Thursday, June 27, 2013

More Bad Ideas

Disclaimer:  this one is a little graphic.  I don’t mean to offend any of my three loyal readers, but I don’t want to censor myself either.  Please read at your own discretion and, in the spirit of the great tradition of vacation bible schools that are getting underway in big and small towns across the country, try not to judge me.
My post yesterday about bad ideas a few morons thought were good has me obsessing on the topic just a bit.  I’ll move on to something else shortly, but first I have one more to share.  There’s a peculiar urban legend floating around about a former WVU football player, high on PCP, who lopped off his own penis with a knife and threw it in the bushes while running from the police through the streets of Morgantown one night back in the mid-1990s.  Maybe the Angel Dust (see, I really am cool… I know drug slang) caused a terrible hallucination where he thought it was a snake attacking him.  Maybe he was well endowed and it was slowing him down.  I’m not really sure why he did this.  Sometime after ridding himself of the offending appendage, he apparently dove in the Monongahela River and swam off.  The police found him and his penis hours later and presumably miles apart, and the story has a happy ending.  Some highly skilled surgeon was actually able to reattach it and restore function.  Has anyone else heard this story or did I make it up in my crazy head?  Regardless, swimming in the Mon is just about the worst idea I’ve ever heard.  Cutting your own penis off isn’t real smart either.
Climbing the kitchen counter to get your own ice cream is another bad idea.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Good Idea!

VP of Human Resources:  Whaddaya say we tap a keg in the break room to improve employee morale?  It’ll keep everybody feeling loose and happy; might even encourage a few staff love connections.

CEO:  Good idea!  Imagine how much more productive we’ll be with all the positive vibes from a light buzz.  And vending machine sales are guaranteed to sky rocket.

Ruby despised stuffed animals.  I happen to like them, so I diligently searched for one she might embrace.  In my quest, I went through monkeys, bears, frogs, elephants, hippos, ground hogs… yep, I just wrote ground hog.  Don’t believe me?  Here he is:
I thought this guy was fan-f’ing-tastic.  Not Ru.  He repulsed her.  They all did, and she dealt with them all in the same callous manner.  If you approached Ru with the intention of handing her a stuffed animal, she would march toward you, arm outstretched, palm up, in a nonthreatening yet purposeful manner.  Ru did very little without purpose; the only trick could sometimes be discerning her purpose.  Notice the purposeful walk here:

Three seconds after this picture was taken, she hurled that golf club into the water.  Back to the stuffed animals… as you placed the stuffed animal in her hand she would immediately flip it back over her head and continue past you without looking back.  The first time time she did this I was rolling on the floor.  I instantly became more popular than a box of donuts at a Weight Watchers meeting.  Ru, you see, was a ham.  When she realized I, or anyone else, found her antics amusing, she would triple her ridiculousness.  Thus, she became expert in the art of stuffed animal launching, regularly arcing the poor critters five feet up and ten feet back, adding a little head bob and high knee kick for emphasis. 

This poor fellow is only about three inches tall – just the right size to fit tidily in her little hand.  I was certain he would be the perfect companion for her.  Nope, but he was perfect for setting new distance records.  Maybe that’s why he’s frowning.
You may be wondering why she harbored such hatred toward stuffed animals.  It was the fur, Silly.  She didn’t like the stuff one darned bit, and really, who would other than some thumb sucking weenie in need of soothing?  It is a little creepy.

Her best friend was a guy named Elmo Live!  The exclamation point isn’t there because I’m excited about this slightly obnoxious creature that talked and sang.  It’s part of his name; a marketing gimmick the purpose of which eludes me.  EL! went on walks, rolled in the dirt, ate supper, and even went to school.

“Wait a minute!” I can hear you saying.  “That’s a stuffed animal as sure as I’m a homo sapien.”  Well you’re right, Clouseau; it sort of is.  But surely you can see those enormous eyes peering out of her book bag.  They’re at least as big as ping pong balls and are just about the perfect size for a child, or maybe Tim Randolph, to palm.  I have a lot of photos lying around, but even I don’t have one of the 12TH RANKED BRIDGEPORT INDIAN OF ALL TIME’S miniscule hands.  Tim, are you reading?  Be a pal and send me a photo.  I’ll make ya famous.  Anyway, if you carry Elmo around by his eyes, you can completely avoid touching his fur.  I know this because it’s exactly what Ru did for four years.
I bet you think I forgot all about the wonderful idea of “light drinking” at work that’s been in the news recently and that I started this post by mentioning.  I didn’t.  It just takes me longer, a lot longer, than most to get to the point.  Thanks for reading.  You’re swell people.  So here it is.  If I’m the CEO and some knucklehead brings me this ludicrous idea, you know what I’m doing?  I’m treating it just like Ru treated stuffed animals.  It’s getting flipped back over my head in one motion, never entertained even for a nanosecond.  And the dummy who suggested it… here’s how I’d deal with him:

C’mon, man.  I like to have fun as much as the next guy, maybe moreso, but how in the world is serving alcohol in the workplace a good idea?

