Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Month: April 2010 (page 1 of 2)


total comment & blog slacker.
I admit it and hang my head in total blogosphere shame.
The past few months have been a bit difficult and have not
allowed for me to visit and comment as I usually do (or try to)
I have answered almost every comment on this blog from the past few months, I think.
If I missed one, please kick me in the ass.
I need it.
And deservedly so.
Just trying to make things right here at S&M tonight . . .
Back to my blogging cave . . .
{insert maniacal laughter .wav file here}
If I haven’t been by your blog lately, watch out.
I will be soon . . .



You have no idea.
This clip is a bit longer than I like but damn, it’s worth watching.
The boys from the UK have done it once again.
Now there’s a surprise, huh?
Get some popcorn, cheese and crackers and a beer.
Maybe a Dublin ‘side car’ for good measure.
Good stuff, folks . . .

Under the Bluebell Tree

There are several things I do know about my nocturnal comings and goings.
I dream in vivid color, for one thing.
Not just fundamental colors either.
My synapses and neurotransmitters treat me to a 4th of July palette of incredible and wondrous things.
My dreams are intensely complex, symbolically speaking, and I have yet to
understand what they truly mean.
I have also been known to get out of bed at 3:47AM to write down many a
soon-to-be elusive thought.
For the past ten years or so,
I have yet to have a dream that included both my mother and father.
It’s always been one or the other.
Given the circumstances surrounding the past chaotic decade,
that makes some logical sense, I guess.
As I said, my dreams have had ‘Ginny’ some nights and ‘Wally’ on the others.
Never together.
Until last night . . .

Off in the gossamer covered distance I could see them standing together,
holding hands . . .  smiling . . .  still.
They were underneath a tree of great age that was surrounded by what looked like
thousands of these tiny purple flowers.
I was physically moved (somehow) closer and I immediately noticed that they both looked happy,
healthy and totally at peace.
My mother was wearing a royal blue, knee length coat.
My father, a crisp white shirt and grey pleated trousers.
I smiled at the sight of the two of them, so obviously happy together and said,

“What are all these flowers?”

My mother smiled and said,

“They’re bluebells, Michael.  Each flower is a dream of ours that somehow came true.
No more sad, just more good.”

She turned (in slow motion) and kissed my father on the cheek.

They stood underneath the bluebell tree as small white flowers began falling like an unexpected springtime snowstorm.
They faded into the distance, transforming themselves into a Monet-like watercolour.
I faded into my dreamworld distance as well.

Before I went to bed last night, I had never heard of a flower called a ‘bluebell’.
I found it quite appropriate that the beautiful flower is not quite blue but purple – a color closely associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Thinking back on the dream I found it odd that my father never said a word,
though he appeared to be quite content.
Maybe the serenity I saw in his bright eyes told me all I needed to know.
I feel that their hearts have healed after all these godforsaken years apart.
Although mine is still on the mend,
I now believe that there are better days ahead for them
and for me . . .

*a little something from the wonders of the internet regarding ‘bluebells’

“Bluebells have long been symbolic of humility and gratitude. They are associated with constancy, gratitude and everlasting love. Bluebells are also closely linked to the realm of fairies and are sometimes referred to as “fairy thimbles.” To call fairies to a convention, the bluebells would be rung.

Bluebells are widely known as harebells in Scotland.
The name originated due to the hares that frequented the fields covered with harebells.
Some sources claim that witches turned themselves into hares to hide among the flowers.
Another name for bluebells is Dead Man’s bells.
This is due to the fact that fairies were believed to cast spells on those who dare to pick or damage the beautiful, delicate flowers. The people of Scotland are fond enough of the flower to continue this tradition
in the hopes of protecting the little flower.”


Empty House (redux)

I was doing some work on my blog last Sunday and found a new template that I loved.
It’s the one you’re looking at right now.
It’s called ‘Absynthe’.
I wanted to make sure everything worked and entered some text in the ‘search box’ in the upper right hand corner of the site.
As I scrolled through the search results, I came across a post called ‘Empty House’.
Hmmm, I thought, and I clicked on it.
I wrote this post in late August of 2008 before Jenna went off to college.
I always wax philosophical whenever a daughter leaves the homestead.
Although I can’t for the life of me remember writing it
(1200+ posts will do that to you, I guess)
I read it with the eyes of a new reader, a wonderful and incredibly insightful moment for me.
As I read the post, I felt warm tears forming.
Since the death of my father, life looks a bit different to me these days.
I read my own words and got blown away.
I felt weird.
I’m not supposed to be that jazzed by something I wrote, am I?
Yet, I was.
I am not blowing my own horn here just saying that the craft of writing is a magical thing.
Sometimes it gives you back something totally unexpected.
Very unexpected.
Check out ‘Empty House’.
After checking Google, it looks like I did write this.
And I did check Google, several times.


