jumping the shark and other realities...

Its going to be long...goodbyes, even temporary ones, aren't my bag baby....

A true friend always tells you like it is. Or, at least, they try to always tell you like it is. And as a friend told me, "your blog has jumped the shark".

After months of stories about adventures in politics, sports, music, drinking, funny videos, relationships, travel combined with more drinking, anything but work, promotional products / services, etc., HTW blog is taking a long overdue summer break. It might be the endless summer as far as regular HTW blogging goes.

It's not that I don't want to write or that my life has become any less absurd. In fact, if anything the absurdity level has increased. Perhaps I am more at peace with it now and don't think it is actually all worth documenting.

And I joined Facebook. (Still debating whether this was a proactive move on my part or just another form of playing with the Internets now that blogging isn't the distracting, shiny object in front of my eyes.)

What have I learned? I have learned that creative writing / blogging can be done for any reason or no reason at all and you can still draw an audience. However, the most "successful" blogs usually have a point or some familiar narratives running through them. It helps too if that it isn't all about drinking or relationships, even though posts on such topics guarantee increased viewership.

It was my intent to make this blog a catalog of my interests and not a daily diary of how great I am or a blog about what I think is important / politically relevant. It is my opinion that people get sick of taking in other people's opinions, not matter how well-written or well-presented. There is only so much George Carlin I can watch and I love the guy and think he is pretty much always on the money. (Speaking of which, the amount of time I have devoted to watching him on YouTube recently is just shocking.)

Just as well, I have enough politics in my life anyways. Writing about it would just seem lame and not very unique. In fact, politics and government in one form or another have been my passion for the last decade. My interests and career may be heading in another direction and that potential future is what is more on mind these days. In closing, I will offer the following personal observations about politics in the last decade:

  1. It’s not all George Bush's fault. There is a certain amount of truth to the statement that the world has gone a little crazy. Regardless of who is in the Oval Office, some of this change would have happened and it would be just as disturbing. I have recently re-read some of Bill Clinton's speeches in the late 1990's about globalization and how the coming interconnectedness of the world would great benefits as well increased dangers. Bin Laden is a world away and the Internet exponentially increases his ability to reach folks who might have never heard of him. This observation leads me to point 2...

  2. The media have had it in for President George W. Bush from day one. They don't believe he won the 2000 election fairly and the liberal group-think so present in today's editorial boardrooms is predictably laughable, if not pathetic. They do not take seriously the national security threats (China, Islamic-fascism, Iran, and Russia.) Which leads to me point 3...

  3. People like me, and hopefully, a large majority of folks here in the USA are not real ideologues. And neither were the great leaders who were supposedly the ultimate ideologues: Reagan compromised with Tip O’Neill all the time. Convoluted theories are nice but don't hold much of a candle to time-tested, practical ways to solve problems. It greatly concerns me and other folks that we can't seem to solve big problems anymore. Dubai has almost 25% of the world's construction cranes because it is building so much so quickly. We still haven't built the Freedom Tower seven years after 9/11. In fact, we don't build big things anymore but rather quibble about who will win or lose if anything is done. Our system of governance has not cured a major disease (AIDS still kills folks but not before the drug companies make 20 years of profits off of their “cocktails”) or made solvent our public welfare programs (Social Security and Medicare / Medicaid). Let’s get moving again folks…set a goal, compromise on a plan to get there where everybody gains something and lose something else, and get on with it. Which leads me to the sense that people, now armed with most information with a few mouse clicks, want results because…

  4. The Internet is changing everything. Duh. The Republicans have a lot to catch up in this respect. As a golfing buddy said to me yesterday, “who calls anyone anymore? Send me an email already.” Our world is only becoming more wired and right now the Obama vs. McCain race feels like a repeat of the 1960 presidential election where people listening to radio think Nixon won the first-televised presidential debate while those watching the debate on TV give Kennedy the edge. Message counts but how you package counts just as much but…

  5. Substance counts even in the age of Facebook billionaires. There is something to be said to having traveled the world and worked with world leaders for two decades as opposed to living in Hawaii for a few years when you were a kid. Be careful what you wish for because…

