Saturday, April 28, 2007

I watched them plant a tree in the park across from my house. I thought it was a stupid place to plant a tree but then that's the city for you.

Two days later I watched from the kitchen window as two young workers dug a hole on the walk side of the tree and stomped a marker into it. I thought the last thing the park needed was another plaque dedicating something in memory of someone.

I then drove to Home Depot to get some supplies to fix the part of my roof that had blown off in the last wind storm. When I got back I had a car blocking my driveway, the driver assured me she was leaving quickly. I was starting to really hate that freaking little tree and started to plot its demise.

I stood on my sidewalk and watched the group that gathered for the formal dedication to begin and I started to recognize faces and then realized who the tree was for.

A very active neighborhood local recently died of cancer; it took him quick and it took him early. He was the cousin of the owner of the real estate company. I know his family well.

After I was able to get into my drive, I finished most of the repair being careful not to be seen from anyone on the ground. Just as it was ending I walked over. I talked to his mom, brother, sister and his aunt and a couple politicals.

So I guess I just adopted a tree or at least will keep a look out for it from my kitchen window. It’s still in a sucky location, though.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


His complaint today was about moving his television. He said it weighs at least one hundred pounds. His adult daughter was helping him carry it about a forty foot distance.

"I was eating chicken tenders or something like that earlier and my daughter said lets move it now so we don't have to worry about it later. So, we're moving it and about fifteen feet later I can feel it start to slip and I'm like calling out to my other daughter to come over and help because I don't want it to hit the floor. It was slipping because of the grease on my hands."

I just continued to look at my feet because I had had a feeling that something ridiculous was about to be said. My friend said "Yeah, that's why you have to wash grease off of your hands when you're moving stuff."

If the moral of your story is that you make things difficult for yourself because you're a nitwit, I really don't care to hear it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ladies like 'em long and thick.

She faced me as she leaned on the bar after she served a Bud Light to the guy at the end. They do that because, mostly, they don't really care for anyone else at the bar but sometimes they have something they want to say. I thought I felt her gaze so I turned from the sports channel towards her and sure enough she was looking right at me. She smiled which caused me to smile back.

"I've just never seen you without a hat before."

"I've got one back at the office if it bothers you too much."

"No, that's alright."

"Sometimes, I don't wear it just to prove to folks I'm not bald."

"Yeah, I thought you were hiding something."

"I usually need a haircut so, usually, I'll wear a hat. There's a little gray but it's all there."

"You have long eyelashes."

"I'll tell you my eyelash secret when no one else is around."

"Mascara, right?"

"Yeah, I have it shipped in from China."

"They don't have long eyelashes."

"Nope, but they do have great eyelash technology."

We got quiet for a moment but she was still looking at my lashes.

"They are so long that they hit the back of my glasses."

Yeah, where did I go?

I apologize to my faithful readers and commenters. I really should treat you folks better.

There are a couple txt files on my flash drive that I haven't posted but even those are a few days old.

What ever fix I was getting from writing my drivel has waned. Here's what I had for yesterday.

"Did I tell you that I now own my truck outright? I probably didn't because who brags about owning a six year old pickup truck?"

I didn't bother to save that.

What would usually happen is that I would get bored with work, or my life in general, and then write something to distract myself from being bored. I can't say that I'm any less bored with work, or my life in general, but I haven't been writing; maybe I'm busier.

Checking the flash drive, there is a file for April 18 and 19, and prior to those, one on the thirteenth which got posted.

I think I was sweating out being able to pay the grand in federal taxes, in that time, which comes about from being self employed with a second job which I don't run very well because it's just mostly helping out a friend.

So, here's a Little g story.

On the first fine day in three weeks, I was driving Little g to get her hair done. I had my hand out my window directing the fresh Spring air into the cab.

"You shouldn't sail you hand out the window like that."

"No? Why not?"

"Because what if a truck or something comes by and cuts it right off?"

"I'm watching," I said as I checked the rear view. "But I like living on the edge."

"I do too but I--"

"You like your hands."

"Yes. I don't think I could do without them."

Tim, I need you in a meeting in five minutes.

