Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fine Filtered Friends

Back from my Scandanavian Tour.... actually I have become just another lazy casuality to the blogging world. Anyway, after being on prescribed narcotics for a few days now I have determined to come back with some shitty blog posts. It is amazing the thoughts that travel through the mind at 1 in the morning while on a percoset spree.

Anywho... back to the task at hand, fine filtered friends - or what you may call cigarettes. There was I time there wasn't a cigarette I would not bum of a random chick at a bar. I felt it my duty to keep the populace safe from their addiction, while feeding my own drunken tendencies. That all stopped nearly two and half years ago when I gave up the social habit of cigarettes. I was never a pack-a-day man, but I did enjoy nicotine when drunk or otherwise. After rugby games, at parties, drunk in a bar at 2 in the morning, these were my times to puff. Looking back on the affairs I always regretted smoking the next day. A few times (every Pig Roast and at CPA's bachelor) party I smoked myself to an inaudible mute mode, unable to communicate with what you humans call sound. I really related with Helen Keller on those days (too soon?).

The past is just that... and I am thankful I got away from the habit. Though from time to time I really do miss pulling out a cigarette and smoking away. This is not the coughing, lung-cancer cigarette. This is the Don Draper, the cool, the social, and - presently - the taboo cigarette product that I crave. Just like Mr. Cool himself (Barack Obama) is a secret smoker, I wish I could enter back into the fold. Sometimes a cigarette just makes sense. There is the "holy fuck" cigarette - reserved for those crucial life/death moments and life-altering moments (think engagement/ divorce/ baby). There is the F U smoke, which usually comes after a fight with a girlfriend or SO. Some may put the post-coital cigarette in here, I won't only because it is hard to smoke when passed out. And, finally, there is the cool cigarette (think Humphrey Bogart)... yes this smoke exudes an attitude more than it does a cloud of smoke. It helps to aid conversation, sometimes for effect, sometimes creating that dramatic pause as you light up. Yes this is the cigarette I miss the most, the one I always wanted before I became a slobbering, drunken mess. They say the brain becomes wired to smoking and I can understand this when I think of the Cool Cigarette (not Kool Cigarettes... I have some standards!). I always thought the cigarette work like some talisman while working a crowd. I like to be in social situations, love to tell stories and make mirth (I never get to use that word); and I always felt the Cool Cigarette is what made it so.

Now I don't know... I am still the same person as I always was (whether smoking back then or not). Still, I do miss having that little filtered prop in my hand, and I miss the taste of a good cigarette (Dunhill comes to mind). I guess I should look forward to the good news - in a few months will be three years since ingesting nicotine via a cigarette (I reserve the right to a cigar once in a while) and that is supposed to be a good threshold for seeing benefits from quiting. I do encourage people to quit, if only the temptation in me is lessened since I wouldn't be able to bum a butt.

alright for you smokers out there, enjoy the next one, for you non-smokers the tax just went up... feel good about that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Miserable Memories

Under a torrential rain - down pouring like sheets of glass - drenched to the core I reminisced:

I think about my time growning up a lot while encumbered by the best that Mother Nature can throw at me (at least to the level of my tolerance). It is during these times - when saner folks do not forgo the ride and only the dimmest of Darwin's next cruel joke walk - that I tend to fall back on the few memories not rendered useless by years of living. My immediate thoughts fled back to, when I was in the second grade and left at a local Chucky Cheese's (somewhere between the Animatronic Jamboree and the ball pit). It was on a bitter Fall evening when I mistaked who I was to go home with and instead emerged myself into an cunning game of skee-ball. By the time I came back up from showing that parlor game what's what, I noticed the party I was with had vanished (they did not know they were to take me home). Well I tried to signal some responsible adult, though the only responsible adults were hormone raged teenagers and the creepy manager... at the time - and still today - I think I made the safer decision to just walk home.

Now the location of the Chucky Cheese's was maybe a mile to two miles from my house. In fact the shopping center in which it was located is where I would find employment during my raging hormone teenage years as well, but perspective may be perception on this one. I know what you are thinking, why didn't I just call home.... well because this was before helicopter parents force tech industries to make two way pagers for kids and because I did not know my telephone number. Now not knowing my telephone number put me in a precarious situation; leaving me young, alone, and ignorant of seven simple numbers (never said I was a bright kid) and tasked with a long, cold, wet, and dark walk back to my abode. I tried to work around my ignorance by dialing the operator and asking them to put me through to the Gushue residence, thinking that if it worked in 1950s television shows it would work for me. Alas all I learned at that moment was that television lied to you and it also rotted your brain to the point of not even knowing one's own telephone number.