If these old walls could speak,
I wonder just what they’d be saying
the comings and goings of life; the hellos, the goodbyes
tears of the restless nights, memories of suppers shared, stories told

time shuffles his feet like that of an old man
that just can’t help but grow older,
he’s now quiet as a mouse
listening to the days gone by in this almost empty house

Sunny days and skies of blue, little girls saying, “I love you”
echoes from a heart that breaks
Simply because it knows,
that nothing can ever stay the same,
life is ever changing and the tiny souls once held in gentle hands,
aren’t meant to be held forever
But it’s so damn hard to understand and accept ‘temporary’
Take them to the edge and tell them to “fly”;
towards all that makes their hearts happy,
all their souls desire,
every dream they could ever hope to find
just fly . . .

We’ll watch you walk away embracing this wonderful thing called life
but inside we’re still calling out your name
Although you can’t hear it, we want it that way
maybe we just needed to tell you

in everything you do, know that this almost empty house will always wait for you
Doesn’t matter how long or how far away you’ve been, it remembers,
like we remember . . .
that whenever you’re here, you are truly home.



*In’ as busy as a . . .
Get that mind out of the gutter.
Won’t be on the net for most of the weekend.
The blog and Facebook will have to wait until next week.
(I know, you’re crest-fallen *grinning*)
An 18 hour day tomorrow and work on Sunday will leave me with
little to no cyber- playtime.
Mikey is like sad poo-poo.
Catch you guys on the flipside . . .


Just like Chaplin

Some thoughts from many years ago (2006)
Seems like yesterday . . .

We had my father over for Easter dinner on Sunday.
My sister wanted to pick him up and bring him over; something I believe she had to do.
I think she fears there won’t be many more left to share.
Sadly, I would have to agree.
Actually, I would have agreed over a year ago.
I have to give her credit for going through the rigmarole of getting him ready,
seated safely in the car and bringing him over to our house.
I’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt.

My father has a difficult time walking these days reminding me more of Charlie Chaplin than the man I once called “Dad”.
It’s an unfortunate physical side effect of a brain at war with total neurological disintegration.
We eventually got him into my living room and plopped him down in my favorite chair:
one, because the chair is just so damn comfortable
and two, because when we finally let him go, it would be impossible for him to miss it.

We all sat down to eat and my sister and I filled his plate with ham,
green beans and Au gratin potatoes, all of which we cut up into pieces to make it easier for him to feed himself.
And feed himself he did.
He ate everything on the plate.
Either my cooking was really good that day or where he’s currently staying is really bad.
Whatever the case, it was wonderful to see him enjoy a meal.
He didn’t speak a word as he ate.

My wife caught him stabbing at an empty spot on his plate.
She gently rotated his plate to where the food was and he was none the wiser.
Mission Accomplished.

The rest of the afternoon went off without a hitch.

After eating, we ushered him back to my chair where he fell asleep; perhaps shuffling through his own little world of monochromatic movie screens and silent dreams . . .  a sleeping Charlie Chaplin.

We woke him an hour or so later and got him back into the car.
As I fastened his seat belt, I looked at him as he peered over the rims of his glasses and I said,
“No Boston Marathon for you tomorrow, young man.”

I’m sure he didn’t understand a word I said but knew enough to do a little chuckle and mutter, “Yeah”.

He plays the game so well most days so why the hell can’t I?

For me, the Easter cupboard was somewhat threadbare in terms of holiday revelations
and personal epiphanies but I did get to marvel over the way my Dad still gets through his days.
In many ways, he’s graceful in a way I may never be.
As long as his surreal movie keeps playing,
I’ll continue to watch him as he shuffles through his seemingly silent and black and white world,
just like Chaplin.


