Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Month: November 2006 (page 1 of 3)


cool sunset

Want some really beautiful wallpaper for your ‘puter?
Click on the picture above.
Really great pics, free.
Can’t ask for more than that now can you?
(you’re welcome)




Director Howard Greenhalgh said
“I didn’t see the video as particularly political, pro war, or anti war.
It’s actually a representation of where we are all at right now.
War infects all our lives; recently it feels that this has increasingly become ‘our way of life'”.

This comment was prompted by MTV’s banning of the video.
Either way, the images are incredibly powerful and I like the song.
The ‘our way of life’ comment struck a chord in me.
We eat a steady daily diet of this crap from the media.
Due to recent events at my daughter’s school, the bullets are getting too close for my comfort.


I got the music in me


I took this musical quiz online last week and thought it was worthy of a post.
My ears have always been very good when it comes to musical tone.
But it’s more complicated than that and you’ll understand why I say that after you take the quiz. It takes @7 minutes to complete and is fairly self explanatory.
FYI, I scored 89.6%.
Love to hear how you do.
Turn on your speakers and click on the pic above to start.

Changing Horses


*let me preface this post by saying that my writing takes on a very sombre tone at the end of November. Sorry.


There are times in my life that I long for change.
Not just something insignificant but something radical and life altering—a positive cataclysmic changing of the tides.

Maybe it’s the fact that I am presently walking through the autumnal phase of my life, a time of maturity and transformation.

The changes I seek are most human and mundane at best: health, financial status, vocation, a creative chasm that I can never seem to fill.
This craving for change usually gets shoved violently aside in order to accommodate all the other messed up shit in my life.
Mornings find me hopeful but by night I find myself saying, ah, fuck it, and I go to bed praying that my weirdo dreams bring some semblance of cognitive understanding and solace regarding my sometimes all too turbulent existence.

It was only a short time ago that I posted this so it appears that this penchant for change is here to play house, longtime.

I am beginning to understand and even accept that the only thing I can truly change is internal. If you’re thinking, ah, Michael—I wouldn’t change a gosh darn thing, then you don’t know me very well.
Hell, sometimes I don’t even know me.

I find it interesting that my blog exudes something of a personality that readers perceive to be purely me.
While that concept is for the most part true, there’s so much more.

Ask my wife. (She’ll just roll her eyes)

We ‘writer’ types are many things, some of which we let the world see while others get embedded deep within our words, our writing, and our darkened little souls.

It comes as no surprise to me that there are people that have little to no clue about the real ‘Michael’. They think they do but they really, really don’t.
They don’t want to ‘see’ the real me.

I am in the midst of a moment in my life where I’m having a hard time seeing the forest through the trees.
Christmas is upon us so I attribute much of my current disdain to a fast approaching holiday I can scarcely afford much less happily (and willingly) participate in.
This time of the year royally sucks when paying the mortgage takes president over what you feel you should be able do for your children.
I’m really tired of fighting the daily moneyGod.
All I want for Christmas this year is a miracle, like every year. . .



I’m not looking for any free psychoanalysis here just letting my complicated landscape of a mind wander for a bit. This kind of post makes it feel strangely liberated.
If you’ve yet to figure it out, I am one dark individual. . .
But if I can’t be a piece of dark chocolate here, then where?
Thanks for reading and letting my grey matter roam free for a bit.



Hi, you’ve just won a free satellite dish!


I thought this was absolutely brilliant.
We’ve all been victims of the telemarketer whether it’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’, a free this or a free that. It’s a beautiful thing to see someone get their just desserts.
Click on the picture above and sit back and listen.

A trip for one to Vegas: $3000.00

A Satellite System for your home: $2000.00

A telemarketer getting it right up the keester: Priceless. . .

Guess I just felt like sharin’ the love.




“If the only prayer you say in your life is thank you, that would suffice.”

~Meister Eckhart

Happy Thanksgiving!
I’ll be cooking up a storm tomorrow night so I doubt I’ll be blogging.
I pray everyone stays safe, has a nice place to go and someone to share some turkey with (don’t skimp on the damn gravy either).
Sad to think that some people don’t. . .
Please say a prayer before you eat for those that have much less than you.
We are all so blessed sometimes and we just don’t realize it.
I have a 20lb Butterball in the fridge to prove it.
On Thursday, I will thank the Lord above for all you readers that continue to visit me and pray that by evening my stomach doesn’t spontaneously combust.
You rock tryptophan.
And I hope your favorite team wins. . .
And your gravy isn’t lumpy (well, maybe a little bit)
Any questions about your turkey, click on the BB logo below.
I’ll see you on Friday.



For Pamela


Nuff said….

Boston, Saturday Night


A recent entertainment ad in the Boston Phoenix read:

The Pussyboogers
the Whackass Egyptians 



Pucker Up


Smooth. . .


Why Crockett needs an Epi pen


I had a coonskin cap (a somewhat disparaging term even by today’s standards) when I was eight years old and would proudly claim the role of Davy Crockett whenever I played ‘cowboys and indians’ with my friend Deg.

I wanted to be the bold and courageous pioneer holding my omnipresent
musket (BB gun) as I surveyed the wild landscape of my backyard, my own personal Kentucky.

Since Deg didn’t have a coonskin cap he assumed the role of the quintessential Indian.

Back then, we’d yet to hear about political correctness and racial bias, concepts we could care less about—I was paleface and he was Tonto.
Even though we both knew Tonto was the Lone Ranger’s sidekick we needed
identity—it was just that simple.

We would play in the woods near my house traipsing through the forest and brush in search of God knows what with me shooting my musket at anything that moved followed by a whining Tonto complaining about always being the Indian.


“How come you always get to be Crockett?”


“Because I own ‘the hat’, that’s why, you baby.”


“Well, it’s not fair.”


“Could be worse, you could be a stupid squaw.”


One day while hunting down an invisible (and non-existent) enemy, I stepped on a log.
My foot sank deep into the soft and rotting wood rousing a large nest of yellowjackets. Angry bees flew everywhere.
They were up our shirts and inside our pants making us look like a couple of dancing fools.

Tonto was fine but pioneers like me didn’t take kindly to multiple bee stings.

It wasn’t long before Tonto looked at me and said, “Kemo Sabe don’t look so good.”


I felt hot and puffy and could feel my eyes beginning to swell shut.
Boys at play know nothing about anaphylactic shock, a condition I was currently about to experience, but I knew enough to go home.
It was the frightened look on my mother’s face that got me to thinking, “This can’t be good.”

She was chalk white but calmly said, “Get in the car.”

She said nothing on the ride to the doctor’s but I could see her lips moving; she was praying and I assumed I was going to die. Niiiice.

Forty years ago, the world had yet to be seized and manipulated by the Goliath-like HMO’s of today—it was much simpler than that.
A simple exclamation upon entering the doctor’s office such as, “My kid is dying! Get the goddamned doctor!” worked like a charm.

I’m a bit foggy as to what happened at the office. I assume that my sorry ass was pumped full of epinephrine (adrenaline), a hormone that basically shut down my immune system and enabled me to keep breathing.

Living things like to breathe.

I received a record 437 hugs that day from my mother who seriously thought she would be burying a son. A week later I would begin ‘desensitizing therapy’ in the hopes of offsetting my severe reaction to bee stings.

In some ways, a small door closed for me that day because contrary to what I thought, I was no Superman and certainly no bold and courageous pioneer.

I also understood that the days of Crockett and Tonto were numbered and my coonskin cap was soon to be retired.


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