Since I am writing this you can assume I made it home - logic does abide - and, alas, I did make it home. However I wonder if that night wired me to not think about how shitty life can be but to just deal with the circumstances we come across everyday. Yes it was completely stupid and dangerous to walk home alone, at night, along a busy road, virtually putting myself at the mercy at all those men explained via the after school special (you know, the ones thin mustaches, driving around in vans, and giving out the best candy).

eh hem!

Moving on.

So yeah, it was stupid and dangerous, but no further damage came my way. Lucky? Damn straight. Would I do it again? Hard to say.

I do know that such flirtations with sketch and danger elevate the senses and make life a bit more enjoyable (if for only having the story to tell later). However, I am not a big risk taker in the sense of major bodily harm. I just like to wander and to adventure. I figure in most situations if I keep my wits about me most adventures are going to turn out just fine.

It is amazing what shitty weather can do to the mind.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Human Hive

The mob mentality fascinates me, from eagerly obedient religious types to the hegemony of gated community dwellers the individual tends to get lost in the collective. In the group, especially one driven by emotion, the human is not a single unit, rather a part of a machine that emulates animal pack behavior more than the sophistication that humans have attained in the 12000 years since sedentary agrarian life.

I was reminded of this fact when watching a Sky News clip of the ongoing riots in Greece. In the link below you can see the tension growing on both sides of the conflict between the law and the anarchists (anarchists stated by the commentator).

Sky News - Greek Riot

So the intriguing part starts at around 1:40 into the clip and hits a crescendo at around 1:55. At 1:40 you will notice a man hammering away at the the wall in the background, this is to provide projectiles for hurling at the police officers. At 1:55 (after a radical zoom out) the motion of activity around the accruing rock pile emulates a swarming hive. Even in the frantic and excited actions of the stone wielding (and chucking) mob a natural rhythym in the chaos is evident. I just find it interesting how intelligence of an individual can digress to absent rationality of the mob giving appropriate emotional and environmental triggers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Mason Monkey Dreams Impossible

A ton of bricks...
The monkey off the back...
The Impossible Dream...

No More!

Tonight, as Brad Lidge sent Eric Hinske swinging with a slider, I watched the Philadelphia Phillies do something I have never been cognizant of - a major sports championship in the City of Brotherly Love (i.e. The Fertile Crescent of American Democracy, the cradle of American Democracy). In the time it took for an 80+ mile-per-hour pitch to cross the plate - and the subesequent swing and a miss - my life felt unwittingly lighter. I was never old enough to understand the championships of the 1980 Phillies or the 83' Sixers, though I did suffer through the late 80s, the 80s, and the 00s as the Flyers, the Sixers, the Eagles (Iggles), and the Phillies all suffered losses in their respective championship setting. Tonight I drink my fill of that single piece of hardware I have always wanted to see raised by my hometown. I have never felt such pride in my sports; true I have always supported them - to the extent of sadness, frustration, anger, rage, and the occassional glee, but this was the first time I have seen a conquest. The Phillies are the World Series Champs and I am as happy as I have ever been. The step is springier, the aromas smell better, and the world is a bit more colorful - it is akin to getting laid for the first time, but not nearly as awkward (or short lived). I know tommorow brings another day, full of challenges, disappointments, and sports agony (like any Philly fan will acknowledge), but for tonight the pinnacle was finnaly realized.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Syllabic Boredom


Wintery March Chill
Soft Felt Flakes Layer The Earth
When Does Spring Abound?

