Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Nuclear Missile

I started this blog because I felt I had some creative writing to do.  I knew somewhere in my mess of a mind were concepts and thoughts that should be shared.  Of course I also recognized that there were certain topics I should avoid. Writing about the workplace and the personalities here would be a rich soil, yielding an abundant harvest.  It would also be wrong.  So I try to stay away from those topics.  This blog isn’t anonymous and as entertaining as the characters and situations at work may be, I don’t need to limit my employment opportunities.  And no, you cannot have my Facebook password.

Family and friends is another hole I try to avoid stepping in.  Every family has its characters and dysfunctions.  Mine is no exception.   I’m not going to write about how my mother’s actions during my childhood lead to skyrocketing therapy bills (I’m not in therapy – yet) or how a new pattern of dogs taking over the lives of family members is emerging (it is.)  No, it is far better to skip these topics and look for other areas to pontificate on.

By now you realize that music plays a major role in my life.  I have strong reactions to lyrics, songs and grooves.  If you stop and think about it, Mike Campbell is one of the best and most prolific “hook” writers there has ever been.  Do you know who he is?  But writing about my thoughts on music is a bit of a cliché.  I know I will continue to touch on the topic from time to time, but I don’t want to run the ship aground unnecessarily.

Speaking of clichés, last week a salesman, whom I really like coincidently, spouted them like fire hydrant cooling of inner city children in the summer heat.  “Let’s not get wrapped around the axel.”  “Let’s put all our wood behind this arrow.” What?  Where did that come from?  I’d never heard that phrase before, but I know it was a cliché.  I was unsure of its origin; Native Americans or Porn Films?  No, dissecting the anatomy of a cliché isn’t as interesting as first thought.

Taking the train to and from work, and other commute related activities, takes up about 2 hours each day.  Sometimes I see things that lead to me comment.  And by things I mean people.   Ever wonder what Gilligan might look like if didn’t get stranded with the island and became a junkie?  I know. I walked behind a strung out Bob Denver doppelganger today.  Who knew they made pants in a size 22×34?  Seriously this guy was skinny and creepy.  And to think I used to like Maynard G. Krebs.  I’m rethinking that position.  I don’t think I want to have a blog about BART and I’m late to market with the “People of WalMart” website.

I probably should spend more time thinking about what makes me tick.  I used to joke that I was complex.  I’m really not.  I’m just a simple guy who likes to think the machinery that makes me go are very Rube Goldbergesque.  Give me some good wine, sharp knives to cut with, food to prepare, football and a few other nerdy pursuits and I’m quite satisfied.  I can’t imagine completely opening up and sharing the scary thoughts that run through my head.  Some of them might scare you.  I might lose some friends.  But in no way are any of them complex.  And no, I do not think 3 knife blocks is too many.

I reflect on mistakes I’ve made, some of them so trivial that only I remember; others stand tall, like half dome reflecting shame on a night sky.  What if I had done that one thing differently, so long ago, would things have been different?  I think the path might have been different, but not the outcome.   For example, had I tried harder in college, I would have had the opportunity to go to a top tier Graduate school.   I wanted an advanced degree.  But when it came down to it, would I have quit my job? Probably not, I had a family to support.  While there were options for night classes in SF in the late 80s, I wound up in the best of those.   Same end result.

What is motivation really? What makes any of us tick?  Is it trying to keep from disappointing our parents?  Is it really to set a good example for our kids?  Is it greed or is it lust?  Is it the 7 deadly sins or the 10 commandments?  There must be good reasons why people went to such lengths to enumerate them.  Perhaps the advent of the internet meme is just a reconfiguration of religious memes.  I know I’m motivated to improve and achieve; mostly to impress my parents.  The patterns of our childhood continue on well past adolescence.

In the end perhaps you, gentle reader (I can’t even type that with straight face), may be my therapist.  Your fee is not exorbitant and your feedback, let’s be honest, not overwhelming.  But it’s there and I’m here and now you are here. If I write like you are reading this, then you must be, right?  Will you fluff up that cushion to your left? It’s distracting.

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