I am king of the no-notice-meeting (meeting of which you get little or no advance notice)

Here are some tips for attending a no-notice-meeting:

Don't be the first to speak; you have to find out first if you are with friends or foes.
Follow the lead of the people you know as long as they are people you trust aren't going to get in trouble for what they are saying.
When directly asked for your opinion use "I have some ideas but I'll have to run them by so-n-so to make certain we haven't promised anything to somebody else," as much as possible.
Also use:
"That's something we can look at."
"I think in the next scheduled meeting we will be talking more about specifics. I think this meeting is to make certain we're all on the same page."
"I'll look into it."

Mostly, I'll sit quiet and let folks know I'm giving a lot of attention to the matter at hand by nodding or head shaking at all the appropriate times while taking notes which mostly consist of the date and names of folks at the meeting.

If I don't know what's important while taking notes, I'll transcribe any phrase that has a number or date mentioned.

Chi-Town... or is it Chi-town?

I think if you run the marathon and then find yourself in the emergency room there after - it doesn't count.

She told me that the guy that fabricated the sign is going to put it on his web site because it was that good. I thought about who has claim to the sign; he fabricated it but it was my design all he did was cut out in vinyl what I had sent him in a PDF. But he's a sign maker, what is he supposed to use on his web site?

Sometimes, I don't want to be a sounding board so could you just deal with your own issue?

Not for nothing but I'm kind of busy here; you should be able to recognize that and the fact that they put too much sugar in your coffee is a non-issue to me right now.

I like saying Chi-town but not in reference to Chicago.

Shannon Elizabeth! I'd so do myself

She's a new waitress and I nearly never sit at a table and I've never been served by the wait staff so I was surprised when she called me by name as she said hello.

But then I'm in there frequently. She's a single mother of twenty three and has a thicker Boston accent than me.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I don't care for the front

I can get you toward the front but after that you're on your own.

I never sort my details

I made four as a pulled up a stool from the table behind

Archive this

Maybe I should take the archives off or change the way they are listed. Usually, when I scroll past them and see all the dates I think "What a waste."

this was written on Friday the 13th

Since November 8, 1995 she had been a part of my life. Today she's gone. She was in her late sixties. She was going to retire in September until she had a mild heart attack three weeks ago which lead to the discovery of lung cancer.

I called her the day she was leaving the hospital when the problem was just a heart attack. "And to no one's surprise they found some lung cancer," was part of the last conversation I had with her.

You could hear the news travel throughout the office; it was a wave of "Oh no's" and "You've got to be kidding's."

I delivered to news to one co-worker who spoke to her just the day before. I could hear his heart go heavy as he said "She was my friend." He said it like it was news to me.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Paul shoots a little different style than I do

I was there late with a friend and there came a time when the bartenders where all lined up in a row just standing looking out over the establishment. I thought it would be a cool photo to shoot with a long shutter to catch the movement of the patrons with them being still, so I set my camera on the bar and pushed the shutter button.

I then heard "Hey! I saw that" and the three of them came over to see the photo that I had yet to look at and Lauren (the one on the left) deleted it. She said it wasn't good. So, then my buddy picked up the camera and took this one and then showed it to the three of them.

He took this one too.

I guess there wasn't enough cleavage in the one she deleted.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Soul-ed out

I'm a story teller without stories to tell.


I'll read about how people have drowned in an ocean and then think about how the closest I've come to that was getting rained on.

All my troubles fit neatly in a sack and sometimes I get to leave that sack behind; it will show up later but for a time, at least, it was gone from me.

Other people's troubles are a constant burden; every reach, every step is hindered by scars and still open wounds. Often, they will hide their hurt but sometimes I'll watch them cringe when a movement that was made too quickly will cause them their all too familiar pain. I'll wish that I had a cure but sometimes there are no cures.

I know I don't know the half if it.

I feel like an ineffectual fool.

I am inadequate.


She seemed to be lost for a moment in the telling of her tale. I wondered if she forgot I was still there, until she looked toward me but not directly at me. I watched her eyes for a glimmer of exposed soul but she never looked up as she said "Don't worry. I know there is nothing you can do."

very toney

I had the two dead mice hidden from sight in a few paper towels as she was mentioning the newest version of the brochure which is now a booklet that flips from bottom to top, pages printed both sides. She said she liked it and was thinking of some what text to added.