Quiet, Motionless Streets
Inclement Sunday Weather
Pedestrian's Dream

Radio's Murmur
Lighted By A Halogen
Pining To Get Out

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Culture of Economy

" It makes excuses for unwanted lipstick on your collar
And it's only a dollar, step right up
it's only a dollar, step right up"

~ Step Right Up, Tom Waits

In the midst of an obvious recession (or the looming signs of the "R" word) I have hit on all time disgust with the manufacturing and processing world of our economy. I am tired of the advertising, the promotion, the pleading of me to buy your shit. I no longer have the patience to even deal with the affairs of our economy and as soon as we clear out of this monetary funk no one will change. Beyond the fact that our economy seems to solely based upon jane and joe buying more things that they don't need is my complete antipathy to spending good money for packaged products. I do this not from the stand point of some anti-industrialist or anti-capitalist, the failings of all social systems implemented into the broad structures of nations and states is documented. The human populace seems to only like change more than one rigid set of rules and ideas. My position on this issue stems from a general malaise when walking into a store or listening to some advert. It is too fucking much in my opinion, I don't want more shit I don't need! Arghhh ... why does the anger rise so in me? Why can't I be happy with just buying some trinket or toy to satisfy a failed life or empty existence? Am I different, have I not caught on to what the wave or craze is all about? To be sure there are things I want - pricey items even - a flat screen television to better enjoy movies, but that would merely be an upgrade from my current empty television slot that occupies my quaint apartment. The other things I want to buy are a barebones computer that I can build and upgrade myself. So I am not totally opposed to what is being sold. I guess I am just realizing that I do not need more shit to bring me contentment. I feel sorry for those that need to thrive on the fresh receipt and new car smell to get through their pathetic lives. When you juxtapose these people with our current credit crunch can you truly feel sorry the millions of lives being ruined? I have overspent and lived lavishly (enough) without having the necessary means to support such expenditures. I am now in a complete debt (both credit and student loan) payoff mode - and soon as that is done all I want to is invest the extra that I have. I don't want to buy shit I don't need. I am sure the anger will subside from me soon enough, but at this moment every fucking jingle in hear in Target and ever line I see at Best Buy only serves as fuel for my angst towards our consumer culture.

Maybe I just need a hug?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Six Months

3/5/08... has it really been six months? Looking back so much has changed. Life and time on their own are extremely dynamic systems, but from September to now my world seems extremely different. There are days and nights - especially nights - when I think of those last few hours, trying to place myself in his mind. How much of a struggle was it? How much did it hurt? What was he thinking? I know these are not questions I should dwell on, nor is there anyway ever to find out, however my inability to converse with him as I had for years leaves a pain inside me.

Right after his passing the world became much grayer to me. All hues and sounds saturated by a fine, silty static eclipsing normal lights, colors, and sounds. I have no idea if this is a normal response, perhaps an effect of immediate depression or perhaps it is a more ethereal experience. I tend to leave philosophy and religion for those that have the time. Still, an extreme loneliness overcame my physical and mental states. I was close with him and I will miss our conversations. Experiences deepen and enrich us, there were things I wanted to experience with him and for him which, will never come to fruition. Sure I will go on, but who will I tell? He pushed me to become who I was, both directly and indirectly. Is that a sign of immortality? Do we live forever through our interactions with other people. Surely it is not an etching in stone or preserved script, but can it be just as indelible as those tangible relics? There are many questions I cannot answer. Supposedly, I am to grow from this, but all I want to do is call him, and see him, and hug him - he could be a grouchy man, but he had one of the warmest embraces I have ever felt. I well up just thinking about this absence in my life, and it hurts. It hurts more than any injury, or breakup, or let-down that I have ever endured. I know it is asking much but I want that back, in some shape or form. I want that unconditional love; a space where even if I did wrong, I could do no wrong. There were so many times he gave me comfort, gave me hope; in the end I wanted to give all that back in a matter of minutes. I wanted pour all of my love and thanks into his heart and soul as those final minutes ticked by; I have no way of knowing if it sunk in. The inability to know leaves me in despair...

... but than I think about so many other things, good times, happy laughs, and that warm embrace. These thoughts provide euphoria, happiness, and contentment. Yes, the pain will haunt me, but to dwell is the one thing he would not want me to do. I will have to build deeper connections with myself that I built with him. Each time I succeed in a goal or learn from a failed experience creates another narrative I would have shared. Maybe there is an afterlife, maybe he beams down upon me as I toil on a house project or see a new place... maybe? Either way, with the pain as a reminder of a great love and relationship, I step forth to build a deeper connection with myself as if he were still with us.

The colors and sounds are getting brighter day by day. Though the tints and hues will never hold as much glory as the once did, I can find solace in their growing light. I miss you Dad, I hope you have found peace.