  6. The role of government is not to solve every problem, it is to solve problems that individuals and markets can’t solve alone. I look to the government to provide for the common defense and provide some measure of safety in some facets of life; I don’t look to the government to give me hope. Also, politicians are afraid to get ahead of the marketplace these days. Its true, the people who the Wall Street Journal and not the Washington Post run the world. But the people who give the Wall Street Journal the ability to exist rarely get the coverage they deserve because…

  7. The real heroes in our world are those in the military who defend our country without complaint or those go to work every day and do their job so they can raise a family whom the politicians claim to represent. My brothers defend freedom and my Dad raised a large family on one salary. These are incredible things that seem very ordinary but they can truly heroic at times.

    Wow. So much for not doing the blog rant about politics.

    There is a website out there is meant to showcase blogs that only have one post. I am proud that my blog has lasted more than one post. All good things must come to an end…nothing changes if nothing changes and all that. Plus I need to go watch the Tour de France and buy the new I-phone.

    By my calculations, three of you actually might care about this notice. May I suggest to you that you work harder and stop looking at a lame blog at your place of employment in the hopes that you find some laughter as an escape of your miserable existence.

    But...really... thanks for reading. It means something to know that you might actually like what I write. Any columnist is lying when they say they don't care if anyone reads their work. Same is true for bloggers.

    I heard the world and I want you to hear it too.


Sigh...I joined facebook...

and now I am totally addicted. I offer only this quote in my defense.

"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson


Balance, happy birthday! and the rants resume…

The work-life balance thing has been suffering lately. Check that. There hasn't been any work-life balance at all. The blog…let's not even get started. One day when my self-imposed censorship about work ends, I will attempt to detail the madness that the last few weeks have been. Just awful.

What better way to get back into the swing of things than to sing the praises of my dear sister?

They say that behind every successful man is a woman. Being a confirmed bachelor, there isn't an obvious female presence that one can point to as the reason for the success that I've enjoyed. (Mom probably had something to do with it, but lets go with the present storyline for now.)

Today is my big sister's birthday. I got her a present (hopefully, it gets there on time), but I want to do more.

So bear with me for a few while I relay some items that definitely need to be documented.

We get older. There is less time we spend together. The laws of power and economics dictate that a rarer item is worth more than a readily available one. Out time together is less. Yet it means more when I see her and I deeply treasure all the fond memories I have with her.

Katie is the reason I got into sports which have saved me on more than one occasion. Katie showed me how to navigate high school. Katie showed me to climb the rocks at the local beach. Katie sends me a card with one of her cool drawings for no reason. She encourages me to do more yoga. She tells me funny stories. She laughs easily. She understands the importance of Kermit the Frog in my life. She knows what a “big Hawaii” means. She drives a pick-up truck. She’s been around the world. Most importantly, she never used her nails when we fought as kids.

Katie’s job is to make the earth a more beautiful place through horticulture and landscape design. I am convinced that the outer beauty that she creates for all to see comes from her inner beauty.

The important things are simple things. Having just visited a relative with little time before she passes on, I am again realizing how important family is and what it means to have someone special (or in my case a lot of special people). I said to my ailing relative how much she means to me. I know I have to do that more with my own family.

So, Katie… Happy Birthday. I care for you deeply and wish you happiness on your special day.


things I am thinking of right now...

1. Moving this blog to tumblr where it might work better with the format.

2. A certain dark-haired lady with blonde highlights.

3. My pending unemployment and how long it is before I hold out on turning tricks to get by. Officially looking for a job.

4. Whether or not to sue the restuarant that served me tomatoes and gave me food poisoning. Good news is that I have lost about ten pounds in 36 hours. Not pretty kids. And thanks to all my friends who saw my g-chat message and did nothing. I hope you fall in a well and no one hears you either.

5. After reading about Tiger Woods and
how he won the U.S. Open with a broken leg, I am desparate need of a new physical challenge. There is a 5k mud race that I am running this week that should be interesting. However, I want some soul-crushing, anguishing experience like Tiger's 91-hole endurance effort. Or I could watch an entire episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" without a puke bag.