I wanted to walk out to her garbage barrels and dump the mice but she didn't seem to care. I guess she only doesn't like seeing at them; she doesn't care if their dead bodies are witnesses to conversations. Fortunately, neither body was leaking.

"Yeah, I like it. I don't think it's as sophisticated as the other one but I think it has more visual pop, with the two pages over each other."

She disagreed that it was less supplicated. I didn't bother arguing the point. I had just been lying on her kitchen floor reaching under her oven for tripped mouse traps. The traps served their purpose and the proof was in my hand. The whole situation seemed an inadequate occurrence to be speaking of sophistication.

(I like toney better with the 'e')

is 'out loud' one word?

It didn't look like my cup of tea but then who am I to judge.

I think my typing has slowed.

What's up with that?

Anyway, it didn't look like my cup of tea but then who am I to judge. I try not to judge. Not out loud at least.

I headed for the other

All I wanted to do was to use the men's room but I'll always buy something just so I'll technically be a customer but the 'out-of-order" sign caused a change in my plan. I must care somewhat of what the staff at McDonald's thinks of me because I didn't want to just walkout after reading the sign. I was about to look up at the never changing menu for some time to think about what to do next when I heard someone call my name.

I did turn right away because I was buying trying to figure out who would know me in this part of town. I hadn't a clue other than it was a woman.

When I did turn, I found out it was a bartender friend. She asked what I was doing there.

"I'm on official business," I said as I briefly set my badge on the table.

"At McDonald's?" She asked as I sat down opposite of her. She was wearing a light gray hooded sweatshirt. She knew what I had meant but I explained myself anyway.

"No, in the area. I'm checking parking lots and passing out fines."

We talked for a few minutes about our work, the bar, our city and why she was eating in McDonald's as she finished off her grilled chicken wrap and I tried me best to forget how beautify she is. Hot bartenders always look hotter when they are not bartending, unless they are your girlfriend.

I got up with her as she said she was heading home. She started for the door that I came in. I headed for the other.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

creepy tight jeans

When I walked in for lunch four of my buddies were already there; it was quite a crowd for a Tuesday.

I was greeted with a "Hey, boyfriend," from the bartender which caused my friends to turn around. It was a mixed reaction from the peanut gallery.

I walked back to work with one of my buddies.

"That's all it takes?"


"I ask you for a crosswalk sketch and it takes a week. She asks you to come back after work and right away you say 'Sure,' granted my jeans aren't as tight–"

"And if they were, you would have to wait even longer."

Monday, April 09, 2007

Why do I try to get stupid people to listen to themselves?

I can't say that it's a constant fight but it certainly seems to show up consistently

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The ad ran today

I don't often sit on the floor; I usually stay secluded in my office but I had to fix the server and see the new ad and talk to the owner's mother. I actually didn't have to see the new ad, I just wanted to. You never really know how the ad will look when they are printed on newsprint. Glossy magazine you can guess pretty well at but newsprint varies from run to run.

I know I can get a dozen variations just printing from the office printers and none of them ever matches what I see on my computer screen.

I was thumbing through the paper to find the ad. It was darker than I had hoped, especially the pictures but then the whole paper was dark this time and the colors weren't registered quite properly. I was calculating adjustments when she said "You're an artist," I responded with an insincere "Thank you."

"Do you show your mum any of your stuff?"

"No. My mom doesn't see a lot of what I do."

"Hey, mom, look at this. I don't like it much," doesn't seem like a good conversation starter. And I disagree with my mom's tastes.

What is my mom supposed to do? Hang it on her fridge?

neither of those greens is what I was going for but the darker one is closer to what I had wished.


the truth is: I mostly post just for me, too.

Fifteen days straight of walking through that door; although, not always sitting with alcohol.

I want to play mind games with her but I don't know how truly fragile she is. I don't mind leaving a bruise. I do mind leaving a fracture.

She sounded a little in a panic as she asked how I'd made out.

Sometimes, the magic runs out. Sometimes, my tricks cease to work. Sometimes, I bleed like some mere mortal.

I told her that I couldn't fix it in the four hours I was there. But I also told her that I made provisions: she would just have to get the files from a different spot.

