Posted in life

Stream of Consciousness Childhood

My mom’s birthday was in May, so she got Mother’s Day presents and birthday presents. My Dad’s birthday was in February, so he got Valentine’s Day junk and birthday presents. My sister’s birthday is in December, so she got Christmas presents and birthday presents. My birthday is in July, so I didn’t get any extra junk. Not even a cake at school, because there is no school in the Summer.

Not that it was a big deal, though. I was that kid that circled everything in the Christmas edition of the Sears and J.C. Penney catalogues. My sister circled about 2 or 3 things. I usually got everything I wanted. Except for one thing. A Charlie McCarthy ventriloquist doll. I asked for it three years in a row. It was always the first thing I searched for. Nada.

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Posted in prompts



Yesterday, I attended my Uncle Jim’s memorial service. He had been a very successful businessman. He had been the Vice President of a big company and the President when it became international. He was one of those people that could relate and talk to anyone. He was the youngest of my mom’s 3 siblings, and the one that had been cherished by my grandparents the most.

At the service there were 4 speakers. His best friend since the 8th grade, Mackie, a judge. He was followed by 2 men I didn’t know that had worked with him for decades. The last speaker was his son in law, Peter. There was a guy who played guitar and sang. The last song played was Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die. Jim had planned he entire service ahead of time.

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Posted in prompts



I was always horrible at strategic games. Checkers, chess, monopoly, Risk. One time I got beat by a monkey, who made random moves, on a video chess game. It was level zero. Level one was a 5 year old. I can’t think more than 2 moves ahead. I’ve learned a few opening moves from books, but that’s about it.

Other stuff I’m really good at. A natural, if there is such a thing.

But not strategy. I will probably forever be the guy who gets captured first. The first one out in hide and seek. Always it in tag. Maybe, I’ll have one house in the slums of Monopoly.

I’m not really a competitor. If I’m last, I’m last. If people think I suck, I suck.

But, if I’m really interested in something and truly love it, I’m all over it.

If it’s Rubik’s cube, I’m out. If it’s memorization, I’m in. If it’s Sudoku, I’m out. If it’s Crossword puzzles, I’m in.

I’m great in Geometry, awful in Algebra. I’m written a Symphony, but still get confused with right and left. Forget about directions. If people say, “Go North on Elm street”, I look up. I don’t know where north is. Or south, east, and west.

I’m good with concepts and figuring out people’s convoluted discussions. I can usually figure out the difference between fact and bullshit.

But yeah, if we play chess, I’m gonna lose that queen in about 5 moves.


So today has been weird. I had to go into work very early this morning. I got home and wrote a prompt post. As soon as I published it, I got a text from my sister saying she was coming home early. I thought maybe their computers were down again. It happened last week. She works as a civilian accountant on an army base. She was in the Air Force for 20 years.

When she got home, she told me my Uncle Jim died. He was only 3 years older than me. He was my mom’s brother. He was diagnosed with stomach cancer a while back. He went into hospice on Friday and died this morning.

So, about an hour ago, my sister and I were watching tv, waiting for the College Baseball World Series. Arkansas is playing. All of a sudden we heard a noise in the attic and the ceiling fan fell out of the wall. It’s hanging by a wire. I climbed the stairs to the creepy attic, but since I’m not an electrician I just looked around without even knowing what I was looking for. They (hopefully) are supposed to come fix it tomorrow.

I’m not really a believer in ghosts, but it is an odd coincidence.

Posted in Uncategorized

Sure Mark, Whatever

So, there is this guy at work; Mark. He’s 6’2′ mid forties, unruly beard, pot belly, big talker, knows everything. You know the type.

Well, every month we get a newsletter covering the topic of the month. It could be safety, new product knowledge, mental health…all kinds of stuff.

This month’s topic was bullying. He immediately goes into typical, macho, I know everything, guy mode.

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Posted in Art


Here are some more pictures I took at Crystal Bridges yesterday. I thought they fit the category. Plus, the word art is anagrammed inside of stark.

Posted in life, prompts

Dazed and Sex-Confused


I don’t know why I’m telling this story, but the word is candor, so…

When I was 19, even though I was gay, I had sex with a girl named Valerie. I was totally infatuated with a guy named Paul. He was straight, of course. This was always the case whenever I developed a crush.

I found out through my inner circle grapevine that Paul had had sex with Valerie. Valerie was in my group of hang out friends. Paul was not.

I had first met Valerie when she just came up and started talking to me during the intermission of some school play I was attending. We became friends.

Each of our small group of friends merged into one bigger group. The group consisted of:

Trudy, whose doctor father bought her a new car every time her current car’s ashtray became full; or so it seemed (we all smoked. Cigarettes and pot).
Vanessa, Valerie’s younger sister by one year.
Walter, who had 7 brothers and sisters and was very flamboyant.
Jack, a fellow percussionist who was really into jazz and had a twin sister.
John, the resident comedian, and clarinet-playing weightlifter.
Sylvia, who had her own house, and hosted our late night weekend parties.

Valerie had developed a crush on me. I finally figured out that’s why she started talking to me in the first place. She was fairly promiscuous.

So, when I found out that she had had sex with Paul, I figured it was a way to indirectly connect with him. It caused all kinds of complications, of course. We began hating each other.

After a while, the group split back into its original 2 clans. So, I went back to hanging out with Jack, John, and Sylvia. My infatuation with Paul lessened. I would see him and think of Valerie. By the same token, I would see Valerie and think of Paul. It was all so confusing.

The next year, my sister, who was a freshman, joined our group. It stayed intact until we all left school.

Jack became the band director at a Catholic High School. He’s still there. He sometimes performs in a group at the VFW.

Sylvia became the band director at a high school of a small Arkansas town. She’s still there.

John became the music instructor at a school for the blind and deaf. He’s still there. He plays in a Dixieland jazz band on the weekends.

My sister joined the military and retired a Master Sergeant.

I don’t know what happened to the others.