6. That scene in "The Godfather" where the
Godfather chastises his eldest son Sonny to not let anyone know what he's thinking. That's sorta how I feel about this blog. There is a lot to write about in the world these days...global climate change, the 2008 Presidential race, Britney Spears as an aunt (The Lord has a sense of humor). And I have an opinion about most things too. Except it takes a while to compose my thoughts in a fashion that some (read 3) people will actually like.

7. Tim Russert (R.I.P.) apparently had a sign in his office that said "thou shalt not whine." Is it any wonder he was as successful as he was?

8. The inter-connectedness of it all. I was sitting at dinner tonight with a buddy in a sports bar watching Fox News with Sheppard Smith (smug prick) and thinking about the last time I was unplugged from all forms of electronic communication. By that, I mean when was the last time I left behind the cell phone, the blackberry, the tv, the internet or some other electronic medium that ultimately serves as a distraction. God forbid that I meant to meet my wife in a long elevator ride as I would be too busy looking at my blackberry and mumbling about how I was missing "Hardball" again. I think I need to go hiking. ... The more I think about this...how often do I even put myself in a situation where no one can reach me or I can reach people easily? Oh yeah, my buddy and I discussed religion and relationships. It was weird until I got a text message from a random hottie.


Save the earth, ban water!...

Been thinking more and more about excessive environmentalism these days. This video makes a nice point about green noise.


have a great weekend...

There will be no photo essay for this coming weekend. The less said the better. The man, the myth and the moment are coming together. Have a great weekend and will see you on Monday.

A new menace to society...

I wasn't going to post because I am on deadline at work to get a ton of things accomplished and still make my flight tonight at 8pm. Its going to be close but this is urgent.

I received an email alerting me to the existence of the duct tape proms. I think I should probably call the Department of Homeland Security and tell them the terrorists have definitely infiltrated our society. There needs to be an immediate ban on duct tape proms. Like now. How did we come to this? Seriously, I am speechless.

1/8th of the nation in 6 hours in less than 20 clicks...

The weekend road trip for a wedding with your author and Susie W. as a journey of self-discovery, fun, bad movie quotes and the occasional wee dram of whisky.

It started in Arlington, VA and brought us through the environs of Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey (dirty jerz!), New York (peace out to the homies and I have no idea why idea I am writing / talking like this), and finally Danbury, CT. Against my better judgement but keeping in line with the photo essay format, herein lies the Photo Essay of The Visit of Bruiser and Susie W.To Danbury, CT To The Wedding of Mr. And Mrs. G-Funk.

Our drive took 6 hours. Six hours is a long time for two folks to be couped up in a coupe.

It was especially long for the two occupants who had not slept much the night before. The following may have been overheard in the car ride to Danbury:

"I bet Geena Davis was like I didn't think this would happen. I thought we were going to go to prison and have my face cut."

"Its official, we're stuck in hell. Otherwise known as suburban New Jersey."

"Not now chief, I'm in the effin' zone."

"I can't believe how little traffic there is.....nevermind."

"Check out the hoopty. ... What's a hoopty?...Hello, urbandictionary.com!"

I could provide an explanation of the above quotes but the context israther convaluted, so let's just move onto the photographic evidence.

As we start on our journey, we should probably start with the Pledge of Allegiance. (Mumble it to yourself while indulging my need to always have a pic of Old Glory in my photo essay.)
Trans fat? Not here chief. Maybe I have been traveling abroad too much recently but I can't believe how many Dunkin' Donuts there are on the East Coast. Are we trying to become the next Midwest? We literally saw more DD trucks and shops than we could count.
Seventh circle of hell...a.k.a. New Jersey.
Examine this photo closely. The species on the left known as the "Jersey-maybe-MILF-but-I'm-really-not-sure-okay-maybe-if-there-was-enough-booze-I-would-hit-it" genus. She has numerous tats, two annoying kids who she can't control, her hair is liable to catch fire / pop a balloon at any moment due to excessive hair product and she ordered the venti frap because she hit the gym for two hours. And she dresses real cheap despite the fact her husband doing time still manages to make more money in a week than I make in a year. And yes, she drives a SUV. (It was the best pic I could take so that I wouldn't get her death stare / hubby taking a contract out on my life.) (Also, big ups to the lady in madras skirt...yummy.)
Me in front of the ultimate Pussy Wagon. Courtesy of New Jersey rest stop (of course).
Ending up in Danbury, CT (official motto: 'we used to have a really big mall') and was rather starving. Traveling down some road we struck gold. Gold is "Rosy Tommorow's" (official motto: 'no wait') and while I could attempt to desribe the atmosphere, its best to just post some photos.
Susie W. ate this and surpisingly did not die.
There was a Zoltar-like machine that had trapped Phyllis Diller's long-lost sister. It was not pretty but the fortune she provided said I would meet a nice redhead in my travels and fall madly in love. Susie W. was not amused.
What better way to end a day full of traveling through New Jersey than to crash at the hotel lounge and be entertained by these two? Actually, once my friends and I stopped laughing at them, they grew on us and we traded numbers by the end of the night. I may have touched that guy's hair as Maker's Mark is known to make me do crazy things.