That's one of the reasons I don't let folks sing my praises too loudly. I know I have bounds. I can't always do whatever it is in the time allotted

If it doesn't make any sense to you and you don't ask any questions my head will explode when you come to me to try to solve the unknown problem. "Did you ask him why?" I will say and "No" will be the answer.

Well, you should have. How the heck am I supposed to know? Despite the rumors, I am, indeed not psychic.


"I'll tell you the answer but why are you asking?" If I think you are somewhat clueless or a person who doesn't ask the right questions, you will hear that a lot from me.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The owner was quite pleased with the hits we've been getting off of the sign and she mentioned that it has produced two clients.

Two may not sound like a significant amount but right now all we're selling is air and a promise, so two over three days is good.

"I think you definitely went the right way with that sign," I said.

"No, you definitely went the right way with the sign."

I smiled a little because I did fight for the design. Her, the developer and the bank all wanted a piece of the sign and that was too much so I cut them all out and worked around the domain name. When I was arguing my case I even pulled out a book on design that had a section on billboards, "It's not just my opinion. You've got to keep it simple so people will remember."

"Everyone likes the sign and Sue loves her ad. We should use that to show what we can do for individual properties," she continued.

"Sue called me and was a little worried that we were using pictures from a different property."

"After she called you she said 'That Tim, he's rather direct.'"

I smiled at that too. Sue surprised me with a new ad request and didn't give me all the information I wanted but I produced a killer ad anyway; an ad so good that I was pleased with it, right then and there. When she called the next day, she started questioning the copy I used. I asked her "What does the ad say?" and she started reading the ad to me. I interrupted her with, "Which is what you gave me." Which wasn't exactly true, I changed the order of some words, left out "Call for all the details" and changed the name of the neighborhood to a specific section of that neighborhood but for the most part it was what she gave me.

I get a bit curt when people give me straw and I spin it into gold and then those people wonder about the outcome.

She concluded that we could make any desired changes in the next running of the ad.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I write for me; I post for you.

I'm good like that.

So, I get a notice at 9:15 about a meeting. It doesn't say I'm supposed to attend so I ignore it. Two minutes later, another email requests my presence in the boss's office as soon as I read it. He's my boss's boss's boss.

I go to his office and he settles the schedule conflict that he just created and mentions something about conflicts happen when you don't have enough staff to cover all the responsibilities and he said it like it was something new and something he didn't cause.

I should have just nodded, or something, instead of saying "I've gotten used to it over the past seven years." He got my meaning because he tried to say that some other divisions are manned well. "Whatever. You suck," came to mind but it only came out as a shrug.

I printed out some maps I created from 2001 or there about and in the legend I noticed something that made me smirk.

I guess someone was being ridiculous so I decided to be ridiculous right back.

Sometimes I'm a wiseass.

I'm surprised that the powers that be didn't ask me to take that off.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It was like every other sentence was a conclusion based on some piece of foolishness but I didn't feel like setting him straight so I just kept quiet.

He doesn't know how to relax.

So, thanks to sitemeter, I know that the sign I designed is causing internet hits. Internet hits to a site I designed.

So thank you, you've been a bit slow lately but I still love you.

I walked down the hallway to talk shop to a friend. He was on the phone when I walked into his cube and he motioned me to sit down. He mentioned that I was there to the person on the phone and included that I had recently gotten a haircut. I said "I had a few things waxed, too," loud enough to be heard over the phone. I got a small laugh before he said "You don't know even know who I'm talking to." I slightly worried that it was his wife but it was just some consultant.

I'll boldly say anything if I think it will get a laugh.

I'm not gonna show the waxed parts.

Monday, April 02, 2007

with a wink and a prayer

She called up the site from the front desk and things were working like they should. "Are you happy?" she asked. My reply was "I haven't been happy for quite some time."

I was mostly being an asshole. I've been happy just not with my work which is what she was actually asking.

Chances are that I will be happy with it when I look back on it years from now.
I clocked my niece with a pillow, mostly because that's what you do in a pillow fight; it knocked her off balance. It wasn't a normal pillow fight, we were throwing the pillows at each other. She tried to regain her balance by taking a quick step to the right, right on top of a different pillow. She didn't manage to regain her balance and her chin, along with the rest of her, hit the floor.

"That will teach the little shit to pillow fight with me," is what I thought while she was crying but she came back for more two minutes later.