"