Great hair… check.  Snappy dresser… check again.
Sound judgment… not so much.

Maybe Robert Kraft served alcohol in the locker room.
That would explain the Giants beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl... twice!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Last Times

I had a chat conversation yesterday with my friend, Paul Carter.  Paul is one heck of an insightful guy and a great writer.  Sample his take on The Karate Kid, his greatest post ever in my mind, and see for yourselves: 
Paul asked me how I am doing, and I shared that I'm going through an every day struggle I doubt will ever end and that I don't even really want to end.  It's part of who I am already. 
He responded that he lost his best friend 25 years ago, at age 13, and that he has thought about this friend every week since. Here's what he wrote that really hit home:
"I don't think we ever think about the 'last times' with the people we love until there can't be any more last times:  the last time you hugged or kissed them; said 'I love you'; held hands; shared a smoke or a meal; went for a car ride; or thanked them for their friendship or love they brought to your life.  Yet later, when they are gone, those last times are all we can think about."
I attended a leadership program for the county I live in this past year.  One Friday each month, the thirty or so of us enrolled in the program met to learn about the pressing economic and social issues facing our community.  We concluded "Literacy Day" back in January by thinking of two literacy initiatives we would try to implement and writing them on a note card.  I wrote my two goals and turned in the card as instructed, not thinking about it much more through the rest of the program.  Graduation came and went amidst the blur of life's many obligations, and the note card faded from memory.  I opened my mail yesterday and... surprise, surprise... there it was:
I guess you'll have to turn your heads sideways to read it.  Ok, I admit, I made up #2 to fill the requirement.  I'm busy enough at work already.  But #1 was real.  I loved reading to Ruby.  Sometimes she sat and listened, pointing to images in her books, and other times she impatiently turned the pages, eager to finish and run off to play.  Either way, I wanted more time with her.  She was learning and growing, and she left way too soon.  Paul is right.  You don't think about the last time you read to your daughter until there are no more opportunities.  Then you obsess over it.  I don't have a picture of that, but I do have this:
It's the last photo I took of her before she got sick.  I had just finished feeding her her supper, and she was watching a show.  I know... I know... she's standing way too close to her little TV.  Sue me.  Take a look at where her hand is.  It's resting on my leg, just under the edge of my shorts.  She stood there like that through most of the show.  I guess it was comforting to her.  Maybe I had the room too cold.  I was scared to move a muscle; I didn't want this precious moment to end.  If I concentrate, I can still feel her little hand resting on my leg.  The pain of our last times is a lot more bearable than forgetting them.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Well, here it is:  my blog.  I'm starting out on a great foot, too, writing my first post while needing to pee really badly.  I guess it will be a short one. 
I created this blog mostly to share my beautiful daughter, Ruby.  For those who don't know, she died on May 18, 2013, due to complications from pneumonia.  She was two months shy of her sixth birthday.  I don't want the blog to be completely depressing, though.  I guess if I'm going to write it I'd like for at least a few people to read it, and I don't think anyone wants to read some guy boo-hoo'ing all the time.  I just worked a dash and an apostrophe into the spelling of a word that's probably not really a word.  I'm proud of that.  Anyway, I'll try to celebrate her life as best I can with photos and funny stories.  I'm not always going to write about her, either.  Sometimes I might write about weight training and powerlifting competition.  I might even just rant about some topic that inspires or irritates me on occasion. 
I couldn't make it.  I had to run to the restroom.  That's probably too much information.  I feel better now, but I no longer have an excuse for a short, disjointed post other than laziness.  I feel the urge to mention that I don't really read blogs, as if that might suffice as some sort of explanation as to why I may not follow the rules.  Hopefully there aren't really any rules to blogging. 
This name "Ruminations"... there were a couple others on my short list, but I'm pretty happy with the selection.  So is our happy cud chewer:
I wish I had more than one stomach.  That would come in handy.
Have a great day.  I'll be back with more when I'm inspired and not a minute sooner.  Realistically, I probably won't get around to posting again until after the inspiration comes and goes, and I'm left only with a scribbled note reminding me of something that would make a great post.  I'm sure you'll all be waiting on the edges of your seats for that.