Next day around noon (which is when we woke up - those lounge singers rocked the hiz-house), Hillary threw in the towel. It was going to be a good day.
Mr. and Mrs. G-Funk get hitched. It was a great day and she looked hot.
The town where the wedding took place had American flags on EVERY telephone post. How awesome is that?
Mr. G-Funk winking 'cause tonight was his night bro. Their wedding song was "Wild Nights". 'Nuff said.
First dance as a couple.
A few dresses short of 27 dresses but they were a good group of girls to party with.
This may or may not be my table. Well-served indeed. My work was done here.
On the way home, I passed my old high school. This is it from the road. I don't know why I just didn't stop and take a photo but that's just how I roll son.
On the George Washington Bridge back into New Jersey. I took this photo in case I didn't make it. I wanted folks to remember me in my final moments on a beautiful day before I went back through the dreaded Jerz.
Home sweet home.



Currently drafting the long-awaited Photo Essay of The Visit of Bruiser and Susie W. To Danbury, CT To The Wedding of Mr. And Mrs. G-funk. In the meantime, some thoughts...

A buddy once asked me to define a good wedding. I noted that there were three factors to a good...nay great wedding: 1. The bride and groom actually get married (drama is a likely factor if they don't tie the knot that day); 2. Everyone gets drunk ; 3. Mostly everybody hooks up. Being a guy, he naturally agreed.

Yet what usually leads to #3 is good dancing. Good dancing is crucial to a fun wedding and related post-wedding reception activities. But really, men and women don't dance anymore. Or rather they don't dance anymore like this...

Ahhh the time when men were men and women wore dresses like it was no big deal. I found this pic and a bunch of others like it on this website. Check it out if you like good photography of the last century when our parents were young and we were just twinkles in their eyes and a shake in their hips. (No, that isn't awkward at all.)

I have this theory that some of the disconnect between men and women these days has to do with the lack of dancing. Whenever I have taken dancing lessons or danced with a girl, its been my experience that I always learned something. Besides learning to let go and feel the music, you also learn how to respond to your specific partner. I've danced with some women who always had to lead and others that had to be dragged around. Either way, its always best to be flexible and have fun.

Dancing also seemed to be a harbinger of things for me in relationships. The women who I have had the most intense relationships have been like my Ginger Rogers (look her up and watch a black and white musical for once). And its no surprise that the one relationship that never lasted was the one where my then-girlfriend promised to take dancing lessons but never really found the time.

Either way, I believe men and women need to start dancing again.


A few of my favorite things...

Something about the heat wave hitting the East Coast is making me incredibly lazy. I have no desire to leave my air-conditioned apartment early in the morning. This development is bad because I usually like to work out in the morning and I have missed the last two days of exercise. Sometimes, this makes me moody which is why someone who knows me well will ask me if I have worked out on any given day where I seem po'd.

And then two things come along that make the day that much more bearable.

En route to the Starbucks (just a corporate version of the crack dealer if you ask me), I saw a cop car parked illegally. BUT... it had a parking ticket. Sweet Jesus, it made the years of parking fines and other DC DMV crap that I went through worth it just to see a deserving cop get nailed.

Number two. Someone sent me this
link. I pretty much have died and gone to heaven.

Working on a detailed post of this past weekend. It will be worth it once Susie W. sends me the photos.