Malarky Monday (snkrI)

This is the first post of V 2.0 of Malarky Monday.
The chuckles aren’t going away folks but for now there will only be one blog (per week)
of the four of us that gets the nod from the cyberspacial dugout to post something absurd.
This week it’s my turn and I hope to make you chuckle or at the very least, smile.
Be sure to visit, Moe, Mark & Dilligaf for your daily dose of enlightenment.

This week is a mish-mash of things I happen to find quite funny.
Basically, a usual Malarky Monday for me.
Tune in here next week to see who’s posting the chuckles.

First up is a Chuck Norris-like kick in the proverbial muzzle of the repugnant ‘LOL Cats’
(aka, icanhazcheeseburger)
I personally love this pic . . .

Have you ever wondered why so many urban males wear their
over-sized bluejeans so goddamned low?
I have, too.
Jesus Krispies, their waistline is at the level of their knees for God’s sake.
How the hell do they not walk like penguins?
I think this picture explains it nicely, don’t you?

One .gif image for good measure;
Sodomy has never been funnier, methinks . . .

Last but certainly not least is a short video from a YouTube favorite of mine.
Check out Bad Mystic Cat . . .
(subscribe to Klaatu42 if you like these videos)

Happy Malarky Monday, folks!!!!


This post is somewhat repulsive.
Just my own silly little observation…

I do believe I’ve found a job that I would never want, even if it paid some incredible cash, I still couldn’t do it.
I could never be a tattoo artist.
It’s a short story but it starts with a large woman that I saw standing in line at the Coldstone Ice Cream place one hot summer afternoon.
Judging from the shaking of the ground beneath her feet I’d say she tipped the scales at 300 or so.
This was one big, hunk of a woman.
To get by her on a sidewalk would probably require a city variance of some sort.
I’m rambling.
She was wearing a teeny-tiny pink shirt that showed off her impressive midriff.
Her t-shirt said You can’t touch this.
I’m thinking, ‘why would I want to?’
The overall effect was—how shall I say it, globe-like?
Ohhbese? (bigger than obese)
I was unfortunately behind her which is where the thought of never being a tattoo artist came to mind.
I could see the small of her back (a contradiction if ever there was one)
and the unsightly crack of her heiny, a good 2” worth.
Plumbers crack on a woman.
Real nice.
Rising up out of the murky depths of her posterior was a tattoo of some kind.
I didn’t want to stare for fear of going stark raving mad so I never found out just what it was.
I have a few ideas as to what it could have been but I really don’t want to go there.
She ordered a mountainous vat of 5 or so flavors mixed together with Butterfinger’s and M & M’s and Jimmies and God knows what else; a reasonable caloric addition to her vast temple of flesh.
Maybe they need to implement some type of weight scale in front of the Coldstone register and if you
happen to “pin the needle” you can only have fat-free yogurt in a kid’s cup.
Hey, life’s a bitch sometimes.
I guess I came away from the experience #1) wondering why some people dress the way they do and
#2) wondering who the lucky son of a bitch was that had to spend 4 hours looking at this woman’s vast backside.
I bet his story is really something to chew on.


Dead Roses

I have a dark side.
I know it, my family knows it, my cats know it, my funeral director knows it.
Years ago I played a club located in the middle of a major hotel.
One weekend there was a mortuary fair, if you will.
All things death related.
There were many items that piqued my interest: wound filler, blood tubes, various (uncomfortable looking) clamps,
goggles (obviously), hypo trocars, powder blowers, toe tags and my personal favorite . . .  viscera bags.
Jesus Krispies, the language of death is amazing.
Depressing, yes.
Even more so.
I dug this stuff up for any funeral director that may happen to pay my blog a visit.
This is 10 shades of whack, IMHO.
Want a sterling silver trocar pendant?
Your quest has ended. Click here .
Being a cigar smoker, I am all about the ashes.
Find me a nice cat shaped urn and I’ll be happy.



The Cult of Done Manifesto

There are three states of being.
Not knowing, action and completion.
Accept that everything is a draft.
It helps to get it done.
There is no editing stage.
Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing,
so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
Banish procrastination.
If you want more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
Once you’re done you can throw it away.
Laugh at perfection.
It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
People without dirty hands are wrong.
Doing something makes you right.
Failure counts as done.
So do mistakes.
Destruction is a variant of done.
If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as the ghost of done.
Done is the engine of more.
I am done . . .

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